Some, well, most religious fundamentalists and their minions refuse to acknowledge evolution as fact. They say the only proof it has that it exists lies in the drawings of Darwin’s notebooks. These are also the same folks that believe Earth is only 6000-10,000 years old.

I am fine with people having faith and religion. Really, I don’t care at all and I am not insulted by it.  But, when that lies in the way of education in our public schools, and when their religion is used to withhold fact – VERY IMPORTANT FACT – from our children is wrong, and downright angering.

So, if you’re uneducated in Evolution, or if you’re a religious person who has always been taught it’s wrong, that it’s a lie – then I encourage you to do some reading for yourself.

Watch this video below. Then go out and buy The Greatest Show on Earth you can find it here on Amazon!  Or, if you’re a “Nook-ie” like me, here it is at Barnes & Noble . If you’re looking for some humor with your facts, visit Project Steve.  Then come back here and tell me what you think.

 


I need to briefly comment on some cultural practices among homo sapiens that I find incredibly unusual. These are practices we do each and every day and probably are so accustomed to them, that we would never even stop to think about how odd, and frankly, disgusting they truly are.

The first is public restrooms with multiple stalls. That is just unnecessary. Now, at least in most countries our stalls exist and we are not just sitting on a bench with multiple holes cut out pinching a loaf next to a complete stranger. But, still. Gross. This is just an illusion of privacy. Even if you are just going the classic number one, it still comes with many unpleasantries. The common bathroom chatter, even when all parties are in the stall, talking; the sometimes common exchange of toilet paper that could result.

But the most uncomfortable one for me (and this is probably most applicable for women) is the wipe. The wipe is a necessary behavior if you enjoy good personal hygiene.  However, it is also an action for which I can HEAR!! I hear other women wipe (supersonic hearing?) and all I can imagine is the size of their possible bush. Then I start thinking… do they wax? Is it straight or curly? 70′s ,80′s or modern style? Ugh. No one should have to think that about a stranger.

Even number two, that is just next to impossible when there are people in the room. Those can be some pretty intimate sounds, yet alone the smell. Oy. I will not get in to how incredibly rude and disgusting it is when people gather in the bathroom to talk (and stay in there for what can seem like hours when you’re trying to achieve privacy to do your thing) or to brush their teeth. That is down right disgusting.

Which is why there should not be multiple stall bathrooms.

The second, most disturbing one for me is the common practice of eating together. How disgusting. Think about it. You are eating with some friends, or with your kids, or you’re on a third date at a nice place. You receive your meal. The conversations slow or stop. In the middle of enjoying your food, you suddenly realize what is going to happen to that food. Then you look at your date, whom you do not know very well. They chew their steak and wipe their mouth (wiping again, yuck). And then you realize… that piece of steak they just swallowed is going to turn to poop.

POOP.

You are watching your friends, your family, your kids, your co-workers, strangers. You are watching the first stage of pooping. Such an intimate activity. So intimate, in fact, that I find it strange no one freaks out about this when on a first dinner date with a new interest. I bet you will now.

You may as well be watching them poop, for you are watching another person ingest what will soon be waste that will come out of their anus. Bon Appetite.

Perhaps public restrooms should revert back to a concrete block bench and just poop together too.


Seriously though… these photos are pretty spectacular. As much as I wish we lived in the days of “Star Trek Technology”, I’m pretty freaking amazed at the technology we possess that allows us to take photos like the ones HERE

 

 

 


The best day of my life was February 8, 2010. It was 4am. I had been up for too long.  I stood outside Kennedy Space Center wrapped in a blanket, shivering in the surprisingly brisk Florida air that year. Didn’t matter. What I was about to see would make it all worth it. 4:15am the countdown started. At 4:16am I saw the most incredible ball of fire ignite the early morning sky with brilliant light, and the rumble of liftoff of Space Shuttle Endeavor STS 130 was awe-inspiring. I cried.

Today at 11:26am I walked into the break room at work, completely aware that I would be tardy for the 11:30 meeting I was leading, to watch the final flight of the US space shuttle. I remember as I watched liftoff, and with solid rocket booster separation I can recall thinking “wow, three minutes to space”. Amazing. And over

Not only is manned space flight over – so is advanced telescopic development and exploration. What you  may not have heard today is the cancellation of the James Webb Space Telescope thanks to the US House Appropriations Bill. That’s right folks, cancelled. Not put on hold. Cancelled. What’s even worse, all the parts for the telescope are complete and being assembled. Phil Plait, in his effort to be fair, did state the project was behind schedule, and sucked up a little too much budget, and was poorly managed… but STILL!

The James Webb was designed so we could see and explore some of the coolest and most important tasks in the field of Astronomy… the collection of warm gasses around stars. What does that do, you ask? Well that is how planets are formed! Also, JWST would have been the largest optical device in space – designed to see so far back in time – 13 billion years to be exact. It’s ability to view red-shifted light (I just learned this term. woot!) from galaxy formations from the adolescence of our universe.

How much did cutting this beautiful project save our country? The cost of air-condition for our troops in Iraq for a WEEK.  We spend twenty billion dollars in air conditioning for Iraqi troops a year. So, that’s $384, 615, 385 per week. Holy shit! That says something right there. We are spending far too much money on fucking air conditioning. The cost of this unnecessary war is outrageous. I digress…

With the cancellation of manned space flight, powerful telescopes, and the continuation of war – the work we’ve done for over thirty years to advance MANKIND (not just American citizens) has now been put on the back burner (I really am trying hard to bite my tongue here and not go off on a political rant on how much I hate our government).

With optimistic hopes of commercial space flight and exploration – I try to keep a positive outlook to the future. But it’s hard when the only way we can get to space has been shut down, and a super cool, high-tech ability for us to understand more about the birth of our universe has been crushed like yesterday’s garbage. All this without a suitable replacement, or even a good blueprint.

So with tears in my eyes, I am glued to the tele tonight, watching the Science channel and its special programming on the shuttle program.Will optimism prevail? I certainly hope so. Because without curiosity – we lose what is essential to being human: advancement.

The History of the Space Shuttle


I keep promising myself I’m going to go to bed at some point tonight.

You know that Heineken commercial with that uber catchy tune? I’ve been wracking my brain for weeks on who this is. Then I just asked Skynet google.


Super Rad Video

05May11

OK – so two super rad videos of the same song…

Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom (Coming Home)” as done by himself, and remake by Shiny Toy Guns.

Can I just say that Shiny Toy Guns version is fantastic… I can close my eyes and really imagine being “Major Tom”. /sigh. I’ll never be in space and that pisses me off… all I have is my imagination.

Peter Schilling

Shiny Toy Guns (BTW – I hate that the Lincoln MKZ is so prevalent in this video. Oh well, still a great tune)


I am glad that Osama bin Laden is dead.

I am not happy about how this country celebrated the death. I can’t dance in the street over something like that.

However – we certainly had the right to do what we did. I do not know how you could argue against it, but, some extremists can and do. It doesn’t matter if he was in Canada, or Pakistan, or fucking Japan.  We did not attack the country.

**post inspired by a facebook debate or potential argument. Why can I never avoid these? Why can I never keep my mouth shut? @CarolynMaul listed me under “Sassies” on her twitter list… I guess I need to live up to my rep. But seriously… it always gets me in trouble**

I am a bit skeptical. I do not enjoy looking at death – but really, can we get a little more proof than verbal statements from the White House? My understanding is that his daughter saw it happen. Yeah, that could be… but with as many lies we’re fed, I still don’t feel comfortable.

Show the pics? No. Don’t spike the football, Obama says. Yeah, I get that logic too. We are not dealing with an average asshole here, and this unique asshole has a rather large following of sheepish assholes who apparently have a pretty strong agenda (uh, ya think?)

But still… how can I believe a government and system with such a great reputation of lying, when they tell me they killed the one and only bad guy that every country, sans a few radical Muslim countries, wants dead?

I’d like to think it’s true. Just like I’d like to think that there really is a heaven. Wouldn’t that just be lovely?

Again, the skeptic abides.

So that’s it for now. I’m about to post a super rad video…


Bin Laden is a jerk. He’s a murderer, he’s a manipulator of Muslims, he lives with riches while he instructs his followers to die. He’s scary as hell, he cares about no other human being, and I certainly have no interest in running into him or his posse in a dark alley. Well, as of May 1st, 2011 I do not have to worry about running in to him… BECAUSE HE’S DEAD. Have you heard? Only the biggest headline since the 9/11 attacks themselves.

Unfortunately, the war that we have been fighting since the ’90s – the War on Terror – had to come to this. I am not implying that Bin Laden should not have been brought to justice, but I’d like to speak on the conduct of my fellow citizens upon the news of OBL’s death.

Where were you when you heard about OBL being killed? Were you watching Celebrity Apprentice, a baseball game, the news, perhaps? I was watching Ponyo – I then received a call from a friend “Dude Bin Laden is dead”. What?! Honestly I thought he finally kicked it from kidney failure or something.

But I turned on CNN and apart from the big headlines that the US took out Bin Laden – I saw people celebrating and rejoicing in the streets. I saw a crowd in front of the white house cheering “USA USA” and singing. (Doesn’t it seem funny that the whole country is patriotic once again). But I didn’t feel the patriotism… in the short time I was able to stay awake, happiness is not what I felt.

I felt guilty for thinking I should be celebrating the death of a fellow human being. But then I fell asleep.

Today, as I monitored my twitter feed, and Facebook feed, I saw many posts about OBL and how he should have been “chopped up” or have his “head on a stick for all Muslims to see”. Gross. Seriously. How does saying something like that make you ANY better than the sicko’s who dreamed up the idea to crash two planes into buildings?

What do you see here?


So, do you see what I’m saying here? The celebrations and cheering and gross comments make you no better than the man who’s death you are rejoicing. To sit there and say “well them bastards did it first” makes you sound like an ignorant sheep.

As an atheist, what I am going to say probably goes against every stereotype of Mary Eberstadt and other fundamentalists… but OBL was your fellow human being. Act like a good Christian and mourn that it has come to this.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the history of the US relationship with the Taliban – we provided great aid via Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan to the Taliban of Afghanistan during the 70′s and 80′s while they were uprising in a civil war against the Soviet Communists. We gave them aid – money and weapons. They liberated themselves and the Taliban took power (if you’re unfamiliar with how TERRIBLE the Taliban is then you can peep their now shut down site here – although do so at your own risk, I’m sure my IP address has been flagged)… from rebels to rulers. Our prior friends, have turned to enemies… and Bin Laden was the mastermind manipulator.

I have been asking questions about this whole debacle… I am skeptical because of the quick burial, the seemingly staged photos of the POTUS and staff in the Situation Room. Will there be a death certificate? Why is it that Osama Bin Laden – THE most recognizable and feared man in the world – was living in a 3000 square feet compound in a city… ABOVE GROUND… and no one knew he lived there. Really? That fellow who was live tweeting the raid had no idea Bin Laden lived there? Hmm. It is just very odd to me, and I am skeptical. Give me the evidence, please.

On the other  hand – when it comes to the burial strategy I agree with what “was done” in terms of

1. respect to the individual and cultural practices

2. security – if his burial were not handled in the way it was – the radical Muslims would have retaliated possibly worse than they already will.

And they WILL retaliate. The followers of Bin Laden and sleeper cell terrorists will retaliate. I am willing to put money on it. (although, last time I placed a bet it was that Amy Whinehouse would be dead by 2010… she’s still kicking). But I do know the history of this group… I have lived through it all, I have seen how they treat women, how they treat their own people. Osama Bin Laden deserved to be brought to justice.

We thank our troops, and the Navy Seals for their bravery. But question your government. Do not fall victim of what the media tells you, do not fall into one party system vs the next.  After all… these outlets are the ones who mold and twist the facts to their agenda. They LIE to you. You are silly if you think they don’t.

Question it. Be skeptical.  Demand we stop funding Pakistan. Hopefully our government is questioning our relationship with Pakistan.

And do not cheer the death of another human being, you savages.


OK – so I don’t KNOW we’re not alone in this universe… but I’m fairly certain. I find it hard to believe that the size of this universe is only home to one measly planet fostering life.

I’ve never seen an alien. I’ve never seen a UFO, but my logic tells me they must exist. I am typing this and laughing b/c I have never seen God nor Satan… yet I’m fairly certain they DON’T exist… it would just be silly!

Ever see this pic from Jason Rowe of NASA? It’s an image of all 1,235 planets orbiting their respectful star in our galaxy taken by Kepler. I think 54 are in the Goldilocks zone. And this is only a teeny tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy and not even enough to take up a fraction worth mentioning of the stars in our universe. Check it out here… be sure to click on the full size image to get an idea of scale. http://www.tgdaily.com/space-features/55156-nasa-image-shows-a-thousand-potential-planets

One of my favorite genres of scifi is the alien invasion story. I think partly it’s because I am fascinated by space, and also because I am obsessed with mass destruction of earth and all the life on it (which is why I exaggerate my carbon footprint as much as possible… j/k but really, does it matter? That is still debatable IMO). After watching Battle Los Angeles, or rather, after waking up from Battle Los Angeles (biggest waste of money on Hollywood’s part, EVER), we left the theater discussing the POS we just saw. My friend suggested that if they wanted our water… since they’re so advanced, why not just stick a giant straw into the ocean and suck it all up, what could they possibly want with us? I gave a good hearty LOL and a /nod.

But Hawking warns against initiating first contact. He’s probably right, any species that could reach our planet – meaning they have the technology to travel thousands of light years to reach us – could probably disintegrate us in the blink of an eye – similar to the awesome scenes in the remake of War of the Worlds (Tom Cruise finally got to meet his makers in that film. He probably did the movie for free).

Anyway, whether you believe in aliens or not… the likelihood of life outside our solar system is totally possible, and outside our galaxy is mostly probable. Take a look at this vid below… some VERY cool and very recent home videos of some pretty spiffy UFOs. I actually found this posted on Twitter by our favorite borg Jeri Ryan. Yay!

Enjoy!

Yours in delightful scifi and imagination,

Amanda


Three years ago I saw my first episode of Fringe. Hooked since episode 1, I was literally fuming when I heard Fox, and the geniuses that run that channel, moved Fringe to the dreaded Friday time slot. This time slot killed another smart show from the past, one called “Firefly” – you may remember. Well, some relief washed over me when I heard that Fringe had a total of 4.9 million viewers and actually increased from 1.7 million to 1.9 million “viewers that count”  (adults aged 18-49 which is the age range that really matters, I’m guessing). I am holding on to hope.

I’m not sure if this was intentional – but the Friday debut of Fringe (after a six-week break) was titled “The Firefly”, that’s pretty damned clever in my opinion. I found the image below here.


So let’s save Fringe. Keep watching, readers. And if you’ve never watched the show, check it out. It’s smart, funny, emotional, and beautifully written and performed.

I’m so tired of smart TV being canceled. What is it about television that makes you think, that keeps you guessing, and that dares to be original that scares people away? Seriously… Jersey Shore. Where is the quality in that piece of shit show? That is something that seriously worries me about our society. Ridiculous shows like Jersey Shore and The Hills and basically anything on VH1 or MTV do nothing for society. Yet our future generations – high school and college kids obsess over these programs… and they are the future of this country and this society… and they are spending their time watching Jwoww pissing behind a bar and diluting the puddle with water from the beverage gun. Seriously.

OK so I’m not going to take the über elitist stance that you are everything wrong in the world (refer to photo)… but think about it. If you look at entertainment in this culture, specifically television and movies – we lack the interest in Science. Shows like Fringe (which happen to have lesson plans covering all the science they feature on the show), and other shows on the Science Channel / Discovery Channel – mainly “Through the Wormhole” and “Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking” really didn’t get the attention and longevity they deserve. Yet, Jersey Shore is on season three or something – as well as some spin-off called Jerseylicious or something stupid like that. But that lack of interest relates directly back to the growing epidemic our students / schools face – we are more focused on business (not a bad thing) or organized sports (again, not necessarily a bad thing) in our education system – and that would need to change to catch up with the world! (more on this maybe later)

Aside from purely science driven shows, both fiction and non fiction – I need to give some shout outs to a collection of some great television that has been canceled over the years:

Arrested Development, Firefly, Caprica, Legend of the Seeker – most of which have or will have movies made. I’d love to see your comments on some of your fave’s that have been given the boot.

Wrapping up, I really enjoy TV. I really enjoy learning, and when those things are combined it makes for really good entertainment for me, and my friends/family. I just wish our society could see more value in learning – rather than idiocy or even sports (that’s an entirely separate topic, maybe PT can write that entry for me).

For nostalgia purposes…. Top 50 Science Fiction Shows of All Time




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