"It got me out of the trailer park"

Watching this gives me a window into how others perceive my interest in my hockey pool. Or comic books. Or role-playing comic books ala Champions (and I'm very,very, very tempted to try 'City of Heroes'), or Star Trek, or ancient Greek sophistry, or, uh well, you get my drift.

Well I'm looking through that window....it ain't pretty.


Clever Apes Use Tool To See Other Tool Land On Distant World

This is the Phoenix lander, parachute deployed, descending to the surface of Mars. The photo was taken by the Mars Reconaissance Orbiter one of several Orbiters around Mars involved in relaying information from the Red Planet back to our little blue dot.

Seriously, is this not cool?


Quote of the Day

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

- From a recently auctioned collection of letters by Albert Einstein


Intel Dump

Given my new schedule as stay at home Dad blogging has been light of late. My apologies, but hopefully the following link-fest/commentary will make up for it!

Now, I'm not a big fan of the Templeton Institute, but they are running a very interesting debate question for scientists; 'Does science make belief in God obsolete?'

Speaking of science, turns out that invisibility might not be the science-fiction story we once thought. Nor for that matter, will mind-reading helmets be fiction for much longer.

Ever since the Drake equation made it clear that the extremely large number of stars in the universe makes the probability of intelligent life elsewhere very high, people have been wondering 'where are the aliens'. Nick Bostrom is one of those who hopes we don't find any.

I keep getting into arguments with believers who insist that Hitler was an atheist and that therefore atheism (or evolution - it depends on who I am arguing with) is responsible for the Holocaust, the invasion of Poland, etc. To them, I offer this picture.

What makes up the perfect pop-song is a question that has long perplexed the song smiths looking to cash in. One suggestion is that the song should be exactly 2 minutes and 42 seconds long. No more, no less. Being an empiricist, I checked my music library and found four songs that fit the bill; Jazz Butcher's 'Swell', theThe's 'Solitude', Hole's 'Celebrity Skin', and Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love'. I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that list but it does seem plausible the author may be on to something.

Some of you may know that I wept blood recently when the Steve Nash lead (and Shaq befouled) Phoenix Suns were eliminated by the hated San Antonio Spurs (as one friend put it to me 'F*ck Texas', but I digress). It's clear to anyone who is watching that with the multi-tool egomaniac Shawn Marion gone, coach Mike D'Antoni looking for a new team and Nash starting to break down from the high-temp he plays at, that the Suns are now in steep decline. Bill Simmons details how the most exciting team in basketball - maybe ever, flourished and then flew apart in just over 4 years time.

Behold, the future of furniture;

Having seen the future, let's revisit the past - here is a working version of Babbage's proposed steam powered computer.

Andrew Coyne (one of the three Andrews; see left) has a great article on how Harper's Tories have a hole where their soul used to be. It seems to be happening in slow motion, but ever so gradually Harper is becoming the very monster he swore to destroy.

Following in the footsteps of giants like Paris Hilton and Gene Simmons, we have the Jimi Hendrix sex-tape.

Reason magazine provides us with a handy guide to how the different US Presidential candidates would approach Supreme Court nominations. Reason is a libertarian mag, so the analysis is heavily skewed in that direction rather than a false left-right divide.

Being a stay-at-home-Dad the following items were of interest to me; inappropriate baby products! (courtesy of 'The Poop')
Below is the 'Baby hanger' - so you can go to the bathroom in peace. Sort of.

My favourite economics post of the last while is this awesomely titled 'It's Spring - Politicians are Stupid.'

Ever wondered who would play Sidney Crosby in the movie about his life? Wonder no more. There is something weirdly compelling about these pictures of actors and hockey players, but I can't put my finger on what it is.

This is very close to a short story of mine that friends liked; Where have all the Smith's gone?

Apparently one of the unintended consequences of global warming will be an increase in the burning of witches.

I remember how excited I was waiting for the sequel to 'Masters of Orion 2: Battle at Antares' (which aside from Sid Meirs' Civilization 3 is the single biggest time-waster I've ever had in my life - God Bless you Sid Meirs), and how disappointed I was when it sucked galactic donkey butt. So what has gone on to replace it as the space themed, turn based, interstellar development and conquest minded game? Where you not only manage each colony, a tech tree, a host of potentially hostile races, and vast be-weaponed fleets of plasma hurling death but also lets you custom each and every shape for your 'Star Fleet Battles' style of 2D combat? The answer is nothing.
My copy is now well over 15 years old, and I'm looking at installing a fan created patch version 1.4, and maybe even taking a look at the on-line play available.

Here's a great essay befitting the Kryptonian's 70th birthday; 'Why Superman will always suck'.

Uh oh. Turns out taking vitamins can shorten your life-span.

What the world has been waiting for; naked chicks on post-it notes. I should have gone to art school.

Nerve magazine rates the all-time top 50 Comedy Sketches.

Proof that people will argue anything;

Q: Unicron vs Galactus, who would win?

A: Galactus.

Why? Two words. Jack Kirby and the Silver F*cking Surfer. . So make it four words.

Every once in a while we get treated to the two Hitchens brothers (Peter and Chris) tearing each other a new one.

Here's more evidence that coffee is good for you.

Here's what happens when Iron Man and Batman discuss how the summer will go;