Superstition Lives in the Strangest Places

I was at a friends place a few days ago. He had a couple of friends there I did not know, and the conversation turned to gremlin bells. They talked for a few minutes about the where and the whats about one of these things and I was at a loss to what they were discussing, and finally I said “what the hell are you talking about?”

Someone pulled one out of their pocket for me to look over, and I tried and probably not too well, to hide my skepticism which was probably oozing from my pores, as I looked it over. I was able to muster something along the lines of “that’s cute.” Then my friend pointed to the one hanging from his Harley Davidson, and while I have looked at the bike a few times, I never noticed the little bell thingy hanging from the bottom of it. Sure enough he had a gremlin bell in the shape of a tiny hand grenade hanging there.

So, my obvious question was “what the heck are they for?” I was informed in short order about gremlin bells. I was told they keep the road gremlins from causing equipment malfunctions and other road hazards… I tried and not too well, to feign a mild interest in the subject, and all the while was a little dumbfounded upon the whole topic. I honestly don’t know the religious leanings of this person and his wife, they don’t have obvious religious symbols decorating their surroundings, and the topic of religion has yet to come up, which in my opinion is a good thing. So I have assumed that they are only slightly religious, if that. And I have seen no need to bring it up and possibly ruin my association with them. In other words, what I don’t know can’t hurt me. And I’d rather keep it that way. The thing is though…

You just never know what kind of weird little superstitious oddities might jump up and bite you in the ass when you are out there among the people you might know. I kept having the insane urge to ask them if any of them had ever actually seen a road gremlin, but managed to keep my ornery-ness in check. At least it turned out to be good blog fodder. I will leave it at that.

So, you think I’m crazy?

http://www.gremlin-bells.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20

http://samhoustonpost95.org/Legend%20Of%20The%20Gremlin%20Bell.pdf

What do you think now? Looks to me like a good story to sell gremlin bells to superstitious monkeys. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and hope it doesn’t come up again…

Quote of the Month

I decided to make some time to get a post in, I have been awfully “otherwise busy” with life of late, and my blog posting has suffered from the malady. I didn’t even get a Quote of the Month in last month, for which I feel like a lazy scalywag. So, I thought perhaps I’d look for a good quote this time, and I figured Hitchens should have some good ones out there. While I was researching Hitch, I stumbled across this quote.

It is by of all people, Bruce Willis. Now I will have to admit I am a fan of Bruce W. I like every movie I have seen him in and would dare say some of those movies are classics. Even if I have seen his movies, I usually don’t mind watching them again if nothing else is on, there is just something about his characters that seems to ring true.

Anyway, the quote:

bruce-willis-on-religion

In my personal religious history, I have occupied several positions through the years, including vaguely favorable of religion (deist), to attempted acceptence of religion (wanna be religiot), to I’m not so sure about all of this crap (agnostic), to an out and out atheist. At some point in my agnostic phase I pretty much felt exactly and Mr. Willis does here. As I still do today.

The biggest problem with this quote, is that religions in general aren’t dying out quite quick enough to suit me. Though the latest numbers, according to new data samples is favorable. Perhaps in my childrens, grandchildrens lifetimes there will be a marked decrease in the influence of that ancient mind fuck known as religion. I can only hope for the sake of humanity, religion goes ahead and dies its painfully agonizingly slow death. With few if any around to mourn its loss.

Clearly There Must Be Something Wrong With This Study

I can’t quite put my finger on it, oh wait now I see it. This study does not jive with what any of my readers would already know. The study title and its claim?

“Nearly 70% of evangelicals do not view religion, science as being in conflict.”

http://news.rice.edu/2015/03/13/nearly-70-percent-of-evangelicals-do-not-view-religion-and-science-as-being-in-conflict/

Firstly if 70% of evangelicals do not see a conflict, then they are simply very good at deluding themselves. This must be the major determining factor at play here, which would offer a meaningful explanation for the result. You could probably throw in a questionable sample issue among other things that must be skewing things.

This finding is biased, or incorrect in some fashion. I have seen too much to clearly indicate that the claim here does not fit the evidence. When you have buffoons all over the country denying evolution, decrying climate science, screaming they didn’t come from no monkey, claiming fossils are of the devil, and claiming their magic book is factual, I think there is some apparent conflict with the study.

When you have an entire political party making outrageous claims clearly against the evidence, and then when questioned resort to “I am not a scientist” I think we have a problem with this study.

When you have an entire nation full of hateful, bigoted, homophobic, racist, assholes who claim their bible is the source of their inspirations, I think we have a problem with this study.

When we have potempkin village science pretenders with religious based ideologies, building enormous facades dedicated to the denial of science and evolution, I think we have a problem with the study.

Anyone want to help me look for a grant to do a better study?

EDIT:  Son of a bitch. I just noticed the study was done with a grant from the Templeton Foundation! Now I get it…

NUTHER EDIT: I left a comment there, I wonder if it will stay up?

AND ANOTHER EDIT: Since my comment hasn’t been posted yet (if ever) over there at the source of this bogus study, I thought I’d drop a rough recreation (didn’t save the original) of my post there, here.

“Please explain then the existence of AIG, The Discovery Institute, The Templeton Foundation, And the ICR.

Oh wait, I just noticed your study was done with a grant from Templeton. Case closed. Major fail.

Perhaps you should go back to scratch and start over. This time without using a grant from an institution dedicated to blurring the lines between faith and evidence based science.”

I got a shiny new nickel says my comment will not get posted. 🙂

 

Die Rockettab, DIE!

I tend to do a lot of surfing on the net, as I’m sure most of us do. Not too long ago I noticed on my Craigslist surfs that this popup was intruding upon my experience. Rockettab. I tried using its own disable option, that worked though only briefly. The next time I quickly sniffed it out through the control panel and deleted it.

Then of late everywhere I go Rockettab is back, and in a hugely offensive way. It is in 2×2″ blocks all across the top and right side of the screen, and it takes two clicks to “X” them out. Then when you go to another page, guess what? You have to “X” them out again. Needless to say this gets old quick.

So, I did a search to see how I could disable this obtrusive pest. I found a freebie download (which is where you usually pick up all the crap like this you don’t want on your computer) and in desperation downloaded it. I just ran the first scan and it found over 150 adware/malware items, which were quickly destroyed.

I feel like a movie supervillian! They are gone! For now anyway. Now I just have to wait and see if my freebie download has anything in it that proves to be an issue.

I remember when there was spyware, which tagged along and kept up with your computer comings and goings. Somewhere though spyware turned into adware. It doesn’t just see what you are up to, it keeps up with that AND uses that information to spam you with unwanted advertising. All over your computer screen. There ought to be some sort of consumer protection to keep us from having to put up with this kind of invasion of privacy. Perhaps in the future some congress critter will agree.

Oh, I used Malwarebytes Anti Malware. If anyone has any info or tips to share please do.