Can’t your god make a better miracle than poop stains in a diaper?

May 25, 2016

It was making headlines recently, a poop smear in the shape of a cross in a newborn baby’s diaper. Big poopie whoopie. Wonkette reports via Patheos that the mother, Katy Vasquez, took to Facebook to show the world this miraculous discovery.

This sign came in the oddest form. My babies poop. I went to change his diaper, and he pooped a cross. It might not be the prettiest sign, but he put it where he knew I’d see it. In my babies diaper. Lol. Hard to miss what’s right there in front of you.

If you can, or want to, feel free to share the message. That God is with us. And he gives us signs to let us know that things will be OK. It’s not always the prettiest sign, but he puts it where he knows we’ll see it. We’re good most of the time, but God is good all the time.

I’m sharing, all right — not because of gods, but because of belief in gods and how far gods appear to have fallen in terms of making themselves known to their believers. A poopy diaper? Really? Is that the best trick he’s got? Taking advantage of fabric and natural wrinkles and bodily functions?

While looking for this particular news story, my search also highlighted Yahoo Answers where the question is asked, Did Jesus poop on the cross? The “best” answer comes from someone going by the handle of Non-Believers are Dead Inside (spelling errors kept as found):

Well first of all the crucifixes are actaully censored they have Jesus wearing a loin cloth but actually He was naked as a form of public embarisment for the crucified prisoners. And yes they went to the bathroom hanging upon their crosses. In fact when a person is dying it’s not uncommon for that person to wet and soil themselves.
You make fun of things like this now but one day when you get old or when your dying your going to have accidents yourself. There is a reason why companies make diapers for adults.

No sources cited to verify any little factoids here regarding loincloths but I did find an abstract at the National Library of Medicine:

Death, usually after 6 hours–4 days, was due to multifactorial pathology: after-effects of compulsory scourging and maiming, haemorrhage and dehydration causing hypovolaemic shock and pain, but the most important factor was progressive asphyxia caused by impairment of respiratory movement. Resultant anoxaemia exaggerated hypovolaemic shock. Death was probably commonly precipitated by cardiac arrest, caused by vasovagal reflexes, initiated inter alia by severe anoxaemia, severe pain, body blows and breaking of the large bones. The attending Roman guards could only leave the site after the victim had died, and were known to precipitate death by means of deliberate fracturing of the tibia and/or fibula, spear stab wounds into the heart, sharp blows to the front of the chest, or a smoking fire built at the foot of the cross to asphyxiate the victim.

So, really, pooping yourself would have been the least of your worries.

Back to gods and miracles, though. I’ll have to invoke The Great God Om now. As a Terry Pratchett fan from way, way, way back, I highly recommend his book Small Gods.

The one true god of Omnia has gone through a bad time. Om transformed himself into a tortoise at some point in the past but, due to the lack of true believers now, he’s stuck in this low form. The loudest, most obnoxious religious folk don’t believe in him as much as they pretend they do so they don’t hear him call for help, or writhe in agony as he curses them. In fact, the only real believer he has left is Brutha, a pathetic novice at the temple who can barely hoe the lettuce but knows the books of Om upside down and sideways and Believes in him completely. Om must take Brutha on the path to becoming the next prophet, no matter how difficult a task it may be.

The Turtle Moves. And it should move into your bookshelves immediately.


Friday funny: another Jesus sighting (but with a twist)

October 3, 2014

A twist of Japanese roll cake:

Usually, Jesus limits his food-based appearances to grilled cheese and Cheetos in certain—shall we say—conservative areas of North America, but it seems like he is making inroads to Asian pastries with an appearance in a dessert offered by Japan’s popular Komeda Coffee chain. And not just that, he decided to present as a famous recent incarnation: the monkey-faced botched restoration of Ecce Homo!

For those who need the reminder, an elderly woman tried to touch up a classic fresco of Jesus with amusing results.

Ms. Giménez said she had worked on the fresco using a 10-year-old picture of it, but she eventually left Jesus with a half-beard and, some say, a monkeylike appearance.

And it will live on as a meme for as long as the internet can remember.

Banana Jesus

September 24, 2014

Anytime a shape resembling a face turns up on anything, people are going to say it’s Jesus. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this is pretty unoriginal. Says the author of the piece I’ve linked to:

If I am to take a photo of the same image and proclaim that it resembles Charles Darwin, people will probably laugh or mock me. Some will say I’m stupid. The point here is that if it’s Jesus Christ, the image is a miracle. If it’s somebody else, the claimant is tagged a moron.

And then there’s the question that a lot of religious people ignore. This question is “Why?” Why would Jesus go around putting his likeness in the trunks of banana plants, in toasted bread, in water stains, etc.? Why confuse your believers with such cheap tricks?

Here’s a short video of the banana plant leaking a fluid out of the spot people think are the eyes.

Call me skeptical but perhaps someone who noticed the shape on the banana plant stabbed the eye with a blade to add a bit of “It’s a miracle Jesus! It cries!” to the discovery. Is a banana plant going to be like other plants and take water up from the soil around it? At 1:14 of this video, after the woman has cut through a stalk to show where new growth will start in the spring, she tips the pot over and two drops of some liquid fall out. It’s a possibility.

Call it a mystery, call it a miracle. Whatever you do, don’t bother looking into it in case the real answer somehow has the power to destroy the faith as well as the “miracle”…

Jesus sighted in a moth wing

September 5, 2014

It’s always Jesus. It’s never going to be some random guy with a beard…

From, by no surprise, the Daily Mail reporting from Texas:

A Texas woman believes she’s seen the Lord in a bug’s back.
Yvonne Esquiline found a moth clinging to her Texas home last week and pictured in brown and yellow on its body and wings she could make out the head of Jesus.
‘At first it looked like Jesus,’ said Esquiline. ‘And I still think it looks like Jesus.’

Random woman has unwavering opinion. I’m convinced. I may as well just close this blog down right now…

The Georgetown woman’s conviction gets even more specific. She says the moth’s colors indicate she’s in for some good fortune.

Esquiline and her family believe the Imperial moth’s brown coloration means represents important news and that the yellow splotches indicate home.

When you think you need a sign, you’ll find them everywhere, even in the typical camouflage of a typical garden variety moth.

Why is this news, Daily Mail? Why? Beyond this family, who really needs to care about what this family thinks about this moth? Why does this get into the public consciousness? It’s just a moth. Quit reading anything into it.

‘I believe this was a sign,’ Esquiline told KXAN. ‘God is letting me know good news is coming and to keep the hope.’

Esquiline hopes it means she’ll be able to pay for her daughter’s education.

And she’s not letting naysayers rattle her faith. At least not too much.

‘People also saw an image of the Devil which is kind of creepy but after staring at it for so long it almost looks like it,’ she admitted.

And that’s because you’re primed to think it looks like Jesus while others are primed to think it looks demonic and others are primed to think it’s a hobo…

“minions having intercourse” and other things people look for

August 7, 2014

There are no pictures of me doing that. It’s not that kind of blog.

Been a while since I did a search party, though. Let’s see what’s sending people my way this week:

helen keller Satanist 6
google atheist experience show 3
scruples questions 3
gafsa beach 3
thatcher ants 3
my soul is tired 3
helen keller illuminati 3
minion fuck is Wednesday 2 2
was helen keller a Satanist 2

Does anyone else sense a theme here? Helen Keller is listed three times out of 10 searches.

Sorry about the formatting. I’ve completely forgotten how to make it look good. And at the moment, I just don’t care.

I don’t get the Wednesday thing. I search for that phrase in particular and it leads to a video. I don’t think the Minion says Fuck You in this ad. He’s trying to say Thank You. It’s aural paredolia, the same as thinking you hear voices in white noise, or a phrase in a record played backwards.

Once you’re told it’s “there” you can’t unhear it. Same goes for misheard lyrics in general. The Man says that a song he hears at work appears to have the lyrics “I’m masterbating for you, loverboy,” but it beats me what song he’s actually hearing. Something by Madonna or Debbie Gibson, maybe? They play a lot of old ’80s stuff on Sobeys Radio.

Overall, the McGurk effect is really cool. Our poor brains work so hard to make things make sense, even when it’s nonsense.

Thatcher ants, also interesting. Maybe not as exciting as fire ants or the Brazilian ant city or the Argentine Ant Invasion, but still pretty nifty. Apparently they’ll herd aphids. I’ve never witnessed that, but I’ve seen them take a grasshopper to task pretty effectively. Talk about mob mentality.

I don’t know why I didn’t go into entymology. Or, in this case, ANTomology. Har har. Just didn’t have enough interest in biology growing up, I suppose. I thought it was all biology of plants and dissecting pigs. Either boring or gross. I think the insect world would have been pretty fascinating.

Side note to anyone promoting the paleo diet: are you including the eating of insects? I’m sure our paleo ancestors did a lot of that. The notion of eating crickets or chocolate covered ants gives me the wigs, but it’s all cultural, I know. They’re rumoured to be very tasty.

Hunting for thatcher ant details led me to Project Noah and it doesn’t look overly biblically inspired in spite of the name. From their Education page:

Project Noah was created to provide people of all ages with a simple, easy-to-use way to share their experiences with wildlife. By encouraging your students to share their observations and contribute to Project Noah missions, you not only help students to reconnect with nature, you provide them with real opportunities to make a difference.

If there are any teachers in the audience, look into this. See if it looks like a worthwhile project to support and report back.

Lastly, the wordpress link given doesn’t appear to exist. So, if you’re looking to start something, register it if you want it.

Pareidolia hair

July 11, 2014

Looks more like OOOO to me

Kristin Kissee says her hairstyle is divine.

As she recovered from rounds of chemotherapy and radiation in a battle against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kissee posted a photo to Facebook of her regrown hair in November 2011.

She’d never noticed when she posted the picture but a year or so later she was going through some other troubled times and happened upon the picture again – this time seeing what she supposedly missed before.

She believes the holy hairdo — which is only visible in that one photo — was God’s way of sending her reassurance when she needed it.

“I was overcome with feelings of joy and serenity,” she told HuffPost. “I cried. God answered my prayers.”

Kissee says she does not go to church and is “a bit wary of organized religion,” but does believe she has a “spiritual relationship with God.”

When it comes to signs, it’s very easy to make anything mean something. I can see why she thinks the word GOD is in the curls on her head in that photo. She’d been through something traumatic and scary and who wouldn’t look for reassurance of some higher power looking out for you? Well, me and other atheists.. but ignore us for the moment. I can see why, even if she’s not a regular church goer.

It’s soothing and made her feel like she’d been singled out to be special and prized. It’s a common thought among the faithful I think, that challenges of this nature are put upon a person because God is a bastard wants to test one’s strength and faith. It’s Job all over again. Everyone wants to have steadfastness like Job when the shit hits the fan. God will take care of it..

But they’ll still visit doctors and get chemotherapy. Faith and prayer only go so far…

Jesus watches you pee outside and judges you

June 29, 2012

I’ve been waiting for another case of pareidolia and, by no surprise, the Daily Mail delivers Jesus appearing in the grit and crumble on the side of a take-away Chinese restaurant.

Mr Ridley, 39, immediately took a photograph of the bizarre sight outside the Mayho Chinese Takeaway.

He said: ‘We were a little drunk at the time and went to get something to eat.

‘We were waiting for our meal outside when we saw it.

‘It was Jesus looking right at us, we were shocked and couldn’t believe it. ‘It’s a miracle!

‘The best thing about it is the face is actually facing the direction of St Luke’s Church so it looks like it is supposed to be there.

‘Since I took the picture, we have shown it to loads of people and all of them can see it instantly.

‘It is amazing and they can’t believe it.’

I wonder if they tell their friends they’re looking at Jesus, or if their friends come to that (silly) conclusion without prompting. People always seem willing to believe it’s Jesus.

Side note, I was listening to a Skeptics Guide podcast a while back that mentioned something called audio paredolia. Quoting what Steven Novella wrote about it later:

Skeptics love talking about pareidolia, whether visual or audio, because it is right in the sweet spot of the skeptical skill set – understanding why people often come to dubious and even bizarre conclusions because they fail to understand the nature of the human mind. It’s also fun and easily demonstrated, and so it makes an excellent skeptical lesson – your brain can be fooled, you can be fooled, and in order to properly interpret this one needs only to understand a little bit about how our brains work. Our brain actively process sensory input, making many assmptions, and forcing fits to recognized patterns. Our brains do not give a truly objective and accurate representation of the world. It give a human one – full of pattern recognition – sometimes real, sometimes forced.

Also in there is a link to a video of a group of singers performing a gospel tune of some kind. The subtitles provided don’t match what they actually say, but what it could sound like they’re saying. What it sounds like they’re saying is nothing you’d expect…