Sunday, June 29, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Okay, I do want to go into how bad it was

"The Happening"

Spoilers ahead

Here's what sucked:
(okay, it all sucked, but this is what sucked most)

  • Mark Wahlberg is a science teacher. A quote is clearly visible on the chalkboard behind him. It is attributed to Einstein. It is almost certainly bullplop. Wahlberg's character also spouts some non-science woo to his class. The saddest part is that he may just be a pretty accurate depiction of a high school science teacher.
  • John Leguizamo is a math teacher. He likes to comfort people with made up statistics.
  • The phrase "act of nature" is used several times. "Nature" here is a stand-in for "God".
  • Plants (not any specific plant, mind you, plants in general) have suddenly evolved (their word, not mine) to emit a toxin that causes people to commit suicide, because humans are an undeniable threat to the planet. The event is a warning to humans. Fundies Say the Darndest Things!
  • Random crazy-hermit-lady

The most craptastic movie I've seen since "Signs"

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).


Monday, June 23, 2008

Goodbye, George. You will be missed.

George Carlin has died. Everyone has to go sometime. No one gets out alive. It's still sad, though.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Get Smart"

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.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I don't think creationists know what "proof" means

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.

It is easy to prove to yourself that God is real. .the evidence is all around you. Here are 50 simple proofs:
  1. Whilst agreeing that random patterns occur naturally by chance, DNA however, consists of code, which requires a designer.
    Unsupported assertion. Why does it require a designer?
  2. How do you explain the paranormal, such as people witnessing positive or negative sightings, like ghosts or angels? I saw a ghost with a friend of mine - I am not a liar, an attention seeker. Neither was I overtired when this happened.
    Delusion? Lies? "I'm not lying, I swear."
  3. Try praying. What good is it when a mind is set to coincidence & disbelief regarding the positive outcome?
    Exactly the same good it is with any other mindset. None at all.
  4. The law of cause & effect - in order to have an effect, there has to be a cause. Everything is caused by something.
    Then what caused your God?
  5. Mindless nothing cannot be responsible for complex something.
    Unsupported assertion again.
  6. Science can only be the detector of certain things. You cannot scientifically detect emotion, memory, thoughts etc., though scientifically we must.. These things which do not consist of matter are beyond the detection of science.
    Bullplop. Science, (neuroscience, to be precise) is making great strides in explaining these things. "Goddidit" explains nothing.
  7. Evolution has never been proved, which is why we call it the 'theory of evolution'. It's a fairy tale for grown ups!
    Bullplop. Also, look up "projection" in any freshman psychology text.
  8. Atheism is a faith in that which has not been proved. The disbelievers have not witnessed anything to not believe in, whereas the believers believe because they have witnessed. There is no 'good news' to preach in atheism.
    Atheism is faith only in that which is supported by evidence. No imaginary "good news" is needed, only reality
  9. How much of the atheist's faith relies on anger with God as opposed to genuine disbelief in God?
    None whatsoever, at least for me and all other atheists that I know.
  10. Why do many atheists shake their fists & spend so much time ranting & raving about something they don't believe in? If they are no more than a fizzled out battery at the end of the day, then why don't they spend their lives partying, or getting a hobby?! Why don't they leave this 'God nonsense' alone?
    Because people like you irritate us
  11. What created God? What came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not going to deny the existence of the chicken or the egg, merely because I don't understand or know what came first. I don't care - they both exist!
    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.
  12. Improbability is not the same as impossibility. You only have to look at life itself for that backup of proof.
    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.
  13. How could the complexity of human life possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells?
    That has been very well explained. See any (non-creationist) freshman biology text
  14. How could the complexity of the human mind possibly evolve on its own accord out of mindless cells? Where does our consciousness come from?
    See above, add a freshman psychology text
  15. What/who knew that our hunger & thirst had to be catered for by the food & drink which we're supplied with?
    Seriously, go get that freshman biology text
  16. Most of us are born with the five senses to detect our surroundings, which we're provided with.
    See above
  17. What/who knew that had Earth been set nearer to the sun, we would burn up?
    The Anthropic Principal does not say what you think it does. Life evolved to fit its environment.
  18. What/who knew that had Earth been set any further from the sun, we would freeze up?
    See above
  19. What/who knew that had Earth been built larger or smaller, its atmosphere would be one where it would not be possible for us to breathe?
    See above
  20. What/who knew that we require the oxygen of plants, just as plants require the carbon dioxide of us?
    See above
  21. The concept that life came about through sheer chance is as absurd & improbable as a tornado blowing through a junk yard, consequently assembling a Boeing 747!
    That would be special creation, not evolution
  22. We are willing to believe in physically unseen waves that exist through the air, operating physical forces & appliances to work, yet not supernatural God forces being responsible for the same.
    It's all about the evidence. "Science. It works, bitches."
  23. Matter cannot organise itself. An uneaten tomato will not progress on its own accord to form a perfect pineapple. It will transform into mould, into disorganisation. The laws of evolution fall flat.
    Is this supposed to be that "Evolution violates 2LOT" argument? That's been dealt with. Even AIG says to stop using it.
  24. Our 'inventor' of evolution, Mr. Charles Darwin had this to say to Lady Hope when he was almost bedridden for 3 months before he died; "I was a young man with unfathomed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions. wondering all the time over everything, and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire - people made a religion of them." Darwin then asked Lady Hope to speak to neighbours the next day. "What shall I speak about?" She asked. He replied; "Christ Jesus and his salvation. Is that not the best theme?"
    The Lady Hope story is bullplop. Even AIG admits it
  25. Where do our moral values held within our conscience come from? If the atheist is right, why then would we care about what we did?! If there is no God, then we've no-one to be accountable to.
    Humans evolved as social animals.
  26. If man has evolved from an animal, why doesn't he behave like an animal? Yet man is civilised.
    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.
  27. 'Chance' isn't the cause of something. It just describes what we can't find a reason for.
    Unsupported assertion. "Goddidit" is a much closer fit for that.
  28. Science & logic do not hold all the answers - many people are aware of forces at work which we have no understanding of & no control over.
    Those people are frauds. James Randi still has that million dollars.
  29. Look at the date/year on our calender - 2000 years ago since what? Our historical records (other than the Bible) record evidence of Jesus' existence.
    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.
  30. Many people have died for their faith. Would they be prepared to do this for a lie?!
    Sure. Belief in something doesn't make it true. Jim Jones? Heaven's Gate?
  31. Much of the Bible deals with eyewitness accounts, written only 40 years after Jesus died. When the books in the New Testament were first around, there would have been confusion & anger if the books were not true.
    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.
  32. From as early as 2000 BC, there is archaological evidence to confirm many details we're provided with in the Bible.
    Real places, yes. Real events, no.
  33. Not one single Biblical prediction can be shown as false, and the Bible contains hundreds.
    Predictions vague enough to mean almost anything, can be fit to almost any event, then be trumpeted as true.
  34. The evidence from liturature & historical studies claim that Biblical statements are reliable details of genuine events.
    What evidence would that be, give some references
  35. 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.

    There are Muslim scientists, Hindu scientists, Shinto scientists, and atheist scientists, too. What's your point?
  36. Science can explain 'how' something works, but not 'why' something works.
    Not even an argument. Just sophistry.
  37. Science is constantly recorrecting its findings. Past theories contradict certain beliefs which are held today. Our present 'discoveries' may change again in the future to rediscover how we originally came into existence.
    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.
  38. Evolution describes the way life possibly started, yet doesn't explain what made life start & why. Scientific questions fail to do that. Even if evolution were proved, it would still not disprove God.
    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.
  39. The two people who discovered Jesus' empty tomb were women. Women were so low on the social scale in first century Palestine, so in order to make the story fit, it would have made far more sense to claim that it were male disciples who had entered the tomb. But it wasn't - we're left with the historical & Biblical truth.
    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.
  40. Think about Near Death Experiences. It's naive to believe that they all are induced by chemicals or drugs. How do we account for a blind person having this experience, coming back to describe what they had never before seen, a person telling the Doctor that there is a blue paperclip on top of the high cabinet, which they couldn't have otherwise known, an african man being dead in his coffin for 3 days, coming back to life to tell of much the same events which took place as those of many others? We never hear of the witnesses describing "a dream". We're not silly - we know the difference between even the most vivid of dreams to that of reality.
    Now you're just making stuff up. The plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence"
  41. There are many skeptics who didn't believe in Jesus before his crucifixion, and who were opposed to Christianity, yet turned to the Christian faith after the death of Jesus. Just as the many who continue to do so today.
    Some people convert to Islam, too. Some Xians become atheists. People are funny that way.
  42. Albert Einstein said; "A legitimate conflict between science & religion cannot exist. Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind".
    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.
  43. A speaker in Hyde Park who was attacking belief in God, claimed that the world just happened. As he spoke, a soft tomato was thrown at him. "Who threw that?" He said angrily. A cockney from the back of the crowd replied; "No-one threw it - it threw itself!"
    The existence of a smart-ass is not evidence for the existence of God.
  44. It is easier to believe that God created something out of nothing than it is to believe that nothing created something out of nothing.
    Is it? Says you. Anyway, who says there was nothing before the Big Bang?
  45. Stephen Hawkins has admitted; "Science may solve the problem of how the universe began, but it cannot answer the question: why does the universe bother to exist?"
    It's "Stephen Hawking" and so what?
  46. We cannot confuse God with man. With God in the equation, all things, including miracles are possible. If God is God, he is Creator of all, inclusive of scientific law. He is Creator of matter & spirit.
    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.
  47. If we are the product of evolution - by sheer accident, chance, then we are still evolving. Does it just so happen that we exist here today with everything so finely tuned for our living. as we now have it?
    See my response to #17
  48. Could it possibly be that the missing link does not exist?!
    What missing link? Hundreds of homind fossils have been discovered.
  49. God has proved himself to us in numerous ways, all around us. The atheist needs to put his glasses on. What more can God possibly do if man has shut his eyes to him?
    Empty rhetoric.
  50. Jesus Christ is either who he says he is, or he is the biggest con man history has ever known.
    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.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chuck Norris can suck it!

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!"

Funny, though.


The Incredible Hulk

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:

  • The CGI. The Hulk and the Abomination both looked awesome
  • Edward Norton. Eric Bana sucks
  • The action. There was a lot more of it, and it kicked ass.
  • Actual villains from the comic book. 'Nuff said
What was worse:
  • No Jennifer Connelly. Liv Tyler sucks
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.

  • Cameo by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark
Suspension of disbelief stretch:
  • I cannot (CANNOT) believe that Lou Ferrigno (or anyone who looks like him) eats pizza
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.
  • "Get Smart" I loved that show when I was little. If anyone can fill Don Adams' shoephone, it's Steve Carell. Here's hoping
  • "Hancock" I like Will Smith. I like comic book superheroes. This movie looks really funny. I'm there
  • "The Dark Knight" Well, duh

What the hell is he thinking?

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.