May 15, 2004

Google has been increasingly spotty for me the past few days, and now I can't get through to it at all. It's been nearly a week since I could get through to Google Groups (where I'm trying to retreive a post I made to comp.lang.python with some code in it a while back), and the main search engine has been coming and going for a while. Now I can't even get to the home page at all.

Left Bias in the News
May 10, 2004

A fellow weblogger recently challenged me in a series of emails we
were sending to defend my thesis that the news is leftward biased. It
was a fair question, and I am still content with the answer I sent
him: Yes, I believe the news is left-biased right now, but it is only
partially intentional. I thought it would be worth expanding on that
point in a 'blog post.

Read the rest (2120 words)

nigritude ultramarine
May 09, 2004

This is a whimsy post. See this slashdot post for why, and be sure to read the whole story.

Modes of Thought and Development
May 06, 2004

Den Beste has a
post up I have to point to
, because as near as I can tell without
somehow reaching into his mind, we share to a high degree the rare
form of thinking he refers to.

Read the rest (1075 words)

Top 5 Stupidities in the Second Part 10.5
May 04, 2004

I didn't see all of the first part, so we confine this to the second part.

5. Oh, the clichés were out in full force today, but I think I'm going to pick the two contradictory clichés thrust together by the same character, no less: First, the President says, in response to an aide saying "Sir, there are some things we just must accept we have no control over.", "I don't accept that!". Later, the President gives us a nice stereotypical "This is Mother Earth and she shall do to us as she pleases" speech, with no indication that this is the result of learning or a new-found respect or anything... he's just preaching. (Hollywood, considering you just fell into the ocean, I don't think you're in a position to be preaching.)

4. Scale issues. The satellite photos show a fault at least fifty miles in diameter and the showing it filling in with water clearly travelling faster then the speed of sound (in the air, but it doesn't really matter). The video clear shows faults that aren't more then a few miles at most in diameter. I live in Michigan. Grab a globe and look at how close the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula are. The far side of the fault was clearly closer to that, and there's many a day you can't even see across that distance because of the mist in the air... mist conspicuously absent, despite all the turbulent water, but I digress... compare that with the gashes in California. Those impossible to see across, because the farther you can see over the horizon isn't anywhere near that far.

3. "Nukes are big enough to affect the Earth." and actually prevent earthquakes. Yeah... hello, Big Number Fallacy. Nukes are big, plates are big, so they're the same basic size, right? Reality: Plates makes nukes look like child-safe firecrackers. Even if you did fuse a little rock from two plates together, the plate would shrug the fused rock apart again without even noticing, and all you'd do is slightly re-arrange which rock is stuck to which plate. If anything, the nukes would set off the quakes earlier then they might have... and even then, not because they are big in Earth terms, but simply because the slightest tap can set off an unstable system.

2. Having the ocean actually climb up the mountains. Actually, they just show the ocean following the fault line about a hundred miles into California, as if California is just a big plain like Florida, instead of the western edge of the third (I think) largest mountain chain in the world, and people fleeing from the ocean showing up at ground level. One can only conclude that the ocean has literally jumped up miles into the air, since the people clearly didn't fall that far.

And the Number One stupidity in 10.5:

drumroll please....

1. Building your earthquake evacuation camp on top of the same fault you are evacuating everyone from. This one is #1 because it's not even a science issue, it's just a what the hell were you thinking?!?! kind of thing. Hello? McFly? McFly? Think, McFly, think!

I enjoyed it, but as I said in a comment elsewhere, it was a cartoon. I mean that in the nastiest sense of the phrase. Perfect MST3K material, and to say that about a 2004 movie is strong condemnation indeed.

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