MinnObserver sent me this photo from the state fair: even here in the midwest, people are gluing seeds into the form of very angry octopuses. Portents? Omens? Subconscious resonance with the Great Old Ones? Who knows.
Also, Mark Chu-Carroll finds a similarly ominous sculpture. It looks to be in the strange genre of cyclopic cephalopods.
At least book memes are easy for me.
A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island: An impossible decision. First choice: Mary Jane West-Eberhard, Developmental Plasticity and Evolution(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). Second choice: Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), because editing it would pass the time.
A book that I wish had been written: My own. <sigh> Classes have started, it’s a struggle to find the time.
A book that I wish had never been written: Various frauds and swindlers and sanctimonious pissants, The Holy Bible. I’m so predictable.
I’m supposed to pass this one on, but infections aren’t made by the virus’s choice, so if you leave a comment here, consider yourself contaminated.
All will be relieved to know that the missing Midnight came crawling back late last night, all wet and stinking from his misadventure, and was found mewling pathetically in our garage.
He hasn’t apologized or anything, but is just demanding that we feed him. Typical.
William Dembski sadly reports that Answers in Genesis is handing out a “$50,000” prize* for a creationist essay…for which no Intelligent Design advocates need reply. He moans that ID doesn’t have anywhere near the resources of the traditional creationists (which is true—AiG is bigger, but the DI has just gotten more press), and then uses this to make the argument that he really wishes they could have made at Dover:
This contest demonstrates that creationism and ID are charting separate paths.
No, not exactly. Separate strategies, maybe, but the same goals. There are substantial differences in dogma between different creationist groups, but they’re all anti-evolution and anti-science and belong to the same general category of science kooks. Answers in Genesis is a Young Earth Creationist organization led by Ken Ham, and they don’t get along with Old Earth Creationist Hugh Ross’s Reasons to Believe; a follower of Hugh Ross would not qualify for the “$50,000” prize, either, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a creationist. William “intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory” Dembski is just a leader in one sectarian branch of the rotten creationist tree, as is Hugh “Starting about 2 to 4 million years ago, God began creating man-like mammals or ‘hominids’…Then, about 10 to 25 thousand years ago, God replaced them with Adam and Eve” Ross and Ken “Genesis is true” Ham—or Harun “The carbon atom, like everything else, has been created by Allah” Yahya. Same difference. It doesn’t matter what little, transient cult they belong to, they hold ignorance in common.
*Not really. It’s a scholarship for $50,000 to Liberty University. Yeah, being shackled to stupid people and forced to memorize dogma is a real prize. Since the cost of housing someone in a prison is about $20K/year, maybe I should get a gun and rob a gas station for a chance at winning a $200,000 prize!
Man, I’ve been picking on the Vatican a lot lately. Don’t worry, I’ll abuse all other religions later (I’m thoroughly impartial), but it’s just that the Catholic church has been doing such stupid things. Like this:
A Vatican official has said the Catholic church will excommunicate a medical team who performed Colombia’s first legal abortion on an 11-year-old girl, who was eight weeks pregnant after being raped by her stepfather.
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family, said in addition to the doctors and nurses, the measure could apply to “relatives, politicians and lawmakers” whom he called “protagonists in this abominable crime”.
The doctor in charge said exactly what I was thinking.
“We acted within the constitutional framework,” Dr Lemus said. “We were faced with the petition of a girl who wanted to go back to playing with her toys.”
He said Cardinal Trujillo “calls the doctors and nurses ‘evildoers’. I think the person who raped her is the evildoer”.
Although, to be honest, I think the Catholic church is doing something wonderful here. I encourage them to excommunicate everyone for any offense. In fact, I endorse the right of all religious leaders to tell all their congregations to stop coming to church anymore. It’ll be a great day when religion is reduced to nothing but the priests mumbling onanistically to themselves in drafty, empty, echoing cathedrals.
One of the other consequences of our broken water main is that our cat, Midnight, fled the house during the ruckus, and he has not returned. This is a very lazy, timid cat who has been declawed (not by us—we do not approve of such barbarity), so he’s not exactly going to thrive out there. And it’s raining. Midnight always freaked out at getting wet or being exposed to weather. If any Morris people should spot him, let Skatje know. He does have a collar with a tag and his name, address, and phone number.
Physicists get all the fun. Jennifer Ouellette has announced a book I’ll definitely be buying: The Physics of the Buffyverse(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). How could I not? It will go on the shelf next to my copy of The Physics of Superheroes(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll).
So, where’s The Biology of Superheroes? The creators of superheroes trample all over the principles of physiology and genetics as thoroughly as they do those of physics, so there’s got to be a story in there somewhere.
I never thought I’d say this, but…coffee must be evil. Look at Starbucks, for example. I could stop there, I suppose, and everyone would understand my point, but to give a little more detail, PunkAssBlog highlights one of the quotes they are printing on their cups.