Tuesday, February 27, 2007

blue is tasty

the brain is one crazy organ, the shit that thing can do really does amaze me. For example, some crazy bastard figured out a way to allow people to see via a camera that attaches to their tongue. Weird huh. I can't wait to see what all we're capable of as we figure out more and more of how our brain works.

Seriously go here, they've got a video that explains it better, plus it a built in hat tip because thats where I found the article.

I wish I had more to add on the subject.

Boom, Scream, Spin

I'm sure the white house is franticly figuring out a way to show how this failed attempt at cheneys life actually show that we need more troops. This whole ordeal angers me on many levels, first from the fact that cheney is the center of focus and not the 23 people who lost their lives. I wish I could say that was my first thought, but it wasn't because I first saw the headline about cheney and later learned of those who died, my actual first thought was disappointment that he failed. I don't want to kill people but there are people who's negative affects on the world at large will probably not diminish until their demise. Which then got me thinking about suicide bombers. There is something strange about the phenomena, its the martyrdom they desire, not the pursue of goals. If they really wanted to kill cheney, then a suicide bomber is a pretty bad plan, they should have known they never would have gotten close enough. I'm not going to suggest other means but seriously people we get it, your willing to die for your cause, that doesn't mean you should always die for your cause.

In case you haven't heard enough about it heres the Guardian.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thanks for the security

To the shock of no one in the real world terrorism is on the rise worldwide. But to be fair, its a pretty slight increase if you take out Iraq and Afghanistan.

35% more attacks and 12% more fatalities, its pretty bad, but compared to the numbers that include the wars, its not so impressive. I don't have anything to add to this that hasn't been said before and probably more eliquintly than I'd be able to pull off. Its not a complex issue, the response to it is, but the issue itself is simple if you kill people, especially innocent civilians, then those who survive will be angry at you. Same reason we were pissed at Osama for killing three thousand americans, they're pissed at us for killing a few hundred thousand of their people. See its really just that simple. Oh sure theres more to it, but thats the basic point. Interestingly the opposite is also true, if you don't kill people they're friends don't hate you. Better yet if your nice to people often (not always) they'll be nice back. What a concept.

This comes from Mother Jones, which I got to from Hell's Handmaiden so thank you, to both.

How To Start a Religion

How to Start a Religion
This is pretty funny, or quite useful depending on wither or not you would like to start a religion.
Its from the Uncyclopedia, which is a spoof of wikipedia. I liked the concept of the Uncyclopedia, but as is often the case the reality doesn't quite meet the theory. I guess most people really aren't that funny, but they think they are. But anyway this article is funny, go read, laugh, enjoy.

Punk Rock

I'm a fan of old Punk Rock, so I was just browsing through a selection of original vinyl at Punk Records when I came across this, and it just seemed so fitting for some of the religious discussions I've had lately. MDC was a band with many names, I'm not sure if MDC really stood for anything or if it just stood for what-ever they felt like at the time.
According to Wiki they had the following names, Millions of Dead Cops, More Dead Cops, Millions of Deformed Children, Multi Death Corporations, Millions of Damn Christians, Magnus Dominus Corpus and Missile Destroyed Civilization.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

sun revolves around the earth

did you know that what has been known for the last thousand years and has been witnessed from space is all a conspiracy. The world is in fact stationary, all the stars revolve around us. and everything in the bible is divisible by 7, which proves its divine.
It's not a joke, but its pretty damn funny.

hat tip to Planet Atheism, cause by some way or other thats how I found the site.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Get Religion Into Your Politics, and Politics Will Get Into Your Religion

I just like that title. The article was short and sweet and I really don't have as much to add as I thought I would so if you want to read the article go here to Fables of the Reconstruction.

Oh and if was wearing a hat I'd be tipping it to , Mojoey at Deep Thoughts.

Mitch Hedburg

I was about to write about the seperation of church and state, I saw a cool little line and figured the article would be good and I have a response, But I had an old Mitch Hedburg CD on and started laughing so I decided that was more important, the other I'll probably write soon.

Heres the bit I laughed at, although it might not be funny if you've never heard Mitch do it. Mitch was a fairly unique comic, he had a lot of one liners and overall his jokes really weren't that good, but he was hilarious simply because of his delivery.

I hate New York Delis man. They always put way too much fuckin’ meat on the sandwich. It’s like eatin’ a cow with a cracker on either side… I go in and order a Pastrami sandwich and the guy says “Can I get you anything else?” Yeah, a loaf of bread and some other people!!! I like to mess with ‘em though….”What kind of sandwich you want?” Pastrami “What kind of bread?” Rye… No, fuck, Banana! “What kind of cheese?” Cottage! “Get the fuck out! I’m not making you a “Banana-Bread / Pastrami / Cottage Cheese sandwich. That would severely ruin my reputation!”
R.I.P. Mitch Hedburg 1968-2005


We finally got Snow!
Quite a bit of it actually, we even had a day off from work.

In case anyone is reading and happens to be infected with a severe case of stupid let me just point out that just because there is still snow does not mean that global warming isn't real. Actually the fact that its February and we finally got a decent amount of snow is a pretty good indicator that its real and happening much faster than we expected.

But now on to the important things,
who has a sled?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why I believe what I believe

This comes via an idea from A Nerds Country Journal, Which I got to from UTI

The original idea was Why I Stopped Believing What I Believed Before. But as you'll soon discover I had good reason to change it slightly.

My story is a rather boring one. I grew up going to church every Sunday, complaining the whole way there, being told to stop fidgeting once I was seated, then being released to torment the Sunday school teacher for an hour or so. As a child I hated every moment of it with the exception of the schooling, that was at least interactive and I was with people my own age. I screwed around a lot and asked questions that made adults mad or confused, those were the high points of my spiritual life. I was in the church chorus for a few years, I was suckered in, they said there would be cookies at the end of each practice, and I continued to go for a while but then they stopped bringing cookies, that was the end of my tenure there (sadly thats a true story). I cannot recall a time even as a youth where I had any sense of there actually being some god creature watching my every move. So my views never really changed drastically. I seemed exactly like the whole Santa Clause thing, it was fun and we all went along with the gag, but I knew that it was just that, a gag, a trick that adults play on children to make them like Christmas even more, which seemed silly as we already were getting presents and thats the part that kids really like anyway. My mother was a religious person but for very tangible reasons.When I asked why we had to go to chruch she never said, so you don't burn in hell, it was because it was a good community of people to interact with. And shes right, I went to a very liberal easy going church that was very interested in how things were for the people of the area and we'll throw a little god and a splash of jesus in from time to time. So looking back I am glad that I went to church even though I think religion is a crock of shit. What is difficult for me is to try to pin down when I stopped believing because I cannot remember a time when I did believe. Although I will admit that there was once when I did pray in earnest, I didn't think it would do anything but I was powerless to do anything else, there was a huge storm and our basement had completely filled with water and was only inches away from filling our first floor, so I went on the back patio in the rain and I prayed that the rain would stop. And it did, even at the time I did not attribute this to divine intervention but to the storm moving on, but I thought it should be included in my story as it my only personal way of understanding why others do believe. When your at the mercy of things you cannot control it is comforting to look to a higher power, but that does not mean its real.

The one point in my life where my views really did change was church related but not religious in nature. I believe it was my junior year of high school and a small group of young people from the church raised money and went to Guatemala to visit a mission. We were not Catholic but that was of no concern to the preist, or Padre as he was generally known. Father Greg (padre) was an inspirational man, and as life changing as the trip already was there was one story he told that further changed my world view. He told of "The Violence," he very matter of factly told us the story of what it was like living in Guatemala during a civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and spanned more than 3 decades. A friend of his who live on the other side of a large lake was murdered and the US government had been urging them to leave and for a short period of time they did evacuate. All of this made me sad and to appreciate what we take for granted, but it was one short piece that changed everything and that was how he said that the war was started y the CIA because the US government did not like the new president, Arbenz. I knew that the US did shady things in other countries but the notion that they could overthrow a foreign government without backlash surprised me, but what shocked me was that I had never heard of it. I was a good student who like history and social studies, and in all my years I had never once heard of this. And its not like it was half way around the world, its the next country south of Mexico. This is when I began studying what else the US has done, this changed everything.

So thats the story of religion in my life. There was no profound wakening, I just slowly realized that some people actually though it was real, like real real, and that idea still puzzles me to this day.

(Kilgore Trout is simply my way of saying thank you to Kurt Vonnegut Jr., without him I never would have known the true joy of reading)

Monday, February 12, 2007

getting warmer

Ok I wrote a lil' it about climate change today, and then I just checked out Planet Atheism and practically the entire site is about global warming. Now I realize that many atheists are interested interested in many subjects, particularly the environment and politics which sadly are an important part of the issue. The fate of the planet shouldn't be political but then again neither should War, but thats the sad world we live in.

I'm just curious why everyone was talking global Warming today, I just bought An Inconvenient Truth, whats everyone else's reason? maybe god wanted us to.... hehe

Global Freaking Warming

I had just been commenting on this issue over at Blog 4 Brains and I was bored this weekend so I bought, An Inconvenient Truth, and I'm staring at the pathetic dusting of snow on the ground, which all has me thinking about global warming. The fact that people still think its not real simply amazes me. One thing that I think hurts is that not very long ago everyone was told that its a slow process and so a single warm or cold year did not indicate the validity or invalidity of global warming. Unfortunately every subsequent report has been more dire than the last and now it seems that time might be very limited in which we can effectively react.

So for shits and giggles I decided to check out what the skeptics had to say. Its pretty easy to find, just look at any typical media representation of "the controversy" heres an example from a source thats just too perfect. The Kansas City Star.
Speaking of ice age - Mr. Reyno, who is sceptical of global warming, points to a Time magazine article from January 1977 that suggested the Earth was tail-spinning into another ice age after a particularly chilly winter - a point he makes in reference to the media’s "flip-flopping."

Only in Kansas should you be able to get away with this. The scientist who wrote that report has apologized several times, said they did not fully understand the workings of the climate at the time and has said to please disregard that report, but it still gets used, but only by those who assume their audience doesn't know any better.
More info on the cooling myth

Then there was this, and its not even from Kansas, but the Asia Times which I have difficulty describing without excessive swearing.
Instead of reducing CO2, we should, perhaps, be increasing it. We should pay the smokestack industries hard dollars for every kilogram of soot they pump into the atmosphere. Instead of urging Chinese to stop using coal and turn instead to nuclear-generated electricity, we should beg them to continue using coal.
I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. Again if this was fuckin Ann Coulter I could understand but how could anyone choose to publish something that suggests we should be giving incentives to companies to INCREASE pollution. At least the person is honest, they put short term economics above all else, and they're proud of it, fuck the grandkids, I'm rich, but not rich enough!

So what do you want? If your not convinced that global warming is real at this point what would it take? Whats left, does an entire american city need to be destroyed before you'll take notice, oh wait that already happened, ok does a primarily white city need to be destroyed before you'll pay attention? The UN has released its report, the IPCC but a couple people got paid by Exxon to refute what several thousand scientists said so thats been thrown out. So maybe something closer to home, how about this quick list of FACTS:

What's Known

Scientists know with virtual certainty that:

  • Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times are well-documented and understood.
  • The atmospheric buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is largely the result of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.
  • A warming trend of about 0.7 to 1.5°F occurred during the 20th century. Warming occurred in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and over the oceans (NRC, 2001).
  • The major greenhouse gases emitted by human activities remain in the atmosphere for periods ranging from decades to centuries. It is therefore virtually certain that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will continue to rise over the next few decades.
  • Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tend to warm the planet.
So what liberal whack job group published this. The EPA. So to the skeptics, I hope your right because if your wrong then we're all fucked, oh I assume that the species will survive. But our civilization will not. Our country will be mostly desert, we won't be able to grow enough food to survive. Canada will build a giant wall to keep out all the illegal immigrants, but don't worry I moved there a few years prior. Africa will be even more screwed than it is now. Asia will no longer have the fresh water to keep its population alive so expect death tolls in the hundreds of millions in that area. Europe ironically might actually get very cold due to the fact that the gulf stream has shut down after Greenland and the arctic ice cap melted. Massive storms pound the coasts around the world to the point of being nearly impossible to leave near the beach anymore, but its no big loss because those same storms swept away all the sand anyway. Theres little in the way of fishing anymore after the coral was killed off the water became acidic at ever increasing rates to the point that shellfish can't create shells, which quickly meant no more shell fish, which meant no more fish that ate shellfish and remember shellfish includes krill which is of immeasurable importance to the sea, or was before they were wiped out. Insects on the other hand are loving it so their are plagues that constantly ravage whats left of civilization.

I realize this is a worst case scenario, but its also coming true. I'm going to use the argument that theists use against me all the time, what if your wrong. Well if global warming is wrong, then we will have come up with sustainable energy more quickly than we needed too and we have all that oil to be used for other things, so it will be around for a quite a while before we need to come up with another way to make synthetic everything. What a terrifying future.

Oh of course this imagines that the world is not getting warmer, which isn't even debated. The only thing thats even vaguely questioned is if we're causing it. If the skeptics are correct and we are not at fault, then we can't prevent it. meaning all of the horrible things I mention will happen and theres isn't a damn thing we can do about it. Does that make you sleep better at night? If so then sleep tight and for their sake don't have children.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The real origins of my name....

I used to assume that I got the pen name Kilgore Trout from Kurt Vonnegut, but alas I must reveal the truth. Its really based on Colonel Troutman from Rambo First Blood. And seeing as I obviously Just watched the movie I'll include my favorite line.

The scene is Rambo just jumped onto the back of a moving deuce and a half, climbs into the cab and has his infamous knife out to make sure the driver does as hes told.

Rambo: Don't look at me! Look at the road, thats how accidents happen.

Then he makes the guy jump out of the moving truck.

Its just so random, its my favorite line. then again Words aren't really the important part of Rambo movies. I will say the first one thats a half way decent movie. This post ranks pretty high on my list of completely off topic posts, to which I say,

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Super Bowl

I watched the part of the first half, then we realized that none of us care about football. Then prince came on... and that was about the time we stopped watching the super bowl. So thats my super bowl story.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Boston Bomb Scare

This is insane. All I want to know is how was this not called off when they got to the first device. Cops get a hysterical phone call about some weird electrical device that looks like it could be a bomb. Understandably they go nuts call in the bomb squad and remove the thing. But once on the scene how did no one look at it and say, well theres some batteries a few electrical bits and a bunch of LEDs, its not a bomb. Go around and remove any others to prevent panic but they are nothing. No instead the cops did the panicking.

I heard that Turner broadcasting offered to pay for all of the police, about a million dollars. Which I think is a smart move on their part, and honestly they've gotten at least a million dollars worth of advertising out of the whole deal. But this idea that the people who planted the devices should be held criminally responsible for the panic is ludicrous. First off the fact that one out of ten cities freaked out should be a sign that it was Bostons reaction that was out of line not the advertisers. This notion that they must have known this would happen so it must have been their intention to create a panic, no they expected people to see a flashing cartoon character and the people would either recognize it and hopefully tune into the program or walk/drive past somewhat confused. I highly doubt that they ever considered the possibility that they would cause a panic that would shut down the city ever crossed their minds.

We're talking about personal responsibility, we're gettin' all libertarian and shit so lets go with it, if these people are expected to have the foresight to imagine and take responsibility for the reaction of others no matter how insane then what about the responsibility for those who actually created the panic and shut down the city? Why are they not responsible for the time loss of those hundreds of thousands of people who got stuck in traffic. Why is it that its the fault of the person who put up an ill-conceived ad campaign and there is no responsibility placed on those who actually created the disturbance. To me this is like someone sitting in a movie theater and lights a cigarette the person next to them could simply say excuse me but smoking inside is illegal in this state and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't smoke in here, or they could simple scream FIRE! and race out of the theater causing a stampede, then saying its the fault of that bastard with the cigarette. Oh sure cigarette gut broke the law and he should be punished for the crime he committed which was smoking inside a public building, but in this case they are trying to blame the stampede on him. He may have been the catalyst that started it but there is no way he could have expected the reaction that occurred.

I should back up real quick, I realize that this sounds like I'm blaming the police and I guess to an extent I am, I know they have a difficult job and that better safe than sorry is the general policy, but at what point does the state induced hysteria become a greater threat than the "attack."

"For people who are hip and live in the world of blogs and all sorts of cool alternative media, it's one thing," he said, "but for the rest of us ... they don't get it as a marketing or a clever event, they see it as a huge disruption of their lives.

Which is fine, but who really created the dirsuption in your life, the guy with the long hair, or th person who freaked out and thought that a cartoon character was a bomb?

Heres a couple articles, One from the Boston Herald and one from the Portsmouth Herald.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Fond Fairwell

Molly Ivins, the well known syndicated liberal columnist has passed away. I wish I could say that I was a life-long reader or something, but I wasn't. I caught her column on occasion and it was usually quite good. So thank you Molly, you helped get us moving back towards the light something you should be immensely happy about. You will be missed.

For her last column see Stand Up Against The Surge which seems like a fitting farewell, she went down swinging.