Thursday, January 30, 2014

Abortion on Pluto

Mike Huckabee is running for president.  How do I know?  Because he said something ignorant aboutwomen and sex.  Only frat boys and conservative politicians trying to get attention say ignorant things about women and sex.

Anyway, since I'm short on topics, always on top of current events on my blog, I thought I'd talk about something he said a few months ago.  A few months ago, a friend posted this rant from him about abortion on my Facebook wall.

Oh, that wasn't Huckabee.  That's Rand Paul.  Sorry.   Huckabee was the guy on Duck Dynasty, right?  No?  Does he work at Chick-Fil-A?  No?  Well, shoot, who is he?
I'm not a racist, but I can't tell white jackasses apart.
Anyway, about a minute and a half in, Mr. Paul tells us that "Of course, science has long held that life begins at conception."  If you love science like me, you probably thought:
  •  Science proved life begins at conception?
  • Where can I see the experiment they did to prove it?

Turns out there isn't an experiment.  A few scientists say it's true, but they don't explain why.
Still, I'm a big fan of science and scientists.  If there's consensus that embryos are alive, I'm going to have to completely change my stance on abortion rights.  The "preborn," are humans.

There are going to be some problems, of course.  If they're people, they have to be counted as dependents on your tax returns.  If they're people, they have Constitutional rights.  How do you give them the right to exercise a different religion from their parents?  How can you assure they get gun licenses?

These are minor problems, of course.  There are two Big Issues.

Big Issue One - Sperm and Eggs
According to science, sperm cells and egg cells are also alive in the same way fetal tissue is.  In other words, life doesn't start at conception, but before conception.  Every time a woman has her period or a man ejaculates, they're committing murder.  A woman commits a murder up to twelve times a year and a man commits murder after every time Jennifer Lawrence is on television.
Oh no!  Another mass murder!
So, what does it mean when science says something is alive?  It means, long ago, somebody started calling it alive and nobody bothered to change it.  The word "atom" still means "unsplittable," even though we split it for the same reason.  Scientists still say energy is created and matter is destroyed even though we know it's the same thing changing from one state to another.

What would you do if scientists decide to stop calling fetal tissue "alive" and call it something else?  Would you abandon your belief that abortion is wrong?

Big Issue Two - Pluto
This one takes a little more explanation, so bear with me.

In the late 1800s, astronomers realized there was a planet beyond Neptune messing with its orbit.  In 1930, Pluto was discovered and scientists said it was the ninth planet.
Note to those who believe in Astrology: that's why horoscopes before 1930 didn't work.  Astrologers didn't take the planet Pluto into account.
In 2006 scientists sat down to define exactly what a planet was for the first time.  They decided on three criteria, but Pluto didn't meet the third.  Scientists said Pluto wasn't a planet anymore.
Note to those who believe in Astrology: that's why horoscopes before 2006 didn't work.  Astrologers treated Pluto like a planet when it totally wasn't.
Science changes all the time.  What happens if science decides that life begins at birth?  Will you abandon your belief that abortion is wrong?

Accept it: the definition about where life begins has nothing to do with science.  Science is a constantly changing field dedicated solely to what has the most evidence.  The definition of where life begins is just a definition; it's what we decide it is.  It's a decision we make as a society.

So, let's decide.

Friday, January 24, 2014

PolitiFact for Kids

PolitiFact is one of several great websites that fact checks political statements.  It's a great, impartial resource that helps you tell fact from fiction in our modern, bullshit-ridden, political system.  Everyone should visit PolitiFact every week or so.

The only problem with the site is it doesn't address the needs of everyone.  As a parent, I have to field a lot of questions from my children, and I realized they need a PolitiFact of their own.

And, as a parent, I end up dealing with a lot of parents who need help with finding the truth.

While we're at it, we might as well help out the animals.

Oh, and don't forget...

Friday, January 17, 2014

How to Write a Successful Blog in Three Easy Steps

If you're not all both of my regular readers (Hi honey!  Remember my parents are babysitting today.), you're probably here to find out my secrets to making a blog that brings in money.  Okay, ready?  Here goes:
  1. Um.
  2. Yeah, I don't actually make any money on this blog.
  3. Pretty much nobody makes money with blogs anymore.

I'm glad we got that out of the way.  I'd stop this week's post here, but I really should post some kind of advice.  Advice.  Hm.  Okay, here goes:
  1. Don't ask anyone out whom you've met in the waiting room of a mental institution or therapist.
  2. Never leave uncovered razorblades in an overnight bag next to your toothbrush.
  3. Don't write a blog.

Does that help?  No?  How about I take you through my blog-writing process?  Then you can learn how a successful, famous, blogger like myself.

I'll give you a moment to stop laughing before I go on.  Here is my three step process:
  1. So, first thing I do on "blogging day" is to look at Facebook.  In this way, "blogging day" is like every other day.  Really, the only difference is, eventually, I have to leave Facebook (and Twitter, and The New York Times, and CNN, and Fark, and DOMAI, and...) and do SOMEthing.
  2. Write something.  If I don't have something hilarious or thought-provoking, I'll go to a file I call "Blog2Do."  It's a list of hilarious or thought-provoking ideas I can use when I'm out of hilarious or thought-provoking ideas.

    For example, take this picture:
    No, seriously, take this picture.  Please.
    It's a silly, staged photograph that every NRA member is legally required to post once a year.  So, one of my hilarious or thought-provoking ideas is to expand on the idea.  For example:

    Guns don't kill people.  People kill people.

    Nuclear explosions don't cause nuclear fallout, cancer, and birth defects.  People cause fallout, cancer and birth defects.
    Alcohol and cars together don't cause traffic fatalities.  People cause traffic fatalities.

    Weak regulations and lax enforcement don't cause massive chemical spills.  People cause massive chemical spills.
    If you don't want to go with the thought-provoking route, you can always do humor.  ALways base your humor on something you know.  For example, what it's like to have children:

    If you don't want to go with something hilarious or thought-provoking...  Er, well, I can't help you there.
  3. Go back to Facebook.  It's a better use of your time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pinhole Quiz

You've read Pinhole, but you're probably wondering: would I be as awesome as the characters in the book?  Well, now's your chance to find out!  Just take this personality test.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014

One of the best things about (temporarily) switching my blog from five days a week to once a week is I get to wait to make up my New Year's Resolutions until the next year.  What can I tell you?  If companies can claim their (fiscal) year ends whenever they want to, I can claim my (blogging) year ends on a Friday.

I checked back on the resolutions I posted the last few years and I decided to try and post real resolutions this year.  I know, this is a blog about me trying to be funny, but isn't surprise a critical part of humor?  Isn't not being funny a surprise?

Laugh, bastards.  Laugh.
Anyway, I have to come up with something real.  Here goes.
Since my first novel, Pinhole, sold 5,000 more copies than I expected, I figure writing is going to be a part of my long-term future.  To that end, I want to:

·        Finish my latest novel (called either One Thousand Secret Sorrows, The Loom of Sorrows, or What the Fuck Am I Going to Call This Book?)

·        Get an agent for aforementioned novel so I can get a real publisher this time

·        Self-publish the Pinhole audiobook

·        Finish revising Pinhole to get the annoying errors out (I have a page of mistakes to correct)
I've never been able to shake the game making bug.  I'm volunteering with my local IGDA chapter, I go to the GDC every year, and I teach game design whenever anyone asks me to.  However, I can't seem to get my own games finished. So:

·       Finish "Flux Warden," the text adventure I started programming in 2006.  It's almost done.  Honest.

·       Finish "Maid Max Cleans Up Haunted House Hill."  It's almost... Started.  Honest.
Nothing.  I plan to do nothing for my family.  I do enough for them by just being so awesome.  They're lucky to have me around as it is.

BirthdayDo something memorable for my birthday.  I do something cool every year, but I'm running out of ideas. Having done glass blowing, skydiving, public performance, and questing, I'm stumped.  I made a list, but it's mostly classes {filmmaking, flying, cooking, blacksmithing, driving} and one suggestion of going to a gun range to learn why people are so into shooting things.
EntertainmentThe big weight on my back is all the entertainment I want to play/see/read, but never get around to.  My shelves are stuffed with unread books and unplayed games.  My Netflix queue is over 400 films long.  There's so much, when I sit down to play/read/watch I'm relieving a burden more than trying to have a good time.
I'd like to get all my backed up entertainment cut down to a level where I can enjoy it again.

KnotsI need to cut back on:
·         Facebook

·         Picking my nails (nervous habit)

·         Being mopey
One of my ex-girlfriends used to loudly and frequently joke that I had a "concave chest."  She's dead now, but her taunts still ring in my ears.  I want to get me (as Ren once said) huge pectoral muscles.  I've been working out and, in all honesty) I now find my arms and shoulders bigger than I'm comfortable with, but I still have that concave chest.

Aaand that's it.  All my resolutions for-  What?  Oh.
Seems my editor/wife wants me to do the...

CookingOnce a week.  I used to do it every day, experimenting with recipes from The Herbfarm Cookbook and its sequel.  Then, one day, I stopped.  Coincidentally, I stopped the same day my child started eating solid food and complaining about it.
Welp, hitch up your pants little one.  Daddy's back and he has a skillet full of fried sage.