Friday, May 05, 2006

Made Out of Meat

Thanks to PZ Meyers for pointing me to one of my favorite short stories from long ago.

The Skyway Arcology

The other interesting thing about Minneapolis was the Skyway system. A big chunk of downtown buildings are linked together by a walkway system, making it possible to walk dozens of blocks without ever going outside. Apartment buildings, stores and business skyscrapers are all linked together in a heated, well-secured fashion. An interesting adaption for a place which is cold and gets that much snow.

Also, while guns are *not* banned in the walkways, they are banned in every building (at least all the ones I saw).

map here

Interesting Free Market Solution

I just got back from a week in Minneapolis, which was kind of interesting. In true libertarian fashion, they have almost no gun control laws. You can take your gun with you to the grocery store, to the playground, to the hospital, to the ATM line or to the porta-potties at the county fair.


Business owners are also free to ban guns from their stores. "No guns allowed on these premises", "ING bans guns in this building", etc. . I thought this was an interesting approach. Not necessarily one I agree with, but interesting. The message is very libertarian, "You can have your toys, just don't bring them in here if you want to do business with me"

In a week of looking, I was unsuccessful in finding a single business (including a gun store) that *did not* have as sign banning guns.

I now need to look at the homicide, manslaughter and accidental gun death statistics on Minnesota and think about this a little more.

The Ardent Atheist

I took this test as suggested by PZ Meyers. I wasn't shocked to find I scored a little lower than he didwith my 70% (vs. his 76%). I thought I was a little soft in some of my answers actually and not all the strident.

Lesson: I'm more of a crank than I think I am.

The test asks for a lot of personal info at the end, so I don't recommend it. I have a special junkmail account I use for things like this.

The Ardent Atheist
The results are in, and it appears that you have scored 70%...
You are an atheist, pure and simple. You think God is just one big lie, and consider religious people to be both annoying and beneath you. Ardent atheists will argue tooth and claw for their position, and have no truck with people that won't listen. You think being an atheist is the only way to lead an honest life, and see no reason to accept the pleas of faith. Ardent atheists are the backbone of atheism. Be proud.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 58% on pentagrams

Link: The Atheist Test written by chi_the_cynic on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Sunday, April 30, 2006



73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is proving to be a far more interesting object than first anticipated. The comet is closing toward the Sun and will swing around it on June 7, passing the Earth along the way at a distance of 11.7 million kilometers. The fascination comes from watching its ongoing disintegration, which has broken the comet into more than 30 separate fragments.


I'm off to Minneapolis for a week to attend the IFX Board Meeting.

If anyone has suggestions for things to do in the evening , please let me know!

What Should I Major In?

Your Scholastic Strength Is Developing Ideas

You can take a spark of inspiration and turn it into a full fledged concept.
You are talented at brainstorming, visualizing, organizing, and independent thinking.

You should major in:

Natural sciences
Computer science
Creative writing