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Comments by Tiende Landeplage

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Rights

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Tiende Landeplage

All right, who'll join me in psychically "willing" the Mr. Deity-Freakin' Richard Dawkins show to happen?

Richard's potential as comic performer is often evident, see for example the "Dawkins Reads His Hate Mail" clip, already a classic.

Fri, 25 May 2012 10:40:22 UTC | #943456

Go to: Norway abolishes state sponsored Church of Norway

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Tiende Landeplage

As Yngve says (comment 41), this is only one small step in the right direction. Still, as one of the natives, I feel like shouting "HURRA!"

And what a nice coincidence to be reading this news on our national holiday, Constitution Day.

Comment 28 by RobertJames Cool, they should redesign their flag without a cross now.

I'll refer to the classic poem "Rent Flag" (1937) by noted Norwegian author Arnulf Øverland. A few years before he wrote it, his lecture "Kristendommen - den tiende landeplage" ("Christianity - the Tenth Plague") had caused him to be tried for blasphemy.

Rent Flag

Stryk kristenkorset av ditt flag/Og heis det rent og rødt./La ingen by deg det bedrag/At frelseren er født./Og vil du ikke dø som en trell,/Så må du saktens fri deg selv.


Pure Flag

Erase the Christian cross from your flag/And hoist it pure and red./Let no one feed you the lie/That the saviour is born./And if you don’t want to die a slave,/Then you will have to free yourself.

Thu, 17 May 2012 11:33:31 UTC | #942008

Go to: Queen 'should remain Defender of the Faith' - BBC poll

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Tiende Landeplage

The Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, said "(...) if you disestablish the Church..."

Yes please.

Tue, 15 May 2012 13:39:58 UTC | #941590

Go to: Stone-Throwing Chimp Thinks Ahead

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Tiende Landeplage

Ah, but can Santino throw a bone and have it transform into a spacecraft in mid-air?

Tue, 15 May 2012 00:05:25 UTC | #941497

Go to: Rare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Tiende Landeplage

Sigh ... I realize that I shouldn't let such things worry me, but as a Norwegian I find myself wondering why scientific discoveries here keep getting blown up out of all proportion. Remember "Ida", the much-touted so-called "missing link" of a few years ago?

Now I must go and pray to Óðinn and Þórr and do penance!

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 19:20:07 UTC | #938440

Go to: Where's the Beef? Early Humans Took It

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Tiende Landeplage

"One of my favorite images is of an Au. afarensis being dragged down by a giant otter," says vertebrate paleontologist Lars Werdelin at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm.

Isn't this somewhat redundant? I thought all paleontologists were vertebrates.

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 19:06:26 UTC | #938438

Go to: In defence of obscure words

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 56 by Richard Dawkins :

As a PS to Orwell's Rules of Writing, Samuel Johnson said, "'Read over your compositions, and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.'" I can't believe he really meant it as a general rule, but occasionally I kind of get it.


This sounds akin to such familiar truisms as "Kill your darlings" and "Less is more", which are no doubt useful at times but shouldn't necessarily be practised religiously (if you'll pardon the expression).

Finnegans Wake quote of the day:

"The abnihilisation of the etym."

Tue, 24 Apr 2012 16:53:13 UTC | #937036

Go to: Indian skeptic charged with "blasphemy" for revealing secret behind "miracle" of weeping cross

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Tiende Landeplage

Yoo hoo, Vatican! Here's your opportunity to step in and persuade them to drop the charges against Sanal, just to show you have a smidgen of respect left for sanity and justice.

But I'm not keeping my fingers crossed.

Sat, 14 Apr 2012 18:41:55 UTC | #934660

Go to: Richard Dawkins announced as 2012 recipient for ‘Services to Humanism’ award to be presented at the BHA’s Annual Conference

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Tiende Landeplage

Cheers, Professor Dawkins. Well deserved.

Incidentally, this coming Monday is the 85th Birthday of my prime candidate for "Disservice to Humanism" Award winner, our old friend Joseph Ratzinger.

Sat, 14 Apr 2012 09:59:34 UTC | #934581

Go to: In Defense of Dawkins’s Reason Rally Speech

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by Tiende Landeplage

Why, Catholics, you can leave your world of superstition behind any time you want to. All you have to do is click your heels three times and say, "There's no place like reality!"

(Actually, the clicking of the heels is optional, being quite superfluous, but you know homo sapiens — such sticklers for ritual.)

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 14:09:17 UTC | #932131

Go to: Pseudoscience harming unis - journal

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 15 by Bernard Hurley

Shouldn't we call the schools that teach this rubbish Wooniversities?

Monty Python's Bruces come to mind:

"Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce a chap from pommie land... who'll be joining us this year here in the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo."

"Well, Gentlemen, I think we'd better start the meeting. Before we start, though, I'll ask the padre for a prayer."

"Oh Lord, we beseech thee, have mercy on our faculty, Amen!"


"I'd like to welcome the pommy bastard to God's own earth, and I'd like to remind him that we don't like stuck-up sticky-beaks here."

"Hear, hear! Well spoken, Bruce!"

"Now, Bruce teaches classical philosophy, Bruce teaches Haegelian philosophy, and Bruce here teaches logical positivism, and is also in charge of the sheepdip."

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 23:04:37 UTC | #924736

Go to: Rick Warren and the “Same” God Issue

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by Tiende Landeplage

Holy Trinity, Batman!

The Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on "The Blessed Trinity", which if I remember correctly is quoted in The God Delusion, explains the whole concept as clear as mud. In fact the other religions might consider it something of a feather in their cap that they've avoided this particular muddle:

The Trinity is the term employed to signify the central doctrine of the Christian religion — the truth that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another.

Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God." In this Trinity of Persons the Son is begotten of the Father by an eternal generation, and the Holy Spirit proceeds by an eternal procession from the Father and the Son. Yet, notwithstanding this difference as to origin, the Persons are co-eternal and co-equal: all alike are uncreated and omnipotent. This, the Church teaches, is the revelation regarding God's nature which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came upon earth to deliver to the world: and which she proposes to man as the foundation of her whole dogmatic system.


The first creed in which [the word] appears is that of Origen's pupil, Gregory Thaumaturgus. In his Ekthesis tes pisteos composed between 260 and 270, he writes:

There is therefore nothing created, nothing subject to another in the Trinity: nor is there anything that has been added as though it once had not existed, but had entered afterwards: therefore the Father has never been without the Son, nor the Son without the Spirit: and this same Trinity is immutable and unalterable forever (P.G., X, 986).

More of this wonderful stuff

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 22:01:11 UTC | #924728

Go to: The "So" meme

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 37 by Steve Zara

I have been fascinated to follow one developing meme which is a use of reverse meaning, as in 'bad' meaning 'good'. I'm sure everyone has come across the more recent use of 'wicked' to mean 'excellent'. An even more recent example is 'sick' to mean something like 'nice'.

This reminds me of, and may perhaps be related to, an older phenomenon which I think applies to many languages, namely describing something positive with adjectives and adverbs otherwise associated with the negative:

"It was terribly nice of you", "The book was frightfully good", etc.

In similar fashion, words that once simply meant "unreal", "inconceivable" or "unrealistic" have now come to mean something good: Fantastic, incredible, etc.

This is most apparent when reading older texts where these words are used in their original sense. For example, in earlier days one might have said that "the Holocaust was fantastic," meaning too horrible to fathom, but now such a statement would be taken as approval!

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 18:58:11 UTC | #924364

Go to: The "So" meme

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 8 by Mee Peestevone I've noticed it in the last ten years or so even in Australia, Canada, England, and the U.S. It drives me crazy.

Comment 1 by Michael Austin :

I'm America, many teenagers say "He was like" instead of "He said." This seems to be pretty new, I've only noticed it in the last 5 or so years.

The equivalent trend in Norwegian and Swedish is substituting the word bare/bara (meaning "only" or "just") for "said":

She just "What do you think you're doing?" and I just "What do you mean...?"

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:39:56 UTC | #924210

Go to: The "So" meme

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Tiende Landeplage

With the qualifier that English is not my first language and I may be "talking out of my hat", I wonder if beginning a sentence with "So" is an old staple of Jewish-American dialect. Example: dialogue from the film "Stalag 17" (1953):

"Hey, this is with a typewriter... it's from a finance company." "So it's from the finance company. So, it's better than no letter at all. So they want the third payment on the Plymouth. So they want the fourth... the fifth... the sixth... the seventh. So they want the Plymouth."

Isn't it also an old way for storytellers and stand-up comedians to begin a story or joke:

"So I was reading the other day about the new bill..."

"So there was this man who was married to this incredibly beautiful woman, but..."

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:08:18 UTC | #924198

Go to: Crazy Watering Can

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 39 by SomeDude :

Comment 12 by Sigbert :

Comment 11 by Metamag :

If this was on youtube it would be banned due to the new "no atheism" policy.

[This has been on youtube]( for a year. Still brilliant.

Now YouTube has taken it down (at least in the US) as the music violates WMG's copyright. Nothing to do with atheism, but still a bummer.

See if you can get this alternate upload.

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 22:11:00 UTC | #922917

Go to: Crazy Watering Can

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 20 by Greyman

I just watched Thunderf00t's video that you linked to, and the good news is that the removed videos now have been reinstated after the moderators reviewed the case.

Rules about protecting and honoring religious sensitivity are, needless to say, never a good idea. We must hope this was just a slip-up, but we should keep a watchful eye for future developments. Censorship in the big social networks is already haywire, e.g. facebook's idiotic "no nudity" policy, preventing open discussion about breast cancer!

The Crazy Watering Can video is excellent. Shades of Life of Brian and "Follow the gourd!"

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 12:06:48 UTC | #922753

Go to: How to make atheism matter

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by Tiende Landeplage

Next question: How can we make non-stamp collecting matter?


Tue, 20 Dec 2011 19:58:45 UTC | #901472

Go to: Christopher Hitchens obituaries

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by Tiende Landeplage

Tributes from satirical "news" sites The Onion and The Daily Mash.

Can't be helped if it's a cliché: Hitch did indeed leave a legacy that will live on. I can't wait to dip into Arguably.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 17:11:49 UTC | #899885

Go to: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 270 by Tiende Landeplage

Hitch, Farewell and thanks for all your great work.

We are grateful for the chance that allowed our unlikely existence on this planet to overlap with that of such a distinguished, engaging and witty personality as yours.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 15:23:09 UTC | #899833

Go to: Yet another flea

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Tiende Landeplage

Just to waste a few seconds, I browsed around their website and found an alleged satire entitled "The Loser Letters":

A wickedly witty satire, The Loser Letters chronicles the conversion of a young adult Christian to atheism. With modern humor rivaling that of the media lampooning Onion, found on college campuses all over America, A. F. Christian’s open letters to the “spokesmen of the New Atheism” explain her reasons for rejecting God and the logical consequences of that choice. Along the way she offers pithy advice to famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, in the hope of helping them win over more Christians.

“Of course we score big time with the young guys who aren’t responsible for anything, and don’t really care about anything besides spending most of their time in the basement playing video games and texting girls,” A.F. Christian points out. But what about all those serious, thoughtful people who are Christian believers? If the New Atheism is to make real headway, she argues, its advocates must do more to persuade intelligent theists living meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Amid the many current books arguing for or against religion, social critic and writer Mary Eberstadt’s The Loser Letters is truly unique: a black comedy about theism and atheism that is simultaneously a rollicking defense of Christianity.

Echoing C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters and Dante’s Divine Comedy, Eberstadt takes aim at bestsellers like The God Delusion and God Is Not Great with the sexual libertinism their authors advocate. In her loveable and articulate tragic-comic heroine, A.F. Christian, Dawkins, Hitchens and the other “Brights” have met their match.

So now you know, folks. Sexual libertinism and texting girls is what Dawkins, Hitchens and New Atheism is all about.

Wed, 30 Nov 2011 00:21:18 UTC | #894251

Go to: Mr Deity and the Bang

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Tiende Landeplage

Bravo! My love and appreciation for Mr. Dalton & Co. keeps growing.

On the Casablanca note:

Disciple: Master, what thought should I take for the morrow?

Jesus: Never make plans that far ahead.

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 17:58:42 UTC | #894147

Go to: [UPDATE - 24-Oct] - audio of interview with PZ] - Pluggin’

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Tiende Landeplage

As Hitchens mentions in the opening pages of "god Is No Great", prominent atheists can in fact disagree strongly on various matters without excommunicating each other. Unlike Watson and her stated boycott of all Dawkins' future works, I'd be very surprised if Dawkins should feel any need to "avoid" his old friend and brother-in-arms PZ Myers because of their differing stands on the so-called Elevatorgate.

Myers' Pharyngula blog is still one of my favorite places to visit along with RDN. PZ is funny, hard-hitting and eloquent. Occasionally I disagree with him, occasionally I disagree with Dawkins, but chiefly I consider the both of them to be important speakers for the noble causes of science and reason.

I second Steve Zara (comment 10): "I say we don't have or don't want heroes or heroines." There's no need to give ammunition to the recurring notion from faith-heads that "Atheists are just as fundamentalist as any religious people."

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 15:57:27 UTC | #882916

Go to: Does God exist?

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 44 by Tiende Landeplage

The best thing I can find to say about this article is that it inspired this eloquent response from PZ Myers.

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 17:18:38 UTC | #877496

Go to: Cartoon - Hitler, Mussolini and the Vatican

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Tiende Landeplage

The cartoon is by Britain's legendary David Low, who in addition to having "Hit and Muss" among his favorite characters also created Colonel Blimp.

I found a larger version of the cartoon, with an interesting variation in the book Hitler's holding:

Religious Blitzkrieg

In this version, the book's author is added to the cover - "Hit-Luther"!

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 15:28:23 UTC | #876608

Go to: Richard Dawkins puts his scientific 'Magic' on a tablet

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 1 by mirandaceleste

"Militant" again? Sigh. To quote The Princess Bride:

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Or, from Through the Looking-Glass:

'There's glory for you! 'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"' 'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected. 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

There sure are a lot of Humpty Dumptys about.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 18:37:14 UTC | #876397

Go to: The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins (illustrated by Dave McKean)

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Tiende Landeplage

Abbreviated version:

"Richard Dawkins has no sense of what he should be doing. Here he's written a book about science, when he should have written a book about philosophy."

It never ends. Here's an article published in Morgenbladet, a highly regarded Norwegian literary weekly paper, a week ago: "Dawkins - a fundamentalist?"

... and if you can't understand it, consider yourself lucky! It's by one Knut Alfsvåg, "Professor of Systematic Theology", and it's the same nonsense you've seen and heard endless times. I'll just translate the final paragraph:

"As a philosopher and a theoretical scientist, Dawkins is uninteresting; here he's too tendentious, un-nuanced and obstinate to have any relevance. However, as a cultural phenomenon he does demand a certain interest: How does such uninformed criticism of religion achieve such sales figures as Dawkins is dealing with? It's a natural thought that we have here the same appeal of simplification that we find with some those Dawkins criticizes. Worshipping reason without reflection, and criticizing science without nuance — are they not two sides of the same coin?"

Richard, perhaps your next book should be called "I'm a Scientist, Not a Philosopher" — but even then, these people wouldn't get it.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 12:19:28 UTC | #874351

Go to: The Real Work

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Tiende Landeplage

Comment 17 by littletrotsky13

A painfully long-winded article, did it have anything to do with reason and science except demonstrate that some people will spend a vast amount of time on something so trivial?

This part I found interesting and relevant:

Swiss tells Teller about the tour of the Copperfield warehouse and his rediscovery of the wall from Tannen’s. Though Teller grew up in Philadelphia, he recognizes the key moment memorialized by the wall. “There’s a moment in your life when you realize the difference between illusion and reality and that you’re being lied to,” he says. “Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny. After my mother told me that there was no Santa Claus, I made up an entirely fictitious girl in my classroom and told my mother stories about her. Then I told my mother, ‘You know what—she isn’t real.’ ” He smiles with somewhat Pugsley Addams-like glee, and goes on, more soberly, “If you’re sufficiently preoccupied with the power of a lie, a falsehood, an illusion, you remain interested in magic tricks.”

There are of course a terrible amount of people who don't realize the difference between illusion and reality: Religion, "alternative medicine" and other kinds of humbug (to use a favorite word of Houdini, master magician and debunker).

I can enjoy a good, entertaining magic act and was lucky to catch Penn & Teller on stage in London in 1995. Don't know much about Jamy Ian Swiss who was one of the main subjects of this article, but he did a nice guest appearance on Mr. Deity.

Fri, 05 Aug 2011 18:26:54 UTC | #858318

Go to: CCI | Penn & Teller Tell A Lie Panel

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Tiende Landeplage

First of all, P&T are wonderfully consummate entertainers, tops in magic acts and comedy. In addition, they have been influential ambassadeurs for healthy skepticism, especially in their Bullshit! series.

I'll agree with some others here that the later seasons were usually less inspiring than the first ones where they brilliantly took on "cold reading", "Feng Shui" and other new age (and old age) nonsense, with notable guests such as James Randi and Christopher Hitchens. Their "Bible" episode was actually a bit tame, though- However, they made up for that with their Vatican episode (season 7), which is still mysteriously eradicated from the network's history: Never re-run or syndicated, unmentioned on the official web page and dropped from the DVD collection.

Still, the Vatican episode can be viewed online and is most heartily recommended.

Thu, 28 Jul 2011 19:30:45 UTC | #855297

Go to: Priest apologises for likening Irish PM to Hitler over attack on Vatican

Tiende Landeplage's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Tiende Landeplage

Daly said, like Hitler, the taoiseach "had to face reality. A cautionary tale."

Of course, a Catholic priest is always the first one to consult when we have to face reality!

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is likening Norway's slaughtered Labour Party Youth to the Hitlerjugend.

Thu, 28 Jul 2011 19:10:17 UTC | #855288