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Comments by Southpaw

Go to: Tesco slump due to divine intervention, says Christian pressure group

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Southpaw

I love it. God can hear your prayers before you've even made them. In which case, why bother praying? It seems fairly safe to assume that he knows what you'll pray about for the rest of your life. Might as well just forget about it eh? G's got your back!


Fri, 13 Jan 2012 18:25:23 UTC | #907981

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

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 173 by Southpaw

RIP Hitch.

Mutato nomine et de te fabula narratur.

Fri, 16 Dec 2011 10:17:46 UTC | #899614

Go to: The Hunting of the Higgs: what is it and why does it matter?

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Southpaw

Is there a physical law that describes the point at which particle physics starts flying over the heads of doofuses (doofi?) like me? It's clearly seen around the third chapter of most popular physics books like A Brief History of Time, and I've just encountered it about halfway through these comments.

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 12:41:25 UTC | #898574

Go to: Higgs boson hunters scent their elusive quarry at the LHC

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Southpaw

What does Lisa Randall mean by "I've even bet chocolate based on those odds"? Can somebody explain it to me?

It means she has said to someone "I'll bet you this bar of chocolate that the Higgs boson is light". Considering the current economic situation and its resultant cuts to science funding, she obviously can't afford to bet money, so she gambles with the next most important thing, chocolate.

Sat, 10 Dec 2011 21:01:33 UTC | #897622

Go to: 'Harry Potter and yoga are evil', says Catholic Church exorcist

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Southpaw

And the needle jumps back to that same old spot on the record. "Your superstitions/fiction/beliefs are evil and wrong, ours are lovely and right, because they're ours." Come up with something new or GTFO.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 15:27:23 UTC | #893316

Go to: First Teeth Grew on Outside of Body

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Southpaw

Hagfish and lamprey have no jaws but teeth.

So what? Hagfish and Lamprey are modern animals.

Sat, 19 Nov 2011 00:12:18 UTC | #891486

Go to: Liquid lakes close to moon's skin

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Southpaw

Now all we need is a 3km long drill that will fit on a space probe... and to think I took mine to the dump yesterday!

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 20:49:51 UTC | #890825

Go to: Mississippi's "Personhood Amendment" fails at polls

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Southpaw

I looked at chicken eggs in high school biology. The white bit that you sometimes see holds the yolk in place, or something like that.

Yes, it's called the chalaza and is nothing to do with the egg being fertilised.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 11:22:41 UTC | #888901

Go to: Archbishop calls for NHS bill to cover spiritual health

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 68 by Southpaw

"I am one of those who believe that human beings are psychosomatic spiritual entities."

"You know, an idiot," he continued?

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 17:32:31 UTC | #886994

Go to: Little girl in the audience and the Hitchens reading list

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Southpaw

What, no George Orwell recommendation from the Hitch?

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 11:31:57 UTC | #880130

Go to: Jesus and Mo: Everything that has a beginning ...

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Southpaw

Flawless logic...

Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:52:33 UTC | #878096

Go to: Catholic Church in anti-gay marriage stance

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Southpaw

I find it both highly amusing and desperately sad that an organisation which counts not a single married person in an official role within its ranks feels it can dictate who can and can't get married.

Given that the Government is elected by the people, and is thus their voice, it would seem they are precisely the right organisation to decide on marriage laws. Every time the Catholic Church makes a statement of this kind, they merely show how increasingly out of touch with the modern world they are.

Fuck off, do.

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 14:37:28 UTC | #869784

Go to: September 11, 2011

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Southpaw

Great piece, and more succinct and understandable than Sam's usual somewhat sesquipedalian stuff.

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 19:16:25 UTC | #868976

Go to: What Home Looked Like For Seven Million Years

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Southpaw

JuJu, you took the words right out of my mouth. AAH is nonsense.

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 06:33:06 UTC | #859009

Go to: Seeing Catch-22 Twice

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Southpaw

Managed to get Hitch-22 in hardback from the library soon after it was published. Marvellous stuff.

Wed, 03 Aug 2011 11:51:49 UTC | #857415

Go to: "First Bird" Fossil, Archaeopteryx, More Closely Related to Dinosaurs

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Southpaw

This isn't all that surprising, given that the current view is that most theropod dinosaurs had some kind of feathering.

Thu, 28 Jul 2011 08:10:50 UTC | #854999

Go to: Hitchens on the Catholic Church

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Southpaw

A great excerpt from a great debate. Hitch is the master. His biography is out in paperback, a good read.

Some of Stephen Fry's points are also brilliantly put.

Clics: We didn't know slavery was wrong at the time! S.Fry: Then what are you for?!

And of course the excellent:

Clics: You always bring up child abuse! S. Fry: That's like a burglar in court saying 'You always bring up the houses I've robbed'

The vote at the end of the debate says it all.

Sat, 23 Jul 2011 07:52:59 UTC | #852926

Go to: Godlessness has doomed Britain

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 113 by Southpaw

'Godless Britain is doomed'. Meanwhile, Israel, with its long history of peaceful co-operation and deeply spiritual tolerance, will continue to go from strength to strength.

What an all-purpose idiot this guy truly is.

Wed, 06 Jul 2011 12:07:28 UTC | #846850

Go to: Diving spiders make their own gills

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Southpaw

There is one type that does, but I still can't name it. Can anyone help?

The brilliantly-named Ogre-Faced Spider carries a net that it pushes down on to its prey to snare them.

When an ant walks near the hole the quartz crystals transmit the vibrations of the ants footsteps down the line. The spider then jumps out for its meal. Amazing! Now how the heck do we get to that? I usually just think to myself about how long arachnids have been around and how short their generations are but can't imagine exactly how this could arise.

Spiders are all adept at detecting vibrations - many attach a special string of silk to their web, then lie in wait in a safe place, waiting to feel the vibration of something on the web travelling down the string. Male spiders also attract females for mating by strumming the web in a specific manner.

Assuming that the forebears of the spider you mention were already 'set up' for vibration detection, it becomes easier to envisage a scenario whereby, in spiders living in an environment rich in quartz crystals, those crystals become involved in the prey detection process. If a spider happens to behave in a way that leads it to leave web strands around its burrow, and this causes it to detect more prey, than that tendency will be passed on and enhanced via EtNS.

Thu, 16 Jun 2011 16:02:18 UTC | #639306

Go to: Tardigrades: Water bears in space

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Southpaw

Does anyone else think these little fellas look like a pig in a brown paper hazard suit?

Wed, 18 May 2011 07:05:04 UTC | #627795

Go to: My sister wanted a godless funeral. But still invited God

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Southpaw

Faced with the happy prospect of a non-religious funeral, my thoughts would immediately turn to the British Humanist Association, who have a network of speakers who lead non-religious services. They are experienced and trained in lending a sense of gravitas to an occasion without the need to invoke a wizard or three.

Wed, 11 May 2011 08:07:59 UTC | #625704

Go to: Respected theologian defends genocide and infanticide

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by Southpaw

I find it amazing and disgusting that a supposedly sane and thinking person considers it perfectly fine to kill children because they'll go to Heaven, and also, I suspect, because it (possibly) happened a few thousand years ago so who really cares, we wouldn't do it nowadays, right? Dis-gus-ting.

A well-written article from Greta Christina in any case.

Sun, 01 May 2011 08:07:17 UTC | #621440

Go to: [UPDATE 4/20] Richard Dawkins Global Atheist Convention 2010

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by Southpaw


I believe Nunbeliever's point was that it wasn't valid, because the use of one gender over another in everyday speech is a matter of style and convenience. There is no suggestion of inequality, so it is ridiculous to bend over backwards to compensate for it.

Thu, 21 Apr 2011 09:59:00 UTC | #617803

Go to: Evolution: Slouching toward the truth

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by Southpaw

he said evolution is a theory which lacks unity, since we didn't find the link between the giraffe and the horse

Ask him to show you a picture of your great great great great grandfather. There isn't one, but you can be damn sure he was around at some point!

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 10:54:20 UTC | #615740

Go to: Lynn Margulis disses evolution and embarrasses herself and the field

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Southpaw

Life Rule No. 131: Never believe a woman who willingly wears embroidered waistcoats and expects to be taken seriously while doing so.

Wed, 13 Apr 2011 10:58:04 UTC | #614871

Go to: Who Invented Beauty -- Madison Avenue or Charles Darwin?

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Southpaw

Also, my one sort of admittedly shallow preference? Height. A lot of height. Lots and lots and lots of height.

As a 6-5 male, I can safely say that's a common preference. ;) (I wish!)

I also have a reasonably clear-cut English accent, which I understand a lot of ladies in the colonies go for; what's the evolutionary rationale behind that? "Wow, I bet that guy makes a great cup of tea - propagate the genes!"

Thu, 07 Apr 2011 10:52:48 UTC | #612895

Go to: Bad at estimating? Blame evolution

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Southpaw

American recipes are deeply awkward when it comes to butter. If it isn't a stick it's a cup. A cup. Of butter. Why can't I just weigh it like anything else? Damn their ridiculously good brownies! ;)

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 09:55:29 UTC | #606138

Go to: Messenger probe enters Mercury orbit

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Southpaw

Oh, to travel the stars. I am getting back into astronomy, mainly thanks to Brian Cox's superb series (Wonders of the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe).

"This is as close as you can possibly get to being perfect."

Funny, I said this to myself just this morning when I looked in the mirror :D

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 21:37:21 UTC | #604533

Go to: God and Disaster

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Southpaw

Essentially a long winded version of Seneca the Younger's:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then why call him God?

But it bears repeating.

Sun, 13 Mar 2011 16:15:48 UTC | #602290

Go to: Japan quake: "Total, utter, stupid, offensive made-up bollocks in the Daily Mail"

Southpaw's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Southpaw

I occasionally buy the Mail on Sunday. I remove the decent general knowledge crossword and put the rest in the recycling without reading it, or save it for more appropriate tasks like mopping up spillages, say from split bin bags.

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 21:45:37 UTC | #601668