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28 July 2011

Exactly HOW stupid are Fox talking heads?

Okay, so we found evidence of a volcano that existed on the moon way back when.  Faux Noise asked Bill Nye to talk to them about this.  So exactly HOW stupid a question could a reporter come up with?  Just watch and be amazed!

I am surprised he didn't actually laugh out loud at that first question!  And the way he changed gears trying to figure out exactly how to say something in monosyllabic words was priceless!

27 July 2011

So, who won't get paid?

So, as we all know, there is a huge kerfuffle in Washington DC because some people have the negotiating skills of a petulant 3 year old (I'm looking at you teabaggers!).  Sometimes I wonder if the resistance this time to raising the debt ceiling is because of the skin color of the Executive, but that's probably me just being too cynical.

While wondering what douchefuckery our congress critters are up to, I started contemplating who would be the first to feel the effects of the government not being able to pay its bills.  There are a whole list of people that would start feeling effects pretty quickly.  Social Security recipients, small and large businesses under contract to the government, military retirees, active duty military personnel, all the civil service employees, and the list goes on, and on, and on.  You know who is protected and guaranteed to be last on that list?  Yep, the same fuckups that are pretty much responsible for holding the entire US economy and entire middle class (i.e. anyone who isn't RICH) hostage...  I really think that congressional pay should be the FIRST thing on the block.  Furthermore, as long as these incompetent fuckwads are voting their own salary, I say the US population should be allowed to vote for a multiplier to that particular salary.  Planck's Constant sounds like a good multiplier.

And while we are at it, why is it such a anathema to ask the rich (or as the Repugnican'ts have taken to calling them, the "job creators" despite the fact that they are outsourcing jobs and NOT creating any) to contribute to the running of this nation in a material way as opposed to just buying politicians?  The wealth disparity in this nation has become the worst since it ever was since the Crash of 1929.  And if you look at every civilization and government that has ever existed on this planet, every time things get this out of whack, bad things happen.  Is there some sort of plot by fundytards to try to hasten some sort of apocalypse?  It sure as hell seems like it.

26 July 2011

Save the James Webb Space Telescope!

So, this week we saw the end of the Space Shuttle era.  Something that had been coming down the pike for a while.  One of the things that the Shuttle Program will probably be most remembered for is the spectacular goof and then rescue of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Hubble is probably one of the most enduring, and well known, legacies of the Shuttle Program, as well as for the entire human race.  Now that the Shuttle is no more, eventually Hubble will break, and it too will be no more.  However, us (marginally) clever apes have a plan.  It's called the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  It's an amazing bit of engineering and technology, and will actually expand our sights into the univers beyond what Hubble gave us!  Sadly, this program is in danger from the congress critters in DC.  Lawrence M. Krauss has written a great peice about saving this mission.  Please join the cause.  It makes sense to scrap some things, but this just isn't one of them... (Emphasis mine.)
Almost 20 years ago Congress cancelled what was then the most ambitious scientific project ever launched, the Superconducting Super Collider. Well on the way to completion and after several billion dollars had been spent, cost over-runs and management issues meant that the project, the world’s largest particle accelerator which would have resolved questions ranging from the origin of all mass to the nature of fundamental forces, gave a democratic congress an excuse to kill the program during hard economic times.

A similar situation is arising now and is threatening to ground the nearly completed James Webb Space Telescope. Coming in at $1.6 Billion over its recently updated cost estimate of approximately $5 Billion, this successor to the phenomenally successful Hubble Space Telescope will peer back to the period of ‘first light’, when the first stars and galaxies formed in the universe giving new insights into exotica from the first giant black holes, to the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that dominate the dynamics of the universe. After billions have been spent, the House Appropriations Committee has recommended terminating the project because it is over budget and has had management issues.

The cancellation of the JWST would likely herald the beginning of the end of US leadership in Space Science, just as the cancellation of the SSC moved the center of gravity in particle physics to Europe. The JWST was designed to take off where the Hubble Space telescope—which has revolutionized astronomy—has ended, by taking us to the very beginnings of visible structure in the Universe. It was meant to be the centerpiece of astronomy for the next two decades, and without it, the tantalizing hints that Hubble has been able to glean about our beginnings will remain just that for perhaps a generation.

25 July 2011

All theist arguments boiled down to four lines

When "discussing" reality with theists, I have noticed a terrible redundancy in their arguments.  Once you get them to at least a marginally honest position, it ends up devolving into this argument:
  • I don't know
  • You don't know
  • No one knows
  • Therefore I know
It's that last one that always bugs me to no end...  How can that even be taken seriously?  And what makes their particular flavour more real than any other flavour?  Why not just accept that "I don't know" is a perfectly good and acceptable answer?  And they accuse atheists of arrogance?  *sigh*

23 July 2011

My heart goes out to Norway

So I just found out about a horrible event in Norway.  Absolutely heart-wrenching!  Initial speculation of course ran rampant.  The specter of a muslim extremist was the the first thought on many people's minds.  Nothing like having the worst thoughts turned to reality so that one can continue to systematically demonize the enemy.  Well, turns out it was a Norwegian.  Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist, a christian, a nationalist, and islamophobe no less. Well, that just got me thinking:

Will the news media have the panoply of talking heads on talking about how christianity is inherently a violent religion, and that it is inimical to "our way of life" ans must be contained?
Will the christian faith be viewed as one inherently violent and cruel?
Will there be demands for action that christians are to be shunned and viewed with suspision?

OF COURSE NOT!  No, imagine if the suspect had been a brown, islamic immigrant...

Now, I am not claiming that islam is innocent by any stretch of the imagination.  The list of Cruelty and Violence in their book is depressing enough as it is (although I note with irony that the christian list is nearly three times as long!).  All I am saying is that irrationally held beliefs are fertile ground for irrational action.  That really is my main problem with any and all religions.

In the meantime, do what you can for the people of Norway.

22 July 2011

So... Yeah, I haven't blogged in a while

I am sorry that I haven't said anything in a while.  I have a whole list of handy excuses:
  • My main computer is on the fritz
  • Work has been really, really busy (with a lot of travel involved too)
  • I've been studying for my PMP exam
  • I went on a brief vacation
Of course, excuses are like assholes.  Everyone has one, and they all stink...  Or whatever that saying is.  Also, I have been spending a lot more time lately reading (Love my Kindle).  And of course, I have been reading some heady stuff like sting theory, physics, cosmology, and the like.  I am even tackling some books that are a slog of unbearable intellectuall mish-mosh (i.e. apologetics books).  Heck, I haven't even seen the last Harry Potter movie yet!  I think I may be the only person in the civilized world that hasn't!  See, I told you things have been just a wee bit crazy.

Anyway, I am going to try to keep up on posting here.  Maybe do some actual book reviews?  Would that be of any interest to anyone?