the fortune cookie fortune I got today, and several more in the same vein that I think would be especially funny

Friday, 30 March 2007
  1. All men should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.
  2. Look behind you.
  3. They are on to you.
  4. Watch out for men in dark sunglasses.
  5. Avoid Main Street at 3:15 PM tomorrow.
  6. DO NOT drink the coffee.
  7. You will soon receive a nondescript package.  Listen for ticking before you open it.
  8. It might be a good idea to hire a bodyguard for the next few weeks.
  9. Nothing ever seems suspicious right before an assassination.
  10. Even in today’s world, it is still possible to disappear without a trace.

the expanded post-Commencement ’06 Eph encounter list

Friday, 30 March 2007
  1. Marcus
  2. Mary Beth, Lisa, Alden
  3. Tyler
  4. Dave, Erika
  5. Lisa

possible final five Cylons

Thursday, 22 March 2007

I choose those characters who seem to have premonitions/visions/destinies.

  1. Kara Thrace, because of her “destiny.”  And stupid end.  Obviously.
  2. Galen Tyrol, because he seems to have some strong ties to the Temple of Five and has his own sense of “destiny.”
  3. Laura Roslin, because she also has some air of the supernatural about her, especially the visions from season 1–though I think she is probably not a Cylon because that would be way too contrived.
  4. Gaius Baltar, because of his projection ability.  However, this is what Baltar wants to be true…so it probably isn’t.  Though that leaves the “projection” mechanism unexplained.

…and these are probably safe from being Cylons:

  1.  William and Lee Adama, because the series revolves around “the family Adama” (in Ron Moore’s words).  In addition, these two are pretty well established as a biological father-son pair.
  2. Karl Agathon, because though he meets the “destiny” criterion, Cylons can’t reproduce.
  3. Ellen Tigh, because although she began with suspicious motives, many of her motivations were revealed in “Exodus, Pt. 1” and they seem essentially un-Cylon.
  4. Tom Zarek, because that would just be too obvious.

the thing I made…I guess it’s a sort of Indian-style dirty rice thing (but, yes, it has cows in it)

Monday, 19 March 2007
  1. Basmati rice
  2. Raisins
  3. Carrots, shaved into little bits
  4. Garam masala, turmeric, basil

Make rice, put the rest in to taste as it cooks. (I like more garam masala than turmeric than basil, with lots of raisins and about two or three carrots worth of carrot shavings.)

  1. Ground beef, approx. 1 lb
  2. Beans, approx. 1 can
  3. Pine nuts
  4. Sesame seeds
  5. The same spices as above

Brown beef in a pan, then drain the beans and them in. Throw in other stuff to taste. I like lots of sesame seeds.

Combine both, mix them up, and simmer for a couple minutes.


reasons why I find Intelligent Design Creationism reprehensible

Sunday, 18 March 2007
  • Scientific:
    • IDC is not based on supporting empirical or theoretical evidence. It’s a theory based on a belief, and evidence has been found (and twisted) to fit the theory rather than the theory being modified to explain the evidence in a truly scientific manner.
  • Philosophical:
    • At the heart of the theory of IDC is the idea that when something cannot be satisfactorily explained (yet), we should give up scientific inquiry. When the going gets tough, turn off your brain, invoke a higher power, and go home.
  • Logical:
    • IDC suffers from a failure of induction–the incidence of complex or complicated things (even if they seem to serve specific purposes) cannot be generalized to imply the existence of an intelligent designer. Randomly generated fractals can meet all our criteria for beauty and be hung next to great works of art, but they did not necessarily involve an artist. A thousand monkeys in a room with typewriters will eventually churn out Shakespearean sonnets, by sheer probability rather than writing skill and intellect. Random processes can be used to develop some mechanisms with gears and cogs that fit together perfectly, but without mechanical design.
    • IDC suffers from a failure of recursion–if we were designed by something intelligent, then that something must necessarily be pretty darned complicated. (Especially if that something is the God that is beyond human comprehension.) By IDC, since the designer is complex, that implies that there must exist a designer who designed the designer. Furthermore, that designer must needs be even more complex, so by IDC, it must have been designed by something else. Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum.
  • Engineering:
    • A better name for the theory of IDC might be “unintelligent design.” The human eye, though each part serves a specific purpose, suffers from spherical aberration and partial blindness. Any optical engineer worth his salt wouldn’t dream of using a spherical base for a CCD, and he or she certainly wouldn’t cut a hole in the middle of the chip to run wires through. Humans also have useless organs, like the appendix–for what reason did the designer include something that does nothing but get infected and endanger lives? In a similar vein, there are many instances of extinct life on the planet. Why doesn’t this intelligent designer build failure tolerances into its work? I contend that the designer is not very good at its job.
    • Engineers, the very definition of “intelligent designers,” have begun using evolution itself as a design tool. In some cases, they have found evolution to be a superior tool to guided design. Why would an intelligent designer creating the universe settle for anything less than the best design tools available?
  • Moral:
    • The main purpose of IDC is to provide “scientific” trappings for a belief-based “theory” that IDC proponents have, for whatever reason (I suspect PR), decided to hide. It is an attempt to put a scientific theory and a religiously-inspired belief on the same playing field–one which they should not share. Deception is at the heart of IDC. Yes, some apparently atheistic scientists have espoused IDC–the reason escapes me, but even in their arguments, the inherent “unscientificness” of the theory shows through. They too are trying to provide a scientific veneer for a belief, though perhaps their peculiar belief is not rooted in Genesis.

(Thank you to Nicole for suggesting that the word “Creationism” be properly appended to “Intelligent Design.”  Just one little way to confront that last point…)


where did they go

Monday, 12 March 2007
  1. Summer
  2. Frisbees
  3. Cinnamon buns
  4. Woodsom
  5. Cribbage
  6. Walden
  7. Bocce balls
  8. Boggle
  9. Driscoll
  10. Snack bar smoothies

ironies

Wednesday, 7 March 2007
  • The Republicans are now in the Democrats’ 2004 position. “Anyone but Bush” has become “Anyone but Hillary.” (For the sake of the country, I hope the GOP is just as successful.)
  • The best way to avoid seeing commercials for cable television is not to buy cable television.
  • One of the best counterexamples to the “starve the beast” theory of limiting national money-spending is G. W. Bush.
  • Rocket scientists can have some of the most amazing lapses in common sense.