Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – so now we have an ark that can’t float, for how many millions of dollars?

wasted-resourcesMost folks have seen the news stories about the exemplary idiot Ken Ham and his boat shaped building that he has built to supposedly show how true Christianity is. We also have one more large, useless, and somewhat pretty building built to support flagging faith. Now, where in the bible does it say that this is a good idea, wasting resources on this type of thing? Oh yes, in the Old Testament, where God had to have tons of gold, precious jewels, fabulous fabrics, acres of leather, etc. Funny how we went from that to a supposed god that insists that one should not put up treasures of the earth and then right back to conspicuous consumption. How many meals would $100 million dollars buy? How many homes would it repair? (Jimmy Carter visited the thing. I wonder how Habitat for Humanity could have used those funds) It seems that some Christians have no problem in spending thousands and millions of dollars for publicity. (still waiting for word of the donation of the subway gift cards by Ray Comfort).

As has already been noted, the construction of the building amply demonstrates that the bible is nothing more than myth because even poor ol’ Ken couldn’t build it like his god said to and surely Ken has God on his side, right? Of course physics overules imaginary gods and wooden pegs. There was a reason that boats back in the Bronze Age never even approached the claimed dimensions of the bible ark. Humans are such size queens.

The further problem with the silly flood myth is that even Christians can’t agree on the details surrounding it. If one Christian can’t convince another, why should anyone else believe claims that have no evidence to support them?

For instance, did the flood happen at all?   Some Christians are that the words in Genesis are a literal recording of an historical event aka Ham and the other literalists. Some are quite sure that they are simply metaphor, no different from any other just-so story told to explain why humans can be harmful by any other religion. Some also try to claim that the flood was just a localized event often citing the flooding of the Black Sea (a possible date is around 5000 BCE) or perhaps even the opening of the Mediterranean. However that is a problem since the bible’s description certainly isn’t aligned with those events.

How did the flood happen? Well, we have at least four that try to use science in an attempt to make the myth palatable to modern minds e.g. it was a comet, there was miles of water held above the earth in a “vapor canopy”, there were vast quantities of water miles below the earth’s surface, the seas boiled from runaway subduction. Of course, there’s always the old stand-by, magic.

When did the flood happen? Well, again, Christians don’t agree and often won’t even dare answer such a question since that would pin their nonsense down. Answers in Genesis makes the claim of 2348 BCE, creation.com has 2304 BCE (not a terribly far of answer but remember this is from people who claim to get their answer from the same inerrant source), 3000 BCE from the Christians at biblearchaeology.org.   From above, we have the possible flooding of the Black Sea dated at around 5000 BCE. So, we see that counting in the bible doesn’t give a consistent answer, and there is no evidence that a flood as described by the bible ever occurred.

Again, religion is shown to be nothing more than a human invention, and the claims shown to be wrong by reality. The same science that was used to build an ark shaped building is the same science that shows that the claims of Christians to be nonsense.

By the way,  donate blood.  I’m off to the blood donation center tomorrow.  Working on my seventh gallon!

donate blood

What the Boss Likes – something from the kitchen and a new winery/brewery

I’m currenbeertly hiding in our one air conditioned room on a 95+ degree (F) day.   I do love the varied seasons of PA but I could do without the really really hot days. At least I’m not still working as a field geologist out on a hazardous waste site in level C gear.

Though that did work wonders for losing weight….

A couple of weekends ago we went to a new brewery/winery that we didn’t know about and it’s within 7 miles of us (as the crow flies). It’s Spring Gate Vineyard and Winery and Spring Gate Brewery. They can share property but can’t share a building because PA liquor laws are peculiar at best.

Harrisburg is a rather strange little city. You go out a road just a few miles of city center and poof! You’re in farmland.   This allows for 60 acre old farmsteads to be a great location for a place to get wine and beer.

They have live music and they have caterers and food trucks come to offer food to go with the drinks.   These are usually themed events. We went on a lobster fest day and had a most excellent lobster roll. It went very well with the apple juice laced saison and the Sparkling Pink Peignoir wine.   They also have ciders, including a very good hopped one. There is a large bricked courtyard behind a large white barn where the wine is. There’s a decent amount of parking, though some of it is on old farm fields. If you are fussy about where you park your SUV, good, I’d keep the place to my self. :)

This past weekend we made a recipe I got from an email from the Penzeys Spices folks. They don’t currently have a link to the recipe on their website and I’ve asked for one. So I hope they forgive me when I post it here. It’s for seekh kebob, and was sent to them by Major Saleem Khan.   It’s absolutely delicious, as good or better than the seekh kebob from our local indian restaurant.

We grilled this on a very hot charcoal fire.

Seekh Kabobs

If you don’t feel like fussing with skewers, the mixture would also make great burgers.

1 1/4 lbs. fresh ground beef (80/20 is a good mix); frozen doesn’t work as well
2 tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. GROUND CORIANDER
1 tsp. POWDERED GINGER
1/4 tsp. GROUND ALLSPICE
1/2 tsp. PENZEYS PEPPER
2 tsp. GROUND CUMIN
1/4 tsp. GROUND CLOVES
1/4 tsp. PENZEYS CINNAMON
1/2 tsp. GROUND CARDAMOM
2 1/2 TB. garlic paste
2 TB. ginger paste
2 TB. roasted chickpea powder (this is helpful for keeping the kabobs from falling apart; use 1 TB. all-purpose flour if you can’t find chickpea powder)

2 TB. lemon juice
1/2 Cup oil (see note)

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the oil. Mix well with your hands. Refrigerate for 21/2-3 hours. Add the oil and mix well. Roll the meat into small, round meatballs. Thread each meatball through a skewer. Dip your hands in water to prevent sticking, and flatten the meatballs in a thin layer around each skewer. Grill over low heat, turning the skewers at least once, after about 5 minutes, until the meat turns to brown on both sides. Don’t overcook or they will not be as deliciously tender.

NOTE: We used 73/27 ground beef and didn’t find we needed ¼ cup of the recommended oil. We also just made little patties, about the size of a golf ball, then flattened out. They flared like crazy on the grill but we like the seared bits.

tamarind fruit aka poop or little aliens about to get you

tamarind fruit aka poop or little aliens about to get you

We had these with the cilantro-mint chutney from this post. We also made tamarind chutney from real tamarinds. They are tasty little fruits, though they do look like poop. I cooked 8 oz or so of peeled tamarinds in a couple of cups of water, threw in a couple of star anises, boiled briefly, squished and strained what was made, then followed this recipe from one of my favorite food blog sites, seriouseats.com. Jaggery or palm sugar is worth getting for this. This was rounded out with some greek yogurt with a couple of tablespoons of grated fresh garlic and slices of sweet onion and shredded lettuce. Most excellent!

That’s it. Eat and drink well!

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a month since the Reason Rally, what happened to those gift cards?

a publicity picture of the gift cards

a publicity picture of the gift cards

It’s been about a month since the Reason Rally in DC, and I was wondering what happened to those supposed 5,000 gift cards Ray Comfort had ready and waiting for the rally goers if they took a copy of his book. It was announced that these cards would be going to charity. Some atheists praised him for doing the right thing. And then things went silent on that front.

Writing to the Living Waters church that Ray runs, I inquired the status of the donation. Someone there kindly replied:

“We greatly appreciate you taking the time to email us. I am a member of Ray Comfort’s ministry team. He has entrusted me to answer some of the emails that come into the ministry.

Thank you for your email and in answer to your question, This is still in planning stages. Hope that helps and if you are not already signed up for our Weekly Updates and would like to be, simply enter your email address at the following link.”

Now, this does seem more than a little curious that it would take more than a month to give already existing cards to a charity like a food bank, etc.   I’ve worked in the non-profit arena, and it would take a box full of gift cards and a receipt to donate them. They would have already been accounted for in the bookkeeping for the organization.

facebook screen capture

facebook screen capture

This is a man who chose not to spend a little money to get a permit to give these cards out at the rally, who made the sad little claim “”You can’t tell me that the organizers of the atheist Reason Rally aren’t praying that it won’t rain on Saturday,” on facebook in order to make believe that everyone prays just like him(so much for his claim on how great he gets along with atheists), and now seems to have a curious delay in giving the cards away. Hmmm, since there was no rain, and it was a lovely day for the rally, it seems that either prayers from atheists work and they don’t work for TrueChristians, or that prayers don’t matter at all.

Should he be doubted in his intentions? Perhaps. It is worth keeping the attention on him and Living Waters to make sure that the claim is fulfilled, since it took that attention to get him to make the claim in the first place. It would be a shame that the surprise that Ray promised here “”They are the ones to whom I’m speaking. Same with Atheist Central. So I always keep in mind the silent 2,000 on the page who are thinking about what they hear. Heaven rejoices over one that comes to repentance. Also, I want even the nasty atheists to stay for a while. I have a surprise for them.” Is that he isn’t donating the cards at all.

I’ve signed up for his weekly update and will have a new blog post when I see the details on the donation.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the legion of doom, Trump has Michele Bachman as part of his spiritual team

the HQ for the Legion of Doom, from the cartoon Superfriends

the HQ for the Legion of Doom, from the cartoon Superfriends

“The religious right movement has struggled for decades to play a leading role in choosing the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, but this year, social conservatives declared early on, would finally be their year.

And yet, after doing everything right and carefully following their specific strategy, the GOP ended up going with a thrice-married adulterous casino owner who quite literally can’t tell the difference between a communion plate and a collection plate.”

“Yes, that Michele Bachmann. The failed former presidential candidate and former congresswoman has a new gig, advising her party’s presumptive nominee on evangelical issues. What could possibly go wrong?

She’ll be joined by a variety of prominent figures from the religious right movement – the panel has 25 members in all – including James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Robert Jeffress, Richard Land, and Ralph Reed.”
A very interesting piece on the Rachel Maddow blog.
Yep, some Americans are indeed quite ignorant.   If anyone is quite stupid enough to believe that Trump is such a friend to LGBT folks as he claims, or heck, anyone who is just a decent human being,  just look at the company he keeps.  It’s a who’s who of the biggest jackasses in Christianity.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – be nice

a rather awesome video (not safe for work for language) that has been around but we just encountered it and thought it needed to be spread a little further.  Always good to have a metal message about freedom and human rights especially when the US is flirting with such stupidity as we are now.

 

Being nice doesn’t preclude standing up for what’s right.

 

right panel a still from the movie Thor when Loki was making his pitch to be ruler of the world

right panel a still from the movie Thor when Loki was making his pitch to be ruler of the world