Rule of Thumb #1

If you understand something better than everyone else, than chances are pretty good that you don’t understand it at all.

Physicists are often approached by amateurs that claim to have proven that Newtons Laws of Motion are wrong, or that in fact E ≠ mc2. Heck, I’m no physicist and I’ve been approached by other amateur “scientists” who know me as a science buff with similar claims. In the vast majority of cases the person is simply misunderstanding some key point in the science, and in a large portion of those cases any attempt to correct that misunderstanding simply results in the claim that I and the entire scientific community are the ones misunderstanding it.

Yes, it’s theoretically possible that every other human being on the planet somehow missed this idea of yours that completely changes our understanding of the universe. It’s theoretically possible that no one ever considered the physical results of a person throwing a baseball far from any other gravitational body. It’s theoretically possible that every calculation ever done based on the known scientific laws were only right because every scientist before now was willing to “fudge” the result to make it fit with what they already knew to be true anyway. And yes, it’s theoretically possible that you understand something better after a few hours of study than other people do after a lifetime.

It’s just not very likely.

Amazing Satellite Photos of Earth

I’ve found some new favorite wallpaper for my computers. These are absolutely amazing satellite images of Earth! From the site:

The images in this compilation are from the Landsat 7 satellite and were created to introduce the general public to the Landsat Program.

Various combinations of the eight Landsat 7 spectral bands were selected to create the vivid RGB composites that we have featured.

Go here or click on the image to see for yourself. I highly HIGHLY recommend it.

Greenland Coast – Along Greenland’s western coast, a small field of glaciers surrounds Baffin Bay.

Thou Shalt Steal?

According to father Tim Jones, a 41-year-old clergyman at St. Lawrence Church in York, England, “Thou Shalt Not Steal” is to be absolutely obeyed without exception. Unless of course you’re poor and can’t afford it. Then by all means…

To be fair he does add “I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.” But apparently it’s okay to steal from the large corporations because “the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.” In other words it’s not really stealing. It’s just making other people pay for it so you don’t have to. God never said anything about forcing other people to give charitably against their will, I guess.

Arkansas Winter Solstice Display Goes Up

A while back I told you about the Arkansas Winter Solstice Display. I didn’t really follow it like I should have (it got lost in the shuffle), but apparently quite a bit has happened since I first posted that story. The ACLU eventually did file a lawsuit about it (which they won, of course), and at least one interesting fact came up that I didn’t know about. Quoting now from the latest story in the Arkansas News:

During Monday’s hearing, it was revealed that the secretary of state’s office has a written policy that allows anyone to apply to put up a display at the Capitol. The policy was established by Daniels’ predecessor, Sharon Priest. The nativity scene was exempt from the application process because it has been a temporary holiday display on the Capitol grounds since the 1940s.

In other words every display except the nativity scene had to get permission. Way to be neutral, eh? Anyway, I just learned about this and haven’t really looked much deeper into it. I’ll dig a bit and let you know any other details that I find.

Wow. Just wow.

I don’t know that there is an introduction that can do this video justice. My brain hurts.

Update: I’ve never really listened to or watched Ann Coulter myself, though I’d heard about her from many. I guess I thought this was an outrageous video of her being especially stupid, but after looking through a bunch of old YouTube videos, I’m finding that it was actually pretty representative. If you still want to see the video you can see it here, otherwise I think I’ll just avoid Ann Coulter videos in the future.

Second Order Video Godwin?

I find this video hilariously ironic. Don’t get me wrong, I think Faux News is a steaming pile of bias like most sane individuals. But this video is chock full of exactly the kind of scare mongering that it is accusing Faux News of delivering. I can almost hear an announcer saying “They’re worse than Hitler because they accuse Obama of being worse than Hitler!!!”

Proof That You Can Trust Catholic Priests With Children

It’s really quite simple to prove this. Millions of Catholics have already figured it out. If they couldn’t on their own, then certainly their local Catholic Priest helped them, and of course they can be trusted completely as we prove below.

  1. Only a Christian can become a Catholic priest
  2. Any Christian, being morally superior, would not and could not molest a child
  3. Anybody that molests a child obviously is not a Christian
  4. Since
    1. A child molester is not a Christian and…
    2. Only a Christian can become a Catholic priest
    3. Any person that molests a child cannot possibly be a Catholic Priest
  5. Therefore all Catholic priests can be absolutely trusted with children

Absolute Proof I Say!!!

Norway Spiral

Having just seen this for the first time, and without having to investigate any further I can say without reservation that this is absolute proof that aliens are among us. Now that we have this proof, it is up to you to prove everything that has ever been claimed about UFO’s is absolutely false before you can claim otherwise. That’s how real scientists work. Umm…isn’t it?