essentialsaltes: (mr. Gruff)
It came from the Christian Forums...

Moron: "a single volcanic eruption releases more polution than all of mankind has throughout our history combined"

me: False (provides evidence)

Moron: The problem is that a lot of the data surrounding human CO2 output has been based on lies and misinformation over the years, so there's really no way to affirm they are using reliable and factual data. They may be right. No way for either side to know for sure.



It must be very curious to live in a world of nebulous clouds where nothing can be known.

Luckily we are not in that position. Just as a for instance, "In 2016, about 143.37 billion gallons (or about 3.41 billion barrels1) of finished motor gasoline were consumed2 in the United States"

Very few people are using it to fill their swimming pools, so if it is combusted in motor vehicles, each gallon of fuel produces "About 19.6 pounds of CO2"

(140 billion gallons) times (20 pounds of CO2/gallon) = 2800 billion pounds = more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

From my first link, "A 2013 review attempted to estimate the annual contribution of CO2 emitted from all volcanoes (active and passive) and other tectonic sources on Earth per year, coming up with a figure of 540 megatons per year" i.e. 0.54 billion tons

So the US consumption of motor fuel alone produces more CO2 than the output of all the world's volcanoes.

This is how we can know that your original statement is just false, and there is a way to know for sure.

Test

May. 3rd, 2017 09:37 pm
essentialsaltes: (mr. Gruff)
Content has been migrated to dreamwidth.

This is a test of crossposting to LJ.
essentialsaltes: (haha)
You can see the PTSD building and building



'That rabbit smiled at me.'

essentialsaltes: (Eye)
Yeah, we moved. I may get around to journaling about it the whole thing, but it's too big a topic, and I'm too tired.

But more importantly, the digital antenna seems to really work like a charm. I was so happy the setup was so easy, and the results so good. I know we're probably weirdos for only having basic cable before, but we've stopped paying Time Warner a buttload, and we get more channels. Sure, half of them are foreign language (including like a dozen in Armenian), but my mind boggled when the initial scan dredged up like 158 channels. OK, some turned out to be just beyond the antenna's range, but still.

So if you only want basic channels, and you don't need cable for internet, and you have a line of sight to Mt. Wilson, ditch your cable.

[The internet thing may be a bigger pain point; we've yet to get U-verse set up for internet, but I wasn't encouraged by the CAPTCHA when I tried to check on the order:

I'm worried AT&T may be no better than Time Warner.]

For the interested, the antenna is a Mohu Curve. Since our TV is older, we also needed a digital tuner, so I just picked a top seller on amazon, which can also function as a DVR if you plug in a USB hard drive or even a flash drive. Total cost = less than 1 month of our Time Warner bill (for TV & internet).

Plug antenna into tuner, plug HDMI from tuner to TV, turn it all on, and then the tuner was raring to go scan for channels. After that, I cruised through Armenian, Vietnamese, Khmer, Spanish, Chinese, and a dozen variations on the Home Shopping Network (including several in those preceding languages) and stopped on some random channel (Get TV) showing the Caine Mutiny. Jackpot.

ETA: LA TV Stations.
essentialsaltes: (Wrong)
I was invited to a small FB group for political discussion - just a couple dozen members, and not that many active ones. While there are some reasonable people there, there are also a couple people that I would like to think were trolls or paid shills of the Koch Brothers or something. But I fear they are sincere. And these are probably people who vote. If you would like to stare at them, as at a freak show or psychological experiment, you can ask me to invite you into the FB group (if we're FB friends -- I'm using LJ mainly so I can format stuff below). I beg you not to.

Examples of what passes for 'argument'.

Experimental Subject #1: Mahar... What a scumbag

Me: Ad hominem

Experimental Subject #1: Okay he's a dick

Me: Ad hominem

Experimental Subject #1: He is the King of all you liberals

Me: [SUBJECT NAME], an ad hominem is where you attack the person instead of the person's argument. Do you want to discuss what Maher has to say, or do you just want to call him names?

Experimental Subject #1: I want to call him names...he's a liberal nut job


TL;DR Example #2 )

So, like I said. I can invite you into this group. Do not, under any circumstances, take me up on this offer.
essentialsaltes: (Laika)
The Invention of Air provides a biography and more of Joseph Priestley. Priestly wore three hats (um, metaphorically so far as I know): scientist, radical theologian, and radical political theorist. Johnson does a great job of showing the connections between these three strands, and how they exemplify the Enlightenment, although I think he oversells the idea about how intimately connected they all are.

Priestley got started in science by first just trying to be something of a compiler of a history on the new science of electricity. But he was encouraged by Ben Franklin and others to carry out his own experiments, and soon became a leading 'electrician' of the day. From there, he went on to the study of gases. PETA would be a bit unhappy at the number of mice he asphyxiated, but it ultimately led to the discovery for which he's most famous: oxygen. Noting that mice snuff it after breathing up the air in a closed container, he wondered what would happen to plants. They didn't seem to give a shit. Even if you let a mouse breathe up the air until it dies, and then put a 'sprig of mint' in there, it doesn't seem to care. Priestley seemed to try all sorts of combinations almost at random, but in hindsight the crucial experiment was letting a mouse asphyxiate, then putting a mint plant in there for a few days, and then putting another mouse in there. Instead of quickly suffocating, the mouse seems to do just fine. A little more investigation, and Priestley announced the discovery of dephlogisticated air. Of course, there's no element DphlgstctdA on the periodic table, because the word oxygen is due to Lavoisier, who also has a good claim to the discovery of oxygen. Better yet, Lavoisier didn't stubbornly stick to the phlogiston theory of heat, as Priestley did.

Although I like that Johnson takes some well-calculated swings at Kuhn, I'm not sure I entirely buy his replacement idea, which is the ecosystem theory of scientific advances. Although ecosystem gives it a very eco-friendly name, I'm not sure it adds anything more to the idea that Priestley was a man of his day and age, and in constant contact with other thinkers and ideas. Johnson tries to add in an idea of 'energy flow' in the ecosystem -- that the availability of coal power helped to fuel the scientific revolution of its time. But again, I think incorporating this into the idea of an 'ecosystem' seems to be taking the analogy or metaphor too literally.

The book spends the least time on Priestley's religious dissent, which led to him becoming an early Unitarian. And as was possible in the day, this was not a codeword for sneaky atheist. Despite his rational materialism, he seems to have had a deep and abiding faith in God. Johnson credits Priestley with giving Jefferson a way to have a real faith while rejecting irrationality.

Though living in England most of his life, Priestley was a supporter of the American Revolution. And later a supporter of the French Revolution. This led to a bit of unpleasantness when his (and his friends') support for the French Revolution was seen as an attack on English monarchy. A riot ensued, and his house was burned down.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he eventually relocated to America, where he settled in a relatively obscure spot in Pennsylvania. He couldn't keep his firebrand mouth shut, and ultimately fell afoul of the Alien & Sedition Act. Adams apparently intervened to prevent his prosecution. The book then turns more toward the discussion by letter between Jefferson and Adams which took place after Priestley's death, and when both of them were past their presidential years. Apparently Priestley is named more frequently than Washington or Franklin.

Truly a fine book about an interesting character with a lot of aspects to his life.

I was surprised when I looked at the blurb that Johnson's bio includes the fact that he is a founder of plastic.com
essentialsaltes: (Jimi)
and I made one.



I made it to bother the women.

And the men.
essentialsaltes: (FSM)
In the HPLHS FB group, someone was reading HPL's work chronologically and wondered out loud, "Where are all the tentacles? I'm a decade into his writing career and nary a tentacle!"

Me: It might just be that gluing tentacles onto monsters is not actually Lovecraft's primary contribution to weird fiction.



And since it happened about the same time, I may as well record a bit of this IM with Prime:

Prime: Mrs. Prime is using feedly, too. I use Mrs. Prime (who emails me 10 articles/day from feedly)

Me: Using a non-Artifical Intelligence to prioritize things. That's clever.

Prime: well, there is a certain inherent bias
Prime: I read a lot about babies and nutrition

Me: They're pretty nutritious, I imagine

Prime: and tender
essentialsaltes: (atheist teacher)
Sort of a fake lo-res graphics Infocom-type adventure, with Satan as the hero.

I started to get bored on page 5, but then...

>use hellbat wings & aborted fetus

You combine the hellbat wings and the aborted fetus. The fetus flaps in front of you, gurgling in a strange voice, "Killlll... mee..."

I'll probably get bored again soon, but for now...

ETA: the baby bunny fight made me not exactly lol, but I did chortle wickedly.

Censored!

Sep. 11th, 2013 10:39 pm
essentialsaltes: (poseidon)
Holy shit!

In my battles with creationists, I... okay, let me sum up, I posted a picture of the Artemision Bronze:



and my post was "reported and deleted for review"

I presume, because of that prurient wiener. In protest, I make you look at a wiener. Wiener. Penis. Schwanschtucker.
essentialsaltes: (Mr. Gruff)
This post has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean it's particularly good, informative, or insightful.

[livejournal.com profile] jimhines' cartoon has been flying around recently:


While this was about science fiction cons, it applies perfectly well to atheist/skeptic/secular cons. That community has had some recent high-profile incidents, and some longer simmering arguments. I've been mostly watching from the sidelines; not because I don't care, but because I haven't been directly involved. I haven't been to any of these conventions. I don't really know the people involved, and certainly have no knowledge of the actual incidents. So I didn't think I had much to add other than a huge chance of foot-in-mouth disease.

essentialsaltes more than likely puts his foot in his mouth somewhere in here )
essentialsaltes: (Wipeout)
So I'm researching a lot of Chinese companies, and trying to poke around their websites. Many don't have English versions, and I do the best I can with Google Translate. Some of the companies have defunct websites, where the host is trying to get a little ad revenue with spammy links. Running their keywords through Google Translate generates some interesting things:

The latest microblogging Cock wire
Beauty female private enlarge
Maintenance the buttock contrast
How do hymen repair
Postpartum breast so plump
Magic price hardcover room rental
Office building full of beauty
Adult comics Training
Cheating weapons
Personal loans do not pay back the money
Hymen pictures
essentialsaltes: (Laika)
Google & TIME paired up to process and display Landsat satellite imagery over a few decades.

Over the entire earth.

It's pretty awesome.

After they show a few canned timelapses, hit Explore the World and put in your hometown. Or watch the Aral Sea vanish.
essentialsaltes: (poseidon)
"A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a public library in Missouri to unblock access to “occult” websites, which included websites about Native American religions and the Wiccan faith.

...

Salem [har] Library Director Glenda Wofford told Hunter the websites could only be unblocked if she had a legitimate reason to access them. The library director allegedly also said she had an “obligation” to call the “proper authorities” to report people who wanted to view blocked websites."
essentialsaltes: (Agent)
Interesting interview with virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier in Smithsonian:

“I’d been an early advocate of making information free ... I’d had a career as a professional musician and what I started to see is that once we made information free, it wasn’t that we consigned all the big stars to the bread lines. Instead, it was the middle-class people [in the music industry] who were consigned to the bread lines."

"[Anonymity on the internet] slowly is turning us into a nation of hate-filled trolls." (This last quote is actually the interviewer, not Lanier, but I think he'd agree with the sentiment.)
essentialsaltes: (Patriotic)
Hey, purdy lady! I've been so busy lately. Remember that bikini you said I'd never pull off? I have the flattest tummy *EVER* now! ... I saw it on tv, so it must work pretty well!
essentialsaltes: (atheist teacher)
Nice TIME article that investigates several approaches. It starts with a pretty memorable hook:
On Sept. 17, the Pakistani government shut down access to YouTube. The purported reason was to block the anti-Muslim film trailer that was inciting protests around the world.

One little-noticed consequence of this decision was that 215 people in Pakistan suddenly lost their seats in a massive, open online physics course. The free college-level class, created by a Silicon Valley start-up called Udacity, included hundreds of short YouTube videos embedded on its website. Some 23,000 students worldwide had enrolled, including Khadijah Niazi, a pigtailed 11-year-old in Lahore. She was on question six of the final exam when she encountered a curt message saying “this site is unavailable.”
essentialsaltes: (Wipeout)
So I've been prosecuting the culture wars in the comment section at Religion Today, and the following exchange between me and someone from Christian Comic Books occurred:

CCB: The rise of non-believers in the West is a woe as it brings only moral decadence.

Me: I'm a non-believer and I haven't brought any moral decadence. Though I did bring donuts to work today. Maybe that counts?

CCB: Don't make the already-full people fatter by bringing donuts. That wasn't even ethical.

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