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[26 Jan 2010 | 3 Comments | ]
Life Is Ruthless

Is there an intelligent designer? If so then they are surely a mad and cruel scientist. Observe the parasite “Cymothoa exigua” [LINK]. Here’s is an animal, a parasite, that attaches to a fish’s tongue. Once attached it cuts off the blood to the tongue which eventually falls off. It then happily lives in its unfortunate hosts’ mouth. I assume its incredibly painful for the host fish who is powerless to get rid of it.
Or how about “Sacculina”, the mind-control barnacle? [LINK]
“Upon finding a host crab, a female Sacculina will crawl …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Science »

[12 Aug 2009 | No Comment | ]
How To Not Be Fooled – Part #4 – GM, Organic, Natural Food and Alternative Medicine

Probably the biggest advantage Foolery has is Stealth.  If you’re taking something on face-value without questioning it, just because it “sounds right” chances are you’re being fooled.  Unfortunately the best example of this is in relation to health-care.
The “Complimentary and Alternative Medicine” or CAM movement is big business. It seems the “in-thing” to shun western medicine as being primarily driven by “big pharma”. Big pharma is a conspiracy which holds that there are cures for things like Cancer or Neuro-degenerative diseases like Parkinsons which are being withheld by the evil …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Science »

[7 Aug 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
How To Not Be Fooled – Part #3 – Pareidolia, Memory and Eye Witness Testimony

Have you ever looked up at the clouds and thought you could see shapes in them? Did you see the shape of the devil’s face in the smoke from the Twin Towers? Have you ever seen Jesus in a piece of toast? and bought same off of ebay? The brain is very good at detecting patterns in random data, even where there are none. It does this with visual data as well as auditory data. This phenomenon is called “Pareidolia” [LINK].
I’m no expert but it makes sense that we’d be …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Science »

[4 Aug 2009 | 4 Comments | ]
How to Not Be Fooled – Part #2 – Psychics, Horoscopes and Cold Reading

It’s unfortunate but there are many folks out there who are knowingly fooling or lying to the public. The best example I could give would be so-called-psychics John Edwards, Sylvia Browne or most recently Lisa Williams. These people generate incredible disgust in me and I will explain why.
James Randi has long offered the princely sum of $1,000,000 to anyone who can submit to clinical testing in a controlled environment (of their choosing) and demonstrate supernatural powers [LINK]. This has been called the “Million Dollar Challenge”. It’d be easy money if …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Science »

[31 Jul 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
How to Not Be Fooled – Part #1 – Confirmation Bias

Sorry, you can always be fooled. In fact the moment you think you can’t is when you’re at the highest risk. That said, there are things we can learn that can help. The mind works in certain unconscious ways and once you know about these they’ll set off your critical thinking red-flags next time you encounter a hoaxer.
I’ve been pondering the universe these past two+ years and trying to research various different aspects of humanity (from my armchair). In this series of blogs I’ll try to share or regurgitate what …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Science »

[16 Apr 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
The God Bucket

I read an article recently which attempted to make the argument that religion and science are deep down intrinsically linked. You can read this article here [LINK].
The article is filled with logical fallacies, the most basic being the redefinition of “God”. Most faiths define god as a sentient super being, who hears our every thought. Something who must constantly be glorified. Who, when we die will weigh up the good deeds vs the bad deeds and punish us or reward us accordingly, for all eternity. The article re-defines …

Featured, Life & Introspection, Science »

[10 Mar 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
Obama Does the RIGHT Thing

Yesterday Obama lifted the 8 year ban on stem cell research imposed by the moronic conservative Bush administration [LINK].
Thank goodness we finally have someone with a brain who can discuss and understand the issues at a macro level.
Most conservative (christian pro-lifers) are shaking their heads at this news. Not me. Does that make me an evil liberal baby killer? Eh no. Let me tell you why this is a good thing and why you need to open your minds and understand the issues before blindly following the pro-life …

Electronics, Featured, Science »

[8 Mar 2009 | 8 Comments | ]
What Are Pull-Up and Pull Down Resistors?

The terms “pull up” and “pull down” resistors confused the heck out of me but I get it now.
A resistor limits current. In the water analogy, current is the speed of the flow of water. But I never knew what a pull up/pull down resistor was. Until a few weeks ago when I started building a set of buttons for a project I’m working on…
Essentially a button is a switch, when the switch is closed the current flows, when it’s open the current doesn’t flow. Now if your switch is …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Science, Weird Wide World »

[13 Feb 2009 | One Comment | ]
Happy Birthday Darwin

Yesterday was Darwin’s birthday. Born 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury he would’ve been 200 years old! Coincidentally Lincoln was born 200 years ago also!!! Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky, what are the chances?
Both men had fairly interesting lives but I think the overall achievement award has to go to Darwin. Arguably the single most important scientific contribution in the history of the planet: “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”.
To truly appreciate this man’s work you have to imagine what things were like back in 1859. …

Electronics, Featured, Science, Things I've Made »

[4 Jan 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Science is Wonderful

Kids are like giant sponges. I finally got my Arduino powered RGB LED Matrix soldered together and firing on all cylinders last night. I wrote a simple interface in Processing and then showed the kids after lunch today. Within about 30seconds they were having fun turning on and off lights. Here’s the result:

They saw how things were linked together, how a click on the screen lit a dot on the matrix and it was simple enough but yet they could quickly make shapes and letters. They got a …