Scienceblogs snipe-back!

Two can play this game—Chad Orzel, who sometimes likes to blame his insufficient popularity on his off-puttingly deep wisdom and excessive sense of moderation and fair play, notes approvingly that “All the world’s stupidest people are either zealots or atheists,” and that “certainty only comes from dogma,” both rather interesting statements coming from a scientist. My certainty that I shouldn’t step out of my second-story window, or that I shouldn’t eat a large cake of rat poison, don’t come from personal experience, but they aren’t dogmatic, either—although I’m awfully darn certain that warfarin and high velocity impacts with solid surfaces would probably be lethal. I can think of many examples and experiments that demonstrate these facts without actually having to experience mortality personally, or requiring blind adherence to unsupported dogma.

Similarly, I am sensible enough to see that religion is an irrational course, without having to actually meet God face-to-face, and without having to comb through every particle of the universe looking for him. Waffling is not a virtue, nor is an absence of conviction a signifier of open-mindedness—not when the evidence all points one way.

Neither is traffic to a weblog a measure of its accuracy, whether inversely or otherwise, and heck, I don’t get fifty thousand visitors a day, either. I hope he’ll forgive me for adding to his damning tally of visitors with this link.

Minnesota misogynists: vote!

The BIG fair, the Minnesota state fair, is going on right now, and Karina Hill is letting people vote on exactly which repellent Midwestern grease lump on a stick she should eat. Here’s the menu:

  1. Fried cheese puffs
  2. Cajun Season Alligator Sausage on-a-stick
  3. Deep Fried Cheese on a stick
  4. Jerk pork chop drummy
  5. Pancake wrapped around sausage on-a-stick
  6. Uffda Treat
  7. Belgium waffle on-a-stick
  8. Australian Battered Potatoes
  9. Cheese-burger calzones on-a-stick
  10. Wild Rice corndogs
  11. Key Lime Pie on-a-stick
  12. Dogzilla
  13. Egg-roll on-a-stick
  14. Fried-Egg Bagel Sandwich
  15. Pizza on-a-stick
  16. Political pop
  17. Deep-fried twinkies
  18. Chicken-chops
  19. Frozen Coffee on-a-stick
  20. Deep fried cheese curds
  21. Tater-tot hotdish on-a-stick
  22. Spaghetti and Meatball on-a-stick
  23. Deep-fried candy bar on-a-stick
  24. Deep fried oreos
  25. Deep-fried spudsters on-a-stick
  26. Spicy buffalo chicken filled wonton
  27. Blackened Cajun steak on-a-stick
  28. Bug juice
  29. Scotch Meatball on-a-stick
  30. Puff-daddy on-a-stick
  31. Pizza burgers
  32. Ice-cream on-a-stick
  33. Fresh chocolate dipped marshmallows on-a-stick
  34. Wall-Eye on-a-stick
  35. Mac-n-cheese on-a-stick
  36. Batter-dipped deep-fried chocolate chip cookies on-a-stick
  37. Fried ravioli garlic bread

If you’re the kind of wretched humanity-hating bastard who’d inflict any of those things on this poor woman’s digestive tract, circulatory system, kidneys, and brain, go ahead—vote at Minnesota Stories.

Warning: Tater-tot hotdish on-a-stick is disturbingly phallic.