Knuckleball: I’M ON A HORSE

Hello, ladies, look at your man,

now back to me,

 now back at your man,

now back to me.

 

Sadly, he isn’t me,

but if he stopped using ladies scented body wash

 

and switched to Penquin Spice, he could smell like he’s me.

 

Look down,

 

back up, where are you? You’re on a cliff with the man your man could smell like.

What’s on your jearsy,

 

back at me.

 

I have it, it’s a Stanley Cup

 

with two friends doing that thing you love.

 

Look again, the friends are now MARRIED! (check the hats closly)

  Anything is possible when your man smells like Penquin Spice and not a lady.

 

*****************************I’m on a horse.************************* 

4 Seamer: A few links and topics of interest.

A hit of new videos, topics and chats.

AtheistAndromedas Wake who does a lot of really great astronomy videos and other things of interest on YouTube has this short video essay. Amazing and powerful. I don’t think I need to add much more, just watch it. I’ll post something later about my own feelings, but for now this is a great primer of how I too feel about being an Atheist.

A debate between PZ Myers and Jerry Bergman.  I know not everyone (ok hardly anyone) will watch this all the way through like I did. Its 1:43:00 long, so you’d have to dedicate some time to getting through the whole thing. I was very interested in what kinds of things Bergman had to bring to the discussion and I was not disappointed. There was pretty much nothing in terms of evidence, a lot of bat-nutty claims (Carbon atoms are irreducibly complex because if you remove any part of them they are no longer carbon…) and a LOT of claims of ‘lots of people agree with me but you can’t find them because they are too scared to actually agree with me in public’. Survive long enough to get to the Q&A section and Bergman even pulls out the ever so convincing ‘Evolution leads to Hitler’ and ‘The Nazi’s did what they did because of Charles Darwin’. I wish I was kidding, but he managed to say those things with a straight face. PZ through the whole thing sits and actually responds to most of the meaningful things, but at points lets Bergman blow up his own case for him. Its hilarious.

And a comic strip roll:

-SMBC explains…well…yup

-Calamities of Nature  dive into the meaning of spirits, ghosts, and whatever. Is it in the realm of science or not?

-Derryl Cunningham does a wonderful, but lengthy, discussion of evolution. Read and learn.

In other news, Jared Weaver and Howard Kendrick of the Los Angeles Angels are going to the All-Star Game! I’m excited for Weaver, he got snubbed last year. I’m equally excited for Howard as well, he’s been deserving of this honor for some time. He may not be a huge home run guy, but he quietly goes about his business hitting for a high average and playing stellar defence in just about every possible fielding position there is! Seriously, I’ve seen this guy at 2nd, 1st, right field, and left field this year and he’s done GREAT at each!

Lastly, I’ll be heading out to Ontario next week, so hopefully I will come back with some interesting pictures to post.

Changeup: Only 9 years old

A few days ago there was an entry on PZ Myers blog Pharyngula about a story of a 9 year old girl named Emma B who went to a NASA exhibit and when shown a display of a moon rock. She was told by the lady guiding the tour that the rock was 3.75 billion years old she asked this: “Where you there?”.  It’s a silly question and one that would be pretty easy to dismiss as an innocent girl who thought she was being insightful and was just mixed up in how best to ask “How do you know it’s that old? Where you there?”.  That pretty much would have ended the story right there. Sadly, that isn’t what our Emma was trying to ask, because she had been taught by her parents that the group Answers in Genesis has the ‘right’ way to question a scientist. Here, just go watch this video titled “Friends of God — Evolution” and see what I’m talking about. (Skip ahead to 4:00 for the really relevant parts). The fellow doing the ‘teaching’ is Ken Ham. You can find Kens response to Emma here which is duplicated above, but as you will see later why I want to point to Ken’s side too.

Now you understand the context of what is going on, here is PZ Myers response to Emma.

Dear Emma;

I read your account of seeing a 3.75 billion year old moon rock, and how you asked the person displaying it “Were you there?”, the question that Ken Ham taught you to ask scientists. I’m glad you were asking questions — that’s what scientists are supposed to do — but I have to explain to you that that wasn’t a very good question, and that Ken Ham is a poor teacher. There are better questions you could have asked.

One serious problem with the “Were you there?” question is that it is not very sincere. You knew the answer already! You knew that woman had not been to the moon, and you definitely knew that she had not been around to see the rock forming 3.75 billion years ago. You knew the only answer she could give was “no,” which is not very informative.

Another problem is that if we can only trust what we have seen with our own two eyes in our short lives, then there’s very little we can know at all. You probably know that there are penguins in Antarctica, and that the Civil War was fought in the 1860s, and that there are fish swimming deep in the ocean, and you also believe that Jesus was crucified two thousand years ago, but if I asked you “Were you there?” about each of those facts, you’d also have to answer “no” to each one. Does that mean they are all false?

Of course not. You know those things because you have other kinds of evidence. There are photographs and movies of penguins and fish, there are documents from the time of the Civil War, as well as the fact that in many places you can still find old bullets and cannon balls buried in the ground from the time of the war, and you have a book, the Bible, that tells stories about Jesus. You have evidence other than that you personally witnessed something.

This is important because we live in a big ol’ beautiful world, far older than your 9 years, and there’s so much to learn about it — far more than you’ll ever be able to see for yourself. There’s a gigantic universe beyond South Carolina, and while you probably won’t ever visit a distant star or go inside a cell, there are instruments we can use to see farther and deeper than your eyes can go, and there are books that describe all kinds of wonders. Don’t close yourself off to them simply because you weren’t there.

I’d like to teach you a different easy question, one that is far, far more useful than Ken Ham’s silly “Were you there?” The question you can always ask is, “How do you know that?”

Right away, you should be able to see the difference. You already knew the answer to the “Were you there?” question, but you don’t know the answer to the “How do you know that?” question. That means the person answering it will tell you something you don’t know, and you will learn something new. And that is the coolest thing ever.

You could have asked the lady at the exhibit, “How do you know that moon rock is 3.75 billion years old?”, and she would have explained it to you. Maybe you would disagree with her; maybe you’d think there’s a better answer; maybe you’d still want to believe Ken Ham, who is not a scientist; but the important thing is that you’d have learned why she thought the rock was that old, and why scientists have said that it is that old, and how they worked out the age, even if they weren’t there. And you’d be a little bit more knowledgeable today.

I’ll assume you’re actually interested in knowing how they figured out the age of the rock, so I’ll try to explain it to you.

The technique scientists use is called radiometric dating. It uses the fact that some radioactive elements slowly fall apart, turning into other elements. For instance, a radioactive isotope of potassium will decay over time into an isotope of another element, argon.

One way to think of it is that it’s like an hourglass. You know how they work: you start with all the sand in the top half of the hourglass, and it slowly trickles into the bottom half. If you see an hourglass with all the sand at the top and none at the bottom, you know it was recently flipped over. If you see one with half the sand in the top, and half in the bottom, you know it’s about halfway through the time it will run. And if you look at how quickly the sand moves through the neck of the hourglass, you could even figure out how long until it all runs out.

In radiometric dating, the scientists are looking at how far along all the radioactive potassium is in the process of turning into argon. The amount of potassium is like the amount of sand in the top half of the hourglass, while the amount of argon is like the amount in the bottom half. By measuring the relative amounts of the two elements, and by measuring how fast radioactive potassium turns into argon, we can figure out how long it’s been since the rock solidified.

It takes a very long time for the decay to occur. It takes 1 and a quarterbillion years for half the potassium to turn into argon. When they measured those elements in the moon rocks, they found that the radiometric hourglass had mostly run out, so they knew that it was very, very old.

Scientists double-check everything. They also looked at other elements, like how quickly uranium turns into lead, or rubidium into strontium, and they all agree on the date, even though these are decay processes that run at different rates. All the radiometric hourglasses they’ve used give the same answer: 3.75 billion years. None of them say 6,000 years.

I think you’re off to a great start — being brave enough to ask older people to explain themselves is exactly what you need to do to learn more and more, and open up the whole new exciting world of science for yourself. But that means you have to ask good questions to get good answers so that you will learn more.

Don’t use Ken Ham’s bad question, and most importantly, don’t pay attention to Ken Ham’s bad answers. There’s a wealth of wonderful truths that reveal so much more about our universe out there, and you do not want to close your eyes to them. Maybe someday you could be a woman who does go to the moon and sees the rocks there, or a geologist who sees how rocks erode and form here on earth, or the biologist who observes life in exotic parts of the world…but you won’t achieve any of those things if you limit your mind to the dogma of Answers in Genesis.

Best wishes for future learning,
smallsig.gif

This has to be one of the most elegant and wonderful things I’ve ever read. PZ has explained why it’s not a very good question and how to get a better answer. He’s written something even a 9-year-old can understand, or at least should be able to. He’s been clear and simple, sincere and open. He doesn’t mock Emma for her poor idea, he gives explains better ways to learn new stuff and even says quite plainly that she’s welcome to disagree with him and continue to believe Ken Ham’s interpretation of the universe, but that learning new things should be a good thing!

Now I haven’t posted about this yet but one of my major concerns with religion is it stifles its adherents willingness to learn about the world about them beyond there holy texts. Ken Ham’s teaching of children should strike any sane, non-fundamentalist person as method to make sure these kids don’t learn things that might disagree with his world-view. This to me is sick. It is wrong and it is harmful. It’s warping a child’s mind away from one of the greatest things about being a child: discovering the world around them. These kids aren’t old enough to understand the facts of life, their still working on the basics of 1+1 and he’s telling them they have no need to think about anything else, just ask “where you there?” when confronted with something that goes against what he teaches. These kids are still working out the concepts of right and wrong within society, their haven’t even grown up to the point they can make the choice who to believe yet, they are told ‘believe me because your mommy and daddy have said so and don’t you even think about believing anyone else’. Sick. Sick SICK.

I have no qualms about respecting an adult making an informed choice of belief, even if I disagree with that choice. They have chosen what facts, evidence, and  information to accept and which to reject. They can make a ‘educated choice’. A child taught like this cannot. They are being robbed of their ability to think for themselves before they ever have a chance to learn that they can! This in my opinion is one of the greatest crimes against humanity ever, destroying a child’s ability and desire to learn. Sure there are uncomfortable facts about life that we don’t want our kids to learn about too soon, but that doesn’t excuse people like Ken Ham from twisting them away from learning anything that might be uncomfortable, or in this case contradict him.

Let me ask this, from a christian perspective then, if a person never makes a choice to follow christ because they are never told they have the option not too, are they really choosing anything? If they’ve grown up with only one option and been so indoctrinated against any other possibilities, even if they do everything right according to their faith, does it matter? I know all the verses, I know all the arguments here so don’t quote me John 3:16 please, because it’s quite simple, if a person never makes a choice because they’ve been denied the right to think about it since birth, does this non-choice have any meaning? Does god accept those that only chose faith because their parents said so?

Its semantics to me, considering I don’t believe in some magic space daddy, but the implications should bother my christian friends who’ve come of age by now. Most kids will grow out of this phase hopefully and start to look at the world around them, perhaps question some things and maybe make a choice later, but the goal of Ken Ham is to prevent that. ‘Get em early before they can question us’ mentality has to be the sickest form indoctrination. The mother in the video from above is clearly one person who never stopped in their life to make a real choice, from birth to death this lady will likely never question the validity of Ken Ham or of the Bible or of her ‘saviour’.

Normally I’d leave it here but this saga continues because dear readers, apparently what PZ wrote above is an attack!!! I’m not even going to summarise this, just read it.

ATHEISTS ATTACK OVER EMMA 

Ok, now notice something missing here? Like ANY LINK TO PZ’s post he questions?

KH: “Apparently, in this instance with Emma, a well known atheist wrote (very typical for him) an anti-Christian blog attacking me/AiG.  Apparently some of his followers decided to send this on etc.  I don’t read these vile blogs, but it is typical of these extremely intolerant people who in the anger, shake their fist at God.”

Wait…’intolerant’? ‘Angry’? Maybe I missed something in PZ’s letter that stands out as intolerant or angry. *re-reads it* Hmm…nope, seems pretty calm and reasoned to me. I know I said this before, but PZ even says it clearly, Emma is free to agree with Ken Ham if she wants too. ZOMG! INTOLERANCE ABOUNDS!!!11!1!!ONEELEVEN!!!11!!!! (sorry, leet speek) and the rest of the response just gets more depressing from there.  The comments are equally disheartening to read. Examples:

James Strom Isn’t it true that God uses the “uneducated” un-perfect people (Like me and you) to teach the “Overeducated” about the Wisdom of God? Good for you Emma! Praise God indeed!

Lisa Joy Starr They must be really scared of all the Emmas in the world to attack a 9 yr old like that. It just proves to me that they know that we are right or else why would they be so vicious?

Jason Eric I am so glad that the world is still filled with far, far more people like Emma and her mom than people like these atheists who will stoop to anything, including viciously attacking a little girl. You don’t attack kids, atheists. You just don’t.

I’ve seen enough, moving on.

For someone who claims he doesn’t read ‘these vile blogs’ Ken certainly has a lot to say about them. This isn’t the first time Ken and PZ have butted heads over things but usually they are scientific facts they disagree over, and Ken has this constant habit of not linking anything he refers to so his readers can find out for themselves. In the world of the internet this is considered very dodgy and dishonest. Ken doesn’t want people to actually read what PZ wrote, just his conclusion about it. Not very surprising. Here is PZ replying back, sarcastically.

I know I haven’t addressed the evolution topic before, or the science vrs faith (ways of knowing) topic, and I intend to in the future, but for now I hope I’ve made it clear how I feel about the actions of people like Ken Ham and those that would destroy a child’s mind before they have a chance to ever use it.

Splitter: Two very good board games.

7 Wonders: An excellent game I was able to try out a few days ago. Fast paced, lots of strategy but not overwhelming and worked really well for groups of 6-7. Its got draft elements that I love and building elements that players of Dominion will have an easy time slipping into. Good stuff.

Modern Art: An older auctioning game, very good. Fine for 4-5, little tough at 6 but doable. Its quick, but not that great to play if your players aren’t very good at basic math or value judging. It’s very good with the right group though. I want this one.

Just remember, its my birthday next Thursday!

Slider: Why we need Smitty

If you’ve been paying attention to any kind of Oilers news aside from the draft pick hype perhaps you’ve come across another revival of the ‘Will Ryan Smyth come back to the Oil?’ discussion. There have been a few tweets, a few short articles and the odd mention here and there but no real meat to the news. At this moment as far as I can tell no party is actively talking to the other party, so for now these are just really persistent rumours. Like the first time I heard these rumours last year I have the same feeling. Not likely to happen but he would do us a world of good.

Mr Mullet, Smitty, Hard-nose Ryan, whatever you want to call him is a power left winger, an accomplished leader, a local (Banff) born who knows the city and knows his art. He’s one of the best front-of-net presence players I’ve ever seen. He has the dirty goal mentality that was missing from our Oilers last year, he’s the garbage collector that will net 20-30 goals per year from sheer determination and power. We have snipers, we have skaters, we even have a few bruisers but right now there isn’t anyone on our team that I could say is a good net-presence player. Hall and Ebs both can dangle and play games in the corners but we don’t want them taking cross checks and tipping slap shots from the point all game, that’s a waste of their talent and a large injury risk for young players. Omark, dispute his small size, may eventually be able to fill this role, but certainly not for a few more years, and he would do it with positioning and deft hands. Not the grit and power of Smyth.

With Smyth on a line with either Eberle or Hall it would give the speedy youngsters more freedom to use the cycle game with the high D, instead of a deep corner cycle. They could take more chancy shots knowing Ryan can turn low percent shots into goals just by collecting the garbage, or tipping a shot, or making it tough for the goalie to see it. I think last year it hurt our snipers last year without the kind of player Smyth is in front. For good portions of the year they seemed timid in taking low percentage shots because no one was around the net to make anything happen after. With Smitty on his game they can start using their high-risk high-reward shots with more confidence and that will pay out quickly.

He’s no slouch on defence either! Above average for a forward at defensive responsibility, which is something our newer kids still struggle with at times.

The cap hit wouldn’t be steep, the trade price to get him wont be tough. I know we’re investing in the future with kids in this rebuild, but a player like Captain Canada is all upside right now assuming a deal can be reached.

Thoughts?

4 Seamer: High and tight reads

A quick couple interesting posts from today,

Falsehood: Correlation Implies/Does Not Imply Causality  : A very interesting and in-depth take on the whole mess of people who’ll abuse stats to say one thing means (or might mean) something, and the people who’ll take clear stats and disregard them by the same way. Basically its an excellent primer on how to use the ‘Does/Does Not Imply’ situation. It’s a little long, but Greg Laden and his blog are good reads. http://xkcd.com/552/ XKCD writer Randall Munroe paints the excellent stick figure picture

A children’s activity book, I wish this was made up From Pharyngula. I’m ok with adults making their own choices when it comes to religion, you’re all big boys and girls you can make your own minds up. The kids who read this? No. They were told by their authority figures what the hierarchy was in no uncertain terms. These children can’t make up their own mind whether this is right or not. But that’s the way to do it right? Teach em the pecking order before they learn to question why it may not be proper…

 SMYYYYYTTTTTTHHHHHHH!!!!  Yes please! Move Souray, move a few others but not the top prospects, but PLEASE yes! We need his grit and determination back! But…in honest terms I give this a 30% chance of happening.

Well, that’s it for the first 4 Seamer. Lemme know what you want out of these. More of stuff, less of stuff, whatever. I suppose I’ll need more examples before any real patterns reveal themselves, but its a start!

My Halos are about to start their game in Florida, gotta run!

EDIT: GAH! I dunno how to do links properly still. The old Blahblha doesn’t seem to work in this. Anyone help?

NEW EDIT!: AHA! I have mastered the art of the link. *forhead smack*

Knuckleball: Did I not mention this?

Holy crap!

I don’t have any idea how this slipped through the wall-oh-text that I posted earlier. It had been a while I suppose and wasn’t primarily on my mind. Which is strange because I was doing it in between typing paragraphs yesterday.

What am I talking about???The great bison stew of june 11Stew! Yummy delicious slow cooked, seasoned to near perfection tender bison stew!

That’s right, I cook and I’m proud of it. I like experimenting with different ways to cook meats mostly. I love my slow cooker to bits. I’ve made roasts, stews, and other delights. Since the wonderful-amazing-sexy-cute-lovely-yummy(hereafter abbreviated WASCLY) girlfriend came into my life I’ve found I’ve really enjoyed cooking for us. She does some baking and other odd meals, but I do the primary meal stuff. Her love of Indian foods has also expanded my cooking horizons to include a half-decent butter chicken.

As for the above stew last night, the meat was AMAZINGLY tender. Cooked just right. But I did err in one regard which made it not quite 100% perfect. I forgot that bison, my meat of preference, is so much leaner than regular beef that any recipe calling for X amount of water to be added to the slow cooker means X+30-40% more. I only added regular beef level water and that made the sauce very thick but a little too strong. Oops. In addition to the regular spices I had added some pepper, parsley, and seasoning salt to the regular mixture.

Here are some of my older creations from the past:

WASCLY GF Loves Mushrooms and Onions fried up like this. I must admit, she’s convinced me! It’s so fun to fry up in some butter and garlic. Nutritional values are for suckers.

An example of the butter chicken I make. Very saucy.Why yes you CAN make steak and fries on the same pan over a fire in Jasper, I did!

And the roast fixings for one of my better beef roasts.

That’s it for this time, hope I’ve inspired someone to go cook something nummy. You can’t go wrong with BACON!

 

 

In the big-inning…

Welcome to On the Outside Corner.

My name is OTOC (pronounced Oh-tawk), though some of you may know me as Laury already. Either will work here though I’m going to prefer OTOC in general. It’s not really a privacy thing, but a way to keep personal life and blog life a clear distinction at times.

To get things started I suppose its best I explain what I want to do with this space, then I’ll carry on to a bit about myself and see what happens from there. I’ve been an avid blog reader for many years and though it was time to lay down some of my own thoughts. I intend to post about things I enjoy, find interesting, annoying, or intriguing in a few different areas as I’ll list below. I don’t want to paint myself into a corner and say I’ll ONLY ever do these things, but its a good way to get started at least. To keep the ideas flowing. If you have suggestions for things I should write about, leave a comment or email me at onth3outsidecorner@gmail.com. (Friends and family, this email address is strictly relating to the OTOC blog, so please don’t spam it for other stuff. You already know my regular personal addresses, thanks!) I’ll try not to WALL-OH-TEXT all the time, I’ll keep things a bit shorter then this normally, or add pictures to break things up but for now all this seems to needs saying. Also, if you’re sensitive to ‘bad words’…well I can’t help you. I will use ‘swear’ language from time to time here. Not lightly, but when strong language I feel is appropriate. I’ll try not to be a potty mouth though. Fair?

As for the name, On the Outside Corner, well that’s easy. It’s a baseball term meaning a pitch that was in the strike zone but very close to the outside edge. I think its proper because my personality, lifestyle, and beliefs tend to leave me just around the fringes of absolute normal. I don’t think I’m so nutty that I’m ‘off the plate’ so to speak but always skirting the edge. It’s clearly just my opinion so I’m not worried about if it fits for other people’s perception of me or not. Besides, I needed a name and that one seemed to stick! As for the onth3outsidecorner business, the name without the 3 was already taken as a free domain and I didn’t feel like paying 17$’s for the .com address yet until I got a feel for what I am doing and where this was going. After fiddling with different ideas to make it work I settled with the 3 in there instead of the E because it makes a nice middle ‘3out’ phrase in the middle. I hadn’t seen it there until I picked it, but now I’m actually a bit thrilled to have seen it. Its kinda cool in a cheesy way. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to go all ‘leet speek’ on my readers. Indulge me on this one vanity ‘leet’ and I’ll promise not to do it again.

So the great WHO AM I paragraph. I’ll be honest, I have some difficulty writing this. Not because I’m too modest or shy to talk about myself, nor because I think I’m so great that I don’t know where to begin, but mostly because I don’t know what’s relevant to people or what they want to know! I’ll give a basic run down and if anyone has any questions or wants to know more, let me know! I’ll certainly expand on anything. For now, the OTOC is a telecommunications technical support agent. No that’s not fancy speak for something less interesting, it really is what it is. I fix the internet, tv, and phones. Its something I enjoy for work because I like talking to people, figuring out problems, and technology. In the past I’ve been in school for a few things, Theatre Production; the tech stuff, not acting. Building sets, doing lighting, stage management and the like. I’ve also done school learning how to fix the skin and structures of aircraft. That’s a lot of metal sheet work and tools and stuff. If it’s not the electronics or the engine, it’s what I learned how to fix. It’s a pretty cool field but not a lot of work around these parts. I’m a CFL/CJFL statistician, along with my Dad, Uncle, Mother, and a few others. I also enjoy learning Western European Swordsmanship. Not the play-acting or dress up kind, but the real combat fighting stuff. (http://www.swordsmanship.ca/ is where I’ve spent most of my time learning, GREAT people!)

Oh yah, and if you didn’t know…I’m an Umpire. I love baseball of all kinds. I got started umping last year for the NSA and an independent league. This year I’m only doing the indi-league which is a hybrid orthodox rules, with fast-but-not-windmill pitching. Its definitely more competitive than softball or slo-pitch, but not too intense. I like the players and have ever only had to toss one guy out of a game, compare that to the NSA where I tossed a whole team once but that’s a tale for later. I enjoy being part of the game and being involved in every single play. I think I’m a good ump, I know I hustle on every play and do my best to be the closest person on the field to any play aside from the players actually involved. That has earned me respect in many ways I think. Close plays will always happen and people will disagree, but if I’m closer than anyone else on the field then my call had better be respected. It makes disagreements a snap to diffuse: “That guy was safe/out/whatever” they’ll holler ‘Yeah? I was 5 feet away, you were on the other side of the diamond/on the bench. I’m pretty sure I had a better angle to see it’. I’m not perfect, and I KNOW I’ve missed a call or two, but in general I get a lot less grief from the teams because of that hustle. I’m sure there will be some articles on umping and baseball in general.

Speaking of baseball, my favourite team is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. When the Edmonton Trappers were still with us they were the AAA farm team for the Angels for many years and I got to watch some hall of fame players early in their career (ok I was REALLY young for some of them) and even some current players. I still have my Macier Izturas trappers baseball card in fact, he’s a current middle infielder for the Angels! I really enjoy going down to the Phone Booth (Telus field) and watching the Capitals play. Its good ball, not major leagues but still very enjoyable. I’ve been to 4 major league parks in my life time; Angel stadium, Dodger Statium, Petco Field (San Diego) and the original Mile High stadium on Denver. Angel stadium was the best of them of course, not just because it was my team but the stadium itself was amazing. Dodger stadium was pretty cool too for its history and classic feel. Petco was interesting and I don’t remember much about Mile High because I was 8 then, but we had sat at the very top row, a Mile-and-a-Half High!

Moving on, I’m also very interested in learning about our universe. In another life I would have been a great physicist or cosmologist. I enjoy biology but not as much as I enjoy the inner mechanics of our existence. I read a lot of science material, books or papers or whatever. Some may say too much, but I don’t think there is such a thing. I understand a lot of it by now, but most of the higher math still escapes me so I can’t get too involved in it myself. I can describe the basics of the big bang, of most of the weirdness of quantum mechanics (first person to quote Faynmen here saying ‘If you say you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics needs to understand the context of that quote first please) I can throw down with the details of the Einstein’s theories as well as hold my own with a good discussion of Evolution. I love science!

This is a good of a point as any to state this clearly: I am an Atheist. Not an Agnostic. I will discuss this in more detail in posts and such, but for background I will state that I was raised primarily in a Pentecostal Christian church, moving to a Baptist church for a while too. It wasn’t until around my 20th birthday that I was certain about this, and many years later until I was comfortable admitting it to friends and family. I do not have a lot of good things to say about religion, but up front I DO respect an individuals right to choose for themselves. Where I butt heads with people often comes from the confusion that I can respect an individual and respect their right to choose while not having to respect the religion or the choices they make. People deserve respect and decency, bad ideas and illogical conclusion do not. For example, In my view its ok to openly criticize the idea that someone was swallowed whole by a ‘great fish’, survived within its stomach for 3 days, and was spit back up on to land. Regardless of what you believe about its origin, this idea is not worthy of being treated with respect. It’s just plain silly. Now the point I’m trying to get across is I wont then say people who believe it must be straight up silly themselves, because a lot of perfectly fine and otherwise normal people do think it’s perfectly ‘reasonable’ to think its a fact. Well, again I respect their right to choose that, but I will argue that it is not at all reasonable. There is no ‘reason’ involved in shouting ‘Miracle!’ to justify nonsense. So if  you’re worried  that because I’m an atheist that I’m either not aware of what Christianity preaches, I am well aware. If you’re worried I’m just going to bash on people because I disagree strongly with them, I will try my best to keep it clear that it’s the ideas and rational involved that I oppose, not people. Yes the ideas and rational came from people, but frankly no new ideas have been added to religions side for millennia, so I’m mostly criticizing the parroting of ancient idea. If there is a person individually that needs criticize it will be people who take their ‘faith’ and use it to justify absolute intolerance, injustice, and bat-shit nuttery (I’m looking at the anti-gay community as a prime example here, young earth creationists are also pretty high on my list of criticized ideas) I’m sure this will all be discussed in more detail later.

In addition to all that, I’m a huge ‘gamer’. I play all kinds of board and card games. My collection (or OUR collection if you count the beautiful, wonderful, sexy, smart, cute, amazing girlfriend who may or may not be editing this) of board games is overflowing a large cabinet already, and the collection of cards is also equally large. I’m a MTG Level 1 Judge, meaning I know the rules very well. Even the most obscure stuff,  though I’m not inerrant in everything. I enjoy judging tournaments for The Adventurers Guild (http://theadventurersguild.ca/)  as well as drafting. I don’t do a lot of constructed play any more for MTG, I don’t have the time or resources to keep up. I’m a pretty good FPS player, and enjoy a lot of RPGs. I LOVE Dominion and other similar build-a-deck themed games. I’ve never LARPed and have no real want to get into that aspect, but I do enjoy a good DnD game, or Shadowrun. One of these days I’ll get a good Shadowrun group going again and maybe I’ll post about that. I have WoWed in the past, it was fun but I just can’t justify the time involved to keep going.

Well, that’s a big enough rant about myself I suppose. I guess it’s a good idea to talk about the topics I want to post about here. A good list I have so far is broken down into types of baseball pitches, both for continuity and for my own amusement. These are not set in stone, but a good start. It’s all pretty much arbitrary what I’m picking, but I doubt I’ll get a lot of dissent. Here it is:

 

TOPIC TITLES

4 Seam Fastball: Its thrown hard and has little movement. A general quick update, news or current events related most times.

2 Seam Fastball: Thrown hard but with some break to it. Another quick update but with a bit of angle to it, more targeted news or current events. Bit more in-depth.

Curveball: A slower pitch that breaks sharply as it comes into the plate. A good description for longer posts, probably related to science and technology topics.

Slider: A pitch that is thrown at a moderate speed and breaks horizontally to the batter. Sports and Umping related topics can go here.

Changeup: Thrown to look like a fastball but uses a slow speed to get the batter off-balance. A place to discuss politics, religion or other topics that will take a while to get through.

Knuckle Ball: Throwing the Knuckler can lead anywhere, even the pitcher doesn’t know where!! A good random category for silly, humour, and otherwise random nonsense. Expect this to be used!

Splitter: A hard thrown downward breaking ball. A group for gaming and game-related posts.

There, what do you think?

Feel free to post comments and suggestions about topics you’d like to hear from me about. Things I should or should not say. Whatever is on your mind! Let me know in the comments. If this is your first time to wordpress.com and don’t have an account to sign up with, it’s really easy and free to do. It’s just your normal ‘user name, password and associated email’ situation. Even my grandma can do that! So come on in and let me know what you think!

And welcome to OTOC!

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