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Member since: Thu Aug 12, 2004, 02:43 PM
Number of posts: 30,490

About Me

Home town: Detroit, MI Current residence: Paris, MI. Manistee Nat\'l Forest.

Journal Archives

Absolutely love TTCI!

You are doing a great job here, far more than is required.

Have a Valentine heart, my good friend!

You have well earned it.

And he supports that lunatic, John of God!!

Which alone should warrant him being struck off the roles.

If you don't know who John of God is, well he's a kook, faith healer who does an old carny trick called psychic surgery and bilks people for their money claiming that they are healed, when he is just doing carny tricks, long ago debunked, as documented here and here.

And even on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show,

by James Randi. Amazingly, the NBC operators were flooded with calls that night with requests to get in touch with the psychic surgeon, in spite of the fact that Randi exposed it as an utter fraud.

That's how scammers and frauds like Mehmet Oz, and Peter Popoff, and John of God, and Benny Hinn and idiot homeopathists and chiropractors and all the eastern mythos new age kooks all get away with it, and get rich, peddling their quackery. They have nobody to hold them accountable. All this stuff is unregulated. The quacks have free reign.

That is, unless somebody holds their feet to the fire and shows their frauds.

"What you observe is a great wasteland."

I post this here without comment, and invite DUers to consider that these words were said by the head of the FCC, Newton Minow, on May 9, 1961.

When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.
But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.

There are few bright lights. As it has ever been, even in 1961.

Back when music meant actual singing.

Not yelling.

I love the Everly Bros. They were always classy.

Pass easy, Phil.

PBS JFK, Part 2, starting now. EST. nt

New Super-Fast Transport System Powered By Passengers’ Screams

SAN FRANCISCO—Entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled his plans Monday for a revolutionary Hyperloop transportation system, which would seat riders in vacuum-like tubes, launch them from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and would be powered solely by the screams of its terrified passengers.

More at link.


Some good levity from The Onion. N.B., this is satire.

A discussion with the Four Atheist Horsemen

I post this without comment for discussion. It's Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris. Filmed at Hitchens' home in DC, with obligatory Martinis on the table and yes, Hitchens is smoking.

It is an interesting discussion. If you have never seen this, you may find it interesting.

BTW, it's almost two hours long.

Eugenie Scott announces retirement from NCSE.

NCSE is the National Center for Science Education, working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education.

As reported on the NCSE Web site:

NCSE's Scott to retire

NCSE's executive director Eugenie C. Scott announced on May 6, 2013, that she was planning to retire by the end of the year, after more than twenty-six years at NCSE's helm. "It's a good time to retire, with our new climate change initiative off to a strong start and with the staff energized and excited by the new challenges ahead," she commented. "The person who replaces me will find a strong staff, a strong set of programs, and a strong board of directors."
<more at link>

Of course, PZ Myers had to chime in on this: Say it isn't so, Genie
Eugenie Scott is planning to retire from the NCSE. This is not possible. There is no one fit to replace her!
Although…perhaps I should apply for the job. I looked at the qualifications, and it was like looking in a mirror, man — especially that last bit about “the ability to work effectively and diplomatically with diverse communities and allies”. It sounds just like me, right, gang? I should go for it.
<a bit more at link, plus some more links>

One of the grand victories under her steady hand was the victory in federal court in Kitzmiller v. Dover which pretty much killed Intelligent Design in public school science classrooms and which the NCSE was an integral part.

You can hear all about it on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (SGU) podcast Episode 42. It's one the best SGU podcasts from their early days (2006). Dr. Scott is a great interview here.

This is bad news for Science education in the US. Eugenie Scott has been an absolutely tireless warrior to strengthen science education. She's directed the NCSE for 26 years and she will be dearly missed when she goes at the end of the year.

I hope the NCSE board does as good a job finding Eugenie Scott's replacement as they did 26 years ago. In other words, Dr. Scott has big shoes to fill.

TYT: Cenk brings it on: 5 year olds with guns.

I have been a big fan of The Young Turks for some time. Cenk Uygur is one of the good guys and has put together a damned good media empire.

Here he talks about the tragic killing of a two year old by her five year old rifle-owning brother.

This is new media at its best. Highly recommended!

What about "shelter in place" do people not understand?

I am kind of pissed off by the many posts here from people who apparently do not understand the facts, let alone the dynamics, of this week's events. So I am recapitulating a response to a clueless post here as an OP.

The media called it a "lockdown" but that's what the media does; it conflates. It was, and always was, "shelter in place".

"Shelter in place" was voluntary. But Bostonians, who apparently have a few more brain cells than some here, realized that going out on the street in the middle of a huge crime investigation would have been kind of bad form.

So, Bostonians willingly stayed in their houses so as to not impede the already stressed out law enforcement forces who were, after all, looking for very bad dudes who blew up a whole lot of people.

They even helped!!! What a surprise!?

What would you have done? Have a street party in defiance?
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