September 30, 2006

Sam Harris

Category: Books,Opinion — jerry @ 9:36 am

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    About a year ago I read and really enjoyed Sam Harris’s THE END OF FAITH, which takes religion to task in connection with the current state of the world, particularly with respect to terrorism.

    Taking religion to task is not popular these days, although I note that there are an increasing number of books doing so on the bestseller lists.  (I’m currently reading and enjoying THE GOD DELUSION, by Richard Dawkins–having read several of his books on science, genetics, and evolution in the past).

Consequently, Mr. Harris heard from quite a number of fundamentalist Christians in opposition to the publication of his book.  He has countered with a slim volume called LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION.  I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on order.

Mr. Harris was interviewed on National Public Radio yesterday, and I happened to catch it on the way to lunch.  You can listen to the interview (about 5 minutes) here.

His is a point of view that it wouldn’t hurt people to hear.  Statistically, 11 out of 12 people merely adopt the religion of their parents and don’t make much of an effort to find out “what Else is out there”, in the unfortunate event that their parents may accidentally have been born in the wrong part of the world and unfortunately chose the wrong Supreme Being.  Tragically, most people have made the wrong choice.  (Because every religion currently is a minority religion representing less than half of humanity).

So good luck with that!

Meanwhile, I keep looking.  Something this important, you want to be sure, right?   

Anyway, I encourage all to join me in The Search–and reading Mr. Harris’s books should be a part of that.  Don’t just take my word for it.  Here are some reviews of the most recent one:

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District B13–Pretty Darned Good Movie

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 9:12 am

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    I really enjoyed this French action movie.

    In these troubled times the phrase “French action” may seem like an oxymoron–but, trust me, this is very well-done and has been well-reviewed elsewhere.  It’s available on DVD.

    The two male leads are both stuntmen, and the stunts in this film are just astounding.   

    There is only one woman featured in the film, playing the sister of one of the men.  She is possibly the “cutest” woman I have ever seen.  In the “Making of…” featurette that comes on the DVD, you can tell that all of the men working on the film were smitten by her.

Her name is Dany Verissimo and I was briefly madly in love with her until I did a little research on the Internet to obtain a picture and learned she had gotten her start in the porno industry.  This illustrates a disturbing and recurring pattern of mine, so if you’ll excuse me I’m going to call my therapist while you enjoy the picture and think about how sweet she looks…:

danyverissimo.jpg

 

               Sigh…           

 

September 29, 2006

Week Three of “Race Wars”–Hey…Wait A Minute!

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 1:36 pm

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    I got punked.

    It’s genius when you think about it.  CBS segregates the SURVIVOR tribes by race, America pitches a fit–none more stridently than myself, and then a mere 2 weeks into it we divide into two homogeneous and integrated tribes.

    Gotcha!

Brilliant!  We’re back to regular old SURVIVOR and the program gets millions of dollars of free publicity and, presumably, higher viewership (although the lowest since the series began). 

Well done.  My hat’s off…

September 28, 2006

Something Educational For You

Category: Technology — jerry @ 5:39 pm

Got this from here:

Pssst…Wanna See A REALLY Nasty Campaign Ad?

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 5:12 pm

Whew! I thought our local campaigns were getting out of control. The nastiest ads of all this year seem to be coming from Republican Vernon Robinson, who’s trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Miller for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 13th District of North Carolina.

The Winston-Salem Journal declared in an editorial about Robinson–who although he is black is way to the conservative right, “Jesse Helms is back! And this time, he’s black.” Robinson’s campaign then adopted it as a slogan. Here’s his masterpiece:

Size Matters

Category: Technology — jerry @ 5:00 pm

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    At least the ratio of the sizes of a woman’s index and ring fingers to one another.  Apparently, this is a good indicator of her potential for athleticism.

   Stuff like this is interesting.  (Well–at least I think so). 

   For instance, there is apparently a link between whether you have a crease in your earlobe and your propensity for heart disease.  (I have a crease, and I have heart disease.  Q.E.D.)

According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, reported here:

The finding adds to evidence that the ratio between the two fingers – not the length itself but their length relative to each other – is associated with a number of different personality traits, which include sexuality, fertility, intelligence, aggressiveness and musical ability. The difference is believed to be linked to the level of the male hormone testosterone, to which the foetus is exposed in the womb. Scientists have suggested that the higher the level of testosterone, the more masculine the resulting foetus is likely to be, with its associated traits of strength, fertility and mathematical ability.

Unfortunately, while a longer ring finger is associated with some desirable traits, such as musical skill, a longer index finger is associated with others, such as intelligence, past research has shown.

Parenthetically, I remember learning in my youth that, in general, men’s ring fingers are longer than their index fingers, whereas women’s are the opposite or are more or less equal in length. 

Gee, men and women are built differently!

***

Meanwhile, a recent scientific study has discovered that men’s IQs are 3.63 points higher than women’s on average.  (Hey, I only report the news–I don’t make it!)

September 27, 2006

Marketocracy Selects New m10 After Two Month Hiatus

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 3:43 pm

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    Marketocracy has selected its new m10 (its Top Ten investors, out of the 70-80,000 virtual funds it follows at the site)–finally updating the list for the first time since July 19.

   Pettit Mutual Fund #1 (PMF1) was again in the Top Ten–based on Marketocracy’s proprietary risk-adjusted rankings.  I was first named to their m10 list in March, 2005, and have been on the list every month since.

The Kiplinger online site has a recent interview with Ken Kam, founder of Marketocracy, entitled FIVE QUESTIONS FOR MARKETOCRACY’S KEN KAM in which he briefly discusses the Top Ten list and other matters.  The article reads as follows:

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September 26, 2006

Breathtaking Pictures of Saturn

Category: Technology — jerry @ 9:58 pm

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    This is not one of them.

    Some incredible photos were taken on September 15 and received here at planet Earth on the 17th.  They are up at a site called Saturn Today.

    Definitely worth a click on that link.  Be sure and scroll down–there are several pictures.   They appear black and white because, I assume, the Sun is pretty dim out there.  Truly beautiful!

Alaska Primary Decided By Flip Of A Coin

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 9:38 pm

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    Apparently this has happened before.  (I think a coin flip decided a local election here a few years back).

   According to the news story from the ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS each Democrat in their Congressional primary had exactly 767 votes (which is like less than a precinct here in Omaha–that’s all that vote?!).

   Hence the coin flip–although there was a bunch of ritual to it involving sea otter pelts, grass baskets, Aleutian Island rocks and a special coin with a walrus on the “heads” side.

Hey, it’s better than letting the US Supreme Court decide…

September 25, 2006

I Wish I Could Do This

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 5:28 pm

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    The guys I truly admired back in grade school were the ones who could either 1) stick their tongues up into their nostrils (and which I have since learned had to do with missing front teeth), or 2) turn their eyelids inside out and then stare back at me.

    Either of these stunts could get an audible snort out of me that would inevitably get me in trouble with the teacher, but it was so worth it.  Ahhhh…good times.

     Wouldst that I could do what this Brazilian gentleman can do.  His name is Claudio Paulo Pinto and, if he wants to, he can be my new best friend.