This Is Your Brain On Religion

16 03 2009

If you ever wanted an example of how religion can completely skew rational thought I offer you this video.  Watch as Michael Shermer interviews true believer Georgia Purdom PhD (research scientist in molecular genetics) from the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  Absolutely no amount of data or evidence can dislodge the brain washing she’s been subjected to.  Ohio State must be very proud to have her as an alum.

I have no idea how Mr. Shermer keeps talking with this woman without pulling out what little hair he has left.  Amazing.  I know I’m recycling this cartoon, but man oh man does it fit here.



Texas BOE: Dogma Over Science

15 03 2009

The Texas Board of Educashun (their spelling, not mine) is always innovating, always adapting, always looking for new ways to misinform its students about the process of science and instead prop up religious dogma as “gooder learnin”. If viewed in an evolutionary context, the Texas BOE is the educational outlier that thinks it won the genetic lottery because it got an extra chromosome. Um…yeah.

This “special” organization, led by dentist and avowed creationist Don McLeroy, had a busy March indeed. On March 9th they introduced House Bill 2800 which, if enacted, would effectively exempt institutions such as the Institute for Creation Research’s graduate school from Texas’s regulations governing degree-granting institutions and make every degree from Texas just that little bit less respected.

But wait, dinosaur Don and his minority of faithful on the board weren’t done yet. Always looking for innovative ways to cast unfounded doubt on well proven science, on March 13th he introduced House Bill 4224 which once again moves to force the creationist “strengths and weaknesses” language to their 6-12th grade science classes. There have been other recent attempts to pin the “strengths and weaknesses” phrase specifically to the theory of evolution so that other “theories” like creationism could be taught. Those attempts failed so they’re now trying to reintroduce the same language, just more generically this time. I personlly don’t disagree with the sentiment being introduced as applied to all of science, but as it is yet another reincarnation of a ploy used by creationists to attempt to weasel in their dogma leaves me very suspicious indeed.

I feel bad for all the genuinely intelligent people who know this is more of the same bullshit, and who have or are in the process of getting a degree of any kind from Texas. The educational bonafides of everyone with a Texas degree are tainted by these asshats, and it’s just a shame. Why everyone doing serious educational work in Texas isn’t up in arms and protesting the intellectual insult and genuine damage these fools are inflicting on their reputation and education will remain a mystery to me. Perhaps the educated people of Texas who are willing to just let this crap float by somehow deserve the diminished reputation these policies suggest.

Movie Review: The Holiday

25 04 2008

It was our one year anniversary and I decided to offer romantic gifts. Since I’m not one for the typical romantic comedy there was one gift that was a standout…a DVD of “The Holiday“.  We watched the movie, but looking at the other reviews we were apparently less impressed than the typical Amazon customer. Today Amazon dropped me a note asking for a review of my purchases and I couldn’t help but want to leave one for this “lovable love story with all the Christmas trimmings”. Below is that review.

Imagine Ten Year Old Moldy Fruitcake…And You’re Almost There

I deserve a medal because I watched it all. After a terrible beginning that only set up my complete lack of concern for the main characters I couldn’t help but finish it just to satisfy my compulsive rubbernecking at such an appalling train wreck of cinema.

The only interesting thing Cameron Diaz has ever done on film was to smear ejaculate in her hair, so it comes as no surprise that this film only serves to further confirm that she cannot act to save her pouting excuse for a life.

Jack Black on the other hand serves as the nexus of insult and injury for this celluloid tragedy. Given his past offbeat brilliance in delivering movie stealing performances in other films it’s difficult to imagine dialog so flat and lifeless that he cannot wring one crumb of comic pungency from it. This unfortunately even rendered the over the top Black crippled under such hapless writing and directing.

Kate Winslet was apparently also in the movie (the box tells me so) but her performance was so transparent as to render her lost into the corner of my memory vacuum that is usually reserved for things like VCR user manuals and anniversary dates. I’m sure she could have been great but I can’t quite recall.

Then there is Jude Law, the one shining star in this galaxy of craptasticness. His performance was sufferable given the unspeakable playscript he was handed. Alas it was his tremendous good looks that saved me from wanting a full refund for the 136 minutes of my life wasted because my girlfriend was so effectively turned on just staring at his hotness (while ignoring the inane dialog he was forced to deliver) that the sex afterwards was even more spectacular than usual.

Hence, “The Holiday” musters one star instead of none.