Sunday Starlinks

May 15th, 2011

Pretty cool flowchart to decide which science fiction/fantasy tv series to watch on Netflix.  Thanks, sfsignal.com!

Anna Lee Newitz over at io9 has an article about science fiction movies that are really fantasy.  Similar themes to ones I talk about sometimes, and I agree completely with Star Wars topping her list.

Another reminder that fundie science deniers are idiots.  From the folks that bring you Chick Tracts, which are kind of hilarious in their stupidity.

And it’s that kind of narrow-minded religious thinking that made this kid have all his D&D books be taken away.

Dwarf planet Haumea likely an ice-coated world.

Habitability around Nearby Stars.

A brief article about Dark Energy.  Accurate.  A couple of choice quotes in there.

Frame dragging likely confirmed via Gravity Probe B.  More interesting is the commentary in the article about how large projects should be selected and funded.

From the world of real-life superheroes…sort of.  Man dressed as Batman charged with trespassing.  Check out the pic!  Pudgy Batman has pit stains…

Womanimal.  Everyone loves a good human-animal hybrid.  Safe to click — this is NOT about Furries.

A WSJ story on the National Elementary School Chess Championships.  The angle the WSJ writer took was why New York kids are dominant, and get it likely right: it’s in the culture there, in the schools public and private.  Basketball used to be a “Jewish” game and people called the Jews “crafty” to explain their success, and then later when blacks started to dominate again attributed it to racial attributes.  When expertise like this arises in a region or group, it’s almost always culture.  Lots of kids see it as a way to have success and aspire to it.  Tens of thousands of Canadian kids want to be Wayne Gretsky.  Tens of thousands of urban kids want to be Like Mike.  And in New York City schools, kids want to be Gary Kasparov (he was my model at least).

I try to avoid student bashing usually.  It’s a little unseemly for a professor to do…but this website is pretty funny: Shit My Students Write.

PZ Meyers takes apart a guy named Mike Adams who wants to abuse quantum mechanics to further his own agenda full of woo.

The Economist on Futurology.

Another reminder why I’m not a fan of the Catholic Church.  How can you discriminate against gays and turn around and claim to “treat everyone with dignity and respect?”  It’s time to stop respecting and funding the charity work of religious groups if they can’t do it without attaching their immoral strings.  They may be more polite that Westboro, but they’re spreading the same message.

This other story was going around the last week or two as well: Two Muslim Imams were removed from a commercial flight.  I’m not a fan of any organized religion, but I’m a fan of civil rights and not a fan of stupid fearful Americans.  Sheesh.  Muslim terrorists on your flight, Mr. and Mrs. America, will be clean-cut people wearing Western clothes.  You’re bigots and you’re not very smart, either.

Some junk science from psychologists linking internet porn and sex offenses.  From reading the article, I don’t think they’ve managed any such thing.  It’s junk science with a racy theme that then gets overblown in the media for readers.  I’ve seen studies based on more than a few interviews that found the opposite (for example; also here).

Climate deniers are like birthers.  Will be ignored by Deniers and Birthers since the obvious analogy comes from Al Gore.

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