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First of all, I feel I must comment on the supposed “new zodiac” calendar that took the internet and twitter by storm yesterday. First of all, nothing in this story is new at all. The wobble of the earth’s axis of rotation, called precession, has been occurring and always will be occurring on a constant basis. The sun has constantly (albeit VERY slowly) been changing which constellation it’s been “in” on a given date ever since the earth formed about 4 billion years ago! This whole thing should simply be taken as glaring evidence that Astrology really is utter and complete nonsense. There is absolutely no way that the constellation the sun happens to be in front of when you were born could have any effect on your personality whatsoever. If you believe that, you might as well believe the earth is flat and that a little female humanoid with wings comes fluttering by to take away a child’s baby teeth when they fall out. (HT: Kottke and Bad Astronomy)

Now, let’s get down to what you should be getting down to this weekend:

FRIDAY:

Duh. Guided By Voices and Times New Viking are at the Cannery. 9pm, $30 walk-up

The David Bowie tribute show originally scheduled for Monday was moved to tonight at Mercy Lounge. Featuring Heavy Cream, Big Surr, Diahrrea Planet, Milktooth, Paper Machete, Peter Barbee, Junkyard Girls, and Erin Manning. FREE, 21+, 9pm

The Dynamites ft. Charles Walker @ Exit/In. $15, 9pm

SATURDAY:

Duh. Of course you’re coming to La Paz Late Night Presents: FREEZE OUT!

But if you really must do something else…

The Walkmen are at Exit/In. $17 adv./$19 DOS

East Cameron Folkcore, w/ Jacob Jones, The Clones @ the 5 Spot. $5, 21+, 9pm

NEXT WEEK:

I’ll go ahead and mention now that Mercy Lounge is having their annual week-long birthday bash next week. Check their calendar for the list of awesome free shows happening all week long.

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Astrology=Myth

November 1, 2010

Time for some good old-fashioned debunking.

It seems like Astrology is one of those old myths that manages to pervade everyday language even with some of the most well-educated people. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but it simply is a load of crap. The biggest reason, and the only one I will spell out in this post, (you will get links to more thorough debunking articles later) is that the 12 “houses” of the zodiac are not constant. Our earth’s axis of rotation wobbles, just like a top’s axis of rotation slowly wobbles when you spin it on a table. This phenomenon, called precession, causes the zodiac to slowly change over many years. In fact, there are now 13 constellations that fall within the zodiac, not 12. The Babylonians created the 12 sign zodiac we’re all familiar with, but that was thousands of years ago. The zodiac has shifted so that there’s a good chance that when you were born, the sun was not in the constellation that corresponds with your astrological sign based on the calendar. Said calendar is based on how the Babylonians observed the sky thousands of years ago. It is not the same today!

Modern astrologers have turned this pseudo-science into a huge moneymaking scam that is no different than that of psychics and other scam artists that use misdirection and mentalism techniques to screw people out of their money. They use vague predictions that could be applied to almost anyone or anything, and they use the fact that people always remember the few things they get right, and not the many things they got wrong. The logic people use when they claim that an astrological prediction was right is appalling. “My horoscope said I’d come into money today, and I found a dollar on the ground! It was right!” The predictions made by astrologers have never EVER stood up to actual scientific research. They get no more predictions correct than a person making random chance guesses would.

One more point- the idea that the position of the planets and sun when we were born could have any effect on our personality is totally absurd. How? There are 4 forces in nature- electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force. None of them can affect you based on the positions of the planets/sun when you were born. This is scientifically proven fact.

I don’t have a degree in science, but I do consider myself an amateur scientist and a skeptic, and I follow the writings of extremely smart scientists who do have degrees in what they write about, and I can be damn sure that I can trust them. Go read their more thorough debunkings of astrology here, here, and here.

Awesoments and psychics

December 22, 2008

So New York was a blast. I’ll post a link on here to the pics once I go through them and get them uploaded. It snowed about 4 inches in the city on friday, which was beautiful. CSS rocked Webster Hall thur. night, and Prabir & the Substitutes rocked Sullivan Hall Sat. night. The Met was awesome sunday, and the American Museum of Natural History was naturally awesome on Friday.

Today I bring you pure awesomeness in the form of the Periodic Table of Awesoments. It’s a list of all things that can be described as “awesome.” The awesomeness of this awesome table cannot be overstated. I just tried to say “awesome” as many times as I could in that paragraph. Awesome.

Stereogum did some digging around and found the earliest known appearance of Zooey Deschanel in film. It’s an old Offspring music video. Classic.

In this video (1 of many… I haven’t yet watched all of them), Richard Dawkins and Derren Brown talk about the techniques used by psychics and astrologers to fool people into thinking they actually know something about their life or the problems they’re going through. Just watch. If you’re someone who even slightly believes in the so-called “powers” of psychics or palm-readers, etc… hopefully this video will help you see the light. Via Boing Boing.

Spaceport America now has clearance from the FAA to conduct spaceflight from its soon-to-be built facility in New Mexico. In a time when severe budget cuts loom for NASA, the era of commercial spaceflight can’t come soon enough. I seriously doubt we’ll ever see our government have as much interest in space exploration as it did in the 60’s, so we’re going to have to turn to the private sector to see any serious, well-funded endeavours into manned spaceflight. Hopefully NASA can eventually work out a deal with one or some of the many private spaceflight companies that are currently testing/building rockets and spacecraft. Hell, they already contract out many aspects of space shuttle maintenance and launches.

Obama has assembled a kickass team of real scientists to tackle the energy crisis, global warming, and hopefully create a lot of new, secure jobs in the process, thus helping to revitalize the economy. Jan. 20th can’t come soon enough!

Universe Today takes on the 2012 comet/distaster/end-of-the-world bullshit head-on in this article. Nothing is going to happen, people! As the article says, there is nothing more profitable than fear. This is no more evident than in the upcoming movie, 2012. These people will be making millions, even billions, off your fear. Don’t do it!

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