Amorphous Intelligence

Sunday School Anyone?

Posted in Humanism, Humor, Secularism by amorphousintelligence on November 17, 2008

 

Jon Lajoie anyone? Never heard of him? Yeah, me either. At least until yesterday, that is. Apparently he’s some anglophone Quebecer comedian who in 2008 (yes, this year) has plastered his sketch videos all over YouTube, Funny or Die, Facebook, and MySpace and has allegedly caught the attention of Will Ferrell. His style is similar to Jack Black’s in that he’s musically inclined while being rather explicit at times (which is a euphemism for all the time?). If that sounds interesting, and being the nature of this blog of mine, then start off your journey with him by checking out his SNL-style skit of his unique (and perhaps blasphemous?) relationship to God. None of his other vids are as theologically themed, but the pastiche music is well done with uplifting (yet, warning, gasp! vulgar) lyrics.

 

And for further portrayals of the Almighty but for those more interested in the family-oriented kind of blasphemy, check out Mr. Deity‘s non-vulgar, non-explicit, yet still creative and jovial sneak-peak vids of God in action.

 

Oh, is today coincidentally Sunday? Interesting. Guess I better appropriately alter my title for this.

 

Advertisements

Some More Blogs For The Blog

Posted in Humanism, Humor, Logic, Naturalism, Rationalism, Reason, Science, Secularism, Skepticism by amorphousintelligence on November 13, 2008

 

Since my very first blog post (Why Yet Another Blog, And What Could Amorphous Intelligence Possibly Contribute?, posted on October 18, 2008 ) in which I lavishly praise the gods of the godless blogging world (i.e., NeuroLogica, Bad Astronomy, Pharyngula, Swift, Science-Based Medicine), another new blog has arisen that nicely dovetails into that same genre. If you writhe in ecstasy over the supernatural abilities of these blogs, you’ll climax over…rat-tat-tat-tat-tat, da-da-DA-DA: SkepticBlog!

 

Naturally, since it is a collaborative effort with contributing writers from some of these aforementioned bloggers as well as some special new additions: Dr. Michael Shermer (publisher of Skeptic magazine), Brian Dunning (producer & host of Skeptoid podcast), Yau-Man Chan (of Survivor: Fiji & Survivor: Micronesia fame), Dr. Kirsten Sanford (This Week in Science radio/podcast host), Mark Edward (some say template to the new CBS TV show The Mentalist), and Ryan Johnson (videographer, filmmaker, TV director & producer). What do all these fine rationalists and skeptics share in common? They’re all rationalists and skeptics! Yeah…uh…but no. Not what I’m looking for. Rather, they are the team that makes up the hit new TV drama, The Skeptologists.

 

What’s that you say? Never heard of it? Well, of course not, because it isn’t actually on your television. In fact, it isn’t actually on anybody’s television. Confused? Then head on over to SkepticBlog or The Skeptologists to have all your perplexing conundrums answered. Or check out this 20-second teaser, or better yet this slightly longer trailer (which for reasons unknown to me I now see has been expunged from the Internet, so never mind).

 

And while I’m at it, I have one more blog to plug. Check this humorous, personal-anecdotal blogger I “discovered” who goes by Slick Friction, or Hulk Granny, not sure which. His world views are somewhat different from mine (as well as the previously-mentioned bloggers), but nonetheless he’s a very dear personal friend, and for good reason. You’ll discover well-written personal tales that anyone can relate to so long as you’ve had to pee during a biology midterm, been a proselytizing missionary who radiates the spirit of the Lord, or have had a friend with a raving lunatic of a father. The average reader can complete the entire blog in a matter of minutes as the author has posted merely two (check it: 2) blogs thus far for 2008. (Nothing for any prior years, to be clear.) Maybe if he gets more readers he’ll be encouraged to write more.

 

And if this blurb is not convincing enough, for no other reason check it out simply because of the marvelously wonderful comment I posted to it (being the only comment, so far). And yes, this last statement is a full disclosure that I have a vested interest in it other than a mere, silly concept you emotional humans refer to as “friendship.”

 

Amorphous IntelligenceJ

 

Debbie Meyer Green Bags Commercial vs. Consumer Reports

Posted in Logic, Rationalism, Reason, Science, Skepticism by amorphousintelligence on November 7, 2008

 

You ever see that Debbie Meyer Green Bags’ commercial on prime-time TV? No? Here, at just under two minutes, quickly check it out at the official site, then come right back here.

 

Now, you ever check with Consumer Reports to see what they had to say about those Debbie Meyer Green Bags as seen on TV? No? Here, in only two paragraphs pulled from the official site, quickly check it out then come right ba…er, um, stay right here:

 

The check. We put bananas, peaches, apples, melons, blackberries, strawberries, basil, asparagus, tomatoes, broccoli, grapes, lettuce, and carrots in Green Bags for up to five weeks. We stored the same foods for the same length of time in Ziploc bags, on a counter, in a refrigerator, or in plastic supermarket bags.

CR’s take. We saw green inside the Green Bags, but often it was mold. Blackberries became moldy after three weeks, strawberries and basil after a month, and peppers and tomatoes after five weeks. It was a tough test, but the same foods stored in other ways nearly always had less mold or none after the same time. Only bananas fared significantly better in Green Bags: After two weeks, they were firm and had not turned black. 

Your friendly, neighborhood skeptic,

Amorphous IntelligenceJ

 

All Things Are Possible?

Posted in Humanism, Humor, Logic, Rationalism, Reason, Science, Secularism by amorphousintelligence on November 6, 2008

 

No. (If you missed it, the title is a question. No is my answer.)

 

At least I seriously doubt it.

 

“All things are possible.” I hear this impossible proclamation from time to time. Most recently, I heard it the other night, on TV, when Barack Obama used it in the first few lines of his acceptance speech. Of course, his usage here is the more humanistic, truncated version. The full version, derived from the Bible, is less secular: “For with God, all things are possible.

 

With or without God, however, there are, in fact, some things which almost certainly remain impossible: nothing can travel faster than light; energy can neither be created nor destroyed; monkeys can neither fly out of nor into our asses.

No? “Prove me wrong.” (ç .)

 

I think when Obama used the more humanistic, truncated version of the phrase, however, he meant it rather loosely. He’s a reasonable, sensible man. I don’t think he literally meant all things are possible. “All” just sounds better, and that wording, being Biblical, is most familiar. Rather, I suspect he meant, as I would mean if I were to use that phrase, that certain things, which previously seemed unlikely or difficult, have now come to pass.

 

My interpretational phrasing might be more accurate for the purposes of reality, but it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue in a Presidential-elect victory speech, does it? Especially not one in which, in the United States’ 232-plus-year history and 42 Presidents later, we now for the first time ever have a President-elect of African descent.

 

And what a grand precedent and wonderful example that sets from this point henceforth for generations to come—especially considering our nation’s unpardonable and horrific past treatment towards blacks (among others).

 

Besides the unprecedented historicity of the event, though, the pigmentation of Obama’s epidermis should be (and I believe mostly has been) considered irrelevant as to why Americans should and do support him. He should be supported because, while certainly far from perfect (whatever perfection might be), he is qualified for that office, he is a wise and intelligent human, and he is an exceptional, calm, cool, and collected leader. He is not these things because he is black; rather, he has these attributes and he also just so happens to be black.

 

Correlation is not neccesarily causation.

 

I turn now to the words of the most inspiring orator I’ve ever heard, the late Martin Luther King, Jr., from his most well-known speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963: “I have a dream,” he envisioned, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

 

America has now so done.

 

Let’s just hope that the Men in Black don’t assassinate Obama before—or after—the inauguration. Men in Black? Let’s just say I’m using that even more loosely than Obama was—I trust—using “all.”

 

Amorphous IntelligenceJ