Sunday, January 31, 2010

Community College Woo

I was looking through The Community College of Baltimore County's catalog of upcoming Continuing Education Courses, and found that CCBC is supporting the teaching of irrationality and magical thinking by offering a number of classes in woo. I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed.

As a matter of educational principle, it shouldn't matter that there may be a demand for these courses, and students who are willing to pay for them. Aren't our schools of higher ed supposed to be teaching and supporting rationality and critical thinking? I would have said "yes," but apparently CCBC sees things differently.

Are our community colleges--or any school for that matter--supposed to teach classes that amount to defrauding the students who take these courses? I would have said "no," but, nevertheless they are.
CCBC, you should be ashamed. Where are your ethics? Are you going to offer classes in Alchemy and Reading Entrails next?

Among the offerings:

Fundamentals of Foot Reflexology: Learn to restore balance and harmony to the entire body through foot reflexology. This non-invasive modality involves thumb and finger techniques to help open the energy channels through the body. Topics include zone theory and basic techniques for performing a foot reflexology session on oneself or a partner. 

Kundalini Reiki I: Experience the benefits of how to change one's life mentally, physically and spiritually through this healing energy. Discover the history of Kundalini Reiki, receive a Kundalini healing treatment and learn how to give a healing treatment. 

Usui Reiki I: Enhance your life through healing energy! Usui Reiki heals on mental, physical, and spiritual levels. Receive a Usui Reiki I attunement and learn how to give a healing treatment on yourself and others. 

Usui Reiki II: Continue the Reiki experience. Receive a Usui Reiki II attunement and prepare for the Master of Master/Teacher certification....Includes valuable information on how to set up a Usui Reiki healing practice. 

Dowsing for a Healthy Home: Practice the ancient art of dowsing. Used for centuries to find underground water, it is being used now to identify positive and negative earth energies that may affect your home and overall state of health. Discover ways to transform energy drains and enhance beneficial energy throughout your home. 

Dreams-Self Healing through Dream Analysis:  Discover recurring symbols and themes that are sending messages on health, romance, employment and family. Learn to recall your dreams and use this guidance in daily affairs. Bring to class your most troublesome dreams that defy explanation. 

Soul Coaching: Rediscover the soul and gain skills to live life more fully. Receive guidance to tame emotions, decode excuses, embrace the shadows, recognize life themes, identify personal spirit type and retrain the brain for creativity, concentration and self-control. 

Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine: Gain a better understanding of how Traditional Chinese Medicine can be beneficial to overall health. Develop an understanding of acupuncture and identify the location of Chinese acupuncture points. Learn about the principles of Qi, Yin-Yang, Five Elements and more and how they relate to body and mind. 

WICCA Traditions: Discover the earth's healing powers and walk along nature's path. Learn a new way to see yourself, spiritually, mentally and physically. Open your mind; enrich your life and cut through the confusion. Learn more about ancient Wicca teachings where love and trust preside.

I was going to be snarky and ask why CCBC doesn't offer a course in Astrology, Divination, or Tarot Card Reading. But I turned a few pages and, alas, find that they do, listed under its very own heading "Astrology & Tarot Cards": 

Tarot Card Reading: Learn to explain the magic of colors, numbers and symbols using the ancient method of divination to answer questions about relationships, love, health, career and finances.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quotation of the day

I never think delusion is okay.
--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America; October 14, 2009 appearance on The Daily Show

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Are you a theorist or a reasonist?

Crystal Stick Deodorant: Apparently it's nothing

Knowing my preference for unscented products, my mom just gave me a stick of Crystal Stick Natural Body Deodorant. There seems to be a contradiction between the ingredients list and the hype of the product on the back of the container. 

No doubt in an effort to appeal to those who believe that "chemicals" are bad and “natural” things are good, the description says: "Crystal Stick™ Body Deodorant is made of natural mineral salts and is completely free of perfumes and chemicals.” Oka-a-a-y. 

Since all matter, including pure water and air, are composed of chemicals, I’m left wondering what could possibly be in the container. A vacuum perhaps? 

Ah, no. “Contains: Natural Mineral Salts, Ammonium Alum,” which are chemical substances. Uh-oh. Alert the "chemicals are bad for you" folks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Quotation of the day

Faith is the very antithesis of reason, injudiciousness a crucial component of spiritual devotion.
--Jon Krakauer, Under the Banner of Heaven, A Story of Violent Faith

Are there potties in heaven?

My good Catholic mother has apparently been plagued by some bothersome questions about heaven. So she asked her priest, "Do people eat in heaven?" (The priest answered that he didn't know.) Wish she'd asked, "And if they eat, do they poop, and where?" since I believe those are more intriguing questions.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Prayers will work--in 2010!

Overheard conversation:

Christian 1: 2009 was such a terrible year. Let's us all pray that 2010 is a better year.
Christian 2: Yes! Let's pray for a good year in 2010. God always answer prayers.

Me (to myself): So, why didn't either of you two pray for a good year in 2009?!