Sunday, December 30, 2007

These are awesome!

I'd go through that 100-pack in a couple of weeks.


Wow, PZ's really pushing people's buttons lately

Two posts on torture, and one on the lunacy that is Ron Paul.

As of midnight, there were 228(26 hr old), 337(14 hrs old), and 115(4 hrs old) comments, respectively.

I'm not surprised by the pile-up of Ron Paul supporters. I think his campaign staff consists mainly of volunteers with this very purpose in mind.

But some people showed up to defend the use of torture! Virtually all of them used the same kind of "ticking time bomb" scenario so common in real life on episodes of "24". I recognized at least two that pop up to denounce PZ's evolution or atheism posts.

And yet, as an atheist, I am somehow supposed to be the morally bankrupt jackass.

Who would Jebus torture?


Thursday, December 27, 2007

I'm so damn clever

It took some doing to work out, but I added a new feature to my random quote generator.

Clicking on the "new quote" button will refresh the random quote. It's a lot faster than having to refresh the entire page.

It actually took almost two hours to work out, to ultimately add less than 5 lines of code.

Now I just need to add more quotes.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I deleted that "Philosphy Quiz" post

I deleted that "Philosphy Quiz" post because I couldn't quickly figure out why there was all that extra space. It was bugging me. Once I do figure it out, I'll repost it.

Blog maintenance.

Qalmlea modified the way [blockquote] works on her blog, and I was inspired to make similar changes.

This is how blockquotes will look from now on.
I use nested blockquotes to insert my own comments.
Any questions?
I may add more specialized variations for things like crazy stuff (kind of like PZ does when quoting loony rants).
I also changed the blog dimensions and added a border


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Jupiter Landing

I was bored, and decided to stream a movie from Netflix. While browsing, I noticed this movie, Jupiter Landing. I read the blurb

When six reclusive tenants of a rundown apartment building called Jupiter Landing receive a 30-day eviction notice, they're forced to buck their antisocial ways and band together. Nicki (Naomi West), the reluctant leader, struggles to organize and motivate her slacker neighbors into taking a stand. Joel Riet, Bryce Wagoner, Connie Young, Monique Lanier and Tod Huntington fill out the cast of this independent dark comedy.
and saw that it had a rating of two and a half stars out of five (it has seven out of ten on imdb).

From that blurb, you'd think this movie follows the old "save the resort/building/school" plot (usually involving some unlikely contest that the main characters have no realistic chance of winning).

You'd be wrong.

The blurb describes one scene near the beginning of the movie. The characters occasionally refer to the impending eviction, but don't really seem to care much.

The problem is, there's no way to say anything more about the movie without spoiling it.

I don't think the term "dark comedy" applies. It isn't dark, just very strange.

I gave it five out of five stars.


8th grade science quiz

I posted a similar quiz quite a while ago.

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

(it was 100%)


Monday, December 24, 2007

Another quiz

It's Xmas eve, and I'm at home taking internet quizzes.

My inner child is six years old!

Look what I can do! I can walk, I can run, I can read! I like to do stuff, and there's a whole big world out there to do it in. Just so long as I can take my blankie and my Mommy and my three best friends with me, of course.
Take this quiz


I'm-a goin' ta Hell!

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test


Saturday, December 22, 2007

I wish I could draw

I have the artistic skill of a paraplegic howler monkey. But if I could draw, I would totally have made this joke.

Calvin and Hobbes, by spacecoyote


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Xmas spirit

This is my Xmas post. Enjoy it.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sad news

Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's Disease

It's mild for now, and he's optomistic about his current book and appearence deals.

via Pharyngula


Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Golden Compass

I know that no movie will have the depth of the book it's based on, but I still can't help being just a little disappointed, although not as much as PZ seemed to be. There are no spoiler's in this post. If you've read the book, you already know what happens; if you haven't, you'll have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.

As movies go, The Golden Compass was okay. It had great effects and plenty of action. If I had not read the book, I probably would have said the plot was a little rushed, and thin in spots, but still pretty good.

Having read the book (the complete trilogy, in fact), I have to say the movie was poorly adapted. It's clear that the writer's attempted to follow the book as closely as they could, given pacing constraints and a clear order to remove anything that might offend the religious (there isn't much in the first book that should do that, but when the Authority is mentioned, it could very well just be the Pope, making the Magisterium simply a fallen organization, disconnected from God). Even so, much of the story was lost.

Some changes made no sense. The reason for Iorek's exile, for example. The reason from the book may have taken a few more minutes to establish, but would have been more satisfying and shown Ragnar much more clearly as a villain. When Iorek names Lyra "Silvertongue", there is no explanation, no apparent reason for it.

The movie was also made SafeForChildrenTM. There is violence, but it's pretty sterile and bloodless. The seriousness of intercision is not emphasized as much as in the book (It is briefly mentioned at the very beginning that a person's daemon is his/her soul, but never again). The kid that Lyra finds merely seems sad about losing his daemon. He also survives and is reunited with his mother. Even when Iorek and Ragnar are fighting, there is no blood. Ragnar gets a solid bite on Iorek's foreleg (and panzerbjorn teeth are impressive), but there's no blood. When the fight ends (the same way as in the book), there's still no blood. I also half expected the bears to toast the winner with bottles of Coke. (Note: Ragnar is named Iofur in the book. Another change that I don't quite get)

It is made clear that Lord Asriel is trying to open a passage to another world. The Church Magisterium is trying to stop him. If he succeeds, however, they will apparently attempt to spread their control to other worlds, so it isn't clear why, exactly, they're trying to stop him. The order of events is changed from the book, with the fight between Iorek and Ragnar coming before the events at Bolvangar. And yes, the last chapter of the book is dropped.

One change that I liked happened right at the beginning. A representative of the Magisterium poisens the wine, not the Master of Jordan College. That makes more sense. The Magisterium people (except Mrs. Coulter) all dress like priests and are concerned with preventing heresy, so the Magisterium is clearly the Church. That much was kept at least.

The ending is left very open, but with just enough closure that a sequel is not absolutely necessary. So I'm not really expecting the rest of the trilogy. In fact, if the studio is going to try removing the "God=Evil, Lying Tyrant" theme, I'd prefer the other two books not ever be made into movies.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Making Money

It isn't a get-rich-quick scheme

It's a new Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.
I saw it in the "New Fiction" section of the library and checked it out. It's about Moist von Lipwig (who became the Postmaster General for Ankh-Morpork in Going Postal).

I'll read it as soon as I finish Forest Mage by Robin Hobb.



This is a pretty cool site. For every word you correctly define, 20 grains of rice are donated through the UN to help end world hunger.

I stopped once repeats started showing up fairly often
My best level was 47
I ended donating 4480 grains of rice.
"Effulgent" was one of the words to define. I'm not going to explain why that's funny.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

A bunch of stuff

This post will cover the highlights of my life since Thanksgiving.

I had intended to not cook at all this year, but somehow ended up watching/basting the turkey and making the potatoes, gravy and the shrimp Dad wanted as an appetizer. It was pretty fun, except that I eventually had to leave the room so as to not call one of Dad's guests a "racist, misogynistic bastard".

Shelley used to be solid black, but not anymore.

The newspaper was insolent, but she put it in its place.

Flash + Kitty eyes = spooky

I saw a Celtic group called "the Muses" at the Sweetwater County Library. They were pretty good. I bought a couple CD's. Some songs really need bagpipes, though. ("Danny Boy", "Loch Lomond").

I got the new Futurama DVD, "Bender's Big Score". Funny stuff. One of the included extras is a lecture by Dr. Sarah Greenwald about the various math references in the series. Cool.

Jackal has (yet) another blog. This one is going to present a daily math/science/logic problem and its solution (She tutors math and science). I contributed two simple problems.

That's about it. Isn't my life exciting?