Archive for August, 2002

web site statistics

Saturday, August 31st, 2002

Ok, here is an interesting one; I took a look at the site statistics for confusion last month and found some interesting things.

The total number of hits to confusion last month was 1168 or 44 a day on avarage. Where did all these hits come from? Well by it breaks down like this:

—43% where people already on the site clicking on a new page.
—25% where from US based .com, .net or .org sites.
—12% came from Switzerland, we know who that was :)
—8% where unresolved—whatever that means.
—5% originated in Australia. Hello down under!

—3% of visitors came from Denmark. Wonder if I know them?
—2% where from US .edu’s—I most likely do know them.
—And 2% where from Jamaica, you got to love that! True gloabality!

I also noticed that Garth’s site—codejunkie is listed a couple of times in the referrers log. Thanks Garth for linking to me. I checked out the site, looks nice.

Kind of cool to see where the hits come from, I did not realize that the site was actually being seen by other people, last month people from Google, Google Canada, Yahoo search (powered by Google), and Yahoo Australia search (also powered by Google) and even someone from a Slashdot story I posted a comment to have stopped by. All in all encouraging knowing people actually visit the site.

midnight musings: creationism vs. darwinism

Friday, August 30th, 2002

Cobb County George… A bunch of parents got a petition together and the school board voted to append a disclaimer to all biology books that Evolution is a theory:

“This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

Now, before all the liberals in the world get up in arms, there is nothing per se wrong with a disclaimer that notes that evolution has never been proven as a fact. The evidence supports the theory and there is no physical evidence to disprove the theory but that in and of itself does not prove the theory. Teaching evolution is like teaching Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity—It appears that while both ideas fit the observable world, they are incompatible and therefore, most likely, something is wrong with one or both. Just a Newtonian physics fit the observable world when it was defined but failed to as our experiments become more and more accurate and we moved to Einstein’s theories evolution fits the observed data of today, but may need refinement and it is possible that, however unlikely, new evidence may change the basics of the theory. So there is nothing wrong with the idea of the disclaimer.

The problem with the disclaimer is that it is not a stand-alone feature—there is an agenda behind it. We all know that the people who push these disclaimers are modern day Williams Jennings Bryans and while they cannot wipe evolution from the textbooks they will want Creationism—Judaic-Christian creation, taught along side the “theory of evolution.” The parents who suggested the disclaimer may very well be innocent of this, but those who will hail the disclaimer and champion it are the same people who, hypocritically file law suits against schools who ask their students to read something on the Koran as an academic exercise in understanding the world. These people will say that Creationism is a theory and that it should be given equal treatment in the classroom, but I wonder if they would champion the teaching of Hindu creationism? Or of Norse creationism? What of the creation beliefs of the Native Americans? I doubt it.

I don’t see the validity of the ACLU’s statement that the disclaimer is a “fundamentalist Christian expression” in itself—it does not allude to any creationism or opposing views, but I see the fear of a slippery slope in it. Will the disclaimer lead the Cobb County students being the “laughing stock of college entrance boards,” as some local parents thing? It should not, as long as the students still learn the observable facts and the tenants of the “theory.” In the end, the disclaimer itself does not seam, to me, to violate any tenant of separation of church and state as long as it does not allude to any religious ideas of creation. Teach evolution as a theory—as the theory that fits the facts.

paradoxes and oxymoron’s

Thursday, August 29th, 2002

— A day without sunshine is like.. night.
—On the other hand… you have different fingers.
—I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
—42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
—99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
—I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
—Honk if you love peace and quiet.
—Remember, half the people you know are below average.
—He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
—Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
—The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

—I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
—Support bacteria. They’re the only culture some people have.
—Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your week.
—A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
—Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
—Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
—Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!
—If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
—How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand…
—OK, so what’s the speed of dark?
—How do you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?
—If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
—When everything is coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
—Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
—Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don’t have film.
—If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
—Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.
—What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
—I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
—I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
—Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
—Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened

back to school

Tuesday, August 27th, 2002

All my American friends have gone back to school today… I don’t have school and I don’t have a job yet…

midnight musings: the middle east

Saturday, August 24th, 2002

The Palestinian/Israeli problem… It’s unfortunate that the lessons learned by our parents can so easily be forgotten or overlooked as we march down the same wrong paths others have trod for years simply because they are familiar and well worn. The path to change and attention most often seen is the one marked by the dead, by the victims of the quest for change—from both sides of the conflict.

Hamas and The Islamic Jihad may achieve their goals one day, they may destroy Israel but the road will be long and hard their way. It will be lined with the bodies of countless Palestinians and Israelis. It is unfortunate that their interpretation of their religion gives them the excuse to pursue a bloody path.

As Robert Frost observed; in the woods, there are two paths, and one is less traveled. In this case the people who took the “road less traveled” have names we all know, names like Gandhi and King. People who captured the attention and sympathy of the world by their methods and their results.

Gandhi struggled for the freedom of India and the welfare of his people in a time before CNN; he shook the British Empire to it’s knees and he won his peoples freedom. Palestinian leaders should imagine the impact on Americans and Europeans watching Israeli soldiers struggle trying to figure out how to deal with constant sit-ins and non-violent rallies. What could Israel do? It could arrest them, or beat them, or kill them. All where done to the followers of Martin Luther King, and in only a decade his followers achieved so much. The Israeli army is the one of the best equipped and trained in the world, but what could they do if the Palestinians removed violence from the equation?

Hamas and The Islamic Jihad will not stop, they will not cease till Israel is no more or they are no more. And non-violence may not work. But perhaps someone should suggest it to the Palestinians, Someone like Kofi Anan or Jimmy Carter or Crown Prince Abdullah. Someone.


Wednesday, August 14th, 2002

necessity might be the mother of invention but I think boredom must be the father…

Random Ideas:

  1. New power source
  2. You know all that space between the interstates? The median, which is usually (at least in the country) overgrown with random trees and grasses. I say we bulldoze it level and put up those electricity generating windmills every 50 or 60 feet. How much extra power would that produce? I mean the heat rising off the roads must be enough to turn most of the windmills—and it’s not like we are using the land for anything else (except a few farmers who are growing hay or corn, but they could still grow it, they just have to do it around the windmill posts.) Now think how many miles of interstate, and other limited access roads there are in the US. I know that near big cities there is no median but a few Jersey barriers but everywhere else there is lots of land not being used. The government could rent it cheep to the power companies and that would help with the power shortages and it’s environmentally nice power! Given that the bulldozing of the medians might not be so environmentally nice-nice.

  3. The Debt
  4. I say we level a tax to go directly to the national debt. Now I see two ways of doing this. 1) charge a 1% tax on every sale—over everything and it goes strait to the debt, no where else, and as soon as the debt is gone, so is the tax! Or 2) two new taxes, one for companies of 5% of profits—strait to the debt, and one for individuals 1% of income—again strait to the debt and as with the sales tax, when the debt is gone so is the tax. Somehow I doubt people would like such a tax, and I know congress would not let it get by them without them sticking their greedy little hands in the cookie jar and diverting the money to some other project. But the dept needs to be paid, the US needs to step up and take responsibility and show the world that we will pay our debts.

  5. I know there was a third one…
  6. but I cannot remember what it was right now, so I will stop…