Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is Anti-Science

October 05, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Reviews, Science, Skepticism 3,373 views

The Lost SymbolI started and finished Dan Brown’s new novel, The Lost Symbol this past weekend. While it was a heck of a can’t-put-it-down thrill ride, the overall message and theme of the book was very disturbing to me. It seems like, after pissing off The Church with The Da Vinci Code, Brown has decided to do a 180° and fire in the other direction, at Science.

Spoiler Alert: I will not discuss any aspects of the plot in this post, nor any of the puzzles that are solved along the way. What I will discuss is thematic elements, particularly as they relate to the “science” in the book. If you want to be completely surprised by everything you read in The Lost Symbol, read no further, but I promise you can read this post and still enjoy the exciting twists of the book.

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Dan Brown's Writing

October 05, 2009 By: erik Category: Reviews 1,023 views

I started and finished Dan Brown’s new novel, The Lost Symbolthis past weekend. It was quite the page turner. What follows are a few comments on Dan Brown’s writing style.
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Don Eduardo

October 02, 2009 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Photos, Spain 121 views

WhiskeryOn Sunday, we took an afternoon walk up to Upper Colindres, and we saw some horses. Nora seems to like the big docile creatures. One horse is particularly fond of her, too. This time we didn’t let him touch her, since he was suffering from a runny nose.
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Messy Eater

October 01, 2009 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Parenting, Timelapse, Videos 123 views

thumbI do have to admit that feeding Nora vegetable puree is actually kind of fun. After the first feeding, I realized, “So this is what bibs are for!” After the second day, it occurred to me to ditch the bib, as the shirt underneath always got stained anyway, and why wash two items when you can only wash one? A feeding session seemed like the perfect occasion for a timelapse video. So here we go…
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Kung Fu Baby

September 30, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Videos 276 views

thumbEver since she kicked me in the kidneys from inside her mother’s uterus, I’ve had my suspicions that Nora may, in fact, be a ninja. The video you are about to see is only one piece in a growing mountain of evidence I’m building towards proving my ninja theory. When I’m trying to dress her, sometimes she moves so fast that Jackie Chan would be left blinking in amazement. Imagine trying to get these legs into a pair of trousers!
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Holy Angles of Burgos

September 30, 2009 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel 115 views

Burgos Cathedral AngleI really like cathedrals. They are a testament to what humans can do with good planning, hard work, creativity, patience, and good funding. I am left in awe by the meticulous detail of carving stone after stone after stone with the exact same shape, so that, when stacked together, they form perfect beautiful lines from floor to canopied ceiling. So I have a pillar fetish, so what?

Below are some photos I took during our recent visit to the Burgos Cathedral that didn’t quite fit in with the main post.
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Nora's First Veggies

September 29, 2009 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Parenting, Videos 155 views

thumbLast Friday, the day after her six month birthday, we took Nora to the pediatrician, who gave us permission to start giving her vegetable puree, fruits, and even meat! Rather than grill her up a good t-bone steak, we’ve decided to start with the vegetables, so Marga made her a leek, carrot, and potato puree, while I set up the tripod to capture the event on video.
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Thinking in Green

September 28, 2009 By: erik Category: Funny, Marketing, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Spanish 710 views

Piensa en VerdeThe marketing slogan for the Heineken in Spain is “Piensa en verde“. This translates to “Think about green”, since the word “en“, which normally means “in” or “on” is how you say to think “about” something, in Spanish. It’s just another one of those weird quirks that confuses language learners going in both directions.

My brain, however, always reads the Heineken slogan as “Think in green”, which is not necessarily an incorrect translation. I like how it sounds better. It really wouldn’t make a bad slogan for them in English. It captures momentum from the “Go green!” environmental movement without actually promising any environmental efforts and works well to help you pick out the color of the product packaging when you see it.
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Zapatero's Daughters

September 26, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Funny, Photos, Spain, USA 17,902 views

thumbDear President Barack Obama,

I am writing to you on behalf of a friend of mine, Andrés, who works at the local grocery store and who helped get you elected by witnessing my absentee ballot when I voted for you. After the recent political scandal involving photos of President Zapatero’s daughters with you, he felt such shame and embarrassment that he asked me to write to you on behalf of himself and all Spaniards to apologize and to inform you that all Spaniards are not as rude and disrespectful as Zapatero’s daughters…well maybe all the teenagers.
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Enlightenment Dreams

September 25, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Weird 113 views

Ever since recently being lured by the siren song of Lisp, I’ve been having some seriously bizarre dreams. Lisp, for me, is paralyzingly flexible. It allows for so many programming styles that when I sit down to start using it to tackle a problem, I have no idea where to begin. It’s like sitting down at a restaurant and having a menu with 500 items on it. It’s paralyzing. Choice makes humans miserable.
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