In February 2010, Jodi and I got married. In June, we spent our honeymoon in Minnesota, going to CONvergence in Minneapolis. (My wife is every bit as much a geek as me.)
Little did I know that that visit would plant the seeds for what’s been happening over the past few months in my life.
Continue reading “My life in upheaval, but in a good way”
If this is true — and I have to admit more than a little skepticism about this, given the just-so story near the end — it could be the single biggest medical breakthrough in decades. You know how in Mass Effect, characters can take life-threatening damage and after one little button-press, they’re right back in the fight? Bullet wounds, rockets, whatever — just slap on your medi-gel dispenser button and your armor seals up the wound and lets you keep fighting.
A grad student has supposedly taken that Mass Effect equivalent of a magic healing potion, Medi-Gel, and turned it into a reality.
It is a synthetic version of the extracellular matrix (ECM) that holds our cells together and tells them what to do in the event of a bleeding injury, instructing them to get clotting. It also binds together with the damaged ECM cells of the patient, working with them to form a seal over the area of the wound.
Continue reading “Has a grad student invented the instant wound cure?”
Here’s a 23-minute video, the first in a series, which of course can’t possibly exist because Anita Sarkeesian is a scammer who bilked people of money on Kickstarter then went to the Bahamas.
Dense, information-packed, well-researched, correct in all its particulars, and can’t possibly exist. My search engine hits for “Anita Sarkessian scam” tell me so.
I haven’t been able to get my knuckles scraped up in this particular brawl lately, but I HAVE noticed something that I feel I need to say. I intended this post for today to just be a linking post to Stephanie’s recent rundown of the situation, wherein she lays waste to the claim that our fights are about “bad werdz”. It’s never about the words, it’s about harm. It’s about trying to give offense as a strategy, one that’s intentionally chosen, by the opponents of those who dare call themselves both free thinkers and feminists.
There’s a meme hidden in amongst all these conversations that I’ve heard quite often in a different context, of religious folks “taking offense” at your “attacks” on their religion.
vjack also just doesn’t “get” XYZ-shaming.
Accusations of [insert noun of your choice here]-shaming are rarely helpful because nobody else has the power to make us feel shame unless we give it to them.
vjack apparently thinks we live in a world in which we have just one social encounter at a time and that these never add up in some way to become those emergent entities we call “communities” and “cultures”.
This is an identical construction to this other idea that one cannot “give offense”, one can only “take” it. Meaning, it is not possible for someone to be offended by something unless they allow themselves to become offended by it. It’s something I’ve heard Matt Dillahunty use several times against religious folks who claim that his ability to lay bare the hypocrisy behind their religion means he’s attacking THEM, and they are offended by such things.
But no matter how right Matt was that these people shouldn’t take offense, the specific meme that “offense cannot be given” was wrong then too.
Continue reading “On the meme of giving and taking offense”
Still not a lot of time to spread around. However, I did have enough time during work today to listen at least to this documentary. And damn but it’s scary.
Indoctrinating youth before they have a chance to start questioning this nonsense is obviously the best way to ensure you create life-long believers. If you wait until people are capable of rationality, they don’t swallow this nonsense as readily.
And yet, I was indoctrinated into Catholicism, and broke free despite these odds. Hooray for me. But I can’t help but think back on it and realize, there was very nearly zero difference between me and my friends intellectually at the time. It was, as far as I can tell today, sheer chance that I broke free — that I thought of the contradictions inherent in religions to plant the seeds of doubt unbidden. I am terrified for the prospects of the next generation with entire programs dedicated to indoctrinating children like this.
Via Christian Nightmares.
Sorry again that I’ve been so silent — gigantic things are afoot in my life at the moment and it’s all I can do to keep myself from being plowed under. I’ll tell you all about ’em as soon as I can.
Pat Robertson has some helpful advice for those of you who have to buy items from thrift stores and Goodwill (wait… buying items from Goodwill? We’re not talking about the Salvation Army perchance, are we???). That advice is — you should rebuke them all before bringing them into your household in case there are demons attached to them.
Of course, buying things directly from a retail store drastically lowers your chances of getting a stray demon. You never know what kinds of demons might manifest in that pair of shoes you picked up from the thrift store, whereas with buying directly from retail, the chances are you’re only risking exposure to Mammon. So be careful when you sell all your possessions to buy a sword — that sword might be inhabited by an emissary from Hell!
Figures that the One Percent has a lower chance of getting attacked by demons. They get all the juiciest privileges, don’t they?
Amanda Palmer talks about how she’s monetized her art in a non-traditional manner, and how much success she has had and how much money she has made despite giving her music away for free.
Her husband had some words about piracy that dovetail beautifully with Amanda’s philosophy. They got me to thinking — how much do we really value the things that we get without paying for them?
Continue reading “How do you value things that are freely obtained?”