Christmas Countdown: 6

Santa not realBack in the days when fax machines were cool, “sharing” was a tiny trickle compared to the raging river of today. “Images” were black and white (not even grays) and 8.5″ x 11″ paper-sized. “Texts” were also that size, came in a variety of “fonts.” Both usually looked like something that had been photocopied 500 times.

Then as now there were gems. Here’s (a link to) one of them: Santa Claus: Fact or Fiction? It’s a trenchant treatise on the putative physical reality of Santa Claus. It considers some of the numbers involved, but I’ve never verified them, so be warned (38.5% of statistics are made up on the spot).

 And now, today’s musical selections:

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Christmas Countdown: 7

Scrooge and MarleyAt this point in the season, various versions have already aired more than a few times, but tonight marks the first time for me to sit down and popcorn out on A Christmas Carol (by any other name). And sometime this week I’ll read the online version at Gutenberg. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories!

Today also marks the beginning of the one-week Christmas Countdown. Each day brings a short controversy-free, technology-free, gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, chemical-free free range Christmas post with a link back to a post from the Christmas Cycle in 2012. Considering the viewing schedule tonight, the link can only be to A Christmas Carol. (You can watch the Mr. Magoo version there!)

And each day, below the fold: Christmas Music!

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Science is Easy!

scientist (mad)No doubt those who regard quantum physics or Einstein’s relativity or even just trigonometry as an impenetrable thicket of unknowable terms and ideas have a hard time believing science could be easy. The lingo alone seems to create an exclusive “members only” club.

The trick is: easy (or difficult) compared to what? Many scientists now disdain philosophy (apparently forgetting what we now call science was once called natural philosophy). They point to the advances of science in the last 500 (or whatever) years and then say that philosophy hasn’t been nearly as successful in 2000 years.

But that’s because science is easy. It’s philosophy that’s hard!

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Weather Retort

2014-12-16When, oh when, will I learn to keep my mouth shut! After going on about the unseasonably warm weather — three straight days with the temperature locked at 46-ish — and even posting pictures of the vanishing snow…

I wake to what you see here and a 25-degree drop in temperature. My (currently still working) indoor-outdoor digital temperature gizmo tells me it’s currently 21 (point nine) outside. Said gizmo also tells me the high today was 32 (point whatever), which was probably at midnight.

So, Hello Winter, I see you found us again. Now go away!


Monday Miscellany #2

TV The NewsroomYou, dear reader, might wonder about the #2 in today’s title. Obviously it signifies a second, so you may wonder wither the first? That one wasn’t in the normal catalog, but in Brain Bubbles, and it is, in fact, misfiled due to my own historical lack of precision about what belongs in that catalog. Full-length articles about movies do not.

So today’s post, another meander through three (recommended) movies, two TV shows (one recommended, one not), and a commemoration of the end of a great (cable) TV show, goes in the main catalog where it belongs.

Truth be told, I just couldn’t come up with a better title.

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Awesome Evidence

The Starry NightSometimes, when discussing the possible existence of God (or Gods), there is the question: “Where is the evidence God exists?” One problem with that question is that different groups (believers and non-believers) are seeking different kinds of evidence. It’s a bit like how different groups — often the same two groups — get stuck on meanings of the word “theory.”

Evidence can be probative, circumstantial or even merely suggestive. When it comes to the question of God, some require probative evidence to prove God’s existence. Others, believing faith is central to belief, require only circumstantial or suggestive evidence.

Here are some thoughts about evidence I find suggestive.

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12-13-14

14-12-13Today is a date most folks living in the USA write as 12-13-14, and for anyone who loves numbers a date like that demands a post of some sort. I’d planned to goof off today, maybe catch up on some movies, but there’s just no way I won’t post on a date with a sequence like that.

Of course, others write today’s date as 13-12-14, but they’re not from around here. And there’s just no helping those who insist on writing 2014. The real error is putting the year last — the sensible way is 14-12-13, which allows proper sorting of dates chronologically. We should all change to that immediately.

If it’s not obvious yet, today is just a meandering ramble.

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Reality IS Virtual (probably)!

virtual realityOne of the things I mentioned in my recent Material Disbelief post was that, if you accept everything physics has discovered in the last 100 years or so — and if you believe in philosophical materialism — you are faced with the very strong possibility that all of reality is some sort of simulation or machine process.

Not only does all the evidence, as well as some basic logic, seem to point in that direction, but as a model of reality it provides easy answers to many of the conundrums of modern physics (e.g. Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” and some basic questions regarding the Big Bang).

Today I want to lay out the details of the arguments for this.

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Movies: Sexy Trio

video rentalsI learned the lesson so long ago that video rental stores were still a thing. Sometimes the most interesting movies are the ones that sit — one lonely copy — forlornly on the rental shelves. They’re almost lost among the popular movies with their dozens of copies. (Let alone the Big Hits taking up entire shelf sections.)

Movies imitate real life in many ways. The content versus popularity equation is no exception. Often, popular means shallow and bland — by definition inoffensive. (Almost always, greater appeal means less flavor or spice. No surprises.)

But that lonely outlier can be an unexpected and delicious meal!

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Carved in Stone

written in stoneEarly this year I wrote an article comparing how we store music in digital versus analog form along with a followup article exploring the contrast between them. There is another major consideration that predominates when it comes recording information these days. Quite simply: what are we going to record onto?

How many of you remember (or have even seen) eight-inch floppy disks? How about five-and-a-quarter floppies? Show of hands if you’ve ever actually used a three-and-half inch floppy? Some of you might not even know what a “floppy disk” is!

Not very permanent, were they. Now consider the Rosetta Stone.

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