News

Loading...

Monday, April 30, 2007

safety first

Just about everywhere you can find someone demanding some intrusive action that will supposedly prevent future Virginia Tech shootings from happening. Most of it revolves around increased gun control and closing the borders, but I’ve also heard yammering about violent video games, school bullies and medical privacy issues. Everybody is using this tragedy to promote his or her own agenda, obviously. Apparently, if we bans guns, video games, medical privacy, school bullies, immigrants and goodness knows what else, nobody will ever die again. But they’ve forgotten the one key issue that will surely prevent another VT-style attack. Close the schools! You can’t kill students without the schools. If nobody ever went to school again, teachers and students would be safe from homicidal maniacs. Even principals, PE coaches and school janitors would be whisked out of harm’s way. Not just universities and public schools either. ALL SCHOOLS! There’d be no Amish school tragedy. There’d be no climbing the clock tower at UT. Homeschoolers would even be safe! Yep, ban school now!

dear alec baldwit

I am so sick of you apologizing to me. Have you tried apologizing to your daughter yet? She's the one you have scarred for life with you sociopathetic personality. I'd rather hear you publicly apologizing to her for being a jerk in desperate need of anger management therapy, than to kiss my ass in hopes you haven't totally ruined your career as a almost-been. Is there any doubt as to why your marriage broke up?

Oh, and stop blaming everyone for your personal issues. Nobody is to blame for the tape leaking out except you. YOU MADE THE PHONE CALL. ONLY YOU ARE TO BLAME FOR YOUR ACTIONS. Your daughter, your ex-wife, her lawyers and everyone else you can try to blame did not pick up your phone, call your daughter's phone number, and leave two minutes of sick-in-the-head-twisted bile. So shut up already, piggie.

Thank you

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Real Philosopher Reviews Dawkins

"Now despite the fact that this book is mainly philosophy, Dawkins is not a philosopher (he's a biologist). Even taking this into account, however, much of the philosophy he purveys is at best jejune. You might say that some of his forays into philosophy are at best sophomoric, but that would be unfair to sophomores; the fact is (grade inflation aside), many of his arguments would receive a failing grade in a sophomore philosophy class. This, combined with the arrogant, smarter-than-thou tone of the book, can be annoying."

Read the rest.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Popper on the Air

Here.

I started playing this audio in my house. About 15 seconds in, my 10-year-old son said, "But isn't Popper's idea that scientific theories can't be proven true just a theory, so that it can't be proven true either?"

"Yes, Eamon," I said, "fifteen seconds is about the right length of time needed to dismiss Popper."

Friday, April 20, 2007

You go, girl

I am insanely jealous of Ireland, Alec Baldwin's 11 year old daughter. Not because of her stellar parents, obviously. No, I'm jealous because when her dad goes off the deep end, she can let everyone in America in on it, and they'll hate him right along with her. I only wish I could have wielded such power against my parents at that age. In case you don't know what I'm referring to, here's the voicemail that Baldwin left on his daughter's phone.

NPR Interviewee Discusses Diminishing Marginal Utility

On NPR there was a "sweet" story of a guy interviewing his mom, who had been a flight attendant for Delta in the 1950s. (Picture her talking in a really thick Southern accent.) He asked her how she got the job, etc., and then the interview ended like this:

Mom: Now, every time I see a plane, I still wish I were on it, going somewhere exciting.

Son: So what made you give it up?

Mom: Oh, getting married and having a family. And that's not something I had planned on, I'll tell you. But you know I wouldn't have given up the four of you kids for a million dollars. I wouldn't have given a nickel for another one of ya, either.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How Gun Nuts Should Respond to Va Tech Shooting

As anyone could have predicted, people are clamoring for anti-gun laws because the Va Tech shooting supposedly shows how lax our legal system is. Right wingers should respond, "No, what this horrible tragedy proves is that we need to restrict how many foreigners we let in to this great country!"

The VA Tech Shooting: Gov't Killing Isn't Real

Today an NPR reporter described the Virginia Tech tragedy as "the biggest mass killing in US history." Well no, there were something like 80 Branch Dividians killed at Waco. And when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, over 2,000 Americans died.

I suppose you could give them the benefit of the doubt, and say that they realized Hawaii wasn't a state at the time of Pearl Harbor, and hence doesn't count as a mass killing in "US history."

But no, of course the real reason for the discrepancy is that when government employees kill people (at least on "official business") it doesn't count.

Having said that, I don't know how to deal with the omission of the 9/11 attacks.

To their credit, the stories I read yesterday about campus killings included the Kent State incident.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Military Intelligence

From Today's NY Times:
'The tactics reflect the skill and resolve of the insurgency here, soldiers say. “To say the guys we are fighting are any less smarter than me, that would be crazy,” said Lt. Col. Morris Goins, commander of the 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion.'

Some of the insurgents even speak more betterer English that the US troops!

Denied by Missing

Watching a footbal (soccer) match in England the other day, I had for the hundredth time that an attempt on goal was "denied by the crossbar." Hockey announcers say something similar.

Folks, a shot that hits the crossbar has missed the goal. It wasn't on the way in and the crossbar suddenly jumped in front of it. I think it's only the fact that the posts in hockey and soccer are rarely hit that leads people tp say this. You never hear of a basketbal shooter being "denied by the rim."

Friday, April 13, 2007

UK Pics

Click for a larger version:

Cardiff in the spring.

The Thames when it's small.

Emma through the hedges.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Multi-Faith Prayer

I noticed a "Multi-Faith Prayer Room" while passing through Heathrow on Tuesday. I figure a multi-faith prayer room needs multi-faith prayers, so I offer:

Oh Noble Buddha, we beseech thee,
In the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ
That you intercede with Allah on our behalf,
Helping to succor us, the Children of Israel,
Granting us the wisdom of the Eye of Horus,
The power of Thor's hammer,
And the healing arts of Apollo,
To the glory and honor of Lucifer, the fallen one,
Amen

The "I" Word

Is now "Imus." The controversy about the senile radio host brings to mind a distinction I long ago made between funny jokes that happen to also be offensive and "jokes" that are merely offensive. I can tolerate the first category quite often. Anyone telling jokes from the second category should be shunned. An example of type 2 (for X fill in some ethnic group):
A: What do you call it when a busload of X's goes over a cliff?
B: I don't know.
A: A start.

There is simply nothing funny about this. I'm not saying this in the sense of "We should restrain our laughter because this is offensive." No, the above isn't a joke at all: It's an excuse to share your hatred of X's under the disguise of telling a joke.

And so was Imus calling the Rutger's basketball team "nappy-headed hoes." Where's the joke? What's the punchline? No, this is "funny" in the same way the previous joke is.

Terrified Brit

From Lizzie:

'Regarding the Brits held captives (if one can call that captivity) in Iran? Am I the only one who finds this hilarious? The man was beyond terrified because his neck was flicked with an index finger?
'Batchelor said in an interview with the Daily Mirror that he found his capture "beyond terrifying."
'"They seemed to take particular pleasure in mocking me for being young," he said. "A guard kept flicking my neck with his index finger and thumb. I thought the worst."
'You think that was bad? Well, how about a hood, a waterboard, snarling dogs, simulated gay sex (oh yeah, I forgot, he IS a member of the British Navy) and never ending solitary confinement. What ever happened to Brits with a stiff upper lip! What a wuss.'

Back from the UK

Several posts in the queue. Here's an answer seen on a math test: