Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Abomination (Or Two, Or Three) Unto The Lord?

Alberta is about to become home to Canada's first permanent "creation science" museum.

As someone who believes in God, I am deeply and profoundly offended by this. I'm not here to pick on Christianity, specifically... based on my reading, Jesus seems like my kinda guy. And (as anyone who voted for a religious pro-war neocon could tell you) there's a huge difference between The Message and The Messenger.

I consider it blasphemous that someone could believe that The Universe was built as-is by a Divine Intelligence who would be cruel enough to give you a well-developed prefrontal cortex and would then expect you to use it to IGNORE the profound wealth of evidence that everything is, in fact, Running According To A Scheme.

Part of that scheme involves what happens when atoms interact and form groups, as they are prone to doing. God designed a marvelously flexible, durable, changeable Universe. Every bit of evidence going seems to point to this kind of thing happening all the time... and if you don't believe me, ask a snowflake.

A lot of people reject evolution because it denies the Literal Truth of The Bible. Which is a shame, because The Bible itself has clearly evolved, from original manuscripts to the Council Of Nicea to King James to today. And the argument that if ONE thing in The Bible is true, it all has to be true doesn't wash with me either. Or, put another way, will the new museum also offer free Witch-Burning service (Exodus 22:18)? Will I be allowed in if I had bacon for breakfast (Leviticus 15)? And is there a display demonstrating that the Earth is, in fact, flat (Job 38:12-14)?

Museum owner Harry Nibourg, according to the Calgary Sun, is having a hard time finding a scientist willing to debate him. Well, Harry, I'm a total scientific amateur, and I'm willing to debate you, here and in public. Also, I'm a professional astrologer, and I can defend the Biblical merits of that, too. A two-for-one deal like that ought to have you salivating.

I'd love to talk about my old buddy Tiktaalik. Or Eohippus. Or Archaeopteryx. Or our common relative, Australopithecus. Or any of the other known, established precursors to you and me and the things running around on your lawn.

In the meantime here's ten things I really doubt you'll see on display at the new museum.

Please rise for today's hymn:

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lou Dobbs Vs. The Mexican Menace!

Apparently, CNN has decided to compete with Fox News for the all-important Dangerous Crackpot demographic.

If you're in the habit of watching Lou Dobbs, you may have noticed he's turned into Johnny One-Note of late: Mexicans, Mexicans, Mexicans. Illegal immigration seems to be catching on as a popular subject in the States lately, and should we be surprised? Xenophobia with a Salsa beat is a hell of a lot sexier than boring crap like spying on innocent civilians, Medicare reform, and that thing with the guns off in the desert somewhere (the Good Guys are still winning, right?).

I honestly don't understand the American attitude towards immigration. Whenever the subject comes up, I am reminded of my Amazing But True real-life experience with the subject.

I lived in Minnesota once, for a while. The population there is heavily skewed to the Scandinavian... as a matter of fact, I recall encountering more black folks in Saskatchewan. For various reasons, my girlfriend at the time and I spent a great deal of time in restaurants. After a while I noticed that every place we ate at, whether high-end or an IHOP, had a lot of people of Latino descent there. They weren't customers though... they were cleaning the tables and washing the dishes and (occasionally) flipping the burgers.

One day I commented on this to my girlfriend. Specifically, I had noticed that all the customers that day had blonde or red hair (other than her, her two kids, and me), and that the employees were all black-haired. I mentioned this the same way I might notice a preponderance of tall people or left-handers in a room. It seemed like a statistical anomaly.

"They're Mexicans," she said, poking the contents of her overstuffed club sandwich back into place with her finger.

I sat there and thought about this for a few seconds. "Mexicans get preferred employment?" I ventured. Silly Canadian...

She looked at me like I was some sort of Silly Canadian. "They're Mexicans. What else would they do?" she said in the same gentle tone she would use if she were explaining to a beloved but brain-damaged child why policemen wear police uniforms.

I paused. This woman wasn't an idiot: in fact, one of the reasons I was first interested in her is that she was an intelligent person. I looked at her for a few seconds. Then I looked at her kids, who were, ahem... a little more tanned-looking than the average person who had lived through a Minnesota winter. Then I pointed out that her last name by marriage was, in fact... Fuentes.

"Oh," she replied dismissively in that brain-damaged-child tone, "he (the ex-husband) was from Texas."

Maybe CNN understands its viewer demographics better than I thought.

Anyway, here's a clip of CNN using a white-supremacist group as a source of information on "militant Latino activists"...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I Attempt To Whore Myself To The Machine

I always dreamed this day would come.

I'm an old-fashioned guy at heart. In a world where people are always giving themselves away for trivial or temporary reasons, I've always wanted to hold out for The One. And I have finally found My Heart's Desire.

My buddy Faith and I were loafing around the other day watching TV... some mundane reality show or another, as I recall... and I saw the most amazing commercial for Benefibre. The commercial itself wasn't the most ground-breaking thing in terms of the script, or the actor, or the effects or anything. It presented itself very naturally, comfortable with its own appeal.

Naturally, I was intrigued.

Benefibre is a soluble dietary fibre supplement extracted from chicory root. It is completely flavourless, dissolves completely in water, won't thicken, and is essentially a stealth dietary fibre additive to any food or drink.

I've been impressed with a lot of things in my time... microwave ovens, genetically modified organisms, lasers, water-skiing squirrels... but this left me silent. Stunned. Like Keanu Reeves memorizing his lines, stunned.

Let's say your boss is a jerk. Every day you phone in the lunch order, and every day he orders the won ton soup. Hell, screw that: you could dose his coffee all day long and he'd never notice.

Imagine the hell you could raise that way.

It was love at first sight.

So: being a true romantic, I am ready to make my formal declaration of love and intent, right here before your very eyes. So many out there give themselves away through cynicism or fear.

I've found something I can really, truly believe in.

It is my intention to make Benefibre... sorry, Benefibre... the Offical Corporate Sponsor of "The Further Adventures Of Chironboy." In future entries you will see my attempts to woo and win this most beautiful and gifted child of Novartis... formerly Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz... as my One True Sponsor!

Isn't it romantic!

Oh, by the way Novartis, best of luck with that leukemia-drug lawsuit in India. Let the lazy bastards pay full price! Fuck 'em. You're the good guys.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Veterinery Gynaecology And TELUS: A Comparison

This is a duck uterus.

You may recall from high school Biology class or the Discovery Channel or that last Pussycat Dolls video that the human uterus is a smooth, regular shape... kind of like a pear. A duck's uterus, on the other hand, is a twisty labyrinth of dead ends, false leads, and fool's errands for sperm.

Here's a quote from "Coevolution of Male and Female Genital Morphology in Waterfowl"... don't worry, I'll provide a translation afterwards:

"Most birds have simple genitalia; males lack external genitalia and females have simple vaginas. However, male waterfowl have a phallus whose length (1.5–>40 cm) and morphological elaborations vary among species and are positively correlated with the frequency of forced extra-pair copulations among waterfowl species. Here we report morphological complexity in female genital morphology in waterfowl and describe variation vaginal morphology that is unprecedented in birds. This variation comprises two anatomical novelties: (i) dead end sacs, and (ii) clockwise coils. These vaginal structures appear to function to exclude the intromission of the counter-clockwise spiralling male phallus without female cooperation."

In other words, there is a long-standing sexual-evolutionary civil war amongst ducks. Male ducks have developed a distinct taste for forced copulation. Females ducks have become more internally convoluted to help prevent reproduction with rapist ducks. The more rape-prone the species of duck, the more complex the uterus... and the longer and twistier the penis has become in response.

As you may recall from here it took me a long, long time to get my tax forms out of Telus. One thing they still haven't straightened out is the three years or so worth of employee discount that should have been applied to my phone and Internet. And please keep in mind that, as someone who used to work there, I have a better-than-average idea of how the system works there. Nonetheless... no results.

Based on the above information about duck uteruses, I confidently predict that within a few hundred thousand years the average Telus customer's wallet will be twelve feet long and shaped like a nest of garter snakes.

And now you know why every month when I look at my phone bill, I shout "fuck a duck!"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shrek: Big Green Screaming Monkey Whore

I haven't seen "Shrek The Third" yet. Almost no one has, in fact. But I've got Shrek on the brain, like so many others across North America. Why? Not because I'm a raving loony fan -- I liked the first two, but am in no hurry to charge out and see the new one. As a matter of fact, I've decided to NOT see it. Not because the premise has likely been stretched thin, and not out of fear that Mike Myers et al phoned in their performances... although those both seem like reasonable probabilities.

Shrek is in my head because of the damned advertising.

Not ads for the movie itself, mind you... I'm talking about the M & M ads. And the Dodge ads. And HP. And McDonalds. This is all prior to the movie's release date... imagine the deluge of action figures and cereal and toys and candies and clothes and cleaning fluids and novelty condoms yet to come.

I have this theory about advertising. Although I think we have magnificent intelligence, I don't think our nervous systems are terribly unlike those of monkeys. If you're a monkey in the jungle, your very life (and that of your species) depends on being able to recognize food, a mate, and potential threats. It also follows that survival depends on what signals you are able to ignore. If you overstress a monkey that way, he has a breakdown.

The study of the human mind is called psychology. The application of psychology to the goal of making you think you need things you don't is called advertising. I am convinced that we are turning our psychological environment into a cluttered landscape of eat/fuck/kill/LOOK OUT! signals that would drive any monkey batshit crazy... except we are just smart enough to do it to ourselves, and NOT smart enough to realize we're doing it. Like all those coal-fueled factories in Britain in the 1800s, we are destroying our environment and blackening our lungs and we don't even realize it... and maybe (like in Britain in the 1800s) we won't realize it until the day we notice all the white moths are dead and the dark ones have taken over.

I fear we have all unwittingly become monkeys, screaming silently in an unsupervised laboratory of our own design.

What would Futurama have said about all this...?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tony Rosato: A Comedian's Unfunny Fate (Updated)

Former SCTV star Tony Rosato has been in jail for two years without a trial.

Life is full of surprises. Crazy or not, I'm sure Tony didn't expect to be locked in the slammer for this long without a trial. He's in there... supposedly, maybe... because he's mentally ill. Maybe.
Tony Rosato apparently suffers from Capgras Syndrome: a rare but intriguing mental disorder where the sufferer becomes convinced that one or more loved ones or close associates have been replaced by lookalikes, Body Snatchers-style. It reminds me a little of one of my favourite mental disorders: Alien Limb Syndrome, in which a person becomes suddenly convinced that their left arm, for example, belongs to someone else. This is the sort of thing that should be treated in a hospital, by doctors... not prison guards.

Tim Kazurinsky -- proud American -- had this to say about the matter: "Canada: socialized medicine – they really care."

You probably know by know how I hate this... but I have to agree with him.

Why on Earth do we keep putting up with all the bad logic and outright lies about Canadian health care being such a tax burden? We spend 8.5 percent of our GDP on health care... the neighbors spend 11 percent. Our care is as good as theirs. Imagine how much better it would be if we actually gave enough of a rat's ass about our fellow humans to do something about it.

When did I wake up in a world where the Almighty Buck was the driving force behind everything? By my estimation, about twenty years ago. It makes me mad enough that I could hit someone... but I hate the thought of someone bleeding to death while they're sitting around waiting six hours for an emergency-room doctor.

If anyone reading this is taking a trip outside of this Mirror Universe, can I please hitch a ride?

UPDATE August 28/07: Tony is still being jailed for the crime of having a mental illness, or so it seems. However, the wheels of justice are beginning to turn... slowly.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Pineapples From Hell!

Please watch this brief educational film in which Kirk Cameron -- best known as the teenage son and (apparently) Chief Evolutionary Biologist from "Growing Pains" -- has a friend show us why the banana proves the existence of a Supreme Being.

I myself do believe in the existence of God. However, using the same logic presented above, one could prove that since a pineapple isn't easy to open, isn't conveniently shaped, isn't covered by a user-friendly surface, and doesn't fit well in your hand or mouth... that God did not create the pineapple as He did the banana. I knew there was something vaguely unholy about that Hawaiian pizza I had a couple of days ago...

The nifty thing about this is that the banana as we know it today is an excellent example of Intelligent Design. To prove it, I have included a photo of a wild, unmodified banana at the top of this entry. This is what all bananas looked like before hundreds of generations of selective breeding and modification... by humans.

(By the way, a banana is easier to open from the non-stem end. Pulling on the stem is a human convention. Try it yourself. Or watch a gorilla have lunch some time).

The lesson here? Whatever your Dogma is, don't let it become your Truth. At best you may end up being right for the wrong reasons. At worst... you might invade Iraq.