As it turns out, half may be an overstatement

This essay was originally intended for Mindless Diversions but, as you can probably tell, it veered off into dangerous territory fairly quickly… so I’m putting it here. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, there was all sorts of a scare about “children’s programming” and the horrors of violence that kids might be subjected to by watching…

Putting Off Chores

So in my listening to some Dubstep (which I consider research), I stumbled across the soundtrack to Sucker Punch which, I have come to find out, is actually a movie about Project MKUltra and, specifically, Monarch Mind Control (something for which, it’s pointed out, no credible evidence exists). Apparently, there’s a subculture out there devoted to bringing…

I honestly thought they were Thunderheads

My friends who have asthma are all complaining about how the air quality is totally wiping them out. When we first moved to Colorado Springs, we moved up to the Rockrimmon area. The houses in that neighborhood are now being evacuated. My friends who have parents out there are posting to facebook that their parents…

None of this has happened yet

In doing research while watching Fringe episode “Momentum Deferred” from the second season of Fringe for the most recent Mindless Diversions Bookclub! post, I asked the question “Do people still do cryogenics?” In googling, I found out that, boy howdy, do they ever. I found out about Alcor. My immediate takeaway was that the “cost…

Topical Astrophysics Post And Open Thread

One of my friends recently met Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Space Symposium and they chatted for about 4 minutes about such things as the meme he’s inspired and general love of science and even as I thought “how awesome!”, I felt a surge of envy well up in me and I thought about the…

Confirmation Bias, Video Games, Art, and Interactivity

Mass Effect 3 was released two weeks ago today (Tuesday) and there have been a lot of little swirling dynamics when it comes to the game, consumer response, corporate response to the consumer response, and so on. (Now, I can’t talk about the game and some of the problems that folks have with it without touching on spoilers.…

Confusion followed by Mild Panic followed by Understanding

It looks like Dennis Kucinich has lost his Congressional Seat in Ohio. As it turns out, it’s due to a redistricting and Republicans merged his seat with Marcy Kaptur’s and she won the primary… and the possibility exists that he’s going to run for Congress again in Washington (which has a new open seat). So…

Mindless Diversions Extra!

(This blog post was originally intended for Mindless Diversions but, upon publishing it there, I immediately had visions of the political and/or religious comments that would follow. As such, I think that the Front Page would make a much better home for it. Without further ado, this is a guest post written by our very…

Nobel Peace Prize Jury Faces Formal Inquiry

Read the story here. Here’s the paragraph that would make clicking through worthwhile, if you’re still undecided: If the Stockholm County Administrative Board, which supervises foundations in Sweden’s capital, finds that prize founder Alfred Nobel’s will is not being honored, it has the authority to suspend award decisions going back three years — though that…

Race, Privilege, Music, and The N-Word

On Wednesdays on the Mindless Diversion blog, I’m quite regularly pleased to play one of my favorite songs or one of my previous favorites or something that just gets stuck in my head… and, yeah, odds are that if the song is from between 1988-1997, it’s got a story or three associated with it as…

A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public 2011

The latest little tempest in a teapot we’ve had here on the internets involves an essay on Parental Licensure written by Andrew Cohen at the usually significantly different kind of crazy Libertarian website Bleeding Heart Libertarians. If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, the argument in a nutshell begins with the insight shared…

On the Seventh Blind Man and the Elephant

(For opposite week, I decided to argue a theist position.) One of the biggest problems when it comes to any discussion of theism vs. atheism is when some wag asks for a definition of “God”. The general trick is to get them to make some overstatement and then to say “well, yeah, I don’t believe…

Lazy Sunday Afternoon Jukebox And Open Thread

As it turns out, there aren’t any good Tim Tebow songs. There, are, however, Tim Tebow songs. A surprising number, actually. Don’t google them. Seriously. Instead, listen to this lovely song from The War On Drugs, “Black Water Falls” off of their absolutely brilliant Slave Ambient: Of course, you should consider this an open thread…

To Whom?

Andrew Sullivan has a neat little post that brings up the topic of Intragalactic Ethics. There is a link to a Josh Rothman column that points out: There’s a long pro-terraforming tradition (especially among philosophically inclined science-fiction readers): Turning a lifeless place into an inhabitable one seems like a noble goal. Meanwhile, others argue that…