jeudi 31 juillet 2014

My challenge to creationists

Since this has come up numerous times in several other threads in the past, I thought I'd save time by posing the challenge here, officially, once and for all.

Many a creationist has alleged proof for the existence of God, whether as a challenge to evolution, or as a vindication of their belief in scripture. God is the creator, they say. God intelligently designed everything we see, they say. The proof is immanent, just look around you.

To which I would say, show me a single observable or testable instance of God in the act of creating or designing something.

I have asked this numerous times, but to no avail. I will not accept a quote from scripture. This is using the Bible to prove the Bible is true, which is circular logic. I will not accept an alleged logical proof of the existence of God. These are not predicated on any observation or empirical evidence, and are riddled with logical fallacies. I will only accept something that can be seen or tested experimentally.

As a reminder, attempting to find flaws in the theories of evolution, abiogenesis, or the Big Bang does not establish the validity of creationism by default. This means that arguments from incredulity are out, and a false dichotomy does not prove creationism. Evolution could be completely false. That does not mean God exists, or creationism is real. Creationism must be able to stand on its own, with its own evidence.

So, creationists, what have you got? I'm waiting.

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What would an apologist say?

What would an apologist say to these problems:

1. In Genesis is says: And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night:

regarding the lights .. wouldn't god know that it's only the sun that emits light and that the moon is simply reflecting the light of the sun? Doesn't this show that the bible was written by uneducated men and not a supreme being?


2. Again, in Genesis it says: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

if god made the stars to give light upon the earth .. why are there stars in other galaxies too far away to give light to the earth?

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Alabama officials calls on residents to pray the EPA away

New EPA regulations on emissions from coal plants are apparently a violation of God's will and officials from the Alabama Public Service Commission put out the call for prayer to fight the EPA.


The EPA announced in June its intent to implement new standards meant to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. Such emissions are among the biggest contributors to global warming. According to EPA documents, the proposal would require Alabama to lower emissions from its coal-fired plants by 27 percent from 2012 levels.

A spokesman for Alabama Power Co., which has six coal-fired plants in the state, has said it’s too soon to know what action the utility would have to take to meet the new standards.

At their news conference today Cavanaugh and PSC commissioner-elect Chip Beeker invoked the name of God in stating their opposition to the EPA proposal. Beeker, a Republican who is running unopposed for a PSC seat, said coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.

“Who has the right to take what God’s given a state?” he said.

Cavanaugh called on the people of the state to ask for God’s intervention.

“I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done,” she said.

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Future of the Forum

Everyone, this is important.

First off, this is Sharon Hill ( I am serving as Creative Consultant to the JREF. I am a long-time member of the forum and appreciate its value. I am on board with the organization to craft their reboot with a new and focused agenda on education.

You may have noticed that the forum is running painfully slow.

We currently have major issues with the forum hardware, software and large number of users. The situation is precarious, but knowledgable people are doing their best to make it useable. There are several issues that must be addressed. This is part of the overall website overhaul, which is overdue.

A minor update has been made to make the situation more stable. However, this had consequences:

1. Cacheing is turned off. This makes login readily available but access painfully slow. If caching is turned on, the forum content will be more quickly available when NOT logged in but slow when user is logged in.

2. The ultimate solution is an upgrade in hardware, software, and a porting of the data. This is not easy nor cheap.

3. The Forum moderator has been notified of the situation. It's time to brainstorm on what to do and figure out the most doable plan.

If you ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE about forums, please provide your advice. I am well aware of the value of the forum and the large number of members served. You do not need to convince me of that. What you need to do is come up with some ideas on how to save the data and continue the forum on a stable, responsive platform. That may mean moving to a different forum software.

Send your detailed ideas to or post them here for discussion.

This forum is a unique and fantastic resource. But, this is a time of transition. We need your help and expertise so that it can continue. I have confidence that many here know their stuff. Help us out.



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Univison announces it's number one network, nutjobs go crazy...


NEW YORK - JULY 31, 2014 – Univision Communications Inc. today announced that the Univision Network ranked as the No. 1 network in primetime for the second consecutive year among both Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 during the 2014 July sweep. Univision stations in Los Angeles and New York ranked as the No. 1 and No. 2 most watched stations in the country, respectively, during primetime and total day among key demographics.

Read the comments :(

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How hard is it to find a tunnel?

Without getting into a debate about Mideast politics, I note that a key factor in the current violence has been the extensive tunnel network Hamas has built to initiate surprise attacks against sites in Israel. Question: Wouldn't widely available seismic sensors, ground penetrating radar and other technology make it possible to detect tunnels under construction? How do these devices work and what are their limitations?

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GOP House Candidate: Muslims have no right to worship in the US...

God, he makes well known nutcase Broun,his sucessor, look like a liberal.

SInce he is a shoo in in November in a gerrymandered district,I can just see Boehner and he other GOP leaders groaning with all the embarassment this idiot is going to cause them.

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"Illiterates with Doctorates"

In 1978, futurist Peter Wagschal wrote an essay titled "Illiterates with Doctorates: The Future of Education In an Electronic Age". He described how in the future it would no longer be necessary to read in order to gain an education; there would be visual lectures which would impart information more directly and efficiently.

In short, he described YouTube.

And this is how the Troofers prevail, in spite of having everything wrong. Reading the NIST report, or even the Popular Mechanics report, requires one to be able to read and to comprehend. "Loose Change" and the like don't require reading and come pre-comprehended. The millennials, the young people, get their information directly through visual means.

And it shows.

In Among the Truthers, Jonathan Kay describes how Troofer Luke Rudkowski made a career of "ambushing" people, shouting out Troofer phrases, and then fleeing to put his ambush on YouTube. Kay asked him after one such encounter why he was so unsuccessful. Rudkowski boasted that on the contrary, he had been highly successful. And he was. He got all these hits. And it's immediately comprehensible, while reading the NIST report requires knowing math and other hard stuff.

And that's why you can't win. The Troofers have the zeitgeist. Skeptics are like old-timey, and behind the scenes, and so out of it and no doubt secretly funded by the Koch Brothers.

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On Losing

Reading this forum has been interesting. But in a way that watching an intense political discussion on the forthcoming election while sitting in the First Class dining room of the Titanic would be interesting.

I figured out that you had lost while listening to Alice Walker being interviewed. She glowingly recommended "Loose Change" as revealing the truth of 9/11.

So you laugh. "Woo-mistress Alice Walker! We have the facts!"

Where are the internationally known and renowned literary figures who endorse the NIST report, or even the Popular Mechanics report?

And so it goes, throughout the arts. Influential figures in the artistic field endorse "Loose Change". Does anyone say it's wrong?

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Why does processed food have so much sodium?

I can eat a tomato with a sprinkling of salt and it tastes good. But if I buy canned tomato juice, one small glass is going to give me something like 30 percent of the day's sodium requirement. And it doesn't even taste salty. If I get the lower sodium kind - it tastes like it needs salt.

I'm not talking about salt used to preserve, say, beef jerky. The high sodium content is true of just about all canned foods - which I thought were sterilized in the canning process - and I'm noticing it in frozen foods as well. A 220-calorie Lean Cuisine gives me a quarter of the day's sodium (with a good chance I'll salt it lightly as well).

Is the sodium coming from somewhere besides sodium chloride?

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Why does processed food have so much sodium?

I can eat a tomato with a sprinkling of salt and it tastes good. But if I buy canned tomato juice, one small glass is going to give me something like 30 percent of the day's sodium requirement. And it doesn't even taste salty. If I get the lower sodium kind - it tastes like it needs salt.

I'm not talking about salt used to preserve, say, beef jerky. The high sodium content is true of just about all canned foods - which presumably are sterile - and I'm noticing it in frozen foods as well. A 220-calorie Lean Cuisine gives me a quarter of the day's sodium (with a good chance I'll salt it lightly as well).

Is the sodium coming from somewhere besides sodium chloride?

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Explaining tech to the tech illiterate?

Just recently I tried to explain what an SSD is to my two sisters who are almost tech illiterate.

One I gave up as just being so tech illiterate (actually is an RN however)

The other I could only give the vaguest idea what an SSD is (Interesting, she loves Facebook while I avoid it.)

Tried to explain it as a hard drive with no moving parts that is far faster. Also that my computer boots up in something like 15 seconds from before taking a few minutes. Still, I think I largely failed.

So any good stories about trying to explain tech to the tech illiterate?

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What is with trying kids as adults?

I am listening to the discussion of Slenderman on the Monster Talk Podcast

There is a case however where two girls (age twelve) tried to kill a friend (stabbed her 17 times) for Slenderman.

I do not think that they should not be punished. They do need to be punished (assuming that there is no strange twist to the case)

I just have trouble with punishing them as adults at twelve. If they were seventeen or even sixteen, alright.

Trouble is that nowhere else do we treat them as adults. It is effectively impossible to get emancipated, they cannot get married (anywhere in the developed world), sex with a twelve year old is always consider rate.

Obviously, they have not filled many of the moral and ethical rules we do as adults.

Thoughts? Have I just directed a flamethrower at me?

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True or "Onion" - Blogger Fired for Blog about Homophones

Brief excerpt from Tim Torkildson's blog:
"I’m letting you go because I can’t trust you” said Clarke Woodger, my boss and the owner of Nomen Global Language Center. “This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality.”

I said nothing, stunned into silence.

“I had to look up the word” he continued, “because I didn’t know what the hell you were talking about. We don’t teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it’s extremely inappropriate. Can you have your desk cleaned out by eleven this morning? I’ll have your check ready.”

Can't believe it? How about a link to the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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FemFascist SJW Assaults Teenager and Only gets Probation


Last May, Andrea Mears, a 23 year old woman in Connecticut assaulted a teenager named Austin Haughwout. Mears was upset that Haughwout was flying his remote controlled helicopter (also known as a drone) at the beach. The assault was caught on film, and Mears was charged with third degree assault and breach of the peace. Despite the fact that her assault of a minor was caught on film, that she attempted to fabricate a story about the assault, and the victim expressed opposition to probation, Mears was nevertheless granted a form probation that will erase the charges from her record after two years.

According to Haughwout, he went to Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Connecticuit to fly his remote control quadcopter. Soon after landing on his last of four flights, an angry woman, later identified as Mears approached him. Mears was on the phone with the police, attempting to get them to respond to the flight by claiming that Haughwout was “here taking pictures at the beach with a helicopter plane.” Her claims to the police turned out to be false, instead she was creating a story that would allow her to assault Haughwhout. But what she didn’t know was that Haughwhout was recording the entire incident. When police arrived, they initially planned to arrest the boy, until he showed them the footage, after which she was arrested and charged.

Enraged woman beats a male minor and attempts to have him arrested under false charges and only gets probation. Imagine the outcry if the genders were reversed. This must be that "equality" feminists keep talking about. Femfascist assault culture strikes again.

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Homeowner who triumphed over Trump moves on


The woman who became a folk hero for resisting decades-long efforts by big-name developers like Trump to displace her Atlantic City boardinghouse is now 91 and, at last, ready to sell.

Vera Coking has moved to California to be near her family. And the 29-room property she and her husband bought for $20,000 in 1961 and fought to hold onto is on the auction block Thursday for a $199,000 starting bid.

Coking first took on Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione in the 1970s, who was reportedly so angered by her refusal to sell that he started building his casino above and around her property.

Coking battled with Trump and prevailed in a 1998 state Supreme Court case that blocked attempts by the state to use eminent domain to condemn the property.

Too bad she could not live to 120 and in good health all the way to keep putting it to the rich old men who want to push people around. Would be nice if someone bought the house and turned it into a memorial to the little guys who triumph over government attempts to abuse eminent domain.


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Alabama Official - feds should follow god's plans



Beeker, a Republican who is running unopposed for a PSC seat, said coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God’s plan.

It's worse than the title. I can't fit the whole quote in the title, so I apologize for attempting a summary.

Check out the quote from the head of the Alabama PUC. :o

Let's see, these people could not vote for any of the following founding fathers, either, then:

Benjamin Franklin

George Washington

Thomas Jefferson

John Adams

James Madison (wow, was he a stickler for separation!)


Thomas Paine

Just to name a few. But God wants him to burn coal in Alabama, yessireebob.

ETA: I really think this belongs in politics, because I see it as politics of religion. So it's here.

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House votes to Sue Obama

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to sue President Barack Obama for allegedly exceeding his constitutional powers.

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Stupid congress: highway trust fund

A brief summary of the current sorry state of affairs for those who aren't aware can be found in this Washington Post Editorial.

The obvious and logical solution to the problem is to raise the gasoline tax, which hasn't been raised in 2 decades despite inflation. The tax is a tax per gallon, so it is not indexed to inflation and raises less money in real terms every year as a result.

I think Republicans are mostly to blame here, but Democrats have also been shy about raising taxes, even if in reality it is just to account for inflation.

The last time the tax was raised was in 1993. You need $1.65 in 2014 to equal the value of $1 in 1993 (or conversely 60 cents in 1993 was worth a dollar today).

If you want to account for electric cars or other alternative fuel vehicles you could add a mileage tax, but that makes the system more complicated and the vast majority of vehicles still use gasoline or diesel.

This is just basic housekeeping. It shouldn't be ideological. Roads and bridges need to be maintained, and we need to pay for it, so just do it. The Grover Norquist pledge to never, ever raise taxes for any reason whatsoever is part of the problem. In real terms, these taxes have fallen every year due to inflation and raising them to account for that isn't a true tax raise, nor should it be considered one by ideologues.


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Should an individual always know who their biological parent is?

There was a law changed in the UK that gave every individual the right to know who their biological parent was, even if the parent had just donated sperm. It caused a bit of criticism as donations dropped off when people realised that their potential children could look them up. So what do you think?

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mercredi 30 juillet 2014

"Dr. Ron Brown" - emerging bigfoot fraud

lol. I couldn't see what thread this fit in, and it's something fresh. So here ya go:

There is an event being promoted by the California State Parks you can read about here:

It is allegedly one Dr. Ron Brown, PhD in Zoology being a featured speaker in their Summer Speaker Series. His lecture is "Bigfoot, the Legend Analyzed".

Well, he doesn't actually have a PhD or even a Master's or maybe not even an undergraduate. In Zoology. He absolutely does have credentials as a bigfoot proponent. Like this talk above and a LOT of others.

We have Over the Line Smokey for covering this and actually calling/emailing the park staff to account for themselves in listing a PhD zoologist speaker who is a fraud.

I don't recall hearing of this guy before now but he's been doing this for years and been referenced along with some of the major players like Dr. Merldumb or Dingerdangle.

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Frank Miller's Holy Terror

For his 300th episode, Linkara of That Guy With the Glasses reviewed Frank Miller's comic Holy Terror. It's in 3 parts:

The graphic novel follows a "superhero" (and I use the term loosely) named the Fixer, who is a badly rendered Batman expy, as he fights terrorists after an attack on Empire City. Frank Miller did intend this as a propaganda piece, and was aware that it would probably offend a lot of people. Keep in mind that this was written long after Frank Miller went certifiably insane, so you should have some idea of what to expect. It was published several months after the death of Osama bin Laden, although it was conceptualized 5 years earlier.

I know it's a long review to sit through, but it's entertaining enough that watching it shouldn't be a chore. I would ask that you watch the whole thing before commenting, although if you don't have the time, that's okay.

What are your thoughts on the comic? What do you think about Linkara's commentary?

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Lenar Whitney...Teabagger Whacktard and Climate Denier?

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the JREF. The JREF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

Apparently she's the Southern Sarah Palin, running for a House seat in Louisiana.

But she couldn't even weather a mild grilling from the Washington Post about her nutty views.


As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I’ve been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions.

But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.

Whitney, a graduate of Nicholls State University who is running for Louisiana’s open 6th District, owned a dance studio in Houma, La., for 34 years and also worked in sales for small telecommunications and oilfield equipment companies. She clearly relishes poking Democrats in the eye, cites Minnesota’s Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) as a political role model, and takes kindly to the nickname “Palin of the South.”

Whitney has only raised $123,000 to date (fourth in the GOP field), but she has sought to boost her profile and appeal to conservative donors with a slickly made YouTube video entitled “GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX” (84,000 views so far). In the video, Whitney gleefully and confidently asserts that the theory of global warming is the “greatest deception in the history of mankind” and that “any 10-year-old” can disprove it with a simple household thermometer.

Granted she doesn't seem likely to win, but her views on climate change aren't the reason why.


Fifty-eight percent of Republicans believe that global warming is a “hoax,” compared to 11 percent of Democrats, according to new polling that underscores political divides over climate change among U.S. residents.

So can we ever expect to make progress on this terrible problem when so many Republicans are as crazy as this crazy lady?

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Is there a way to use Kindle as a monitor for an Android phone?

Kindle uses Android operating system, and many apps are compatible. If I have an app on my phone and do not want to squint at a tiny screen, is there a way to show the display on a Kindle?

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No Smoking.. No Crying..


By banning strollers, high chairs, and booster seats, babies would have a very tough time at Old Fisherman's Grotto. The restaurant's owner, Chris Shake, said if customers don't like the rules, they can go somewhere else for dinner. Shake added that he isn't backing down

Link to story:Customers furious over local restaurant's sign towards families

Guess they should have said " Would-be customers .. "


"I think it's ridiculous," tourist Teresa Colombani said. "I think kids need to know how to behave in restaurants, and if you don't take them to them, they don't know how to behave and they shouldn't be kept hidden away, so I think it's ridiculous. Kids should be allowed in restaurants."

They are Teresa, they are just not allowed to ruin dinner for the other customers..

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The US Revolution according to Schoolhouse Rock: role of France and Spain

OK, I admit that I am not very familiar with the details of the US revolution, and don't feel like looking them up, but would prefer to get some opinions from people here who know.

The bulk of my knowledge comes from Schoolhouse Rock's Shot Heard Round the World (which is why it is superficial, to say the least). There's one part that I wonder about, the verse that says...

"They showed so much determination

That they won the admiration

From nations 'round the world like France and Spain

Who loaned the colonies ships and guns

To put the British on the run

And the continental army on it's feet again"

Now, I'm guessing that France and Spain weren't doing this just because they admired the fighting spirit of the colonials, right? More likely they saw that they had a chance to defeat the Brits, and that was going to be better for the French and the Spaniards in some way?

I am wondering, what was the role of France, Spain and/or others in the revolution? According to Schoolhouse Rock, Cornwalis at Yorktown was bottled up by Washington and the French fleet and couldn't retreat, so that means the French were doing more than loaning ships, it sounds like they were patrolling.

(note: I'm not trying to find holes in the Schoolhouse Rock treatment (it's saturday morning cartoon!), just trying to clarify what it talking about; I realize I am naive, but as far as I know, they do a pretty good job there; some of the details are really fun, like how Washington crossed the Delaware to surprise the Hessians (not just the British, but the Hessians) and how the British marched to Concord to seize the arsenal there)

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When do I die? Is there a Scientific definition yet?

I am not sure if this should be in philosophy or science section.

I would define death as Higher-Brain Death. Link


But I also think that personality and memories and lots more criteria make me who I am. How do I incorporate memory personality and higher brain death etc. into one definition of death?

Each time I change does it result in death?

How is Discontinuity different than the term death?

How is Change different than discontinuity?

If you have no continuity every time you change do you die?

If there is no Cartesian theatre does that have any effect on death?

If bundle theory is true do I die every time I change? Are bundle theory and ego theory coherent theories?

Do I survive the thought experiments below?

Phineas gage brain damage

Fusion and fission



Personality wipe

Low iq human with intelligence of a bird.

Lose and gain parts

Parts replaced with computer chip neuron one at a time.

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Oh No, Dowsing Again

Check out the following story, and then let the dolts at Birmingham Mail and Severn Trent Water know what you think (emails below):

I have written explaining that dowsing has zero credible evidence base. That the German study quoted has been comprehensively debunked, and that while a water leak story may be fairly harmless in and of itself, as most here know, harmless beliefs can translate into dangerous ones very easily (ref: the explosives detectors).

Of course they bloody had to quote the British Society of Dowsers. That well known hotbed of rationality and sense, whose president, Gardner, gave evidence for the defence at the trial of Gary Bolton last year. Bolton being the now convicted fraudster who peddled the GT200. The Chief Executive Editor, Birmingham Mail

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Mom charged with felony for letting son walk to park

Another overreaction, sad.

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Miracle Magnesium!

Being the sort of person who steers well clear of health food stores and the 'Mind, Body, Spirit' section of my local bookshop, I had no idea that magnesium was so incredibly good for you. However, I recently stumbled across this Australian website:

They're selling "the only organically certified magnesium in the world...100% natural...100% Australian...sourced from ancient pristine desert lakes." The spray version works in 30 seconds (guaranteed!) and magnesium appears to be good for practically anything that ails you. As if that wasn't enough it slows down the ageing process and helps make your DNA.

I do hope Amazing Oils has sound medical evidence for all this.

*goes to the 'Medical Opinion' section*

Oh, dear. There are three videos and at least two of them don't inspire confidence. Dr Carolyn Dean is a notorious quack who was struck off the Canadian medical register back in the 90s, and acupuncturist Dr Mark Sircus is head of the woo-ridden International Medical Veritas Association. The third video is, rather oddly, an interview with the highly-regarded researcher Professor Guosong Liu. This left me wondering if he knew that the film was made for, which is owned by the truly vile crackpot Leonard Coldwell.

The real fun, however, starts when you toddle over to the video testimonials section:

Stephanie, who "bought this for Workout Pain, but found a side-effect we didn’t know about!", and Brian Stacey from London, are both thrilled to bits with Amazing Oils' Magnesium Spray. The problem is that their testimonials are bogus and were sourced from, which is infested with people willing to say practically anything for $5:

Stephanie, aka 'Videosforall':

Brian Stacey, aka 'yoogle'

Amazing Oils' general manager Grace Harold posted more videos on YouTube. Don't miss this little gem:

Yep, totally convincing. This excitable young man also sells his services on ("I will over react to anything for $5"):

Fake reviews and testimonials are illegal in Australia and probably everywhere else but they're being produced in industrial quantities on Fiverr. Perhaps the owner of Amazing Oils isn't aware of this because he left the following comment on yoogle's Fiverr page:


"Great presentation, yoogle. Sounded so authentic that now I feel bad for getting you to promote us without trying it out first..."


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mardi 29 juillet 2014

George Zimmerman is Volunteering as a Security Guard?


The whole drama started last night when a police officer spotted Zimmerman in his pickup parked at Pompano Pat's. Sgt. Chris Estes questioned Zimmerman. According to Estes, "[Zimmerman] said he had permission from Pat Johnson to do night security but our officers could not make contact with Pat Johnson to verify that so we did an information report." But Sam Porter, the shop's gun sales manager, said that Zimmerman is not an employee of Pompano Pat's: “George Zimmerman is not an employee of the business and he is not getting paid in any way, shape or form by Pompano Pat’s.”

Reading over this story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, it seems like Pat Johnson probably knew Zimmerman was doing this volunteer guard duty. But they're being pretty vague about whether Pat asked him to guard the store, knew he was guarding the store, etc. They're actually claiming the whole thing is somehow a political dirty trick to connect Johnson, albeit very tangentially, to the killing of Trayvon Martin.

An official statement from Pompano Pat's said: "ANY and ALL reports made to the media or other agencies that Pompano Pats or its Corporate President-Pat Johnson hired George Zimmerman as a ‘Security Guard or Night Watchman’ are 100% false. Our company and its founders learned of his recent sighting from mass media reports." But the two men clearly know each other. Johnson did stage a bit of a publicity stunt last year offering to replace the gun Zimmerman used to kill Trayvon Martin with a new Kel-Tec PF-9. And the DeLand's Deputy Police Chief, Randel Henderson released a statement saying that "Every indication illustrates that Mr. Zimmerman was at the store with the knowledge of the owner.”

Because if there's one job this guy ought to have, it's patrolling the streets with his guns. But what kind of person does unpaid security work, at night, for a gun shop?

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Chemistry books

Hello boys and girls,

I once took Chemistry 100 and 111 at the local college a few years ago, but have sold the textbooks and lost my notebooks. I'm interested in learning back everything I have forgotten, and was wondering if someone could recommend me a book about chemistry that goes over very basic knowledge as well some of the more intermediate stuff as well. Also, I'm looking for a book that has examples of the formulas being used as well.

Thank you for any recommendations!

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How scared of the Ebola outbreak should we be?

When the lead doctor you send in to combat an outbreak dies in the outbreak I get a bit concerned. And there is news other doctors have contracted Ebola in their fight against it.

Ebola is scary stuff. Even with medical treatment it has a mortality rate that is terrifying.

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"Real" "Evidence" Points to US-Kiev "Cover-up" of Failed "False Flag"

A conspiracy minded acquaintance sent me this link:

It supposedly proves US involvement in shooting down the plane crashed in Ukraine.

I post it here for your information and without comment (other than the scare quotes in the title and a :oldroll:)

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Oppy outdistances Lunakhod, eyes marathon

NASA rover sets distance record


On Sunday, the robot rover advanced another 157 feet (48 meters) as it continued along the rim of a Martian crater, putting Opportunity's total odometer at 25.01 miles (40.25 km), according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, California.

By comparison, the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover drove about 24.2 miles (39 km) in less than five months after landing on Earth's moon on Jan. 15, 1973, JPL said. The manned lunar rover driven by astronauts of the Apollo 17 mission logged 22.2 miles (35.7 km) in 1972.

"Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world," JPL's Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager John Callas said in a statement.

Opportunity still has miles to go. Scientists said they plan next to direct the rover to a nearby Martian valley that would extend its accumulated operating distance to 26.2 miles, the traditional length of a marathon.

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Jesse Ventura Wins Defamation Case

Jesse Ventura has won his Defamation case against former SEAL sniper Chris Kyle's estate. Good!

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Ground Zero Cross Stays, Court Rules

From CNN: "A memorial cross at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York can remain at the newly-opened facility, an appeals court ruled Monday.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit found that the cross, located at ground zero, was "a symbol of hope" and historical in nature. It did not intentionally discriminate against a group of atheists who sued to have it removed, they ruled."

I've looked at a few different sources but I can't find a mention of who owns the property and museum. I understand that the entire WTC site is private property. Is this correct? What about the museum? Does it receive any federal or state funding?

If it is all private property then I'm not sure how this case even made it to court. If, on the other hand, it is funded even in part by government sources then there would be a legitimate case.

Does anyone have more information?

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Bovington Tiger's Getting Some Screen Time

Even with Shia Labouf in it I'll hold my nose and buy a ticket just to see that beast on a big screen.

via JREF Forum

House, Senate bills introduced to make it harder for cops to take your stuff

I'm seeing a trend where the practice of asset forfeiture (where law enforcement confiscates your stuff even if you haven't been accused of a crime) is getting a lot of attention. The Daily Show did a piece recently. Rand Paul introduced a reform bill in the Senate about a week ago, proposing a higher burden of proof and removing the profit incentive. Looks like a similar bill has just been introduced in the House.

Finally, some action from Congress I can get behind. Way to go!


via JREF Forum

Out of Africa Theory Officially Debunked?


Scientific evidence refuting the theory of modern humanity’s African genesis is common knowledge among those familiar with the most recent scientific papers on the human Genome, Mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomes. Regrettably, within mainstream press and academia circles, there seems to be a conspicuous – and dare we say it – deliberate vacuum when it comes to reporting news of these recent studies and their obvious implications.

Taken from:

There is also the paper mentioned which he uses as evidence.

What do you think of this?? I know the page is woo but what do you think of this "new" research?

via JREF Forum

I think Captain Happy might be my neighbor

'Settle down, Captain Happy': Shocking audio revealed of heated exchange between a Delta pilot and air traffic controller

Not sure how this stuff gets out there on the Net. And I wouldn't call it shocking, just a guy having a bad morning.

But it so happens my neighbor is a Delta pilot and he was flying out of Atlanta and dang, that sounds just like him. :eye-poppi

via JREF Forum

lundi 28 juillet 2014

How could we improve conditions in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador?

Since there is currently a crisis of either economic migrants or refugees from these countries showing up in Texas, and we don't want that to happen, I wonder if it would make any sense to try to improve the situation in those countries and maybe that would make the problem go away?

Some basic facts from Wikipedia:

Combined, the three countries have a population of about 30 million, and a combined GDP of around $90 billion. For comparison, that's roughly one-tenth of the US population and 1/175th of the GDP.

For example: free trade? If they could earn more money at home, maybe they wouldn't try to come here? And I'm sure we already give some amount of development aid to these countries, but is it enough?

That's the low-hanging fruit I suppose, but it's probably hardly a panacea for their problems. It seems that poor, disfunctional countries tend to stay that way, even when well-intentioned people try to help. Haiti is an example. We've intervened there before, but the basic situation never seems to improve.

Actually, if you look at the numbers, if they are to be believed, the GDPs in those countries, especially Guatemala, are growing rapidly. In 10 years it has doubled in Guatemala and Honduras. And yet, we have more refugees now than before (or do we?).

via JREF Forum

What would Santa do?

Is the character of Santa a timeless example for all mankind ?

Does the adult example of Santa the person in his actions offer the solutions to how a person or political groupings should conduct themselves ?

Does it bear scrutiny?

Sorry, but someone had to do it.

via JREF Forum

Investing in climate change: A 25-stock index

Investing in climate change: A 25-stock index


The fight against climate change creates two opportunities for investors. The first is to look at companies that help slow down carbon dioxide emissions such as those in the clean energy, energy efficiency and carbon capture business. Worldwide, clean energy investment reached $63.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014, up by 33 percent from the quarter before.

The second opportunity focuses on the actual adaptation to climate change — how do we survive in a world of drought-ridden agriculture, polluted waters and waste? We will require the services of companies involved in such activities like water treatment and drought-resistant seeds.

The Climate Change motif ( ), a thematically-weighted index of 25 stocks, is designed to take advantage of both opportunities. This motif includes clean energy companies like Canada Solar (CSIQ) and JA Solar (JASO), as well as energy efficiency and management companies Echelon (ELON) and Roper Industries (ROP). It also includes companies like Monsanto (MON) because its high-yield seeds and genetically modified organisms help overcome low crop outputs and Consolidated Water (CWCO), which operates water distribution and seawater desalination systems.

Although the Climate Change motif has underperformed the S&P 500 by 8 percent over the last year, it has outperformed by 5 percent since the president was re-elected. To be clear, this motif is designed as a long-term trend and not to serve as a quick trade…

In the interest of openness it should be noted that the author of this piece is Hardeep Walia, who co-founded Motif Investing to create an intuitive way to invest conceptually. He spent more than six years at Microsoft, where he was general manager of the company's enterprise services business, and prior to that was a director of corporate development and strategy, helping to oversee Microsoft's investments and acquisitions. He started his career at The Boston Consulting Group. Follow him on Twitter @hardeepw

While I, personally, have taken a much more individualist approach to my investments with regard to Climate Change relevant companies it is interesting and informative to track these types of Green Investment funds and the companies that they target for their fund investments. As with any investment, you have to exercise due diligence. Motif Investing, current has to climate change motif investment funds Climate Change (the fund addressed above) and Fossil Free ( which I find a bit more interesting.

I would love to talk to those much more informed and/or experienced in investments and in particular in issue advocacy based market investment. For most of my life I have left my personal financial investments almost entirely in the hands of those who have devoted their lives to interpreting and managing market investment. I have, over the last decade, began to filter and limit the direction of my primary investment portfolio and began playing around with what I call my hobby funds to explore the validity (in a very limited manner) the idea that careful issue advocacy investments can be profitable and helpful in the support and promotion of those issues of advocacy.

via JREF Forum

Should the U.S. Budget be forced to include climate change cost considerations


Environmentalists, economists, and lawmakers are pushing federal budget planners to take a closer look at the cost of climate change.

Last week, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin penned an op-ed for The Washington Post imploring planners to take financial risks associated with global warming into account when making long-term cost projections.

This week, Senate Democrats are likely to take the same line during a Senate Budget Committee hearing titled "The Costs of Inaction: The Economic and Budgetary Consequences of Climate Change." Committee Chairman Patty Murray is expected to talk about the fiscal effects associated with a heating planet and talk about how that could affect the federal budget.

What's the cost of climate change? And should long-term federal budget projections take climate change into account? If so, how should fiscal risks be assessed and measured?...

How do you generate annual budgets , according to what you’d like to spend dealing with an issue each year, or according to what such changes and costs can realistically be expected to be encountered in the coming year with respect to a changing climate in a number of budgetary concern areas (e.g. Defense, FEMA, HHS, USDA etc.) . I would prefer to see a breakdown of climate costs in every budget category with a detailed explanation of last year’s actual climate change relevant expenses and next year’s projected expenses.

An adjunct to this discussion might be

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Reapplication possible (FTL, panpsychism, reincarnation)?


After having ceased my job a year ago, I have time again to deal with The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge.


My claim is not exactly humble and may even be considered arrogant: A paradigm shift for the whole of science from physics to psychology, as far-reaching as the paradigm shift introduced by Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) for astronomy.

Kepler had shown that the astronomy from the old Greeks to his time including Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was in principle completely wrong, insofar as it was based on the philosophic premise of the immaculate circle.

The most far-reaching insight of the new paradigm shift is reincarnation as a trivial scientific fact. E.g. James Randi (1928) is very probably the reincarnation of Harry Houdini (1874 - 1926), and probably also of Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin (1805 - 1871) and of Alessandro Cagliostro (1743-1795) (and maybe even of female priests in ancient times). So in order to really understand James Randi, one should deal with Houdini, Houdin and Cagliostro.

The evidence for reincarnation today is only as simple/complex, convincing/unconvincing as the evidence for a spherical Earth two and a half millennia ago. So I cannot expect the JFRF staff to be ready and to be unprejudiced enough to invest a lot of time and mental energy into judging the evidence.

Nevertheless the question whether faster-than-light transmission (FTL) of information is possible or not by Coulomb's law is much simpler. And it is common sense that if Coulomb fields propagate FTL, then not only the relativity theories but all physical theories based on Maxwell will collapse like a house of cards, leaving a lot of valuable stuff for the construction of alternative, less inconsistent theories.


Originally Posted by prewitt81 (Post 2856844)

I would worry more about how you plan on demonstrating your latest claim. I am also interested in knowing why you weren't able to get affidavits for the FTL transmission experiment.

A colleague, a firm believer in the impossibility of FLT, helped me in doing the experiment. He did not consider our results convincing enough to confirm FTL by his signature. And I had to admit to myself: If I were as convinced of the impossibility of FTL as I'm convinced of instantaneous actions-at-a-distance, then I probably also would have declared our results as not conclusive.

In the meanwhile the experiment has become more convincing. We can use two separate oscilloscopes synchronized by a signal generator, and we understand the influence of image charges better. So my colleague finally accepted to sign as one affidavit for FTL (but still not for instantaneous-actions-at-a-distance).

Before starting to look for a second affidavit, I'd like to know whether FTL still qualifies for the challenge.

If you think that FTL (or even instantaneous-actions-at-distance) is not something paranormal in itself, then I propose the following compromise: The first half of the prize is offered for FTL transmission of information (with inevitable refutation of Maxwell's theory, relativity, QM, QED and so on), and the second half is offered for either panpsychism or reincarnation being accepted by mainstream science.



via JREF Forum

Jesse Jackson versus Twitter

Jesse Jackson demands Twitter release employee diversity data

PC World


U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson has called on Twitter to release its employee diversity information, which its Silicon Valley peers such as Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have already done.

The Rainbow Push Coalition, founded by Jackson, has also asked Twitter to signal its commitment to inclusion by hosting a public community forum to address the company’s plan to recruit and retain more black talent.


Before I definitely formulate an opinion, someone please explain to me how Twitter makes money doing what they do.

It's not like the Anheuser-Busch deal where there was an obvious economic downside (not just bad PR) to being boycotted by Jesse supporters.

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Satanists want to use Hobby Lobby decision to exempt women from anti-abortion laws


In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.

Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.

In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.

Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its “religious” beliefs. ...


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dimanche 27 juillet 2014

Is Tyranny Impossible in the United States?

This is a thread specifically in response to those who hold the belief that tyranny in the United States is impossible because we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. That kind of a statement is breathtaking in its ignorance and demonstrates a serious misunderstanding of what tyranny is, where it comes from, and the history of the United States.

It's helpful to first understand where the Constitution comes from- and to keep in mind that the very existence of the Constitution was in response to tyranny and government powers that went beyond what was granted to that government. To start, we look at the Charter of Liberties, which was Henry I's response to growing discontent as he took the throne. To stem the tide of tyranny, the Charter of Liberties included (among other things):

  • A right to property

  • A right to inheritance

  • The right to remarry

  • The right to give away property

  • Due process of sorts, for wealthy property owners

The reason this is important is because it was established in response to tyranny, and it would set the groundwork for the Magna Carta. The reason the Magna Carta is important is because it established that the King is subject to the rule of law. This was supposed to end tyranny as well. When colonists came to the Americas, they brought these charters with them and established Charters of the States, recognizing that the Magna Carta was the law of the land- and that eventually followed to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights after the US established its independence and regained its rights. Again, this was in response to tyranny- not simply a desire to be a separate entity. Our own history tells us that no Charter or Constitution or Declaration protects a people from tyranny. It establishes the proper role of government and restricts the actions of government against its people, but it cannot prevent that which seems to be inevitable: power corrupts.

As Jefferson put it:


Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Perhaps it's helpful if we define tyranny since that seems to be such a loaded term anyway. I would be willing to bet more than a few readers are uncomfortable with the word, and my usage of it has already endowed me with a few labels from those people. I would challenge those who have that reaction to consider why it is that a word can cause them to react that way- what is it in their programming that does that...

Anyway, we can define tyranny as any form of government which does not respect the rights of individuals. Is the US government tyrannical? Is Obama a tyrant? In some small way, perhaps- but it is certainly true that we have a long way to go before any rational person could consider the US government tyrannical. It's not impossible, however, as others have tried to argue.

Again, Jefferson helps us out, here:


Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

In what ways have our liberties been obstructed?

Consider the following incomplete, but sufficient list:

  • National Security Letters

  • Snowden revelations, particularly on Parallel Construction


  • Social Security

  • Eminent Domain

  • Healthcare and Obamacare

  • IRS and Income Tax

  • The Fed and centralized banking

  • Assassination of US Citizens

  • Warrantless searches

  • Militarization of the police

  • The process of opening a business

  • The process of purchasing/owning a gun

While most would argue that some items on that list are good things or at least well intentioned, they are nonetheless examples of our liberties being obstructed. That is the path that tyranny takes, and that is why it is not impossible for the United States to fall to tyranny.

via JREF Forum

Sexual Harassment: Joint statement by Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins

Now THIS is a positive step forward :)

In my humble opinion, we should all take a cue from Benson and Dawkins:

(This is also posted on Dawkins's website: )


It’s not news that allies can’t always agree on everything. People who rely on reason rather than dogma to think about the world are bound to disagree about some things.

Disagreement is inevitable, but bullying and harassment are not. If we want secularism and atheism to gain respect, we have to be able to disagree with each other without trying to destroy each other.

In other words we have to be able to manage disagreement ethically, like reasonable adults, as opposed to brawling like enraged children who need a nap. It should go without saying, but this means no death threats, rape threats, attacks on people’s appearance, age, race, sex, size, haircut; no photoshopping people into demeaning images, no vulgar epithets.

Richard adds: I’m told that some people think I tacitly endorse such things even if I don’t indulge in them. Needless to say, I’m horrified by that suggestion. Any person who tries to intimidate members of our community with threats or harassment is in no way my ally and is only weakening the atheist movement by silencing its voices and driving away support.

Here, here!

via JREF Forum

How the rich stay that way....

Subject for discussion: Using data that they say has never been compiled in this form previously, Forbes Magazine identifies 185 American families that collectively hold wealth exceeding 1.2 T rillion dollars. (Walton and Koch are at the top.)

The Kennedys, like others, use complex strategies to reduce their tax liabilities:

Anybody know where to buy a pitchfork?

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Ken Ham says Aliens will go to Hell

...So let's stop looking for them.


Creationist Ken Ham, who recently debated Bill Nye the Science Guy over the origins of the universe, is calling for an end to the search for extraterrestrial life because aliens probably don't exist -- and if they do, they're going to Hell anyway.

"You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe," Ham wrote on his blog on Sunday. "This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation."

The post was driven in part by NASA experts saying that they expect to find evidence of alien life within the next 20 years.

More in the article, posted without comment.

via JREF Forum

Ananacroid Cyst

I am hoping there is someone who is familiar with this medical term, and help me understand it better.

The nightmare happened on 17th of July, just days ago, when I learned my beautiful 7yr old grand daughter, Zaira, had been rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Oakland, CA., and had undergone brain surgery, where they found her brain had been bleeding profusely and caused great pressure on the brain.

It has been up and down, with many tests. Like spinal taps, MRI's, and a variety of needles and tubes. She continues to have mild seizures, an up and down fever, upset stomach. They claim to be dealing with some medical mysteries. The one test that came back show that she was born with a large cyst attached to her brain, called something like an Anancroid Cyst.

From what I have gathered from the research I have done, the cyst is not operable, and the area on the right side of her brain where it is attached at different 'spider like connections' is large enough and it doesn't take much of a bump in the point of this 'perfect storm' on her head, to start another brain bleed.

I am unable to talk to doctors or nurses, because that is way my son wants it to be, and it's not about me. If anyone here has any insight, I would appreciated it. Thanks


via JREF Forum

Beetles kill George Harrison tree

"Actually, a pine tree planted in Los Angeles a decade ago to honor former Beatle George Harrison reached a height of 12 feet before succumbing recently.

To an infestation. Of beetles."

It's All Too Much.

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Should I Be Excited?

So far, I'm a bit underwhelmed. Basically, they made a material that can turn water into steam directly from sunlight as long as it's a small amount of water and probably a lot of sunlight.

Yeah, it's carbon nanotubes, which is pretty impressive on its own, but I'm not particularly optimistic about applications as of yet.

via JREF Forum

The cure for cancer may be, in you cats's feces...


Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College are studying Toxoplasma gondii's ability to stimulate the body to kill cancerous cells.

When the parasite enters a human — via contaminated drinking water, undercooked and contaminated meat or even a cat's litter tray — cells that combat cancer are created in response. They said that cancer can halt a body's immune system, but T. gondii can help kick-start it again.

The researchers created a mutant form of T. gondii called cps so that the parasite wouldn't replicate inside cancer patients, who have weakened immune systems. They tested on mice with melanoma and ovarian cancer and found that they had a high chance of surviving when treated with cps.


NY Daily News

Science Daily

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US evacuates Libya embassy

Good to know that an embassy can be protected and evacuated if need be.

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Are you Thor about this?

On another forum a poster says "This crosses the line for me, the new Thor will be female."

Marvel's announcement.

I admit I haven't read a comic book in forty-five plus years, but I find it no less shocking than Dr. Who's continual changing bodies.

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samedi 26 juillet 2014

Is this former half-term governor drunk? You be the judge.

OK, I know hat you're thinking. She normally sounds like a prevaricating, rambling, dissembling, non-sensical, lying, hateful, mendacious, resentful, dishonest, sloganeering, delusory, gibbering idiot. What could she have possibly said to warrant a thread?

The answer is, it's not what she said but how she said it. Yes the childish, juvenile, douche-chilling, puerile, sing-song delivery is still there. But it's now enhanced with a pronounced slur, along with an increase inability to understand what she's saying ahead of uttering the words.

In short, she appears to be drunk as a skunk. I predict a disclaimer about pain killers for a persistent orthopedic ailment (the patented Perry Maneuver), along with a defensive, misdirecting, victimy poke at the "lamestream media."

via JREF Forum

Desktop Computer took a dive

Well... I've had lots of software issues in the past and a few hardware problems that I've been able to fix, but never anything like this before. I had the computer on earlier this afternoon so that my mom could access the printer over our home network as I've done numerous times in the past, and came home a few minutes ago to a weird smell that I thought was the wiring conduit hitting the fan. I opened the computer tower to move it and found a clear oil-like substance on the side and underneath of the power box. A friend of mine says this is due to a leaking water cooler... to my knowledge this computer is cooled by fans and theres' no oil or liquid on them.... I'm hoping to get a few opinions before I go trying to take this to a repair shop of any kind. Below are the pics:

Not really sure if the computer runs (that the OS turns on) but from what I saw it was unresponsive and I had to do a hard shut down of the system and I've since unplugged it from everything to prevent additional damage. I'm seeing a part will have to be replaced... just trying to make sure I'm going to get the right one... my friends pushing the water cooler idea and for the life of me I don't agree with him off the bat that this is the part I need, but tell if wrong anyone....

The computer is made by cyberpower PC, bought two years ago. It's essentially a gaming PC... If more info on this is needed Please let me know.

Kind of a royal bummer :|

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DC handgun carry ban ruled unconstitutional

Federal judge declares D.C. ban on carrying handguns in public unconstitutional


A federal judge has declared that one of the District’s principal gun control laws is unconstitutional and ordered that its enforcement be halted.

The ruling by Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., made public Saturday, orders the city to end its prohibition against carrying a pistol in public.


The case was heard by Scullin, a senior U.S. District judge who normally sits in New York. In his ruling, Scullin said that, based on recent decisions, “there is no longer any basis” to conclude that the city’s “total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional.”

Scullin said he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.

via JREF Forum

A "Pointless" Geomtery?

So, I was wondering this - I'm currently reading a couple of books on non-Euclidean geometry - and this tells the story of how mathematicians overcame the assumption that the 5th parallel postulate must be true to be able to create non-Euclidean geometries. All very interesting stuff. Anyway, even more basic than the 5th postulate are Euclid's first 2 axioms:

1. A point is that which has no part

2. A line is length without breadth

what's interesting is that both of these axioms immediately take geometry from the "real" to the "ideal" - points in real life do have size and lines do have breadth. So, what happens to Euclidean geometry when you remove these axioms? If you simply replace them as:

1. A point is that which is infinitesimally small

2. A line is length with infinitesimally small breadth

do you get exactly the same geometry left? And if you reject even these definitions, what happens?

Given that mathematicians spent huge energies on the 5th postulate, there doesn't seem much interests in these axioms.

Anyone know anything on this topic? Thanks :)

via JREF Forum

GOP House - steal from the poor kids, give to the richer kids


But the new measure fails to extend the part of the credit that was passed in 2009 to help impoverished families and that currently allows parents with annual earnings as low as $3,000 to claim some of the break.

When that expires in 2017, parents will have to make a minimum of 15k$ to qualify for the credit.

Now 15k$ is not remotely rich. It's about 500 dollars ABOVE a full-time minimum wage job according to the article, and yes, more details would be useful there. Above. Who would have thought that? Almost like it was intentional.

The appalling part is that they extended this to families earning up to 205k$/year. The appalling part about the article is that it does not say what the upper limit was before.

It also pulls benefits for legal, American-born citizens with undocumented parents.

The article could use some more specifics on exactly how much the limit was raised. It could have pointed out that it pulls benefits from legal citizens due to the sins of their fathers rather sooner.

via JREF Forum


Randomly found this youtube clip discussing evolution which I thought was appropriate for this forum :)

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FL.Republiker Congressman makes booboo over officials

A Florida republiker congressman - teabagger member interrogates/welcomes two US state dept. members - clearly thinks they are representatives of India because A)they have Indian sounding names, and B) he clearly paid no attention when they were introduced to his committee. On the bright side, he made it clear he wanted to work with their country on jobs and such for their citizens!! I wish he would, but no, he thought he was helping ship off more jobs US workers could have handled. At least we know where he truly stands!!! (Oh, wait, teabagging republicker - of course we know he cares nothing for US workers!!!!!). Apparently this is (fortunately and laughably) all over the net - but I noticed no thread on it - and always one to want to point out those who want to harm/destroy 'tis:

via JREF Forum

Did Huns establish a Kingdom in Thule ca 450 AD?

The Q Y-haplogroup is rarish outside a few specific ethnic groups, notably Huns and most Native Americans. Yet there is a high percentage of Q in Norway/Sweden and points colonized from Norway (Iceland, Shetlands). Where did it come from? The above linked article suggests that Q in Scandinavia may have come from Huns (or a related Central Asian tribe), migrating when their power was waning about the time of Atilla's death.

David Faux goes farther, suggesting that Huns including their King Uldin accompanied an entourage of Gothic royalty on a retreat to their ancestral homeland:


Procopius wrote that sometime prior to 494AD a contingent of the Herul – Goths (likely mixed with, or led by Alanic/Hunnish elements) went to Illeria where they suffered defeat and many were killed by the Romans however before this the bulk of the people were led by members of the Royal Family back to Thule

Snorri wrote his The Ynglinga Saga in the 13th century AD, so if the events it describes are based on fact, one could hardly expect them to have occurred much earlier than 450 AD. Perhaps these stories, which specifically describe Kings of Huns bringing a new religion, are based loosely on the migration noted by Procopius.

David Faux provides archaeological evidence that Asian-derived artifacts begin appearing in Scandinavia about this time. He goes so far as to suggest that Uldin might be Odin , noting parallels between their myths. (Odin is presumed cognate of Woden, but what are the dates and contents of the earliest Woden attestations?)

(Is this the correct forum for posts of this type?)

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It takes a good shrink with a gun to stop a bad nut with a gun


On Thursday, a psychiatric patient opened fire at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital outside Philadelphia, killing a caseworker and injuring his psychiatrist. The psychiatrist returned fire with a gun of his own, injuring the gunman. Both patient and psychiatrist survived the gun fight.

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Fighting with a Simpletech pininfarina...

This drive was built in 2006. I can't get my Gateway or my netbook to show this drive in "My Computer". My DISH Hopper recognizes it, but not my PCs. The drive shows up in "Devices" and it says the drivers are the latest.

Ideally I'd like to check the drive and recover any info on it. Barring that I'd just like to format it so I can use all ~500 gig for recording old Top Gear shows and the occasional soft core educational programs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

via JREF Forum

Scenario: Ebola case in Gaza

In light of recent news of an ebola case in Nigeria, and the conflict in Gaza, how would Israel/Palestine react to a confirmed case of Ebola in Gaza? Of course, Madagascar would shut down everything so that option's out.

via JREF Forum

Homeopathic Vets

Thought you guys would have a bit of a laugh on this one. I was reading a Q&A over at 1-800-PetMeds and the resident vet was recommending people go to homeopaths for treatment for their dog's illnesses.

blog (dot) petmeds (dot) com/ask-the-vet/pet-ear-antibiotic-mometamax/#comments

Sorry, I had to cut up the links. I don't have enough posts for them yet.

Here's my post there:


Posted July 22, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

I’m finding it really hard to believe that a DVM is recommending that people see a homeopathic vet. Homeopathy is pseudoscience and what this vet is recommending is out and out pure quackery. If you want to go to a homeopathic vet, then save your self some money and just turn on the faucet. There is no scientific basis for homeopathy. Not one homeopathic remedy has ever held up in a controlled, double blind scientific test.

As for the Momentamax deafness. I think most people are looking at correlation and not realizing the dog already had severe problems that they just didn’t realize."

And the replies are pure gold. The vet replied with a few lijnks to homeopathic vet sites that apparantly have "scientific proof and studies" purporting the validity of homeopathic medicine.

"Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

July 25th, 2014 at 9:20 pm

HI Heather. Hate to respectfully disagree with you, but I am a 23 year old presidential scholar graduate from two Ivy league schools in Cornell and Penn, as well as having 23 years clinical experience BOTH as a veterinary homeopath and traditional veterinarian. There are INDEED plenty of research available from non biased sources on homeopathy, as well as many of us with tons of clinical experience in treating rather severe pathologies with classical homeopathy. Before you put it down, try learning more about it, especially from veterinarians trained in both modalities. to learn more go to TheAVH as well as drpitcairn as well as PIVH NO placebo here. As for the mometamax, unfortunately the risk of transient deafness IS REAL and has been seen in dogs previously healthy with good hearing, and I have seen this in my 23 years of doing this."

And this one:

"WillowMorningsky Reply:

July 25th, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Heather, you obviously like to sound knowledgeable but know nothing about the subject you purport to be familiar with. I raised two children on only Homeopathics and herbs, NO medical profession at all. They were always far healthier than all the other kids… runny noses or colds, ever!!! Homeopathics are extremely powerful and effective. Please educate yourself before you do harm to others with your ignorance and pontification. It is simply a cruel and dangerous behavior."

Oh, and this one:


Posted July 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

Thank you, Dr. I felt really sad when reading Heather’s comments. Nothing was wrong with my Yorkie’s hearing before this medication. And I appreciate your alternative recommendations for my Havanese. Thank you."

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