Deputies don't believe a crime occurred because bestiality is not illegal in Washington state and the horse was uninjured, said Urquhart.
But because investigators found chickens, goats and sheep on the property, they are looking into whether animal cruelty — which is a crime — was committed by having sex with these smaller, weaker animals, he said.
I nearly choked to death on a bite of pizza when I read this.
...to increase your risk of medical complications.
Recently I posted an entry about how stupid I thought it was that the US government was throwing millions of dollars into research regarding the medical effects of prayer.
Well I followed up a bit on my earlier post and looked for articles regarding the results of the study and I found something unexpected and kind of funny. As the Globe and Mail put it:
In the largest scientific test of its kind, heart surgery patients showed no benefit when strangers prayed for their recovery.
And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.
The first part I completely expected. The second part is, in my opinion, awesome.
Why, you might ask, do I think it's awesome that the study found that prayer might actually lead to one having worse results? Well, because it serves as a nice "fuck you" to all those people who push stupid, and potentially harmful ideas, such as faith healing. Now if only someone would lay the scientific smack down on people, such as Lorraine Day, who suggest that people give up their chemotherapy and drink tea made of glorified lawn clippings to cure their cancer.
"I think it speaks to the high level of science we teach in our schools...I'm just proud of our students and all their grades. It just goes to show that teachers are doing a great job, and they have a lot of parent support."
Floyd must be suffering from a serious case of the Lowered Expectations.
Today I took a moment from my day to listen to Iris Evans' announcement about health care policy. On this forum I'm not going to go into what I thought about the Klein government's health policy. I just wanted to comment on Iris Evans herself.
More particularly I wanted to comment on one thing she said.
I can't remember the context right now but for some reason she noted that her "favorite" aspect of the Albertan medical system was children's mental health (her exact words were "...and my favorite, children's mental health". Children's mental health is her "favorite"? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
How does one come to love mental health care for kids? Iris Evans is a strange, strange lady.
I just got back my first acceptance letter for a PhD program. The University of Cincinnati's philosophy program has decided that they would be willing to let me study there for a doctorate. Chumps! Anyways, it's time for celebration. WOOOHOOOOO!!!!
This is totally sweet. UC has a program which will allow me to cross train in the sciences, has people who work in phil of bio, phil of neuroscience, and environmental philosophy. So much goodness. If they offer me enough money I can go there and continue working on the neuro-stuff that I worked on in my undergraduate as well as the philosophy stuff that I have come to love. Feel so much excitement, need to run around and yell.....
P.S. It just occurs to me that if I go to Cincinnati, I'll get an opportunity to hang out with one of my favorite bloggers, Rob Skipper.
It seems that I can recognize most of the noteworthy buildings in the world:
Expert You scored 89% Recognition!
It looks like we have quite the expert here...you must have a lot of world knowledge or perhaps have travelled a fair bit. Very impressive! Since you recognized nearly every place, I trust you enjoyed the sites. Here is a shot of one of my favourites - the Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary. If you had fun, please rate my test!
My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
With your moderate computer knowlege, super manly body, and overall good stamina, you have been branded with the horrible moniker "smart-jock". You are, of course, an awesome person, there's just no other way to describe you. Go have a huge breakfast, chop down a forest, then go home and check your e-mail.
My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
Written by Jodi Mohrmann WCSC-TV Police in Charleston say a naked man exposed himself to his neighbor, then later attacked officers with nunchucks.
Police say 49-year-old Rudolph Claude Smith went next door to his neighbor's house to borrow some oil for a workout. While he was in the neighbor's home, police say Smith took off his clothes and asked the neighbor to "oil him up."
According to a police report, Smith attacked officers with nunchucks when they came to his home to make an arrest. They also say the oil made it hard for them to get a good grip on him.
He's now in jail awaiting a bond hearing.
Next time I'm naked and oily the cops better watch their asses. Errr.... That came out wrong....
How to be seriously bad-ass: Get a Fucking Haircut You Hippy Edition.
It strikes me that it's been nearly a week since my last post about how to be seriously bad-ass. That being the case I better put up another entry before you guys all become pussies and force me to punch you in the throat. So this time the topic we're discussing is haircuts. There are only two acceptable haircuts for a person (male or female) that is truly bad-ass. The first is the shaved head:
The other one is the cowboy hat:
I'm so bad-ass I scare myself
Nothing else is acceptable for the person who is serious about being seriously bad-ass. Here's a quick little primer for you all:
Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!
My life is a dark abyss....
It's time to switch to whiskey, we've been drinkin' beer all night.
Do you want to hear my poem?
Bad-ass: Just click on the picture and watch the video.
In the last few years there have been droves of ultra-religious wackos wandering talking about proofs of the existence of religious deities. They jibber-jabber about things like "irreducible complexity", statues that drink milk, and appearances of knocked-up virgins on grilled cheese sandwiches. All I have to say is: hogwash!
That's right bacon that you should be eating. If that isn't a sign of God then I don't know what is. Now I know that miracles can and do happen. Who would have thought that you can throw in a gene or two from C. elegans, a lowly worm, into the tastiest animal in the universe and get bacon that's chock full of omega-3 fatty acids. Not me.
Today is the day for funny videos. Anyone who has been reading my blog posts for any substantial length of time knows that I hate emo and all things emoesque (with the exception of The Weakerthans, they have some fairly emo moments but they're good enough that I can ignore when they get a little whiny). So you can imagine my delight when I found this video:
What do you get when you give geologists guitars and have them play some of the best old school East Coast hardcore punk rock? You get Knucklehead. Not only do these guys rock, they know about rocks (sorry, I couldn't fight the urge to include that stupid pun). There's not really all that much to say about them. They're super nice guys, play really good punk rock music, and if you don't listen to them then it's you who is missing out. So take a journey over to their MySpace site and give them a listen.
I was digging through various people's blog rolls and I came across my newest blog hero, The Gay Black Jew. Someone who's a minority triple threat and in the US? They must be badest ass ever (unless there happens to be a gay black jew who lives in Iran, that person would be the bades ass ever). Yet, The Gay Black Jew is even more impressive. For example, consider his post titled: Terrorist Trades Promise of 72 Virgins For Reality of One Filthy Whore. You know a post is going to be worth a laugh when the editor's note is as follows:
Editor's Note: The Gay Black Jew believes that terrorism should be fought with boobies, not bombs. We make great bombs and we like to show them off to the world, but one of our best strategic resources--nice, big tits--is not being utilized to protect the American people. Write your senator today! Tell them to bring the troops home and send in some strippers! Ask them why we aren't air-dropping crates in Afghanistan with Astro-glide and pictures of naked Arabic. That's what The Gay Black Jew would do.
UPDATE: I've discovered that The Gay Black Jew isn't gay, black, or Jewish but, that said, he's still really, really funny!
For those of you who has the same love of philosophy and science that I do, here's an interview with Dan Dennett. While I don't think Dennett is right about all of his views, especially those within the philosophy of biology, he's definitely one of the brightest contemporary philosophers. So without further ado:
As if there wasn't enough cause to dislike Britney Spears and everything that she stands for, there's now another reason to want to slap Mrs. Federline upside the head. I have no idea how Digby found this out but it seems that Ms. Spears is now the model for the world's first monument for the anti-abortion crowd.
To be completely fair to Britney Spears, it doesn't seem that she had the work commissioned or even actually posed for it. However, I still hate her and she stands for something else that I can't abide by. Damn you Britney Spears!
I just read an article that is another piece of evidence that if the purveyors of "traditional values" (such as homophobia, theocracy, women as incubators that can cook, and ignorance) become any more dominant in political discourse then we're doomed to another dark age.
Here are a few snippets of the article from the Arkansas Times:
He responded with an e-mail. Teachers at his facility (ed: a science education institution that serves several Arkansas public school districts) are forbidden to use the “e-word” (evolution) with the kids. They are permitted to use the word “adaptation” but only to refer to a current characteristic of an organism, not as a product of evolutionary change via natural selection. They cannot even use the term “natural selection.” Bob feared that not being able to use evolutionary terms and ideas to answer his students’ questions would lead to reinforcement of their misconceptions.
But Bob’s personal issue was more specific, and the prohibition more insidious. In his words, “I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD ... but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old.”
What's next will teachers not be allowed to include the words "spherical" and "Earth" in the same sentence without using "is not" as a modifier?
It's ridiculous that in the twenty-first century people in the world's greatest power are trying to get everyone to adopt sixth century thinking. People, especially the Christian right, often suggest that Muslim extremistism should be rejected because of their attempts to embody an anachronistic ideal.
I would argue that Evangelicals are exactly the same.
Everybody, it is time to bow down and worship the geniuses at the Hasbro toy design department. They have made the ultimate breakthrough in geekiness. They have combined what are arguably the two geekiest franchise to develop what might be the geekiest toy ever! What do you get when you combine Star Wars with Transformers? You get awesome! So very awesome!
The only thing better would be a Star Wars/G.I. Joe/Transformers triple changer.... That would be indisputably the geekiest toy of all time. Especially if also had a lightsabre that came out of its ass.
Did you say a play about the best puppet death scenes?
It just might be the case that the best piece of dramatic theatre might be in Calgary right now as I'm typing this! It's a puppet show that is nothing but a collection of all the best death scenes from other (imaginary) puppet shows. I don't know about you guys but all I have to say is fuck yeah! The show's appropriately titled, FAMOUS PUPPET DEATH SCENES, and will be at One Yellow Rabbit Theatre. It should be full of sweet macabre humour.
If you don't go you seriously suck hairy donkey testicles and I'm never talking to you again.
I just read that Jello Biafra's coming to Calgary on April 10th! Hells yeah! I've seen him speak twice but that was before the war in Iraq (indeed, if I remember correctly it was even before the election of Dubya). It should be a great show! Here's a preview for those of you who might be interested in going:
How to be seriously bad-ass: Sleeveless Hoody Edition.
A couple weeks ago, I posted an entry on my other blog, Capitalist Pig vs Socialist Swine, that said I wanted to blog about my other interests besides politics. These included my favorite hobby, being seriously bad-ass. So I've decided that I'm going to have a weekly column on Tower of Babble about how to be as bad-ass as you can be. That way other people can join me in pursuing what might be the funnest hobby in the whole damn universe. So without further ado. Here's how you can become as bad-ass as I am.
The first thing about being bad-ass that one has to learn about is having bad-ass fashion sense. This is for two reasons. First, there's no point in being bad-ass if no one else realizes that you're bad-ass. So to make sure that everyone know's you're way more bad-ass than they are, you have to look bad-ass. You ask: How does one look bad-ass? Well, like they say the clothes make the (wo)man. So to look bad-ass you have to start by dressing bad-ass.
The second reason I'm starting with bad-ass fashion sense, is that fashion is easy, anyone can learn how to dress bad-ass. It's just about having the right elements to put together a truly bad-ass outfit. For example, every bad-ass has to have a sleeveless hoody. Preferably a black sleeveless hoody with a skull on it. Because sleeves are for pussies and everyone knows that skulls and black are bad-ass. A good example of a really bad-ass sleeveless hoody is being modeled by yours truly below:
Doesn't that just scream BAD-ASS!!!! Just look how that hoody brings out my inner machoness. If I was any more macho in that hoody I'd be Chuck fuckin' Norris. Goddamn, if I was a toothless trucker chick I'd be all over me in that fine hoody like a greasy overweight man on a meatball sub with extra cheese.
See without sleeves, you can show the world you muscles and tattoos (preferably tattoos of half-man/half-bird hybrids holding swords looking all intense). You really can't find a shirt that makes you look more bad-ass than a black sleeveless hoody with a skull on it. Well, okay there's one more bad ass looking shirt, that's a black sleeveless hoody with a skull in it in the dark:
Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.
At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.
Later in the article there is discussion of earlier longitudinal studies regarding correlations between personality characteristics and political inclinations. Here's what it says:
Similar work by John T. Jost of Stanford and colleagues in 2003 drew a political backlash. The researchers reviewed 44 years worth of studies into the psychology of conservatism, and concluded that people who are dogmatic, fearful, intolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and who crave order and structure are more likely to gravitate to conservatism.
You know, I can't say that I'm entirely surprised. Though, I can say that I'm laughing my ass off at all my conservative friends out there.
Did you say that Starbucks is socially responsible?!?
For those of you who know me, you know that there are two fundamental truths about my existence. First I love coffee. While I've given up all my other vices I still am an unabashed caffeine addict. Indeed, there are days where I drink upwards to six cups of coffee...for breakfast (such as when I was in Italy and had access to some of the tastiest coffee in the world, I think I was up to at least a dozen cups of espresso a day, and I didn't drink them in those little shot glasses, I was having big mugs of espresso whenever and where ever I could find it). The second fundamental truth of my existence is that I hate Starbucks with a passion. I've been known to refuse to talk to people simply because I saw them with a Starbucks cup once. It always struck me that Starbucks was one of those evil corporations out to take over the world and turn everyone into robots with mermaid logos.
That and I always had assumed that, given their size and their apparent similarity to other large fast food franchises such as McDonalds, they single handedly kept down the coffee growers in Central and South America. Indeed, I had always thought that when you buy a venti machiato not only were you being a pretentious prick but you were aiding in keeping the developed world impoverished by aiding a multinational corporations exploitation of the poor.
However, according to CBC Radio's The Current I might be wrong. Apparently, Starbucks does fairly well (relative to other large coffee franchises) in terms of being socially responsible. While drinking Starbucks' coffee still makes you a pompous asshole, I guess they try to buy fair trade beans and actually donate quite a bit to various social projects (at least according to Starbucks' own reports and the various social scientist types that were on this morning's show).
What was more surprising is that icon of Canadian caffeinaholism Tim Hortons (aka Timmy Ho's) is an evil poor folk exploiting coffee cartel. While Starbucks ranked a B- for their social responsibility Timmy's only got an E-. This seems so very wrong. I always thought that drinking Timmy Ho's (while indicative of a lack of true coffee appreciation) wasn't the kind of evil act that drinking Starbucks' was. It saddens me that I'm wrong.
Though, that said, I guess I don't really ever go to Timmy Ho's all that often. I think I might have been there perhaps three times in the last five years (and that was because I wanted their donuts rather than their coffee). I guess I'm safe sticking to the small independently owned java joints that I frequent such as Weeds, Higher Ground, and the Hop in Brew. As far as I know all these places not only sling fair trade coffee exclusively but also have a more interesting clientele. I mean you're not going to walk into a Starbucks or a Timmy Ho's and find a chess tournament in action or be able to join into a conversation about merits and failings of the various proposed foreign policies of the three major Canadian federal parties.
That and Starbucks is always full of those shiny people to groom too much. Anyone who puts that much attention in appearing nice to go drink coffee has to be hiding something.
Consigliere noted, as a response to my previous post regarding new evidence suggesting the veracity of inflationary theory, that the National Geographic article didn't go into detail as to how the microwave evidence supports the theories of people like Alan Guth. So I decided to take a look at NASA's site and see if I could find the original report. I managed to do so. If you would like to read what NASA has to say about what the WMAP results suggest about inflationary theory follow the link here (you'll need Adobe to read it).
As for what this paper actually says, you'll have to ask someone else. I know absolutely nothing about physics and very little about astronomy so much of what's written in the paper might as well be in Greek. I'll check some physics blogs and see if anyone there talks about this story.
It was just pointed out to me that I had inadvertantly made everything purply pink on this site. I had thought it was blue. It has now been fixed. Stupid purply pink, I swear that colour was designed to screw with colour blind guys.
Twenty five years ago Alan Guth first suggested the idea of an inflationary universe to explain the universe's general flatness, homogeneity, and lack of topological defects (what these things really mean, I'm not sure, I have only the most rudimentary understanding of cosmology). Guth's original theory was, by his own admission, flawed but it has since been modified by people such as Andre Linde, Andreas Albrecht, and Paul Steinhardt to provide one of the most cogent conjectures regarding how the universe formed to have its current properties. However, until recently there was little evidential proof for Inflationary Theories veracity. Apparently that has changed. According to the National Geographic:
WMAP now has the most convincing evidence yet for inflation: a reading of the light released just after the big bang. This cosmic afterglow, known as microwave background, is made of a similar type of radiation to that which carries signals to a TV antenna.
The afterglow is as valuable to a cosmologist as the earliest fossils are to a paleontologist. It is the oldest radiation ever detected, still traveling almost 14 billion years after it was emitted.
See what can happen when you take the time to consider possible natural explanations for phenomena instead of screaming "irreducible complexity" and suggesting that an intelligent supernatural force is required to explain the universe. You might actually learn something.
An Ipsos-Reid poll that's actually worth reading....
Now I don't want to denigrate the good people at Ipsos-Reid. I think that their public opinion polls regarding politics are a great tool for anyone who comments on the political happenings in Canada. Indeed, many of my posts about the recent federal election were to some degree informed by the numbers provided by Ipsos-Reid. That said, many of their polls are rather dull about such relatively unsexy topics such as support for political parties, support for various political leaders, and voting intent.
However, today I found a Ipsos-Reid poll about the sexiest topic of all, sex. Though apparently, according to the poll, Canadians aren't particularly sexy, at least not those past 40. According to the poll:
Canadians between 40 and 64 dedicate an average of just 15 minutes a day to sex and romance.
Among the survey's highlights:
* 40 per cent of boomers said they don't have enough time for more sex; * 58 per cent said they are too tired; and * 42 per cent said they are too stressed out to spend more time getting frisky between the sheets.
It seems that while Dr. Evil failed at stealing Austin Powers' mojo he might have succeeded in steal the collective mojo of middle aged Canadians. Fifteen minutes a day? Weak....
Tonight I had quite a fun evening hanging out with a bunch some rather hard core downhill mountain bikers. These are folks who live for a sport that quite regularly leads to multiple compound fractures. So it really doesn't need to be said that a night hanging out with them is generally fairly interesting and more often than not quite fun-filled. However, that said, despite their death defying lifestyle the thing that I think is perhaps most interesting about them is their use of language. Here are a few of the more amusing examples:
Mullette (moo-LAY) n. 1. A hairstyle similar to the mullet or ape drape but which is carefully groomed to appear European, or to be more particular French. Also known as a euromullet.
2. A large bald Newfoundlander.
Greable (GREE-bull) n. 1. A child who has been playing in a sandbox and drinking juice sloppily and as such has a face covered in semi-congealed juice mixed with sand, dust, and dirt.
2. Someone with poor personal hygiene or otherwise lacking in interpersonal skills.
3. People who wear sleeveless hooded sweat-shirts, are unshaven, and have moustaches.
I thought that for a good first substantial post on this new foray into the wilderness of the internets I would turn to a carnival being hosted on one of my favorite sites, Buridan's Ass. To be a little less vague, Buridan is putting together a link collection for the God or Not blog carnival focusing around the topic of the problem of evil.
Now I must first admit that I'm not a theologian, it's pretty difficult to be a good theologian when one's an unabashed heathen. Indeed, I'm even particularly well versed in the philosophy of religion (which one can succeed at despite a predisposition towards atheism). That said, I have had the pleasure in my life of knowing some very interesting people who were theologians and/or philosophers of religion whom I have had at least one or two conversations with about the issue. That and I'm fairly familiar with the history of logic, which oddly enough has many intersections with religion. So I thought I might take a stab (albeit probably a rather weak one) at this topic. So without further ado, here we go:
Now, it strikes that evil simpliciter isn't really that much of an issue for the religious type folk who believe that we're all watched over by a deity that is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, and allows evil to occur. There are some fairly easy outs for them. They can argue that evil is the result of freewill which is a greater good that offsets the evil or they could argue that some evil in the world serves to bring out the best in us, which too is a perhaps a greater good to offset the bad.
So I don't think that the interesting debate is about how theologically minded types can account for evil, it seems that they can, what I think they might have a greater problem with is, to paraphrase the words of some smart person (the identity of whom I forget at the moment), is how much evil is in the world. Or perhaps, to be more accurate, not evil as in intentionally malevolent acts by agents, but random nasty in nature.
When you consider things like plagues, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, hurricanes, wild animal attacks, cancer, roof collapses, land-slides, schizophrenia, nuclear meltdowns, drought, famine, floods, blizzards, ice storms, and erectile dysfunction it really does seem like God has it out against us. These are things that aren't the result of human actions and as such aren't the result of free will. Moreover, these things might in moderate doses provide opportunities for people to shine but they happen with such regularity that, at least as far as it strikes me, we've been more than tested. Indeed, if I were to believe in an omnipotent deity, from all the nasty random things that happen to people who surely don't deserve it, I would be forced to conclude that such a deity didn't like us very much and was doing the most it could to keep us down.
Now granted this isn't a sophisticated argument by any means, nor is it one that is unquestionably convincing. Yet, I would contend that given that it is the pro-religious folk that are trying to expand our ontology, the onus is upon them to argue for the existence of a god that has the properties they claim it has. As such, I would be quite interested in hearing their explanation of how or why an omnibenevolent omnimax God allows such terrible things to happen to his "children".