Reina’s Happiness

A Poem saying thanks on behalf of my daughter.

Happiness is Kisses and Hugs,

Holding me tight.

Happiness is being picked up,

If I’m crying at night.

Happiness is Uncles and Aunts,

And gifts that delight.

Happiness is Reina,

Smiling so bright.

Unbelievable!

I am appalled at Mike Huckabee’s statement on Sandy Hook Elementary that lack of god in school  caused the shooting and then clarifying that it was regarding the atmosphere. How about adding Zeus to the school prayers, may be the shooter would be thunderstruck instead of “calmed” due to the atmosphere. It shows utter lack of understanding of the issue and Huckabee is trying to obfuscate by changing the discussion from guns to religion. The focus needs to be on gun control and doing what we should have been doing on mental health. We do not hear these kinds of school shooting etc as often in other countries. The other countries do not make it as easy to kill – and that is important. The NRA and those in their employ – like our esteemed congressmen and senators keep saying that it is not the guns that kills people, its the people. But guns make it easier to kill, and access to that needs to be regulated. We have been doing NRA way of doing things all these years, lets try something different. Stop the people from pulling triggers by stopping the access to guns! Help those who need to be helped on Mental Health.

 

Climate Change requires a more impact-ful phrase

Global Warming was evocative and conveyed the idea of warming of the planet due to Green House gases. It also projected a situation where the earth was being cooked. Unfortunately while the warming is the cause of the climate change, the effect is different in different locations, with more snowfall or rain and cold in some areas causing the knuckleheads to declare that there is no such thing as “Global Warming”.  The phrase Climate Change doesn’t have the same evocative kick to it. I propose that we try some other phrases to convey detrimental human impact to the climate. Here are a few of my choices. Just like “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”, I believe the phrase needs to be either 2 or 3 words, preferably two.

  • Climate Decay – This one is more evocative than Climate Change. One of the definition of decay is “a gradual falling into an inferior condition; progressive decline”. That very succinctly describes the worsening of the climate that is happening. The only detraction from the phrase would be the “animalification” (yes a made up word that for me means projecting animal characteristics on inanimate) of climate. Also it doesn’t convey human agency, and makes it sound more like a naturally occurring process which it is not.
  • Climate Contusion: Evokes human bluntness on climate – a strong impact in a short period, also is an alliteration which adds to the charm.
  • Climate Distress: Evokes the pain of human footprint on the climate.
  • Climate Mutilation: Shows the aggressiveness of the human impact on the climate.
  • Climate Abuse: This might be the best off all.

It is important to recapture the human imagination as to the situation of Climate change, and a name change might be the best way to go about starting that. What would be your best way to do that?

Weinergate

Here is my second one. More appropriate to today (or yesterday).

Faith based agencies closing adoptions to fight back against Civil Union Act.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act , and it will go into effect June 1.

This has brought about brouhaha from the faith based agencies and to fight back against the act, they are threatening to close adoption services. I felt that kind of absurd thinking required a cartoon treatment. And here it is for your pleasure, my first cartoon..

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Skeptic’s critique of Skepticism: Science Ed

Today I heard a very compelling argument of being a Skeptic of Skepticism by Science Punk Frank Swain. This was part of the WestMinster Skeptics in the Pub. You can hear it as a podcast @ Pod Delusion.

What I gathered from Frank’s argument is that if trying to promote scientific method and scientific learning, leaning only on the facts is not going to work. To connect, there needs to be a good story and an appeal to emotions. The story needs to be told in a way that touches people. That’s why series like RadioLab are so popular and are absolutely brilliant in their ability to promote the science.

They focus on individuals, add humor which includes slapstick, create tension of opposing view points – essentially keeping the attention  without straying away from the latest scientific knowledge. And the best thing about it is that it is one of the few podcasts that my wife would listen along with me (and enjoy it as much as I do).

Sometimes looking at the question from different perspectives as RadioLab does is just what is required for things to move forward beyond the usual “I am right because I know the facts as science tells me and you are an ignorant idiot who still believes in fairy tales” and at least have a basis of engagement that would be good for all. RadioLab tells stories as we all love to listen, science just intertwines through them – naturally. I would leave you with the first RadioLab that I listened to.

Planet Money goes to the Medieval ages

Here is an incredible podcast.

Knights are extortionists. Guilds knock down your house if you don’t play by their rules. And you have to wait until the black death kills a third of Europe before anything changes.

 One of the points that Dinesh D’Souza consistently makes during his debates is that Christianity is the root of Science. See Chapter eight of his book “What’s so Great about Christianity

This Planet Money podcast knocks that down a few notches and shows how religion inspired Guilds kept innovation down and  stopped entrepreneurship. The only reason we came out of the medieval ages is due to the black death that destroyed these guilds to allow for industry to flourish and not due to Christianity.

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