The Curse has been Broken

This evening, Ariela and I saw the new Star Trek film, for the second time. Phil Plait and PZ Myers have both already reviewed it, but I think left out a few really interesting (and disappointing) things about the film, so I would like to add my own review to the pile.

To summarize, it was awesome. Despite a few plot holes, scientific inaccuracies, and awkward interations between characters, it was an excellent Trek movie, worthy enough on this description alone to have broken the “Curse of the Odd-Numbered Trek.”

Warning: Spoiler Alert – You have been warned. Continue reading The Curse has been Broken

Advertisements

Cool, but not.

Anytime there’s an exodus of talent from a major player like Disney (Pixar, Dreamworks), or in this case, Google, it getes a lot of attention because it usually means someone’s going to make something good. The internet story du jour (and discussed during a picnic at work today, too) is the new search engine Cuil, pronounced cool. After checking it out, I have decided that although it has a few nifty features, it seems almost useless compared to the Big G.

Rather than distribute searches amongst many servers around the world, Cuil sends each search to a specific computer. I tried typing “The Inoculated Mind” into Cuil, and before I was halfway, it already suggested the full title of my blog. “The Inoculated Mind” actually has a place on one of their servers, facilitating any search for it. How special! Continue reading Cool, but not.

Review: Tomorrow’s Table

While I was in the process of applying for graduate school, in late 2006, I was chasing down a letter of recommendation from my former boss, and somehow, the conversation turned to a book he was asked to proof-read. That book, a year and a half later, was to be published as Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming and the Future of Food, by Pamela Ronald and Raoul W. Adamchak. Pamela Ronald is a rice geneticist and genetic engineer, the chair of the plant genomics program at UC Davis, now also the Director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Research Institute in Emeryville. (She is also a former professor of mine.) The second author, Raoul, is an organic farmer, who runs the UC Davis Student Farm‘s Market Garden, a stone’s throw from where I used to garden in Davis.

When I first heard about it in production, I couldn’t wait to read this book, because I knew what it would be about, an idea that both Pam and Raoul have promoted and embody in their lives. You see, Pam and Raoul are married, and they think Organic Agriculture and Genetic Engineering should be, too. Continue reading Review: Tomorrow’s Table

Cool, but not.

Anytime there’s an exodus of talent from a major player like Disney (Pixar, Dreamworks), or in this case, Google, it gets a lot of attention because it usually means someone’s going to make something good. The internet story du jour (and discussed during a picnic at work today, too) is the new search engine Cuil, pronounced cool. After checking it out, I have decided that although it has a few nifty features, it seems almost useless compared to the Big G. Continue reading Cool, but not.

Nancy Pearcey at Niceville, a review

A little more than a week ago, I received an email from Marni Chidsey, a librarian at Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Florida. She heard about a “Beyond Expelled” event that was about to take place in her locale, and the speaker was going to be Nancy Pearcey. Yes, that Nancy Pearcey. Mrs Totaluberdoubleplus Truth herself.

Marni emailed me, PZ Myers, Ken Miller, and a few others asking for advice on how to represent science and reason at the event, and what would be a good question to ask. Nick Matzke helped me out with my question then, so it was time to pay it forward. I sent her a few good proposed questions for her to ask Pearcey, and explained a little background on her arguments and its basic flaws.

Ken Miller sent the both of us a preview of his now-published essay about Expelled and how utterly dishonest it is. Check it out when you have the time. Ken suggested that Marni hand out copies of it if she could, and I asked her to record it if possible. How did it go? Continue reading Nancy Pearcey at Niceville, a review

I FIXED IT!

Hello everyone, it’s great to be back.

Previously, I mentioned that my website was getting transferred to a new system, and that I would be able to do a lot more with the site, bigger capacity, host more domains, etc. Well, the transfer didn’t happen, and after a week, all of our sites went down as our old accounts were closed.

And our emails were inoperative.

And people were unable to download my podcast.

And every time I called them, I was told that someone would be working on it and have it done in a couple days. A couple days later I got the same story. After repeated calls to Startlogic, I finally got someone to move their butt on Tuesday and start moving things from my old accounts to my new one. Then, bit by bit, things moved over during the last couple days, amidst frequent status update calls from me.

Needless to say, I’ve been pissed off. It was so easy for them to charge me extra money for this new service, and yet so hard for them to deliver on their promises. Whereas I would have recommended Startlogic to people before, now I’m not in an amicable mood about it.

Add to this the fact that I’m having to learn the new system, and learn how to set up Domain Name System (DNS) entries with little help from my website host. I finally got some of the information I was looking for today, and within half an hour, voila! Back online.

Sociologique and Meet The Composers are still offline, so I’m still pissed. Two databases have not been moved, and one site hasn’t been moved at all. I can restore it from my own files, but the database has some info that I cannot.

Over the phone, I was told that I would get an in-person explanation as to why my account was sat on, however, to this date I have not received this explanation.

Meanwhile, I was able to learn enough about the virtual private server’s system to be able to set up a new domain on my own. In a snap, I give you Bee Lovely Candles – a project of Ariela’s. I can’t tell you more about it until this weekend, because I’m in quite a time crunch right now. Suffice to say that when I set it up it worked perfectly, and when they transferred it over it didn’t. Nyaa nyaa! (Keep in mind, I have no training in any of this stuff. It’s all been learn as I go)

So, here I am, didja miss me?

Richard Dawkins at the Wisconsin Union, A review and more!

Tuesday, the 11th of March, 2008, Professor Richard Dawkins came to Madison, Wisconsin. As I mentioned before, he was here for two talks, and I was going to try to get him on my show for an interview. It was a busy day for me in class, and in lab as well, plus my backpack was broken and I had to use two shoulder bags all day, but I carried around my books, notes, computer, and recording equipment for what was a jam-packed day.

First, there was the talk in the afternoon, of which I caught the latter half. It was a casual affair, a discussion between Dawkins and mostly students. If you want a more complete description of this event, visit Missives from the Frontal Lobe or The Uncredible Hallq. My reason for being there was to approach Dawkins after the discussion to ask him for an interview.

Continue reading Richard Dawkins at the Wisconsin Union, A review and more!