Saturday, July 23, 2005

Hotmail Problems

This is getting frustrating. I haven't been able to check my Hotmail for nearly three days. The connection is refused every time I try to. I can still log on to msn, and I can even see what new mail I have from the msn page, but if I try to read it, no dice. I even tried turning my firewall off for a minute to see if it was somehow blocking my access. Nope. Do any of my readers have hotmail or at least have an idea of what else I can try?

Update: Working again. For no apparent raisin... I mean, reason.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Firefly on SciFi

Gah! I totally forgot to post that Firefly will be shown, in order, on the SciFi channel, Friday nights at 7pm, starting... two hours ago. Now jump in your time machines and watch it from the beginning!


Mankind has evolved since then...

10 points to the geek who figures out where the title of my post came from. This is in response to Christiana's post about a Dean's World post. Whew! The response was getting long, so I decided to post here. Anyway...

Evolution, God, and the education system in one post? And just today I was thinking of posting an essay I wrote in a class called "Relgion and Science: Friends of Foes?" about some of my own views. Though, after this, I may save that for another day. I've already talked briefly about my own beliefs. Here's more.

A lot of the things you learned in school, particularly early on, were exaggerations, oversimplications, and sometimes not even true (think "put a comma at each natural pause" - lies!). This is a consequence of trying to cram a lot of information into a small amount of time, trying not to confuse the students with too much information or too much uncertainty, and not encouraging critical thought in the classroom. All scientific theories are taught as facts in the classroom because it's too complicated to say "This is the theory of gravity. Here is the evidence. Now here is the evidence that gravity might not be the whole story (can't find graviton particle, the need for dark matter and dark energy to explain why we don't see behaviours we expect based on our understanding of gravity, etc.)." Evolution is not as chock full of evidence in its favor as gravity, obviously. But when people say something is "just a theory", they forget (or don't know) that in the scientific community, a theory holds much more weight than what the average person thinks of as a theory. It is something that has been tested and scrutinized. What the average person calls a theory is, in the scientific world, a hypothesis - unproven conjecture.

Part of evolution's problem is that the scientists doing the public cheerleading are poisoning the debate with their own non-scientific beliefs. By saying that evolution disproves God, they shut down true, constructive debate on the issue. Evolution is a scientific theory that must be held up for scrutiny. Scientists who say anyone who would question it is a fool or worse have commited the closest thing to a sin that science will recognize, turning a scientific theory into an article of faith.

My experience on the creationist side is that it is merely an arguement against evolution. And if evolution isn't true, they say, it must be God. The existence of God being a non-falsifiable article of faith, it is not a scientific theory. Evolution is not perfect, but it is the best we have until the scientists willing to question it beat something better out of all the data. Belief in God in conjunction with evolution (or another theory) is fine so long as you recognize that it is faith, not science. The same goes for belief in God's non-existance. Believe all you want that the physical world is all there is and that science is the only path to truth, but recognize that that belief is also an article of faith.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Quote of the Day - July 21, 2005


Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?


Oh no. It's just they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

- The Princess Bride

Franklin Updates

Yes, that's right. There is yet another tropical storm out there. This one is hanging out near the Bahamas. Not only that, but there's another one trying to form in the Caribbean. It will be named "Gert" if it succeeds. It's not even August yet, people! What the heck is going on?

July 21, 2005 9:00 PM - Though tropical storm force winds were measured much earlier, Franklin was officially named at 8:00 this evening, with winds of 45 mph and a central pressure of 1009 mb. The current official forcast keeps it as a tropical storm as it does a little loop in the Atlantic off the East Coast, but the computer models are in wild disagreement about the path, with one model taking it straight across Florida. Also, the warm water and low shear may give it more than enough fuel to reach hurricane strength. It may not end up being a threat to land, but it's worth keeping an eye on for now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Uh, what's in Phoenix?

I'm so glad I didn't take that job in Phoenix. 97 degree days are bad enough.

The End of Judicial Review

Just how far back will Bush's nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court take us? Just as Joel.

To the Moon, Alice!

'Tis the 36th anniversary of Man's first steps on the moon. So Google has put together a map of the Moon! Very cool. Thanks to Christiana for the link.

Scotty Gets Beamed Up

James Doohan, who played Scotty on Star Trek, died today at the age of 85. As such, here is the quote of the day for July 20 , 2005:

"Jimmy, you're going to be Scotty long after you're dead. If I were you, I'd go with the flow."
- James Doohan's dentist

Monday, July 18, 2005

Internet Enabled Crosstrainer

What's frustrating about working out at the gym is that I have no computer and no internet access. This sounds incredibly sad because it gives the impression that I can't go a measely hour without being plugged in. But my path to weight loss began in front of the computer and the television. I finally decided to just get up and move around while I was sitting there doing nada. I would walk around or do basic aerobics while watching television. I had been playing Spades on the Internet, which mostly involves sitting around waiting for the other players to play a card. Rather than sit and get frustrated that my partner and opponents weren't playing fast enough, I played music and did aerobics or danced while waiting for my turn.

But after losing the easy pounds, that home workout wasn't enough anymore. I would run up and down the stairs in my apartment building, but that was much higher impact. I needed a middle ground. My apartment's gym is, shall we say, lacking, so I joined the Y. I like the crosstrainers - they're easy on my joints and really get my heart pumping.

When I jotted down a couple of ideas for blog posts at work today, I realized I wouldn't be able to get to them until after my workout (I don't blog from work). It occured to me that if I could get Internet access on a crosstrainer or even a treadmill, I would work out more. A lot more. Imagine if you spent the time you spend on the Internet working out. Even if it's just 20 minutes a day checking e-mail, that's a pretty good workout. More than a lot of people get.

One Headache Instead of the Other

Hooray! I'm at a reduced risk of getting a certain kind of brain cancer! So when my face aches and my head hurts from the pressure of fluids building up inside my sinus cavities, I can take solice in the fact that [Schwarzenegger] it's not a tumor [/Schwarzenegger].

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Elevator... of Doom!

It's such fun climbing twelve flights of stairs with 24 rolls of toilet paper while still sore from an hour-long workout earlier in the day. But the elevator situation in my building just gets better every day.

For the last month, the middle elevator has been stuck on my floor with the outter door open and caution tape all over the doorway. I got to see it everyday whether I took the stairs or the elevator, a constant reminder that perhaps the stairs are best. Today, I go to the elevators to find that the inner door of the middle elevator is now open, revealing that the elevator is stuck between 12 and 11. Confidence inspiring, yes? Better, one of the other elevators seems to have issues with closing it doors. It will get stuck, then close very quickly and loudly. I had stopped taking the stairs because, ironically, I've started working out at the gym and now carry three bags (lunch, gym bag, and increasingly heavy purse - what's in this thing?) to and from my car every day. Now maybe I'm in a little better shape and will be able to lug all that stuff up the stairs. If I'm not in that good a shape now, I'll soon have to be because all three elevators may stop working at any time.


Just so you know, I'm not just obsessed with the weather when it's sitting out in the Caribbean where it can't touch me. The weather around here lately has been hot, humid, and turbulent. Most of last week, I saw plenty of red on the radar, though nothing much fell where I live and work. Friday, there was flooding near the YMCA where I work out, so I skipped my workout. Yesterday, the storms missed me for much of the day until about 9pm. I could hear thunder all around and kept checking the radar to see where the rain was (though lightning doesn't have to be associated with rain, so I probably should have turned my computer off earlier, but oh well). Finally, I saw a rather large cell headed my way and decided to shut down my computer for the night. At first, I watched the lightning storm during commercial breaks for something I was watching on TV. When a power blip turned my TV off right at a key point in the show (dang it!), I switched to watching the storm.

It took me a while to realize that the blip had also taken out the lights in the parking lot outside. I guess I'm still not use to the city. My lights were still on, but outside was dark. It made the lightning that much more impressive. Even though there's a building in the way of most of my view, I still saw quite a few lightning bolts. For about 15 minutes, the rolling thunder was constant, with cracks from closer hits once every few seconds. It was so loud, you couldn't hear the pouring rain, even with the window open. I was standing against the glass door out onto my patio and I could feel it shaking. And not "tapping on the glass" shaking, but "pounding on the glass" shaking. I swear stuff inside my apartment even shook a few times.

The weirdest thing that happened was that, at the peak of the lightning storm, I swear I saw a green flash over the park next to my apartment. Green lightning? The heck? What's John Stewart doing out in this weather? Or maybe it's those freakin' aliens again. Stop stalking me!

Mmmmm. Summer rain. It's almost worth the humidity.

What's that thing in the east?

Is this that thing you call a sunrise? What am I doing up at this hour? On a weekend? Woke up, couldn't get back to sleep. What does my body have against getting eight hours of sleep? Freak of nature!