Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Of Guns and Skeptics

OK. Despite the specifics of the title, this is going to be a fairly wide ranging and rambling post (no sniggering at the back). I've been talking over at Bronze Dog's place about gun control and a couple of things struck me. That and my responses were about to exceed the Blogger comment limit and I thought "Hey if only I had a neglected and half-arsed space on the Internet where people could see my thoughts manifested as text on a computer screen." So I decided to do a blog post instead.

I apologise (especially to Bronze Dog) for initiating a game of blog tag.

And for those who have read my posts in the past, be warned. I treat unsupported or poorly presented gun control arguments with the same contempt I have for woo arguments. Just saying.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogging the Bible part 8

Well, after a short break it is back to the unfettered absurdities of the Bible!

Genesis, chapter 8.

For a much more detailed look at the absurdities of the flood story, check here.

So, here in verse 1 we have God remembering Noah and his Ark full of impossibilities. You have to admit, it was nice of him to remember. It had been forty days and nights after all. So, all those animals (and remember there is some confusion over just how many there are onboard) had to have food for 40 days and 40 nights. And there had to be food for Noah and his family too. That's a big ass ship.

So, God remembers and he sends a wind over the earth and the waters receded. Why send the wind? Does that blow the water away? Where does it blow it to? Where, precisely, does the water that covered the Earth go to? How did the Ark handle the wind?

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Big Meadows Trip

So, as you can tell we got back from the trip OK and there were no major dramas. Everyone had a good time and the Little Nippers and The Wife have enjoyed their first backpacking trip.

Did learn a few things and was reminded of some others though:
  1. I still pack too much food when backpacking.
  2. I need to work harder on travelling lighter.
  3. SteriPENs are not in the least bit reliable for backcountry work, but they sound great at first.
  4. Grand Pizza in Grand Lake, CO makes some of the best pizza I have ever tasted.
  5. And the beer is good.
  6. Don't pitch your tent across the slope, on even the mildest slope, if it can be avoided.
  7. Don't then sleep on the downhill side of the tent if you can't avoid it.
  8. Everyone rolls downhill when sleeping in a tent on a slight slope.
  9. Backpackers Pantry dried food is better than most Mountain House dried food.

To advertise or not?

So, I'm thinking about adding AdSense to the blog but I'm undecided.

Part of me wants to cost woos money by having their adverts on the blog and encouraging people to click on them. The rest of me doesn't want woo adverts on the blog but likes money. See the dilemma?

Would you click on an advert for a woo product just so you can cost them money? Is it ethical for a skeptical blog to allow adverts for woo products? Is it worth it? Should we start encouraging skeptics to click on these sites in order to cost companies selling woo money? Is it right for a skeptical blog to make money off woos? Is this even how AdSense works?

I'm full of questions today, but no answers. What do you chaps and chappesses think?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Days of infamy part 3.2

Earlier parts in this series can be found here, here and here.

In this part we're going to look at the actual attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and how that shows that there was no grand conspiracy to bring the USA into World War II by provoking a Japanese attack, specifically an attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor.

Again, I rely on Hughes-Wilson's book, my own knowledge and the Internet, particularly the Wikipedia page.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Some thoughts on atheism

I've mentioned my position on my particular brand of atheism before (here) and I've been ruminating on it again today and wanted to put something down before the blogging dries up for this week. This is an idea that is still not fully formed for me so I'd ask that you give some feedback on it and excuse the disjointed nature of this post as well.

As I stated in my earlier post I think that there is no more reason to believe in gods than there is to believe in Sauron or Badger, Toad, Ratty and Mole. That's the reason why I say I think I know there are no gods - since there is no evidence for the existence of gods that can be scientifically verified or tested, or that is independent of the myths in which they appear I think that there are no gods just like I think that there are no Blue Meanies.

Blogging slowdown

Just a housekeeping notice to let my hoards of faithful readers (all six of you) know that there'll be a slowdown in my obviously prolific blogging for the next week or so - meatspace is interfering with blogging!

I haven't forgotten I have to hurry up and get to the point with my series on Pearl Harbor, and there's plenty of Bible left to blog, and I have a couple of other ideas I'm working on - but the next 10 days might be a bit sparse - taking the kids and wifey camping next week too, first time for all of them so I'll be without internet access obviously!

If you're interested, check out Google Earth - we'll be here on the 8th and 9th:
40 18 37.72 N 105 48 30 W

That little copse of trees is the group spot for Big Meadows campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park - and it is freaking awesome up there. Of course it's going to rain the whole time and I'm taking two handy bear size snacks with me, but it should be fun.

Anyway, don't mess the place up while I'm gone.