Category Archives: World events

Unspeak: something a little bit academic?

Steven Poole, author of Trigger Happy (a very enjoyable book about computer games US link UK link), is working on a new book called ‘Unspeak’. The word is apparently a trademark, but with a bit of luck he won’t sue me…

Anyway, it’s all about ‘decoding the unspoken assumptions in public debate’. What this means is that he’s taking statements from public figures and interpreting them into plain English. This, a common satirical tool, has been done before but he does it very nicely on the fine line between humour and agression. Definitely worth a look if you like something a bit more thoughful on the web.

US link UK link

Here’s the official blurb about it:

Unspeak is language as a weapon. Every day, we are bombarded with those apparently simple words or phrases that actually conceal darker meanings. ‘Climate change’ is less threatening than ‘Global Warming’; we say ethnic cleansing when we mean mass murder. As we absorb and repeat Unspeak we are accepting the messages that politicians, businessmen and military agencies wish us to believe. Operation Iraqi Freedom did more than put a positive spin on the American war with Iraq; it gave the invasion such a likeable phrase that the American news networks quickly adopted it as their tagline for reporting on the war. By repackaging the language we use to describe international affairs or domestic politics, Unspeak tries to make controversial issues unspeakable and, therefore, unquestionable. In this astounding book, Steven Poole traces the globalizing wave of modern Unspeak from culture wars to the culture of war and reveals how everyday words are changing the way we think.

‘Sounds interesting. Although I don’t think ‘unspeak’ did turn up in Orwell’s 1984 it certainly wouldn’t have been out on place in there.

Who is stealing the lamp-posts?

This one definitely ranks in the ‘how are they getting away with that?’ category of crime.

In Baltimore a gang are stealing the lamp-posts, most probably to sell them for scrap. These people clearly know what they’re doing, and they’re not totally irresponsible either:

Left behind are half-foot stubs of metal, with wires that carry 120 volts neatly tied and wrapped in black electric tape.

So they drive up, sometimes disguised in workmen outfits, chop down the 30 foot pole, and then carefully secure off the dangerous wires so no-one gets hurt. Odd.

They would be getting 35 cents for a pound of scrap aluminium, so probably make a few hundred out of the poles, which is pretty annoying for the city because they cost around $156,000 to replace. Ouch. There are probably a few taxpayers who would rather the thought of electrocution from unsealed wires than the $20,280,000 bill that currently stands to replace the ones that have been stolen, so perhaps the gang’s social conscience isn’t that strong. Currently the police have no idea who is doing it either, and I have images of Chief Wiggum in my head: ‘That’s good stealin’ boys.’

The gang is clearly very organised, but you can’t help but wonder what they might achieve if the same level of ingenuity were applied to a legitimate business. Alternatively they could take the crime to the next level and start sending ransom notes to the city demaning $100k in return for every lamp that they don’t steal. Now that’s thinking outside of the box.


Pricing the War On Terror

Currently the UK and the US let their prisoners be sent to countries with lax ideas on interogation so that confessions can be gained from them. The CIA calls this ‘extraordinary rendition’ and in the UK it is termed a ‘friendly liaison’ with a foreign country.

So, in our names, in the War On Terror, what is being done? What do these polite terms ‘extraordinary rendition’ and ‘friendly liaison’ mean?

It means the woman who was raped with a broken bottle in both vagina and anus, and who died after ten days of agony. It means the old man suspended by wrist shackles from the ceiling while his children were beaten to a pulp before his eyes. It means the man whose fingernails were pulled before his face was beaten and he was immersed to his armpits in boiling liquid.

It means the 18-year-old whose knees and elbows were smashed, his hand immersed in boiling liquid until the skin came away and the flesh started to peel from the bone, before the back of his skull was stove in.

These are all real cases from the Uzbek security services which we viewed as friendly liaison, and from which we obtained regular intelligence, in the Uzbek case via the CIA.

A month ago, that liaison relationship was stopped – not by us, but by the Uzbeks. But as Manningham-Buller sets out, we continue to maintain our position as customer to torturers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and many other places. The key point is that none of the these Uzbek victims were terrorists at all.


We do not receive torture intelligence from foreign liaison security services sometimes, or by chance. We receive it on a regular basis, through established channels.

So who is telling us this? The British ambassador to Uzbekistan between 2002-2004. Do you feel sick yet? Do you feel safer knowing that these things are being done in our names, to supposedly protect us? Do you believe that in those circumstances that there is anything that you wouldn’t say just for a moment’s rest, or even a quick death? This price is too high.

I think that every generation has their shame, and this may well be ours.


Trying to get a decent government

There is one thing that always interests me about the gap between the US and the UK: in the UK it is usually seen as patriotic to question our leader.

Take backingblair for example. Here’s a website that says, for very valid reasons, that it is in the best interests of the UK to get rid of Tony Blair as soon as possible. I’ve had emails from Americans telling me that my questioning of my prime-minister and theirs is against democracy. The point of democracy is that we have the right to tell our leaders when they aren’t doing what we want them to do. They then are supposed to act in our best interests (which is sometimes a different thing). When they are neither doing what we want or acting to make us safer and more secure then they aren’t doing their job.

As easy as aleph-beth-gimel

Perhaps not a very exciting thing for many people, but I was quite interested in this:

In the 10th century B.C., in the hill country south of Jerusalem, a scribe carved his A B C’s on a limestone boulder – actually, his aleph-beth-gimel’s, for the string of letters appears to be an early rendering of the emergent Hebrew alphabet.

Archaeologists digging in July at the site, Tel Zayit, found the inscribed stone in the wall of an ancient building. After an analysis of the layers of ruins, the discoverers concluded that this was the earliest known specimen of the Hebrew alphabet and an important benchmark in the history of writing, they said this week.

Isn’t that fantastic? An alphabet from 3000 years ago… We all deal with writing every day of our lives, and so I find the discovery of this quite exciting. It reminds me of our place in the continuum of existence on this planet, the way that there is a continuity of ideas that appeal and are passed on (‘memes’ to use Richard Dawkins’ idea UK link US link) down through the generations, surviving because they are just so damn good.

It also makes me wonder what will be left of our time. Plastic bottles? Everything is biodegradable eventually, and the strongest materials aren’t commonly used any more because they’re so hard to work with. The vast quantity of data on the internet is most likely going to disappear in a magnetic blip, never to be seen again. Given some of the stuff online, perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, but the internet has been a true cultural revolution in indsutrialised countries of the world. For the first time in the history of mankind, people have got the power in their hands to publish information for the whole world to see and hear. The importance of this has been lost in the realisation that many people don’t have a lot to say, but maybe that idle chatter really is the significant thing after all.

Perhaps the greatest revelation about the internet for scholars should not be ‘it’s full of rubbish and Klingon’ but that people often don’t care about academic debate and just enjoy discussing the trivia of their lives with friends. That’s not so bad, is it? Is there any reason why every person on the planet should have something important to say? What does it tell us that when given the greatest public stage in the history of humanity we end up discussing our choice of clothing in a shop that day?

More on the Intelligent Design trial

This isn’t technically about the trial, but, after an election, all the supporters of Intelligent Design on the Pennsylvania school board have been voted off. It seems that parents in the area have had enough of the topic and would like teachers to get back to educating the children about science. That’s not too surprising really, but it’s heartening that it’s happened.

Full story here.

Is there such a thing as ‘religious studies’ in American schools? It’s a standard feature in the British curriculum. Admittedly, it is usually heavily biased towards Christianity, but we did cover other religions a little bit and I suspect things have got better in that regard since my time at school. I think it’s important for the peace of a country that people are taught about the alternative faiths that exist around them. From a personal perspective I think that knowing religious mythology gives you a richer insight into the archetypal images of humanity, but it can’t hurt to give people a greater understanding of why followers of Islam can be just as peaceful as those who follow Buddhism or any other religion.

You could probably write on the back of a small postage stamp the amount that most people know about different religions; I’ve taken an interest but I would still say that my knowledge is quite limited, so it wouldn’t hurt to bridge a few cultural gaps in people’s education… Although I think this moves us on to the rather touchy subject that perhaps not everything written in the American constitution is always a great idea, which I’m really not going to get into here. If anyone fancies discussing it, you could always start a topic up in the Issues section on my forum!

Silly Christians, sensible Christians, and a (probably) silly scientist

This is a post about a few things. Firstly, the trial of Intelligent Design (ID) that’s just rounding up in the US, and secondly about some other Christians saying very reasonable and sensible things (because it’s about time some sensible Christians got in the news), coming third a scientist saying some rather odd and possibly quite silly things, and then to finish off we’ve got the Catholic Church saying some very sensible stuff.

The story so far, in case you’ve not been following it is this: in Dover, Pennsylvania, 11 parents have objected to the teaching of ID in classrooms using textbooks purchased with money raised by a local church, saying that it’s simply a thin veil for Creationism. I do wonder why it’s always assumed that it’s Christian Creationist theory. Personally I’d be really amused if all the children decided that ancient Egyptian mythology is the most likely source of the universe, when viewed from an ID perspective, and all began worshipping Isis… But I digress.

The trial has been rounding up, with the defence lawyer (in favour of Creatio… I mean, ID being taught in classes) arguing that ID represents ‘the next great paradigm shift in science’. Would that be a new paradigm that rejects scientific method, the basis of all known science, and replaces it with faith? Ah yes, that would certainly be a big change. Hm. On a linguistic note, be wary of people who use the word ‘paradigm’ when talking about the present, they are usually predicting the future with a notorious lack of accuracy.

Source here.

So, enough with the silly Christians, and on to some sensible ones.

Working on the basis of Genesis 2:15, ‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it’, the National Association of Evangelicals is working on a campaign to make the US government restrict carbon emissions due to their strong links with global warming. This is an interesting one, because Christians in the US are heavily affiliated with the Republican conservative agenda that promotes industry to the massive detriment of the environment (as well as other topics that Evangelical Christians are usually more firm on, such as (getting rid of) abortion and (getting rid of) gay rights).

Working on the theory that God has instructed man to pursue environmental protection, the Evangelicals promoting this idea need to convince the rest of the congregation that you don’t have to be an Earth Mother worshipping hippy or a Liberal to think that trying to stop destroying the planet is a good idea. I would have thought that this would be quite an easy task, but then I am a liberal optimist!

More on that one here.

Finally, a scientist who just might have found a way to produce ten times more energy than normal hydrogen energy production systems, if it weren’t for the slight problem that his discovery goes against all current theories of Quantum Mechanics (QM).

This is a bit technical, but an interesting idea nonetheless. A hydrogen atom is made up of one proton and one electron. The electron orbits the proton at what is called the ‘ground state’. This is essentially the most energy efficient orbit possible for the electron: any other orbit would require more energy. The scientist claims that using a process applied to water he has managed to make a hydrogen atom with the electron orbiting even closer to the proton. Okay…

The theory runs that this closer orbit is even more energy efficient than the previous ‘ground state’ and so when the electron moves into this position it releases the extra energy it was using to maintain the more energetic orbit. That’s a great idea, but it does have a major problem in covering why the electrons don’t automatically settle into the most energy efficient positions to begin with.

Here’s the bit I like: despite the simple truth that what this guy says goes against all previous peer-reviewed studies of QM, scientists are still willing to accept the possibility that the guy could be right. Literally, they don’t take science to be scripture! They do say that this particular experiment hasn’t gone through the peer-review system yet and so remains without approval of the wider scientific community, but they also don’t say that it must be wrong because it would upset so many other theories, although on the same logic they remain sceptical about it. I rather like that about scientists. Also, wouldn’t it be great if this guy was proved correct? We’d have probably the greatest scientific invention of our lifetime! ‘Shame it’s probably nonsense!

Source here.

Let’s just finish off with something very sensible from that article on the Pennsylvania trial:

Meanwhile on Thursday, the Vatican issued a statement warning against ignoring scientific reason, saying that religion risks turning into fundamentalism. Cardinal Paul Poupard, who heads the Pontifical Council for Culture said:

“The permanent lesson that the Galileo case represents pushes us to keep alive the dialogue between the various disciplines, and in particular between theology and the natural sciences, if we want to prevent similar episodes from repeating themselves in the future.”

So, scientists being very silly, and Evangelicals the Catholic Church being very sensible… Are you sure this is the Matazone blog you’re reading?

Ouch – Southampton University is burning down

Well… It was burning down. One of the science blocks was destroyed yesterday after a fire spread through the building.

Southampton University has a global reputation for its computer and science research, with a lot of the UK’s best work happening there. Currently the fire is not being treated as arson but some kind of accident.

I feel so sorry for the people who were studying there. Now I’m nearing the end of my PhD I’m backing it up all over the place to make sure that I stand the best chance of not losing anything, but I would hate to think what it must be like for the students there to have lost so much of their work… It’s not just work though, it’s a whole piece of your life. The important things are there: no-one was hurt, everyone is still healthy and in full working order, but a PhD becomes a huge part of your history. To put it into terms that are more easy for a non-academic to associate with, to lose five years of research would be like losing all photos and movies from that time.

Perhaps it’s worth mentioning too that Southampton University is very closely affiliated with the University of Winchester, where I’m studying, and I’m pretty sure it will be them that award me my PhD when I’m done. This fire doesn’t effect my work at all, but the shared loss of other researchers is still a strong emotional event!

More from the BBC.

The importance of applying consistent rules in a thesis: A Brit Professor defends Intelligent Design

The irony of this is that his basic premise has a flaw.

Last night I went to a discussion up at my university about the final presentation of PhD theses. I was told about the worst-case scenario of a thesis. This happened to a young mathematician. Imagine spending at least three years, often several more, working on a hypothesis, writing it up, and analysing its meaning. In maths everything is laid on a solid foundation of calculation and then you work upwards from there. At the end of your studies you present your thesis, its read by a committee (aside: I like the word ‘committee’, it has three double-letters in it :)) and then the committee gives you an interview, called a viva, about your study. This usually takes about an hour, although some places don’t restrict this and the viva can go on for up to six hours!

This mathematician had chosen his review committee, and things were looking good; however, the chairman fell ill and unfortunately had to be replaced at a late stage. The new chairman walked into the viva, pointed out a flaw in the maths on page five and the whole thesis was decreditted and it failed.


So, do you remember I mentioned a little while ago about there being a trial in America where a group of parents had taken a school to court because the school wanted to teach Intelligent Design theory as a legitimate rival to the theory of evolution? A British sociologist professor has testified in defence of ID claiming:

that because scientists have inferred the existence of a designer from observations of biological phenomena, it should count as scientific.


As much as this is a lovely idea, using the same logic as ‘it’s art because it was made by an artist’, it’s just not an accurate statement. This is the same as the mathematician’s mistake on page five: if their basic assumptions are not good science then anything built of them still is a victim to the initial difficulties in logic. Assuming that complexity can only be explained by supernatural phenomena/aliens is not a scientific proposition because it is fundamentally unverifiable. The argument ‘X did it, therefore it is a product with X’s attributes’ is acceptable for art where the product does not have to maintain conformity with rigidly logical rules and deductions, but that’s just not the same for scientists. A scientist could claim that the internal organs of a duck in flight transform into helium, but that wouldn’t make it good science; the proposition that some scientists like the idea of ID and therefore ID is scientific is a classic page five mistake.


Hurrah! It’s time for NaNoWriMo again! National Novel Writing Month takes place in November. It works on the theory that everyone has a novel in them, even if it’s not a very good one, and wouldn’t it be great to say to people at parties ‘oh yes, I had something like that in my novel…’?

Some members of my forum took part in it last year, and they’re going to give it another shot this year:

Matazoner’s doing NaNoWriMo

Essentially you agree to have a shot at writing about 2,000 words a day for the whole month, ending up with a novelette of 50k words. It doesn’t have to be any good, or even make sense, it’s all about the word count!

I won’t be taking part this year (there is the slight pressing matter of my thesis to be done instead, where quality is regarded as slightly more important than quantity) but I might give it a crack in 2006 if I haven’t already started writing books by then.

More info here:

And NaNoWriMo in ten easy steps here.

Considering that it’s now international, shouldn’t it be InNoWriMo?

Gorillas seen using tools in the wild

This is quite interesting, if you like this sort of thing. Wild mountain gorillas have been seen using tools for the first time in the wild, and not just for finding food either.

Here‘s a great series of photos showing a female gorilla wading across a river, getting waist-deep, then going back to the edge to find a stick to check out the depth in front of her as she crosses.

I think this is great because it shows once again that it’s not only human who have the ability for abstract thought. In particular this is significant because the use of the stick wasn’t to getting food but simply to make her life easier and safer. This is precisely the kind of thing that early humans must have done. It’s very easy to imagine an ancestor or ours poking their way across a river, deciding that they have a good stick, holding on to it, and beginning to find other uses for it. What these photos show is a scene that has probably happened millions of times before, but we’ve never witnessed its like in other creatures. Fantastic.

Full article here.

Burning Man 2005 photos

For those who’ve known me for many years, you’ll know that I love the Burning Man festival. Basically it’s a big gathering of strange people in the desert. Some say it’s a huge interactive art installation, others an experiment in spontaneous social engineering, and others say it’s just a big party. It’s definitely all of those and many, many more things too.

I went over there in 1999 and 2002 but couldn’t afford to go this year, which is a real shame because some of the art looks fantastic. Here’s a few selections of photos (all pages may contain some nudity):
This one not only has masses of images that capture some of the bizarre daily events of the place but it also has some silky smooth presentation. Definitely worth a visit.
Rick Egan has been taking Burning Man photos for years. Here’s one from this year that I like:

There’s something very spiritual about the desert that forces you to adjust your perception of yourself. Take away your normal home, your normal belongings, your job, and normal survival conditions and you find that you live your days in a different way. Sometimes you find yourself not watching a sunset but standing in a sunset, and that’s a whole new experience. I can’t tell you in words how it is, but it just is.
Patrick Roddie is another regular photographer at the burn. He makes series’ of photographs based on actions or body parts. His portraits are especially good, capturing something beautiful in every face:
Although this one also caught my eye as something representative of the event’s spirit:

Enjoy the photos!

The Pope may be up on charges related to child abuse

Here’s an interesting one for you. Back in the 1990s a Catholic seminarian molested three children. He’s currently on the run. So far, so sad-but-unsurprising.

The interesting bit is that a court case has now been raised in the US naming the former Cardinal Ratzinger (who at the time ran the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), who is now Pope Benedict XVI, and several others as being part of a conspiracy to conceal the abuse. Previously such cases have been dismissed by US courts because the Pope is the head of state of the Holy See, and US law gives heads of state immunity from prosecution for reasons of international harmony (I assume). As such it would seem that the case can’t go any further.

This is where it gets really interesting: they’ve tried this before and failed, but in that response the Vatican named itself as a church, and the First Amendment has a clause that bars laws “respecting an establishment of religion.” As such, because the Vatican and the Holy See has now established that it is a church, not a state, the new case can go ahead.

Obviously this is a very serious matter, but I find myself very intrigued by the religious ramifications for Catholicism if the Pope is prosecuted. What does it mean for a faith if their envoy of God on the earth is convicted of attempting to conceal child abuse? The concealment is argued to be because the Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter saying that child abuse would be dealt with by the church itself without need for external influence, in other words they wouldn’t tell the authorities. How far would mainstream Catholicism stick with their support for this defence if their leader is prosecuted for it? Would a new pope be selected? It’s interesting stuff. To be honest, I’d be very surprised if this got any further than an attempt, I suspect that higher levels of the US government would step in to prevent prosecution of the Pope, but the possibility is nonetheless thought provoking.

More info here.

England wins ‘best ever Ashes test series’

Okay, so England have won a cricket match that they have been playing with Australia since Ayer’s Rock was knee high to a pebble, and this is the first time that this has happened in something like sixteen years. Suddenly this series of matches is being decribed as ‘the best Ashes series ever’. I wonder if the Australians feel the same way?

On the bright side for Australia, at least they came second.

BNP’s racist paper impounded

Well, at least that’s some good news.

For those who don’t know, the BNP are a ‘political’ party who generally campaign with the attitude ‘we’re so proud we’re British, we’re not racist, there’s nothing racist about us, we just associate things we dislike with certain groups in the community, especially if they’re black, Indian, Chinese…’. Their leader is a scary man, not because he’s stupid and racist, but because he’s very intelligent and racist. Yes, apparently those two things can co-exist, and that’s why I find him scary.

The amusing element of all this is that the group that is so proud of Britain and British industry gets their newsletter printed in Solvakia. Now there’s a way to support your local businesses. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they’re hypocrits as well as racist, but I was really under the impression that the list couldn’t get much worse.


New Orleans server to stay online

Those DirectNIC people must be insane. You may remember I mentioned them a little while ago. The plucky server admin decided to remain running his server on backup power despite a hurricane, flooding, violent looting, and now massive risk of disease from the raw sewage, rotting food, and bodies of victims. They’ve set up a diesel generator to keep their server running, and have been given exemption from the forced evacuation of the city.

How weird is that? Why make an exemption for a server crew?

As The Register observes, this does seem like a story that could easily turn into a movie very soon, but how comfortable would we be with a movie based on a real and recent event in which (tens of?) thousands have lost their lives? After Sept 11th the media have dealt with terrorism mostly in metaphorical terms, Star Trek: Enterprise being a classic example of this: a supposedly evil alliance of species was trying to destroy earth, but it turns out that there was really a minority who had been misled by evil transdimensional beings. The metaphor simply being ‘don’t assume that everyone different from us is intent on destroying us, and even those that are are usually misled by a tiny group’. The series contained some quite direct criticism of the gung-ho guns blazing approach to tackling terrorism, but remained enjoyable.

How enjoyable could a film about Hurricane Katrina be when we know the death toll and with the lack of clear responsibility? The greenhouse effect probably made the storm as severe as it was, and industrial polluters should be held responsible for the way that their business effects the environment, but there isn’t any real enemy here, just lessons that should be learnt before this happens next year, and the year after, and the …

This said, there have been many films about real disasters, such as the sinking of the Titanic. With the rate that the media is consuming ideas in the constant search for the Next New Shiney Thing, baubles to attract the public, how long before this devastation becomes commodified? Will a year be long enough? Five years? People are already scamming donations from the public, but individual low morals should not be a guide to the morals of larger groups that have a responsibility to reflect public opinions. I think that we are the ones that will decide when ‘Katrina: The Film’ is made, and we may well damn ourselves with the speed that we are ready for it.

$1,000,000 to prove that Jesus isn’t the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster…

We are willing to pay any individual $1,000,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Rather silly? You might think so, but it nicely gets to the crux of the issue. I’d be fascinated to see someone try.

Do you think that they would accept an evolutionary argument stating that no direct jumps between different species is possible?

Crikey – New Orleans hosting company still online

Yes, it’s another thing from The Register, but still… Blimey. What silly people!

In essence, despite the hurricane, lack of mains electricity, complete absence of law and order, and now potentially violent looters, the company has maintained web-hosting servers throughout the whole thing. I’ve got a lot of respect for their tenacity, but it does seem that they have strayed into the realm of stupidity… Still, it’s a stupidity born of a noble idea and it’s from such seeds that civilisation grew.

Competing theories for creation

Given that apparently there is some doubt about the theory of evolution, I feel it is wise to highlight a couple of alternatives that should be covered when the Kansas curriculum (and later probably the rest of the US states) is opened up to suggest different approaches to creation.

First up we have the sound and reasonable belief that the world was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. The author of the website explains in his open letter to the Kansas School Board:

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him.

We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. […] a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artefact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artefact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage.

Read more about the reasonable request here

The second theory, that it is of the utmost importance that should be presented with equal seriousness to other competing interpretations, is that of the Invisible Pink Unicorn.

The IPU’s great appeal is described in a brilliant and undeniable piece of theo-logic:

The Invisible Pink Unicorn is a being of great spiritual power. We know this because she is capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that she is pink; we logically know that she is invisible because we can’t see her.

You can’t argue with that.

More here

So, along with Intelligent Design I hope to see these equally valid and scientific proposals on the Kansas syllabus next year.

Do you know any others that I should be aware of? Put a link in a reply!