You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Hall of Fame’ category.

Loosely quoted from Star Talk Radio:

“It seems to me that science is the only human collaboration that transcends human boundaries. The results you find are independent of what country you come from, what religion you believe in, what government you have. So when you think of what is the future that could possibly unfold in a world that is divided by politics, by religion and by any other reason people give to kill another person for crossing a line in the sand, it tells me that the only hope we have is to search for the truth that we find through the research conducted by science.”

“If you stare at nothing for long enough, something will appear”

– Lawrence Krauss

 

The idea that something can’t come from nothing has been rendered obsolete by quantum mechanics. Just as Krauss says, if you observe a space of absolutely nothing (a vacuum), particles will appear and disappear frequently from the nothingness (quantum fluctuations). I mentioned more on this in my post about how the universe can create itself out of nothing.

Just finished watching a discussion between Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss. There were many profound things said, and many obvious ones that unfortunately still need to be said, but this quote particular gave me a good laugh.

In regards to theology not being a real subject, I put this challenge out to all theologians. Name me one piece of knowledge theology has contributed to human society in the last 500 years. When I speak to theologians, they always seem to answer “well, what do you mean by knowledge?”, but when I talk to chemists, physicists and medical doctors, they give me concrete facts straight away.

– Lawrence Krauss.

In 5 billion years, the expansion of the universe will have progressed to the point where all other galaxies will have receded beyond detection.  Indeed, they will be receding faster than the speed of light, so detection will be impossible.  Future civilizations will discover science and all its laws, and never know about other galaxies or the cosmic background radiation.  They will inevitably come to the wrong conclusion about the universe……We live in a special time, the only time, where we can observationally verify that we live in a special time.

– Lawrence M. Krauss

Just imagine – a day when the skies are completely black at night and no matter how advanced technology gets (if classical physics is right and light speed is the max), they will never know anything about other stars or galaxies. The only evidence that they ever existed would be old stories. Mind blowing stuff.

By the way, I’ve heard a question in response to this quote basically wondering how the galaxies can be receding faster than light speed if light speed is the maximum. The reason is because the receding of galaxies is not “physical” travel through space, but rather it is the expansion of the fabric of space-time. Those familiar with science will understand this. If it helps, imagine two dots on the surface of a balloon. As you inflate the balloon, the two dots move farther apart because the surface of the balloon is expanding, but their physical locations on the balloon is still the “same” (i.e. the dots aren’t moving along the balloon, they’re still where you put them – it’s the surface of the balloon that’s stretching).

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician and drink the remedy in silence and tranquility.

– Khalil Gibran

I normally don’t get too involved in politics, but this was too awesome to pass up. How could you not vote for such a cool guy? It’s not actually a quote as much as a speech, and I’m sure everyone’s heard it already, but I’ll leave it here as a funny keepsake:

“What professions do all these senators and congressmen have? Law, law, law, law, business, law, law, law … Where are the scientists? Where are the engineers? Where’s the rest of … life?”

– Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Inspired by this recent example of stupidity at its finest, I’ve decided to make a new section – the Hall of Fame. There’ll be two parts to this – the good and the stupid, the latter to which Todd Akin belongs.

Many have probably heard this already (it’s all over America), but this hilarious republican proclaimed in an interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M09iWwKiDsA) when asked about his view on abortion that female victims of “legitimate rape” would not suffer pregnancy because their body “has ways to shut that whole thing down”. Congratulations on being the first member of the Hall of Stupid, Todd Akin! In light of this context, I would suggest that his brain was aborted, but I doubt anything I can say will come close to the raw amusement I feel about his idiocy. Not that I won’t try to describe it.

So apparently a lot of people are offended by this comment. I, on the other hand, find it hilarious. Not because I’m insensitive – no, if anything I’m being more sensitive than you all. Does a parent express offence and hatred to a child who has made a silly comment? Does a professor expel a student in contempt because the student is not capable of the same higher order thinking as the professor? No, when somebody with an obviously impaired intelligence says something silly, you just don’t take it seriously. I mean, what would you expect from a right wing politician and a religious nut? That’s a recipe for disaster. I’m sorry religion, but you have some really stupid people speaking for you.

But you know what? This one takes the cake:

To appease my conscience a little, I’m going to put some information in here so it doesn’t just end up being a post where I pay out an idiot (making me a bully – though, come on … what did he expect after saying something like that). This is taken from the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (figures are of Americans).

Pregnancies Resulting from Rape

In 2004-2005, 64,080 women were raped. According to medical reports, the incidence of pregnancy for one-time unprotected sexual intercourse is 5%. By applying the pregnancy rate to 64,080 women, RAINN estimates that there were 3,204 pregnancies as a result of rape during that period.

This calculation does not account for the following factors which could lower the actual number of pregnancies:
  • Rape, as defined by the NCVS, is forced sexual intercourse. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Certain types of rape under this definition cannot cause pregnancy.
  • Some victims of rape may be utilizing birth control methods, such as the pill, which will prevent pregnancy.
  • Some rapists may wear condoms in an effort to avoid DNA detection.
  • Vicims of rape may not be able to become pregnant for medical or age-related reasons.
This calculation does not account for the following factors which could raise the actual number of pregnancies:
  • Medical estimates of a 5% pregnancy rate are for one-time, unprotected sexual intercourse. Some victimizations may include multiple incidents of intercourse.
  • Because of methodology, NCVS does not measure the victimization of Americans age 12 or younger. Rapes of these young people could results in pregnancies not accounted for in RAINN’s estimates.

In fact, rape could arguably have a higher chance of pregnancy (http://news.kuwaittimes.net/2012/08/21/rape-trauma-as-barrier-to-pregnancy-has-no-basis-raped-victims-may-be-more-likely-to-get-pregnant-experts/):

In a 2003 study in the journal Human Nature, researchers found that 6.4 percent of rapes in the hundreds of women they surveyed caused pregnancy; that compares to a rate roughly half that with consensual intercourse. In Mexico, rape crisis centers have reported that some 15 percent of rapes cause pregnancy. The rate may be high because rape victims are less likely to be using contraception at the time of the crime than are women in a relationship, who can also choose to forego sex during fertile periods in their reproductive cycle if they do not want to conceive.- Reuters

So there, we’ve learned two things. First, there are humongous idiots walking this Earth and second, rape can cause pregnancy. Oh wait, I guess those are both just common sense – common sense being something that eludes Todd Akin. That’ll be my last jab at him. Well, if nothing else, I thank Todd Akin for inspiring a section dedicated to fools like himself.

Addendum: Friend linked me this picture, which is also pretty funny.

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