Carnivalia and an open thread


A Tangled Bank announcement!

The Tangled Bank

The next Tangled Bank will be at Greg Laden's place, so send those links in to me or before Wednesday!

A reminder!

Don't forget to tune in to Atheist Talk at 9am tomorrow morning. The topic of the day: Lori Lipman Brown, lobbyist for the Secular Coalition of America, will be interviewed.

An open thread!

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It's Friday! I have no classes today, so this is the day where I desperately struggle to catch up with the backlog; it also happens to be the day we're hosting a party at our house (you're invited: 5:30, my place, across the street from the university; everyone who is anyone will be there). If you…
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Impressive. [Scratches chin.] Makes one think about the possibility of writing a best-selling book, doesn't it?

By Physicalist (not verified) on 16 Feb 2008 #permalink

The $500 Dollar Fence

When I was a teenager, I asked my mother if we could get a dog. After the usual begging and pleading, followed by sworn pledges to take care of it, walk it and feed it, my mother finally agreed.
We went down to the Bide-A-Wee Home for Friendless Animals in Wantagh and adopted a dog. There was no charge except for a $5 license fee. When we got the dog home, problems soon developed and the dog kept running away. I'm not clear on all the details, but my mother ended up getting a chain link fence put around the front yard. It cost somewhere around $500.
Now my father was not involved in these goings on and when he found out about it, he was plenty annoyed. I remember him shouting "you paid $5 for the god damned dog and $500 for a god damned fence to keep him from running away?"
I was thinking about that today as I loaded my new aquarium into the back of Tom's pickup truck. You see, I decided to dabble in the aquarium world and I got this little 20 gallon tank and set it up in my room. I read what I thought I had to know and went down to the fish store to obtain some inhabitants. I picked a regal tang, a clownfish, and a perfectly adorable dog faced puffer.

They seemed to be flourishing and so I went out and got another clown fish and a yellow tang. I figured that was enough. Turns out, it was more than enough. The first clown fish promptly killed the newbie clown. Pretty annoying considering it was a $30 fish. Then a few days later, I woke up and found the puffer swimming on top of the yellow tang. I don't know what happened, but the tang was dead. Another $30 fish.
Then came the topper. It turns out dog faced puffers grow to a pretty large size, and require an aquarium of 75-100 gallons. Mine was only 20. So I figured I would have to get rid of doggie and stick with smaller fish.
But he was so darned cute, and Gail liked him, so here I was, at the aquarium store. Yep, you guessed it. Buying a $500 aquarium for my little $20 puffer fish.

Interesting stuff about Dawkins, there. Particularly the comment about his biggest legacy being a shifting of the Overton window. I'm not convinced it will be his most important, but I do think it's an important job which has been well done, and not just by Dawkins.
And while we're talking about influencing people's perceptions, it occurred to me that the whole thing about atheists allegedly being immoral might be an example of the "uncanny valley" - to the theists, at least, we're missing an important piece of our social paraphernalia and just don't look right. Of course, we know better, but perhaps some food for thought?

In addition to Dawkins' book, David Attenborough's next BBC series will be on evolution, according to an interview he did a couple of weeks ago.

sex only makes sense in the light of evolution.

By skeptic4u (not verified) on 16 Feb 2008 #permalink

#3 Hey, Abu, the same thing happened with my husband. Now we have a 150 gallon tank, six feet long that takes up an entire wall in the living room. We had the carnivorous fishes in it, with a small feeding tank below. It was great "fun" to feed the little golfishies to the pike cichlids and watch the little gold scales come shooting out their gills after they were eaten. Gross..... (even for me)


By Science Goddess (not verified) on 17 Feb 2008 #permalink

Hey, did you guys see the latest DaveScot fiasco over at Uncommon Descent? Davescot posted a link to this blog wherein the author called Denyse O'Leary a "douchbag for Christ":

DaveScot got all high and righteous that someone would say such a thing. He even crawled out of the safe zone at UD to post on that blog. Then some other readers posted some things that DaveScot himself has said about O'Leary, to whit:

"I hate to disappoint the church burnin' ebola boys but I won't be commenting on UD in the future. I just told the smarmy Canadian cross dresser to go fuck itself in an email. It would have banned me in any case as it's nowhere near as cool as Bill Dembski. The stick up its disgusting ass could make a redwood feel inadequate. I'm going to go ahead and forgive Bill for this monumental brainfart as he's going through some long term bad shit on the homefront with a sick child. I felt bad about bailing out on him at a time like this but he forced my hand. No big deal. I had a few extra hours today to finish rebuilding the carbs on my jetboat (it's back together and running great) and throw a ball in the water for my puppy. He's napping at my feet on the houseboat at the moment. I think we'll go out for a swim and then take the jetboat for a longer validation run.

P.S. if my dog was as ugly as the Canadian cross dresser I'd shave his ass and teach him to walk backwards.

HAHAHA - I kill me sometimes!"

DaveScot actually acknowledged that he said this. So with major, major egg all over his face, Davetard purposely broke the link at UD, quietly pushed his own post down the page, the eventually made it go bye bye.

Looks like we have determined who the biggest hypocritical douchebag on the net is: none other than DaveScot.

Alas, that's probably no surprise to any of you, but I figured I'd point this out because watching it unfold cracked me up big time.

Thanks for the reminder of the radio show. For some odd reason I always forget (it's new so maybe I'll remember eventually). I only missed the first 4 minutes. But what is going on? Twice in the first half hour the guest is being cut off by commercials.

Who else saw the "Four Horsemen" video with Dennett, Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris? I found it quite interesting, and it was even being advertised on this site, but nobody seems to be discussing it.

I saw the "Four Horsemen" video a while back. It is a great video, but I see no reason to discuss it in this certain blog entry. If you would like to discuss it, propose a site to discuss it. I would be glad to discuss it as well. Sorry for not sounding so supportive, I just didn't find the topic to fit with this particular blog so much.

Bjorn: So if I would have listened via REAL radio I would not have missed what I missed in the stream? I hope that is the case because when they returned there was never a mention of a mishap.

I found it odd that the first commercial interrupted the first guest and talked about praying for veterens. I assumed that the commercials were programmed to play at a certain time and maybe the hosts didn't have a clock to go by.

This is old news, but if you're not into videogames, you wouldn't have heard of it:

Richard Dawkins is the inspiration for an extremely popular videogame series called Metal Gear Solid.

In the first game, his book The Selfish Gene, drives a huge part of the plot and is actually mentioned directly near the end by a main character. This was my first exposure to Dr. Dawkins (and I'm sure many other young people would say the same).

In part 2, meme theory drives the events of the plot, and while Dawkins isn't directly mentioned, there's a very good essay about the game that mentions him quite often. I think it can be found here.

Like I said, these games are VERY popular, and it's cool that Dawkins' ideas are reaching an audience who otherwise might not get to see them.

By October Mermaid (not verified) on 17 Feb 2008 #permalink

Go look at the adorable little (dinosaur-munching?!) froggie ...