Feb 21 2014

Scientific lies from the pit of Hell!

The abiotic oil idea is geologic nonsense, but it’s found a second life by being highly useful for disarming concerns among the faithful over the finite supply of fossil fuels. As Rachel correctly points out above, this is an outgrowth of young earth creationism aided by wishful thinking and the willful ignorance now in the process of utterly consuming a once relatively normal political party. It becomes a big problem for the rest of us when they put anti-science nutcases in charge of large departments tasked with preventing or mitigating this kind of stuff:

North Carolina health officials are warning residents to steer clear of the Dan River, where a pipe from a nearby power plant is dumping unsafe levels of arsenic. … Arsenic levels in the waste-water are 14 times those considered safe for human contact.“Because the Duke Power-Eden coal ash spill is located in North Carolina’s portion of the Dan River, a potential hazard exists immediately downstream of the release,” health officials said in a statement, recommending that people “avoid recreational contact with water and sediment in the Dan River in North Carolina downstream of the Duke Power-Eden spill site.”

Feb 21 2014

Steampunk planet

I enjoyed a nice week off, during which time the Earth swung one more time past my day of birth. One of the places I visited during hiatus was a Steampunk lounge. The premise is built on the idea that Charles Babbage, or someone else, completed an analytical engine around 1840. It was by some accounts the first full-blown computer with the capacity to carry forward and store answers, i.e., memory. The idea, so the story goes, led to better and more compact designs eventually bordering on near nano-tech like breakthroughs enabling all sorts of interesting robotic and cybernetic devices. Eventually, with the invention of telegraph and telephones, and the lines to carry complex signals, the Info Age dawned in 1890 or so, a full century early. This first-wave sci-fi genre remained fairly obscure throughout the reality of the 1990s. But a lot of the people who read it were also into programming, some went on to develop video games, or contribute to movies and series, so the fashion and art influence grew and evolved in different ways in a second wave.

That alternative history is called Steampunk, a play on Cyberpunk. But it struck me that in some ways, we do live in a steamy-punkish world. True, the technology that is the most ubiquitous is Wi-Fi and iPads and social media. But what still drives it, the underlying industrial infrastructure mostly unseen by today’s cell phone addict, is gears and wheels, powered by burning gas, oil and coal, turning water into steam to produce electricity.

Feb 13 2014

The Math


Feb 12 2014

How will atheists explain THIS?

After a spate of applying for some jobs I somehow ended up on several wingnut emails lists. As annoying as it is, that marketing method works, I open them from time to time, whenever I need a laugh, or a sob. What’s shocking isn’t the sheer magnitude of the lies, it’s how badly their own, sincere righties, are openly preyed on by shysters with the full cooperation and aide of the GOP establishment. It’s just one scam after another. Today the subject was “How will atheists explain THIS!?”

That link goes to a page that screams in large red letters: Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 10 2014

“Distressed AOL baby” mama speaks out

A round of DoS attacks swept through FTB this Sunday. SkepChick and others were also hit so deduce what you may. It seems to be working now, but if you’re experiencing delays waiting for the page to load, that’s the crack software making sure you’re not a bot. We’re going to a new hosting service in a few weeks in part precisely because of this kind of shit.

Meanwhile, back in Tim Armstrong’s world, the world’s biggest asshole CEO of the week who tried to screw AOL employees out of some retirement benefits by blaming his company’s blow out, record quarter on Obamacare and two employees who had the bad sense to have premature babies, one of those mothers spoke up and spoke up loud: Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 07 2014

CEOs vying for title of world’s biggest asshole

To hear a few zillionaires lament on how mean the world is, you’d think they were being worked to death in Cambodian killing fields. But endless bleating from the coddled conservative rich is standard procedure these days in luxury estates and aboard corporate jets. Leading the pack of rich whiners is Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, who tried vainly to justify cutting 401-k benefits with this drivel: Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 07 2014

Speaking of getting an interview, I’ve got a couple lined up

It’s been a hectic day. Partly spent on getting some routine content into the Daily Kos queue by a deadline, done. Another chunk of time dedicated to seeing about a guest post on Slate Magazine. In the works, we’ll see. And the best part spent scheduling two interviews, both for interesting jobs. The first one is an office manager for progressive organization, working with progressive clients, building my own team to do the same, that kind of thing. It doesn’t pay great. So, if I’m not going to make much, my thought is the work should be rewarding, beneficial to the community, and teach me some new, useful skills.

This one does all those things, plus I get to be the head guy, but the pay is really … challenging. So challenging that I can’t say for sure if it would even be feasible. For one thing it’s in downtown Austin not far from 6th Streets, which would mean monthly parking expenses to the tune of a couple hundred bucks and either moving to a more expensive and closer place or commuting every day down a road called 183 and the city’s main thoroughfare called MOPAC, during rush hour. I’ll have to hold out for the maximum possible pay if they do end up liking me.

The other interview is a customer service tech-support job for a company that provides real-time services to other business, it requires higher end skills, solid knowledge of navigating the Internet on hand-held wireless devices and trouble-shooting same for clients. The pay and benefits package is not bad, around 45k with bonuses and taking into account that they pay 100% of the health insurance premiums. Sad to say, if offered me both I’d simply have to seriously weigh taking the higher paying job even though the advocacy position greatly intrigues me.

Feb 06 2014

Two myths about “older” workers we need to dispell

In reading about the trials and tribulations of “older” job seekers, and as I go through the dismal soul-crushing process myself, one comes across several assumptions said to be commonly made by our younger counterparts. Mostly to explain why those with experience are at a disadvantage when competing with the unproven. The first is that experienced applicants need worry about being overqualified, the second and related that they are perceived as less flexible, unable to adapt to always changing technology in the workplace. Below I’ll take a crack at debunking those myths, feel free to send any relevant snippets of my aged wisdom to your nearest HR and hiring departments. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 06 2014

Bill Nye vs a canned Ham: 22 answers to 22 creationist questions

That’s not a debate. A debate has scoring, just like a ball-game, which determines a winner and loser. But in honor of the Nye vs. canned Ham discussion, Phil put up a really fun post over at Bad Astronomy responding to 22 bullshit gotchya questions sometimes posed by bullshit artists also known as creationists. It’s worth a read, I’ll just go ahead and swipe his questions and provide my own answers below. Let the games begin! Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 05 2014

Former Senator teams up with anti-vax quack to fleece loyal supporters

It has been said that every great cause starts out as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually turns into a racket. See exhibit A: the right-wing infotainment complex. That transformation took decades to complete. But former Massachusetts Senator Scot Brown (R-sociopath) may have set a new land-speed record by renting his email list out to a quack MD in exchange for a piece of the action: Read the rest of this entry »

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