Saturday, February 18, 2012

"How many Unitarians does it take..."

From Clean Humor:

How many Unitarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
"We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence."


  1. Michael,

    Sigh ... What made you pick the least funny joke from the collection of jokes on the linked website?

    Although, the first few were infantile rather than juvenile.

    Some of the others had me laughing out loud.

  2. Insipid jokes make my other posts look even better.

  3. Michael,

    If that's your rationale, then you should have picked one of the infantile ones to make your posts seem preschool in intellectual level.

  4. It has come to my attention that some of you may be travelling to Canada soon, so I thought I would include this conversion chart for our winter temps etc.
    50 Fahrenheit (10 C)
    New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.
    Canadians plant gardens.

    40 Fahrenheit (4.4 C)
    Californians shiver uncontrollably
    Canadians Sunbathe.

    35 Fahrenheit (1.6 C)
    Italian Cars won't start
    Canadians drive with the windows down

    32 Fahrenheit (0 C)
    Distilled water freezes
    Canadian water gets thicker.

    0 Fahrenheit (-17.9 C)
    New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.
    Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

    -40 Fahrenheit (-40 C)
    Hollywood disintegrates.

    Canadians rent some videos.
    -60 Fahrenheit (-51 C)

    Mt. St. Helen's freezes.
    Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

    -100 Fahrenheit (-73 C)
    Santa Claus abandons the North Pole
    Canadians pull down their earflaps.

    -173 Fahrenheit (-114 C)
    Ethyl alcohol freezes.
    Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg (beer).

    -459.4 Fahrenheit (-273 C)
    Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.
    Canadians start saying "cold, eh? "

    -500 Fahrenheit (-295 C)
    Hell freezes over.
    The Leafs win the Cup!

    1. The Leafs win the Cup!

      It certainly won't be the CH!


    2. CrusadeRex,

      Just a slight quibble. At absolute zero, 0 Kelvin, atomic motion doesn't stop. There's still a slight quiver. This is to confirm with Heissenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which is a fundamental property of the Universe, not just an artifact of measurement of location and velocity as the popular analogy explanation puts it.

      You have to have some uncertainty in momentum (mass times velocity), otherwise the product of uncertainty in momentum and uncertainty in position will be zero, which isn't allowed.

      Admittedly, this is theoretical. According to the third law of thermodynamics, it's not possible to cool a system down to absolute zero in a finite number of steps. Hell, not that it exists, would certainly freeze over before this happens. Even a black hole has some temperature above absolute zero, as Hawking radiation evaporates even the most massive black holes in the centre of galaxies over hundreds of trillions of years.

      There ... I've taught you something useful. A quantity you won't find in 'the Last Superstition'.

      30 years ago, I used to have as a work colleague, a Canadian refugee, who had to flee the hideous Canadian winters for Perth's balmy Winters. In Perth, it rarely got below freezing point then. With global warming, it now rarely gets below 3C. I haven't used heating in Winter for 10 years, and I'm thinking of replacing the gas hot water system with a solar hot water system.

      Anyway, I digress. The Canadian climate refugee claimed that when she was in Canada, she never saw the sky in Winter, and whenever she went outside it was in a car traveling from one undercover garage to another, or in underground malls connecting shops in the city.

      Time for the guess two words in the CAPTCHA (completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart). According to the last Scientic American, it should stand for 'computers annoying people (with) time-wasting challenges that howl for alternatives.

    3. @bachfiend

      I do hope that, by now, you know why, on this blog, we secretly (or not) refer to you as Poker-Face, The Mummy or Dr. William P Van Der Schaff

    4. At absolute zero, 0 Kelvin, atomic motion doesn't stop.

      What about Bose–Einstein condensate, herr professor?

    5. Hell, not that it exists...

      Question: Is Hell exothermic or endothermic?

      Answer: First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing with time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

      As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

      Since there are more than one of these religions, and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell.

      With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

      Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell; because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

      This gives two possibilities:

      1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

      2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it?

      If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Teresa Banyan during my Freshman year--"...that it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you."--and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then #2 cannot be true; and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and will not freeze.

    6. Pepe,

      Perhaps, in your own words, instead of linking to a web page you're incapable of understanding, you might explain what a Bose-Einstein condensate is, and what it has to do with the absence of atomic motion at absolute zero.

      I did note that it was a slight quibble. It's a very common misconception that atomic motion ceases at absolute zero, but common doesn't make it true.

      Bose-Einstein condensates are cool, almost as cool as helium II, which flows uphill and is impossible to confine in open containers.

      I have to make a correction. I stated that super massive black holes would evaporate in hundreds of trillions of years. Actually, it would take 10^100 years, which is starting to get into seriously long periods of time.

      Anyway, I don't expect to be around to see it in any case.

      You don't like the traditional picture of Hell, as illustrated in Dante's 'Inferno', do you? There, the lowest circle of Hell is frigidly cold, and the damned embedded in ice. It was only after the City of Dis were the heretics punished by heat and fire.

      I think Teresa Banyan was just showing good judgement, in not wanting to run the risk of debasing her obviously superior genetic material, in perfectly understandable Darwinian fashion.

      Perhaps, that's the reason you have an animus against Darwin ...

    7. @bachfiend

      It's really really really hard to make you laugh!

      Maybe you should stop worrying about global warming and the formation of continents... and forget I mentioned Bose-Einstein condensates.

      FYI, I have nothing against Darwin as a man only against his untrue and unproven theory. I think he was aware that his theory was pure fiction; this explains why he waited 20 years before publishing. He finally did publish because Huxley persuaded him that it would help support the worldview of materialists who would buy his book en masse (Dawkins is doing the same thing now) and, besides, Wallace was going to beat him at the post.

      Money talks, you know!

    8. Bach,

      "The Canadian climate refugee claimed that when she was in Canada, she never saw the sky in Winter, and whenever she went outside it was in a car travelling from one undercover garage to another, or in underground malls connecting shops in the city."

      We take in refugees from all over the world.
      While most of them stay, it is true some cannot take the climate and seasonal shift of temperatures and light. I have known more than one Indian fellow, for example, that has moved to Georgia or Florida exactly for this reason. Many of us who can and do like the shifts will take a 'break' in the winter and go south for a few days.
      I am glad your friend found a safe haven where they fit in. You are certainly blessed with a beautiful land, 'Down under'. Actually, some of my (retired) inlaws are headed there for an extended holiday shortly. Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji on the way back.
      Must be nice :P

      What I find curious about this statement is that the two cities that have the 'walk' or 'path' underground system you describe, at least of any note, are just not so bad. Montreal and Toronto.
      Both those cities have fairly European climates.
      Toronto, for example, has had hardly any snow compared to our region which is a few hundred km removed. You would sure think they do listening to them, but they get less than 20% of what we do... and ours is no real big deal. They are also about 5C warmer than us on average (water and jet stream etc).
      They are also in areas have some very nice winter days.
      It is a beautiful one out here right now. Sunny, a soft layer of overnight snow, clouds in the distance over the bay. Must be about -2c?
      Lots of nice winter days/ Crisp and clear. Or with scattered puffy snow clouds.
      Beautiful and VERY bright. I worked in the core of Toronto for years. Never bothered with walk, except when taking visiting friends to see it, or making a short-cut while Christmas shopping.
      Maybe your friend means the short days? The sun sets early in the winter, and very late in the summer. In Toronto and Montreal it is not so extreme (approx 04ish-21ish) but once you get up to Northern areas of the provinces or head above 'the circle', it is really something to experience! Anyway the normal shift in hours leads us to get up earlier in the winter months to preserve day light hours. If your pal worked right through these and lived in the core, I presume that is why they did not see the sky. I worked a few jobs like that in my 20's, and it is no fun. These days I quite enjoy the winter. I get out and get into it. We hike, snowshoe, ski, skate on elaborate ice trails through canals and rivers. We skidoo, and play hockey. We have all sorts of outdoor festivals and carnivals, the most famous (and utterly fun for all) being Quebec City's.
      But let's be honest. Winter in Canada is NOT for the 'wimpy'. If you have not grown up with it even the nicest spots like the BC / Alberta Rockies, SW Ontario, areas of Quebec or Nova Scotia would seem VERY cold and dark in the winter months and very warm and with never ending days in the summer.
      To a fellow such as you Bach (or say a Mexican or South African friend), I would recommend you visit in our Autumn/Fall. It is not only very temperate with warm days and cool nights, but you can take in the various harvest festivals (gain a few kilos) and bare witness to one of natures greatest displays in the colours. Late spring through summer is gorgeous too, but spring can get wet, and summer proves too hot for many (unsuspecting)folks.

      Oh and PS:
      "There's still a slight quiver."
      Where there's a quiver, there's still hope for a BBQ. No quiver? Party moves indoors.

    9. CrusadeRex,

      The 'climate refugee' was sort of tongue in cheek. I think she came from Toronto, she certainly had an English not French name. I suspect that cold plus snow is easier to tolerate than cold plus wet. When I visited Helsinki in 2001, the tour guides complained about the previous relatively snow free winter, with rain up to February. At least snow gives you the advantage of snow sports. I find personally that cold plus wet seems to go right through to my old bones.


      Inaccurate as usual.

      Darwin knew that his theory would meet with a lot of criticism, so he was accumulating as much evidence as he could. He was planning a much larger work.

      He knew he had to have a scientific reputation to be taken seriously (similar to having a PhD nowadays is almost necessary - Jack Horner doesn't have one) so he did his monumental study on barnacles (and came to hate them as no man ever has).

      Chambers had muddied the waters with his 'Vestiges of Creation' setting forward an evolutionary viewpoint. A popular book, but one that got a lot of criticism from the science community, so Darwin knew he had to make a very good case.

      Darwin didn't write or publish the book for money. He was rich from the inheritance of his father. He didn't need to earn an income.

      You have a tendency of writing absolutely stupid one liners, such as your Bose-Einstein condensate, and then not explain them.

      I do have a sense of humor. I found some of the jokes hilarious.

      And the science of human induced global warming is settled. It's happening. Face reality.

    10. @bachfiend

      Lying (and believing these lies) as usual!

      Once you got money, the next thing is fame!

      Explain to me why Charlie waited 20 years to publish? I bet he did not want to look like a fool publishing a theory that he himself falsified twice:

      1) the fossil record, that he left to future generation to provide the proof of, and after 150+ years, no can do!

      2) the development of complex organs, like the eye (he got ulcers just thinking about it!) that he finally brush aside with a "moving on from that difficulty". Does irreducible complexity ring a bell for you?

      His first version of Origins included a reference to a Creator in conclusion, a reference that has now been removed by stupid materialists like you, because they, and you, are afraid to face Reality!

      Original version:

      There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one.

      Modern militant atheist version:

      There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one.

      bach, your really are a fucking liar! But remember that in the last seconds of your life...

      Nobody dies an atheist!

    11. @bach

      Your sense of humor stinks! Must be coming out of your wazoo...

    12. Pepe,

      No, you're wrong. The first edition didn't include 'the Creator'. That was added in the second and subsequent editions.

      Darwin wrote six editions of 'On the Origin of Species', editing each according to the comments he'd received from readers.

      Absence of evidence isn't falsifation of the theory. Not having the fossil record isn't a proof against the theory. Even if we didn't have any fossils today, Darwin's theory of evolution would still be on extremely strong footing, because we have numerous independent lines of evidence indicating that evolution occurred in the manner that scientists state.

      Darwin was asking a rhetorical question about how a complex organ such as an eye developed, and then proceeded to answer it. And the answer is true today as it was then.

      I explained to you why Darwin took 20 years to publish 'Origins'. He spent around 9 of them on his two volume work on barnacles. And engaging in the 19th century equivalent of the Internet, with writing a lot of letters to other naturalists, seeking information.

      I have a very good sence of humor. I put up with your idiocy for a start ...

    13. Darwin theory of evolution is to biology what geocentrism was to physic 1000 years ago.

      You should grow out of your textbook, bach, or else you will miss the coming revolution.

      We haven't yet even scratched the surface of the complexity of life!

    14. The answer Charlie gave to the appearance of the eye is known today as a Just So Story!

      Did you know, bach, that the moon if made out of cheeze?

    15. Pepe,

      When I point out that you transposed the 1st and 2nd editions of 'Origins' to fit your 'just so story', you then ignore your blunder and proceed to make unsupported assertions.

      Well, your Christianity is just 'a just so story'. You don't have the slightest evidence for it besides your incredulity of reality and the wish for consoling fictions and your need to ignore concrete realities, which need to be faced up to.

    16. bachfiend,

      You are free to believe in the scientific equivalent of geocentrism and flat-earth and to adhere to the Darwinian religion.

      As for me, I will side with reason.

    17. Pepe,

      'Reason' that allows you to write completely wrong statements, such as 'Creator' appearing in the first version of the famous last paragraph of Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' (admittedly the only part I've read more than once), and not admitting your error in subsequent comments.

    18. bachfiend,

      After some Internet research, I must admit you are right! I have found this regarding the mention of a Creator in The Origins:

      When one goes to the trouble to investigate all of Darwin’s life and works, and not just his ending comment in The Origin, it becomes evident that the references to a “Creator” were nothing but a sop added for two distinct reasons: (1) while Darwin’s family was not at all religious, his wife (the former Emma Wedgwood) was extremely so; references to a “Creator” apparently represented an ill-fated attempt to “keep peace” in his own home, and with her relatives (her grandfather was Josiah Wedgwood of Wedgwood pottery fame); (2) Darwin undoubtedly recognized, even before The Origin was first published (on November 24, 1859), the impact that the book would have, and wanted to “soften the blow” by tossing in, here and there, a reference to a “Creator.”

      Conclusion: Darwin was a complete hypocrite prick! That goes a long way in the understanding of what he wrote in The Origins which is the most boring book I have ever read. Crap never pays off!

    19. I am working on a book entitled:

      On The Origin of Atheism

      with the following subtitle:

      How half wits believe they can change the world by insulting those who contradict them.

      I would like to soften the blow in my concluding chapter. Any suggestion, bachfiend?

    20. Pepe,

      How about softening your new book with the final sentence:

      "But of course, this final sentence, and the previous pages, all ten of them, will never be read by anyone with the slightest intelligence".

      I'm not certain whether it's true, in was in the film 'Creation', but it's said that Darwin presented his manuscript for 'Origin' to Emma, and gave her the right to decide whether it was to be published or not. She is supposed to have said 'yes'.

      Darwin would have been a hypocrit if he'd hidden his agnosticism. He didn't. When Emma and family went to the local church on Sundays (a distance of a few hundred metres from Downe House), he'd accompany them and walk around the churchyard during the service.

      Actually, I don't take pleasure in contradicting for contradiction's sake. If you write bullshit, I point it out. You're an idiot in accepting whatever you read on the Internet that supports your worldview and rejecting anything that contradicts it.

      At least I, if I find something surprising, make the effort of finding the facts before deciding.

    21. bachfiend,
      ...accepting whatever you read on the Internet that supports your worldview and rejecting anything that contradicts it.

      You do that too!

    22. Pepe,

      No I don't.

      For example, I rejected Monte Hieb's arguments against AGW not because they contradict my acceptance of the validity of the science of AGW but because he makes blatant errors in logic, in considering only the processes putting CO2 into the atmosphere without considering the processes taking CO2 out of the atmosphere in order to seemingly minimize the human contribution.

      There are enormous fluxes in both directions which are almost equal, giving an almost constant CO2 level (it fluctuates over the seasons each year), on top of which there is an increasing human contribution from burning fossil fuels (and land clearing) causing a steady increase in CO2 levels.

  5. BTW, Mike.
    I finally got my hands on a copy of 'Last Superstition', yesterday afternoon. The booklist still has not delivered (*shakes fist*), but my wife ordered it for me from Amazon.
    Great read, so far. Should finish this aft if I get some time to myself.

    1. It's a great book, crus. I learned more from it than I've learned from a book in many years. Feser is brilliant, and he takes no prisoners. You almost feel sorry for Dawkins.


    2. Just ordered my copy from Amazon. Can't wait to read it!

    3. I am enjoying it immensely, Pépé. A very well written polemic work, and EXCELLENT analysis of T-A philosophy (that from an admitted admirer of the Platonic school!).
      There are a few areas I could see myself and Feser killing a pot of coffee over...(and him killing me with refs) but I am more or less eating it up.
      VERY well written, and in a fun style.
      Now I am REALLY going to have to dust off the St Aquinas and St Augustine :P

    4. I have read "Gunning for God" by John C. Lennox. I really like Lennox style. He has debated Dawkins and often ran circle around DickyDawk atheistic arguments!

  6. One day a group of Darwinian scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one Darwinian to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

    The Darwinian walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."

    God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the Darwinian was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this? Let's say we have a man-making contest." To which the Darwinian happily agreed.

    God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."

    The Darwinian said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

    God looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!!!!"