Wednesday, March 29, 2006

It's Official - I'm the Devil

Imagine that...but I don't see my struggle as "against god". I'd just like to edumacate his zealots.

You scored 85% Pride, 70% Envy, 77% Ambition, and 67% Deceitfulness!
You are Satan, the consummate villain, and the ascendant figure in the unholy trinity. Throughout history you have been called The Serpent, The Accuser, The Devil, Lucifer, The Prince of the Power of the Air, and The Dragon, among other things. Your "compatriots" in the unholy trinity, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, are merely pawns in your futile struggle with God. Though, they probably don’t know this. This is because you are a master of deception; indeed the Bible calls you "The Father of All Lies". You are also very ambitious, and you strive to be in positions of the utmost authority. Unfortunately, it was impossible for you to obtain the highest title in heaven and this is part of the reason why you decided to leave. Of course, you couldn’t just leave by yourself, so you managed to use your deceptive abilities to get one third of the angels in heaven to join with you in revolt. God put down the rebellion and expelled you from heaven. To most people, it would seem foolish to start a war against God, but pride can sometimes cause people to do foolish things. In heaven, you were the most beautiful and powerful of all angels and you were well aware of this. Unfortunately, you let your pride consume you and your passions led you down the road to perdition. After you were expelled from heaven, you let another one of your attributes consume you—envy. You knew that you could never defeat God, but you could attempt to destroy humanity, his most beloved creation. Your goal is to bring as many people as possible to suffer in Hell with you. Fortunately for you, but unfortunately for the rest of us, you’ve been endowed with all of the attributes necessary (deceptiveness, confidence, ruthlessness, and ambition) to do a terribly good job at this.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 95% on Pride

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You scored higher than 84% on Envy

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You scored higher than 80% on Ambition

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on Deceitfulness
Link: The Which Biblical Villain Are You Test written by MetalliScats on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Something Never Came From Nothing Because There Never Was Nothing - Or Something Like That...

I hate it when Jeebus's army comes out to prove their magic sky god is real with the following argument:

DumbassMoronic Theist: Oh yEAh? WEll hOw did wE get herE, huH? SOmeThinG cain'T cOMe frOM NOThinG!

RockstarRockstar: True. "Nothing" exists only in The NeverEnding Story.

You see, there never was "nothing". Time and space are constant; without one the other can't exist. And if you don't think time and space are constants in the universe, please submit your research for the next Nobel Prize. Since time and space began at the same time, and dictate the rules of the universe as we know it, your sky god/gods are no longer necessary in the equation.


There has always been "something" - the universe. If there was a thing that lay outside the laws of physics that existed prior to time, like your sky god/gods, then she/he/it/they/spaghetti can't be proven by science.

Unable to be proven by science = no observable effects.

Does anyone know what the only thing in science that has no observable effects is? That's right!


(P.S. - So I'm doing a Google image search for "god"...)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Spring Break in Review

I made a promise to myself to make a post a day during Spring Break, even though I'm not really getting to enjoy it: Full time non-school job. My brother was going to come over, but apparently his boss rescheduled at the last minute or something. He's got a philosophy degree, and knows his way around logical fallacies and propaganda techniques even better than I do. Anyway, for the sake of convenience, here are links to the various entries I've done over the past week:

Sunday: Dog Treats #1
Monday: In the Doghouse #1
Tuesday: Gone to the Dogs #1
Wednesday: Stupid God Tricks #1
Thursday: Image Dogtoring #1
Friday: Doggerel #1
Originally planned for Saturday: Dogfight #1.

As you can guess, these are all the first parts in some series I've thought up.

"Dog Treats" is where I ramble on some topic, wherever it goes. "In the Doghouse" involves me presenting an idea for you, the readers, to eviscerate. "Gone to the Dogs" deals with people descending to the dark ages. "Stupid God Tricks" was originally intended to be about divine pareidolia and other useless "miracles," but I got a little inspired on something else. "Image Dogtoring" was inspired by someone's MST3King of Jack Chick, a man with absolutely no connection to reality. "Doggerel" was an old idea of mine, deflating overused, misused, or just plain meaningless words and phrases.

For "Dogfight," I intend to perform an imaginary interview with Michael Behe, the propeller head. I didn't work on it today, since I needed some rest. Anyone with good Behe quotes to make fun of, please speak up now. It'll save me some trouble weeding through his nonsense for gems of anti-wisdom.

Thanks go to IAMB, the anonymous pooflinger for linking to one of my entries.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Doggerel #1: "Supernatural"

I was hoping my brother would be able to contribute, but he wasn't able to come over for spring break. Oh well. Welcome to "Doggerel," a series I'll be running dealing with words that are overused, misused, or just plain meaningless. Tonight, I'll be talking about the word "supernatural." I've only come across one coherent definition of "supernatural." Don't hold your breath, but here it is:

Supernatural abilities are magical and go away in an antimagic field but are not subject to spell resistance. Supernatural abilities cannot be dispelled. Using a supernatural ability is a standard action unless noted otherwise. Supernatural abilities may have a use limit or be useable at will, just like spell-like abilities. However, supernatural abilities do not provoke attacks of opportunity and never require Concentration checks. Unless otherwise noted, a supernatural ability has an effective caster level equal to the creature's Hit Dice.
The saving throw (if any) against a supernatural ability is 10 + 1/2 the creature's HD + the creature's ability modifier (usually Charisma).
That's from the D&D Monster Manual 3.5. Not terribly impressive, is it? Doesn't really apply to the real world, though it is handy for the game, especially since the Rockstar team up there can teleport without provoking attacks of opportunity.

The problem with real world definitions is that methodical naturalism doesn't really leave room for the supernatural: Anything that has an observable effect falls under methodical naturalism and is subject to the scientific method. The only way something could be supernatural is if it has no observable effects. "Unobservable effects" strikes me as a contradiction, since I would think such effects would either build up to an observable level, or useless, since they might as well be in another, completely separate universe. If something doesn't have effects observable or otherwise, it might as well not exist at all.

The common use definition might have its uses for determining if something is eligible for the Randi Challenge, but if anything passes through that, it'll be considered natural afterwards (and no, Randi can't use that to get out of paying: If you do what you claim to do, he's already under a legally binding contract to pay).


Doggerel Index

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Image Dogtoring #1: Christians & Crusades

1. This was inspired by an entertaining MST3K rendition. Original images stolen from that website. The original comic is here.
2. I'm not actually saying Jack Chick runs a cult. You might catch me thinking it very loudly if you have telepathic abilities, though.
3. I don't think for a minute that Jack Chick or his ilk represent the bulk of Christianity. He's a living, breathing parody.
4. I'm a teetotaler by reason of sheer disinterest. That, and the one tiny, tiny sip I tried tasted like bleach.

EDIT: Since Pharyngula and Respectful Insolence have linked here, I foresee my chances of avoiding a lawsuit (since making fun of "religious" people seems to be a crime in America, nowadays) as decreasing. I give full permission for any readers to copy the images and pass them around. If you can somehow make money doing so, go right ahead. Just please keep my alias on it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stupid God Tricks #1: God is a Ninja

God: Bender, being God isn't easy. If you do too much, people get dependent on you. And if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket.
Bender: Or a guy who burns down a bar for the insurance money!
God: Yes, if he makes it look like an electrical thing. If you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

I intend to prove that God is a ninja. Take, for instance, the ninja in your house. Yes, there's a ninja in your house. Trust me. The reason you don't see or hear him is because he's an expert in the art of stealth. But surely, you may suggest, he would be eating your food or something during his stay, leaving indirect evidence. He doesn't, because he gets takeout. Next, you may ask, is there any evidence of the local pan-asian restaurant delivering food to your house? Well, it's being delivered via ninja, and the store doesn't keep records because the ninja in your house threatened the owner with the invisible dragon in your garage and that elephant with red tonails hiding in your strawberry patch. Trust me.

What's the ninja doing in your house? He's stealing socks from your dryer. Sure, you could investigate alternate causes of sock loss, but when it's not something else, it's the ninja. Trust me.

So, how do we know God is a ninja?

1. Are invisable.
2. Possess magical powers.
3. Flip out and kill people for no apparent reason.
4. "Touch" people with weapons that are used as flexable appendages.
5. Are flight-enabled.
6. Enjoy ramen.

1. Is invisible.
2. Possesses magical powers.
3. Flips out and kills people for no apparent reason.
4. Touches people with a flexable appendage.
5. Is flight-enabled.
6. Is ramen.

It should now be intuitively obvious that God is a ninja. Sorry, people, the God will have nothing to do with pirates, the natural enemies of the ninja. Trust me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Gone to the Dogs #1: The Discovery Channel

I was too afraid to watch, and according to Hokum-Balderdash, it seems my fears were justified. I recognize that Discovery's taken plenty of forays into the dark ages, but this is pretty well beyond my tolerance. That's why I chose to stop watching ABC, after all. I'll need to take the time to write up an appropriately angry letter. I'll probably do it after a few more entries this week, when I have the personal time I need to get my mouth appropriately foamy.

Monday, March 13, 2006

In the Dog House #1: Cordless Power

A lot of woos like to complain that us skeptics can't come up with new ideas: That we're only able to shoot them down. Well, I intend to disprove that... Though my technical prowess is quite limited, I can assure you what I come up with will probably be bad ideas. But you never know. Something I think up might be more practical than I believe it to be.

Passive RFID tags have no internal power source: They're small enough that they can be powered by the radio waves emitted by the scanner. When I thought of that, after dealing with a wireless Playstation controller that goes wonky when the batteries start getting low, this probably bad idea came to mind: Is it possible to power something as big as a wireless controller with radio waves, using the same principle? Probably not. RFID tags probably function on very small amounts of electricity, while my controller is powered by three AA batteries.

So, first big problem: Sheer amount of power needed.

Second big problem: Interference. Since I know little about the far ends of the electromagnetic spectrum (beyond how a microwave oven allegedly works), I don't know how messy the air waves would get in my house, and I'd prefer not to have my laptop go through another finicky wi-fi phase.

Third big problem: The FCC. The jerks who shut down the pirate radio station I operated in my imagination, (La-La Land adjacent) probably wouldn't like it. As far as I know, firing the thing up might deafen the FCC guy intently listening to all the forbidden frequencies for any unscheduled blips.

Fourth big problem: Why deal with all this, when you can just use a cord or a spare set of batteries?

So, that's the preliminary rip on my own idea. It's quite bruised. All you happy tax payers out there, please commence making it bloody. Cookie for the first one who does it with precise-looking math.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dog Treats #1: The Hexagon

Welcome to one series I've been thinking of for a while. The inspiration was Skepticality's "Whimiscality" on the number five. I'll be rambling on my favorite two-dimensional shape: The hexagon. For those of you who've fallen behind on your geometry, the hexagon is a six-sided polygon.

A regular hexagon (all sides and angles equal) has all angles at 120 degrees. Because of this, three hexagons can join together at a common vertex seamlessly, since 120 x 3 = 360. Thanks to this little property, you can form a mosaic of hexagons known as a tessellation. The only other regular polygons that can do this are the triangle and the square.

Unlike the square and the triangle, there are no platonic solids made of hexagons. Hexagons, however, do commonly find themselves in archimedean solids, including one of the most simple:

The truncated tetrahedron, which is essentially a tetrahedron with the points cut off. The hexagon is also a part of the archimedean solid known as the truncated icosahedron, also known as the buckyball, named after Richard Buckminster Fuller, who had a great enthusiasm for the shape. Buckminsterfullerene, a buckyball-shaped carbon molecule, along with other molecules of its sort, seems to have a lot of research potential. Fullerenes have a number of unusual properties, including being the only known allotropes of carbon that can be dissolved.

Returning to hexagonal tessellations, graphite, another carbon allotrope, takes on the form of sheets of hexagons, weakly bonded with each other. Another carbon form is the benzene ring, a hexagon of carbon atoms with other atoms, usually hydrogen, bonded to the available verticies.

No entry on the hexagon would be complete without mentioning honeycombs, the basic units of a beehive. Bees likely evolved to form hexagonal honeycombs because they were the most effiencient use of space while retaining strength.

Oddly, France is sometimes nicknamed "l'hexagone" because, with a little imagination, the nation can be seen as a hexagon.

On a more personal note, hexagonal grids are often favored in some role-playing and strategy games: Distances on a hex grid are constant between two points: There's no need to deal with diagonals.