Friday, December 14, 2007

Giant Gay Flesh Eating Rats

The Most Free

Heard today:

Since Romney said religion requires freedom, and freedom requires religion, I can only conclude that Iran is the most free nation in the world... QED

I Can't Beleive It's Not Yoga!

Pat says:

Wednesday's "700 Club" featured a question about the Christian view of yoga. A concerned viewer asked, "Does it really have its origins in evil?" Pat Robertson gave the verdict: Yes! According to Pat, stretching is fine, but by repeating common yoga mantras, you are actually praying to Hindu gods Vishnu and Krishna and you're not even aware of it!

I agree with Pat, praying is evil. Why waste your time hoping the invisible sky-father will take mercy when you could be using your time improving yourself?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Typo of the Year

Typo of the YearThe Houston Chronicle, like just about every other North American media outlet, spent a lot of time reporting on Anna Nicole Smith this past year. In attempting to explain her, um, humble origins, the paper gave itself a measure of comeuppance. And that’s what makes it the typo of the year.
A photo caption in the paper read:

“When Redding, a longtime scout for Playboy, discovered Smith, the model could barely right a sentence…”


Apology of the YearSunday Times (UK):
An article about Lord Lambton (“Lord Louche, sex king of Chiantishire”, News Review, January 7) falsely stated that his son Ned (now Lord Durham) and daughter Catherine held a party at Lord Lambton’s villa, Cetinale, in 1997, which degenerated into such an orgy that Lord Lambton banned them from Cetinale for years. In fact, Lord Durham does not have a sister called Catherine (that is the name of his former wife), there has not been any orgiastic party of any kind and Lord Lambton did not ban him (or Catherine) from Cetinale at all. We apologise sincerely to Lord Durham for the hurt and embarrassment caused.

more here

Uncle Joe

An excellent point:

Joe Ratzinger, who calls himself "pope bendict XVI", recently issued an encyclical arguing against atheism and outright blaming it for most of history's atrocities. He should open a history book or perhaps look at the current pedophile infestation he has been covering up with massive payments to victims.The usual tactic is to note that Joseph Stalin was an atheist and thus insinuate that atheism leads to mass killing because there is no morality to it. And there isn't. Atheism is not a moral philosophy nor a political movement--it's simply a lack of a belief in god(s). One can be a strict science based atheist or a new age quack, a libertarian or a socialist. I've never known anyone who's moral beliefs derived from atheism.

One of the most common arguments I get about atheism is that, without gods, there is no divine justice, and man is free to do what he wants. This is true. It is also true man does what he wants anyway and finds the gods he needs to rationalize the act. Blaming or prasing their invisible friend doesn't actually absolve anyone of anything. In the end, we're all responsible for our actions, justified or not. It seems silly to bring the sky-father into it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Logic: You're Doing It Wrong

Interestingly wacked out site pitting "physics" against "darwinism", with physics being "science" becuase it has "equations".


I hope this guy isn't a physics student, because behavior like this really stinks it up for the rest of us. He's really falling into all the standard tropes of bad reasoning: category errors, revealed truth verses discovery, appeal to authority, circular logic, and lots and lots of just simply misstating results or misunderstanding the point.

As I work to throw together a draft of my book on reasoning skills, I troll a lot of these sites looking for examples. To be honest, it's pretty depressing, there are a lot more of them than I would have feared.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Haunted Hotel Room

I’m currently in London, staying at the “posh” hotel the company puts me in on St. Martin’s Lane. The hotel itself eclipses my own tiny coolness by over 400 MegaFoznies and it is doubtful I would be allowed into the lobby, except perhaps has a hat rack or piece of retro art, if the company were not vouching for my presence.

“Don’t Worry!”, it has told the front desk, “the nerd doesn’t rub off onto the furniture!” Just in case, I am certain there has been a deposit put on my room ranging in the six figures in case the next guest touches the desk where I work, loses all cool and suddenly starts making some sense. Also, there is plastic on the floors.

The hotel prides itself on customer service. It caters to the customer’s every whim. Or so it thinks.

Like many men of a certain age, when I get home from a long day slinging bits, waxing geekie or trying to con customers out of their shekels, I like to come, home, relax and have a good long … sit. When I am traveling, this is a little more difficult because my …. Ummm… usual sitting chair … isn’t here and the one they provide is not cluttered with the wide library of reading material my usual chair has to offer (unless I brought it from home which I always fail to do). Usually, I have a few minutes to myself, then get back to the desk and do some email. In this hotel, that’s impossible because… it’s cool to check on the guests.

For example, yesterday. I came in about 4:00pm after a host of meetings and a short walk over from Buckingham Palace (as a tourist, not as a geek or a salesperson). When I came in, I noticed that housekeeping had not made the bed or cleaned yet. Kind of sloppy for 4 pm, but Madonna is in the hotel and (I assume) her pet llama is keeping the staff hopping. No problem for me, I am not that fussy. I grab a magazine and go get comfortable, ready for a good long sit and… I hear the knock…

“Housekeeping, hello? … Housekeeping”
As the maid enters the room, I try to keep my dignity and shout, “No thank you!” but it’s too late, she’s in.. and she knows where I am sitting.

“uhhh housekeeping. Housekeeping sir!”
“uhh no thank you”
“No sir! Housekeeping. I must clean room. Clean room”
“I’m a little busy, can you come back at a more inconvenient time? I was planning a bath later, can you come then?”
“??? Uhhh… housekeeping sir!”

And then the moment was gone. I put myself back together, take my book and go down to the lobby, leaving a puzzled chezch woman to clean the room and express her profound unhappiness at what I have just done to the room in which she is going to be spending the next 15 minutes. As I close the door I hear a swear in Hungarian and the fan click on.

In the lobby, I meet a co-worker, one I left 10 minutes before. Our eyes meet and we say almost simultaneously,

We decide to go get a drink and an early supper. I go back up to my room to get my coat, but the maid is there and she now as a full knowledge of the deeply shameful things I’ve done while sitting in the chair. I enter the room, she turns to me, scowls and says in her best drill-sergeant voice,

I grab my coat and flee the scene.

Hotel 1, me 0

My co-worker and I have dinner, a drink and then take a pleasant walk down to the London Eye and back. Very nice. I return to my room about 10:00pm, make a call and get ready to turn in. I sit back in my chair, grab my book and within a minute hear a knock. The door opens and a voice calls out, “Turndown? Turndown sir?”

“No thank you!”, but it’s too late, she’s in the room before she realizes I’m on the chair. A moment later she realizes what’s going on and flees. Hotel 2, me 0.

I get ready for bed and call for a wake up call at 6am. I have a lot of early meeting and have a client breakfast at 7am.

“Would you like a pot of coffee in the morning sir?”
“Yes, that would be nice, thank you”

That seems cool. I like morning coffee and at 6am, 9 timezones from home, that seems perfect. As the reader may have already guessed, this is a Bad Idea.

6am comes. The phone rings. I pick it, bleary eyed and stupid. “Hello?” I answer.
“This is your wake up call sir”
“Okay, thanks.” I am cold, tired, in my underwear and vaugly think I should look for my glasses when…

“Coffee service sir!”
“I just hung up the fucking receiver!” , I whine, letting go of the phone.

In comes an improbably cheery (and blurry) man wheeling a cart of (what I assume to be)coffee. Which I need to sign for, while I am fat, tired, blind and hanging out for all the world to see. Hotel 3, me 0.

Today, I get back from meeting out in Reading, about 90 minutes door-to-door from the hotel. It’s 4:30pm. I enter the room and realize, a) it’s been made up and b) I’m likely safe. I grab my book and proceed to the throne. I do not pass Go! I do not collect $200. I do, sit down, get comfortable and almost immediately hear,
“Go AWAY!”
“Sorry sir, I just need to check and make sure the room has been made up”
“It’ fine! Go Away”
But it was too late. She knew. Hotel 4, me 0.

So finally, tonight. I go to dinner, do some shopping, have a walk. I come back. It’s 8:30pm. I grab my book. I check it for hidden cameras, microphones, microdots and poltergeists. Nothing. I enter the bathroom. It looks fine. I check the chair for pressure switches. I find none which shouldn’t be there. I wait. … nothing happens. I wait a few more minutes…. More fails to happen. I figure I am safe. I sit.
“IMMIGRATION!” I yell back.
The door closes.
I open my book and start reading.

"Have People Forgotten How They Pythons Suffered For Us?"

Being in London atm, I thought this was terrific:

I'll have to check the FSM position on being a pythonist. I assume a dual-class is allowed if I split my xp evenly...


Monday, December 10, 2007

Anti-Science Explosion!

Warning: The number of logical fallacies per second exceeds 15 KiloFalwells:

This is awesomely bad, an actual masterpeice of non-science. Unpacking this would take weeks. In fact it's back with so many bad facts and misinformation, light itself cannot escape! It's a black hole of information!

Grammar Humor

"First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing because verbing weirds language. Then they arrival for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no verbs." -- Peter Ellis.


I'm still in Europe until the end of the week, but I should start blogging again soon.