Archive for April 2009

Theme Thursday: Water   7 comments

I’m just out of time this week… but, we must offer this (6:15 for the theme relevance):

“Could you use a little water in your whiskey?”

“When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey.  And when I drink water, I drink water.”

Amen, Michaleen Oge Flynn.  Amen.

Posted April 30, 2009 by padraic2112 in Theme Thursday

Awesome   Leave a comment

Tip o’ the hat to the Haydens.

Posted April 30, 2009 by padraic2112 in humor

New Best Day   2 comments

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pageviews: 236

That beats out getting referenced in Bruce’s Cryptogram, which was my last “best day”.  Most of the visits were to the post analyzing the fallacies in Jim Carrey’s HuffPo op-ed.  Fighting the woo seems to be popular.

Posted April 25, 2009 by padraic2112 in noise

My Last Vaccination Post For A While   5 comments

It’s preventing me from getting other things done.  However, I posted a comment over at Phil’s blog that has as much to do with numbers as the topic of vaccinations, and it illustrates an interesting version of the Gambler’s Fallacy, so I’m replicating it here:

A comment read, in part:

That goes for every parent that has witnessed the change in their child immediately after a vaccine or shortly thereafter.

My response:

This actually *is* a fallacy, a post hoc ergo propter hoc. There is a simple reason why this is not relevant, take the following facts…

* children take vaccines
* autism displays its first symptoms in childhood
* children under the age of 5 make up ~7% of the population
* there are ~360 million people in the U.S.
* about 80% of children are vaccinated entirely

(editor’s note: I didn’t make those numbers up, you can find them with a couple seconds and a web browser)

This means 360 x 0.07 x .8 = 2 million children (roughly) have been vaccinated. With the vaccination schedule being what it is, then, there are somewhere around 100,000 children getting a shot every month (that last one is handwavy, it assumes a lot about frequency distributions, but that’s not really germane to my point). Autism rates are estimated at anywhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 150 children, that means we have about 17,000 diagnosis of autism. If every single one of those autism diagnosis was given to a vaccinated child (they’re not, but again for our sake here it introduces very small error), and those 17,000 have a scatter distribution of vaccination patterns, that means not one, not dozens, not hundreds, but *thousands* of those diagnosis came within days or weeks of a vaccination.

Put those thousands of people together on a message board (and since autism is hard to deal with, a very high percentage of these family *do* bond together, like SMA sufferers or MS or cancer or any other family-impacting disease), you’ll have a few thousand people all saying to each other, “Gee… MY kid got a shot right before her symptoms started showing, too! There are thousands of us! THAT CAN’T BE A COINCIDENCE.”

But you can see, it actually *isn’t* a coincidence… it’s exactly what we would expect to happen.

This is one of those times where people don’t think about what big numbers really mean.  Here’s another example, one without a muddying emotional component: the odds of hitting “black” 20 times in a row on a standard “0” and “00” roulette wheel are really bad.  A roulette wheel has 18 blacks and 18 reds numbered 1-36, plus green 0 and 00 for a total of 38. The probability of a black is 18/38,  the probability of black 20 times in a row is

(18/38)^20 =~ 3,091,874 to one.

Holy bejeezus, you think, that’s crazy impossible!  For the record, it’s still much better than the odds of winning the California lottery.

Here’s the thing.  If every man, woman, and child in the United States started playing roulette right now, guess what?  After 20 spins each,  we’d have roughly100 people (give or take) staring thunderstruck at the roulette wheel, amazed at their unbelievable luck.  Put all of those 100 people on the same message board, and they’d probably attach some sort of crazy significance to the day that they all won – it must be significant, how could *that* be a coincidence?   Not to burst their collective bubble, but there’s nothing amazing or unbelievable about it… it’s what we expect to happen.

[edited to add] apologies for the above, I made a reference error (as was pointed out here and here).  Currently, according to the Census Bureau, the number of people in the U.S. is ~306 million, not ~360 (http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html).  Just goes to show that transpose errors happen to the “best” of us, right?  I’ll leave correcting the results above as an exercise for the reader; the end result is not significantly different.

Posted April 25, 2009 by padraic2112 in math, science

A Note About Choice, An Observation About Fear, and Parental Decisions   5 comments

It’s a great scene, but you can skip to 2:45 for the purposes of this post.

The scene is from 2007’s No Country For Old Men.  For anyone not into contemporary American cinema, Javier Bardem (the guy with the haircut) won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Anton Chigurh, “an emotionless, compassionless killing machine. His inability to comprehend human life is matched only by his ability to take it, as he does with ruthless abandon throughout the running of No Country For Old Men… As for the victims who don’t have some sort of reason to be dead behind them, he flips a coin to decide their fate.”

Here’s the question.  What do you think he’s going to do if the gas station owner doesn’t call that coin?

You see, the character of Anton considers himself some sort of instrument of fate, almost a force of nature.  Once he decides to pull out that coin, there are two possible results; you call the toss correctly and you live, or you call it incorrectly and you die.  You could refuse to call the coin toss.  Nobody does this in the movie, but my guess is that Anton would probably start torturing you until you make a call; since he doesn’t believe that it’s fair for him to call the toss, he’d force you to do it.

I’m writing this to illustrate a point.  In some ways, your environment is like Anton.  Your environment will occasionally force you to make a choice, and many people refuse to acknowledge this.

When you wake up in the morning, sitting next to your bed on the nightstand is a metaphorical revolver with 1 “bullet” and somewhere around 100,000 empty chambers.  When you decide to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, you spin the chamber in a game of Russian Roulette and pull the trigger.  If you’ve picked the chamber with the bullet in it, somewhere between your bed and the bathroom you trip and fall and give yourself a fatal head injury.  When you get to the bathroom, there’s another metaphorical revolver with 1 bullet and about 100,000 empty chambers, you get to play again.  If you fail, you drown in the bathtub (note: for the morbidly statistically inclined, the chamber is about half that size if you’re a woman). Of course, some days you don’t even get to choose to get out of bed.  The alarm clock itself is a revolver and if you have a weak heart, there’s a small but statistically present chance that your clock will give you a heart attack.  Bang.  You’re dead.

It’s a game we all play, every day.  You can’t opt-out of making these choices, there is no way to not play the game. Oh, and sooner or later you’re going to lose.  Happy Friday!

I’ve been reading a lot of the “vaccination” posts out on the Internet over the last few days and an observation has bubbled up into my forebrain.  Many people don’t understand that there really is no difference between making some of these choices yourself, and allowing them to be made for you by the environment.  I’ve seen posts on more than one comment thread that boils down to, “I’m just not comfortable taking the risk of injecting my child, I think the risk of the disease is less.”  Many, many of these people have offered this observation *after* being shown that no, actually, the quantifiable risk of vaccinations is not only less than the risk of disease, but they’re not even on the same scale.  Some people have commented that this is plainly irrational (I’ve been thinking it myself, but I’m trying to stay smooth in these hot-button “debates”).

The problem is that for these people, the thought that they might harm their child is so mindnumbingly horrifying that they are including that in their analysis, but only on one side.  The line of thinking, I’m imagining, goes something like this… “If I choose to give my child a shot, and something happens, it will be my fault, because I decided to okay the shot.”  Conversely, however, if they choose *not* to give their child a shot, and the child gets the disease and suffers, it’s something else’s fault… random chance, the will of God, some grand conspiracy, etc… “I can pretend like they my child got the measles and died because fate decided that my child was going to get the measles, instead of acknowledging the fact that my child got the measles because I refused to vaccinate them.”  Consciously or subconsciously, they’re punting.  They’re assigning *more* pejorative value to their action than they are to the pejorative value of their inaction.  They’re pretending like they can ignore old Anton.

While this might give you the opportunity to retain your sanity if (God forbid) something should happen to your child, let’s be honest about what’s going on here.  You’re afraid.  You realize that the world is unsafe, and you’re assigned the responsibility of making decisions for this little person that you love more than your own life, and the cold reality that they are mortal scares the beejesus out of you.  It scares you so much that you’re allowing a sense of time to overcome your ability to think clearly: “If I vaccinate my child and something happens, it’s my fault because it happened right after the decision.  If I don’t vaccinate my child and they get a disesase three years from now, that’s three years from now and it’s so far away and I just don’t want to think about it that’s so morbid and oh God I’ll just stick my head over here in the corner and decide later.”

Bruce talks about this on his site.  The part on Prospect Theory details exactly what I’m talking about here:

The authors of this study explained this difference by developing something called “prospect theory.” Unlike utility theory, prospect theory recognizes that people have subjective values for gains and losses. In fact, humans have evolved a pair of heuristics that they apply in these sorts of trade-offs. The first is that a sure gain is better than a chance at a greater gain. (“A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.”) And the second is that a sure loss is worse than a chance at a greater loss. Of course, these are not rigid rules–given a choice between a sure $100 and a 50% chance at $1,000,000, only a fool would take the $100–but all things being equal, they do affect how we make trade-offs.

You can see how this applies to the thought process I’m talking about above.  For someone who discounts their own “choice” as being relevant to the risk, a vaccination is a sure gain (reduced susceptibility to disease) and therefore better than a chance at a greater gain (passing on the vaccination and avoiding any possible risk *and* getting lucky and not getting sick anyway).  For someone who includes their own “choice” as being relevant to the risk, a vacciantion is a sure loss (a chance to directly inflict harm upon my child) which is worse than a chance at a greater loss (passing on the vaccination and having my child get sick and dying).

Is it still irrational?  Well, from the view of utility theory, absolutely.  But humans aren’t necessarily wired that way, and consequences are measured not just in death and horrible side effects, but in the emotional damage those consequences do to the participants involved.  Five years ago I’d be calling people who refused to vaccinate their child criminally negligent and horrible people.  Now I just see them as humans.  Scared humans making bad decisions, but humans nonetheless.

Recognize your fear, and overcome it, everybody.  Here’s one time where “do it for the children” actually applies.  It’s not about you and your fear, it’s about doing what’s best for them.  Unfortunately, that’s not always so clear-cut, and sometimes you’ll do the right thing and your child will suffer for it.  Kids get trapped in burning cars and die because of their car seats.  Far, far, far more children are saved because of them.  Even if vaccinations were as dangerous as some people (erroneously) claim they are, they’re still better than disease.

Posted April 24, 2009 by padraic2112 in parenting, security

Theme Thursday: Fire!   5 comments

I must scrounge for this week’s theme.  Times like these made me wish I had more spare time to edit these together into a montage…

Scroll to 1:56:

Johnny sez:

1:30:

Bruce:

1:50:

Def Leppard

2:22:

From 2:10 on, pretty much

And we can’t end on a depressing note, so… The Trammps!

Posted April 23, 2009 by padraic2112 in Theme Thursday

How Far Can YOU Get?   5 comments

Read this, and tell me how far you get before you feel like this:

I didn’t get past, “Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists“, the third sentence.  I did read the whole thing, though… although I might have to medicate myself to recover from this section.

Posted April 23, 2009 by padraic2112 in noise, rants

In Which I Take Jim Carrey To Task   3 comments

Jim Carrey has a commentary up over at Huffington Post that requires some deconstructive analysis.

Recently, I was amazed to hear a commentary by CNN’s Campbell Brown on the controversial vaccine issue. After a ruling by the ‘special vaccine court’ saying the Measles, Mumps, Rubella shot wasn’t found to be responsible for the plaintiffs’ autism, she and others in the media began making assertions that the judgment was in, and vaccines had been proven safe. No one would be more relieved than Jenny and I if that were true. But with all due respect to Ms. Brown, a ruling against causation in three cases out of more than 5000 hardly proves that other children won’t be adversely affected by the MMR, let alone that all vaccines are safe.

You’re misrepresenting this, Mr. Carrey.  While you’re certainly correct that court cases aren’t scientific evidence in and of themselves in any way, you’re pulling a bait and switch here; watch the commentary.  Ms. Brown clearly frames her commentary based upon claims made by scientists, not by the courts.  She does not even mention the court case in this commentary.

Not everyone gets cancer from smoking, but cigarettes do cause cancer. After 100 years and many rulings in favor of the tobacco companies, we finally figured that out.

There always was a credible, biological, *foundational theory* to explain that cigarettes are bad for you.  Breathing smoke is sort of contraindicated as a healthy lifestyle choice.  Building studies upon that makes sense.  There are no current foundational theories to explain why injecting an inert virus into your body in a neutral suspension might be in any way harmful.  Comparing the two isn’t even like comparing apples and oranges, it’s like comparing apples to the space shuttle.

The truth is that no one without a vested interest in the profitability of vaccines has studied all 36 of them in depth. There are more than 100 vaccines in development, and no tests for cumulative effect or vaccine interaction of all 36 vaccines in the current schedule have ever been done. If I’m mistaken, I challenge those who are making such grand pronouncements about vaccine safety to produce those studies.

Er, I’m afraid I have to call you out on this.  Please define what vaccinations are included in your list of 36, and define what you mean by “in depth”, in rigorous detail.  Is a 5 year epidemiological study sufficient?  10 year?  50 year?  How do we perform long term studies on something that hasn’t been around that long?  More to the point, why should we spend any time and resources investigating something that we currently have no basis for assuming *might* be dangerous, when we have millions of people dying every year from things that we *know* are dangerous?  Again, we’re not talking about cigarette smoking here… if I design a vaccine, following certain design prinicples that have been shown to produce safe, viable medicines and my designed vaccine reduces the impact of a fatal or crippling disease, how much testing would you agree is enough to call it safe?  You have a proposal: “Vaccines are dangerous”.  Establishing a falsification standard is job number one, tell me what I need to do to prove to you that they are safe, otherwise you’re just engaging in a perfect solution fallacy.

Oh, and your “vested interest in the profitiability of vaccines” is a thinly veiled ad hominem attack.  Just come out and say, “I think all medical researchers are in the pocket of Big Pharma”, why don’t you?

If we are to believe that the ruling of the ‘vaccine court’ in these cases mean that all vaccines are safe, then we must also consider the rulings of that same court in the Hannah Polling and Bailey Banks cases, which ruled vaccines were the cause of autism and therefore assume that all vaccines are unsafe. Clearly both are irresponsible assumptions, and neither option is prudent.

Well, no.  Again… the issue of whether or not the court is a viable source of authoritative information on this issue is your strawman here, not mine (edited to add: Phil Plait’s commentary on this bit).  In spite of that, however, it’s certainly possible for one court case to reach a bad conclusion and another court case to reach a good one.  If you’re going to critique one judgment, you need to critique it directly, not lump it into a class and throw the baby out with the bathwater.  For all we know, “Hannah Polling” and “Bailey Banks” could have been decided entirely on procedural grounds.  Pony up some evidence, here, good man.  (edited to add)  Here’s why the two are not equivalent.

In this growing crisis, we cannot afford to blindly trumpet the agenda of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or vaccine makers. Now more than ever, we must resist the urge to close this book before it’s been written. The anecdotal evidence of millions of parents who’ve seen their totally normal kids regress into sickness and mental isolation after a trip to the pediatrician’s office must be seriously considered. The legitimate concern they and many in the scientific community have that environmental toxins, including those found in vaccines, may be causing autism and other disorders (Aspergers, ADD, ADHD), cannot be dissuaded by a show of sympathy and a friendly invitation to look for the ‘real’ cause of autism anywhere but within the lucrative vaccine program.

Ah, so many examples of horribleness here!  We’ve got an implied categorical syllogism (lumping the CDC together with vaccine makers, vaccine makers are obviously for profit greedy capitalists).  We have an appeal to emotion (think of the children!), we have a post hoc ergo propter hoc (the plural of “anecdote” is not “data”), petitio principii (how do we know their concerns are “legitimate”?).  “Hey, Jim… how long has it been since you stopped beating your wife?”

With vaccines being the fastest growing division of the pharmaceutical industry, isn’t it possible that profits may play a part in the decision-making? That the vaccine program is becoming more of a profit engine than a means of prevention?

Certainly, profits may play a part in decision-making.  This is not an unreasonable question.  However, please provide me some credible evidence that profit-driven motives of companies can bypass the FDA, the CDC, and the medical research community in a systemic manner.  I am not looking for one or two or three cases of malfeasance here; you are asserting a massive, pervasive conspiracy across several different organizations.  Where’s the whistleblowers?  If the NSA cannot keep a wiretapping program secret, why should I assume that several companies can somehow manage to implement such a wide-reaching conspiracy without dozens of leaks?  Moreover, you’ve got a false dichotomy here… if the vaccine program *has* become more of a profit engine than a means of prevention, how is that evidence that it’s not also a means of prevention?  If I can make money by making you healthier, is that somehow less valid than making you healthier out of the goodness of my heart?

In a world left reeling from the catastrophic effects of greed, mismanagement and corporate insensitivity, is it so absurd for us to wonder why American children are being given twice as many vaccines on average, compared to the top 30 first world countries?

Whoo!  Hasty generalization!  The financial industry blew up because of greed, ergo all industries must blow up because of greed.  Mr. Carrey, in case you haven’t been reading the news, the finanical industry blew up because the lack of regulatory oversight enabled companies to incorrectly and fradulently mis-attribute risk to financial products.  If you’re going to draw a reference to the Economic End Times, you need to show how the CDC, FDA, etc. are negligent in a manner similar to the SEC and Fed… not compare Pfizer to AIG.  Oh, and we may be getting twice as many vaccines on average than other countries, but there are an entire slew of completely non-conspiracy-related, non-evil, non-monetizing explanations why this might be the case (some countries might not recommend Gardasil because they have a lower teen sex rate and it’s not a good use of money, for example).

Paul Offit, the vaccine advocate and profiteer, who helped invent a Rotavirus vaccine is said to have paved the way for his own multi-million dollar windfall while serving on the very council that eventually voted his Rotavirus vaccine onto our children’s schedule.

Paul Offit has a pretty impressive track record as a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases.  I suspect that you may be irritated at Dr. Offit (note, Jim, you should call him by his title in public discourse) for campaigning against the anti-vaccination movement.  It stands to reason that anyone working a lifetime in infectious disease research may have invented a vaccine or two, and thus probably has profited somewhat from it.  While this of course have resulted in a conflict of interest, that doesn’t mean outright that anything unethical or untoward has occurred.  Conflicts of interest are everywhere in public policy debates, if they are disclosed properly they are evidence of a *lack* of conspiracy, not the other way around.  [edited to add] Liz Ditz explains how the timeline doesn’t quite match Mr. Carrey’s characterization of Dr. Offit.

With many states like Minnesota now reporting the number at 1 in 80 children affected with autism, can we afford to trust those who serve two masters or their logic that tells us “one size fits all” when it comes to vaccines?

If you give a large group of people a schedule, most will follow it.  If you give a large group of people a tenuous list of recommendations, lots of things won’t get done.  It’s human nature.  Defending a vaccination schedule is defending a consise set of instructions on the grounds that it’s most likely to produce consistent results.  By the way, what does Minnesota’s autism rate have to do with the second half of this sentence?

Can we afford to ignore vaccines as a possible cause of these rising numbers when they are one of the fastest growing elements in our children’s environment?

Er, that was the entire point of the study that is so widely quoted as refuting your entire premise.  The rate of vaccination has no correlation with the rate of autism diagnosis.  That means that the answer to your question is, “Yes.”

With all the doubt that’s left hanging on this topic, how can anyone in the media or medical profession, boldly demand that all parents march out and give their kids 36 of these shots, six at a time in dosage levels equal to that given a 200 pound man? This is a bias of the most dangerous kind.

The doubt seems to be in the mind of the beholder.  Oh, and I give my daughter maybe eight 8oz doses of milk a day; quite a bit more than almost any 200 lb man.  She seems to be doing just fine.  The size of dosage is only related to the risk equation if you can show that there is a risk to begin with, and the risk is compounded by magnitude.  Neither has been shown to be the case.

I’ve also heard it said that no evidence of a link between vaccines and autism has ever been found. That statement is only true for the CDC, the AAP and the vaccine makers who’ve been ignoring mountains of scientific information and testimony… But if you care to look, it’s really quite impressive. For a sample of vaccine injury evidence go to www.generationrescue.org/lincolnmemorial.html.

I don’t “care to look”.  I care to have it presented to me in a method that addresses a rational, composed, logical structure that supports an overall argument.  Address the counter-arguments, provide reasonable evidence for your claims, and go an entire editorial without relying on multiple fallacies and perhaps I’ll assume you might have something of consequence to say. [edited to add] – Commenter Dan, who may have more patience than I do, has blogged about the “vaccine injury evidence” here.

We have never argued that people shouldn’t be immunized for the most serious threats including measles and polio, but surely there’s a limit as to how many viruses and toxins can be introduced into the body of a small child.

Surely there isn’t.  Maybe there is.  Perhaps there isn’t.  Again, you have a hypothesis.  Where is your evidence?

Veterinarians found out years ago that in many cases they were over-immunizing our pets, a syndrome they call Vaccinosis. It overwhelmed the immune system of the animals, causing myriad physical and neurological disorders. Sound familiar? If you can over-immunize a dog, is it so far out to assume that you can over-immunize a child? These forward thinking vets also decided to remove thimerosal from animal vaccines in 1992, and yet this substance, which is 49% mercury, is still in human vaccines. Don’t our children deserve as much consideration as our pets?

There’s no reference to “vaccinoisis” in Wikipedia, and the first six pages of references I find to the term in Google Scholar all point to homeopathy literature.  I found one article that seems to be referenced quite heavily by people using the term “vaccinoisis”, “Vaccination and Autoimmunity—‘vaccinosis: A Dangerous Liason” by Shoenfeld and Aron-Maor, published in volume 14, issue 1 of the Journal of Immunology.  From the abstract:

So far only one controlled study of an experimental animal model has been published, in which the possible causal relation between vaccines and autoimmune findings has been examined: in healthy puppies immunized with a variety of commonly given vaccines, a variety of autoantibodies have been documented but no frank autoimmune illness was recorded. The findings could also represent a polyclonal activation (adjuvant reaction). The mechanism (or mechanisms) of autoimmune reactions following immunization has not yet been elucidated. One of the possibilities is molecular mimicry; when a structural similarity exists between some viral antigen (or other component of the vaccine) and a self-antigen. This similarity may be the trigger to the autoimmune reaction. Other possible mechanisms are discussed.

Even though the data regarding the relation between vaccination and autoimmune disease is conflicting, it seems that some autoimmune phenomena are clearly related to immunization (e.g. Guillain–Barre syndrome).

The issue of the risk of vaccination remains a philosophical one, since to date the advantages of this policy have not been refuted (editors note: emphasis mine), while the risk for autoimmune disease has not been irrevocably proved. We discuss the pros and cons of this issue (although the temporal relationship (i.e. always 2–3 months following immunization) is impressive).

You seem to place an awfully large chunk of weight in a concept that has merited precisely one controlled study.  Why?  (let’s discount the fact that the actual study doesn’t conclude what you think it does).

In all likelihood the truth about vaccines is that they are both good and bad. While ingredients like aluminum, mercury, ether, formaldehyde and anti-freeze may help preserve and enhance vaccines, they can be toxic as well.

Actually, in all likelihood the truth about vaccines is that their goodness so vastly overwhelms any potential badness that any reasonably coherent risk analysis would lead you to recommend the sudden and immediate deployment of them in as broad a population as is practical.  While ingredients like aluminum, mercury, ether, formaldehyde and anti-freeze may be toxic, they certainly ought to be present in levels greater than what the body has naturally before we jump off the deep end of fear, and of course actually be part of the vaccine to begin with.  Metal toxicity is a vanishingly tiny danger.  If any of these ingredients had any sort of measurable incidence, there would be a huge number of associated cases.

[edited to add] A more thorough analysis of the science (I concentrated on the fallacies) in Mr. Carrey’s editorial over here at Orac’s place and over here at Autism News.

Posted April 23, 2009 by padraic2112 in parenting, rants, science

Theme Thursday: Earth   6 comments

This is essentially a repost, but a worthy one.

How to Destroy The Earth, by Sam Hughes

Preamble

Destroying the Earth is harder than you may have been led to believe.

You’ve seen the action movies where the bad guy threatens to destroy the Earth. You’ve heard people on the news claiming that the next nuclear war or cutting down rainforests or persisting in releasing hideous quantities of pollution into the atmosphere threatens to end the world.

Fools.

The Earth is built to last. It is a 4,550,000,000-year-old, 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000-tonne ball of iron. It has taken more devastating asteroid hits in its lifetime than you’ve had hot dinners, and lo, it still orbits merrily. So my first piece of advice to you, dear would-be Earth-destroyer, is: do NOT think this will be easy.

This is not a guide for wusses whose aim is merely to wipe out humanity. I (Sam Hughes) can in no way guarantee the complete extinction of the human race via any of these methods, real or imaginary. Humanity is wily and resourceful, and many of the methods outlined below will take many years to even become available, let alone implement, by which time mankind may well have spread to other planets; indeed, other star systems. If total human genocide is your ultimate goal, you are reading the wrong document. There are far more efficient ways of doing this, many which are available and feasible RIGHT NOW. Nor is this a guide for those wanting to annihilate everything from single-celled life upwards, render Earth uninhabitable or simply conquer it. These are trivial goals in comparison.

This is a guide for those who do not want the Earth to be there anymore.

Posted April 16, 2009 by padraic2112 in Theme Thursday

I Need A Bigger Budget   3 comments

If you don’t watch the whole thing, pop to 3:15.  You get to see the paint get knocked off of the car.

Posted April 13, 2009 by padraic2112 in humor, teevee