Sunday, February 26, 2012

Craziest Technological Advancement of Our Time?

What would you say it was?

Here's what a 101 year old woman answering questions on reddit (her grandson was doing it for her) said was the craziest for her time:

Running water. We used to use a cistern or a well to gather water. I remember the first time my father installed a faucet and oh my goodness, I felt like we had won the lottery!

Imagine that! This really drives home just how far we have come. In the lifespan of one human being we have gone from hand pumping water to accessing the world's data in seconds, from devices all around us, including in our pockets! How incredible it is when you 'zoom out,' so to speak, and look at the grander picture, and realize that this progress has come in the most minute little tail end of the human timescale.


Judge: A Muslim Has The Right to Attack an 'Offensive' Atheist

Martin further dressed down Perce for his insensitive behavior, going so far as to call him a doofus and telling him that in Muslim societies he could have been put to death for mocking Muhammad.
“Having had the benefit of having spent over 2 and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam,” Martin said. “In fact I have a copy of the Koran here and I challenge you sir to show me where it says in the Koran that Mohammad arose and walked among the dead. I think you misinterpreted things. Before you start mocking someone else’s religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it. It makes you look like a doofus… In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.”
Sgt. Brian Curtis handled the incident aftermath. Curtis explained that Elbayomy admitted to grabbing Perce that October night.

Is this any different than a judge telling a woman that she was "asking for it" due to her chosen manner of dress?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bioware: Mass Effect 3 is a Shooter

“There’s definitely been an emphasis on making combat spaces into open battlefields in this game,” he continued. “We’re trying to get away from corridor shooters.”

And now I make my exit.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shadow Complex Review: Old School, Meet New School

Old School Meets New School

Shadow Complex is a side scrolling shooter with 3D graphics that focuses heavily on map exploration and character progression. This is the game that, as you likely have heard a multitude of times recently, is a downloadable game in the vein of Super Metroid (and a few others). Some go so far as to say this game is a Metroid clone. Either way you look at it, it's definitely very similar. However, for the purposes of this review, I am going to forget Super Metroid et al., and focus merely on this game and its merits. This will be a fairly lengthy review, and I will do my best to describe in detaii what you can expect from this game.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Treatable STD Scarier Than Fatal Flu

Passing someone a sexually transmitted infection is viewed as worse than giving them the flu — even if the flu turns out to be fatal, a new study finds. The stigma surrounding STIs can keep people from getting tested, discussing testing with partners or disclosing to partners that they do have an infection, Moor said. She and her colleagues wanted to understand how much stigma really influences people's perceptions of these diseases. To do so, the researchers gathered 1,158 volunteers via the Internet and had each read a short paragraph about someone transmitting either the H1N1 flu, also called swine flu, or chlamydia to another person. Though H1N1 usually causes nothing more than a few days of misery, people with compromised immune systems, the elderly and the very young can die of it.

In every scenario in the study, "Christina" or "James" feels a little ill, but shrugs off the symptoms, goes to a party and has sex with a fellow partygoer. In some cases, this sexual encounter transmits chlamydia to their partner. In other cases, it transmits H1N1. After reading one of these scenarios, each participant answered a series of questions about how selfish, risky and all-around irresponsible they would rate either Christina or James.

Keeping a sexual mode of transmission constant was meant to control for any automatic "sex is taboo" reactions from participants, Moor said. But despite the fact that the characters James and Christina acted sexually identically in all scenarios, chlamydia seemed to strike extra fear into participants' hearts.When Christina or James were said to have transmitted chlamydia, people judged them harshly, ranking them as almost as selfish and risky as was possible in the survey. When H1N1 was the disease in question, however, people rated the transmitter much more generously. Even when the sexual partner actually died of H1N1, transmitting chlamydia was seen as much more risky and irresponsible than transmitting the flu.

"It's quite confusing," Moor said. "If sex is taboo and that's why people are thinking STIs are so stigmatized, we just nipped that in the bud. We're showing that you can get H1N1 through sex, but it's still not stigmatized."

This is something that I have considered for some time, and I am glad it is finally garnering attention in the scientific community. While the findings seem to concur with my feelings on the subject, I do have one criticism to make: They say that it is inexplicable that people view STI's in a harsher light than they do say the flu, even if both are transmitted sexually. They say that they controlled for the "sex is taboo" factor by making sexual activity the mode of transmission in each scenario. However, I think they are missing one crucial point: STI's are linked, in people's minds, with sex, while the flu is not. And this is quite likely directly resultant of the taboo nature of sex in North American culture.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Namibia sponge fossils are world's first animals: study

Scientists digging in a Namibian national park have uncovered sponge-like fossils they say are the first animals, a discovery that would push the emergence of animal life back millions of years.
The tiny vase-shaped creatures' fossils were found in Namibia's Etosha National Park and other sites around the country in rocks between 760 and 550 million years old, a 10-member team of international researchers said in a paper published in the South African Journal of Science.
That means animals, previously thought to have emerged 600 million to 650 million years ago, actually appeared 100 million to 150 million years before that, the authors said.
It also means the hollow globs -- about the size of a dust speck and covered in holes that allowed fluid to pass in and out of their bodies -- were our ancestors, said co-author Tony Prave, a geologist at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Read the rest at the link above.

I find this doubly fascinating, as it acts both as a furthering of our knowledge of our origins and a tentative confirmation of the 'molecular clock' method of dating.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

COD Black Ops: LEGO Edition

I hate COD and I am sick to death of FPS games but this is fucking brilliant:

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Witcher 2 (Xbox 360): Real In-Game Footage

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Socialism in the US; Is America (At Least Partly) Socialist? And Is Socialism '"Bad?"

NOTE: This is an unpublished blog from last year.

So many Americans seem to be up in arms about that ever present enemy, "socialism." Woooooo, "socialism." Scary word down there in the US these days, a word made ever increasingly more hateful by the day courtesy of our friends over at Fox News Channel (and Fox affiliate radio programs, of course. Don't worry Rush Limbaugh, I didn't forget your hateful, lying ass). And yet, this ever increasingly hated enemy is nothing but smoke and mirrors. In fact, the U.S, along with every other developed nation, thrives on semi socialist policies.