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Dec. 28th, 2009

Christmas Rantings

Well my minions with another Christmas come and gone I can finally take a deep breathe and say, "Good Riddance". To me the holidays is an excuse to brag, to have people over to either show off how well you are or to be invited somewhere else for that very reason. There is little family gathering or bonding, and the few people that do come over are seldom liked or even considered a friend.

I suppose I'm very much like my father in that way, he is a man who intentionally closes family ties and friendships and only allows a small select few into his inner circle. This behavior is especially notable during Christmas when my grandmother brings up members of the family closely related to us that we no longer speak to or have any contact with... for various reasons.

Lets get back to my stance on Christmas, to me it is a Christian holiday and me being non-Christian I feel it is bullocks that I’m subjected to it on the basis that I am. My mother happens to be a Christmas fanatic, she spends huge amounts of money on upkeep of decorations and actually has so many decorations it takes 2 weeks to put them all up… the tree alone is a 3 day venture. I’m expected to come and help, which I have no problem doing but the whole time I’m continually criticized for my decorating methodology and eventually I am told to go… which is fine by me but I have no idea why they ask.

I can’t even rationalize Christmas, it seems to be an excuse to have days off get together with people who you only see once a year (because that’s all you can stand them for), have drinks and try to enjoy yourself. I just can’t get involved with that, this week my parents have had many friends of my Mother come visit and I was expected to be part of the group. I don’t know half of these people, and I find it ridiculous that I’m supposedly obligated to play host.

This goes for a particular couple who are friends of my parents; I honestly can’t stand them and make every effort to avoid them. They tend to criticize me and everything I am about on a regular basis and that to me is beyond rude. I avoided them like the plague the other night; I luckily have kidney stones so I used that as an excuse to keep away... although I was in genuine pain. They bought me a gift, and now my parents are forcing me to go buy them something, I refuse on all levels. I’m an adult, and I will not get myself wrapped up in that racket… their gift was one of mocking anyway. A reference of something they want to change about me.

This cultural session of meet and greet which is preformed on my island isn’t even close to being over yet, I still have another week to put up with. This is triggering all sorts of anti-social behavior from me.

My parents got me gifts when I specifically put out in simple terms I want absolutely nothing. They bought me a bunch of expensive things which I really have no use for in reality. I would have rather had the money to spend on school costs, or a new computer for school related functions. I tried to buy some gifts for my father and he really chewed me out over it, then I tried my mother who is hard as hell to buy for… I bought her some stuff but it wasn’t nearly what she got me.

I cannot wait until it is said and done and I can have my normal life back, I’d rather be working and going to school then to put up with this foolishness another day longer.

Just call me the Scrooge.

Dec. 13th, 2009

Australopithecines.

Evolution is cladisitic, organisms change through various selections branching out in every which way based on many factors. The key is to remember that evolution is not linear and follows no terms of “more” or “less” evolved. In reality there is no such thing as an organism that is “more” evolved. There is no rule of hierarchy; if an animal happens to select a trait which is old in comparison to others… it doesn’t mean it is going backwards. It means it is doing it out of necessity, and in my opinion it is one of the corner stones of adaptation.

Creationists tend to think in terms that evolution as linear and in terms of hierarchy, this is false. The theory of evolution favors no traits over others in terms of what is more advanced or primitive, it only favors what is needed for proper adaptability and survival.

The reason the title of this blog is Australopithecines, is because it brings an interesting example of how evolution branches and is not linear or hierarchical. The term Australopithecines is used to refer to closely related branches of genera, and concerns with two individuals:

Australopithecus “Gracile Australopith”: 4 Million Years ago
Paranthropus “Robust Australopith”: 2.7 Million Years ago

For simplicity sake I will refer to them as Gracile and Robust for duration of this post.

The gracile is considered a Hominini which had very modern features. It is part of the human linage and shows features which are more attributed to modern humans than the ancestral ape linage. Of these anatomical features the most notable were smaller teeth, which lead to smaller jaws and a more shrunken in face. These are characteristic of an intermediate species in our evolutionary linage.

The gracile eventually parented another species, was the robust. Due to vegetation the robust had adapted to eat (Think skinned fruit, nuts, and hard vegetation) its anatomical features were focused around chewing. The adaptations lead to larger teeth, a larger jaw, and a modified skull which would properly hold all the various large muscles needed for chewing hard vegetation.

In terms of evolutionary hierarchy the robust seems to be less evolved than the gracile, and this brings me to the misconception linear evolution. It just doesn’t happen that way. Due to the conditions and food the robust had adapted to eat, it developed those traits out of simple necessity. It was no more evolved than any creature, and just happened to carve out a niche in an ecosystem which required traits that seemed ancestral. Although the robust was an evolutionary dead end it is an excellent example of evolutionary branching.

When creationists mention this example to falsify evolution, it is merely showing their lack of understanding of the subject. I’ve had some interesting discussions with many creationists, where I had to stress this point to the extremes. It seems that even the most critical of creationists some times miss this point, and automatically make the mistake of hierarchical evolution.

I hope this simplification(which is very very watered down) will serve as a means to enlighten rather than cause unnecessary backlash.

Until next time.

Dec. 3rd, 2009

Well well well.

Not well at all?

I'm not sure what is happening but the last few weeks have been quite chaotic for me, I invested lots of time and effort into a few undertakings all of which have blown up with the exception of one. Lucky for my future the one undertaking I did excel in was school related.

At the end of every lecture a participant from my class is chosen to begin the next class with a review, due to my being so involved in the class I had the honor of being hand picked to do the hardest of these reviews. I was also pressed with the task to briefly try to get my peers to understand the content more clearly. Although my Prof said I did well, I feel that as usual my unenthusiastic peers were still quite unenthusiastic by the time my presentation was over with.

I was forwarded some interesting Anthropology links for personal study, of course as usual my Prof is keeping my curious mind going and getting me more deeply enveloped into the field. I was also forwarded some information from the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology, this society is captivating my interest. I'll soon be making some e-mails to see if I will fair well with these professionals.

In other news, I was promptly banned for 2 days from a forum I regularly go to. No worries, this was not the forum I administrate, I am very professional there. However this forum is a cesspool for ignorance, flame wars, and agendas. I happened to find a rather rude comment from a member I happen to find extremely irritating, the comment was uncalled for and I jumped in brandishing words similar to theirs... I soon found myself at the end of a ban hammer and a very over zealous moderator.

This ban ended yesterday, and not much had changed. It seems though that my beliefs especially lack of religious beliefs is beginning to cause others in that community to label and assume the worse. Not that I give them much to go on. I'm not calm and level headed there, I'm more uncensored and unrefined. I feel my time there ending soon, with either a ban or me leaving on my own terms.


My only and last exam for this half of the year is on the 11th of the month, it seems from then on I'll be working as much as possible to supplement my income so I can attempt to get down south for Christmas holiday. I'm hoping I can manage this, with all the family dramatics as of late (not to mention financial stresses) this is going to be a harsh test.

I'm still trying to promote this blog, it seems I have a few regular readers but they tend to view as non-LJ members. So hopefully some of these viewers will join and help my blog uprising.

Well there isn't much else to say, lets hope things pick up. Probability says they will eventually.

Nov. 27th, 2009

Discovery.

It has been a long time my adoring fans and minions, never fear I am still very much alive and kicking. I've just been very busy with other tasks, especially those which are preparation for the future.

So what has kept me so busy? Well its a matter of many variables rather than just one. I'm what people would call a working student, the problem is I do much more work than the average student... I manage a full time job with overtime and school. The impossibility of me doing this next semester is apparent so I've decided to get a lay off so I can focus on my studies.

The world of Paleoanthropology is opening before me, and I am simply astounded at how easily I am adapting to the course work and study of the Human linage. I've gone much further than simple classes, the time and effort I put in out of interest and seeking elaboration on the day to day basis is quickly turning me into a known force in the Anthropology department. I am currently head of the class in my Human Evolution course, and unfortunately this section is ending soon. I will be soon entering the second section of this particular course which is focusing on the great Creationist vs Evolution debate, and their social implications. Although I am a devout Evolutionist and have embraced the argument from the most secular of sides. I feel I'll be very at home in that class room.

Through this course I've managed to create a very good rapport with my prof, she and I have stayed after class having some great conversations about evolution, the human linage, and even refer each other consistently to interesting web articles. My prof although just a qualitative anthropologist has a great interest in Paleoanthropology, and has been loading me up with free materials like books and advice which I will be able to use in my quest in becoming a Paleoanthopologist.

I'm simply in love with the field and find my self glued to papers, research, and any news on the subject. I've never been so passionate. It is a superb feeling.

My life beyond school is mostly full of my employment, which to be honest isn't a topic I wish to talk about other than saying I do my job and go home. Oh and every week I earn my pay.

My work with fossils as an amateur fossil hunter and hobbyist has been rather slow as of late, I really have been working too hard as an employee and student to make very many expeditions out in the field to collect. Recently all I have found was a small Calamites (positive and negative) and an impression of fern wood. Not much really. Although I do plan on spending a good sum of money on a new specimen, it is my Christmas gift to myself. I believe this fossil will be the one I'm looking at currently, a semi-articulated partial skeleton of a Archaeolagus. This is more or less a rabbit, which is extinct. This hopefully will also become a prepping project, and hopefully I can piece together some of the missing bits of the skull, and manage to create a very nice restoration. Time will tell.

Other than school and work I've desperately been trying to fit time in for my beloved Caitlin, there are many nights where we do not talk a lot because I'm so busy with school and this is regretful. I cannot wait to make the trip south to see her again in a few weeks, it feels like it is the only thing I'm working towards and nothing else matters.

Well there is not really much else to add, I promise to update more frequently with my usual dramatic and eccentric views of the world.

Oct. 9th, 2009

World, Self, and Mind

Well where do I begin it really has been a while since I posted, and so much has gone on.

 

Barrack Obama wins Nobel Prize? Did anyone else have to rethink this statement?

 

I really haven’t been much of a fan of Obama, and although I’m Canadian I do follow American politics reasonably close because they usually directly influence happenings in my country. I have various reasons why I’m disappointed in Obama, but they will have to come later, this portion of the blog is specifically directed to this current news.

 

I feel the prize would have been better suited to someone else, I’m not sure of the other candidates but surely there was someone in there with better credentials than Obama. Why do I feel this prize was so undeserved? Well simply because it is the Nobel PEACE Prize… Obama is President of a country at war and not only has he sustained the war since placed in office but he has reinforced it by creating further political tension especially with Iran and Pakistan. I feel his humanitarian efforts are nil to none in comparison to other world leaders, in fact I believe he has said something along the lines of “The US will not look after the world…” not that I disagree… a country in such an economic turbulent state needs to focus on THEM and not the world… but still this falls far from what I feel qualifies a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

 

Oh did I mention he stood up the Dalai Lama? Come on, a person trained in peace and passivism…

 

 Now to Local Politics

 

I cannot offer much insight into this one but my father stumbled onto some sleazy deals which are going on in my local government. Basically it involves the selling off of properties, without listing them or putting them out to tender, for face value which is FAR under the value it should be. Not only this but it is not listed or advertised which means it is sold to a party which is in the loop. For an area which is in such economic devastation and has been for decades you would think that the government would want to maximize what they could get for a property…

 

We’re currently working with some prominent members in the low ranking local government racket and plan to publish this soon in a few venues to shed light on this situation.

 

 Now onto more personal events

 

Work has been rather tiresome, I’m currently working on average 12 hour days and usually it is just my bosses and I. I work because I like the money and I actually care about the business and its progression forward. The other employees however actually break a sweat running out the door. The employees work their 8 hours fine, but the drama and trouble they cause is hardly worth keeping them. The only reason they haven’t been fired is because unfortunately no one wants to work in my area and every labor intensive business is having trouble finding employees. Because I’m very trusted at work I get to hear my employers woes and vents about the other employees and unfortunately when they leave and I’m left I tend to get the brunt of their wrath. This to me translates as disrespect and I’m finding it harder and harder to keep my cool without and often I think I should just start not working overtime as well.

 

Now this week as of right now I have 55 hours, and I’m working all this weekend and the holiday on Monday. Why? Well I need the money, and I want nice things. I’m really at a loss though, I’m just finding myself resenting work more and more and the work load continues to grow exponentially.

 

The rest of my life is pretty dull, I go to school, but I mainly work and by the time I get home I’m either too tired to say up or too exhausted to do anything. I just have to wait til after Christmas when I will have a few months off work because of a huge school work load.

 

The only other news is that I managed to get in a small fossil hunt this afternoon; I went out to a job to help measure for a set of cabinets in a new home. Well I really wasn’t needed and I saw the two tell tale signs of fossils in my area Iron stained rocks, and coal spots. Many properties have essentially been strip mined and are a few feet shorter than they once were. Unfortunately as with most sites around here there has been poor preservation. I saw lots of black organic hash plates but the carbonization processes had degraded the fossils too much to be identified or even look like an organic structure. I found 2 diamonds in the rough a small plate with a colorful bark impression, and a small Calamites impression on the same plate and a very eroded pith cast but I decided to leave it because it was just such a low quality. Pictures shall follow eventually.

 

Well that’s all from me.

Sep. 24th, 2009

Small blog, my September life.

This is just a brief update of my life, no rants.

 

School has been great, it really has. I know this Prof from Qualitative research last year and she and I hit it off pretty good. She’s tough but she’s fair. Actually she seemed very happy that I informed her about what Ray Comfort plans to do in November in the US. She felt it was a very nice current example of the struggle between Evolution and Faith which is the heart of the course. She called upon me on Tuesday to explain the information I e-mailed her a little further and then brought the rest of the class (who were completely uninterested) up to speed. This was essentially my lesson plan, and I was smiling huge inside. My next class is well today… actually in about 8 hours.  My only problem so far is that it is first class in the morning and I’m a night owl, I live 40 mins away from school so I have to leave early and I nearly fall asleep in class.

 

Now onto work. Work is work, it’s long and hard. This week overtime hasn’t been too bad actually just an hour or two, rather than last week when it was 3 or 4 hours. We worked the weekend in an effort to try to catch up with the work load. We have two very huge jobs on the go and a bunch of smaller ones in the mix as well. Tonight we actually had a moment where we ran out of work because steps which are done by another portion of the shop were not completed I took this time to goof around a bit and work on a personal project. I painted the back cover of my cell phone; I did this because all the original color had worn off and it looked ratty. My phone is silver with a pearl coat so I originally panted the cover silver but… the paint was flawed and the only other color available was florescent orange… guess what color it is now?

 

I should probably get to bed now, but before I do I’d like to remind my readers that I like input. I like questions especially and if you have anything to ask feel free to do so. I also hope that my anti-religious blogs aren’t offending anyone, it isn’t my way to be cruel but I’m just a very anti-religion sort of guy. I’m always looking for more minions so recommend me and help me spread my blog.

 

Sep. 21st, 2009

Incredible Fail: Ray Comfort Strikes Again.

Incredible Fail: Ray Comfort Strikes Again.

Well I logged onto YouTube today and guess what I found? Yet another attempt by Creationist Zealots to use sleazy tactics combined with fallacy to mask the scientific method behind a guise of completely ridiculous claims. Now I can't begin to describe the disgust I feel when I think about this newest collaboration from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron.

So what is their newest idiotic movement to save the godless Atheists of the USA(and the world)? They wish to push and distribute a modified version of Darwin's Origin of Species, just days before the the 150th anniversary of its publishing. I'll give you from an excerpt taken from http://www.livingwaters.com which is selling the book:

"This special 280-page edition not only contains an abridged Origin of Species but also has a 50-page Introduction that reveals the dangerous fruit of evolution, Hitler's undeniable connections to the theory, Darwin's racism, and his disdain for women. It counters the claim that creationists are "anti-science" by citing numerous scientists who believed that God created the universe — scientists such as Einstein, Newton, Copernicus, Bacon, Faraday, Pasteur, and Kepler."

As you can see a usual ad hominem attack, because Ray has done such a poor job in defending the views of Creationism against Evolution he and his following are resorting to down right manipulation playing on key factors like morality and ethics.

There is also a YouTube video promoting this book, and their plans to distribute free copies of it across the USA focusing on the top 50 Universities. This is in an effort to convert students so the future will be with "god". I urge those who think this is a complete disregard for modern science and degrades a piece of scientific history to try to get as many of these copies as possible before it does some damage. I'm hoping that students at these 50 top schools will not let such shameful tactics and blatant fallacy to change their opinions on evolution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN9zpf5cT0M&feature=player_embedded

Lets take a moment to look at what is wrong with this video:

Plays on people's emotions.

Assumes that the USA has become a worse nation because of Atheist influence.

Completely bias and intentionally ignorant of other peoples faiths.

Completely ignorant of the scientific method.

Assumes that Evolution covers the creation of the universe... (Why are Creationists so ignorant to this one?)

Assumes Liberties are God Given and perpetuates the old ideology of Manifest destiny and other Christian rights on the soil of the USA.

Assumes that a person's beliefs and thoughts about others or groups make them unable to create a scientific theory.

The list goes on, those are just a few off hand I can think of in hindsight.

Also completely ignorant to the facts:

In the past Christians were guilty of using the Bible as a means to support racism, bigotry, indoctrination, assimilation, murder and many other of humanities worst deeds. Also ignorant that all Christian evidence against Evolution that has been peer reviewed properly has been completely debunked. All other pieces are those which haven't been allowed to surface into mainstream science, not that it would change their minds anyway.

I can't go on any more about this right now the whole idea of anyone trying something like this is making my head hurt out of frustration. I'm very tired of Creationist propaganda!!!

I'm so glad to be in Canada...

Sep. 17th, 2009

Dawn of a new School year.

Well it is my third year at CBU, which I playfully call Coloring Book University. All I can say is so far so good… It began as sort of a downer actually with CBU deciding to switch my course load around so this semester I only have one class, and next I have 4. This could possibly be a good thing though because since I’m paying my own way through school it will definitely help get my funds back up since I can work more.

 

Speaking of work even with the school taking up approx 4 hours a week I’m still managing to get in 40+ hours. My much depleted bank account is smiling over this. I cannot wait until I have my usual safety net of money stockpiled for various expected and unexpected events.

 

So back to school, my only class this semester is a course which focuses on Biological Anthropology. It is more specifically arranged to work with evolution, and everything surrounding the science behind it, this is at least for the first half of the year. The second half is geared to explain the social implications evolution has had on culture, and go deep within the Creation vs. Evolution debate.

 

As you can imagine I’m very pleased because not only am I heavily involved in this debate at times, I’m an absolute evolution fanatic! However, even not the course is boring me with its very dumb down drawn out oversimplification for those who don’t know much about the topic. I’ll survive though, and I know it will get better. I find the prof is holding back a lot of info so as not to confuse some of the students because she feels that evolution is not properly grasped by students in much of the country. She was talking about the many Human like hominids… well she was going to but caught herself. She wants the class to have a grasp on Homo sapiens fist before she breaks the news we’re not the only humans, Homo neanderthalensis was the big one she almost blurted out… All the while I’m thinking, “Homo neanderthalensis!!!!!! SAY IT!”… oh well I hope she does soon.

 

So other than work and school my life has been pretty uneventful, actually I don’t have the time to have an eventful life. The only other eventful happening in my recent life would have to be partaking in the 24 hour (actually 30 some odd hour) BlogTV charity event for doctors without boarders. It was excellent, some very famous youtubers came on for it and it was just a lot of great stories, discussions, laughs, and fun… there was very little drama which also made me very pleased. I came early to reserve a spot on the main chat and pretty much hunkered in there the whole time, with the exception of a 5 hour cabinet install I went on for work. A lot of money was raised for a great cause. Although an unfortunate event occurred in which I hope everything becomes resolved and I’ll state that I offer my full support in dprjones. He has been very true to his word in all the time I've watched his blogs and have been associated with him from a distance, he was an absolutely amazing host to the event.

I believe I'll be making my first youtube Vlog soon, voicing my support for dprjones.

Well I believe this is it for now.


Sep. 12th, 2009

Message for Thunderf00t.

Well Tf00t your last YouTube video was rather interesting, and I want you definitely weigh the pros and cons of the decision of partnership. However, I strongly urge you not to go forward with this for the sake of your work against censorship if anything at all. You’re probably aware that TheAmazinAtheist is now a partner, and if you search his videos you’ll find some issues he has with the system… such as YouTube censoring YouTubers who are partners because negativity equates bad for advertisers. In the case of TheAmazingAtheist, the family values card was used promptly by YouTube after he had become a partner. He was no longer allowed to swear or be as controversial because YouTube decided that partners must produce wholesome entertainment for the family. Well unfortunately you tend to be quite controversial and the standardized view of wholesome seems to be almost entirely Christian fabricated or at least heavily influenced by Christianity within western culture.

 

So what does this all mean? Well your very presence on YouTube creates an astonishing amount of drama especially from Christians; I assume you can imagine the reaction of your becoming a partner would create within their ranks… I’d assume their opposition towards you would increase rapidly with attempts to have you removed as a partner waving the hostile flag of their definition of wholesome family values.

 

This is not meant to carry ill intentions, in fact I am a supporter of your channel and your opposition towards YouTube censorship, false DMCAs, false flagging, vote bots, and the circulation to potentially hazardous beliefs which deny evidence I merely am trying to convey a message of precaution.  If you were to go forward with this endeavor, because really the money is quite substantial, I would suggest that you have a contract made up which preserves they way you create your videos from the past, present and future in order to keep YouTube from censoring you.

 

I hope you keep these simple suggestions in mind in your decision.

 

For those of you who do not know who Tf00t is:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/thunderf00t

 

I’ll also post a link to his other channel which is an intellectual stimulus rather than controversial:

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/beautyintheuniverse


Note to my readers and minions: I know I've been lacking my usual flair that my old blog contained and because of this many of you have not befriended me and some of you have even made comments to me about it. I do understand I have become very stale, I’ve been unable to think up my own questions or topics and suggest that if you have any quarrels you cans submit me some form of idea or question to me to speak on. I hope to soon get out of this dry spell and continue to produce semi-intellectual musings on a regular basis.

Sep. 5th, 2009

What am I?

I've been meddling this question a lot lately especially at work, in fact I wrote notes on a piece of arbrite to bring back home with me to even begin this blog. I believe it is quite a human trait to try to categorize every little detail about everyone's lives so one fits in their proper niche; however I seem to be an exception the majority... I don't fit. I continually try to place myself in society, to find my particular place among philosophies, ideologies, or any other faction of description. So without further a due I will describe some aspects of my own personal beliefs, and points of view. I’ll try not to elaborate much in the blog, but if anyone has any questions about any point I would be glad to answer in another blog.

 

What makes up Nicholas?

 

I am an Atheist.

 

I am a huge supporter of mainstream science and the scientific method.

 

I support Physical Evidence.

 

I do not approve of cloning human beings or any other intelligent life form past or present.

 

I do not support cosmetic gene manipulation, aside from special cases such as deformity.

 

I’m not very keen on Eco Friendly agenda’s, I feel it is over hyped and over controlled.

 

I prefer Capitalism (Within reason).

 

I approve of some social institutions within any society I feel Education and Health Care should be the main priorities within set institutions.

 

I do not fully support abortion, I do feel a woman is within her right but I believe it should be the last in a long list of alternatives.

 

I also think men if willing should have more say in abortions especially if they are willing and able to support it themselves.

 

I believe men can be child care givers and should have the opportunity to get full custody more so then they do now.

 

I believe Religion has no part in Education or Government.

 

I believe in supporting a persons own economy rather than another counties, even if it does cost a little more.

 

I believe in Scientific Ethics, and am particularly fond of the Canadian Tri-Council.

 

I have no problem with Homosexual rights.

 

I disapprove of cultural assimilation.

This is really all I could come up with, feel free to suggest any other questions and I'll answer truthfully.

 

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