Wednesday, June 06, 2012

2012 Transit of Venus

With a bit of ad-hoc fixing, I got to see the transit of Venus.


And how was this magic done?

A pair of binoculars, and old microphone stand, some wire and a bit of cardboard:

Please excuse the mess of the floor :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

As a simple Aussie atheist, I have to say that American football and fundy religion is just Incomprehensibleness2

Free will: Illustrated

Years ago, when I was just a little tyke, my parents bought me a book of Peanuts collected comics.  One of the comics in that book was quite life-changing for me:

I must have read this when I was about 8 years old, and it has been in my memory ever since.  So whenever there has been any thoughts about free will, this image and dialog always popped up.  It's funny how a comic that I read when I was so young can still have a profound influence on my thinking today.  It must be one of those "fundamental-truth" things.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Does Nerf Violence Solve Nerf Problems?

In a previous post I displayed my Nerf Vulcan EBF-25 gun.  It is not very practical, but that is what Nerf is for.  Or is it?

My brother came to visit since then and we decided to find out, through experimenation, if Nerf violence solves Nerf problems. 

The tests are inconclusive.

Update 1) My brother has made a testable observation as a result of the day's activities:
  • "Nerf guns don't kill people-people with Nerf guns... don't kill people...either"

Monday, January 02, 2012

Correcting Hitchens' Razor to Hitchens's Razor

In an earlier post, I suggested the take up of "Hitchens' Razor: That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

On reflection and several comments on Why Evolution Is True, I have compelled myself to get it right. This is important for a Gnu Scientismist, as Pedantism* is one of the Preferred Virtues.

According to the Apostrophe Protection Society and my Vietnamese-born wife, the correct use would be "Hitchens's" due to the possession being singular. If there were multiple Hitchenses that owned the phrase, it would be "Hitchens'" but we all know there was only one Christopher Hitchens.   I do recall from English classes that if the word ended in an "s" the apostrophe had to follow it, but that may be either mis-remembering, or bad teaching.  It appears I only know grammar with bad practice, and not in theory.

So, it is somewhat fitting that I need to correct the record and make this a teachable moment, because:
a) Everyone should get into the practice of unashamedly realising, admitting and correcting mistakes;
b) Christopher Hitchens would have appreciated being a teachable moment for the correct use of the apostrophe; and
c) Pedantism, as a virtue, can be fun.

* Ie: Being pedantic - pedantism is not a word :)