Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama speech

I'm not going to scrutinize it, but there was one moment that made me laugh. It was roughly, "the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." Thats all well and good, I'm just not sure why he suddenly started talking about Germany. It's really not important, but I'm still a car guy at heart so it made me laugh. BTW the automobile is generally credited as being invented by Karl Benz in Germany I think it was around 1885, but don't quote me on that.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Makin fun of stupid

This shit has gotten all touchy lately so I think it's about time to bring back some laughs at other people's expense. Sound good? It's an easy subject but one thats come up a bit lately in the news. The Anti-Vaccine crowd, or Pro-Measles if you prefer, is getting slammed pretty hard by the reality based world. If it wasn't for the dead kids this would be even funnier, and I include the few who have already died from stupid parents and the many more who will. If you want a couple of really good rants from people who really know what they are talking about go here. And here for an older one. That second one really rips into Jenny McCarthy and some of her past craziness. I'm probably being rude, but I guess I've never felt the need to speak softly when ignorance leads directly to the death of innocent people.

I'm not a doctor but I've been following this for a little while now because it came up at work. Someone heard that vaccines were linked to autism, could I find out if its true. So I did a bit of research on the web, and asked a few coworkers about it and quickly found out that people thought vaccines might be linked to autism because there was mercury in the vaccines (I think it was used as a preservative) and the shots are at about the same time that autism can be diagnosed. So some parents came up with a reasonable hypothesis, so far so good. They made a big stink got the mercury removed from vaccines and researchers tested the hypothesis, again so far so good. This is the scientific method in action. And soon the hypothesis was disproved, repeatedly. The one outlier that showed a link has been discredited. So the scientific method keeps rolling, we've ruled out that, now lets come up with a new hypothesis... wait why are all these parents still talking about vaccines? And here's where it all breaks down. In a better world these parents would look at the evidence and say, ok that wasn't it, but we did get mercury taken out of vaccines and thats gotta be a good thing. Now lets take all this energy we have organized and look for a new hypothesis. Lets solve this problem! Unfortunately back on this world the cause became organized around stopping vaccines and not around finding the cause and maybe the cure for autism. This sucks not only because children are now dying from totally preventable diseases but because it means all this energy money and good will is being wasted on a disproved hypothesis instead of trying to find a solution.

This is also a perfect example of why we need to stress science in school and not just as a subject with some boring information to memorize but as a way of looking at the world. Its how we solve problems. Or in the words of XKCD "Science, it works bitches."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I love my mom. With all my heart I do, but she does have an uncanny knack for infuriating me, no doubt that's mutual. I felt awful all day. We got in a fight. She had advice I didn't want to hear, I get really defensive, emotion level rises, and that's pretty much the gist of it.

And ya know whats an extra kick in the nuts?
She was right.


sorry mom, you were right. And I was a jerk. I often am. I just let my mind wander when I write and some of it was just too personal. You were right to tell me so. Thank you.
I really feel like an asshole right now. I know how my mother gets. I ruined her day to say the least, probably my dads too. Sorry dad. I was in a pretty terrible mood too, even Marque and the kids couldn't get me entirely out of sulk mode. I've told you I'm sorry too many times in our lives mom. So here we are once again. I'm sorry mom.

I love you,
hope this wasn't too personal.

True Unbelievers

I didn't get to finish reading this, it was linked to by PZ and as far as I've read its interesting. Its a journalist from a religious magazine who went to an atheist convention. It's an interesting perspective. I wanted to save the link so I can finish reading it, you might like it too. But now I've got to be off.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

They Still Don't Get It

More big spending by the bailout companies. This one is a bit more understandable, it's advertising and the proceeds went to charity, but it was also a huge carnival like spectacle at the super bowl paid for with your money. At the end of the story theres a little piece about Morgan Stanley, they've learned something. From now on when you throw a big event, make the big-shots pay for part of it, and then just don't disclose how much you spent. Damn. Thats not the lesson they were supposed to learn at all.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Football Game

So we watched the first half of the game, got bored and started watching Family Guy, then we flipped back for the last 35 seconds of the game only to realize that we had missed the part where it actually turned into a game. Oh well. It was still a great weekend because I finally got to meet a lady I had been talking to a little bit online. Turns out she's a friend of a friend, she's got two adorable little girls who absolutely love me, if only adults were so easy to read. I gotta say that having two hyper children in the room does take the edge of meeting someone for the first time, theres no awkward silences when there's hardly ever a moment not filled with laughter. I guess I need to give her an online nickname for anonymities sake. I'll call her Marque, for reasons that may become clear later on. I'll give her a new nickname when I think of something cuter. The worst but most endearing part of friday night was when she was trying to get the girls to bed, and being a friday they have a tradition of all cuddling up on the futon together, so I couldn't really stay to chat after the kids went to sleep. So she was tucking them in and saying goodbye to me when the older of the two, she's five, started balling. What are you supposed to do when there's a five year old crying and begging you to stay the night? We joked that I'd explain it to her grandma in the morning when she came to pick up the kids that I had stayed to be with the five year old. Probably wouldn't help matters. So I left with the promise that I would return, and returning was about all that I could think of until I did return on Sunday for the super bowl. Of course now I am sitting here thinking how I'd like to see her again but it might be a few days, I've got classes. Maybe it was just because the kids kept the atmosphere so fun that it was just easy and natural to just chill with this beautiful woman I had just met, or maybe theres something pretty special there. I'm trying not to jump to the second conclusion too quickly, because I know I want to. Back to friday night, she loves to read, which obviously is cool with me. So she gave me a book, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. Being the simple bastard that I am, I read the book before I went back to see her on Sunday. On sunday she went ice skating with the girls and some guy and his kid. I was hoping this was a play date for the kids but she said they had quasi-dated. I'm not sure how to take that but it's part of why I'm trying to hold back a bit. To confuse matters even more she gave me another book before I left on Sunday, Bound to Love, which is a series of short stories about bondage, fairly graphic too. This probably falls into the TMI category of my few readers, but I've never tried the whole BDSM thing, which isn't to say I won't try. So like I said I'm really not sure how to take all of that (is it normal to know about a womans fetishes before you've even kissed her?) but I guess I'll just assume she's playing the field, seeing whats out there. Which is fine, it's not like I haven't done a little of that myself recently. At the same time a co-worker told me about a friend who sounds like quite the catch, but I don't her to hold off until I know more about Marque. Hell last night I even got a late night phone call from a drunk somebody practically begging for sex, and I said no. Theres a few reasons why I said no but one of them was Marque. I don't think I've ever been asked flat out for sex before and said no. Hmm... Anyway Marque is pretty chill, I hope things progress.