CommunityMy FDL

Wednesday Watercooler


Hi, y’all.

Tonight’s musical selection is “Trigger on my Fire” by Black Pistol Fire from their self-titled album.

Many state legislatures (and Congress as well) have an opening prayer. Recently, an atheist lawmaker was tasked with the duty. From the Phoenix New Times:

An atheist state lawmaker tasked with delivering the opening prayer for this afternoon’s session of the House of Representatives asked that people not bow their heads.

Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, instead spoke about his ‘secular humanist tradition’ and even quoted author Carl Sagan.

‘Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads,’ Mendez said. ‘I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.’

There’s also a video of the invocation. I think this kind of diversity is great, and that our lawmakers could stand to hear thought provoking words of great writers, not just scripture, before they begin their day. Here’s another recent moment where Wolf Blitzer asked a woman if she thanked the Lord for surviving the tornado. Her response is both honest and gracious.

Also, a lot of my friends are upset that apparently it’s pronounced jif, reports Yahoo! News. Or at least, so says the creator of the humble GIF, on accepting a Webby Award:

Since retiring in 2001, [Steve] Wilhite has led a quieter existence than his creation. He goes on RV trips. He built a house in the country with a lot of lawn to mow. He dabbles in color photography and Java programming. He uses e-mail and Facebook to keep up with family.

He is proud of the GIF, but remains annoyed that there is still any debate over the pronunciation of the format.

“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

Tomorrow I leave for Burning Flipside, central Texas’ Burning Man event. I’ll be gone from Thursday through Monday, which means Richard will edit and host watercoolers during that time. See you next week!


Housekeeping notes:

  • Please review our About Us page if you need a refresher on site rules, and
  • We encourage you to use our flag system — if you see an abusive comment, user or post, please flag it rather than replying. We review every flag and take the best action available to us.
  • If you have questions or concerns about Firedoglake-specific issues, please limit their discussion to Watercooler posts rather than starting new posts or making off-topic comments in others. But remember,
  • Firedoglake editors and staff are not allowed to comment on any moderation decisions.

What’s on your mind tonight? It’s an open conversation in the comments.

Previous post

Late Night: Thank the Lord?

Next post

MENA Mashup: Rand Paul, al Qaeda, Iran, and Syria

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and