Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Filler Post

Well I gotta post now because I haven't posted in a few weeks.
I couldn't think of anything no matter how many insults I put in it.
I'd better post something so I don't lose you all.
Thinking of something is just past my limit.
This is the filler post, the filler post
It's not a killer post
It's just a filler post
It goes "blah blahbity blah blah blah blahbity blah blah blah"
It goes "blah blahbity blah blah blah blahbity blah blah blah"

Shamlessly nicked from The Chaser:

Thursday, 16 October 2008

America: Land of Scientific Humour

That's what Texas seems to have made the US recently. I thank Panda's Thumb for this snippet of humour.

This newspaper blog thingy said that the Texas State Board of Education decided to put a few creationists on the board.

PZ Meyers has, on his blog, a list of the people on the board.

And that's not including the head of the board who is a dentist and an IDiot.

I don't know if he will be on that panel but if he is then the voting will go 3-4 pro ID all the time.

Well barring conflicts of interest (like two of the ID guys having a book that they might use this opportunity to get into the curriculum), it is something of a joke.

When it comes to science standards I would like people who currently accept all mainstream scientific theories to determine them.

This is like having a committee on medical practices where a majority of the committee are "alternative medicine" people.

ID fails in science. And it fails hard.

It might be a fallacy but I'm saying that my analogy would be apt.

At least (according to the newspaper blog thingy) there are groups that are pissed off about it. They called them idealogues, and that is what they are. I guess the dentist IDiot can't find enough IDiots in his home state because he had to get some non-Texans for this board.

I wonder what exactly that says about Texas?

Saturday, 11 October 2008

A Challenge to The Skeptic Zone

I've been listening to The Skeptic Zone. (I also was the first person to digg the site, but do I get credit for that? No...)

It's an excellent podcast (at least at the moment).

However, I've got a bone to pick with them.

It has to do with their theme song.

You can download it from the link above.

It has to do with the lyrics:

"The Skeptic Zone,
a miracle of technology.
A universe of reason,
the Skeptic Zone"
Now my problem is the bolded bit. I'm skeptical of that if you will.

I want them, and I feel quite confident that someone who has something to do with it will find their way here, maybe from the JREF forum.

Prove to me that The Skeptic Zone is indeed a miracle of technology.

Honestly. How do we know that there wasn't some other schmo out there who wanted to start a podcast called "The Skeptic Zone" and was beaten by you guys.

I can put money on it if you want but then I'll have to create some criteria.

I'm thinking something along the lines of "prove beyond a reasonable doubt that The Skeptic Zone is indeed a miracle and that nothing else could have created it".

And if you do you can win 1,168.46 dollars*. To be paid to you in person when you were last in Adelaide.1

I await your response.2

By the way, to other people who still haven't figured out what I am going on about, go to The Skeptic Zone page and find out.

For once there is a podcast where the Australians (i.e. all the main people) all sound normal compared to the Yanks.

*By dollars I mean Zimbabwe dollars and by 1,168.46, I mean 10 Australian. This is the current exchange rate from here at 2008.10.10 14:02:22 UTC.

1And if you are wondering, yes. I did choose my "criteria" from here

2If you haven't figured it out by now, this is a joke. Just listen to the damn podcast...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

MPAA Classification System

I've just finished watching This Film Is Not Yet Rated and I've got to say, what the fuck?

I mean, as a foreigner what they do in the US is extremely confusing.

Here in Australia we have the Office of Film and Literature Classification. It's a government body that does pretty much what it's title suggest (and video games and other media too).

As a side note, I'd just like to shout out to Michael Atkinson (Attorney-General of SA) and say the following:

You are a bloody idiot for not allowing an R18+ rating for video games. Honestly, why the hell can't we have such a rating for video games? We seem to do just fine with one for movies.

Anyway, back to what I am supposed to be talking about.

It seems that, on top of nobody having any bloody clue about the rules for classification in the US, and that the "appeals" process sounds just like a way for the Motion Picture Association of America to say "we're keeping our rating". As far as I can tell the closest thing that there is to rules is reading the Wikipedia article on the subject.

Now compare that to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFCA for ease now), where you can actually download a copy of their guidelines.

Funnily enough the same thing appears to exist with the MPAA review board and their appeals board. At most the public only gets the list from 2005 which the film found through the use of a private investigator. The MPAA go on about some crap about "protecting integrity".

My god that must mean that the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board are a bunch of corrupt bastards because we can easily find out who they are, what they can do, and where they are from. What utter bastards. Well that clearly means that I can't trust them because I know who they are and what qualifications they hold.


Oh wait, I know the answer to this question. No.

In fact it actually helps understand why they make the decisions that they do. You know, it gives the boards a bit more respectability then "faceless reviewers" and "faceless appeals board with a Catholic and an Episcopalian priest to give the board credibility but you can't know who exactly they are".


I guess the US people care about their right to free speech only if it's the government that is restricting that right.

Well, good on them I guess. I'll stick with a classification body that has accountability.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Cruel Kid

From the BBC.

I don't understand it.

How the hell can a parent be so lax?

Maybe it's because I watched the South Park episode "Proper Condom Use", where the parents of the children say that it's somebody else's job to teach their kids about sex, or because it just outrages me in general, but the obvious question to ask is where the hell were the parents?

This kid was allowed half an hour to go about killing animals and feeding some of them to a croc.

And because he was seven he can't be charged.

And then there is this bit:

At one point, he tried scaling the outer enclosure himself to get to "Terry", the 11ft (3.3m) saltwater crocodile

Right now I'm stuck between thinking "too bad he didn't get over the fence" and "good thing he didn't".

Why the latter?

Well that is obvious.

If he did get over the fence and was eaten then the story wouldn't be about a boy who killed a turtle, four western blue tongue lizards, two bearded dragons, two thorny devils and a goanna that the zoo had for 20 years (which explains why the goanna didn't kill him (oh and for those that don't know what a goanna is, either google it, or imagine a smaller komodo dragon with better dental hygene, but actually has venom)). Instead it would be cries of "the zoo was negligent and allowed a kid to get eaten by a crocodile".

And the news would probably gloss over the fact that he spent 30 mins killing lizards.

Maybe the kid ditched his parents, maybe the parents lost him. Either way, I hope that he gets punished for his actions at least by the parents.

If the parents weren't looking out for him, then they really deserve to pay for his actions. The zoo does want to sue them. I think they should.