THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org
             
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
         
 
             
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
         
             

FEBRUARY 21, 2011
Volume 7, Issue 6
Published by the Center For Atheism (CFA)
Editor: David Birnkrant
 
The Focus provides links to articles collected from major newspapers and magazines, and is emailed weekly.

This Week in Atheism is a cable show that discusses the articles featured below, every Wednesday at 6:30 PM (EST), Manhattan Cable station 57. 
Live streaming is available at: 
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FEATURED ARTICLES 

California memorial cross found unconstitutional 
(Reuters) - A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a San Diego war memorial marked by a four-story-tall Christian cross on public land violates the U.S. constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion... 
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/05/us-california-cross-idUSTRE70406Z20110105 

Judd to atheists: Bring it on 
News Chief 
By PHIL ATTINGER WINTER HAVEN -- Sheriff Grady Judd looks forward to a challenge from the Atheists of Florida. The organization has objected to his office ... 
http://www.newschief.com/article/20101231/NEWS/12315000/1021/news01?Title=Judd-to-atheists-Bring-it-on 

First Ever Atheist Invocation at GJ City Council Meeting 
KJCT8.com 
For the first time ever, an Atheist will be giving the pre-meeting invocation. "That's called an oxymoron," Grand Junction resident Win Miller said. ... 
http://www.kjct8.com/news/26370618/detail.html# 

Litchfield Park councilman protests meeting invocation 
Arizona Republic 
4, 2011 11:36 AM For those who might think he is an atheist because he walks out of every meeting when it is invocation time, Mahoney said that is not the ... 
http://www.azcentral.com/community/swvalley/articles/2011/01/04/20110104litchfield-park-council-invocation-protest.html 

ATHEISM 

8th Atheist meet begins in Tiruchi today 
Times of India 
"The idea of the conference is to propagate atheism as an alternative culture," said K Veeramani, DK president. Most of the earlier world conferences ... 
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/8th-Atheist-meet-begins-in-Tiruchi-today/articleshow/7232615.cms 

'You know' : American Atheists' nationwide billboard campaign comes to Huntsville 
The Huntsville Times - al.com (blog) 
The American Atheists have rented the billboard visible from the northbound lanes of Memorial Parkway for the second in a national series of "You Know" ... 
http://blog.al.com/living-times/2010/12/you_know_american_atheists_nat.html 

Atheists Request Records in Goal Feud 
The Ledger 
By Cary McMullen LAKELAND | Atheists of Florida announced Tuesday they have formally requested information from the Polk County Sheriff's Office about the ... 
http://www.theledger.com/article/20110104/NEWS/101045066?Title=Atheists-Request-Records-in-Goal-Feud 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

The more things change, the more they stay... 
Winnipeg Free Press 
The Scottish atheist philosopher David Hume and his countryman Adam Smith, the patron saint of capitalism, both made pilgrimages to Holbach's salon. ... 
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/entertainment/books/The-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-112716469.html 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Antievolution legislation in Kentucky 
National Center for Science Education 
... 2006) reported that in a November 2005 survey of the state's 176 school districts, none was teaching or discussing "intelligent design. ... 
http://ncse.com/news/2011/01/antievolution-legislation-kentucky-006389 

A teacher punished over evolution? 
National Center for Science Education 
... science teacher unjustly treated when she was reassigned to a different job after a complaint about her presentation of evolution in the classroom? ... 
http://ncse.com/news/2011/01/teacher-punished-over-evolution-006383 

SCIENCE 

Scientists Peer Into the Future of Stem Cell Biology 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 1, 2011) — Remarkable progress in understanding how stem cell biology works has been reported by a team of leading scientists, directed by experts at UC Santa Barbara. Their research has been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101209152742.htm 

New Cognitive Robotics Lab Tests Theories of Human Thought 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2010) — In a new Cognitive Robotics Lab, students at Rensselaer are exploring how human thought outwits brute force computing in the real world. The lab's 20 programmable robots allow students to test the real-world performance of computer models that mimic human thought... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101230114808.htm 

Demise of Large Satellite May Have Led to the Formation of Saturn’s Rings and Inner Moons 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2010) — Simulations performed at Southwest Research Institute may explain how Saturn's majestic rings and icy inner moons formed following the collision of a Titan-sized satellite with the planet, according to a paper published in Nature magazine's Dec. 12 Advance Online Publication... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212145224.htm 

Your Genome in Minutes: New Technology Could Slash Sequencing Time 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2010) — Scientists from Imperial College London are developing technology that could ultimately sequence a person's genome in mere minutes, at a fraction of the cost of current commercial techniques... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220121111.htm 

Light Dawns on Dark Gamma-Ray Bursts 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2010) — Gamma-ray bursts are among the most energetic events in the Universe, but some appear curiously faint in visible light. The biggest study to date of these so-called dark gamma-ray bursts, using the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile, has found that these explosions don't require exotic explanations. Their faintness is now explained by a combination of causes, the most important of which is the presence of dust between the Earth and the explosion... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216073211.htm 

Link Between Ancient Lizard Fossil in Africa and Today's Komodo Dragon in Indonesia 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2010) — University of Alberta researchers have unearthed a mysterious link between bones of an ancient lizard found in Africa and the biggest, baddest modern-day lizard of them all, the Komodo dragon, half a world away in Indonesia... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118093418.htm 

Catching Video Pirates: Invisible DNA-Like Fingerprint on Video Assist Law Enforcement 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2010) — You know when you're watching a pirated film downloaded from the Internet -- there's no mistaking the fuzzy footage, or the guy in the front row getting up for popcorn. Despite the poor quality, pirated video is a serious problem around the world. Criminal copyright infringement occurs on a massive scale over the Internet, costing the film industry -- and the U.S. economy -- billions of dollars annually... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221101841.htm 

When the Black Hole Was Born: Astronomers Identify the Epoch of the First Fast Growth of Black Holes 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2010) — Most galaxies in the universe, including our own Milky Way, harbor super-massive black holes varying in mass from about one million to about 10 billion times the size of our sun. To find them, astronomers look for the enormous amount of radiation emitted by gas which falls into such objects during the times that the black holes are "active," i.e., accreting matter. This gas "infall" into massive black holes is believed to be the means by which black holes grow... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101227101113.htm 

Prayer Can Help People Handle Difficult Emotions, Study Suggests 
ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2010) — Those who choose to pray find personalized comfort during hard times, according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist. The 75 percent of Americans who pray on a weekly basis do so to manage a range of negative situations and emotions -- illness, sadness, trauma and anger -- but just how they find relief has gone unconsidered by researchers... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214085328.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Ark park plans sail forth despite flood of criticism 
msnbc.com 
... Noah built the first ark without government assistance," Sandhya Bathija, a spokeswoman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, ... 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40805405/ns/us_news-life/ 

Judd on atheist group controversy: 'We don't discriminate against churches' 
Orlando Sentinel 
Facing accusations that he'd violated the separation of church and state by donating sports equipment to local places of worship, Polk County Sheriff Grady ... 
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-12-30/news/os-grady-judd-responds-atheist-compla20101230_1_secular-groups-church-and-state-atheists 

Prineville City Hall Nativity Display Taken Down 
KTVZ 
The letter came from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, which says it works to educate about the proper separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.ktvz.com/news/26329448/detail.html# 

Officials to pursue their UEP lawsuit 
Cape Coral Daily Breeze 
... contact the American Civil Liberties Union to see if the assessment breaks being given to local churches violates the separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/521394.html?nav=5011 

Rules & Procedures Committee Dealing with Prayer in City Council Debate 
KIMA CBS 29 
By Hayley Guenthner YAKIMA – The separation of church and state may be coming to City Council meetings. A local man, with the backing of the national ... 
http://www.kimatv.com/news/local/112919439.html 

One man's idea not set in stone 
Daily Astorian 
There are no ordinances to my understanding, but we also haven't had legal opinion on whether this violates the separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.dailyastorian.com/news/free/article_97a914fe-1901-11e0-a6f2-001cc4c03286.html 

Test Was Designed by Psychologist Who Inspired CIA's Torture Program 
truthout 
"There was no option to avoid the questions, leaving our atheist soldiers to wonder if their beliefs are tolerated in today's increasingly religious Army," ... 
http://www.truth-out.org/armys-fitness-test-designed-psychologist-who-inspired-cias-torture-program-under-fire66577 

Milestone meeting for atheists, council 
Grand Junction Sentinel 
More people at sat than stood Wednesday night as Joe Alaimo of the Western Colorado Atheists & Freethinkers gave the invocation before the Grand Junction ... 
http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/milestone_meeting_for_atheists/ 

MISCELLANEOUS 

None 

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