Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Thursday, 25 December 2008

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

I found myself some time XD

Mom and Dad got me a Webcam&Mic with Skype wassnames! Which means I can chat with Gilles and Becca! YAY!

They also got me a Wacom Bamboo!!!!!!! *dances around with her new tablet* I'm in the middle of reading the booklet and pondering setting it up RIGHT NOW XD

I got many DVDs XD '4400' 'Hellboy 2' 'Sweeny Todd and 'The Secret Garden'; and CDs 'Amy Macdonald' and 'The Streets 2 in 1'; and a couple of books 'The Tales Of Beedle The Bard' and 'The Well-Bred Person's Book Of Etiquette'; and other stuff! A big box of assorted papers and new pyjamas and plenty of socks and even a paint-it-yourself Piggy Bank! Oh - and Matt even found one of those 'Harry Potter Twenty Questions Snitches'! (So far it correctly guessed Severus Snape, Firebolt and Harry Potter - but failed to guess Hannah Abbot - it thought I meant Susan Bones XD)

I've been helping out in the kitchen - we plan to eat at 3ish - and I've been running around all day with bells and a fairy wand in my hair, wearing a Christmas Hat and playing Sudoku with my new Sudoku book XD

The cats are seriously enjoying having balled up wrapping paper thrown at them, and really loved the treat of Tuna ^^

This is so brilliant! XD

*Sings along to Amy Macdonald*


MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Because I just know I'm going to be nothing but busy tomorrow, I thought I'd wish you all a Merry Christmas* now!

I've spent most of today helping out in the kitchen, preparing the brine for the chicken to soak in overnight, boiling the ham with oranges ready to roast tonight, making the stuffing ready to bake tomorrow and making the pigs-in-blankets - also for tomorrow XD

I'm just about to start de-shelling the roast chestnuts for our fried sprouts tomorrow, as well! ^^

All presents are wraped, all foods are bought and being prepared, all stockings are filled - it's now just a case of waiting!

I'm SO looking forward to tomorow! ^^

I hope everyone else has a damn fine day tomorrow and a brilliant New Years! ^^

Enjoy the day everyone!

H

Monday, 22 December 2008

More from YAMABUSHI




These are the Chibi versions of the ten characters from Yamabushi, created specifically to illustrate the Website ^^

Want to find these as single images? Go to our Deviant Page!

YAMABUSHI




COMING SOON!

YAMABUSHI: JOURNEY BEYOND THE SKIES

An original webcomic, written by Gilles Bone and illustrated by Hannah King.

Website launching in early January 2009 - with accompanying Forum, CafePress store and DeviantArt page.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Handel: Messiah


I went to see Messiah performed live at Colstan Hall, Bristol last night, with my Mom and some of her work mates.

WOW LIKE WOAH. Seriously.

I think I have discoverd a love for live classical music! It was gorgeous from beginning to end!

The orchestra was made up of seven violins, two violas, two celli, a (fucking huge) bass, two oboes, a basoon, two trumpets, timpani and a harpsichord.

The choir was the Bristol Choral Society and the four soloits wereSian Winstanley for Soprano, Buddug Verona James for Mezzo Soprano, Huw Rys Evens for Tenor and Arwel Huw Morgan for Bass.

The Conductor was Adrian Partington (who also plays piano and organ and is a chorus master).

They performed the whole thing, from the opening Overture to the final Amen, with an interval halfway through, between 'His yoke is easy and his burden light' and 'Behold the Lamb of God'.

According to tradtion, when they performed 'Hallelujah' at the end of Part Two, the WHOLE audience stood up, as well as al the performers. It was fantastic ^^

I personally think they should have had more than two brass instruments playing, because they were more than a little lost behind the Choir - and throughout most of his parts, the Timpani player's second drum was off-key (amusingly, between his parts, the poor guy was trying his best to fix the tension - lying across his drum with his ear to the skin, fiddling with the knobbs!)

I find I rather enjoy watching the choir members - there was one particular male singer, in what I'm guessing was the Bass section, who is very dramatic while he sings XD Oh, and the Bass player was also very passionate in her playing - arms-a-flying and so on.

Mum explained the First Violinist's dramatic playing to me after the show (the other violin players were keepingtime with her, rather than the Conductor - which is why she was dramatic in her movements while playing!)

The four soloists were done up to the nines in gorgeous eighteenth century outfits! The two me looked VERY distinguished - and even took it so far as to sit in regal fashion betweentheir pieces. The two women looked gorgeous in their flowing gowns - though at one point, the Soprano nearly hit one of the Cello players with her expansive skirts!





Over-all it was bloody brilliant and I really enjoyed it ^^

Mom has decided she's goingto take me out to see more such performances ^^

I look forward to it!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Prophecies R Us - an interesting diversion

Thanks to everyone for your comments. We can agree to disagree. Nonetheless, I stand by my prediction. I say that Hillary Clinton will be the 44th president because I have faith that it's what the universe intended. I'm not like other "psychic" people who claim to have had a vision of Hillary as president several months ago and then their prediction "changed". The ONLY person that I have seen as the 44th president since several months ago (and the only person I STILL see as the 44th president) is Hillary. It's her hand that I see placed on the bible ----- not Barack Obama's hand, or John McCain's hand, or Joe Biden's hand. I have faith that this not something that's subject to change based on people's actions, because it's the universe that's directing this. Keep in mind that there are no accidents in the universe. Also keep in mind that we have no 44th president yet, only a president-elect. The universe intended for Hillary to be our next president, and therefore will deliver the presidency to her. Just how EXACTLY will Hillary wind up with the presidency? Only the universe can dictate that. But regardless of the choices people make from here on out, we will still arrive at the same conclusion: Hillary will the 44th president.

Damianos


I'm waiting with baited breath for the 'inauguration' process now. Seriously XD

There are so many prophecies on this website, regarding Obama and the Inauguration - it's thoroughly amusing. Predominantly, they're anti-Obama, almost all of them relating some tale of his demise or inability to take the Presidency.

It gives me the idea that most of these 'Prophets' are Republican and/or Right Wing Christians of some sort. I could be wrong, of course, but that seems the most likely situation.



In other news, there's a '2017 Survival Guide' posted by 'dennis'.

This is very comprehensive and goes so far as to cover the intervening years! It reads like a badly written novel, of course, and even makes some predictions that I'm sure the author would say he made in early 2007:

Recession starts the 4th quarter of 2007 due to housing bubble, sub-prime loans, gas prices and the trade and budget deficits careening out of control in the US. This recession carries all the way through 2008 ending in 2009.


Very nice of him to let us know.



'Maxindigo' believes there will be flooding in the UK (and Europe) in 2009:

i had a dream last night of sever floods in the UK and Europe. i live in wales where floods occur some of the time but his was sever stuff. there was no land at all. there wasn't a tidal wave just complete rise of the tides and no where for anyone to go. has anyone else has similar experience or dreams?

maxindigo


Of course, he's not told us specifically where, or what triggers them, or even specifically when they will happen, so we just have to sit back and wait for them. Also, they are apparently 'sever' - whatever that means.



'Mark' reckons there's going to be a pandemic in some winter, some point, somewhere:

Had a dream last night just before waking. Saw a playground covered with a dusting of snow. No footprints in the snow, the equipment had not been used in awhile. There were dark, winter clouds of an impending snowstorm visible through the leafless trees. I heard a voice say "The plague this year has been especially hard on the elderly and small children". End of dream.

Mark


There's no information about where in the world, or even what year this will be - though it presumably happens in an English speaking country (unless his dream was 'translated') but that's not exactly specific. It also has to be noted that the elderly and the very young are always the most at risk, so it's a safe bet to mention them.

He also has this to say about the economy:

I GOT A MESSAGE THAT THE DOW INDUSTRIALS WILL BOTTOM OUT AT 4200 AND SETTLE AT 4800. SORRY NO DATES. IT LOOKS THAT THIS MESS HAS NO WAY OUT SO EXPECT MORE BAD NEWS AND GET OUT OF DEBT FAST.

Mark


Playing with people's current fear in this one. And again, nothing specific. Note the ALLCAPS to denote urgency.



'Yandra Knowledge' reckons there will be an earthquake:

There will be a large earthquake (over a 6) in the Mojave Desert in 2008. The quake will occur just south of 34 degrees N latitude and 117 degrees W longatude. The quake will be felt in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties and as far away as San Diego.

Yandra Knowledge


There's 13 days left of 2008, y'never know, it could happen XD

This one is very specific, however, even disregarding the outdated mode of earthquake recording (we no longer use the rictor scale) it's very knowledgeable, but considering it's now December 18th, I'm not expecting much from this one.



And the most recent 'prophecy' is from 'Carlos Franco':

Ive been psychic ever since i was 5. Being blessed with this ability and now having the privilege to share it with many more other psychics proves that is up to us to change the world. Not from a government leader who promises change for the majority. People have been so caught up to great speakers that they forget themselves are in capacity of changing everything. If were able to elect a president to supposevly change the fate of america then were able to change anything. For the better or worse. All of my dreams turn out true or turn out false. There are thousands of dreams that i cannot list since i dream every night or every time i sleep. There are some though that i feel that should be known:

1.] George W. Bush is a reincarnated war leader from the past. Who is it: Genghis Khan. There is a Nostradamus Quatrain to it but is not from it where i learned from him. Its the famous 1999 one. Look it up and see it for yourselves.
2. ] 9/11 was an inside job from him. He destroyed the twin towers because he wanted to start a different economy and a dictatorship. He wanted to "revive" it and wanted to be honored like a super hero. It backfired on him. Its a long long story but he will be put on trial for his cruel act of work.
3. ] The Holy Dome in Jerusalem will crash down. Due to a earthquake it will cave in fulfilling a religious prophecy and causing havoc among the people. Date i dont know.
4. ] The Catholic Church in Italy crashes down taking the pope with it. This means two ways the catholic religion will cease to exist and the church will literally fall down.
5. ] Barack Obama has a dark aura around him. Reason why he is going to try to revive the economy and since all the people love him he will set a dictatorship. The power will go to his head. He is not the Anti - Christ as many people suspect but he will make a costly mistake that will put him on stage.

Lastly these are just but a few of the thousands that i have yet i wont post due to personal reasons. I will post more every week or so depending on event levels.

Carlos Franco


Every word in the following two sentences makes sense, but put together? Not so much:

People have been so caught up to great speakers that they forget themselves are in capacity of changing everything. If were able to elect a president to supposevly change the fate of america then were able to change anything.


And this little line if perfect:

All of my dreams turn out true or turn out false.


It just covers all the bases, don't you think?

Anyway, a rare 'prophet' who dislikes Dubbya! In fact, he thinks he's the reincarnated Genghis Khan. Interesting! He doesn't offer any proof for this though, very disappointing - and not exactly a prediction, either.

You know what? I hate 9/11 conspiracy theorists - if it wasn't enough of an insult that those people had to die in the way they did in the first place, now people want to make light of those deaths? Disgusting. And again, no proof is offered for this absurd assertion.

A typically non-specific earthquake involved destruction - this time of a fairly important religious building. The problem here is that it could happen, perhaps a decade, two decades from now, and they'll think they were right. However, I find it unlikely.

However much I would like the Catholic Church to falter and fail, this is another unlikely prediction. The Catholic Church is far too powerful and far too old to be toppled so ignominiously. Of course, there's no time frame mentioned, so maybe it'll happen some time far off in the future?

Oh - this 'prophet' doesn't much like Obama, either! Apparently he's going to set up a Dictatorship in the US. Fascinating.



I dunno, I find this website amusingly diverting, it passes the time interestingly and I can groan or laugh quite happily (mostly at their fumbling attempts at writing coherent English). These people are deluded beyond all reason, and it's very sad to see, but I can't help enjoying reading their 'predictions' XD

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Random thought ofthe day

So, I was washing my hair when I heard Matt turn on Star Trek.

I got to thinking - again, this is a fairly frequent thought of mine - about why the aliens in that program call us 'Humans' when we call them by whatever planet they come from.

Ferengi from Ferenginar
Vulcan's from Vulcan
Bajoran's from Bajor
Clingon''s from - well, Kronos, but originally from Cling
Cardassian's from Cardassia
Betazoid's from Betazed
Bynar from Bynaus
Enaran's from Enara Prime

And so on. But we get called 'Human's from Earth or Terra Firma'. Why aren't we called 'Terran's', 'Earthan's' or even 'Earthling's'?

I'm pretty sure it's not just Star Trek that does it either. I think Babylon5 did it as well and probably every other sci-fi humanity-in-space program out there (except maybe for Battle Star because, seriously, they're none of them from Earth and call each other 'Capricans' and 'Gemanons' anyway - though the collective name is still 'Human'.)

Suffice to say, I think it just generally bugs the hell out of me >>

Our race isn't named after our planet, so why the hell is every race ever thought up in these programs named after theirs? It's silly.

/random thought


Also - I looked at the list of races from Star Trek on Wiki - bloody hell, people >> That is one long-ass list!

Goodbye Oliver Postgate

I felt I should mark Mr Postgate's passing, because I love his childrens programs to this day. In particular, Bagpuss is a great favorite of mine (and is probably one of the many reasons that I'm nicknamed 'Bag' by the family).

I grew up on Bagpuss and The Clangers - I have a Bagpuss and a Clanger of my very own in fact, and love them both dearly (though I believe they are currently packed away in a box in the garage at the moment) - and I will never forget the programs.

I wish his family well and hope he is remembered for a long time to come for his brilliant children's programs.



Sunday, 7 December 2008

The End Of Bratz!

YES! Mattel, I think I love you XD

Mattel wins permanent injunction vs MGA in Bratz case

I have hated Bratz since they first appeared on the shelves a number of years ago - those dolls seriously pissed me off.

All the girls were dressed as tarts/sluts/whores (take your pick) with lips so large they surely must have been designed specifically for fellatio and caked in so much make-up if any child tried to emulate it, they'd need a high power hose or a trowel (or both) to get it off again;



the boys were all jocks/punks/skaters (again, take your pick) and while this is slightly less annoying than the girls, they still pissed me off with their stupid trousers and artfully mussed hair, tattoos and piercings;



worst of all however, were the 'Baby Bratz' which still had the fellatio lips, caked-on make-up and luxurious hair!



EVERY time I saw these things on the shelf, I ranted about them. Literally and to whomever poor sod was shopping with me at the time. Normally the rant goes along the lines of never letting my own daughter anywhere near them, prefering Barbie or Sindy any day and calling the dolls tarts/sluts/whores (and yes, sometimes within hearing of staff and/or parents.)

Now - my wish apears to have come true - Bratz are off the shelves!

Now I just hope they never come back.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

'Child Witches' once again in the news

The BBC has another report on the treatment of children in Africa 'suspected of being witches'.

I've been following these stories for a while now, but I'm still saddened and disgusted every time I read or hear something new. This particular report centres on Nigeria.

That children are beig subjected to abuse - including having nails driven into their skulls, being thrown into raging rivers, being tied to trees in the middle of forests and left to starve, and being beaten or burned so badly that they are permanently maimed - is horrifying.

The blame for these acts lay almost exclusively at the feet of the religious - in particular, the brand of Christianity that has taken hold over there. Evangelical Christian Pastors have been spreading the fear of 'black magic' and 'witches' since the 90s (at least) and the result is what we now see.

A deep and fervent belief in what these Pastors say: that demons posses their children, that their children are evil, that their children are witches or wizards - that any ill fate that befalls the family is the result of a curse or witchcraft - is the reason so many children are suffering.

Because of this rampant spread of lies (almost exclusively by the Pastors themselves, who make a profit by 'exorcising' the children - taking money that the families can barely afford to give them, and taking it again and again, sometimes holding the child at ransom) even the hospitals refuse to treat any child accused of witchcraft. Hundreds, thousands of children are tortured, starved and murdered; those who survive are left traumatised, some actually believing they are possessed.

This disgusts me and simply goes towards shoring up my personal belief that religion should be wiped out for good.

Christmas Decorations!

I decorated today ^^

To see the photographs, and read about my stupid cats, go to my Art Blog XD

Enjoy ^^

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Favorite Quote of the Moment

'If I morph them enough, I can make all continents fit contiguously and perfectly. The platypus. Therefore, the earth is growing.'


From Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes!

This had me giggling for a least ten minutes XD

'Black Friday' death

I've just heard about this, but I'm not terribly surprised by it. I simply find myself wondering if those Long Island shoppers are proud of themselves for what they did.

One man, Jdimytai Damour (34), was killed and at least three other people injured when shoppers 'grew impatient' and literally 'broke down the doors' of the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream.

What makes things worse, is that while this man was being trampled to death, no-one - again, NO ONE - in the crowd stopped to help him. Those fellow Walm-Mart workers and Cops who tried, were 'jostled' and nearly prevented from helping him.

It gets better - when Wal-Mart employees asked the crowd of shoppers to get out of the way, so the man could be treated - they refused. Plenty of shoppers continued shopping.

I don't know about anyone else, but that's disgusting. This poor man, contracted for the holiday season, lost his life between 5 and 6 in the morning, simply because impatient shoppers wanted to get their hands on cheap merchendise.

It makes me sick, sometimes, what humanity does to itself.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

That's settled it.

I've made the decision.

I'm sending to Bath Spa University for a Prospectus about their PGCE courses, specifically the 'Art And Design for Secondary Education' course.

I'm extremely happy that they actually offer that course there, because I've had problems before finding a university close enough that offers it. Luckily, Bath Spa is only a bus and train ride away.

However, I think I'll have to learn to drive as well, because the school placements won't be on the train system, and eventually, I'll need to drive from home to work and back again.

(I entertain the idea of teaching Art at my old Secondary School, under my old Art teachers. That would be ironic and amusing to the extreme XD Though, remembering how much I hated two of the three, if I do end up training or even working there, it probably won't be as much fun in reality as it is in my head...)

Anyway, I'm reading 'How To Survive You First Year In Teaching' and looking up the details of paying for the year-long course. Again luckily, the £3225 doesn't need to be paid up-front, nor do I have to pay it back until I'm earning £15,000pa.

The next course starts in September 09, so until then, I'll need to get a job - and I'm going to call up about this recently advertised job as an 'Assisted Play Assistant' for a nursery for disabled children tomorrow. That job starts in January and is until the end of the summer term. I have experience in both nurseries and working with disabled children (though that was incredibly brief) and if I get it, it should help with my interview for the PGCE.

I've also emailed my cousin to see what advice she can give me, because she's taking a Teaching Course (in Drama, I think?) at the moment, in Cardiff.

Oh, and I've got to take my portfolio to the interview - so there's something I need to work on again! It's a good excuse to get painting again, though.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Lieutenant Kije - Troika

Finally, I can put a name to my favorite piece of Christmas Music!



I think I first heard this in the Christmas movie 'Santa Claus: The Movie' with David Huddleston, John Lithgo and Dudley Moore.

David Huddleston is the 'Santa' by whom I compare all Santa's - he is, to me, the perfect Santa - though considering the film is only two years younger than I am, I can't have started this way of thinking until the film itself was at least five years old!

Anyway - enjoy the music ^^

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Calne Light Parade



Photograph's all taken by Matt, on his mobile phone because we all forgot to bring cameras and yeah, that's me and Mum ^^

We all went down to the Calne Light Parade and Fayre last night! Matt and my first time, Mum and Dad's second.

It was bloody fun - the whole town turned out for it. Hundreds of people were out with their families, partaking of the gift stalls, the hot beverage stalls and the food stalls (we all had some Gluvine and roasted-on-a-spit pork with apple sauce sandwiches) there was even some kareoke going on outside the bigger pub!



The thing started off with a Girls Dance Troop who deserve points for bravery, even if their choreographer does need to be shot. Following them was the Children's Choir (with a far too overenthusiastic Choir Mistress-Pianist!) And then three Fire Poi dancers - one on stilts (whom amusingly had to nick Matt's lighter, because they'd forgotten their own!)



The Parade itself started coming through a little after that - and bloody hell, it was HUGE. Hundreds of kids, a great many local groups, had all pitched in to make bloody hundreds of different types of lanterns for the occasion! There were the obligatory stars and angels, the many and varied box and pyramid lanterns, mermaids, sea creatures, penguins, mice and a bloody huge galleon style ship carried by members of the Angling Association of Calne (or was it Angling Society?)



Santa was in there on his white-horse drawn sleigh, with accompanying elves of course! Bells were rung and a drumming troop played some brilliant rhythms, all stomping and loud - one of their group was dancing around (like the Fool from a Morris Dance troop) with an enormous hat on with a Christmas tree on top!



When it had all calmed down a bit, Santa and the drummers got the crowd to count down from ten - and the lights were turned on for the whole town. Some of the lanterns were given candles and let fly, like miniature hot-air balloons (one got stuck in a tree) to much applause.

Over-all it was a bloody brilliant evening - and it was so nice to see such an old pagan tradition still being celebrated (even if most of them don't realise that's what it is) - it was even amusing to be repeatedly bopped on the head by a flashing butterfly wand being wielded by a pink-enrobed toddler XD

Definitely doing it again next year - and Mom and I have plans to make lanterns of our own ^^

Saturday, 29 November 2008

'What's it like living next door to a nieghbourhood witch?'

I'm not sure whether this comment will get through the system, so I'm posting it here for posterity.

In response to this article about a Pagan couple.

May I ask why articles like this are never written about the various Christian denominations? When you take a real good look, the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths are just as wacky as the Pagan/Wiccan ones. I mean, seriously, the Christians believe in a Jewish zombie, the Jews believe in some of the most immoral stories around and the Muslims believe a bloke rode a Pegasus into the clouds.

Having once been Pagan and knowing a Christian very well, I can quite clearly see that it's all hooey. Pagans, the Abrahamic Faiths, Sikhs, Buddhists and so on - they all believe in magic of various types - why single out the Pagans/Wiccans for nit-picking and fun-poking?

You should widen the net a bit and nit-pick and fun-poke the 'bigger' more 'common' religions as well. Or are we still too embroiled in not wanting to 'offend' anyone, that the Pagans are the only viable target?




Edit Update: Nope, it didn't get through.

Friday, 28 November 2008

High Heels For Babies


So, mum dropped the paper on me earlier and I gave it a read through.

An article caught my eye: High Heels For Babies - Mothers attack shoes that turn infants into 'sex objects'

Does anyone else find these things despicable?

I know they're soft and spongy and have little or no effect on the feet, but that's beside the point.

Those things are hideous and veritably scream 'tart'.

What the hell kind of woman puts high-heeled shoes on her baby? It's bad enough seeing real high-heeled shoes on toddlers and prepubescents - now they want to put them on babies?

Isn't it enough that those toddlers and prepubescents are getting sexualised far too early for their own good? Isn't it enough that a pedophile takes anything even remotely hinting at 'maturity' as an excuse? Isn't it enough that our children are growing up too quickly already, without forcing them further?

These shoes disgust me right down to my very fibre. You certainly won't see me buying these disgraceful attempts at 'fun fashion' for my own children when I have them.

I hope these things get boycotted into oblivion.

Evolution Fails Much 2

He replied.

Him: I rarely check this account anymore, and I don't have time to read the whole comment, but I'm not sure I understand how the plain denial I saw, the sudden brow-beating, and of course, saying 'all creatures are a proof of evolution' resolve any issues.

After the discussions I had here, it became apparent that I was far too sarcastic, which I apologise for, and that in the end, if there is no god, evolution makes sense, if there is, then it is as easily discarded.

Humanity cannot prove either way, so it cannot be proved unless some divine moment happens to prove in the positive.


So did I.

Me: 'plain denial'? Of what? I denied nothing. I refuted your unscientific and downright annoying claims and assertions, but didn't deny anything.

The 'sudden brow-beating' was in response to those very claims and assertions that were most annoying - it is evident from your 'essay' that you have no understanding whatseover of evolution, and that lack of understanding makes your decision to write an essay refuting it utterly ridiculous.

Actually, 'all creatures' do prove evolution - by their very natures. As I said in the comment you couldn't be bothered to read, all you have to do is do some real research. Look into genetics for a start.

Yes, you were far too sarcastic - you were also arguing from ignorance. Before you undertake to write an essay on a subject, research it first - then maybe you won't be made to look a fool when people who have actually done that research themselves come and tell you about it.

Actually, there are plenty of Theists who accept evolution, from all sorts of religions. If you want to say GodDidIt - you'll first have to track down which one in particular of the myriad gods you mean. There are an awful lot of them, as I'm sure you aught to know. Evolution does not need the absence of a diety to be proven - it has plenty of real world evidence to back it up - you just appear to have ignored or lied about it all, so evolution is in fact NOT easy to discard.

I should think the fact that evolution CAN be proven and GodDidIt can't, should be very telling. To assert such an extraordinary hypothesis, you need equally extraordinary evidence to back it up - and there is none. None at all. And it also just happens that the person making the claim is the one who needs to prove it - it is not the recipients obligation to disprove it.

You obviously have no understanding of anything even vaguely scientific, so I suggest you give up your pretentions and leave the science and understanding to those who do.


And there I shall leave it, because the little upstart has gotten on my nerves.

(Hrm, it occurs to me that I take these things too much to heart... But then, when a seventeen year old writes such drivel about something he's obviously misunderstood, or not been taught properly, I feel the urge to correct them... Maybe I should figure out where he goes to school and give his science teachers that 'essay'...)

Thursday, 27 November 2008

6 things meme

I got tagged by Sean - lets see if I can actually do it XD

These are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random, arbitrary things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

6 Random Things:

1. I'm reading, and thoroughly enjoying 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' by Lynne Truss, at the moment.

2. I once wanted to be a doctor - but , by the time I was about thirteen, had realised my aversion to blood and gore pretty much nixed that idea.

3. I can speak along to every part in the Colin Firth version of Pride And Prejudice.

4. I know the English alphabet in British Sign Language. My best friend, Becca and I used to talk to one another using it, during our Assemblies at Secondary school.

5. I find it easier to draw women than to draw men.

6. I absolutely hate it when people substitute 'then' for 'than'. Whenever I see this, I feel the insane urge to smack the author over the head with a Dictionary.


Tagged:

To put it bluntly, I only really know two people on the Blogosphere and they've either already been tagged or tagged me first XD So bear with me on these random few:

Atheist Blogger
Berlzebub
Stupid Evil Bastard

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Other Names Meme

Just for the hell of it ^^

1. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names):
Carol Owen

2. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad):
Charles Micheal

3. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name):
Ki'Hann

4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal):
Green Cat

5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you live):
Louise Calne

6. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add “THE” to the beginning):
The Blue Whiskey

7. FLY NAME: (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name):
Hang (that works out well, doesn't it? XD )

8. GANGSTA NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie):
Vanilla Coconut

9. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pet’s name, current street name):
Twisp Amberley (oooh, I like that one)

10. PORN NAME: (1st pet, street you grew up on):
Napoleon Poplar (seriously doesn't work, does it? XD )


I Tag all who read this ^^

Saturday, 22 November 2008

"Evolution Fails Much"

Found a really rather annoying 'essay' over on DeviantArt - couldn't help myself, I ranted.

Ok - I just found this, so bear with me if you've already been ranted at a few times.

You: How about the fossil record then? The only proof that Evolutionists can turn to?

Firstly - Fossils are NOT the only evidence, we also have genetic evidence. Even if we failed to find a single fossil anywhere, the genetic evidence alone would support the theory of evolution.

You've heard of the 'tree' I take it? Well, using the genetic evidence, you get EXACTLY the same structure as the fossil tree.

There are others, y'know, go look em up.


You: the evolutionists leave out many of the fossils, only picking out those that support their theory

No they don't, and again, no they don't.

If there was a single fossil found that falsified the theory of evolution, the entire theory (as well as all scientific applications of the theory - including all of genetics and medicine, to name but two) would be reviewed and dropped.

Almost all sciencetific understanding would need to be reviewed and modified.

So basically, if a Creationist wants to cause evolution some damage, all they have to do is find a SINGLE fossil or living creature that doesn't fit with the theory.

So far, absolutely every known creature, alive or dead, fits with the theory.


You: Even Darwin saw it didn't hold any proof of how life came about

True. But you know what? Evolution is the theory of diversification of species, NOT the 'theory of how life started'. There is a pronounced difference.

If you want to know how life started, talk to a chemist and perhaps a physicist. The evolutionary theory is about what happend to life AFTER IT WAS THERE, not how it happened.


You: Another thing that evolutionists won't mention to you is the sudden burst of complex life found in the Cambrian layers of rock.

Wrong. This is a fascinating period in the evolution of life - why wouldn't they talk about it? I love looking at the wierd and whacky things that came out of the Cambrian period.

I'm sure if you actually did some research, you'd find hundreds of papers about them and as many people interested in the period.

You're also forgetting that the Cambrian period is between 5 and 10 million years long - short on a geological/evolutionary timescale, certainly, but in reality quite a long time. Wouldn't you say?

One of the best theories about the explosion was a rapid adaptation to shifts in habitat, caused by environmental factors (by, you know, the continental shift - sure you've heard about that somewhere - right?)

Selective pressures and new habitats - as well as a diversification of environmental niches - meant that a lot of speciation and diversification could happen within the lifeforms.

And by the way - do you want to go out and find some fossils that are about, oh I dunno, 545 million years old? Because that's about how long ago the PRE-Cambrian period was.

It's hard enough to find recent fossils - because, y'know, normally when something dies, the body tends to be eaten, torn up, thrown about a bit and you end up with bits of body all over different places. In fact, bones even tend to get eaten (if there are any!) so finding anything even resembling a partial skeleton in the fossil record is as rare as hell.

Can you imagine how hard it is for something without bones to fossilize? And then survive millions of years for us to dig it up?

But guess what? We still have loads anyway. Certainly more than enough to ' prove beyond resonable doubt' that the Theory of Evolution is correct.


You: the 1974 Encyclopædia Britannica answers

Pardon? You're using the 1974 edition? No wonder you're having problems, mate.


You: Can it tell us any more about the arrival of the vertebrates? ... Again, the fossil record is strangely silent.

'Strangely?' Do I need to go, again, into how hard it is for a fossil to even form? And survive millions of years, intact enough for us to dig it up and analyse it?

And actually, we know how the vertebrates started, how it happened. We even have some specimins still around (as in, still alive) - not the original species of course, but ones that didn't 'need' to change too much. So you're just plain wrong again. Look it up.


You: Why is the fossil record so full of 'completed' lif forms, and completely devoid of the 'evolving' stages.

What the hell are you on about? Every single creature is evidence of evolution. You appear to misunderstand the actual process. Every creature is of course a 'complete' creature! For goodness sake, you do not get half-this-half-somethings, that goes agaisnt everything.

Evolution is tiny, tiny changes over huge amounts of time. Eventually those tiny changes lead to the emergence of new and seperate species.

The only analogy I can come up with that you may understand is that of watching a baby grow up over a period of two or three years.

Take a single photograph every day, for those three years - and at no point will you be able to pinpoint the exact moment the child stops being a baby and becomes a toddler - but take the photograph from the beginning and compare it to the end one, and the differences will be enormous!

I get so annoyed at Creationists yelling about 'transitional' fossils - THEY ARE ALL TRANSTIONAL >>


You: MUTATIONS

*facepalm* OH MY GOD! GO BACK TO SHOOL OR READ A DAMN BOOK >>


You: Evolution happening now?

YES, evolution is happening now, and it has been doccument many times - the most famous of which was the lizards researchers moved to the island Pod Mrcaru - in just under four decades, there were astounding differences between the original lizards and the 'new' lizards.


You: Resemblance is no proof

I'm beginning to get tired of you and your silly rambling now - you're not even worth the facepalm. Seriously.


You: If in school evolution were taught as a theory only, and creation acknowledged as an alternate that has scientific backing, then the contradiction in the child’s mind might be eased.

Evolution may be called 'the THEORY of evolution' - but it is in fact, FACT. You seem to miss that in scientific understanding, a Theory is basically the top of the food-chain.

Now, if it was still only a HYPOTHEISIS, you may have some grounds for complaining about it - but it isn't and you don't.

Unfortunately, you also seem unable to grasp that there is NO scientific backing for Crationism. You want to know why this is?

Because the whole hypothesis boils down to GODDIDIT. And GodDidIt is not a hypothesis, it is an unfounded, religious assertion. There is NO science to back up the belief that a magical man in the sky clicked his fingers and everything poofed into existence.

You also appear to believe that there is some confusion over all of this. I'm sorry to tell you, but the only confusion is in the minds of those who have been indoctrinated into an ancient, tribalistic belief system that is both outdated and unnecessary.


You: ...there is no evidence at all that we evolved, and a lot to disprove it, so who really has the right to call who closed minded.

Wrong on so many levels. There is every evidence that we evolved, and no evidence for your 'Creator God'.

You seem to miss that, actually, scientists are very open-minded. They have to be. The Peer Review system, however, means that thigns need to be rigorously tested, modified and re-tested before any new theory will be accepted - which is probably why people are still under the misapprehension of science's 'close mindedness'.


You: After making a careful analysis of both sides I have seen that it is clear cut that evolution is not science fact, but science fiction.

You have done no such thing. You have picked up one or two articles by Creation Scientists (from the looks of it) and misunderstood anything written by Real Scientists. You have ignored swathes of evidence, belittled others and basically taken an incredibly pompous and annoying view of things.

It is not 'clear cut that evolution is ... science fiction' at all.



I started out writin this thinking it would be amusing to prove you wrong on every level, but towards the end there I just began to despair of you - seriously! How can you be so blinded? In this day and age!?

For goodness sake, actually go and do some real research, read some real papers on the subject, read 'The Blind Watchman' or 'The Ancestor's Tale'!

*shakes head* Ah well...

Friday, 21 November 2008

Breathairianism



Seriously. The first time I ever heard of 'Breathairianism' it was in a comic, 'Transmetropolitan' by Warren Ellis (comic writer extraordinaire, one of few men in the world worthy of devotion - srsly) and consequently, I thought he'd made it up.

Turns out I was really, really wrong. Turns out there really are people on this planet who think you don't need to eat to live.

However, as the joke goes, 'there are only two types of Breathairian: those who are lying and those who are dead.'

Jasmuheen - the woman being interviewed in the above video, her real name is 'Ellen Greve' - claims she lives soley on 'prana' or 'Divine Love Flow'. However, as the joke suggests, it has to be pointed out that she also drinks herbal teas and

"...a mouthful of whatever it is I’m wanting the flavour of. So it might be a piece of chocolate or it might be a mouthful of a cheesecake or something like that."


So, she's lying. Obviously. She also apparently keeps her pantry well stocked.

I find it bloody ridiculous that this woman has over twenty published books and around 5000 followers worldwide. People pay up to $2000 to attend her seminars!

Sometimes I truly worry for the state of the Human Race.

The above video is a brilliant example of why religion should be wiped off the face of the planet. Failing that, this woman needs to be put out of our misery.

Homeopathy revisited

That guy I was discussing Homeopathy with on YouTube has returned, and this time he's sent me a video:

one more video you can debunk..
Attack him also and try to prove that it does not work

db1857




This is getting old fast. In fact, it got old ages ago >>

'skeptomaniacs'? Pardon? If you want to be taken seriously - why have you made such a ludicrously inane video?
Has anyone yet proven that water has a memory? Let alone a selective memory?

Whisperelmwood


So I sent him a message, in response to his sharing this wonderful, informative video with me:

John Benneth has contacted me before with his views on Homeopathy - and after failing miserably to answer any of my really rather simple questions, has not since been in contact.

His video is simply more of the same - unfounded assertions and idiocy. That video is supposed to make me take him seriously? It doesn't - that video makes him look like an idiot.

Anyone who had real research to back up their claims, would simply offer up that research - instead, what Benneth does is ridicule and jest and basically make himself out to be a fool.

This does not help his cause. It also doesn't help his cause that a lot of the so called 'research' he does offer is decades old and frequently discounted or un-scientific or, quite often, not peer-reviewed and thus not worth bothering with.

You need to find something more convincing than that, I'm afraid.

Thankyou for the bother anyway, though.

H

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Race To Witch Mountain



I know I hate all things psychic in the real world, but I adore scifi-fantasy films/novels and this just happens to be a remake of my all time fave as a kid XD

It's also got The Rock in it!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Comfort's Questions: 01/10

1. What was in the beginning?

[Atheists have a dilemma when they say that there was nothing in the beginning. This is because nothing cannot create something. If they say that there were gases (or something) in the beginning, then it’s not the "beginning," because the gases or the “something” already existed. Who or what made them? This is why reasonable atheists admit that they just don’t know, humbling though it may be].


Asking ‘what was in the beginning?’ can be likened to asking ‘what is the smell of blue?’ Ray here isn’t being particularly clear about what he is asking. Does he want to know what ‘created’ the universe, or does he want know what came ‘before’ the Big Bang? From his explanatory paragraph, I’m going to assume a little of both.

An explanation of what we understand to have happened directly after the ‘Big Bang’ follows:

It is generally understood that the universe started out as something infinitely small and infinitely dense – a singularity, about a trillion times smaller than a full-stop. Even Kent Hovind had a basic grasp of that idea – though he fumbled both the explanation and his refutation of it (to a group of children, of all things – my how these people love ruining their kids chances of getting anywhere in the real world.)

The theory goes on to explain that in what we now term the ‘Big Bang’ – the infinitely small, dense and hot singularity began to expand. During that expansion, the universe ‘evolved’. From the Planck Era (which is still unknown by Physics and is about 10-43 seconds after expansion began) to the Inflation Era, between 10-12 and 10-10 seconds after the expansion began, where a ‘soup’ of photons, gluons and other elementary particles existed. Following the Inflation Era, some 10-11 seconds after the expansion began;

“...the tiny expanding Universe is filled with radiation creating pairs of particles and antiparticles, and pairs of particles and antiparticles annihilating back into radiation... as the Universe expanded, it cooled, and the cooler radiation was less likely to create quark-antiquark pairs. As quarks and antiquarks "froze" out of the radiation background, a greater number of quarks than antiquarks was left over.”


At 10-10 seconds after expansion began:

“...the Universe was so hot that the average energy of the radiation is above the energy of the weak nuclear force, the weak nuclear bosons were massless and the weak nuclear force had an infinite range like that of the photons and gluons. But as the Universe expanded and cooled, the average energy dropped to the level where spontaneous symmetry breaking occurred, and weak nuclear bosons gained mass.”


At 10-4 seconds something strange happens – the gluons and quarks in the entire universe ‘confine’ together to become protons, neutrons and mesons.

“...as the Universe cooled to a temperature below the deconfinement temperature of QCD (Quantum Chromodynamics), quarks and gluons were no longer able to zip around on their own and became confined together into the mesons and baryons that produced the Universe we see today.”


At 1 second after the expansion began, the universe had cooled sufficiently far enough that the neutrons and protons, which had previously been rapidly turning into each other, slowed until there were seven neutrons for every one proton.

“To make a hydrogen nucleus, we only need one proton, no neutrons. To make a helium nucleus, we need two protons and two neutrons. Therefore, a direct consequence of an excess of protons over neutrons would be an excess of hydrogen over helium, and that is what is observed today.”


At 100 seconds after expansion, the neutrons and protons began to stick together to make the nuclei of the lighter elements such as Helium and Hydrogen.

“Physicists call this process nucleosynthesis, and it had to occur before the structures we observed today, such as atoms and molecules, could exist.”


This set the stage for the formation of atoms – which then lead to stars and then galaxies. Though things didn’t even begin to become recognisably ‘universe’, until about 1 billion years after the expansion began.

Take the Big Bang tour here.

So – we know what happens directly after the ‘Big Bang’ – how about ‘before*’?

You’d have to have a pretty good grasp of Physics to truly understand the latest information about the origin of the universe. I don’t have that, so I’ve basically been pulling my hair out trying to understand what is being theorised. It’s fascinating stuff though, when you get right down to it. However, a good couple of hours with Google lead me to find some interesting, if highly complicated, papers on the subject – and one or two really quite clever websites – I’ll link them at the end.

I found that to really find out what came ‘before’ the Big Bang, you have to go to Quantum Physics, which posits a number of theories.

The ‘Multiverse’ theory is a commonly known one, which suggests the formation of universes through the collapse of giant stars and the creation of Black Holes. Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees, describes the theory:

“Our universe may be just one element - one atom, as it were - in an infinite ensemble: a cosmic archipelago. Each universe starts with its own big bang, acquires a distinctive imprint (and its individual physical laws) as it cools, and traces out its own cosmic cycle. The big bang that triggered our entire universe is, in this grander perspective, an infinitesimal part of an elaborate structure that extends far beyond the range of any telescopes.”



If I understand it correctly, I take that to mean that each Black Hole is the entrance to a universe – and this is infinite, every universe having many Black Holes and every Black Hole being a universe. Kind of confusing to wrap my head around, but an elegant theory nevertheless.

‘Loop Quantum Gravity’ (often known as the ‘Big Bounce’ theory) is a fairly recent one, proposed by Physicist Martin Bojowald and involves the theory that before our Universe, there was a previous Universe, the collapse of which created our own. (I tried to find a quote that would explain the theory more clearly, but failed dramatically – this theory is just far too complicated!)

Again, if I understand this one correctly, the collapse of a universe is the beginning of another universe – thus our universe is not the first and certainly not the last. When our universe implodes (as current thinking goes) we will be creating the next universe. I picture this as a long line of bubbles, for some reason.

Another, far more complicated theory, is that of the String Theory:

“Finally, string theory offers a possible explanation for the Big Bang. It had long bothered scientists that although they could plot the stages of the Big Bang backwards to the singularity, the initial cause for the event was without explanation. Now string theorists believe that two branes colliding could have caused the Big Bang event.”


After reading around a bit, I think what this means is the following:

Each String is either Open or Closed, depending on whether it is connected to a Brane or not (a Brane is the dimensional boundary layer – for instance, three dimensional space is the ‘3-Brane’ moving through time...) so two strings, both connected to a separate Brane, collided. The resultant forces are what caused the expansion of the universe to take place.

I think. Please keep in mind that my last Physics class was when I was 15 years old!

To really get to grips with any theory given for what came ‘before’ our universe, you really should speak to a Theoretical Physicist or pick up a few books on the subject. I’ve only mentioned three theories and given what explanations I can from a layman viewpoint – and it took me forever to find a usable quote for String Theory!

Suffice to say, we don’t yet know precisely what there was before the Big Bang. However, we have some damn good theories about it and given enough time, we will know for certain.

This isn’t an answer Ray Comfort can appreciate though. He dislikes that we don’t know ‘exactly’ – and because we don’t know ‘exactly’, he prefers to put God in there as a ‘Godidit’ explanation. He says it himself;

“This is why reasonable atheists admit that they just don’t know, humbling though it may be”


But of course, he gets it wrong. We don’t know YET. But we will know. Funnily enough, we’ll still be ‘humble’ about it too, because we understand that in the greater picture, we are but specs of matter in the universe, here for the blink of an eye.


- All about the Big Bang
- All about the Big Bang
- A conversation about String Theory
- All about String Theory
- All about the Big Bounce
All about the Multiverse Theory
An interesting discussion about String and Multiverse theories





*For a given understanding of ‘before’ – considering there was no time or space before the Big Bang – both of which only came to be after the Big Bang.

Comfort's Questions: Introduction

So - a little while ago, Ray Comfort posted up some questions from his new book, touting them as questions Atheists find hard or uncomfortable to answer.

The questions:


1. What was in the beginning?
2. Do human beings have more intrinsic value than animals?
3. What happens after death?
4. What is the purpose of life?
5. Why there is order in all of creation?
6. Why is there a sense of morality in every civilization?
7. Why does every civilization believe in a Creator?
8. Why does every sane person have a conscience, even when it is not dictated by society?
9. Which came first--the chicken or the egg?
10. How did nothing create everything?


In his own blog (linked above) Ray gives each of these questions a little paragraph of explanation, sometimes positing a few more questions within the subject. For the most part, though, he posits some 'straw men' that he appears to honestly think an Atheist would give as their answer.

When I first read this post, I was amused by his total lack of understanding. I then got more than a little annoyed at his 'straw men' and bumptious attitude and wilful misunderstanding of even the most basic of sciences.

I read the replies to the entry and was pleased to note a good many people answering the questions quite clearly and concisely (as well as a goodly number of people whom appeared to be complete idiots - and were unmistakably Christian of some denomination or other.)

There were some damn good answers and one or two mediocre. But I wanted to have a go at it myself. So I've been enjoying myself looking things up and reading around (and learning some really fascinating things about Physics) and will be posting my answers to these question up over the next few posts. One question/answer per post, to keep things clean.

I hope you enjoy ^^

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Monday, 17 November 2008

Book Meme

Ganked off a friend on LiveJournal.


1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.



"There are many languages among the Sidhe," Spart said. "Some are very ancient, some are more recent. Nearly all the Sidhe speak Cascar. It would be an advantage to learn as much Cascar as you can - and you need all of the advantages that you can get."
"Some speak English," Micheal said.
"Most speak it because it is in your mind. In-speaking...

Songs Of Earth And Power. Book 01: The Infinity Concerto - Greg Bear


I'm reading an old favorite again, and it is literally sitting by my left hand - so closest it is!

A Little Music...



I found this on Whisky Before Breakfast while catching up on various Blogs. I thought it was rather good - though I'm posting it a bit late ^^

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence At All

I just finished watching 'Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'.

My initial response?

Gods that was BORING. Seriously! Ben Stein has the most monotonous voice in the world, devoid of any emotion or even inflection. Gods. Couldn't they have found someone else to do the voice-over parts? Ugh. I literally was on the verge of sleep throughout this 'movie'.

Now. Seriously. I'm not going to talk about the validity of the 'expulsion' claims, because other people have done that already, so we all know they're crap. I'll just talk about the film itself.

To put it bluntly, this film is the biggest piece of biased, unintelligent, misdirecting pieces of crap I've ever seen. It's also badly written and incredibly boring. The only 'good' things about it were the cinematography, digital animation and the sound-track (which included one of my old favorites, 'Spirit In The Sky') so kudos to the people involved in those parts of the film.

The film consists of badly edited conversations with talking-heads, video clips from black-and-white films about World War 2 and the Berlin Wall, unfounded claims with no back-up evidence, attempts to debunk evolution, plenty use of the term 'Darwinism' or 'Darwinists', wilful misunderstanding of really rather easy to understand theories, equating 'Big Science' to Communism, stupid questions and equating Darwinism to Eugenics and the Holocaust.

Stein went through the whole film trying to exude an air of confused amiability and a truthfully questioning nature. But he doesn't really pull it off, first because he is an incredibly bad actor, with one of the most monotonous and apathetic voices ever and secondly, because he kept asking the most ridiculously stupid questions about subjects even a ten year old understands at a basic level.

The 'expelled' people Stein spoke to never once offered any real evidence for their supposed expulsions, and certainly never showed anything more than tenuous connections between their expulsions and their belief in ID. Toward the end of the program, they did try to talk to a few of the employers - but it was quite evident that they only managed to get three or four of them to talk to them (one of which did say that ID played a part in the expulsion - but understandably so in that case!)

For some reason, a whole five minutes was spent in following Stein around as he tried to find the Discovery Institute, with Stein being constantly surprised that A: it was hard to find, B: it was only on one floor of a multi-story building and C: that it was actually only one suite on the one floor.

Why? I honestly don't know - was he trying to show them as the Underdog perhaps? But they try to claim that the 'ID/Evolution debate' is not a religious debate! Apparently they want to have all the available evidence made clear in science classes, so the debate can be made. (Which is patently stupid, as we all know, because the only evidence for ID is religious and religion should not be taught in the science classes.)

He then went on to ask if the people working at some Bible college, or whatever it was, were Ministers, Priests etc, seemingly amazed when they said they weren't. Then he went on to ask if various famous Creationists had given them money and again was surprised when told 'no'.

Throughout the film, the ID people he speaks to, every last one of them talks about 'other theories' or 'lack of evidence' to prove evolution, without offering any evidence to back up these claims. They even at one point talk about the whole theory itself being 'cloudy' and 'distorted' - one proponent of ID mentions evolution as 'misinterpreted' - that as 'Change Over Time' it can be believed, but as 'change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species' it cannot!

*facepalm*

For some reason, one of the people Stein talks to is a Journalist! They talk about Dawkins not having the credentials to talk about ID, but for some reason, it's perfectly fine for Stein to get a Journalist's thoughts on the subject matter? Even if she was fired for writing about ID in a favorable light, it still doesn't make her qualified to talk about this subject. Now, either they stop using this woman as one of their spokespeople, or they stop claiming Dawkins et al don't have the credentials.

There is an awful lot of Argument From Authority in this film - a lot of the talking heads make mention of the various Science Greats from the past, the ones who were Christian. They were careful to gloss over the fact that these people tended to live in periods where there really was no other option, happily harping on that if these people, who were great scientists, were still Christian - why should scientists now ignore any other scientist who is?

The most annoying part of the whole film, to me at least, was Stein's ridiculous and wilful misunderstanding of one of the theories of the origin of life. The theory that life may have started out piggy-backing on the backs of crystals - a sound and interesting theory. Stein just goes on and on, refusing to see what he's being told: 'I don't get how you go from muuuud to a living cell'.

My disgust in that particular scene, is closely followed by my disgust in the little cartoon 'The Casino Of Life' which features a small cameo that I think is supposed to be Professor Richard Dawkins. It's just so stupid!

However, trumping everything else in the film that disgusts me, is the section where Stein et al start making allusions to Hitler and Eugenics, as if these two things tarnish the whole Field of evolutionary biology as immoral. Now Ben, really, as a Jew, you aught to know better than to use your own peoples history like that. Not only was that a despicable thing to do, it also proved nothing!

Now, the final conversation, between Stein and Dawkins was horrendous. Stein was again playing the idiot, asking really rather stupid questions, positing Pascal's Wager and all around getting on both my and Dawkins' nerves. The opening shots of the conversation, of course, tried to show Dawkins in a bad light, with people fussing around him, applying make-up and so on, while Stein simply stepped out of his car and straight (my arse) onto the set.

Over all - it was an incredibly bad, incredible boring, incredibly badly thought out and badly researched, incredibly biased film. I pretty much spent the entire film wanting to slap Stein upside the head for being a complete twat.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Waterstones vs Christian Voice

To whomever it may concern,

I am writing to voice my disgust at your company's inability to stand up against Christian Voice. There is no concievable reason to cancel a simple poetry reading, even if a small group of right wing Christian lobyists do complain. Do you plan to react like this to every single lobyist group that pipes up? If not, why now, for this particular group?

It is obvious that this was religiously motivated; the poet wrote about religion and sex in ways that this particular group disliked. So, a few emails were sent - in this day and age, this is nothing new. Arm-chair lobyists now have desk-chairs instead. This does not make the cancellation appropriate.

Will you cancel a poetry reading, featuring the hollocaust, if the hollocaust deniers write in to complain? Will you cancel a poetry reading by a black poet, if racists write in to complain? How about if a female poet takes the stand and you receive complaints from Muslims?

Christian Voice has already caused too much havoc for you to bow down to them over such a small, yet important thing. Freedom of speech should not be regulated by the religious, it should not be regulated by anyone. This poet was causing no problems - so what if his words offended a few? Art in all it's forms is there to create debate. Cancelling this reading stifled any such thing.

And to blame the cancellation on a fear of 'disruption'? That simply lends fuel to their fire. Let them turn up, let them protest. In the long run, they are more likely to be arrested than to cause any actual harm. And on the upside - plenty of free advertising for your store. Instead, you have simply handed them a 'victory' on a platter.

I am afraid to say that this reaction has ensured that I will not be purchasing from your stores again. Your company's actions have severely disappointed me, and until I see something towards a proper appology and perhaps another poetry reading evening, where Patrick Jones is actually able to read his work, I will not be returning.

Sincerely,

Hannah King
Calne



In response to this article: Writer shocked as Christian group forces cancellation of poetry event

Read the poems that so offended Christian Voice here: Patrick Jones

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Discussing things with a Christian

From an impromptu discussion held in the DeviantArt Forums.

the-universal-studio: what tends to throw me off is when someone will quote a part from the old testament, and automatically apply it to Christianity. Much of the rules set out in the old testament are overruled by Jesus, taking up forgiveness and love in the place of mass executions.


whisperelmwood: Yet 'Hell', one of the worst things described in the Bible, is something Jesus came up with. Lovely man.


the-universal-studio: well, you can't have good without bad, otherwise there would be no good because there is nothing to challenge it.


whisperelmwood: That's rather bad apologetics, really.

'You need the stick as well as the carrot, otherwise they won't do as they're told!'

Nope. Doesn't work for me, I'm afraid. I don't believe in Heaven or Hell, I'm about as Atheist as it gets. Yet, I live a good life; I don't hurt people, I don't steal, I don't knowingly break the law. Anyone who does good things only because they think they'll go to Hell if they don't, is not a nice person.

I'm good because I know that's the right thing to be, not because I'm scared some beard in the sky will send me to Hell for eternity if I'm not.



the-universal-studio: well, I wasn't exactly debating the issue. but since we're on the topic, I'll throw out my thoughts on the matter.

It is not whether or not someone is a good person or not that determines if someone goes to hell or heaven, rather, it's a belief in Jesus Christ, while being a good person adds favor towards going to heaven. Of course, you don't believe in such a notion so it doesn't matter to you and you try to be a good person (from what I've perceived) for the sake of you and those around you. While I myself do this as well, there is that extra motivation to do good and to remain so. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and those happen to be mine.


whisperelmwood: No, I suppose my original point was to say that people may paint Jesus as all goodness and light, but on an awful lot of topics, he really wasn't. Same goes for a lot of 'holy' people (Muhammed for instance married a child - and you don't have a platonic relationship when you're married, espescially not in those days) up to and including Mother Teresa and Ghandi.

However, what you've said brings up another point. If it really is only a belief in Jesus that gets you into heaven - there are going to be an awful lot of pedophiles, murderers, rapists etc in heaven. The Westboros - some of the most repugnant people around - in my eyes commit child abuse as well as harrasment, stalking, mental turture and so on, on a daily basis - yet they beleive so damn strongly in the Bible and all that it teaches. So according to the 'belief' rule, they'll go straight to heaven, because, again according to the Bible, they are not committing any acts that will send them to hell.

There's my main problem. Religion is pick and choose. You can pick any of the holy books (except maybe for whatever book the Jainits use) and you can cherry pick them to suit whatever you want.

Want to vilify homosexuals? Got a tonne of scripture for that.
Want to make women into second class citizens? Same.
Want to keep slaves? Again, a tonne of scripture (Jesus himself even tells you how to mark them as your own.)

It goes on and on. This is why I mistrust people who cite holy scripture as their moral basis and is also why I prefer to use my own morals - which happen to coincide with socities morals as a whole (less those few who enjoy killing, raping etc).

(On a side note - if Jesus over-ruled th OT, why do people still adhere so rigorously to the Ten Commandments as written by Moses? The first couple of which clearly point towards a rather juvenile, egotistical, man-made diety.)


the-universal-studio: I'm not debating this. Any attempt on my part to convince you otherwise of something you believe in will be overturned by your belief system, and anything you say to me will be overturned by my belief system. I have several points I can bring up but it's futile to debate about religion with someone who has opposite viewpoints.


whisperelmwood:Uh - that's kind of the whole point of 'debate' - but never mind.


Is it me - or did that end as expected?

I simply can't help myself XD






















Yeah yeah, I KNOW it's still November - I can't help it, ok? XD

Monday, 10 November 2008

Fighting Monks



I've decided this is brilliant!

Armenians on one side and Greek Orthodox on the other - both Monks, of course.

Isn't it great how, despite believing in the same book, they can't settle their disputes like adults?

'Teaching The Debate'?

Spotted this article over at Why Don't You Blog? talking about this article in the Times Online.

Seems a neat 29% of UK teachers think Creationism should be taught in school, in science classes.

(These numbers may be skewed, however, because the poll was online and open to anyone who had access to the website - it also didn't exclusively ask Sceince Teachers.)

Now, as I think I have said before, I have no problem whatsoever with this, just so long as they teach every creationist theory there is, and not just the Abrahamic version.

Of course, I would prefer they teach them all in the RE classes, but if it has to go in the science classes, lets just make pretty damn fucking sure they teach ALL OF THEM.

And, if they do this, the fucking Christian's are not allowed to complain. Because, y'know what? You pushed for it in the first place! And it's only fair that they ALL get equal footing, not just the Abrahamic ones, because again, y'know what?

THEY ARE ALL EQUALLY FUCKING STUPID.







I hate creationists. And yes, I do tarnish you all with the same fucking brush. A creationist is a creationist, no matter which theory he believes - wise old men singing the world into existence or a beard in the sky breathing life into clay.

I don't give a shit how pretty any of the stories are - they're all fucking wrong and not a single one of them should be let anywhere near a science class.

Back it up with peer reviewed, empirical evidence, and then we'll talk. Until then, STFU and GTFO.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Calculate the level of your Delusion



Found this on a REALLY old Pharyngula post.

I calculate at a neat zero XD How about you lot?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Prophecies R Us - follow-up

It looks like people are jumping to Psychicgirl's defence, for the most part.

He actually did win, but it was stolen from him through voter fraud. I wonder how many people voted multiple times?

LDC


Arrogance is mankind's worst enemy. I blind us and stops us from truly seeing with our spirint and not our history loaded minds. Clear up, cheer up, you made a mistake, now keep on going. The earth is calling you to be part of the transformation. Embrace it.

OpusDay


My own read on the circumstances and the astrology leans me towards the belief that there will be several assasination attempts against the president elect. He has been elected, not inaugerated. No one should be cocky about their predictions, or about dissing another for their predictions since everything is subject to free will.

robert.c


And Damianos has finally posted her latest Prophecy, as promised.

The hand I see placed on the bible being sworn in as President #44 is that of Hillary Clinton. The universe intended for Hillary to be our next President ------- not Barack Obama. I've said it before, he will be found guilty of treason.

Damianos



I can't wait for the swearing in to come around, I look forward to seeing if any of these prophecies actually come true XD

Oh, it will be so much fun to do a follow-up with negative results!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Prophecies R Us

After hearing the prophecies.us website mentioned on CNN last night, before the end of the election, I had to go have a look.

It's a thoroughly amusing place, really! Some of the predictions and prophecies given in that place are utterly ridiculous, but the one that caught my eye last night was the following:

mccain will win the presidential election in 2008.

i am absolutely certain of this and i am only posting it here for proof prior to the date like a postmark to prove my prediction.

my abilities have been validated by a university with an average hit rate of 80%.

i am not a democrat, i am not a republican.

the outcome of an election is irrelevant to me.i am not political and believe that you create your own reality despite who is in the white house. you are the weaver of your destiny and share in shaping the destiny of the planet. no man or woman in political power can save you. no man or woman can pay your bills, win a war, save the planet, stop poverty or feed the hungry. you and i create reality. placing your faith in politics is not good. it abdicates you from responsibility for your life. politics are always corrupt despite the best efforts of the people involved to be good people. their intentions are good but they serve too many interests. i believe in serving your fellow man and uplifting everyone around you.

the mccain people are welcome to contact me and thank me. the obama people can hate me. i have a gift, granted by the universe, higher power, god or whatever you might term it... neither mccain nor obama can take that from me.

Psychicgirl.


Aside from her terrible grammar and spelling, it was the 'validated by a university with an average hit rate of 80%' thing that got me.

What university? What tests did they run? Is the research available for perusal? Did they have any peer-reviewed papers released? I'd like to know! If her hit-rate is that high, she aught to be very well documented and lauded from on high!

But seriously.

It's pretty safe to say that this girl was about as wrong as it gets, but someone commenting on her prophecy seems to be trying to give her an out:

Obama won the election...but he won't be the one inaugurated as President. Read my upcoming prediction which should be posted here eitehr today or tomorrow to find out who our President will be.

Damianos.


I eagerly await her 'upcoming prediction' as it hasn't appeared yet. I have a feeling hers will be just as bad and just as wrong as PsychicGirl's was.

PsychicGirl has yet to respond to the actual results of the Election - I have the uncanny feeling that she'll just disappear and refuse to acknowledge her rather public 'miss'.

A further comment from someone named 'KK' has this to say on the subject:

If McCain is considered the winner. It will be due to another election stolen by the electronic voting machines with no paper trail that go through the RNC servers. These are the same servers that mysteriously lost all the Bush admin's emails. Not by voter fraud but by election fraud. This happened in 2000 and 2004 and it has been proven that democrats won both elections. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, the American public will not be fooled a third time. We are ready to take back our country.

KK


So will PsychicGirl simply claim the results were tampered with?

Even if they were, her prediction was wrong! If she wanted to be right, she should have said 'McCain will win, but tampering with the votes will result in Obama taking the Presidency' - which of course, she didn't say.

On a more serious note, though.

This all just makes me wonder why the hell people do this. I know there is a huge belief in prophecy and prediction - world wide, as I understand it. Pretty much all religions have some form of prophecy inherent in the belief system.

What is the human fascination with prophecy? I know we are one of the few animals on this planet with the true ability to conceive of a future at all, but why do we feel this need to prophesies? Surely we can't be so scared and lonely that we need these stories to make ourselves feel better?

And what about this strange fascination with psychic abilities? From reading through the above linked website, it appears there are a great many people who falsely believe they have some psychic ability to see the future - god given or otherwise.

Why? It's just yet another delusion we blind ourselves with. For the most part, these things are simply coincidental dreams (and even a basic understanding of The Law Of Truly Large Numbers will explain those to anyone who cares to give it even a modicum of thought) yet no-one seems to want to tell these people this simple fact.

I feel it is at least midly dangerous for us to humour these people. To allow them these delusions, allows them to delude themselves in other fashions. And as we all know, that just leads to further problems and possible tragedy.

(Think the religious family's that refuse to medicate their horrendously ill children - an extreme, but highly realistic end point to allowing people their dangerous delusions.)

What we need to do is to explain to these people that coincedence is far more common than they want to believe. We need to point out the many many times they've dreamed something and it hasn't come true (because, believe you me, there are far more of those types of dreams, than the ones that do come true in some fashion or other.)

Until people are made aware of these things, this ridiculous obsession with prophesy and pyschic abilities is going to continue. And while websites like prophecies.us can prove amusing, I fear they can also prove detrimental.

I've even heard it mentioned that some truly right-wing fundy types voted for Obama because they believe he's the Anti-Christ and they believe he's going to bring about Armageddon! Which is just unutterably stupid and proves my point.


Edit:

It get's worse, I just discovered their forum.

It covers all the bases - from The Bible Code to Tarot Cards. It makes fascinating reading - but bloody hell, these people must surely be on something >>