Confessions: The Meanest Thing Gizmodo Did at CES

CES has no shortage of displays. And when MAKE offered us some TV-B-Gone clickers to bring to the show, we pretty much couldn’t help ourselves. We shut off a TV. And then another. And then a wall of TVs. And we just couldn’t stop. (And Panasonic, you’re so lucky that 150-incher didn’t have an active IR port.) It was too much fun, but watching this video, we realize it probably made some people’s jobs harder, and I don’t agree with that (Especially Motorola). We’re sorry. [Thanks to Phil Torrone for the gear, video, editing and mischief by Richard Blakeley]

Dawkins: Why I Won’t Debate Creationists

From 2003:

Sometime in the 1980s when I was on a visit to the United States, a television station wanted to stage a debate between me and a prominent creationist called, I think, Duane P Gish. I telephoned Stephen Gould for advice. He was friendly and decisive: “Don’t do it.” The point is not, he said, whether or not you would “win” the debate. Winning is not what the creationists realistically aspire to. For them, it is sufficient that the debate happens at all. They need the publicity. We don’t. To the gullible public that is their natural constituency, it is enough that their man is seen sharing a platform with a real scientist. “There must be something in creationism, or Dr. So-and-So would not have agreed to debate it on equal terms.” Inevitably, when you turn down the invitation, you will be accused of cowardice or of inability to defend your own beliefs. But that is better than supplying the creationists with what they crave: the oxygen of respectability in the world of real science.

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Arecibo Message


From Wikipedia:

The Arecibo message is a radio message that was beamed into space at a ceremony to mark the remodeling of the Arecibo radio telescope on 16 November 1974. It was aimed at the globular star cluster M13 some 25,000 light years away because it was a large and close collection of stars that was available in the sky at the time and place of the ceremony.[1] The message consisted of 1679 binary digits (equivalent to nearly 205 bytes) transmitted at a frequency of 2380 MHz and modulated by shifting the frequency by 10 Hz, with a power of 1000 kWatt. The beam was extremely narrow (giving a power equivalent to 20 trillion Watts if it were omnidirectional) making it the strongest man-made signal ever sent. The entire transmission lasted 169 seconds and was not repeated.[2] The number 1679 was chosen because it is a semiprime (the product of two prime numbers) and therefore can only be broken down into 23 rows and 73 columns, or 73 rows and 23 columns. This assumes that those who read it will choose to arrange it as a rectangle. The information arranged the first way (23 rows, 73 columns) produces jumbled nonsense, but if arranged the second way (73 rows, 23 columns) it forms the image shown on the right (assuming the bits are arranged from left to right and the rows are arranged from top to bottom; otherwise a flipped image is formed), which is assumed to be recognizable as data.[3]

There Must be Violence Against Women

From the Yemen Times (Yemen’s most widely read English-language newspaper)

Despite such instructions, beating is considered a type of violence, according to human rights organizations, which urge women to complain to the police. I just wonder what kind of families our societies would have if Muslim women started doing this regarding their husbands.

Relationships between fathers and daughters or sisters and brothers also provoke argument from human rights organizations, which propose the suggested solutions for all relationships. Personally, I don’t think fathers or brothers would undertake such behavior unless there was a reason for it.

Fathers are responsible for their daughters’ behavior, but human rights organizations deny this too. Brothers also should take action regarding their sisters’ behavior, especially if their parents are too old or dead. If a daughter or sister makes a mistake – especially a moral one – that negatively affects the entire family and its reputation, what’s the solution by such organizations?

According to them, women should complain to the courts about any type of violence against them. Likewise, should fathers and brothers complain to police if their daughters or sisters violate moral, Islamic or social norms?

Fathers should handle their daughters via any means that suits their mistake; thus, is it better to use violence to a certain limit or complain to the police? Shall such women then complain to the police against their fathers or brothers? It’s really amazing to hear this.

Two Cunts in a Kitchen

From Wikipedia:

Two Cunts in a Kitchen, or sometimes, less graphically Two Cs in a K, is slang used within the advertising industry for a type of television commercial. Generally, the commercial shows two women in a domestic scene, discussing, using, or otherwise portraying the advertiser’s product in a positive manner. An example of such a style of advertisement is a typical brand-comparison advertisement for a detergent or a household cleaning product.

Here’s the best explanation for the phrase:

This charming phrase first gained usage in the early 1980s and is still widely used today in the advertising industry. It is a useful phrase to be aware of, in that it serves as a reminder of the level of contempt in which that industry holds its intended targets.

Man Cuts Off, Microwaves His Own Hand

Apparently he had the Mark of the Beast:

HAYDEN, Idaho (AP) — A man who believed he bore the “mark of the beast” used a circular saw to cut off one hand, then he cooked it in the microwave and called 911, authorities said.

The man, in his mid-20s, was calm when Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies arrived Saturday in this northern Idaho town. He was in protective custody in the mental health unit of Kootenai Medical Center.

“It had been somewhat cooked by the time the deputy arrived,” sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. “He put a tourniquet on his arm before, so he didn’t bleed to death. That kind of mental illness is just sad.”

It was not immediately clear whether the man has a history of mental illness. Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Johnson would not say whether an attempt was made to reattach the hand, citing patient confidentiality.

The Book of Revelation in the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury.”

The book of Matthew also contains the passage: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The book of Matthew is quite clear that you’re supposed to throw the hand away, not microwave it. What a psycho!