Archive for September, 2007

Speaking in Contradictions 1

A coworker is a huge fan of Richard Dawkins, a vocal atheist. He’s pointed me towards a few books and even a video.

Yesterday, I was recommended to watch (and did) a talk that Dawkins gave at TED. Previously I’d only watched a few snippets of Dawkins that can be found on YouTube. I felt compelled to make a few comments.

First, I saw nothing more than the snickering and behind-the-back finger pointing (as someone makes a wisecrack about what “they” — the obviously mentally-anemic opposition, or they’d be with “us” — believe) that occurs in too many Christian circles. And so, even after a full 30 uninterrupted minutes in which to convince me that he might actually bring up an intelligent point, my impression remains unchanged: Richard Dawkins is nothing more than an atheism evangelist slash bigot. Why can’t the focus be logical arguments rather than insults?

Second, it seems that not only are Dawkins arguments often logically unsound, they are also often contradictory. As a specific example, in what I’ve watched Dawkins has repeatedly criticized Christians for only believing in Christianity/Creationism because that’s what they’ve been taught. However, while talking at TED, he triumphantly referenced studies in support of two points:

  1. Evolution/atheism is heavily subscribed to among the “intelligentsia” and,
  2. An inverse relationship exists between the amount of education one has and their belief in religion.

In other words, studies show that the more time one spends among the intelligentsia, the more likely it becomes that they’ll adopt the intelligentsia’s beliefs. Precisely what he criticized so vehemently.

I plan to watch The Blind Watchmaker in hopes of something worthwhile, but so far, I’ve been completely underwhelmed.

Mediocrity 2

Last night kicked off a week of television premiers with the second season of Heroes. My wife and I watched (in real time; that’s an important distinction in the TiVo age). We went to bed shortly after, since we’re now old and perpetually exhausted. Our conversation went as follows:

Me: “So, were you impressed by Heroes tonight?”
Mindy: “No.”
Me: “Me neither.”

There was short span of silence before our conversation continued:

Me: “Have we ever been impressed by Heroes?”
Mindy: “No, not really.”

The magic of television is how it captivates you with nothing.

New Beginnings 3

This is a big week for our house: most of our favorite television shows kick off their new seasons. You know, I’d never really watched any shows religiously until I got married. I wonder if there’s something to that. Anyways, here’s our schedule for the week:

  • Heroes – Monday, 9PM, NBC; we were latecomers to the series — if nothing else, it’s in HD
  • House – Tuesday, 9PM, FOX; if you’re not into weekly impossible medical mysteries that are always solvable within an hour, then at least enjoy Hugh Laurie as Dr. House
  • Bones – Tuesday, 10PM, FOX; here’s to hoping that this season will rise above last, and actually be entertaining again
  • Private Practice – Wednesday, 9PM, ABC; a spin-off with a character from Grey’s Anatomy, I don’t have high expectations — in fact, I’ve predicted this show falling off our schedule within a few weeks
  • Life – Wednesday, 10PM, CBS; total shot in the dark, but it has Damian Lewis who was exceptional as Major Winters in Band of Brothers, so I’m giving it a shot
  • Grey’s Anatomy – Thursday, 9PM, ABC; perhaps Mindy’s favorite show of all time
  • The Office – Thursday, 9PM, NBC; excellent comedy, and I finished catching up on the 3rd season just in time

We walked away with only a single conflict: Grey’s Anatomy and The Office are on at the same time on Thursday nights. I guess this is why God invented the PVR.

Are there any new or old shows you guys are looking forward to? And if you say Lost, take your own advice.

Yar 2

‘Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day, mates, so break out ye ol’ bandanner and eye patch and throw some yars ‘n arghs into yer speech.

Becoming a cable provider 2

I just got off the phone with my brother, who’s now at school out in Colorado, where he doesn’t have cable in his room. Which is funny, since I just got done installing and configuring Orb, a free Windows application that will stream live TV off a tuner card. I gave him my login, so I may actually become my brother’s cable provider.

I’m kind of jealous, actually. I’m also wondering if this somehow violates my agreement with Cox. Should it?

By the way, if you haven’t tried Orb, it’s really cool. It lets you access all the pictures, music, video, and even files (slightly disconcerting) on your machine from anywhere. I can even stream live TV to my phone (and it doesn’t work on the iPhone! TAKE THAT!).

Close to Home 0

Happy 12th 0

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of Command and Conquer, EA Games is giving away the original C&C as a free download (two ISOs). If you’re an old fan, you may have already read about this, but if you’ve never played, you should download it and give it a try, just in the name of gaming history.

As the commando would say, “I’m on it!”

Getting your Flow on 1

Speaking of enhancing the Windows Mobile UI, today I found FlowFX, a .NET Compact Framework library for creating multi-form Windows Mobile applications with some neat effects. It’s also any entry for OpenNETCF’s September coding competition to create user interfaces that, “[make] the user completely forget they’re using a Windows Mobile device.”

Hopefully there are some more entries!

I Got Bit 4

I’ve finally been introduced to the madness that is HDTV. I guess I’ve been “HD-ready” for a while now — the 50-something inch projection TV downstairs supposedly supports 720p and 1080i, while the 37 inch LCD I have in my office area supports up to 1080p — but I haven’t had much high-def content. Sure, I could play Counter-Strike at 1900×1080, but that was about it.

This weekend, however, I bought a combined ATSC/NTSC tuner card for my PC. By the time I got it setup, there was about two minutes left in the football game that was on — and that two minutes completely sold me. I’m not really sure why (I should have expected it, being digital), but, more than anything, I was impressed by the fact that there was nothing lost in the “TV”->PC conversion. Because, well, there isn’t any.

Now I’m obsessed with finding shows that are available in HD. In fact, for the first time, I’m considering upgrading to digital cable to get more HD channels. Even the rabbit ears precariously balancing on top of my lap aren’t deterring me.

The Best Snowman Ever 2

Yup. Very Rejected.

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