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I find it funny that this is the top google search that leads to my blog:

“is neil gaiman an atheist”

Yeah…  Read American Gods and then tell me that he doesn’t have, at the very least, a serious skeptical bent.

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Got to Find My Niche

I’m sorry for the false alarm about my return to blogging.  This semester has been killing me, I just have not been able to schedule a definite time for me to blog during the day and thus it never really happened.  A friend recently suggested that I start a blog to point out all the eclectic things I come across in my net meanderings, (she was unaware that I already had a rather stale blog that I started in the downtime of my 2008 summer internship.)  So, as soon as I fix my currently crashed computer, I am going to attempt to do just that.

Til then, En Taro Tassadar

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As with most mornings, I woke myself up via my ever growing, frighteningly large RSS feed via Google Reader. Normally I end up skimming and stopping when something catches my eye. Well today something did. Mr. Carl Zimmer, author of the blog The Loom, currently hosted by the Overmind of Discover Magazine, posted a poinient follow up to a post he had made in April.

The Loom Excerpt:
In April, a reader named Abigail sent in this tattoo, with the following description:
My first year of college, I wanted to be an English major, and I took Intro Chemistry to fill the science requirement. The brief unit on thermodynamics made me fall totally in love. Entropy made sense to me – scientifically, philosophically. I became a Chemistry major and love every second of it. I got the tattoo to mark my rite of passage – Entropy going both ways, with its symble delta-S in the middle, all supported in the roots of Yggdrasil, the world-tree of Norse mythology (harking back to my English-lit days).
Today, Abigail’s mother sent in this sad note:

Abigail is my daughter. I was with her when she got this tattoo last March, several months after she turned 18, while she was attending Reed College in Portland. It was an adventure for both of us. She came home for the summer in May, and four days later was in a fatal car accident.
I will be getting this same tattoo next week – Abigail’s personal design – from the same artist. It will memorialize both my daughter and her intellect and passion for science and philosophy.
The world has lost an incredible mind. Thank you Mr. Zimmer for displaying this artwork and sharing it with visitors to this site.

 

The passing of this young woman is very, very sad. I would have been honored to know someone whose love of knowledge allowed them to combine their love of chemistry and the beautiful Norse Mythos. I can only hope that her great passion will influence those who come after her and those who met her.

This is the world we live in, where the lives of passionate smart young women are snuffed out by tragic accidents, while the demons run among us. All we can do is hold onto our dreams and fight the back those who would have us succumb to ignorance. Abigail Garcia is an inspiration.

May she feast forever in the Halls of Valhalla.

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I’ve been looking at the blog and noticed that while I’ve covered atheism and some politics, I have yet to address the cyborg portion of my name. I was actually born with a 60 dB hearing loss that degenerated to around 100 dB by college. At that time I got my cochlear implant. I might do a post on that at a later date.

A cochlear implant is a bionic ear, an artificial device which gives me some semblance of hearing in my right ear. Not as good as natural hearing, but it helps. Ah, the miracles of technology…

Anyway, being an oral deaf individual has it’s challenges. You remember the old cliché about the man with each foot in a different world? That’s me. I don’t fit in with the deaf community because I can barely sign and I have the implant which many members of the Deaf community disapprove of. I also do not fit in with the hearing world because I just cannot hear them at times. I’ve misheard common conversation as some very strange things. Weather becomes leather and boom!, my boss is asking the secretary how her BDSM is doing. As you can see, these sometimes require judgment calls.

Office meetings are particularly bad. The voices just tend to blend together into this rather nice soporific background buzz. This would be great if it weren’t for the fact that I tend to be at work when these functions occur. All in all I only pick up about half of what is said, which is very bad when you are the summer intern. The last thing you need to hear when you’re leaving on the last day is your boss saying, “Good fuck!” When he actually said, “Good luck!”

That’s all for now kiddies!

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I got this article from the IndyStar newspaper in my email from my good friend Shelley and I couldn’t resist commenting on it. It is the story of a group of people in rural Indiana where protesters have been protesting a sex shop and harassing its customers in a 24/7 effort since august 2005. The protestors take pictures of the customers and their license plates, threatening to contact the customer’s employers and inform them of their shopping habits. Both sides of this case are claiming free speech rights and that the first amendment is on their side.

What would be interesting is if the protesters actually did contact the employers of one of the people who entered the store. I believe that such an action would be grounds for that individual to file a harassment lawsuit against the protesters.

I am consistently amazed at the visceral need of many humans to know and police what other people do both in their private lives and in their bedroom. The government and society in general has no right to regulate what goes on in your bedroom as long as no one is being harmed (Insert obligatory sado-masochism joke here.) I will not pretend to even understand why they think that a sex toy store will increase the number of child rapes. If anything it might help, maybe the guy who is eyeing the little kiddies can go to the store and get something to get his rocks off and avoid kidnapping a child.

The part of this case that I think will be a deciding factor is that the protestors have established what amounts to an Evangelical Center, complete with cross, on publicly owned land… I believe that this would more than likely fall under the precedent that a strictly religious monument cannot be established on government or public property.

In the end, I think it comes back to what I said about people having this need to control what others can do. It is not enough for the protesters that they have the option not to shop at the store, they must infringe upon the rights of their fellow citizens. I sincerely hope the protesters get a through thwack from the judge. Perhaps it’s time to have people taking pictures of the protesters and their license plates. Then post that with their home address with it. I wonder what would happen if someone took this up a notch? Maybe Lion’s Den should invest in a higher fence.

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I know people embed XKCD all the time but this one was just too good to pass up.

This is just too damn funny. The great thing is that they can’t let it out of the containment field without letting everything else out, thus triggering the appearance of Gozer the Traveler, the Destructor and the the Gozarian. This would effectively create the end of the world.

*Watches as Evangelical Christians try to shut down the containment grid.*

Maybe we atheists can help the Catholics come up with a better blessing when crossing themselves now?
*Crosses self*
In nomine patris, et fillii, et logicus sancti.

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