Thursday, August 12, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
....as the song says. Except last week, when we were in Buenos Aires on vacation (short version: we got a cheap opportunity to spend a week in an exotic-sounding place, so we took it). And one clear night it occurred to me to have a look at the southern stars. Which was kind of hard, being in a big city with tall buildings and light pollution, but I managed to find Orion pretty quickly -- only somewhat higher in the sky than I'm used to and upside down. And of course Orion is closely followed to the southeast by his hunting dog, Canis Major, with the star Sirius -- the brightest star in the sky, and easily visible even through the city's sky glow.
So far, these are still things visible from southern Ontario where I've lived my whole life, just shifted to an unfamiliar angle (Buenos Aires is at 35 degrees south latitude). But continuing a little further south from Sirius I found another bright star: Canopus, or Alpha Carinae. At -52 degrees declination, it is never visible from home.
We spent a while mucking with Google Sky and trying to find a spot with a good southern horizon to check out the circumpolar stars, but never managed to identify anything. Unlike the case in the northern sky, there aren't a lot of bright stars around the south celestial pole, and it's too hard to make out constellations when you can't see a big swath of sky all at once. So we contented ourselves with having "bagged" Canopus.
Back home, I went for a walk about 9pm the other night -- and there was Orion back where he usually is, half-way up the sky, and with his sword hanging below his belt. And for some reason, more than any amount of exotic architecture, foreign money, or a different language, that made me realize that I'd been to a far-off land.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Minor historical gripes: Annie was not the Darwin's first child, but the second. And she died in 1851, while the bulk of the movie's plot clearly takes place in 1858 and 1859, with the arrival of Wallace's letter precipitating the completion of Origin of Species. Was Darwin really a cranky hysterical for seven long years? I know, time gets compressed in Movieland....
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Dear Ham-head: I've read your website. I've been in your joke of a museum. I even exchanged brief words with you, some years ago. Substitute "creationist" for "atheist" in the last paragraph above and then it might be somewhere in the same ballpark as the truth. You wouldn't know truth if it ran over you on the Interstate.
The Scripture tells us [atheists] “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1). Basically it comes down to the fact that they don’t want to have to answer to anyone—they want to set their own rules. They generally want to abort babies if they want or make marriage whatever they want to make it to be (or reject it altogether). They want to do what is “right” in their own eyes! Thus, a Creator who owns them, to whom they owe their existence, and against whom they have rebelled, is anathema to them!
It baffles the mind as to why these atheists even bother to try to aggressively convert people to their meaningless religion—after all, what’s the point? The only reason they would even bother is if they are engaged in a spiritual battle. Otherwise they wouldn’t care. They know in their hearts there is a God, and they are deliberately suppressing that, as the Scripture so clearly tells us.
[.....]I’m sure most of you realize that you often can’t trust what atheists say. After all, if there is no absolute authority, there is no basis for right or wrong (just one’s own opinion). Thus, atheists can say whatever they want—even if it is not the truth.
And while I'm on the subject of Christian douchebags, I may as well as join the chorus pointing out that Pat Robertson is an evil old man whose God is created very much in his own image.
Day 2: You definitely have a cold.
Day 3: You feel like you're gonna die.
Day 4: You wish you'd just hurry up and die already.
Day 5: You realize you're not going to die.
Day 6: You start feeling better.
Day 7: You're mostly better.
Day 8: Back in the pink of health.
Currently working on Day 5.....