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Zeno
Northern California
Community college mathematics professor
Interests: math, science, computers, politics
Recent Activity
Several weeks ago I took note of the lameness of the Pawlenty logo (I'm no graphic artist, but sometimes dreck is obvious) and found it difficult to believe that anyone in the campaign thought it was good. Especially mystifying is the placard they posted on Pawlenty's podium for his announcement of candidacy. Someone's motto is "white space rules!" It was also large enough for Pawlenty to duck behind to avoid reporters' questions. A sorry, sorry business.
It was my privilege to host a young college student I know to his very first Ring. As a music composition major, he was eager to experience this epic work and he was enthralled throughout the many hours. One day he'll be bragging how he got to see Nina Stemme in her prime.
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Heck, why do the Norns have glass in their goggles? It's only for looks, right? Punch out the glass!
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I have an old copy of the ALEC playbook. Their model legislation hasn't changed much over the years. Today I published some excerpts on my blog.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2011 on GOP's Radical Breakage Continues at Obsidian Wings
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I remember a visit to UC Berkeley back in the late seventies with a friend who had graduated from the university with a BS in math a few years earlier. We went out on the balcony of Evans Hall and looked out at the Campanile. He commented that one of the glories of the view from the Evans balcony was that you weren't looking at Evans. He also said that the balcony was locked during finals week to prevent depressed students from taking advantage of the building's height.
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God works in mysterious ways, you know. He struck down D. James Kennedy (one of his favorite ministers, I hear!) with cardiac arrest, but doctors worked feverishly to save his life. Does Kennedy's congregation or organization thank the nice doctors? Well, maybe, but I've seen no sign of it. Instead they keep praising God for sparing Kennedy from his wrath and offering up more prayers. Yeah, that's going to work.
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2007 on God a little slow – helped by science at Skeptico
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I don't know just how much "torment" the doctrine of limbo used to cause people who had lost unbaptized infants. I'm old enough to have been taught the concept of limbo in catechism, back in the days before Vatican II. Limbo was considered a neat way to dodge the nasty business of infant damnation (which Sinclair Lewis had so much fun with in Elmer Gantry). If the infant had not been shriven of original sin via baptism, then it could not go to heaven, but hell would be altogether too cruel. The nuns in catechism described limbo as a place of perpetual happiness, lacking only the complete joy of those permitted to look upon God (which is reserved only to those in heaven). It sounded pretty cool, like a low-stress version of paradise (since some of us were worried about being in heaven and bumping into various saints and departed family members -- to say nothing of Jesus himself -- and probably be found wanting). Like St. Christopher, who was retired from the church list of saints when it turned out he was without historical record, limbo faded after Vatican II failed to enshrine it as a formal teaching of the church. While Roman Catholicism is big on tradition, limbo's lack of doctrinal champions is likely to move into into the Vatican's dustbin. As for the babies who were once thought to inhabit limbo? Rome will announce that their fate is known only to an omniscient, omnipotent, and all-merciful God. That will mean (wink! wink!) that they're probably in heaven by special divine dispensation (hey, God can do what he wants!), but you didn't hear that from us!
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2006 on Limbo mumbo jumbo at Skeptico
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Dubois came through northern California recently and gave an interview to the Sacramento Bee. The result was a completely lame and credulous puff piece. She could have written it herself. (And maybe she did! Who knows how much material the writer cribbed directly from Allison's press kit?) Some people wrote complaints to the newspaper and others contacted the public editor. The public editor basically said "Who cares? It's entertainment and entertainment doesn't have to be true." Gag! You can find links to the original Bee article, the complaints, and the public editor response here at a blog dedicated to keeping an eye on the Bee.
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I love it! As for Darwin's general state of health, he seems to be doing okay in California: Darwin in Davis.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2006 on Darwin not dead, despite rumors at Skeptico
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You're right, Skeptico. Henry VIII was given the title "Defensor Fidei" by Pope Leo X in recognition of a book the king wrote in defense of the seven sacraments (and papal supremacy). It was aimed at the attacks on Catholicism by Martin Luther. The title was revoked by a later pope when Henry broke with Rome, but British monarchs have continued to use it, now in defense of Anglicanism (the Church of England).
Toggle Commented Jun 6, 2006 on Defender of Faith Healing at Skeptico
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Nice work, Skeptico! I'm really excited to think that all tha psychic research is about to pay off. Any day now! I guess we shouldn't be holding our breath, should we?
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2006 on Pretty soon… at Skeptico
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Oh! I know the answer! It would be unworthy of a psychic to use God-bestowed spiritual powers in pursuit of such materialistic awards as money. No psychic would ever lower herself (or, less frequently, himself) to apply for Randi's million dollars, although of course it would be easy to win it with the help of God/Jesus/the Force/Buddha/Gaia/Mother Earth/Maitreya/the Space Brothers/the Spice Girls/Uri/Bozo the Clown/Ramtha/Deepak [pick at least one]. So shame on you, Skeptico, for asking so cynical a question! Shame!
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