Whatever Happened to Parsimony?

October 2, 2011

These two items cropped up recently:

The people proposing these theories and putting the photos up for sale are either themselves loopy, or they think there are gullible loopy people out there with scads of cash to waste. Or both.

I mean really.

When you see a picture that sort of looks like someone, do you think to yourself “gee, that sort of looks like [person]”?  Or do you think “That looks like [person], so it must be [person], because nobody else could POSSIBLY look kinda like [person]”?

It frightens me that there are people who think that undead vampires and time travel are more probable than some people looking like other people. They need to spend more time on this site, so they can learn that George Carlin is actually Sigmund Freud…

That about sums it up…

May 25, 2011

The Nibiru stupid – it burns!

April 17, 2011

I was searching for a nice tutorial for my students on using Stellarium today, when I came across this youtube video:

At first I thought it might be something cute inserted by the Stellarium team – it is open source, after all, so someone may have slipped it in. But then I read the description:

…If you also want observe Nibiru, just download and install the software Stellarium ( http://www.stellarium.org/ ) and then go directly to the directory C:\Program Files\Stellarium\data, and copy/paste the information below at the end of the ssystem.ini file.

name = NIBIRU
parent = Sun
radius = 24000
oblateness = 0.0
albedo = 0.9
lighting = true
halo = true
color = 1.0,0.84,0.68
tex_map = ariel.png
tex_halo = star16x16.png
coord_func = comet_orbit
orbit_Epoch = 630033.0
orbit_MeanAnomaly = 220.0
orbit_SemiMajorAxis = 234.888999
orbit_Eccentricity = 0.991700
orbit_ArgOfPericenter = 270.0
orbit_AscendingNode = 194.5
orbit_Inclination = -145.0
sidereal_period = 1336815.0


So I ask myself, just how fucking stupid are these people? This guy adds data for a nonexistent object into the software, and then claims the output is proof of the existence of that object. And he tells you how to do it.

So just to show how utterly ludicrous this is, I give you the following screenshot from Stellarium. Proof. What more do you need?

Economic argument against the woo

October 20, 2010

XKCD for the WIN:


April 23, 2010

Two things I love – guinea pigs and Doctor Who. Put them together and…


April 22, 2010

Thought of the day

April 16, 2010

Dilbert is one of the few things that keep me going despite rampant stooopidity in the world. This one certainly struck a chord.

Thought of the day

February 1, 2010

This is a quote from the X-Files tv show, from years gone by, that I was reminded of recently. It is of course a reference to Forest Gump.

Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. You’re stuck with this undefinable whipped-mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while, there’s a peanut butter cup, or an English toffee. But they’re gone too fast, the taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits, filled with hardened jelly and teeth-crunching nuts, and if you’re desperate enough to eat those, all you’ve got left is an empty box – filled with useless, brown paper wrappers. 

Tim Minchin’s Storm

January 10, 2010

An animated version of Tim Minchin’s poem Storm is in the works. In the meantime, for those of you unfamiliar with it, here is the live version in all its glory  a text version, as the live version has been pulled.


August 15, 2009

For a while there I got right into the arguments with Dawkinswatch, but eventually I realized that nothing I said ever actually sunk in. In fact it barely registered. DW kept applying non-sequitors and changing the subject by way of argument, and I realized that all I was doing was increasing traffic to his nonsense. So I dropped it, in hopes that maybe ignoring the stupidity would decrease the attention it was getting.

And then he posts this, blathering on, once again, about how evolution is just racism.

In reply to this, I have little recourse but to draw on the wisdon of lolcats: