Archive for March, 2007

Never Turn Your Back On A 13Ft Lobster!

March 24, 2007

Wrath, Groucho:51, 6006 YD

-from Multiple Maniacs, 1970 – John Waters

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Canadian Director Of CSICON

March 23, 2007

Gluttony, Groucho:50, 6006 YD (later)

As I stumbled out of the Head Temple of the Esoteric Order Of Eris last night, hiccuping to myself, and cursing the rather cheap ale which had been pushed upon me, a figure lurched from the shadows and asked if I was one Baron Verulam von Hoopla. Pulling my coat closed tighter around my throat, to close out the chill in the air, I looked around before answering: “Who would like to know?”

The man stepped into the light of the streetlamp and took his hat off. “My name, sir, be Seamus O’Riordan, and I come from the Committee For Surrealist Investigation Of Claims Of The Normal. Are you the Baron von Hoopla who penned the weblog concerning Psuedo-Skepticism?”

“Well,” I stuttered. “I really mostly cribbed it from other sources. I mean, it was Marcello Truzzi’s list after all.”

“Aye,” said Seamus. “We know all about Truzzi. But we’re talking about Hoopla. Are you he?”

“Gulp.” I gulped. “Yes.” I said. “I’m Hoopla.”

“A pleasure, Mr. Hoopla.” Seamus said, extending his hand.

I extended mine back, saying: “Baron.”

“Ah, yes. Sorry.” Seamus coughed. “A pleasure . . . Baron.”

“So, what can I do for you -hic- Mr. O’Riordan?”

“Dr. O’Riordan.” he corrected.

“Really.”

“Yes.”

“Dr. O’Riordan.”

“The Committee For Surrealist Investigation Of Claims Of The Normal has been watching you for some time, Mis- ah, Baron von Hoopla, and we’ve been pleased with your sense of agnostic zeal when dealing with patapstchology. A sense lacking in all too many these sad days. We are in the process of branching out to other countries and need people who will work for us in certain regards, or act on our behalf . . . we were hoping you might be able to be the person who would act on our behalf here in the area of land which is commonly referred to as ‘Canada’.”

“I see,” I said. “Does the position pay?”

“Ah, no.” said Dr. O’Riordan.

“I see,” I said. “Alright, I’ll take it. So, what do I have to do?”

O’Riordan had already turned away. He moves fast. But, he turned back. “Eh, nothing much, really. You wait until someone tries to proves something is perfectly normal, then you investigate. It doesn’t come up much, and it’s usually fairly obviously NOT normal, so . . . uh, you let them know how it isn’t normal, and, eh . . . so on. See you.” and he walked away into the chilly night air. I decided to celebrate by having another drink.

So, yeah, I’m the Canadian Director of CSICON.

John Waters No Smoking Cinema Announcement

March 23, 2007

Gluttony, Groucho:50, 6006 YD

I’ve decided it’s going to be a black and white John Waters double bill on Hoopla! this weekend . . . until then, here is something to hold you over . . .

Good night!

Judge Sez: P&G Not Satanic!

March 22, 2007

Envy, Groucho:49, 6006 YD (later)

The Devil is not in league with global consumer brand Procter & Gamble, a US court has ruled. P&G won a $19m (£9.7m) lawsuit against four distributors of rival Amway over rumours tying it to Satanism.

The court concluded a 12-year lawsuit in P&G’s favour, after it ruled that the four had spread a false accusation that P&G subsidised Satanic cults. The case is one of several unfair competition suits P&G has brought refuting the Satanism slurs.

According to P&G, the four distributors had passed on to customers the notion that its logo – featuring a bearded man looking over a field of 13 stars – was a symbol of Satan.

“This is about protecting our reputation,” said Jim Johnson, P&G’s chief legal officer. “We can’t have the Great Dread Cthulhu overhearing some pipsqueak calling us “Satanists” he would shred our sanity all the sooner – we have other corporations to smash before that can be allowed to happen.”

For its part, Amway pointed out that it had successfully defended itself in an earlier case brought by P&G that had been connected with the rumours, claiming they had actually accused P&G of being in league with Sammy Davis Jr., who unfortunately WAS a Satanist, which is apparently where the trouble started.

When asked for comment, Lucifer “The Satan” Beelzebub had this to say: “Procter & Gamble? Jezuz, no . . . what do I care about big corporations like that? Leave that to L. Ron Hubbard’s zombie corpse, I’m too busy focusing on the career of my client, Paris Hilton, to get bogged down in that sort of nonsense. Have you heard her album, by the way?”

Are You A Psuedo-Skeptic?

March 22, 2007

Envy, Groucho:49, 6006 YD

Marcello Truzzi was one of the founding co-chairmen of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and editor of their journal “The Zetetic”, but was voted out because he wanted to include pro-paranormal people in the organization and pro-paranormal research in the journal, but CSICOP felt that there were already enough organizations and journals dedicated to the paranormal. Kendrick Frazier, instead, became the editor of CSICOP’s journal and the name was changed to “the Skeptical Inquirer”.

After leaving CSICOP, Truzzi started another journal named: “the Zetetic Scholar”. He popularized the term ‘Zeteticism’ as an alternative to ‘Skepticism’, because the term ‘Skepticism’ -he thought- was being usurped by what he termed “pseudoskeptics.”

In a 1987 issue of “the Zetetic Scholar” Truzzi offerred this list of the attributes of the pseudoskeptics:

-The tendency to deny, rather than doubt.

-Double standards in the application of criticism.

-The making of judgements without full inquiry.

-Tendency to discredit, rather than investigate.

-Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks.

-Presenting insufficient evidence or proof.

-Pejorative labelling of proponents as ‘promoters’, ‘pseudoscientists’ or practitioners of ‘pathological science.’

-Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof.

-Making unsubstantiated counter-claims.

-Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence.

-Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissing it.

-Tendency to dismiss all evidence.

"Hoopla!" Minor Facelift

March 21, 2007

Lust, Groucho:48, 6006 YD (later)

I did a little tweaking to the look of Hoopla! last night – nothing major, just a few nips and tucks in the right places . . . I think the blog looks at least three years younger . . .

Let me know if you have any comments about the slightly new look, I doubt it would influence me to change anything, but you never know . . . I do cherish all your snakry remarks . . .

RAW Discusses Discordianism

March 21, 2007

Lust, Groucho:48, 6006 YD

5 Circuits Of The Mind?

March 20, 2007

Greed, Groucho:47, 6006 YD (later)

Our chipper friend over at the Concordia Movement has posted something which -surprisingly- actually interests me. Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are.

He is crediting us with a bastardized version of Leary’s 8 Circuits of Human Consciousness, except truncated down to simply five circuits. Perhaps he IS Discordian, after all.

To achieve this amputation he has mashed the last four circuits all into one which, it turns out, oddly enough, doesn’t seem as difficult as one might expect. He calls this circuit the “Enlightened Mind” and pretty much leaves it at that.

Here is the post:

Our ‘friends’, the Discordians, would have us believe, on top of being apes, that each of us also has five minds inside their skulls. I suppose -if it were true- this would go a long way toward explaining their own behaviour at least, if not eveyone else’s.

They claim that the human mind uses steps of evolution and these steps are formed when the human mind reaches a new plateau of development and the mind is ‘imprinted’ with new information in some way. Apparently standard ‘learning throughout life’ isn’t good enough, and the learning must come with much pomp and circumstance. One might be lead to believe -if their critical faculties were turned off- that one needs traumatic events to learn . . . a good excuse for those whose religion is based around causing chaos and disruption? Surely I am just cynical.

The Discordians would have youy believe the five stages of the human mind are as follows:

1: “The Reptile Mind”; the oldest part of the mind, concerned only with safety and nourishment.

2: “The Primate Mind”; concerned with pack status, or group politics, territory.

3: “The Pattern-Making Mind”; the part of the mind which understands how we fit into time and history, putting concepts together.

4: “The Adult Mind”; concerned with group taboos, sexual norms, parenting.

5: “The Enlightened Mind”; the supposed goal of evolution, nirvana.

The Discordians actually promote this schizophrenia as a well-adjusted mind, rather than a sad splintering of a once whole ego. Dividin up our impulses, giving them names, and blaming them for behaviour is a fundamentally flawed concept of logic, and is ultimately lazy and self-serving.

Original Post “Bottled Schizophrenia” can be found here.

On The Subject Of: Hairless Apes

March 20, 2007

Greed, Groucho:47, 6006 YD

Cereal Bowl Of Eris Found!

March 19, 2007

Pride, Groucho:46, 6006 YD (later)

CALIFORNIA — Oil exploration work in California’s Central Valley region has uncovered what some scientists have referred to as “The Cereal Bowl Of Eris”. The 5.5km-wide bowl is buried under shale sediments west of Stockton, in San Joaquin County, and is thought to be between 37 and 49 million years old.

Researchers are continuing to analyse cuttings from oil exploration wells drilled in the structure. Details of the discovery were presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, strangely enough where a completely separate lecture about the dwarf planet Eris was also being discussed. Scientist Dr. Ruben Valletta was quoted as saying: “It’s gotta be one of them coincidences.”

Data from a 3D seismic survey of an ancient sea bed clearly shows a circular structure buried 1,490-1,600m (4,890-4,250ft) below sea level, while nearby is what could be a rather large spoon.

The Victoria Island Bowl, as it has been officially named, has a concentric rim surrounding a “central uplift” – a peak at the centre – which are both characteristic of divine cereal bowls, like the Great Cereal Bowl Of Yahweh found near Beersheba, Israel in 1997. When asked for a comment Goddess of Strife, Eris Nancy Discordia said: “I’M GLAD THEY FOUND IT… I USED IT FOR SOUP TOO.”