The BBC is reporting on a new report by the UK government on global warming. The image on the right illustrates the rather profound and devastating effect of global warming. This shit is real, folks! It is time for the Right Wing to pull their heads out of the sand on this issue. Bush is dangerously off-base on this issue. The whole Republican party is dangerously off-base on this issue. The economic pain associated with fixing this has to start right fucking now.
Month: January 2006
The Inventor of the Blog
The web log or “blog” was invented in February of 1996 by Michael Koppelman. Here is a link to the first blog post ever in the history of mankind.
That’s right, folks I invented the blog. I’ve just proven prior use and I’m coming to sue all you guys…
The Orion Nebula
I was doing what hardcore astronomers call “an engineering run” at my observatory last night, which means dinking around with screwdrivers and multimeters and such. I did get a chance to take some pictures, though. Check out this one of the Orion Nebula (also shown in the thumbnail to the right).
The Orion Nebula (or M42) is a large region of gas and dust where new stars are forming. It is very bright and can be seen with the naked eye. It is part of the sword of Orion’s belt.
Ender's Game Guy
Orson Scott Card has a rant against marriage. He’s the guy that wrote the book Ender’s Game, which is a great book. Now he wrote a piece on Intelligent Design and PZ gives him a spanking.
Reading this reminded me of something I heard lately, which is nothing new but I hadn’t heard it before. It was that evolution is a fact. Natural selection is a theory to explain the facts we see regarding evolution, but evolution is a fact.
Card, in his piece, basically acknowledges that evolution and even natural selection are at work but argues they are not the entire answer.
My reponse is my normal ol’ broken record response. There isn’t evidence of intelligent design. It’s a fantastically unsuccessful scientific theory. Most question whether you can validly consider it a scientific theory at all. When you are arguing with scientists about science, you can’t be light on the science part. The ID movement is virtually devoid of true scientific argument.
Freedom, speech, work and life
We should be able to separate the speech we make as individuals with our jobs at work. That is to say, as individuals, we should be able to engage in free speech without it effecting our employment. Specifically what I mean is, if I am a raging liberal, like myself, or a raging Republican, like some of you, it is my right to be vocal or active about my politics and I should not be subject to discrimination because of it. I’d expand this to include not just my politics but my religion, my hobbies or any other legal behavior I engage in. So if I’m gay, or a buddhist or belong to the Tax Payer’s League, I should be free to live my life.
Now if someone blogs about how their boss is stupid and the company they work for sucks and such, they need to know that what they are saying will be heard as if said, in person, to the boss. Word gets around, people Google and poof, a little rant on your blog is being discussed by the boss. So that’s just stupid.
But other examples are not. Being gay, for example, or an atheist or even, perhaps, a born again Christian. Being interested in Harleys or stamps or group sex should not be things, even if discoverable on the Internet, that influence your employment.
Yes, there are grey lines here. If an employee agrees to some code of conduct prior to accepting a job, an employer can reasonably expect them to uphold it. In most cases, there is no such pre-agreement.
As someone who is very opinionated, I expect some potential clients for my company may Google me and disagree with me when they find this site. That’s fine. If they choose not to work with us because of my views, they are idiots. I can easily separate my work from my life and I would never not work with a company because I disagreed with an individual’s politics or views.
I hope you agree.
The Right to Die Survives
The Washington Post reports that doctor assisted suicide has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Kennedy puts ex-AG Ashcroft firmly in his place:
The ruling was a reprimand to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, who in 2001 said that doctor-assisted suicide is not a “legitimate medical purpose” and that Oregon physicians would be punished for helping people die under the law.
Kennedy said the “authority claimed by the attorney general is both beyond his expertise and incongruous with the statutory purposes and design.”
I don’t understand why the Right wants to insure that the only way to end your life is with a shotgun or other violence. How is it your goddamn business? You want to insure that I suffer through the painful last years of my life as I die from an incurable disease? That is evil.
The Lolife Podcast No. 58
We should fillibuster Alito. Yes, he seems like a nice enough guy. The fact of the matter is, though, with Roberts and Alito both likely to lean towards the side of Scalia et al, we are fucked. We can’t let it happen. Unfortunately, fillibuster is the only tool in the toolbox. The Dems will be too cowardly to do it, is my guess, but they should. Look, you Right wing bastards, we gave you Roberts. We played nice. You owe us this one.
The Lolife Podcast No. 55, 56 and 57
Holy crap, I’m way behind again on posting my podcasts to the web site!
No. 55 Part 1: Slacker Astronomy Chit-Chat
No. 55 Part 2: Slacker Astronomy Chit-Chat
No. 56: Alito and Spousal Notification
No. 57: Secular and Religious Christmas
That’s NOT a misspelling of ASS. It’s the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington, DC, and it’s going on right now and I am lucky enough to be here.
Want updates? Check out Slacker Astronomy’s notes from the trenches. Lots of cool (and/or boring) astronomy stuff.
Second chord sounds in world's longest lasting concert
A new chord was scheduled to sound in the world’s slowest and longest lasting concert that is taking a total 639 years to perform.
That is brilliantly fucked up.