Archive for September 2009

Theme Thursday: Wild   3 comments

Yesterday’s TT topic was “wild”.

When I was a child, I used to watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.  I thought that Marlin Perkins was awesome.  Interesting little tidbit about Marlin that I didn’t know (from his Wikipedia page):

Because Walt Disney had fabricated footage of a mass suicide of lemmings in its film White Wilderness,[6] CBC (at that time) journalist Bob McKeown asked Marlin Perkins if he had done the same. Perkins, then in his eighties, “firmly asked for the camera to be turned off, then punched a shocked McKeown in the face.” [7]

As interesting and wild as our world today, for sheer magnitude nothing beats the Late Cretaceous for wildness.  We truly had Sea Monsters living in what is now the central United States.  National Geographic did a special that’s worth watching…

A chunk of the last episode of the BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs: Sea Monsters, showing the Mosasaur (fictitious, obviously, but pretty well done) –

That show has spawned a world tour (which, unfortunately, doesn’t hit Los Angeles).  If you live in Texas, you might still be able to get tickets to one of the later shows.  If you have any adolescent boys in the house, it’s probably a winner.


Posted September 25, 2009 by padraic2112 in Theme Thursday

Existence Statements & Probability   2 comments

Posted September 23, 2009 by padraic2112 in philosophy, science

Only 10%?   5 comments

Really?  Only 10% of the population can get all 12?  Why are we worried so much about high school exit exams?  Apparently adults need to crack open a book or three…


How well can you do?

(tip o’ the blogger hat to the Skeptical Teacher)

Posted September 22, 2009 by padraic2112 in science

This Made Me Laugh For About 2 Minutes Today   Leave a comment

From Dr. Free-Ride’s blog:


This goes a long way to explaining my sense of humor.

Posted September 21, 2009 by padraic2112 in humor, philosophy

Visualizations   4 comments

From Buzzfeed, via Andy… I’d say this is a pretty accurate characterization:


Posted September 17, 2009 by padraic2112 in humor

My Version Of Health Care Reform   4 comments

I’ve talked about this before with various friends and sundry, but I’ve never blogged about it.

The problem with the Health Care debate in this country is that most of the solutions offered are almost as complex as the problem they’re trying to address, or they’re stupidly simple without simultaneously making the overall problem more simple.  This is one case where our system, which has grown and evolved over time, has become unnecessarily complex.  I was finally going to blog about it this week, and then I happened to notice something truly remarkable: Mr. Denniger already wrote itTwice.  Holy tamoly, this is *exactly* what I’ve been saying about health care for *years*.

Note: I’m not particularly certain that my/his idea will immediately correct all the problems with our health care system.  One major problem not addressed, for example, is that the doctor population in this country is hugely rewarded for choosing specialty care as their practice, when what we really need is more general practitioners.  Another is that there is going to be a rather ugly transitional period here, since all medical billing is currently completely insane.  Just two examples.

But this is one case where I do agree fundamentally with conservatives who say that massive infrastructure isn’t what’s required to solve the problem.  Certainly there are issues here, even with Karl’s framework.  It removes medical bankruptcy, which is good.  It ensures that everyone  gets lifesaving care, which is good.  It doesn’t actually solve the long term problem of the free riders, though, since people still won’t get enough insurance, they’ll still go to the emergency room, and it doesn’t really matter if your debt is assigned to the IRS to collect if you’re never going to make enough money to pay it off.

However, it resets the playing field at “not completely, utterly, and overwhelmingly complex to the point of utter insanity”.  It turns insurance companies into true “amortization of risk” companies, which is what they ought to be (note: I’m not convinced that limiting by state is the best long-term solution, but it’s an appropriate place to get started).

It won’t fix everything, but it will certainly remove layers upon layers of obfuscation.

Posted September 10, 2009 by padraic2112 in politics, Uncategorized

‘Nuff Said   Leave a comment


More here.

Posted September 2, 2009 by padraic2112 in humor, noise