Friday, February 27, 2009

PG in the news and the Summum.

I follow a physics newsletter with a humanist twist. This week he mentioned Pleasant Grove:
The establishment clause of the First Amendment sets the U.S. apart from every other country in the world. It is the American gift. The town of Pleasant Grove, Utah, however, has a monument to the Ten Commandments in the city park in obvious violation of the establishment clause. The problem is that in 2005, the Supreme Court had declined to require Texas to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the grounds of the state capital. The objection to the monument in that case had been raised by a homeless man . This prompted Pleasant Grove to erect a Ten Commandments monument. But then a group called Summum proposed to erect a similar monument bearing its Seven Aphorisms; the city refused. Summum may be a wacky religion, but after all, this is Utah. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which on Wednesday unanimously agreed with the city that religious displays on government property are “government speech” and under control of local government. It seems all but certain that there will be more Ten Commandment cases.


According to Wikipedia, the Summum believe the Seven Aphorisms were on the first tablets that Moses broke. Our loss.

While I'm out there on weird things, I found out that Carl Sagan (my favorite secular humanist) sued Apple Computers when he found out they were using his name as a code name for a product in development back in the 90's (HP does this all the time - it is a creative outlet for the engineers involved). He lost the suit, but the engineers involved change the name anyway, calling the project "BHA", short for Butt-head Astronomer. Sagan sued again (more rightfully so, I believe), but lost again. In a final snub, the engineers changed the product code a final time, this time to "LAW" for Lawyers Are Wimps. The public designation? PowerMac 7100. I'm surprised such a smart man made such a fool of himself.


darkfire said...

That is the funniest thing I have heard all day. I am still laughing He should have been honored instead of suing. People get so sue happy. I thought the last name was the best of all. Long live computer scientists and their humor.

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

We should stop and see that monument next time we're in Pleasant Grove.

Gail said...

The monument is by the old library across the street from the old high school (torn down except for the gym), next to Dr. Nimer's former house. Clear as mud? South across the street corner from the old Bell schoolhouse museum (where you can see Fugal memorabilia).

g said...

holy smokes ken. i just read around on one of the summum sites. i recommend the acount the of 'the first visitation' and the links on the winery-pyramid and mummification.

brenda said...

That was hilarious, Ken. But I'm mostly embarrassed for him. He didn't know how those names work, obviously.

When Mike started at Tek there was a "Pacman," but they got nervous and changed to "Pacmon," (a rasta pacman, with dreadlocks). They also had "ATOM" (A Ton Of Money,) which went along with "Grizzly."

When are you coming up again? We'd love to get together.