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"We demand guaranteed, rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty."
~Vroomfondel the Philosopher, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
~Groucho Marx

"Hangin's too good for 'im! Burnin's too good for 'im! He should be torn into little bitsy pieces -- and BURIED ALIVE!"
~Hanover Fiske, in Heavy Metal

"Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house."
~Henri Poincare

"The truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which they are surrounded."
~Herbert Spencer

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so."
~Artemus Ward

"I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true."
~Carl Sagan

"I would defend the liberty of consenting adult creationists to practise whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent."
~Arthur C. Clarke

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
~H.L. Mencken

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means."
~George Bernard Shaw

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
~George Bernard Shaw

"Writing is jewelry fashioned by the hand from the pure gold of the intellect."
~al Tawhidi (Arabic)

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time -- and your government when it deserves it."
~Mark Twain

"When we are young
Wandering the face of the Earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal for a limited time."

~Rush, "Dreamline," Roll The Bones

Wordplayer's Blog

Two "moons" in the sky? Not on THIS planet!

Posted on August 25, 2008 at 2:20pm 8 Comments

Good grief, here it is again. There is yet another instance of the Hoax That Will Not Die circulating on the Internet. Here is the version I received a few minutes ago in an email:


Hey check this out...


> Two moons on 27 August


> 27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for......... .....


> Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting

>… Continue

Vulgar #^%&*@! Vocabulary

Posted on August 10, 2008 at 5:42pm 8 Comments

I dislike profanity for the most part, but it has its place. There are some thoughts which simply cannot be expressed adequately without it. Nevertheless, I find it painful to wade through mounds of casual vulgar language on the Internet, where it is far more ubiquitous than it is even in so-called "real life" (at least in the circles in which I move). And most of the time, the use of profanity adds nothing to its context.

Most people on the Internet who learn of my dislike of… Continue

Things You Will Never Overhear at the 2008 Summer Olympics

Posted on August 8, 2008 at 3:43pm 1 Comment

Okay, so I totally ripped off this list from cartoonist Francesco Marciuliano. It's hilarious.

Things You Will Never Overhear at the 2008 Summer Olympics

"Breathe in deep that fresh Beijing air. Smell that? That's the smell of freedom, my boy."

“Wow, NBC hasn’t focused on a single American athlete yet.”

“If you ever needed proof that rhythmic gymnastics is a real sport, there it is.”

“Remember, this broadcast is our big chance… Continue

"The Romance of Science"

Posted on August 7, 2008 at 7:30pm 0 Comments

A guest blogger at Pharyngula invited regulars to answer the question, "Why do you like science?" What follows is a slightly modified version of my answering comment.

I have always experienced what Carl Sagan called "the romance of science"; it was only when he expressed the phrase that I knew that to be what it was.

I am especially awed by natural sciences and the phenomena they encompass (as opposed to the breathtaking accomplishments such as have been done with… Continue

I guess I am officially a Humanist now. So what was I before -- an inhumanist?

Posted on August 5, 2008 at 6:00pm 1 Comment

Two very brief comments:

First, I'd like to announce that I just got a free 1-year membership with the American Humanist Association. The details are in this blog entry on the Friendly Atheist website, if you're interested in following up on this opportunity as I did. (A year's membership normally costs $35.)

Second, I applaud the Atheist Nexus webmaster(s)… Continue

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At 7:48pm on August 7, 2008, Carmelita said…
i like your bio, hehe. you would get along perfect with a friend of mine that's in arlington. :)

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