Of Cosplay, Comets and ‘Catfish’

The Vatican is hosting an international gathering of cosplayers devoted to an alternate universe where virgins give birth, gods can be their own fathers, and the world is ruled by child molesters. Sounds like some kind of weirdly perverse anime/manga vision, doesn’t it? At least they have great costumes! Might as well be a convention of furries, just saying.

Despite the local weather leaving me unable to see the sky at all tonight, the Comet Pan-STARRS will be 28 million miles (45 million kilometers) from the surface of the sun when it swings around the star today, and should be bright enough to see without the aid of telescopes or binoculars. Next scheduled sighting: 110 thousand years from now.

Here’s a rather long and sad tale of the ‘catfish’ variety: world-renowned physicist meets a gorgeous model online. They plan their perfect life together. But first, she asks, would he be so kind as to deliver a special package to her? What could possibly go wrong?

Get your boots and shovels ready! The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAH!) is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theory. It is put on by Zach Weinersmith (cartoonist of SMBC), breadpig (publishers of SMBC and XKCD), and MIT’s Lecture Series Committee and sponsored by EvoS Consortium and “This View of Life” magazine (Editor-in-Chief David Sloan Wilson). It will be held on the MIT campus on the evening of April 20th, 2013. Short notice for submission of papers!

And the National Rifle Association (NRA) thought armed guards in schools would be the safer option: Officer Sean McCutcheon was suspended after his pistol accidently discharged in a New York school. The town, Hudson Valley, began assigning armed police officers to guard schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Maybe if Officer McCutcheon had accidentally discharged two guns it would have hurt the bad guys more, eh, NRA?

Sorry, zombie fans! Russian scientists are now retracting the announcement that a novel bacteria was found in samples from Antarctic subglacial Lake Vostok.There are traces of bacteria in the samples, but these are believed to be contaminants.

“We want our children to be educated, not sheltered from things we are afraid of them learning”:  the evangelical home-schoolers that embrace evolution.

It is a great sadness for us all: Duane Gish, eminent young Earth creationist, has died, aged 92.

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