Just One More Zerg – Nothing Serious #Podcast 104

Don’t let childbirth interrupt your video games this week – it’s all about priorities. But how great can your priorities be when you’ll set yourself on fire for a YouTube video challenge, but can be arrested for doing citizen science? Finally, we talk about the Satanists in Missouri that are fighting for religious exemptions to antiabortion laws. And did we mention that Hodson is actually happy this week – WTF?

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

Yes, Atheists Can Be Dicks Too

Just because you’re an atheist doesn’t mean you always hold the moral high-ground as was proven this week in Florida. The oldest member of Nothing Serious escapes the nursing home long enough to join us in a debate about dementia and consent. Police in Beloit, Wisconsin come up with a clever way to catch the worlds dumbest criminals… or just waste taxpayers money, and U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree dismisses a lawsuit from a Kansas group attempting to block the state from adopting new science guidelines.

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

The Donkey Looks Like Wonder Woman

69 Dudes! Is there really 97% consensus that man has a detrimental effect on climate change? Can a Judge run a Christian Ministry from her court room? Learn why you should always double-check the recipient before hitting send on that selfie. What is “bubbling”, why is it a trend, and can we get Daniel to try it? And the guys face the ultimate, horny, desperate deserted island choice.

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

It’s Un-American

It’s more than just as we try out a new segment on episode 68 of Nothing Serious – “I want to play a game”. However, it’s not all fun and games as we discuss Ann Coulter, soccer, automatic sperm donation machines, education, science, fleshlights and of course, poop!

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

Everything Runs On AA Batteries

How to deal with intolerance? Should creationists be allowed give the commencement speech at Montana Tech. Is being too cautious taking the fun out of learning and teaching science? Do you hate your job as much as this guy? We saw the Congressman kissing staffers – but was twitter to blame? All this and more on episode 59 of Nothing Serious Podcast.

Bonus!! – Our Anonymous bad joke caller returns .

Update: We are moving recording to Wednesday nights. As such release day will be Thursday morning starting episode 60.

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

Holiday Reading List 2012 / 2013

Holiday Reading

While some folks are enjoying days and days off this holiday season, some of us have to work (grumble, grumble, grinch, grumble..) but it doesn’t mean that we can’t take a little time to flex the old grey matter by indulging in some good books.

Thanks to Sara raiding my Amazon wish lists, these 4 books are going to make up the bulk of my holiday reading for the next week or two.

How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed – Ray Kurzweil

Futurist, inventor and author Ray Kurzweil was recently hired by Google as their Director of Engineering , as such this book should be on the list for anyone with even a passing interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The bold futurist and bestselling author explores the limitless potential of reverse-engineering the human brain

Ray Kurzweil is arguably today’s most influential—and often controversial—futurist. In How to Create a Mind, Kurzweil presents a provocative exploration of the most important project in human-machine civilization—reverse engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works and using that knowledge to create even more intelligent machines.

Kurzweil discusses how the brain functions, how the mind emerges from the brain, and the implications of vastly increasing the powers of our intelligence in addressing the world’s problems. He thoughtfully examines emotional and moral intelligence and the origins of consciousness and envisions the radical possibilities of our merging with the intelligent technology we are creating.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You – The Oatmeal

Everybody loves The Oatmeal, and Sara took a stab at in the dark guessing that I’d love this collection of some of Matthew Inmans most popular cat jokes. I’ve not yet read it, because Gabby (our 14-year-old) swiped it from me and brought it to “the pit of no return: (a.k.a. her room). I’m informed that it’s hilarious!

If your cat is kneading you, that’s not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn’t a gift. It’s a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is a hilarious, brilliant offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com.

The Physics of Star Trek – Lawrence M. Krauss

In a book that (as a Trekkie) I’m ashamed to say I didn’t read when it was first published in 2007, theoretical physicist and Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration, Dr. Lawrence Maxwell Krauss, dissects the science of Star Trek.

What warps when you’re traveling at warp speed? What is the difference between a wormhole and a black hole? Are time loops really possible, and can I kill my grandmother before I am born? Anyone who has ever wondered “could this really happen?” will gain useful insights into the Star Trek universe (and, incidentally, the real world of physics) in this charming and accessible guide. Lawrence M. Krauss boldly goes where Star Trek has gone-and beyond. From Newton to Hawking, from Einstein to Feynman, from Kirk to Picard, Krauss leads readers on a voyage to the world of physics as we now know it and as it might one day be.

Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel – Michio Kaku

Over the past year I’ve become a big fan of futurist and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku. It was his talks on Big Think that initially drew me in, so this book was an absolute must for me.

Teleportation, time machines, force fields, and interstellar space ships—the stuff of science fiction or potentially attainable future technologies? Inspired by the fantastic worlds of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Back to the Future, renowned theoretical physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku takes an informed, serious, and often surprising look at what our current understanding of the universe’s physical laws may permit in the near and distant future.Entertaining, informative, and imaginative, Physics of the Impossible probes the very limits of human ingenuity and scientific possibility.

Wait, What Debate? – Dr. Pepper Facebook Advert Ignites Evolution Debate

Via Mashable comes word of how the Dr. Pepper advert below set off a debate about evolution that, as I write this, has garnered over 24,319 likes, 2314 shares and more than 3,300 comments. Why? The advert, in no-subtle way, supports evolution – as well it should.

Dr Pepper set off a heated debate over evolution on Thursday after posting an advertisement to its Facebook page, which showed an ape evolving into a man thanks to the discovery of a can of Dr Pepper.

“My ancestors were created in the Garden of Eden,” one user posted in response to the advertisement. “I ain’t no freaking chimp. No more Dr Pepper for my household. God Bless y’all,” Another complained: “this is showing the theory of men evolving from apes. I have lost all respect for Dr Pepper and if Dr Pepper wants business from thousands of people they will need to apologize.” (Spellings have been corrected throughout.)

Others shot back, including a couple of commenters who posted, “The day your faith gets shaken by a Dr Pepper ad is the day you should probably start reconsidering your faith.”

Let’s be honest with ourselves –  There is no debate here.

All there is are those people, who as a result of poor education and/or willful ignorance, attempt to find god in the ever decreasing gaps of scientific knowledge. A gap in our scientific knowledge is not evidence for the existence of a deity, it is simply evidence that there is more we have yet to learn.

It must be depressing to have a world view where there is no joy, excitement and wonderment from the pursuit of knowledge, where you simply accept that everything exists because “god made it”. So sad.

Folks are free to have their religious beliefs, but at some point they must realize, that having those beliefs doesn’t mean they need to be and act willfully ignorant in the face of scientific theory.

Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.

The contention that evolution should be taught as a “theory, not as a fact” confuses the common use of these words with the scientific use. In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science. They are understandings that develop from extensive observation, experimentation, and creative reflection. They incorporate a large body of scientific facts, laws, tested hypotheses, and logical inferences. In this sense, evolution is one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.

Dr Pepper - Evolution of Flavor