When I sent this to my wife, I didn’t realize that PZ Myers had already posted it his blog. It’s been around for two years and somehow I missed it. If you’ve already seen it, I apologize, but it’s just too good not to share.
When I sent this to my wife, I didn’t realize that PZ Myers had already posted it his blog. It’s been around for two years and somehow I missed it. If you’ve already seen it, I apologize, but it’s just too good not to share.
I’m allowed to say it because I have one of those blue placards with a stick figure in a wheelchair hanging from my mirror that says “Handicapped”. It took a string of events before I found out this word is nearly as taboo as the ‘N’ word.
My realization began years ago when I heard our local NPR host, Darel Snodgrass, interview a blind guy whom he introduced as “visually challenged”. The guest replied “Actually, I’m blind.” Snodgrass continued insisting the guest was visually challenged through most of the interview until the guy could take it no longer and blurted out “I’m not visually challenged. No matter how hard I try or how often you challenge me, the simple fact is that I can’t see. I’m blind.” Darel was a bit dense and responded “My guest today is visually challenged.” He continued using his pet phrase for the remainder of the interview.
Over the years I found out that a person can’t be blind, visually handicapped, or visually disabled, because that would imply that there could be something wrong with them. It’s so impolite to remind a person of a fact that they’ve lived with for a significant part of their life. It must make them feel so inferior. That’s why my car wears that blue placard – to remind me that I may never become an Olympic runner. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from what people must think of me, not being an Olympic runner, the same as everyone else.
Since the time of that interview, calling a person “challenged” has become pejorative, a bit like saying they’re retarded. Not being terribly socially adept, I sometimes refer to myself as a cripple, or even lame. Like a Weeble, I wobble, but unlike a Weeble, I don’t dare fall down because I can’t get up again. That means baths are out, and I can’t stand up from a seat that’s too low. That includes most toilet seats without grab bars.
What I found out a few years ago is that some people are mortally offended by what I just described. In PZ Myers’ Pharyngula blog he had made some comment about gun safety, which many of his readers interpreted as banning guns. Since PZ was out of town and not following comments, a few of his followers felt it necessary to guard the comments for him. Since everything had turned to the meaning of the second amendment by the time I got in, that’s where I picked up. By that time comment after comment pointed out that you shouldn’t be able to own a gun unless you’re a member of a well-regulated militia (like The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord?). I jumped in and pointed out that both circuit courts and SCOTUS had ruled on exactly that point and that the supreme court had specifically said that the well-regulated militia portion of the second amendment was to be treated as an example of those who were allowed to own guns. I included several links to that ruling as well as several different cases where ownership is specifically allowed.
Several people continued to argue without bothering to read my links to the rulings in each of the cases. The most tenacious was someone called Crip Dyke, who after running out of arguments, told me that as soon as the next supreme court justice was appointed, SCOTUS would immediately overrule all of those interpretations of the second amendment. I replied that SCOTUS doesn’t get to file the cases that it hears, and that even if it does come up, it may be years or decades before those rulings are challenged. Since that time, two new justices have been appointed and nothing has happened.
With that said, Crip Dyke was really itching for a pissing match, and she(?) dove into a nasty ad hominem argument. I had referred to myself in some sort of deprecating way, and she suddenly realized many comments later how horribly offended she was. This went on for several more comments, and I found out I was horrifying the whole world and that I was being extremely rude to all handicapped people (apparently including myself).
It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally realized that Crip Dyke was right about the whole world being offended. Now that my awareness has been awakened, I thought it was appropriate to warn my readers about how rude they’re being if they use the ‘H’ word. It needs to be eliminated from polo, golf, and horse racing too. Although some people may not know the appropriate catch phrase, I’m sure all my readers already know that it’s “alternatively abled”. I think that’s some kind of superpower, putting me in the same class as the X-Men. From now on, I want you to know that I’m not a cripple, nor is my writing lame. I am ambulatorily alternatively abled, and I’m going to lord that over everyone until the next more proper catch phrase comes along. Thank you, Crip Dyke, for letting me know how superior I am.
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted to this blog for a while. It’s not because I’ve stopped writing, but because I haven’t been able to get WordPress to accept Word documents. Although I’ve had minor problems before, the first major problem came with Rambling #2 comparing the Pirahã and Sirionó languages of the Amazon basin, when WordPress dropped all my references and formatting near the end of the article. When I wrote my last post in December of 2015, it wouldn’t even accept input from Word.
That seems to have been fixed, so I’m going to give it another try. I’ve been looking at mostly third-party vendors who provide direct editing inside WordPress using drag-and-drop plug-ins. Along the way I discovered that to install plug-ins, you’ve got to use self-hosting, which is expensive and requires changing from WordPress.com to WordPress.Org, making continued blogging more difficult in the short-run. For now, I’m sticking with trying to use the free Word converter in WordPress and not make major changes.
Sorry about getting side-tracked. As you may have guessed, I have a real interest in math (and if you’re British, that’s maths). I’ve decided to write about topics that you may not have seen unless you’re a math major.
There are two major problems: Microsoft Word is deficient in fonts needed for mathematics, and I have a real paranoia about someone stealing the original work that I did and publishing it as their own. This last concern isn’t unfounded, and I personally worked with a physicist whose work was successfully plagiarized by a senior researcher in whose lab she worked. Of course there are many classical examples from mathematics such as Tartaglia and Cardano and Grassmann and Cauchy. I couldn’t find anything that was both simple and relatively complete about these two examples. Where Grassmann thought that Cauchy had plagiarized his work, everything I could find was dry and technical.
As a result, I’ll describe results without going too deeply into how it was done (in most cases). I’m slowly writing a book that does get into the bloody details, and if I live to 120, I may even finish it and publish before I start pushing up daisies.
I’ll describe some of my early work from 50 or more years ago. Back then, I had no problem remembering the details, so I had no reason to write anything down. Senility does nasty things to details, and trying to recreate what I did has been fun. In all that time, no one else has duplicated some of the things I did (as far as I know).
The first thing I want to talk about in a later post is the gulf between mathematics and science, which is really surprising since math seems to be part and parcel of understanding science. At times there are philosophical dilemmas in trying to distinguish the two. In Newton’s three laws of mechanics, and depending on how you look at it, parts of the laws seem to be either definitional or axiomatic. The original edition of Resnick and Halliday’s Fundamentals of Physics discussed this at length. (Back then the book only costed me $5, and now, it’s over $200 for just the first volume.)
A related topic is the queen of the sciences. As everyone knows from Thomas Aquinas, it’s without a doubt, theology. Stephen Hawking disrespectfully thinks it’s physics. The final word (at least for mathematicians) comes from Carl Gauss. (You only need to follow the link on the unlikely chance you’ve never heard of him.) Every mathematician definitively knows that “Mathematics is the queen of sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics. She often condescends to render service to astronomy and other natural sciences, but in all relations she is entitled to the first rank”. Only she’s not a science, which I’ll talk about in my next post.
Eugene Wigner wrote an influential paper in philosophy a few years before becoming a Nobel Laureate. It’s entitled The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences. I found this reprinted in a humanities magazine in the 1970s, long after thinking many of the same things that Wigner talks about. Be sure to read this article; there will be a test on it later.
I thought I had resolved this issue in 1962 in my sophomore year and only 2 years after Wigner published it, but I had no idea that anyone else was thinking about the problem. The fact that it was my sophomore year seems almost ironic, given the British folk etymology (at the end of the definition) of meaning “wise fool”. Of course I won’t talk about my solution until my next post on mathematics. Even then, it will only be about the solution without divulging some specific details. It’s my paranoia kicking in again.
Karl Sharro gave the best explanation for ISIS I’ve ever seen, and he did it in a single sentence. I copied it below.
If you enjoy seeing visual displays of geologic conditions, geography, and paleontology for the phanerozoic aeon (from the present back though Cambrian period) check out Earthviewer, created by HHMI (Howard Hughes Medical Institute).
It displays the globe for any time back to 540 MYA along with the atmospheric composition, climate, positions of modern cities traced through plate tectonics, geological events, biological events, mass extinctions, meteor impacts, fossils, and coastlines. You can pull up charts for temperature, day length, luminosity, and biodiversity. It also has several interesting in-depth presentations. It also contains a tutorial for using the download.
WARNING: It helps to understand evolution and have some inkling the earth may be older than 6000 years. Be careful that your children don’t fall for the science indoctrination. It doesn’t even mention God and His undeniable part in Creation.
When I was in eighth grade, one of our local newspapers would occasionally publish a math problem and wait for at least a week for someone to write in a solution. I know better than to try that here, since the people I thought might read my last set of problems apparently didn’t. Since the previous problems were more logic than math, I promised one actual math problem. Three of the five here use math. Since the last group was such a dud, I promise no more problems after this. Continue reading
I didn’t find out until I got back home that Yoichiro Nambu died about 2 weeks ago. Such things don’t make the news, because who in hell is Yoichiro Nambu? On the pretty good off-chance that you’ve never heard of him, keep reading.
It’s been about two months since my last post. Again, I’ve been away from my beloved desktop. We just got back to town a little over a week ago, and I’ve been catching up on what’s happening in the rest of the world.
A lot has happened in the last two months. I’ve been through two more rounds of chemo and my hematocrit is above 30 for the first time in a very long while (I have about 70% of my blood!) – no more transfusions, at least for a little while. In the mean time my white cell count dropped again, and they put me on filgrastim until I was no longer in danger from neutropenia. Anyway, things are going so well, that my hematologist (that’s a hæmatologist if you don’t speak American) wants to do another round of chemo. Lucky me – two more weeks of being a pincushion. One other positive thing; my platelet count is up and I don’t look like a mass of bruises looking for a fresh place to bruise. I accused my wife of putting a pea under my mattress, and she told me not to worry and that I’m no princess.
I was a little disappointed that so few people are interested in mathematics (or in this case, logic). My next problem will be pure mathematics, just in case it’s logic that people don’t like, but I’m still not optimistic.
I’m finally getting caught up on my e-mail; I need to quit spending so much time away from home. One of the things I used to enjoy back in junior high (before they invented middle schools) was that one of our local newspaper columnists would throw in a math problem from time to time.
I’ve pulled 3 problems off the Internet and reworded them slightly to make it harder to find the answers with Google. The answers will come in the next post.
Hannah then tells Fred the month and George the day of her birthday. Fred: I don’t know when Hannah’s birthday is, but I also know that George doesn’t either.
George: At first I didn’t know Hannah’s birthday, but now I do.
Fred: Then I also know her birthday.
So when is Hannah’s birthday?”
I don’t know what I’d do if I were a pastor. If I had to wait until inspiration struck, I’d have a sermon ready about as often as I post to this blog. Several things converged recently to lay this in my lap.
In a recent video, some guy was talking about attending Sunday school at a synagogue with the rabbi in attendance. I immediately wondered when Liberal Judaism became so liberal.
If you were as educated as I was when I was a kid, you’d know that the Sabbath is Sunday and that the Jews were just another Christian sect. Sigh. Why couldn’t I have just remained in blissful ignorance so I could display it on a regular basis in my newspaper’s letters to the editor.
I’ve been catching up on old e-mail and blogs, and I just finished a post by fojap on quantum homeopathy and anti-vaxxers. I realized that it’s been a while since I extolled the virtues of a whole field of medicine whose only impact is to replace effective therapy with the notion that you are finally doing something to fix what ails you.
There is so much cynicism about homeopathy, just because their medicines repeatedly dilute the active ingredients to non-existence. They don’t take into account that the water remembers what was in it before that super-dilution process. In addition, the water is energized by succussion, giving it the energy of “all the chemicals in a bomb”. Wow! If that doesn’t fix your gizzard, I don’t know what will. It’s only proper to hear this from a practicing homeopath, but I need to warn you, it’s awfully sciency.
This is the 57th anniversary of the date that a thermonuclear bomb “device” was dropped on the U.S. Surprisingly, some people are unaware that it ever happened, just as some don’t know that one of our H-bombs has killed a Japanese citizen.
Did you ever get a cat call you couldn’t interpret? The app Hylp was designed just for such situations.
My favorite animal for years was the opabinia. It has many things that should be shared by all animals like five eyes and a long snout with a claw on the end.
In the last couple weeks I’ve adopted a new animal because it’s just so incredibly cute. Their eyelashes are long and unbelievably beautiful.
No, it’s not first cousin to a jackalope. It’s a real animal – a Venezuelan poodle moth. It was discovered about 5 years ago.
Time to break my promise from my last post. I haven’t done squat since then with the math book I’m writing. On top of that, when I thought about what to include in my next post, I realized that the organization of the book doesn’t make much sense without knowing the idiosyncrasies of my education, so I’m still pondering what to write.
In the meantime, we took a break from our hectic schedule here and 4 weeks ago, we took a 2-week break. We visited our oldest granddaughter for a day in Nahunta, GA and spent the day shopping. That’s my least favorite pastime, but she enjoyed it, which is a bit strange since she normally likes being out in nature. Continue reading
So, what’s been happening for the last 3 months? As I’ve mentioned before, my parents are very likely to pass the century mark and increasing disabilities have pretty much required us to go from assisted living to memory care for them, and for the last several months we have talked with them about over a dozen different options for doing that along with visiting each facility (including seeing some multiple times because they couldn’t remember what they were like). If you wind up in that situation, remember to take lots of videos and photos. To make a very long story short, my mother found only one of them acceptable, and we had to make arrangements for when an opening would occur, followed by reminding them every time we visited about eventually moving.
I’ve been back to my beloved PC for about a week after being gone for nearly a month. We’ve been visiting family in the East and taking historical tours.
After visiting everyone in east Tennessee, we continued to the Colonial Williamsburg area in eastern Virginia to see my youngest brother. If you cross the Coleman Bridge between Yorktown and Gloucester County, he’s likely to be the one in the control booth above the bridge, so be sure to wave as you go by.
This nearly had the title “A Tale of Two Languages“. A couple weeks ago I was watching a rerun on the Smithsonian channel about the Pirahã of Brazil and Daniel Everett. It immediately reminded me of the cultures of El Beni in Bolivia, and particularly, the Sirionó. The similarities and differences are striking.
There’s something you may not know about me. At one time I worked with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (now known as SIL International) and its sister organization, the Wycliffe Bible Translators (now called the Wycliffe Global Alliance), both founded by William Townsend. For those unfamiliar with Bible history, Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible (Vulgate version) into Middle English in 1382, and he was a constant thorn in the side of the Holy See. The purpose of the organizations is to study and document lesser-known languages and to translate the Bible (especially the New Testament and Gospels) into the local languages for the edification and enlightenment of the natives. Yes, I was one of them, but my excuse was to aid in studying and recording languages before they became extinct and because it was something I truly enjoyed.
I haven’t had much time to finish my monsterpiece on guns and legislation. Again, I’ve been out of town for about 2 weeks, and we had to hurry back when my father-in-law took a turn for the worse.
I’ve decided to start a new series on nothing in particular. In this case, it’s about kids and grandchildren. As everyone knows, theirs are better than anyone else’s. So it is with mine.
My youngest granddaughter turned five earlier this year, and she’s still not through with her never-ending surprises. She is an absolute joy to be around. Since about the time she was learning to talk, she knew the difference between normal conversation and a joke, and she’s been mastering the art of comedy ever since.
A couple of years ago, she started with one of her perfectly serious matter-of-fact conversations. “Mema, you and I have the same hair. And our eyes match. Your mouth and nose are the same as mine! Now I know what I’ll look like when I’m about to die.” She carried it off perfectly, and her timing was spot on.
One of her many talents is to improvise a dance to match any music she likes. In fact, her second birthday invitations were unusual in that they didn’t invite her friends to her birthday party. Instead, they said “Invitation to the Dance”… It only took a few songs before everyone was participating.
Last week she went to an Alison Krauss – Willie Nelson concert. During Nelson’s first number, she felt inspired and went to the area in front of the stage and began dancing to the music. Eventually, he noticed her and waved and was even gracious enough to share the spotlight. The highlight of the night was when he sang “Angel Flying too Close to the Ground”, which begins with the lines
“If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you”.
She took the cues perfectly. Willie did something completely unexpected. He took off his bandana and threw it to her. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.
I can think of no better way to end this than sending you an Invitation to the Dance.
I had hoped that I’d be finished with my next posting by now. Since I’m not, I thought I’d give a quick preview. It’s about a very unwelcome topic: gun legislation – specifically legislation that I think would be effective while trying not to be overly intrusive, unlike some recent legislative attempts which are neither.
The article includes the pertinent resources and research that I did in coming up with the information I present. It compares firearm deaths world-wide, their causes, what is unique and what is comparable to the situation in the U.S., and over a year’s worth of data for every reported case on who was killed, where it happened, and further details, so that if you’re inclined to pick me apart, you too can go through the data.
I have condensed and summarized information from articles that I had promised and started over a year ago but never finished. The topics have been reorganized and structured in a way that I hope is more helpful than before.
Although many people are thoroughly uncomfortable even talking about guns, if you have kids or grandchildren, this is a topic you need to understand whether or not you have a gun yourself. The must-read portion will be under the heading “Proposed Gun Legislation”. Although you may miss why I recommend what I do, at least you’ll know what I am proposing.
The last part of the article is aimed at education about guns and ammunition that seem to be either unknown or confused by most media sources. If this is a non-issue for you, skip it.
The last point I’d like to make is that although I have little expertise with guns, I know what sounds questionable when I hear it, and I look it up – something that seems to be increasingly uncommon. I have accumulated a lot that way – enough to feel comfortable in writing my article.
Again, it’s been a while since my last post. In the past I’ve had problems, mainly with being out of town and trying to catch up with my correspondence. A couple times I had a computer crash.
We still leave town from time to time, but now it’s compounded by another problem. Our parents are rapidly approaching the century mark. Until last year when planting season was too wet, my wife’s father planted a backyard garden approaching half an acre. No one ever explained to him that it’s hard work. On top of that, he has at least one family party every week, and he does the cooking. It’s embarrassing to go, because not many people realize that I’m younger than he is. A few months ago he was diagnosed with lung cancer, but that hasn’t slowed him down.
In the next 3 years, my parents will hit their 75th anniversary. That used to be the diamond anniversary, but with inflation of anniversaries, I don’t know what it is any more. But there is a down side to it all. They’ve lost most of their short-term memory, and we get calls from them at all times of day and night asking about something that we’ve talked about many times before but they don’t remember. We spend a large part of our week visiting with them because something is always going on. Sometimes we take turns. Often we need to go shopping – one of my least favorite things. When we can, we take a short vacation break, but it never lasts long enough. Several times we’ve had to cut a short vacation even shorter because of some emergency.
Just a few months ago, we went on a vacation with my parents to the Smoky Mountains, and all of my brothers met us there. It may be the last for my dad, since he has had an increasingly difficult time getting around. One of our favorite past-times is hiking the trails. We picked a couple particularly easy ones. There are two very close to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Just behind the center, is a short trail leading to a pretty little fall, and a slightly more strenuous trail that passes one of the original homes in the foothills. We passed on those for a paved absolutely flat half-mile trail a couple miles from there that goes through a settlement that still existed when the park was built. The homes were near the fork of two mountain streams and you can easily make out where two of the homes and a stone wall were. Dad got out, took a few steps to read a sign, then got back in the car where he remained for the rest of the outing. It started snowing about then.
We drove to the NC side and visited nearby falls on the Cherokee reservation, then went on to Bryson City to see Junie Whank, Indian Creek, and Toms [sic] Branch falls. By the time we finished, the roads in the park were closed and we had to take the long route home over steep mountain roads. We had to cancel our plans to visit Cataloochee since Dad wouldn’t be able to visit the settlement homes. We also weren’t sure whether the elk had come down from the hills.
Since then he has gotten progressively worse and insists on using a wheelchair. Mom still gets around well, although she doesn’t like hiking. She has expressed an interest in going on vacation with us when we get a chance. I’m hoping that our plans don’t get cut short again.
On top of everything else, some of our friends are dying of cancer. My wife babysits half a week at a time for our youngest granddaughter since her other grandmother is on a downward spiral with esophageal cancer. The same is happening in our extended family, so we have a hard time taking a break.
I’m almost caught up on my e-mail and the blogs that I read, so I may be able to post another entry soon. Until then…
This fossil started making the news in February and is from the Anisian age of the Middle Triassic period about 247 to 242 million years ago. It was found in Luoping County in Yunnan province, China in a well-known marine fossil area. Yunnan is an extremely mountainous province in southern China bordering Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Vietnam, and Tibet, and Luoping is a center-eastern county in the least mountainous region of the province.
It is the Atopodentatus unicus (approximately meaning “unique disturbingly weird-toothed”) and is classified as a sauropterygian (best-known for its plesiosaurs and nothosaurs). Atopodentatus had semi-aquatic adaptations but retained strong hips and legs. What sets it apart from all other reptiles is its beautiful smile.
Illustration 1 is from the National Geographic by Julius Csotonyi.
Illustration 2 is by Nobu Tamura, 2014.
Illustration 3 is by MALvit, 2014.
In spite of having needle-like teeth, Atopodentatus was incapable of biting hard or holding small prey, and is suspected to have been a filter feeder. The teeth in the center of the upper mandible have been described as “comb-like” or “zipper-like”, and the mouth has been compared to that of a flamingo.
There are several interesting articles with the more technical ones at the bottom:
Yesterday there was a news item about the creation of a magnetic monopole. Although the news accounts are far above average for the usual explanations of a scientific breakthrough, most still leave a lot to be desired. For instance not all of them distinguish between the elementary particle and the quasiparticle that was what was created here. The best new account that I could find was written by a reporter for nature magazine at Quantum cloud simulates magnetic monopole, which sums up the work remarkably well. If you would like a slightly more in-depth account, keep reading.
Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, has announced that his latest venture, Ark Encounter, is facing dire financial difficulties. With quick visit to the Creation Museum website, the first words you run into are “Prepare to Believe”. If you don’t mind swallowing a little bullshit, you too can believe.
The Ark Encounter was to be a replica of Noah’s ark, complete with dinosaurs, unicorns, and fire-breathing dragons, just as the Bible tells us. Actually, I had missed those 3 kinds of animals in Genesis, but that’s what makes Ken the expert on Genesis and the genius that he is.
Between now and Feb. 6, Ken has to sell $29,000,000 in unrated junk bonds, so if you have some spare change, won’t you send him a few million dollars? The state of Kentucky was so enthusiastic about this great idea, that during the recession, they plunked down several million dollars of the taxpayer’s own money for infrastructure and tax breaks.
Ken blames this mess on atheists (way to go, atheists) and the secular media. Specifically, “the trouble with Ark Encounter’s financing is due to the treachery of atheists and godless bloggers, who have sabotaged the giant dinosaur boat…”. Thanks for finally acknowledging me, Ken. But he goes further. He has been wrestling “against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” I do admit to being a ruler of the darkness of this age, but thanks for thinking that I am a spiritual host of wickedness and that I rule from heavenly places. I’ve tried to project that image for a long time now.
To read more, check out Ark Encounter Close to Failure.
A few months ago, I wrote about the atheist’s nightmare, dreamed up by Ray Comfort of the Living Water Ministries. Realizing that threatening us with hell is futile since that’s just about as real as God, the even worse threat of going to heaven doesn’t hold water either. So he knew the only way to get us was to make us think of bananas. His twisted mind knew that we could never shake the image of a banana haunting our dreams.
Oh, there are things that frighten Christians (especially those in Oklahoma), like Allah or maybe Shiva. Even something as cuddly as Ganesha seems to upset them. Atheists have tried to make them tremble at the sight of Cthulhu or the Flying Spaghetti Monster with all His noodly appendages, but Christians just don’t realize the dire threats being posed.
Let’s face it. Atheists have been going the wrong direction. To get to a Christian, you have to show him God in all His magnificence. Only their God can give them nightmares as bad as thinking about a banana.
You may already be aware Queen Elizabeth out of the goodness of her heart issued a “mercy pardon” for Alan Turing almost 60 years after he committed suicide when the British courts had him neutered for the heinous crime of being a grossly indecent homosexual. (Isn’t homosexuality always grossly indecent in Britain?) At least she didn’t wait as long as the Vatican did to pardon Galileo for the crime of being right while the pope thought he was being ridiculed. Had she issued the pardon within two years after ascending the throne the suicide could have been prevented, but gays didn’t need mercy in those good old days.
To put this into perspective, Turing led a pretty useless life. He not only broke Germany’s enigma code, shortening WW II considerably, he helped design the machines that automated the code-breaking process when no key was available. He was a mathematician, logician, and is best known for modeling a general-purpose computer which still bears his name. He formalized the concepts of algorithms, computability, Turing reduction, Turing completeness, and Turing degree as well as being the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He worked in two different laboratories developing early variations on the first stored-program computers. He wrote a paper on what later became known as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reactions, which were only discovered 8 years after his death.
There is little question that he lived a wasted life, and the queen, her empire, and the world could just as well done without him. Now the U.S. can start working on pardons for the Salem witches. If we get through that in the next century, we can retroactively save their lives. I can only thank God that the queen found the mercy in her heart, but only after the House of Lords had already passed a bill for statutory pardon on Oct. 30 of this year.
Sorry about taking so long in getting back. I’ve been away from my PC more than I’ve been on it for the last few months, but I can’t let this inspiration slip away. Certainly the greatest discovery of the 20th century was the observation by Prosper-René Blondlot of N-rays in 1903. It’s somewhat like seeing or hearing God for your first time and the only people who believe you are other Christians. That was the fate of Blondlot – only other French physicists and spiritualists were able to detect N-rays, while physicits of other nationalities were either envious or had insufficient IQs and claimed to be unable to see the obvious.
Until very recently, I was convinced that the greatest invention of the 20th century (even greater than Kirlian photography in 1939) was the revelation in 1911 of Kilner Goggles. Since I am in agreement with such great minds as Paul Harvey (who listed Kilner Goggles as one of the 10 greatest inventions of the 20th century, along with television and penicilin), I was sure that I couldn’t be wrong on this one. The lenses in the goggles were Kilner Screens which allowed direct viewing of the human aura from which one can diagnose diseases without any other confusing tests being necessary. The Nobel prize committee must have been napping when he made this startling announcement.
Last month I was alerted by PZ Myers (Don’t waste your time with this survey) that the MRA (Men’s Rights Activists) have determined that there is only one objective measure for determining a woman’s worth. I would have guessed the acronym would be OOOM for only-one-objective-measure, but no, they had to confuse things. They call it SMV for Sexual Market Value, which immediately alerts you that it must be objective as well as measuring the only meaningful way of evaluating a woman’s worth. Those MRA folks sure are clever. Because we know that love should have nothing to do with sex, this method of calculating Sexual Market Value is how to find who you should impress when you exude your sexual charms.
For some reason PZ Myers doesn’t understand what a boon this is for manly men, and he dares criticize it repeatedly through several posts for being unscientific. I was devastated until I found what I now deem to be the greatest invention of the 20th century. It was created by none other than Max Factor, Sr., probably the world’s most renowned cosmetologist – probably better than Mary Kay (he’s male, after all). His invention was the Beauty Calibrator from 1934, and it has restored my faith in the scientific value of the SMV and the MRA movement. It’s something that every man should have and take with him when he goes bar-hopping. Every woman will want to try it on for the sake of science. If you want one (and there is only one), the last time it went on auction in 2009, it didn’t even make it to the $10,000 mark, so you may be in luck if you want to buy it.
I hope my readers agree with me about the value of this invention.
Of course this is as much a lie as Ray Comfort’s lies, omissions, distortions, and incomplete excerpted interviews in his latest movie Evolution vs. God: Shaking the Foundations of Faith, which garnered a 2.5 rating out of 10 in the International Movie Database (IMDB), placing among the worst movies of all time.
In case you missed it in your home schooling, Ray Comfort is a fundamentalist evangelist who founded The Way of the Master ministry along with child actor Kirk Cameron and radio host Todd Friel. He also started Living Waters Publications, should you need to come to Christ and learn the Truth about evolution.
With all this claim to fame, you’d think that Comfort might be satisfied, but he has done something really frightening. He showed us the atheist’s nightmare: a banana. It’s left me sleepless at nights and makes me panic every time I think about it.
I had written nearly a complete post on this subject when my computer crashed last fall, and I lost the work on all my posts in progress. There is little doubt that God was chastising me for being an atheist, and He fully expected His flock to fill the void. It didn’t come to pass, so here I go again on this important subject.
There is no doubt of God’s opinion about sitzpinkel – He despises it. Most Bible apologists simply don’t understand how God could have overlooked this offense to His holy creation in His 613 Laws, but the explanation is really pretty easy. He obviously originally had 614 Laws, and Moses just couldn’t understand what such a strange law was doing in the collection because in Biblical times, no one violated it, so he neglected to include it with the other 613. (On the other hand, the tenth commandment [Exodus 34:26 – Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.] was necessary, because so many Biblical Jews were eating cheeseburgers. For those not familiar with God’s wishes, read Meat and Milk and Cheese and Whey.)
I can hear you now protesting that you don’t know what sitzpinkel is, when in fact, you know damned well but you won’t admit it even in your darkest nightmares. For those who are hopelessly clueless, watch the following exhortation.
I stole this from Digital Cuttlefish since he says it so much better than I could.
Once upon a conversation, I received a revelation—
Just a tiny aberration in the phone line could be heard
It was near too faint for hearing, all too quickly disappearing,
And it surely had me fearing they had listened to my word
But of course, there is no reason to be snooping for my word
Such a notion is absurd!
With the conversation ending, and my paranoia pending—
Was some listening ear attending? Had a wiretap occurred?
My suspicions were implying what I’d rather be denying;
That the government was spying, and the lines had all been blurred
There had formerly been limits, but those lines have all been blurred—
Ah, but surely that’s absurd!
Could my phone call now be quoted? My associations noted?
Are there data banks devoted, at the mercy of some nerd?
All the data they can hack up, with more copies just for backup
In some cave where servers stack up with the info there interred?
They will long outlast my body, which will rot when I’m interred
This is far beyond absurd!
In a time that seems chaotic, is my worrying neurotic?
Maybe spying’s patriotic—it’s what 9/11 spurred.
Sure, the citizens are frightened, but security is heightened
With the leaky borders tightened and some terrorists deterred
Why, the means are surely justified if terror is deterred
Or they’re not… cos it’s absurd.
I last wrote about Allie nearly a year ago in Where Are They Now. She had stopped writing completely after her post from October 2011, Adventures in Depression, and I think we all had little hope of seeing her brand of humor again. I’m really late in welcoming her back, but she has given us a brilliant update that I hope everyone who reads this post will visit – Depression Part Two. As you can see, her comments started almost immediately and were cut off when they reached 5000. I’m not the only one overjoyed to see her back. It has been a long battle for her, and I don’t know when we’ll hear from her again, but at least we have this.
In the glory of war, we sometimes forget the price. I want to thank to thank Daz for his remarks on one of these songs.
Maybe this isn’t quite as spectacular an example of progress as my article 2 posts ago, but Sam’s Club and Oxford Mayor Leon Smith have determined after exhaustive business research that a 1500 year old Indigenous American ceremonial mound is a ‘natural’ formation because it isn’t on the National Register of Historic Places, which they researched so well, they called it the “Natural Register”. It was the largest stone mound of its kind in Alabama. Smith knows for fact that it was only used for smoke signals (he is, after all, at least as accurate a historian as David Barton), and that the United South and Eastern Tribes are just blowing smoke signals up his ass to claim otherwise. Really, who’s the business expert here?
I stole this from Archon’s Den. I have such an insufferably high opinion of my own writing (plus parking my head up my ass) that I can’t admit when I’ve been outdone. Enjoy.
The following is the general examination for a Doctor of Philosophy degree:
Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious and philosophical impact from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Be brief, concise and specific.
Some 2500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek. Your performance will be video-recorded.
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this life had developed 500 million years earlier, giving special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.
Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and violin. You will find a piano under your seat. In the interests of time, you may omit the coda.
Based on your knowledge of…
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I almost called this A Tale of Two Stories as there are two stories to celebrate. The first ended in 2001 with victory for Allah and his prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), while the second ended just this month with a complete victory for Capitalism, Objectivism, Ayn Rand, and probably Jesus Christ. I hope you’re as excited and as much a sucker for happy endings as I am.
I started this over a month ago for people who may not have given much thought to gun legislation. I expect it to be a 4-part series to give you a little more insight into the matter than most of the politicians who are cobbling together laws to protect us from guns (and those who would oppose any change). You don’t have to own a gun to be informed about guns. After listening to legislators and journalists, many of whom claim to own or use a gun, I’m really appalled. Especially cringe-worthy is the expert on gun violence who put together the new proposed gun legislation (which is essentially a rehash of the old Brady bill).
Warning: this article is rather long and is about controlling gun violence as opposed to controlling gun access – a difference that our lawmakers don’t seem to appreciate. (Gun access is a separate issue and requires more competence on the part of policy makers than violence prevention.) I hope it is useful if you’re interested in gun violence.
Tim came out with a new song today. In it, he recognizes his mistaken lack of belief in a God when a fan describes for him a genuine miracle. Tim immediately had to swallow his pride, and he rejoiced in the Truth by writing a hymn of contagious joy praising God. Now I, too, have realized the error of my ways and I feel compelled to share Tim’s witnessing with you. Consider this my testimonial too.
March 25 marks the two hundred second anniversary of the University of Oxford sending down, or according to one source, merely rusticating (translation: expelling, or merely suspending) Percy Bysshe Shelley and Thomas Jefferson Hogg for sending a tract to the heads of all colleges at Oxford entitled The Necessity of Atheism. They were shocked and appalled (as am I).
You can read the whole thing (1813 revision) at The Necessity of Atheism.
This post is for his cojones in publishing the tract and not because I enjoyed his poetry (a bit gushy for my tastes, in spite of his ability to turn a phrase) or the contents of the tract. As with all generalizations, there are exceptions, and Ozymandias is one of those.
Shelley turned the idea of atheism on its head. He rejected deism (the idea of a creator god with no other attributes) which is opposite of many who reject a meddling god or a god of supplication but can’t imagine creation without a god. On the other hand, he saw some outside influence that co-exists with the universe. He stated it this way: “There Is No God. This negation must be understood solely to affect a creative Deity. The hypothesis of a pervading Spirit co-eternal with the universe remains unshaken.”
This “Spirit” is often interpreted by modern authors as Shelley’s vision of the kind of pantheism espoused by Benedict Spinoza. One of several points of contentions I have is Shelley’s opinion that beliefs are involuntary. At least he used this idea to good effect, arguing that atheism shouldn’t be persecuted (something that the University of Oxford college heads disagreed with him about). Shelley continued to espouse unpopular ideas for the remainder of his life – he just never learned, and that’s what an Oxford education is all about.
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
I found out something recently that I’ve long suspected – feminazis have been focusing their shrink ray on Rush Limbaugh’s penis for the last 50 years. Being the virile guy he is, they’ve only managed to reduce it 10%. It took scientists in Italy to discover it, and they tried to divert attention from the feminazis, but Rush has set them straight. Watch the enclosed video where Rush corrects them.
There is some question whether sluts are in on this conspiracy since Limbaugh revealed that people who use birth control pills are sluts. As he explained it, after every time they have sex, they pop another birth control pill, and since law students have sex so frequently, the cost of birth control pills wrecks their budgets. (By the way, Limbaugh sincerely apologized for calling Sandra Fluke a slut and immediately explained again why she was a slut.)
And why should we be so wary of women who use birth control pills? They kill babies and cause them to become embedded in their wombs. Hundreds and thousands of tiny dead babies get embedded in the wombs of birth control users! I’m not sure that conception is even necessary, since it is a known fact that birth control pills turn eggs into tiny babies before killing them.
I hope that you feel much more informed now. This message has been brought to you by the Republican party. Remember to vote Republican.
Great news! I just found out that atheists are no longer required to eat babies. American Atheists’ David Silverman didn’t explain whether it’s now just optional or whether it’s completely banned, but here’s David Silverman’s interview with Lucifer (a.k.a. Lucy) and Mr. Deity.
I have put off warning my readers for too long about government schools that are teaching our impressionable children socialism and communism. I know this for fact because I faithfully watch Fox News and listen to Fox Radio. We must put a stop to this left-leaning government agenda.
Mark Kirk, a Republican U.S. Senator from Illinois suffered a stroke that paralyzed the extremities on his left side about a year ago. It was part of God’s plan to educate America about the facts of near-death experiences.
First, there is no white light and no tunnel, so if you decide to fake your own near-death recollections, remember to leave this out. (You can, however claim that you sat in Jesus’s lap, since this has been well-verified, Heaven is for Real, by Baptist minister Todd Burpo about his son, Colton.)
Since the veracity of U.S. Senators and Congressmen is beyond question, what Kirk said next is of utmost importance.
What Illinois’ junior U.S. senator experienced was three angels standing at the foot of his bed.
“You want to come with us?” Kirk was asked.
“No,” he told them. “I’ll hold off.”
As often happens, he may have been misquoted, and his last sentence should have been “No, fuck off.”, but here’s the article, and you’ll have to decide for yourself: Mark Kirk Sees Angels.
My return has taken much longer than I expected since I announced my sabbatical. Since then, one of my processors crashed, and I lost all of my blog backups and a whole series of drafts. It was a major loss, since I had been working on some posts that took several months to put together. One was an atheist hymnal that included well over 100 entries – everything from old favorites like Plastic Jesus to hard rock anthems. A couple were close to being ready to publish, including Sitzpinkel and God’s opinion, little-known facts about the Hamilton-Burr duel, and a piece about “clean” coal and “safe” nuclear power.
Just a quick note. I’ll be away from my PC for at least a month, but I’ll try to keep up with what’s going on. I was going to make this a little more interesting, but I haven’t even had time for that. Hope to see you when I get back.
As many of you have probably already heard, Christ the Messiah died yesterday, leaving the Bride, the True Mother, to run His earthly church. As God told us, He would be reborn of man in the East, and the world knew Him as Sun Myung Moon. Praise be to the True Father. He will be sorely missed by his followers in the Unification Church – the Moonies. Let us pray. Our heads are bowed; our eyes are closed. No, no, I’m thinking of the Jimmy Swaggart prayer. Lift up your eyes (but only after making a joyful noise) unto the Lord, all ye lands…
Now to get on with remembering the dearly departed. He will be best remembered for creating the only sinless families since the Great Fall, when all of creation was plunged into sin by Adam’s helpmate. For all have sinned? Not any more, since the Second Coming of Christ eradicated it permanently from the families of His followers, recreating them perfect in His image and making them as gods. Hallelujah!
We must also remember Him not only for His great prophesies in the Divine Principles, but we must celebrate His great achievements in those prophesies. He resolved all tension between religion and science, making them completely compatible. This no easy undertaking, and many of the Unwashed are still unaware of this monumental breakthrough – Ken Ham and PZ Myers, for instance. Some have tried to dismiss or belittle this magnificent result by claiming that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi did it first, but history will clarify any confusion over this matter and the True Master.
He has also solved all economic woes that used to beset unwary nations, and now all nations prosper in His light. All racial and political tensions have been placated and exist no more, as evidenced in the United States by the merging of Republicans and Democrats into a single happy, harmonious party – one that will continue at the taxpayers’ expense and the public isn’t invited. Gay has been prayed away, and the transgender people have been cured of their affliction. Praise be to God. Sexual harassment has evaporated completely and at last we understand the wisdom of one man/one woman, except for Newt Gingrich, who thinks one man/many women is okay if you do it serially or don’t let your current wife know what you’ve got on the side. Universal education and its environment have also been perfected, thanks in no small part to our Messiah.
His crowning glory is His overcoming all God-denying ideologies such as Communism. With North and South Korea making love overtures, they will soon merge with Kim Jong-un as supreme president-for-life to be followed by his dynasty and a population living in ecstasy ever after. (I left out the Once-upon-a-time, but you can fill in what I glossed over.)
He has, indeed united us all, and we are the children of our True Parents, and I suspect that when the Bride joins the True Father, that the True Children will take control of the Church to rule over a sinless world. Allahu Akbar. Amen.
God is omnipresent except in schools. That’s because the Supreme Court required all schools to be lined with lead so God couldn’t peek in. If your God is so easily defeated by a body like the Supreme Court, it’s time to start looking for another more dependable God.
It’s similar to God’s omnipotence; He can’t defeat iron chariots (Judges 4:13-16). Now we know two of God’s weaknesses (other that His logic and His righteousness and justice).
Before you accuse me of blasphemy, the blasphemy is right there on the T-shirt.
There are several bloggers and YouTube producers who have made a big impact on me. Several just disappeared suddenly after building a large audience, and I’m curious if anyone knows what happened. The first was Stephanie, better known as LovingDoubt. She made YouTube videos that could suck the viewers in and make them want to know more about how she first became a Pentecostal fundamentalist and then turned to the dark side and was seduced by powers of atheism. (I’m not portraying what she said properly, so don’t let your opinions be influenced by me.) Like most others who achieved success in the on-line world, she understood the magic of how to tell a story, and she had an incredible sense of humor.
I couldn’t resist passing this on to my readers. The articles actually says it resembles a blind penis snake, which most of the rest of the world would call a caecilian. The article eventually gets around to telling you that, but it has some fun first. It was actually planted here by the aliens from the movie Prometheus.
And now if you’re curious, the article is at Rare snake-like amphibian resembling penis found in Brazil.