Saturday, December 8, 2007

You can't disprove gawd!!!

Yup, and you can't disprove Zeus, Odin, Buddha, or any other deity which has ever been named. Fact is there champ, disproving something is effectively impossible; you are trying to prove a negative, which can't be done.

The other problem is that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim; you claim there's a god, so you must prove it. This is also an extraordinarily wild claim, so you need some major evidence there bucko. In 2,000 years, Xtianity has failed to provide even a shred of evidence aside from philosophical ramblings. Oh, you did know that by definition philosophy can't be proven, right?

I can prove evolution; quite easy actually. In fact, I can actually prove there's not god, at least not the one identified in the beeble. I'll do that tomorrow for ya.

Nathaniel Abraham -- Idiot at Large

So get this, some cocksucker takes a job at a lab where he will write up all sorts of stuff regarding evolutionary processes regarding zebrafishes, and he gets all pissy when the lab fires his ass for not "believing" in evolution. Uh, d'uh there dipshit; evolution is fact, there is nothing in which to believe. And hate to tell ya, but you got fired for not being able to do the job due to your stupid beliefs.

EVOLUTION IS FACT. Q.E.D. There are not alternative theories, there is no controversy, and there is no reason to deny evolution. Evolution is supported by 150 years of intense scrutiny, a solid fossil record, and not a single case of any evidence to suggest that the theory is wrong.

Evolution is not just a theory either. A scientific theory is an explanation for a model. Scientific facts are the observations we have, such as fossils which show clear transitions into new species. These facts can be used to formulate hypotheses, which are then tested and, if found to hold up, can be used to build a model to represent what we see, which is then in turn explained by our theory. Facts never become laws nor theories; they are all different.

I hate stupid people. I really, really do. Go believe in sky daddy if you want, but for fuck's sake keep your ignorance to yourself and don't go bitching when the rest of us point and laugh.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I Passed!

I did it, I passed my comprehensive examination, all 81 pages of it. I am now officially a doctor; I get the PhD part after the dissertation. Even better, I found that I don't have to defend my comps, only discuss them with my mentor. Wow, this feels good. I'm now a freakin' doctor; I am Dr. Richard Wolford, soon to be Dr. Richard Wolford, PhD. This rizocks.

Ok, that's all for now, I'm celebrating!

Oh, and Jeebus and Gawd had nothing to do with this, only me and the support of friends and family. I didn't pray to pass, didn't plead, go to church, nothing. I busted my fucking ass to do this. I needs no jeebus, only confidence in myself.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blasphemous Bear

So, I'm reading this article at CNN about some poor sap who actually wants to teach at a school in Sudan. Apparently, the kids named a bear "Mohammad" and our crazy little Muslim friends now demand her stoning or something like that. Hmm, so let me get this straight. Honor killings, such as stoning your sister, are okay. Beheading construction workers is also okay. Blowing up Jewish schoolchildren is apparently just fine. Setting yourself on fire is also allowed I guess. But naming a teddy bear, a plush, inanimate object, "Mohammad", is punishable by death; uhm, how many "Mohammads" are there over there anyway, since it seems all you crazy fucktards are named that.

Ok Musmaniacs, here's something for ya to digest: there is no Mohammad, and there is no god. God is a figment of your fucked up, deluded, uneducated, warped mind. Yup, ain't no gawd. It's all a load of shit. Try praying, see how that works. Of course, your primitive intellects probably won't understand causality and "B, therefore A" logical fallacies, so I guess you can just ignore that whole prayer don't work problem. What was the average IQ of Muslim nations, 85 or so? Definitely borderline retarded. You're the fuckers who need edjumacation the most, yet you shit on the people who could bring it to you.

Oh, and I'm not going to just pick on Muslim fucktards, I'll hit up the Jewish and Xtian rejects as well. You're just as blood thirsty; the only reason you don't go on killing sprees *all* the time over here in the US is because we have those pesky secular laws.

One more thing: Mohammad? He LOVES the cock. Just can't get enough of that man pole throbbing in his mouth and ass. Oh yeah, he invented lube ya know? He was too much of a bitch to take it all like a man, so he just whisked up some astroglide from that flying horse of his, which he also fucked on a regular basis, and got him some man meat.

Somebody call Peter Pan and let him know the rejects got off the island.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Comps #4 -- down for the count

Well, here it is, 5 something in the morning, and comp question #4 is down. This was hard, but not for the reason you may think; I had too many pages. Yup, I was at page 19 when I finished and had to go back and remove nearly four pages of content (actually, just over three pages). I have a limit of 15 pages to respond to these questions, and it can be very, very hard, esp. when you enjoy the topic. Of course, I can't say what the topic is, but I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed #3, which I think I also did very well on. I think my #1 is pretty good, at least enough to pass. #2...not so sure. I'm going to spend tonight working on #2 and ensuring that #1 is properly organized. I have until this Saturday at midnight, CST (December 1st), so I'm not concerned. I have to submit for a plagiarisms report, which can take a day or two to get back, so I want to submit for this no later than Tuesday.

I really wanted to get done with everything by Sunday, but I just couldn't do it. I had to take mental breaks and I was getting burned out very quickly. I've been in school for six years...non stop. Sure, I get a week break here and there, but man, I only get a week! It's hard to do and I just want to be done with it. I don't think I'll pass all of these the first go; it depends upon how tough they are on my responses. I guess they could play devil's advocate on me, which would of course suck. But we'll see.

So, Monday night consists of fixing up #1, reworking #2, and I also need to add two figures to #4; just don't have the energy right now to do this.

And as promised, I'll update when I know the results, if in fact I have any readers out there. I don't expect to pass the first time, but if I fail all of these I may just throw in the towel. I get two weeks total to fix them and turn them back in for a second look, but to fix four questions in two weeks may not be possible for me.

Until next time,

Richard

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Comps #3 -- just an update

I am so fucking tired I can't even tell you; I'm behind on MY schedule for comps, but way ahead in regards to the deadline. I have until December 1st, midnight, CST, to write 15 pages. No problem, I have all of this week, all of next week, and all of the week after up to and including Saturday. Now, I expect to be done with #4 this weekend. I'm a coupla days behind on finishing #3, but all I have left of it now is the introduction and I want to organization the middle part just a bit better.

So then what? Well, starting tomorrow (maybe Wednesday) I start researching what I need for #4, then spend time writing it up this weekend. Should be fairly easy to do I think, but nothing is a given. Once I'm done this weekend, I'll have next week to go through and proof everything, organize, and submit for a plagiarism report (can take a day or two for that). So if that happens, I'll be turning my comps in one week early.

I don't expect to pass these to be honest. I'm tired, I'm juggling work and everything else, plus I won't get much help this week with watching my son. It's hard to put him to bed at 8:30, then come down and read/write, get to bed, and then get up at 7 the next day. I'm getting help, but it's not enough. This is hard.

If I don't pass them all the first go, I hope that I just fail maybe one or two at most. I have two weeks to rewrite the ones that don't pass, but I was told that they will tell me why they didn't pass so that I have direction. The biggest complaints I was told were related to bad structure and not answering the question. I'm not concerned about structure at all, but I do want to make sure that I answered the question properly.

If I don't pass these, even after a rewrite, I'm going to feel as if two years of my life were wasted. I could have spent all of that time with my boy, working on my house, starting my own business, something like that. I won't be happy at all. I really want this PhD, but the truth is, I may simply not be PhD quality. Hell I don't know, I tend to think negatively anyway. I'm not a positive thinker as I think that it's not conducive to reality. I guess I hope for the best and plan for the worst.

I really wish there was a god to whom I could pray. So anyway, since I have about a page left to write for #3, which seems to have gone quite well anyway, I should be starting question #4, the final one, tomorrow. This is the one I wrote myself, so it's a bit easy to write about I feel. I'm somewhat familiar with the subject matter, but the gist of the question is a compare/contrast followed by a locate and analyze portion. These are easy to do really, but they're very informative. I can't tell you all what it's about (as if I have readers), and I can't post my questions/responses later either. Suffice to say, this is the hardest thing I've ever done. Pass or fail, I'm a better person.

I don't know if I've addressed this or not, but I don't allow comments here. The reason is that this is my little space to vent my frustrations, speak my mind, other things. I often talk about my hate of religion and my love of science and critical thinking. I can be quite crude and crass at times; it's just my nature I assume. I really don't have any desire to get into an online debate; I've heard all of the arguments before, I've seen the arguments dismantled by science, yet they keep coming back. If you're a regular reader of mine, well, thanks. I'll turn on commenting when my comps are over, I'd love to know who comes here.

Off to bed,

Richard

Monday, November 12, 2007

How free is America?

From BadAstronomy

"
For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren’t you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party’s most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you’re smarter than I am, because I didn’t understand it until a few hours ago. America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Comps #2 is down

Well, I've finished up my response to my second comp question, plus I've got about 19 good sources I'm reading for my response to question #3; after 3 is done (this weekend), I'm off to my last question. I'll then spend a week proofing and editing, getting a plagiarism report, then submitting to committee to see how she flies. I don't expect to pass all four the first time through. I think I've answered the questions, but you never know. This stuff isn't easy.

Anyway, I just HAD to blog about this. Georgia is experiencing a drought right now. So, what does fundamentalist moron Gov. Sonny Perdue recommend? Well, prayer of course! That's right, he's gonna get a bunch of people together to ask jeebus for rain. Yup. The same jeebus who is giving cancer to children and spreading AIDS is being asked to provide rain for Georgia. Kind've like asking Hannibal for a dinner menu isn't it?

Anyway, for those of you with your doubts or your delusions, prayer does not work. Q.E.D. It has been shown, time and again, that prayer has absolutely no effect on reality. Sorry guys, but that's just the way it is. The largest study every conducted has shown, yet again, that prayer is a waste of your time. Now, let's be clear; we're not testing the existence of whatever god you believe in; prayer, if it worked, would have a real affect on the world. This effect is measurable, it it exists. However, we see it does not exist. This is not evidence for or against the existence of your god; this is evidence that prayer has no effect on the real world. Sorry guys, case closed.

So, unfortunately, this little stunt by a retarded Governor won't work. Of course, if it every does rain again, there will be a big "I told ya so!" from the fundies. But of course, this is failed logic; specifically it is "B, therefore A" logic. I could say "Hey, it rained today, and yesterday I washed the dishes. Aha!" It's the same logical fallacy; experiments actually test "If A, then B?", and it shows that prayer fails.

Sorry fundies, jeebus ain't listening.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Question #1 Down (mostly)

Well, I've written 15 pages in response to question #1 of my comps, but I'm not too sure if I properly answered one part of the question. So much information, so little space to write. I've opted to mark it complete, but I embedded some notes so that I can review the content and make sure it's what I want to say.

So as of last night I began researching for question #2. Not too bad I guess, but I can't find any articles that specifically address all three parts of the question. My strategy is to address each part separate, but then relate them together. There may actually be somewhat of a disconnect between theory and practice, and I'd like to see if that gap has been explored or, if not, perhaps it could be a dissertation topic?

I'm expecting to be finished with research and possibly the writing of my response by Sunday. If that happens, I'll be 50% of the way done in only one week, which is a usage of about 16% of the alloted time, if you figure about 16% per week (16 * 6 is 102, so rough amount). Not too bad really.

I think a lot of my classmates are having trouble with the research, so it is good to know it is a common issue. Many seem to be doing these all at once, as in researching everything and writing later. This isn't a good idea in my opinion as I'd rather get familiar with one set of research, write the response, then get intimately familiar with the next set of research to answer the next question.

But hey, whatever works for you. There's no need trying to learn a new research method when it comes down to comps. Their method would never work for me, and mine would not likely work for them, or at least not now since they'd have to adjust.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

And it has begun

Well, it's happened; today I received my comprehensive examination questions. I have to answer four questions, each one answer comprises a 15 page research paper. It's actually not very difficult I don't think, but it is make or break time. I have six weeks to complete these questions; they are due on December 1st, by midnight (CST), along with a plagiarism report from another website. If I fail any one of the questions, I have two weeks to rewrite it based upon the feedback given. If I fail the second time, I'm out.

The good news is that, according to my classroom advisor, the pass rate is in the 90s (as in percentiles), but that he would place rewrites at around 1 in 3, so I can expect to possibly have to rewrite my answer to one or more questions. The biggest complaint seems to be the simple "not answering the question"; in other words, you write your 15 page paper but you never actually answer the question that was given. The second complaint is in style, meaning that your structure isn't very good or you don't present your arguments in a very good way.

BTW, 15 double spaced pages is nothing, I can do that in my freakin' sleep. It's the research that kills ya, having to look all of this up.

Now I can't talk about the questions I have and I can never post my answers, but I'm going to keep everybody up to date as to what is going on. I don't know if I get any readers or not, but I don't allow commenting on my blog. It's my own personal space and I'm in no mood for some big internet blog debate about evolution or the paranormal; the jury is in on all of those subjects and they are bunk.

So if you actually read my blog, wish me luck. Of course, that won't have any effect whatsoever, but still, it's a nice gesture :)

Later folks

Friday, October 19, 2007

Autistic teen found -- "kin" thank Papa Smurf

Well, here's the article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21376041/

Yup, the family of the lost autistic boy here in my home state of West Virginia have thanked god for the boy's return. Yup, the same god who apparently made the boy go lost. Screw the efforts of law enforcement and volunteers, hell, what did they really contribute? I mean they only spent four days looking for this kid, but fuck them, god was the the one who brought him home.

Hey folks, next time your kid goes missing, tell the locals not to bother looking for him, just sit and pray. I mean, I'm sure that will work, right? Your god will bring him home, right?

Drop the superstition you dumbfucks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Evolution is only a theory!

This just begs to be repeated, mostly for the morons who want to argue semantics (a rose by any other name...)

http://www.notjustatheory.com/

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Left Behind Games sues Bloggers?

Well, the losers over at Left Behind Games has now started suing people who give negative reviews of their christian game, a real-time strategy title to boot. Hmm, what strategy does a christian have? I mean, how do you simulate in real time the christian ability to ignore evidence and adhere to strict dogma, worshiping papa smurf in the sky, and at the same time threatening with violence and/or legal action anyone who would dare question your "faith" (definition: faith: noun, the total belief of anything without, or in spite of, any evidence whatsoever; see bible-thumper).

Ok, newsflash Left Behind: ANY CHRISTIAN GAME IS A PIECE OF SHIT, YOURS INCLUDED.

Feel free to sue me, I'll be upstairs fucking a coupla girls after they go down on each other.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Richard Dawkins

Dr. Dawkins has posted a great entry over at richarddawkins.net. It is from Nobel prize winner Steven Weinberg, and is one of my favorites as well, so I thought I would post it here.

"With or without [religion] you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."

I am proudly an Atheist and a Humanist/Naturalist. I will do good because it make sense to cause as little suffering as possible, not because some imaginary papa smurf in the sky commands it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jeebus have fur cheeto

So this week I've decided to put flooring in the attic. Right now there is a single 3/8" OSB at what appears to be 4'x8' in one spot, followed by a couple of smaller boards in another spot. Not quite enough room to store all of the shit that we own; so, I bout 4 sheets of 4'x8' 5/8" OSB at Home Depot from a cashier with enormous jugs. The plan is, of course, to measure and cut the boards to fit the area in the attic. The greater thickness allows me to store heavier items without worrying about the board breaking and the contents spilling into the room below.

So anyway, my wife is actually helping me bring the majority of the boxes and tubs down from the attic so that I have plenty of room to work, and I will say that my back was about to snap. The lower right quadrant (medical right) of my back is hurting like a bitch; sometimes I can't even move, missed a day of work because of it. So I'm was thinking, why the hell would jeebus make the human body so susceptible to damage like this?

Oh, right, he's fictional. Doesn't take a genius to realize that an all loving creator would have made us capable of moving some boxes or digging out some bushes without serious injury. I'm going to have to go to a doctor at some point to find out WTF is wrong, since over a week later, I'm still in extreme pain. I won't be praying to jeebus, he's too busy giving cancer to babies. I'll stick with medicine.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How ignorant can you be and still get on TV?

A talk show host isn't sure if the Earth is flat or not! She also says she doesn't believe in evolution.

read more | digg story

Friday, September 14, 2007

YouTube Sucks!



They have continually allowed creationists to remove material critical of creationism by filing false copyright claims. YouTube, FUCKING WAKE UP and knock this bullshit off!

Kent Hovind is a Loser

Good ol' Kent's people at the Creation Science Evangelism group, a den of liars and crackpots, is once again having anything critical of Kent's "theories" removed from YouTube in an effort to silence his critics. Unfortunately, YouTube is in a bad spot since they do need to validate copyright issues; this ain't one of them. You can post copyright material if you want, provided it is covered under fair use. If I want to publish excerpts from a copyrighted book in order to criticize it, I can do so, and you can't stop me.

Please band together and help stop this nonsense. POST ANYTHING YOU HAVE OF KENT HOVIND TO YOUTUBE AND TO YOUR OWN BLOGS! Let's show this dipshit that he can't silence his critics.

CREATIONISM IS WRONG! It is easily refuted, but Hovind is an obvious idiot and his buddies at the CSE are equally idiots.

http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/09/14/kent-hovind-creationist-liar-and-evil-evil-evil/#comments

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Professionalism and your career

The truth is, I'm very successful in my life. I've managed to succeed with IT consulting, forming my own LLC and handling a few clients here and there. I also work full time as the Director of Information Technology for a Charleston, WV based company with a presence in WV, NC, SC and soon VA. The company is close to being a $1 billion company, which is good if we intend to sell the company and all retire. But what makes success? I guess it depends upon how you define success, but there are some obvious things we all do regardless of our definition.

First and foremost, when you apply for a position, you need to have your resume (or CV, which is what I have) in hand, ready to go. Your first impression to your potential employer is critical. If you're a difficult person, if you try to hide things, or if you just don't act professionally, you're not going to be considered for any position, let alone the one you want. You always address the hiring manager (or whomever you are speaking with) as Mr., Mrs., or Dr. (that's me). It's a common courtesy which will be extended to you.

You also need to be very aware of how you write; your language is a window to your intelligence. You won't be seeing any intelligent people writing poorly or unable to communicate properly (there is research into this field), unless of course you suffer from a condition such as Dr. Steven Hawking (MLS). If you cannot speak intelligently, such as using personal attacks, swearing, or other such mechanics, it simply shows your lack of education. You likely perceive yourself as very educated, but the truth is that you simply don't understand education, so your view is skewed and naturally biased. It's not your opinion of yourself which matters, it is the opinion (usually professional) of those interviewing you; you may want to google a "randomized trial" to see why we use outside observations.

It is important to research the company where you are attempting to seek employment, but you must make sure you do it properly. It is not uncommon for someone high within an organization to conduct business through other organizations. I am an independent IT consultant through my company, the Advanced Technology Group, and also serve as the full time IT Director for my current employer. This is quite common, as once you reach a level of education and experience, your services are requested quite often, as is my case. The formation of a company such as I have done is for liability, credit, and even tax reasons. I can leverage the power of a recognized entity as opposed to managing things from a personal perspective. So make sure that when you research your potential employer, you don't accidentally confuse unaffiliated organizations with the company who is doing the hiring. It can really make you look foolish, esp. if you can't even distinguish what the two different organizations do. My employer is in an unrelated field to IT consulting.

Googling individuals is a great way to make the previous mistake; for example, if you google my name, you'll see that my blog is the third result in the set. Pretty good isn't it? However, my blog is not related to either my IT consulting company or my full time employer, so it wouldn't be wise if I were hiring for a position through a company to make references to my blog. Very bad form, and it shows that your level of "research" was to google my name. Real research is a little more complicated than that.

Anyway, I hope this advice can help out any current job seekers.

Until next time,

Richard

Thursday, September 6, 2007

WWE Responds to Chris Benoit Storey

Any wrestling fans likely know that two separate medical institutions (one of them being WVU), examined parts of Benoit's brain to see if there were any anomalies. What they found is that he had the brain of an 85 year old Alzheimer's patient. They also concluded that this could have contributed to the unspeakable acts he committed back in June.

Naturally, the WWE has made gallant strides to suppress these findings in favor of their own biased opinions. Instead of accepting the SCIENTIFIC results, they opted to say they were merely "speculative". Here is the statement:

"Today's attempt to explain that Chris Benoit's murder of his family was possibly caused by some form of dementia as a result of alleged concussions is speculative. WWE can certainly understand the anguish of a father having to deal with the fact that his son allegedly murdered his wife and young son, as Chris Benoit is alleged to have done. We respect the desire of that father to do whatever he can to find some explanation as to why his son might commit such horrible acts."

Unfortunately, WWE needs to understand that a legal investigation into a murder is one thing, a scientific analysis of the biology of the alleged murderer is something completely different. No one seems to be disputing the facts; Benoit murdered his wife and son, then killed himself. What we want to know is why; it wasn't roid rage apparently, so we move to something else. It seems as if the numerous concussions and blows to the head took their toll and could be a viable answer to the "why" part, not the "what" part. And what part of a concussion is "alleged"? Is the WWE seriously trying to imply that Benoit didn't suffer these concussions? I saw Benoit knocked out on live TV, I saw him doing flying headbutts, break his neck, get tossed around, etc, and you expect me to believe he never once suffered a concussion?

Give it up Vince, the medical guys are finding some biological causes. Maybe you should focus on the dope heads in the WWE who aren't dead yet. Of course that number is getting smaller and smaller, but hey, you can always find another 6'5" 265lb no-personality, no-skills replacement, right? Probably for a lot less money.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Great minds discuss ideas.
Average minds discuss events.
Weak minds discuss people.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

High tech Indian airways

First, just relax and get ready for some fun. Two options. Read this story or just read this quick passage and then cry.

"Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday."

Yes folks, you read that right. Fuck the screwdrivers and the mechanics, bring me some goat blood and let's have us a good ol' fashioned sacrifice.

Now do you see why I strive for skepticism and critical thinking? Do you see how devout adherence to religious dogma really is dangerous? Would you rather the guy at the body shop use some rubber mallets to bang the dent out of your car or would it be just fine if he prayed for divine intervention to fix the fender?

Please people, think.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

I love this little piece of nonsense tossed around by the religious right (and left of course). The fact is, it's true. Yup, just because you have no evidence for something does not mean that you actually have proof that something does not really exist. I have no proof of god, but I can't say he doesn't exist. Or can I?

Let's use a simple little analogy. I have no proof that there isn't buried treasure in my backyard, but I can't say that means that there is no buried treasure in my backyard. Fair enough I believe, but what do we do about this little nugget of truth? Well, we do what any right-minded person would do; we dig for the treasure! We keep digging...and digging...and so on, until the backyard looks as if it were under attack by thousands of dogs trying to track down dinosaur bones (depending upon how deeply we dig of course).

Now, at this point I still have no evidence for treasure; I probably have evidence for one hell of a landscaping bill though. So what do I do? Well, absence of evidence is not evidence for absence! So let's keep digging!

How long do you think you would dig before you began to reach a conclusion that, based upon the assessment of my backyard, the probability of finding treasure was reaching zero. Let's also briefly touch on the Theory of Limits (calculus guys). The probability won't be zero, since you could always argue that the little patch in the corner could hide the treasure, but we're damn close to zero.

Christianity has had about 2,000 years to provide evidence of the existence of their god (well, one those gods anyway since they can't seem to agree on him/her). I'm not talking philosophy here, I'm talking about empirical evidence. I could wax philosophical all day about the logical presence of the treasure in my backyard, but what does that really amount to? Now if I found a doubloon in the flower bed....hmmm, evidence! I could formulate an hypothesis, test it, then reach a conclusion!

Religion has utterly failed to provide a single shred of substantiated evidence for the existence of a god. Does this disprove his existence? Not at all. But given all of that time, the Theory of Limits comes to mind; the probability of god is greatly reaching zero. How long would you dig in your backyard for treasure absent any evidence for it? My advice? If you found yourself in a hole, I would recommend you stop digging. The universe is a beautiful, amazing place. Don't fuck it up with superstition.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I love lesbians

The Biblical objection to homosexuality is hypocritical, because those who condemn it do not condemn just as vigorously other prohibited behaviors such as wearing clothing made of two kinds of material (Lev. 19: 19), trimming or shaving sideburns (Lev. 19: 27), getting tattoos (Lev. 19: 28), and charging interest (Deut. 23: 19-20). People who condemn homosexuality do so not because the Bible tells them to, but, ultimately, because they want to. People who condemn others should first examine the morality of their own judgments.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

crackpot gets his due demerits

worth reading when it comes to stupid lawsuits....

read more | digg story

Monday, August 13, 2007

Morgantown, WV: Loser sues McDonald's over cheese

http://www.dailymail.com/story/News/2007081043/Man-says-hold-the-cheese-claims-McDonalds-didnt-sues-for-10-million/

Well, it's official, Morgantown is home to at least three morons. Apparently this idiot Jeremy something or other has a severe allergic reaction to cheese. Ok, no worries, so one would expect he would be very diligent about not ingesting said food, yes? Hmm, apparently not. The moron bit into a Quarter Pounder with cheese. But hey, that article clearly says he took five specific precautionary steps by asking the folks at McDonald's, and afterall, the word of a minimum wage earner at Mickie D's is just fine, right? Surprise surprise, ends up that ol' Jeremy ended up in the hospital with about $1400 worth of medical bills.

Hey dipshit, next time, LOOK AT THE FUCKING HAMBURGER! If you're really deathly allergic to cheese, it may be a good idea to check first. This guy should go to jail just for being a fucking idiot and wasting the time of those involved with this debacle.

Bad astronomy's response to the "error in GISS warming data" article.

Phil Plait demystifies the arguments, and takes a closer look at the numbers.

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Bad Astronomer vs the creationist on the TX state board of education.

More on Doug McLeroy, the know-nothing creationist appointed by Gov. Rick Perry who heads the TX state board of education.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And now, the Netherlands is subject to the nonsense and evil of creationism

Dr. Phil Plait gives his take on the expansion of the nonsensical ideology that is creationism. Anything Dr. Phil writes is worth at least two reads, so all of those concerned, esp. you in the Netherlands, read up and understand the parasite which is among you.

read more | digg story

Courtesy of Sgt. Zim at badastronomy.com

Christian logic (that part is mine):

A lazy dog is a slow pup
A slope up is an inclined plane
An ink-lined plane is a sheet of writing paper

The Real Cost of Space Exploration

Ever wonder how much money is spent on NASA compared to the rest of the federal budget? Bad Astronomer Phil Plait makes it real simple.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 6, 2007

South Carolina public funds supporting religious private schools.

State lawmakers shot down a request for extra financial help for low-income students who will attend South Carolina’s public colleges and universities. Meanwhile, they approved $2.5 million to help low-income students attend Bob Jones University, where it is school policy to forbid interracial dating they teach creationism instead of evolution.

read more | digg story

Friday, August 3, 2007

Just an update

It's been just over a week since Derick died; not much really going on there I guess. Death is pretty final, unless you're one of those ignorant religious zealots who insist in life after death. Too bad you're wrong. It was all I could do at the funeral last Sunday to not throw a rock at the preacher and the "amen!" chanters behind me. He's not up in heaven playing his saxophone; he's in a box, buried in the ground. He's dead. Your wonderful god gave him cancer, made him suffer for two years, then ended his life at 28. Give me a fucking break; I don't want to hear your nonsense. My friend of over a decade is dead. It's a lot to deal with.

I'm going to talk about my consulting business. I need to market, but it just costs so much, so I've got a two pronged approach right now. Today I sent out 240 postcard mailers to small businesses (less than 50 employees) within a 20 mile radius of my home office. You can usually expect 2 to 5 per cent response rate on these, so we'll see how it goes. My next step is to actually hire a sales rep, commission only, and have them pick up some business for me. The mailers won't go out for up to ten days, so I've got some time to get my website finalized and uploaded. I've already informed my receptionist in Canada and my accountant in Iowa; I'm excited to see how this works out for me, if at all. I'm expecting no more than a dozen calls at best, but we'll see what leads I get.

The sales person ad will cost about $150 for a week, but would be worth it if I can find someone with a technology background who is personable enough to pick up customers. Honestly, at my rates, a single job would more than pay for the ad and the sales commission. Plus I've got some money coming in for a few jobs I did this week, probably a grand or so. I'll just dump that into the corporate account and reinvest it.

My idea for a coral reef shop somewhat fell through; I had a company in Florida interested in investing in the company, but they want to control it or require that I produce 60% of the startup costs. Uh, yeah, right, forget that. I looked at angel investors as well, but those were a no go as well since you have to pay them back. Kinda misleading terms, huh? But they didn't want any control of the company, so I may discuss this with them at some point.

Otherwise things are pretty stable. My last two PhD courses are going well. I'm enrolled in Management Consulting and also in Advanced Multivariate Analysis (statistics from hell, if I believed in hell). So far I've nailed every single stats problem dead on; at this level, that's saying something, so I'm gonna brag some. The consulting course is mostly just reading some articles and books about how to consult, such as styles and focus. I'm learning quite a bit from Dr. McNaughton, who is a managerial consultant. He certainly knows the ropes, and his PhD says he knows the material as well.

That's it for today. I'm going to relax some this weekend and work on the business. Plus, have some forensics work to do on a hard drive, so later.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Another Bush flunkie at NASA

NASA’s bad news just keeps on rollin’.Another Bush/Cheney/Rove flunkie has been given a sweet job at NASA.

read more | digg story

Phase of the Moon has no effect on humanly efforts.

Nurses, cops, doctors — they all swear that things get crazy around a full Moon. However, study after study shows that is simply not the case

read more | digg story

Monday, July 30, 2007

But can they heal my irony gland?

A group calling itself Invincible America Assembly has claimed responsibility for the record high Dow Jones of last week (and say they will guarantee it’ll hit 17,000 this year thanks to them, too) and for North Korea shutting down their nuclear reactor projects.How do they do this? Why, by meditation, of course!

read more | digg story

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mars wont' be as big as a full moon...get over it

For those who believe that nonsensical email about Mars being as large at the full moon, think again. Phil Plait once again shows how popular bad science can be...and thoroughly debunks it.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Derrick Kirk has passed away

It's a bit after three, 3:14pm to be exact. I just received a call from my friend Chris letting me know that about 11AM today, Derrick died. He had been sick with cancer for about two years. They thought it was beat, but it just came back with a vengeance. It really is a death sentence isn't it.

I don't believe in god, so I know I'll never see him again. It's a bit surreal right now as I've never lost a friend like this. Maybe we all need to start giving to cancer research centers. Maybe we need to get off our morale high horses and say yes to stem cell research. Maybe we can prevent another Derrick.

I'll miss you.

Psychics are all fakes

I know I've said it 1,000 times, but psychics are all frauds; there is no such thing, and if you think you've found one, stop, repeat the fact that there is no such thing as a psychic, and then ask what they really told you. How much did you tell them? Can they sit and look at you and tell you all about your life, or do they put forth vague statements which could apply to anyone? Did they say they sense cancer in the family, or did they say your uncle Morte is sick with pancreatic cancer? Think!!!

So how do we test a psychic since their BS is so vague? Easy...use it against them. The procedure is actually quite easy. You take ten individuals and let the psychic "read" them, but the psychic must write down their "findings" on paper; the psychic and the person being read can't speak to each other (why should they, I mean, the spirit does the talking, right?). When the session is over, the paper is handed to a third party who then marks the paper to indicate the person for whom the reading was done. The psychic and the person being read are unaware of the coding system in that they do not know what their particular code may be. You do this for ten people and one psychic.

After the reading is over, you lay all ten "readings" on a table and bring in the participants one at a time; you ask them to choose their reading, the one which could only, only apply to them. Once they have chosen, they leave the room, and the next participant enters. Once it is all said and done, each person should have chosen a different reading.

Now, what would happen if two people chose the same reading? What if no one chose their own reading? Well, would pretty much prove that the readings were so vague as to be able to apply to anyone in there, and not specific enough to target any particular person. In fact, this test has been done many times, and in every single case, it has been an absolute utter failure for the psychic.

This is why I don't believe in psychics. It is due to skepticism. You must prove something to me before I will accept it, I won't take your word for it. You have to prove it. Unfortunately, there is no proof because, well, there just don't seem to be any psychics.

BTW, any psychic out there can freely email me and I will arrange for such a test to be conducted. Be aware it will be televised and publicized, so weigh the odds of being caught (very high) with your need to swindle your income from those you dupe. Oh, and if you email me and decide to blast me for my "closed mind", be aware I will publicly go after you and your "abilities".

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Newton was a *creationist*? Good heavens!

Monday, the Boston Globe ran an editorial that I found very irritating. The writer, Jeff Jacoby, points out that perhaps the greatest scientific mind of all time, Isaac Newton, was not only very religious, but was a young-Earth creationist. For Jacoby, this shows that science and religion can work hand in hand

read more | digg story

Friday, July 20, 2007

Georgia School Board steps up against "theories"

This little number goes along with yesterday's posting of the actual definitions of theory and law; it shows how ignorant some people really are when it comes to science. In this spoof article, we see that Georgia has banned the teaching of the Theory of Math; they now require that teachers instruct students that there are many explanations for how numbers change and that Math is just one of them. The students should make up their own mind.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/31172

Thursday, July 19, 2007

But evolution is just a theory!

Yup, and that's such a good thing. I want to thank Dr. Phil Plait for pointing out this wonderful site on his blog over at badastronomy.com. A theory is as good as it gets in science, because in science, the word theory has a completely different meaning. Remember, science can NEVER prove anything, it can only craft theories which are as close to proven as possible. Why can science never prove anything? Because we are smart enough to know that we don't know everything; we may never have every single piece of the puzzle, but that doesn't mean we can't see the picture.

You need to read this page about the use of the words theory and law. If you ignore it, you're stupid.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Types of trials

Wikipedia is not a valid source...period. However, it is good for generalized information to a degree. This piece on randomized trials, single-, double-, and triple-blind tests, is actually pretty accurate. I suggest anyone interested read this to get an idea of what we have to go through to prove something. Oh wait, no, proofs are for math, in science we CAN NEVER PROVE ANYTHING! We only show that with a certain level of confidence, what we have found is very likely to be the truth as we understand it (usually 95% certain and do not ask me to explain).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomized_controlled_trial

In our ivory towers

You know, one common attack I hear about us scientists (yes, I am one, albeit a computer scientist) live in Ivory Towers. We are told how we look down on others from above, about how arrogant we are, and of course how wrong we are about so many other things that everybody else just "knows" is true, such as belief in god. This is exactly why we choose to live high above.

How many of you reading this have a specialized job, such as in electronics, auto mechanics, something of that nature. Have you ever had to argue something with someone who is not in your field about something you've done 1,000 times before? For instance, do you think I want to sit and debate the impact of quantum computing with someone who's a short order cook? I study quantum computing, so any opinion put forth on the technical merits of such a field by someone outside of the field has no value to me; what does the cook know about quantum computing that I don't?

This is also true for critical thinking; some of us can think critically. We take skeptical approaches, we study, we observe, we gather data and analyze results. If we find that the claim has merit, we can begin to explore further, since this whole process adds knowledge to what we already know (knowledge creation, look it up). We question everything because WE WANT THE TRUTH! Belief systems have no place in science; as I've said before, you can believe all you want, doesn't make it so. It is also why even after we do all of that work, we still submit our findings for peer review (look that up too). Something which is not peer reviewed, such as the creationists new "academic journal" (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!), has no value.

How many of you read in high school about the study with flatworms and "eating knowledge". A study was conducted whereby flatworms were exposed to light and an electric shock at the same time; what happened was Pavlovian in that the worms would associate light with an electric shock and would respond as such, even when no shock was administered.

The worms were then ground up and fed to other flatworms; the results? These worms associated the light with a shock much more quickly...or so the researcher said...

What really happened? Researcher bias. The researcher was so convinced that this would work, that he actually believed it did. In reality, the worms likely responded the same way over the same period of time, which was evident after this was reproduced by other researchers in a proper manner. We often talk about double blind tests; in this scenario, we control for the placebo effect and researcher bias. A simple single blind test would have been sufficient I believe (and likely the only logical one possible); in this scenario, there would be two sets of worms, one fed the ground up set of worms and the other not fed them. The researcher would not know which group was fed the ground up worms and would be expected to record the amount of time it took for each group to learn to associate light with the shock. Of course one experiment isn't enough, you need hundreds if not thousands to even begin to find causality.

So what am I getting at? At the level of education researcher have, we know quite a bit about how to think, analyze, and draw conclusions. It is hard to deal with people who have little if any education who want to argue with us about things which we know are simply flawed in their logic. Religion is ripe with flawed logic, inconsistencies, and of course die hard supporters of nonsense. This is why we live in ivory towers; to avoid the peons.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why religion sucks

So it's really of no surprise to anyone who actually reads this that I'm an atheist; I don't believe in a supreme being or any other sort of supernatural, superstitious nonsense. Sometimes I take rather angry swings at the church and the Bush administration for it's dogmatic politics and suppression of science. But why am I so angry? Time for another rant, so sit back and shut the fuck up for a bit :)

Religion is the ultimate form of ignorance; religious dogma dictates that there is no questioning, you simply take the ideology at face value and defend it violently. There is no critical thinking within any church; simple analysis of the bible shows how foolish it really is, how inconsistent, and how open to interpretation it can be. This subjectivity is exactly why there are many denominations; even the faithful can not agree on what the bible actually teaches.

Myself, I'm a very skeptical person; if you make a claim, esp. one which has some sort of "science" to it, you damn well better have some evidence. No evidence, no belief. To date, the church has provided absolutely 0 evidence of some god dancing around on the clouds and tossing lightning bolts. Instead, they put forth philosophical statements, ripe with logical fallacies, as to why there just has to be a creator. Really, it comes down to our basic inabilities to fully grasp reality on the micro and macro levels.

The micro level is often relegated to quantum mechanics; and believe me, there is some fucked up stuff going on down there. But really, beyond the atom, these affects become meaningless and have no real impact on reality. For example, does the entanglement of two ions affect your odds of winning the lottery? Some would say yes, and would start to fish for quantum phenomena which may help further their nonsense. Problem is, beyond the atom, the affects are inconsequential. Some fools such as the Deepak guy make a living off of misrepresenting reality; the church is the same way in that these types of extraordinary claims, such as that cleverly packaged toilet paper know as the Secret, require extraordinary evidence. To date, the church has provided nothing in terms of evidence save for their philosophical arguments. Unfortunately, philosophy doesn't really have an affect; you can believe all you want, it doesn't make it true.

The macro level is really where the church comes into play; the universe is so large, humans are so complex, that we just HAD to have been designed. The problem is, this non sequitur, or "it does not follow." Specifically, this is a slippery slope; if we accept that the universe is large and that humans are complex, we can easily fall down the slope to the conclusion that a creator had to have been responsible. Truth be told, there is no reason to believe that or to even consider it as a possibility (I have not).

Complex organisms deriving from more simple life forms (evolution) is much more logical, has a lot of evidence, and is accepted by mainstream scientists; it's the nutjobs who don't accept it and lend their "credentials" to back up their arguments. Unfortunately, their arguments are pseudoscience at best and outright lies at worst. There is a reason we all have DNA; it is a self replicating molecule and is what started it all. I can believe that I am special, that I am the creation of some divine being, but it doesn't make it true. I want the truth, regardless of what it may be.

The church represents the worst of the worst; they are responsible for wars, oppression, slavery, all of the bad things in this world. If it were up to the church, we'd all be worshiping on our flat earth in a geocentric, fixed universe. The church has provided NOTHING to us.

All diseases for which cures and treatments exist are courtesy of science.

The computer you are using to read this blog is brought to you by science.

The fact that you can go to a doctor or a hospital is courtesy of science; not only medicine, but I'm referring to the car, helicopter, plane, or ambulance which took your ass there.

I would challenge anyone to name something of value provided by the church. Witch hunts, stake burnings, child molestation, wars, exorcisms, and rhetoric, while all fun, are not candidates.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Chris Benoit kills family

Well, I gave this plenty of time to sink in, reserved my judgment, but have simply now succumb to the news reports regarding Chris Benoit. Chris, I fucking hate you. For those not in the know, Benoit was one of the best wrestlers to ever live; his technical skill and prowess in the ring were paralleled by no man or woman. He is a former World Heavyweight Champion, Intercontinental Champion, US Champion, and Tag Team Champion. At least he was.

Chris Benoit is now a dead, piece of shit murderer. On Saturday, he flew home to Tampa (I believe) and strangled his wife, Nancy, to death in their home office. He then so kindly waited until the next day, Sunday, to smother his son in the bedroom. Truly a loving father wouldn't you say? But oh, how upset he must have been, as on the following day, Monday, he hanged himself in the weight room. I so hope it took a long, painful time for that son of a bitch to die.

How the hell can anyone, and I mean anyone abuse a child? His son Daniel was only seven years old; now he's a corpse, barely got a start in life. I've heard a few rumors that there may have been a case of roid rage; there will be die hard fans who try to rationalize and empathize with Benoit as though he was somehow a victim in all of this. Bullshit.

I was a die hard Benoit fan; when he was drafted to ECW a couple of weeks ago, I was ecstatic. I mean, WWE failed to push him after his original title run ended and he was stuck in the stable of that loser Orton; I thought this would give credibility to ECW by making Benoit the champ. In his debut match he made Burke look like a little bitch. I thought this was going to be awesome.

But no, that fuck head had to go and kill a little boy, a boy who I'm sure looked up to him and didn't understand why daddy wouldn't let him breath. How the fuck can somebody do that to a child? It's unforgivable, and had he not been a pussy and killed himself, I would have gladly supported his execution. It's not even like he went into a rage, he took his time and killed everybody, one day at a time.

I hereby renounce myself as a fan of Chris Benoit. I will never watch another one of his matches and I will piss on his merchandise. Apparently the WWE feels the same way as they have also pulled his profile and his merchandising. It should be business as usual for them in my opinion. They've rid themselves of a child killing murderer.

Fuck you Benoit, I only wish there was a hell for you to burn in.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Proof of God's love for us

Read this little number to learn more about antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Since our bible-toting friends insist that all life exists now as it did when the earth was created, they must believe that this little bug has been around since that time since it could never have evolved. So, God was busy making sure there would be plenty of nasties out there to kill us off with lovely diseases such as flesh eating bacteria, pneumonia, etc.

Gee, thanks God, you're a pal!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

But I don't believe in evolution!

That's unfortunate, since evolution is not a belief system. Evolution is based on scientific fact with more evidence supporting it than many other theories. So just get it right and say you're not smart enough to understand evolution.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TAPS Sucks

Yesterday it was Oprah, today it's time to nail The Atlantic Paranormal Society, aka TAPS, aka a bunch of dumbasses who can't seem to figure out how to use an infrared thermometer.

Now I admit, I own season one, and I find it hysterical to watch grown men jump when houses settle or a cat purrs. But seriously, they really believe in ghosts? I do believe in spooks! I do believe!

Well, let's hit the list of TAPS bullshit.

1. Infrared thermometers. TAPS apparently neglected a wonderful high school education on this one. According to TAPS, cold spots can indicate the presence of a ghost; well, so can a hot spot, it all depends upon what they find. I mean, no cold spots would be bad for ratings, so they just use the hot spot as well, mean, why not? The problem is that IR thermometers don't measure the air temperature; they measure surface temperature, well the temperature of the air right above the surface of something. So those cold spots and hot spots being found are actually a representation of garbage data from improper use of a device. Huh, and I thought they were experts, esp. since Brian explained so eloquently how to use a Geiger counter. Oh, this applies to the EMF detectors as well.

2. Wireless audio. Uhm, seriously, has anyone ever used a cordless phone and heard noise? Wireless audio stupid; you are just asking for interference. Even with wires we must worry about shielding them; and in some cases, such as with data cable, we CAN'T shield them or we get distorted/lost signals. That's one reason fiber optic is so great; it's not faster, it's just better quality and not subject to distortion.

3. Thermal cameras. Apparently these fellows only conditionally accept thermal reflections. The guy in the locker room door on thermal? Uh, that was you Grant, which is why the figure is LOOKING DOWN AT HIS CAMERA TOO! Just because your feeble attempts at repetition of the affect failed does not mean that it was a ghost, it means you can't figure out how to reproduce it. Besides, you're not even qualified to use a thermal camera.

4. Race rock was faked, pure and simple, and Grant, I'm looking at you partner. There are a couple of items I'd like to point out. First, TAPS has refused to provide unedited copies of this film for independent analysis. Hmm, so, they want to take a scientific approach, yet seem to not want to actually follow scientific procedures. Now, why would they do that? Anyway, the second item up is that the chair moves TWICE; there is a slight, minor movement and then the whole shebang. Third, there is an unidentified light source which flickers EXACTLY when the chair moves, BOTH TIMES! There is clearly something moving in front of the light source. My guess is that would be Grant pulling the string from the room above. And of course lastly, since when does a fold out chair make so much freakin' noise? Editing, or is Grant in the room below? If so, he could be pulling the thread and perhaps adding some additional weight to give the chair a bit more noise than usual, although this would likely not be planned.

5. Eastern State Penitentiary was clearly an individual moving to the camera, spinning, then running away; you can see the guys' shoes and pants. Also, the film speed has been altered. If the video is edited, it is now tainted and is no longer valid evidence. Oh, and they won't turn over the unedited originals for independent analysis either, go figure.

6. TAPS regularly employs Wiccans, demonologists, dowsers, and other such pseudoscientific nonsense. Sorry folks, but you can't sense energy fields, you can't dowse for anything, and there is not a single reason to have these self deluded people around. Oh, but if you can prove any of that, I know of a way you can win an easy million bucks.

All in all? TAPS represents themselves as a scientific group, yet they employ no scientific principle whatsoever. They are unable to use the equipment they have, they have very questionable "evidence", they work with people who claim some sort of supernatural power yet offer no scientific proof thereof, among other things. So while my analysis was in no way scientific and was strictly op ed, I invite any member of TAPS to discuss their methodologies and findings. Until then, I'll just consider them to be a more tame version of Most Haunted.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Oprah's dirty Secret

I actually read about this a while ago, but didn't have time to properly rant. Apparently, due to Oprah's endorsement of that nonsense book known as "the secret", a woman has opted to stop chemotherapy and fight her cancer with positive thinking. Do you get more stupid than this?

I'm not going to knock anyone for trying to maintain a positive attitude, but the fact is that you can't change reality with mere thought alone; it simply is completely, 100% impossible. You can't wish your cancer away, you have to take action; unfortunately, this is sometimes not enough. A very good friend of mine has terminal cancer (angiosarcoma); all of the positive thinking in the world will not save him, nor will all of known medicine.

Oprah, I despise your proliferation of nonsense and pseudo scientific ignorance. You have issued some statement I read to encourage this women to continue her treatment; now you are a hypocrite. I've read excerpts of the secret; I've read reviews, summaries, synopses, and of course op eds. It is utter nonsense, something a schoolgirl could discern as wrong and lacking in foundation (and common sense). And I would also put forth that positive thinking is not a good idea; experience dictates to me that we should plan for the worse.

Why should we just keep smiling and going on about our activities? Are we the grasshopper, simply assuming that when winter comes there will be food? Or should be we more diligent and actually store up our reserves, knowing that we will need them when times become hard? Seems to me, if we don't beef up our stockpile, we may just starve to death.

Negative thinking is exactly what keeps our country safe; why have an army when we could simply hope and think positively that no one will attack us? We can just all be positively thinking friends. The power of negativity keeps our information systems safe. I run disaster recovery plans, backup schedules, RAID systems, all because I know something can go wrong. Maybe I should just toss that all out and think positively?

Oprah, if this woman stops her chemotherapy and dies, you are to blame. But don't worry, just think positively.

Ham and shit

Well, good ol' Ham, you know, the idiot behind Answers in Genesis and the even more ignorant creationist museum, must have had a blast on the 28th of May. A large group of scientists, academics, and students (among other concerned citizens) protested his stupid ass museum. I wanted to go (I'm a PhD student), but just couldn't get away. From what I heard, the iron gates of the museum were protected by armed guards and security dogs. True christian family values!

Just to reiterate, evolution is not a belief system; it is a theory based upon scientifically validated evidence that, more likely than not (actually, it's really beyond any reasonable doubt), that life arose out of self-replicating molecules which, over millions of years, have changed and grown into life as we know it. Saying that you do not believe in evolution is the same thing as saying you don't believe in gravity (by the way, the church also took this stance at one time). Evolution is a very well understood scientific theory which has countless amounts of evidence. Religion has a book written by a bunch of people who lived before science existed. You tell me who knows more.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Jill Jarrett passess away

From what I've read, Jill Jarrett, the wife of Jeff Jarrett, passed away yesterday after a long bout with cancer. My condolences to the Jarrett family.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell is dead!!!

I've never delighted much in the death of others...save for Falwell. Good ol' Falwell was such a wonderfully bigoted person full of hatred for anything not ultraconservative and highly superstitious. Ironically, the CNN article said he had a history of heart problems; ain't that the truth.

The world is a better place.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/05/15/jerry.falwell/index.html

Friday, April 27, 2007

Advanced Technology Group, LLC

As of today, I am not only incorporated as an LLC, but I've found a lawyer for the company, a great bookkeeper/accountant, and a virtual receptionist in Canada (so your computer's broke, 'eh?). Just kidding, she's really cool and is very flexible.

So what's next? Well, next we open the corporate checking account and wait for the business license and IRS EIN papers to arrive. At that point, I shell out about $50 for my bookkeeper to set up the account by way of remote access to my network. Once that is finished, I can actually start billing under the corporate name and begin protecting myself. I may also need to invest in some insurance in case I fuck something up; hasn't happened yet, but hey, never too late.

I'm also getting some direct mailings together to see if I can do a semi-high impact campaign in the Huntington, WV area. I got a nice three-fold brochure which I'll fill with information; already has some nice stock photos. Plus, a girl is doing my logo for me so that I can get some letterhead, cards, stuff like that done. Once the card is finished, I can shell out $110 for 500 business card magnets to send out with my mailings. Kick ass!

You know, this might actually happen this time. I mean, I might actually pick up customers, retain them with contracts, and be independent. I can't believe it, I'm still in shock. I actually sat down, organized, delegated, and it's fucking happening. I have to let the folks at work know at some point. I think they'll actually be my first client on contract as I think the relationship will be solid, but I can't make a move until I have steady income through the company. Specifically, I need 5K/month gross before I am making what I am currently earning. If I get that, plus pick up my current employer, I'll be making closer to 8K/month, which is schweet if it happens.

So, keep poised, the website will be updated by next week and ready to roll. Email already works, but hell, email is easy and fast to no kudos for that one.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thomas Payne quote

When the government fears the people, it is liberty; when the people fear the government, it is tyranny.


Back to the moon baby!



By the way, fuck all of you morons who don't believe we went to the moon. You're all stupid fucks who can't understand basic physics, yet want to argue about the craters left by the landers and the lack of stars. Read a book idiots.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Breaking news on Anna Nicole Smith

She's still dead.

Creationist bullshit

How in the hell can they even consider this as anything but bullshit? I mean, come on, T. rex playing alongside human children? Are they fucking serious? I mean, did they actually think that a bear wouldn't eat a person? Ever see that documentary about the bear guy who became dinner? A bear is an omnivore with teeth capable of eating meat and vegetation. T. rex was a carnivore who may have also been a scavenger. However, humans and dinosaurs were separated by about 60 million years, so it is a moot point as there were no humans to eat!

This is why critical thinking is so important; some people actually buy this bullshit. Evolution is real, the earth is billions of years old, and humans never existed with the dinosaurs. Oh, and two of every dinosaur would not have fit on the ark (esp. since there was no ark). Do the math, you'll see there was no fucking room for two of every single species on the planet excluding dinosaurs, so there sure as hell isn't room when we include them. They aren't Jello; there isn't always room.

Please people, help stop this nonsense. Why is it that we accept science when it benefits us, but reject those very techniques when they contradict our own superstitious beliefs? No church has ever cured disease, invented a computer, or cracked the human genome...science has. Support science, and knock this shit off.

Open Challenge to Sylvia Browne

Sylvia Browne is such a fake. I was watching some more of her nonsense today and just couldn't believe how each and every single "reading" she has done is so vague as to be basically a template; she just fills in the blanks as she gets feedback from her "clients." I was reading through the forums today at gosylviabrowne.com (a cheap knock off of stopsylviabrowne.com) and was absolutely amazed at the complete idiots over there who buy her nonsense hook, line, and sinker. I bet if I added their collective IQs that I would be unable to hit triple digits. Believing in psychics should be considered a form of mental retardation; of course, I don't want to offend those out there with actual learning disabilities by grouping them with the believers in woo.

It makes me feel sad for the future when I see such crap. Crystals, homeopathy, chiropractics, religion...it's such bullshit. There is no evidence whatsoever for any of that nonsense...but of course there are tons of studies to refute the claims. So if there are any of Sylvia's stupid fuck supporters out there, chew on this...

I have $12,000 sitting in my savings account right now. I will give this to Sylvia if she can perform one, simple feat of psychic powers. My grandfather died some time back. He had a very odd nickname for me, one that he would always use when referring to me. If Sylvia can truly speak to him, she will quickly learn this nickname. Prove it Sylvia. I'll write it down ahead of time if you'd like. Put up or shut up. I'm tired of listening to your dumb ass duck and dodge challenges. Unless you can prove it, you leave everyone no choice but to believe that you are a complete, arrogant, fraud, full of shit.

Oh, and where exactly is your proof of a Masters degree? I can prove mine, plus I can prove my near completion of a PhD, quite easily. Why do you dodge this as well? Is your life so full of shit and lies that you don't even know where the truth ends and your bullshit begins?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Boiling Frog

For those of you who support the firing of Don Imus, please read the story of the boiling frog. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog

You will find that the story is that if you gradually implement something, such as the suppression of free speech, you will eventually succeed. You don't simply ban free speech, as the frog would leap out of the water. Rather, you slowly take away the rights of free speech little by little, until the water is boiling, and the frog didn't jump in time to escape the now boiling water.

Freedom of speech is important; important enough that the founding fathers made it the very first amendment to the Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights. Those who think Don should be fired, please travel to China and tell them that you disagree with Buddhism. You can be executed. Look at the middle east. Tell them that Muhammad is a queer; you will be executed.

You need to understand that your right to say what you want should be cherished. And you should fight to the death to protect that right, especially if you disagree with the speaker. Popular speech needs no champion; unpopular speech does. The first amendment protects unpopular speech, not popular speech.

Today, it was announced that some UK schools will no longer teach the Holocaust so as to avoid upsetting Muslims. Fuck Muslims, or anybody, upset by the teaching of the Holocaust. My guess is that the Jews are more upset about the Holocaust then are the Muslims or anybody else. Hell, the thought of it makes me sick and I'm an atheist. Human suffering must be retold. We have to know the travesties, often in the name of religion and god, committed to see how we must change our way of thinking.

Support the freedom of speech. Don't let one, ignorant Texan's administration ruin our freedoms. Don't let them lead by fear.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Update on Anna's Baby Daddy

This just in: I still don't give a fuck.

Back to you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Update on Anna Nicole Smith

The bitch is still dead.

Don Imus in trouble...for nothing

I hate Don Imus; I think he's stupid, uneducated, and only good at running his mouth. He just called the Rutger's women's basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed ho's". That's a pretty disgusting statement to be honest. It's ignorant, backwards, racist, sexist, anything else you can lob at it. And it's also his right to say.

Yup, I support Don. He should not be fired or even reprimanded quite frankly. The fact is, we have the freedom of speech, something the Bush administration would love to do away with in favor of theocracy. I can say whatever I want to say; I have that right. Don can say whatever he wishes to say as well as he has that right. That right was fought for by those who gave their lives to form this great country. And now we want to piss on it because somebody's feelings are upset? Fuck Rutgers, fuck the overly sensitive basketball team, and fuck those who want to fire Don Imus. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are more important than their feelings.

Now, the beauty of this is that this freedom applies to everybody. As I said earlier, I hate Don Imus. I hate him, Howard Stern, Bill O'Reily, Glen Beck, Nancy Grace, Montel Williams, the list goes on and on. So you know what I do about it? I DON'T FUCKING LISTEN TO THEM. Yup, can you believe it? I actually change the station and don't listen to the people I find offensive.

Freedom of choice folks. You may not like what Don Imus says, but you have the power to change the station. If enough people find him offensive, and if enough people change the station, he'll be out of work by losing his fan base. No law should ever be enacted to force people out of their jobs based upon what they say. This isn't China people, it's America. We are free here. You can say what you want. Try saying "Don, shut the fuck up you dumbass" instead of "Fire him for what he said!". Before long, something you say will be offensive, and it could be your ass on the line.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Not much goin' on

Well, not much happening at the blog, but I'm not incredibly surprised. I never advertised this, plus I just don't have a lot to say sometimes. Well, no one has died yet (see previous entry), so I'm a bit more cheery this week.

My current agenda is to pass another one of those Microsoft exams, 70-291 to be exact. If I pass it then I'll finally earn the 2003 certifications (MCSE/MCSA) plus the security/messaging to go with it. In all, I get six certs after I pass the exam. I'm not too worried, but still, it's been stressful and the study guide is huge.

I'm also getting ready to incorporate and form a real business. For those who don't know, I've done quite a bit of IT consulting and hands on work for years. I'm forming an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) to protect myself, which may cost $500. I found that the name I've used for years is taken, so I have to pick another one. No big deal, I need something starting with an "A" so I'm first in the phone book anyway. After I get this done, I have to get an accountant to maintain the business, file taxes, set up payroll, things like that. I can't just cash the checks anymore, I have to deposit them in a company account and pay myself either on salary or in bonuses. However that shit works.

Then I have to get a business plan together. Well, actually, I guess I need to do that first. I mean getting the LLC and accounting is a no-brainer; it has to be done. But then I have to figure out a strategy. I've got a hold of some folks who can create a corporate identify for me, but I can't use them until I get my domain name and LLC since I don't want a logo for a company whose name I can't own. Plus I've got to trademark the name, keep it safe. Then, I have to get a registered trademark for the logo they create so that if anyone steals it I can kick their ass, legally :)

This stuff is hard, so much to be done and I just can't do it. I don't have the time or patience, I just want to do the work. Could I do it? Yes, but there are others who are so much better at it. It's time to pay a little bit here and a little bit there to just make this happen. I can save up for advertising next year when I will need to do so. I already have a couple of customers (extremely part time), but that could change quickly. If I can pull in $5K/month in contracts then I can do this. Hell, at $85/hour I only have to work 60 hours a month to earn $61,200 a year. I've lived on less! That's only 15 hours a week!

I can do this. I'm so close right now it's driving me crazy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Shitty week

This has been an absolutely terrible week. It seemed as if it would be great. Wrestlemania 23 saw the defeat of Batista by the Undertaker; this will be Taker's 5th reign with a WWE championship, 4 with the WWE Championship and now his first run with the World Heavyweight Championship. All seemed pretty well.

Then I find out that a good friend of many years is now dying. He's fought lung cancer as well as a tumor under his shoulder blade (most of which was removed) for nearly two years now. He was winning the fight. The spots on his lungs were going away and some had been surgically removed, the tumor was removed successfully and he was in rehab to basically relearn how to use his arm.

Now, I find that the cancer has moved to his heart. I didn't even fucking know there was such a thing as heart cancer. It's apparently extremely rare, and in even those cases it is rare for it to be malignant. Your heart cells rarely divide, if ever, which is why the heart is not as susceptible to cancer. Talk about all of the stupid fucking luck. He beat the hell out of the tough cancer, then the rarest of the rare comes back to claim him. The hospital just sent him home; there's nothing they can do now.

I'm 31 and my friend is several years my junior. He never smoked, but likely got lung cancer from second hand smoke in the clubs where he played saxophone and piano/keyboard. The world is about to lose one of the greatest people who ever walked on it. There is no bright side to this, no silver lining, no "happening for a reason"; it is an untimely end to a wonderful person.

I don't believe in god, not one solid bit. No god would put someone they loved through this. You can't rationalize this, justify it, nothing. Things don't happen for some divine reason. We've come a long way in the battle against cancer, but obviously there is more which needs to be done. I'm still coming to terms with this. I remember the days we played in a saxophone quartet together, the jokes we played, the many times we went to the local TGI Friday's for dinner, all of the great times we all had. This is like losing a brother and I honestly don't know how to deal with it.

To top things off, my wife's uncle died at 59 and her friend' brother, who has cystic fibrosis, is dying, likely within the next day or so. I'm obviously not close to those people, but I can only imagine what everyone is going through.

Please, support cancer research and stem cell research. Put religious superstition aside and support the fight against these diseases. One day it could be someone you care about, or it could be you.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Creationist idiocy

Wow, can they be any more ignorant? It is amazing at how fundamentalism can actually give someone the audacity to challenge experts and evidence despite the challenger having no credentials whatsoever (sorry Jessup, the bible is not evidence, it's a shitty book). Check out http://nathanbradfield.blogspot.com/2007/03/hypocrisy-of-evolution.html for the lowdown of how ignorance can so befuddle the mind.

Evolution is not some contrived theory, it exists because we have proof. Evolution is akin to a ladder reaching from the ground up...we may not have all the rungs, but we can see where it goes. So you see, there is no missing link as our good friend Nathan would have us believe. Are we missing some rungs? Sure we are, but we continue to find more and more pieces. We are digging through millions of years of dirt afterall, do you think we'll get it in one fell sweep?

The paranormal challenge

Well, I don't have $1 million dollars, but I can offer up a coupla grand. I'd like to entertain a psychic, dowser, somebody, to try to prove their abilities in a formal, controlled environment. Or, if you'd rather go for a million, visit James Randi's Website. There, you can read all about the as of yet unclaimed $1 million dollars for the demonstration of anything paranormal. I would argue that it is not likely to be won anytime soon.

Introduction to my spot

Well, I have opted to start blogging so that I can be cool :) So who am I? I am Richard Wolford, Jr, a PhD student with Capella University studying IT Management and Leadership; however, make no mistake about it, I am a computer deity. I have undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and I may very well pursue a second PhD in the same field. I have nearly 20 years of experience on them. I am a rational, logical, and very critical thinker. I am very open minded, provided there is evidence to support the position offered by someone who isn't a retard. I am married, nearly five years now, with a 19 month old son, cat, two dogs, fish tanks, and other living creatures.

I've started this blog as not only a way to vent frustration, but to provide a place to foster critical thinking skills. There is too much nonsense in the world today with religious fundamentalists, homeopathic medicines, self-proclaimed psychics, ghost hunters, dowsers, and all sorts of woo which just has no place in a civilized, rational world where blind faith is replaced with objective reality. Just because you believe it doesn't make it true; it makes you a believer.