Bill Nye vs Texas and Conservatives Try Science

It's clearly Photoshopped. There are no stars! (and if you need me to explain why that's so stupid, please consider why you can't see stars during the DAY)

May 4, 2012

Now that “Elves With Shotguns” is in the final stage of production and all I have to do is wait for RPGNow to approve the pdf for publication, I can finally sit back and enjoy the fruitful political and social discourse streaming through America’s media.

By that, of course, I mean foam at the mouth at the utter lack of comprehension at 3rd grade science. Three instances in the last few weeks have left me wondering why conservatives want to gut education since, besides a mountain of evidence that shows a strong public education would help our country, conservatives themselves show their own glaring ignorance of basic scientific concepts.

Limbaugh’s Concept of Science

Rush “Hindenburg of Sexism” Limbaugh is no stranger to denying climate change. He took it a step further recently when he claimed that global climate change created by human interference was a fraud because so many scientists agreed on it. It must be heard to be believed.

Here’s Rush’s argument. Science is not based on opinions. He has that part correct. No self-respecting scientist would agree with a new theory based solely on popular opinion. Here’s the part Rush left out: so many scientists agree with climate change because they have analyzed the data or otherwise performed their own experiments based on repeatable observations. That’s what scientific consensus means.

Scientists get behind a theory when a LOT of them can replicate experiments or verify that data and experiments were accurate. It’s not a popularity contest. By this logic, here are a few more things Rush must not believe in:

  • Evolution
  • The Big Bang
  • Geologic models of the earth
  • Gravity
  • The existence of extra-solar planets
  • Pi
  • The effectiveness of modern medicine

It does, however, reflect modern American conservative thinking: if there is evidence you are wrong, the evidence itself must be wrong.

abortion by ~marsmar on deviantART

Arizona Protects Imaginary Babies

The debate over abortion and taking away abortion rights is part of the larger war on women the GOP has been waging in recent years. Arizona also has the distinction of having some of the dumbest lawmakers in the country. Now that’s something to be proud of. This one, though, takes the cake.

From the Huffington Post:

Aside from banning all abortions after 20 weeks, defined from the date of the woman’s last period instead of conception except in the case of medical emergency, it will force women considering abortion because of fetal abnormalities to have counseling [sic], and for women having an abortion to have an ultrasound.

It also says the age of a foetus [sic] is “is calculated from the first day of the last [woman’s] menstrual period.”

Got that? In Arizona, you can be legally pregnant before you conceive. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Aside from the morally reprehensible act of denying women a basic medical treatment that is legal in the rest of the country simply because one ideology is against it, let’s consider the ramifications of this, okay? A woman can now retroactively be considered pregnant when she wasn’t. This opens up a whole can of legal worms. If they’re so set on making sure the potential for life remains, why not make it illegal to have wet dreams while they’re at it?

Seems as logical.

Bill Nye funny by ~Irish156 on deviantART

Bill Nye vs Texas

Bill Nye is one of my childhood heroes. The man made science fun and he’s been going and teaching for years now. The man will become a legend in his own right.

But Texas doesn’t like him. In fact, it seems Texas doesn’t like science.

Nye was in [Waco] to participate in McLennan Community College’s Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled “We believe in God!” and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they’d always suspected.

Yes, folks. It appears that pointing out the moon does not glow, a fact we can prove because we have PICTURES TAKEN ON THE SURFACE, is now an affront to Christians. Let me tell you something… if your beliefs are so fragile that having someone call out a two-thousand year old document that uses poetry to describe the world as being a two-thousand year-old document that uses poetry to describe the world… you need help.

And Bill Nye, I know I wasn’t there, but being a resident in this state, I feel I should apologize. Please come back. We have beer and brisket and Mexican grandmothers that know how to cook.

And now, let’s enjoy a trailer for a horror movie that actually looks interesting. See you Monday, and stay tuned for more updates and news on Randomology Games and the upcoming “Elves With Shotguns.”

Neutrinos and P-Brains

For science!

October 8, 2011

If there’s one thing I hate as much as I hate sloppy or lazy writing, it’s the inability of some people to grasp BASIC science. Things like the definition of “theory” or the scientific method, for example, are not so difficult that you need a doctorate to understand. We teach them to kids, so they’re obviously simple enough, right?

Enter Robert Bryce, a man who can’t seem to tell the difference between experiments and the gum he stepped on.

He wrote an article for the New York Times where he attacked green initiatives, clean energy, and environmentalism. He went so far as to say that, even if we knew carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases were harmful (they are), what can we do? We’re making more and more useful energy-draining devices. Emissions are down. What else are we supposed to do?

Past all the willing blindness to reality, however, is this little gem of a sentence. See if you can spot where Bryce shows us he’s replaced his brain with assorted change and dull spoon.

The science is not settled, not by a long shot. Last month, scientists at CERN, the prestigious high-energy physics lab in Switzerland, reported that neutrinos might—repeat, might—travel faster than the speed of light. If serious scientists can question Einstein’s theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth’s atmosphere.

What exactly are neutrinos, anyway? They’re an elementary subatomic particle like neutrons and electrons. However, neutrinos have no electrical charge and are only affected by the weak sub-atomic force. They’re also TINY. If an electron is the mass of a battleship, a neutrino is the size of an apple. This means neutrinos can pass through ordinary matter and we would never know unless we’d developed EXTREMELY sensitive equipment to verify theoretical models. In fact, that’s why, as you read this, you’re getting hit with something around one quadrillion neutrinos emanating from the sun. And no, that’s not a typo. That’s a 1 with 15 zeroes after it.

As for traveling faster than light, that’s a bold claim. Nothing can accelerate past the light barrier, but some scientists think matter might exist on the other side. These little darlings are called tachyons and do not violate Einstein’s theory because they did not ACCELERATE past light. They already started on the other side. It gets into really funky science after that, but the point is that the numbers on paper say tachyons MIGHT exist.

Did CERN find neutrinos traveling faster than light? Well, it’s doubtful.

Neutrino by ~egehlin on deviantART

But let’s go back to Bryce for a moment. He says that scientists reported on an anomaly that may show regular matter traveling faster than light. This, he says, means we should question climate science as well, right? If we can question Einstein of all people, we can question Al Gore and his silly little movie, right?

Well, yeah, he’s right. Except he forgot the second and third parts of his logical argument.

We can question Einstein and we can question climate science. Questioning something, however, does not equate into proof that runs counter to what the established theories state. In other words, if I went out and I said I ran an experiment in my own home to see if carbon dioxide causes warming and it showed the gas did nothing, that would not b e evidence climate change is not real. That experiment would be dissected by the scientific community and I would have to show how my new data explains the currently observed behavior or greenhouse gases.

Coastal Storm by ~shear-atmos-fear on deviantART

And here’s the kicker. Just because we have a debate, it does not mean there is a legitimate second point of view. When creationists try to claim that their point of view is legitimate because not everyone believes in evolution and people question Darwin, it does not mean the creationists are right. You have to show verifiable data. And do you know what happens to all that “data” creationists put in to defend their views?

It gets put through the scientific peer review process and is usually found to be lacking, a fluke, or fabricated.

Likewise, the claim that neutrinos traveled faster than light is being looked at by other scientists. It may turn out to be that equipment was faulty or someone forgot to carry the one. If it can be repeated, then we have to look at the underlying theory.

You can question climate science, Bryce, but that doesn’t mean you have a point. It just means you flunked middle-school science. Oh, and fifty points to anyone who tells me the joke in the title.

And now, here’s a short documentary of the Aperture. They build the future so we don’t have to.

Drinking Arsenic, Killing Babies, and other Moral Activities

You can also poop in public and kill to acquire a mate.

January 28, 2011

Did you ever wonder when it was acceptable to eat your own young?

It’s pretty much a given that Tea Partiers are going to say some really, really, really, stupid things. I just expect it by now. Republicans have been denying global warming and human-influenced climate change for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone try to use science like a cheap two-dollar whore like this.

If you’re unfamiliar with Michele Bachmann, she’s a Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota. She’s also a Tea Party darling and is the Founder of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress. And guess what? She thinks global warming is a hoax! Shock and awe!

Going Green by ~DoveLamore32 on deviantART

If you don’t know the difference between climate change and global warming or why there is no reason to believe either is false, I’d like to point you to this page that explains it in detail. Basically, humans have been pumping greenhouse gases for almost a hundred and fifty years and have caused the earth to significantly warm. This warming then led to overall climate change.

And what is Bachmann’s silver bullet? What is the key piece of information she’s using to debunk the fields of geology, meteorology, and biology?

The kind of common sense typically reserved for mentally challenged poodles. Behold the best the Tea Party can throw at us.

Bachmann’s entire argument is that carbon dioxide is natural and so pumping it into the atmosphere cannot be harmful. Since plants use it, it’s found in our bodies, and it’s a part of the circle of life, it’s a harmless part of the world and doesn’t hurt anyone.

…I think my IQ dropped 50 points while listening to that.

Okay, so “natural” equals “harmless”? That’s the logic used here. Let’s go over a few more natural things and see if this applies.

Hey, are you hungry? Do you have a newborn around? Just eat it! Seriously! This kind of thing happens in nature all the time. A mother gets hungry and, lo and behold, the newborn young are just made of tasty, tasty, meat. It’s a modest proposal, sure, but hey, if it works for the animals and it’s natural, it must be good, right?

Cannibalism by ~Akatsuki-Zombie on deviantART

What about nuclear fusion? That’s the process that keeps the sun hot and makes it possible for life to exist on this spinning rock of ours. It’s the most natural, abundant source of energy in the universe. And, for some reason, we keep using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are unnatural! Fusion is where it’s at! Not trying to attain thermonuclear fusion is immoral!

You know, no creature besides humans has a written language and art. Language and art are unnatural! That’s right. Art and the written worked are the creation of a mind so far removed from natural impulse that the only explanation is the devil’s hand. Repent! Repent!

Smallpox was a perfectly natural organism. Sure, it killed hundreds of millions of people and caused untold suffering, but it was natural. Nature made it and it ravaged the globe. And we killed it. We are destroyers of God’s creation!

Global Warming Poster by ~crooklyn2108 on deviantART

Arsenic! That’s another natural thing, right? It’s even touted as a newfound building block in certain types of bacteria. That means it’s safe, correct? According to Bachmann logic, it should be as safe as drinking a bottle of Evian. Since it’s natural, it should be as good for you as a Tony Horton-approved trip to Whole Foods, right?

No creature on Earth makes art or has a written language. It’s an abomination. deviantART is an affront to God and Man! All literature and poetry are the blaspehmous ramblings of mad devils living in your brain!


If Bachmann’s numbers are right, if the percentage of carbon dioxide is a fraction of a percent… maybe she’d like to tweek her DNA just a fraction of a percent. Then she’d look like a monkey. And her physical form would match her reasoning skills. You know, if a rock massing just a million thousand tons (a tenth of a millionth of a trillionth of Earth’s mass) struck our planet, even if just dropped and allowed to hit at terminal velocity, it would equal 360 tons of high explosive. That’s a pretty big bang. It would be even bigger if it was moving at your average doomsday-asteroid speed.

Okay, now I’m being snippy, but I think I deserve snippiness. Bachmann is using an argument so utterly stupid that an eight-grader could destroy it. Just because something is “natural” or “unnatural” does not make it good. What and how it contributes to our world make it moral or immoral.

In short, The Tea Party’s stupid, climate change is real, and nuclear fusion rocks.

global warming by ~endlesshate on deviantART

And now, in honor of Mrs. Bachmann and her conservative crusade, I present to you links designed to show you the depths of sleaze and carnality.

  • The T-Rex, previously turned into a feathered pansy, is back! It’s the same killer we remember from Jurassic Park.
  • Roni River, an Israeli photographer, shunned turning the camera on herself for a long time. When she finally did, she shot some erotic, personal, and very beautiful images. She took one image per day for a year. The results are some of the most gorgeous images of the human body I think I’ve seen a modern photographer capture. Is she supermodel-gorgeous? I think so, but she’s no waif.
  • And finally, it looks like God gave a press conference to answer some burning questions. Find out the meaning of life by checking out the video, and I’ll see you all on Monday. Also, don’t forget to keep spreading the word about this site and Charcoal Streets. Laters!