Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Inner Life of a Cell

This is awesome, truly.

This is going on, all the time in each of us. A symphony of motion, energy and coordination playing in the background to which we are all deaf. If I had seen this as a kid instead of the Moon landing, I might have gone into biology instead of astrophysics.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Getting on with it

This is the essential debate between the two types of atheists. I have to admit, I used be the first kind but am now (almost) completely in the second. Afterall, that's the whole point. Squirrels!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Off on a Technicality

Today is the Big Chili Festival at Microsoft. I've cooked 2 gallons of turkey chili (i.e. I opened 16 can's of Hormel Brand Turkey Chili, added garlic, paprika, chili powder and whole shi... heaploads of beans) shreded cheese and chopped onions, and I will be serving little 2 oz cups of the stuff in the cafeteria in about an hour.

I know what you are thinking.

Just let me say that the while Judge said I wasn't allowed to *eat* chili, she said nothing about me *making* chili, so I beleive the terms of my probation are still in tact.

At least, that's what I am going to tell the officers.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Shitstorm, literally

I mentioned this to Geoff today and then had to go look it up:

The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed "the rain forest."

Yes, Just Like This

This is really good. I must admit, I'm a little disappointed it's just an art project.

I'm Going to Be a Big Star Someday

From the World's Finest News Source:

Don't cry for me, though: My legacy will extend far beyond your lifetime. After my spectacular collapse due to hot-and-fast living, you'll look up, and I'll be as bright as ever. No one will even know I'm gone.

Don't Buy These!

Top Ten Reasons Religion is Like Pornography

Top Ten Reasons Religion is Like Pornography
10. It has been practiced for all of human history, in all cultures
9. It exploits perfectly natural, even commendable, impulses
8. Its virtues are debatable, its proponents fanatical
7. People love it, but can't give a rational reason for it
6. Objectifies and degrades women even when it worships them
5. You want to wash up after shaking hands with any of its leaders
4. The costumes are outrageous, the performances silly, the plots unbelievable
3. There's nothing wrong with enjoying it, but it's nothing to be proud of, either
2. It is not a sound basis for public policy, government, or international relations
1. Its stars are totally fake


"Going to Be"

As if! I'm doing this now! "casue I'm the shiznitx!
(I can see my son's eyes rolling back into his head as I write this. This makes up for *so many* poopy diapers!)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

So Much for the Afterlife

Looks like science has finally put the last nail in the coffin of the afterlife. In the last few years a number of mystical experiences have been sufficiently explained by brain function, e.g. ghosts, night terrors, religious euphoria, feeling the divine, near death experiences etc. Each one can be duplicated now in some way. The last one was Astral Projection, leaving one's body, looking down at it and flying around. This has happened to me several times and it's really, really weird. Even cranky, skeptical me was not so sure that there wasn't *something* to it.

Now, this can be duplicated as well and, of course, it's brain function:

“The research shows that the self can be detached from the body and can live a phantom existence on its own, as in an out-of-body experience, or it can be felt outside of personal space, as in a sense of a presence,” Dr. Brugger said.

Scientists have gained new understanding of these odd bodily sensations as they have learned more about how the brain works, Dr. Blanke said. For example, researchers have discovered that some areas of the brain combine information from several senses. Vision, hearing and touch are initially processed in the primary sensory regions. But then they flow together, like tributaries into a river, to create the wholeness of a person’s perceptions. A dog is visually recognized far more quickly if it is simultaneously accompanied by the sound of its bark.

That's pretty much it. There is no afterlife, just the experiences generated by a dying brain trying to keep itself alive.

I can't say this is an inspiring discovery, but it is a comfort to know we live in world of our own design.