Thursday, November 20, 2014

Werewolf: The Beast Among Us

I watched Werewolf: The Beast Among Us on Netflix last night. I'm not sure if this was produced by the Asylum or originally run on Syfy, but it's got better production values than the usual B-movies. This one was not at all hard to watch.

Transcript of my moment-by-moment Facebook commentary below the fold.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What is it, Timmy?

Here's a nice dose of adult fear for you.

It isn't real.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Miss Meg

I hope I haven't used these exact clips from Legend before, but it's a movie that just begs to be remembered at Halloween.

And of course I love Mia Sara, so we don't want to miss her.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Defend Yourself

People either love or hate Sucker Punch. I rather like it.

As long as we're dealing with pretty girls in terrible situations...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Conan Gets a Psychic Reading

I remember my father's words when we first saw this scene and things started to get interesting.

"Aww... he's having to pay the price."

That was before she started trying to eat his face, of course.

While we're on bad witches (language warning).

Friday, October 24, 2014


For some reason, people assume that because Watership Down is an animated movie, it should be good for little kids.

Are you out of your freaking minds? This is the stuff of nightmares!

Let's chase that with something a little less disturbing.

How have I not yet seen the full episode?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Who Goes There?

How about a little nightmare fuel?

Dear God: Please send a badass ghost to avenge my dog. Amen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


And how about a little more Batman action.

Might as well keep it going.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


The mind is the most powerful weapon.

That means "shoot first".

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mario Has Had Enough!

Language alert.

Too short to carry the day, though. Therefore: Invader Zim!

We started going to trivia nights for a while soon after seeing this episode. Our team name is "Peanuts and Soap".

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I See Fire

There's no real connection here, but it's still an amusing video.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Be disturbed. Be VERY disturbed.

I'll just be bleaching my brain. A Mass Effect video always helps with that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


And a little something from the same era.

Uses the wrong version of the Greedo clip, though.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Maybe not the ones you were expecting, though.

Perhaps this is closer?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Junk Mail

What if all of the junk emails were true? NOTE: Adult content warning!

Anything you have to say to me about that? Say to him first.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Look Behind You

I'll never look at tally marks the same way again.

For even more explody carnage, I give you the effects of chain-shot.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Re: Your Brains

Not what you were expecting?

In the "just weird" category...

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Little Witch

Where's the monster?

It can be tough to argue with enigmatic alien superpowers.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Saturday, October 04, 2014


Fan videos are often a combination of cheese and genius.

Beware of deadite trickery.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Talking Monkeys

Would you ever really want to meet an angel? Have you noticed that when they show up, lots of people tend to get killed?

In keeping with the "fallen angel" theme...

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Steppin' Up

Of course, in the comics, Dick Grayson did go off to fight crime on his own, using the name Nightwing. Also, an adult in that Robin costume comes off looking as silly as Burt Ward did.

On a vaguely related note, how could we get through Halloween without Robot Chicken? (NSFW)

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

You Haven't Seen This Before

I still don't like Ben Stiller, though. Best to remove that bad taste.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Arguing With Bad Numbers

There's now a Libertarian image floating around the internet that claims Wal-Mart would go out of business if it paid its hourly employees a living wage. It's too bad they use crappy math to make their case. Let's have a look, shall we?

Employees 2,000,000
Avg hourly wage $8.81
New minimum $15.00
Raise $6.19
Increase/hour $12,380,000
Increase/day $99,040,000
Increase/year $36,149,600,000
Prior Annual Profit $16,800,000,000
Modified Profit -$19,349,600,000

The argument assumes that all 2 million employees get the full $6.19/hr raise, not just those already making less than $15/hour. It also assumes every employee works an 8-hour day, 365 days per year -- every single person.

Does anyone think that's realistic? I hope not. But you have to dig into the calculations to see what bad assumptions and methods are being used.

What happens if you do the math again, but with more realistic numbers? What if we use a more likely $12/hour rate and only make them work 40 hours per week?

Employees 2,000,000
Avg hourly wage $8.81
New minimum $12.00
Raise $3.19
Increase/hour $6,380,000
Increase/day $51,040,000
Increase/year $13,270,400,000
Prior Annual Profit $16,800,000,000
Modified Profit $3,529,600,000

With just a couple of tweaks, Wal-Mart is suddenly back in the black again, profiting $3.5 billion per year.

The claims of Wal-Mart's dire situation only get more ridiculous if you use the $10.10 per hour wage that Obama imposed on Federal contractors, account for the fact that many Wal-Mart employees are part-time, and realize that not all of those two million employees are going to get the raise (since some of them will already be getting more than $10.10 per hour).

Take a few of those issues into account, and Wal-Mart could easily be profiting over $12.5 billion per year without raising any prices.

If there's a case for keeping the minimum wage where it is, this isn't it. The real story is far more complicated, and people with far more expertise have examined the impact of increasing wages at Wal-Mart.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Follow Your Passion?

Mike Rowe's take on finding the job you love.

I think it's an important message. I actually do enjoy my work, but maybe I enjoy it because I've embraced it as a "calling". Writing documentation for computer systems isn't glamorous, but it is necessary and valuable.

I don't know which of my friends read this, but I know some are looking for a job they can be passionate about. Mike's advice is to find a job you can do well and use to support yourself and your family. Let it support your passions.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Solomon Kane

I'm watching Solomon Kane tonight. It has a good Netflix rating.

This is a movie with a very Christian premise. I am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. Some of you who know me may think that strange, but I am willing to suspend disbelief and see how the makers of this movie interpret the concepts of redemption. As I type at this moment, the plot is just getting started. I will be "live blogging" after a fashion -- pausing to add my thoughts as the movie progresses. We shall see how my opinion shifts over time. Spoilers after the break.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Click Bait

Click-bait posts like the one to the right seem to be all over social media these days. The sources on a lot of the ones I've seen on Facebook lately seem to be radio stations.

I assume that the likes, comments, and shares on these posts somehow translate into advertising revenue for the originator. They can claim to have hundreds or thousands or more interested eyeballs on their pages because of all the activity on their posts.

Some of them encourage you to try some simple keyboard trick that causes an image to be displayed (like entering "(^^^)" in Facebook, which displays a shark icon).

But more often they issue some painfully easy challenge like the one in this post, and you get to congratulate yourself for being one of the "smart" people. Come on, internet users -- anyone can come up with a movie name without a "T" in it! They just want you to promote them on your preferred social media site.

WIT's "Scientific Proof"

A friend of mine shared an article on Facebook recently: First Scientific Proof Of God Found. I've seen fundamentalists claim to have "scientific proof" of God many times, so I naturally approached this article with some grains of salt ready.

This one claims that geneticists at the Wyoming Institute of Technology (WIT) examining the human genome discovered patterns in the "junk DNA" that looked like some kind of alphabet. They consulted with linguists at Bob Jones University, who determined that the patterns translate into Aramaic words that make the phrase “At first break of day, God formed sky and land.”

My first clue that the site was a parody was the phrase "Bob Jones University, long noted for its intellectual rigor." Bob Jones University may be known for many things, but intellectual rigor is definitely not one of them.

Other articles on the site include such gems as:
  • “Selfies” Linked To Brain Cancer, Experts Say
  • New Chemical Makes Bacon Good For You
  • Keep Pets Their Same Size Forever With Adoraberil® ; Anti-Aging, Anti-Growing Wonder Drug
  • Autism Linked To Eating Organic Foods
  • Obesity Impacting Earthquakes in US, Experts Say
It seems that some people are willing to believe anything or anyone if it supports their own position.

Edit: An anonymous commenter called me out for saying BJU isn't known for intellectual rigor. I went to college close enough that their student proselytizers would show up on our campus to street preach. I know from personal experience that BJU is not known for intellectual rigor. Their reputation is fundamentalism, creationism, and racism, if anything. Supporting links in the comments.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Curse of the Dragon Slayer

This has shown up on Neflix recently.

It was apparently funded by a Kickstarter campaign. I wasn't really expecting much from it when I decided to watch it. I watch plenty of bad movies, so I can be entertained by the badness itself.

This was better than I was expecting, though. The production value turns out to be decent, the acting is largely acceptable, the direction and editing mostly work, and the costuming is downright impressive (with one very obvious exception at about the 45 minute mark).

The fight choreography, on the other hand, was extremely disappointing. The establishing scenes for the leads don't make them look badass: they make them look incompetent.

The plot also has gigantic holes, of course, and when it comes to keeping the villains from obtaining the resources they need to complete their nefarious plan, the heroes do everything wrong, requiring something of a deus ex machina to save the world. That's a bit lame, but the film-makers obviously wanted to have a big special effects ending, so the villainous plan pretty much had to succeed and then be reversed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ken Has a Dinosaur Skeleton

Ken Ham has managed to get his hands on what appears to be a genuine allosaurus skeleton for his creation museum. Based on some of the weakest evidence I've ever heard, he claims that it is only 4500 years old and therefore disproves an old Earth.

Serious research could be done on these remains, but instead they're going to gather dust in Ken's museum as he uses them to spread creationist misinformation. I weep for the real paleontologists who won't get to examine this find.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuna Fallout

I'm seeing another round of Fukushima panic posts going around on Facebook. Apparently every fish in the Pacific Ocean (and probably the world) is contaminated with radiation from the melted-down Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Radioactive material certainly did reach the ocean from the Fukushima meltdown. As I understand it, the amount of contaminated water from the reactor that reached the ocean would fill a large swimming pool or two.

In the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, that doesn't amount to much. Given some time to disperse (like a couple of years), the radioactivity of ocean water contaminated with water from Fukushima is indistinguishable from normal background radiation. Furthermore, the "hottest" radioactive isotopes decay pretty quickly. Iodine-131, for example, has a half-life of eight days; there isn't even a word for the tininess of the fraction of iodine-131 remaining from that incident. It's effectively gone.

There are more persistent isotopes, of course. There are cesium isotopes from the meltdown with half-lives of years, but the danger is still negligible. Information I'm seeing tells me that you would have to eat twenty tuna steaks to take in the amount of radiation you would get from one typical banana.

This is paranoia based on lack of understanding. Don't worry about radioactive tuna.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Solar Roadway

Now there's a clever idea.

You might want to check out the IndieGogo page.

UPDATE: I'm going to revisit this, since some loud YouTube people have been defecating on the notion.

I don't believe for a second that this technology can live up to all of the hype that has been made about it on YouTube, but I do believe that it is worth investigating. It's certainly not cost effective at its current scale (the individual bricks cost thousands of dollars using current methods), but its potential can't be determined if it isn't tested on larger scales.

This project exceeded its expectations on IndieGogo, and there are vocal critics who think that is wasted money. I am glad it met its goal. I want to see if it really can be a cost-effective and useful alternative to current road technology. Existing asphalt roads need to be replaced or repaired every few years. I want to know if this alternative is competitive.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Financial Help!

An amusing new message appeared in one of my email boxes.
Subject: I will help you financially!!!



My email: [redacted]

Gee-whiz, what a helpful, generous sounding person. I would never suspect this of being some kind of scam.

I'm not fooling anyone, am I? Of course it's some kind of scam! The "from" address on the message doesn't even match the email that "jennifer" provided. It's tempting to respond to see just how "jennifer" would try to finagle money from me.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I find myself wondering what we'll do as a society when we've automated every job that currently requires a human. Hearing reports that computers are now able to write clean essays and papers is somewhat discouraging for me, personally, and brought this question into my head.

Sooner or later, computers will be designing objects, and then assembling them via robots, with little or no human intervention. Assuming there is no machine revolution, what will people do in a world where there are no jobs because machines do all of the work.

What happens when all vehicles on land, in the sea, and in the air have automatic pilots?

What happens when a computer can diagnose a medical condition more quickly, more accurately, and more reliably than a human doctor? When it can prescribe the best medications and control a robot to perform the best procedures?

What happens when all manufacturing is done by robots?

What happens when humans are no longer needed for anything?

I can only imagine that the wealth disparity that exists now will become far worse. It seems likely that the owners of the machines (and therefore all of the wealth and resources) will represent a tiny portion of the population. What will become of everyone else?

A machine revolution might not even be necessary for a vast depopulation event.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Coriander Chutney Wings

I get jars of coriander chutney from the international market at the Nashville Farmers' Market. It's good as a condiment, but I've discovered that it makes a terrific wing sauce.

I typically cook the wings in a cast iron pan in the oven at 350 for about half an hour. It doesn't get much easier than that.

The sauce isn't difficult, either.
  • One heaping tablespoon of coriander chutney.
  • A teaspoon or more of Ole Jamaican-style hot sauce.
  • Enough olive oil to allow the chutney to coat the chicken.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Additional red pepper flakes if you need more heat.
That makes enough to coat about ten wings.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

22 Messages from Creationists

These messages are ostensibly to Bill Nye at the debate he had with Ken Ham. Just hearing Ken's non-answers to Bill's questions was painful enough, but some of these really burn my brain cells. They show a complete lack of understanding of the Theory of Evolution and science in general, which I think is tragic.

Still, I can give my answers/responses to these questions. I am going to try to suppress my usual snark.

1) Are you influencing the minds of children in a positive way?
Yes. Bill is trying to teach children how science is really done.

2) Are you scared of a divine creator?
I dare say that Bill is not.

3) Is it completely illogical that the earth was created mature (i.e. trees created with rings, Adam created as an adult,...)?
The problem with such a belief is that it requires colossal deception on the part of the creator. Light from distant stars has to be created "en route" so we can see it today; hundreds of thousands of extra layers of snow ice must be formed; millions of rock layers must be formed; pre-decayed nuclear materials must be planted; fossils must be distributed in layers that indicate progressive evolution. The creator would have to have taken a lot of trouble to make the Earth and universe look much older than they are. If the universe were created by such a huge deceiver, why would we expect the Bible to be true?

4) Does not the Second Law of Thermodynamics disprove Evolution?
No, it does not. If thermodynamics disproved evolution, physicists would have laughed it out of universities ages ago.

5) How do you explain a sunset if there is no God?
I don't know if I can answer this without sounding condescending. The Earth rotates. From our perspective, the Sun dips below the horizon. The light scattering from particles in the atmosphere gives us the brilliant colors.

6) If the Big Bang Theory is true and taught as science along with evolution, why do the laws of thermodynamics debunk said theories?
As I said, the laws of thermodynamics don't debunk Evolution or the Big Bang.

7) What about Noetics?
I'm not familiar with Noetics. A quick search tells me that Noetics is a "branch of metaphysical philosophy concerned with the study of mind and intellect". I don't really see how this field of philosophy is supposed to relate to the question of Evolution and Creationism.

8) Where do you derive objective meaning in life?
I don't really understand the question. I don't think that deriving your meaning of life from the Bible is objective. "Meaning" is something you find for yourself: it's never objective.

9) If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?
Pretty much by chance, yes. Abiogenesis is the particular field of study of the early origins of life. It relates to how organic chemistry on the ancient Earth could have generated simple compounds and "cells" that replicated themselves, starting the process of life. No one has managed to generate simple, replicating cells in a lab yet, but this work is ongoing.

10) I believe in the Big Bang Theory... God said it and BANG it happened!
Thanks for making it clear that you're not interested in talking about this like an adult.

11) Why do evolutionists/secularists/humanists/non-God-believing people reject the idea of there being a creator God but embrace the concept of intelligent design from aliens or other extra-terrestrial sources?
By and large (in my experience, at least), non-creationists do not embrace the concept of alien intervention, either.

12) There is no in between... the only one found has been Lucy, and there are only a few pieces of the hundreds necessary for an "official proof".
This seems to be a simple case of misinformation. "Lucy" is only one example of the australopithecine fossils. There are at least nine significant finds of this genus, and "Lucy" is 40% complete, not just "a few pieces".

13) Does metamorphosis help support evolution?
I really like this question. The answer is no. Metamorphosis is something that happens to an individual organism during its lifetime. Evolution happens to a population of organisms over successive generations. They are separate phenomena.

14) If Evolution is a Theory (like creationism or the Bible), why then is Evolution taught as fact.
Misuse of the word "theory" is a common problem when discussing controversial science topics. To a scientist, a theory is a coherent group of tested propositions that can be used to explain a set of observations or facts. In other words, it is not a guess or an untested claim. A theory must undergo rigorous testing and peer review before becoming widely accepted.

15) Because science by definition is a "theory" -- not testable, observable, nor repeatable, why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?
This is another clear case of misinformation. "Science" is an organized effort to understand the universe. A "theory" is an explanation for observed phenomena that is testable, observable, and repeatable. Creationism and intelligent design do not meet that standard: evolution does.

16) What mechanism has science discovered that evidences an increase of genetic information seen in any genetic mutation or evolutionary process.
One of the simplest is "gene duplication". An error in replication produces an extra copy of an existing gene. The duplicate is free to change in subsequent generations, allowing new content to enter the species' genetic code without losing the original gene.

17) What purpose do you think you are here for if you do not believe in salvation?
As I believe I said earlier, finding purpose in life is something everyone does for himself or herself. There are plenty of ways to find fulfillment in life.

18) Why have we found only 1 "Lucy", when we have found more than 1 of everything else?
As noted before, there are actually several australopithecine fossils, and more examples of other early human ancestors.

19) Can you believe in "the big bang" without "faith"?
There is observable evidence for the Big Bang, so faith is not required.

20) How can you look at the world and not believe someone created/thought of it? It's amazing!!!
It is amazing, but that does not require it to be the creation of a deity (let alone just six thousand years ago despite all of the evidence that the Earth is much older).

21) Relating to the big bang theory... where did the exploding star come from?
There are many questions to which scientists are still seeking answers. We can observe that the universe is expanding from a central point, but we still don't know exactly what happened there. The tools available to us now can't tell us exactly what "exploded" or what was going on before the "explosion". Scientists, however, see that as an opportunity for study, not a mystery to leave unsolved.

22) If we come from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?
Okay, I was trying to suppress my snark, but this is such an old and absurd question that I'm pretty sure the guy holding up the card is just trolling. There is nothing in the Theory of Evolution that says that monkeys have to go extinct for apes and humans to evolve from them.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Another Bean Soup

I need something, and I was feeling like a cheap bastard, so...
  • One can of black beans
  • One can of kidney beans
  • A couple of links of sausage (your choice, diced)
  • A tablespoon of fish sauce
  • Shell pasta (half a box of 
  • Oregano, basil, and pepper (cayenne, red, and black) to taste
Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes or so.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bean Soup

This is a pretty minor update. No pictures even. Still, I made a pretty decent little soup, so I wanted to get the process down somewhere.

  • One can of Goya pink beans with cilantro and onions (found at the international market; I'd never seen "pink beans" before, so I was curious)
  • One can of great northern beans, rinsed
  • One 14-oz can of chicken broth (use vegetable broth if you want it vegetarian)
  • One yellow onion
  • About one half of a bunch of cilantro
  • About one tablespoon of fish sauce (or soy sauce, to be vegetarian)
  • One cup of brown rice
  • Two cups of water
  1. I put the water and rice in one pot and started it cooking. Standard procedure there: bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for twenty or more minutes (more like thirty for this rice).
  2. I put the beans, broth, and fish sauce in a separate pot over medium-high heat to get them started.
  3. I diced the onion and added it to the bean pot.
  4. I chopped the cilantro and added half of it (the more stemmy half) to the bean pot.
  5. After the beans come to a boil, simmer them covered on low while the rice cooks.
  6. When the rice is done, add it and the remaining cilantro to the beans and mix well.
I think it's pretty tasty.

Friday, January 03, 2014

A Nuclear Pile of Nonsense

Someone shared an article on Facebook titled “Underground Nuclear Explosion At Crippled Japan Atomic Plant Shocks The World. As I said on Facebook, you don’t need to know much about nuclear reactors to know it’s all false, but the more you know, the worse it gets. It appears to be a conspiracy crap website, although there’s always the possibility that it’s some kind of parody site. My best guess is that it’s a junk news source, much like the old Weekly World News.

According to this report, [Russian Ministry of Defense] “assests” associated with the Red Banner Pacific Fleet detected two “low-level” underground atomic explosions occurring in the Fukushima disaster zone on 31 December, the first measuring 5.1 magnitude in intensity, followed by a smaller 3.6 magnitude explosion moments later.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there were no such explosions. Making an atomic explosion is extremely difficult when you are trying for one; it simply won’t happen accidentally. The fuel in this reactor was never “enriched” enough to explode, and even if it was, the conditions for starting such a chain reaction do not exist down in the wreckage of Fukushima. As the headline incident for this story is clearly made up, it follows that the rest of it is crap, too.

Important to note, this report continues, was that the architect of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3, Uehara Haruo, warned on 17 November 2011 warned that a “China Syndrome” (aka: Hydrovolcanic Explosion) was “inevitable” due to the melted atomic fuel that had escaped the container vessel and was now burning through the earth.

The Fukushima reactor core is still in the reactor building. Yes, it overheated and melted. No, it did not sink through the floor and start “burning through” the Earth. The graphic is particularly amusing. Even if the reactor core somehow melted through the Earth’s crust, the worst it would do is reach the center of the Earth and stop. There is no way it would ever swim back up through the mantle to re-emerge off the coast of Brazil.

Most curious to note, [the MoD] report continues, is that the United States appears to have had a more advanced notice of these underground nuclear explosions as evidenced by their purchase earlier this month (6 December) of 14 million doses of potassium iodide, the compound that protects the body from radioactive poisoning in the aftermath of severe nuclear accidents, to be delivered before the beginning of February 2014.

Oh look, a tiny shred of fact. One potential byproduct of a nuclear incident is radioactive isotopes of iodine. Those can be picked up by the human body and cause thyroid cancer, so iodide supplements may be given to people in the danger zone of a nuclear accident to keep them from absorbing radioactive iodine. I don’t believe for a second that the US made a big iodide purchase in early December, though.

With experts now estimating that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined, and with new reports stating that dangerous radiation levels have been detected in snows found in Texas, Colorado and Missouri, this MoD report warns the US, indeed, is going to face the severest consequences of this historic, and seemingly unstoppable, nuclear disaster.

Head for the hills! The sky is falling! We’re going to be hit with 750 Ridiculous Asian Danger units of fallout!

As to the American people being allowed to know the full and horrific mass death event now unfolding around them, this report warns, is not be as the Obama regime has, in effect, ordered all of their mainstream news media organs not to report it, and as recently confirmed by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur who was told not to warn the public about the danger posed by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his time as a host on the cable network.

And, finally, we get the old “government cover up” ploy to paper over the fact that there is no evidence to support all of these ludicrous claims. The Weekly World News was just as absurd, but at least it was entertaining.

For extra brain death, read the comments.