Penn & Teller on creationism, and why the Bible is “Bullshit!”

Here’s a funny little excerpts from Penn & Teller‘s episode on creationism from Bullshit! series.

These episodes run 30 minutes each, and counting 69 through 6 seasons. A mixed-and-cut, 10 minute version of the episode on the Bible is available on YouTube:

I can’t say that I really loved the series. I found them a little bit boring – I rented two DVDs from Netflix and by the end of the first one I’d had enough. There’s too much comedy in it for me, and too little facts.

But there’s something about magicians (which is what Penn & Teller started as, at least partially) becoming debunkers. The one that stands out of them all is, of course, the great James Randi, the man who I passionately admire, who used to put up his own money against paranormal claims. Randi deserves a separate post (and not one!), but amongst other famous magician debunkers I can list Harri Houdini and Joe Nickell.

I think the reason is simple. Magicians deceive the public while the public is aware it’s being deceived, and that’s what makes the experience so astounding. Psychics, fortune tellers and other charlatans use pretty much the same tricks and techniques, but mislead the public into believing they’re genuine. That outrages fair magicians as they often do the job much better but yet never claim paranormal abilities.
(to be objective, I must add that not all psychics are charlatans – a good chunk are delusional, true believers in their own “powers”, even after it’s been demonstrated in controlled experiments they don’t possess any)

MC Hawking on Entropy

mchawking1hawking

Wow, this is just hilarious. MC Hawking does gangster rap parodies on Stephen Hawking. And yes – his lyrics is also synthesized! 🙂 Here’s his take on entropy:

Some of the best lyrics quotes from Wikipedia:

“I explode like a bomb. No one is spared. / My power is my mass times the speed of light squared.” — from “E=MC Hawking”
“In the beginning there was nothing, not even time / No planets, no stars, no hip-hop, no rhyme. / But then there was a bang like the sound of my gat; / The universe began and the shit was phat.” — from “The Big Bizang”
“You ever drop an egg, and on the floor you see it break? / You go and get a mop so you can clean up your mistake. / But did you ever stop to ponder why we know it’s true? / If you drop a broken egg you will not get an egg that’s new?” — from “Entropy”
“I’ll stuff you in the box like Schrödinger’s cat / You’ll be dead and alive until such a time as that / I check and make the wave function collapse /And if you ain’t dead I’ll cap your ass…” – from “Rock Out With Your Hawk Out”

Here’s a comics video which, according to the YouTube comment, is the official video for the song “What We Need More Of Is Science”:

BTW, you can buy MC Hawking’s greatest hits CD on Amazon.

freedomOf5peech counts Kent Hovind lies

freedomOf5Speech, another YouTube activist whose channel I highly recommend, decided to count Kent Hovind‘s lies. Here’s from the video description:

I watched 30 minutes of Kent Hovind, and found 82 lies or false statements.

Many videos debunking Kent Hovind exist on YouTube. I felt that it’s pointless to make YET ANOTHER commentary video with details about Kent’s lies… it’s been done, and if you still believe Kent’s bullshit, search YouTube and you’ll have hours and hours of debunking to watch.

Instead, I wanted to make a quick video (without commentary) that moves quickly, and shows just how often Kent lies… and it’s fucking hilarious!!! I hope you laugh as much as I did making it!

Yes, he repeats his lies, and I counted them. Yes, some of the lies are not obvious, but they are lies, and if you have a question about a specific lie just ask and I’ll answer it for you. Some of the lies are just humor, but technically still lies (like when he claims his Creation Museum is the best place on earth).

Very funny. 🙂 And disturbing. 😐

But wait, there’s more! This little contest got a very recent development, as VenomFangXD (not to be confused with VenomFangX!) posted a reply video on November 8th counting 102 lies in under 42 minutes. I like this one even better, though they’re both funny:

Microsoft Re-Designs the iPod packaging

On the topic of simple interfaces, here’s a neat parody on Microsoft vs. Apple I came across. Actually, I learned of its existence from the latest book by Andy Hunt which I’m reading now – Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware. I’m just one chapter into it, but it seems to be a great book. And if you like this video, make sure you watch the Simplicity Sells techtalk by David Pogue – it’s just as funny.

And here’s another short Microsoft vs. Apple parody, now the iPhone:

Posted in humor. Tags: , , , . 1 Comment »

BOFH video – “The Website Is Down”

This is just a gorgeous BOFH video. BOFH stands for The Bastard Operator from Hell, the main character of stories by Simon Travaglia that first appeared in 1992 on Usenet. I was already doing computers in 1992, and I remember Russian translation of these stories appearing on local BBS and FidoNet. The stories are about a rogue system administrator taking out on the users. These stories grew into a saga, which was later published as a book, and then another, and then another. There’s also an WWW edition of the stories, and here’s a little taste of it:

“What can I do for you?” I ask pleasantly – (one of the key warning signs)
“Um, I want to know if we have a particular software package..”
“Which package is that?”
“Uh, B-A-S-I-C it’s called.”
>clickety clickety d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e<
“Um no, we don’t have that. We used to though..”

🙂 Now this video takes it all to a whole new level:

Since the video contains Russian subtitles, I’m bound to provide a Russian translation of this post:

[Russian translation]

Офигенное видео в стилистике BOFH. BOFH = Bastard Operator From Hell (в переводе “Ублюдок-оператор из ада”, а иногда ЧМО – Чертов Мерзавец-Оператор) – главный персонаж кототких рассказов Саймона Траваглия, впервые опубликованных в 1992 году в сети Usenet. В 1992 году я уже был компьютерным маньяком, и помню русские переводы этих рассказов на Питерских BBS и в Фидошных эхах. Рассказы эти – о злобном сисадмине, отрывающемся на невинных пользователях. Из этих рассказов вырасла целая сага, по которой потом напечатали книгу, а затем еще несколько. А в сети есть WWW-редакция этого добра, и 11 оригинальных частей переведены на русский язык. Вот небольшой отрывок оттуда для примера:

“Чем я могу вам помочь” – спросил я вежливым тоном. Это один из основных признаков опасности.
“Я хотел бы знать, есть ли у нас одна программка…”
“Какая?”
“Называется B-A-S-I-C”.
>клик-клик-стук d-e-l b-a-s-i-c.e-x-e<
“Мне очень жаль, но у нас ее нет. Была когда-то…”

🙂 Ну а это видео поднимает тему на новую высоту.

Posted in humor. Tags: , , , . 6 Comments »

TED: Brain magic by Keith Barry

Irish illusionist Keith Barry performs jaw-dropping “brain tricks” in this 2004 TED talk. It’s so amazing sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s nothing but deception of mind. Compared to this, deceitful “fortune tellers”, “healers”, “psychics” and other “magicians” look quite primitive, and yet they still succeed in fooling thousands (if not millions). Just goes to show how easy it is to be tricked. The “miracles” performed in the Bible which Christian Literalists believe, even if have “happened”, might have been quite simple tricks.

Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

“Silly Money” by Bremner, Bird and Fortune

This is simply a marvel. John Bird and John Fortune perform this hilarious sketch of an interview with an investment banker on the topic of Subprime Crisis:

I’m not sure whether the next one is a continuation or a beginning, but here the same couple discusses Credit Crunch:

And if you liked these two, you’re probably gonna like the continuation which was reportedly filmed on Nov 2nd:

Part 1

Part 2

According to Wikipedia article on Bird and Fortune, this all is a four-part mini series called “Silly Money”. So far, I’ve found three. If anybody knows of the fourth, or the correct order of the sketches, please let met know!