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other Bible-based parks

In addition to the Ark Park, there are plenty of opportunities to expand Biblically-literal entertainment into the neighboring area. Here are some other possible attractions:

Red Sea Water Park: just like the secular variety, except that an inexplicable dry area divides all the waters whenever Charlton Heston makes a guest appearance.

Biblical Justice Arena: rebellious kids, non-virginal brides, gays and lesbians, and worshippers of other religions can be stoned to death for their offenses.

Flat-Earth Planetarium: features a scale model of a four-cornered Earth, a demonstration of our geocentric solar system, and a depiction of how the stars are fixed in the firmament over our heads.

Satan's Stegosaurus Show: an archaeology exhibit explaining how dinosaur fossils were buried by the devil in order to deceive us about the true age of the Earth.

Plans are also underway for the Garden of Eden Biology Museum (to explain how Adam was created from dust, how Eve was formed from his rib, and why dinosaurs were all herbivores before The Fall) and a Conundrum Commons (various displays will reconcile the major Biblical contradictions and explain how three equals one, but will not discuss either unicorns or zombies).

Note: Biblical rules prohibit the serving of shrimp or lobster in any park restaurants. Also, poly/cotton blend t-shirts are not sold in the gift shops (which are sweatshop-friendly, because slavery is condoned by the Bible).

Bruce Schneier on cavity searches

Security guru Bruce Schneier wonders what's next after the TSA's full-body scanners. He writes that "PETN is the terrorist tool of the future. The problem is that no scanners or puffers can detect PETN; only swabs and dogs work:"

What the TSA hopes is that they will detect the bulge if someone is hiding a wad of it on their person. But they won't catch PETN hidden in a body cavity. That doesn't have to be as gross as you're imagining; you can hide PETN in your mouth. A terrorist can go through the scanners a dozen times with bits in his mouth each time, and assemble a bigger bomb on the other side. Or he can roll it thin enough to be part of a garment, and sneak it through that way. These tricks aren't new. In the days after the Underwear Bomber was stopped, a scanner manufacturer admitted that the machines might not have caught him.

"[I]f a group of well-planned and well-funded terrorist plotters makes it to the airport," continues Schneier, "the chance is pretty low that those blue-shirted crotch-groping water-bottle-confiscating TSA agents are going to catch them:"

The agents are trying to do a good job, but the deck is so stacked against them that their job is impossible. Airport security is the last line of defense, and it's not a very good one.

We have a job here, too, and it's to be indomitable in the face of terrorism. The goal of terrorism is to terrorize us: to make us afraid, and make our government do exactly what the TSA is doing. When we react out of fear, the terrorists succeed even when their plots fail. But if we carry on as before, the terrorists fail -- even when their plots succeed.

McCain meets Monty Python

Paul Waldman discusses the fall of John McCain, writing that "Not too long ago, John McCain was one of the most admired people in Washington:"

He was held in esteem by both Republicans and Democrats. His legion of admirers in the press painted a picture of a heroic figure working to clean up the political system, fighting against overwhelming odds, pushed on by courage and principle. [...] And over the last few years, McCain has fallen further than most politicians ever imagine they could.

His fall isn't just because he gave us Sarah Palin, either. In the Congressional arena, there is also his moving-goalposts opposition to LGBT military service:

We don't know whether "don't ask, don't tell" will end this year or next, but we all know it will end, and gay people will be allowed to serve their country in the military, just like they do in almost every other Western nation. And when this debate is remembered, John McCain will be the symbol of fear and bigotry, abandoned by even his wife and daughter, the military's answer to George Wallace circa 1963, a bitter old man standing in the recruiting office door, shouting, "Discrimination now, discrimination tomorrow, discrimination forever!" That will be his legacy.

It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for him. Almost.

James Fallows writes about McCain's mystery, asking "how did he end up this way?"

I have been trying to think of a comparable senior public figure who, in the later stages of his or her career, narrowed rather than broadened his view of the world and his appeals to history's judgment. [...] John McCain seems intentionally to be shrinking his audience, his base, and his standing in history. It's unnecessary, and it is sad.

Even more devastating, though, is Jon Stewart's comparison of McCain to Monty Python's Black Knight (h/t: Towleroad):

WikiLeaks on the run

There is plenty of chatter about the WikiLeaks DNS/webhosting debacles, but the best summation I've seen is from Nate Anderson at ars technica. Anderson mentions this tweet from EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, which I suspect will go down in history:

"The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops."

Lest anyone reduce this to WikiSycophancy, Barlow clarified his position:

Because if they can silence WikiLeaks, they can shut anyone up. Don't fight for Assange. Fight for yourself.

As Barlow's EFF compatriot John Gilmore once said, "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."

ark park

There are plans afoot to create an Ark Encounter theme park in Kentucky. In addition to "a full-size Ark, built to biblical dimensions," the park will contain a 14-acre walled city, a zoo and aviary, and a 100-foot-tall Tower of Babel. PZ Myers calls the ark park "a fancy Disneyland for ignoramuses," shows this drawing


and snarks:

Lookie there: the centerpiece will be a genuwine, life-sized, full scale copy of Noah's very own ark, all 300 cubits by 50 cubits by 30 cubits of it, and they say it's gonna be built with materials and methods as close to possible as the ones in the Bible. Where they gettin' gopherwood? And are they really gonna build it with handsaws and mallets and wooden pegs? That's gotta be impressive, but it's gonna be tough to git'r done by 2014.

But wait a consarned minute: it ain't floatin'. And there's no talk of stockin' it with 8,000 pairs of animals, or however many they say there ought to be in there. I'll give 'em a pass on fillin' it with dinosaurs (well, maybe not...some say they're daid, but the folk at AiG say they're just hidin'), but I want elephants and hippos and giraffes and sheep and pigs and cassowaries and kangaroos and rhinoceroses and monkeys and squirrels and everythin' tucked in there, to give me the true and odoriferous varmint-rich Ark Experience.

ThinkProgress features a clip of an ark spokesperson answering the question "Will there be dinosaurs on the Ark?"

ANSWERS IN GENESIS OFFICIAL: [off-mike] Well you know the position of Answers in Genesis so you can probably answer that yourself. We'll have appropriate animals on the ark based on -- [on mike] I'm sure we'll have representative kinds of animals on the ark, to include dinosaurs.

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Comment Wall (5 comments)

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At 10:45am on August 4, 2009, Kit Ann Kaboodle said…
Maybe people don't comment because they are speechless seeing a nude guy on a stump. Nude guys on stumps, and thinkers don't faze me.
At 8:14pm on February 23, 2009, cognitive dissident said…
I'm rather fond of yours, as well...
At 2:40pm on February 23, 2009, Kit Ann Kaboodle said…
Your member name rocks!
At 10:13am on July 23, 2008, Byron B said…
Hello fellow UU
At 9:24pm on July 20, 2008, cognitive dissident said…
There seems to be something about me that discourages comments...both here and at my blog. (Was it something I said?)

We must be sharing the same weather system; I hope the storms cool you off, too!

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