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This kind of scientific ignorance irritates me right to my goddamned core.

For fuck’s sake, let me spell this out: essentially, science is just a set of rules about how to make observations. Everything – EVERYTHING – else is just corollaries built upon established observations. So, if you can come up with a better way to understand things than by observing them, pony up the ideas because we’re all ears. Otherwise, haul yourself and your counterproductive wordhole back to the mud hut you belong in and stop using all this awesome shit that the rest of us enjoy courtesy of science.

Masculine-heavy? What, women don’t have eyes and the ability to document their findings? Not only are you ignorant, completely dimwitted stranger commenting on my highschool friend’s equally shortsighted anti-fluoridation rant on Facebook (apologies, highschool friend in question; I gotta say what I gotta say), but you’re a dipshit, too.

Fuck, old age is making me angry. No, wait – I’m in my thirties so that seems unlikely – it’s the stupidity of others that makes me angry, and I become increasingly intolerant of it as the years pass. You want to talk about what’s doing the planet in? It’s people fighting to suppress reason, and that really REALLY makes me want to go on a cockpunching spree.

Guh. Here, if you’re as worked up as I am by now, you probably need to calm down. Staying on the topic of observations, check out this awesome interactive flash “game” that lets you zoom in and out towards either end of what we know about the tiniest and the largest things in the universe. Nice.

I had a killer ending to an awesome weekend.

Out of the orbital habitat and away from the Earthlets for a night out with Atomique two evenings in a row? Mind-bendingly priceless. The spawn are awesome and all, but a touch of freedom was sorely needed for all the adults of the household.

First up was a bit of foreign cuisine, in an establishment of the variety where one is very unlikely to encounter screaming children.  The portions were tasty and smallish; I now tend to expect small with either fine or Japanese dining so I was neither surprised nor saddened by the size of the meals. We then wandered the city aimlessly, unable to remember what it is that people without children do when they hit the city. Courtesy of how much it sucks, we were drawn to the casino. The majority of the population of tragic-town appeared, to our casual glances, to be oversized, underaged or abnormal. One beer later it had stopped being amusing and we went home, nevertheless happy with our night out.

The next night was a friend’s birthday party, followed by me spinning a few tunes at the Beetle Bar. The party was funky and well-catered, and the Beetle Bar was packed with a posse of groovy cats Atomique and I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with lately. You know who you are, awesome folks. Big thank you to everyone who had kind words to say about my sets – and even more praise be to you who rewarded my technique on the midi controller (sigh, that just doesn’t have the same ring as ‘skills on the decks’) with a frosty beverage.

Sunday night? It was pretty special too, because I travelled through fucking time.

The in-laws had cleared out and everyone else in the house had gone to bed by 21:00. I parked myself cross-legged on the floor, game controller in hand, the house illuminated only by the glow of the TV and listened to an album while playing a brand new video game.

It was awesome.


LCD Soundsystem – Us vs Them (Go Home Productions Remix)

The album? The LCD Soundsystem tribute/mashup/remix album Sounds like Silver. The official website appears to have lapsed into oblivion, but there are still ways to get the record.  The game? Forza Motorsport 3. I don’t even rank racing games high on my to-do list; it’s just been a long time since I spent an extended amount of time with a new game in one sitting. It certainly helped that the graphics in the game are staggeringly beautiful.

It was only a short visit to the past, though. I don’t see myself recreating the winter of ’95, where I played X-Com 2: Terror From the Deep an unhealthy amount and listened to The Prodigy’s Music for the Jilted Generation on repeat, so much so that both are fused into one entity in my brain. To this day, fifteen years later, the moment I hear any track from that album I have a pavlovian response and the interface from the game is momentarily superimposed over reality. I’m a sad testament to the flaws of the human brain, I know.

Still, cerebral failings aside: awesome weekend.

I’ll get around to the children’s edition of ‘Make Yourself a Scientist’… soonish.

Some bits and bobs (space-bits and space-bobs included as well, of course) today:

That’s from an awesome blog I accidentally found, Geek Art. Nice stuff here. Very nice stuff. Go, go now.

Check these mad videos I found there:

I recently gave my dad the following advice about web browsers. For your own safety on the web as much as everyone else’s, give the following some consideration.

It’s important for the health of the internet as a whole to have users on a variety of web browsers out in the wild – it cuts into criminals’ profit margins to craft virii* and exploits that target multiple browsers.  That being said, IE has a lot of unbeatable  compatibility advantages, so I recommend using IE for safe browsing like web banking, your corporate intranet, government sites, etc. and another browser (any other browser, as long as it’s not IE: Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Camino) for run-of-the-mill surfing and visiting new sites.

* Yes, I know it’s ‘viruses’ these days, but I enjoyed the eccentricities of Latin words in English that we had last century. It’s not often I’m the crazy old guy clinging to the past.


My new FaceBook avatar. Yes, I’m a dork

Okay, the rant (a topic I’ve hit on before, but damn is the sequel a good one):

Dear lady at the pharmacy who tried to sell Atomique on homeopathic remedies because ‘this one time there was this cat who got hit by a car and I gave it something homeopathic because I couldn’t think of anything else to do and then when the cat got to the vet the vet said he was amazed that the cat hadn’t gone into shock and so it must have been the homeopathy that did it therefore homeopathy works’.

Listen, lady at the pharmacy: that story about one cat is a very very very poor sample size to back any statement of efficacy of your magic potions. Statistically speaking, I’m sure that one out of every such-and-such number of similar accidents involving cats results in the cat ‘surprisingly’ not entering shock. In clinical trials (and other, not so clinical events), homeopathic remedies DO NOTHING. Medical studies require a certain amount of test subjects to ensure a significant number of results in order to determine what effects a substance has. Not one thorough study, ever, has produced any observation that indicates homeopathic remedies do anything at all.

Not only that, but the underlying mechanism you claim is at work in your snake oil, that water has some kind of supernatural ability to remember the things that used to be in it, is not possible according to the laws of the universe that every single person who studies the way the universe works has come to agree to as the best model to describe how reality works. Homeopathy was imagined by some crazy dickface who foisted it as a miracle remedy on the uneducated public (the same knuckleheads who thought bloodletting was the best way to help the ill) of the late 1700s  – without rigorous testing to see if it actually did anything, an ultimate act of ass-hattery. His fraudulent douchebag followers insist to this day that it has value, despite volumes of scientific discoveries that make its underlying principle laughably retarded.

This is not some elaborate conspiracy to keep you from padding your coffers healing the poor by selling them expensive vials of water, it’s many people in many countries of various cultures all making the same observations and drawing the same conclusion about what those observations mean.

Please stop behaving like what you’re talking about is real, makes sense, or can be conceived of as truthful by anyone capable of reason. If you’re ignorant of the truth behind homeopathy, shame on you for pretending to be knowledgeable so as to try and convince a stranger to part with their money for nothing (Atomique, a clever bear, tells me she tactfully laughed her way out of this laughable situation without incident); if you’re a charlatan knowingly fleecing your fellow humans, go fuck yourself.

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Looking for music by Viper Pilot? This blog is the current home of Viper Pilot's Munition Works, where he stores all of his mashes and mixes.

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