Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thanks for asking...

Please wait while we dispatch someone to relieve you of your computer; you are too stupid to own one.

Suppose the SoundScan people know about this?

In the "too much free time" category, I'm not sure if I should be saddened or impressed.

This sentence exists only to provide a means to gratuitously include the word "beaver" in this post.
Dam it!

The unintended theme today is beavers, apparently, and prurient post titles.

My favorite official communication is still the one regarding Australopithecus spiff-arino, but this one's a dam close second.
Show me your beaver

I'm a fan of case mods, where you stuff a PC into something other than a beige box.

I've done two myself, one where I put a PC on two parallel pieces of Plexiglas, a failure because it's noisy as hell, and one where I wanted a rustic wooden box, but due to the motherboard size, ended up being a monstrosity of a bird house, a failure as well. Someday though!

Here someone uses a stuffed beaver for the case.

I want.
Go to Hell

Now this is cool. UT@Austin has put together a multi-media walk through Dante's Inferno.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Force is Freakin' Heavy

Read The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film, and it was a chore, because when the book is open, it's 2 feet wide and a foot tall and weighs 6 pounds.

It's truly a fans-only kinda book. The minutia even started to get dull to me, and I usually eat this stuff up. I skipped several of the chapters that deal with the development of the story.

However, here's some interesting stuff I learned:

De Palma was responsible for the opening scroll. It was always planned, but Lucas' original version was a big swath of back-history and De Palma said it's gotta be directly related to the story and drop you right into it. So, he rewrote it, and Lucas tweaked it a bit, but it's primarily De Palma's.

Carroll Ballard was a second-unit director for the filming that occurred after the principal filming. Interesting that such a gifted director was used like that. It'd be fun to know which shots are his. For the record, like nearly everyone except Spielberg, he thought the movie was a goof and would bomb badly.

Francis Ford Coppola suggested some structural changes - like moving most of the evil empire stuff to later in the film, after the main characters were established. So, major parts of the narrative flow are Coppola's.

Those three factoids kind of explain a lot about the recent trilogy don't they?

Obi-wan wasn't slated to die until after they began filming. When they were filming, it dawned on Lucas that as originally written, Obi-wan kinds stands around doing nothing after the escape from the Death Star, so Lucas decided his death would be better dramatically. Alec Guinness was not happy when he was told this during filming. Worse, his death happened off camera. After some wailing and gnashing of teeth (dignified wailing and gnashing, of course, as it was Alec Guinness after all), he got to have a noble death on-screen.

Mark Hamill 's famous car accident happened during the call-back for pick-up shots (some of those done by Ballard), and they had to use a double in the speeder scenes.

Finally, I wanted to include a scan of one of the photos in the book, but my scanner crapped out. There's a photo of the film librarian that was clearly included because of her spectacular breasts. If you get your hands on THE BOOK (shame on you for thinking I was going elsewhere), it's the third one down, you can't miss it. They included the other two, I'm sure, so it wouldn't look so suspicious when you hap on the third one. I'm sure the words "Dear Lord" will cross your brain.

Here it be: Mary Lind, film control coordinator:


James Lileks has an article on the 30th Anniversary (gad, there it is again) of the film; which is one of his last as a featured writer, and perhaps one of his last for the paper. He finds out his fate this week. [Note: the link is now broken, but Lileks kept his job, and now blogs for the paper here.]
Car Alarms

I am this -----><---- close to running up to the next person who accidentally sets off their car alarm, yelling, "ARE YOU STEALING THIS CAR?!?!?"

I won't do it, of course, because not one of them would be amused, and there's no reason to annoy people for the fun of it.

But, is any modern invention as worthless as a car alarm? Do you know of anyone - ever - who called the cops or asked the person who set off the alarm what's going on?

Then again, I live in a relatively crime-free town, so maybe those whose car is their only big deal possession might like them.

But where I've lived - heck come to think of it, even when I lived in some pretty dicey places (I don't think I've related the story where some chick was whacked on something and the two guys she was attacking pushed her down two flights of stairs, so she stabbed on of them, and oddly the ambulance wouldn't take her, so she wandered in the parking lot screaming for hours), people don't even turn their heads in the direction of a car alarm going off.

Only folks like me who have babies napping in the car pay attention to car alarms anymore, I think.

My last encounter with the unholy warble of futility was at the post office where I was in the car with MPC2 as she was trying to drift off. A young guy came out and began to mount some sort of late-model Chevy Speck and the alarm went off. Of course, MPC2 little arms and legs shot out like someone had poked her with a cattle prod. I can't imagine that kind of car came with a car alarm, so someone installed it on purpose. That's kind of like putting a chastity belt on Rosie O'Donnell - y'know, trying to protect something that really isn't in danger in the first place.

Apparently, I'm not alone in my dislike of the things.
Hack your body

Found this neato little list of tricks to clear your sinuses (it works), and various other things.

Here's one on how to get rid of a headache.

And this one's just kind of unintentionally comical. It burbles along kinda Zen-ning you out (by repeating the same concept a few different ways) then says, "Don’t worry about about [sic] your personality. You don’t really have one." See "how to get red of a headache" directly above.
Holy Andromeda Strain, Batman!

A lake in an extinct volcano kills everything nearby with excess carbon dioxide.

Via Digg
In praise of silly music

Now that it's out, the fambly is bopping around to Avril Lavigne's, The Best Damn Thing. This album is aimed straight at the hearts and souls of young girls, and since that describes everyone human in the house but me, it's been a big hit.

But I really dig it too. I love the rah-rah, cheerleader vibe. But, ultimately, it's pretty silly. I've never had a problem with silly.

Frinstance, "The Darkness", those guys who have picked up where Queen left off, though with a decidedly more heterosexual, but very geeky bent. I never fail to smile when one of the tunes from their latest, One Way Ticket to Hell comes on, particularly the song "Knockers" where he goes for the cheap seats on the chorus, squealing: "And I just love what you've done with your hair!" Always raises a chuckle. And "Hazel Eyes" is nearly indescribable.

Silliest of all, though, is the recent offering Evil Dead: The Musical cast recording. The songs aren't really totally catchy like those from Little Shop of Horrors, but - I gottta tell ya - there is joy to be had during ditties like "What the Fuck Was That?"
This is how it should be done.

Steve Miller has kicked out Fly Like an Eagle: 30th Anniversary.

Sigh. Why do they keep having to remind me it's 30 years old? (The latest remastered ELO had the same moniker.)

Oh well, other than that small quibble, this is the best re-release package I've ever had the joy of owning.

The remastering on the CD is what I've come to expect, but the 5.1 surround mix on the DVD is perhaps the best I've heard. It doesn't bastardize the original mix, or change the tunes (like the version of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours did). The bottom-end is luscious, and gosh it's fun to hear music that just seems made for a surround mix - even though it predates the technology by decades. (Sigh.)

Now, on top of that, it includes a 2 hour concert of Steve Miller and the original band he used on this and Book of Dreams. And it's great!

There's also a documentary I've haven't gotten around to yet, too.

So, for the price of a typical premium release (a CD the industry thinks will be a hit), you get 3 complete products.

If you're a fan of Steve, this is a must-have, for the concert alone.
Albums that should've gotten better reviews by Rolling Stone

I kinda agree with this list. (via digg)

I certainly will be hunting down some of those I've not heard - except the (c)rap albums, natch. Though, De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising is good. Had rap gone that direction, I'd probably like it.

I particularly agree with the inclusion of Pink Floyd's Animals. Even though the Floyd made better albums, this is the one I still put on regularly. Also, when I went through the whole remastered Led Zeppelin catalogue, I found Houses of the Holy was one of the three albums of theirs I like all the way through.

I completely disagree with Joanna Newsom's Ys. I checked it out and was worse for the experience. It was akin to tipping a can up and expecting coca-cola but getting beer. It's fine if you're expecting beer and like it, but otherwise you just gag.

And they include my Flaming Lips, so this list is good.
New York Doll

A buddy lent me the documentary New York Doll, and I found myself with a spare hour and a half (always a pleasant surprise), so spun it up.

At first I wasn't impressed. It came off like a lamer episode of VH1's "Behind the Music" at first, but then the Dolls are asked to reform for a festival held by Morrissey, the flick kicks up a notch.

It's about Arthur "Killer" Kane, bass player for the New York Dolls. After the Dolls broke up, he had a rough life, including a sad suicide attempt where he leapt out a 3rd story window, only to break some bones.

I've never been much of a fan of the New York Dolls, and I kinda doubt they were as big a deal as everyone in the film makes them out to be. Yes, Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde, and Bob Geldof were big fans, but we all have groups that mean so much to us, and not much to others.

(I'm thinking of the Flaming Lips, The Presidents of the United States of America, and ELO for myself.)

Perhaps they were like the Velvet Underground where they were more of an influence on fellow musicians than they were on a larger, popular/public audience.

Anyway, check this out if you're a music fan and/or like this kinda doc.
God hates shrimp!


Monday, May 21, 2007

This is nifty

Artists take children's drawings and render them more, uh, realistically.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wouldja like some good news for once?

Seems John Stossel is right, the world is actually getting better all the time.

Check out this great presentation by Hans Rosling who shows how the term "Third World" really only applies to a defunct reggae band anymore.

Star Wars toys that never made it.

I'd love the charred skeletons of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.
Global Warming

Here's a nice big raft of articles about myths and facts on global warming. Some of the best I've seen.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Self a-Bashing


Bear: it's why it [LandRover Series 3] rattles on the motorway
Locandez: Like a skeleton masturbating in a filing cabinet

I can't wait to use that one at a party.
I could dork around with this thing all day!

This little app uses words from existing songs to sing a whole new song to you.

It kinda reminds of that novelty song Mr. Jaws (right click and save as). (Thanks to The vRidgeRunner's WORLD OF Wackiness.)

It's also fun to try to guess which song a word comes from.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

On the Internets

Where I grew up, guns were such a matter-of-fact part of life that everyone took a gun safety course the same way they took driver's ed. A buddy who moved from Boston always marveled that at the general store, the gun section began where the milk section ended.

Anyway, I'd not seen a good articulation of the proper attitudes towards - and proper uses of - guns, until the always spectacular Teresa Nielson Hayden posted one.

Isn't this a heart-warming shot?

The great Stephen Hawking got to fulfill a lifelong dream to be weightless via a trip on the vomit comet. He reported that it felt wonderful since the weightlessness relieved the pain he has from the effects of gravity on his body.

im on the internetz makin u laff

Perhaps you've already encountered "lolcats," aka "meme cats," in your travels on the web, but if you haven't, you're in for a treat.

See here, here, and here. Oh, and here's a sendup of "lolcats" where the whole episode of Star Trek's "The Trouble with Tribbles" is done in lolcats-speak.

This is brilliant (via Syaffolee). Someone has quantified the rules for "Literary Fiction."

It's entirely dead-on.

I think I'm gonna make a poster out of it and sell it to Literature Depts.

This really does say it all.

Was stumbling around and found a picture of a fortune cookie message that read: "A can of worms won't open itself."

I thought that was rather deep and strikingly true.

There is a snarky opinion amongst some in the commercial media that most blogs are essentially a waste of everyone's time. Personally, I find blogs the best reads on the web, but I have to admit I come across sites sometimes that make me wonder about their creators.

On this site, some asks "What's Special About This Number?", and goes on to list every number up to 1,000, giving a factoid about each. You suppose his mom knows that's what he's spending all his time on in the basement? I bet she'd be happier suspecting he was just jerking off.

For months now I've wondered how to point to this obsessive-compulsive gem, because I don't want to mock the creator of it. I admire what he's doing, in an amused yet concerned sort of way. He logs every time the "Silent Penultimate Panel" is used on a cartoon.

But it's a beautiful paradox, because I think he thinks it's overused and lazy, and is trying to make that point; but how many people would have the energy or enough of an obsession to comb through all the comics daily looking for Silent Penultimate Panels? In other words, someone with that much drive is not someone anyone can take seriously if they label others lazy.

Here's a collection of great animated Gifs.

Here's an example:

The creator of that little gem should meet Mr. "Silent Penultimate Panel". They would have wonderful long discussions on the proper dissipation of time.

Dear Lord. There's an entire wiki devoted to Star Trek. Ok, the "Silent Penultimate Panel" guy is looking more well-adjusted all the time.

Ever wanted to hear the famous final Beatles rooftop concert in it's entirety?

Also check out the other lost gems and live shows he's got available.

There's even a version of Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones (one of my favorite albums of all time) that includes contributions from Art Garfunkel. Seems it was to be their reunion album, but when that went by the wayside, Simon left Garfunkel out of the mix and finished it himself.

Well, along with Kurt Vonnegut, we've lost the wonderful Johnny Hart, creator of my favorite childhood comic strip, "B.C." It was beloved by my whole family, and we bought every collection ever published. It's a stack about 2 1/2 feet high. Sadly they're falling apart from being loved too much. Each one got read about 20 times.

This cover never failed to make us laugh, and was a family in-joke whenever we saw a maroon in the street.

So long, dudes. Thanks for the laughs.

In other sad news, the best stylist on the web, James Lileks, gets repurposed as a general reporter in his daytime job at the Minneapolis StarTribune. They've cancelled his column and now he has to show up and sit in his cubie.

I'm taking this as hard as if it were happening to me. If someone as talented as Lileks can be treated this way, it just seems to diminish the world a little bit more. Know what I mean?

I hope they see what a dumbfuck thing that is to do and pull their heads out of their ... you get my drift.
Recent Viewings - 5/9/2007


Well, I had fully consigned this movie to the eventual DVD viewing as I had missed the group outing to see it (everyone but me had the miserable sniffles and they needed a little step-and-fetch-it care). I consoled myself with the fact that the directors are likely to stuff the DVD with more extras than The Ten Commandments and Cleopatra combined.

Then it flopped. Rumors spread on the web that the movie company was going to break it up because people were walking out as the credits rolled on the first "feature." One of the guys who went on the group outing said 1/3 of the audience did leave at that point. Maroons.

So, I felt like had to catch it before it was altered from its original form. I'm still a quasi-purist about things like that thanks to a buddy who was an ultra-purist; he wouldn't enter the theatre if we were late and a single frame of the actual feature had already hit the screen. It could even be just showing the studio logo, but no, the film had started, we'd have to come back later.

"Planet Terror" is the first feature, by the talented Robert Rodriguez, and it's yer standard: zombies attack, hilarity ensues. It's fun, does the job, yadda yadda. The kicker, though, is the machine gun leg on the hottie, Rose McGowan (she has a face with a view). That really is something to see.


"Death Proof" was - dare I say it - typical Tarantino. Fun dialogue, good directing, and so on. And it's cool to see one of my all-time faves, Kurt Russell, have a go at it. He's probably one of the most underrated actors of our age.

Overall, I liked "Planet Terror" better than "Death Proof," but still had a good enough time to recommend Grindhouse.

Two of the fake trailers deserve mention as well.

"Machete" was a snort for parents of kids who've seen the "Spy Kids" movies, as he's essentially the "Q" (of James Bond fame) of the series. So to see him outside of the context of a kid's movie being a badass was a treat.

"Thanksgiving" has a scene where a cheerleader is jumping on a trampoline while stripping for her boyfriend. The slasher offs the boyfriend without her noticing. Then he sticks the knife up through the trampoline in a strategic spot just as she comes down doing the splits. In the audience in front of me, the girl on a date with her bf reflexively gasped and clapped her knees together. Have you ever noticed in movies where a guy really takes one in the nuts, you can see half the male heads bob? Well, I'd never seen a woman do that until that. It really was a cringe-worthy moment.

déjà vu

Denzel Washington discovers some scientists have created a time viewer/time machine that goes back exactly 4 days. He's just been assigned a case where the victim was a total hottie, and he's currently a lonely guy (as if someone who looks like Denzel wouldn't have women literally throwing themselves at him), so he decides to go back in time and save her.

Yes, the plot is preposterous. My wife and 10-year-old both pronounced its suckitude when the credits rolled.

But, I enjoyed it for the popcorn movie it was. If you've got the time (har har) and don't have anything against mindless movies with plot holes bigger the Current Occupant's gaps in logic (not to mention email records), you might give this a spin.

Fanboys - a warning: Don't even try to make sense of the time-travel aspect: it's silly. If you want a challenge in that regard, see Primer instead.

Marie Antoinette

I didn't think I was going to like Marie Antoinette; the reviews were tepid. Also, I thought Lost in Translation was kinda cute, but ultimately kind of ... dissipated. It was a nice try, but no cigar.

Visually, Marie Antoinette is a hell of a bon-bon. The dialogue is minimal and almost not needed. However, the soundtrack is indispensable, so turn it up. Come to think of it, it's like a live-action cartoon.

Sofia Coppola has that languorous, entitled attitude of a rich kid raised in the epicenter of a cultural hub, and it just suffuses her work. No one is better qualified to document the life of a woman-child with too much wealth and not much else to worry about.

This is one of the few movies I'll revisit in a few months to see if it yields anything from repeated viewings.

Night at the Museum

I see why the critics slimed this flick and why family audiences loved it. It's fun, sweet, and had after-school special life lessons.

Because of that, though, the film was kind of a slog for me. But then I'm not the target audience for this flick.

Sometimes films have to keep it simple and recycle some ideas because, after all, it'll be the first time some kids encounter them.

Thus, this is a nice film for the kiddies that you may want to watch. Or not. Maybe you can be in the next room watching:

Casino Royale

This really is a departure from the previous Bond films. Plus it's an "origin" film like Batman Begins.

We meet Bond just after he's killed someone under his "license to kill" double-o status for the first time, back when he was wearing suit coats off the rack and hadn't discovered the perfect martini.

Bond is really a bad-ass in this movie, and it makes the character more intriguing, plus it mysteriously transforms the existing Bond films by making some of James' behavior more resonant - a nifty trick, if you ask me.

The Bond women have always been interesting, but in this case it's kicked up a notch. Bond meets a girl worth falling in love with, and as hard as that should be to pull of in a Bond flick, they manage to do it.

After the gag in the "Thanksgiving" trailer in "Grindhouse, I didn't think I'd see a scene that'd make me as uncomfortable for a while. Well, Casino Royale proved me wrong. I had to stop the movie and get up and walk around for a while. You'll know the one I'm talking about when you see it.

If you've been putting this one off, put it higher in your queue. You'll be happy you did.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

To use Ebert's phrase: I hated, hated, hated this movie.

I'm a lefty (politically), but this was so far left, it just pissed me off.

There is absolutely no balance to the views presented, at all.

Worse, there's this whole whiney, "I'm a victim" tone to the movie. They even take a detour to point out that the detectives they hire to find out who the board members are are gay. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the point of the film, yet there we are, spending about ten minutes on it. (It had the skank of "the obligatory gay character" to it, even.)

What's even more aggravating is there's an angle excised from the film that's found in the deleted scenes where they take on DRM and such. That slant was much more intriguing and would've given the film added depth. But no, the girls are in love, donchaknow.

Kevin smith and Matt Stone of "South Park" fame are about the only good things in this. They are both gripping, intelligent, and always entertaining. If you can see this as a cheap rental or some way where you're not paying, it's worth it to just fast-forward to their parts - and hit the extras which contain more of them than what you see in the film.

As for MPAA ratings themselves, like most people I'd like to see a rating for truly adults-only films that wasn't a pariah where no one will accept ads for them and so on. But that's the newspaper, radio, and television industries (plus focus and pressure groups) doing that, not the MPAA. No matter what that rating would be - X, NC-17, or MA - it would mean "no kids allowed" and it would be shunned by the various media. So, in my view, the MPAA isn't all that much to blame. They have some complicity, but after all, they really just rate the things.

The issue is even more insignificant than that. A big "unrated version" stamp on a DVD usually spikes sales and rentals. It's an advertising bonus.

Further, I usually agree with their ratings. When I've compared "unrated" versions and their R counterparts, the stuff they cut was often very adult; the cuts were appropriate.

Now, if we couldn't get those uncut versions, I'd be singing a different tune.

Kevin Smith has a point that I sorta agree with, though. Unless it's a porno (and by that, we all know what I mean - the point of the flick is to show sex), all films that contain adult stuff should just be "R". As an adult, I don't really need the extra protection from an extra trust or slash. I would be cool with that agreement.

The one thing the MPAA SHOULD do is give specifics as to what they feel should be changed to get a different rating. They don't because they feel that would lead to claims of censorship. Well, let's call a spade a spade and get on with it. It is in a very broad sense, but the filmmaker has the choice whether to make the cuts or not. All of the filmmakers in the movie said it would be helpful to know exactly got them the dreaded NC-17. I agree.

Children of Men

I almost didn't see this one because I just no longer have the desire to a see a movie that's gonna be a bummer and a drag all the way through without any redeeming features.

There are a handful of directors - Joan Campion for one - who make unrelenting bad times at the movies, and that's made me gun-shy. They don't seem to grasp the fact that tragedies have to have a component that makes the strain on your emotions worth the time.

Well, Children of Men is bleak, but it leavens the grimness with humor and a riveting story. It's poetic to a degree.

It reminded me of another bleak film that somehow transcends the horror and manages to be moving: Soylent Green. Children of Men is a much better film than Soylent Green; I just wanted to give you a reference.

Good flick.

My Super Ex-girlfriend

Boy did this ever get panned, but it's a built-in, must-see for fanboys. Uma Thurman as a pissed-off supergirl? C'mon.

The reason it got panned, I suspect, is that it delivers its premise beautifully, but the ending is cliché. If it had an interesting twist near the end, it would've been golden.

As it is, it's still a nice, light popcorn movie. If the genre does it for you, make sure you see this.

I also have a crush on the actress Anna Faris of "Scary Movie" fame. She's like a lot of the big box office stars where even though she plays a role well, her personality always shines through. I'm entranced every time she's on the screen.

Warning though: even though it's PG-13, it's got some strong stuff in it. I would make sure any kids watching are at least 13.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Atheist Fatigue

In a recent email, someone coined the above term. I loved it because it really does describe a mood I know I fall into once in a while.

I love, but at least twice a day there's a feeding frenzy of atheists snarling at some Christian foible or slapping each other on the back about some new recycled diatribe against religion on Half the time I surf past them, but sometimes out of morbid curiosity I'll click into the links and find the same shite time after time.

Yeah, I should know better, and I do, but sometimes we simply are who we are.

The aforementioned email also contained a beautiful summary of the core of what these fundie (I have to throw that modifier in because I know a lot of reasonable atheists who think this stuff is specious, too, and I wanna specifically call out the extremists) atheists (some are calling them neo-atheists) usually say:

"We acknowledge we don't know *everything*, but we certainly do know *this*! Funny/scary how so many people around us just don't get it."

Or, to use an f-atheist's (my shortening of fundie atheist) own words on the beef with believers:

"Well, it goes something like this: If you claim that something is true, I will examine the evidence which supports your claim; if you have no evidence, I will not accept that what you say is true and I will think you a foolish and gullible person for believing it so."

We also get words defined for us, that are supposedly about us:

"delusion - an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary. (so says"

Note both of these talks about evidence. Thing is, there is plenty of "soft" evidence that can be used to support the existence of God, or the non-existence. The fact is there is no hard evidence in one direction or another. Both the stances of "there is a God" and "there is no God" are essentially opinions based on experiences, knowledge, and what we personally accept as evidence.

So, when atheists (or Christians or Moslems or Jews, etc.) get all huffy with the other side regarding "evidence" and "facts," it would be good for all to recall that WE REALLY DON'T KNOW the answer to the God question.

Thus, shite like this is unnecessary:

"When the Pope says that a few words and some hand-waving causes a cracker to transform into the flesh of a 2,000-year-old man, Dawkins and his fellow travellers say, well, prove it. It should be simple. Swab the Host and do a DNA analysis. If you don't, we will give your claim no more respect than we give to those who say they see the future in crystal balls or bend spoons with their minds or become werewolves at each full moon.

"And for this, it is Dawkins, not the Pope, who is labelled the unreasonable fanatic on par with faith-saturated madmen who sacrifice children to an invisible spirit."

Jeez. Now we're killing babies?

You can see how this would get old.

Other quibbles are with the following tired tropes:

1) But WE'RE not trying to force our views on anyone like religious people do.

Again, an atheist's own words:
"Atheists are not a religious group because atheism is not a religion. That's pretty straightforward. I'm not sure why so many people can't grasp that concept."

Because if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...

Even the odious Christopher Hitchens has chimed in with a "religions must be abolished!" polemic. Like I'm gonna take advice from an alcoholic Trotsky who wrote an entire book trashing Mother Teresa. I mean, is there anything else he can be dead-wrong about? He strikes me as a completist.

But again, you write apologetics and do missionary work on, you are in a religion.

2) People aren't thinking, but just following blindly:

"Unfortunately the majority sheeple aren't smart enough to think for themselves. Anybody that uses faith as an answer to questions human knowledge can't cover likes the easy out. Why not call Atheism a religion, try to bring us down to their easily understandable level."

Given how f-atheists usually talk about what religions supposedly believe, they tip their hand that they really don't know much at all, and have likely gotten their info from someone else who has it wrong, like Dawkins. If you're going to try to debate someone's belief, you'd better understand it first.

3) And finally, my favorite: f-atheists always try to equate atheism with intelligence or intellectual maturity. The song and dance often goes: these other atheists (see list) are intelligent, so am I, ergo only intelligent people are atheists. Which of course discounts all the intelligent people who believe in God.

Guess what! We've now come full circle because we are finally, truly dealing with a delusion most f-atheists suffer from (as defined above) - "an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contrary."

For the record, I'm with the atheists (and the majority of Christians) on teaching evolution in the public schools. It's a Joe Bob Briggs thing: I'm surprised I even have to explain it. But given the recent responses at the Republican debate on "who believes in evolution," perhaps the obvious needs to be stated more often. Oh, and the gaffe that is known as "creationism" should be taught only to give a great example of how unscientific it is.