Archive for January, 2011
People have been calling Sarah Palin a vapid airhead for years now. It gets some people upset, who think this women is actually smart, and the label of airhead is just pure venom directed out of jealousy and/or fear.
This video clip should put this debate to rest. Really. Unless of course you actually think the ‘Sputnik moment’ was and is a Communist plot.
America’s ‘Sputnik moment’ was a wake-up call and a severe kick in the ass to get our own Space Program (re NASA) into gear before we were left behind by the Russians.
The above clip is just one of many pouring out of the Fox Network all spouting the same nonsense. If that doesn’t put to bed the Fair & Balanced bullshit… not much else will.
The full scoop on what minimal info is out can be found here.
This just spins my head:
Planetside Next will support “thousands” of players across the battlefield
Back in 2003 when the original Planetside launched you could have almost 400 people on one map in one area. The battles were legendary. It still makes every FPS that has come out since then with multi-player look like kids play in comparison.
What will thousands be like? I can’t wait to find out.
I just pissed my pants. Planetside Next is one step closer to reality.
Caught this on PZ’s site. Thought it was incredibly well done.
The throne looks most excellent.
“Two ESA observatories have combined forces to show the Andromeda Galaxy in a new light. Herschel sees rings of star formation in this, the most detailed image of the Andromeda Galaxy ever taken at infrared wavelengths, and XMM-Newton shows dying stars shining X-rays into space.
During Christmas 2010, ESA’s Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories targeted the nearest large spiral galaxy M31. This is a galaxy similar to our own Milky Way — both contain several hundred billion stars. This is the most detailed far-infrared image of the Andromeda Galaxy ever taken and shows clearly that more stars are on their way.”
A few days ago Salmaan Taseer, Governor of the Punjab province, was shot from behind. Mumtaz Qadri, who was assigned to Taseer as a bodyguard, pumped over twenty rounds from his assault rifle into Taseer’s back.
Salmaan’s supposed crime? Defending a woman, by speaking out that she should not be killed. Why was she to be killed? She had been said to have committed the crime of blasphemy.
Here we have Qadri, bouyed by numerous outspoken sharifs, mullahs, and politco-religious groups of Pakistan, not only admitting to the killing, but, with those others, claiming it was a good, justified, and righteous killing.
Over what? Over differing beliefs. In this particular case over an insult to their god, Allah. So here we have a tale, one where mortals must defend the honor of a supposed being – a being claimed to be powerful enough to create a universe and all the laws therein – but apparently not powerful enough to defend itself from possible slander.
This tale is pervasive. Blasphemy laws don’t just exist in Pakistan, and this odd notion that the most powerful being in the universe must be protected from criticism because it cannot protect itself can be found throughout all religious societies.
If that is not a shining example of madness, of the insanity of religious beliefs, I don’t know what is. More frightening, this is merely the beginning of the tale. The shrill cry of religious extremism is fast gaining ground in Pakistan and those who would oppose it are being cowed into silence by threat of death. Taseer was an example to all those that would try to talk sense – it will not be tolerated, your reward will be a
gunshot in the back, blood on the street, and legion are those willing to bring these threats to fruition.
The ramification here is that Pakistan is not without teeth. It has a capable military and possesses nuclear weapons. That thought combined with the open celebrations of Taseer’s death as shown in the Guardian’s article creates quite the queezy spot in my stomach.
Madmen with the weaponry, moreover the willpower to kill based off of a faulty, bronze-age belief system. Rationalism cannot win in the face of that.
It only further proves both Christopher Hitchen’s point, that eventually religion poisons everything, and Steven Weinberg’s quotable, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”
A publishing company has seen fit to rework not only a master’s literary piece, but a seminal work of American lit in its own right.
As reported by Publisher’s Weekly:
“The idea of a more politically correct Finn came to the 69-year-old English professor over years of teaching and outreach, during which he habitually replaced the word with “slave” when reading aloud. Gribben grew up without ever hearing the “n” word (“My mother said it’s only useful to identify [those who use it as] the wrong kind of people”) and became increasingly aware of its jarring effect as he moved South and started a family. “My daughter went to a magnet school and one of
her best friends was an African-American girl. She loathed the book, could barely read it.”
It’s sick sort of romance to think words are powerful and must be handled gingerly or even expunged as Gribben has done here. Ideas are where the power lays and words are but one means of expressing an idea. One could very well use art or music to achieve the same result.
“This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind,” said Gribben”
Except that’s exactly what Gribben has done. So, he’s swapped in the word ‘slave’ as a placeholder. Slave is about as generic and colorblind as you can make it. Slave is a concept that’s been about for many millennia and transcends skin color. Nigger and injun are particularly American. It’s our particular societal baggage and it does a great disservice to dress it down, shuffle it around, and pretend that it doesn’t exist to save some uncomfortable feelings. Ideas like this need to be in the open, need to be discussed – it’s
what creates healthy discourse.
What Gribben has done here is promoted himself to the role of thought police. By removing the words nigger and injun from the texts he hopes to treat a psychological symptom – uncomfortable confrontation of societal ideals of a certain point in history. Being able to hold a painful idea in your head, tear it apart layer by layer, and rationally analyze it is what leads to understanding, knowledge, and growth. That is the only real cure.
Otherwise, we’re doomed to hide from words – and how fucking stupid is that?
Of course, leave it to Twain to sum up the mind-numbing hypocrisy of it all:
“But the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me.
- Mark Twain in a letter to Mrs. F. G. Whitmore, 7 February 1907 “
With a byline like:
ASK YOURSELF THISHAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO SEE SCIENCE SOLD LIKE THE DIRTY, CHEAP WHORE IT IS?
IF SO YOU SHOULD SHUT THE FUCK UP STRAP THE FUCK IN AND PREPARE TO TAKE IT TO ELEVEN BECAUSE ZOMGSCIENCE IS COMING AT YOU LIKE A RHINO WITH SYPHILIS AND A BAD ATTITUDE.
How can this not be good?