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Apple products irk me to no end. They define the non-generative end of the technology spectrum.  If Apple does not like your application it simply will not work on your ‘iwhatever’ (flash being a case in point).   Apple seems to have dropped the ball again in one of their strong suits: design.  (But it does blend well, a point in Apple’s favour.)

“Apple has acknowledged reception problems with its new iPhone 4, but the company is blaming the issue on how users are holding the device.

The new iPhone, which went on sale in several countries on Thursday, features an antenna built into the frame of the device itself. Some users immediately complained of losing reception, which prompted Apple to address the issue late Thursday.”

Huh. Well damn, I guess you just have to stop holding the phone to get good reception.  But really, do you buy an Apple product for anything more than just to be seen with it.  Functionality seems a distant second, at best.  So what if the darn thing cannot pick up a signal, its an Apple and to be seen ‘using’ one should be enough.

‘Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs further addressed the issue in an email to a user, which was posted on the Engadget website on Friday. The user wrote to complain about the problem, to which Jobs responded: “Just avoid holding it that way.”

Furthermore, I hear if you actually dance around like those insipid commercials, reception actually improves.

I do like a good getaway chase.  This must have been high drama, weaving through traffic, changing lanes, going 7 km/h.  The CBC reports the following:

Perhaps the felon thought no one would notice someone driving a lawn tractor down the street.

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Police say they caught a man making a slow getaway on a stolen riding mower.

The Tri-City Herald reports officers in Washington state responding to a burglary call Tuesday morning found a 31-year-old man riding the mower in the street, pulling a trailer of other lawn care equipment.

He was jailed for investigation of burglary, theft and drug charges.

Bill 44 reminds me of why I love living in Alberta darn so much.  Bill 44 is about parental choice:

Alberta’s controversial legislation that gives parents the option of pulling their children out of sexual education or religion classes they deem inappropriate or offensive will not affect how Catholic schools are run, board officials say.

Oh hey, fantastic.  Having the option to be  excluded from religious nuttery 101 is a good thing.  The problem is that somehow in the topsy-turvey world of educational policy Science Education has been given the same status as Religious Studies.   Parents who do not ‘believe’ in Evolution can have their children withdrawn from class using this same polished gem of legislation.

Set ignorance to 11!

Just to state the obvious Science and Religion are most certainly not the same thing.  The critical thinking and skepticism that can be learned in science class are vital in shaping the minds of today’s youth.  We do not need less critical thinking in the curriculum, but heaps more.

The short sighted nature of educational policy in Alberta aggravates me.  This legislation is giving the delusional a means to further inoculate their children against Science and the rest of the modern world.

I am going to use the discussion points found on RichardDawkins.net as the basis of this feature.

Calilasseia is the author of the post and deserves many rich accolades for assembling so much useful information in one spot.   This constitutes an open thread of sorts, please leave your opinions and observations in the comment section.

Enjoy!

[3] The “assumptions” canard (with “interpretation” side salad).

This is a frequent favourite with creationists, and usually erected for the purpose of attempting to hand-wave away valid science when it happens not to genuflect before their ideological presuppositions. As I have stated in [2] above, science is in the business of testing assumptions and presuppositions to destruction. As an example of destroying creationist apologetics with respect to this canard, I point interested readers to this post, where I destroyed the lies of the laughably named “Answers in Genesis” with respect to their assertion that 14C dating was based upon “assumptions”. I’ve also trashed this canard in detail with respect to radionuclide dating as a whole, so don’t even try to go down that road. Likewise, if you try to erect this canard with respect to other valid scientific theories, you will be regarded as dishonest.

Another favourite piece of creationist mendacity is the “interpretation” assertion, which creationist erect for the purpose of suggesting that scientists force-fit data to presuppositions. Apart from the fact that this is manifestly false, it is also defamatory, and a direct slur on the integrity of thousands of honest, hard working scientists, who strive conscientiously and assiduously to ensure that conclusions drawn from real world observational data are robust conclusions to draw. This slur, of course, is yet another example of blatant projection on the part of creationists, who manifestly operate on the basis of presupposition themselves, and appear to be incapable of imagining the very existence of a means of determining substantive knowledge about the world that does not rely upon presupposition. Well, I have news for you. Science does NOT rely upon “presupposition”. Indeed, scientists have expended considerable intellectual effort in the direction of ensuring that the conclusions they arrive at are rigorously supported by the data that they present in their published papers. There exists much discourse in the scientific literature on the subject of avoiding fallacious or weak arguments, including much sterling work by people such as Ronald Fisher, who sought during their careers to bring rigour to the use of statistical inference in the physical and life sciences. Indeed, Fisher was responsible for inventing the technique of analysis of variance, which is one of the prime tools used in empirical science with respect to experimental data, and Fisher expended much effort ensuring that inferences drawn using that technique were proper inferences to draw.

Basically, there is only one “interpretation” of the data that matters to scientists, and that is whatever interpretation is supported by reality. Learn this lesson quickly, unless you wish to be regarded as discoursively dishonest on a grand scale.

Leave it to the those wacky Japanese toy manufacturers to happily sashay over the expected norms of decency, common sense and appropriateness.

Check out the awesome Russian Roulette Gun Game:  if you lose you only get kicked in the head with a hippo as opposed to having your brains splattered on the wall.  Oh what fun!

Please excuse the ‘host’ as he seemingly has a internet business to run and shamelessly plugs himself throughout the entire video.

Defying international law seems to be what Israel does best.  The International Committee of the Red Cross recently released the following (from Al Jazeera):

“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has described Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip as a violation of the Geneva Conventions and called on the Israeli government to lift it.

In a statement released on Monday, the organisation called the blockade “collective punishment”, a crime under international law. It described Gaza as a territory plagued by frequent power cuts, a ruined economy, and a collapsed health care system.”

Collective punishment is illegal.  There are no qualifiers to this statement, the actions being taken against the people of Gaza are illegal.

“In Luxembourg on Monday, foreign ministers from the European Union condemned the Gaza blockade as “unacceptable and counterproductive,” and called for immediate and unconditional opening of crossings for humanitarian aid.

“The most important part of what we can do is to try and provide support to actually get the crossings open and to … help people rebuild their homes, to provide for businesses, to try to support everyday things,” Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief, said.”

Sounds like a reasonable starting point to me.

Once again, the CBC to the rescue.

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