Today I will launch a semi-regular (by which I mean a whenever-I-feel-like-it) feature, wherein I itemize a bunch of stuff that’s in the various tabs in my Firefox. I have this habit, you see, of keeping certain tabs open over a number of sessions, either because I want to eventually blog about them, or because I’m not done reading them and keep getting sidetracked on other sites. This might include blog posts with ongoing discussions, as well. Consider it a catch-all kind of post. As such, it’ll go under Current Events just because there’s usually going to be a news piece or two.
I’m reading through Logical Fallacies at the moment, and am at the Appeal to Popularity. I do so in order to better myself as a debater. I also have this Intro to Logic on another tab, which I haven’t yet started to read. Both were posted by DuWayne in a comment over at his place.
The BBC has an interesting piece about Henry Markham and his Blue Brain Project, an attempt at building a virtual brain using computer software. He’s already succeeded with mice, and suspects he’ll be able to build a virtual human brain in ten years. Geek Rapture enthusiasts ought to take note.
Another Christian billboard was put up recently — this one advocating that the separation of church and state be abolished (naturally, by Christians who believe that the government should endorse Christianity specifically). They cherry-pick a George Washington quote, despite ample evidence he believed strongly in separation, and was a deist himself.
I also have open a brilliant Douglas Adams speech from 1999 expounding on the virtues of the internet and the rebirth of interactivity in entertainment that came with it. I’d add that video games are another example of technology catching up with the preexisting interactivity that we’ve all but forgotten.
At Cosmic Variance, Sean Carroll has an itemized list of rules that every time travel story must follow lest it be internally inconsistent, or violate the rules we understand about this universe at present.
A hopeful article up at the Globe and Mail describes how the carbon capture technology Alberta has pioneered to pull oil from the sands could be used to generate billions in patent-related revenue for its inventors. I say this article is hopeful because it assumes that corporations and governments are going to be on board with the idea of carbon sequestration to begin with. I’m not seeing a whole lot of evidence of such.
A genius post by Jennifer Ouellette was linked recently by Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy, describing our cosmological-scale insignificance with wide-eyed hope and wonder. I too am bothered by the refrain by the religious that looking at our place in the universe as tiny and wholly insignificant is by no means bleak in that we tiny and insignificant fleas on a ball of rock are able to explore this universe in ways that no mere unsentient animal can.
I also have a tab open on religious views on nudism throughout the ages. I got sidetracked onto the topic while looking up the Bible’s actual views on homosexuality and rape to counter some apologetics by Zdenny elsewhere on this blog.
There’s also a post up at Greg Laden’s regarding racial bias by police as relates to the Skip Gates arrest, and an anecdote that happened to him twenty years ago where a black building manager was almost arrested for robbery in his building were it not for Greg, a white guy, being nearby to corroborate the man’s claim that he was indeed the building manager.
And of course, in the last tab is my blog’s Add Post window. I’ll be skipping telling you about that tab from now on.