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Topics - EvilToothpaste

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1
The Lounge / Observations
« on: July 16, 2009, 09:18:02 AM »
People in a parade are cocky because they think they have attracted an audience.  But really, it's just people waiting to cross the street.  I could attract an audience if I stood in everybodies way. 

I was standing by a door when a security guard told me I would have to move; I was blocking a fire exit.  As though if there were a fire I was not going to use it.  If one is flammable with legs one is never blocking a fire exit. 

I like an escalator because an escalator can never break down, it can only temporarily become stairs.  There should be no sign that says "escalator temporarily out of order", only a sign that says "escalator temporarily stairs."

My shirt is dry clean only.  Which means it's dirty. 


2
The Lounge / Admiral Gay
« on: June 04, 2009, 02:32:21 PM »
Hey Gaytard!  What have you been up to?  I've been living in the dark ages for the entire year: no computer and no internet.  Now that I'm finally unemployed again I have time to waste. 

Where are you these days? 

Where is everyone else?

3
The Lounge / my cell phone is flatly
« on: September 30, 2008, 09:05:53 PM »
I'm back, and I'm doing this all on my cellphone.  send me your props.  I need celly porn, too.  So send me some of that first.

4
Clips from Skeptic Magazine, vol. 14 issue 1: 
A Climate of Belief: The claim that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the current warming of Earth climate is scientifically insupportable because climate models are unreliable.

In 2001, a paper published in the journal Climate Research  candidly discussed uncertainties in the physics that informs the General Circulation Models (used to calculate the physical manifestations of climate).  It turns out that uncertainties in the energetic responses of Earth climate systems are more than 10 times larger than the entire energetic effect of increased CO2.  If the uncertainty is larger than the effect, the effect itself becomes moot.  If the effect itself is debatable, then what is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change talking about?

The published paper was very controversial, but for all that was debated, the basic physical uncertainties were not disputed. 

Direct tests of climate models tell the same tale.  In 2002, Matthew Collins of the UK Hadley Centre used the HadCM3 GCM (General Circulation Model) to generate an artificial climate and the tested how the HadCM3 fared predicting the very same climate it had generated.  It fared poorly, even though it was the perfect model.  The problem was that tiny uncertainties in the inputs rapidly expanded and quickly drove the GCM into incoherence.  Even with a perfect model, Collins reported "it appears that annual mean global mean temperatures are potentially predictable 1 year in advance and that longer time averages are also marginally predictable 5 and 10 years in advance."

Sources:
Climate Research, 2001: "Modeling Climatic Effect of Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emissions|ch 18, 259-275 | http://www.int-res.com/articles/cr/18/c018p259.pdf (many thanks to Garhartra)

Chapter 8 Supplementary Material of the IPCC 4AR

5
Flat Earth Q&A / The new new game
« on: May 24, 2008, 05:34:05 AM »
Converse by only editing your first post and not posting a new ... post. 

Converse by only editing your first post and not posting a new ... post. 
Like dat.

Then you fail.

You don't have to.  You just have to check back every few seconds so you won't miss other people's edits...

 I agree with Kasroa (for the first time?). 

6
The Lounge / Is infinity a number?
« on: May 03, 2008, 04:08:53 PM »
This is continued from another thread, linked in the quote below:

No, actually it can be a number in some systems.
Maybe you mean it can be treated like a number in some systems.  It is a limit, though, not a number. 
No, it *is* a number in some systems.

Furthermore, you could argue it is a number in all system - depending on whose definition of number you use.  Frege for example has a compatible definition for infinity and number.

Not to mention the work of Georg Cantor.
That's funny, I've always heard and understood quite the opposite, even after reading of Georg Cantor's work. 

In what systems is infinity a number?  And, please tell me how the two are given equality in Frege's definition. 

(Isn't Frege the guy whose life work was scuttled by Bertrand Russel shorty after it was printed?  By scuttled I mean his system of axioms was found to be contradictory.)

7
Technology, Science & Alt Science / maths
« on: May 01, 2008, 10:07:36 AM »
I know this isn't alternative (or science,even)  but I know some of you are students and rather sharp.  I need some hep. 

I want to solve the following system of equations for alpha, beta, and gamma:



A, B, C, X, and Y are all constants. 

8
Flat Earth Q&A / Sokky it to me!
« on: May 01, 2008, 09:54:00 AM »
Divito gave me a good idea, and so I spent some time and compiled some interesting evidence.  You'll catch on quickly. 

I have no Idea what you guys are talking about.  I posted drunk once this whole year.

PS I am drunk, dont hold this post against me.  I will edit it when I wake up later today.  After all, today is monday.
Are you drunk like me?  Because the bold part sure lost me. The bold part being the whole fucking thing.  Plus the bad English.
I just meant theories on this forum.  The Engineer has a few, the best being the magical dirt one.  There are some others, like the bending light theories. 
Xm and sirius radio own satellites.  One of those companies owns satellites that are named rock and roll. Search.
Edit, and fucking Indians could mean they are actually having sex, I mean Indians still have that arranged marriage.  Search probetalk, they really still do that. 
Um some.  I told you Iím to drunk to copy paste into openoffice to check spelling.,  Check mx6.com, I am drunk posting there as well.
Google owns staellites unlike theengineer and tom say.  They have the ability to uodate when ever they want.  Look at the street view.  Ceryain citys have it.   Google has the money.   Goggle uses satelittes.  Its end of story.  Find the videos where google uses satelittes, as in the pictures show planes.
Wow, I may be drunk but I know I ment are not as in are'nt.
I don't start theories.  Butt hurt are you?   
Apparently, because everyone thinks you arn't. 
What are you rolling your eyes for?  You argued for it not once but twice. 
Depends on the altitude of the satellite. 
Donít take offence but people pull theories out of there asses all the time and they all fail.   
He says he is an fe'er and that he believes in magical dirt all in one sentence. 
::)  <---  Because you are an idiot.
Yes because it would be stupid to not believe in magical dirt. 

I count 15 messages posted in the last year -- all submitted within a drunk time frame -- whose author admits sobriety deprivation several times in that time frame.  Granted they are all on the same day, but the evidence is overwhelmingly contradictory to the statement made just a few months ago. 

Please form your own conclusions.

fin

9
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Pieces of String too short to save
« on: April 26, 2008, 08:29:04 AM »
Here is a clipping I got from this website: http://briontoss.com/education/archive/miscjuly00.htm

Yes it's long, but you have nothing better to do. 

It's about the metric/english system debacle.  He really does have some interesting points, though many of them have no real evidence. 

I don't know what the little "�" things are.  They are in the original article. 

10
Flat Earth Q&A / The stupid rule
« on: April 25, 2008, 11:33:18 PM »
My local deli made the decision to get one of those numbered ticket dispensers in order to serve me better.  I welcomed them to the 20th century by blatantly ignoring their large pink sign instructing me to take a number.  Realizing there was a crowd of customers forming, the kid with future middle-management written all over his dull expression looks at the digital counter on the wall and asks who is holding number 65.  No one is holding any number, which is made obvious by the silent sound of nobody caring.  Being the rebel I am, i took a number even though his coworker was already slicing my cheese.  It was number 72.  I  exclaim, "The next ticket says 72."  The kid says okay, advances the counter to 72, then calls out for the customer holding ticket 72.  I was speechless and just stood there looking at him.  Before anyone could react he clicks the counter up again and calls out for number 73.  Baffled silence from the crowd continues.  Followed by another click. 

Please form your own conclusions; the end. 

11
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Zombie Jesus
« on: April 10, 2008, 10:23:11 AM »

12
The Lounge / What happened to Divito
« on: February 18, 2008, 12:08:22 AM »
I was just perusing some of the old posts from last year and realized quickly that 1) he wasn't a douchebag 2) I enjoyed reading his posts. 

Quite the contrary now 1) he is supreme douchito of this forum and 2) I absolutely hate everything that diarrheas off his fingers. 

Some of you that have stayed around over the entire last year, please expound on what happened.  I might even hear explanations from Douchito himself.  (Douchito sounds a bit too much like Bushido (who coincidently was also a supreme douche) but I'll stick with it for now).

13
This is an excerpt from the Skeptical Inquirer magazine, February 2008:

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a flier to combat myths about the flu vaccine.  it recited various commonly held views and labeled them either "true" or "false."  Among those identified as false were statements such as "The side effects are worse than the flu" and "only older people need flu vaccine."
     When University of Michigan social psychologist Norbert Schwartz had volunteers read the CDC flier, however, he found that within thirty minutes, older people misremembered 28 percent of the false statements as true.  Three days later, they remembered 40 percent of the myths as factual.
     Younger people did better at first, but three days later they made as many errors as older people did after thirty minutes.  Most troubling was that people of all ages now felt that the source of their false beliefs was the respected CDC.
     The psychological insights yielded by the research, which has been confirmed in a number of peer-reviewed laboratory experiments, have broad implications for public policy.  The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information.  But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths.

This somehow reminds me of a Kurt Vonnegut story because it's so disgustingly disturbing and hilarious at the same time.  People are just stupid; we lack the capacity to remember important details that entirely change the meaning of their context.  It's as if we developed this amazing ability to cut through our human foolishness using the scientific method, but then we destroy it because of the same stupidity that drove us to create it.  We have grown far beyond our own capacity to understand that which we have created. 

14
Flat Earth Debate / Flat like your mom
« on: September 01, 2007, 12:24:55 AM »
If the Earth is truly round, explain how one can see Maui from sea level on Hawai'i Island? 



Stupid RE'ers. 

15
The Lounge / Slackline
« on: May 31, 2007, 01:16:43 PM »
Anyone partake? 





The pictures are cool, but you have to check out the videos!

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I just set mine up last weekend.  I'll post some pictures of me being awesome on it.  I've landed in the garden once already.  An hour a day for five days and I'm already balancing on one foot and switching between them!  Doesn't sound hard until you get your fat arse up on the line. 

16
The Lounge / Herb Meyer's Speech
« on: May 06, 2007, 10:39:45 PM »
There is a lot in this speech that I have not heard about before.  It's very interesting.  Tell me what you think. 

Herb Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant
to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's
National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production
of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret
projections for the President and his national security advisers. Meyer
is widely credited with being the first senior U.S. Government
official to forecast the Soviet Union's collapse, for which he later was
awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the
intelligence community's highest honor. Formerly an associate editor of
FORTUNE, he is also the author of several books.

HERBERT MEYER

FOUR MAJOR TRANSFORMATIONS

Currently, there are four major transformations that are shaping
political, economic and world events. These transformations have profound
implications for American business owners, our culture and our way of
life.

1. The War in Iraq

There are three major monotheistic religions in the world: Christianity,
Judaism and Islam. In the 16th century, Judaism and Christianity
reconciled with the modern world. The rabbis, priests and scholars found
a way to settle up and pave the way forward. Religion remained at the
center of life, church and state became separate. Rule of law, idea of
economic liberty, individual rights, human Rights-all these are defining
points of modern Western civilization. These concepts started with the
Greeks but didn't take off until the 15th and 16th century when Judaism
and Christianity found a way to reconcile with the modern world. When
that happened, it unleashed the scientific revolution and the greatest
outpouring of art, literature and music the world has ever known.

Islam, which developed in the 7th century, counts millions of Moslems
around the world who are normal people. However, there is a radical
streak within Islam. When the radicals are in charge, Islam attacks
Western civilization. Islam first attacked Western civilization in the
7th century, and later in the

16th and 17th centuries. By 1683, the Moslems (Turks from the Ottoman
Empire) were literally at the gates of Vienna. It was in Vienna that the
climatic battle between Islam and Western civilization took place. The
West won and went forward. Islam lost and went backward. Interestingly,
the date of that battle was September 11. Since them, Islam has not found
a way to reconcile with the modern world.

Today, terrorism is the third attack on Western civilization by radical
Islam. To deal with terrorism, the U.S. is doing two things. First, units
of our armed forces are in 30 countries around the world hunting down
terrorist groups and dealing with them. This gets very little publicity.
Second we are taking military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. These are
covered relentlessly by the media. People can argue about whether the war
in Iraq is right or wrong. However, the underlying strategy behind the
war is to use our military to remove the radicals from power and give the
moderates a chance. Our hope is that, over time, the moderates will find
a way to bring Islam forward into the 21st century. That's what our
involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is all about.

The lesson of 9/11 is that we live in a world where a small number of
people can kill a large number of people very quickly. They can use
airplanes, bombs, anthrax, chemical weapons or dirty bombs. Even with a
first-rate intelligence service (which the U.S. does not have), you can't
stop every attack. That means our tolerance for political horseplay has
dropped to zero. No longer will we play games with terrorists or weapons
of mass destructions.

Most of the instability and horseplay is coming from the Middle East.
That's why we have thought that if we could knock out the radicals and
give the moderates a chance to hold power, they might find a way to
reconcile Islam with the modern world. So when looking at Afghanistan or
Iraq, it's important to look for any signs that they are modernizing. For
example, women being brought into the workforce and colleges in
Afghanistan is good. The Iraqis stumbling toward a constitution is good.
People can argue about what the U.S. is doing and how we're doing it, but
anything that suggests Islam is finding its way forward is good.

2. The Emergence of China

In the last 20 years, China has moved 250 million people from the farms
and villages into the cities. Their plan is to move another 300 million
in the next 20 years. When you put that many people into the cities, you
have to find work for them. That's why China is addicted to
manufacturing; they have to put all the relocated people to work. When we
decide to manufacture something in the U.S., it's based on market needs
and the opportunity to make a profit. In China, they make the decision
because they want the jobs, which is a very different calculation.

While China is addicted to manufacturing, Americans are addicted to low
prices. As a result, a unique kind of economic codependency has developed
between the two countries. If we ever stop buying from China, they will
explode politically. If China stops selling to us, our economy will take
a huge hit because prices will jump. We are subsidizing their economic
development; they are subsidizing our economic growth.

Because of their huge growth in manufacturing, China is hungry for raw
materials, which drives prices up worldwide. China is also thirsty for
oil, which is one reason oil is now at $60 a barrel By 2020, China will
produce more cars than the U.S. China is also buying its way into the oil
infrastructure around the world. They are doing it in the open market and
paying fair market prices, but millions of barrels of oil that would have
gone to the U.S. are now going to China. China's quest to assure it has
the oil it needs to fuel its economy is a major factor in world politics
and economics. We have our Navy fleets protecting the sea lines,
specifically the ability to get the tankers through. It won't be long
before the Chinese have an aircraft carrier sitting in the Persian Gulf
as well. The questio n is, will their aircraft carri er be pointing in
the same direction as ours or against us?

3. Shifting Demographics of Western Civilization

Most countries in the Western world have stopped breeding. For a
civilization obsessed with sex, this is remarkable. Maintaining a steady
population requires a birth rate of 2.1. In Western Europe, the birth
rate currently stands at 1.5, or 30 percent below replacement. In 30
years there will be 70 to 80 million fewer Europeans than there are
today. The current birth rate in Germany is 1.3. Italy and Spain are even
lower at 1.2. At that rate, the working age population declines by 30
percent in 20 years, which has a huge impact on the economy.

When you don't have young workers to replace the older ones, you have to
import them. The European countries are currently importing Moslems.
Today, the Moslems comprise 10 percent of France and Germany, and the
percentage is rising rapidly because they have higher birthrates.
However, the Moslem populations are not being integrated into the
cultures of their host countries, which is a political catastrophe. One
reason Germany and France don't support the Iraq war is they fear their
Moslem populations will explode on them. By 2020, more than half of all
births in the Netherlands will be non-European.

The huge design flaw in the post-modern secular state is that you need a
traditional religious society birth rate to sustain it. The Europeans
simply don't wish to have children, so they are dying.

In Japan, the birthrate is 1.3. As a result, Japan will lose up to
60 million people over the next 30 years. Because Japan has a very
different society than Europe, they refuse to import workers. Instead,
they are just shutting down. Japan has already closed 2000 schools, and
is closing them down at the rate of 300 per year. Japan is also aging
very rapidly. By 2020, one out of every five Japanese will be at least 70
years old. Nobody has any idea about how to run an economy with those
demographics.

Europe and Japan, which comprise two of the world's major economic
engines, aren't merely in recession, they're shutting down. This will
have a huge impact on the world economy, and it is already beginning to
happen. Why are the birthrates so low? There is a direct correlation
between abandonment of traditional religious society and a drop in birth
rate, and Christianity in Europe is becoming irrelevant. The second
reason is economic. When the birth rate drops below replacement, the
population ages. With fewer working people to support more retired
people, it puts a crushing tax burden on the smaller group of working age
people. As a result, young people delay marriage and having a family.
Once this trend starts, the downward spiral only gets worse. These
countries have abandoned all the traditions they formerly held in regards
to having families and raising children.

The U.S. birth rate is 2.0, just below replacement We have an increase
in population because of immigration. When broken down by ethnicity, the
Anglo birth rate is 1.6 (same as France) while the Hispanic birth rate is
2.7. In the U.S., the baby boomers are starting to retire in massive
numbers. This will push the elder dependency ratio from 19 to 38 over the
next 10 to
15 years. This is not as bad as Europe, but still represents the same
kind of trend.

Western civilization seems to have forgotten what every primitive society
understands-you need kids to have a healthy society. Children are huge
consumers. Then they grow up to become taxpayers. That 's how a society
works, but the post-modern secular state seems to have forgotten that. If
U.S. birth rates of the past 20 to 30 years had been the same as
post-World War II, there would be no Social Security or Medicare
problems.

The world's most effective birth control device is money. As society
creates a middle class and women move into the workforce, birth rates
drop. Having large families is incompatible with middle class living. The
quickest way to drop the birth rate is through rapid economic
development. After World War II, the U.S. instituted a $600 tax credit
per child. The idea was to enable mom and dad to have four children
without being troubled by taxes. This led to a baby boom of 22 million
kids, which was a huge consumer market that turned into a huge tax base.
However, to match that incentive in today's dollars would cost $12,000
per child.

China and India do not have declining populations. However, in both
countries, there is a preference for boys over girls, and we now have the
technology to know which is which before they are born. In China and
India, many families are aborting the girls. As a result, in each of
these countries there are 70 million boys growing up who will never find
wives. When left alone, nature produces 103 boys for every 100 girls. In
some provinces, however, the ratio is 128 boys to every 100 girls.

The birth rate in Russia is so low that by 2050 their population will be
smaller than that of Yemen. Russia has one-sixth of the earth's land
surface and much of its oil. You can't control that much area with such a
small population. Immediately to the south, you have China with 70
million unmarried men are a real potential nightmare scenario for Russia.


4. Restructuring of American Business

The fourth major transformation involves a fundamental restructuring of
American business. Today's business environment is very complex and
competitive. To succeed, you have to be the best, which means having the
highest quali ty and lowest cost. Whatever your price point, you must
have the best quality and lowest price. To be the best, you have to
concentrate on one thing. You can't be all things to all people and be
the best.

A generation ago, IBM used to make every part of their computer. Now
Intel makes the chips, Microsoft makes the software, and someone else
makes the modems, hard drives, monitors, etc. IBM even outsources their
call center. Because IBM has all these companies supplying goods and
services cheaper and better than they could do it themselves, they can
make a better computer at a lower cost. This is called a fracturing of
business. When one company can make a better product by relying on others
to perform functions the business used to do itself, it creates a complex
pyramid of companies that serve and s upport each other.

This fracturing of American business is now in its second generation. The
companies who supply IBM are now doing the same thing-outsourcing many of
their core services and production process. As a result, they can make
cheaper, better products. Over time, this pyramid continues to get bigger
and bigger. Just when you think it can't fracture again, it does. Even
very small businesses can have a large pyramid of corporate entities that
perform many of its important functions. One aspect of this trend is that
companies end up with fewer employees and more independent contractors.

This trend has also created two new words in business : integrator and
complementor. At the top of the pyramid, IBM is the integrator. As you go
down the pyramid, Microsoft, Intel and the other companies that support
IBM are the complementors. However, each of the complementors is itself
an integrator for the complementors underneath it. This has several
implications, the first of which is that we are now getting false
readings on the economy. People who used to be employees are now
independent contractors launching their own businesses. There are many
people working whose work is not listed as a job. As a result, the
economy is perking along better than the numbers are telling us.

Outsourcing also confused the numbers. Suppose a company like General
Motors decides to outsource all its employee cafeteria functions to
Marriott (which it did). It lays off hundreds of cafeteria workers, who
then get hired right back by Marriott. The only thing that has changed is
that these people work for Marriott rather than GM. Yet, the headlines
will scream that America has lost more manufacturing jobs. All that
really happened is that these workers are now reclassified as service
workers. So the old way of counting jobs contributes to false economic
readings. As yet, we haven't figured out how to make the numbers catch up
with the changing realities of the business world.

Another implication of this massive restructuring is that because
companies are getting rid of units and people that used to work for them,
the entity is smaller. As the companies get smaller and more efficient,
revenues are going down but profits are going up. As a resu lt, the old
notion that revenues are up and we're doing great isn't always the case
anymore. Companies are getting smaller but are becoming more efficient
and profitable in the process.

17
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Evidence of a biblical flood
« on: April 30, 2007, 11:21:23 PM »
Another article in New Scientist last week struck my interest.  It got me thinking about my own prejudices I felt when first reading the article, which I think I share with many of the members of this forum. 

A geologist names J Harlen Bretz spent year after year exploring an area in Eastern Washington state (USA) called the scablands.  "The scablands are wounds only partially healed -- great wounds in the epidermis of soil with which nature protects the underlying rock" he is noted as saying.  The article goes on:

"What he saw was like nothing else known on Earth.  in some places there were lozenge-shaped  hills, sharply pointed on their northern ends, like half-eroded islands.  Elsewhere, now-dry valleys seemed half-formed, as though erosion had started then abruptly stopped.  Other odd features dotted the valley floors, including giant rock basins with all the characteristics of potholes eroded into river bottoms, says Victor Baker, a palaeohydroligist at the U of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab.  'But potholes are typically a few meters across at most.  These are 100-meters across and maybe 50 meters deep'

"While everything pointed to an immense flood, Bretz knew such a notion would be anathema to his fellow geologists.  In part that was because the quantity of water needed for such a flood would exceed the flow of all the worlds' modern rivers combined.  Worse than that, it ran counter the the principle of "uniformitarianism", which insists that the ancient landscape was shaped by the same slow geological processes that are going on today.  To uniformitarians there was one central rule, Baker says:  'you don't invoke big, catastrophic processes to explain the past.'
...
Despite his failure to find the source of the flood, Bretz published his findings in a series of ever more provocative articles.  Then in 1927, he was invited to an elite gathering of geologists in Washington DC.  At last, he thought, he was being given the chance to prove his case.  He was wrong.  One by one, the assembled scientist rose to squash his outrageous theory.  After a few years he suddenly dropped the subject and threw himself into the study of limestone caverns and how they formed. 

...

"Joseph Pardee [a competing geologist] had begun mapping the shorelines of lake Missoula in 1909, and some years later discovered huge ripple marks on the lake bed.  They were similar to the ripples ordinary streams leave in mud bars, except that they were enormous:  10 meters high, a kilometer or two long, and spaced at intervals of 70 to 100 meters.  The only thing that could possibly have created such features was an enormous current, the sort that would have been generated if the entire lake had drained overnight. 

Mr. Pardee had actually withheld this information during the 1927 conference while in the audience of Bretz's lecture. 

"Such floods are not unknown today [though on much smaller scales].  In Iceland, they are called jokulhlaups, and are cause by volcanoes erupting beneath glaciers.  One in 1996 disgorged 3 cubic Km of water in two days."



His contributions to geology were not recognized by the Geological Society of America until 1979.  I admit that I dismissed the evidence at first because such an immense flood smacks of young-earth creationism (and of course this group has claimed Bretz's work as supporting a young-earth).  If Bretz had given up and not returned to study the area further (in 1952) his work quite possibly would have been lost for generations (or forever). 

I just started thinking about how beliefs hold us back at every step; we are imprisoned by our beliefs.  Even an atheist -- as I consider myself to be these days -- has beliefs that are a hindrance to innovation and progress.  That said, it is important for us to believe in nothing.  Don't be an atheist, don't be any thing. 

"It's a principle of science that if you dismiss something as impossible you will not learn anything about it. "

Article available online with subscription:  http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19426002.500-histories-scars-of-a-catastrophe.html

18
Arts & Entertainment / Mind-Altering Media
« on: April 29, 2007, 04:07:32 PM »
Some of you may have read last weeks issue of New Scientist with the article about the influence of TV and video games on behavior.  Unfortunately the article is only available online to subscribers, but you can get it at the library or bookstore if you hurry.  I think many of you will be interested from what I've heard on these forums. 

(mind the typos in my transcription)


"...every time a study claims to have found a link between aggression violence, educational or behavioral problems and TV programs or computer games, there are cries of incredulity, even (ironically) anger.  People seem to doubt that such a link exists, or think the evidence is generally weak.
 
That view is not shared by the fast majority of researchers who study the subject.  They see a clear link between media consumption and aggression, and also mounting evidence for an increased risk of attentional, behavioral and educational problems with extended exposure to TV and computer games.  They have been in little doubt for around half a century, and over that time scientific confidence in the detrimental effects of media violence has only increased.  Why, then, the disconnect with public perception?
...
Scientists involved in the violence debate regularly draw parallels between the tactics of the film industry and those of tobacco  companies, which continued to deny a link between smoking and lung cancer long after the scientific case was firmly established.  The film industry has funded books, legal defenses, and interpretations of research that routinely deny any ill effects of on-screen violence. 

The nature of science also makes it difficult to present a clear message.  The ideal controlled experiment can never be3n done, which leaves a clutch of imperfect alternatives. 
...
Just as in the climate change debate, public confidence in a scientific conclusion backed by overwhelming evidence is being undermined by naysayers who point out minor errors and inconsistencies.  The public is sidetracked by the positive effects on dexterity, spatial skills and education. 
...
Here's one way to weigh up the evidence.  Meta-analysis shows that the statistical correlation between exposure to media violence and aggression is not quite as strong as that linking smoking to an increaed risk of lung cancer.  It is, however, double the strength of the correlation between passive smoking and lung cancer, twice as strong as the link between condom use and reduction in risk of catching HIV, about three times the strength of the idea that calcium increases bone strength, and more than three times as strong as the correlation between time spent doing homework and academic achievement. 

The issue is no longer whether there is an effect, but what it means to each one of us, and how much we care.  Like cigarette smoke, screen violence will not affect us all.  it is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause of violent behavior.  The effects are subtle and it will remain impossible to pin any specific act -- such as the horrific shootings at Va Tech Univ -- to a single media experience. 
...
It seems inappropriate to keep calling this harmless entertainment."



There is much more in the article, including many many many scientific studies showing the effect.  So why the doubt?

19
Flat Earth Q&A / What's the deal with ...
« on: April 19, 2007, 09:00:33 AM »
What's the deal with typing the word "the"?  Here are some examples,all taken from one unnamed poster:

Quote
ok lets take a look at THAT theory. for the equator idea to be true, the sun must be revolving (not rotating) around hte north pole at the equator.
Quote
If your theory was correct, teh equator would be HOtter at noon, and the other parts of Earth would be hotter than the equator in the morning and the evening.
Quote
The actual reason is because of BIg'N's picture of the sun's rays hitting earth. The reason why its hotter in the equator is due to the curvature of the Earth. At the equator, the sun's rays hit the Earth more directly. But further from teh equator, the sun's rays hit the Earth's surface at an angle.
Quote
Unfortunately for Bushido, both theories support a round Earth, and his theory doesnt explain the temperature difference at teh equator.

I'm not trying to pick on this guy, I just think it is interesting that he types everything correctly except for "the" about 40% of the time.  And of course it is not isolated to this one example. 

What do you think this means, and why?   ;D

20
Flat Earth Debate / NASA's picture factory
« on: April 19, 2007, 08:05:37 AM »
There are quite literally 84,000 images (increasing every day) from EACH of the two mars rovers available online for your enjoyment (Spirit and Opportunity).  Also, there is the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter currently operational All sourced here  Then there are:

Mariner (1 through 10)
Pioneer (1 through 11)
Magellan
Messenger
Viking 1 & 2

Mars :
Observer
Pathfinder
Climate Orbiter

Gallileo
Cassini
Neptune Orbiter
New Horizons
Voyager 1 & 2 (still relaying data after 29 years.  Are now actually reaching the edge of our sun's influence, the Heliopause (uh-oh, did I say 'helio'?) really cool stuff found here)

NEAR
Deep Space 1
Stardust
Deep Impact
SOHO
ULYSSES
STEREO


That's not even including the (supposedly) Earth-orbiting satellites, like the Hubble.  There is a list of no fewer than fifty missions all returning lets just say 50,000 separate images each.  I think that's about 2.5 million. 

Yet still no one can prove they aren't fake.  That's only 84000 a year over the life of these programs, or 330 a day (not including weekends or holidays).  That's one image every two minutes of a ten-hour workday.  But if you get, say, 30 people making images (with vast secret government mars-stages, or rendering software) then suddenly you have an hour for each image, on average.

just thought that was interesting

21
Flat Earth Q&A / Mass, energy, and fabric
« on: April 18, 2007, 01:43:48 AM »
I have a question for all the self-proclaimed Phd's out there in the physics field: Where does all the energy come from for mass to bend space-time?  There is, after all, a constant acceleration.  Where is this limitless energy source? 

22
Flat Earth Q&A / Powerlines in orbit
« on: April 18, 2007, 12:05:48 AM »
Rick James linked a great picture that results from the use of an extreme fish-eye lens.  Remind of you any Earth you have seen from 'space'? 




I can't wait to see how many of you blind fools [that believes pictures of the round Earth proves it is round] argue that this is actually in orbit around the sun.  And spare me the "this picture is obviously a fake" arguments, too, because it's not.  Its the same as any picture of the round Earth. 

Here is yet another fish-eye lens picture:


Here's what you're thinking right now, RE'er:  "Those edges look so much like everything I have seen that looks like a sphere!"  It's a [hemi]spherical image, so ... yeah, you're right. 

A fish eye lens produces (very predictable via mathematics) a hemisphere projection of a flat surface.  That's why they look so 'real':  They are real projections of flat surfaces.  Here are some other images of similar mathematical projections. 




I will entertain any argument as long as it has content and doesn't state the obvious.  I already know you believe the Earth is round. 


23
Technology, Science & Alt Science / Alternative fuels
« on: April 16, 2007, 01:28:07 PM »
America is starting to get big on Ethanol from corn, as many of you may know.  In The Economist this week I read a very interesting article about Fidel Castro's comment on this issue.  He essentially said it is a very bad idea to use foodcrops for fuel.  Which is ... brilliant of him, really.  This article describes the issue very well, saying that Brazil, as opposed to America, has a healthy program to produce ethanol using sugar cane.  However, I have another problem with the use of corn as fuel that is equally distressing.  Corn has very close to the worst energy yield of any biofuel. 

There basically is no reason to chose corn as the source of our biofuel.  Corn is a high-maintenance crop; it requires a lot of water and a lot of chemical fertilizer (anhydrous ammonia) and insecticides.  Rape seed (canola) has nearly 4 times the yield as corn and twice that of soy, and it is practically zero maintenance: very little water ,the seed is dried on the stalk instead of in a silo. Then comes algae:  nearly 1000 times the amount of fuel produced than that of rape, per acre of crop. 

It is very clear that, in America, there are some self-serving interests pushing the use of corn. 

24
The Lounge / Good band names
« on: April 15, 2007, 02:12:18 PM »
I'm su re you've played this game before, so I'll start it off with my A-material:

Electronic-bonics

Flock of Segal's

25
The Lounge / General Gayer is...
« on: April 15, 2007, 01:57:06 PM »
... way gayer than Will & Grace. 

26
The Lounge / Steven Hawking to ride in the Vomit Comet
« on: April 07, 2007, 12:07:26 AM »
"British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is scheduled to be aboard a specially-equipped Boeing 727-200 airplane on April 26, 2007, for a flight with Zero Gravity Corporation."

http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/10078/1066/

Have you guys heard about this?  I want to see it on video, for some strange reason. 

27
Here's a 'hypothetical' for you budding lawyers out there.  Here's what's up:

I push a full shopping cart through my local grocery store when I remember I need some cough drops to soothe my sickly feeble body.  These drops are on the exact opposite side of the store from me, so I decide to leave my cart among the produce while I get them.  I put them in my pocket on the long walk back to my cart (I was delusional or something; I had a fever of 104* that night (though I don't have proof of this...)).  I pay for groceries ($104 worth, shit!) and forget about cough drops in pocket.  Leave store; get busted for shoplifting.  No one believes that it was unintentional and say I look "suspicious" and "too nonchalant" (HAHA, wtf?).  While I am waiting, they comment on getting a "two-for-[one]" when they see some "suspicious" old woman with bags from another store.  Cop wants to take me to jail for $4 box of drops, but is baffled by my $100 worth of groceries he would have to take into custody with me, so he lets me go with a court date.  He asks why an engineer at an international manufacturing company would need to steal anything.  I say "I didn't mean to" and he scoffs. 

The max fine is $250 but I would rather pay the $4 and get my fucking cough drops.  Does anyone have any advice (besides making fun of me) for representing myself? 

28
The Lounge / The Beer Thread
« on: March 09, 2007, 12:49:38 PM »
I just has a stroke of brill.  Sif I saw an angel and he was jd himself in a spot of limeaid.  No, I'm not schmonging so bugger off. 

This here thread is all about discussing our favorite beers, and . . .

I've come to conclude that many of you like beer nearly as much as I do (which is hard to do).  Gleaning the  brill[iance] of Beast, I would like to toss around the idea of starting a "Beer Exchange".  I have to say, there are some amazing beers here in Colorado of the USA that are only sold (very) locally, some only in my city, and I would love to share them so you all will know how wonderful I am.  I could also be persuaded to drink beers from other nations. 

I submit that at least two beers be exchanged at a time, possibly up to six in order to make the postage worth it.  The beer should be local and not widely available, also no swill, skim-piss beer like Coors or Bud light.  I suppose much of this is a matter of opinion, but let us discuss what types of beer we like. 

Yes, this will be significantly more expensive than a postcard, but the rewards are 100-fold.  So, tell me all who are interested, and tell me all your ideas, comments, criticisms, and input.

Thank you, and may sobriety be deprived from you all. 

Edit:  After some research within these pages, we have decided that it is much too expensive (on the order of $50 for beer and shipping) to make this an international venture (that is, unless two memebers agree to ship to one another internationally). 


29
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Intelligence in Nature
« on: March 08, 2007, 10:20:50 PM »
Is there intelligence in nature?  Are animals intelligent?  In reacting to their environment in a way that allows them to survive, is that an intelligent reaction or an automatic "animalistic" one?  How is human intelligence different? 

Macaws, parakeets, and parrots eat very specific types of clay every morning.  This clay contains antidotes to toxins found in certain kind of fruit they eat.  How do they know to eat clay; is this intelligent behavior?

"When a honeybee dies it releases a death pheromone, a characteristic odor that signals the survivors to remove it from the hive.  This might seem a supreme final act of social responsibility.  The corpse is promptly pushed and tugged out of the hive . . . What happens if a live bee is dabbed with a drop of [this pheromone]?  Then, no matter how strapping and vigorous it might be, it is carried "kicking and screaming' out of the hive.  Even the queen bee, if she's painted with invisible amounts, will be subjected to this indignity."  Would you consider this behavior intelligent or not?

source: http://www.andeanrain.com/itin-macaw.htm
source: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors | Carl Sagan | pg.163

We will henceforth use this definition for intelligence: the ability to acquire and apply knowledge, knowledge being an awareness or understanding gained through experience.  Instinct will be considered an inborn trait or behavior usually triggered by a specific stimulus.

30
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Jesus Prayer Hankerchief
« on: March 06, 2007, 02:57:52 PM »
I got this in the mail today:






And here is the hankie!  It's impossible to tell from this image, but the hankie is just a sheet of letter paper with a cartoon-like print on it. 



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