Friday, March 11, 2011

this week in information (3/11) -and also Lent

It snuck up on me before I even realized it: Lent is here!! For most people who claim they are Catholics, this means giving up something meaningless in a transparent effort to get on the good side of a deity for which they cannot provide anything but emotional anecdotes as evidence. For a few Catholics, it means making an actual sacrifice of something truly meaningful in order to bring oneself closer to one's faith and savior; a time of penitence and reflection that one can only hope will carry over into the rest of the year.
For me, it means eating meat. Tasty, tasty murder meat and lots of it. The rest of the year, I buy my meat at the public market where the animals are raised with kindness and humanity and I am not supporting a sick culture of corn-suffocating antibiotic-pushing shit-wallowing miserableness.
I haven't enjoyed a McDonald's cheeseburger in over two years, I don't get street meat or cart hot dogs or have the burgers at family gatherings, I make my tacos with cheese and lettuce and sometimes other vegetables but I leave out the ground beef. I've learned to enjoy Quorn and some tofu creations (I have the tastiest vegan tofurkey/spinach/cranberry sauce/stuffing wrap after Thanksgiving this past year and I could eat that every damn day), Amy's and Annie's and Helen's (oh my!).
Lunch and breakfast every day are vegetarian, and dinners that do include meat are as responsible and ethical as I can make them without actually being a vegan or vegetarian. Which should ultimately be the goal, I know.
You're supposed to give up something important to you, for Lent, and so for Lent I give up giving up factory farmed beef. Not every day, but especially on Fridays. Because I am irreverent and sarcastic and kind of a bitch. Blessed be.

Lentien irreverency:
- PZ Myers on why everyone has smudgies on their foreheads
- via PZ Myers: hypothetical Christian science test

Touchdown, Discovery!! Phil Plait, as always, is well worth reading.

Mike Starr, former Alice in Chains band member, succumbed to his addiction this week, at age 44. Very sad, but also -more sadly- not surprising.

A greater tragedy: an 8.9 magnitude earthquake has shattered and burned Japan and lead to a tsunami that could reach as far as the tip of South America. And, of course, there are already woo-woo claims about the disaster... Sigh.

Cheer worth sharing:
- Baby Got Bugs music video
- Carl Sagan parody
- on the topic of the moon... WE LIKE THE MOON!!!

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