Daily Archives: July 20, 2011

I would like to be the first to welcome our Googley overlords

For now.

When it comes down to it, benevolent dictatorship resting on a perfectly anarchistic base is the only way to go. Democracy is too easily bought. Free Market Forces do not make everything all nice and efficient and stuff. Wherever information can be OpenSource and OpenAccess it should be; No institution should be allowed to exist for more than a few years; Somehow the infrastructure needs to be efficient, effective, and free (OpenInfrastructure) and then, everything else, we’ll let Google take care of.

Or at least that’s the plan for now. And when Google goes evil? Revolution!!!!!
Continue reading I would like to be the first to welcome our Googley overlords

Happy Birthday Gregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884)

i-64f547f03c7c3330a75f755a61e8918d-Gregor_Mendel-thumb-250x253-67561.pngGregor Mendel is the Augustinian Monk and Scientist who developed the model of genetics that held sway all the way through the Darwinian Synthesis (when, essentially, it was introduced and integrated) and right up until recently, when it has weakened considerably compared to other conceptions of genetics based on observations not possible in his time. “Mendelian Genetics” still “works” more or less, it just applies to fewer cases in its original simple form. Mendel’s main contribution was probably to demonstrate that inheritance involves both parents in roughly equal ways ant that the unit of inheritance is bot particulate and immutable between generations, so that even if a trait is invisible in an individual, the genetic material was not necessarily absent and could contribute to future generations. That (assuming “immutable” is not perfect) is all still pretty much both true and important.

Yeah but … how do you pronounce S/2011 P1?

They won’t let Pluto be a planet but it still bears the responsibility of having moons, and until just now there were three known moons of the tiny non-planet, named Hydra, Charon and Nix.

Now there are four, and the fourth one is called Essslashtwoohoneonepeeone.

They are working on another name. Bad Astronomer has details about the new find.

There is some difficulty in coming up with a name since the theme of the existing names (night-based Roman mythical character) is tapped out. I was thinking it should be called one of the following:

  • Fifi
  • Dinah
  • Ronnie
  • Or, to be funny, Milton

Or, to be more accurate in terms of size and such, maybe just “Pluto’s Kid Brother” or “k.b” for short.

Continue reading Yeah but … how do you pronounce S/2011 P1?

Updates on Rebeccapocalypse, and Otter Matters

People are screaming at me over on ERV blog about not making a formal announcement that Richard Dawkins is god-like because he’s donated a bunch of foundation money to a child care project. That’s wonderful that he did that, but I’m not a member of JREF, was not at TAM, do not get newsletters from any of these people and the last time I had a conversation with Dawkins it was at a memorial service of a shared fallen colleague which had nothing to do with atheism or skepticism. So, I was never sent anything about this, didn’t hear about it anywhere except from ERV, and officially I don’t know nothin’ about this but you are welcome to read about it here.

Speaking of there, John C. Welch, IT tech who claims to be a writer and analyst, a boy who likes his toys, hates me. Vitriolically. I haven’t seen this level of hate since Salty Crackergate or the Brian Pesta Follies. This guy has one serious bug up his back side. But his vitriol will not stop me from awarding him the coveted Best Worst Comment of the Day Award, usually provided on my facebook feed but in this case double posted:

“…”correct” feminist compatriots, Greg-Fucking-Laden” … “

The rest was inarticulate. Sorry.

John C. Welch is looking for a job, by the way. Here’s his web site. I hope he gets a position at a place with either no elevators or no women, or both. Because he reserves his right to follow women onto elevators and make them uncomfortable and gets VERY mad at anyone who disagrees with him. I also hope his prospective employers don’t check the internet to get a bead on what kind of guy he is. Hell, I’m thinking of taking out a bloggy restraining order on him myself if necessary.

(John C. Welch is also famous for an ill fated botched attempt at a primitive sort of denial of service attack (not to be confused with a DDOS attack) on my blog, which is funny because as an IT professional that makes him bot unethical and incompetent. Oh and his book is kind of lame too. I much prefer this one.)

I already pointed to Rebecca Watson’s interview on Point of Inquiry. Here I just want to remind you that there is a “comment section” for that podcast in the form of a forum.

And finally … watch your back:

Continue reading Updates on Rebeccapocalypse, and Otter Matters


Scienceblogs Abbie Smith (ERV) will be the guest on this weeks Skeptically Speaking:

Skeptically Speaking #122 HIV and AIDS

This week, we’re joined by graduate student and Scienceblogs writer Abbie Smith, to learn about the latest research on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. How does HIV cause AIDS? What are the latest treatments? How close are we to a cure? What strategies are most effective at stopping the spread of infection ? And what are the arguments that denialists make for alternate causes of the disease? Tune in and find out!

We record live with Abbie Smith on Sunday, July 24 at 6 pm MT. The podcast will be available to download at 9 pm MT on Friday, July 29.

Details here