Awesome news. Turns out there is a chance armageddon won't be environment or war related. Researchers from the University of Texas have discovered a tiny phorid fly that may be about as bad, pending some massive genetic mutations. The files "dive-bomb" the fire ants and place their eggs inside the unsuspecting bugs. The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away the ant's brain, and the ant starts exhibiting zombie-like behavior. Eventually their heads fall off, and die. It's just a matter of time for the movie, "Attack of the Zombie-Ants" with Richard Grieco, Erika Eleniak and Gary Busey.

Big Game Tonight

Having cut a swath through the American League Central and West Divisions, the East-leading Toronto Blue Jays host division rival New York Yankees tonight at Rogers Centre. Taking the mound for the Jays is Roy Halliday (6-1). He'll be opposed by Jays' turncoat A.J. Burnett (2-0). July 3, the two teams hook up in New York for the first of a four-game set at new Yankee Stadium. Wonder which blue-bloods will be in the stands that night? (The Onion)

Bigoted Beauty Recieved Message From God

Ouch. It's been a rough month for Carrie Prejean, the Miss California winner who lost the 2009 Miss USA pageant after saying she thought marriage should be exclusively between a man and a woman.

Here's a recap of what happened, in the likely event no one reading this watched or cares about Miss USA.

Close to the end of the competition, Prejean was asked by a judge whether all American states should legalize gay marriage. After saying (incorrectly) that Americans could choose same sex or opposite sex marriage (they actually can't in most states but I digress), she said:

"And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

Here's a YooToob clip:

Prejean didn't become Miss America that night (she was first runner-up). She later said her anti- gay marriage remark cost her the crown. Well, ya think?

More entertaining however was the in-retrospect-not-surprising photos that "emerged" of Prejean modelling topless. Those pics, the release of which a reasonable person would assume were payback for Prejean's, one might say, bigoted and idiotic views, launched a controversy around whether she would hang onto the Miss California crown.

(Of course it's stupid that to a lot of people tasteful and tame semi-nude pics of a model are controversial while a model's bigotry and ignorance toward gays and lesbians aren't, but this is happening in America. We can't expect things to make sense.)

Here's the LA Times story on Prejean's pageant loss and the subsequent scandals over the photos.

Annnnnnnyway, after dangling in the wind for a few weeks, Prejean has learned she'll be keeping her crown as Miss Kali. And I guess she's just so excited she had to spread the word. So Prejean, and her now-unbared boobies, scampered over to James Dobson, head honcho of the conservative Christian organization Focus On The Family (FOTF) to talk about her experience.

Naturally, the right-wing radio host is championing Prejean as some kind of she-bin-dun-wrong victim of free speech suppression (it's always Christians who are being oppressed; the oppression where gay people are told they can't marry doesn't count) .

But what's interesting about the Dobson interview, which you can listen to here, is the creepy bit about how Prejean thought Satan was speaking to her through the pageant judge who asked her the gay marriage question.

A quote, transcribed by Dan Gilgoff on his US News And World Report blog, God And Country: "I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, "Do not compromise this."

Full article here.

The bottom line: Prejean might not be a bigot, after all. She thinks she recieved spiritual transmissions during a beauty pageant? I'm going to go out on a limb and say maybe she's just psychotic.

Christianity. Sometimes it's tough to be a fan.

UPDATE: Miss USA judge Perez Hilton, who asked Prejean the question, says God told him to (LA Times).

UPDATE 2: The Miss California organization apparently bought Carrie Prejean breast implants before the Miss USA contest. Why do I get the feeling that absolutely everybody associated with these pageants is going to go to hell when they die? (LA Times)

Harper's War on Science

Scientists -- credible scientists, that is -- are appalled to have discovered that Harper's been stacking the boards of various scientific bodies with climate change deniers. Most recently, he installed Mark Mullins, Executive Director of the right-wing Fraser Institute, to the board of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), while he appointed John Weissenberger to the board of Canadian Foundation for Innovation, a funder of large research projects. Read a more detailed account at DeSmog Blog. Or an equally detailed but more diplomatic one at the Globe and Mail.

Add to this the fact that Harper is actively defunding curiousity-driven scientific research, is out there provoking and angering the scientific community, and has installed a science and technology minister who is not only a chiropractor (SkepticWiki on chiropractic) but also very likely an evolution denier (or at the very least an evolution not-understanderer), and what you get is a medieval, science-hating government of ignorance. Bring on the Dark Ages. No wonder the credible scientists are packing up and leaving our fair Dominion.