November 22nd, 2010

goggles

The Pope and condoms.

So why wasn't this all over my friends list: Pope condones condom use in exceptional cases? His actual comments are given here. The Vatican is trying to play down his remarks, but they are, quite frankly, amazing. Especially when viewed in light of some of the misinformation that has been believed? - well, certainly spread - by other Catholic bishops. In 2003, Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo of Columbia claimed that the HIV virus which causes Aids could actually pass through tiny holes in the rubber of condoms. And in 2007, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio, the head of the Catholic Church in Mozambique told the BBC he believes some European-made condoms are infected with HIV deliberately. There have been others - these are the two which I could find references to easily, courtesy of Bad Science.

Here is the Pope, after all these years, mentioning the ABC theory: A - Abstinence, B - Be Faithful, C - Use a Condom, with the obvious assumption that he believes that condoms can prevent the spread of HIV. Not that they are the way to prevent it, or the only way to prevent it, but that they do work. Moreover, "There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants." Okay, there is a lot of waffle in that statement - but in comparison to the misinformation that has been spread by Catholic bishops in the past, it is totally new.

I am really quite surprised - amazed - and pleased. The world can change. Yes, the Pope still thinks that condoms are not "a real or moral solution" but "there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality." Gosh.

I hope this means that - even if it does not itself distribute condoms - the Catholic Church will no longer block their distribution.
richard

LIVE EWOKS!

Also, this little guy is too adorable for words. He looks just like our plushie Mookiee - only he's a real, living creature!

And critically endangered. Bum.

I like this little guy too - not a pygmy sloth, but some other kind. Possibly a two-toed sloth, and certainly a live ewok. As is the three-toed sloth, who is pretty much the living image of Wicket. Hmm, I'm spotting a theme.

You've probably seen this linked by someone else already, but if not: George Lucas Stole Chewbacca, But It’s Okay. And here is Chewbacca the dog, or another live ewok.

I like ewoks, okay?