This Is Not a Pipe


Rene Magritte’s (1898–1967) classic painting Ceci n’est pas une pipe (1928–1929). I love it.

Britain’s Labour Party Sharpens Europe Strategy

“I want to make the hard-headed, patriotic case for both Britain in Europe and for change in Europe so that it works for working people,” Pat McFadden, Labour’s new shadow Europe minister, the Guardian reports. Sound very promising.

Earth Headed for Warmest Year on Record

“Earth this year reached the hottest average temperature for September since record keeping began 135 years ago,” Deutsche Welle reports. “The planet is on course for the warmest year on record.”

UKIP Releases Populist Song

The only thing missing for UKIP to be complete clown was a populist song with xenophobic lyrics. Now they have checked that box, too.

The Heterosexual Matrix

MaleMasculineLikes women
FemaleFeminineLikes men

Alter this chart in any way and you are queer.

A Top Brain Surgeon Says He Saw Heaven

“Neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander was convinced out-of-body experiences were hallucinations—until he went into a coma himself and had what he now believes was a glimpse of heaven,” Daily Mail reports.

Pope Says God Is Not Afraid of New Things

“God is not afraid of new things,” the Pope said in a speech today, Pink News reports. “That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.”

Hungarians March to Celebrate Roma Pride

“Hundreds of Hungarians took part in a ‘Roma Pride’ march in Budapest Sunday to celebrate the country’s largest ethnic minority,” The Times of Israel reports.

Ebola Alert in Sweden

“A male passenger who landed at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport has been transferred to an isolation unit amid fears he may be suffering from the Ebola virus,” The Local reports.

Barroso Tells Britain that Arbitrary Migration Cap Would Breach European Law

“David Cameron has suffered a blow to his EU reform plans after the outgoing president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, said an arbitrary cap on free movement within the EU would be incompatible with European law,” the Guardian reports. “In a sign of the deep frustration with the Tories in Brussels, Barroso also dismissed the claim by the UK’s foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, that the party was ‘lighting a fire’ under the EU by pledging to hold an in/out referendum by 2017.”

Barroso is right. It would be sad to se Britain leaving the EU, but it would be sadder still to see an end to free movement within the union.

Mystery Deepens over Reported Russian Submarine

“Mystery deepened Sunday over a Swedish military operation triggered by ‘foreign underwater activity’ off the coast of Stockholm, amid an unconfirmed report of a hunt for a damaged Russian submarine,” The Local reports. It seems the Cold War is back in force. First Russia occupies large parts of Eastern Ukraine, and now this.

Gay-Rights Groups Disappointed in Bishops

“Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing,” BBC News reports.

Austrian Cardinal Knows Some Marvellous Gays

“Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has said that he knows some ‘marvellous’ gays,” The Local reports. OK, this is not really newsworthy, but the headline is fabulous. I mean, he knows some marvellous gay men but still wants to discriminate against them. It’s the same mumbo-jumbo all intolerant people say when they want to make their bigotry seem compassionate—they love the man, they only hate the characteristics that defines him. It’s like the racist who loves black men on the condition that they are white.

Why Certain Men Should Sit Down when They Urinate

Chris Weller of the Raw Story explains:

While standing, the body goes to great lengths to keep an erect spine and maintain posture. This activates many of the discrete muscles near the hips and pelvis. But when people sit, these pelvic and hip muscles are relaxed, making urination easier.

Turmoil at the Vatican

“After two days of fighting between happy liberals and angry conservatives, the Vatican on Wednesday dispatched a leading moderate from the US church to tell both sides to temper their expectations about impending changes in church doctrine,” Josephine McKenna of Religion News Service reports. In another article, she writes that gay people are missing from final message from Vatican’s heated debate on the family: “Catholic bishops on Saturday celebrated the ‘love of a man and a woman’ in a message to mark the end of the global synod on the family but largely ignored hot-button issues like homosexuality and cohabitation.”