Thursday, September 2, 2010

Of Hawking And God

This morning, around the globe, nearly every news outlet is talking about Stephen Hawking's new book The Grand Design and his general premise that God is not necessary to explain the universe. Here are a few links:

I of course agree with Hawking wholeheartedly, but that is not the issue of this post. My issue is with the way each article has used a particular phrase pulled from A Brief History of Time: "If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God", to say that Hawkins once accepted that God had a role in creating the universe.

This is simply not true.

For one thing, it's not even the entire quote.
''However, if we do discover a complete theory it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.''
Hawking and physicists in general who associate God with the laws of physics are never referring to a literal higher being in the traditional sense, rather they referring to an "abstract principle of order and harmony". A mathematical equation so important & immaculate that it could be likened divine.

For some more in-depth writing about Hawking, I suggest going back in time (see what I did there?) using some of the links below:,2940411&dq=hawking+god&hl=en


Monday, August 16, 2010

What CG Dreams Are MAde Of

I just had to post this's just so jaw dropping amazing. And with the exception of some clouds, some birds and a green screened camera operator...the entire thing is CG. Hell this makes me question the quality of CG in Avatar! Anyway the video speaks for itself and afterward check out the composition breakdown video to pull back the curtain & expose the wizard. Enjoy!

UPDATE: HD is disabled for embedding, so I highly recommend clicking through to Vimeo and watching it in the highest quality available!

The Third & The Seventh:

Composition Breakdown:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Exhausting Unemployment

Just stumbled on a fantastic five-part series of articles about falling into poverty in America titled "Meet the 99'ers", which refers to the millions of Americans who have exhausted their 99 weeks of state & federal unemployment insurance and have nothing left.

Through most of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, I experienced 51 weeks of unemployment and I would be lying if I said that I didn't have a few close friends who honestly scolded me and thought I was abusing my benefits and just not trying hard enough to get hired. I understand first-hand the feelings of self-loathing, worthlessness & depression that can come with extended unemployment and I can only hope that articles like these will help those lucky enough to dodge the recession bullet to show empathy and compassion for the many still struggling.

Contrary to what the Republican party would have you believe, the unemployed are not gaming the system, they are not happy, they are not "hobos", they're not lazy or stealing your tax dollars or any of the other myriad of names that the GOP has called them. They are you and me. Regular people, just trying to get by in a really bad recession...actually it's a depression.

Maybe most importantly, to those neigh-sayers, please remember that we all paid for this insurance, it's not free money any more than getting reimbursed after your house gets robbed is free money. I paid 17 years of unemployment insurances dues, and I was warranted every dime I needed.

Anyway, I urge you to read the five short articles, but here is a taste:
From - "We've had to sell our car, burn through both of our 401(k)s and charge up all our credit cards just to stay afloat," she says. "We're a month behind on our rent. I jump every time the doorbell or telephone ring because I know that it is someone looking for money from us, and we don't have any."
The fact that she's been unemployed for over two years is still shocking to Yvonne. She started working at 15 years old and has decades of experience in administration, including work at a movie studio, a major university, a biomedical engineering company and more. But since she was laid off from her job as an executive assistant at a local union in 2007, she can count the number of temp jobs she's gotten on one hand.
Susan, who's 55 and lives in Philadelphia, has been pounding the pavement since 2008 when she was laid off from her sales job at a consulting business.

"I've looked everywhere," Susan said. "I have probably sent out 400 resumes in the last year and a half, two years. I've gotten one interview. One interview."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Life, Character & Career of Glenn Beck: Common Nonsense

I have yet to read Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, but I will. In the mean time, this interview by AlterNet blogger Sara Robinson, with author/journalist Alexander Zaitchik, is just amazingly astute and you can get a real sense of the analysis you will be recieving when you fork over your hard earned dollars for the book.

Here are a few nuggets from the article:

"What makes that founder appropriation possible is relative ignorance on the part of his fan base. The only books on the subject they read are these religious psuedo-histories that Beck recommends to them. Also: Beck himself has only recently started to learn about this stuff, and he's really not a scholar on early American history, to put it mildly."

"But he [Beck] does seem to see himself now as not just a movement leader, but actually, if his words are to be believed, a conduit for the Word of God itself. The idea that God is giving him this plan for the saving of the Republic..."

"He's constantly talking about his personal redemption narrative, which begins with the tragedy of his mother, and continues through this sort of 700 Club arc through a valley of depression and despair before he finds Jesus. This isn't exactly how it happened, but it's the story he's always run with, for good reason. He knows his audience."

"So it seemed that he sort of absorbed and adapted that aspect of Mormonism to his entertainment purposes, and uses it to bond with religious conservatives who respond to that kind of non-logical messaging. It's part of what accounts for the chasm of understanding between his fans and critics. Liberals just have no idea what's going on when Beck tears up. But his fans often see it as a sign of sincerity, even authority."

"It's important to keep in mind that it's only a very small percentage of the country at large that's watching this guy, and those people tend to be the more hardcore, less-educated conservatives."

"It's certainly important that his statements—and those of his peers, like Rush Limbaugh—are taken seriously and debunked. I'm glad there are organizations like Media Matters out there doing real-time fact-checks on these guys."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Autobots! Transform and Hover Out!"

If you haven't seen the eye-candy and geek-gasm that is the upcoming video game Tranformers:War For Cybertron, you are missing out. The story is actually a prequel to anything you have seen in the Transformers universe before (with the exception of the comics). It takes places on the Transformers home world of Cybertron and tells the story of the civil war that brought about the Autobots exodus to earth. Apparently it also follows Optimus on his path to becoming a Prime. It seems a lot of creative liberty was given to the developers and they were able to expand on the idea that the Transformers don't really appear as Earth-like vehicles yet, because they haven't been there. For example Optimus is a large hover-vehicle instead of a truck, thus my title for this post. Anyway the short video below explains much better than I and it exhibits a battle scene with Omega Supreme! So sit back and prepare to wipe away drool! Release day is June 22nd. Enjoy.

Below are some special pre-order exclusive character videos. Pay special attention to Jazz's legs when he transforms...Awesome!



Thursday, April 8, 2010

My first FAILBlog submission: Not For Children FAIL!

All the cool geek sites were busy yesterday and today, salivating over the release of a Star Wars Lightsaber Night Light. While I think it's pretty geektastic and I wish I had one when I was a kid (read: RIGHT NOW!), I was more entertained by the safety warning under the photo. Thus, my first submission to FAILBlog was born. Enjoy!

P.S. If you're feeling chiritable, please vote me up or Digg it!

Coolest. Video. Ever.

There is not much I can say, you just need to our world devolves into PIXELS.

Uploaded by onemoreprod. - Discover more animation and arts videos.

UPDATE: Since it came out the same day, I figured I through this up on the same post. Another amazing CGI short sci-fi film called "The Gift". This one is apparently being picked up by a studio, to be made into full length feature. More at Wired website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

May we actually see Glenn Beck removed from airwaves?

According to, it seems Glenn Beck's television show has gone nearly a week with not a single advertiser. They've apparently been running weather reports during regularly scheduled commercial spots. While this is great news for all, especially for brainwashed listeners of his vitriolic soothsaying, two things are unclear; will Fox actually remove Beck's show from it's UK lineup or keep him on the air at a loss, simply to further their corporate agenda; and will all of Beck's stateside advertisers be shamed into standing against the show as they were overseas.

While sites like keep a running tally of the advertisers that have jumped ship and the ones still remaining, I don't expect the battle to be as easily won here in the US. For one thing, I listen to Beck's radio show and pay attention to who advertises (specifically so that I can avoid them), and there are several advertisers who blatantly side with Beck. Even going so far as to say they will stand by Beck during their 30 second radio spot. Think about that...these folks are paying money to advertise during Beck's show, they get about 20-30 seconds to sell their product or get their message across and they are using some of that time to shill for Beck!

While the fight to encourage advertisers to distance themselves from right-wing propaganda shows like Beck's will not be short or easy, there are still plenty of ways to help. You can start by signing the petition at (the folks that started the campaign against Beck that has led to over 90 sponsors disassociating themselves with the vile program. But more than anything about it. Write about it. Make people aware. Question people when they say they are a Beck follower.

I often get asked why I bother, when the types of people who follow Beck will never change their minds and I, and the sources I cite, are often criticized for being "just the same" with a opposing view (i.e. O'Reilly vs Olbermann). My answer to those naysayers would be to raise awareness, just like you would for any other good cause; from women's rights to seat belt & helmet laws. But I think I'll reword a passage by Richard Dawkins from the Prelude to the paperback version of The God Delusion to best sum it up. -- When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal force, the truth does not necessarily lie midway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong. And that justifies passion on the other side. It is all too easy to mistake passion that can change it's mind for fundamentalism, which never will. Beck is passionate, as are his fans. But Beck is also an infamous liar and has proven himself a historical ignoramus; there is vast amounts of evidence to prove so. It is for these reasons that I argue against anyone listening to anything Beck has to say; with a passion that matches the passion of those who promote his rhetoric. My passion is based on evidence. Theirs, flying in the face of of evidence as it does, is truly fundamentalist. -- To let it slide, to dismiss these people as unimportant & ineffectual, to ignore misinformation, half-truths, historical revisionism & out right lies, is a disservice to ourselves, our country, the world and worst of all, our children & other impressionable minds.

"Seize every opportunity to ram it home." -Richard Dawkins