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jamessavik last won the day on September 19

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About jamessavik

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    Cat Bastard
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    Darkest Ignoramia
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    astronomy, physics, math, programming, E-bay, red heads, my truck

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  1. As an author, I am often bemused by the behavior of some of my characters.
  2. Scientific Consensus Alfred 1 Wegener (1880-1930) was a German meteorologist who picked up an interest in geology. He wondered why some continents like Africa and South America fit together almost like a key? He began to wonder: do continents move? In Victorian times such an idea seemed ludicrous as every good Christian fundamentalist knew that the world was 10,000 years old. Anyone who might suggest processes like Wegener s or his contemporary James Hutton that took place over hundreds of millions of years was obviously daft. But Wegener’s suggestion that continents actually did move over time answered questions in biology. Why are there related species on the different continents but- they are obviously distant relatives. Obviously, well adapted for their environments, similar but obviously related. This did not prove Continental drift but, it certainly made a case for further investigation. Wegener suffered for his outlandish theory. No one in the scientific community gave his ideas any credence, and he didn’t get tenure at a prestigious university. In fact, he was a laughingstock. He died at the age of fifty doing field work in Greenland. His theory did not die. It didn’t come back as a coherent theory until the technology was developed to gather the data needed to prove that continents did indeed move. The theory of Plate tectonics was born and still remains controversial in some circles, but it is now a theory with hard data to back it up. This is a theme repeated time after time in science. If someday someone will come up with a theory better than plate tectonics, then science will adopt it. Otherwise, it works, it explains how demonstrable phenomena works, and it can be measured. Always be skeptical when someone tells you that the science is settled. Skepticism is the way of science: someone has an idea (hypothesis), then we test, test, test it. If it works, it becomes a theory. If not, we go back to the drawing board. Science is never static. Our understanding of ourselves, our planet and our universe is always changing. Anyone who tells you the science is settled doesn’t have a clue how science works. If the history of science is any guide, the “consensus” is wrong more than its right. We need mavericks like Wegener to show us a new way of looking at our world. The big question now is our climate changing? Yes. It has changed numerous times. Climate in geological time has changed for a number of reasons from comet bombardment, volcanic out-gassing and variations in solar output. The question of the age is that climate change man made or is it a natural cycle like a Grand Solar minimum. This question is by no means settled. Both hypothesis have their merits. Pretending that we know this answer is the worst sort of scientific hubris. We don’t know. We need to know because both models will treat 7 billion humans harshly. Only one is the right answer and getting it wrong would be a disaster.
  3. In February of 2020 many people at my church got “the crud”. It was headache, fever and aches. Everyone got over it in a week at most. It wasn’t until one of our members took a blood antibody test that we figured out we had it before it was fashionable. No one including our elderly got worse than a modest case.
  4. Chechnya is in a part of the old Soviet Union which used to call the Green Line. On the Russian side, it is Russian Orthodox and on the other it is Muslim. There is a long, bloody history of ethnic and religious violence. The Soviets managed to sit on the region with overwhelming force. When the Soviet Union collapsed, all of that pent-up rage came out and turned into the Chechen War in the nineties. It was an ugly guerilla war with some nightmarish incidents like the Beslan School Massacre. If I am not mistaken, Grozny the Chechen capital, name is Russian for “a terrible place”. It is a very challenging setting to work with, and you probably have to do as much research as writing. It is a period of history both sides would like to forget.
  5. My story The Summer Job wrapped this week. I was gratified to see a good review and many, many supportive comments.
  6. Yes it is Narcotics Anonymous and Oct 1st I got my 18 year medallion
  7. I think Nifty may have had some impact on the shift from emotion/allusion to physical/messy in the description of gay sex. Some fiction on that site is simply text p0rn. In fact, you have to do a lot of shifting to separate the wheat from the chaff. If you read much of it, I'd say it will desensitize you somewhat. However, there is some incredibly good writing there if you can find it. There are a few lists of pointers to good stuff on Nifty. The only one I know of is the one at Awesomedude. It's old and hasn't been maintained for some time. Best of Nifty and the Web
  8. the Second Time Around 1978 I first met Randy when I was sixteen, and he was fifteen. I met him at Frank's house- a guy from my football team that I screwed around with from time to time. He enticed me to come over by telling me about a cute kid from his neighborhood that wanted to join in. Randy was a shy kid. He wasn't big, athletic or a jock. He was cute and a lot more feminine than most of the guys I previously messed around with. What caught my attention was his bright, intel
  9. Some people might think that the 1st memes invented were Keyboard cat, Philosoraptor and the numa-numa guy. That would be very, very wrong. Imagine you lived in a Kingdom that was one of the most powerful and influential in the world but, it had fallen on hard times. The king was, by all accounts, a corrupt incompetent dolt. The people were hungry and the spoiled, foolish Queen, when told there was no bread for the peasants said let them eat cake. While this might sound uncomfortably familiar to modern Americans, this was the climate that gave rise to the French Revolution. It was also the fertile ground for the French satirists who I submit were early generation memers. What people fail to understand about memes is they are much more about ideas than humor but the combination of the two makes them that much more powerful. What we call memes is an evolution of an ancient idea called satire more succinctly defined as the illustration of the absurd with absurdity. Every middle schooler naturally knows about satire because that is when they inevitably meet an incompetent and bungling bureaucracy. One must take care with satire as to be a proper smart ass, you must first be smart. Otherwise, you are just an ass. There were many French satirists. I would like to focus on a gentleman named Voltaire. Voltaire and the French satirists used their wit to point out the myriad hypocrisies and inequities of their political and social situations. Like Charlie Hebdo, many of the French Revolutionary era satirists faced rather deadly blow-back from those that failed to see the humor in their work. This was an amazing era and one that the modern democracies owe much to because many of the things we see as foundations of democracy were first discussed by the thinkers during this era. They were seeing the end of the monarchy as a practical form of government and looked forward to imagine what the next step would look like. See if you recognize any of Voltaire’s ideas: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers. To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize. It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Common sense is not so common. It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere. Prejudices are what fools use for reason. As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities. When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion. Superstition sets the whole world in flames; reason quenches them. Voltaire would have been hell on wheels if he had internet access. Be suspicious when you hear people in power discount the ideas of others. Those silly memers that poke them right in the hypocrisies have quite the history. So, when you see memers banned from facebook or twitter, what you are really seeing is da man swatting the Socratic gad-fly that stung him in a sore spot. Only a fearful tyrant censors speech. He is afraid that you will tell the people just what a putz he really is.
  10. Read his bio here. Pay attention to the part about his marital status and how Disney fucked him over at 21. Tommy Kirk's Bio in The Sun Was Tommy Kirk married? Kirk remained unmarried throughout his life. Despite being viewed as one of Disney's favorite kid actors, it was previously reported that the company fired him over being gay in 1964 when he was 21-years-old. According to TMZ, Kirk once said: "When I was about 17 or 18 years old, I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t going to change. I didn’t know what the consequences would be, but I had the definite feeling that it was going to wreck my Disney career and maybe my whole acting career. It was all going to come to an end." The child star added: "Eventually, I became involved with somebody and I was fired."
  11. This is why I stay in the South. Yes, in the summer it’s hotter than balls but we don’t get sastrugas.
  12. Try out my favorite Aussie cover band: MixedUpEverything.
  13. Here's a little something to set the mood for Halloween!
  14. The Summer Job is complete!

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