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American Idol Season 4

Finally, one of my all-time favorite shows has returned to Fox for season 4. Last night was night 1 of American Idol 2005. Round one is by far the most sensationalistic part of the show. For the first 2 to 3 weeks of the show we get to see incredible but unpolished raw talent, and people who make utter fools of themselves on camera. Read more »


Objective Value and Objective Concepts

Ayn Rand on an "Objective Theory of Value:"

The intrinsic theory holds that the good resides in some sort of reality, independent of man's concsiousness; the subjective theory holds that the good resides in man's consciousness independent of reality.

Murder Vs. Morality

It seems like every time I get into a discussion regarding civil liberties and the inherent problems with attempting to "legislate morality," I manage to encounter someone who can distinguish no difference between justice and morality.

The statement I heard today and have heard spouted by at least 3 dozen other people to date is:

"There's nothing wrong with legislating morality. We legislate morality all the time. Murder is illegal and its immoral." Read more »


American Idol Revamped

This year American Idol is getting a revamp. From the home page: Read more »


NASA\'s Deep Impact

From Cincinnatti.com:

"We're back on (the timeline) and look forward to our encounter with comet Tempel 1 this summer," said Rick Grammier, the Deep Impact project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Trade gap

Via USATODAY.com:

The Commerce Department said the trade gap, which economists had expected to fall from $56 billion in October, instead rose 7.7% to an all-time high of $60.3 billion. The trade gap for the past 12 months is now more than $600 billion, the largest share with China.

"We now have the Grand Canyon of trade deficits, and there is no saying it will not widen further," Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors.


How bad is TV?

From Reason, here is an article about how bad TV really is for us.

Critics ceaselessly point out television's alleged faults. The growing girth of the nation is blamed on it; increased violence; higher levels of teen sexual activity; and finally, we are assured, the idiot box is generally dumbing us all down.

Brain Candy

Funny how Reason articles always feel like a guilty pleasure to me. Here's a great article called: Everyday Acts of Resistance: Do brain scans prove that people are powerless against chocolate cake and porn? Read more »


The Rental Market at Work

I have to admit I find the idea of Blockbuster having no late fees a little surreal.

A customer will have a one-week grace period after a rental due date. If a movie or game is not returned during that week, it will be automatically sold to the customer. If the item is then returned within 30 days, the customer can get a credit to his or her account.

Its Nice to be on this side of the Atlantic

Via RRND :

Apparently in the UK criminals have the right to defend themselves regardless of what they may be doing at the time.

'We must protect victims and law-abiding citizens,' he said. 'But we have to recognise that others have some rights as well. They don't lose all rights because they're engaged in criminal conduct.'

The Cautionary Tale

A while back NOVA ran a special on world population called "World in the Balance." On their website they feature an article about Easter Island. It's about how the growing population of the people on the island, the Rapanui, destroyed the natural habitat and ultimately their own economy. Read more »


The Strange Talents of Congress

Here's an article about the latest go-round in the medical marijuana fight.

The Bush administration argues that Congress has found no accepted medical use of marijuana and needs to be able to eradicate drug trafficking and its social harms.

Wow. I had no idea that the members of congress were medical experts capable of determining the exact medical use of a substance. Read more »


Do We Need Death?

The question I want to pose is not whether or not we need the necessary death that comes when are bodies have been traumatized beyond repair, or even voluntary death when one decides that their life is no longer livable. Those forms of death I expect to always exist, and should always exist.

The question is do we need senescence? Does humanity need mortality to be a foregone conclusion? Or could we exist as a species where death occurred only by choice, and trauma (typically accident)? Read more »