@cdogzilla Yes. Got approved to go to script this week.
— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) March 30, 2015
Blogged with IFTTT
Evolution needs to be taught in middle school as incontrovertible fact. Teachers who can't handle that should find another job.Blogged with IFTTT
— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) March 29, 2015
|Random skydiving GIF for visual interest.|
On September 25, 1999, Murray went on a skydive, jumping at 4400 meters. Her main parachute could not open, and although her backup parachute opened at 200 meters, it quickly deflated. She approached the ground at 130 kilometers per hour, landing on a mound of fire ants. Doctors believe that the shock of being stung over 200 times by the ants released a surge of adrenaline which kept her heart beating.Not only did she survive. (Although I imagine she had plenty of adrenaline pumping from the whole plunging-to-her-certain-death part of the experience. The ant mount probably helped soften the ground -- but, WTF do I know?) She went skydiving again.
|Painting by Alexis Rockman|
Some students take offense very easily. During one lecture, a student asked a question I’ve heard many times: “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” My response was and is always the same: we didn’t evolve from monkeys. Humans and monkeys evolved from a common ancestor. One ancestral population evolved in one direction toward modern-day monkeys, while another evolved toward humans. The explanation clicked for most students, but not all, so I tried another. I asked the students to consider this: Catholics are the oldest Christian denomination, and so if Protestants evolved from Catholics, why are there still Catholics? Some students laughed, some found it a clarifying example, and others were clearly offended. Two days later, a student walked down to the lectern after class and informed me that I was wrong about Catholics. He said Baptists were the first Christians and that this is clearly explained in the Bible. His mother told him so. I asked where this was explained in the Bible. He glared at me and said, “John the Baptist, duh!” and then walked away.
|c-i-e celebrates its Pedroia Anniversary|
Today, in a period characterized by financialization and globalization, where “information” is king, the idea of any commodity defining an era might seem quaint. But commodities are no less important today, and people’s relationships to them remain central to understanding society. If the automobile was fundamental to grasping the last century, the smartphone is the defining commodity of our era.I carry a Samsung Galaxy S4 (yes, still) these days. Have to admit I don't think often about the supply chain. Knowing there is one, and assuming it's every bit as much a horrorshow as Apple's, loads every tweet I favorite about white male privilege (either demonstrating, or reacting to its omnipresence, there's almost no other kind?) with all kinds of meaning I/we generally choose not to see.
Eighteen years ago, Buffy the Vampire Slayer aired for the first time on The WB in a two-part debut. “Welcome to the Hellmouth” introduced viewers to Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a likable, popular 16-year-old who just happened to have a destiny that included saving the world from the undead; while also introducing Buffy to Sunnydale, a small, run-of-the-mill California town that just happened to sit on a Hellmouth—a portal of mystical energy that attracts demons, vampires, and other boogeymen.Just a note that it was tremendous fun to listen to James Marsters speak about Buffy in the panel discussion Blake and I attended at Raleigh Wizard Con last weekend. It was subversive then, and while the female action hero genre has taken off since, the effects of it haven't transformed society to the extent we would have hoped. (Check the latest news about fraternities, for example. Penn State's and NC State's disgraces are just two of the most recent. So skeeved right now.) So, we need more Buffys.
May 20, 1928This blog's 15th blogiversary is coming up soon ... it's had me going back and surfing the archives again. The exercise gets me thinking, "If this blog outlives me, what will it say to my kids about their dad?" (It also reminds me I'm never as clever as I sometimes think I am, nor do I always communicate what I intend very well. ~groans~ )
Hooray for the last grand adventure! I wish I had won, but it was worth while anyway. You know that.
I have no faith we’ll meet anywhere again, but I wish we might.
Anyway, good-by and good luck to you.
Affectionately, your doter,
"The real reason religion is so powerful has nothing to do with theology," Thomson says. "It's the coming together of congregations. And one of the main problems in the secular movement is that they don't have good rituals for bonding."
Some atheists are trying to change that.Harry is trying to change that.
In the intro essay to High Rise it says that J G Ballard predicted social media in a 1977 essay for Vogue. Here it is pic.twitter.com/EJm75E4A9r— Suzanne Heath (@Suzanne_Heath) March 6, 2015
When Benedict Cumberbatch was photographed dressed up as original-recipe Sherlock for Sherlock's upcoming special episode, we wondered: Was it time travel? A dream sequence? A masterful bit of trolling? Now, thanks to Steven Moffat, we have our answer: None of the above! As it turns out, the entire special will be set in the 1800s, and none of it is canon.Since it's not Sherlock canon, but if they encounter the Paternoster Gang could it be canonical in another TV universe?
If you crop the TV just right, you end up with the greatest broadcast combo in history. pic.twitter.com/hvO2VFtaYf— A Dime Back (@ADimeBack) March 15, 2015
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.Learned of it because 47 Republican Congresspersons appear to be violation of it. Hence the trending hashtag #47traitors ...
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
Great GOP Moments: How #47Traitors Letter To Iran Is Seriously Backfiring: http://t.co/7VktceEavM #RepublicanTraitors pic.twitter.com/7m6muScMw7Apparently, the law is all-but ignored, so chances of anything coming of this are between slim and none.
— The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) March 10, 2015
"The late political scientist James Q. Wilson described "Calvin and Hobbes" as "our only popular explication of the moral philosophy of Aristotle." Wilson meant that the social order is founded on self-control and delayed gratification—and that Calvin is hopeless at these things. Calvin thinks that "life should be more like TV" and that he is "destined for greatness" whether he does his homework or not. His favorite sport is "Calvinball," in which he is entitled to make up the rules as he goes along.I'm not so sure that all humor is about our resistance to the fact the universe doesn't care what we think or desire, but if that's a fair explanation of C&H's enduring appeal, then some of the best is.
Day-in, day-out, Calvin keeps running into evidence that the world isn't built to his (and our) specifications. All humor is, in one way or another, about our resistance to that evidence."
Amidst all the Apple watch hoopla today, FriendFeed's blog announced the long-ignored social networking pioneer was finally going to be taken out back behind Facebook's brilliant new campus and be put down for good.
Capitalism has for its several centuries-long history promoted the so-called “interests” of the individual as supreme. It is not really the general individual that the system has in mind, though, so much as the entrepreneur who, given complete lack of restraint, is assumed to be able to produce goods and services beneficial to society, and can do so only with the freedom to ignore non-market values and the possibility that this kind of individualism — which can be called hyper-individualism — will magically yield freedom and justice for all.
Indeed, at the heart of the standard capitalist narrative is magic, as if the will to realize the abstract ideal of a cornucopia for all will itself — through fervent wishing and belief that can only be called religious — bring about the imagined state. It is the “invisible hand” idea from Adam Smith — the conviction that there really is a hidden force that given free rein sets everything aright. It is the God meme in capitalism and its writings, Smith’s among them, that is to capitalism what the Torah is to Judaism, the Gospels to Christianity, and the Koran to Islam: holy texts whose authenticity and reality must not be challenged or questioned unless as an adolescent moment of doubt, eventually subsumed by the re-embrace of total belief.
|Harve Bennett, as he appeared in Star Trek V|
What I find most interesting about these new imaginative forays into outer space is how the fantasy can’t quite return to the unvarnished optimism of the old “consensus future”; it can’t quite get the bad taste of the 1970s out of its mouth. Firefly has the human race entering outer space, but only after the Earth-That-Was was all-used-up; its take on Star Trek’s benign Federation is the Alliance, a hygienic fascism that experiments on children and mass poisons its population, opposed by bandits and criminals whose political ideology (such as it is) most closely matches the American Confederacy. And the new J.J. Abrams Star Trek is hardly much better: the supposedly peace-loving Federation is (even more) militarized and paranoid in the new timeline than it was in the old one, losing Vulcan to a brutal terrorist attack and nearly losing Earth itself to a botched coup by its black-ops division. After two movies, the Enterprise has barely left spacedock, much less boldly gone where no one has gone before. The trailer for Episode 7 starts off looking more like a slasher movie than a rip-roaring space adventure; though the frenetic appearance of the Millennium Falcon near the end suggests some excitement is on the menu, all indications are that the happy ending of Return of the Jedi is going look a lot less happy to us in retrospect, its fairy-tale promise of restoration and liberation never quite materializing for our heroes.
A “realistic” zombie outbreak, as Alemi calls it, both conforms to popular interpretations — and breaks them. For instance, densely populated regions are just about the worst place to be, a fact assumed in any number of zombie flicks. But unlike the movies, which often depict diffuse saturation and numerous locations simultaneously affected, a true outbreak wouldn’t work like that. It would take hours, days, months and even years to spread into every underpopulated nook and cranny of the United States.
If no one is at fault, then no one is to blame, and that’s how most police departments and prosecutors treat these shootings: no fault, no blame, and no crime.
But you can absolutely predict tragic outcomes from irresponsible gun-storage practices, and you can easily assign blame. I’ve never heard of unintentional child shootings in which the shooters were master safecrackers or expert lockpickers, bypassing layers of security in order to find the guns with which they shoot themselves or their siblings. No, they’re just kids, and most kids only ever access their parents’ guns if those parents leave their guns out where they can be accessed.
The wickedly sly and funny Jane Espenson, who's written for everything from Buffy to Once Upon a Time, also worked on Trek. Give her a dream cast and the budget to make a series of adventures featuring that cast, and I'd bet you'd see something amazing, and possibly more comedic than Trek usually gets.Espenson is my choice to succeed Moffat on Doctor Who, but wouldn't mind seeing this approach to a new series.
"Of no less importance was the common recognition shown of the fact any menace from without to the peace of our continents concerns all of us ... "
Caminiti says he got involved in the hobby after he saw a misty apparition in his home when he was about 6. He said his father was a paranormal researcher, and he started watching his father's taped sessions. At 15, Caminiti said, he had an encounter he doesn't like talking about.Oh boy.
"It was demonic in nature," he said.
[S]ome Democrats said the proposal would have a broad impact throughout state government if it were to become law. Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake) said that, for example, a clerk at the Department of Revenue could refuse to process a married gay couple's joint tax filings if the union is contrary to his or her religious beliefs. He gave other examples: a clerk at a zoo refusing to sell lesbian parents family tickets, or a Division of Motor Vehicles employee could refuse to change a married gay couple's last names on their driver's licenses.Only some Democrats? Who are these wolves in sheep's clothing that don't think SB2 would have broad impact?
Teague asked officers at the Lanesboro Correctional Institution for group study space, similarly to how Christians receive room for Bible study. State Department of Corrections officials denied his request on the grounds that the department does not categorize as a religion either atheism or humanism, a set of beliefs and philosophies that Teague says he practices.The secularism angle is what caught my eye, but the fact the subject of the story is an author and, apparently, is also a jailhouse apostate from Islam who now identifies as a humanist was intriguing. Whether he's innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted aside, he's got a fair point here. Prisons shouldn't be in the business of granting privileges for religionists they won't grant to atheists or humanists. This strikes me as something so obvious it ought to be non-controversial?