September 2006
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Day September 26, 2006

Beat Week Continues With

Allen Ginsberg’s Hare Krishna song. (Thanks to PVC for this one)

Why Do Atheists Care About Religion?

The Shopping Cart Bike

Just don’t think about trying to steer it.

This bike was sitting outside of my new place when I moved in. The front is a Kroger shopping cart, the back is an old Schwinn bike.

(via Make:Blog)

Hypnic Jerk

From Wikipedia:

A hypnic or hypnagogic jerk is an involuntary muscle twitch (more generally known as myoclonus or a myoclonic twitch) which often occurs during the transition from wakefulness to sleep (see hypnagogia). It is often described as an electric shock or falling sensation, and can cause movement of the body in bed. Hypnic jerks are completely normal, and are experienced by most people, especially when over-tired or sleeping uncomfortably. The exact cause of the sudden jerks is not clear, but there are hypotheses:

Dog Whistle Politics or Why Bush Said Iraq is “Just a Comma”

From The Agonist:

A lot of people have been slamming Bush for his comment that Iraq is “just a comma”. As an e-mail correspondent pointed out, this is another case where Bush is using code words to speak directly to his Christian right base.

The phrase is: “Never put a period where God has put a comma.” Which is to say – it ain’t over yet, and God may well make it better. So Iraq’s bad, but if we trust in God, he’ll make it better.

This is the thing about Bush – he is constantly littering his speeches with code words and phrases meant for the religious right. Other people don’t hear them, but they do, and most of the time it allows Bush both to say what those who aren’t evangelical or born again want to hear, while still reassuring the religious right wants to hear.

For example, one of the most famous episodes of this was Bush’s reference in the 2004 debates to the Dred Scott decision. Most people couldn’t figure out what the heck he was talking about – it seemed like a non-sequitur. But, as Paperwight pointed out at the time, anti-abortion activists see themselves as similar to anti-slavery activists. And they take heart that eventually Dred Scott v. Sandford was overthrown.

So when asked about Supreme Court justices, Bush was reassuring his base that he would appoint justices prone to overturn Roe vs. Wade. And as far as that goes, both Roberts and Alito are very likely to do so.

The other name for this is dog whistle politics. When you blow a dog whistle humans can’t hear it, but the dogs sure can. It’s a pitch higher than humans can hear. When you speak in code like this, most of the time the only people who hear and understand what you just said are the intended group, who have an understanding of the world and a use of words that is not shared by the majority of the population. So it allows you to send out two messages at once – one pitched for the majority of Americans, the other pitched for a subgroup. This goes on all the time, and usually it isn’t caught – most people don’t hear it, and the media is made up of people who can’t make the connections because they don’t belong to these subgroups. So they can’t point out the subtext either.

Dawkins Interviewed About The God Delusion

Geek-a-cycle

Fitness for the computer user.

(via del.icio.us/mathowie)

Astronaut’s Flickr Account



Anousheh Ansari’s
pictures on Flickr.

The Shaving Cream Racket

I’m not as militant about it as this guy but I don’t use the stuff either (Just hot water and the Trac II).

But someone has to say it: shaving cream is a racket.

Why don’t people know this? It’s just part of the lost knowledge of our time. Wean yourself from it for a week, and you will find that your shaves will be closer, unbloody, and quick. Imagine a full shave in less than a minute, with no cuts, gashes, or discomfort. It is within your grasp.

You won’t have the face of a tenderized chicken breast. Your skin will be solid and robust. You will feel the same revulsion I do as you encounter that long row of shaving products at the drug store. You too will feel pity on the seventh eights of the human race that does not understand this simple point.

Why is the world hooked on this stuff? Here’s what happens. Early on in a person’s life, when whiskers and stubble begin to appear on the skin, the young teen is presented a razor and a can – a can with a squirting top that releases a foam. It is a charming little foam. The child is taught to rub it on and then shave it off.

(via Bifurcated Rivets)

Good Morning

Hmmm, no Google, no YouTube…… I should just go back to bed.

Update:

No blogspot either (another google entity). How long was I asleep for?


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