ISP #29 – Lake Monsters!!

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http://media.blubrry.com/irreverent_skeptics/content.blubrry.com/irreverent_skeptics/29_-_Lake_Monsters_July_19_2014_.mp3

From July 19, 2014. We talk about lake monsters, octopodes, plesiosaurs, and all manner of nonsense. As a bonus, we talk about stupid politicians who think that AIDS is caused by sperm chemicals and who think women are magical rape detectors.

Full show notes below the fold.

We got lake monsters up in this bitch!

  • Loch Ness (Nessie) – Probably the most well known lake monster. So I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this one. A lake monster that possibly exists in Loch Ness, which is a lake in the highlands of Scotland. Possibly sighted as early as the year 565, and as recently as 2014. Numerous photos and videos as well as firsthand accounts of sightings have surfaced, yet no amount of searching has turned up any solid evidence of its existence. *discuss*
  • Mokele mbembe (moe-kaylee em-bem-bay) which in the Lingala language means “one who stops the flow of rivers” … or uses too damn much toilet paper, amirite? This legendary water-dwelling creature of the Congo River basin is sometimes described as living, and sometimes as a spirit. Some cryptozoologists claim it is a sauropod. Legends of the creature have been passed around for over 200 years, yet no conclusive evidence of its existence has been discovered yet. Here’s some footage of what looks like a boat to me.
  • CHAMPY? – Possibly first reported as early as 1609 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec and who the lake is named after. While battling Iroquois on the lake’s shore, he purportedly spotted the monster in the water. The Pittsburgh Republican dated July 24, 1819, in an article titled “Cape Ann Serpent on Lake Champlain,” reported the account of Captain Crum sighting an enormous serpentine monster. In 1883, Sheriff Nathan H. Mooney claimed that he had seen a “..gigantic water serpent about 50 yards away” from a spot on the shore. He claimed that he was close enough to see “round white spots inside its mouth” and that “the creature appeared to be about 25 to 30 feet in length. This report led to a many eyewitnesses coming forward to tell stories of their own sightings. Champy became so popular that P.T. Barnum, in the late 1800s, put a reward of $50,000 up for a carcass of Champy. In 1977, Sandra Mansi took a photograph that appears to show something sticking out of the lake. And if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. A video was taken in 2005 which shows what pareidolia would tell you is possibly a head and neck of … wait for it… a plesiosaur-like animal.
  • Tahoe Tessie (clever name, you twits) another serpent-like creature described as being between 10 and 80 feet long, having a large smooth body (even though it appears reptilian), and coloration ranging from jet black to turquoise. First sighted in the 1950s by two off-duty police officers on the lake who claimed to see a black hump rise from the water and keep pace with their speed boat which was supposedly traveling over 60mph. Sighted as recently as 2006, wherein a family on vacation near the lake reported seeing a large, black, scale lacking creature appearing similar to a sturgeon with an upturned white nose. However the creature moved up-and-down like a mammal instead of side-to-side like a reptile. (wat)
  • Ogopogo or Naitaka is the name given to a cryptid lake monster reported to live in Okanagan Lake, in British Columbia, Canada. Reportedly it has been seen by First Nations (I’m not sure what that means) people since the 19th Century. Most commonly described as a 40 to 50-foot-long sea serpent. Sighted in 1926 at an Okanagan Mission beach by about thirty cars of people who all claimed to have seen the same thing. In 1968 Art Folden filmed what is claimed to be footage of the creature, showing a large wake moving across the water. In 2011, a mobile phone video captured two dark shapes in the water. Again, that just reeks of credibility. /s
  • Selma is a lake monster said to live in the lake Seljordsvatnet in Seljord, Telemark, Norway. According to most who have seen the supposed creature, Selma closely resembles other reported lake monsters, such as Nessie, Champy, and Ogopogo. The first eyewitness accounts date back to the 18th century. The Swedish explorer and cryptozoologist Jan Ove Sundberg has been trying to capture Selma for a number of years, but has not succeeded. Selma was possibly recorded in video by a Norwegian girl, who was visiting the lake with her parents. Locals think the video looks reliable, and the phenomenon is real.
  • The Oklahoma Octopus (facepalms ensue) a mysterious creature generally said to inhabit three lakes in Oklahoma (Lake Thunderbird, Lake Oolagah and Lake Tenkiller) where it attacks and kills unsuspecting swimmers. According to legend and rumor, this freshwater demon measures the size of a horse and resembles an octopus, with long tentacles and leathery, reddish-brown skin. Skeptics question how an octopus — an ocean creature — could survive in freshwater lakes, but it is easy to believe that such a creature would be a fearsome predator. The Giant Pacific Octopus, for example, has tentacles that each boast the strength of a 200-pound man and a powerful beak that it uses to kill prey. “Although no physical evidence exists in the case of the Oklahoma Octopus, many point to the high mortality rate and large number of unexplained drownings in the Oklahoma lakes as a clear sign of its presence.”

WUTs

Pastor And Author of Book ‘Freedom from Homosexuality’ Arrested For Molesting Teenage Boy

Father walks in on son being molested, beats the ever loving shit out of molestor

Glenn Beck defends book that claims whites were the ‘worst victims’ of American slavery

Here’s what the story says:

The group Americans United for Separation of Church and State has criticized Heritage Academy, a charter school in Arizona, for using Cleon Skousen’s The 5000 Year Leap in a 12th-grade history class. The group said that the book promotes “Christian nation propaganda” as well as claims slavery was beneficial to African Americans.

Beck, who has promoted The 5000 Year Leap, insisted there was nothing wrong with the book. He said he was “doubling down” on his support for it.

Co-host Steve Burguiere remarked that critics had never “produced one sentence from that book that was controversial.”

I’ve got an issue with a lot of the reporting on this. This book does not say the things they’re claiming it does – but another by the same author does.

The actual book is Skousen’s 1982 history “textbook” called The Making of America, which characterized African-American children as “pickaninnies” and described American slave owners as the “worst victims” of the slavery system. In this book he quoted several pages of historian Fred Albert Shannon’s incredibly racist 1934 book Economic History of the People of the United States, saying that they “tell the story of slavery in America.” Here are a few excerpts:

Newly sold slaves “usually a cheerful lot”

The tendency was to sell families as units, if for no other reason [than] to keep the slaves contented. The gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains. At the other extreme, when the Central of Georgia railroad company in 1858 equipped a Negro sleeping car to assist in the slave trade it set a standard not always maintained in a later generation. When on the block, the slave was as likely to hinder as to help in his sale. Some, out of a vain conceit in bringing a high price, would boast of their physical prowess, in which case an unwary purchaser would likely be cheated. Others would malinger, because of a grudge against owners or traders or in order to bring a low price and be put at less tiring labor. Dealers, also, adopted the tricks of horse traders to make their merchants more attractive — the greasiest Negro was generally considered the healthiest.

Slaves hampered efficiency of white labor

In the management of slave labor the gang system predominated. The great majority of owners, having at the most only one or two families of Negroes, had to work alongside their slaves and set the pace for them. Slavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient. The slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken. If the owner got ahead of the gang they all would shirk behind his back.

White schoolchildren would “envy the freedom” of “colored playmates”

Slave food, even if monotonous, was plentiful. Corn bread and bacon were the mainstays, with plenty of fruit and vegetables in season. In hog-killing time, countenances were unusually greasy. Clothing also was on the par with that of the poorer white people and no less adequate in proportion to the climate than that of Northern laborers. If [negro children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates. The color line began to appear at about that time.

Southern life a “nightmare” of fear — for white people

The constant fear of slave rebellion made life in the South a nightmare, especially in regions where conspiracies were of frequent occurrence. The extermination of white civilization in Santo Domingo was followed in the nineteenth century by several other bloody outbursts in the West Indies, which never failed to cause ominous forebodings in America.

Skousen put this after the quoted section:

slaves

The 5000 Year Leap is crazy enough on its own. It tries to claim that the ancient Israelites had a president, two vice presidents, a senate of 70 members, a congress of elected representatives, and a number of other factors which it claims they shared with Anglo Saxon common law – and it says that this Israelite system was what the founders based our government on. In reality, Anglo-Saxon common law really came about largely as a result of interaction between Germanic peoples and the Roman empire… and Moses wasn’t even a fucking real person.

Todd Akin: ‘I should have said legitimate case of rape’

In an impressive display of tone-deafness, Former Missouri congressman Todd Akin totally misunderstood the outrage at his statements back in 2012 about pregnancy and rape. Akin said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Not realizing that women’s bodies are not, in fact, magical rape detectors, Akin seems to think that the problem was just the wording of what he said, as opposed to the pants-on-head stupidity of his scientific ignorance and callousness. He claims that liberal media outlets distorted the meaning of his words… but seeing how he was making an argument that pregnancy is rare after rape because a woman’s body can “shut down” a pregnancy in case of rape, it’s kind of hard to find any other meaning in what he said.

MN Republican bases economic agenda on theory that sperm enzymes in anus causes AIDS

The last couple of weeks introduced us to Minnesota Republican congressional candidate Bob Frey, and the world joined together as one to slap its collective forehead with the heel of its collective hand. Why, you ask? Well… this guy believes that AIDS is caused when the enzyme that sperm uses to enter an egg causes tearing in the rectum. According to the Raw Story:

… his opposition to the “gay agenda” was about the “financial impact of that agenda.”

“It’s more about sodomy than about pigeonholing a lifestyle,” he explained. “When you have egg and sperm that meet in conception, there’s an enzyme in the front that burns through the egg. The enzyme burns through so the DNA can enter the egg.”

But Frey said that it was a different story when the “sperm is deposited anally” because “it’s the enzyme that causes the immune system to fail.”

“That’s why the term is AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,” he opined.

MN Repub candidate with weird ideas about AIDS also thinks dinosaurs ‘lived with man’

I wish I could say that was the craziest thing Bob Frey believed, but he also believes dinosaurs and people lived together and that giants were once real. Once again, the Raw Story is on the case:

According to audio from Frye’s [sic] testimony to the state Senate Education Committee in January 2004, Frye [sic] opposed the inclusion of the theory of evolution in the standard curriculum. He illustrated his position in part by bringing what was described as a “large plastic femur” with him. … Frey testified at the time that, while proponents of evolution argued “that humans probably evolved from bacteria that lived more than four billion years ago, that’s not what we find in the fossil record. There’s this 16-foot tall giant was found with numerous others around the world. Dinosaurs have always lived with man. Is the rock wrong or is the theory wrong? I suggest to you that the theory is wrong.”

After clarifying to the committee that he had brought a replica and not an actual dinosaur bone, Frey said he had 25 hours’ worth of material covering, among other things, the repercussions of teaching the “known fraud” of evolution.

“Numerous of them have found up in Wisconsin, Texas, Egypt, Turkey, around the world,” Frye [sic] said of the “bone.” “The Bible says, ‘There were giants in the land in those days,’ in the early days. This shows that things are winding down, not winding up.”

As a side note: annoyingly, various sites had him named as “Frye” instead of “Frey”. “Frey” is correct.

Arizona congressional candidate leads protest against a bus full of kids… who were going to a YMCA camp

From the Maddow blog:

Adam Kwasman, a Republican state representative and congressional candidate in Arizona, apparently thought it’d be a good idea to lead a protest near Tucson yesterday against a bus full of children. The kids, the GOP candidate assumed, were undocumented minors on their way to a housing facility, and as the bus approached, Kwasman tweeted, “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.”

He even boasted to a local reporter that he was “able to see some of the children” and “the fear on their faces.”

But to quote Arizona 12 News:

There was no fear on their faces. Those weren’t the migrant children in the school bus. Those were children from the Marana school district. They were heading to the YMCA’s Triangle Y Camp, not far from the Rite of Passage shelter for the migrants, at the base of Mt. Lemmon.

12 News reporter Will Pitts, who was at the protest scene, says he saw the children laughing and taking pictures of the media.

Kwasman soon after deleted his tweet – though it was too late – and later admitted he had no idea what he was talking about. When a local reporter asked, “Do you know that was a bus with YMCA kids?” Kwasman replied, “They were sad, too. OK I apologize. I didn’t know.”

Philadelphia mosque leaders try to cut off man’s hand -police

Links and attributions

Wikipedia: Loch Ness Monster

Legend of Nessie

Wikipedia: Mokele-mbembe

Wikipedia: Champy

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