Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Ok, maybe that’s not what you are imagining. I don’t know. You are going to have to work out all that homoerotic fantasizing yourself. I can’t help you. Either way, you need to accept the idea that Barack Obama is not going to get involved with this emergency, and contrary to what you’re feeling, that’s probably a good thing.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I was shocked at her statement. “I’ll make an appointment with the vet tomorrow,” I said.
“Then one of us will have to take off from work. Let’s just do it ourselves, right now!” she jeered while focusing the desk lamp on the unsuspecting victim.
“Are you insane? You’re not a Vet. You don’t know what you are doing,” I protested shielding the cat from her advance.
“Come on. It’s no big deal. You get under the knot and, snip, snip, snip.” I was convinced she was out of her mind. This delicate procedure could only be carried out in a modern sterile surgical arena and only by a team of highly trained professionals. At one point I was running through the house, cradling the poor animal while my crazed wife chased us both with rusty garden sheers. My wife informs me that this last part might be an exaggeration, but that’s what I remember.
After everyone calmed down (and the cat was temporarily given over to the custordy of the neighbors for its own safety), it was agreed that I would call my wife’s father (who really is a vet) and ask if it is alright for her to remove the stitches. He informed me that she had seen and assisted in this procedure dozens of times before. As long as she sterilizes the cuticle scissors (which she had already done) all would be fine.
Everything went off without a hitch and the cat didn’t even know what happened. I was completely wrong. Apparently this sort of postoperative surgery is so simple you can do it on a Latin American bus traveling up the side of a dusty mountain trail surrounded by livestock and malaria. (I am now being informed by my wife that this also might be incorrect)
The point is - it’s ok to be wrong. I am always learning and because of this, I am constantly adjusting my preconceived notions. I am happy and proud to admit that.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
I don’t want my blog to be about religion all the time (really) but: Monday, attorneys for the Vatican will be defending themselves against a sexual abuse claim brought against them in a federal court.
“The Vatican is expected to assert that bishops aren't its employees because they aren't paid by Rome, don't act on Rome's behalf and aren't controlled day-to-day by the pope - factors courts use to determine whether employers are liable for the actions of their employees, (The Vatican's U.S. attorney, Jeffrey) Lena told the AP.
He said he would suggest to the court that it should avoid using the religious nature of the relationship between bishops and the pope as a basis for civil liability because it entangles the court in an analysis of religious doctrine that dates back to the apostles.” - Associated press
THESE FUCKING GUYS!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Can you believe this video? Don’t they know that the American Heart Association put out a report, way back in 2008, recommending that people NOT use mouth-to-mouth while administering CPR. The AHA found that uninterrupted hands-only CPR (100 compressions a minute) works just as well as the standard CPR for adults experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. If you want accurate instructions for CPR, I suggest this website instead. It’s much better, with text only - no annoying pictures.
Monday, May 10, 2010
The conservative news outlets are saying this oil spill is Barack Obama’s Katrina. What does this mean?
Are conservatives saying Obama is handling this disaster as badly as President Bush handled Katrina? If that is the case, isn’t the conservative media admitting that it’s been lying by saying that the response to Katrina wasn’t George Bush’s fault; that contrary to what they have been saying, Bush actually DID do a crappy job. Doesn’t this means that the apologies Fox and their ilk have been peddling, for the last five years, in relation to Katrina, have all been lies?
Or is the conservative media saying that just like Bush, Barack Obama is doing the best he can with what is, admittedly, a bad situation and, like Bush, Obama is being unfairly criticized by main stream the media.
Conservatives, can you please clarify this for me.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Would you like to go on an extraordinary journey, to a fantastic planet; filled with incredible creatures, never before seen or even imagined by humans? You would? Then strap yourself in. Are you ready? Here we go…but first, I have to ask you a question. If ESP and telekinesis really does exist, why don’t we see these forces everywhere in nature? Proponents of the paranormal believe animals have more psychic abilities then humans. Do you think that’s true? I know that question seams off topic from a promised trip to another planet but as you’ll see, the answer to this question is the reason for the journey. So, let’s blast off. We’re traveling a thousand light years, to a fictional world, one in which nature uses all the benefits that ESP and telekinesis would offer, if those skills really did exist. Our space ship speeds across the galaxy in a blink of a eye. We have just arrived at the planet Dubious 9.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
You probably have heard this story by now, but here are a couple of interesting takes on the whole thing. First, many of the news segments reporting this story include the video clip of the bear – you know the one with Muhammad inside. (Shhh. It’s secretly ironic.)
The second observation is, that in a way, this media story helps us see what each news organization thinks about the subject of free speech. They either understand that this story is important or they don’t. I made a very, very informal survey to see which news media were covering the story and which were not. On April 28 2010, I simple went to each media outlet’s main web page and typed in “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day,” in the search bar. Here are the results along with my analysis. I freely acknowledge ,that my interpretations, more closely resemble me looking at a Rorschach Test then a legitimate analyst, but here it goes anyway.
ABC, CBS, CNN and USA today, returned no results, not even covering the original threat. I guess the issue of free speech is not as important as that story about “American Idol wannabees.” (Those kids are so spunky).
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"That's why Daddy drinks." I respond
But my title does not refer to that kind of crank. I am using the definition of crank that means “crackpot.” You know, the guy with tinfoil on, not only the top of his head, but also tucked under his armpits for added protection; the guy who has named each of his fingernails; the guy who thinks that people from the department of education are breaking into his house while he’s away, and replace all of the forks in his kitchen with slightly shorter forks. I’m referring to myself as the kind of crank that is way out of the social norm, a misfit, an oddball, a fruitcake, a moon bat. And you know what? If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’re probably a crank too. (Oh, now that’s a good way to get more readers, Nick, insult them.) Before you click over to Facebook to check if someone has sent you vegetables in Farmville, let me explain why I think you’re probably a crank also. Here are some fun facts:
Only half of Americans know how long it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun. A third of Americans think evolution isn’t real. A majority of Americans think that the devil is real. A majority of Americans believe in guardian angels. A third of Americans believe in haunted houses. Most people don’t know that their federal taxes went down last year under the Obama administration. A full third of Americans think that the US government was involved with 9-11. And the scariest fact of all, “Avatar” has an 82% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
I’m going to paraphrase a quote that I once heard. “When the world is filled with crazy people the rational people are considered the nuts.” I remember hearing something like that or reading it someplace from someone really smart. Whoever that person is (or was), and contingent on whether they did indeed say that (or something similar) I would like to shake his or her hand. (If of course that is their real name)
What I am trying to say is this. WE ( you and I ) are the outsiders. We are the nuts. We are the space jockeys. We’re the cranks. And we’re outnumbered, you and I. The people who will believe anything and who refuse to analyze other people’s ideas let alone their own – they are everywhere. They are our politicians. They are reporting the news. They are teaching our kids. They are all around us, and they are getting louder. Fox News is the highest rated “news” channel in the US. Save us baby Jesus!
So if having basic knowledge of science is strange and embracing reason and logic over myth and superstition is weird then so be it. Be proud of your oddball-ness. The other side is way too vocal. It’s our turn to start being heard. The next time someone says something that you think is wrong like “all panda bears hate cake” question them. Don’t be shy. If someone offers a statistic that doesn’t sound right like, “Honduras produces three times more feral children than any other country,” ask him where he got that statistic. Be brave. Don’t let them get away with it. It’s more important than ever. The nonsense is enveloping us all. It’s up to you. The world needs us. Become a crank, like me, and be proud.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I wrote the article below for the magazine The Humanist. It appeared in their July/August 2009 issue. I thought I would post it now because I have a lot of new visitors. You can all see how geeky I really am. I hope you enjoy it.
[Warning: the following article is overflowing with geekiness. Further reading could result in unnaturally splayed fingers, pointed ears, or any manner of themed costuming.]
I was in line the other day waiting to see the new Star Trek movie and it got me thinking about the good old days of science fiction films. Back then special effects looked cheap, and it was always hit or miss as to whether they would work. More often than not a pie tin hanging from a string to simulate a flying saucer looked, well, like a pie tin hanging from a string. So the people who filmed science fiction (otherwise known as sci-fi or SF) couldn’t rely on computer-generated eye candy to keep audiences awake. Instead they had to rely on something completely different—good writing.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
While you look at these pictures of Mars and others from Presidia Creative think about the following: Liquid water and Methane have been detected on that planet. We all know why water is important but what’s so great about methane? With very few exceptions, methane is a byproduct of life. Granted it’s probably only bacterial but that’s still cool because life someplace else could answer a big question about life here.
You see the funny thing about life here is that it’s all the same. That is to say, all life uses the same building blocks, the same proteins, the same DNA base pairs, etc. It doesn’t have to. It could have been anything, even that silicon pizza Horta from Star Trek. Who knows what bacteria on The Red Planet are like? Or stranger still, what if the bacteria on Mars has the same type of chemistry as everything here? That would mean that meteors caring life from Mars seeded this planet. We could all be Martians.
Either way, we need to be sending more rovers to Mars
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
“Ok, then it’s agreed. We can build a rocket and all get the hell out of here before any of the problems start.”
Galileo Galilei – Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer Extraordinaire, and Champion of the Copernican Theory, through which man gets a clear view of where he or she stands in the universe. Using observations of the moons of Jupiter and phases of Venus, Galileo offered evidence that the Earth revolved around the Sun. He was the first to observe sun spots, the rings of Saturn, and mountains on the moon. Steven Hawking said, "Galileo, perhaps more than any other single person, was responsible for the birth of modern science." It wasn’t until 1992 that Pope John Paul II admitted that the church’s ruling against Galileo might have been a mistake.
Marie Skłodowska Curie – Physicist, Chemist, she was the first person honored with 2 Nobel Prizes; one for her pioneering work in the field of radioactivity, the other in chemistry. She created the Theory of Radioactivity, developed techniques for isolating isotopes, and discovered two new elements. During WWI Curie developed the innovation of X-rays to help surgeons locate and remove bullets on the battlefield. Even with all those accomplishments it’s hard to find a picture of her smiling.
Monday, March 22, 2010
So why the fuck should you care? (Please, language. I hope you don’t kiss your mother with that mouth.) Here is the amazing thing. You don’t have to be a British citizen, or even be talking about a British citizen, to be sued for libel in the UK. All that has to happen is that someone in the UK reads something that you write. It doesn’t have to be some snappy letter to the editor in the New York Times. It could be some offhand remark that you make on you blog, here, about your pets health, (my cats bowel movements looks like Dick Chaney) or some rant that you twitter to your girlfriend about that guy you went on a date with last night (I’m never going to dinner with Dick Chaney again. He’s an asshole.) All that has to happen, is that someone across the pond reads it. And BAM…you could be wearing a new libel suit.
So if you were to say - "Sarah Palin is a mentally challenged cheerleader whose supporters are all inbred hillbillies. They are only drawn to her through some S&M librarian fetish which they can’t fulfill because of an inability to master the internet to satisfy themselves." – You could be sued for libel.
Or if you were to say - "Rush Limbaugh’s recent outbursts in which he declared, on numerous of occasions, that he was not going to bend over, grab his ankles and happily take it from the Obama administration, was clearly an unconscious expression of a secret desire to be sodomized by a strong but gentle African American male." - You could be sued for libel.
Or if you were to say – "Bill O’Reilly was nothing more than an overbearing bully who is obviously overcompensating for the documented fact that he was born with a single cheese doodle where his genitalia should have been. And that’s all I have to say about that." – You could be sued for libel.
And if I, myself, were to say promoting chiropractics for ear infections in children is dangerous because it might persuade some parents to postpone real treatments thereby leading to more serious conditions. It’s cruel, because the brutal stabbing pain kids experience could easily be cured with simple antibiotics. It’s crazy, because there is no scientifically based mechanism as to why moving around the backbone would have anything to do with curing an infection. Not to mention that bending and manipulating the spine of a young child whose bones are not yet fully formed sounds, to me, just plain stupid. – I could be sued for libel. But what do I know. I’m not a doctor. Oh wait, nether are chiropractors, not real doctors anyway.
Parliament is just beginning to review its libel laws in the UK and Singh’s case is in the courts right now. Good luck Simon.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
A logical fallacy is an error of reasoning. It is different from a factual error in that the person making the logical fallacy may not be wrong about their facts but instead may be wrong because of the structure of their argument itself.
Recently, as part of the effort to be both far and balanced AND oppose President Obama in anyway they can, Fox News posted a 1961speech by Ronald Reagan concerning socialized medicine. (OH NO! THIS POST IS GOING TO BE ABOUT HEALTHCARE!) I’m sorry. This speech is just too perfect for the topic at hand. It offers three great examples of common logical fallacies. I promise not to get too wonky. I’ll mostly just rag on Fox News. They’re inherently evil , so it’ll be fun.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
This is the coldest winter I can remember, and I live in a state wear Hawaiian shirts are mandatory. I don't know how it works in other places but here in Orlando we are constantly being pulled over by the Florida Highway Patrol for shirt flower density checks. This is why we are particularly aware when temperatures dare to dip below 80.
So, what happened to global warming? Come on Nick, explain this one. After all, you are the Rational Crank. Or, as a relative said recently, maybe we should start calling you the Irrational Crank. (Yah, a regular Don Rickles, that one is)
Thursday, January 28, 2010
If you have ever said you are a critical thinker and are not familiar with at least some of these terms, then the chances are, you are just talking out of your ass. (It’s ok. I do it all the time.) But to be clear, a person who calls himself a critical thinker and is not familiar with at least some of these terms is like a guy who calls himself a Christian but has never heard of that Jesus guy.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I am sorry the piece was unclear. It was not intended to disprove God. Believe me if I were setting my sights on God I wouldn’t bring up a comic book character. I might mention drowning children in tsunamis, but hey, I’m silly that way.
As brilliant as I imagine I am (usually directly correlated to how much wine I’ve consumed), I still would not be able to prove there is no God - because I cannot prove a negative. I cannot prove there are no blue polar bears, either.
In order to prove there are no blue polar bears, I would have to track down every polar bear in the world and hold a color chip up against his fur. Not only would this be logistically imposable (and dangerous), it still would not prove there were no blue polar bears. There would always be some schmuck who could say, I might have missed a bear, and he would be right.