Jewish date: 21 Ṭeveth 5770 (Parashath Shemoth).
Today’s holidays: Feast of Raymond of Penyafort (Roman Catholicism), Synaxis of John the Holy Glorious Prophet, Baptist, and Forerunner (Eastern Christianity, Gregorian Calendar).
Topic 1: “Why Science Tells Us Not to Rely on Eyewitness Accounts”. This is very relevant to the question of judging people. Humans are not perfect, so even the accounts of people doing their utmost to tell the truth may be imperfect. We must therefore at least be open to the possibility that reports uncorroborated by other evidence might not be perfectly true and act accordingly.
Topic 2: “Afro-Cuban priests predict social unrest in 2010” and “Biblical scholar's date for rapture: May 21, 2011”. Both of these deal with predictions made on a religious basis. The former article deals with predictions made by Santeria priests in Cuba for 2010, which they have predicted to be “a year of social and political unrest, struggles for power, and treachery.” This prediction is rather fuzzy, applying to a lot of politics on this planet. It is also noted that this group has been wrong for the past two years, and another Santeria group predicts “that 2010 would be a year of improving health”, also not very specific. The latter article deals with Harold Camping, a Protestant preacher who believes based on his own personal numerology that the Rapture will be May 21, 2011. His specificity is appreciated, but it is noted that his previous predicted date, September 6, 1994, proved wrong. General rule: Be wary of the predictions of people with a bad track record or who give vague predictions. In the meantime, I have to start keeping a list of predictions in order to better test who is reliable. May 21, 2011 is already marked in iCal on my computer.
Topic 3: Jews and Christians (and probably a number of other religious groups) are supposed to bless their god before they eat. Today’s religious humor is in this spirit: “Tank u, ceilingcat, for our daily nomz « Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats” and “Lord, for what I am about”. NOTE: Some people may not appreciate the later LOLanimal.