Saturday, February 28, 2009

Red States Consume More Porn- New Scientist

Yep, looks like all we need is a little more Jesus in our lives to cure the social degradation spearheaded by the blue state liberals. Lol!

"According to a new Harvard Business School study, eight of the top ten states in terms of online porn consumption were ones where McCain won in the presidential election. Professor Benjamin Edelman analyzed anonymised credit cards receipts from a large online porn company. Based on their limited data, the largest consumer is Utah. "

Church-goers bought less online porn on Sundays – a 1% increase in a postal code's religious attendance was associated with a 0.1% drop in subscriptions that day. However, expenditures on other days of the week brought them in line with the rest of the country, Edelman finds. 

Residents of 27 states that passed laws banning gay marriages boasted 11% more porn subscribers than states that don't explicitly restrict gay marriage. 

To get a better handle on other associations between social attitudes and pornography consumption, Edelman melded his data with a previous study on public attitudes toward religion. 

States where a majority of residents agreed with the statement "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage," bought 3.6 more subscriptions per thousand people than states where a majority disagreed. A similar difference emerged for the statement "AIDS might be God's punishment for immoral sexual behaviour." 

"One natural hypothesis is something like repression: if you're told you can't have this, then you want it more," Edelman says."

(a) My immediate thought was echoed in the comments section of the blog I found this article from-

"The study just shows that red staters are too dumb to know how to get their porn for free."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Update on Bach Prelude

Awhile ago I posted tablature to Bach prelude 1007 by Li Jie. I have now sent it to 10 requesters and it is hitting searches. Someone sent me some comparable internet transcriptions they found but they were mostly horrible. I feel sorry for anyone wasting their time trying to learn from them. I learn time and time again to transcribe it yourself if you want it right, and if you get it wrong you have only yourself to blame. Even the best transcribers have some glaring errors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Best Evolution Video Ever

I found this on today and I had to add it here because it is simply the best, most concise explanation of evolution I have ever seen.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Robert Gibbs vs. Talk Radio

If you haven't noticed lately, con talk radio has tried to quietly sneak past the problem of finding a solution for the economic crisis. Their main tactic has been to continue denying that there is a major crisis. You can listen to it for hours on end and hear no serious solution or plan of action, but plenty of frothing at the mouth over spending and bailouts. They are terrified that some irresponsible home"owner"s will receive what they don't deserve. 

Press secretary Gibbs offers a great refutation to these arguments. There is no doubt in my mind that *some* irresponsible people will be bailed out no matter how great a plan might be to avoid it. But consider that letting people foreclose not only lowers the average price of the houses on that block 9% ($20,000 on average) but sends us even further away from solving this mess since nothing can recover until housing recovers. The naysayers will be paying for it one way or another. Therefore, I don't see any reason for so much bluster from the right other than to demonize the Democrats.  If they had some sort of viable solution it would be another matter, but all they do is complain and bury their heads in the sand. It's as if they don't mind going into a great depression as long as not a single person is unfairly bailed out. I don't buy it at all. I think the Santelli thing was scripted and rigged as a distraction from reality- something the Obama haters are really good at. It would trouble them deeply if the Obama plan were to succeed. And unless we are all walking on air in two months they will consider the plan to have failed. 

I guess I missed this. Sure looks like Obama picked the right guy. Love it!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Movie Intro is Complete

Click title and click watch in HD

A few things happened in D.C. I wanted to share (and no not *that* unfortunately). I watched the entire series by Dawkins called "The Genius of Charles Darwin" on the long flight. Great series. 

This put me into the frame of mind that led to the making of this video. As I mentioned in a message, the museums really are just a chronicle of killing, whether it be the ICBMS in the aerospace museum, the natural history museum with its obvious display of nature's violent and random evolutionary bridge to nowhere, or the art museums where every character painted was either involved in a war themselves or directly influenced by one. Maybe we can credit the contemporary art section for having very little killing on display despite scarcely deserving to even be in the museum (which is why it is tucked away in the rafters). 

The other thing that happened was I saw an extraordinary HBO special on Ted Haggard and what he is doing after his fall from grace. You all must watch it. The man actually manages to get me feeling sorry for him... to an extent.  I see Ted Haggard as an extremely simple mind, almost juvenile, with an amazingly and profoundly naive sincerity. He was banned from Colorado, could not find a job, ran out of money, was shuffling his family around from place to place always somewhere between that dopey euphoric smile and a nervous breakdown. The film was made by the same person who did a documentary on the man in the height of church glory. She gains access to his trust and she pulls no punches. 

I am curious to see what my dad will think of this movie. I think that my development from encouraging  believer to atheist has troubled him. He knows that I don't believe, but he doesn't grasp that I can't believe. He is a "god used evolution to create all this" person, which makes sense as long as you don't grasp evolution. The trouble with the belief lies mainly in neuroscience. If you can somehow square that the human brain was "designed" for self-deception, and that its one great criterion for selection apart from basic survival were all those qualities that get 17 year olds to spread their legs the fastest, then the belief stands. I've found no way to reconcile an intentional force driving the process. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Back from D.C.

Just got back from my trip to D.C.

I have about 2 hours of high def video that I will edit into a "pretentious" (thanks Gail) movie. I will share a small part of the highlights here eventually. I am going to get imovie 09 first because it has added effects and image stabilization which effectively adds much value to my little pocket camcorder. I love this thing. Everywhere I went people had no idea what it was. I was yelled at twice by security guards who were convinced I was going to snap a flash picture or something, but there is no flash. 

My favorite part of the trip was seeing the National Art Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Natural History Museum. Time just evaporates in places like these. I kept catching myself completely bug eyed, and hoping that my contacts didn't fall out. I was awestruck by seeing the real paintings and sculptures I'd only seen in books. I still don't understand how they let someone stand a breath's distance away from a painting from the 12th century. What is to prevent some tourist from taking a permanent marker and painting a mustache on the christ child or George Washington? I found it funny that the sole Leonardo DaVinci painting in America is set behind glass. A gorgeous painting. I swear I was going to draw a mustache on it until I saw it was behind glass. I guess all the other ones like the Gilbert Stuart presidential portraits are are just not important enough to hide behind glass, and people can freely mark on them if they want to trade a little prison time. 

And if you can get through the Natural history museum and you STILL don't believe in evolution... you've got some *serious* problems.

A thank you to Gail for her advice, directions (I saw one tiny little grocery store in Georgetown but not Safeway) and allowing me to spill my guts out about the insanity of the human condition one night after spending several consecutive days visually examining death after death after killing after killing after war after war, otherwise known as "world history". 

I tried to update but the wifi wouldn't let my messages go through.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I rest my case

My man, Drew Westen, on Obama's naivity and mishandling of the stimulus package.

"...a failure to distinguish alternative meanings of bipartisanship, an apparent miscalculation about the political and ideological extremism of the Republicans left in Washington in the wake of the Democratic landslides of the last two electoral cycles, and an unwillingness to fight back when attacked led the Obama administration unwittingly to participate in a setback to both change and bipartisanship, as they urged Democratic lawmakers to cut and paste elements of the conservative ideology that has unhinged our economy into a package designed to resuscitate it and emboldened the Republican leadership in a way that has sown the seeds of renewed partisan polarization."

Click on the Image to read more.

One thing Obama is good at is counter-punching. So... he may pull through this. But the one thing Obama must learn is how to throw the first punch and how to avoid getting bitch-slapped in the first place. And when Republicans bitch-slap him, he can't wait for weeks on end to respond, as though he were above it all. He's not. He's the President of the United States and he needs get his act together. We're all, most of us, rooting for him.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

44% Believe in Young Earth Instant Creationism

This new Pew research report shows that 42% believe everything on earth was created as is. The Gallup poll shows 44%. I am not making fun of those who think God guided evolution, just the astounding mass of Americans who think it all arrived as is. 

Most of these people walk through a supermarket and stand amazed at the extraordinary bounty of God's natural harvest. Most don't realize that virtually none of the stuff they see has much resemblance to the way it existed in nature before it was selectively bred to our liking. Apples were tiny and difficult to eat, Almonds were bitter and poisonous, and the precursors of our bananas had nothing in common with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort's inconceivably idiotic video. Produce of today was grotesquely (and deliciously) warped from the natural state humans found it in. 

A recent Gallup poll stated that 2/3 republicans do not believe in evolution. About 1/3 democrats. I don't know how specifically the question was asked. Somewhere around 1:30,000 people with a biology degree do not believe in evolution. There is an information gap here, and it is not closing the way you think it would. The same phenomenon can be found with things like homeopathy, where despite further research showing that it does nothing beyond the placebo effect, its popularity is ever on the rise. The same phenomenon of denialism in the face of overwhelming evidence seems to be a common trait of the far right (talk radio fans) and far left. In fact, the more evidence against their dogma, the more stridently they will defend it.

Have fun for a week. I am going to the Washington D.C. to nerd out for awhile.

There is probably no God

Can't resist posting a link to this article (click on the image). Dawkins decided to proselytize atheism. The Christians, apparently, are deeply and profoundly offended that anyone should behave like, well, Christians - what with proselytizing and all.

They are in the process of buying add time. The Russian Orthodox Church, for example, will be responding with the devastating riposte: "There is a God, believe. Don't worry and enjoy your life."

Note, by the way, the absence of the qualifier "probably".

P.S. Anyone know if those damned atheists are selling stickers yet?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Obama's Naivety

My worst fears, concerning Obama, remain a possibility. He just doesn't understand how the Republicans obtained power, held power and how the Democrats' phenomenal incompetence contributed. Once again the Democrats, and Obama especially, were outspun, outmaneuvered and generally made to look like fools (and maybe they are).

Rarely before has this country been in such need for change - a change from the last 8 years especially. And yet, in a not so deft turn-about, the Republicans have managed to make the Democrat's stimulus plan look irresponsible while they themselves spout precisely the same "remedies" that have gotten us in this mess.

Now that takes incompetence. When Obama stated that he screwed up it should have been in reference to his handling of the stimulus plan, not Daschle.

Obama needs to understand that the Republicans' priorities are not his. They never will be.

He also needs to understand that the Democrats in Congress aren't necessarily going to act in his best interest. He isn't a member of the club anymore. He's the President. It's time he start acting like it.

Right now.

  • We’re happy to see President Obama getting tough with Congressional Republicans who are trying to sabotage the stimulus and recovery bill and bring even greater ruin on the economy...

NY Times Editorial: Getting Tough in Washington

  • A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clich├ęs about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts...

Krugman: On the Edge

  • The irony of President Obama's Blue Tuesday is that the wall-to-wall television interviews he granted were designed not to apologize for Tom Daschle's fall from grace but to fight back against the Republicans' success in tarnishing his stimulus package...

E.J. Dionne: Time to Play Hardball

  • ...At the top of the myth list is the Republican faith in tax cuts, particularly those designed to benefit wealthy investors. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that for every problem, conservatives have a consistent solution that involves reducing corporate or capital-gains taxes, or lowering the top rate, or instituting a regressive flat tax or consumption tax. (They like spending, too, on certain favored contractors, notably in the defense sector, that donate generously to Republican and right-wing causes.)...

Joe Conason: Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)

  • ...President Obama's $825 billion plan is a very good first step to contain the damage. Much of the package would go directly toward maintaining state and local services. The package also would help those hardest hit by the downturn with increased funding for unemployment benefits....

Dean Baker: Pass the stimulus - then help shorten the work week

Monday, February 02, 2009

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dipshit

These guys floor me with their hypocrisy. They are absolutely terrified that Obama might succeed as president. Terrified. They are outraged that he is popular. Every element of criticism they dole out in their hate radio shows they exemplify themselves 10 fold. 

And the following is Limbaugh's description of how talk radio works. I could not have said it better myself, especially the last part where he says, "people call in and say do you really believe the stuff you say? I dunno thats for you to figure out". He truly doesn't know if he believes it, but just enjoys feeding half his audience conservative crack and outraging the other half so they keep listening. 

Sunday, February 01, 2009

No Comment

Richard Reeves:

"It is not that the nay-saying Republicans have a plan of their own; they agree on nothing except cutting taxes. Their leader, Rush Limbaugh, the entertainer, has told them that their job is to make sure that Obama fails.

In an American context, Republicans have been called America's stupid party for much of their history, but that title clearly passed to the Democrats in the 1970s and 1980s, and perhaps for most of '90s and on into the 21st century. Now, led by wacko pundits like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and a bunch of less-prosperous firebugs, the Republicans have lost all sense of what is happening in the country."