Archive for November 19th, 2006
Kevin Kelly points out this helpful resource on the Web: the Cook’s Thesaurus. Search on the ingredient you’re lacking, and it will suggest substitutes.
I didn’t know about these. I’m not a baker, but I have baker readers. Take a look.
is its heavy reliance on stupid politics. I don’t mean just, say, George W. Bush and James Inhofe. I mean, for example the GOP of Texas, who are determined to deliver the Hispanic vote to Democrats for decades to come, as well as charging full-tilt against the US Constitution, pesky document that conservative Texans seem to think that it is.
Via Alert Reader, this video by Lasse Gjertsen, who (in the video) plays drums and piano, though in fact he can play neither. The sounds are the actual audio from the original video tape. He “simply” worked with snippets of the tape until he created this little piece. Amazing.
Read this wonderful little essay by Natalie Angier, who won the Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting as a science writer for The New York Times. She is the author of Natural Obsessions,The Beauty of the Beastly, Woman: An Intimate Geography, and the forthcoming The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science.
You’ll probably enjoy it more if you don’t have supernatural beliefs, since she comes down solidly on the side of science and the natural—more solidly, it turns out, than most scientists, dependent as they are on grants. Sample:
Consider the very different treatments accorded two questions presented to Cornell University’s “Ask an Astronomer” Web site. To the query, “Do most astronomers believe in God, based on the available evidence?” the astronomer Dave Rothstein replies that, in his opinion, “modern science leaves plenty of room for the existence of God . . . places where people who do believe in God can fit their beliefs in the scientific framework without creating any contradictions.” He cites the Big Bang as offering solace to those who want to believe in a Genesis equivalent and the probabilistic realms of quantum mechanics as raising the possibility of “God intervening every time a measurement occurs” before concluding that, ultimately, science can never prove or disprove the existence of a god, and religious belief doesn’t—and shouldn’t—”have anything to do with scientific reasoning.”
How much less velveteen is the response to the reader asking whether astronomers believe in astrology. “No, astronomers do not believe in astrology,” snarls Dave Kornreich. “It is considered to be a ludicrous scam. There is no evidence that it works, and plenty of evidence to the contrary.” Dr. Kornreich ends his dismissal with the assertion that in science “one does not need a reason not to believe in something.” Skepticism is “the default position” and “one requires proof if one is to be convinced of something’s existence.”
In other words, for horoscope fans, the burden of proof is entirely on them, the poor gullible gits; while for the multitudes who believe that, in one way or another, a divine intelligence guides the path of every leaping lepton, there is no demand for evidence, no skepticism to surmount, no need to worry. You, the religious believer, may well find subtle support for your faith in recent discoveries—that is, if you’re willing to upgrade your metaphors and definitions as the latest data demand, seek out new niches of ignorance or ambiguity to fill with the goose down of faith, and accept that, certain passages of the Old Testament notwithstanding, the world is very old, not everything in nature was made in a week, and (can you turn up the mike here, please?) Evolution Happens.
Not Jewish-American Princess, but Just Another Politician—willing to say anything, take any position, to get elected. No principles, no convictions, no beliefs that he will not immediately abandon for the main chance. From ThinkProgress:
Here’s McCain in the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I’d love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.”
That was then. And now? Go see.
And of course we have McCain not liking Jerry Falwell before he suddenly discovered that he liked Jerry Falwell very much.
What a typical GOP putz.