R.I.P. George Carlin

June 23, 2008

George Carlin died about three hours ago.

Damn.


Too Nerdy, Even For Me

June 19, 2008

There’s a Wikipedia article on Lightsaber combat.

That’s really needed?

A few excerpts:

Unlike most martial arts involving a weapon, lightsaber combat is an art that is utilized before the weapon is ever drawn and ignited. This is due to the philosophy that a Jedi must draw his weapon only as a final recourse. A Jedi must decide on what situations require the application of deadly force, since the lightsaber is one of the deadliest weapons ever constructed.

[…] each Jedi chooses the style of lightsaber combat that best suits him or her. For example, the shorter Master Yoda uses the Ataru form to compensate for his lack of reach and height, as well as to take advantage of his nearly limitless amount of Force power; Mace Windu uses Vaapad to tap into his anger and employ it constructively (without giving himself over to the dark side); Count Dooku’s practice of the Makashi form fits his intention to engage frequently in lightsaber-to-lightsaber combat as well as his emphasis on class, elegance, and precision. The Jedi Exile from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II was an expert in many of these forms but never relied on just one. Lightsaber styles are generally taught to the students by the Jedi Battlemasters, though not always.

Wow.


Seriously? This Is The Game You Want To Play?

June 17, 2008

This button was available at the Texas State Republican Convention. And I thought this guy was racist.

As Warren Ellis once said:

“America is a great spectator sport… Just as long as there’s that great ocean between us.”


Science!

June 14, 2008

New blog post at ScienceRat.Com!

“Scientists Unveil ‘Acoustic Cloak'”


ScienceRat.Com

June 13, 2008

I’d like to take a moment to point you over to ScienceRat.Com, my science and technology blog.  Poke around, give me some feedback (good and bad– can’t improve if I don’t know what you like/don’t like).

Thanks!


Doomsday To Begin Today

June 12, 2008

The House of Yahweh, a religious sect based in Abilene, Texas, has announced that a nuclear war will begin on June 12th, 2008.

In preparation, the sect (or cult, if you’re feeling a bit less kind) has hundreds of trailers of food and water on their 44-acre compound.

The leader and founder, Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins, previously announced Armageddon would occur on September 12, 2006.

(I notice there’s a pseudo-pattern: the months are multiples of three, the dates are both the 12th and multiples of three…)

“You know, the savior himself, told me not to worry about that. He said, ‘They’re going to hate you above all people on the face of the earth,’” Hawkins explained when asked about the incorrect prophecy.  In Kenya, hundreds of his followers hid in bomb shelters wearing gas masks on the predicted day.

They went home when there was no war.

Former followers claim he controls people through fear.

Hawkins has also been charged with bigamy.

According to the group’s official site, “The House of Yahweh is known for teaching and practicing the Laws as written in your bible.”

I’ve heard of this group before.  I’ve had their flyers and pamphlets stuck under my windshield wipers a few times.  It sounds crazy.  And I’m not saying that just because they’re a “cult.”

(By the way a cult is defined as “a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.”  A sect is defined as “a group regarded as heretical or as deviating from a generally accepted religious tradition.”  For all intents and purposes, they mean the same thing.)

I can see someone studying geopolitics and weapons sales and military buildups and troop movements and diplomatic situations and saying, “Hey, if this situation and that situation continue or move in this direction, there’s a good chance a war will break out around this time.”

I mean, that makes sense, right?

But prophecies?  Maybe I’m too skeptical, but I don’t buy it.  I don’t believe that a higher power is going to entrust this guy (or any single person, for that matter) with saving humanity.

From what I can tell, the group/sect/cult interprets passages in the Bible to predict when these wars will begin.  I’ll give them this much– It’s a step up from the supposed “Bible Code.”

The problem with all that is everyone’s going to interpret these passages (which, by the way, are from books considered non-canonical by most of Christianity) differently.  Kind of like in high school and your English teacher asked you what you thought Moby Dick was about (or as one teacher tried to convince us, wasn’t about).  I may think it means one thing, you may think it’s another.  Someone else might believe it means a third thing.  Or even both.

On the other hand, if the missiles start flying, I’ll have to eat my words.


Conneticut Police Find Pipe Bomb Stuffed Inside Chicken

June 11, 2008

Yes, that headline is correct.  Here’s the article’s full text:

Authorities in Connecticut are wondering who stuffed a raw roasting chicken with a pipe bomb and left it on a roadside.

Simsbury police Capt. Matthew Catania says a motorist noticed the chicken Friday morning. He says the bomb was large enough to harm a person if it went off.

The road was closed while the Hartford Police Department’s bomb squad came and blew up the chicken.

Nobody was injured. No arrests had been made Monday night.