Wednesday, December 31, 2008

(Not) Psychic Predictions for 2009

Ok. I'm NOT psychic. In fact, I think there are two types of people who claim to be psychic: those who know they aren't psychic but persist to lie and steal from people and those to are self deluded and actually believe the have paranormal powers. See my previous post "Learn How to by a Psychic (and steal people's money.)" Then go here to learn even more.

I just reviewed some psychic prediction for 2008. The internet is so funny that I really can't trust that these people have honestly kept all their predictions. I shold have printed some out last year. I'll do some searching this weekend and post a few from popular "psychics." There are two main ways that psychics will show their accuracy. First, they will conveniently delete or ignore their misses. This works great for them because people tend to forget the misses too. Second, they will make such broad and general predictions that almost any thing can "fit" the prediction.

I've decided to try my hand at predicting events for 2009. I've sequestered myself in my basement for over 10 minutes and concentrated real hard....

1. There will be a bout of severe weather where many people will die.

2. There will be an increase in violence that will lead to many death.

3. The economy will become more stable and more people will find work.

4. A world leader will face a difficult crossroads with far reaching consequences.

5. A world leader will be threaten and/or assassinated.

6. Scientists will discover a cure for an ailment.

7. A sports team will have an unpredictably great season that will lead to a championship.

8. Britney Spears will cause interesting drama and may remarry and become pregnant.

9. A really horrible movie will debut that will offend many people.

10. There will be great instability in the middle east. Many people will die.

There you go. Now, keep me honest and remind me to update these throughout the year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Angel near the plane


Angel near the plane
Originally uploaded by Mully410

Lot of recent hype about a picture that someone claims is an angel that cured their kid...so sad. Here a similar pic. This one is my flash reflecting in the window along with some lights behind me also in the reflection. It sure looks freaky though...I suppose it could be an orb angel of some kind. LOL

I have a much nicer pic without the flash here.

Have Skeptics Fallen Prey to Confirmation Bias? Wishful Thinking?

removed

Sunday, December 28, 2008

500 Views of Mully410 Critical Blog

I've passed my first milestone in the blog world. Actually, I probably passed it a couple weeks ago because I only just added a page view counter. Until about a month ago, I had no idea if anyone was reading my blog. Now, I know. People do read my blog. Somebody even "Dugg" my blog yesterday. Cool.

Thanks everyone. I'd still like to see more comments and haven't had any one subscribe yet but that will happen some day because I rock.

I personally don't use any blog feeder/readers other than the NetworkedBlogs application on Facebook. Once I get a few more members to join my blog network on Facebook, it will hit the live feeder so you'll be able to see my posts along side all the other great blogs you read.

Try this link to join my NetworkedBlogs on Facebook or look on the right sidebar of my blog page and use that widget.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Digg - Overview: "Go ahead and Digg it!"

For a while now, I've been seeing these little "Digg It" icons on various blogs and stories I read. I finally checked it out this weekend.

Digg - Overview

From the Digg site:

Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. You won’t find editors at Digg — we’re here to provide a place where people can collectively determine the value of content and we’re changing the way people consume information online.

How do we do this? Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images — is submitted by our community (that would be you). Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of our visitors to see.

The best thing is that you can customize your Digg homepage to pull up articles that might interest you. It's very cool. Digg can be fed directly to your Facebook wall so your friends can see what you've "dugg." Plus, if you don't have enough on-line friends through your myspace or facebook, you can connect with friends through Digg to see what they are Digging in the news world.

It was simple to add the "Digg It" icon to my blog. I've already started getting Diggs from people I don't know. Very cool. Sign up. It's free. So far, I haven't received any spam as a result of my sign up.

Friday, December 26, 2008

8 Reasons why you don't talk to the police, especially if you are innocent.

I ran across this post while surfing Digg.com. It's very interesting. My civil rights activism has mostly focused on the 2nd and 4th Amendments but now I am a new big fan of the 5th Amendment.

The two videos in this blog provide some very interesting reasons why innocent people should not talk to the cops. It seems counterintuitive that you shouldn't talk to the cops if you think you've done nothing illegal. What's the harm? You could go to prison, that's the harm.

The first speaker is a law school professor. My favorite favorite reason is one of the first he mentions. Basically, there are so many laws, regulations, codes and rules that no one person can possibly keep them all straight. Once you make a statement to the police, the prosecutors can look into every little detail of what you said. The more you say, the more opportunity for them to find something. "Any thing you say will be used against you..."

The second speaker is a law enforcement officer. It's his job to put people in jail. He's done 1000s of interviews. No matter how smart you think you are, you aren't going to fool a guy like this. I never thought of it that way. It would be like me taking on Tiger Woods in a round of golf.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

7000+ Views!


Close Up Bumble Bee
Originally uploaded by Mully410

Wow. It's almost time to end this awful year and begin a new year full of awfulness.

One bright spot for me is my photography. I started taking photo in earnest this year. The impetus for that was my new great camera, a Sony DSC-W150. I used to lug around a 35mm SLR once in a while but found I left it at home more often. This new little camera takes great shots and is easy to take everywhere.

This year, photography got me out of the house more than ever. I explored great and mediocre parks for the first time and I saw lots of cool plants, animals and other stuff.

When I started contibuting to my Flickr photostream, I had no idea so many people would enjoy my art. As of today, people have viewed my work over 7000 times! 30 of my photos are somebody's favorite and I have over 100 nice comments. Thank you all!

Festive medical myths....

I've seen most of these myths in various publications over the years. 
Festive medical myths -- Vreeman and Carroll 337: a2769 -- BMJ
The one that really pisses people off is the fact that sugar doesn't cause hyperactivity in children.  I feel like a witch at an inquisition when I mention this one to parents.  Junkfood Science Blog has lots more information on this one.  This belief is a good example of confirmation bias, if you ask me.
I like the explanation about heat loss from your head.  I hadn't heard about that military study.  I always suspected that myth came from ignorant scientists who thought the brain looked like a radiator.  The brain does kind of look like it would be a good radiator, but since it's inside a skull, it wouldn't work well to radiate heat.  If we lost so much heat only from our heads, we should be able to go outside in below zero weather and be perfectly comfortable wearing only a hat.  Try that experiment and let me know how it works out for you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Everything you need to know about your irrational fear of mercury...the element not the planet.

Junkfood Science: Do fish fly?

This is a long article with lots of links. If your brain doesn't hurt when you are done, you haven't learned anything. Every so often I feel compelled to remind you: do your own research, follow the links, go to wikipedia and follow thier reference links, be skeptical, critically think, don't rely solely on my posts...any questions?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tough Economy? Sort of Employed? What is Shared Work?

This post is a little bit of a departure from my normal photo posting and critical commentary. I've tried to find critical commentary to reference for this post but so far I've had little success. I'll post a review once I know a little more.

Recently, a number of people I know may be put on a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development program called Shared Work. This program is strange to me only because I've never heard of it.

Basically it is:

The Shared Work Program is an option for employers faced with a layoff. It allows an employer to divide available hours of work among a group of employees instead of a full layoff. Affected employees may then receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours. By participating in the Shared Work Program, an employer can maintain morale, productivity and flexibility in the work place.


Here is an example:
A firm facing a 20 percent reduction in business may consider laying off one-fifth of its workforce. However, under an approved Shared Work plan, that company could maintain its total workforce while reducing each worker's scheduled hours by one-fifth or 20 percent. Employees would receive a partial unemployment insurance payment equal to 20 percent of their individual weekly unemployment insurance award along with the income earned for the week under the approved plan.

I found this NPR report from December 24, 2001. I haven't listened to it yet mostly because I'm reluctant to install Real Player. Please post commentary if you've heard this broadcast.

More useful links here:

Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Office.
Minnesota Statute for Shared Work.
FAQ on Shared Work

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why Should Athiests Care about Religion?

I found this interesting video posted on the Life Without Faith blog. This woman really hits the nail on the head with her comments. It's difficult for me to disagree with anything she says in this video.


Go ahead and watch some of her other videos. They are entertaining.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Space Needle and Smoke Stacks


Space Needle and Smoke Stacks (2)
Originally uploaded by Mully410

I recently spent about 20 hours in the Seattle Washington area. Since twelve hours of that was spent in the dark and most of the rest of my time was in a business meeting, I only got a few pictures. The weather was gloomy so the lighting was not optimal. I took this shot of the Space Needle from the car. I think it turned out pretty nice. I have a few more pics on my flickr page.

Update: Last week I had 1495 views of my art. My total views is now at 6360. Some of my photos are getting high ranks in google and yahoo searches. I'm not exactly sure why they find my stuff but it seems mostly likely due to my superior skill and creativity.

This photo has been ranked 3 or 5 out of 1.5M items since last Monday on a google search for "Viking Towel." I took it at the MN State Fair this year. Thanks to Visanthe Shiancoe and Fox News.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sad Face (Moon Jupiter and Venus)


Sad Face (Moon Jupiter and Venus)
Originally uploaded by Mully410

Record week on my flickr page! 1495 views for the week which puts the all time total views of my photostream at 5973. Nice!

Ok...I rotated the above photo 180 degrees to make the sad face. I like the nice Earthshine on the moon. Pareidolia is the reason you may see a face here. This particular photo had 119 views last week and has the most comments at 17. People love it.

The big one was still this photo which had 247 views last week. This is most likely due to the weird chance that it showed up on a yahoo.image search.

Two of my conjunction photos made it into my 100+ views set.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Life-and-Death Cost of Gun Control

I am a civil rights activist. Surprised? I choose to focus mostly on the civil rights guaranteed in the 2nd and 4th amendments. Go here to learn about the largest civil rights activist group.

I don't have the energy to dig deep into this topic today. Thankfully, John R. Lott Jr. does a great job explaining my position in this article:

The Life-and-Death Cost of Gun Control « FOX Forum « FOXNews.com

Someday, I'll post my experience with 911 when I got a busy signal for about 10 minutes and a time when a friend of mine prevented a road rage beating by simply showing that he was armed. Go here for a good book by Lott. By the way, there are now about 51,000 people in Minnesota with permits to carry firearms. Where are all the "wild west" shootouts?...oh wait...it's only the criminals who run around shooting people. huh.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Record on my Flickr Photostream


Jupiter Moon Venus
Originally uploaded by Mully410

Today, I had a record amount of views on my flickr photostream. 566 views! That means my photostream has over 5200 views all time!

The above pic was the most hit today at 143 views (218 all time). This photo just happened to pop up as #1, out of 26,000+ images, on a yahoo image search for "Jupiter Moon Venus." How cool is that? I hope people weren't disappointed because this shot was taken well before the conjunction that took place on Dec 1.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Astronomy is so cool!


Moon Venus Jupiter (4)
Originally uploaded by Mully410

I got some pics of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter conjunction tonight. What really surprised me is a couple space/astronomy bloggers are linking to my photos. Very cool! The photo above shot up to 15 views within a few minutes of posting. Another one of my MVJ photos is almost over 100 views mostly due to yahoo image searches today (weird).

Thanks to this blogger, this blogger, spacetoday.com and to space.com. I'm not sure where my photos got posted on spacetoday.com and space.com but flickr's tracker is claiming some hits from that domain. Very cool.

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