I’ve never been a big fan of the saying “words can’t describe it,” but this new program on Discovery HD Theater is just about as close as I’ve ever seen. Actually, while words might describe, this presentation is so visual that that’s how it ought to be experienced. So check it out, and be sure and watch both the clip and the trailer for the series. But just take my word for it that you’ll want to see every episode. I’ve seen three so far, and there hasn’t been a dull second. I think it’s the greatest natural footage that’s ever been created. That’s in part due to the amazing HD camera technology they’re using. They can be more than a mile away from the action and render an HD image that puts you right in the scene. This also makes for predator/prey sequences unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They alternate between very wide angle views, so you can see how a pack of wolves or wild dogs approach a kill tactically (f’ing amazing), and then see the very close in action. It’s really a wonder. Bonus: So far, almost no enviro-nut hand wringing and lamenting.
Entries from April 2007
April 4th, 2007 · 4 Comments · Motivation & Lifestyle
April 4th, 2007 · 16 Comments · Politics & Culture
Sam Harris vs. Rick Warren. Follow up: I hadn’t read it all when I posted, but my assessment after finishing is that it’s pretty good and easy to follow. I’m biased, of course, but it’s abundantly clear to me that Warren can’t adequately respond to any of Harris’ objections. It’s all the same gobbledygook I used to hear back in Sunday school. That the arguments haven’t improved any, at all, suggests two possibilities: first, it’s just the best they’ve got (they really think Pascal’s Wager is clever); second, it’s sufficient to convince enough people, and in the end, it’s just a numbers game. If you could come up with arguments that would get people to believe in Zeus, then you would have “serious” theology surrounding Zeus (kind of the anthropomorphic principle applied to religious belief).
April 5th, 2007 · Comments Off · Politics & Culture
“…some [...] are more equal than others.” Of course, it’s all just an overreaction.
April 5th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Motivation & Lifestyle
I really do love craigslist. What a value, and yet I’ve never paid them a dime — not that I wouldn’t, should they ask. The first time they got me out of a jam was a few years back. I got an eye for a new travel trailer of a hybrid design. You may have seen them. They’re like a normal trailer, but all the sleeping compartments fold out from the side, sheltered with tenting. This affords the advantage of having your sleeping surfaces available 24/7 rather than having to break down and set up tables to sleep on, etc. At any rate, I owned a Coleman pop-up trailer and the dealer for the new one would only give me two grand in trade. I thought I might be able to get more, so I went ahead and bought the new trailer and the dealer assured me with a handshake that if I couldn’t sell my pop-up for more within a couple of weeks, he’d still take it for the original offer. So I went home, awoke the next morning and went to work on it. I spiffied up the Coleman and called my brother to post to his pop-up…
April 8th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Politics & Culture
Back in 1999 when we moved out of an apartment in downtown to a fixer-upper in the ‘burbs, I took down my large marine aquarium that I’d maintained for a number of years. This was a big reef tank — 220 gallons in all — with a good 300 lbs. of live reef rock and other stuff. In terms of dimensions, we’re talking larger than a coffin. It was big. But the immediate future held lots of work for me on the new house so I took the tank and all the equipment down to Henry’s shop. I always figured I’d set up another system and a few weeks ago a friend in our building set up a reasonably large one (150 gallons) and I pitched in with a bit of advice from my experience — though as a PhD in chemistry this sort of thing is right up his alley. So I caught the bug again. Interestingly, things have changed; it’s become easier, actually, so yesterday I went about setting up a smaller system — about 50 gallons. I’ll try to get into all that later, but for now, it’s 6 a.m. on Easter Sunday so I must post…
April 9th, 2007 · Comments Off · Politics & Culture
I believe I’ve come across the perfect little character attribute that best serves to differentiate me from the eco-freaks and other assorted lefties. Just a couple of hours ago I was in the car listening to NPR and this guy, Colin Beavan, was on. I didn’t link up any particular entry on that blog because I looked at a few and any one is about as insane as any other. Sort of. I don’t really begrudge him his crazy values. Hey, if he wants to fantasize about what a great guy he is because he takes his own cloth napkin to a restaurant and a host of other meaningless (to me) and empty (to me) acts, fine. In fact, there was a portion of the radio interview where I actually had some respect for the guy. He said that for years he had bitched and moaned about what all sorts of laws we need in order to compel people to do this and that (uphold his values) and at a point he realized that he just needed to go and worry about himself, about his own “impact on the planet.” He learned to kind of mind his own business and…
April 10th, 2007 · Comments Off · Politics & Culture
I’ve never once made any bones about the fact that I spent eight years as a U.S. Navy officer because it seemed like a cool and fun thing to do. It was. I never once regretted it (quite the contrary). It was a job. I signed a contract. I performed on that contract and was paid (well) for my services. Truth be told: I have always felt as though I got the better end of the deal. And you know what? If military service isn’t your thing, then by all means stay as far away as you can. The flag-waving patriotic bullshit is bullshit. “Serve your country?” Fuck that. Do your fuckin’ job; do it well, or keep the eff out. If working in the military isn’t something you can respect and be enthusiastic about qua JOB, then “service to society” becomes for you an insolent and miserable self-sacrifice likely motivated by guilt you haven’t a good reason in the world to harbor. All this to preface a letter by Donald Bourdreaux to the Washington Times responding to this Op-Ed piece. Since it’s buried in an archive, I’ll post the whole thing. Dear Editor: Brendan Conway is charmed by Philip…