There isn't much left to say...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I've been tagged with a meme by Qalmlea
Here are the rules:
Six random things about me. Let me think...
- Link to the person who tagged you.
- Post the rules on your blog.
- Write six random things about yourself.
- Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
- Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
- Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
It's taken me a month, but I finally managed to come up with six things about me that someone may find, if not interesting, then at least not mindnumbingly boring.
- I dropped out of college less than one semester shy of getting a degree (BSEE). I was completely burned out. Despite urging from family, I really have no intention to finish.
- I don't like dealing with strangers. Not just socially, either. I can if I have to, but it makes me uncomfortable, so if I can foist it off onto someone else, I will. Even things like paying at a gas station or calling a store to find out if they carry something. I'm not scared of it, I just feel really awkward.
- My musical taste can be described as "eclectic", if you want to be polite. "Weird" seems to be a more popular description, with "non-existent" being a close second. It ranges from '80s pop to Celtic to old-timey folk to singer-songwriters to heavy metal and a lot in between.
- In seventh grade, my friend Tom and I got ourselves left behind on a school field trip (to Clarion University, I forget why). We wandered off and found the university arcade. After a while we decided we'd better get back, but the bus was gone. We tried to call my mom, but couldn't get ahold of her, so we called Tom's mom, who came to get us (we were in pretty big trouble, too). While we waited, we went back to the arcade. We spent about $30 between us. We played one game, Marble Madness (damn that was a good game). The teachers leading the field trip got in almost as much trouble as we did (no head count).
- I like to cook. I love trying new recipes. But if, as is usual these days, it's only me, I typically don't bother. Really, what's the point.
- I have bone spurs in my left shoulder and may need surgery. I discovered this when, after over a year of putting up with the pain, I finally had an MRI. I've been on physical therapy for a few months now, and that helped me regain a lot of mobility in the shoulder, but there's still a lot of pain that isn't going away. So, surgery is pretty likely. That really sucks.
Now I'm supposed to tag six people. I don't know six people with blogs that I could tag. Most of the ones I do know haven't updated in a very long time. So, I'm only tagging one (Jackie) and she probably won't participate.
John went insane today at 5:10 PM
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Qalmlea tagged me with a "Six Random Things" meme. Which is cool, and I'm working on it, but coming up with six interesting things about me is an almost insurmountable challenge.
Jackie knows stuff about wine. One time, I was trying to explain to her my views on the subject. I'm not sure I got it across very well. It turns out that Dylan Moran feels the same way, and expresses it perfectly.
John went insane today at 6:44 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Assembler is a new physics based wonder where you move some depository equipment to get your precious green crate in position. For what? No matter! Physics work perfect and the feel of grabbing and moving around things is just perfect. Don’t play too much or you’ll dream of dirty green crates flying around.
It's a puzzle game with an interesting twist. An accurate (and very sensitive) physics engine. The mass of movable objects seems to correlate directly with size (i.e. they all have a uniform density) at least at the low levels I've played so far. The coefficient of friction also seems to be 1. Rotation (angular velocity) is taken into account during collisions, too. It is very easy to knock a carefully placed piece across the board. It's a lot of fun. Try it.
UPDATE: Dammit! There are only 17 levels, and the hardest took me 3 minutes. Not because I couldn't figure out a way to do it; it took me that long to finesse the objects into the positions I wanted them. Still, it was fun, and I look forward to new levels.
John went insane today at 6:51 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It's been a hell of a week.
- Monday: Replace pumps (for injecting methanol into gas wells to prevent freezing), and wire control boxes for glycol circulation systems (also to prevent freezing)
- Tuesday: Upgrade the shop computer and add additional lighting to the shop exterior
- Wednesday thru Friday: Weld frames for solar generators
John went insane today at 9:09 AM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I surf the 'net a lot. And I do mean a lot. It fills the area in my life most people use for social interaction. I have been noticing an increase in something very annoying. That thing is sound.
An embedded audio player is fine. Just let me decide when it starts playing. Nothing makes me hit the "Back" button faster than sound that starts playing automatically, often before the page has even finished loading. I leave those sites and never return, even if the sound isn't part of the page itself; just one of the ads. I can forgive flashy animations and violently clashing colors, but I consider surfing the 'net to be exclusively a visual experience. I only accept audio when I expect it.
John went insane today at 9:39 PM
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
My parents have moved to Plains, Montana. But Phil is still living at the house in Greybull. I went up for one last hike in Shell Canyon (something I wish I'd done more often).
So here are some pics:
Pfft, we don't need no stinking trail
Me taking a break
Molly taking a break
Me contemplating the next step (seriously, it was about a 6 foot drop)
Phil wanted to take this tree, pot it and claim he grew/sculpted it himself
Looking down into Shell Canyon
A zoom of the cool rock
You can sort of see the parking area
Phil and Molly
Phil as a measure of scale
Phil said if he were climbing the cliff, this would be a good place to stop and "smoke a bowl"
Vertical shot of water trickling down the cliff. You can see from the washed-out area that in the springtime, this is quite a torrent
I have other pics, but these were the ones that came out best.
John went insane today at 6:59 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Via Bad Astronomy comes this incredible image:
(as BA says: Click to hugely embiggen)
I may start a regular weekly posting of a cool image. They wouldn't all be from space, just pics I think are cool. We'll see.
UPDATE: Also via Bad Astronomy, comes NASA Images for all your space picture needs.
John went insane today at 7:05 PM
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Via Fundies Say the Darndest Things (specifically here)comes a creotard website that is almost painful in its ignorance.
Missing Universe Museum
Here is the site's mission statement (from the home page):
The Missing Universe Museum contrasts the Evolution and Creation models of origins. The main purpose of this museum is to demonstrate that these two models are opposites and therefore are mutually exclusive. The public will be shown the assumptions behind each model and will be assisted in making predictions based on them. Evidence from around the world is presented so that each person will be able to make an intelligent, informed decision as to which model best explains our universe.
Here's how evolution is defined in "Exhibit 1":
The Evolution model states that matter has always existed.A few (partially) correct statements + a few outright lies = wildly incorrect description of MET. There is one reference given (Exhibit 1A). It is a statement by The American Humanist Association, from 1977 (it's really good, and still 100% applicable). Here is the same statement, but on www.americanhumanist.org. Almost surprisingly, it is the same. But it isn't really a reference, it is, as it's title says, "A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science". It is not a description of the evidence for MET.
Modern Evolutionary Theory says no such thing. Wrong theory. Hell, wrong branch of science.Everything in the universe came about by chance.
Still not MET. Life began spontaneously from non living matter.
That's really abiogenesis, not MET. But that's a quibble; MET does sort of imply abiogenesis. However, "spontaneously" is bullplop. Get rid of that and the statement is true enough. Evolution is a random, ongoing process.
Partial credit for "ongoing process". Selection via survival is very much non-random. All living things have a common ancestor.
A 100% correct statement. I am astounded! There is no God.
Oops. MET has nothing to say about the existence of any god(s). The concept of evolution has been hinted at for centuries, but Darwin gave it apparent plausibility by his theory of natural selection which would result in "purposeful" organisms without a Creator.
Close. Lose the word "apparent", and you've got it. The mechanism for change is mutation, refined by natural selection.
Incredible, right again!
Here's the definition for the creation model (also part of "Exhibit 1"):
The Creation model is defined by the Bible. God has always existed. All things were created by God and all life forms existed at the same time. Every living thing then would reproduce after it's kind, so Creation was an act, not an ongoing process. There was no death until man disobeyed God.There are four reference links, all of which provide a bunch of bible verses (some of which are repeats), and nothing else.
Wait, where did that last part come from? I think Genesis 3:22 The Bible says that the world was flooded, which caused rapid mass extinction and reshaped the surface of the earth.
And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:[KJV] clearly indicates that man, at least, was already subject to death.
Pretty standard tactic: ignore all that pesky evidence, and claim an ancient text trumps it all anyway.
Then there is a fun little chart comparing "predictions" of both theories.
Going through it line-by-line:
Notice that I didn't say anything about the creation side of the table. That's because if you posit an omnipotent deity, absolutely anything is possible.
I don't know about trillions, but lots, so I'll let this one pass, too.
Again, trillions? but yeah, vestigial organs. So, pass.
Guess what, speciation has been observed. But MET predicts both, actually. Increasing due to speciation, and decreasing due to extinctions. Fail.
NO. That should be "Random Mutation + Non-Random Selection". The selection part is what makes MET work. If you don't emphasize selection, you aren't discussing MET. Fail.
A slew of transitional fossils have been discovered. That link is even outdated, several more have been discovered. But, hey, it's right about MET, so, pass.
We have those pesky transitional fossils. Whales and horses are good examples. And, sorry creos, dating methods really are accurate Still, right about MET. I'm actually pleasantly surprised that "progression" is used rather than "progress" (which suggests a goal). Pass
MET does not predict overpopulation. Fail.
"Temporary Extinction" is an oxymoron. When a species goes extinct, it is gone forever. The dodo is not coming back. Fail.
This probably refers to the Urey-Miller experiment back in the '50s. But there probably was a mildly reducing atmosphere. Even so, MET does not require one. So, Fail.
Nope, sorry. Evolution occurs at varying rates (punctuated equilibrium) and extinctions can happen quite suddenly. Fail
MET makes no predictions about the condition of a creature when it was buried. Fossilization could occur (or not) either way. Fail.
According to MET, the vast majority of mutations are neutral, followed by harmful as distant second. Mutations may be beneficial, but it's very unlikely. Fail.
"Rare" is a relative term. In terms of raw numbers fossils are extremely common. As a kid, I used to find rocks with fossilized shell imprints in the gravel in my driveway. In comparison to the number of organisms that have ever lived, fossilization is rare. So, while this is technically correct, it is also misleading. Therefore, fail.
Even though it's a pretty big stretch to tie this to MET, I'll let it slide. But, if we are using them several million times faster than they form, they aren't really renewable, are they? Fail.
Geographical isolation is one major way speciation can occur. Fail.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Epic Fail!
That's just Exhibit 1. The other 24 fail just as badly.
My favorite, and the one that brought this site to my attention, is Exhibit 20, wherein evolution is disproved because a random pile of LEGOs doesn't become a house or a car or something. This kind of hearkens back to Fred Hoyle's "Tornado + Junyard = Boeing 747" metaphor for evolution. Both illustrate a terrible, perhaps insurmountable, misunderstanding of MET.
Oh, about that clock thing. See this previous post. Pay close attention to the exposition at the beginning and end of the video to understand why clocks can't really evolve.
John went insane today at 7:07 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Via Good Math / Bad Math Some extras have been added.
Which of the following foods have you eaten:
Well, that's it. I've had a little over half of the original 100. I can't think of anything to add to the list.
Some extras have been added.
John went insane today at 8:45 PM
Monday, July 21, 2008
Via Pooflinger's Anonymous come this Machiavelli personality test
I scored a 92.
I think this is because of the way the questions are worded. I scored so high, not because I'm manipulative, but because I'm cynical. What I believe about people, and how I try to behave personally, are very different.
John went insane today at 9:11 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Via Pharyngula comes a gleam of hope in an otherwise dismal election cycle.
A guy named Sean Tevis is running for State Representative in Kansas
Check it out. Consider donating (At least check out the link, it's got a good comic). Even if you don't live in Kansas (I don't) this is a step in the right direction.
John went insane today at 7:03 PM
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I saw this book (see post title) in Hastings and was intrigued enough to get it.
The front cover proclaims:
"Includes the Hugo Award-winning 'A Study in Emerald' by Neil Gaiman"
Which is what caught my attention in the first place.
Here's the back cover blurb:
What would happen if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's peerless detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his allies were to find themselves faced with Lovecraftian mysteries whose solutions lay not only beyond the grasp of logic, but beyond sanity itself? In this collection of original tales, twenty of today's cutting-edge writer's provide answers to that burning question.Not to bad for a blurb (I've seen some that barely relate to the book they were written for).
Contributors include Neil Gaiman, Brian Stableford, Poppy Z. Brite, Barbara Hambly, Steve Perry, and Caitlin R. Kiernan. These and other masters of horror, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction spin dark tales within a terrifyingly surreal universe.
The stories very in quality, but are all pretty good. They also have varying degrees of Lovecraftian-ness.
Neil Gaiman's story was a bit disappointing, in that the Lovecraftian elements were mostly background, and I know from a couple of stories in "Smoke and Mirrors" that he can do better.
I particularly liked "The Adventure of the Antiquarian's Niece" by Barbara Hambly.
If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes or a fan of HP Lovecraft (I, of course, am both), then I recommend this anthology.
John went insane today at 7:17 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The Pharyngula cracker incident
Many of you reading this are probably aware of the kerfluffle going on over at Pharyngula.
Recap: A student at a Florida university, during a communion mass on campus, didn't eat the cracker given to him by the priest. Instead, he took it back to his seat, later claiming the intention to eat it after showing it to his friend. The priest apparently assaulted the student for "desecrating the eucharist"
Dr Myers expressed his opinion, going so far as to say that he'd be happy to "desecrate the eucharist" in many imaginative ways.
Bill Donohue, professional umbrager for the Catholic League, went ballistic.
Which brings us to the kerfluffle.
It has certainly generated some record-length comment threads.
Here are the appropriate posts:
IT'S A FRACKIN' CRACKER
Now I've got Bill Donohue's attention
Fight back against Bill Donohue!
Internet getting full, here's a new hole to dump comments into
Can this possibly get more insane?
I get email — special cracker edition!
Apparently Dr Myers is still getting hate-mail (including death threats) over this matter.
Whatever happened to ""turn the other cheek" or "judge not..." or even "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord" ?
How about a sense of freaking proportion. It's just a cracker.
Feel the xian love.
John went insane today at 4:20 PM
Saturday, July 12, 2008
John went insane today at 4:12 PM
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Via Pharyngula comes (as PZ describes it) "a story that will destroy your hopes for a reasonable humanity".
Remember this next time you hear a Xian call Muslims fanatics.
John went insane today at 6:52 PM
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Here's what sucked:
(okay, it all sucked, but this is what sucked most)
John went insane today at 8:33 PM
On the advice of a coworker, and having nothing else to do this afternoon, I saw M. Night Shyamalan's latest offering, "The Happening"
It was a mistake. The only reason I didn't walk out was the aforementioned nothing else to do.
It was incredibly boring, and I don't even want to go into how bad it was.
My recommendation: If you are tempted to see this movie, squirt lemon juice in your eyes. It will be more entertaining, less painful, and doesn't cost $6.75 (I went to a matinee).
John went insane today at 5:14 PM
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I am not disappointed.
I will avoid spoilers, so don't be afraid to continue.
The comedic style was different from the show. That's good, because I think that would have come off as corny. There were a couple of classic gags (For example: "Missed it by that much." Agent 13 hidden in unusual places.). Wow, avoiding spoilers is hard. Steve Carell has a different feel as Maxwell Smart than Don Adams did, but not in a bad way. Anne Hathaway was pretty good. I do wish there had been more of Hymie, but even with as little time as he got, Patrick Warburton was great (His deadpan humor is perfect for a robot character). And a cameo by Bernie Kopell (He played Sigfried on the TV show). I'm actually kind of surprised that no other actors from the TV show made appearances. I would have expected Barbara Feldon, at least.
Anyway, definitely, definitely worth it.
John went insane today at 5:55 PM
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Via Pharyngula comes a list of 50 so-called proofs that God exists. The only problem is that not a single one of them is proof of anything. From the birth of science through to today, there is no evidence to claim that Christianity & science are in opposition. Many first scientists were Christians; Francis Bacon, Issaac Newton, Robert Boyle, to name a few, along with the many who stand by their work & faith today.
It is easy to prove to yourself that God is real. .the evidence is all around you. Here are 50 simple proofs:
Unsupported assertion. Why does it require a designer?
Delusion? Lies? "I'm not lying, I swear."
Exactly the same good it is with any other mindset. None at all.
Then what caused your God?
Unsupported assertion again.
Bullplop. Science, (neuroscience, to be precise) is making great strides in explaining these things. "Goddidit" explains nothing.
Bullplop. Also, look up "projection" in any freshman psychology text.
Atheism is faith only in that which is supported by evidence. No imaginary "good news" is needed, only reality
None whatsoever, at least for me and all other atheists that I know.
Because people like you irritate us
Irrelevant argument. The existence of pizza does not prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Also, since chickens evolved from earlier egg-laying animals, the egg must have come first.
Yes, God is not impossible, just very, very improbable. This does not imply that God therefore exists. No evidence still means no reason to believe.
That has been very well explained. See any (non-creationist) freshman biology text
See above, add a freshman psychology text
Seriously, go get that freshman biology text
The Anthropic Principal does not say what you think it does. Life evolved to fit its environment.
That would be special creation, not evolution
It's all about the evidence. "Science. It works, bitches."
Is this supposed to be that "Evolution violates 2LOT" argument? That's been dealt with. Even AIG says to stop using it.
The Lady Hope story is bullplop. Even AIG admits it
Humans evolved as social animals.
All animals do not behave the same. "We are civilized, they are not" has also been used to justify the conquest/genocide of other human societies.
Unsupported assertion. "Goddidit" is a much closer fit for that.
Those people are frauds. James Randi still has that million dollars.
Which records would that be? Our calendar was made by believers. It doesn't prove anything. It could as easily have been based on the time since Atlantis was destroyed.
Sure. Belief in something doesn't make it true. Jim Jones? Heaven's Gate?
The Gospel of Mark is believed to be a secondhand account writen around 70 AD. Also, ask any police officer what eyewitness accounts are worth even immediately after an event, let alone 40 years later.
Real places, yes. Real events, no.
Predictions vague enough to mean almost anything, can be fit to almost any event, then be trumpeted as true.
What evidence would that be, give some references
There are Muslim scientists, Hindu scientists, Shinto scientists, and atheist scientists, too. What's your point?
Not even an argument. Just sophistry.
Science is self-correcting. That is one of its biggest strengths. If it is currently wrong, it will very likely be corrected in the future.
That's abiogenesis. It's being worked on. Evolution doesn't disprove God. No atheist claims that it does. A hundred and fifty plus years of research has provided no evidence for God. That is why atheists don't believe.
Does that mean it would be even more true if they had been Levite women? How about Levite women with leprosy? That would clinch it beyond all doubt. The women who entered the tomb weren't Levites, nor is it written that they were lepers. Therefore it must be false.
Now you're just making stuff up. The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence"
Some people convert to Islam, too. Some Xians become atheists. People are funny that way.
Einstein was a smart guy. He wasn't infallible, though. He also said, "I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation." In fact, go here for a long list of Einstein quotes about what he believed.
The existence of a smart-ass is not evidence for the existence of God.
Is it? Says you. Anyway, who says there was nothing before the Big Bang?
It's "Stephen Hawking" and so what?
If God exists, then God exists. Circular arguments prove nothing. "If I had pizza for supper, then I had pizza for supper" is true, even if I actually had a hamburger.
See my response to #17
What missing link? Hundreds of homind fossils have been discovered.
Or he's a fictional character. There are lots of possibilities that don't necessitate him being God
Not a single piece of actual evidence (let alone proof) in the lot. Just more of the usual empty rhetoric, unsupported assertions, arguments from authority, and bald lies. Mostly the same ones we've all seen before, too.
I was going to call #46 a tautology (which it is) but then I'd have idiots shouting "Evolution is a tautology, too! It says "that which survives, survives.'" Which is, of course, a tautology, but not what MET says. MET says (vastly simplified), "That which survives to reproduce, will have offspring that are likely to survive to reproduce." This is not a tautology.
From the birth of science through to today, there is no evidence to claim that Christianity & science are in opposition. Many first scientists were Christians; Francis Bacon, Issaac Newton, Robert Boyle, to name a few, along with the many who stand by their work & faith today.
John went insane today at 6:54 PM
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Those "Chuck Norris facts" lists were funny for about 5 minutes. When the meme shifted to Jack Bauer, I lost interest all together.
Now, via Pooflinger's Anonymous I see Bill Nye facts. This appeals very strongly to the geek in me. Most of the "facts" are esoteric enough that only real geeks will find them funny, or even get most of them. Plus, I have a lot more respect and admiration for Bill Nye than for Chuck Norris.
Still, it's awfully derivative. Like Kevin Bacon said to Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Get your own game!"
John went insane today at 8:25 PM
So I saw "The Incredible Hulk" yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The previous fiasco (which I liked only because I went in determined to do so) has been totally forgotten (good) and the Hulk's origin retold in flashbacks.
What was better:
What was worse:
What was really cool was that the villain for the sequel was revealed, but you'd have to be a follower of the old Hulk comics to catch it. All I'll say is that it's a classic Hulk villain who hasn't been seen in the comic book for several years.
Suspension of disbelief stretch:
I saw "Ironman" when it came out, but, since I have never been a big fan of the character, all I will say is that the movie was pretty good. Replace "Ironman" with "Indiana Jones" and you have my opinion of that movie, too.
I'm looking forward to some upcoming releases.
John went insane today at 6:18 PM
FOX cancelled "Firefly" after 14 episodes (of which, I believe, only 12 actually aired), but it seems Joss Whedon is giving them another chance.
"Dollhouse" (the link is to the IMDb page) stars Eliza Dushku and Amy Acker, both of whom were in previous Joss Whedon shows (Faith from "Buffy" and Fred from "Angel" respectively). It looks pretty good, but then it's from Joss Whedon, so what do you expect. The first episode airs in January '09 (according to IMDb), so I expect it will finish out the season. Maybe if "Firefly" has started in January, it would have picked up enough of a fan base during summer reruns to keep FOX executives happy. Oh well, water under the bridge.
John went insane today at 6:08 PM
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Seriously, anyone who looks at nature, and sees the hand of God, then uses that as an argument for Creationism, needs to have their ass kicked.
I present the following as evidence for my title:
- In case the link titles don't tip you off, this isn't pretty
Exibit B: The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World
- Okay, science (mankind) has to take some blame for the Africanized Honey Bee, but it's not as if there was some deep genetic manipulation happening, it was simple cross-breeding.
How do they fit into "God's perfect creation"?. Or were they, like T-Rex, herbivorous before The Fall?
John went insane today at 6:18 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
This is all over the blogoshpere, so I won't belabor it much.
Gary Gygax died yesterday at 69 years old.
For those of you who don't know who he was:
Gary Gygax was a co-founder of TSR (Tactical Studies Rules), the original publisher of Dungeons and Dragons and later Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Gary wrote a large portion of the material for both. He also wrote fantasy novels (not great, but entertaining). As such, he was a big part of my teen years.
Now I'm feeling nostalgic. I'm going to have to try to find some people.
John went insane today at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I'm getting a new car. A Subaru Impreza WRX to be precise.
You see, the motor died in my Kia Rio, and since the warranty expired a few months ago, it isn't worth fixing (estimates ranged from $2500 to $3500). I tried to find someone who wanted it, but no one did, not even for parts (A couple of years ago, Kia was giving Rios away to anyone who bought a real car). So it has been consigned to car-heaven, AKA a salvage yard.
And by new, I mean actually new (2008), not just new-to-me. I pick it up Saturday.
John went insane today at 5:14 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Netflix has the original Addams Family (1964-1966) TV series available to stream (the "Watch Instantly" feature)
I have only ever seen a few episodes before, so I watched a couple today, and will watch the rest as I can.
I didn't really know how good that show is. I liked the movies, but now that I see the original show, there's really no comparison.
John went insane today at 8:33 PM
Via Qalmlea comes a cool meme. It's pretty much "Name that quote." Here are the rules
Meme rules:So, here are the quotes: (UPDATE: rearranged list and added second quotes to unidentified movies. On Sunday, March 2nd I'll identify any that remain)
- Pick 15 of your favourite movies.
- Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
- Post them here for everyone to guess.
- Fill in the film title once it's guessed.
- NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions. Totally cheating, you dirty cheaters.
- - "Am I employing retards? I have nothing against retards in general, I just can't afford to employ them."
- "Most people have some dignity, most people long to leave a mark. If it were just a question of smudges... they wouldn't need the bowling shoe rule."
- Blood and Donuts
- - "Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?"
- "Can I make a suggestion that doesn't involve violence, or is this the wrong crowd for that?"
- - "One shop destroyed. Three heads split like overripe melons. One man wounded and one castrated. All in two hours. Just two hours I left you alone. Two hours."
- "Well, I couldn't leave him in town; he tends to tell to tell the truth. He's an alcoholic, you know."
- They Call Me Trinity
- - "Is there a doctor in the fish?"
- "Why, why, why! Because it's all logic and reason now. Science, progress, laws of hydraulics, laws of social dynamics, laws of this, that, and the other. No place for three-legged cyclops in the South Seas. No place for cucumber trees and oceans of wine. No place for me."
- The Adventures of Baron Münchhausen
- - "I, Hatchet Jack, being of sound mind and broke legs, do leaveth my rifle to the next thing who finds it, Lord hope he be a white man. It is a good rifle, and kilt the bear that kilt me. Anyway, I am dead. Sincerely, Hatchet Jack."
- "Elk don't know how many feet a horse has!"
- Jeremiah Johnson
- - "My old man told me, before he left this shitty world, 'never chase buses or women, you'll always be left behind.'"
- "You know, if I had a nickel for every time some piece of shit pointed a gun at me I'd be a rich man."
- Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
- - "Well, he didn't say the word growl. He said 'throat noise'. But I asked him to imitate it and it sounded like a growl to me."
- "You still don't get it, do you, Captain? Your men are obsolete."
- - "Oh, so it's like Halley's Comet - only monsters come out!"
- "You do realize that all I've got is a wooden baseball bat, right?"
- - "It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds."
- "From now on I see a red sash, I kill the man wearing it. So run you cur. And tell the other curs the law is coming. You tell 'em I'm coming! And Hell's coming with me you hear! Hell's coming with me!"
- - "That would take forever. Besides, even if we find them, they'd only capture us, stick us in cages, torture us and finally devour us!"
- "You started spouting poetry. "I love you Sorsha! I worship you Sorsha!" You almost got us killed!"
- "I was depressed, I was confused and I was turning Japanese."
- Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD
- "You're gonna knock over a bank with a Magic Marker? What are you gonna do, write on 'em?"
- "If she'd 'ave kept goin' down that way she'd 'ave gone straight to that castle."
- "You brought our baby into a knife fight?"
"It was a fair fight. Two of them, two of us..."
- Undercover Blues
- "My own brother a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire! Oh, you wait 'til Mom finds out, buddy."
- The Lost Boys
Some are pretty obvious, some less so.
All of these quotes are copied/pasted from IMDb, (except that I corrected the spelling of "Halley's Comet"). I think some of them are not quite right, but they are at least recognizable.
John went insane today at 12:10 PM
Friday, February 15, 2008
I don't usually post my dreams here. This one, however, was too good to pass up.
Like most of my dreams it was narrative. I had a first person POV (as myself) and also a third person (viewer) POV.
The scene was some kind of amusement park. A new ride had just opened. It was one of those fake rollercoaster rides where you watch a screen and the seat moves with the action to provide a sense of motion. It was called "The Temple of Dagon." Pure fun. Scary entertainment. But no one told Dagon.
Dagon shows up, and panic and chaos ensue. Enter the heroes. Me, Mark (a friend from High School) and two other guys (I'm pretty sure they were people I knew at some point, but I can't remember who they were).
Most of the dream was us fighting our way through the crowd. My alarm went off just as we reached the ride. Dammit. Okay, I guess there isn't much to it, but it was still way cool.
I used to play paper-and-dice RPGs with Mark and some other guys in High School, but I didn't get into Call of Cthulhu until I was in the Navy.
John went insane today at 7:01 PM
Monday, February 04, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
I use IE at work. Occasionally I go to my blog to use the links in my sidebar.
Since Jan 1st, IE has not displayed my front page properly (It displayed fine on Firefox). Others have commented on this, too. Now that it's Feb 1st, the front page displays properly.
John went insane today at 1:57 PM
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Dr PZ Myers debated a creo named Geoffrey Simmons on a Xian radio station this afternoon. I was unable to listen to it live, but followed the running commentary. It seems Dr Myers laid the smackdown on poor Geoff. The debate is supposed to be available for download by tomorrow evening, but I hope that someone out there made a separate recording. 24+ hours is plenty of time for editing.
John went insane today at 7:23 PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Having returned from vacation Sunday night, I have been catching up on my 'blog reading. A post on The Panda's Thumb from Jan 21 caught my eye. Like a previous post I made back in November '05, this sits at the intersection of my interest in electronics/computers/robotics and my interest in evolution.
The object of this experiment (.pdf) was to test the evolvability of communication. The setup is pretty simple. The selection pressure is based on foraging efficiency in an environment with one source of food, and one source of poison, which are indistinguishable from a distance.
The robots in the test groups had the ability to flash a blue light. There were four test groups.
There was also a control group that was tested in the same environment but without the ability to flash a light.
All groups started with random 'genomes' in individuals. In three of the four test groups, communication evolved which provided a higher foraging efficiency than the non-communicating control group. Interestingly, some rudimentary altruistic behavior evolved, too.
Even more interesting was the fourth group: Unrelated, individual selection. It also evolved communication, but was slightly less efficient than the control group. Why? Its members evolved deceptive behavior.
That's pretty cool.
The thread quickly became a discussion of moral sense. Which is also interesting, but not something I really want to go into right now. However, one commenter provided a link to this article at the New York Times, about moral instincts. It's long, but well worth the time. Here is the concluding paragraph:
Far from debunking morality, then, the science of the moral sense can advance it, by allowing us to see through the illusions that evolution and culture have saddled us with and to focus on goals we can share and defend. As Anton Chekhov wrote, ''Man will become better when you show him what he is like.
John went insane today at 4:48 PM
Monday, January 14, 2008
The doctor called the thing by my eye a stye. It is an infection, probably staph or strep. I'm pretty conscientious about washing my hands, but I do have a habit of rubbing my eyes. He took a culture to test it and prescribed some antibiotics, which should clear it up in a few days.
John went insane today at 6:11 PM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Via I Drew This comes a story about FBI wiretaps being shut off because the FBI hasn't been paying it's phone bill!
Civil liberty violations = no problem.
Unpaid bills = termination of service.
No, really, we're not just about the money.
John went insane today at 6:32 PM
There's a song verse in my random quote generator. Here's a video of Kevin Welsh performing it.
and here's another Kevin Welsh song I really like:
I have a tinwhistle that I've tried to learn to play. I used to be ok, but I haven't even touched it in several years. I should get back to it.
John went insane today at 1:45 PM
Via Qalmlea I found this page, Games and Interactive Activities of a generally philosophical bent.
1) - Choose a number of attributes that you feel are necessary for a being to be called "God." Your choices will be given a "plausibility quotient" based on internal consistency.
My score: 1.0, total internal consistency.2) - Moral judgements, chickens and the yuk-factor.
This is because I didn't choose any attributes as necessary. Partly because I don't believe in any God or gods, but mostly because I really don't know what criteria to use to define 'god.'
For example: who is this?
People pray to him, believe he sees their every action, makes moral judgments on those actions, punishes or rewards them accordingly, and he is not restricted by physical (mortal?) laws.
Answer: Santa Claus.
Is there anyone who considers Santa to be a god?
Your Moralising Quotient of 0.00 compares to an average Moralising Quotient of 0.31. This means that as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured in this activity are concerned you are more permissive than average.3) - Test your knowledge of philosophy in this interactive quiz
Your Interference Factor of 0.00 compares to an average Interference Factor of 0.20. This means that as far as the events depicted in the scenarios featured in this activity are concerned you are less likely to recommend societal interference in matters of moral wrongdoing, in the form of prevention or punishment, than average.
Your Universalising Factor of -1 compares to an average Universalising Factor of 0.40. Your score of -1 indicates that you saw no moral wrong in any of the activities depicted in these scenarios, which means that it is not possible for this activity to determine the extent to which you see moral wrongdoing in universal terms (i.e., without regard to prevailing cultural norms and social conventions)
It's true. I saw nothing morally wrong with any of these scenarios. I thought that they were weird and squicky, but not morally wrong
Boring! It's just a test of dates/locations/names.4) - Will your beliefs about God and religion survive on our intellectual battlefield?
You took zero direct hits and you bit zero bullets. The average player of this activity to date takes 1.39 hits and bites 1.11 bullets. 402449 people have so far undertaken this activity.5) - How do your moral judgments match up against those of other people? How broad a range of moral principles do you invoke when making moral judgments?
It's pretty easy to be internally consistent when you don't believe in a supreme being
Your Moral Parsimony Score is 76%6) - What is art? Which artists produce the greatest works of art?
What does this mean?
Moral frameworks can be more or less parsimonious. That is to say, they can employ a wide range of principles, which vary in their application according to circumstances (less parsimonious) or they can employ a small range of principles which apply across a wide range of circumstances without modification (more parsimonious). An example might make this clear. Let's assume that we are committed to the principle that it is a good to reduce suffering. The test of moral parsimony is to see whether this principle is applied simply and without modification or qualification in a number of different circumstances. Supposing, for example, we find that in otherwise identical circumstances, the principle is applied differently if the suffering person is from a different country to our own. This suggests a lack of moral parsimony because a factor which could be taken to be morally irrelevant in an alternative moral framework is here taken to be morally relevant.
How to interpret your score
The higher your percentage score the more parsimonious your moral framework. In other words, a high score is suggestive of a moral framework that comprises a minimal number of moral principles that apply across a range of circumstances and acts. What is a high score? As a rule of thumb, any score above 75% should be considered indicative of a parsimonious moral framework. However, perhaps a better way to think about this is to see how your score compares to other people's scores.
In fact, your score of 76% is slightly higher than the average score of 64%. This suggests that you have utilised a somewhat smaller range of moral principles than average in order to make judgements about the scenarios presented in this test, and that you have, at least on occasion, judged aspects of the acts and circumstances depicted here to be morally irrelevant that other people consider to be morally relevant.
Moral Parsimony - good or bad?
We make no judgement about whether moral parsimony is a good or bad thing. Some people will think that on balance it is a good thing and that we should strive to minimise the number of moral principles that form our moral frameworks. Others will suspect that moral parsimony is likely to render moral frameworks simplistic and that an overly parsimonious moral framework will leave us unable to deal with the complexity of real circumstances and acts. We'll leave it up to you to decide who is right.
How was your score calculated?
Your score was calculated by combining and averaging your scores in the four categories that appear below.
This category has to do with the impact of geographical distance on the application of moral principles. The idea here is to determine whether moral principles are applied equally when dealing with sets of circumstances and acts that differ only in their geographical location in relation to the person making the judgement.
Your score of 100% is significantly higher than the average score of 72% in this category.
The suggestion then is that geographical distance plays little, if any, role in your moral thinking.
In this category, we look at the impact of family loyalty and ties on the way in which moral principles are applied. The idea here is to determine whether moral principles are applied without modification or qualification when you're dealing with sets of circumstances and acts that differ only in whether the participants are related through family ties to the person making the judgement.
Your score of 67% is a lot higher than the average score of 52% in this category.
However, despite the fact that issues of family relatedness are less significant to you as a moral factor than to most other people who have taken this test, your score is low enough so that it might be supposed that they still play some role in your moral thinking. To the extent that they do, the parsimoniousness of your moral framework is reduced.
Acts and Omissions
This category has to do with whether there is a difference between the moral status of acting and omitting to act where the consequences are the same in both instances. Consider the following example. Let's assume that on the whole it is a bad thing if a person is poisoned whilst drinking a cola drink. One might then ask whether there is a moral difference between poisoning the coke, on the one hand (an act), and failing to prevent a person from drinking a coke someone else has poisoned, when in a position to do so, on the other (an omission). In this category then, the idea is to determine if moral principles are applied equally when you're dealing with sets of circumstances that differ only in whether the participants have acted or omitted to act.
Your score of 35% is much lower than the average score of 61% in this category.
This suggests that the difference between acting and omitting to act is a relevant factor in your moral framework. Usually, this will mean thinking that those who act have greater moral culpability than those who simply omit to act. To insist on a moral distinction between acting and omitting to act is to decrease the parsimoniousness of your moral framework.
This category has to do with whether scale is a factor in making moral judgements. A simple example will make this clear. Consider a situation where it is possible to save ten lives by sacrificing one life. Is there a moral difference between this choice and one where the numbers of lives involved are different but proportional - for example, saving 100 lives by sacrificing ten? In this category then, the idea is to determine whether moral principles are applied without modification or qualification when you're dealing with sets of circumstances that differ only in their scale, as in the sense described above.
Your score of 100% is significantly higher than the average score of 73% in this category.
It seems that scale, as it is described above, is not an important consideration in your moral worldview. But if, contrary to our findings, it is important, then it decreases the parsimoniousness of your moral framework.
Another boring one.7) - how can you know you aren't living in the Matrix?
Ah, phenomenology. Watch Dark Star instead.8) - Is your thinking up to scratch?
Tests internal consistency9) - is it real or is it Memorex?
I got a tension quotient of 13%, (lower means more internally consistent) but I disagree that that the following are in tension:
There are no objective moral standards; moral judgements are merely an expression of the values of particular cultures
I think different cultures can have different moral standardsand
Acts of genocide stand as a testament to man's ability to do great evil
A moral judgment that I have made based on my cultural upbringing
Your choices are consistent with the theory known as psychological reductionism. On this view, all that is required for the continued existence of the self is psychological continuity. Your three choices show that this is what you see as central to your sense of self, not any attachment to a particular substance, be it your body, brain or soul. However, some would say that you have not survived at all, but fallen foul of a terrible error. In the teletransporter case, for example, was it really you that travelled to Mars or is it more correct to say that a clone or copy of you was made on Mars, while you were destroyed?10) - Maybe we're not quite as logical as we like to think we are!
I have no problem with this. I don't believe in mind/body dualism or the existence of an immortal soul separate from the body.
Yoda: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter"
Me: "Wrong, we are just this crude matter. How amazing and wonderful that crude matter can shine."
I got all 4 correct. A basic rule to remember is that "A implies B does NOT mean that B implies A"11) - Can you figure out the rule?
You are dealt cards and have to decide if that card is to be included in the series. The catch is that you don't know the rule defining the series. How many mistakes will it take for you to figure it out?
Also, my left eye still hurts. The upper eyelid is even more swollen.
John went insane today at 12:13 PM
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This is my left eye.
That lump in the corner is pretty damn painful. Is it an infection of some kind? A clogged tear duct maybe? I don't know. I have a doctor's appointment Monday morning to get it looked at.
Also, my upper eyelid is a bit swollen.
John went insane today at 6:01 PM
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I just finished watching the 9th episode of Moonlight and am about 3 minutes into the 10th. The situation prompted me to make this post. So if you care, there are spoilers ahead for the 9th episode
At the end of the 9th episode, Mick and Beth learn that Morgan is actually Coraline (Mick's vampire ex-wife). This isn't a spoiler, as it was revealed to the audience back in the 7th episode. Beth, convinced that Coraline is still a vampire and out for revenge (Mick had supposedly killed her), stakes Coraline. Mick freaks out, because Coraline is human, and must therefore have a cure for vampirism. Cut to the beginning of episode 10. At the hospital, Mick says that if Coraline dies, the cure dies with her.
Um...Hello! Vampire! All Mick has to do is turn her; problem solved. She can cure herself again, if she wants. She can tell Mick the cure, if he can convince her. Even if the cure would somehow prevent Coraline from turning, Mick doesn't know that, and if she's that close to dying (and apparently she is) turning her is the obvious solution. I really like this show (although not as much as Buffy or Angel) but I really hate it when characters suddenly become morons when drama requires it (Buffy and Angel were guilty of this occasionally, too). Like I said, I'm only a few minutes into the episode, maybe they will think of it.
I know it's only the 10th episode of the first season, but I hope that more monsters that just vampires are introduced soon. I don't want it to get all demon-rific and sorcery-y, but some werewolves would be nice. Maybe some zombies.
John went insane today at 5:54 PM