moldybluecheesecurds 2

Monday, August 29, 2005

Intelligent design discussion nailed by comic strip writer

I'll freely admit that I normally find the "Opus" comic rather uninteresting, but sometimes the analysis of political issues is boosted by unexpected sources. The comic that ran Sunday, August 28 pretty much sums up the ridiculousness of the term "intelligent design." Of course, there are some more traditional writers who point out why even those who believe in intelligent design are forging and fighting a false argument.

In a Baltimore paper, this writer points out that the debate over intelligent design is not about curricular differences - it's a debate between science and faith. Wikipedia has a fairly good summary of the intelligent design concept, and it does a good job of illustrating how intelligent design fails several tests for being an actual scientific hypothesis (such as being able to be proven true or false).

Alas for the days when one could actually argue the facts. Instead of being blatantly obvious that we should teach children science in school and faith at home, the intelligent design crowd turn this into another us v. them. We're restricting their freedom of faith or we hate Christianity.

You know, I'm a believing Christian and I don't have any problem reconciling the idea of God with evolution (after all, if God created Earth, she probably got evolution going, too). I wish these folks would open their minds a little. If nothing else, maybe they can laugh a little at Opus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Continued productivity

I'm starting to believe that actual life productivity is inversely proportionate to the amount of time I spend blogging. As can be refereced in my many previous posts, there was a lot of activity prior to the July 1 end of my formal employment, and substantially less since I have become employed as a contractor. When it's blogging v. wage slavery, I post. When it's blogging v. working outside, however...

I just finished one of the many non-blogging things that occupies my time lately. Online shopping, this time for inkjet cartridges. As you may know, inkjet printer companies are the greatest unhanged scoundrels in the known universe, as they sell printers at near cost in order to suck you into a lifetime of cartridge slavery. Does that 50 mL cartridge really cost $24 to produce? I think not.

Many enterprising folks have started producing "refill kits" and "compatible cartridges" to bust the monopoly of the name-brand companies. I successfully shopped around once before and decided to try again. The caveat being that you can never be sure if the website you plan to order from existed last week and will still next week. I finally found a guy who reviewed inkjet websites for cost, customer service, etc. Thank God! I almost tossed my money and my credit card number into the ethers when I found a site with great prices that had no security for its shopping process. Am I seriously supposed to just transmit my order information naked through cyberspace?

Anyway, disaster was averted and my new ink is coming via Printpal. Ah, the torrid affair of internet shopping.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Snort me a river

When your toilet is slow, it becomes a constant battle to keep gross things down. Plunger and muscle combine to free blockages and send the undesireable material away. Well, unfortunately for those who use cocaine, they're flushing a little more than piss. They're flushing evidence. In Italy's Po River valley, users are flushing as much as 10 pounds of cocaine residue every day into the river.

Scientists were shocked to discover that the drug use suggested by the test of the river water is nearly three times higher than estimates by scientists and law enforcement officials. In other words, the numbers don't lie the way people taking surveys do.

I can't wait until this new testing method hits sports facilities. Stadiums will test the water leaving the locker room, causing a rash of on-the-field peeing by athletes. And you thought swuts was bad...

Alright already

Granola friend just gave me hell for letting my blog degrade into an archive of past spoutings. Since I spent less than half of July in my home state and no time at the office since July 1 (owing to the new job being a "work at home" deal), it's a little tricky to find time to blog. But then there's things like this that deserve commentary.

If you don't know, The Onion is a satirical newspaper that is only occasionally quoted as fact by foreign news outlets that don't know any better. And yet they do seem to capture the spirit of silliness in American politics. Sure, the White House hasn't actually denied Karl Rove exists, but only because there are 18 million easier ways to avoid holding him or anyone else accountable for outing a CIA agent.

People say they respect Bush for sticking to his guns even if they disagree with him. I would, too, if he actually did it. But Bush was quoted saying that they would bring the person responsible for leaking Valerie Plame's identity to justice. Instead, he's trying to protect Rove and everyone else at the expense of honesty, openness and justice.

If we want to elect someone who'll stick to his guns, let's find another Paul Wellstone. Or even a wrestler.

Walk 320 rods in these shoes

I just spent 4 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern
Minnesota this past weekend. My fiancee and I went with another
couple and had a blast. It was my first time, so I learned all about
"double packing," "portaging," and not eating all your food for
breakfast on the first day (sorry, hon, I love my breakfast!).

First, some terminology. A portage is a rugged
path connecting two bodies of water. You portage your gear and
canoes by carrying them distances from a few hundred feet to a couple
miles. Except that in portage lanugage, you travel in "rods." Although I had an intellectual grasp of "portage" before this trip, there is nothing like carrying and balancing a 50 lb. canoe on your shoulders to teach you what portage really means.

The kicker was the third day, which had been planned as the "easy day." It was, on paper. Then we took a wrong turn and marched some 300 rods in the wrong direction and our friends went another 200-300 rods ahead of us. Much hilarity ensued as we had to find them, go back, find the path, go back, get the packs, go back, and help them bring their canoe and packs. And by hilarity I mean ass-nasty heaving and grunting and swearing and sweating.

Rule for next vacation: no to backpacks and yes to valets.