August 17, 2012
Stealing the news completely, including most of the formatting, from P. Z. Myers:
On 15 September, you could attend the Feminine Faces of Freethought Conference in Dallas for only $20. Check it out!
Women of Reason–Dallas presents Feminine Faces of Freethought, a conference featuring women speaking about topics that affect the freethought community as a whole.
Join us for a day of talks by
- Noelle George, coordinator of Volunteers Beyond Belief and founder and past president of SECULAR Center;
- Dr. Jean Kazez, author of Animalkind, The Weight of Things, and the blog In Living Color;
- Elyse Anders, blogger at Skepchick, founder of Women Thinking, Inc, and leader of Hug Me! I’m Vaccinated;
- Bridget Gaudette, Co-Founder and Vice President of Outreach of Secular Woman;
- Dorian Mooneyham, blogger at http://transandgodless.blogspot.com and youtube.com/transandgodless;
- Anne Crumpacker, author of the blog Socratic Mama;
- and other members of the freethought community.
- Secular Parenting,
- Diversity in the Freethought Movement,
- and What Atheist Women Really Want.
We welcome people of all genders.
Childcare will be provided. Please reserve childcare while purchasing your tickets.
Less than a month away.
June 27, 2010
Amazing photo of two Chicago buildings struck by lightning simultaneously, by Chicago Tribune photog Chris Sweda:
Dual lightning strike in Chicago, June 2010 - photo by Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune
Among other things, the photo isn’t perfect enough to suggest post-shutter-snap manipulation — you can see from other photos that the rain drops on the window disappear with a focus farther away.
Blair Kamin writing at Cityscapes discussed skepticism from readers of the Chicago Tribune about whether the strikes were really simultaneous, or instead the result of a very long exposure.
Exactly the sort of skepticism anti-warmists should have exhibited when confronted with the story of a fourth-grade student in Beeville, Texas, disproving global warming, or the story of a Spanish solar energy company sending a bomb by courier to an anti-warmist, and then bragging about it.
Kamin offers a couple of paths by which a reasonable person can determine it was a chance photo, the photographer pushing the shutter release coincidentally with a double lightning strike (see the “postscripts” section of Kamin’s post).
Were they true to their warming science, in the anti-warmist world two camps would be forming. One camp would argue the photograph was manipulated, a clever collage of two different photos, or maybe a clever use of miniatures; the other camp would argue that lightning doesn’t strike man-made objects.
March 6, 2010
Three earthquakes in a week do not make a swarm. Interesting that the last post on an earthquake in Oklahoma drew earthquake conspiratorialists and “skeptics.” Too many people distrust all science and sources of information these days.
Here’s the dirt on Oklahoma’s shaking in the last week, from the U.S. Geological Service site:
Earthquake List for Map Centered at 36°N, 97°W
Update time = Sat Mar 6 18:00:02 UTC 2010
Here are the earthquakes in the Map Centered at 36°N, 97°W area, most recent at the top.
(Some early events may be obscured by later ones.)
Click on the underlined portion of an earthquake record in the list below for more information.
This isn’t unusual at all, of course. I think many people just don’t understand that earthquakes happen all the time, but they usually get crowded out of the newspaper because no one really cares.
For contrast, take a look at this animated map of a strip a little wider than Utah, covering from north of the Yellowstone Caldera to Arizona. Run the animation. Generally on any day there will have been at least two dozen earthquakes in the previous week, several magnitude 3, occasionally a magnitude 4 thrown in.
Almost none of those quakes make any news.
Maybe it’s the Earth, laughing. We can hope.
Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it’s mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
(Excerpted from “Solitude,” 1917, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919))
February 21, 2010
Yeah, I agree — but ask yourself, you who call yourselves “libertarian” or “skeptic,” why you’re not asking the same questions?
From the Murph Report, “Libertarians for junk science.” From a guy named Kevin Carson, a self-described anarchist — and voice in the wilderness.
He discusses the unthinking acceptance political libertarians and conservatives give to all stories against doing something about global warming, and about DDT’s problems.
June 25, 2009
Hmmmm. May have to use this to start out the history classes next year, on the topic of “How do we know what we know?”
Michael Shermer explains the tools we use to detect baloney. Shermer is the editor of Skeptic magazine; here he speaks in a video produced by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, via Boing! Boing!: