Episcopal Church consecrates first openly lesbian bishop


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly lesbian bishop Saturday in the face of objections from some conservative Anglicans.

Mary Glasspool is the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church since Gene Robinson took office in New Hampshire in 2004. Episcopalians instituted a temporary ban on gay bishops after Robinson’s ordination but revoked that ban last summer…

Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles called Glasspool, an ordained priest for 28 years, a “highly qualified and experienced” cleric. “She’s not afraid of conflict and is a reconciler,” Bruno said, according to the Episcopal Church website. He added that Glasspool and her partner of 19 years, Becki Sander, are an example of living service and ministry…

Glasspool’s consecration drew opposition from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who said Glasspool’s ordination would deepen rifts in the Church…

The Church of Ireland also issued a strong condemnation…”We wish to express sorrow that Mary Glasspool, a person who is living in a same-sex relationship, is to be consecrated,” the Church of Ireland said in a statement. “The elevation to senior church leadership of a person whose lifestyle is contrary to the will of God revealed in scripture is both wrong and disappointing.”

I’m not about to repeat more of such Stone Age stupidity. “Revealed” scripture means some dude – or a collection of like-minded dodos – wrote down what he figured he could hustle his True Believers with to get ’em to fork over their worldly goods in return for promises of a happy life after death.

Science, reason, plain and simple good will refutes this crap.

Robot performs wedding in Tokyo

Almost everyone stood when the bride walked down the aisle in her white gown, but not the wedding conductor, because she was bolted to her chair.

The nuptials at this ceremony were led by “I-Fairy,” a 4-foot tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Sunday’s wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.

“Please lift the bride’s veil,” the robot said in a tinny voice, waving its arms in the air as the newlyweds kissed in front of about 50 guests.

The wedding took place at a restaurant in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo, where the I-Fairy wore a wreath of flowers and directed a rooftop ceremony. Wires led out from beneath it to a black curtain a few feet (meters) away, where a man crouched and clicked commands into a computer…

“This was a lot of fun. I think that Japanese have a strong sense that robots are our friends. Those in the robot industry mostly understand this, but people mainly want robots near them that serve some purpose,” said bride Satoko Inoue, 36, who works at manufacturer Kokoro.

It would be nice if the robot was a bit more clever, but she is very good at expressing herself,” said new husband Tomohiro Shibata, 42, a professor of robotics at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in central Japan.

The robot is already capable of more sophisticated activities than the average politician. Especially if it is dedicated to serving a purpose.

Nigeria and China sign $23 billion pact for three new refineries

Nigeria’s state-run oil firm NNPC and China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) have signed a $23 billion deal.

The two will jointly seek financing and credits from Chinese authorities and banks to build three refineries and a fuel complex in Nigeria…

NNPC hopes the construction of new refineries will stem the flood of imported refined products into Nigeria.

Nigeria is the world’s 12th-largest oil producer and the eighth-largest oil exporter. But the country imports roughly 85% of its fuel needs because of the disrepair and mismanagement of its four state-owned refineries…

The three refineries will be built in Bayelsa, Kogi and Lagos states, while a location has to be confirmed for the petrochemicals complex.

The Nigerian government has said that foreign companies must invest in developing Nigeria’s infrastructure and economy first, before they can benefit from its oil and gas exports.

Not unreasonable.

Interesting comparison with the U.S. where we haven’t built a new refinery in years. While reactionary whiners try to assign responsibility for that to environmental regulations – heavens, how could we not pollute? – investors generally accept it’s part of how the Oil Patch Boys keep their prices and profits up.

Foodie keyboard a haven for disease-carrying vermin

It’s a workplace hazard in the unlikeliest of places: your keyboard.

Errant breadcrumbs and cookie morsels that fall into the depths of your board as you nosh are prime midnight snacks for disease-carrying vermin.

When office workers head home at the end of the day, mice often come out to play

And they scrounge for food on top of – and even in – desks, leaving droppings and disease in their wake, European researchers say.

Workers who fail to keep their desk area clean and crumb-free can get sick simply by typing on a pooped-on keyboard and then picking up a sandwich or piece of fruit with their unwashed hands, the researchers warn…

Scientists swabbed keyboards in their London offices and found traces of E. coli, coliforms and enterobacteria, which all cause food poisoning.

They warned that mice droppings can also fall between the keys as the rodents snoop around.

Cripes. You could start a keyboard cleaning and detailing business going office-to-office, building-to-building.

Maybe I should compose all my posts like this one – on my iPad? No cracks between the keys on a touchscreen.

Republicans ignore their own moratorium on Pork


Republicans = the other white meat

You might recall that in March, amid much fanfare, Congressional Republicans declared a one-year moratorium on all earmarks emanating from the GOP…

Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar sent letters to 116 Republicans…asking whether they intend to be bound by the House GOP moratorium on earmarks and want him to disregard their requests for projects in the Water Resources Development Act.

In preparation for a new WRDA bill…the flock of Republicans that had submitted project requests have not exactly flocked to Oberstar begging for their projects to be scuttled. In fact, out of the 100+ members of the GOP that had submitted requests, the number that have sought out Oberstar to have them removed from consideration stands at…four.

Oberstar wrote Thursday that he has heard from only four Republicans asking that their requests be withdrawn, and “several Republican Members have told me that they do not intend to comply with the House Republican Conference earmark moratorium and will not withdraw their project requests…”

We are being treated to yet another example of political theater masquerading as fiscal austerity.

I should set this to music.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If Christianity hadn’t beaten them to it, Republicans could take credit for inventing hypocrisy.

Four Republicans have publicly said they would not follow the moratorium, including Don Young of Alaska, a member of the committee and the representative behind the notorious “bridge to nowhere,” and freshman Anh “Joseph” Cao, who has said his New Orleans district needs federal aid to cope with the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. The others are Henry Brown Jr. of South Carolina and Ron Paul of Texas.

Ah, yes, Mr-transparency-in-government, Ron Paul. The libertarian leader from Texas defends pork in deed and words.

Calorie-Commando tries to hire homeless hit!

Juan-Carlos Cruz, the former host of Food Network’s “Calorie Commando” is accused of plotting to hire homeless people to carry out a murder…

The plan fell apart when the homeless people Cruz allegedly recruited told officers with the Santa Monica Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Program, authorities said.

“We’re very fortunate that we have a relationship and rapport with some of the homeless and that they were able to give us information,” Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Trisler said.

An undercover investigation, which began on May 7, revealed the murder-for-hire method, where and when the individual was to be killed and the terms of payment, Trisler said…

Cruz, a Los Angeles resident, was an overweight pastry chef at Hotel Bel Air until he changed his focus to promote low-calorie recipes.

When his “Calorie Countdown” show debuted on the Food Network in 2004, he claimed to have lost 100 pounds by eating his own cooking.

Cruz is no longer listed among the celebrity chefs on the Food Network website.

Phew! Glad I missed his shows.

Think his recipes might turn me into a greedy source of self-serving violence? And would I have to register as a Republican instead of an Independent voter?

Why are British boobs getting bigger?


Ask Becks!

Odd things are happening in women’s bras. In recent years, the average British bra size has jumped from 34B to 36D, which means that while women’s backs have grown one size, breasts have jumped up two. Many department stores have increased the range of cup sizes on offer to meet the ballooning demand. In 2007 Marks & Spencer introduced the J cup. Earlier this year, Selfridges began stocking a K cup range, and its sales of D to G cups have risen by 50% year-on-year since 2005. Last week, Debenhams started stocking KK bras, which were previously only available in specialist stores.

In a country where one in three women is overweight, you’d think there was a simple, fat-related reason for this, but obesity alone doesn’t explain the jump in cup size, nor the biggest growth area in bra sales: smaller back size and bigger cup size. Judging by recent underwear figures, there are more slimmer women with larger boobs than ever before. Women are happy about this. Men are happy about this. But no one seems happy to explain why this is happening.

Do you know how to work out a bra size? As roughly 50% of the British population wear them, you’d have thought most of them would have an idea. But though a 2009 survey found that the average British woman owns 16 bras at any one time and buys four every year, fitting them is a surprisingly tricky activity. The traditional method reads like an A-level algebra problem. You take a tape measure and wrap it round your chest at the lowest point where a bra sits. You record this figure in inches. You add four to this measurement if the number is even, five if it’s odd – and the resultant number is your band size. Then you wrap the tape round again and measure the fullest part of the actual breasts. Next you subtract the band size from breast size to find your cup size. If the numbers are the same, you’re an A cup. If there’s an inch difference, you’re a B; two and you need a C cup and so on. Alternatively, and many bra experts say more accurately, you can weigh your breasts by dunking them into a full bowl of water and measuring the displaced liquid, with 1 litre of water equalling 1kg. It’s accurate but useless. You can do precisely nothing with this information, as no bra manufacturer measures boobs by the pound.

Unsurprisingly, as no one enjoys maths or physics homework, the modern way to find the correct fit is to go to a shop and get someone else to do it for you. Egged on by TV stylists, such as Gok Wan and Trinny and Susannah, who’ve long been rhapsodising over the merits of a well-fitted bra and the wonders they work on your shape and posture, more and more women are doing this. Previously they could go a lifetime buying new bras by guessing or simply choosing the size they’d always worn. They made do. But trained fitters can now be found in almost every lingerie department; instead of relying on water or tape they add an element of mystique to this already complicated process. Fitters are like boob whisperers, their pronouncements made on look and feel as well as measuring…

RTFA. Longish, interesting

Face it – everyone is interested in boobs one way or another, male or female, old or young. Even a few surprises.