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Monthly Archive: September 2011

Sep 26 2011

Trailers for films

It is interesting to see how trailers have changed over time. I recall a few decades ago, they would have fairly long sequences but with a loud, urgent, voice-over narration in the annoying style of old newsreels. Take this one for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). These days that obnoxious narrator is gone, …

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Sep 26 2011

Narrowing the search for the Higgs particle

It looks like the search for the elusive Higgs particle is getting close. The so-called Standard Model of particle led to the existence of the Higgs being proposed 1964 as an explanation of how elementary particles get their mass and it is the final particle of the model to be yet directly detected. If it …

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Sep 26 2011

The dumbness of crowds

Whoever coined the phrase ‘the wisdom of crowds’ may have second thoughts about it after seeing the crowd reaction at the Republican debates. Most people do not watch political debates at such an early stage in the process, so what gets registered in the public consciousness is what the media and pundits focus on after …

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Sep 25 2011

Saturday Light Live on the Republican debates

Sep 25 2011

Baby steps

The Saudi king has decreed that women in that country will be allowed to vote and hold office. Of course, women still face immense restrictions in that repressive and backward country due to the dominance of Islamic law, but this is progress nonetheless.

Sep 25 2011

Abusing the minds of children in the name of god

You may recognize Becky Fischer from the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp as the camp leader who thinks that her mission is to indoctrinate young children into being soldiers for Jesus. Here is a trailer for that film. (Note the appearance by Ted Haggard when he was an evangelical in good standing and a major player …

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Sep 24 2011

Jim Henson (1936-1990)

Today would have been the 75th birthday of Jim Henson who died an untimely death in 1990. In remembrance of his legacy to muppetry and humor, here is a recent Sesame Street parody of Glee.

Sep 24 2011

Highlights of the Republican debate

For those of us who did not watch the last Republican debate, The Daily Beast has compiled a set of what it considers the best moments.

Sep 24 2011

Ridiculous hypotheticals

Rick Perry is taking a beating even from conservatives for his poor showing in the debates. While conservatives have focused on his fluffing of a chance to attack Mitt Romney, others have pointed to is his incoherent response to what he would do if told at 3:00 am that Pakistani nuclear weapons had fallen into …

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Sep 23 2011

The ontological argument for god

Here’s an attempt to explain Saint Anselm’s original argument that theologians love. Apparently Immanuel Kant pretty much destroyed it in its original formulation. But in this clip, theologians like Alvin Plantinga claim to have resurrected it in a better form that shifts the burden onto some thing that he refers to as a theorem in …

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