Monday, May 30, 2011

The CDC's- Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Image: The CDC

From last week's Compendium-

Yes, you read correctly. Apparently, the CDC, that’s the government run Center for Disease Control, in case you weren't sure, decided it would be prudent to release their very own guide to zombie preparedness, cause, ya know, you really never can be too safe.

From the CDC website:

“So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.”

Obviously, this was meant to be a clever and entertaining way to try and raise peoples awareness of disaster preparedness, but personally, I think it was a completely irresponsible thing to do. Not because it was a potential waste of time of money, or because doing so made light of the very real danger that occurs during an actual emergency. But because they’re so-called zombie emergency kit fails to include even basic survival items, like a flamethrower, or a chainsaw. More importantly, not once does the website advise survivors of the coming zombie apocalypse of the necessity to destroy the brain of any and all persons they may encounter whom they believe to have been infected with the zombie plague. How crazy is that?

In the end, the only thing there is to be learned from the CDC’s alleged guide to the zombie apocalypse, is that there is STILL only one place, one man, to which the world can turn in the event of a real zombie related emergency.

Hail to the king baby!


Source: The CDC VIA: Compendium oF Strange
Image credit: Zombie Banner-The CDC , Bruce- Unknown ( if you know share so I can credit)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cephalopods In Space!

Image: Jenny Huang/CC

When salmonella was sent into space for 12 days aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in September of 2006, it was discovered upon it's return to Earth that the microbes had altered the way in which they express a portion of their genes, as compared to a strain of the bacteria that had remained in the lab here on Earth. The apparent result of this alteration, was that it had become almost three times as likely to kill mice infected with the microbes, than it's Earth-bound counter part. Studies like this were able to clearly show that disease microbes grow faster, and become more virulent, when held in the weightless environment of space.

Which is why, amongst the various cargo carried into space by Endeavor on it's final flight, is a sample of juvenile Bobtail squid. These baby cephalopods were sent up by microbiologist Jamie foster, to determine what effect, if any, the environment has on helpful bacteria, like those which give the squid the ability to generate bioluminescence.

Bobtail squid are a tiny variety of cepholopods which have evolved their ability to generate bioluminescence by forming a symbiotic relationship with a particular species of bacteria called Vibiro Fischeri, the juvenile squid are exposed to this bacteria shortly after hatching, which take up residence in the animals light organs. Fed on a solution of sugar and amino acids by the squid, the bacteria in turn helps the animal to avoid predators by matching the amount of light hitting the top of it's mantle, thus helping to hide it's silhouette from predators below. Because the animal is not born with the bacteria in it's system, and because the process only involves a single species, unlike the symbiotic relationships human beings form with the thousands of species of bacteria which inhabit our digestive and immune systems, The Bobtail squid seems an ideal candidate for this sort of test.

Preliminary experiments conducted in simulated microgravity on Earth appear to have shown problems with the uptake of bacteria by the squid. And if the shuttle study shows the same result, it would suggest that astronauts' relationships with their own microbes might also be affected.


Source: New VIA: GGB on tumblr
Image credit: Jenny Huang

For more about the Bobtail squid, check out this video from Science Nation:

Posted by Youtube user: VideosatNSF

Why god might Kill You With a Bear, & when it's OK to Bang Daddy

One of the most common arguments made by both believers, as well as apologists who think anti-theists like myself go too far in our arguments against religion, is the idea that the teachings of the bible have within them some intrinsic moral value. And that even if you choose not to believe in the god around which those teaching are supposedly centered, there are worthwhile lessons to be learned amidst all the idiocy and ignorance that dominate the books of god. But it doesn't take any thinking person more than a quick glance through the new and old testaments (or the quran, or any other deity driven religious text for that matter), to see that the teachings of christianity are filled with, racism, slavery, incest, and sexism, as well as countless acts of violence, murder, and genocide; all of which are of course neatly justified in the name of an invisible monster, who is accountable to no one. Ya, sounds like an outstanding place to turn for morality to me.

But I suppose, if you were to do some major editing on your own and only focus on the "good" parts, or as the VAST majority of modern religious teachers do; insist that certain parts of the bible were obviously not meant to be taken literally, and just wildly reinterpret the bad parts so they fit better with modern day values, it is possible to stumble upon a reasonable moral value or two. They're all rather obvious, common sense, golden rule sorts of moralities, and they certainly don't make up for the rest of the crap in the bible, but they're still there I guess.

But what if you don't pick and choose? What if instead, you taught people, in particular children, ALL the stories of the bible as the literal truths that many believers take them to be, and in complete and graphic detail? That would be okay right? I mean it is the word of god isn't it? Well, that's exactly the idea behind today's video,"The Tutor", in which a pleasant looking young bible tutor explains to her two young students why god might decide to kill them with a bear, and when it's ok to bang Daddy, by sharing with them the tales of Elisha (2 Kings 2:23-24), and Lot (Genesis 19).



Posted by Youtube user:HighpantsResistance VIA:GGB on tumblr

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Australian Grad Student Solves Universe's Missing Mass Problem...sort of

Image credit: NASA

When it comes to understanding the physical content of the universe, the world of cosmology and astrophysics is a confusing place, one in which all roads ultimately seem to lead down a path to something dark; dark matter, dark energy, dark fluid, it's all very strange. But aside from these elusive, and as of yet, still theoretical dark bits. The universe also seems to be missing around half of it's expected mass in "regular" matter as well; with stars and galaxies believed to account for a mere 10% of the observable universe's "normal", or baryonic matter. As confusing as that all sounds, mostly because it is, what the universe's missing mass problem ultimately boils down to is this, in order for current observations of our universe to comply with the dominant theories of the day, there just needs to be more stuff.

One major source for all this missing stuff, are massive cosmic structures called filaments, described as giant "strings" of baryons existing primarily in gaseous form which connect the seemingly empty space in clusters of galaxies. Though the matter contained within these galactic filaments was theorized to be low in density, but very high in temperature (approximately one million degrees Celsius) meaning, it should have been possible to detect the matter utilizing the x-ray spectrum, it had thus far only been described mathematically- until now.

22-year-old Australian grad student, Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, along with astrophysicists, Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway and Dr Kevin Pimbblet, have managed to confirm the existence of this missing matter while analyzing a set of targeted x-ray data. Amelia, who is being credited with the initial find, was just three months into her summer internship when the discovery was made, and said the ‘Eureka moment’ came when Dr Lazendic-Galloway closely examined the data they had collected.

“Using her expert knowledge in the X-ray astronomy field, Jasmina re-analyzed our results to find that we had in fact detected the filaments in the results, where previously we believed we had not.”

While DR. Pimbblet, who will be supervising McKelvie for the remainder of her time at University, acknowledges that his student's find is primarily an academic one, he is also careful to point out that discoveries like this can often have an unforeseen impact on technologies, saying:

"The pure research has knock-on effects to the whole society which are sometimes difficult to anticipate."


"Whenever I speak to people who have influence, politicians and so on, they sometimes ask me 'Why should I invest in physics pure research?'. And I sometimes say to them: 'Do you use a mobile phone? Some of that technology came about by black hole research'."

Image Credit: NASA
Source: Science Daily, Cosmos , and

I HAVE RETURNED! (No, despite the facial hair & ponytial, I am not Jesus)

Like a laser-eyed Abraham Lincoln being ridden into glorious battle by a mustache-wearing, flag wielding bear in monocle and top hat, I have returned! Not that anyone noticed I was gone. How could you really given the lousy posting schedule I've been keeping as of late? But gone I was, having decided it wise to give my brain a brake from generating content for a while and to instead spend some time pondering which of my various personal projects (both working as well as the unpublished and incomplete ones you don't yet know about), I wanted to keep going.

After muddling it all over for a while, I THINK I finally settled on a plan that should allow me not only to maintain a more regular posting schedule around here, without resorting to too much empty link-baiting, but one that will also afford me enough free time to focus on the projects that Ive decided to keep going. So IF this new plan works out, you should expect to see an influx of new posts around here and on tumblr, as well as more new music, an art project or two, and a few other things I've been working on in secrete for some time now. though my weekday posting habits will likely stay pretty much the same, I just work too many hours to make time for blogging during the week.

Of course, I've said things like this before, and I as I pointed out then, things rarely go as planned around here so you probably shouldn't quote me on any of this. But ultimately, I'm really trying to find a way to turn all this time I spend playing on the net, into a more profitable endeavor, so we'll see.


Image Credit:“The Civil War” by Matthew McKeown

Now please enjoy this video from Thinkgeek for Star Wars Light Saber Popsicles, just becuase it's awesome.

Posted by Youtube user:thinkgeek VIA: GGB on tumblr

Thursday, May 12, 2011

San Francisco Model/labyrinth Made Out of 100,000 Toothpicks

Artsist Scott Weaver's, "Rolling Through The Bay", is a composite of various landmarks from around San Francisco,all created in astonishing detail usuing some 100,000 toothpicks. Oh, and it's also a ping pong ball labyrinth. It's certainly an amazing piece of art, and I am duly impressed.

But what I always find most astonishing about works like this, is the truly unfathomable amount of free time, not to mention patience, some people apparently have. I can't even make the time to draw a picture anymore, and I don't have the patience to set up a hundred of... ANYTHING, much less a hundred thousand of those things.


Source:The Bold Italic VIA: Laughing Squid
Images and video by:The Tinkering Studio, The Exploratorium

Check out this video from Vimeo to view the model in more detail, and to watch it work.

Scott Weaver's Rolling through the Bay from Learning Studio on Vimeo.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Godless Geek Blog Year Zero, a Makeover, & a New tumblr

Today marks the first complete year of Godless Geek Blog, which isn't a particularly significant event by ANY standard, but it does make ME happy. So I decided to mark the occasion by giving the page a bit of a makeover, as you have likely noticed by now, and I also decided that it was about time I gave you another option for following the blog. So as of today, you can now follow Godless Geek Blog on tumblr at:, where I'll be compiling not only posts from both here and Compendium, but also a variety of additional content straight from tumblr, as well as all of the other places where I can be found lurking on the web.

So since it has been a year and all, and I don't often ask you for any special attention, I have a favor to ask. If you enjoy the blog, then please, just for today, share it with your friends. Post a link on your own blog, like it on Facebook, send out a tweet, or you could even just start following me on twitter @Godlessgeek_. Why, there's even a button for most of those things just sitting and waiting patiently for you to press it, right there underneath the "share The Godless Geek Blog" heading to your right. And if you do decide to help promote the blog somehow, let me know, and I'll gladly return the favor.

Lastly, I wanted to say thanks, not just for the sharing, but for your continued interest in the blog. Daily traffic continues to grow slowly but surely, as it has been doing since the day I started, and I genuinely appreciate you all making the effort to follow, and to read what I have to say. So weather you've been following for a while now, or you've just found your way here for the first time, know that your interest is greatly appreciated, and though posts may have gotten a bit sparse around here as of late, I've got a lot more stuff on the way.

Thanks again.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Sixsense Academy

NOTE: I inadvertently posted an unfinished draft of this post last night, which I have since edited and corrected for errors, so if you stumble upon the previous version, that is why it exists.

What is the "Sixsense Academy" You say? And wouldn't "Sixth" sense be easier to pronounce and make more... um... sense?

Well the answer to your second question is clearly yes, though I suppose we can give them a pass and assume that they were attempting to avoid association with the crappy Shamalamadon movie. As to your first question, think of the Sixsense Academy or the, "International Academy of Spiritual Education", as Dumbledorf's castle, only for cons and the diluted. No really, the website claims the Liverpool academy is based in Leasowe castle, cute huh?

In reality, this is basically a troupe or traveling circus for psychics masquerading as an "educational organization" with no real physical hub anywhere; as far as I can tell from they're website, which seems deliberately vague and misleading on this point. Unless of course you think they might actually own a castle in Liverpool, a concert hall in Ireland, and a sanctuary in Spain. Ya, me neither. But the website does claim they have plans to "open Academies" in the south of England, as well as here in the US, and won't that be fun.

You'll also be pleased, but I suspect not particularly surprised, to learn that the Academy not only offers classes to student off all levels, but that you don't even need to be psychic to enroll. Way to keep that customer base open. But it's the tutors that really matter most to this whole deal, so let's look at them.

As you would expect, the list of available tutors on the site includes, psychic healers, mediums, life coaches, a "world renowned angel Channeler and soul expert" and a member of the MBE, the Most Excellent order of the British Empire, ya I don't really know what it means either. But for me, there are three tutors who really stand out from this crowd of seven.

First, There's Nina Hall, who is apparently one of the UK's leading, "Aura photographer, Aura Imaging & WinAura Live Consultant's". Now, what makes her most special to me is the "winaura" thing. Cause when I saw that word I thought, "Winaura? What is that, some kind of windows program for reading auras?" Why YES! Yes it is- this will be getting it's own entry. Oh ya, and Nina does psychic surgery too, great.

Next, there's Nicky Whittaker ( no link, she apparently doesn't even rate a profile on the page) , who doesn't do anything particularly special that I know of, since she is listed on the site solely as a, "Spain tutor". Not a Spanish tutor, not a tutor in Spain, but a Spain tutor. You know, in case you need to brush up on Spain.

But most important by far is the whole reason I found the academy in the first place, Joe "the man who sees dead people" Power. listed on the academy web page as: "International TV, Award winning, Psychic Medium, Author & Teacher".

I've written about Joe before, but in case you missed it; Joe is your standard run of the mill, "I see dead people" (oh the irony), kind of "psychic medium". His favorite pastimes include, pretending to talk to the dead, exploiting the grieving, humiliating himself on TV- with a little help from Derren Brown, and wasting the time of local authorities by claiming some special insight into murder investigations, and missing persons cases. He even managed to find some time just last year to falsely accuse members of the MSS of violent threats. Busy guy that Joe.

But hey, maybe some of the other folks are good at what they do.

Bottom line, while I freely admit that I am completely unfamiliar with most of the people on the list, and perhaps they all manage to fall into the, self-diluted believer category; Joe, in my humble non-liable opinion, does not. Joe knows exactly what he's doing, and it isn't talking to the dead. So weather you believe in any of what this so-called academy is selling or not, it seems fair to assume that any organization willing to include him on their list of trusted experts, not to mention a psychic surgeon who employs a scientifically baseless computer program in her act; knows exactly what they're doing too, and it isn't educating.

-CAINE- on Twitter: @SixSenseAcademy

Image credit
(In order of appearance): The Sixsense Academy and Joe Power

You should also check out The Merseyside Skeptics' site for more of they're dealings with Joe.

Finally, I posted this the last time I wrote about Joe, but it's just too good not to share again. And really, everything you need to know about Joe is right here, in Derren Brown Investigates: "The Man Who Contacts The Dead(cold reading)".

Posted by Youtube user: ScepticaTV