Looking for a lunch date in mid-June

This is experimental. The producers of the Blue Ball Skeptics would like to go out for lunch on June 20th. And for the first time, we are going to try a bat signal: putting a call out on our blog. We only know of one other blogger who has tried doing that, but his experiment results are not in yet. So we are just going to do it and see what happens. If you know anyone who might have an interest in going out for lunch with us, please let them know. If you might have an interest, read on.

  • We should start by getting everyone up to speed. We are polyamicus and omnivorous. We have many friends and we eat basically anything. We go out to lunch at least twice a week with dozens of different people, including vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores.
  • In person we are very frank and open about our tastes, wishes and feelings, and prefer people be that way with us, but only if they aren’t actively chewing their food.
  • We travel North America a fair bit. Particularly old Route 66, but we range far and wide in our adventures.

The rest you can find out by googling Damion or Chas (along with your preferred keywords). We’re around 500 on the scoville scale. Not heavy into spice, but get along well with people who are. We have an unusual quirk or two but don’t expect any of our lunchmates to share them (e.g. Chas recently won a charity taco-burger eating contest, but he does not expect that sort of performance from anyone else). We enjoy lunchmates who love to boast of their own lunchtime exploits, especially over beer or soda or what-have-you. We are not going to get all angsty over how high your calorie count is. Indeed, that may well have much the opposite effect.

Okay. If all that hasn’t scared you away, read on. Otherwise, #BBSIPNFY.

What you see is what you get

This June 20th we’ll be spending some time in Tulsa, because FreeOK will be held there this year. There is a hole in our schedule smack in the middle of the day on account of human physiology, and we’re looking for someone to go on a lunch date with right then. Within that window we are flexible, but we don’t want to range too far out of the downtown area.

We can probably only fit around half a dozen lunchmates at our table. We’re likely to say yes to anyone who sparks our interest as an amicable conversationalist, but that’s too subjective and idiosyncratic to predict or define. If you want to inquire, please message us on Facebook, or Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the blog. Just remember, it’s an unfair advantage you knowing a lot about us and what we look like, so please do remedy that information disparity, at least a little, first thing. We would very much appreciate it.

Okay. Bat signal engaged!

Now it only remains to see what happens.


Supreme Court Justice Didn’t Know Marriage Can’t Legally Involve Churches or Religion

The following story is almost completely made up, but is being passed around as if it really happened. Skeptics, be warned.

You Ready Grandma?

With the first day of hearings taking place before the United States Supreme Court, an awkward happening occurred when Supreme Court Chief JusticeJohn Roberts found out that both religion and religious establishments have nothing to do with the legality of same-sex marriage.

The uncomfortable exchange began when Chief Justice Roberts asked famed gay rights lawyer Mary Bonauto why she believed that we should “force churches and religious leaders to preside over a homosexual wedding that, when taken as a whole, would offend their moral conscience.”

Although she seemed taken aback, Bonauto replied with little to no hesitation.

“Well, I’d cite the U.S. Constitution, previous Supreme Court decisions, and the Treaty of Tripoli.”

Chief Justice Roberts then asked Bonauto to elaborate on her answer.

Bonauto replied, “Thomas Jefferson clearly stated that the intent and function of the 1st Amendment was that the country could never establish any laws based on…

View original post 227 more words


Hot Scientist Babes Gate

In which the good comrade takes a stand against the oppressive boots of leering skeevd00ds

Comradde RisottoProffe

Some fuck-up skepticatheist or whatthefuckever published a blog post last week entitled “15 Sexy Scientists (with pics, of course)”, in which he embedded photos he found on the Web of female scientists that he apparently considers “sexy”. There has been a fuckton of discussion of this on various blogs–including that of the skeezbag motherfucker himself–about the significance of this blog post. Notwithstanding all the bloviating going on about this, it is really quite simple.

The fucking skeevd00d’s post is leering. Leering tells the person being leered at that their value as a human being is defined by how much other people want to fuck them. That is not a compliment. It is an oppressive boot on the neck designed to put women in their place. The internal mental state of the leerer and his “intentions” are wholly irrelevant to any of this.

View original post


Is Atheism a Religion? 

Good post from a friend of the show…

Secular Okie

If you’re an out atheist chances are to you’ve probably had someone try to tell you that atheism is “a religion itself”. I know I’ve found myself on the receiving end of such claims, and my normal response is to point out that religions are almost always centered around the veneration and worship of a supernatural entity of some sort and therefore atheism is not a religion. I’ve generally been happy with that argument, but it turns out it’s not how the law sees it. Supernatural beliefs are not required to exist in a belief system for the courts to view said belief system as “religious”. My guess is the courts have probably avoided such a ruling because “supernatural” seems kinda judgy and nobody wants to tell their family and neighbors they worship something magical, so they’ve worked around it. Besides, how could you “prove” the supernatural in a court of…

View original post 630 more words


Along Came Poly.

Interesting post from well outside the skeptic/rationalist perspective

Deeper Waters

Does the covenant of marriage really matter? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Two days ago on February 18th, prominent internet blogger Richard Carrier, who seems to be the answer to all conservative NT scholarship in the eyes of internet atheists everywhere, wrote a post about how he is coming out polyamorous.

So what does it mean to be polyamorous?

A visit to the Polyamory society defines it this way:

Polyamory is the nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultanously.  Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time.  Polyamory is an umbrella term which integrates traditional mutipartner relationship terms with more evolved egalitarian terms.  Polyamory embraces sexual equality and all sexual orientations towards an expanded circle of spousal intimacy and love.  Polyamory is…

View original post 2,104 more words


Blue Ball Skeptics – Episode 8

In this episode, Chas and Damion visit with John and Zoe of the ASJP podcast.

You might be thinking that skepticism should simply turn away from the drama-mongering and click-baiting. I get that. You’re wrong, but I get it. You’re thinking that if we simply turn away and do not engage, the keyboard warriors for great social justice will fail to sway minds, make converts, and uproot your skeptic tents.

Does experience show that this approach actually works?

Okay, I’m ranting. My apologies. Enjoy the show!

Video (uncut)

Audio (mildly edited)




Ichthyology at PeaceFest


#GamerGate: The Players and the Played

Good thought piece reframing GamerGate in terms of the ideological struggle for feminism

Paula Wright

The #GamerGate controversy reached a new high (or low depending on your perspective) recently when one of its main protagonists, the radical feminist and cultural critic, Anita Sarkeesian, was featured on the front page of the New York Times. Ironically, in view of the focus of her criticism about passive female characterization in video games, she herself was cast as the “damsel in distress”, under threat from active male protagonists.

Ostensibly, headlines like this are a direct validation of her work. Sarkeesian asserts that video games directly contribute to a culture of gendered violence in real life and – hey presto – there it is!  

But are radical feminist claims about games promoting violent norms really correct?  Studies of violence in video games say no. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court evaluated the evidence and came to a disappointing conclusion for people, like Sarkeesian, who are fond…

View original post 993 more words


A closer look at the latest numbers of Ebola cases in W Africa – Pray, Give & Act

Via an Anglican Prayer Blog, we have an alarming exponential growth curve . . .

Lent & Beyond

Note: the graph below is my own work, based on the data in the WHO Ebola situation reports.  It shows cumulative reported cases of Ebola in each West African country, and in total, since the outbreak began in March 2014.


I’ve been looking tonight at the latest WHO report on Ebola in West Africa (October 10, 2014), and I took the time to update my spreadsheet where I’ve been tracking the cumulative number of cases each week.  The data is just scary.

  • In Liberia:  2000 new cases in the past 4 weeks
  • In Sierra Leone:  2000 new cases in 6 weeks, (but they’re now on pace for 2000 cases in the next 27 days if current case rates continue.)
  • It took 4 1/2 months (from beginning of March to mid-July) to reach 1000 total cases.
  • It then took only a month for the number of cases to…

View original post 351 more words