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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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The Bar
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To do list

Ray Comfort vs. Thunderf00t

I don't know if anyone follows Thunderf00t on youtube, but he will debate Ray Comfort in August sometime.

Sterile plasma cannon 02:01, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I expect a penalty shoot-out with Comfort moving the goal every time Thunderf00t puts a shot on target. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 06:25, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Ahhh yes, this should be interesting. Ace McWickedi9 07:10, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I gave up on TF00t after he revealed himself. Educated word Hoover! 21:19, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Really? I think hes a pretty sexy guy. Web (talk) 20:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Slider voting is back

Rate awesomeness of new slider extension
8.15 Vote

This was originally disabled during the upgrade, because I didn't have time to rewrite it and it was virtually unused (aotw uses its own separate implementation). I plan to use this for the new aotw extension, so please test. It uses the wigo table, however it adds "slider" to the poll id, so you can't hack wigo votes with this. (You can still easily do it with javascript though) Nx (talk) 17:02, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Should I be allowed multiple votes? Silver Sloth (talk) 17:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
You can change your vote any time (like on wigo), but it always replaces your previous one. Nx (talk) 17:39, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Rated 1 on account of the slider not going to 11. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:54, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Why should it got to 11? Nx (talk) 17:58, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I never really cared for slider voting. In fact, that's one reason I never got into the whole Article of the Weak thing, I just found it difficult to parse everything out. --Kels (talk) 17:59, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
NX: SRSLY? — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:01, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Nope, never even heard of it. Nx (talk) 18:12, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Really, you've never seen or even heard of Spinal Tap? This is really damaging your hacker cred. To the pirate bay with you! --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:16, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Spinal Tap mightn't've caught on in Hungary. Educated word Hoover! 21:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Nice. Can you limit the results output to one or two decimal points please? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! ħumanUser talk:Human 23:34, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I give you: the Andrew Schlafly grading slider!
9.27 Vote
I added some simple anti-hacking checks to both sliders and wigo. You can use javascript to send an invalid vote to the server, and it will happily accept it, but now both wigo and sliders ignore votes that are invalid, i.e. for wigo only -1, 0 and 1 are allowed, for sliders anything between the min/max parameters (these default to 0 and 100 btw). If you change a slider's range, the votes that fall outside the new range are simply ignored, but not deleted, so if you change it back, they'll be counted again. (simply change max=11 to max=10 in the first slider above and click show preview, the score will go down) Nx (talk) 09:09, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Quote time.

I was just wondering what everyone else has as their favorite quotes on faith? My personal favorite is "Debate with those who argue through faith is like teaching a fish to ride a bicycle." But I also enjoy "Faith is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there." What are some of the mob's favorites? SirChuckBEl...ipses are Cool... 23:28, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

"Faith brings us together and orders us to kill each other". That is why as a Christian, I have problems with people using faith as a "just" cause when committing atrocious acts.--Tabris (talk) 23:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll take my fish without a bicycle, if you don't mind. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:30, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
More of a juxtaposition: "Religion is the opiate of the masses" - Karl Marx, and "Winners don't use drugs" - The FBI. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, that's a common misquote of Marx. The real quote is "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." Z3rotalk 13:29, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Best I've come across is from one of the Science of Discworld books, when the wizards are confronted with earth religion. "Ah, quiet gods, noisy people, we must tread carefully," said Ridcully. --PsyGremlinWhut? 16:13, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't have a snappy quote about faith but I think an interview with Richard Feynmann summed up my attitude to the subject:
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything. And there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we are here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit, but if I can't figure it out I'll move onto something else - but I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things.
As a scientist I am well aware of my ignorance and am comfortable with it. I try to fill in the gaps to the best of my ability but don't worry if there isn't an answer. I believe that Feynmann's remarks show wisdom and humility. Faith is for those who require certainty, and certainty leads to arrogance. Maybe Oscar Wilde's quote "I am not young enough to know everything" might be a way of summing it all up. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 19:51, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


OK, so although I'm very tolerant of vegies, be honest, you can't despute this argument: "Well, you came to our house and we cooked mushroom risotto, so I was sort of expecting you to return the effort" CrundyTalk nerdy to me 00:01, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi-larious! ħumanUser talk:Human 00:09, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Agent Suave

Sorry, I couldn't resist. From the same progamme, I know you'll love it. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 00:17, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, very funny. Very well done. Lots of "jokes". I chuckled to myself several times. Goldfish?! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:26, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
"Do you mean, wanking?" "Err, no" CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:30, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future

Does anyone know anything about this book? Sterile plasma cannon 01:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I dunno, but it looks like a good one. Is it on amazona? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
It's new--it's on Amazon next week and official released new wk. Sterile plasma cannon 13:46, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Has it been reviewed in SciAm? I have a bunch I haven't read much of... ħumanUser talk:Human 18:09, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Some links:

I guess there'll be more info after release, though I would expect review copies to have shipped long enough ago for the reviews to coincide roughly with release. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:55, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Yikes! PZMeyers panned it. Sterile plasma cannon 19:17, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Not a surprise, PZ's pretty down on the accommodationists. And he's got a point, what good is science if it's watered down to that point? --Kels (talk) 19:20, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

A more favorable review. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:33, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

'Nother one. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:54, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

All three reviews seem to say the same thing; scientists need better PR. Though I think PZ nails it most accurately, that you can't sacrafice results for PR. Probably a read-for-free. Z3rotalk 20:03, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I was also a bit puzzled by the Pluto affair in the extract on their website. With so few pages in the book anyway I think I'll go with Meyers' verdict and save my money. As for science needing better PR most of what is served up in the popular media is utterly banal. What often passes for science in the press is along the lines of stupid formulae describing the perfect wiggle of a woman's bum. Attenborough is a beacon in the darkness of the MSM's handling of science. If you want to see other great science and technology communicators then TED has a whole stack of them. The last thing science needs to be doing is kowtowing to the ignorant masses; it needs to kick ass, and particulalry the asses of those fundy nutjobs who stand in its way. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 20:19, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm suspicious, too. If the authors emphasized that science is a process or a method I'd be less so. Rather than emphasizing whether Pluto is a planet, they should be emphasizing what a planet is, how that fits into the modern understanding of planetary science, and why that is significant. If Pluto falls into the category, so be it. If not, then not. That's what science is about. In many ways, the bigger problem is the difference in expectations between scientists and non-scientists. Non-scientists think of science as medicine and other "practical" subjects, and mostly about facts, not about process and a way of thinking. They also think of it being refuted with rhetoric, hence the anti-evolution and anti-global warming folks. Sterile plasma cannon 21:10, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The key to the Pluto story is the discoveries that forced the issue of the colloquial term "planet" and its usage. That is what should be emphasized. Not, "aw, there's only 8 planets now, I confused", but "cool, there's even more junk out there a lot like Pluto" - and "cool, we found hundreds of extrasolar planets last year!"
The hard part re: ombudspeople is that people truly well versed in science and blessed with extraordinary communications skills are rare. My favorite populariser to hate is Michio Kaku, a brilliant scientist (physics), but the worst radio show host I've ever heard. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:22, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Surely you're joking, Mr. Human, there are billions and billions. Clepper is fallible 05:44, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Of cells, M. Clepper, of cells. Surely we agree that is barely a single critter, let alone one with thes skills? (PS, that was fucking funny!)ħumanUser talk:Human 06:32, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


Oh man, I got totally Aced last night and am now at work trying my best to pretend I'm not constantly nipping to the bog for a quick chunder. I still don't understand why I can't puke quietly though. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I hope last night was worth it! :-) Bob Mudford--BobNot Jim 08:46, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Not really, I just stayed up late playing online poker. Won at the cash tables but got pwned in the tournaments. I had one really bad beat on the cash tables though. I got a pair of kings, raised, someone goes all in (short stacked) I snap-call. He flips over a pair of queens so I'm 81% favorite to win. The flop comes: Q Q 6 :( CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
If I understood the terminology I would sympathise. :-) --BobNot Jim 09:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
If you gotten Aced properly you would have actually been in a casino, vomiting noisely upon a passing cattle rustler and his new bride. Ace McWickedi9 09:48, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh I'm still in training, master. One day I shall awake on a council tip with no recollection of the reasoning behind my whereabouts. One day. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:29, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

A question entirely from left field

Since I don't really know anywhere or anyone to ask this question of, I'll ask it here since I know at least some RWians are arty. Glass etching cream, how acidic is it? My mum's birthday is coming up and I just had a brilliant idea of what to make for her, but it involves etching glass in really fiddly patterns. I had the idea of using photoresist , since I have all the gear for my electronics work and I've used it for salt etching metals before. However, I'm wondering if glass etching stuff isn't going to eat the photoresist too and then I'll just end up with an expensive mess. Anybody have a clue? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 09:26, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it is a question of how acidic it is it's a question of how reactive it is. I mean you can store pretty strong acids in glass bottles without any damage. To etch you need either hydrofluoric acid or other fluorine compounds which are constituents of the etching cream. These things are caustic and will burn your skin but I have no idea about how they would react with photoresist, people normally use adhesive stencils. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 11:39, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
It's hard to say without knowing what your photoresist is made of and knowing how dilute/concentrated the acid is. (Actually, even knowing those things wouldn't help me!) Any acid will less corrosive if diluted enough. HF has inherent toxological properties that make it complicated when concentrated (it sucks calcium from your bones above a certain concentration), although I doubt if you can buy it commercially this will be a problem. Sterile plasma cannon 14:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, (something intelligent-sounding followed by a non-answer). — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 14:35, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Why don't you try it out on a bit of scrap glass? Silver Sloth (talk) 14:50, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a good idea. Maybe I'll try it out on a curry sauce jar or something. Might be a bit of hassle getting it in the UV light box and getting a good exposure, but it scarcely matters if the pattern comes out well. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The only thing I would add is that glass has a variety of "flavours" and may respond differently to the etching process, so make your test on something that is similar to whatever you're planning to give your ma. (An art-nouveau decorated HP sauce bottle?) Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 16:51, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Gosh, how complicated. I was under the impression that glass was glass, maybe with a bit of this, that or the other chucked in to make it a pretty colour. Since I've no idea what these types of glass are, or what type I'm going to be etching, I may have to trust to dumb luck on this front. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:41, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, think of things like lead crystal and borosilicate glass which have different properties to standard soda-lime class. Most glasses are silica-based but have different addititives to give them their special properties. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 18:16, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Oh youtube, now I hate you.

I'm not a big time youtube user, but a little while ago I did make a short crappy video of some software I wrote and stuck it up on youtube to show a couple of people. I didn't realise before, but youtube's related videos section doesn't have a whole lot to do with the video itself, but rather what viewers of the videos that the people who watch the video also watched. The prime viewer of my video being me, that includes some Mitchell and Webb sketches and some stuff from icanhascheezburger, but also that horrible Kendoll-promoted video about how great Conservapedia is. Worse, that video is the top result. I hate you, YouTube. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:12, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I guess the remedy would be an RW video/ad, then we all go watch it and the CP one? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Don't we have a proper RW video yet? Surely there's an opportunity for some creative spark to cobble something together that isn't too embarassing. Alternatively we could pump goat videos. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 18:19, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
We should get Trent to make one, parodying Schlafly's earnest promotions of CP... ħumanUser talk:Human 18:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I think we're winning the youtube. A search for 'conservapedia' returns a video from this guy as the top hit (for me at least), plus another five of his vids on the first page. Internet creationists beware, Operation God's Nipples is underway! Ole! Ole! Ole! 18:54, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
That's some great stuff. Too bad there's no sound... is that one of us? They seem to honor our articles very much. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:02, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Shameless plug time again. My ConservaHitler video is still going strong at 4.5 stars. I don't know how to pimp it other than here. You can take a gander at my Anonymous070777 channel, as the sidebar reciprocates with a link to our Evolution article. I REALLY want to find out what  K e n D o l l ' s  take on it is, since it's mostly about him. (I'll put the link in when I get home since YT is filtered from my office.) The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 16:25, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
That's one of my favorite youtube videos. So much that I think I'll favorite it. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 16:31, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks again for that great video, Foxhole. Oh, and you should put that picture of you molesting a goat up on RW. Jamie (talk) 17:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Ha! I almost forgot that pic was in the other video! I Haz Gaot! The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 18:07, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thumb Correction. Iraqi sheep is sheep, not goat. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 11:06, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Homeopathic ER

Corry (talk) 02:14, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH hahahaahahahahaaha that's funny that is please add to artiklz! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:36, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure I shoved it in as a footnote to the Homeopathy article. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:25, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Hideous internet find of the week

Disturbing Father-daughter purity balls are disturbing. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:54, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

That's... creepy. --PsyGremlinWhut? 13:27, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
We have an article on the creepy. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
And here I was expecting an actual physical set of balls that girls carry around their neck to warn that they don't give out unless really frigging drunk. I could say something about them being daddy's balls, but that might delve a bit too far into the creepy territory. Vulpius (talk) 16:01, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I think that anyone who doesn't immediately think "fucking creepy" when seeing those really should be background checked by the police... Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:21, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
"Events like this do not minimize the sexuality of children, as organizers claim. They highlight it." Just had to quote that. Can't agree more. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:24, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Poe-tastic Prophesies

A lengthy email about Obama being the AntiChrist landed in my junk folder at work yesterday, & I read through most of it, out of morbid curiosity. the text seems to come from here, at "From the Mountain Prophecies", & is one of a series of dreams by a Linda Newkirk. This one involves Obama, Hitler's boots, tap dancing, speed, the Rothschilds, the Vatican, European Satanists, and "The New World Order Nazi Police State".

Very close to Poe's Law, although it looks like it's probably genuine lunacy. However, Googling Linda Newkirk's name did lead to a half-decent parody article at A Mighty (nothing to do with the movie A Mighty Wind, although I can also recommend that). ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like a weekend at Max Mosley's then. Vulpius (talk) 23:18, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Tobacco companies and creationists

I'm reading The Cigarette Century about the rise and fall of cigarettes in the 20th century. It's amazing how many parallels there are between how the cigarette companies attempted to discredit the evidence that smoking causes lung cancer and how creationist organizations attempt to discredit evolution. Doing their own "research", creating research societies, creating a "controversy," questioning valid statistical evidence, etc. It's a little disturbing actually. Sterile plasma cannon 00:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Can't be true, big tobacco is one of Schlafly's favorite analogies when talking about global warming or anything. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)"
And there it is:
[PR fitm] Hill & Knowlton had served its tobacco clients with commitment and fidelity, and with great success. But the firm had also taken its clients across a critical moral boundary that would have two important impacts on American society. Trust in science, confidence in the media, and the responsibility of the corporate enterprise were all substantially harmed by Hill & Knowlton's efforts on behalf of the tabacco industry. By making science fair game in the battle of public relations, the tobacco industry set a destructive precedent that would affect future debate on subjects ranging from global warming and intelligent design. [Emphasis added.]
—Brandt, Allan M. The Cigarette Century Basic Books: New York, 2007; p 204.
Too bad he didn't develop that more, although it is a book about cigarettes. Sterile plasma cannon 01:37, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I need to see a copy of that book. Sounds interesting--Tabris (talk) 01:42, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, not a new thesis:

(Sorry for hogging up a thread for my own self-exploration of this idea.)Sterile plasma cannon 01:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Who is this by?--Tabris (talk) 02:21, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the cigarette companies and their enablers mainly on the Conservative side of things? --Kels (talk) 02:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I remember seeing a "educational" film staring Reagan saying there was no health risks with cigs. Granted, it was from the 50s, but they haven't changed much since then. No to mention Meathead does anti-tobacco work--Tabris (talk) 02:41, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
It's an interesting topic. Can we gather evidence that all these anti-science movements are the work of a cabal of advertising executives? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 10:31, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I remember reading a New Scientist article a while back which - if I remember correctly - drew parallels between the use of science, and scientists to show: that smoking was not harmful, that lead in petrol was not harmful, and that global warming was not going on. I think their point was about scientists' ethics, but it was an interesting comparison. Just tried to find the article but couldn't. --BobNot Jim 17:59, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


I request the community's feedback about interactions between myself and Human. Not knowing the community norms, it seems like Human is making a point of deleting or obstructing much of what I've done. However, what I've done -not much- may not have been appropriate. However, my general impression is that it takes a lot of effort to do anything here, and that mere basic improvements like the deleted article POV are not deleterious to the wiki. Indeed I just got this on my talk page while writing this: "You seem to have an issue with RW And what is it, exactly? Creating "POV", which may be wikipediaspeak, without even defining it as "point of view" is utterly lame." And if I remember right I did define as Point Of View. I'll look at the deleted page to make sure. Thanks. Tarantallegra (talk) 06:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

No, you didn't. That's why I deleted it (It was POINTy!). Also, your edit-warring at public school was painful, in that I preserved your addition, researched the quote, found a better source, etc. What is your complaint, exactly? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:32, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I did. [1] And that confirms my impression that you don't read the sources. Tarantallegra (talk) 06:36, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Content of article: "Point Of View. This is Wikipediaspeak." Explains nothing. Makes no point. And is certainly not a good RW article. Try again? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:45, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Will wait for others. But I have to go now. Tarantallegra (talk) 06:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Me too. What's your point? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Just that we probably can't solve this ourselves. People need to look at the history. Here, examine [2] and here is the source, as you see it was an article in Harpers[3] (look at the graphic). Tarantallegra (talk) 07:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Just that we can solve it. You are a troll with an agenda. Your first link shows what I said: "Point Of View. This is Wikipediaspeak." is not an "article". The graphic???? That does not "prove" that Harper's published it. And even if they did... what's your point? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:02, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I quote your "source": "It was from James Bryant Conant-president of Harvard for twenty years, WWI poison-gas specialist, WWII executive on the atomic-bomb project, high commissioner of the American zone in Germany after WWII, and truly one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century-that I first got wind of the real purposes of American schooling." What does that even mean? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Moar quote: "see him mention in passing that the modem schools" It's just a blog/webshite. And the author does not even fix his typos. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:05, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
No, Human, what you said was "Creating "POV", which may be wikipediaspeak, without even defining it as "point of view" is utterly lame" whereas in reality the whole article was obviously a definition of the term. And the quote you mined above is standard character introduction. To gain the meaning, you have to have the whole quote:
Uh, tarantula, your "article" sucked. It did not even define what it was about. Nice troll, though - you certainly managed to get my goat. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
"It was from James Bryant Conant-president of Harvard for twenty years, WWI poison-gas specialist, WWII executive on the atomic-bomb project, high commissioner of the American zone in Germany after WWII, and truly one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century-that I first got wind of the real purposes of American schooling. Without Conant, we would probably not have the same style and degree of standardized testing that we enjoy today, nor would we be blessed with gargantuan high schools that warehouse 2,000 to 4,000 students at a time, like the famous Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado. Shortly after I retired from teaching I picked up Conant's 1959 book-length essay, The Child the Parent and the State, and was more than a little intrigued to see him mention in passing that the modem schools we attend were the result of a "revolution" engineered between 1905 and 1930. A revolution? He declines to elaborate, but he does direct the curious and the uninformed to Alexander Inglis's 1918 book, Principles of Secondary Education, in which "one saw this revolution through the eyes of a revolutionary."
Saying it is just a blog is utterly false, it was on the cover of Harpers. How do you get along on a wiki that is supposed to be reasonable? I have to go to bed, talk to you tomorrow. Tarantallegra (talk) 08:14, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Not your link, it wasn't. Where's the link to Harpers'? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:26, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
So we're down to quibbling over whether it's a blog if an website has a copy of an article that was published in a (very good)[4] national magazine? Harpers charges, you have to subscribe. Just search his name on their site though. And the article POV was made just for the purpose of linking to it from another article, where "POV" was used without explanation. It was of use. I guess you also delete redirects? Tarantallegra (talk) 08:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
While I hate to interrupt your good old fashioned barney you're having here, why exactly do we need a "POV" article? It isn't on mission in any way I can think of. Better to link to wp:POV if you really need to use the term at all. (OK, also I had a look at the deleted article, and yeah that was a complete load of bollocks anyway. Nobody was going to bother trying to improve that.) --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Far be it for me to sound trite, Tar, but when a new user who doesn't quite seem to "get" the site has an argument with one of the most established, well-respected editors, who, exactly, do you think we are going to side with. Oh, and it's called lurking, try it. Z3rotalk 13:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Our mainpage states that our mission is: 1. Analyzing and refuting the anti-science movement. 2. Analyzing and refuting crank ideas. 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism. I'm not quite sure how your article would have helped that mission, and it might perhaps have been better if you had hung around for a while to get the feel of the place before creating it. Our RationalWiki:Newcomers's guide has some suggestions. On the other hand Human's trigger finger may sometimes be a little twitchy, but even if he had gone down the full consultation route to getting the article reviewed and eliminated, I suspect the decision would have been the same. I see no support for your article n this talk page and I also would not have supported its inclusion without a very good reason. So, I'm sorry if you feel that you have been badly treated by Human, but if you read the guide I mentioned and follow its suggestions I'm sure you will feel welcome here.--BobNot Jim 18:15, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Few people remember that at the bottom of the edit page is a statement, "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." People who take this to heart do better at wikis. Sterile plasma cannon 19:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Well, what I did on the Public school article seemed well within the mission " 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism." But any mention of the criticism was deleted for various "reasons" which on closer examination turned out to be baseless and unreasonable (such as that I was using a blog as a source). But baseless characterization of the quote was not sourced. I would need more support in order to stay around: otherwise it's just an acute version of what goes on in human society, which is that those with social power abuse it, reason be damned. Tarantallegra (talk) 20:39, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Reading your comment, I had thought your complaint was about your "POV" article. Are we to take it you are now accepting that POV was a mistake on your part, but you think we should consider whatever happened at "Public School" instead?--BobNot Jim 21:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
If the principle is that an article must be well developed or whatever, rather than just a useful stub, or that being slightly useful is not a good reason to keep it (that is, there is some reason to delete it), then it was a mistake. I don't really care, it was just the last straw. I was trying to give some criticism of public education, and it seems people here thinks public education is above criticism. That's probably because fundamentalists have criticized it, but in reality there are other avenues of criticism more in line with this wiki. I would think. As I said, " 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism." Tarantallegra (talk) 21:48, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

And now I discovered this [5]. First, there is nothing wrong with criticizing public schooling; second, it is not even his website. This wiki is run like it says, as a mob- yet that is inherently opposed to rationality. This wiki therefore has a conflict of means and goals, and thus cannot fulfill its mission consistently. Bye. Tarantallegra (talk) 22:22, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Darwin Rap

Was listening to the Naked Scientist this morning and apparently, there's a rap version of the Origin of Species been made in honour of Charles' birthday. It's not up on their site yet, but should be within the next few days. --PsyGremlinWhut? 10:32, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

They're going to rap the whole book? Or just gift-wrap it? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 10:54, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The whole book would be a bit of a task I would imagine.--BobNot Jim 17:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Avenue Q... a very very good musical, and I urge you all to go and see it. EddyP (talk) 12:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Please explain? - π 12:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
It has the song The Internet Is For Porn in it. It's awesome. Basically it's adult Sesame Street. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Still don't understand, but sounds better. Must re-enter world one day. - π 12:59, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I haven't seen the musical yet, but listened to most of its songs. And the internet is for porn is just - true ;-) larronsicut fur in nocte 13:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Who cares about Conservapedia?

Hello everyone, and thanks for the links to my YouTube channel. I won't place yet another link, because I'm not a link-whore (unlike someone I know).

I'm here to share the YouTube Insight data from my channel. For those who are unaware, YouTube offers a service to video owners called Insight, which is actually pretty useful and reliable, unlike the Schlafly insight™ which has no value whatsoever. Well, maybe there's some value in its humor.

The data tells me that a large percentage of the people who view my videos hail from RationalWiki, so this data also helps provide a ballpark figure regarding the demographics of this site, although I get the occasional spike from SomethingAwful as well.

Views by Gender

Male Female
82% 18%

Views by Age

Age Range Views % (approx)
13-17 20
18-24 10
25-34 15
35-44 55

The majority of viewers are, of course, from the US with Great Britain, Finland, Australia and New Zealand providing many views as well. The majority of my US viewers are from California, followed by Illinois and New York, with a slow trickle coming from New Jersey (I wonder if Andy blocks his students' access to YouTube?). My most popular video is the Lenski Affair video which I am proud to boast currently holds the #1 result on a certain video sharing site starting with Y while using a certain search string starting with C (no, not that word starting with C).

Just thought I'd pop in and let you all know who the average Conservapedia-observer is. Now if anyone ever asks the question "Who cares about Conservapedia?" you can tell them the typical observer is an American Male in his late 30s to early 40s.

Oh and Human, I agree with you on this. Tell me, should I have elevator muzak, or use the Imperial March everytime Andy's name is mentioned? Or I could combine the two.

Thanks for the views guys, keep up the good work! GreatAtheismo (talk) 17:29, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I'd go with the March, yeah. Doesn't ring my bell since I never saw the movie, but most will catch on. Can you get a good PD version to use? Oh, and when you mention RW, we should hear a tasteful goat making goat noises... ħumanUser talk:Human 19:47, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it'd be a bit hard to find, as the Imperial March is only 30 years old (You didn't see Star Wars? Blasphemy!), it won't be public domain for quite a while yet. The goat sound idea is a good one, perhaps in future I could put a RationalWiki screen after my "Trus Me" screen at the end of each video, accompanied with a solo from the Goat Orchestra. Anyone with suggestions for sounds I could use in my videos is more than welcome, I've been meaning to make another video, probably about the Bible Retranslation Project. GreatAtheismo (talk) 19:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
So do people over 44 not count? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 19:22, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I thought that too, apparently YouTube doesn't care for older folk. It has the age brackets for those over 44, but there mustn't have been enough views from people of that age to show on the chart. It's unfortunate that YT allows me to download a spreadsheet which goes into great detail about pretty much everything except the age of my viewers, I have to rely on the on-site charts for that. GreatAtheismo (talk) 19:27, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I watched all your videos and I don't even get a mention even as a percentage point! Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 21:09, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
By the look of the charts, they round to 5%, so perhaps there just aren't enough people in the other age brackets to push it up to 5%. Either that, or the older people who visit my vids don't have accounts - which I daresay is where all the data comes from, account details. I might need to reevaluate my claim that Insight is reliable, at least when it comes to age groups - the spreadsheets I downloaded regarding all the other information were pretty detailed. GreatAtheismo (talk) 21:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

To those with PhDs...

So, as I know several of our users either have or are getting their PhDs, I had a question regarding the program. My sister is currently dating a guy claiming to be getting his PhD in computer science, while working at an unrelated (i.e. not teaching) job 60+ hours a week. My understanding was that working on a doctorate was pretty much a full-time job by itself, making holding another job difficult. Would it be possible to work on a PhD, while holding such a demanding job? Z3rotalk 17:36, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Depending on the job, the strength of the program and his determination, it could definitely be possible. But yeah, it is unlikely. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 17:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't pass the stink test, unless dude is taking a year off of school or something--or is maybe in the advanced stages of writing up and waiting for feedback to do revisions. I'm in a doctoral program in history and I'm putting in somewhere between 60-72 hours a week of reading and writing, more come crunch time, and you gotta figure something like Comp. Sci. would be more, not less, demanding. I couldn't imagine holding down a job-and-a-half at the same time. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 17:54, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if it would take as much time as a history doctorate. A great deal of time for computer science is spent think tanking and running programs on large datasets and such. Most of my major insights came in the middle of the night or in the shower or while doing laundry or something. If he's a convenience store clerk, it could work. If he has a real job that demands his attention, I'm skeptical. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:00, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
(Stop edit conflicting me, you shits.) Depends how many years you want to do it over. In the UK, you can spend anywhere up to eight years getting your doctorate part time if you so desire. And, given some of the doctoral candidates in Comp. Sci. I've worked with, they have nice offices (sometimes individual!) and don't seem to do an awful lot in them, so I wouldn't write off his story without further evidence. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:02, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Depends on the location as well. Traditional, big science PhD programs are full time (and then some!) and usually paid. But more smaller schools with mostly undergrads and tiny grad programs do have programs that are part time; there are few people in these programs, however, so skepticism is warranted. I know nothing about computer science programs. Sterile plasma cannon 18:07, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

These comments are kind of along the lines of what I was thinking. As a side note, this is the sister I can't stand, so if she gets sucked in by a con artist, oh well, I just can't stand the thought of a guy as stupid as this one being better educated than me. Z3rotalk 18:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I've heard many people say "I'm going to law school" or "I'm going to med school" and mean "I plan on going"...could be the case. But yeah, the guy might just be a pipe dreaming dirt bag. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:27, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
For what it is worth, I am not allowed to work outside of my University. I get a teaching assistant position as my "employment" and I can make a special request for up to 10 hours a week outside employment if I have met certain requirements. If I am "caught" working more than 10 hours, or without permission it is grounds for my removal from the program. I wouldn't have time anyway...tmtoulouse 18:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
My niece who is finally getting her PhD next week has been working full time for a big pharma for the past two years. She was held up because of some minor rewrite of some lab work that was demanded by her tutor. So, yes it could be possible to be in the process of getting a PhD while working full time, it just wouldn't have had to be for the majority of the research. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 19:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The guy could be ABD (all but degree) with a job. That is, he could have his thesis done and just need to be defending. It isn't unheard of. Sterile plasma cannon 19:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
All but degree seems unlikely, as he keeps talking about classes and classwork he is doing. I'd really love to get more information out of him, but as I said, I don't get along great with my sister and I can't stand this guy. My next ploy is to find out what university he claims he's going to, then see if he's registered. Should be pretty easy. Z3rotalk 19:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
It's decades go since I was a student but a PhD doing classwork? Unless he's tutoring undergrads. Maybe some younger ones can disabuse me of this view. Redchuck.gif Генгисunbelieving 19:46, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Most in a chemistry PhD program do courses for at most two years, most one year plus maybe a course or two, maybe three years if you have real issues. You may have trouble finding out if someone's registered since the advent of FERPA (and it is a little stalkerish, don't you think?). Sterile plasma cannon 19:49, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
A little stalkerish, yes, but it's family, so it's okay. Z3rotalk 19:59, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I had pretty significant course work that had to be completed as well. But some of my friends had no course work requirements. That is very program specific. tmtoulouse 19:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Consider yourself disabused: two years of required class work for me. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 19:51, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I had one course in my second year. It was almost worse than having three because time was so much less structured. Sterile plasma cannon 19:52, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

So it just depends on the course. Neither right nor wrong. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 21:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

RationalWiki: I need your help!

I haz your credentials right here

I have mentioned a few times that I have a relative that has drank the kool-aid rather deeply. She actively promotes and works for a major homeopathic company (Heel) which manages to even deny the germ theory of disease (homotoxicology). She has recently jumped on the anti-vax band wagon. All of this matter because she was a 2 year old son who is starting to get lax medical care because her "cleansers" can handle it, or the doctors don't kowtow to her quack ideology.

She sent out an e-mail invite to a seminar of an anti-vax guy to another relative of mine who has a son who will just start getting the vaccine regiment. What I would love to do is find out more about this guy, but particularly I want to "capture" the web seminar for later rebuttal and analysis. Who better to ask for help than you guys?

Here is the info:

tmtoulouse 19:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Oh goat he got his MD from McMaster. There goes the value of my degree. tmtoulouse 19:08, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Wow. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:10, 10 July 2009 (UTC) "BA, MA, MD, PhD" And do people with MA's usually list their BA as well? Or is he just being pretentious? — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I it is credential stacking, I am finding more on him now, and he has a tendency to emphasize superficial achievements like low level scholarships and GPA. Probably to try and cover up for his total lack of success elsewhere. So he is "selling' his snake oil, that much is obvious. And apparently he is a total germ theory denialist, it is only a theory. tmtoulouse 19:14, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
"the Germ Theory was just that – a theory, which has turned out to be wrong, in very fundamental ways." Fuck me, I thought you were kidding. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:17, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
[The face of credibility, is he stoned? tmtoulouse 19:17, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, the front page of his site says that ALL vaccines cause autism and other disorders. That should be easy to test, at least. Z3rotalk 19:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Rumors abound that he never got his MD from McMaster. — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:28, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, according to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (with which all physicians practicing in Ontario must register), Dr. Moulden is not a practicing physician in Ontario (where by all indications he is based out of). — Signed, by: Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:53, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I see a University of Ottawa logo behind him, does that mean he's actually spent significant time here? I'll have to sanitize the whole city now! --Kels (talk) 21:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

"ALL vaccinations cause immediate and delayed, acute and chronic, permanent and transient, disease and disorders that cut across all organ systems." Might as well quote the entire claim... as far as the alphabet soup, sure, there are instances when a person would list all their degrees - like maybe on a resume. Otherwise he's just doing it to fool the gullible into thinking he's smert. We need article on him... ħumanUser talk:Human 19:56, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

This guy is evil, he links vaccines with everything, including shaken baby syndrome. He is pushing a "neuroimaging technique" that only he can do, that magically allows him to diagnosis all emergency medical situations, including "SIDS" before it happens. What you do is take pictures or videos of the subject, and send them to him electronically. He applies his "magic" to it and makes a diagnosis. In the case of a medical emergency you can purchase a one-on-one internet video consultation! He has gone from insane, to a fraud now. tmtoulouse 20:52, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe this sort of thing is your forte TMT. Just as well you appear to have a lot more free time at the moment. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 21:16, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The fraud's resume is here, if that's any help. --Kels (talk) 21:32, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Bit more here, and apparently even John Best doesn't think much of him. Man, what a spiderweb of quack vs. quack they have in the anti-vax community. There also seems to be something about an anti-vax lady trying to sue a vaccine manufacturer and Moulden left her hanging when he refused to sign an expert witness agreement, but I can't find anything solid on that. --Kels (talk) 21:51, 10 July 2009 (UTC)