Category Archives: Mike’s Rambling Blog

Just another inane blog

Interesting studies

There are certain studies which are of particular interest to those who are interested in politics, which I come across and then forget, only to search for them again. Even if only for my own future reference, here are a … Continue reading

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Wow. Apparently, conservatives really do hate science

It looks like it wasn’t a stereotype after all: http://www.asanet.org/press/conservatives_trust_has_fallen.cfm An excerpt: While trust in science remained stable among people who self-identified as moderates and liberals in the United States between 1974 and 2010, trust in science fell among self-identified … Continue reading

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I would love to know how creationists answer this

In this video, Richard Dawkins discusses the laryngeal nerve, which travels all the way down to the heart, loops around an artery, and then goes back up the larynx. It has to innervate both the heart and the larynx, but … Continue reading

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Civility is overrated

“Obama Calls for Civility Over Conflict in Shooting Aftermath” – that was the headline in Bloomberg.com and many other news sources after the January 8, 2011 killing of a half-dozen people in Tucson Arizona at a political event. In the … Continue reading

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How to be an Atheist: Rule #4

Rule #4: Learn how to defend against the Stalin Argument. Any atheist who has dealt with Christian supremacists for long enough has encountered the Stalin Argument. It goes like this: “Stalin was an atheist, and he killed 20 million people, … Continue reading

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How to Be an Atheist: Rule #3

Rule #3: Learn about Buddhism I’m not saying that you need to become a Buddhist or start meditating, but you should at least know something about Buddhism, because Buddhism is easily the world’s most well-known and popular atheistic religion. Yes, … Continue reading

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How to Be an Atheist: Rule #2

Rule #2: Know when to pretend you’re a Christian Christians may say it’s hard to be a Christian in modern society, but they’ve never tried being an atheist. As a general rule, there are a lot of situations when you … Continue reading

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How to Be An Atheist: Rule #1

After participating in a number of on-line forums populated by various combinations of Christians, Muslims, atheists, and others, I have come to the conclusion that a lot of atheists on the Internet seem to be either new at it, or … Continue reading

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Scientists 0, bullshitters 1

I was watching some people argue on TV about global warming, and I was struck at how rhetorically incompetent a lot of scientists are. I suppose that shouldn’t come as a surprise: scientists are trained in science, not rhetoric. In … Continue reading

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Yet another “Family Values” Republican turns out to be gay :)

The hit parade just never stops, does it? http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-ashburn-arrest,0,4135863.story An excerpt: “Family Values” Senator Ashburn Gets DUI Leaving Gay Bar SACRAMENTO — The county district attorney says Republican state Sen. Roy Ashburn’s blood-alcohol level was .14 percent when he was … Continue reading

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Just how old is “traditional marriage” anyway?

On Valentine’s Day, I’m prompted to think about marriage. And after yet another run-in with somebody talking about “traditional marriage”, I got to wondering just how old “traditional marriage” is. After all, contrary to popular belief, church marriages were not … Continue reading

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Darwin Award of the day

Seriously, it sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Some giant obese man literally sat in a chair and waited for God to heal him, until he finally died. Here’s some stuff from the news article: Obese man dies after … Continue reading

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Interesting. It turns out that bonuses don’t improve performance at all.

With all of the talk of Wall Street bonuses in the news lately, there’s a pretty interesting article in today’s Globe and Mail. Here’s an excerpt: In 2008, Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioural economics at Duke University and the … Continue reading

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Rocket Mail!

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most unusual method of mail delivery ever attempted: mail delivery via guided missile. On June 8 1959, a missile was installed into the USS Barbero (which had been temporarily established to be … Continue reading

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Fat kids lack self-control

You can file in the “that’s obvious” folder if you want, but it’s interesting to see it confirmed through scientific study. It seems that the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine published some studies on childhood … Continue reading

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A drink a day … can give you cancer.

Is it time to retire all of those old “a drink a day is good for you” studies yet? Especially since they were generally funded by associations of brewers and wineries? According to this CBC article: Downing as little as … Continue reading

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Darwin and Lincoln Day

Today we celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, both of whom struggled mightily against backward-thinking reactionaries in their respective spheres of influence. We all know the political controversies surrounding Darwin’s evolution theory (note that there is … Continue reading

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Feast Day of Saint Meingold

Seriously, the more I look at Catholic feast days, the more perplexed I am. Did you know that they actually have an official patron saint of banking? It may be amusing at this point in time, with all of the … Continue reading

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Feast Day of Saint Agatha

Believe it or not, the Catholics actually have an official patroness saint of bell-ringers. Luckily, loud bell-ringing is not quite as prevalent today as it once was, but it’s still damned annoying. From America Revisited (1883) by George Augustus Sala: … Continue reading

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A trip from Boston to New York, 1790 style

From Josiah Quincy III (1772-1864), mayor of Boston: “The journey to New York took up a week. The carriages were old and shackling, and much of the harness made of ropes. We generally reached our resting place for the night, … Continue reading

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The Real Robinson Crusoe

On this day in 1709, the Scotsman Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being stranded for 5 years on a deserted island. After returning to civilization, he became friends with Daniel Defoe, who would eventually write the novel The Life and … Continue reading

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Christmas in 1377

From the British Museum’s Harleian Manuscript 247: “In the night, 130 men were disguised and well-mounted on horseback to go mumming, riding from Newgate through Cheapside, where many people could see them, with great noise of minstrelsy, trumpets, cornets, and … Continue reading

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Saint Paula the Bearded!

Today is the Catholic feast day of Saint Paula the Bearded. According to legend, in the fourth century, the widow Paula was pursued into a church by a lustful young Roman man, where she prayed for a miracle to save … Continue reading

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Medieval Death in London

London’s official morgue death toll for a week of January 1665: Abortive: 6 Aged: 52 Cancer: 2 Childbed: 40 Chrisomes (unbaptized): 19 Dropsie: 34 Flux: 1 Feaver: 383 Flox and Smallpox: 5 Gowt: 1 Griping in the Guts: 65 Jaundies: … Continue reading

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How to talk to your kids about homosexuality

I hear on the news that a lot of parents are having difficulty with the concept of discussing homosexuality with their children. As Robb and Robin Wirthlin in California complained: “Our son came home and told us the school taught … Continue reading

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National Pride

I think I finally figured out what bugs me about people who talk about being proud of their countries. I feel like I can’t disagree with them because to do so means I’m ashamed of my country, and that’s not … Continue reading

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Sorrow

Well, it’s been roughly 36 hours since my beloved dog Fuzzy died. He suffered a cardiac arrest yesterday around noon, after fighting both cancer and heart disease for the last six months. But he was surprisingly strong for most of … Continue reading

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Morality and People You Don’t Like

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that we all think we know what’s right and what’s wrong. Even people who claim to subscribe to some sort of cultural relativism tend to admit they have a few … Continue reading

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Womens’ Jackets

Is there some reason why womens’ jackets don’t seem to have the inside chest-level pocket where men normally keep their wallets? Rebecca has several jackets, none of which have that pocket on the inside. I guess it’s assumed that they’ll … Continue reading

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Alpha Male

Rebecca was talking about something she heard on the radio about how Rudy Giuliani is surprisingly popular even among people who oppose his views on abortion and marriage, and it’s pretty much widely accepted that it’s because he was the … Continue reading

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Salty Balls

Holy Christ, I can’t believe how much salt the city is throwing down on the streets and sidewalks. The blacktop is white. There are literally piles of salt at corners and around posts. I know they need to limit ice … Continue reading

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My son the terrorist

Yesterday was Friday, February 16, 2007. The day I discovered that my 8 year old son David is on the American Homeland Security Department’s “No Fly” list. Luckily for us, we ran into Customs agents who recognized the inherent absurdity … Continue reading

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Conservative talk-shows

Today the morning conservative talk-show host Bill Carroll was doing a bit on evolution. Interestingly enough, I counted 8 people in a row who called in against evolution. I tried calling in myself, and instead of getting put in the … Continue reading

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Asshole with a cell-phone

You know what I hate about cell-phones? The fact that you can’t look up the owner in a directory listing. There’s some asshole that’s been periodically calling my cell-phone for weeks. His phone number is 416-919-5435. I never pick it … Continue reading

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Experts at Failure

Am I the only one who’s sick of seeing people on TV (and in real-life) telling you that they know more about relationships than you because they’ve been divorced three times? Maybe I’ve only had one marriage, but I didn’t … Continue reading

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Why I hate Glenn Beck

Even though I had no idea who Glenn Beck was, I had a feeling I would hate his show as soon as CNN started advertising for it. Call it a bad vibe, or a premonition, or just the fact that … Continue reading

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Crime and Punishment

Imagine a headline in the newspaper that said “Arsonist sentenced to 18 months for fatal fire”. Imagine if the accompanying article indicated that this arsonist had been convicted several times before for setting fires that didn’t kill anyone. Imagine if … Continue reading

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Pop Culture Geniuses

Seriously, how sickening are these people? “But wait Mike, what the hell are pop culture geniuses”, you say? Well, I freely admit that I just made up this term, because I couldn’t find an already-existing term for people who think … Continue reading

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Bathroom fans

Is it just me, or are bathroom fans weak and pathetic? Listen to the pitiful, apologetic whirring sound that a typical bathroom fan makes: it’s quieter than a woman’s vibrator. Now compare this to one of those good high-powered fans … Continue reading

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The amazing Fireball air cleaner

Have you seen those residential room air cleaners that are increasingly popular? The air cleaner on a home furnace is OK, but it’s nowhere near as efficient as these specialized room air cleaner units. And have you seen how there … Continue reading

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Life has been good to me

Do you ever have one of those days when you wake up, and as you go about your daily routine it suddenly strikes you how very, very lucky you are? Today was one of those days. Nothing special happened; I … Continue reading

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Hysterical Fear-Mongering in Toronto

Allow me to take this opportunity to say that I’m sick of people out there (such as local radio talk-show host Bill Carroll, although he is by no means the only one) attacking Toronto as Canada’s Murder Capital. This is … Continue reading

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Your Duty to Report

I think it’s high time that people who keep their mouths shut are charged as accessories to a crime. From the Toronto Sun: Catholic Children’s Aid Society investigator Osiris Villalobos wiped away tears of his painful memory of the 5-year-old … Continue reading

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Religious nuts and Katrina

Do you remember how, after 9/11, Pat Robertson got in trouble for saying that it was God’s divine retribution upon America for her sins? Well, I guess it’s deja vu time; fundies all across the nation, before the city’s corpses … Continue reading

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Louisiana Poverty

For years, I’ve been hearing about how Louisiana has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. According to Eric Johnson, testifying before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Committee on Ways and Means in May 2002, the … Continue reading

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Katrina

Holy shit. That’s all I can say about this. It’s fucking unbelievable. Everything about it is unbelievable.

Posted in Mike's Rambling Blog | 2 Comments

Sonic MyDVD sucks

Here’s a piece of advice for you all: don’t buy Sonic MyDVD, and don’t listen to those fuckers on PC Magazine and ZDNet who recommend it (PCMag even gave it an “Editor’s Choice” award). I made the mistake of buying … Continue reading

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Religion and Medicine

What the fuck is wrong with people? Seriously? Look at an excerpt from the article “Religion can trump medical advice, docs say“: NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Many US doctors believe that the religious convictions of their patients should outweigh … Continue reading

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A simpler way of living

I just heard this on the radio a while ago. I know you’ve heard it before. It goes like this: “and we saw these wonderful people in <insert name of shithole country here>, who live such a simple lifestyle and … Continue reading

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Dirty Dancing

Well, I just got back from a little party where they had some Arabian dancing going on, and I have to say: their dancing is a helluva lot better than ours. North American dancing is klunky and disjointed. At its … Continue reading

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