30 September 2010 rehabilitation

Last night: shoulder did fine; the knee was a bit achy (right knee) in that inner medial spot. Then again, my wife told me that I had laid on my stomach for a while and that pressure on the knee cap is enough to bring it on. It was an ache similar to a “bone chill”.

Workout notes:
squats: one leg: 20 x 45
Two legged: 10 x 135, 10 x 175 (better depth on the 135)
Leg press 20 x 180, 20 x 270, 20 x 360
sit ups: 4 sets of 25 on the incline
extensions: 3 sets of 10
curls: 3 sets of 10
toe: 3 sets of 20
back: 3 sets of 10
vertical leg lifts: 3 sets of 20
Arm bike: 3.35 miles in 12 minutes: resistance 5 for 4 minutes, then 10 for 8 minutes
Walking: 10K course very slowly (6.4 actually) in 1:37 (easy walk, lots of hills, pretty day).

rotator cuff; all felt fine.

September 30, 2010 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, shoulder rehabilitation, training, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

msnbc video: Democrats deploy an effective offense

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September 30, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Democrats, Political Ad, political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans political/social, republicans politics | Leave a comment

msnbc video: How will the Tea Party fit in on Capitol Hill?

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September 30, 2010 Posted by | economy, politics, republicans political/social | Leave a comment

29 September 2010 pm II

Yes, we really do know the physics laws of everyday events. Really. That doesn’t mean that we understand stuff on very small scales.

Speaking of physics and science: We are finding nearby solar systems that have planets that might sustain life. That doesn’t mean that this recently discovered planet has life or is even likely to. But it means that there are lots of planets like this, each with at least a small probability of life.

Politics and Polls
Nate Silver has part I on a series of polls and confidence intervals.

September 30, 2010 Posted by | cosmology, evolution, physics, political/social, politics, politics/social, poll, science, statistics | Leave a comment

29 September 2010 pm

Politics: Local
I missed Keith Olbermann’s show to walk a route and drop off literature. I still have about half of the route to do, but I have the literature properly bundled to go.

I figured that I would do more good doing that than just watching television. 🙂

More politics Paul Krugman noted that the spending associated with WWII stimulated the economy. A few of his detractors said that this means that he is in favor of war.

Conservative vs. Liberal
This is a complicated; conservative Kathleen Parker points out that life is different in urban areas (mostly Democratic) than in rural areas (mostly Republican). Her point: lots of rules might be necessary in the city, but not in the country.

Mano Singham has part II of his The Grand Design primer (the Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow book on cosmology).

Note: our collective science illiteracy is hurting our economy.

Here is a bit about that new poll that shows that atheists know more about religion than religious types. Mano Singham:

Hence it was amusing to get a link (thanks to reader Norm) to an article giving the results of a new Pew survey that found that atheists and agnostics were the most knowledgeable about “the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.” You can read all the survey questions and the results for each here. (Not to boast, but there was only one question for which I did not know the answer and one for which I was not sure.)

Of course, the philosopher could argue that this survey tested largely low-level factual knowledge and not deep theology. But I am willing to bet that if a similar survey were done on theology, atheists and agnostics would again come out on top. It is because we have studied theology at least to some extent that we realize how content-free it is. In fact, I suspect there is a causal relationship: the more you know about religion, the less likely you are to believe in god. As Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said, “Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”

Of course, it might be a case of educational level confounding the results:

Sad: a University of Texas math major kills himself on campus.

Political Humor
American History, through the eyes of the tea-baggers.

Introducing: The Tea Party Guide to American History!
by Phil N. Molé on Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 2:43pm

Hi Patriots:

Tired of textbooks written by liberals who wipe their muddy feet on the American flag and won’t be happy until all of our children are vegetarian, atheist, and gay? Then order the new ‘Tea Party Guide to American History,” and save your child from the siren call of socialist homosexuality.

This book will teach your children no more or less than what they need to know to be able to have a defiant, admirably unreflective perspective on their country’s history. Things like this:

American Prehistory:

In 6,000 BC, the land containing the present-day United States was created, by God. Large masses of land surrounding the current Unites States were also created, for purposes known only in heaven.

The land containing the United States was designated for a special purpose by God – a future safe haven for the teachings of Jesus, and a place where women shouldn’t be able to get abortions and men should never use condoms. However, God’s plan is marred when pockets of original sin develop in parts of the northeastern and Midwestern states and in present-day California – these will later become “blue” states.

Colonial Days and Witch Trials

Everyone prayed to God at this time and everything was peaceful. There were those witch trials in 1692, but liberals have made too much of that. No one has told the story about how the witches persecuted the other colonists, so that’s obvious liberal bias right there. And many more people were killed in Europe in witchcraft persecutions, so really, the fact that we only killed 20 makes us look pretty good. Honestly, nothing to worry about here.

Indians, aka “Native Americans”

This is as good of a time as any to address the fact that there were people here before the European settlers arrived, namely, Indians. Some people call them “Native Americans,” but that’s a contradiction in terms, because America is a land of immigrants – you selfish, unpatriotic asshole Indians.

Revisionist, America-hating liberals try to make it look like there were lots of Indians here who had a complex, vibrant culture, so we’d feel ashamed of ourselves for taking their land and eliminating them. But there totally weren’t that many. And according to the earliest documented evidence we’ve seen of their culture (a John Ford film made in Hollywood in the 1930s), these Indians really don’t come off well at all.

Plus, haven’t we already paid enough homage to Indian culture? We’ve named subdivisions of retirement communities after them, and little league and professional sports teams, and we like drinking beer when a sports mascot in an Indian costume dances during halftime. What more do these ungrateful people want?

(Insert advertisement for Fly Rite American Flag Detergent, for getting the tough blood and spleen stains out of your American flag. Our motto: “Our colors don’t run!”)

The Revolutionary War and Early Days of the Republic

Series of illustrations: George Washington and the cherry tree, George Washington in battle, and the American flag, flying high against a blue sky background. Take a moment to reflect on these images, and feel warm and good inside. This concludes the lesson on the Revolutionary Era.

The Constitution originally included references to the Virgin Mary and Jesus, but those have been taken out by liberals trying to prove the country is not founded on Christianity. Here’s proof: Go right up to the next liberal you see and ask him what he did with the Virgin Mary, and watch his response. That flustered look says it all, doesn’t it?

Civil War

The War of Yankee Aggression, waged against helpless Southern states who only wanted limited government, states rights, and a nice sip of sweet tea. It wasn’t about slavery, and in fact, so-called slaves were better treated than most white males are – a trend that continues today. Slavery was possibly a little racist, in retrospect. But slavery ended with the Civil War, and so did racism.

World War II

There was a World War before this, and America won it.

We won this one, too, but liberals keep whining about the fact that so many Japanese Americans were interned in camps. But eye witnesses at the time swear that all of the Japanese who were relocated looked A LOT like the perpetrators of the Pearl Harbor attacks. More disturbingly, they were sometimes overheard speaking a language that did not appear to be English. There were no more Pearl Harbor attacks after the internment – think about that. But don’t think about it too long and don’t ask any follow-up questions.

Civil Rights Movement

OK, so there was a little racism that hung around after slavery ended. But this Martin Luther King guy came along and totally ended it for good. It wasn’t through attempts to end legalized discrimination against people of color, like housing discrimination and school segregation, because that was just big government in action, and it was all done wrong. It should’ve all just been done with speeches, like the kind King gave in “I Have a Dream,” which is significant because it influenced Glenn Beck. Also, after white people listened to that speech, they never again gave black people a hard time about anything.

Well, there was the assassination of MLK soon afterward, of course. But since racism ended thanks to MLK, assassin James Earl Ray by definition could NOT have been motivated by racism when he shot MLK. He was just a crazy guy with a gun, and no one else thought remotely like him, anywhere.

And of course, his assassination of King also does NOT show that we need tougher gun control laws in our country. Guns save lives. If King himself had been armed with an AK-47, he’d still be alive today.

Feminism and Women’s Liberation

Paved the way for Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, but otherwise an unmitigated disaster. Across the country, dinners languish uncooked, and undersexed men were forced to cheat or to visit prostitutes, which they never would have done otherwise, because men are awesome. And lots of women begin talking about how they want men to show their “feelings.” We’d been TRYING to show you how we felt, but then you passed sexual harassment laws.

A growing number of men find themselves in need of both food and of safe places to objectify women. To satisfy these needs, the restaurant chain Hooters would eventually be established.

The Reagan Years

For 8 years, all poverty and violence in the United States end. And Reagan says ‘tear down this wall” and the Berlin wall comes down. Millions of sick children are also healed by touching the hem of Reagan’s slacks, and the crumbs from Reagan’s table miraculously feed millions more. And there was this time that a little boy was cornered by a bear, and the bear was really big and mean and was totally going to eat the boy, but then Reagan swooped down out of nowhere and simply smiled, and the bear stopped being mean and licked the little boy and gave him honey instead.

The Clinton Years

George W. Bush was president before this, but nothing really happened. Clinton gets a blow job, and this shows the public that this is what is wrong with liberalism. It always, inherently, leads to extra-marital, taxpayer subsidized blow jobs.

Obama’s Presidency

Barack Hussein Obama is elected president, showing yet again that racism in America has ended.

He proceeds to destroy America with his Kenyan anti-imperialist, Islamophilic socialist agenda. The Constitution is ground into a fine powder and snorted up Obama’s nose, and Christ and all of the apostles are punched in the face. In response, the Tea Party movement is born to restore America’s purity. This chapter comprises 80% of the total book.

As a companion to the book, we also offer an “I Want My Country Back!” protest kit that includes a stylish slave costume, a DVD of Obama’s greatest bloopers, and a pitchfork and torch.

As a tie-in with your students science classes, we also offer a book burning experiment kit. Students can mass books such as “Fahrenheit 451,” “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” “Brave New World,” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” on the enclosed scale, and then burn the books in the included oven. Then, they mass the ashes. The difference in mass before and after the burning is the amount of evil the book contained.

History is too important to be left to people who’ve read history books to teach. Take our history back, and our country back, by ordering now!!

September 30, 2010 Posted by | astronomy, atheism, cosmology, education, Peoria, Peoria/local, physics, political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, religion, Republican, republican party, republicans, science | Leave a comment

Commentary: how I act around smart people on the internet

I’ll be honest: I like smart people.

This would explain my blog roll selections (Mano Singham’s, Larry Moran’s, Jerry Coyne’s, Richard Dawkins’, Paul Krugman’s, Robert Reich’s)

But at times, I get a little too much like Chester in the beginning of this clip (the little yellow terrier):

Picture Spike as one of the intellectual big guns. 🙂

But I sometimes lurk where the intellectual level is much lower; a good example is the Alan Colmes facebook page. Mr. Colmes is bright, but he attracts some Fox News conservatives to his board…and most of them are mind-numbingly stupid.

Witness this exchange between Paul Kruman (who is a world class intellectual and a Nobel Laureate in economics) and Bill O’Reilly who is, by comparison, dim-witted:

O’Reilly is too intellectually lost to even know that he doesn’t know what he is talking about; all he has is loudness and belligerence.
This is a nice example of what it is like to attempt to engage a Fox News watcher in discussion; they are no badly informed and unskilled in logic that a discussion with them is all but impossible.

In short: I like smart, well informed people. I don’t like stupid, poorly informed people. And I have a white-hot hatred for stupid people who THINK that they are smart and well informed, hence my distaste for Sarah Palin and people who back her.

I do NOT have such an intense dislike for Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, David Brooks, John McCain, etc.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Blogroll, blogs, Personal Issues, political/social, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, sarah palin, social/political | Leave a comment

29 September 2010 Rehabilitation

Sleep: continues to be acceptable, though I laid on my affected shoulder and it got sore.

Workout: 100 sit ups (4 sets of 25 on the incline), 12 minutes on the arm bike (3.1 miles), arm curls (2 sets of 20 with 10 pound dumbbells, 1 set of 10 with 20 pound dumbbells), 3 sets of 10 rows (90 on the pulley machine, 95 each arm on the weight machine), then:
2 mile run on the treadmill (18:07; 9:43/8:24), 1 mile walk to cool down, rotator cuff, etc.

The shoulder is feeling better; tonight I’ll find out for sure.

Note: the weight workout was suggested by the PT.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, running, shoulder rehabilitation, training, weight training | Leave a comment

28 September 2010 Posts


Though I mostly agree with Vice President Biden here, I should point out that some of it is tone: too many of our Democrats tend to bash us from the podium and act ashamed to be associated with us….until they need help (volunteers, money, etc.)

As to the other side…well, here is how they are:

Is Obama Trying To Indoctrinate Your Children With Muslim Comic Books?

Probably not. But one conservative think tank is sounding the alarm.

Adrian Morgan, the editor of Family Security Matters, wrote a long post last week about “The 99” — a popular comic book series featuring Muslims superheroes who embody the 99 attributes of Allah, like mercy and generosity.

The comic books have been widely praised. As their creator, Naif Al-Mutawa, describes, the books are meant to teach a moderate, peaceful, loving Islam.

“It is finally time that all of us became more accountable for that which our children will be hearing; tiny differences setting us apart rather than celebrating those positive things that bind all good people together,” he wrote in August. “If we allow small-minded men to spout fear and hate in the name of our religion, we will enable them to brainwash another generation as they did our own. And soon, the next generation will fall into a pit of dissonance. To sit by silently makes us all complicit.”

The comics have become so popular that President Obama, speaking at a summit for Muslim entrepreneurs in April, lauded the work, saying “His comic books have captured the imagination of so many young people, with superheroes who embody the teachings and tolerance of Islam.” He joked that, after his Cairo speech in 2009, American superheroes like Superman reached out to The 99. “I hear they’re making progress,” Obama said. From the audience, Al-Mutawa gave a big thumbs up.

So either these people (those bringing up the issue) are complete idiots, or they are amoral political geniuses who know how to inflame the passions of their dim-witted base.

This article on anti-depressants is interesting:

Some antidepressants alter peoples’ moral judgement
September 28, 2010 Some antidepressants alter peoples’ moral judgement

( — The most common type of antidepressants, serotonin enhancers, alters peoples’ moral judgement and leads to a reduction in aggressive behaviour, a study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has found.

Ms Molly Crockett of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (a Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust funded initiative) is the lead author of the paper. She said: “Our study suggests that these medications can affect people’s sense of right and wrong, which influences the choices they make in everyday life.

“Interestingly, the drug’s effects were strongest in people who were naturally high in empathy, suggesting that serotonin could enhance people’s concern for others by making the prospect of harming them feel worse.” […]

Humor: this is an article that makes fun of the (mostly terrible) science reporting that goes on in the mainstream media. It is hilarious!

This isn’t a shock: most Americans really don’t know much about religion:

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons perform better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for differing levels of education. […]

I took the public survey (15 question version) that is available here. It was not at all difficult; my wife and I took it independently and each got 15 out of 15.

So much for this “you’d believe if only you knew more” canard. The reason many of us are atheists is because we know how ridiculous the standard beliefs are. And yes, many of the educated “believers” really don’t spent much time with what their religions actually teach but rather either rationalize the beliefs away or view them as metaphors.

September 28, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Democrats, politics/social, religion, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans politics, science, social/political | Leave a comment

28 September 2010 Rehabilitation

Sleep: some slight shoulder soreness at night, but not nearly enough to wake me up. It is better.

Workout notes: very easy 6.3 walk in 1:36; just walked it easily and enjoyed the beautiful, cool day. I wore a sweat shirt. No pain in either knee; some residual soreness.

PT: arm bike, stretch band, super light bench press (won’t do again), rows (3 sets), deep massage. The latter was painful but effective.

September 28, 2010 Posted by | knee rehabilitation, shoulder rehabilitation, training, walking | Leave a comment

27 September 2010 posts

College Football: check out the Bottom 10 at ESPN; the mascot for Cal (number 5; the slot reserved for an underachieving major program) is hilarious.

NFL: The Rams win a game! That was the second win in the last 29 games.

30-16 over Washington; St. Louis started out 14-0, fell behind 16-14 as Washington dominated the second quarter and the beginning of the third, but then the Rams scored the last 16 on three field goals and a nice running drive.

(photo from yahoo)

Assorted Social
This is an interesting “generic news report:

Christine O’Donnell: she really represents the proud anti-intellectualism of the Republican party. It is hard to believe that anyone backs this type of idiot, but some do; I saw some of these type of Republicans on the Alan Colmes facebook wall.

Mano Singham starts off his post in too humble of a manner. But it is a nice introduction to the topics in the new Stephen Hawking/Leonard Mlodinow book Grand Design.

Accommodationism Read what Larry Moran has to say.

Basically: it means not requiring much from the theologians while expecting scientists to be nice.

September 28, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, books, college football, cosmology, football, humor, morons, NFL, physics, political/social, politics, politics/social, religion, Republican, republican party, republicans, republicans politics, science | Leave a comment