Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Evolutionists, some friendly advice: when you're in a hole, stop digging! 

Aha! Silly evolutionists, now there's TWO missing links where there used to be only ONE. Now, missing links between Homo habilis and this newly discovered species AND this new species and Australopithicus. Count em, TWO missing links now.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

''Torture'' Phalluses Give Beetles Breeding Boost 

Couldn't think of a better title for this.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Maybe enough debunking of global warming denier claims for 2009 

Over the last few years, my reaction to claims by climate change deniers has gone from angry to amused. Here is enough amusement to last a year.

My favorite part was the alert to a claim that the rise in sea levels "has been shrinking since 2005" as illustrated by the blue part of this graph,

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Absolutely smashing! 

arp 147

A new Hubble photograph of galaxies that smashed through one another.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is that baby blood going to or from a baby? 

Demetri Martin,

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fruit fly culture experiment 

I'm growing flightless fruit flies to feed my pet plants. About a month ago I bought a culture of them from a pet store for $5.99 - I believe today I bought enough ingredients to make dozens of times more flies for about the same price. First, here is the store purchased culture.

purchased fruit fly culture

Because millions of people without in-sink disposals unwittingly make fruit fly cultures every day I figure it's rather difficult to fail in the venture. I've read that using vinegar instead of water inhibits mold growth so I threw into the blender a small apple, half a package of potato buds, half a package of baking yeast and wet it down a bit with apple cider vinegar.

diy fruit fly food

I kept the apple peels for springtail food. Or more accurately, food for springtail food. More on that tomorrow.

apple peels

After blending everything down to a cookie dough consistency, I used a root beer bottle to mash the mush more or less evenly across the bottoms of a mason jar and pickle jar. I put one in the freezer for later.


I learned a new word today, excelsior,

wood shavings (thin curly wood shavings used for packing or stuffing)

In this case, the source of my excelsior - pods of a Northern Catalpa - proved the first positive about having a nearly all year mess of the foot-long woody pods in the yard. Those woody pods are perfect excelsior material for my pet flies to find a purchase.


I shook 30-40 flies from the original culture into their new breeding grounds and locked them in with a paper towel and rubber bands.

put a lid on it

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Friday, May 09, 2008


Pictures from the 2008 Chaitén eruption. Before:


Volcanic ash replenishes soil nutrients.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Continuing to debunk "Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims" 

Continued from here, comments on a few more expert scientist global warming skeptics lauded by easily influenced Republican sympathizers.

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I'll attack the source, thank-you very much 

In comments to a post over at 5ft3 referencing a report by Senate Republicans claiming there is no consensus on global warming between

Al Gore (who let us remember is NOT a scientist) and actual scientists

I mercifully pointed out that,

Seems to me you're chasing your own tail when you point out Gore is a politician not a scientist, then turn around and support your case by referencing a political document.

Beth responds,

It was from a Senate Report about 400 scientists who are coming out to say that the global warming alarmists are nuts, how is this not a commentary on scientific thought?

What would make me feel better is for you to address the content and not the source.

Among the leading scientific minds Beth is staking the future of her descendants upon are,

The fact is there are generously perhaps a dozen or so legitimate scientists in relevant fields who continue to challenge the consensus view on the anthropomorphic influence on climate change and several dozen more who's livelihoods depend on arguing against the consensus.

The last scientific association to officially challenge the consensus was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists which now appears neutrally agnostic ("Although the AAPG membership is divided on the degree of influence that anthropogenic CO2 has ... the AAPG believes that expansion of scientific climate research into the basic controls on climate is important") yet supports "reducing emissions from fossil fuel use as a worthy goal."

Still, there are the 400 or so deniers among high school teachers and college dropouts discovered by a Republican Senate aide using Google.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sowing Seeds Second Time around 

I failed horribly last December. The sinicuichi and oregano are the only survivors. I believe the pH of 5.0 was too acidic to allow most of the seeds to sprout. The kratom - the final and third species that did germinate out of the nine - was killed by death from a spray I intended to kill only fungus and mold.

This evening in peat-pellets, I sowed,

I saturated the peat pellets with R/O water with giberillin to 100 ppm. Two pellets per cultivar, one with seeds pressed into soil, one with seeds exposed on top.

In the same pHed giberillin solution, I began to soak seeds of,

I recently performed an experiment on notoriously hard to germinate Sceletium tortuosum seeds by just letting them sit in a giberillin solution. It's about three weeks later and 80% of them have germinated so far while the control group (just in rockwool) has sprouted 20%. I don't have a control group this time, mostly because I'm lazy and take up enough space as it is but also because I had little more than 12 of many of the seeds, so it would be difficult to say which seed's germination was hastened or improved by the giberillin.

UPDATE 2/16: decided a 10 day soak in giberillin solution was a better idea than an experiment with no control that would give me sprouts I want to grow or drowned seeds. Placed all that batch of seeds in wet paper towels inside 1/2 cup plastic containers. Placed all of them in a paper towel on top of the refrigerator where it's a bit warmer.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

It's all about voting against liberals 

Beth ends as agrily as she starts,

Okay, something else that bugs me. When scientists come up with a theory, it's like gospel truth for some people, but if other scientists who come up with opposing theories they are wrong. Why can't people accept that the opposing view could be the accurate one?

I've not a definate grasp on who exactly Beth means by "some people", but am confident she means "liberals".

Scientists don't ever "come up with a theory", they come up with hypotheses. Theories are hypotheses which have stood up to repeated scrutiny and best fit the observations.

Right-wingers such as Beth base their outrage, as we have seen, on imaginary people who hold imaginary opinions, although there may indeed be at least some people holding at once all the opinions they find foul. But in order to view themselves as the silent majority as they do, the imaginary segment becomes in their minds a monolithic force in which all of their grievances are encapsulated as one.

Here, I can imagine that Beth is thinking of scientists who believe Man's activities influence the increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and that evolution can produce divergent species no longer able to produce fertile offspring. But that is just a guess. But I really can't argue with her as the only certain assertion she makes is that she's pissed off.

Being pissed off that scientists can confidently say Man attributes to climate change is maybe something Beth could understand if she tried a bit, but it sadly seems that everything Beth sees as wrong with the world can be remedied by voting Republican. She knows that Republicans are angry with liberals, and and that's enough for her. Even if the next Democratic presidential candidate didn't fake a Purple Heart, she still has resons to vote for the opposition.

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