Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Some movies are so bad, that they end up being hilariously good. Some movies, though, are just bad. And this is the case for The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It is a bad movie, it really sucks.

What can anyone say about this movie? Yes, there were a few hilarious moments, and more than a few references to other movies, from Toy Story to Star Wars. Yes, there is Nicholas Cage, and Monica Bellucci at the end. But even those moments could not save this movie. Nicholas Cage is a good actor, and despite the stupid dialogue at times, and the cheezy moments or something, he manages to show his talent.

As for the script, well, I think that it was so cliche, so predictable, that you could guess the whole movie after the first few minutes. The dialogue was really stupid at times, and only a few hilarious moments saved it from being a complete and utter disaster. It was just total disaster.

The only person who knew how to act in that movie, and who made his character believable at times, was Nicholas Cage. But even a good actor cannot save a really bad movie from terrible dialogue and a done-to-death story. And at times he was just delivering his lines, just like reading with no feeling or interest in the role at all. Bellucci appears in the last very predictable minutes of the movie, but nothing at all from her either. Even the kiss at the end, between Cage and Bellucci, was cold, emotionless, just get it on and be done with it.

As for the boy that played David, he's not even handsome at all. What is a girl going to do at a bad movie if there are no abs to look at, at least? Not even that. At least New Moon had some good abs... despite being a bad movie (oh, and yes, need to see Eclipse. They say it's a bit better than New Moon). 

It was not even in the category, at least I had some fun and forgot myself for a couple of hours. Not even that. While I was watching the movie, there were times I wanted to dash out of the theatre, and I have had the same urge with very few movies. I wanted to just leave the movie theatre and maybe go for a meal or something. Something else than this movie. Okay, to be fair, it is not the worst movie I've ever seen, but definitely would not have gone if I had to pay for a full ticket. Fortunately, me and my friend paid half-price and we'll get a discount for a meal on TGI Friday's next Monday. At least this movie was worth something...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Scienceblogs on FIRE!

With the PepsiCo incident, Scienceblogs lost a number of good science bloggers, and it is still losing a lot of people. And now, my favorite Scienceblog, Pharyngula is on strike.

My opinion on the PepsiCo incident is that it was a huge blunder by Seed Media. There was a conflict of interest between the scientists-bloggers and PepsiCo. What if a blogger wrote something against PepsiCo? What if someone took a post of PepsiCo's and showed how flawed it was? Would that have been okay? Or would have the management of Seed Media silenced the scientists because of the big money PepsiCo was handing over?

PZ Myers was saying that he does not want to leave Scienceblogs. He has a lot of effort invested in SB, and that he did not want to move his huge blog. But, because of the way the scientists-bloggers are treated, he is on strike. No more Pharyngula for now, and it is a huge pity. A huge loss for Scienceblogs and the Seed Media.

I hope they wake up, and address the problems. Losing bloggers like that, and good bloggers on top, is not going to help Scienceblogs; in fact, they are already losing credibility in the blogosphere, and the internet in general. WAKE UP SEED MEDIA.

I want my favorite bloggers back. I am not going to read anything on Scienceblogs, anymore, until the situation is resolved. And many people will probably do the same. I want Pharyngula back...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Of quotes and the Bible

In another post for this blog, namely the one on Small Gods, a member of blogger and probably fundamentalist Christian, has quoted a verse from scripture as a comment. You can quote all the scripture you want at me. I am not going to change my mind because of a book of myths!

Believers, and most notably fundamentalists, use circular logic in using the Bible as evidence. They argue that the Bible is the inerrant word of god. But when asked how they know, they answer, that it is written in the Bible! Where is the external confirmation that the Bible is the word of god? Where is the evidence that the Bible is the word of god?

If I am going to change my mind about the existence of any god(s) then it should be because of evidence. And not just any kind of evidence. Scientific evidence. The evidence on which computers and nanotechnology are built upon.

Saying that you have personal experiences of god(s), does not impress me. There are a lot of people out there who have varying degrees of personal experiences of the paranormal sort. Some see ghosts, some hear voices in their heads, etc. etc. And everyone who happens to have the personal experiences with god(s) usually communes with the kind of god s/he believes in. Never a Muslim has had a personal experience of Jesus or a Christian a personal experience of Buddha or anything similar. Christians commune with Jesus, the Virgin Mary or the Holy Spirit or some saint or other, but always of the same religion. And the same is true for every religion there is. So, no, personal experiences are not even remotely convincing evidence.

Another argument is with miracles. What miracles? I have not seen any miracle today. Some lightshows, where people see mysterious lights around a church or a holy place, and pareidolia, where people see the face of Jesus or the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus all over from Kit-Kats to toasts... No, that is not evidence either. Lightshows are usually explained by science. As for pareidolia, I am certain that I can see the face of David Bowie and Darth Vader too... Just our brains wired to see patterns. Our brains are wired to recognize patterns, and many times we see patterns even where they do not exist, or recognize some familiar things all over. Like in the clouds. how many times have we seen cloud formations that are similar to a familiar shape? That is also pareidolia, but we do not worship the clouds. So, no neither the lightshows or pareidolia cut it for me.

There are miracles of the medical kind. Sick people getting healthy and similar. And most of the times, because the doctors and nurses did everything they could for those people. Some ailments were due to psychological factors, and people believed they were cured when they in fact were not ill. Just their brains playing tricks on them. Some other "miracles" are not documented; people just say that this person or that got well because of the prayers, blah blah. But when asked for the evidence, mainly the medical records of these patients, they are non-existent or most of it is missing. And let's not forget that the human body is not as fragile as some people want us to think. We have an immune system and that system can be activated to fight off a number of diseases, even cancer. Yes, Virginia, there are people whose immune system fought cancer successfully. So, no miracles do not exist. There is no evidence of such.

Some use the fine-tuning argument. Really? The universe is fine-tuned for life? Oh, well then, we should be able to find conditions suitable for life everywhere! But wait, we know of exactly one planet with life: Earth. And then there are millions of things that are trying to kill us! From bacteria, wild animals to radiation from outer space, and more. So, where is the fine-tuning again?

Some others will use the morality canard. That we cannot be moral without a god of sorts. Oh please! Do you really need the fear of punishment and eternal torment to be human? To follow the humanistic principles? Do you need an oppressor and sky daddy, a tyrant, to tell you that you should not kill? Can't you think for yourself? And as for other moral issues, a lot of religions make me sick. Their stance on abortion, on homosexuality, on womens' issues is totally inhuman, racist and hateful on their part.

I am pro-abortion. The decision, the final decision, lies with the woman. What would a woman do with a baby she does neither want nor can take care of? There are many issues to consider, and I am certain that most women do not take this decision as lightly as some people may think. As a woman myself, I am glad that in my country, I have the option of doing an abortion. Of doing it with a proper doctor and not some quack out for a quick buck. That I can do it in a hospital where any complication can be treated properly. After all, it is my body and my choice in the end.

As for homosexuality: I do not care what anyone does in their private lives, as long as it is between consenting adults. Homosexual couples have, in my opinion, the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples. They should get the same benefits, they should be able to adopt, they should be able to live their lives free from any prejudice. And most prejudice and racism against homosexuals comes from religion.

I will not go into the misogyny of most religions. Just read the Bible and the Koran, and there is not much else one can say or do. It is as if the people that wrote these books hated women.

So, no, I do not need a god to be moral. I do not need to be afraid of hell and punishment, to be moral. I do not need to be saved from sin. I don't believe in sin. Sex is not a sin. Neither eating meat on Friday is a sin. And the whole sin edifice collapses when we see that the original sin is nothing but a myth.

I adhere to the humanistic principles. Why? Because I am human, I grew around humans, and was educated by good people. I am not a sinner; I do not believe in sin. I am human. I made and still make mistakes; but I try to learn from them. And that is part of being human; that is part of life. I am not afraid of making mistakes; but I am afraid of not living my life, of being oppressed to worship some non-existent mythological being. I am afraid of not being able to express myself because of insane religious laws and practices.

I will not go into the whole creationism vs. science debate here, because, if I start on that there will be no end in sight for this post. Another time, I'll probably write about the creationist canards, especially when it comes to astronomy and physics which are more my passion. But let's just say, that creationism is full of holes, and the more someone tries to fill the holes, the more laughter ensues, with the stupidity and idiocy of creationists.

I am proud to be an atheist. I am proud of being able to think for myself, of not being afraid of a big tyrant in the sky. I am proud of using my brain constructively, of being able to really think critically.