Originally uploaded by Mully410
We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to announce that Mully410's Flickr photos have surpassed 40,000 views.
I think it's been long enough that I can post another photo here. This is one of about 20 attempts to get a shot of this dragonfly. I don't know what kind of dragonfly it is, as I'm no entomologist. I was lucky because it would fly around a bit and come back and land on the same branch. Each time it did that, I'd inch a little closer and fiddle with some camera settings. It took some patience.
I just let this pic loose on Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit. I can't wait to see how many views.
More new pics at my Flickr page. The early wildflowers are in bloom.
There it is, 3 for 10 so far and couple close ones.
1. There will be a bout of severe weather where many people will die.
- Nothing major yet...
2. There will be an increase in violence that will lead to many death.
- Big News In Iran...score. According to this news story somewhere between 17 and 150 deaths have occurred so far.
3. The economy will become more stable and more people will find work.
- We got a ways to go on this one...
4. A world leader will face a difficult crossroads with far reaching consequences.
- Again...Iran. Same article as above. "President Obama's administration is walking a diplomatic tightrope in responding to the crisis."
5. A world leader will be threaten and/or assassinated.
- I haven't bothered to research this one yet. I haven't heard of any notable events yet.
6. Scientists will discover a cure for an ailment.
- Not yet, but trust me on this one.
7. A sports team will have an unpredictably great season that will lead to a championship.
- Since I only really watch NHL and NFL, I haven't heard of any "unpredictably great seasons" yet. Perhaps the Minnesota Twins will surprise me?
8. Britney Spears will cause interesting drama and may remarry and become pregnant.
- Nothing from her lately. :-(
9. A really horrible movie will debut that will offend many people.
- I don't go to the movie theaters but I hear Transformers 2 is getting horrible reviews.
10. There will be great instability in the middle east. Many people will die.
- Need I repeat...Iran
Had enough of astrologers, psychics, homeopaths, and spirit channelers? Yearning to talk with someone rational for awhile? Skeptics are interested in critical thinking, science, public policy, and the psychologies of belief and perception. Come meet with other local skeptics for some refreshing and sane conversation.Due to TAM7 starting on the 2nd Tuesday of July this year, we'll likely move the Minneapolis Skeptics meeting to the 16th. Oh, and if you want a T-Shirt go here.
We sponsor two monthly meetings: There is an open pub night for socializing and free discussion (currently at happy hour on the 2nd Thursday of each month). There is also a more focussed discussion group (currently early evening on the 4th Wednesday of each month).
We're informal, friendly, and open to all kinds of skeptics.
STARMAP is a pocket planetarium, using the breath taking technologies of the iPhone. It brings the present and future sky map at the tip of your fingers, at any time, anywhere. Get connected to seasons and astronomical events. Learn the star names, the position of the planets and foresee the next meteors shower with STARMAP.I bought the Pro version and it's a really really cool application. I will be using it to find interesting things to view with my Galileoscope, once that shows up. Select the "tonight" icon and it will show you what you can see in your sky and when it will be visible. Filter it by "naked eye" "binoculars" "telescope" or any number of sky objects including stars galaxies and nebulae, to name a few. Simply click on the object and it shows you detailed location info (for those who actually understand it). Click on the "find" button and it brings you to the star map with an arrow that follows around the map as you swipe it with your fingers. Very easy and very cool. You can toggle star names and constelation names. You can do the two finger zoom to get deep into the area you want to see. Click on any object on the map and you'll get a details description of it. I found it very easy to learn and navigate. I can't wait until the sky clears so I can get outside. Of course it has a night mode, which turns it nice and red so you don't lose your night vision.
The PRO edition is the ultimate observation tool for astronomers and telescopes owners. More than 2 500 000 stars, NGC/IC catalogues, 25000 objects with detailed information.
Starmap PRO reflects exactly what you see in your eye piece. It will help you in planning your observation, selecting featured object and view tonight's sky on a single page. Manage your optics, use the time slider for finding conjunctions. Point easily with the Telrad. Choose the best optics for your camera, use the astrophotos timer with automatic logbook entries. Create notes and alarms related to objects events.
Straw Man: Arguing against a position which you create specifically to be easy to argue against, rather than the position actually held by those who oppose your point of view.
Wikipedia has another easy to understand definition:
A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position. In the Critical Thinking Lesson 9 at the Skeptic's Dictionary the definition gets a little more complicated:
One of the characteristics of a cogent refutation of an argument is that the argument one is refuting be represented fairly and accurately. To distort or misrepresent an argument one is trying to refute is called the straw man fallacy.Essentially, all three of these reference are saying the same thing. If you can't address the point your opponent is making, make something up and argue against that instead.
In case you don't read the great Bad Astronomy blog, here is a new snippet:
Unsurprisingly, Oprah has released a statement about this, and its full to the brim of fail. I wouldn't call it a lie, but its spinning like a newborn pulsar:
For 23 years, my show has presented thousands of topics that reflect the human experience, including doctors medical advice and personal health stories that have prompted conversations between our audience members and their health care providers. I trust the viewers, and I know that they are smart and discerning enough to seek out medical opinions to determine what may be best for them.
Why does Earth experience seasons? - hint: it's not Earth's distance from the Sun.Go here for the answers to these questions.
Why is there a 24 hour day-night cycle? - duh
Why is the sky blue? - reflection? wrong; refraction? ...sort of but not quite
Why are sunsets red? - see answer to why is the sky blue.
How does Earth compare to other planets in our solar system? - again, duh.
Why does a feather fall slower than a bowling ball? - hint: physics
To visit Minneapolis Skeptics, go here:
St. Paul Critical Thinking Club
June 14, 2009
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Kelly Inn, I-94 at Marion, St. Paul
Breakfast and Presentation $10.00
Accuracy in Research: The Virtue of Skepticism
“Errors of fact are so thick in the environment around us that writing a book without absorbing any of them is like walking in a rainstorm without getting wet,” baseball historian and analyst Bill James once wrote. Misinformation often replicates itself to the point that it takes on life of its own, eventually becoming so accepted as factual that even a careful researcher may fall into the trap of assuming the claims to be true and not feeling the need to verify them.
Too often an important part of research that is overlooked or underemphasized is factchecking. This presentation will explore how misinformation spreads, the roadblocks to accuracy, and methods for checking facts. Beyond the techniques is an attitude toward accuracy that is just as important as know-how.
Stew Thornley is an author of books on sports history, including histories of the Minneapolis Millers minor league baseball team, and the Minneapolis Lakers major league basketball team, as well as a definitive history of baseball in Minnesota. Another book, Six Feet Under: A Graveyard Guide to Minnesota, is about notable people buried in Minnesota.
Stew has been a member of the Society for American Baseball Research since 1979, and served as the organization's vice president from 2002 to 2004. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stew_Thornley)
Visit the CTC on Facebook to help living things up there. They really don't do much with it now.
I've written and linked a little bit about the dangers of Oprah here, here and here. She often dispenses, advocates and endorses very dangerous advice. I found a gutsy article from Newsweek that pretty much wraps up all Oprah woo in one place. Please feel free to read all of it. There are many opportunities for more research, so have fun. Here are a variety of snippets about a number of topics:
Live Your Best Life Ever! Wish Away Cancer! Get A Lunchtime Face-Lift! Eradicate Autism! Turn Back The Clock! Thin Your Thighs! Cure Menopause! Harness Positive Energy! Erase Wrinkles! Banish Obesity! Live Your Best Life Ever!
...In January, Oprah Winfrey invited Suzanne Somers on her show to share her unusual secrets to staying young. Each morning, the 62-year-old actress and self-help author rubs a potent estrogen cream into the skin on her arm. She smears progesterone on her other arm two weeks a month. And once a day, she uses a syringe to inject estrogen directly into her vagina.
...She (Oprah) has the power to summon the most learned authorities on any subject; who would refuse her? Instead, all too often Oprah winds up putting herself and her trusting audience in the hands of celebrity authors and pop-science artists pitching wonder cures and miracle treatments that are questionable or flat-out wrong, and sometimes dangerous.
...McCarthy's charges went virtually unchallenged. Oprah praised McCarthy's bravery and plugged her book, but did not invite a physician or scientist to explain to her audience the many studies that contradict the vaccines-autism link. Instead, Oprah read a brief statement from the Centers for Disease Control saying there was no science to prove a connection and that the government was continuing to study the problem. But McCarthy got the last word. "My science is named Evan, and he's at home. That's my science."
...Northrup holds a special place in Oprah's constellation of regular guests. A Dartmouth-educated ob-gyn, she stresses alternative therapies and unseen connections between the soul and the body that she believes conventional doctors overlook, but that she can see. She has written about how she has used Tarot cards to help diagnose her own illnesses.
...Oprah said almost nothing about possible risks. "It is a relatively painless procedure, I'm told," she said. "Scarring is minimal, and recovery time is measured in days instead of weeks." Yet according to Plastic Surgery Practice, an industry magazine, some doctors reported that "over time, the suture tends to act like a 'cheese wire'," cutting through delicate facial tissue.
...In January she embarked on yet another attempt to trim down, which means all of Oprah's viewers are now—actually or vicariously—on a diet too. She will lose the weight, and there will be much remarking upon it. But then, in a year, or two, or three, experience teaches us that the fat will likely come back.
...The book then offers the testimonial of a woman identified as Cathy Goodman. "I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I truly believed in my heart, with my strong faith, that I was already healed. Each day I would say, 'Thank you for my healing'." Goodman watched "very funny movies" to make herself laugh. "From the time I was diagnosed to the time I healed was approximately three months. And that's without any radiation or chemotherapy."
Go here for the full article: Why Health Advice on 'Oprah' Could Make You Sick | Newsweek Health | Newsweek.com
Please don't take medical advice from a TV talk show. Stick with the decorating tips and fashion advice. See a real physician for your health issues.