Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blogging the Bible part 7

So here we are, almost eight weeks gone by and only up to chapter 7 of Genesis - but this one is interesting from a literalist's point of view because we start getting into the contradictions in the Flood story.

And yes, there are plenty.

Next time you are out on the social cocktail circuit (that is what the young 'uns are still doing, isn't it?) and someone mentions the truth of the Flood story try this fun game - ask them 'Which one?". And point out that by 'Which one?' you mean which version of the Genesis flood story. Not which of the Jewish (Genesis), Sumerian, Babylonian, Greek, Hindu, Islamic, Chinese, Lao, Indian, Andaman Islands, Indonesian, Australian Aboriginal, Maori, Malaysian, Norse, Irish, Finnish, Aztec, Incan, Mayan, Hopi, Caddo, Menominee, Mi'kmaq, and Polynesian flood stories is true.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Don't upgrade to IE8 - at least if you're me

Well, not much blogging this week because I've spent a large part of it trying to get my internet browsers working again!

Here's a piece of advice for everyone - Don't upgrade to Internet Explorer 8!

The story starts with our hero deciding to remove ESRI's ArcGIS student version - only the uninstall function won't work because some of the files are corrupt so instead I have to do a manual delete since I can no longer find the disk to fix the files either. And that means using some registry cleaner tools to remove all the references to ArcGIS so my registry isn't filled with junk. And hey it is probably filled with junk anyway. So I did.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Days of infamy part 3.1

Parts 1 and 2 of this series of blog posts are worth reading first, to give you an idea what this is all about. The long and the short of it is this: I once argued with some maroon calling himself RedPill who claimed the 9/11 attacks were linked to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 - and both were part of US government conspiracies and allowed to happen. This is, to put it simply, bollocks.

By showing how the Pearl Harbor attack was more to do with intelligence (in the military information collection and analysis sense as well as the more literal sense) failures, I hope to illustrate that firstly there is no New World Order conspiracy dating back to the Second World War and second, to show that these enormous world changing events can happen without us being ready for them and without us expecting them - they're called surprises for a reason.

Friday, July 17, 2009

115th Skeptic's Circle up at Effort Sisyphus

The 115th meeting of the Skeptic's Circle is up over at Techskeptic's place so go on over and take your guided tour aboard the vessel Skeptica.

And he says some very nice things about yours truly. So of course I have no ulterior motive.

Check out the best from the skeptical blogoshpere from the last two weeks, pay close attention to the moving writings of the inhabitants of Sirius and the facilities of the Skeptica.

And don't forget to give a hearty congratulations to the captain of the Skeptica on the arrival of BabyTech.

Congrats to you and yours Tech - now the journey really begins!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blogging the Bible part 6

Getting to some of the good stuff now - get ready for Chapter 6 - The Flood. Wait, that's not right...

Men, we are told, began to increase in numbers on the earth. They even had daughters born to them. Which, if taken literally, makes things interesting. Verse 1 clearly states that daughters were born to men. So, apparently early man could become pregnant and give birth. Come on literalists, you are taking the Bible literally after all, aren't you? Bear in mind also the questions we had before - since Genesis refrains from mentioning daughters up until Naamah is mentioned in GEN 5:22, and makes a point of mentioning daughters being born here - who did the male descendants of Adam lay with and marry? Why make a point of mentioning daughters here but not elsewhere?

These daughters are all fine apparently, at least to the sons of God. Wait, who are these sons of God? Taken literally after all this means God had relations with at least one woman, right? Why aren't they mentioned until now? The first man was Adam, and he was made from dust wasn't he? And then subsequent men in the story are the sons of Adam and his sons etc. So, who are the sons of God? Anyway, these sons of God marry any of the daughters of men they choose to. It isn't clear here if these are forced marriages, but the implication is certainly that the sons of God get to marry who they want whether or not the women like it or desire it. I guess being the offspring of a deity has its benefits.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Days of infamy part 2

Part 1 of this series can be found here, and if you haven't read it yet you should before continuing here.

In this second part of the series we're going to look at the historic background to the attack on Pearl Harbor, stretching back to Japanese actions in the 1930s. This is an area that Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists mistakenly ignore. Most PCTs focus only on the year or two before the Japanese attack, because taking events in isolation like that it could be argued that the US was deliberately provoking the Japanese into a confrontation.

You just have to ignore the events of the previous 10 years to argue so.

Pay attention, here comes a history bit. For the sake of brevity this is a grossly oversimplified account, but there is plenty of easily accessible information out there if you're interested.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

For the love of dog, learn to drive!


I've been here for over 3 years now and after almost being killed on my bike by a stupid fat brain dead moron driving a car for the umpteenth time today there is something I want to get off my chest. You may very well be offended, it depends on how much you resemble these guys and whether or not you are a humourless git. If you actually do any of the things listed below on a regular basis - this post is aimed at you. If you don't, then read through safe in the knowledge that my considerable ire over this subject is not directed at you. And for the record, yes I know that most of this also happens in other countries but one would expect that in a country renowned for inventing the mass produced motor vehicle and for its reliance on it in all its guises people might actually be able to handle them with a degree of competence beyond "Is this here one of them there new fangled iron horses hyuk yuk?"

Americans (at least the 95% of you who this will apply to) - why the fuck can't you drive properly? Don't tell me it is just coincidence that there has only ever been one American born Formula 1 world champion (and that back in 1961) and that most NASCAR races involve corners all going in one direction! I mean, I took driving lessons for 6 months in the UK and then took a very strict driving test that involved performing a set number of a wide range of driving maneuvers within certain tolerances to get my license. Here, I drove round the block and took an easy written test. It doesn't matter what state that license plate says you are from, I can almost guarantee with a degree of certainty that rivals any psychic that at some point in the few minutes I share a portion of the road with you, you will try to kill me.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Days of infamy part 1

A few years ago I got in to an online argument about 9/11 conspiracy theories with someone calling himself RedPill, on the BBC's 606 football forums of all places. He was a hardcore proponent of the Loose Change view in particular. He also linked the events of 9/11 with the assassination of JFK and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor - all down to the New World Order of course. He very firmly believed that the events of 7 December 1941 were a precursor and inspiration to those of 11 September 2001. His belief was that both were perpetrated/ provoked by the US government or the mythical New World Order in order to allow the government to declare war. He believed he had all the evidence he needed. He believed he understood the history. He believed he knew how military operations were planned and how intelligence services and intelligence gathering worked.

He was wrong. Very wrong.

Blogging the Bible part 5

Thanks to spending far to much time than I care for on The Secret this past week part 5 in our exciting series is late. So sue me. Maybe we'll try for a double whammy today to get back on track.

Genesis, Chapter 5 - From Adam to Noah. And to be honest, there's not much to this one.

This is, as the first line says, the written account of Adam's line. So, when God created man he did so in the likeness of God, as we already know but the authors of Genesis apparently think they need to reiterate. He created male and female and called them both 'man'. Which is a little confusing, let's be honest. (GEN 5:1-2)

Now, Adam had been alive for 130 years. Yes, that's right, 130 years. Who needs modern medical science? Apparently lifespans dropped considerably as time went on and are only now recovering. And here's an interesting observation on this - the more religious society became after Adam and Eve, the lower lifespans got. Religious belief is lessening now and guess what? Lifespans are going up. Coincidence? You be the judge. Am I being facetious? You be the judge.