Saturday, April 4, 2009
Ok, here's the thing.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Mr. Smith was noodling around on Google Earth one day, randomly examining parts of the Aransas Pass in Texas. Suddenly, his eyes darted to a shoeprint-shaped outline near Barketine Creek.
His suspicions and, presumably, his vast knowledge of history, were sufficiently aroused for him to believe that what he had found was the wreckage of a Spanish barquentine (think large boat with three or more masts) that supposedly met its final resting place south of Refugio, Texas, in 1822.
The first real, adult science book I ever read was A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, when I was eight or nine years old. I didn't understand much of it then, and now, having read it at least five more times, there are still parts that go over my head. That book was a pretty huge influence on me though.
If we don't stand up and fight for world wide free speech, we will lose it everywhere.
The editor and publisher of a newspaper in India have been arrested on charges of "hurting the religious feelings of Muslims."
Mr Kumar has said he has already issued a public apology for reproducing the article.Yet another person bends over forwards to apologize for stating their opinion. This has to stop. It was the same thing in that case where a British teacher in Sudan named a teddy bear Muhammad and was arrested, then went out of her way to apologize. Ridiculous. If we don't stand up and fight for world wide free speech, we will lose it everywhere.
"I admit it was an editorial misjudgement but it was never intentional," Mr Kumar told the BBC in an interview.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"We try to think of organisms as engaging in a work of self-preservation. To be living is to be engaged in that work. To die is to cease to be engaged,"
Friday, January 9, 2009
Ok, Madoff is a jerk, but this guy kinda makes me smile. Is that bad?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
2009 is going quite well for the Jolly Bloger so far. Wanna know what my resolutions are?
As always, I'd like to blog more. I'm much busier at work than I used to be, and some of my hobbies have suffered. However, I still waste too much time on unproductive activities. I'll try to make more time for writing, and also for reading books. I just finished this one, and started this one.
I also want to get outdoors much more often. I'll be using this book for motivation - I'll try to work my way through the entire thing eventually. If anyone in the Vancouver area is looking for a hiking partner and doesn't mind talking to a crazy person, let me know.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I was just reading about the replication of the Milgram experiments, which show that people are surprisingly obedient to authority. The majority of subjects will deliver painful shocks to others when a researcher instructs them to do so. This of course has broad implications in any situation involving authority figures, particularly in regards to all the torture controversy of late - who is really responsible?
A couple of thoughts came to mind.
I would love to see a follow-up, similar to my suggestion for acupuncture research, to study whether the obedience to authority is any weaker for subjects who know about the Milgram experiments. I'm not so naive to think that I'm fundamentally more benevolent or resistant to authority than average, but I would like to think that in the same situation, knowing about the Milgram experiments would help me overcome the effect. My guess is that it would, in the same way that knowing about common logical fallacies, susceptibility to illusions and false pattern recognition, etc. help me avoid falling for pseudoscience and hoaxes.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
(via Oot and Aboot)
To make up for the dearth in posts here recently, I've done this crap!
Are You a Hardcore Atheist?1. Participated in the Blasphemy Challenge.
2. Met at least one of the “Four Horsemen” (Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett,Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris) in person.
3. Created an atheist blog.
4. Used the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a religious debate with someone.
5. Gotten offended when someone called you an agnostic.
6. Been unable to watch Growing Pains reruns because of Kirk Cameron.
7. Own more Bibles than most Christians you know.
8. Have at least one Bible with your personal annotations regarding contradictions, disturbing parts, etc.
9. Have come out as an atheist to your family.
10. Attended a campus or off-campus atheist gathering.
11. Are a member of an organized atheist/Humanist/etc. organization.
12. Had a Humanist wedding ceremony.
13. Donated money to an atheist organization.
14. Have a bookshelf dedicated solely to Richard Dawkins.
15. Lost the friendship of someone you know because of your non-theism.
16. Tried to argue or have a discussion with someone who stopped you on the street to proselytize.
17. Had to hide your atheist beliefs on a first date because you didn’t want to scare him/her away.
18. Own a stockpile of atheist paraphernalia (bumper stickers, buttons, shirts, etc).
19. Attended a protest that involved religion.
20. Attended an atheist conference.
21. Subscribe to Pat Condell’s YouTube channel.
22. Started an atheist group in your area or school.
23. Successfully “de-converted” someone to atheism.
24. Have already made plans to donate your body to science after you die. Better, I donate it while I'm alive.
25. Told someone you’re an atheist only because you wanted to see the person’s reaction.
26. Had to think twice before screaming “Oh God!” during sex. Or you said something else in its place.
27. Lost a job because of your atheism.
28. Formed a bond with someone specifically because of your mutual atheism (meeting this person at a local gathering or conference doesn’t count).
29. Have crossed “In God We Trust” off of — or put a pro-church-state-separation stamp on — dollar bills. Doesn't count - I'm Canadian. UPDATE: I found an American single and completed this one.
30. Refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Or any oath to God or country.
31. Said “Gesundheit!” (or nothing at all) after someone sneezed because you didn’t want to say “Bless you!”
32. Have ever chosen not to clasp your hands together out of fear someone might think you’re praying.
33. Have turned on Christian TV because you needed something entertaining to watch.
34. Are a 2nd or 3rd (or more) generation atheist.
35. Have “atheism” listed on your Facebook or dating profile — and not a euphemistic variant. I have a dysphemism, in order to be more offensive. I'm counting this one.
36. Attended an atheist’s funeral (i.e. a non-religious service).
37. Subscribe to an freethought magazine (e.g. Free Inquiry, Skeptic)
38. Have been interviewed by a reporter because of your atheism.
39. Written a letter-to-the-editor about an issue related to your non-belief in God.
40. Gave a friend or acquaintance a New Atheist book as a gift.
41. Wear pro-atheist clothing in public.
42. Have invited Mormons/Jehovah’s Witnesses into your house specifically becauseyou wanted to argue with them.
43. Have been physically threatened (or beaten up) because you didn’t believe in God.
44. Receive Google Alerts on “atheism” (or variants).
45. Received fewer Christmas presents than expected because people assumed you didn’t celebrate it.
46. Visited The Creation Museum or saw Ben Stein’s Expelled just so you could keep tabs on the “enemy.”
47. Refuse to tell anyone what your “sign” is… because it doesn’t matter at all.
48. Are on a mailing list for a Christian organization just so you can see what they’re up to…
49. Have kept your eyes open while you watched others around you pray.
50. Avoid even Unitarian churches because they’re too close to religion for you.
31-40: You are the 5th Horseman! Congratulations!