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Astronomy is fantastic when done correctly and edited to make it all bright and shiny.  :)


From Bad Astronomy:

“First of all, a supernova is an exploding star — one of the most violent events in the Universe. There are different kinds of supernovae, but a Type Ia occurs, it’s thought, when a superdense white dwarf — the remnant core of a dead star — siphons material off a companion star. If enough material piles on top of the white dwarf, it can suddenly start to fuse hydrogen into helium. This starts a runaway effect, and the entire star explodes. This supernova can release so much energy it can actually outshine its host galaxy! If you want more details, I’ve written about Type Ia supernovae before: Astronomers spot ticking supernova time bomb and Dwarf merging makes for an explosive combo.

So this kind of supernova is incredibly bright, making them easy to spot over vast distances. These events are very important, because we think that each Type Ia supernova is very similar in the way it explodes, making them useful as benchmarks in gauging distances to very distant galaxies. In fact, it is the study of these explosions that has helped us nail down how fast the Universe is expanding, and also led to the discovery of dark energy. Clearly, the more we know about them, the better.”

I did not know that their was a ordered hierarchy of things to distract me, this sort of thing makes me wary of social media and being ‘connected’.

Edward Current makes me laugh.  I enjoy this videos and especially the comment sections where people routinely miss the satire and respond as if EC was playing what he says utterly straight.  But enough!  Beware god-mockers, its double down time in the torture for eternity sweepstakes.

It is awesome to watch the faithful whirl in indignation when they are called on the bullshite they believe in.  I’m not sure what Fox news was trying to do with this piece other than making their hosts look foolish.

The US is plodding back to the Dark Ages with their delusional christian inanity at their side, guiding them into a second Dark Age.

  Rick Perry is delusional.  What is worse, he is propagating and magnifying his own personal stupid beliefs and inflicting them on the people of America.  When faux news steps up and starts supporting your cause, that should be the first indicator that you have left the land of the rational and now are mired in the magical bullshite sands of religious indoctrination.

Texas and a good portion of the southwestern US is being baked into submission due to the changing climate.  When the desert is licking at your front doorstop, I think then the idea that we are having a negative effect on our biosphere might sink in.  Then again, maybe just another prayer rally will make things all better.

    The LHC is beginning to collect evidence for the elusive Higgs Boson.

“Scientists are hoping that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will finally nail Higgs boson — the “God particle” which theoretically endowed every other particle with mass, but has proved elusive to date. The discovery of Higgs boson is one of the chief goals of the LHC, the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth and perhaps the most complex scientific endeavour ever attempted.

At a meeting of the European Physical Society in Grenoble, France, physicists – including some from Caltech – announced that the latest data from the LHC might hint at the existence of the elusive particle.

But the data are not yet statistically significant enough to be called a definite signal, let alone a discovery of the Higgs particle, says Harvey Newman, professor of physics.”

Damn this is an exciting time to be alive.  This discovery would be bigger than the Beatles and jebus.

“One could speculate that it’s an unusual statistical fluctuation,” he says. “But I don’t think so.” Physicists will continue to ramp up the LHC, boosting it to higher energies and increasing the number of collisions to improve the chances of producing Higgs bosons.

With several times more particle interactions, the physicists are continuing to close in on the Higgs, as well as other new particles and interactions. There’s a chance that by the end of next year, they may determine, once and for all, whether the Higgs exists.”

Well, explained more than F-you, I’ve got mine.

Gleaned from Pharyngula, a post from Jadehawk.

I think that it’s possible to have libertarian values and still like things like governments and taxes and social programs.

yup. That’s called being liberal, progressive, or even anarcho-syndicalist, depending on the exact ratio of “libertarian” values to government/taxes/social programs

I concede the point that the phrase Libertarian has been tainted by the Tea Party

oh it was tarnished way before that, sometime around the time free-marketeers stole the label from what are currently called leftwing anarchists.

This is for reference for those who are curious:

oh FFS. Weve gone over this before. almost every single point is phrased in such a way that it, by omission, permits the limiting of freedoms of the non-privileged. a few examples:

Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. […] Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.

IOW: if a privately owned hospital wants to deny you visitation rights because you’re gay, well, that’s tough shit: not only can’t the government tell them to stop on principle, you’re not allowed to legally make yourself your loved one’s “next of kin” to gain legal visitation rights on an individual level, because marriages aren’t the government’s business.

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

IOW, libertarians don’t want the government to fund PP, because poor women don’t deserve the same right to “conscientious consideration” than rich women do.

The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression.

IOW, libertarians support power-balances in negotiations, since only employers are allowed to consist of more than one person; employees may not.

libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner.

well, too fucking bad then that you can either have a competitive, or a free market, not both, since a free market tends towards monopoly over time, since competition is expensive. And evidence suggests that libertarians in fact support a free, non-competitive market.

Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights.

IOW, owning shit is just as, or more, important than not starving, not freezing to death, and not dying of preventable disease.

Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.

except the Indians. They can’t have America back, we stole it fair and square.

All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor.

except workers, since we’re against the minimum wage. workers should hand over most of the fruits of their labor to their corporate overlords.

We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution

again, because owning shit is more important than not starving, not freezing to death, and not dying of preventable disease.

Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice.

IOW, libertarians know nothing about education, except that poor people don’t need it. Oh, and positive externalities don’t exist, which is why the free market will have no problem allocating the right amount of education to the right people; meaning not-poor people.

We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system.

poor people don’t deserve the freedom that comes from knowing that the next bout of illness isn’t going to kill and/or bankrupt you.

etc. ad nauseam. The fucking platform itself is evidence for what people have been saying on this thread: that libertarianism supports the rights of the dominant group to remain the dominant group; it does not support factual freedom for everyone, only the freedom of those who can buy everything.

Thanks JadeHawk :) Oh and another great summary from the same thread

John Scalzi wrote the best paragraph ever on glibertarians. Here it is:

I really don’t know what you do about the “taxes are theft” crowd, except possibly enter a gambling pool regarding just how long after their no-tax utopia comes true that their generally white, generally entitled, generally soft and pudgy asses are turned into thin strips of Objectivist Jerky by the sort of pitiless sociopath who is actually prepped and ready to live in the world that logically follows these people’s fondest desires. Sorry, guys. I know you all thought you were going to be one of those paying a nickel for your cigarettes in Galt Gulch. That’ll be a fine last thought for you as the starving remnants of the society of takers closes in with their flensing tools.


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