Your next bright idea


Philips announced a new bulb today that claims it won’t bother you like other green lights that don’t give off the same warm glow as old incandescents.

The fact is, though, that we need to retire old bulbs, and if you haven’t started using greener bulbs, I hope you do soon. From the announcement:

12 watt EnduraLED light bulb, the industry’s first LED replacement for a 60 watt incandescent light bulb. Shown for the first time here at the Lightfair International tradeshow, it marks an important breakthrough in the use of LED lighting technology in everyday applications.  Consumers will now have an LED alternative to the most commonly used incandescent bulb, which will deliver up to 80% energy savings and last 25 times longer than its century-old predecessor.

Not news but worth spreading … Intelligent Design: Scientifically and Religiously Bankrupt

As if any of you were sitting on your hands waiting for the results, but Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. published a piece in HuffPo (of all places) about hammering the last (and final to the tenth power) nail in Intelligent Design’s coffin. You can read the article here.

Why are there still people who are confused about how unintelligent the idea of Intelligent Design is?

The supposed nail in the coffin comes from University of California-Irvine biologist John Avise. From the article:

The latest attack appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) and provides conclusive evidence that the design of the human genome is incredibly imperfect, or, in other words, very far from being intelligently structured …

[Avise’s] focus “is on a relatively neglected category of argument against ID and in favor of evolution: the argument from imperfection, as applied to the human genome.”

I’m not sure this has been neglected. It’s been one of the major criticisms of ID for some time.

More from the article (emphasis mine):

Not surprisingly, Darwin had something to say about this anti-intellectual position as well. In The Descent of Man, Darwin wrote, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

In calling for enhanced science literacy, most major scientific organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences (in the US) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have made it clear that ID has no scientific underpinnings and that promoting it so blurs the line between science and non-science as to make the former almost meaningless.

Religious organizations have also recognized the paucity of intellectual content embodied in ID — and the damage that it can do to religion as well as science. The United Methodist Church, for example, at its 2008 General Conference, resoundingly adopted the following motion: “The United Methodist Church goes on record as opposing the introduction of any faith-based theories such as Creationism or Intelligent Design into the science curriculum of our public schools.”

For religion to accept the concept of intelligent design would mean embracing the concept of the “God of the Gaps,” a religiously vacuous idea in which adherents turn to God for an explanation for that which science cannot explain. As science advances, the “gaps” become smaller and smaller and God is relegated to a progressively less interesting role.

From both a scientific and a religious perspective, intelligent design is dead and buried. All that’s left is to spread the word about its demise.

So spread the word, dear readers.

Science Friction, Creationism in the classroom Circa 1996

What’s scary about this video is how similar I used to be to these students. Oh, to go back and get some actual science training rather than the loads of ignorant bullshit I was fed as a teen.

The payoff is tenfold at the very end of the video. It’s a must watch.

You can cut through the ignorance and irony with a spoon.

Dayton, Tennessee – Clip from the BBC1 documentary ‘Science Friction: Creation’ circa 1996

In case you were confused … this is what a terrorist looks like …

It looks like a white, bald politician from Florida, that’s what one looks like.

From CBS News:

Dan Fanelli, a Florida Republican hoping to emerge from a competitive Republican primary field to challenge Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, has released an ad in which he appears to argue that the United States should engage in racial profiling to fight terror.

“Does this look like a terrorist?” he asks in the spot, pointing at a white-haired white man in a tie. Then a darker-skinned man in a black t-shirt enters the frame as Fanelli asks, “or this?”

“It’s time to stop this political correctness and the invasion of our privacy,” he says. He then goes on to make an apparent joke about how he wouldn’t mind being pulled out of line at the airport if “a good looking, ripped guy without much hair was flying airplanes into the twin towers.”

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, who first flagged the spot, interviewed Fanelli about it. The candidate, a pilot, insisted the spot wasn’t intended to suggest that people with darker skin are more likely to be terrorists. The point, he said, was that people from countries like Iran and Iraq require more security.

Somewhat reposted from Cynical C

What’s on second? I can’t understand who’s on freaking first

Yesterday I came across a video at Cynical-C that I understood to be in Dutch. It was this one here:

You remember the one … a drunk Canadian stumbles out of a honey wagon, goes to wash his hands only to mistaken a urinal cake for soap and foamy yellow piss for clean water … all of this was witnessed on camera by a homely Dutch broad blabbing Dutch poetic about piss buckets.

Not only was the reporter in the video representing a Dutch radio station (Haarlem 105), the site I found the video claimed it was a Dutch reporter.

I got the bright idea … “Hey, I have Dutch contacts. My Dad grew up in Holland. I’m friends with my Dutch family on Facebook. I’m friends with people who either live there now, lived there for long periods or know someone who does (Wendy Rae, Petursey, Vihz Net) … what a perfect opportunity to find out what this woman is talking about!”

I posted the video to facebook, and you could hear my deflated honk for miles.

My family claimed it was German while others all supported that it was Dutch.

You know when it comes down to it, I don’t care that people screwed up. People make mistakes. I don’t care that my Dad’s older brother is in Holland right now and his wife responded on facebook telling me, “Your Uncle and I are here in Holland right now and he said it was German.”

Nor do I care that another aunt and my Dad said it was German despite Petursey’s response in Dutch that it was Dutch.

All I care about is that I feel I can establish a point. The point is part group dynamics, part psychology, part stubbornonity (word I totally made up).

People can feel so sure that they know something that they hold their fist in the air and say, “TRUTH!!!” They will be bound by like-mindedness. They will claim they know the language. They will purportedly claim — despite all the evidence to the contrary — that they are correct.

It happens all the time. Why is it that some people think they are exempt from making mistakes?

Just yesterday, I turned to Tina and I said, “Hey, you know how I swore up and down I was right about that thing … I was wrong. I’m sorry I put you through that stubbornonity and I’m sorry for being a jerk.”

She punched me in the arm and said, “Punch buggy red. I forgive you.”

Say you’re a Muslim, and you speak Arabic … you could know beyond a shadow of a doubt what you think that you know what Mohammed meant in that one part of that holy book … but maybe, just maybe, the whole lot of them is wrong about the whole thing. And they’re all wrong at the same time, and maybe you shouldn’t get upset by people drawing pictures of the prophet.

Or take for instance my college girlfriend. She was a yankee stuck in North Carolina. In certain situations, she needed me to translate southern dialects, because she couldn’t understand drawl to save her life. She spoke “English” but language has a way of confusing even the brightest among us.

Just tonight, Tina and I watched “44-inch Chest.” It’s a British movie with a lot of mumbling, homeboy Brit vernacular with uber crass language. Tina said several times, “I can’t understand a word they’re saying. I need subtitles.” Several times, I paused it, and kind of translated, but I needed a little help too.

Hey! I’m talking to you, whatever it is you believe or don’t believe, there’s a chance that the things you think you know … even though you know the language, even though you know the history and all kinds of information … you might be wrong. You could be really smart, you could have read a LOT of books, but you are probably wrong about the thing you’re sure about.

I’m not picking on one group. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists … all of you … you’re probably wrong about a lot … so stop acting like you’ve got the all access pass to the men’s toilet area at an outdoor festival where men wash their hands in foamy, yellow piss.