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Gay Homophobe Praise the lard? Study links church to obesity - Health - Diet and nutrition It might be the potlucks, it might be those long hours sitting in pews, but whatever the cause, a new study presented this week shows a link between religious activity and weight gain. The study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, found that young adults who frequently attended religious activities were far more likely to become obese than those who didn’t. “Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood,” says Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “And that is true even after we adjusted for variables like age, race, gender, education, income, and baseline body mass index," he added. Are church attendees praising the lard along with the Lord? “The message is really an optimistic one,” he says.

Interview: Why Evolution is True with Jerry Coyne | Random Rationality Following on from my last two guest posts—The Insanity of Biotech by biochemist Paul Little, and Why I’m Through with Organic Farming by farmer Mike Bendzela—is this Q&A with evolutionary biologist Jerry A. Coyne who wrote the marvelous book, Why Evolution is True, and writes (extremely frequently) on his blog of the same name. Evolution is one of those touchy subjects in the public sphere now (mainly in America) and I devote a chapter to debunking some of the more common myths surrounding the most important theory of the last 200 years in S3: Science, Statistics and Skepticism. But, given that I’m not an evolutionary biologist, I decided to steal some credibility from Jerry A. Coyne with this interview. Enjoy the read, and I hope that you, like me, learn something new. Fourat: Hi Jerry, It’s nice to meet you. Jerry: Likewise. J: I’m old, so I have nothing to lose. F: Fair enough. J: Well, I guess that’s good, not your ignorance, but the fact you learned something. J: Well, there are lots.

Hilltop Monasteries The caves in Meteora, Greece, had inhabitants for fifty millennia, but due to raids, “hermit monks” moved to the safety of sandstone rock pinnacles in the 9th century and began building monasteries. More monks and nuns came, building more monasteries perched high upon the cliffs. Wikipedia reports, “Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people. A view of Meteora monasteries in Greece. The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery in Meteora, Greece. Meteora – The nunnery of Roussanou was built during the 16th century and remodeled and decorated as recently as 1560. Photo #5 by Gabriele Quaglia The Holy Monastery of St. The Holy Monastery of Varlaam in Meteora. Meteora – jumping from one high clifftop to another. Another shot, a different angle of the Holy Monastery of St Nicholas Anapausas in Meteora. Approaching Meteora under moonlight.

Ancient People Are Still Awesome: Centuries-Old Japanese Tsunami Warning Markers Saved Lives "High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants," reads the centuries-old stone tablet above. "Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis. Do not build any homes below this point." This marker, and several more like it, some more than 600 years old, "dot the coastline" of Japan, according to a report in The Canadian Press. One, in the coastal town of Kesennuma, gave instructions: "Always be prepared for unexpected tsunamis. But in the tight-knit community of Aneyoshi, where marker pictured above still stands, the wisdom of their ancestors saved the homes and the lives of the tiny village's inhabitants. Everybody here knows about the markers. Image via the Star-Telegram; story via @stevesilberman.

Religion No Excuse For Not Doing Your Job It seems like these religious nuts never learn. Now we have another example of someone who wants to use his religion as an excuse for his failure to properly perform his job duties. In the past, we have had some pharmacists trying to use their religion in this way, but remarkably it's a bus driver this time. The Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) operates buses near Austin, Texas. The fired driver claims to be a minister (although probably not a very good one since he can't make a living doing it) and says his religion would not allow him to take the customer to Planned Parenthood because she might have been going there to get an abortion. Last Wednesday the ex-employee, Edwin Graning, filed suit in U.S. What a ridiculous statement! If this guy wanted to be a bus driver, he should have done his job and transported passengers to whatever location they desired. Religion is not a good excuse to fail to do a job you agreed to do. Link to original post

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: Leave Religion Out Of Michigan's Anti-Bullying Bill Michigan's recent anti-bullying bill debate has moved one step forward and two steps back for actual protection against bullying in the state's schools. The anti-bullying bill, is named "Matt's Safe School Law" for Matt Epling of East Lansing, Michigan who committed suicide after being bullied. Like all anti-bullying efforts, the goal of the bill is to protect those who are vulnerable to attack and create a safer and more humane environment for all children in schools. Unfortunately, the state's Senate Republicans added language to the bill to establish that schools could not prohibit "a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian." What kind of 'sincerely held belief' would lead someone to bully? As we have become painfully aware in the last year, there is an epidemic of bullying across the country that has made laws like the one Michigan is working on so important. Ridiculous.

Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant - Op-Eds 1. Sounds right to me Sounds right to me. At this point I am biblically apocalyptic about it. That means, there are prophesies that at the end of the galus (the exile) "they" will be in charge, for a while. Ellen, NYC (18/3/07) Reply to comment 2 Ms. PS It has also woken a LOT of Jews up. Ann Anon, Orlando (30/3/13) Reply to comment 0 2. The trouble is that we don't really know about the beliefs of the majority of Muslims. Irwin Ruff, USA (18/3/07) 3. ...hijack an entire nation & hold the population as hostages to his ideology. Reply to comment 3 4. on this subject that I have seen in the mass media. Hadassa, Israel (19/3/07) 5. 10% of 2 billion is still 200 million, notwithstanding those who are not fully active yet support the radicals - what percentage of these are there?? Mark, ZA (19/3/07) 6. It is estimated that nearly 70% of all Muslims are fundamentalists. Gee, A majority of Muslims are fundamentalists (19/3/07) 7. who will listen? Louise M. 8. Rabi Yisroel, Yerushalayim (19/3/07) 9. 10.

Lawyer tells of agonising scenes as doctors forced to let a Jehovah's Witness who wanted to live, die - Health News - Health & Families Robert Tobin, a partner in the London law firm Kennedy’s, was called in by an unnamed NHS Trust when the man, a Jehovah’s Witness who was critically ill with sickle cell anaemia, refused a blood transfusion which could have saved his life. Over three weeks the man gradually deteriorated as the crisis progressed, before eventually dying. “Medical staff were understandably upset at seeing a patient deteriorate before their eyes knowing a simple procedure could have been provided that would have saved his life,” Mr Tobin said. The man’s mother, also a Jehovah’s Witness, was at her son’s bedside, and an elder from the man’s church also attended. Mr Tobin said: “I don’t know what his mother was thinking as she sat by and watched him die. “He had full capacity, he made his decision, however irrational. Mr Tobin said that at the Trust’s request, the Jehovah’s Witness signed an advance directive - the so-called “living Will” - setting out his wishes in case he lost mental capacity in the future.

The Origins of Electricity, Tesla vs. Edison More Infographics on Good Bill Nye Boo'd In Texas For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun. As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own. But don't tell that to the good people of Waco, who were "visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence," according to the Waco Tribune. Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College's Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption. But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

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