Stuff

Random stuff found while procrastinating :P

Posts Tagged ‘Palin

A bunch of interesting reading

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Sorry for a bit of delay between posts.  Have been too busy with study/work/touch football (I have 4 nights of touch this week :/).

Anyway here are the favourite things I’ve read lately;

Christopher Hitchens rightly has a massive swing at the Republican’s strong anti-science platform.  Anti-science seems to be all the rage these days.  In fact just recently the Tasmanian Premier, David Bartlett dismissed what actually amounts to over 400 peer reviewed scientific journal articles that show that logging forests reduces their carbon carrying capacity as “bullshit.”  In doing so he ensured that I will never vote for him any higher than just above the religious political parties.  It’s also interesting to note Bartlett’s view that emissions from forestry are not a big deal because they represent such a small portion of global emissions.  The same can be said for every single persons individual emmisions, all of us make an almost insignificant impact on global warming, and it’s only when you add up all those almost insignificant impacts that you end up with a very significant impact.  People in Qatar (the country with the highest per capita emissions) emit 0.0000002% of annual global emissions.  Using Bartlett’s logic they don’t need to bother doing anything about climate change either – and everybody in the world emit even less than them.

There is a good article about Richard Dawkins here.  He addresses some criticisms well and demonstrates that he’s a funny guy too (although anybody who reads his stuff would know that already :P).

Speaking of religion, there’s a interesting, but heavier, essay about it from Pascal Boyer in Nature.  Definitely worth a read.

Some US election stuff

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So I’m starting to get into the spirit for the US election, and even making plans for celebrating Obama victory.  There was a bunch of interesting stuff today about the election.

This article about rumours was particularly interesting, especially since it involves evolutionary theory and the application of mathematical models, to show that the best response to dispelling them is to respond publically to them, rather than ignore them.

Chris Hitchens wrote a typically awesome attack on McCain and Palin.  Worth reading, if just for laughs.

The 2008 Nobel Prize for Chemistry winner, Marty Chalfie has put out a video describing who he’s voting for and why  🙂

Written by beast9

October 14, 2008 at 12:17 pm

If politicians were trains

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Written by beast9

October 8, 2008 at 11:58 pm

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Stuff

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So the Church of England is apologising to Charles Darwin for criticising his theory of evolution.  The apology is pretty terrible though, at least according to the leaked text.  It includes this line, clearly aimed at the people who view evolutionary theory as evidence of the non-existence of God;

“But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests.”

It’s a clever piece of framing perhaps, because the use of the word “interests” make it sound like atheism is a cause people believe in.  Atheism is just the rational conclusion everybody should make with the evidence on hand.  It’s like a maths equation.  The answer remains the same regardless of what people think it is.

 

One of the rarest animals in the world has been photographed in the wild for the first time in years.  Here is the photo;

Woo!  There are some better pictures here though.

The animal is question is an Okapi, which is closely related to giraffes but looks a bit like a zebra.  It’s a bit of an exaggeration to say that they’re one of the rarest animals in the world, but they’re still fairly endangered.   I read all my information about animals (and plants) on EOL these days too.  It’s awesome that there is so much info there these days.

 

It turns out, rather unsurprisingly, that the claim that the nautilus shell follows Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio is false.  I think it’s probably likely that the exact golden ratio spiral has never actually been seen in nature, but it’s amazing how easy it is for authoritative sounding myths to perpetuate through society.

 

Finally, an interesting article on America’s potential first female president, Sarah Palin.

Written by beast9

September 15, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Michael Palin for President!

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Written by beast9

September 9, 2008 at 5:36 pm

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