Ghost Hunters: Skepticism in Science

If you don’t know, and I wouldn’t doubt you if you said you didn’t, Ghost Hunters is a show on the SciFi channel that focuses on a group of individuals who seek to document evidence of paranormal activity. Karey enjoys watching the show religiously, and I enjoy watching it was well (I don’t particularly like the cast of the spin-off show, Ghost Hunters International, so I usually sit out for that show when it comes on). Anyway, the Ghost Hunters go about “hunting” a bit differently than other shows I’ve seen on the subject, which is why I’m posting on it. The investigators firmly believe a core tenant of good scientific investigation: The best way to prove the existence of something is to try your hardest to disprove it. The logic goes something like this: If you exhaust all “normal” explanations for what you observe, then your observations are likely to be paranormal. This type of thinking isn’t anything new, it’s actually derived from core tenants of the philosophy of science


I’m a ghost hunter – see, I found the picture of two real ghosts!

So here are some guys trying to prove the existence of something by working as hard as they can to disprove anything seemingly paranormal they find. If they capture something on film, they attempt to explain it or even replicate it. If they capture sounds which may be contaminated by still-living humans, they throw the evidence out. This is in stark contrast to many other paranormal advocates which do not use science at all in their investigations (fuzzy science doesn’t count).

Navy Battles Pirates: Navy 4, Pirates 0

3 ‘phenomenal shots’ ended pirate hostage crisis – CNN.com

“The on-scene commander saw that one of the pirates still held that AK-47, was very, very concerned for the captain’s life — and he ordered the shots to be taken,” Gortney told CNN on Monday.Even with the small boat “moving up and down a couple of feet,” the SEALs hit their targets. “Remarkable marksmanship,” Gortney said.

I really hate to feel good about anyone dying, but I will admit to being a bit happy upon hearing that the three remaining pirates holding an American hostage were gunned down. I find myself wondering though – what does this tell the pirates.

Hopefully it tells them to stay away from boats flying under the American flag, which I would probably do if I were a pirate. After all, other countries seem content with paying ransoms while you wait it out. The actions taken by the SEALs should help dissuade pirates from going after Americans, but probably won’t dissuade them from going after anyone else.

In any event, it makes me proud to have two grandfathers who served in the Navy (making me an actual Son of a Son of a Sailor). And I remain proud to have two brother-in-laws serving in the Army (As you can imagine, I have tough decisions to make when cheering on a team during early December’s Army-Navy game!).

President Elect Obama

Here is the only real revelation or startling thought I’ve had tonight regarding the election. Last summer, I listened heavily to the song Pary like a Rock Star and while listening to it, I thought “The Obama campaign should really use this and sing it as “Party like Barack”. That was 18 months before the election.
The best part of the evening isn’t if your candidate won or the other guy lost – it’s that these stupid, protracted, and utterly draining election cycles are over. For at least the next 25-30 months or so. Hopefully.

Too Tired!

Today was an interesting day. We had a near revolt that almost turned ugly in the last Windows Mobile session on MS Campus (Sorry, NDA probably covers why… suffice it to say your MVPs are sticking up for you (Look at me talking all old-hat, less than a month…:) )). Anyway, tonight was the party at the Experience Music Project (EMP, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_Music_Project) . Karaoke that was really cool (With a live band and rock and roll effects, guitar hero / rockband, and more). I spent around 2 hours there then hopped the bus back early – I need some sleep (Which explains why there are no pics from today. Perhaps more tomorrow!).
Night Everyone!

Make Your Joomla Site PDA-Ready!

pda-mambot-article1Personal Digital Assistants, and web-enabled Cell Phones, are everywhere it seems. Yet most of us create elaborate websites that look painfully awful on the small screens of our computer’s little brothers and sisters. Wouldn’t it be great to simply flip a switch and have your CMS instantly create a PDA-ready version of itself? Well, it may require a bit more than 1 switch, but the solution I’ve found for this website has made me extremely happy! Read on for more information!
Continue reading “Make Your Joomla Site PDA-Ready!”

My Official Punctuation

I’d like to just let everyone know that I’ve decided on announcing the hugely anticipated winner of “Jon’s Official Punctuation” contest. The contest was long, lenghty, and protracted (and all of the above) and it was a tough choice. Many had much to offer, few had little merit. Ampersand & Pilcrow put up an especially tough fight, with inverted Exclamation Point using some notoriously dirty tactics in it’s valient struggle. So without further procrastination, I announce the winner:

Interrobang!
In the end this versitile and rarely used symbol pulled ahead and claimed victory. Interrobang will now be named “Jon’s Official Punctuation” for the next year (Expiring November 1, 2007, with the exclusive clause for Jon to renew Official Standing for up to 75 additional years) and will be favored in my personal writings over the more common ?! or !?! combination. Congratulations to Interbang and the entire Bang family (!,

Awesome Artichokes!

Artichokes are one of my favorite foods, however I find that many people are downright scared by the things when they see them in the grocery store.  After all, they do look like a strange green vegetable that you’d probably never want to eat.  Recently, artichoke dips have become very popular at places such as generic american bar and grill and the other generic american bar and grill and even at semi-reputable chain-style italian eatery.  Artichokes are pretty nutrious as well, as listed on Wikipedia.
So how does one make an artichoke? Well, here are the simple steps:
1. Purchase Artichoke(s)
2. Cut tips off the leaves (optional – real men don’t care if they are a bit pointy – they won’t cut ya!)
3. Cut black part off stem (optional – looks better. Stem
is able to be eaten, just a bit bitter on puny arti’s)
4. Place in pot of boiling water, uncovered, let cook for long time (~45 min, it’s done when the leaves are tender and can be pulled off easily)
5. Place garlic under a few cloves, drizzle with olive oil, put in broiler for 5 – 10 min. (optional, but makes them taste better)
Ok, now on for the eating portion!
1. Pick leaves off, dip in butter or other sauce if you choose
2. Run bottom part of leave (the end that was attached to the plant) under teeth to pick off ‘meat’ (tasty!)
3. When leaves are gone, don’t dispair!
4. After you get to the annoying leaves (little ones, no meat, puny), pull them off.
5. Scrape pointy parts out.  This is the part that would have become a flower if us greedy people didn’t decide to eat it!)
6. Enjoy Artichoke Heart (Part under pointy parts, looks like little bowl).
There ya go.  If you want another idea, here is an article on making grilled artichokes at Cooking for Engineers.

COOKIES


“C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me; oh cookie cookie cookie starts with C.”
Karey graciously made me cookies as per my request on the ride home 🙂