Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BBC's A Night with The Stars

I just finished watching this BBC lecture/documentary. I must say that I am a fan of Professor Brian Cox. Both because I have read some of his popular science books and because I have seen some of the documentaries he has done for the BBC.

This lecture had exactly what is needed to popularize physics and to make people understand some of the laws and principles of physics. It was simple to understand, without any big words or convoluted sentences. It was delivered with humour and famous guests, like Simon Pegg. As a wanna-be physicist, and as someone who is deemed weird and eccentric at times, exactly for my love of mathematics and physics, this is the kind of documentary we need. People need to see that physics, and generally science, is not as strange or away from reality as some people think.

Plus there was Brian Cox delivering that lecture, who is always a delight to watch. He is passionate about physics, he knows how to present the material, he has humour. I will say it again: I am a big fan. Science needs more people like him, to educate more people about concepts that are central to everything! From our technology to our bodies, everything is physics.

I leave you with the Youtube videos of the BBC documentary.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Of reading and books.

I love books. I love to read. I love to study. I feel naked without a book in my bag. Sometimes, I may carry a magazine I am interested in, or my e-book reader; waiting to get the iPad, so I can carry a lot of books on pdf, or on the Kindle application for the iPad.

When I read, I get transported into new worlds, I get emotionally attached to the characters of the books, especially if they are good and interesting characters. When I read, I concentrate so much in the book and what I am reading, that I get startled even by the bell or the ringing of my phone.

Each book has its own life and story; from the writer's perspective to the stories of the characters, to our own perspective of the book, each book teaches something. Even the books we deem as bad or unreadable, they teach us something, even if it is to avoid this genre or this writer.

Sometimes I cannot concentrate enough to read. Sometimes, I am not in the mood for reading. But even in those times, I need to have at least a book close to me. Because my mood or concentration may change at any moment, and when it does, I want to have my reading material handy.

I have an e-book reader and I am also getting an iPad 2, in order to be able to read some downloaded pdfs, or other material, without resorting to printing. Or because the downloadable versions are much cheaper than the paper versions. However, the feel and smell of an actual paper book is unique. I love that smell, I love the feel of the paper on my hands, turning the pages...

As someone I value says, Giannis Servetas of Radio Arvyla fame, books are your best friend. They can be in your bookcases for a long time, and you will never hear a peep from them. The books will wait patiently for you to open and read them, they will be there and never leave your side. Unless of course, you have friends that are bookworms like you... 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

1 bn euros on... water and sugar pills!

Homeopathy: the belief that water has memory and remembers the "active" ingredients, and that the more diluted a drug is in water, the more potent it becomes.

I am not joking. That is one of the tenets of homeopathy. And I am asking. If water remembers, then why doesn't it remember the shit and the radioactive elements that are thrown all over the world? Or the CO2 or anything else that we all throw in the water?

And believers in homeopathy, or should I say a kind of magic, go and spend their money on water and sugar pills. And all they get is the placebo effect.

There have been more than 100 clinical trials on homeopathic drugs. And none of the drugs showed that they have any actual real effect. All they showed is that whether you take it or not, the result is the same. Only when people believe that it works, they improve somewhat, but it's the same percentage as the placebo effect.

1 billion euros is spent every year on homeopathy. 1 billion euros is the market for homeopathic drugs and homeopaths. And this is only in the European Union. How many billions is the homeopathic and alternative medicine market worth worldwide? And then they have labelled the pharmaceutical companies as "Big Pharma". And we skeptics have named the alternative medicine crowd "Big Placebo".

The difference being that first of all, actual pharmaceutical drugs get in the market after research and extensive clinical trials. It has been shown to work. It has been shown that it is safe and that whatever side-effects it may have, have no lasting effects on the body. Or if they have, the benefits of the drug are much more important than the side-effects.

But with homeopathic drugs or should I say water and sugar pills, there are no trials, no approvals from Drug Administrations, nothing. And we get to results like the ones for Zicam, a nasal spray labelled "homeopathic". However, it was dangerous for people's health as many people lost their sense of smell after using this drug: Zicam

How much money has to be wasted on methods that do not work, and that are proven to have risks for people's health? Homeopaths, and generally the "Big Placebo" crowd, reject proven medical treatments, in order to sell water and sugar pills, and methods that have no effect.

How much money has to be wasted on useless sugar pills? Instead of spending it for actual medical research on cancer, on AIDS, on stem cell research? Actual researchers around the world, people who are trying to improve our lives and increase our knowledge are starving for research money. And the gullible give it for unproven, untested treatments, for quackery such as homeopathy. 

About 2-3 years ago, I was enrolled in MSXR209  Mathematical Modelling, a mathematical physics course with the Open University. One of my fellow students was a homeopath, and we got into arguing about homeopathy. I asked him about clinical trials and scientific papers that show homeopathy to be effective. He told me that he would send me the relevant articles, and data via e-mail. Needless to say, I am still waiting...

Homeopathy is equal to quackery. If anyone reads this blog, please do some actual research on homeopathy and alternative treatments, and see for yourself. All they have is anecdotal evidence, and the placebo effect.

A couple of books I recommend on the subject are:

Trick or Treatment - Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst
Bad Science - Ben Goldacre

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

I found out about Hitchens' death yesterday morning, when I wake up and came to my PC to check for news, new stuff while sipping my morning coffee. All day yesterday, and it seems today as well, the internet has gone viral with the sad news of Christopher's passing.

I offer my small tribute to a great personality with this blog post. I am offering my sincerest condolences to his family and friends. A lot of people around the world, including me, were hoping that he would manage to fight his cancer. I was hoping to catch him in Melbourne in April, in the Atheist Convention.

I first learned of Hitchens when I came out as an atheist. My story is not very long nor very interesting, and definitely not important at the moment, but for anyone who would like to read it, the blog post is here: God? No, thank you. I first read Prof. Dawkins' book "The God Delusion", and I started frequenting the RDF forums. There I learned about the Hitch and other prominent skeptics and atheists. Needless to say, I bought his book "God is Not Great", and I also bought a copy for my sister as a present.

I liked his style. I may not have agreed with everything he said, especially some of his ideas in politics, after all, nobody agrees 100% with everyone else; however, I agree about his stance against religion and any kind of bullshit out there. Staying silent or being respectful of bad ideas is not the answer. Going against bad ideas, explaining why and not being condescending but fighting actively is the way to do it.

Christopher was quite a character. He had a unique personality, he knew how to talk and write, and he left us a big legacy. I am saddened by his death, but I rejoice in the fact that he will always live in the memories of people like me, and like you. He left us his writings, his debates and talks, but most importantly his ideas and stance on life. Let's embrace life, let's live it to the fullest of our abilities. That's what he did, and that's what he would want everyone else to do.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I bought the game because of a friend who recommended it. I did not start it immediately, after all I am a working girl and a student of the OU, so my time is limited, no matter how much I love games.

All I had to do was to start playing. Once I did I got addicted to Deus Ex, and wanted to know what happens at the end. What is in store for Adam Jensen? Why the mystery surrounding Megan and her team's death? All in all Deus Ex makes for a compelling game.

First of all, the story of Deus Ex: HR is compelling. You want to go further and find out what comes next, what happens at the end, who is behind it all. And make no mistake, there are a number of ways to solve each case, and sometimes, you get surprised by your choices. I did get surprised by my choice on Zeke Sanders at the start. In the end it came out that my choice led to some interesting developments. I played the good guy as much as I could, in the game, and now that I finished the game, I want to go back and try some of the other choices, in certain areas, like explore some stuff more, or go totally stealth/hack. No need for killing.

Secondly, most characters in the game are not one dimensional. For example, Frank Pritchard starts out having a bit of a problem with Adam Jensen, but by the end I would say, that both Adam and Frank become more friendly, more understanding towards each other.

Next, are the excellent graphics. Hengsha is a great city, I loved it very much. I agree with my friend Peter Harrison about Hengsha having that Blade Runner look. I also like the cut scenes, when I hit the Q key for takedowns. I mostly used the peaceful takedowns first time around, but I did kill with those blades a few times.

As for playing the game itself, one thing that was really good for me is that bosses were not as hard as I thought they would be. Except for Barrett, the first one, I think I spent most time on that one, this first time around. But maybe on my next round, I will use more grenades and stuff and he will go down much easier. Must remember also to get the dermal armor early, as well as the Icarus landing system.

All in all this is a game I would highly recommend. I have played a lot of games, and I do not get easily addicted to one, like I was with this game.And in a few days, the DLC with the extra mission comes out, and I am so waiting for that one. I also had the pleasure of getting the limited edition with the extra mission and weapons.

And for the end, I am leaving you with a funny image of Adam Jensen:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Church bells and trash.

I am an atheist and I am out. I don't hide it, and everyone knows my dislike of religion, and that at times I am a militant atheist. I have respect for people, but not for ideas or actions. If someone does something I find to be right, whether they are fundies or atheists or whatever, I will applaud them. If someone does something I find to be wrong, whether they are fundies or atheists, I will berate them.

This is a post about something despicable that a greek atheist woman did. Something that shows an uncivilized person, someone who has a lack of education and culture, someone who is literally a dirty person. Church bells in Greece (and in most countries) are sometimes a nuisance and create sound pollution. This girl is vacationing near a church that rings the bells every hour. As is natural, she was not happy with it. But what she did is what I find totally wrong. She went and emptied trash in front of the church door, and left a note.

I understand the note part. You can write a note and be polite, tell them about noise pollution and try in a civilized manner to make them stop ringing them every hour. I have some church bells that are being rang at inappropriate times like 6 and 7 o'clock in a Sunday morning, when I want to sleep a bit longer. But I would never empty trash in front of the church door, or anyone's door for that matter. I agree with leaving a note.

I disagree with the trash part. That shows a lack of respect for other people. She did not think of the cleaning lady that will have more work only because of pettiness. She did not think of the people that go in and out of the church and see that spectacle, of the children that may touch the trash or fall into it, and maybe put their hands in their mouth. The act of emptying trash in front of a church door, shows lack of respect for other people.

The extended environment we live in, has to be protected and kept clean. Whether we live in a forest or in a big city, we have an obligation to try and keep it clean and pretty. Throwing trash in the street or wherever for any reason is a sign of people with a lack of culture and education, of people without respect for themselves and others. I don't think I need to show pictures of the dirty sidewalks in Athens...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What if you were asked to pray by someone dying?

On facebook's page for the Greek Atheists and Agnostics someone asked the following question:

If someone who is dying, asked you to pray with him would you do it? 

A whole lot of people answered, and there was a debate going because I was one of the few people who answered that I would have said NO. It does seem to be cruel and unkind, but it's not. Not at all. Let me elaborate on this point.

I am an atheist. I do not believe in any god(s) and I will never accept such fantasies without some kind of scientific evidence. Most of my friends and relatives know of my atheism. Those who don't, is just because the subject has not been discussed. However, everyone knows that I will not go to church unless it is for a wedding, or a baptism, or a funeral. And those have to be about people that I am close to. Otherwise, I will not go to any wedding for a relative that I see once or twice per year. I dislike orthodox church hymns to the point of hatred.

So my answer, was no, I would not pray with anyone and for any reason. Not even if that person were dying. I am an atheist, and proud to be one. I do not change my practices and become hypocritical because someone is dying. That would be betraying myself firstly and my lack of beliefs, and being dishonest and a hypocrite towards the dying person. If it were me the dying person, I would prefer truth and honesty from people. So, it is not just about me and my lack of beliefs, but it also is about being honest and truthful to someone else.

Prayer is also supposed to be addressed to someone or something one holds to be a deity. Who would I even trying to pray to? And how can I even utter some phrases and be serious, when faith itself is ridiculous to me? Some people said, to pretend. But I cannot pretend to pray to someone/something I don't believe in. It would be insulting both to the dying person and to myself.

Another thing to note, is that I do not know any prayers. I just know the first couple of lines of one prayer. I stopped praying when I was a little girl, and never looked back. I did try and ask for some favours as everybody else has done, but those prayers were never answered, as is usual. People said to ask him what that person wants me to say. True, that could work, but the other problems remain.

What I could do though, is tell that person the truth. Tell him/her that I do not believe, that I am an atheist, and thus it would be dishonest of me to suddenly pray. It would be hypocritical and insulting for both of us. But, I would add, that I can stay silent and listen to that person praying. I would not mock or ridicule a dying man, and if his/her praying provides some comfort, I would not take it away.

What would you do in that case? Would you pray or not?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Talking internet ads.

There is nothing worse than advertising in internet pages. I never click those links at all. But what is worse are the ones with sound. WTF? Why do I have to close my speakers because some idiot decided that advertising with sound on the net is cool? Well, let me tell you a secret, people. It's not. I hate it. I don't want to listen to some idiot selling me stuff or telling me to answer a few simple questions so I can win a prize.

Please stop the internet banners with sound. There is nothing more annoying than trying to surf the web, and maybe someone has put some music on, and suddenly, hear someone selling whatever.

Stop the internet adverts with sound. As if the normal ones weren't bad enough.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Writing like Deepak Chopra and other woo merchants.

There is a template that is going around the net these past few days, about how to write like Deepak Chopra's woo, and similar. So I said to myself, that I should try and write some woo like that. I will use the given template, and let's see what I can whip up in a few minutes (and how hilarious it will be):

The mind is like an electron. In both cases when the interference pattern occurs, the physical reality of the wave-particle duality becomes apparent. It is only due to the field that surrounds us all that we can participate in the macroscopic world. From this we know that the quantum reality of the divine exists. Amazingly, lensing is the perfect analog to this phenomenon. This deep connection is the result of active ingredients It is thrilling that there is a fundamental link between us and the universal quantum mind and that consciousness is always found in the quantum decoherence.

How did I do? Please let me know, either with a comment here, or with a tweet @ladyjedi

I must say that this was more difficult than I expected. Maybe because I am studying physics and had to think a bit about what could really fit. Maybe I should not have thought so much, and just put in whatever came to mind?

The red words are the ones that I selected for my quantum woo. The rest is a template given in this blog post:

Deepak Chopra Mad Libs

Friday, July 01, 2011

Star Wars or Sex Wars?

We have items for both the ladies and the gentlemen! We start with the "Darth Invader" for the ladies!

This item is for the gentlemen. Need I say more?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

This is definitely one of the best books I have read lately. I can definitely understand why this book won both the Nebula and the Hugo awards, and more.

The story is set in Bangkok, in the near future, when the Earth is ravaged by man-made viruses, and companies profit from producing "safe" seeds and foodstuffs. Reading the descriptions adn the main story from the internet one may think that this is a book about economics and big corporations. While this is the setting, the book is about much more than this; the book is about human nature, about survival, about humanity in general.

The book is told from the viewpoint of 5 different characters. Each chapter a different character, and each character with their own motivations, their own background, their own hopes and desires. Initially, you think that there is no connection between some of the characters, but, as the story unfolds, the connections start to emerge. And in the midst of all this, a genetically engineered girl, the Windup Girl, connects the dots.

Some people have objected to the fact that the book "forgets" about some scientific concepts, and that it could be more scientifically accurate. My answer to this is that this is a science fiction book. Yes, it may have junk science, or whatever in it; the science is not the important point in this. This is not a scientific book; this is not a science textbook; this is fiction. Was Van Vogt scientifically accurate; were any others of the pioneers of science fiction or other writers? To me it does not matter, because this is fiction.

Some people may think that the changing perspective may tire the reader; but Bacigalupi knows full well how to avoid this, and each character brings something new in the story, his own unique perspective. At no point does this become tiresome, or boring. On the contrary, it keeps the reader interested, and you want to read just a page or a chapter more, until you finish it.

And the ending is not the "live happily ever after" ending. If you want that kind of ending, then this is not the book for you. This is the book where actions have consequences, and sometimes they have dire consequences. The ending left me with a bitterness, and sorrow. One that I still feel every time I think about the book.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

I read this book at Christmas, but at the time I did not want to write about it, or anything really. It was a dry period for my blogging, but it seems that I am starting to come back. But, this is about this wonderful book, and not about my non-writing periods.

This is one of the best books I have read up to now. This book describes a dystopia, one based on Christianity. Women made slaves to their womb, made to serve only one purpose: make babies. Their rights are taken away, their spirits crushed, girls as young as 14 made to marry in order to make babies. Books and knowledge are forbidden, people are kept ignorant.

This book after so many months still haunts me. I still think about this book, about the empty and lost time, that woman had to endure. To stay in an empty room with nothing to do, just waiting... The description of the ceremony, the description of the life of these women, the description of the Aunts and their practices, of how those women were made slaves to their womb. It is a nightmare scenario, but not as fictional as some might think. Just read the Bible, and you will see how misogynistic that book is. Read Paul's epistles and what he thinks of women. I cannot believe that that misogynist is worshiped as a saint by Christians!

Once I started it, and got into it, I could not put it down. I am going to put it in to my list of books that everyone should read.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I saw it last night in 3D. You do not need to know anything about the old comic books to see this, as it introduces the character from the beginning.

I was impressed with the stunning visuals of Asgard. I loved the city of Asgard, as it is seen in this movie.One of the most beautiful sights, is when it shows the stars and nebulas over the city of Asgard, the colours of the cosmic dust... That sky was quite impressive. All the special effects were well made, and the 3D was nicely done.

As for characters, Tom Hiddleston as Loki really wins the day with the performance he gives, and I expect him to return for the sequel. The whole cast is good, and the female audience will appreciate Chris Hemworth (Thor). The rest of the cast is also impressive: Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster... There is not much that you can say about actors of that caliber.

The story is more than enjoyable and interesting, despite being predictable. It had the right dose of humour, at the right places, and at no point did it become boring. I also liked the fact that there was no melodrama, despite there being a love story in there. In short, the script was solid, without any holes in the story, or becoming boring to the viewers.

THOR is one of the best fantasy movies of the last couple of years. I enjoyed it, I had fun with it, I forgot myself with this movie. What else can someone ask from an action movie?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Debunking Astrology

Astrology is false.

Astrology: what it is and what does it claim?

Astrology is the belief that the position of the Sun, Moon and planets in the ecliptic during birth of a person influences via a mysterious force the character of a person, and can determine his future.
Astrology claims that there are 12 signs in the ecliptic or zodiac, and that the Sun, Moon and planets spends one month in each sign. The 12 signs and their dates, according to astrology, are as follows:

NAME                                      DATES
ARIES                                     20 March - 20 April
TAURUS                                 20 April - 21 May
GEMINI                                   21 May - 21 June
CANCER                                 21 June - 22 July
LEO                                          22 July - 23 August
VIRGO                                     23 August - 23 September
LIBRA                                      23 September - 23 October
SCORPIO                                23 October - 22 November
SAGITTARIUS                        22 November - 22 December
CAPRICORN                          22 December - 20 January
AQUARIUS                             20 January - 18 February
PISCES                                    18 February - 20 March

The Mysterious Force that governs our lives, according to astrology.

But what is this mysterious force that emanates from the stars and planets? From the Moon and the Sun? That has so much influence in our lives? If we listen to astrologers, we are looking at a force that is not influenced by distance or mass.
There are four fundamental forces in the universe: the weak interaction, the strong interaction, electromagnetism and gravity. We can discount the strong and weak interactions as they have no bearing in massive bodies, those forces are responsible for reactions and effects within the atoms, like decay and nuclear fission.  We are left with two forces,  gravity and electromagnetism.

Let's take a first look at electromagnetism.  Immediately, we ran into the first problem: the planets are electrically neutral! There is no electricity coming from Mars or from Jupiter. And even if there was, the effect of electricity diminishes with distance. How about magnetic fields? The Sun's magnetic field is huge, and does influence the Solar System. However, not every planet has a magnetic field of the same strength, and again, the influence of magnetic fields diminish with distance. 
We have eliminated electromagnetism.

How about the last force, gravity? Again, we ran into a major problem: gravity depends on mass and distance. the more massive an object is, the more gravity but the gravitational attraction is less and less the further away we are from the object. So,  Mars does not exert the same gravitational influence as Jupiter does, and of course, the Sun is the most massive object in the Solar System.

Maybe there is another mysterious force out there, that influences our lives the way astrologers claim. If that were so, then scientists, especially astronomers, would have some evidence for this force. There would be some repeatable patterns, during births, or during major events, there would be something that scientists, actual scientists, would be able to measure. Even astrologers do not know what this mysterious force is!

The Constellations of the Ecliptic: 12 or 13?

Astrology is basing themselves into dividing the ecliptic into 12 equal parts. According to them, the apparent motions of the Sun and the major planets take equal times to traverse each sign.

First of all, there are 13 constellations in the ecliptic. There is also the constellation of Ophiucus. Have you ever known anyone whose star sign is Ophiucus? Let's look at the 13 constellations of the ecliptic, or more commonly known the Zodiac, and the actual times when the Sun is seen in that constellation:

NAME                                    DATES
ARIES                                    19 April - 14 May
TAURUS                                14 May - 21 June
GEMINI                                 21 June - 21 July
CANCER                               21 July - 11 August
LEO                                       11 August - 17 September
VIRGO                                  17 September - 31 October
LIBRA                                   31 October - 21 November
SCORPIO                             21 November - 30 November
OPHIUCUS                          30 November - 18 December
SAGITTARIUS                     18 December - 21 January
CAPRICORN                       21 January - 17 February
AQUARIUS                          17 February - 13 March
PISCES                                 13 March - 20 April

Let's compare the two tables. What is the first thing that we notice? That the Sun does not move through each constellation in approximately a month as astrologers claim, but that the times the Sun needs to traverse each one, vary from 8 days to more than 40 days! And of course, there is a shift of at least one sign to where the Sun is compared with the astrological table.

This diversity is mainly due to a natural phenomenon called precession of the equinoxes. This phenomenon is due to the motion of the rotational axis of the Earth. Because of gravitational influences, the axis traces a cone every 26000 years. The astrological tables as astrologers now use them, were compiled about 2500 years ago, in Babylonia. During that time, the axis has rotated by about 36 degrees, so its orientation has changed, and as a consequence, so have the apparent motions of the Sun and the other planets in the ecliptic.

The above shows that every calculation that astrologers make is simply wrong, because they have not taken into account actual natural phenomena, like the precession of the equinoxes, nor the fact that each sign does not occupy an equal area in the ecliptic.

Some interesting facts about the Solar System, stars, constellations and more, that astrology fails to consider.

Let's get back to the Solar System. Astrology does include the 9 planets in their predictions... 9 planets? But the current planets of the Solar System are 8! Pluto is officially a dwarf planet like so many other Trans-Neptunian objects.  There are a number of dwarf planets that have been discovered like Sedna and Eris. How about the asteroids between Jupiter and Mars? Shouldn't they exert an influence? How about some of the more massive moons of Jupiter like Europa? Or Saturn's moon Titan? How about Pluto's moon Charon? The comets? The objects in the Oort Cloud? But, no, astrology does not recognize those. Only the 9... err 8 planets and one dwarf planet, plus the Sun and the Moon.

What about before the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto? What did astrologers do, before the discovery of those objects? Didn't they notice that something was wrong with their calculations and natal charts? No, they did not. And that is more evidence that astrology is false. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered exactly because of their gravitational influences on the other planets. Minor gravitational wobbles allowed astronomers to calculate that there were more planets in the Solar System, to infer their positions and their mass as well.

Now, let's look at the night sky and the constellations. Imagine those constellations in 10.000 years from now (ten thousand). What do you see? If you are an astrologer, you see the exact same constellations in the exact same positions as today. If you are an astronomer, you cannot visualize the constellations.

The Sun and the stars in our galaxy orbit around the galactic centre. That means that even 2500 years ago the stars were not in the exact same positions as they are today, but have shifted, due to those motions. We cannot perceive this in our lifetimes because of the enormous distances and small velocity that both the Sun and the other stars have.  The Sun needs about 225-250 thousand years to make a full orbit around the galactic centre.

Just look at Barnard's star which is a star that moves quite fast, and its movement can be seen from year to year:

Stars also have a limited lifespan. It is huge compared to a human's life, but as everything else they die. Some in huge explosions known as supernovae, some more quietly.

And so, constellations change in the night sky. Not as fast as a human's life, but slowly through the ages. Enough though, that since the time of Babylonians to today, there are perceptible changes in the night sky.


There is no force to account for the mysterious force of astrology. The Sun does not spend the same amount of time in each constellation. There are more objects in the Solar System than astrologers can and do "calculate" for. Astrology forgets the precession of the equinoxes, the actual motion of the Sun and the stars, that contribute to the constellations changing shape.

The conclusion is the same as the abstract: astrology is false.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Ghost Whisperer: to whisper or not?

In the last month I started watching Ghost Whisperer, the TV series with Jennifer Love Hewitt in the role of Melinda Gordon, a woman that can see and talk to ghosts, and help them move on to the light. Anyway, I like supernatural shows, despite not believing in the supernatural, and debunking these silly claims. In fact I like Medium, and thought this might be a similar show.

I could not be more wrong. Medium has a darker twist, and not all is sun and sunshine. The theme of solving crimes and getting clues from the dead is definitely absent in Ghost Whisperer...

I watched the first season, and it was okay, with the same theme of ghost in need/family in need/Melinda saves the day/ghost moves on to the light/family happy. I thought this is the first season and the show is trying to find its footing and all, so I'll watch it. And I arrive at the first season finale, where it became interesting with the plane crash and Romano, as a nemesis for Melinda.

And we get to the second season. First episode, and we see the glimpse of getting back into the same old of the first season. I could really not watch past the 3rd episode, I started on the 4th but could not bring myself to watch anymore of the same shit. The show could have some darker twists, and it could have improved if those were integrated into the second season. But no, this is supposed to be a mushy show for the whole family, and at no point, do we want any of that imagination stuff! Same old shit, all the time.

I cannot really understand how a show like Ghost Whisperer which repeats the same pattern ad nauseam can stay for 5 seasons, and Firefly gets canned after the first season. How is it possible that Ghost Whisperer can have 5 seasons and Star Trek Enterprise gets only 4 instead of the usual 7?

I don't know how someone can continue watching more of that stuff... So, no more whispering for me.