Saturday, April 30, 2011

APOD: A Rose Made of Galaxies (Arp 273)

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Text via the Hubble site:

This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one.


Sex ED With Miss Lovecraft

"Late Bloomer", a short film from Craig MacNeil, written by, Clay McLeod Chapman
Posted by Youtube user: northlakefilms

I, am a pretty big fan of HP Lovecraft, shocking I know, but really, given the fact that Morbid Angel has been one of my top three favorite bands for the past 20 years or so, how could I not be? But I really wasn't sure that I'd enjoy a parody of Lovecraft's writing style, then I watched the video. Simply put, IT'S AMAZING!

It's dark and weird and funny, the writing style is a perfect parody, the delivery is awesome, and the ending is hilarious. Though I do have to admit that I couldn't help but think of DR. Orpheus from Venture brothers at certain points in the narration, but really, he's kind of Lovecraftian too, so that's ok. Bottom line, this is quite possibly one of the greatest things I have ever seen, and you should stop reading this now and watch it!

Also, let it be known that from this moment forward, I shall only be addressing the vagina using it's new proper name, Yog-Soggoth! which I'm certain is going to go over well with the ladies.



Friday, April 29, 2011

The LHC & Rumors of The Higgs Boson

Searching for the Higgs Boson, or "god particle", as it has been unfortunately dubbed by some, is one of the primary functions of the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC (Some of you may remember the LHC as the device that nuts everywhere warned could potentially destroy the earth by creating a black hole once it was powered up in 2008- that didn't happen BTW.). This massive particle accelerator, the largest ever built, smashes protons into one another at a speed of 99.99999 % the speed of light. These collisions result in the release of energy, which in turn, generates a variety of sub-atomic particles including, potentially, the Higgs Boson; which is a theoretical particle predicted by the standard model of particle physics that is believed to impart particles with mass.

So last week, when rumors began circulating that the LHC had potentially caught it's first glimpse of the Higgs, geeks everywhere were understandably excited.

The rumors began last Thursday after a memo authored by several physicists working on the project was leaked to the public, having been anonymously posted in the comments section of physicist Peter Woit’s blog, “Not Even Wrong.” While the memo itself has been confirmed as legitimate, officials from CERN, the organization which operates the LHC, were quick to point out that this was not an official release;

“It’s way, way too early to say if there’s anything in it or not,” said CERN spokesman James Gillies. “The vast majority of these notes get knocked down before they ever see the light of day.”

A member of the ATLAS team, the name given to one of the LHC's particle hunting experiments, also pointed out that results like these are fairly common place, and typically turn out to be the result of errors or biases upon further examination. Which seems both logical and likely, especially given that this isn't the first time that rumors of an accelerator having found evidence of the Higgs have made their way onto the web.

Though this newest set of rumors will likely turn out to be nothing, like most rumors started by anonymous posters on the Internet, there is always the potential that this could in fact be the confirmation of the Higgs Boson that physicists have been waiting for. It might even be an entirely new particle that no one's ever predicted, but it's far more likely it's just an anomaly.


Source:Wired Science

For More about the world of particle physics, I encourage you to visit SciTechUK's channel on Youtube, to watch all 15 parts ( don't worry, most of them are less than 3 minutes) of the following program, on particle physics, "In Search of Giants", presented by Professor Brian Cox. You could also visit My Channel, where I have arranged them in order via a playlist.

Posted by Youtube user: SciTechUK

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The TRUE Meaning of Easter, The Gospel of Jeshua Cottontail

Today is Easter Sunday, which marks the day that x-tians everywhere believe Jesus rose from the grave three days after dying on the cross on "good Friday", or as I like to call it, Martyr on a stick day.

To mark this apparently glorious occasion, the faithful crowd into churches everywhere to spend their morning listening to some sad little man or woman lecturing them about why they aren't good enough for god. Meanwhile, the rest of us are just left at home wondering, what's with the bunnies and the colored eggs?

The Answer, most people believe, is that Easter is actually a pagan holiday meant to honor the fertility goddess Eastre, or Eostra (Ostare, Ostara, Eastur, ETC, man language is a pain the ass sometimes), but I disagree. The mere fact that the word "Eastre" may seem SLIGHTLY similar to the modern word Easter, or the knowledge that Eostra's chief symbols happened to be the rabbit (which she was said to appear as during the full moon, that's right, she was a were-rabbit, deal with it), and the egg (which is still used to represent fertility and creation to this day), don't necessarily mean it's all about her!

No, I believe that the blasphemous heretics who spread such lies only seek to defame the name of the one true savior of all non-human animal kind, Jeshua Cottontail.

Posted by Youtube user: P0YKPAC

Hey, it's no less plausible than the whole, zombie dude who rose from the dead to absolve all of mankind of sin thing.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Sing Along- SLAYER: "Cult"

Because it's Good Friday, I'm grossly immature, and I just can't help myself, I thought, Why not have a little blasphemous fun with a near life-long favorite of mine, SLAYER! Besides, any excuse I can find to torment you all with the music I listen to, I'll take.

"Cult", which appeared on the 2006 release, "Christ Illusion", was released as a single on June 6th of that year, and immediately found it's way onto a lengthy list of my personal favorites from the band, primarily because of it's lyrics; which were also the reason I decided to post the song today.

A quick note for those of you who are turned off by the "satanic" nature of bands like SLAYER, as well as pretty much everything else I listen to on a regular basis. Try and remember, that like the overwhelming majority of metal bands, the guys in SLAYER are actually a bunch of godless atheists whose songs tend to be more anti-religion and anti-war than anything else, and the whole Satan thing, is really just a gimmick.

If, on the other hand, you're turned off because you just can't stand the music. Well then you're just destined to be deprived of all that is good and wonderful in the world, and will no doubt be forever doomed to a life of mediocre, unimaginative, and meaningless pop songs. Sadly, there is nothing I can do for you, except suggest that you click HERE for something more your speed.


Slayer: "Cult" Performed live on The Henry Rollins show.

Posted by Youtube user:shuldinerdrum

Oppression is the Holy Law
In God I distrust
In time His monuments will fall
Like ashes to dust
Is war and creed the master plan?
The Bible's where it all began
Its propaganda sells despair
And spreads the virus everywhere

Religion is hate
Religion is fear
Religion is war
Religion is rape
Religion's obscene
Religion's a whore

The pestilence of Jesus Christ
There never was a sacrifice
No man upon the crucifix
Beware the cult of purity
Infectious imbecility
I've made my choice

Corruption breeds the pedophile
Don't pray for the priest
Confession finds the lonely child
God preys on the weak
You think your soul can still be saved
I think you're fucking miles away
Scream out loud, here's where you begin
Forgive me Father for I have sinned!


The target's fucking Jesus Christ
I would've lead the sacrifice
And nailed him to the crucifix
Beware the cult of purity
Infectious imbecility
I've made my choice

Jesus is pain
Jesus is gore
Jesus is the blood
That's spilled in war
He's everything
He's all things dead
He's pulling on the trigger
Pointed at your head!

Through the fear you're sold into the fraud
I see through your Christ illusion!

The war on terror just drags along
My war with God is growing strong
His propaganda sells despair
And spreads this violence everywhere


There is no fucking Jesus Christ
There never was a sacrifice
No man upon the crucifix
Beware the cult of purity
Infectious imbecility
I've made my choice

Christopher Hitchens' Letter to the American Atheists National Convention

All this weekend, the American Atheists National Convention will be taking place in Des Moines Iowa. The event, which, it should go without saying, was designed to promote atheism and freethought, features a variety of activities and speakers including: Paul Provenza, PZ Myers, professor Lawrence Krauss, and many others.

Christopher Hitchens had also been scheduled to appear at the event, but was forced to cancel after loosing his voice due to his ongoing cancer treatment. So instead, he sent out the following letter to be read out at the event on his behalf.

" Dear fellow-unbelievers,

Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons of this for many years to come, but for now I have found my trust better placed in two things: the skill and principle of advanced medical science, and the comradeship of innumerable friends and family, all of them immune to the false consolations of religion. It is these forces among others which will speed the day when humanity emancipates itself from the mind-forged manacles of servility and superstition. It is our innate solidarity, and not some despotism of the sky, which is the source of our morality and our sense of decency.

That essential sense of decency is outraged every day. Our theocratic enemy is in plain view. Protean in form, it extends from the overt menace of nuclear-armed mullahs to the insidious campaigns to have stultifying pseudo-science taught in American schools. But in the past few years, there have been heartening signs of a genuine and spontaneous resistance to this sinister nonsense: a resistance which repudiates the right of bullies and tyrants to make the absurd claim that they have god on their side. To have had a small part in this resistance has been the greatest honor of my lifetime: the pattern and original of all dictatorship is the surrender of reason to absolutism and the abandonment of critical, objective inquiry. The cheap name for this lethal delusion is religion, and we must learn new ways of combating it in the public sphere, just as we have learned to free ourselves of it in private.

Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.

As the heirs of a secular revolution, American atheists have a special responsibility to defend and uphold the Constitution that patrols the boundary between Church and State. This, too, is an honor and a privilege. Believe me when I say that I am present with you, even if not corporeally (and only metaphorically in spirit...) Resolve to build up Mr Jefferson's wall of separation. And don't keep the faith.


Christopher Hitchens "

You can visit the American Atheists web page at:, for more information on the on-going event.


Source: Phyrangula

Here's some local news coverage of the event, which I have to say I Found surprising upbeat and unbiased.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

APOTD:Messenger at Mercury

Image Credit: NASA/JHU APL/CIW

Explanation: On March 17, the MESSENGER spacecraft became the first to orbit Mercury, the solar system's innermost planet. This is its first processed color image since entering Mercury orbit. Larger, denser, and with almost twice the surface gravity of Earth's moon, Mercury still looks moon-like at first glance. But in this view its terrain shows light blue and brown areas near craters and long bright rays of material streaking the surface. The prominent bright ray crater Debussy at the upper right is 80 kilometers (50 miles) in diameter. Terrain toward the bottom of the historic image extends to Mercury's south pole and includes a region not previously imaged from space.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Tim Minchin's "Storm" The Animated Movie

Posted by Youtube user:stormmovie , Animated and Directed by: DC Turner, Produced by:Tracy King

So if this isn't already making the rounds on all the atheist, skeptical, freethought, and science blogs around the net, it will be very shortly, and for good reason.

First, it's been a long time coming and there are undoubtedly plenty more geeks like myself who are happy to see it finally arrive. Second, it looks and sounds amazing! Third, Tim is AWESOME, and any excuse one may get to share his work is well worth taking. And finally, if Storm isn't already the official theme song of skeptics and freethinkers everywhere, it damn well should be.

I mean really, haven't we all been Tim, confronting our own personal "Storms" in various social situations throughout our lives? I know I have been, EVERYWHERE I GO, EVERY FRIGGIN' DAY!

Which is probably why I don't get invited out much anymore... Oh well. At least I still have you Internets!



Be sure to check out the official site,, for more info on the video, and if you liked it, then why not e-mail Tracy and DC at:, to tell them how much you appreciate their work (I have a feeling that they might like that). As for those of you currently suffering from the great misfortune and cruel indignity of never having heard of Tim Minchin before, be sure to check out Tim's website,, for more!

Oh, and BTW, this makes two posts in ONE DAY! Told ya I was gonna do something about it.

What's Your Time Perspective?

Posted by Youtube user:theRSAorg

Once again I feel compelled to start by apologizing for my lack of entries as of late, but looking back over my archives from the past year posting only once or twice a week has sadly become the norm, despite by best efforts to do otherwise. But look, it's not my fault... Okay, so it is my fault, but I have a really good excuse, I blame my time perspective.

I know what you're thinking, "Time perspective? Sounds kind of woo-ie, does this have something to do with that time cube guy?"

First, let me assure you that this has NOTHING to do with Mr Marbles or his freaky little "Order of the Sphere". Though I have to agree that there is something about uttering the phrase, "What's your time perspective?" that makes me feel a little uneasy. It just has that, new-age-unwashed-hippie-feel-good-life-caochy-self-actuating-Tony Robbins kind of vibe that I just can't stand. Plus, the book which first introduced the idea did get a shinning endorsement from Ophra's magazine, which is never a good sign (I know, I know, ad hominim, blah, blah, blah, but c'mon, O MAGAZINE BAAAaaaD!).

The concept of time perspective was first presented by psychologists John Boyd, and Philip Zimbardo, in the book "Time Paradox", and it is the idea that how we choose to live our lives and the decisions we make are all largely based on how we choose to focus on time.

In other words, do mistakes from the past, or maybe even the fear of never regaining past glories, prevent you from trying new things or finishing new projects for fear of failure? Do you spend all your time chasing instant gratification without ever stopping to consider the long term consequences of your actions? Or are you so focused on the future that you deprive yourself of sleep, and fail to make the time to indulge in even modest pleasures in the here and now (this is waaay me BTW)? It's an interesting concept.

But, like a lot of psychological theories, I think the idea of Time Perspective overstates it's usefulness when applied to large-scale groups rather than individuals, and I certainly don't believe that identifying your own time perspective is the quick-fix-life changing-revelation that the book cover claims it to be. But asking yourself how your focus on time might affect the decisions you make, seems if nothing else a worthwhile exercise in self awareness, which is something that the vast majority of us could definitely use.

At the very least, time perspective certainly seemed like worthwhile fodder for the blog, and a convenient excuse to try and generate a little discussion in the comments for a change. Which is why, rather than spending days researching and pondering the idea, only to end up never getting around to posting about it all ( seriously I do that A LOT), I wanna know what you think. Is this a visionary concept with the power to change the world that I'm just to dim to truly appreciate? Is it an utter waste of time and brain power? Or is it just an interesting idea? Let me know.


For those of you completely unfamiliar with this idea( like I was up until a few hours ago), Here's a short video from TED talks where Professor Zimbard gives a more detailed description of the theory( is that even the right thing to call it? I'm not even sure.) itself.

(Oh, and I'm seriously trying to do something about that posting only once or twice a week thing. No, really! I SWEAR!)