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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Another great band name

Testicular Lebensraum. Scroll down for it.

Alert to creationists / intelligent design proponents

I was going to write a long post on my thoughts on creationism, intelligent design, and the recent Kansas hubbub (hubub? hub-bub?) about it. However, others have written much better essays than I am likely to.

However, when it comes down to it, the whole argument against creationism / intelligent design and against teaching it in the school as "science" boils down to:
Just because something has not (yet) been explained does not mean that a god is responsible.

The "god of the gaps" has throughout history been called upon to explain many things that humanity could not explain at the time (the most immediate thing that comes to mind is the explanation for how the planets go round the sun). Those gaps have been continually been getting smaller and smaller as we've understood the universe better and better. Once you abandon "natural" explanations for phenomena, you have abandoned science.

Now the intelligent design folks say that certain aspects biology can not be explained through any evolutionary mechanism, therefore a designer must have done it. To this I say:
The Universe is smarter than you.

Of course the question of who designed the designer is not even considered, because the designer must have always existed, but the question of whether the universe universe may have always existed is ridiculous...

Don't even get me started on those Jehovah-apologists who said that the tsunami a few months ago which killed hundreds of thousands of people was actually a good thing, because god made it happen, and god has a plan, and he was showing humanity blah blah blah...

Ok, I got a little random there towards the end. So sue me.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Your crab news of the day

Hitchhiking Crabs Threaten East Coast

This has been your crab news of the day. That is all.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A productive morning at work

Rather than taking up arms against our bourgeois oppressors, my coworkers and I have taken up a de-facto work slowdown. Here are the results:

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!

You approach Satan's wretched city where you behold a wide plain surrounded by iron walls. Before you are fields full of distress and torment terrible. Burning tombs are littered about the landscape. Inside these flaming sepulchers suffer the heretics, failing to believe in God and the afterlife, who make themselves audible by doleful sighs. You will join the wicked that lie here, and will be offered no respite. The three infernal Furies stained with blood, with limbs of women and hair of serpents, dwell in this circle of Hell.

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Extreme
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very High

Take the Dante's Inferno Test

I am a very bad person apparently.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A half-assed album review

Audioslave: Out of Exile

It's ok.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Haiku: an evening's bike ride

Yellow moon hangs low
Wind blowing against my face
Music sings me home

Smashing Zwan

Rocker Corgan to reform Smashing Pumpkins
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Singer Billy Corgan said on Tuesday he plans to revive The Smashing Pumpkins, his Grammy-winning band which broke up in 2000 after more than a decade of blending alternative rock with the avant-garde.

In full-page advertisements in Chicago newspapers, the bald-headed Corgan said, 'I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams.'

Say what you actually mean, Billy: You want your money back. No one gave a damn about Zwan, and no one knows -- or cares -- if you did anything else. So you think maybe you can get over all your "creative differences" with the other Pumpkins if the paycheck is big enough? Very good, you trained monkey. Now learn how to actually perform live.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Crab ad update

As of this morning, only four of the five Google ads in my sidebar (click on some of em, dammit, I need those nickels!) were for crabs. In all likelihood, this posting will bring that number back up to the full five.

Pondering a new superhero name: Crabmonger? Crabhustler? Crabman!

Would that be a good band name? The Crabmen? No no, there might be women in the band (are you listening, Suze?). Crabman and the Crustaceans?

I'm usually not this random until Friday afternoon.

That is all.

Tom Cruise, you're a tool

Poor, put-upon Tom Cruise. He was squirted with water during the War of the Worlds premiere:
The actor was outside a movie theater in central London's Leicester Square on Sunday doing press interviews when a man squirted him with a water pistol disguised as a microphone, London's Metropolitan Police said.

Cruise initially appeared to laugh at the incident but then asked the prankster: 'Why would you do that?'

As the man gave a barely audible excuse, Cruise said: 'Do you like thinking less of people, is that it?' The prankster tried to walk away but Cruise reached across the metal barrier, held his arm and said: 'Don't run away. That's incredibly rude. I'm here giving you an interview and you do that ... it's incredibly rude.'

Luckily, police arrested the terrorist who perpetrated this crime and three others who were "filming" the "prank". They may be charged with assault.

Ship 'em to Gitmo. Anyone who would assault one of America's most beloved thespians obviously hates America and our freedoms, and doesn't deserve any of the god-given rights enjoyed by the people of this Christian nation. It's too bad summary execution is no longer an option.

UPDATE: My wife points out the irony in the fact that this guy might go to jail and Michael Jackson walks free.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Neologisms - they're what's for breakfast!

From a reader comment on Dave Barry's Blog:
This is what dashed through my head the first time I heard the word 'blog' -

Me: Hello?

School Secretary: Hi, Nancy, its Cheri, from the school. We need you to come get your daughter. She gagged on the liver and lima bean casserole at lunchtime and blogged all over her teacher.

Me: I'll be right there.

And if you don't know what "neologism" means, look it up, dumbass.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Killer quotes, edition LXVIII

Ruth, thanks for reminding me of Maddox's site. The quote to take home with you and serve coffee and crumb cake to:
I'm neither pro choice, nor pro life; I'm pro you-shutting-the-hell-up.

I wonder if I can get that on a bumper sticker.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bob Geldof, you're a tool

Geldof condemns sale of Live 8 tickets on eBay - Yahoo! News
Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof has condemned as 'sick profiteering' the sale of free charity concert tickets on auction Web site eBay.

Geldof branded the site an 'electronic pimp' and called for a worldwide boycott.

'I am sick with this,' Geldof said in a statement. 'What eBay are doing is profiteering on the backs of the impoverished.

'The people who are selling it are wretches. But far worse is the corporate culture which capitalizes on people's misery.'

Capitalizes on people's misery??? Bob, please, get over yourself and your desire to control everything that people do. Fine, you want debt to be forgiven? Very noble (even though you're forcing the taxpayers to absorb the cost for something that they might not have chosen, when they could instead, say, do whatever the hell they want with their own money). Now, even though the sale of these tickets will in no way take money out of anyone's hands, except those who voluntary agree to exchange their money for these tickets, you think they should be prevented from doing so. Well screw you, and your anti-market bullshit. If something is mine, it's mine to do with whatever I like, whether that means sell it, keep it, or destroy it.

On another note, supposedly Pink Floyd is reuniting with Roger Waters for this show. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing that...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hence begins the next monkey-throwing-feces episode

Report Shows FBI Misses Sept. 11 Chances - Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON - In the weeks and months before Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI had some clues, but didn't see them. It had a lead from one of its own agents, but didn't follow it.

I can already hear the bloggers and radio hosts on both the left and the right arming their cannons for the next battle in the shit-slinging war.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Crab ads

Sheesh, you write one story about horseshoe crab orgies, and suddenly four out of the five Google ads on the side of your page are for crabs. I don't even like seafood, let alone spider-like seafood.

UPDATE: As of June 10, 2005, the five Google ads in my main blog page are: King Crab Legs Special, Alaska King Crab Legs, Crab Cakes, Buy Crabs & Other Aquaria, and Alaska King Crab Legs.

Volcanoes of methane ice

...on Titan. Per this JPL news release:
A recent flyby of Saturn's hazy moon Titan by the Cassini spacecraft has revealed evidence of a possible volcano, which could be a source of methane in Titan's atmosphere... Scientists interpret the feature as an 'ice volcano,' a dome formed by upwelling icy plumes that release methane into Titan's atmosphere.

The universe is a strange and wonderful place. And this is just in our immediate backyard.

I don't see how anyone can really believe that (1) the millions of galaxies each containing billions of stars were somehow created just to be humanity's playground, or (2) out of the ten-to-the-bazillion stars in the universe, ours was the only one around which intelligent life arose.

It's pretty telling that as soon as the technology evolves to detect planets around other stars, we start finding them in droves. As soon as we had sufficient technology to only detect the most extreme kinds of planets (hugely massive, revolving very very close to their suns), they started showing up everywhere. I will not at all be surprised when we discover (relatively) clear signs of life on a distant planet.

One reason I'm not more on board with LRC

LewRockwell.com has some good writers, Anthony Gregory being one of my favorites. However, the site also has a very Christian bent to it. I was just turned on to the American Taliban list by Ruth over at Chaos Theory (due to an old Ann Coulter quote). One of the people listed there is Gary North, who also writes for LRC. Now I know he often writes about various Christian-related things over there, and these articles I usually just bypass. But some of his quotes listed here were disturbing (to me), so I googled him and found a page of quotes attributed to him over at BrainyQuote. It's things like this which raise my hackles just a tad:
The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant - baptism and holy communion - must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.
So let us be blunt: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality... Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberties of the enemies of God.
Is it a criminal offense to take the name of the Lord in vain? When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime (Ex. 21:17). The son or daughter is under the lawful jurisdiction of the family. The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death. Clearly, cursing God (blasphemy) is a comparable crime, and is therefore a capital crime (Lev. 24:16).

I don't know if these are actual quotes of his, but I don't really doubt it, and it's knowing that LRC pays someone like this for his columns that makes me give a little more credence to those who say that LRC is a bunch of Christian wackos. Sorry Anthony.

In a sense, I suppose it's nice when people who are completely against freedom of speech and religion are so open about it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's not my fault! I'm addicted!

As I was browsing through WikiNews (a not-yet-ready-for-prime-time collaborative news source), I came across an article regarding the son of soccer star Pelé, who was arrested on a drug charge. What caught my eye was the following line:
Edinho admitted that he is addicted to marijuana, but denied any envolvement in drug traffic or other criminal activities.

I absolutely love how as soon as someone claims to be "addicted" to something -- drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex -- then they are automatically absolved of any wrongdoing associated with their "addiction".

Now, I have no problems with drug use, as long as the drug use doesn't lead to anyone else's harm (e.g., crack-addicted moms neglecting their children), but I'm sorry, if you do something wrong, blaming your addiction does not clear you of responsibility. It's just another sad example of bullshit psychology. Not to mention that "marijuana addiction" is one of the biggest pieces of bullshit I've ever heard. The most I've ever heard claimed about pot is that it's "psychologically" addictive but not "physically" addictive, whatever the hell the difference is. I was one of the biggest pot smokers I knew back in the day, but when I stopped, it wasn't through rehab or detox, I just stopped.

Always remember

It's a dangerous business going out your front door.

                   -- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Been waiting for this

Rush To Begin Work On Album
Rush frontman Geddy Lee has reportedly announced that he will begin work on the group's next studio album in the fall, according to New Jersey rock station WDHA-FM (105.5). Citing 2005 as a 'family year,' Lee was hoping to get bored enough over the summer in preparation for the rigors of recording a new CD. He also stated that he hoped to begin the new disc sometime 'after the World Series.'

So give them half a year to record it and half a year for post-production, and maybe we'll see the album towards the end of 2006? I'm just glad to hear they're still in the game.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Autonomism: Interesting site / philsophy

Via this post over on LRC, I was introduced to a "philosophy" called Automonism. I'm just now starting to read about it over on the first site that Google referred to me, and it sounds very much like Objectivism, but this is the first money quote to strike me about it:
The autonomist hates to explain and resents the implication that he must make anyone else understand anything he does. There is a temptation to say an autonomist is someone who goes through life doing things he knows will annoy and irritate others just to annoy and irritate them. An autonomist might do that if he gave rap about what anyone else thinks. He doesn't. That's why the things he does annoy and irritate others.

Anyone who's read my postings will know why that speaks to me.

UPDATE: From the same site, I was reminded of one of my favorite Ambrose Bierce quotes:

An election is nothing more than an advance auction of stolen goods.