2.27.2007

Child obesity is child abuse.

Link
This is Connor. You may have heard of him in the news recently. If not, here is the CBC's take on his story.

This child is 8 years old and has a mass of 89 kg! That is triple what it should be for a child his age.

His mother, who suffers from depression, claims that she has tried to control his diet, but she is limited to feeding him the things that he likes. Hopefully that claim makes you give your head a shake. The mother of an 8 year old boy is limited by HIS desires.

I am not totally convinced that this child should be removed from his home, but I am convinced that he is being abused to death. There are two little letters that when put together in the form of a sentence would do this kid a whole lot of good. N-O!

There are not many sentences in the English language that are much simpler, and in this case, more potentially life-saving.

2.20.2007

Why I am not an evolutionist.

This post has been brewing for a while and I now have time to get my thoughts out as all classes are cancelled until Friday so students can write exams.

Talk to some people and they will jump up and down and scream if you dare to question the truth of Darwinian evolution. The one question you are not allowed to ask is `Is evolution true?`
It is only open-minded people who don`t question evolution...hmmm.

Part of the discussion needs to be about the fact that the term `evolution` is equivocal, it can mean more than one thing depending on the context.

In one sense, it simply means that something changes over time. That is fine and well, of course things change over time.

In another sense, you can say that species change over time. This is also clearly evident.

In the third sense, you have people claiming that if you simply extrapolate small changes over a very long period of time, you will get radical changes and massive increases in complexity. This claim is completely unfounded.

Here is why Darwinian evolution, the idea that we came to be through only natural processes (random mutation and natural selection) cannot be correct.

The first problem is that Darwinian evolution is not supported in the fossil record. If it were true that there is a continuous generational line from the first cell all the way to us, there would be massive amounts of fossilized intermediary species, in fact, all fossils would be intermediary species. The truth is, there are very few examples that could even be remotely considered intermediary species, and most of these involve changes within species rather than a new species evolving.

The fossil record shows that around the time of the Cambrian period a whole bunch of years ago, there was a massive explosion of new life forms on the earth. These life forms appeared fully formed and all at the same time.

The second problem with Darwinian evolution goes back farther than the first problem. In the first problem, random mutations and natural selection can only happen to living, functioning organisms.

The Darwinist must first prove to me that life came from non-life before I will listen to anything about evolution.

The problem of abiogenesis, life from non-life, necessarily precedes evolution and there is simply no natural mechanism that can account for non-living elements randomly self-organizing into a living thing, even a simple little protein.

If evolution cannot have happened, then I can listen to the ranting and raving of `The New Atheists` (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Michael Shermer...) with all their bluster and hand-waving and know that I am not the one who is deluded.

2.18.2007

And now for something completely different...

Is there a donkey on your couch?

Stay tuned...

Ride pictures from today...


Tug o' War!





Tug o' War has come to Sunomata!

Mixon's team went undefeated in the round robin, 3-0. Unfortunately they lost in the quarter finals.

Selah's team went 3-1 in the round robin, won their quarter final match but lost in the semi's to the eventual winners. I must say that Selah's team gave the winning team the best run for their money, they were doing really well, but then a couple of their team members fell and it was all over.

Tug o' War is great.

2.17.2007

In other news...

Click here for the lastest post over at Fat Cyclist. Make sure you read the comments. I haven't laughed that hard since the first time I saw Dumb and Dumber.

Sportacus

This is cool.

2.12.2007

Festivals

There have been a couple of festivals of note in the last little while.

The first I will mention is the Ogaki Naked Man Festival. We did not attend this festival. The basic premise is that a bunch of men get really drunk, then get naked, then run around in the streets.

Last weekend was setsubun which marks the official beginning of spring. People throw beans. They throw them out of their house to get rid of evil spirits, then they throw them into their house to bring in good spirits. Then everybody eats their age in beans. There are still beans on our steps.

Yesterday was the Sagicho Fire Festival in Hirata. We did attend this festival. The basic premise is that a bunch of men get really drunk, then get mostly naked, then go burn stuff.



They start around noon building these huge floats made of bamboo.



Then they burn them. It took about 3 seconds for the float to go from green to this. Over the course of the afternoon, they burned 10 or 12 of these things.


Like any festival, there is food. It is predicatably nasty, greasy and expensive. 500 yen will get you a miserably soggy cob of BBQ'd corn, or maybe a tray of these things...takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls. The purplish stuff in the foreground is octopus waiting to be grilled in a runny batter with some veggies.

If you look carefully you should be able to identify these as some kind of bird...whole...three to a stick. We passed on these.

We did manage to find a guy selling steamed potatoes. They were good! I figured I was getting a good deal by avoiding fries until he put the butter on. My estimate is that he put about 125 ml of butter and 30 ml of salt on our potato.

Well gosh darn it! We are good lookin! Selah loves posing for pictures. Mixon does not.

New look for the Madlands

I am blessed.

The sweater was a Christmas gift made by my mom that I received in the summer of 2000. It is nice heavy wool and keeps me warm through these ridiculous Japanese winters. I would much rather wear my sweater than breathe kerosene fumes.


The toque was a gift from my wife. She finished it just a few days ago. The picture below was taken by my daughter.


Mixon is also extraordinarily blessed with Madland good looks. Unfortunately his lookers need a little help.

2.10.2007

Good Afternoon

Here is how I spent the afternoon with Mixon.

He has 5 or 6 Bionicles that he plays with very regularly and with great gusto. It is cool to watch him when he gets into his imagination. This afternoon, he took all his Bionicles apart, sorted all the pieces and we put this menacing fellow together. He is a good guy, but I forget his name.


He has six arms and four legs. The top two arms are pincers, the next two carry swords (one fire and one ice) and the next two fire projectiles of some sort.

The tail-like thing in the back carries a stinger, kinda like a scorpion.

A few weeks ago, Mixon was reading Eragon when he suddenly put his book down, got up and headed to his room and started putting on his swords (he has several). I asked him what he was doing. He said 'I am playing from the book now.'

Cool.

2.08.2007

- is the new +

Want a shiny new MinusCar T-shirt?

Click here to read my thoughts over at MinusCar`s Blog.

Then write your own.

While you are at it, head over to Sans Auto and check out his thoughts on Orlistat. The words `leakage of oily stool` should cause you to run from this drug, but maybe you need to read it from a guy who has his Masters in Eating Right.

2.06.2007

Flabbergasted!

So the big Canadian news story over the last few days has been this baby left on a doorstep in Saskatoon.

I read the original story in The Globe and Mail, you can read the story here.

I don`t want to comment on the story directly but rather on the comments that came up. I will copy them directly.

The first comment that I noticed was:

Erin Ballantyne from Canada writes: At least she didn't abort the baby.

I was going to make the same comment myself.

As could be predicted, someone tried to show that Erin was misdirected. Here is the comment:

Howard Fick from Canada writes: Erin Ballantyne get your head screwed on tighter. Obviously she didn't want the child. I think abortion is a viable option, especially in cases like this. I am sure the mother was scared out of her mind, and chances are she had little or no support (if she did, this surely would not have happened). I do hope the baby is safe and healthy, and that the mother is able to get some help that she needs.

If you didn`t notice the problems with this thinking, maybe this comment will help clear things up:

C M from Nagoya, Canada writes: Howard Fick, Erin is fine.The mental gymnastics required to buy into your moral view are astounding.

In one sentence you claim that `abortion is a viable option`, then two sentences later, you hope that the child is `safe and healthy`.

You defend this womans right to kill her child, and then you wish the child health and wellness!

That the child is `unwanted` is a red herring. It has no bearing on the child`s right to life. Using that line of `reasoning` is a cop out.

This child is the same person whether she is inside her mother or outside her mother.

I was simply stunned that Mr. Fick could honestly say that abortion should be considered a viable option and then turn around and wish the child health and wellness. Unfortunately, this rationale is far too common.

People think that they are being morally neutral by saying that abortion is wrong for them, but that they wouldn`t want to impose their morality on someone else.

If someone uses this line of reasoning, ask them why they think that abortion is wrong for them. They will likely answer that they think that abortion kills a baby.

Then all you have to do is feed their view back to them and see if they still agree.

Their view is that:

  1. Abortion kills a baby.
  2. It is ok for other people to kill babies, but they don`t like it.

This is not a morally neutral stance. It is barbaric.

2.05.2007

New Goodies

Added some links to my favorite podcasts and a new link to Emily's blog.

2.01.2007

Vista

Microsoft's 'revolutionary' new operating system is out. It sports such 'new' and 'cutting edge' technology as gadgets, which are little programs that you can run in the background and use to subscribe to RSS feeds, check the weather and a whole bunch of other stuff. Cool.

Oh and they have this cool new search capability in each and every window! Can you believe it? And get this, it comes with a firewall! yippee!!!

As I read the article that was singing the praises of this technological marvel I couldn't keep from smirking.

All these 'advances' have been part of OS X for well over a year now. So, true to form, MS catches up to where Mac was last year.