Here’s an unscheduled resurrection to test the new RSS feed. Is the image still not showing up? Anyone know what’s going on?

Discussion (67)¬

  1. Yes, that makes sense because there’s nothing like lots of SSM to make more children, many of whom will possibly be poor

  2. Wow! and I’m the first comment for the first time, so I say ‘Religion is wanky’

  3. manningi says:

    Both religions ignore the fact that too many children are concieved and born.

  4. Amy says:

    Just commenting to say – love your comics – But I still can’t see them through my RSS (although I can see comments for the first time ever…, and lots of Share buttons)

  5. Marcos says:

    Not showing on Google Reader.

  6. Nope. No image in Google Reader

  7. love the comics — and they’re not showing up on rss.

  8. ark says:


    each item in your feed has both a content and a description. the description has the image, but the content does not. looks like google reader uses the content element.
    also you are adding a [a href] to the feed item (not in content OR description)

  9. Steve says:

    Of course we do need to stop..

  10. Author says:

    @Steve – thanks for the typo correction. Now to wait hours for the correct version to appear ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks all for the RSS feedback. @ark – as far as I can see, the img *does* appear in the description as well as the content.

  11. Kevin S. says:

    Still not seeing the image in Google Reader, though it shows up just fine on the site. For what it’s worth, this seems to happen with a lot (though not all) of the webcomics I subscribe to.

  12. that guy says:

    Yes, I get the image in my RSS reader, the one built into Safari.

  13. Mestafais says:

    I don’t see the image on the rss, not even on the source code of the feed.

    Have you checked the template of the feed?

  14. yahia says:

    The images don’t show on my feed reader anymore.

  15. Mary - Canada says:

    Oh the priorities of the religious!

  16. Simon says:

    As the w3 validator points out the XML is malformed. The description tag ends, and then the image is included as HTML in the middle of the XML, but that is nonsense.

    Meantime move the image HTML fully inside the description tag, rather than after it and all will probably be well. Or failing that email me the relevant code and I’ll see if my brain can grok it. Although I know nothing of cloudflare and nginx and such like….

  17. Hawkins says:

    I, too, use Google Reader as my RSS feed-consumer, and I don’t see the image. But perhaps, as Simon Says (heh, heh), the XML is malformed.

    This sucks, because I LOVE this comic, and want to read it IMMEDIATELY when it appears, without having to actually click on something.

  18. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Wow! Two cartoons in as many days. Is Author giving us a late Christmas prezzy?
    (I’ll read the cartoon now)

  19. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    My advice to the boys, for what it’s worth.
    Forget religious ‘morality’ and look to ethics of humanity; get over your obsession with sex; accept that we all have the right to stick what we want where we want (among consenting adults, of course); learn to see contraception as a good thing; try using some of the obscene wealth that your respective organisations have stashed away to make serious inroads into relieving the poverty that so blights this world.
    Do that and maybe, just maybe, we won’t be so quick to defame you.

    On a side note, as a non-geek I have to say that this is by far the most incomprehensible comments thread to date on J&M.

  20. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    So why don’t the atheists
    Open their grubby little fists?
    If all you can do is religion bash
    But don’t make with the cash
    You’re the same as the sanctimonious twits.

  21. What I said about missing NB H. I misspoke.

  22. Acolyte of Sagan,
    I watched that video you recommended. “And God said “I give this rainbow as a symbol for love of man”” Nothing gay there! Har har har!

  23. hotrats says:

    Acolyte’s recommendations are more complex than they need to be; here is my ‘advice to the boys’ :
    1) Admit that there is no God
    2) Give all the money back
    3) Change into street clothes
    4) Fuck off in good order

    Problem solved.

  24. Kurt says:

    The images aren’t showing up in the NewsFox feed reader either. They always did before.

    (NewsFox is just a FireFox plugin, nothing to do with Fox News, who would probably be unhappy if they wrote a feed reader and it was used for J & M).

  25. Charon l'Cypher says:

    @Author: “”) to the very end of descriptions.

  26. Charon l'Cypher says:

    @Author: Your comments parser is a bit faulty. Let me try again…
    “<![CDATA[” in your RSS’ descriptions are closed too soon. You should move the appropriate end tag (“]]>”) to the very end of descriptions.

  27. IanB says:

    I get the RSS feed delivered via Outlook – been no picture for the last few

  28. Slowdjinn says:

    NBH – Fuck you.
    There are plenty of neutral, secular charities doing vital work – Mรฉdecins Sans Frontiรจres & the Red Cross/Crescent* organisations spring immediately to mind, and many atheists support them with donations and as volunteers – knowing that none of the money or effort will be wasted on promoting superstition, unlike many ‘charities’ founded & run by religious organisations.

    *And this nonsense was forced on them by idiots in moslem coutries who couldn’t get it into their thick heads that the Red Cross isn’t a Christian symbol.

  29. Author says:

    Thanks to all who offered advice on the feed. You were right. I fixed it now, I think. At least it validates. The problem, for those interested, was a ‘helpful’ function in my (very old) Wordpress theme which suddenly became very unhelpful upon the latest WP update. I deleted it, and everything is now hopefully working again.

  30. hotrats says:

    So that’s where Nassar was on his week off – at a re-education camp for ignorant bigots.

    I can’t help wondering who told him all those damning facts he knows about us narrow-minded, tight-fisted atheists. I don’t believe he has ever met one.

  31. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    To be fair to Nassar, he has taken up a perch right on the fence for this one, and is at least recognising that religions are run by ‘sanctimonious twits’. He doesn’t yet understand atheism, but that could be because it’s never been explained to him in a way he understands.

    His poems are certain to raise me a smile
    When he’s missing the point by a full country mile.
    He thinks he’s being witty when atheists he upbraids
    Whilst the agents of the deities just can’t stop spreading AIDS.
    And just because we know no gods he thinks that we are greedy
    Yet ornate mosques and churches divert fortunes from the needy.
    We strive to send them what they need to live another day
    While churches lock the funds away and tell the poor to pray.
    So many starving children, so many gravely ill
    So many priests and imams banning condoms and the pill.
    Universal human rights is atheism’s greatest aim
    Apartheid in the name of gods religion’s greatest shame.
    So, Nassar dear, I hope it’s clear our motives aren’t ulterior
    If you dig deeep enough you’ll see, religion ain’t superior.
    We do our best for humankind while your religion stays
    Greedy and barbaric, and too obsessed with gays.

  32. Charon l'Cypher says:

    RSS still doesn’t work for me (you can try it out by opening the RSS link in Firefox, as it was a normal page). Until <description> is fixed as I have suggested above, I don’t think it will show images. Oh, and <content> has the same problem.

  33. Acolyte of Sagan, I think we can do just fine without NBH if you are going to contribute poetry of that quality. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Author says:

    @Charon – You are right. Although the feed now validates, the image still doesn’t show. Just need to try and figure out how to edit the feed template ๐Ÿ™

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thanks, DH, I’m flattered. And there I was just trying to talk to Nassar in his preferred communication format.

    Now, should I be proud or ashamed of the fact that if Authors current woes are any indication, J&M and I appear to share a resistance to join in with the ‘I want it now if not sooner’ instant gratification generation?

  36. Chris Phoenix says:

    To some, their gods bring comfort – to others, shame and fear.
    Most people shop until they find the God they want to hear.
    We make God in our image, then we do as he commands.
    We never really realize our acts are in our hands.
    So in a way, religion serves to amplify our traits
    Which often leads to people being in such dire straits.
    If we were all just atheists, we’d still be much the same…
    but all our acts would be committed in our own name.

  37. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I like that, Chris, especially the tacit suggestion that god taught Mark Knopfler to play guitar, but just to maintain the rhythm of your verse I’d change the last two lines to;
    If we were all atheists things wouldn’t be the same
    ‘cos it’s hard to justify the bad when there’s no god to blame.

  38. Charon l'Cypher says:

    @Author: If you want my help (I understand if you don’t, since I’m a complete unknown nobody here), you have my e-mail in comments. I won’t be spamming here anymore.

  39. arensb says:

    @Author: As ark pointed out, each entry in the RSS feed has a <description> (a summary of the post) and a <content> (the body of the post). When you first posted this, the description included the image, but the content did not. Now neither section has the image. I don’t know what you changed, but unfortunately it has made things worse.

    I wonder if feedblitz.com might be mangling something. If you can access a more “raw” RSS feed, before Feedblitz gets its hands on it, you can check whether the image shows up.

    Have you tried putting some text at the top of the post? I wonder if some overly-helpful piece of software isn’t thinking “Oh, this post begins with an image. This must be a header. I’ll strip it out of the RSS feed.”

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me mail at the address in this comment’s header.

  40. Maggs says:

    I wish there was a ‘like’ button or some such gadget, specifically for A of S’s poem… Definitely at the top of the class at the mo’.

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Thank you, Maggs. It’s been a fair while since I was last top of the class, and this is certainly my first ever compliment from a tabby.

  42. hotrats says:

    A beautiful verse, Acolyte. The English teacher in me has deducted half a mark for not balancing the line lengths in the ‘aim/shame’ couplet, but the rest flowed like wine.

  43. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Cheers, hotrats, much appreciated. I knew that reading all those Rupert Bear annuals as a kid would pay off one day. I just wish I’d kept the bloody books; have you seen what some people will pay to buy back a slice of their childhood?

  44. http://boingboing.net/2013/01/12/rip-aaron-swartz.html
    Terrible news folks. So very sad. Aaron Swartz has killed himself. Age 26. Sorry to be bringing this to you, but you should know.

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Not being a ‘techie’ I hadn’t heard of Aaron, DH, but it makes for depressing reading. It called to mind several things; the disputed suicide of Dr. David Kelly, the weapons expert who exposed the lies about Iraq’s non-existant WMD’s; the young, Asperger’s suffering British guy (can’t remember his name, sorry) who hacked US security computer systems and then contacted them to tell them of the flaws in their security, only for the US government to try for three years or more to have him extradited for trial and possible 50+ years imprisonment; and finally two films: Mercury Rising and Enemy of the State.
    Putting the films aside, there seems to be a repeating theme of making very public, high profile examples of those who are seen to threaten their governments, even though the risk they posed was minor to say the least.
    “Who’s gonna moniter the moniters?”

    Twiddly, that’s a ridiculous petition. And not only because the official deity of the US is Ronald McFuckingDonald!

  46. TonV says:

    @ NBH: Check out Kiva. The group with the highest amount of lending is (drumroll) “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious”. See http://www.kiva.org/team/atheists

  47. jerry w says:

    @Hotrats, The phrase “The English teacher in me….” Takes on new meaning if you consider the presence of pedophile teachers turning up in many schools, not that they equal church elders or boy scout leaders in either numbers or perseverance….

  48. hotrats says:

    I thought Moloch was the official deity of the USA, and a very appropriate one. The fact that this petition has attracted only 3 votes from the necessary 25,000, despite the tens of thousands of FSM enthusiasts in the US, speaks for itself. The problem with FSM is that it assumes that it can discredit religious belief just by being comparably absurd, with no coherent related message (other than the dubious ‘eat more pasta’).

    Unlike the dangerous absurdities of religion, the absurdity of FSM is simply puerile – no-one actually believes in it, so despite aiming low it still misses its target. The trivial theological point that no-one can disprove its existence was originally made 60 years ago by Bertrand Russel, with his analogy of a teapot in space, and the FSM does nothing to extend or advance the argument, and plenty to distract us from the real issues.

    Like the other American-led attempts to herd cats – Atheism+, ‘Brights’ etc. – FSM just serves to make atheism look frivolous and self-obsessed. Posting about it here is spamming pure and simple.

  49. hotrats says:

    jerry w:
    Really? A cheap shot, unfair, confused, and not even funny. 0/10.

  50. Mark S. says:

    Twiddly’s petition was only created yesterday, and it has to get 150 signatures before it shows up in searches on the site, so “only 3 so far” doesn’t really mean much. From the timing, it looks like twiddly created the petition then immediately posted a comment here asking you to sign it. He probably expected a sympathetic audience.

    Obviously, it is a frivolous petition. Even if it gets the necessary 25k signatures to get a response, the president does not have the authority to declare a national deity. Of course, he also does not have the authority to authorize a state to secede from the US, but there are 50 petitions about that too…

    So what is the purpose of this petition? Give the president a chance to mumble about the first amendment and re-affirm his christian principles? Have him say that the FSM is insulting to religion, and while you have the right to be insulting, you should not do it?

    I won’t be signing his petition because I am not confident that it is a good strategic move to make the president talk about the FSM. It would help the crazy right-wingers get their supporters excited, but I don’t see how it advances atheism to give the Republicans a talking point. I’d rather have them speaking about their “pro-rape” talking points instead of how “liberals are attacking our religion”.

    I heard some talking heads on the radio discussing the “trillion dollar coin” (Marketplace, from American Public Radio). One of the guests compared it to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but the host had not heard about the FSM and had to end the segment before the guest could give a really good explanation. So, maybe getting the FSM some publicity would be helpful. I’m just not confident this is the way to do it.

  51. hotrats says:

    A much more worthwhile petition that American J&M readers could usefully get behind:

    Removing ‘In God we Trust’ from printed money and ‘one nation under God’ from the oath of allegiance.


  52. oldebabe says:

    Hey hotrats, as long as we’re talking about things that aren’t going to happen, how about taxing churches?

  53. botanist says:

    hotrats – for the first time in my life I wish I was American ๐Ÿ™‚
    oldebabe – it won’t happen unless people believe they have the power to change things. It’s us that makes a difference, real people, real numbers, believing in change and not ridiculing it.

  54. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, lighten up fella. That was a good quip by jerry w. It only alarms me that I now know how Huxley was feeling when he made his “How extremely stupid not to have thought of that” line. I must be getting slow in my dotage if I can miss the chance presented by as obvious a feed-line as yours.

  55. botanist says:

    Full page article about Aaron Swartz:-
    Lots of comments above about RSS feed – this young man co-invented it. So sad a coincidence that his death is announced above as well.

  56. jerry w says:

    I’m sorry you took the wordplay so seriously, no ill intent was meant in what I wrote except to the aforementioned kiddy diddlers.

  57. Dan says:

    Perhaps the two are related.
    Swartz saw the comments and finally realised the world was never going to fully understand his genius.

  58. botanist says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Dan, but if he’d been reading J&M he’d have been looking forward to reading the next one, and not have wanted to miss it…..

  59. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    jerry w, you weren’t to know that he doesn’t like being the -ahem- butt of jokes.

    Just kidding, hotrats, I seem to have been temporarily possessed by Beavis. Or Butthead. Never knew which was which.

  60. hotrats says:

    jerry w:
    sorry for snapping, I realise no ill will was intended, your post caught me at a bad moment and I felt my vocation was being traduced, which I appreciate you did not intend. You do concede that the religious organizations dominate the abuse arena, but not that compared with their enormity, ‘paedo teachers’ are so few as to be only a distraction from the bigger issues of organised abuse and its cover-up. There is no evidence that there is any more than a sporadic, isolated incidence of abuse in teaching, or that paedos are drawn to the profession, whose long-established zero-tolerance policy stands in sharp contrast to that of the ‘God’ squad.

    Given that teaching makes up the bulk of all jobs involving working with children, teachers have a very trustworthy record; an exploited pupil is enough of a rarity to be front-page news when it does happen. What got my dander up (to offer another feed line) wasn’t so much the Beavis-and-Buttheadness of the comment, which on this site one must grin and bear, but making it at the expense of creating a ‘paedo teacher’ category that isn’t supported by the facts any more than ‘paedo judge’ or ‘paedo accountant’.

    Had you stuck with the double-entendre itself, along the lines of ‘Does the teacher in you realise that he could get arrested and lose his job?’, I would have grinned and borne it. Sorry to have been a bit of a pompous bore about it. Post in haste, repent at liesure.

    UPOTW insists that it is not ‘us that makes’ a difference, it is ‘we who make’ one.

    hjuk hjuk hjuk (or however one spells that panting, snorting giggle…)

  61. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, I mostly agree with all you wrote above, although the intentions of P.E. teachers remain suspect, particularly those that insist on seeing every child through the showers (even worse when they follow one home to do so!).
    I have nought but respect for teachers, particularly in the state school system where teaching is generally under-paid, good teachers are under-valued and often de-motivated, and pupils pay more attention to their e-gadgets than they do to their lessons, with a tendency to call an abuse of their human rights if told to put them away and pay attention.
    It would be remiss of me, however, not to mention the discontinuity of your spellings of ‘organizations’ and ‘organised’; nor to point out your mis-spelling of ‘leisure’ at the end of your third paragraph.

  62. Brian says:

    Of course the FSM petition is frivolous… And I see nothing wrong with that, it will make as much difference as expected; i.e. none. As Mark S says, he probably expected a sympathetic audience. Lighten up ๐Ÿ™‚

    FWIW the signature count stands at 24,993 – but I have no vested interest and have no serious thoughts on signing, as I live in the UK.

    The main point of the existence (or non-existence!?) of the FSM, is the entirely satirical and worthy reason it was created.

  63. hotrats says:

    ya, liesure is a lie, sure; just a hasty typo. As for the discontinuity between organise and organization, it is not mine but standard UK spelling. The use of ‘-ise’ for the simple verb and ‘-iz-‘ for its compounds allows a useful distinction to be made.

    The suffix ‘-ize’ means either ‘equip with’ (transistorize, militarize) or ‘make into’ (canalize, agonize); however there are many verbs with an ize sound at the end where the link to the root has been broken; we don’t turn anything into an organ, or equip it with organs, when we organise it, or turn anything into an autor when we authorise it.

    Keeping ‘-ise’ for these figurative usages serves several functions; it reminds us that the usage is non-literal; it preserves the historical continuity of the original spellings, which were all Norman French ‘-iser’; in the first case it gives developmental biologists the precise simple verb ‘organize’, meaning to become an organ or become equipped with them, and in the second it gives the literati ‘authorize’ for ‘ascribe authorship to’.

    In the US, under the baleful influence of Noah Webster, ‘ize’ was chosen as the default spelling for the sound, resulting in a lot of confusion with roots ending -vis-, -cis-, and -mis- (Latin see, cut, put) which had to remain ‘-ise’ (advise, excise, demise), as do many later French imports, like advertise and disguise.

    Webster’s sausage-machine ‘-ize’ for any noun being turned into a verb scarcely ended the confusion, but it did kill this useful ‘figurative -ise/ literal -ize’ distinction. The real heritage of his interference is that popular books have to have a UK edition and a US one, at pointless expense, to avoid offending each other’s spelling expectations.

    A little learning is a dangerous thing, young Acolyte, and I must remind you in turn, that if you wish to start a clause with a resonant ‘nor’, you really must to begin the previous one with an equally fruity ‘neither’.

    Come on chaps, no POTWAs for typos is in UPOTW Standing Orders, we have to draw the line somewhere above calling out every little fingertrip of the thinkertip, or there’ll be no end to it’s.

  64. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Well there’s certainly no doubting your credentials as an English teacher. I’ll bet your classes are a hoot! But, “young’ Acolyte? Tell that to my birth certificate, a piece of vellum so old it’s positively disintegrating.

  65. eustazio says:

    no still doesn’t work and no idea why

  66. WalterWalcarpit says:

    @hotrats: lovely, lovely. One of the joys of this site is the learning within. I really appreciated that one. Keep ’em coming. Was it you who used the word doggerel in an NBH provoked discussion a while back? I’m not ashamed to say I had to look that one up. I never expected it to be a real word.


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