Monday, April 27, 2009

Twits are down with Christ

Early last month, I caved into the mounting media hype and signed up for a Twitter account, partly to ensure I’d get a half decent username before everybody else jumped on the bandwagon, but mostly out of curiosity.

I still don’t know what to do with my Twitter account – should I just contribute to the overload of chaff online by posting about old jumpers I find in my closet, or the chores I undertake on any given day? Should I use it as a privacy-free platform for talking with my friends (which is already facilitated by Facebook and Bebo)? Pimp my blog? Share cool links? All mind-bogglingly exciting possibilities.

Well, I've found at least one person out there who has a focused purpose for Twittering - they came up on my radar after becoming my eighth follower, and the excitement caused was only quelled when I inspected their profile. The name should have been enough, shown here next to the solitary tweet on the account:

Where does waytoheaven1522 link to? Why, of course, the home of 'An Important Message Explaining the Truth About Going To Heaven'!

Come with me if you want to live

Yep, it's a load of twaddle about how you're a bad person, and some (conspicuously white) bearded bloke from Israel died just for you, and you're too much of a miserable fuck to even say thanks. He's so pissed about this lack of gratitude that he's lined up some bad men to poke you up the bum with hot pointy things (or if you're into that kind of thing, cold blunt things), but if you decide to go around telling everybody about how great he is, he'll give you an all-access pass to the greatest amusement park of all time, but with no lines! All you have to do is tell everybody about how great he is! Quite the sweet deal.

I've bookmarked the site, if only for the marvellous pictures that they provide, should Sully's Blog ever decide to have a caption competition.

After apparently coining the word 'tweetvangelism', then looking to see if people were using another word for the phenomenon, I did a Google search which lead me to a rather hilarious slice of web-real estate promoting Twitter Evangelism!

That's right, Twitter (among other sites) is the next frontier on which religious nuts (who mean well, bless their deluded hearts) will badger us incessantly. And why not? They've crunched the numbers, this Christ guy will have a lot more friends if they can tap into this lucrative 'social networking' craze.

The number of members of Social Networking websites today far exceed Dunbar's 150. Myspace alone, for example, has 168,112,249 members with more joining every day.

I urge you - don't pass up this opportunity to reach the world for Christ! The secular-world is employing this phenomenon to its great benefit. Why not the Church?

Too often, we Christians conclude that we need to avoid, like the plague, any practice with which we are either unfamiliar or uncomfortable. Where would be today if our Church Fathers refused to do that which they found uncomfortable?

The cherry on top?

They're selling this noble call to arms! If you want to join in the great online crusade for Christ, you'll have all you need to know for $7!

Seven dollars? I think I'll pass. Come back to me when the price is $9.95 and comes with a FREE!!! bottle of Soul-Clenze, valued at $15.95!

UPDATE 02/05/09: Twitter has blocked the account - swift justice like this makes me very happy indeed.

Suck it, Christ fans!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

They try, gawdblessem

Saw this on the Limerick Leader's website a minute ago:

Prostrate cancer? That's the worst kind he could possibly get! Being one of Limerick's most loved richest men, he finds himself at the receiving end of a great deal of prostration every day, (not least from this very article).

Just in case you missed it (which you probably did, given how little attention you pay to my warblings), I'm trying to draw your eye to the rather unfortunate typo. You may now study the following diagram, which I've created for Limerick Leader sub-editors and lay-men alike:

If this seems unnecessarily cruel and jeersome, it's probably the residual bitterness shining through from the time they posted an article of mine online and botched the first sentence. "Perjotive?" That's not even a real word! I was correctly typed on the version I sent in!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Idiots say the darndest things

Whilst buying some clearance crockery at a local shop yesterday, I made the mistake of asking the girl playing cashier a fiddly question:

“I don’t have my credit card on me, but if I give you the details, can I pay that way?”

She stopped punching buttons on the register as she looked up at me and cocked her head sideways. Two seconds passed.

“Naah” she said. The deliberate button-tapping resumed.

Feeling that social mores called for it, and for the sake of making chit-chat, I offered my reason for enquiring:

“I was just over at another shop and –“
“I’m sorry?”
“They don’t do it anywhere”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Using credit cards without having the card. I’ve never heard of it done anywhere”
“I was just over at Auto—“
“No.” She shook her head furiously as I tried to speak, and continued:
“They don’t do that anywhere”
Aghast, I looked at her incredulously. She looked down at her till for a moment, then back up at me as a thought occurred to her:
“Not even America”.

You just can’t beat that kind of rhetoric. Of course, I had just come from the shop across the road that was able to comply with my simple request without invoking the authority of other, more-progressive societies, but I wasn’t in the mood to escalate my request to a more competent member of staff.

I’d like to think that I could finish this post with some kind of “I won’t be taking my business there again” type message, but that’s not going to happen. For a total moron, she also happened to be a smokin' hottie, and at the end of the day, isn’t that all that counts?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Have you heard the good news?

For those of you trying to make sense of what exactly the significance of Easter Sunday and its surrounding rituals is, I direct you to this text-message exchange between my girlfriend and I on Easter Sunday, in which enlightenment was dispensed:

At 15:53:14 she wrote:
Happy jesus as a bunny day! Wait... That's not right, is it? Ok, happy jesus is a fertility god day...nope, still not right...

At 16:08:49 I replied:
You damn proddies are all the same. It's "happy zombie Jesus day", and the chocolate eggs we eat symbolise our messiah's insatiable appetite for braaaaaaaaaiins.
At 16:36:36 (about a replyless half hour later) I wrote:
Heh heh. "Zombie Jesus" I'm so funny.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Written by a bin-man!

Tucked under an article I was reading was the following advertisement.

Quite the absurd boast, 'discovered by a mom' - isn't it? The only thing it impresses upon me is that this 'trick' is just a scam to part fools with their money by selling them nonsense.

This advertisement bothered me as much as it did because it reminded me a nonsense product I encountered in the States called 'Airborne'. Some acquaintance of mine was complaining about getting a cold, and announced her intention to buy this medicine that would cure her malady. It wasn't hard to be sceptical about this product, as it hadn't made its way to Irish shores, and I'm sure a cure to the common cold would have no trouble finding a market / Nobel prize recognition.

Proudly printed on the front of the box, before you've had a chance to read the nonsensically vague jargon about 'wellness' and whatnot on the back, is the following:

I won't detail how the FDA laid the smack down on the specific claims that the Airborne people were making (but if you're interested, click here), instead I'll just whinge about the pervasive anti-science sentiment that is so popular these days.

I can understand the appeal of the underdog prevailing, the lay-person happening across something incredible and winning all kinds of fame and admiration beyond which they ever imagined. Unremarkable credentials are the basis of many compelling film protagonists and (seemingly) the driving force behind those tawdry reality TV shows, but do we really want to take medical advice from these hacks?

So do me a favour, those of you with the mental flexibility I so obviously lack, and explain to me why so many people are more content following the rituals of ancient Chinese people than consulting with a doctor? Who in their right mind would pay good money for pills with no active ingredients that were devised back when we believed that the key to health was keeping your blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile ratios in check? Why would you give anybody hard-earned legal tender for therapeutic touch (which involves no touching) when a physiotherapist can deliver actual results?

Should I just chalk it up to the anti-corporatism that is de-rigeur in cool social circles, or take it as a lack of faith in the regulatory bodies who are in place to keep these evil pill-pushers in line?

By my recent admission, I don't exactly have a clean record on grey-area medicinal practices, but I'm happy to sidestep my own inquisition with a shrug and a "my family made me go". Why aren't the adults who should be in the know focusing their health efforts on the proven stuff?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Aid the ailing Irish Tourism industry... yank at a time!

Things like this cause me to reflect on how great the internet is. Just a few moments ago, I received the following message on Facebook:


My name is Francesca. I was trying to find something helpful on facebook about Ireland because I will be going there this August with my boyfriend, and I happened to stumble across your profile and saw you were from Limerick and also happen to live in Pittsburgh!

I know this is completely random, but neither of us have gone to Ireland before and I can definitely use all the insight I can get.

We're flying into Shannon and that's all I have for plans right now, haha. But if you have a moment to shoot a random stranger a message on fun places to go, stay, or drink, that would be amazing.

Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you.

I hate it when foreigners ask me questions like this, purely because it exposes my ignorance - I didn't start taking any interest in any of our fine tourist traps sites until my (foreign) girlfriend got a fit of impetuousness at the prospect of watching DVDs for a solid fortnight and decreed that we had to take pictures of ourselves in front of some lush scenery.

Mission accomplished!

Sorry about that, but now that I've got your attention again, perhaps you can chip in? Do you know of any spots that ought to be recommended? It must be the boredom speaking, but I want to be genuinely helpful to this woman, rather than sending off a reply consisting only of hyperlink.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Everybody, get Randi!

I'm glad to announce that James Randi Educational Foundation's YouTube account has been reinstated, along with a note making my rather shrill, profanity-laden rant some bit unnecessary. I'm inclined to argue that the content of my chest-relieving that relates to people who take offense to exhortations of rationality still holds true, so I'm not too red-faced about my response, particularly considering the importance of net-neutrality.

I'm disgusted to note that the video I recalled fondly in that previous rant is still unavailable, and eager to point out that while that video references a 'terms of use violation' when it doesn't play, the videos that I've had removed refer to copyright infringement (and occasionally, the copyright holders themselves), which fuelled my suspicions somewhat that the legions of Internet-tards were to blame.


We're pleased to announce that our YouTube channel is back online.

Our account had been suspended by YouTube due to some copyright complaints on a handful of videos we had uploaded. The videos in question have been removed, the proper hoops have been jumped through, and YouTube restored the account. We are currently going though our inventory to make sure any videos that we even suspect might be in violation are removed. There are 200+ of them, so it'll take us some time, but we're on it.

I'd like to thank all our supporters once again for the outcry when this happened. But I'll also gently chide some of you: there were many rumors, accusations, and conclusions jumped-to when our account was taken down. As you can see, no one was attacking us, and no one acted unfairly - the complainants were within their rights, and YouTube acted according to their rules. In fact, when we started conversing with one of the complainants and with YouTube, everyone acted in a civilized and even friendly manner. The matter was resolved quickly and, I think, to everyone's satisfaction.

Since we're on the subject of skepticism, I see no harm in posting the following video which nicely summarises the issues I have with people who cry 'closed-mindedness' when I don't believe that their dead grandmother helped them pass their driving test (for example).

After sharing this on Facebook, I've a greater appreciation for how esoteric a subject critical thinking is, which disheartens me immensely. What do you think? I for one think that thinking is important, and I reckon that the world would be a better place if people thought about how they think.