RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive76

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This is an archive page, last updated 11 October 2010. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Contents

[edit] Britain from the Air

A nice slideshow. If anyone could tell me the name of the island at 1:42, I'd be very grateful. EddyP (talk) 11:31, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Turn on captions :) It's St Kilda. Worm(t | c) 11:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Typical. The only one local to me is of a sodding great power station. Bondurant (talk) 12:26, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
This exhibition was in some of the papers last week. I love aerial photography as it gives us a different perspective on our surroundings. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 12:48, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
My new dentist has a nice coffee table book called America something something, full of aerial photography of stuff in the US. Some really striking images. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:57, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] 1945-1998

http://www.ctbto.org/specials/1945-1998-by-isao-hashimoto/

I recommend putting it full screen and watching the full thing. It's 15 minutes but it will scare the fuck out of you. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:21, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Impressive, and - yes - scary. Astonishing that the US has carried out over 1000 tests, many of them on mainland USA. Bondurant (talk) 17:50, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I do wonder how many people realise the actual scale of the tests. It's hard to imagine - for those who grew up in the 90s, at least - them going off so frequently. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
And yet fewer people have died from nukes than from swords! :p Sen (talk) 17:59, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
According to my sauces, people used to actually watch them outside Las Vegas. Didn't you ever wonder why there are so many various films of mushroom clouds out there when only two "bombs" were dropped? It's all the tests... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:08, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
If you grew up in the eighties in teh UK it seemed that the news was filled with yet another bit of the world being atomized in yet another nuclear test. Weird how time changes.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 23:50, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Should we expect nuclear mutants walking around anytime soon? K61824"6+18=24" 01:24, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Near Chernobyl they already are.  Lily Inspirate me. 05:58, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
There is an excellent chapter in Bill Bryson's "The Thunderbolt Kid" about how nuclear tests outside Vegas were a tourist attraction. Mind you, compared with what they did to Bikini Atoll... Jack Hughes (talk) 14:51, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget the Lucky Dragon. --PsyGremlin講話 16:07, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Watching that, I amazed you Merkins don't all glow in the dark. I see, however, that they missed one. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 09:19, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Fined Tuned argument

I guess we can expect creationists to refine their "fine tuned" argument? AceDrumcode 23:07, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Au contraire mein sir! This is simply 2x the fine tunery around! I mean, one fine tuned planet is enough, but two? The odds for that are surely, (wait for it)... astronomical! Sen (talk) 23:12, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
and such a nice picture of it too, excellent telescopes or classified probe ? Hamster (talk) 00:32, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Lol. How many light years is 193 trillion kilometres? See, I need to know, because I want to visit for Christmas, and need to know which year I will be there. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:40, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Somehow I suspect that even if scientists found that the planet had life on it the creationists wouldn't be convinced. Tetronian you're clueless 03:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
@Human. Without doing any maths, I think they said 20 ly on the radio this morning. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I think I read that somewhere since my post, too. Thanks, GK. I'll be there for Xmas 2032. Bye now, must be on my way! ħumanUser talk:Human 08:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
PS, and I'll be back for 2244. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:00, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
@tetronian: the Seventh-day Adventists I used to know believed that there was biblical support for life on other planets. Totnesmartin (talk) 11:48, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget the Mormons. They believe God is a flesh and blood man, living on the planet Klepto or something. --PsyGremlinTal! 12:47, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
For god's sake people, it's not as if we've found an alien civilisation. We've found a planet that's a) rocky and b) in a stable orbit within the habitable band; that's decidedly not equivalent to even potential life. Stupid wisest Phantom Hoover! 15:18, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
According to one of the discoverers, "the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent". I mean, FFS. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:10, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
FFS is right. And scientists wonder why they have bad PR. Tetronian you're clueless 16:48, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Hurry up the colonization of the planet already! K61824ZOYG I edit like Kenservative! 18:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

"The planet is tidally locked to its star, so that one side basks in perpetual daylight, while the other side remains in darkness." - they are claiming this is a good thing for the development of life. I'm not sure I agree. It makes it so that only a very small part of the planet's surface is "really" in the liquid water zone, which is usually what gets called the "habitable zone". Still, a cool find. I can't wait until we can get direct observations of these bodies, so we can run some spectroscopy on them. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:07, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Suddenly I like facebook a lot more

LongearedjerboaTRUTH.png Totnesmartin (talk) 11:45, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

JerboaTruth.png Ha! Typical librull deceits. --PsyGremlinParla! 12:03, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I've just signed up to "improve" it... I've often wondered what the fuck that actually means, though. They just say they'll contact you when they're "ready", sounds pretty sinister to me. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Biblical scientific foreknowledge

The NY Times proves that Andy is right! (Ok, not really, but this is worth a read anyway.) Tetronian you're clueless 16:58, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Conservative dementia?

Another one for the proverbial article matrix. During our conversation with Rob, I started to think: maybe he really doesn't remember. We all muse about how myopic conservative propagandists are: "Bushvilles" suddenly make the news when they become "Obamavilles", Colbert testifying in Congress is a huge waste of time but Elmo is okay, pre-Bush era tax rates are now communism, etc. But maybe they really can't remember. Could the increasing age of your average rabid conservative alongside of the rising rates of dementia in the elderly explain some of this or is it just malice? I constantly find myself asking the elderly conservative whackos in my office where they were five years ago and some of them genuinely don't seem to remember. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:43, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

No I'm sure it's selective thinking. Anything done in *our* name is good, anyhing done in *their* name is bad, even if it's the same thing. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:04, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Michigan Assistant AG bullying a gay activist

Anybody heard about this asshole yet? He's using the internet to bash, harass, and intimidate a gay activist student while claiming to represent the state of Michigan. Fuckhead. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 13:51, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

The guy is obviously an asshole of the highest order. However, we're getting into a tricky legal question here, since, as far as I can tell, he's not using his position as an assistant AG to harass the student; he's just an assistant AG who's harassing the student on his own time.
The actual AG has distanced himself and his office from the comments. There's currently no law that prevents what he's doing. I really don't see what more can be done.— Unsigned, by: MDB / talk / contribs
I should clarify what I meant: as an assistant AG, he automatically represents the state of Michigan (much like a governor represents their state even when acting as a private citizen). Therefore, by him doing what he is doing, he is reflecting upon the people of Michigan poorly in that position. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 14:45, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but that leads to the question of "just how big is the position of Assistant AG in Michigan anyway?" Is it a prestigious job? Or are there dozens of assistant attorneys general? It could be the difference between Hillary Clinton saying "I hate Canadians and everything they stand for" and the receptionist at the US Embassy in Ottawa saying "I hate Canadians and everything they stand for".
The second question is how much is he identifying himself? It's a personal blog, but does he identify himself as an assistant AG? Or was it just found out that he's the assistant AG? MDB (talk) 14:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I see where you are going. The answer to the first question is that it is a tremendous position. He is one of the top prosecutors in the state, and part of his job is being a general representative of that state. As far as the second question goes, he is representing himself as himself and all that entails. He's not overtly using his credentials, but his conduct (even though as a private citizen), is unprofessional and unbecoming a public official at best. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 14:59, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Anyone know why that guy is not dismissed yet? K61824"6+18=24" 16:21, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It is usually very difficult to fire a government employee, at any level, in the States, if it's a non-political appointment. Gross misconduct is usually required. They can, however, ask for his resignation. If it's a political appointment, getting rid of them is somewhat easier. MDB (talk) 16:41, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
 ❝ "just how big is the position of Assistant AG in Michigan anyway?" Is it a prestigious job? Or are there dozens of assistant attorneys general? ❞  While I'm not sure about Michigan, one of my close relatives was an Assistant Attorney General of Maryland, and there are dozens of them. Picon small.pngAcer Blue 16:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
As a Marylander myself, that was what I was thinking. From what I understand, if you've ever worked as an attorney at all for the state of Maryland, you can call yourself "former assistant state's attorney".
As for Goonie's point... I'm a near absolutist when it comes to free speech. It just rubs me the wrong way to fire someone for conduct outside their official duties, when that conduct is legal, and, indeed, protected free speech.
And heck, if this guy is fired, he'll become the instant darling of the American right, and probably get a cushy job at a think tank or policy foundation. I wouldn't be surprised if Focus on the Family was already making overtures to him. MDB (talk) 16:50, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I can totally see this dinkus as Andy's right-hand guy. Seriously, watch the video--hilarious.--WJThomas (talk) 23:42, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Yay Anderson Cooper! Burn in hell, homophobic bastard! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:24, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Here is the blog in question. MDB (talk) 12:34, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Fucking hell, chillax dudes! Some fella doesn't like some homosexual fella, so what? Yes, it's a bit Kenesque to start a blog just to slate the guy, but you certainly shouldn't go screaming for him to lose his job. Get a fucking grip. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:06, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
The guy is on a leave of absence. I would normally be unabashedly against his being fired, except that he's under investigation for what basically amounts to stalking. (Shirvell calls it "protesting", but there's legal precedent that suggests that if you repeatedly harass someone outside their home and work or school it isn't covered under your right to protest.) ACLU supported Cox not firing him though. --Quantheory (talk) 17:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Update: TYT sinks their teeth in, awaiting the assistant to be outed. K61824Ahh! my eyes!! 22:42, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Holy Crap!

Dinner time!

Got the second flush of shiitake mushrooms off my logs I innoculated a year and a half ago. The picture doesn't really show how big the buggers are. The largest one is bigger than my palm. Off to find a good recipe now :) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:48, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

There are people in Japan who put out for a taste of the majestic shiitake. You lucky, lucky bastard. And no, I'm not jealous. Not one teeny bit. --PsyGremlinParla! 16:55, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Rockin'. There's three more on the log which should be ready in a couple of days as well. I think I'm gonna cook chicken in black bean with shiitake. Just found out a chinese grocers is opening near me tomorrow so I can grab some more fermented black beans. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 17:02, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I picked a delicious puffball from the garden the size of a grapefruit last weekend but I really must get round to innoculating logs as well. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 17:29, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
My dad came across a load of giant puffballs in the field where he walks the dog, but he didn't know you can eat them so he didn't pick them. Incidentally, I found a shaggy parasol mushroom in my front garden last night, but I've never tried them before and don't know if I'm one of the small percentage that gets gastrointestinal upsets from them. I also saw a group of fly agarics on my way to work this morning. OK, I wouldn't eat them, but I may have to stop to take a photo as they were quite impressive. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 17:43, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I am growing some Oyster Mushrooms in a bag of wood-chips in my basement. Don't have spores for any Psilocybin though damnit. AceDrumcode 19:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Hehe. I did try growing pink oyster mushrooms using an old phone directory, but I couldn't keep it wet enough it seems. If you want to grow liberty caps then apparently the best thing to do is to find a patch of grass where they are growing, and when no-one is looking, cut a small square of turf up and plant it in your lawn. Takes a couple of years for the mycelium to spread but soon enough you'll have a lawn full of them. Are they still not illegal in fresh form over there? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:41, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
It's never occurred to me to grow my own shrooms... may have to try it if I can find the right place. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:44, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
They are very illegal over here. The same designation as LSD. The ones we find here I have never seen anywhere else. Misshapen, no identifiable cap or stem. Just a bright blue/cream ball under the soil. I found one the size of an apple once. All you need is 2 -3 for a threshold dose. AceDrumcode 19:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Sounds like some kind of "Philosopher's Stones. If they're blue they must be fucking packed with psylocybin / psylocin. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:00, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
They are really creamy blue and the inside is so blue as to be purple. Damned strong to - we used to eat them straight from the ground (I retch as I write this). AceDrumcode 20:04, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I was talking about edible ones, not illegal ones... although I do have access to a storage container and once did a feasibility study into growing *ahem* "stuff" in it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:12, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
And, errrrr, was it ahhhh "feasible". AceDrumcode 20:18, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't know, the bar closed before we finished. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:23, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

(UI) @Armond: Doing mushroom logs is actually quite easy, but you have to very patient. Basically you get some freshly cut hardwood logs (pref. beech, birch or oak) which were cut during the tree's dormant period (we had the silver birch in our garden cut down coz it was tearing up the patio, but I'm sure you could politely ask a local tree surgeon for some offcuts). Then you get hold of some mycelium impregnated dowels, and drill loads of holes into the logs, hammer in the dowels, and then seal the pins with hot cheesewax (which is usually provided with the dowels, along with a sponge-on-a-wire applicator). Then you just leave them in a shady (but wet) spot in the garden and wait. It can take up to 2 years for the fungi to colonise the logs, mine took a year and a half. And then, suddenly, mushrooms, thousands of them. You can also "shock" the logs into producing a big flush of mushrooms by immersing the log in cold water overnight, but you shouldn't do that more than a couple of times a year. HTH. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip. I plan to fell quite a few trees this winter, including 3 silver/white birch (the seeds are getting everywhere.) I'll keep the ash for firewood. 13:12, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Mmm, cooked this last night for the wife and I. Excellent recipe, but the timings are a bit off. I'd say 15 mins at 200c. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:14, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] The Constellation program is dead?

It seems that the House of Representatives has passed the "National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010", effectively killing the Constellation program (a.k.a. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration). Cue the "Obama has killed American spaceflight" crowd in 3... 2... 1... (Some background: [1], see also the NASAWatch coverage and NASA's reaction.) I probably have to finish the NASA article...--ZooGuard (talk) 08:35, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

The wingnuts seem to find everything an indictment of Obama's anti-Americanism, so it wouldn't be surprising. Conversely, if he was the one who had instigated it then it would be seen as a liberal waste of money and more burden on the US taxpayer. Politics was ever thus but it does seem that this is now being carried to extremes in the USA at the moment. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 10:04, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Even when the first announcement was made some months ago, I remember it being primarily Republicans that were against it and twisting it around to be about "American jobs" or something. I can kind of see that working from their usual point of view, but the vast expense of NASA is something that you'd think would be alien to economic conservatives - and I thought NASA's new direction that involved the private sector would be right up their street! We have to ask the question; what could Obama do that would please the wingnuts? Besides come out as an Atheist Muslim, reinstate slavery, kill all the poor people in the US, remove all taxes on the richest 1%, and then shoot himself on live television. But I suppose even then they'd just call him a Liberal Coward for waiting so long. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:25, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
It's "America's leadership in space", the jobs are an afterthought rhetorically, though they are the primary reason for some people politicians to oppose scrapping Constellation and/or to insists on re-using Shuttle elements (the solid rocket boosters, etc.) It's a bit hard to win votes with "in order to have a realistic space program, we need to lay you off". :)
Meanwhile China sent another Lunar orbiter on its way: [2] I hope it gets some good pictures of the Apollo sites, this will count definitely as another independent confirmation. Not that it will shut some people up...--ZooGuard (talk) 14:37, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Tea Party Coloring Book

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx-J6E6Rgwg

The writers of the Onion are kicking themselves right now.Ryantherebel (talk) 02:14, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm glad TYT got it right - it was a protest against lowering taxes to favour one corporation. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Something I haven't seen mentioned. The yellow tree on the front cover is a money tree, I think that is the secret to the tea party. They think that if the government weren't so busy taxing them that they could go out and harvest their money trees and pay for all the entitlements that they want. --Opcn (talk) 07:09, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Christ, TYT are fucking irritating.Webbtje (talk) 11:32, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm currently reading the taxation background to the Boston Tea Party... no way is it as simple as saying it was due to a tax raise/cut. I'm struggling to get my head around it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:54, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Basically, there was a tariff on tea brought into the colonies. The Dutch East India Company received a rebate of part of it, making their tea cheaper than legal tea imported by others (the wealthy businessmen who dumped the tea in the harbor). Some of the colonists resorted to smuggling so they could compete.
What happened then was essentially a boycott, and DEIC ships at other ports managed to stay away. The one in Boston got "stuck" (docked and they wouldn't let it leave) and the rest is herstory. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:19, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Almost correct Human. Except that it was the British East India Company, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) is a completely different entity.  Lily Inspirate me. 22:23, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Doh, I knew something seemed wrong as I was typing that... ħumanUser talk:Human 23:04, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Encounters podcast

Encounters is a really great show that comes mostly from Alaska. Richard Nelson is fantastic at describing a scene. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves nature. I went to see him speak once, they put him in a room that held about 100 people by firecode, we fit about 230 in, and therre were cones of people standing outside of the windows, and then people standing out in the lobby, and then about 300 that were turned away since we couldn't physically break the firecode any worse than we did. he is also very proscience, though that is rarely mentioned in the show. --Opcn (talk) 07:04, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Other podcasts

Just listened to More or Less during lunch which has some interesting stuff about sexual statistics and micromorts, a unit if measure for the 1 in a million chance of dying, as a measure of comparing risk.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:41, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] They're out!

The 2010 Ig Nobel awards!
Best awards:

  • Economics Prize - Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money
  • Public health Prize - experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists
  • Biology Prize - documenting fellatio in fruit bats. --PsyGremlinFale! 11:07, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Sweet. I do like the Ig Nobels. Perhaps one day I'll do something stupid enough to get one. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:58, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Management Prize: Alessandro Pluchino (Italy) and colleagues for demonstrating mathematically that organisations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random. - That must explain RW, then. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:06, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
That one reminds me of the studies that have shown if you give a chimp a copy of the stock listings from the newspaper, he'll do a better job of picking investments than a professional broker. MDB (talk) 13:49, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I was reading a short item in The Guardian(?) this week which suggested that people with autism make better investors, probably because they do not react emotionally to market moves. Also there was a case in the UK during the 80's where a stockbroker invested money on behalf of his pet dog and got the dog to make the actual stock picks. The dog's account actually made a lot of money, I think he was trying to make some point about tax rules. The secret of the dog's success was that he was asked to choose between just a couple of options which the broker knew would both make money rather than some completely random selection from the thousands of companies available.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:05, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, it was Bob Beckman.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:09, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
The easiest way to make a small fortune on the stock exchange, is to start with a large one. --PsyGremlinPrata! 14:14, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
What, you've never heard of the wp:Peter Principle? (By the way, while adding that link I noticed that Pluchino has been included in the article. :) --ZooGuard (talk) 14:27, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Conservapedia's liberal bias

I am profoundly ashamed of Conservapedia. It was such a great idea, to write about the world from a politically conservative viewpoint, but today it is corrupted by a very sneaky underlying liberal bias. While it is not as prominent as Wikipedia, it is still there, corrupting Truth into liberal garbage.

That's why I have created a new encyclopedia, New Conservapedia, a site where the Truth can be told. The goal of the site is to document the world from a True Conservative viewpoint, without the liberal bias of the old conservapedia.com --Onion <talk> 17:51, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Good luck with that then.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's come down with a severe case of Proxima Centauri. Unless treated, this can lead to large numbers of poorly-written and irrelevant articles the removal of which will require drastic surgery. Stupid wisest Phantom Hoover! 15:21, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I am Happy to say that New Conservapedia accepts my Edits without Question.--Tolerance (talk) 17:45, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
No one cares. SJ Debaser 11:38, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
How long until a new mysterious editor called Pierre le Blanc or Yoshitoshi Suzuki appears and starts creating articles which begin "In regards to..."? --PsyGremlinPrata! 12:46, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

On a more serious note, if you want this to take off, have a look at the less wingnutty conservative media and advertise CP Plus' existence on there. At least try and draw editors in from somewhere other than RW. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 12:49, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Astrology

Someone I'm following on DeviantART posted a poll about whether people believe in astrology. Now, I was reassured that the top answer (last I check) was "it's a load of crap" closely followed by "I don't care" but I was bemused by the one commenter that said they didn't believe in astrology because it was forbidden by their religion. Of course, I have nothing personally against anyone believing or not believing this sort of thing (I have issues against people who sell it, but that's different) but it struck me as very odd reasoning. I'm struggling to think of the word... hypocritical is too negative, but it seems strange to reject one piece of woo because of another or perhaps only go half way in your disbelief because. Anyway, it just plain strikes me as odd and I thought I'd report back here. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I've come across this before. It's because divination is forbidden in the OT.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:31, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
The OT strongly suggests that it can be done, but that it is forbidden (sinful, hated by God, whatever). That makes it weird to say "I can't believe in astrology because of my religion." What seems more plausible is "I believe in astrology, but my religion demands that I not consult it." --Quantheory (talk) 04:03, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Well the bibble also says 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me' which rather suggests that there is more than one. But in general, believers are required to disbelieve other stuff because it conflicts with their own belief system; they follow the "One True Woo", the others are false woo. Everything else cannot be right otherwise their woo would not be special. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 08:16, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
The Old Testament also forbids all manner of magic, consulting mediums, numerology and things like that. Astrology is in the same category - it might work, in some occult, imprecise way, but it's not allowed.-- Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 10:19, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
If you look at it that way, isn't it an article of faith to believe that astrology, magic, and so on are real, but Christians are forbidden to take part in them? --Kels (talk) 13:19, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Fred & Barney

I see Google is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Flintstones. Now, this must be a good conservative Christian show right? I mean we have married couples, people living with dinosaurs, some kind of technology, which was lost during the Great Flood... --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 12:42, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

And, most importantly, no science! Tetronian you're clueless 14:15, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
What? Technology without science? This is blasphemous! K61824CP≠Child Porn? 07:08, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
That's not true, at least mad scientists existed. Which implies there was mad science, at least. --Kels (talk) 13:34, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] It's hunting season

I'm told that, at least in parts of the United States, hunting season begins today.

Well, really, what better way to commemorate that date than with...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-k5J4RxQdE

MDB (talk) 11:13, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Embedding disabled by request. Totnesmartin (talk) 13:03, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Feh. You can still click on the vid and watch it at the youtube site itself. MDB (talk) 13:05, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
MMh, rabbits. I haven't gone rabbit hunting, or duck hunting in years now. Having a shotgun with a broken safety kinda weans you off of thatTyrannis (talk) 13:41, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Bow season started a few weeks ago here. Don't know when the gunpowder comes out, but I'm sure I'll hear it when it does. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:11, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
It's always hunting season for something somewhere. --Opcn (talk) 22:23, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Apparently bowhunting for does opened today, firearms is late Nov or so. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:03, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
For what animal and where? Mountain goat hunting opened up back in August. --Opcn (talk) 06:58, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Bambi, NH USA. Bucks with bows opened a couple weeks ago, btw. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:09, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Goat hunting? It's an outrage! — Unsigned, by: some manky goat lover / talk / contribs
My mom's been genociding squirrels in her backyard for the crime of eating her tomatoes and raiding the bird feeder every 20 minutes. All it takes is a Haveaheart no-kill cage, a plastic tub, a can of starter fluid, and a rag. Quieter than a shotgun and less holes in the fence than a bow. Nutty Rouxnever mind 18:04, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Does the ether affect the flavor at all? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:09, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I hope I can bag a buck this year. Venison is the best--Thanatos (talk) 19:08, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Every time I go squirrel hunting, every squirrel vanishes. Not a one. I stopped after my 20ga's safety broke and I came within 3cm of removing my head from my shoulders. Tyrannis (talk) 22:20, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Cannibals. Secret Squirrel (talk) 22:58, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] I'm not looking forward to summer

2nd Oct, temp outside 35C, September rains haven't come yet. God know what it'll be like come Dec/Jan. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 13:49, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Enough of your whining southern hemispherism. It's been pissing down here. OK the sun is shining across Formby sands now as I look out of my window, but it's forecast to rain again tomorrow.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:54, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
(victim of malicious EC) We had a similar situation here in the spring. Little snow over the winter leading to almost no runoff, and little rain in the early part of the spring. Somehow we not only avoided drought, but ended up with an early season on pretty much all fruits and veggies. Heck, the pumpkins have been coming ripe for at least a week now, which bodes ill for Jack O' Lantern season (people are being told to keep them much like potatoes, so they'll last long enough). --Kels (talk) 13:55, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I think that the general consensus is that in the UK this year has seen a bumper harvest for fruit & veg. Cold winter, dry summer then rain to swell the ripening produce.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:05, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
We're still harvesting grapes - must have had about 10 kilos and agood few still on the vine. 14:28, 2 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast.
I refuse to discuss seasons with people from the Southern Hemisphere. Their seasonal wrong-headedness and idiotic nomenclature beggars belief. Although I accept that the temperatures 'Down Under' are upside down compared to the proper part of the world, it is pushing the limits far too far to go around renaming things. People from south of the Equator should just get used to calling the hot part of the year 'Winter' and the cold part 'Summer', as it is much too confusing for those of us from the correct part of the planet. It's bad enough that there's all this nonsense about turkey dinners on the beach - the least you could do is just accept that Christmas is a Winter holiday. Harrumph. DogPMarmite Patrol 15:05, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Besides, Australia doesn't exist. St. Augustine of Hippo said so. --Kels (talk) 15:47, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
As to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets on us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, there is no reason for believing it. Those who affirm it do not claim to possess any actual information; they merely conjecture that, since the earth is suspended within the concavity of the heavens, and there is as much room on the one side of it as on the other, therefore the part which is beneath cannot be void of human inhabitants. They fail to notice that, even should it be believed or demonstrated that the world is round or spherical in form, it does not follow that the part of the earth opposite to us is not completely covered with water, or that any conjectured dry land there should be inhabited by men. For Scripture, which confirms the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, teaches not falsehood; and it is too absurd to say that some men might have set sail from this side and, traversing the immense expanse of ocean, have propagated there a race of human beings descended from that one first man.
Does that make Ace a collective hallucination? --PsyGremlinFale! 15:59, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
It certainly explains Philip's disconnection from reality, in any case. And yeah, a guy with MACHEESEMO like Ace couldn't possibly be real. --Kels (talk) 16:05, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Wrong... but funny.

Teen With Cancer Vows It Won't Keep Her From Being Mean, Moody Little Shit --PsyGremlinTal! 15:23, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

A truly inspirational story. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] New Scientist on CP

I just posted this link to New Scientist somewhere else. But I thought I'd bring it to a wider audience. (Hope it's not a duplicate) It's New Scientist laughing at Conservapedia.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:53, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure that it has been brought up before. I certainly remember looking at it and I'm not a regular visitor to the NS site. But it's certainly worth revisiting for a chuckle.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:04, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Wow! Awesome. Can't wait for assfly's "New Scientist are all liberals who oppose school prayer" response, or maybe even another Lenski? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:06, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
It was six weeks ago. If Andy didn't pick up on it then it would only be if one of his pet goons now decided to give the Master a dead mouse after reading this. Hi guys! Wave.gif  Lily Inspirate me. 20:18, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Inform ThickKunt. The #1 parodist will let him know. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:33, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this was the one that kicked off the mini slashdot effect with the relativity thing. Brian Cox went on about it on Twitter too. Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:19, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Mulled Wine

Ahhh, wassail. Note, night edits may contain even more spelling errors than usual. Does any one else here drink this wonderful drinkTyrannis (talk) 01:39, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I think you'll find that many RW'ians would drink their own piss if they could figure out how to keep the alcohol they've already consumed in it. I have quite recently enjoyed a large bucket of mulled wine myself, resulting in the not-unexpected spiritual exhaustion. DogPMarmite Patrol 02:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
is that where you stick a red hot poker into the wine and burn off some of the alcohol, and warm the wine up a lot ? I have done that but it didnt improve it any. Hamster (talk) 03:34, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
is that where you stick a red hot poker into my bum and burn off some of the hemorrhoids, and warm the poop up a lot? I have done that but it didn't improve the taste any. Hamster (talk) 04:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Behe tour

According to the CID "Mike" Behe is undertaking a UK tour in November. Anybody up for it?  Lily Inspirate me. 16:07, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

No, I have far more important and interesting things to do, like counting my rice. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 17:44, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I am guessing Lily is asking people to troll it, so counting rice is more important than publicly humiliating Behe? K61824Ed Poor types in Chinese? 18:48, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Won't happen. He has a sniper rifle full of bullets made of bollocks. There's literally nothing you could say that would make him look stupid and make you a hero. He's a professional bullshit monger. You'll just end up reinforcing the believers in the audience's hatred of atheists. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:21, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
@Crundy: Hey! You stole that metaphor from Tim Minchin! Tetronian you're clueless 21:48, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of storm, isn't the movie coming out this month? I can't wait to see how that was modeled. --Opcn (talk) 08:29, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Indeed I did. Been listening to that song at work. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:11, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
It might be interesting if RW could get a presence. Not to troll it 4Chan style but to either put forward questions, secure an interview or just be present. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:26, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
He never comes within reach of me, damnit. 10:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Taking notes and then refuting them here would be good. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:59, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
A recording would be nice... ħumanUser talk:Human 00:40, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Fuck me, his website is clearly not intelligently designed. I might go along to one of them, although six quid is two pints' worth... If there's a Q&A it could be fun. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:54, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] We shall fight them on the beaches

I am a jingoistic oppressor of the Irish, apparently, because I wrote an article on Wikipedia called "list of British Isles rockpool life". I am Oliver Cromwell. Totnesmartin (talk) 09:42, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

s'funny, I've always pictured you as a bit of a Cavalier actually. I wouldn't worry too much about a BoN concern troll. --PsyGremlinPrata! 10:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I find it quite amusing. I do like the way his other edits are about the big issues of Irish history, then he makes a one-off detour to whinge about puddles on the beach. Maybe a grockle kicked his sandcastle when he was a small boy. Hmm, Cavalier? Romantic but wrong? Yeah, that's me, a bit. Totnesmartin (talk) 10:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
There is a small group of absolutely insufferable Irish at Wikipedia. One of the main ones is borderline retarded. DickTurpis (talk) 10:55, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm pleased it's not just RW that gets retarded talk page criticism. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:18, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Do I detect another fan of that fine book of history, 1066 And All That? --Kels (talk) 15:51, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
That type of Irish rockpool life just annoys the hell out of me. It's a geographical term, you cunts, get over it. DogPMarmite Patrol 15:56, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
wp:Talk:British Isles is one of the things I point out to people who claim that certain forms of idiocy are unique to the Balkans...--ZooGuard (talk) 16:16, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh Gawd, Balkan issues in WP are something I try to avoid, just because of the silly nationalist posturing. Totnesmartin (talk) 17:22, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
The Irish comment is incomprehensible anyway. British Isles is the name for the Islands, and the "list" lists animals not places.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:59, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Anybody know much about this woo site

Natural News? I've been hearing more about it's alleged crank ideas a lot more about the interwebs lately, and was just curious if anybody knew anything behind-the-scenes about it. Punky Your mental puke relief 15:42, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Orac has been writing about NaturalNews for several years now - see here. Colonel of Squirrels你有两头母牛。他们是删掉了。 17:14, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm, perhaps the site is article-worthy? Doesn't look like we have anything on 'em right now. Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 06:09, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, if anybody wants to help, I created an article about the site, which is currently a stub. Punky Your mental puke relief 16:43, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Is Ecology thought of as a soft science?

Perhaps this is my paranoid physics envy showing but since we have a great collection of science-minded types here I was wondering what everybody thinks or has heard of the scientific rigours of ecology both in the scientific community and the general public. At my own university I have heard firsthand people taking ecology courses specifically because they are thought of as easy in comparison to say genetics or cell bio and I absolutely agree that the way it is taught leans to the simplistic and completely ignores the interconnectedness of the discipline (something I hope to change when I teach it). And I, on thinking of what to specialize in in grad school thought of the instrumentation/methodology side and making it better, getting away from using so much statistics, though I realize this is simply one of the limitations to the subject. That being said the primary literature does not read like a soft science to me though I realize that as soon as you start broadening your scope you are forced to start extrapolating from samples, just like the social sciences. Anyways, forgive the rant, I still love the subject no matter what people think of it. NetharianCubicles are prisons! 18:42, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

It might just be considered "soft" because it doesn't have the broad label of the main three; chemistry, physics, biology. Indeed, I technically graduated with "Chemistry with Energy, Resources and Environmental Management" but thought the extension "polluted" it so I just have "Chemistry" on the certificate. It's the same with other disciplines. I have a friend doing Geography (something I didn't realise actually existed at university level!) and I keep forgetting she's therefore a proper science student - with appropriate levels of commitment and rigour - and not some artsy or humanities student. You'd then expect people to give more credit to Ecology if you said it was just a specialist aspect of Biology. Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:26, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
My son is a marine biologist (2nd year masters) and most of his work at the moment is ecology. I'm fairly sure that his current work isn't considered soft science. Indeed he tells me it's the most rigorous research he's been involved in so far. Anyway the appeal of it to him is indeed the interconnectedness of it! Ajkgordon (talk) 09:58, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm reminded of the quote from Ernest Rutherford. "Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting." Don't blame me, I'm just quoting the great man. --BobSpring is sprung! 15:48, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Physics? There is no physics - it's all gnomes! Totnesmartin (talk) 15:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] The Producers

I just got the 1968 version and I have to say, with the exception of Willy Wonka as Leo Bloom and LSD, the 2005 version was vastly superior.--Thanatos (talk) 19:10, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

As the world's self proclaimed #1 Mel Brooks fan, I must say, in as few words as possible, that I agree with the above statement. Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 19:12, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately it had Will Ferrell in it. On balance the staging of "Springtime for Hitler" is much better although Brook's continued insistence of using his own voice for "Don't be stupid... ...Nazi Party" is a bit incongruous. He also used the same lines in Sweet Georgia Brown.  Lily Inspirate me. 19:19, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Agree. Will Ferrell ruined it for me. The guy in the original was much better. Don't get me wrong, I do like Will Ferrell, but I think it was the wrong role. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:02, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't matter, that song is just too catchy! ~'It's springtime, For Hitler, And Germany'~.. gets me every time, i taught my bird to whistle it :DHKJGN (talk) 20:59, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

But who the hell starts a song on a descending 7th!?!? Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not have an article on "descending 7th" or "descending seventh", therefore it does not exist. I call Liberal Deceit on you! ħumanUser talk:Human 04:04, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm a bit surprised at this. I only saw part of the new version, admittedly, but from what I did see I really preferred the original. Then again, I was never a big fan of musicals. DickTurpis (talk) 06:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Springtime for Hitler - That. Nods.gif Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

It starts on a descending 7th Because the Fuhrer Said so!Don't ask questions! Achtung! Achtung! Schnell! Gelangen Sie an die Linien! verteidigen Sie das große Deutschland!HKJGN (talk) 14:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Spewing gibbirsh

These god damn fucking talking heads on television spraying bad vibes and awful gibberish. They wont stop and god damn I have had enough of all this bullshit. penis faced fuckbags, I had enough. I have a sharp knife and I'll use it. i9 06:00, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

This is why science invented the Off button.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:08, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Lol. It's the big red one. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] 6 Degrees of Facebook

You know where FB throws up 'People you may know' (and 9 times out of 10 it's somebody I've never heard of) I'm sometimes amazed when I click on the 'mutual friends' link, to see friends from completely opposite sides of the spectrum, also friends with that person. s'funny that. --PsyGremlinRunāt! 10:40, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I once found someone linked to me by three completely different friends, one of which was actually someone I only know online but we managed to track each other via Facebook when the original site died a death. The other two were acquaintances more than close friends, but they were also completely different groups. The whole six degrees thing is scary... Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:57, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I met someone from South Africa last summer, his name was John and he lives in Cape Town, perhaps you know him?  Lily Inspirate me. 11:59, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
lol, scary thing is, I do know a John in Cape Town :) Still you're not as bad as the Yank who asked if I knew Peter in Lagos. --PsyGremlinParlez! 12:23, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Skill (and bravery?)

I don't know who deserves applause more the driver or the girl. 11:58, 30 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Didn't Ken have a variant of this terrific piccy?
(Both above Hat tip 12:16, 30 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I would have like to see how it coped with a bra strap, that's where most men have problems. Also, why am I not surprised that this is from an Italian TV station? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 12:29, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
P.S. But not this guy. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 12:32, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that would have to be Italian television. --BobSpring is sprung! 13:17, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Didn't realise it was, is that on the soundtrack? SusanG Toast 13:23, 30 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
The soundtrack is Italian. Still got problems there?--BobSpring is sprung! 13:25, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Yup! 13:27, 30 September 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
It says RAI Due in the top right corner. RAI is the Italian state broadcaster. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 14:15, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
What worries me is who wakes up one morning and says, "I've got a great way for us to be on TV, darling! Now you stand over there, while I fetch the digger..." Still, pretty nifty though. --PsyGremlinTal! 12:45, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I often wonder how people come to realise they can do this sort of thing... Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:28, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
This is still one of the better talent show thingies I've seen. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 13:37, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
It was impressive the first time. Then they came back and performed exactly the same routine. When told they'd have to change something, they came back, did exactly the same routine again, but claimed that because the guy was wearing a neck tie he'd changed something. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I think it is a variation on the old Chinese face mask changing - lots of very fine silk layers. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 14:15, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Lately I've been trying to figure out how magic acts like this are done. Watching a few on America's Got Talent this year I think I have the basics of several of them. It seems many involve fitting people into small places it looks like a person can't fit (the base of a glass box and the like). Anyone know much about these things? Am I off base here? (Getting quite off topic here, I realize.) DickTurpis (talk) 17:57, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I saw a video where they showed a woman climbing into a small basket, and the magician then inserts loads of swords going straight through. They showed you inside the basket and you could see there was loads of room for the assistant to grab the tip of the swords and manuvere them out of harms way. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:24, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Ah, here you go [3] CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:25, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Those sorts of tricks are usually pretty easy. I was wondering about stuff like this. I sort of have it figured out. It's easy when you realize that the hand coming through the cloth isn't either of theirs (still unsure of exactly what the real deal with the hand is, though). Notice how as soon as the woman pulls the cloth away at the end it switches from a left hand to a right hand. DickTurpis (talk) 21:59, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Magic's Biggest Secrets came back for another series recently. Although once you've seen one explained, you can kind of see the tricks coming. Mostly stage illusions all rely on you thinking differently to what you're seeing. Like with the swords/basket routine you're seeing a huge wicker basket, but you're thinking small, cramped space. In the speedy transformations (where someone escapes from a locked box and replaces the person standing on it) you think it's done in a few seconds, but forget about the vital tens of seconds before the "switch" where they'd be escaping and getting into position, and the tens of seconds afterwards while the other person is getting inside the box. You saw it happen over the course of a minute, you think it happened over the course of a few seconds. Derren Brown explains it quite nicely and gives other examples. Like with a feat of memory, you say you're going to memorise a list of words in three seconds and everyone thinks you did it in three seconds, but you actually had a minute or so because people forget the amount of time it took to read out the list and make it first. It kind of backfired on his lottery prediction, where people picked up on the fact he only revealed the numbers after the draw, but that's the basic principle. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:10, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I saw one of those recently and pretty soon had a good idea how the illusion was created. One where the magician was allegedly holding his breath in a tank of water I guessed that the assistant had attached an airline to him when she was supposed to be checking his pulse on his neck.  Lily Inspirate me. 22:20, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
The first time I saw Metamorphasis performed was at Covent Garden by a couple of street magicians. That was by far the quickest switch I've ever seen. The guy literally threw the curtain up in the air, and it dropped a second later with him in the box, lid closed, and the assistant standing on top of the box. Even though I know how it's done now, I can't for the life of me work out how they did it that quickly. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:13, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Secrets of Scientology

I highly recommend watching it. It's the follow up to 'Scientology and Me' from 2007 - the one where John Sweeney lost it and started shouting at the douche from the Church of Scientology. Basically, this newer documentary hinges on the fact that one of the guys that was trailing Sweeney three years ago has since quit the church and dragged the secrets with him. He's admitted that the entire incident was pretty much a set-up and that the church lied about trailing Sweeney and investigating them in 2007. Scarlet A.pngtheist 00:22, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I think this is it. 16:45, 3 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
They let it go on YouTube instead of just keeping it on iPlayer. Nice. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] A quick question

I don't know the political orientation of my fellow RW folks, but I just have to ask this.... Do conservatives really think phrases like "lame stream media" "Nobama," "Obummer" and "Democrooks" are clever or even remotely amusing? I have conservative friends who use these all the time as if it's intelligent or appropriate to do so and they don't seem to realize that it makes them sounds stupid and childish, so my question to all my right leaning folks: is this what passes for humor and intelligence in most conservative circles or do I just have really stupid friends? SirChuckBI brake for Schukky 08:39, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

We're all ni%%ers, like you. !!!! ħumanUser talk:Human 09:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm guessing that their reaction is no worse, and no less dumb, than all the liberals calling George W 'Dubbya' and so forth. It's probably a common trait in political discussion (i.e. drunken pontificating at the bar) to belittle and dumb-down the opposition. Usually at the expense of making yourself look a complete 'nana. --PsyGremlinTala! 09:15, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think you get that sort of thing in the UK. Although we're usually about 5-10 years behind the US and if the Daily Mail's plunge into insanity is anything to go by, it'll not be long before we start getting such phrases entering the lexicon. Even the most hardened Tory Boys probably wouldn't go for those sort of phrases - unless they're really posh and are just going to use them "ironically". Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:00, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
It does occur in the UK but it is, thankfully, toned down. And restricted mostly to (daily mail) online comments. Recall "B'Liar", "Nu Labour", "Ca-moron", etc. That said, I think most of it is parody. ONE / TALK 13:42, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's what I mean. It's mostly toned down to people who think they're being witty. Rather than actively meaning it in a malicious sense, as you get in the US. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:02, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
My favourite was ZaNu-Liebour, top notch. Gorgon Brown and Bleary Hazel were shit. Although as One has said, it's only done on online comments etc, not by supposedly serious political writers. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:16, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Give it a couple of months, Peter Hitchens is almost there. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:48, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I don't think that phrases like "lame stream media" are intrinsically unfunny. Rather, I have a low opinion of people who talk like that because:
  1. We got it the first time, so if you continue to replace the word "media" with "lame stream media" in every single sentence, you sound clueless and obsessive.
  2. If you've picked up on this meme, you've probably been listening to Palin & Co. And taking them seriously. Which does not imply good things about you.
-- Quantheory (talk) 01:02, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It's really all a part of the Newspeak. Keep saying it often enough and it worms its way into the proles' subconscious. And controlling the unthinking masses is really what power-grabbing is all about.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:49, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Lily has it right. When pundits, bloggers, etc. coin these idiotic phrases they're really just doing the same thing as politicians & spin doctors do with soundbites & campaign slogans: reducing complex issues to simplistic black&white phrases that stick in the mind. This can sway those who are easily influenced & re-enforce the views of supporters. If people use these kind of phrases too much then yes, they do sound stupid & childish, but I think that (as with slang etc.) the reasons they are so widely used have something to do with group identity - bonding with like-minded people (the ingroup) by using shared jargon & memes, while belittling & ridiculing the opposition (the outgroup). WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:49, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] At the risk of being assassinated

While working on a quick project for a Poli Sci class, I am seeing more and more crap out of Israel that makes me wonder how the hell they have any allies left? I mean, the attack on the Liberty, the multiple kidnapping and renditions of citizens from sovereign nations, usually done under forged passports... Why do the Western powers allow this? I mean, if say.... Iran had forged British passports to kidnap French citizens in Italy, they would be surrounded by tanks and the government would be in hiding. SirChuckBPlease Excuse me, I have to go out and hunt giraffes 20:36, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

How much different is that from what the CIA does? The PATRIOT Act? Extraordinary renditions? Guantánamo? Picon small.pngAcer Blue 20:40, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Who is to say that Iran doesn't do that? I fail to cite sources but the Iranian news reporter that was held hostage who appeared on the Daily Show said that the Military told him that if he ever spoke out against the Government again, anywhere, that they would find him, that they had 'the power' to bring him back if he did. In addition, it's the same as the charges of the Chinese and Russians hacking the US regularly, but in turn we do it just as often, if not much more, we just have more at stake. It's a matter of subjectivity, all of the larger countries do it, it's just not talked about in the media or anywhere.HKJGN (talk) 20:44, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

It's not much different, but serveral countries throughout the world complained loudly about Guantanamo and the renditions that the United States performed, there was little international outrage over the PATRIOT act because that was a domestic issue. As for the other countries that do it, when Russia sent agents into England and killed someone, there was huge outrage and tension, and China has been getting pressure for years over this.... But the difference is, we seem to just sweep it under the rug when Israel does it. What? They boarded a ship in international waters and killed nine Turks? Oh well, it may be a violation of international law and an act of piracy, but it's Israel so we'll let it go. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 20:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
At the end of the day Chuck, Israel is on our side. So we forgive them many things, and slap them on the wrist for the rest. Most of their crimes are crimes against nations or groups which may broadly be classed as hostile, so no-one really cares. EddyP (talk) 20:54, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Anyone in any doubt about Israel's crimes, but also about how dissent and even questioning what Israel does is suppressed within Israel should read this (slightly lengthy) but compelling article. Bondurant (talk) 06:28, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Sad, but good, post... ħumanUser talk:Human 08:17, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Agree. Goodpost.gif Picon small.pngAcer Blue 18:57, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I think it was Johann Hari who has said that most of Israel's influence and ability to get away with murder (metaphorical and literal) is because of the evangelical Christian right in the US, rather than anything its done itself. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:35, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
The thing that is most deeply disturbing about the debate over Israeli policy is that apparently, it simply cannot be had. And until that isn't the case, the only thing politically powerful people seem to be allowed to say without consequence for their careers is "it's a terrible situation, isn't it? Yes, tragic. Someone ought to do something about that". It's a fucking disgrace. DogPMarmite Patrol 17:35, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Israel gets away with a lot. It's got nuclear weapons, it carries out generalised punishment against civilian populations, it has two classes of citizens on its soil based on their religious affiliation perhaps I should check this one. If any other country did this sort of stuff it would be in danger of being invaded by the US.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:53, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Sputnik & the legacy of science

It is very much in the interest of the right wing to keep science educators busy defending public education from creationism than it is to have a well informed, rational, skeptical population. 06:52, 4 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

A bit pessimistic, assuming we can't stop the stupidity any more.... but considering support for Sarah Palin, they may be unfortunately right. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:32, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Do as I say...

...not as I do. Top 10 Anti-Gay Activists Caught Being Gay --PsyGremlinFale! 13:00, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

(Conservative spin)): "SEE! even those Dirty Man-Loving heathens know they don't deserve equal rights!"HKJGN (talk) 20:56, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] God turns back on America!

In a stunning surprise today, God withdrew His favour from the US Ryder Cup team, allowing the combined atheistic team from Europe to win by a single point. The Almighty seemed to forget that US team member Zack Johnson had even dedicated his Masters' win to Him and could not find within Himself the mercy to let the Americans claim the win thanks to Divine Intervention.

Unconfirmed reports say that the next sportsman who casts his eyes Heavenward after scoring a try/touchdown/century/wicket/100m dash win, is likely to be smitten by Holy Lightning. Speaking on behalf of God, Metatron had this to say, "The Big Grey Bearded Bloke is far too busy making sure that the 10 gazillion googleplex atoms of the universe don't go spinning off in every which way - hello? who thought it was a good idea to make every atom negative on the outside? But does He listen? Noooo - to acknowledge every little God botherer, who can't seem to understand that it had less to do with God (although He did help Nancy Kerrigan out once) and more their training. He feels a few well aimed lightning bolts might solve the matter."

Sorry, just getting this in, before the onion or CP. --PsyGremlinSermā! 15:29, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] OMG Conservapedia everything

Okay, I would just like to say something. I am freaking tired of all the references to CP on RW...

... It's giving me nightmares about people really so deluded gathering together to form an idiocy greater than the sum of its parts. It just can't be possible, CP must be some prank. Aphoxema (talk) 16:05, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

CP is that way ----> 16:21, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
You're just playing into the conspiracy trying to fool us into believing there's such a thing as madmen. Aphoxema (talk) 16:22, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Whatever do you mean? We're all mad. Didn't you know that? Ever since they started to put LSD in the water (you believed it was fluorine right?) It's just that some of us don't drink the water, so we aren't as mad as everybody else. --PsyGremlinSprich! 16:26, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you telling me that adding LSD to my water purifier was unnecessary? Aphoxema (talk) 16:31, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Heavens no! In fact it should be compulsory. --PsyGremlin講話 16:44, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I fear that somehow we've strayed from my point, which even looking back through the discussion is beyond me. Aphoxema (talk) 16:53, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
That tends to happen when there's LSD in the water supply. DogPMarmite Patrol 01:27, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
http://xkcd.com/790/ --Quantheory (talk) 01:46, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Damn them!

They suspended my favorite news broadcaster for 2 weeks. Damn, although it was definitely appropriate. i9 00:31, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] 24 different types of libertarians

I found this comic while surfing the web, and I thought you might like it! (Unless, of course, you're actually a libertarian) --Onion <talk> 01:40, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Liking the "more libertarian than thou". Tell you what, privatise crime too and you'll be sorted! Oh, wait... Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:18, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Reading the rest of those cartoons I think we might need to add Barry Deutsch to the list of really embarrassing liberals. Some of it is almost in Karajou territory. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:36, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Eh, kinda boring. Mostly the usual trite, cliched criticisms of libertarians one expects from the MoveOn/Daily Kos crowd. "Creepy" and "Stoned" are kinda funny. The best spoof of some of the nutjobs who hang around libertarian circles is still the 1970 book It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand. Leave it to a libertarian to do the only really funny job of spoofing their own. Secret Squirrel (talk) 14:15, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I think I now know what they're talking about when people say Liberal White Guilt... Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:35, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems I should have looked at the other cartoons at that site, because they are all very embarrassing and often filled with strawman arguments. I never thought liberal guilt actually did exist but this proves that it does! --Onion <talk> 19:43, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I dunno, I found it funny, in a childish sort of way of course. I think sometimes it's nice to stop trying so hard to make a point on things, and just enjoy the Ironic Stereotype, even if it's not true, kinda like watching Comedians talk about the difference between white/black people, when there isn't really, it's just childishly humorous.HKJGN (talk) 20:54, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

As a comedian who does a fair share of black/white jokes, I take serious offense to you calling our lifeblood childish... and for the record, there are differences between black and white people, they're just cultural and not genentic.... Although there are genetic differences as well..... SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 06:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] There. I said it.

Fed up with people mis-accusing others of logical fallacies, I have decided to coin a new aphorism:

"Correlation does not imply causation" does not imply noncausation.

There. I said it. ONE / TALK 13:28, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

That needed to be said. Well said. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:37, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, correlation doesn't imply causation. But as they say, it does stand in the corner saying "psst, look over there!" You can also do the same thing and say "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence" isn't evidence of non-absence. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:23, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

All of these pithy little logical memes are for you bloody frequentist. Us more highly evolved Bayesians don't get mucked down but such binary, arbitrary and context free distinctions. tmtoulouse 16:23, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Trent wins the thread. (Interestingly, from a Bayesian perspective, absence of evidence is evidence of absence!) Tetronian you're clueless 17:28, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Surely not? As that's a logical disconnect the same as conflating "all men are human" being the same as "all humans are men". Although I see the point that since you can't really prove a negative, it sort of makes sense... except... actually, never mind, I had it and then lost it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:41, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Your equating absolutes when in statistics everything is probabilistic based on data. The "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" in statistics is best equated with the idea that one can not prove the null hypothesis but rather fail to reject it. However, Bayes equation can actually assign relative probabilities to the null hypothesis and the alternative hypotheses presented. So if a specific hypothesis makes a prediction that something should be observed, and it is not, in the frequentist paradigm you have "failed to reject the null hypothesis" and not really provided evidence for the null hypothesis. However, you can use the lack of an observed prediction to update your Bayesian priors and as such absence of evidence can be used as evidence for absence. tmtoulouse 21:53, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
That's definitely the clearest explanation of it that I've seen in a while. Tetronian you're clueless 12:44, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
As I like to think of it, looking into a room and seeing that it appears empty is very good evidence that it contains no people, tables, or dragons, but very bad evidence that it contains no air, germs, or invisible pink unicorns. If the presence of something does, in fact, imply that finding certain evidence is more probable, then absence of evidence is evidence of absence.--Quantheory (talk) 01:24, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I like to think of this via the "black sheep in Scotland" experiment. In order to assign probabilities well, one needs to examine not only the "evidence", but also evaluate the methodology used to develop it. (in the "look into the empty room" example, one can rule out things that one could be sure to see if they were there, but not things one might not be able to see). Anyway, back to our sheep. If we were to take a three day drive through the Scottish countryside and not see any black sheep, our confidence level would be very low if we tried to state "there are no black sheep in Scotland". If, however, we polled all the farmers in Scotland, and asked for a description or picture of their darkest sheep, and all the replies said "white", we could then begin to build a statistical validity for the claim, based in part on what percentage responded, what the odds are we someone missed the "black sheep farmers", and what the odds of wild black sheep might be. Note that here we are spared examining all the sheep in a sense (although we are having the farmers do it for us, mechanical separation methods could be imagined for a different thought experiment). ħumanUser talk:Human 21:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Medal of Honor

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/11465565 Sigh. Seems quite... juvenile to me. Almost like it's denial that troops actually do die in the war. Is the ban on televising soldiers dying still in effect in the US? Also, how dare they even suggest the Taliban are real, or human, dammit! Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:31, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

So, the "friends and families of fallen soldiers" object to people playing the Taliban and killing American soldiers, but won't object to people playing something called "Opposing Force" and... killing American soldiers. WTF?--ZooGuard (talk) 17:03, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I have no fucking clue. I can't compute how it makes any sense. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:14, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
EA is dodging anticipated criticism. They know that there will be outraged news reports that will say "Video game allows kids to play at being terrorists!!!!!111one!!!" They'll never be able to get the message out that:
  • It's only in multi-player.
  • The entire point of the game is military battle, and someone has to be the "bad guys". MDB (talk) 17:19, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It's not dodging anticipated criticism because it's already been criticised for it. It it was anticipated, no one would have noticed it and it would have gone the same way as COD4 when it used OpFor in multiplayer. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:01, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
As MDB said, if you're playing a multiplayer game like this, you have to have good guys v bad guys. Considering the comtemporary theme of the game, it makes sense for the bad guys to be the Taliban. I didn't see them crying about Counter Strike where you can play the "Terrorists" and have to plant bombs. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Brasseye/The Day Today

Right, these jolly programmes effectively showed TV news up years before Faux became as popular as it now is. Does anyone think there's an article in one or both of these shows, even if it/they're in Fun? If the answer's no, feel free to just talk about how awfully good they are, like most things Chris Morris touches.Webbtje (talk) 19:47, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I would think that Brasseye deserves a mention somewhere, particular the episodes about paedophiles and drugs. They both had various celebraties being fed bullshit who regurgitated it verbatim. Is that sort of thing 'on message'?.--AMassiveGay (talk) 20:31, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Brass Eye definitely. It's certainly on topic, especially some of the reactions to the Paedogeddon special. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:38, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

(For the second time today, I misread this section's title as "Brassiere". X( --ZooGuard (talk) 17:49, 5 October 2010 (UTC))

[edit] She turned Mike Castle into a newt! (He got better.)

Christine O'Donnell: I'm not a witch! Let's see you sink to the bottom of a lake first, Christine. Only way to be sure. Picon small.pngAcer Blue 04:40, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

That ad creeps me out...must be the "I'm you" line. Röstigraben (talk) 08:30, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
She actually has to confirm that she's not a witch... Let's party like it's 1599! Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I am a bit sick of this whole witchcraft thing. Yeah, it was amusing for a little while, but it is in no way a real issue. Let's face it, if a Democratic candidate had said what she said and the right wing media started attacking her because of it we'd rightly say this was a silly thing she did as a teenager and is hardly relevant today. There are actually real legitimate reasons to oppose O'Donnell, but this isn't one. DickTurpis (talk) 13:43, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Couldn't agree more, Mr.Turpis. It's too easy to let the conversation be driven by easy news media tags, and it always just serves as a distraction from the real issues. DogPMarmite Patrol 17:10, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] There'll be tears in Albania

Norman's dead! 10:49, 5 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

It is amazing to me that he managed to be still performing at such an advanced age. He was an almost permanent on the Royal Variety thing, and his was always a very physical act.--AMassiveGay (talk) 11:12, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
The BBC published a clip.  Lily Inspirate me. 19:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Glen Beck

"It took a long time to end slavery; yes it did. But it also took a long time to start slavery, and it started small and it started with seemingly innocent ideas. And then a little court order here and a little court order there, and a little more regulation here and a little more regulation there, and before we knew it America had slavery. It didn't come over on a ship to begin with as an evil slave trade, the government began to regulate things because the people needed answers, they needed solutions. It started in a courtroom and then it went to the legislatures, that's how slavery began."[4] Fucking Hell! 15:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Beck is getting like CP -- sometimes, you really wonder if it's just a gigantic parody. MDB (talk) 15:27, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I once said to a friend in passing about CP, "Look at what the wingnuts are saying then watch as Fox News and the Tea Parties say the same thing a few months later". Glenn Beck is a far more well known and influential than Andy could ever hope to be.--Thanatos (talk) 00:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Saltwater Aquariums

I'm thinking of getting a saltwater aquarium at some point after we move, but I've only kept freshwater and tropical fish before. Anyone here have any experience? I was under the impression they are a lot of hard work, but all the documents I've seen online say you can manage one with a moderate amount of attention. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:19, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

No more work, really, though a few general rules of thumb: 1. bigger is better, due to stability. 2. maintaining a healthy bacteria population in your filter media is critical - they are harder to grow in marine aquaria - hence the popularity of "wet/dry" filters, where a bed of substrate has large air exposure and the water trickles over it. This is part is only ever partly cleaned, if at all. Skype me sometime, I used to work at a very good pet store, and at one point when living in a single room I had five aquaria running, including one "small" (20 gallon) marine tank. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:46, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
OK cool. I was thinking of buying "The dummies guide to saltwater aquariums" as well, for some pointers. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:50, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure CP has an in-depth article on the subject.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:53, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Sweet. Can't do better than the trustworthy encyclopedia. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:00, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
You might want to develop a rough hardware budget, by the way. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:59, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] PIE

Apple pie.JPG

Piece a pie? Totnesmartin (talk) 13:47, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I hope you have clotted cream to go with that? Anything less is an affront to the Apple God, who gave of his seed that you may partake of his essence. Or something. It's been a long weekend. --PsyGremlinPraat! 13:57, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Psy, that is scarily close to neopagan philosophy. Steady now. Totnesmartin (talk) 22:15, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Needs latticing. DogPMarmite Patrol 14:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

It is Librul Deceit!HKJGN (talk) 14:26, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Your white balance is way off. --151.82.63.159 (talk) 17:38, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
No, I have a blue kitchen. Totnesmartin (talk) 18:15, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I see. And you make apple pie out of blueberries. --151.82.63.159 (talk) 18:36, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Apple flavour. Totnesmartin (talk) 18:50, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Got raspberry pie? That's my favorite! sterile Playstation 02:10, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Donald Duck and Glenn Beck

This is Fuckin' Hilarious--Thanatos (talk) 22:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

That was awesome! Laughing.gif --Onion <talk> 22:23, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
That's brilliant! Whoever made that should give themselves a pat on the back. Tetronian you're clueless 22:50, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Most excellent! ħumanUser talk:Human 23:29, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Very good, indeed.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:05, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Well done, Mr. Jonathon McIntosh of www.rebelliouspixels.com. Credit where it's due. DogPMarmite Patrol 16:59, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Funny. But needs MOAR HITLER! --PsyGremlinParlez! 17:16, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
That video would be a lot funnier without the two doucebags doing commentary.... They sound like the sort of people I would want to punch. SirChuckBObama/Biden? 2012 06:38, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Really? The version I watched didn't have any commentary. Junggai (talk) 07:50, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Number of gays

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11466650
This is an interesting one. Mostly because there is some sensible discussion about sampling and survey biases to be had. Certainly Kinsey's figures are very flawed as he had the mother of all sampling biases and, well, it was Kinsey. And the ONS survey may well be an underestimate because it doesn't count people who don't openly identify as gay - although surely, people who are uncomfortable or in denial won't quadruple the ONS figure to match previous studies. I decided to replicate it the only way I know how, via Facebook, and got 5.2%. But there's one circle of friends on there who are, frankly, are a statistical cluster as they're an LGBT Social group who also happen to hang around one of the societies that I'm in. So I think that 5.2% figure is skewed upwards of the mean. I imagine that these "skepical gay groups" will think the figure is too low because they, by the very virtue of being in a gay group (such as the social group I know) they'll hang around and come into contact with more gay people than just random, so for them the figure will appear much, much higher. I'd get the same effect if I asked how many people have degrees or postgraduate degrees; I'm in a position where it's near enough 100% but we all know that isn't the case on a larger scale! Here is the report, also. Refusal/don't know is ~3%, so perhaps it might be higher - but we're talking about active identity, and people who don't know or are dodging the question obviously don't identify, do they? Also, religion data is on the next page. No accompanying knowledge test this time, though. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:37, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Speaking purely for my self, I never answer such questions about my sexuality - especially in a face to face interview or over the phone, as in the above survey. I still feel uncomfortable giving my sexual preferences to the nurse in sexual health check ups. But as I said, I am speaking purely for myself.--AMassiveGay (talk) 20:27, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Last week's More or Less (which I mentioned four days ago but has already been archived) also covered this topic.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:29, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Before this incident, I haven't ever seen a number lower than 3% from a reputable source (i.e. someone not affiliated with FOTF or NARTH or something), and even the clearly biased estimates were around 2%. I haven't really kept track of the relevant data, but it's a bit suspicious to suddenly see such an outlier like that; even discounting the highly problematic Kinsey result, 4-5% seemed like a reasonable guess at the true incidence of GLBs. Of course, I've only seen studies in the US (or horribly biased internet polls). Maybe Britons just like the closet more than us in the US.
Measuring GLBTs is a subtle issue; GLBTs tend to be overrepresented in certain kinds of sexuality surveys, and underrepresented in others; self-selection bias is very strong. Then one has closeted or embarrassed or fearful people lying, differences in both total numbers and willingness to self-identify between gays and lesbians, and between both and bisexuals and all that sort of thing. There are some "I'm not gay, I just have sex with men." sorts who don't like the connotation of the term "gay" but would never date the opposite sex. Then there are the possible variations on "not straight". Where do you count asexuals, people who have sexual attractions but for whatever reason don't have sex, transsexuals, intersex people, people who are still questioning, and people who for political/philosophical reasons refuse to self-label? Is it appropriate to keep separate categories, merge certain categories into "GLB", or just leave these people out and calculate percentages from only those with a clear position on the Kinsey-scale? Taken all together, I would be surprised if these decisions weren't able to swing a percentage point or two (although one can always avoid such decisions by leaving only a few options on the survey and let self-labeling work it out). Anyway, Wikipedia gives a good impression of how baffling these numbers are.
A gay dating website claims to have more than 3 times as many dating profiles in the UK as there are gays according to that survey. I have no idea what percentage of those are potentially spammers or "extra" profiles, but it's mildly damning to the study if a lot of those are unique individuals (I doubt every gay/bi person in the country is signed up anyway). Of course, by announcing this, Gaydar gets free publicity. --Quantheory (talk) 02:34, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
There are exactly six homosexuals on Earth. But they are legion, and very active in promoting their agenda! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:04, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Only six? Damn, no wonder I can't find a new boyfriend. MDB (talk) 11:01, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, I think all the ONS set out to do was find the most representative number of people who identify as that's all you can really go on to create a thorough, official, figure. Once you start trying to estimate it on less stringent ("so you have sex with men but don't consider yourself gay? I'll tick the 'gay' box for you, then!") measures you run the risk of severely overestimating the figure. If you include everyone who is slightly bi-curious or had a homosexual encounter in the list, I wouldn't be surprised if you could inflate it to 50%. This would be interesting to see, but isn't really the stat we're looking for. Because of the fuzziness of the definitions, the ONS really had no choice but to ask about self-identity and try to compensate for the selection bias you get with other survey methods - internet polls and dating sites are definitely suspect (does anyone for a moment believe there are 500 million different people on Facebook?) and Kinsey may as well just have made it all up for all the rigour he had. The ONS method certainly put a risk of underestimating the figure - and we then have ~3% "don't know" to play with - but from a point of view of science their methodology is probably the most sound to not over-inflating it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:21, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
The 3% includes "‘Don’t know’ or Refused the question". 'Refused the question' does not mean, to me at least, that they do not identify or are closeted or even that they are in any way gay. It means they refused the question.--AMassiveGay (talk) 11:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I know, that's why I said we had 3% "to play with" in raising the figure to something in line with what other methodologies arrive at. I never implied we should do 1.5 + 3 to get ~5% and fudge it from there. I can imagine that there will be a small number who outright lie - although hopefully the huge sample size might limit the statistical damage that would do. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mean to suggest that behavior was a better standard than identity; I was just noting that it's iffy to consider this an accurate way to judge the hetero/homo ratio. For the purpose it seems to have been designed for (determining the number of people who fit, socially and demographically, into the "gay" category), it's not a bad survey by any means; in fact the sheer number of responses would make it useful.
To be honest, I think that "attraction" encapsulates what most people think of with regards to sexual orientation better than either behavior or self-identification. Of course, the three are definitely correlated. However, "To what degree do you feel attracted to each of the following?", {male,female,maybe other categories} with {some range, don't know, refuse} as answers, that would, at least to me personally, be a more relevant question. But it's clearly not appropriate for a census. And of course that question has its own problems, but I think it at least sidesteps some of the identity politics issues. --Quantheory (talk) 09:02, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
It's always going to be a trade off between what is possible to do on a large scale. I'm sure people can write entire essays on the specifics of their sexual orientation (I know at least one person who does it. But I'm concerned that they're trying to be "unique" and "alternative", so I'm not sure how much of this hair-splitting is genuine) but as you said, that's not appropriate for something this scale. Even the 7 point scale would be a massive undertaking to do for a few hundred thousand people. This is why methodologies are published, so you can be clear about what is being looked for. In this case, we can identify that it's a very high powered survey looking at open identity. So it maps what you could describe as the "public face" of sexuality, something that is extremely useful to know - which is why I think the knee-jerk "skepticism" described in the original article misses the point entirely. And of course, we have this in combination with other data that might look more introspectively at attraction and sliding scales - and I think the issue is that the more introspective and intrusive you go, the more you run the risk of selection bias. What I think would be really interesting, is to see how these figures fluctuate over time, if at all. Would a more open/comfortable society cause the "don't know/refused" group to go down, and if so, where would they go? Would it be that this group doesn't fluctuate and settles, so we can say that at any point in time X% of the population are Questioning. That's what census data should really show and seeing these results 20, 40 and 60 years down the line would be fascinating. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:31, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree that more detailed surveys about attraction have more self-selection. This is really just frustrating to me;one of my primary interests here is regarding the neurology/psychology/causes of same-sex attractions, and it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between what's correlated with same-sex attraction, and what's just correlated with being more open about one's sexuality, or with not being in denial. And you can't even be sure which way the bias goes sometimes; if you ask more personal questions about attraction, does that tend to select out proportionally more straight prudes, or proportionally more same-sex-attracted people who don't really want to discuss those questions (due to internalized homophobia or simply being conditioned not to talk about it).
On a side note, it's quite possible that the number of "questioning" could go up. To borrow from the Wikipedia page (I'd go to original source but it's in German):
For example, the Hamburg Institute for Sexual Research conducted a survey over the sexual behavior of young people in 1970, and repeated it in 1990. Whereas in 1970 18% of the boys aged 16 and 17 reported to have had same-sex sexual experiences, the number had dropped to 2% by 1990. "Ever since homosexuality became publicly argued to be an innate sexual orientation, boys' fear of being seen as gay has, if anything, increased", the director of the institute, Volkmar Sigusch, suggested in a 1998 article for a German medical journal.
If being gay becomes widely accepted, and some of the identity politics fades, there may be less pressure on people to declare certainty about their orientation (or to assume that they are straight until proven otherwise). Of course, this is just my wild speculation hypothesis, so I'd agree that I'd really like to see the results of comparable surveys over time. --Quantheory (talk) 02:23, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Is this true?

[5] 11:28, 5 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

If it's not, a number of national media organizations have been hoodwinked. MDB (talk) 11:31, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Libertarians the world over are wearing a smug expression as we speak. ONE / TALK 13:21, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I hardly think so. This is about the worst sort of PR libertarianism can get. DickTurpis (talk) 13:38, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Erm, the guy knew the deal; either you pay up and get the service or you don't and you don't. He didn't and didn't. End of. (What's the alternative? A socialised secular communistic fire service paid from the tax-dollars of the hard working so immigrants and the lazy can sit on their asses getting their fires put out by big government?) PS. How common is this sort of thing in the States? (Having to pay for the fire service - although I think $75PA is quite cheap) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:48, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
My parents live in a different part of Tennessee, and I think they have to pay for fire protection. I think, but I'm not sure, though, that the local fire department, will put out fires for "uncovered" residents and just send you a bill. MDB (talk) 14:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty messed up. I would have thought the fire service would take their wages out of tax money rather than a yearly fee. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:30, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I have to pay a fee for emergency services in Australia. In the USA (and previously in Australia) it is part of the local government services paid by your property taxes. I wonder what the response would be if an elderly person or some little kids had burnt to death in the fire Hamster (talk) 14:32, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
There's a brief thread on this at talk WiGO:World. A link to an article there explains that the department will respond to save lives of people in danger whether or not the fee has been paid. My favorite part of the article is this: "He wouldn't talk to us and called police to have us escorted off the property. Police never came but firefighters quickly left the scene." Guess no one paid the $75 police fee either. DickTurpis (talk) 14:40, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Is this really what the teabaggers no offence to those who like a nice cup of tea or a nice spot of testicular-based teabagging and right wingers want in the US? I describe my self as a socialist libertarian, and feel that emergency services are firmly in the socialist side. Do some people really object to taxes paying for emergency services? (What am I saying? - If they're opposed to healthcare then why not?) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:47, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I think even most teabaggers would balk at privatizing fire departments. DickTurpis (talk) 14:50, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, to a teabagger, it's only socialism if you're not benefiting from it.
I was on the DC Metro (subway) on the day of one of their rallies, and saw a few people I surmised were Tea Party members. If I was more of a troublemaker, I would have asked why they were using a socialist, government subsidized public transportation system, but I'm far more of a wuss than a troublemaker. MDB (talk) 15:21, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

terrible, exactly why I don't like a world were all public services are privatised, just so you don't have to pay taxes. while people who are too poor go without necessary services and protection I'm sure the Mayor is patting himself on the back for Following the Ideology of Ayn Rand.HKJGN (talk) 14:53, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

It just goes to show how ridiculous this scheme is. The guy doesn't pay, so when he calls the fire department won't turn out to save his home. The fire spreads to his house and grows to the point where it also sets his neighbour's house on fire, so the fire department have to turn out anyway. So, in the end not turning out to stop the fire when it was small actually ended up costing them the same amount, if not far more, and the original person lost their house and their pets. Genius scheme, isn't it? This is exactly the same deal with vaccination. The cost of not doing it is not just to you, despite what the tea party types may insist. If making everyone pay is socialism, then that's exactly what we need. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
It only spread to the neighbor's field in this case. I remember seeing a garage burn down once, they weren't even bothering to hose it - they just kept the very nearby house soaked to prevent the fire from spreading. Which has nothing to do with this except for the "vaccination" aspect - that fires can spread from building to building has to be like firefighting 101. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:42, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Isn't this part of what the idea of the social contract is all about? Everyone sacrifices a little because the community as a whole is much better off? MDB (talk) 16:47, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
"No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, A part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manner of thine own Or of thine friend's were. Each man's death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know For whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee." - John Donne
It's more than the individual, it's more than what they own or what they do. Democrats ignore the need for independence. Republicans ignore the need for the prosperity as a whole. Libertarians ignore the need of sympathy of the individual's plight. Aphoxema (talk) 18:20, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] The bit I don't quite get...

Assuming, say, a 90-90% compliance with the $75 fee, what makes it different to a tax, exactly? Apart from the fact that a tax hike to cover it would probably be slightly cheaper? Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:04, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] I'm voting Republican because...

MDB (talk) 15:37, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Funny, but still way below the belt. Tetronian you're clueless 16:55, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Overlong, lame, dull. Shorter is always better. DogPMarmite Patrol 17:12, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, heavy-handed, a bit. I'd rather see a bunch of t-shirt slogans so I can ignore the lame ones. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:12, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
It gets bemusingly woo-ful towards the end of the second minute. Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
ZOMG EXPOSED TO RADIATION!!!1111!!! Are they getting the meaning of "radiation" wrong, or do they actually not realise that non-neutron radiation doesn't cause sustained radioactivity? Or am I wrong about something? Stupid wisest Phantom Hoover! 16:01, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If that's the best the opposition can come up with, I'm pretty fucking tempted to vote Republican. 66.240.60.131 (talk) 18:25, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Hi! I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy

Can anybody (probably Brits) please point me in the direction of old Round the Horn recordings, or more specifically Julian & Sandy and their bona whatevers, I will love you a long, long time. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 17:25, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Try here for some. My favourite progs. 17:44, 5 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Radioarchive.cc is your one stop shop for ye-olde radio. I got the complete ISIRTA (or as complete as still exists, anyway) from them a while back. Awesome. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:36, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
BBC Radio 7 periodically repeats them so you could download them from there when they are active.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:30, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Awesome, thanks guys. RtH must rank up there as one of the better shows, along with ISIRTA, Just a Minute and Men from the Ministry. --PsyGremlin講話 09:09, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
You missed a couple: I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and The Goon Show. 09:19, 6 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
At the risk of being tarred and feathered, I've never been a big Goons fan, for some reason. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 09:32, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I can understand that. I was about 12+ when they first aired - prolly the right age! 09:59, 6 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Don't forget Beyond Our Ken, the fore-runner of RTH.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:40, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
R7 Noon Sunday. Also The Navy Lark! (R7 Fridays) 09:59, 6 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

[edit] Gender roles

I would like to proudly attest that after a rather domesticated week last week, cooking tea every day (and doing some washing up), I can say that I'm feeling a bit more macho now. I've just replaced an electric window regulator in the missus's car (for those who have been ripped of for car repairs - the motor is an e46 Beemer, the part cost sixty quid and took me an hour to change it), and she's now in the kitchen cooking tea. That's more like it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:38, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm in a house with 4 other guys, so whenever one of our girl mates comes over we always ask if they'd like to do any washing up. The other day one of them punched me after saying "no" for the 6th time. SJ Debaser 17:50, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Meh, I do all the cooking in our house, and as the wife is away at the moment I've been doing all the cleaning, washing up, washing and ironing. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:21, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
To which you need to quote Jimmy Carr "Don't worry love, this is postmodern misogyny, steeped in irony, now don't you worry your pretty little head about it". Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Twenty years?

More like 40.  Lily Inspirate me. 19:40, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Let me get this straight. You brits had the internet back in 1967? This changes everything! --Onion <talk> 19:48, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Didn't you know? We Brits invented everything during the Second World War. Unfortunately, because of the need for secrecy, everything got stuck with the 'secrecy for x number of years' tag. In the case of teleportation, for instance, well that got slapped with a 150 year tag, so that should be revealed round about 2090.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 20:39, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I thought Al Gore invented the internet..... Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 23:27, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, we did have the internet by 1987, it was just the really slow experimental type of internet. Probably unrecognisable to todays youngsters, who are (as the report says!) educated by computer. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Nice to see that the second ever internet user was some kid still living with his parents. Totnesmartin (talk) 10:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Of all the TV shows that could intelligently address the atheism/theism debate...

...I wouldn't have expected it to be Glee.

But last night's episode portrayed both sides with respect. Yes, one of the atheists was the extraordinarily dislikable Sue Sylvester, but the other atheists was the sensitive, likable gay kid who gave honest reasons for his non-belief.

And the theists weren't portrayed as preachy jerks, but sensitive people who turned to a higher power in times of trouble.

Surprisingly well done for a series that, while entertaining, isn't noted for being very deep. MDB (talk) 07:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Sorry to sound extraordinarily dislikeable, but there really isn't any debate. Just like there's no 'debate' over the fairies/no fairies issue. Theists make the claim that there's a magic being living in the sky, and therefore it's for theists to prove that. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 07:55, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I suspect that the heart of the debate isn't whether or not MagicManInSky exists, but what actually constitutes proof of MagicManInSky. For theists, BookOfQuestionableOrigin is enough, but atheists reject that as evidence. ONE / TALK 08:44, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Cookie for 1. But really, Glee? And this US show put an even remotely sympathetic non-believer in it... shurly shome mishtake. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:51, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay, fine, maybe "debate" was a poor choice of words. But it still portrayed both sides with respect. And even the dislikable character had sympathetic reasons for her non-belief. MDB (talk) 08:53, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Ugly Betty was taking some pretty obvious pot shots at Scientology recently. Apparently. So my missus said. The TV was just on, I wasn't actually watching it or anything. Honest. Bondurant (talk) 09:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I think -e^{i \pi} has it right about how atheists, some believers (particularly the "God answers my prayers all the time" kind), and some apologists approach the subject. However, I think a high percentage of believers don't regard religion as an intellectual exercise, and don't in fact want it to be one. So the "debate" for them is more a matter of "I need to be able to take comfort/pleasure/self-righteousness from my faith without being challenged about it." and their arguments are based around achieving that goal.
My mom's an example of this; she's overall a smart person, but she has no desire to have an intellectual debate about the existence of God. Her main beef with atheism (she doesn't quite say this, but it shows in the way she talks about it) is that it bothers her that there are people out there who don't find faith valuable, even though she prizes it so much. It's a bit like someone calling you a troglodyte if you don't like Picasso paintings. Of course, I think that the debate is in fact about an intellectual (not aesthetic) question, and that it's stupid to mistake that, but there are people out there who do think of it that way anyway, and so their reasoning about belief and disbelief has little to do with the "proof for God" thing. --Quantheory (talk) 09:32, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Could it be that people who want it as an intellectual debate are just more comfortable with it that way? As in, if it's not analytical and demonstrable it's not something you particularly like dealing with. To take the Picasso analogy, you'd prefer paintings that used skill to accurately represent something, rather than merely abstractly slapping paint around. On the other hand, some people would feel very uncomfortable turning something into an intellectual debate when they like thinking about "feelings" and... well, I think the fact I'm having extreme trouble describing this shows which side of that fence I'm on. So the "debate" is pointless and usually circular because both "sides" (this is why I don't like the idea of debate, sides are bullshit when it comes to truth) need to come out of these comfort zones and into a realm where they just don't comprehend. Which is why you can confuse the fuck out of a thinking atheist by telling them that personal experience, prayers and feelings are evidence of God's existence, and further more, conclusive proof that God exists on a metaphysical level - and also adequate proof because it's evidence that falls within the bounds of the proposed idea. Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:45, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
(EC) "it bothers her that there are people out there who don't find faith valuable, even though she prizes it so much" I think that this is some kind of universal human trait, as I've seen the same in various fandoms: being vocally not-a-fan of X is seen by some fans of X as an attack on them. There seems to be an implicit assumption that if you think that "X sucks", then you must think that people who have chosen X suck, too (I'm oversimplifying). (And in the case of religion, "chosen" is a bit of stretch - for most people, religion is a part of their identity received from their family.)--ZooGuard (talk) 09:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
"Which is why you can confuse the fuck out of a thinking atheist by telling them that personal experience, prayers and feelings are evidence of God's existence, and further more, conclusive proof that God exists on a metaphysical level - and also adequate proof because it's evidence that falls within the bounds of the proposed idea." I'm not sure what you mean by this? Is this a general statement, or is about a certain type of atheist? I mean, I think of myself as a thinking atheist, but only a few years ago, when I was on the other side of the fence, the whole "personal experience/feelings" thing totally worked for me (and even when I realized that I wasn't a Christian, I still paid a helluva lot of lip service to Jesus for a while). I'm not confused about my memories of thinking that way (nor does such rhetoric make me that uncomfortable when it comes from others), but I simply don't think that way anymore. The main difficulty I personally have in "debates" is that my deconversion involved several years and changing huge swaths of my worldview, and I don't know how to convey such a process in a very short time (much less induce the same process in someone else).
On a side note, I really like Jackson Pollack paintings. All I mean by that is that I find them pleasurable to look at; I couldn't care less whether or not they were skillful or difficult to produce. If someone criticizes them (whether "validly" or not), it doesn't bother me because it doesn't subtract from my enjoyment of the painting. I don't think it's appropriate to take the same attitude towards God (although I used to), because his existence should be an objective fact about the outside world (he shouldn't just "exist for me" or "exist for Christians"), whereas "I enjoy Pollack paintings" is at best a quasi-objective statement about my internal mental state. --Quantheory (talk) 03:03, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Today I bought The Times

Not a paper that I would usually buy, but in WHSmug you could by Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth for £2.99 if you bought the Thunderer.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Bugger. I paid full whack for it when it came out. Nice hardback though. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:03, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
On a much (much, much) lower note, I've just been bought "I shall wear Midnight" By Mr Pratchett at ½price from same emporium. [SWMBO says it's for kids & therefore spot on for those in 2nd Childhood - no idea who she's referring to] 12:28, 6 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
ooh! Crivens! Is it a Wee Free Men book? --PsyGremlinTala! 13:15, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Think so: it's Tiffany, anyhow. 13:32, 6 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Not one of his best. EddyP (talk) 15:48, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
You can get it on Amazon for £4.65 and as an added bonus, you don't have to buy the Times. Which reminds me, when you are in a UK airport, the Torygraph is sold with an offer of a free bottle of water, which actually makes the water cheaper than if you bought the water by itself. Even when I tried to buy the water on its own (rather than be seen dead with a copy of the Torygraph) when I got to the till, the assistant made me take a copy. Oh, the shame. Bondurant (talk) 12:41, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Same thing for the train stations as far as I can gather. I considered it as a reduced bottle of water with some free kindling. It was the humongous Saturday edition and I still read through the entire thing in 10 mins. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I used to buy The Times, as all though it was a Murdoch rag it was still a decent paper. Then however they published a completely pointless "exposé" of the brilliant police blogger Nightjack, which led to the copper being disciplined, nearly losing his job, and the blog deleted (m'lud Justice Eady of super-injunction fame refused to protect NJ's privacy), so I've refused to buy The Times ever since. I now flit between The Torygraph, the Independent and the Grauniad. It is often amusing to read the Tory and the Graun side-by-side...... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:11, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I used to be amused by reading dire reports of layoffs in the front section of the Boston Globe, then perfectly "innocent" reports of (the same company's) stock value rising in the Business section due to "cost cutting". ħumanUser talk:Human 19:23, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Fucksake bureaucracy

So, in this time where universities are going to face cuts of up to 25% or even more, you'd think they'd cut down on the fat or drive for efficiency, right? Well, a friend of mine has just gotten a temp job working for the University's HR department - I'm happy, they've been looking for ages. What is the job? It's taking a huge print out of all members of staff (from cleaners to professors) and putting their pay grades into Excel. This is going to take until November and will probably cost them in the region of £400+ - just for this one person doing one job so fuck knows how much the entire "project" is costing. You know, a simple computer script could do this in about ten seconds - it's not like they don't have a talented computer programmer working in the basement that's feeling underworked at the moment! - and if they had a proper database to start with (no, this project isn't about making one) they could have just got the data they wanted instantly! And lets not get started on how the data analysis aspect include absolutely no statistical rigour at all. It's all just buzzwords and bullshit and diverting money from students and researchers! I know it's nice to provide employment when it's low, but these guys are really, really inefficient about it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:10, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Russia votes on banning psychic charlatans

"Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed a bill banning the country's faith healers, witches and assorted sorcerers from advertising their services in a potential blow to the booming business." I wonder if it will cover homeopaths? Ref FreeThought (talk) 15:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Worse than waiting to redeploy from a war zone...

Fallout: New Vegas is now officially less than two weeks away and my anticipation levels have officially exceeded what I remember feeling during the two weeks before I left Iraq for home. I know that I have problems when I am more excited about a game than I am about seeing my family for the first time in a year, but what am I to do? I am so stoked about this game and I simply can't wait any longer. Ahh, the perils of high nerdery. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 15:15, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I'll probably be playing that, once I finish Mass Effect 2. MDB (talk) 15:24, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't wait either. I honestly haven't been this excited about a game since way back when I pre-ordered Halo 2. I'm just hoping to pass on the disappointment this time around. Churro (talk) 04:47, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, who here remembers the old days, when Fallout was called Wasteland? (And I'm showing my age here...) MDB (talk) 10:21, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I do! I do! The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 20:42, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
So as people who have presumably experienced fallout in both its previous isometric, turn based invocation and the new fangled first person shooter invocation, did you actually enjoy both? And if so, as members of the same franchise or as fundamentally different games? For my own part, I was wildly excited by fallout from the time I first played the demo, and the first two remain firm favourites of mine that I still play from time to time. On the other hand, Fallout 3 for me was a totally disposable shooter with little in the way of redeeming qualities. It wasn't clever as an RPG, for the most part I think you can't sensibly make an RPG that uses spoken dialogue, especially if you're going to hire celebrities instead of unknowns as your voice talent (why the fuck would you do this?) and expect to make your money back. As a shooter, it doesn't come close to the quality of dedicated games of that genre like the half like franchise. I stopped buying the F3 DLC at the 3rd add-on and may not buy New Vegas at all. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:15, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, I for one enjoyed Fallout 1 & 2 immensely. I had discovered them only a year or two before Bethesda's crack at the series, and I was excited at first when Fallout 3 came out, but as I played it more and more, I realized just how shallow and empty the story and world Bethesda had tried to make were in comparison to the original two games. I ended up getting all the DLC for free from my friends, but I found that just as unsatisfying. While I still consider Fallout 3 canon, I think it's definitely the weakest of the main numbered series.
The reason I'm excited for New Vegas is because they have Obsidian Entertainment developing it, meaning the people responsible for Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment (my favorite RPG of all time) will be working on this game too. Churro (talk) 01:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
People give Fallout 3 a bad rap. It's not a bad game per se, but it had massive hype and some of the best games ever released as a predecessor. That's a tough standard to live up to, and Fallout 3 just couldn't do it- even though it's a perfectly good game in its own right. However, I will say that the Mass Effect series is certainly better than just about any video game I've ever played. 24.13.203.96 (talk) 02:31, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
(UNDENT) I have been playing Fallout since 1997, when I found out about the game. I have probably done 20-25 playthroughs of Fallout, 15 or so of Fallout 2, around 10 of Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, and I have spent the last two years playing Fallout 3, logging man hours into the thousands (some of my builds have 250+ hours each on their save state data, so that doesn't include failed attempts to beat down Super Mutant Behemoths unarmed while wearing nothing but the sexy sleepwear). When I found out Fallout 3 was in production, I was extremely excited, but when I found out it was going to be an FPS, my heart sank. Then I played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and I was sold on the format. Fallout 3 came out and I started playing away. The level of detail put in to the environments and encounters is awesome. I easily spend 3/4 of my play time exploring, just seeing what I can see out in the world and picking through the ruins, location by location. I made a game out of trying to locate every skill book in the game. When it started getting too easy, I implemented "house rules" (like no stimpacks, or no repairing unless I was at my Megaton house and had bought the workbench, I even played through a game where I could never go to the house and I couldn't store anything). With the crew from Obsidian working on it and so many Interplay and Black Isle veterans who have worked on previous Fallout titles, I don't think they'll disappoint. From the developer diaries and interviews, it seems like they're taking the awesomeness of the game that made Fallout 3 a success and pulling it back in the direction of Fallout 2. They really seem to have listened to the forums on what Fallout 3 was missing and they REALLY paid attention to what mods were being made for the PC version. From the inclusion of the survival skill and the ingredient gathering (a la Oblivion's Alchemy mechanic) to the weapon modifications, manageable NPCs, the new Hardcore mode, the ressurection of traits, and the re-introduction of faction reputation (making a more detailed and in-depth roleplaying experience) I think this will be everything the purest Fallout fan had hoped for in Fallout 3 and more. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 15:46, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Homemade spacecraft

An excellent video. What amazes me is how simple it all seems. ONE / TALK 17:02, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

This kind of thing has been going on for a while now. Recently, a bunch of Romanians competing for Google's Lunar X Prize launched a rocket from a balloon.--ZooGuard (talk) 17:36, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Fucking hell, I need to get Flash working... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:24, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Use the html5 player on vimeo. You'll need Chrome though. -- Nx / talk 18:26, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
That's just amazing. Really brilliant. It's actually even better than NASA vis, as you can really feel how close space actually is. Such a shame for them the batteries didn't stay working for the landing. DogPMarmite Patrol 18:35, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Fantastic. That nearly brought a tear to my eye. (Cheers for the Chrome tip, Nx) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 19:16, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Wow. How come the edge of the earth appears curved? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:18, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If you watch closely the edge seems to momentarily become concave as the camera flits around... I think they're using some sort of wide-angle lens or something, which might explain the curvature. And yeah, it brought a tear to my eye too, especially at the end with the photo of the kid collecting the craft at the end.... ONE / TALK 09:29, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
It's obvious why the edge of the Earth is curved - the edge of the Disc is located in upstate New York, and they were looking at the edge. Canada's on the other side if you flipped it over. DogPMarmite Patrol 15:47, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Please also explain

while you're at it:

  1. Riemann Geometry (all of it)
  2. Justin Bieber

I don't see the evolutionary benefit of the latter. --151.82.189.240 (talk) 19:23, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

  1. A boy liked a girl and Riemann was born.
  2. Illusion.
--85.77.102.232 (talk) 19:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I understand that you might not see the evolutionary benefit in "X". This has a number of possible explanations.
  • It is a failure of imagination on your part.
  • There is no evolutionary advantage.
  • There is an evolutionary advantage but nobody has figured it out yet.
What conclusion do you draw from the fact that you can't see an advantage?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:10, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I forgot one:
  • Magic.
--BobSpring is sprung! 20:12, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Magic? Justin Bieber? Surely your must be joking. --94.246.127.68 (talk) 21:54, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I am dead serious, and please stop calling me Shirley! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:44, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Behe's Atheist son

On Reddit Hat tip 21:02, 7 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Well, that must add a certain specified complexity to family dinners. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:45, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Based on his comments, he sounds like a very intelligent and respectable person. I guess it just goes to show that brainwashing isn't perfect (thankfully). Tetronian you're clueless 23:07, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
But there's another eight where that came from. The rhythm method _really_ doesn't work. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:00, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
wether 7,8 or 9 kids he is doing Gods command to go forth and multiply, or stay home and .. . Why hasn't Behe and Andy ever hooked up on the homeschooling thing ? Hamster (talk) 03:28, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

[edit] Death penalty

I'm generally not in favour of capital punishment, but when I come across stories like this, then I feel being hanged, drawn and quartered is too good for the man. Fuck it, I'd happily pull the switch on a sub-human like this.

Just when you think you've become sensitised to the horrors humanity can perpetrate, they still manage to shock you even more. --PsyGremlinPrata! 09:22, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

What he said! 09:25, 6 October 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Yes, true, but for every case like that you can bring up another where it was bungled or unfairly applied or where it wasn't applied even though the crime was similar. I suppose that has to be the rational objection far more than whether someone deserves it or not. Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:29, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
What Armondokov said. You only need one failing of absolute punishment, and the whole argument should end there. Sadly, there have been many miscarriages of justice in capital cases and yet it is still going on. Bondurant (talk) 10:55, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Just to play Devil's Advocate a little (since I'm opposed to the death penalty in almost all cases, but am willing to make exceptions for truly monstrous crimes), what about horrific crimes where there's no doubt as to guilt? Timothy McVeigh, for instance, openly admitted his guilt (and was proud of it.) As I heard it said shortly before he was executed, "if America is going to have a death penalty, then surely Timothy McVeigh deserves to die." MDB (talk) 11:09, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree there are problems with the death penalty. However, I also think that somebody who ties 2 young girls to a bed then sets fire to them, deserves to die in an equally horrible way. I feel the same about child abusers. It might not be a deterrent blah, blah, blah, but at least those animals will experience the pain, fear and terror their victims did. That is justice. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 11:25, 6 October 2010 (UTC) And yes, hearing of this case today for the first time has left me feeling quite ill.
Okay, let me play Devil's Advocate for the other side -- what good, ultimately, would executing the criminal do? His victims won't come back to life. Even as a believer in an afterlife, I don't believe in the idea of "resting easier", since I think of an afterlife as paradise. And if you don't believe in an afterlife, the idea of resting easier should be meaningless. You can argue that it brings some sense of comfort and closure to the victim's family, and I'm sure it does in many cases, but what does it say about us as a society if we say "it's acceptable to kill someone who has wronged you"? You can also argue that it will remove a threat from society permanently, but we have prisons now that are essentially inescapable -- should we take a life on the tiny chance someone might escape a supermax cell?
And here's a hypothetical -- let's say the victim was adamantly opposed to the death penalty. The family said, "she opposed the death penalty with every fiber of her being, and we ask that you honor that with a sentence of life imprisonment." Should that be the final word? MDB (talk) 11:45, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
What's the point of paying a fortune to keep them behind bars for the rest of their lives? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:54, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm too lazy to look up a citation, but I've often heard it said that life imprisonment is actually cheaper than the death penalty, due to the cost of the appeals process.

Anyway, do we really want to base the decision on whether or not to execute someone on financial concerns? MDB (talk) 11:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

@Psy, that's not justice, that's revenge. How can any society command the moral high ground if they are no worse than the criminals the seek to punish? You cannot say that you value life if you seek to take it other than in preventing the loss of further life. If we give into our baser emotions we become no better than a lynch mob.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:09, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I saw that story and thought the same thing. I can't help but feel it would have been so much better had the father/husband also died in the incident. ONE / TALK 12:10, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
@Lily Lynch mobs aren't sanctioned by the rule of law, or applied after a fair trial, so a society that executes criminals is better than a lynch mob. You can argue how much better, but there's really no wiggle-room for you to argue that they aren't better. Also, I disagree with the claim that a society that kills criminals is "no worse" than the criminals themselves. Society kills for revenge, which is a step up from killing for wealth/power/sex/the sake of it. Again, you can argue how much of a step up, but you can't really argue that it's not. ONE / TALK 12:16, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Since we're all playing devil's advocate, I though I'd pitch in with my 2c.
What good does it do to kill (aka execute) somebody after their crime? When society kills people, does it make society more civilised? Once the criminal is caught, are we still in imminent danger that (s)he may still kill one of us?
Have there been cases in the past where it has appeared someone is guilty beyond question, only for new evidence to come to light to cast doubt on that? Where do you then draw the line between those killers who should be executed and those that should not?
Assuming you are happy with capital punishment, are you happy (as in the US and many other countries) that people who committed murder when they were children are executed later on as adults? Or the mentally impared? Are you happy that innocent people will sooner or later be wrongly executed?
Taking a leap, but are you happy that there are ex-judicial executions going on throughout the world, i.e. when a suspected terrorist is vapourised by a laser guided bomb? Shouldn't they at least have their day in court as a common criminal (unless you buy into the lie that the "war on terror" is an actual war)? And, as inevitably happens sooner or later, 3-dozen innocent people get blown to pieces at the same time, do you shrug it off as a consequence of war? Next time you are walking down the street, imagine the next 30 people you see (adults and children) being put in the execution chamber for no reason other than them being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bondurant (talk) 12:24, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I am square against the death penalty for one simply reason: I don't trust the legal system. We still hear people having their convictions overturned 10, 20 or 30 years down the line, whether it's due to corrupt pigs, incompetent lawyers, or any combination of other factors. You can release a fella from prison, give him a few quid to apologise, but you can't un-kill them (sorry if that offends any bible-thumpers, but you really can't bring people back from the dead). On another note, as I understand it in the US 'life imprisonment' actually means it; they will spend the rest of their lives in jail, si? Here in the UK these two would spent around 12 years in nick, possibly up to 15, but no more. Damn liberals. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:03, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Possibly, although some of the more notorious killers in the UK are (or have been) on "life means life" type sentences, e.g. Peter Sutcliffe, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley (the former two under the mental health act). Charles Bronson is unlikely to ever be released, despite never killing anybody. Bondurant (talk) 13:16, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with DeltaStar, the risk of innocents getting executed should be enough to argue against the death penalty - no other arguments needed. If we had some sort of magic machine that could prove guilt to 100%, I'd be in favour of the death penalty so hard that bodies would pile up in the streets. But alas, it is never to be. ONE / TALK 13:41, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't help but feel uncomfortable when you begin to dehumanise people based on their (admittedly appalling) crimes. Doing so merely pretends that execution is no different to destroying a dangerous dog when it is not, and refuses to deal with the actual moral question. Stupid wisest Phantom Hoover! 15:38, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Evil harmonic Hoover. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:27, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
@Delta: Yes, we have Indeterminate Sentences, where life can indeed mean life. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:47, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

It is the argument of mainstream UK politicians, even Conservatives, to say that capital punishment can only be considered if you could satisfactorily answer the question: "What do you do when you execute an innocent person?" And when you stop and really think about it, and not default to gODDIT™, then that question is truly frightening. Just stop and think about it. You execute someone, so what about all the children they could have fathered if they had lived, what about all the lives they could have influenced if they had lived, how many lives do you taint by executing someone, are their children really consider it justice, or do they take a step towards being another Raoul Moat. When you stop and think about it the very act of executing somebody, such a final act, has repercussions and ripples that spread forward through time, kind of like all the ethical concerns about time travel, but very real and happening now.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 21:51, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Is it any better to keep a person in prison for life if the children believe their relative did not do the crime and is being unfairly treated ? The ompact on having kids and affecting people is severely curtailed as well. If the reasoning is 'life in prison isnt so bad' that its acceptable if we believe the legal system puts inoccent people away then the entire legal system should be reviewed. In my state its estimated that it costs $50,000 a year to confine an inmate. Thats $1,500,000 for a 30 year sentance. How much can a society afford when it impacts libraries, schools, health care for law abiding citizens etc. Hamster (talk) 15:44, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
The legal system will always result in false convictions, although we should do as much as possible to prevent it. However, if someone is found to be innocent after 15 years in prison, they can be released and compensated. You cannot bring them back from the dead. Stupid wisest Phantom Hoover! 16:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry SD, but that is a non-argument. (not to mention the fact that the debate has gone from the specific to the general). Yes, innocent people have been executed, and thus have no been able to influence the world. Using that example, what about the lost opportunity of the 2 girls who were burnt to death - where's their chance to influence society, have a family, etc? This debate was never meant to be about the death penalty in general, but more my venting that creatures like this, do not deserve to die humanely. So what if he gets the lethal injection - that's nothing compared to the suffering his victims felt, and at the least, he should feel the same as he dies. Innocence or guilt is not the issue here. He's guilty and I honestly see no problem with justice getting medieval on him. --PsyGremlinTala! 15:54, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
If you think that it is entirely morally justified to make him suffer, then I presume you would have no qualms with being given a garrotte wire and strangling him yourself? Or perhaps setting him on fire while he is tied down and watching him burn to death? Stupid wisest Phantom Hoover! 16:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
None at all. --PsyGremlinTal! 16:27, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Carrying further, would you have a problem with torturing him before killing him? You've already stated that your aim is to cause suffering as well as ending his life. 17:30, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
". . . at the least, he should feel the same as he dies". Why? Who does that benefit & how? WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:38, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
This is taking a sinister turn. Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you. Bondurant (talk) 17:51, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Psy says:Yes, innocent people have been executed, and thus have no been able to influence the world. Using that example, what about the lost opportunity of the 2 girls who were burnt to death - where's their chance to influence society, have a family, etc?
What about them? Will killing him bring them back to life?--BobSpring is sprung! 18:06, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
No, but killing him will kill him. In fact, one might even say that the purpose of killing him is to kill him. And that sounds all find and dandy to me (my general opinions on the death penalty notwithstanding) ONE / TALK 08:43, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
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