Some Stuff That’s Nifty 7/20/13

Who needs a preamble?

End of the World

1. Continuing with my fascination with how the world will end (apparently it’s going to be an asteroid, if my blog is any indication), we get this excellent xkcd comic.

Science

1. I recently read an article written by Virginia Heffernan where she explained her rationale for being a Creationist, and I found it headbangingly awful.  Her central point was that everything is based on a narrative and there is no absolute truth so just believe what you think is most awesome.  As a Christian who accepts the scientific theory of evolution, that kind of thought really irritates me because it’s a position that’s truly not going to make either scientists or people of faith appreciate that there is a way to reconcile both realms of thought.  This essay from i09 deals a little bit with this whole problem in depth.

2. So, there’s this ongoing experiment where a bunch of people have been watching a funnel full of pitch, because pitch is apparently viscous, although it runs extremely slowly.  This article from the Atlantic gives a bit of history on the experiment and all the times that researchers failed to see the pitch drop.

3. So someday, probably soon, there’s going to be a manned mission to Mars.  That’s going to be a really long trip.  I mean, I get tired of being in the car after about four hours.  I can’t imagine being stuck in a ship for 8 months each way.  Good luck with that, future Mars explorers.

4. I don’t understand quantum mechanics either, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the existence of souls.

5. So say you own a cow.  Now say your neighbor comes by and says that your cow’s not in your field; it’s gotten through the fence and is wandering in your neighbor’s field.  You go to check this out, and you see a black and white splotch from a distance in your neighbor’s field and conclude that, yes, your cow is in his field.  In reality, that splotch is a ripped trash bag with paper falling out of it.  Unobserved by both you and your neighbor is your cow in a copse of trees in your neighbor’s field.  While what you believe happens to be true, you do not have any actual evidence supporting it.  Therefore you believe rightly, but you yourself are incorrect.

Feminism

1. I have a penis.  It’s what defines me as a man.  What I do not have is a total inability to control my baser desires when I’m in the presence of an attractive woman.  The justices on the Iowa Supreme Court disagree about that last bit, since they ruled that a guy who fired an employee because he felt that she was a threat to his marriage because he found her attractive was justified.  That’s it.  She didn’t make any advances on him, she’s didn’t reciprocate his own lewd advances, she did nothing but act professionally.  Way to uphold the dignity of both the sexes, Iowa.

Gaming

1. There’s already one official Minecraft LEGO set.  Soon there will be two more.

2. The other day Earthbound was re-released on the Wii U eShop.  This is a big deal.  If you have a Wii U and you’ve never played this game (because if you have played it then you’ve already heard this news, because who doesn’t play this game and not love it?) then you should consider downloading it.  If you need someone who writes about games for a living explaining why you should play it, then watch this video.

Movies & TV

1. I really, really wish that Fox would just give up their rights to the X-Men franchise.  Not all of the movies have been bad, but for a continuity nerd like me, the way they’ve gone about completely screwing with everything (plus ignoring their own continuity) just irks me.  Having said that, I like these headshots of some of the characters that will be featured in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.  I’m almost tempted to go see it.  Almost.

Cover of "The Name of the Wind (Kingkille...

I never imagined Kvothe looking like such a lothario before I saw this cover.  Cover via Amazon

2. I recently finished reading The Name of the Wind, and I’ve started reading its sequel The Wise Man’s Fear.  As fantasy series go, I think this one’s great.  Patrick Rothfuss has entered the pantheon of my writing idols, because every time I sit down to read his stuff, I just think “I wish I could write something like that!”  Anyway, there’s a TV show in development.  Unfortunately, Fox is the studio developing it, so it may be awful.  But I still have high hopes for now.

3. If you have not seen Season 3 of Game of Thrones then don’t watch this video.  If you have and you also happen to love Arrested Development then by all means watch this video.

4. Also, if you haven’t seen Season 3 of Game of Thrones then don’t watch this video.  If you want a delightful recap of every character death in the show’s run so far set to Boyz II Men, then do watch it.  You will cry and then laugh and then cry again because everyone involved with making this series enjoys the suffering of others.

Comics

1. The Wolverine came out this weekend.  I’ll probably skip it until it comes out on DVD.  If you’re like me (a big nerd) then you might get a kick out of this infographic detailing all the changes Wolverine’s costume has gone through since his introduction in 1974.  Also, he never actually had a noseless phase; he was feral.  It was still a poor design decision, but we’ve all moved on from that now, okay?!

Mental Vacation

1. Enjoy this HD video of Niagara Falls taken from an aerial drone.

2. Watching dominoes cascade is wonderful.  Here’s a video of a lot of dominoes cascading.  Also, check out the comments on that post for a bunch of other domino videos.

And that’s it from my little corner of the internet.

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