• "Tens of millions of Americans, who neither know nor understand the actual arguments for or even against evolution, march in the army of the night with their Bibles held high. And they are a strong and frightening force, impervious to, and immunized against, the feeble lance of mere reason." -Isaac Asimov
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Episode 1.02

1.02 is live!

Taking the technical follies of 1.01 into considering it should be much cleaner. I am still learning all the inner workings of my audio software so please forgive any slight audio mishaps.

35 min, 44 seconds (roughly 25mb)

Can’t stream it? Stream cutting off early? The Feeble Lance – ep1.02 (right click and hit “save link as”)

– Brief rant about the media, the universe didn’t explode!, go waterboarding at Coney Island, Utah (of all places) has their head on straight when it comes to religion in classrooms, Doomsday, why so serious?! and Ray “Atheist Central” Comfort

Links, as always, can be found on the story links page.

I really wanted to get more in about the Georgia conflict but as quickly as that has changed in the last 24 hours, and will likely continue to do so, I left it very brief.

Something to say but you don’t want to post it here? Email me! Contact@thefeeblelance.net

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6 Responses

  1. Here are my comments for episode 2:
    Story One: As an INTELLIGENT person, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Edwards and whatever he does personally. Apparently, I’m part of a dreadfully small minority in this poor stupefied country. The media is to blame for this, as well as the stupid idiots who drink in the vacuity of such stories like fresh innocent blood to a vampire. Not much difference really. Most people who watch the “news” are zombies, acting on whatever they’re told as commanded by the all-mighty “anchors”. It find it disgusting.

    I didn’t care what Clinton did with his cigar and I don’t care what Edwards did with his personal life. As you say, politicians lie. But yeah, I’d much prefer someone who is capable, trustworthy in politics, and respected by other government officials who gets a little something-something from some random lay than a bible beating “christian” who lies to my face, chuckles like a good old boy, then systematically takes away my rights, is hated and despised for the hypocritical despot he is by other countries, and is carefully turning my once strong country into a police state full of mindless bible thumping morons.

    And please don’t apologize for having an opinion. Ever. We’re listening to you to hear that opinion. You can, however, apologize for derailing the train when you do so… ergo, getting longwinded. But honestly, you didn’t do that here.

    Story 2: Large Hadron Collider: Sounds amazing! Thanks for talking about it. Very cool stuff is happening! 🙂

    Story 3: Coney Island Waterboarding: sounds like fun for the whole family!

    Story 4: Education about religion: I’m not sure, but I don’t know how I feel about this. I think teaching a class call comparative religions is good, yes, but I don’t know about that in a public school. I think for awhile anyway, it should be simply, no religion in public schools. Period. Let’s just try that for awhile. Because I don’t trust people to be objective at this stage with a class like that, and personally I think it just needs to be removed, constitutionally speaking. Your experience seems ideal though. The Utah school seems like it’s doing it ok, but still, I think they need to just stay the hell out of the whole area of gods and teaching any religions. Unfortunately, I feel that it’s a bit optimistic to think that people can handle this objectively and without personal agendas. I do see your point though, that it’s educational, not indoctrinational, and I agree, I just think it’s idealistic.

    Story 5: Doomsday: I think people love to scare other people into being controlled. That’s what it does for the doomsday mongers. People can’t just be happy, my friend. They need to control, dominate, and are essentially greedy. You hit the nail on the head.. padding their pockets by fear-mongering.

    And I have to also say, I think trying to get a doomsdayer of any sort to stop their diatribe of fear is like trying to get the sun to stop shining. Your best bet is to disassociate yourself from that person. Really. They’ll never change. Don’t give them an audience.
    Story 6: Ray Comfort: Mouth-breathing homophobic bible thumping moron using simplistic terms to talk down to simplistic people. I wouldn’t say good job to him, though. He’s a hate mongerer. I think you’re way too kind to this creep. He’s not hilarious. He’s not funny, and I think you take him way too lightly. Such malicious intent should not be laughed off. Maybe I’m taking such a fool too seriously, but in this day and age, I don’t think that’s possible.

    So, I’m just good for laughs!? Well, I guess that’s not so bad. 😛 Power to the One True Deliciousness who is firm and loving in all things! LOL

  2. Thanks for commenting Fruitloop. My wall of text detector went off but you’ve actually written all of this yourself so I’m forced to dig in! 😛

    Commentary on your commentary:

    1. We seem to agree, hardly need to waste valuable intertoob ink discussing this further.

    I only apologized at times when I felt like I was on a bit of a rant but didn’t want anything said to hit the cutting room floor. I’ll keep your comment in mind going forward, won’t apologize and attempt to keep my rantings in check 😛

    Also, I’m still working on getting a different mic setup. The sound is OK but I’m not too happy with the background. It’s partially my fault as well, which I’m working on 🙂

    2. The LHC bit was the only part of this installment that really gave me a hard time. I wanted to mention it because it really is something amazing to me but I didn’t want to come off like I was pretending to be some sort of expert…hard line to draw on such a subject. I do feel I was a bit long winded here but I did what I could. I refuse to script anything in advance so it’s always a risk.

    3. This was meant as an amusing toss-in after your comment last week about being so peeved after listening , glad it lightened things up a bit.

    4. I see where you’re coming from on the education of religion issue but I have to formally disagree with your stance. I think keeping the future generations of this country educated about the people around them, locally and globally, is far too important. The paperwork is only one step though. Finding teachers that would be willing and able to present the lessons properly would be another battle entirely in some states, an impossible one perhaps.

    5. Intervention, maybe? It works on some drug addicts and I’d liken the ravenous, uncontrolled consumption of this kind of material to an unhealthy addiction.

    6. Oh, don’t for a second think I have anything kind to say about Mr. Comfort in jest. I congratulated him on attracting more of his opposition then his target audience…sorta like telling someone “good job!” for loosing. I do, quite honestly, find his site and his commentary hilarious. The content may not be but the mere fact he takes himself so seriously and might actually believe what he says makes me laugh. I’m laid back enough to take it in and giggle, fully understanding that hate would only beget hate, yet the cantor of his views can surely piss me off.

    Read the Nexus blog I have linked about his ‘atheist starter kit’ if you want a bit more insight into how I feel about his opinions. I’ll be recording it this week with some revised commentary as well.

    As for giving you props…You’ve been more then laughs but that’s the shining thing that stands out to me when thinking about our conversations, so I mentioned it 😀

  3. Hey again, Hess,
    Well, I wouldn’t need to be so wordy if you didn’t talk for 35 minutes straight! LOL I’m just replying as I listen. I can’t help myself! 😀

    1. Awesome. Good, we agree. 😀

    2. I totally appreciate that nothing is scripted and that you were trying to be yourself and not some pompous ass Alex Trebeck kinda dude. (sorry if I spelled his name wrong, but honestly, I don’t feel like giving him the respect of looking it up) 😛 I was simply telling you that you were being a bit long winded in your defensiveness about not being a scientist. Perhaps a simple sentence simply saying, I’m just a geek, so I care, but certainly not a scientist, would cover your bases but still give you free reign to talk about it?

    3. Um, yeah. I think you kind of missed the boat in what I was saying about a happy story. Personally I feel the idea of torturing people is barbaric and downright stupid, so I didn’t think this was light at all. I mean, yeah, it’s good that someone is bringing attention to it. But what I MEANT was, some happy story about something positive. I can’t think of anything offhand, but this wasn’t it! LOL. Hopefully we can talk about it in the future, and I can explain what I’m thinking. You don’t have to agree, of course, but I would like to at least get my point across.

    4. I agree with you that people should be educated about religion in an objective way. I just don’t think we can pull it off at this stage. That’s all I’m saying. Certainly not in the bible belt. It’s just not a reality. Personally, I think kids should be taught a lot of things in public school that aren’t. Such as basic math, how to balance a checkbook, basic personal finances, how credit cards work, REAL history, not just the American perspective, the list goes on and on… sex ed… etc etc…. so I think teaching tolerance is incredibly important. I just don’t think we are capable as a society to do it at this stage. That’s all I’m trying to say.

    5. Intervention hardly ever works. An addict of any sorts can only break free of their addictions when they are truly ready. Anyway, I wouldn’t call this an addiction in the normal sense. I think greed and hunger for power aren’t really addictions like alcoholism. But it’s early in the morning and I’m still bleary-eyed. Perhaps you’re right. I don’t know. I think the solution is ridicule of such people. If everyone laughed at them, they could go stand on a street corner and mumble inanely, and we could all ignore them. The real problem is some people thrive on hearing such melodramatic lies. They eat that stuff up with a spoon!

    6. Ok, maybe it’s because we’ve just recently met, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious in the podcast and when you’re being sarcastic. While I can laugh at such situations as well, I am deeply disturbed when I feel someone is lying and manipulating others with vacuous bullshit, such as with religion and propaganda, etc. Because gullible idiots take this stuff at face value. In your podcast, it seemed that you respect the idiot in a way and that it’s all just fun and games.
    Maybe I’m being too serious, a stick in the mud, I don’t know. I probably am, I just find it frustrating that sheeple listen to such inanity and take it to heart, and giving him a voice and making it lighthearted, just rubs me the wrong way.

    I read the Nexus blog of which you speak. I’m glad you replied to each point.

    And I’m glad I make you laugh! Eat your breakfast!

  4. Quicky reply to Loop:

    2. Noted. In hindsight a sentence would have sufficed. As I get more comfortable with the format I’m sure my rants will become more concise. Maybe I need a copy editor of sorts? 😛

    3. I see your point, it’s just that I was having a hard time finding a timely, happy story. I think it, once again, comes down to sarcasm.

    4. I see your point and agree, somewhat. Prepping kids for the realities of life and helping form objective little minds should be the goal of public education, hands down. Don’t even get me started on the version of history and politics give kids here in the U.S., that’s another rant entirely.

    5. Intervention for those that perpetrate the lies would achieve nothing but for those addicted to the message…perhaps. It’s an issue of faith and people tend to get defensive beyond reason when it comes to what they hold to be true, so it would be a serious uphill battle.

    6.“In your podcast, it seemed that you respect the idiot in a way and that it’s all just fun and games.” Certainly not fun and games but I won’t attack the guy for having an opinion. I’ll rebut with my own opinion and say how I feel about it but I won’t attack him as a human being. He’s entitled to say as he thinks, just like I am. If sheeple eat it up and beg for more, that’s their game and likely wouldn’t be convinced or enlightened otherwise. If he wasn’t running his website as an anti-atheist campaign I wouldn’t bother mentioning him at all. The way I see it, people can think whatever they want to think and discuss it among themselves freely but once it becomes a platform for telling someone else they’re wrong because they don’t agree…that’s unacceptable and open to ridicule.
    See previous comments about why I find the man, more or less, amusing. 😉

    Will be addressed further and perhaps finally, later this week.

    Breakfast eaten, no worries there!

  5. Hey there! I very much enjoyed the podcast today at work…actually, my one major suggestion is that is be a little longer. Preferably about four hours long–that would cover my shift and help it slip by as painlessly and as entertainingly as possible.

    Here are my two cents, quite literally, one for two topics.

    1. Concerning the teaching of religions in school. This is one of those things where what makes sense and the feeling of revulsion I have at the thought collide and make it hard for me to decide what’s what. If it was up to me, I’d wave a magic wand (oooOOOooo) and all the religions would be gone, not a trace to be found, and humanity would wake up, blink their eyes, look at each other, and go “what was THAT?” And then go about their daily lives without the poison that religion can bring. Clearly, that’s not going to happen, and with that, my revulsion should dissipate. I wish I had taken a comparative religion class, or had more time on my own to look into it in more depth. I think you’re right, it IS important for kids (budding functioning adults) to know, and the sooner the better, really. As soon as they’re really able to wrap their heads around it, which is probably high school.

    My question for you is, in the class you took, was time spent on atheism? If so, was it as much or as in depth as the time spent on the various religions? My two problems with this are 1) I hate the idea of a lack of belief being lumped in with belief. It gives atheism certain undeserved negative connotations that come with religion, and that I’m just not for. 2) On the other hand, I feel our lack of belief should be given equal time in a class like this if students are to get a well-rounded look at what the world offers. I think the moniker ‘Comparative Religion’ should be changed to something more akin to describing a class not just about different faiths, but the *views* of different groups ON faith, which is a very different thing.

    2. Large Hadron Collider. I get all excited about stuff like this, but like you, I’m a total layman. In fact, I’ll go so far to say as I’m borderline retarded when it comes to this stuff. I’m comfortable with letters; you throw numbers at me…even simple little equations…and my brain turns to cheese. There are few things more mind-blowing to me than physics. When someone says that atheists are no fun because they take the magic out of life, I say ‘physics, bitch.’ I wish I had a better understanding of it.

    I thought your explanation of what was going on was exactly the sort of thing someone like me needs–short, simple, direct. When one says they’re colliding particles, someone else might say, ‘so?’ But when you say they’re recreating conditions immediately following the Big Bang, well, then it’s a different kettle of fish. Suddenly, there are implications. Well done, and keep us up on the goings on over there in Geneva–home of Frankenstein and the LHC! Oh, the Swiss and their science! 😉

    All that being said, I was wondering if you could clarify something for me. I know you hate the cut & paste, but I’m making a point here. Here’s what Wikipedia said about the LHC (bear with me):

    “The initial particle beams are due for injection in August 2008,[2] the first attempt to circulate beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for September 10, 2008,[3] and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on October 21, 2008.”

    First, I know…it’s Wikipedia. I wouldn’t cite them in a paper, or use them to form ideas and decisions about important global topics, but I do think they’re generally pretty good for simple details like this. My point: I am wondering if the tinfoil hat people can’t really relax until October, when the collisions actually take place. It sounds as though this month, they’re really just turning the thing on. 🙂 There’s still lots of time for the universe to be replaced by another universe accidentally created by those wacky folks of CERN, or get sucked into a microscopic black hole! Har har…

    Okay, that’s enough. I look forward to the next episode. Oh, and yay for the shout out! 🙂 Thanks! Oh, and big thanks for the Georgia/Russia update/information session. It saved me probably two hours of searching, searching, searching online to make heads or tails of it. Cheers!

  6. Latin,

    If I could come up with 5 hours of content and make it not completely boring I probably would. I’m not sure many would bother to download it though 😛 I do, however, have a few ideas in mind for some “specials” on only one topic to do between regular airings. I’d so love to do one on the situation in Georgia but by the time I got it all recorded the information might be out of date. As mentioned, I’ll be doing on about Ray Comfort’s “atheist starter kit” and my own serious version. My fieldtrips to the RNC could provide some goodness as well but that is going to be seriously hit and miss so I’m not banking on anything.

    Both episodes to date have fallen into that 35 minute area quite by circumstance. I decide what I’m going go on about and let the times fall where they may. I could easily do an hour but I don’t know if I have quite the style or skill to hold peoples attentions that long.

    The class spent no time at all on atheism, beyond the day we did our little ‘hello, I’m so and so’ self introductions. It never came up because the instructor hadn’t worked it into the curriculum and no one bothered much to ask. The few of us that were atheists were quite OK with it. This was 1998, in a high school with a graduating class of nearly 1,000, in one of the more well-to-do parts of the state. The football team got just as much publicity as the speech team and theater department…it wasn’t a horribly biased or religiously infused environment.

    I do agree that this day and age it should be covered in such a class. ESPECIALLY with all the vitriol and stereotyping that goes on from the ever growing xian propaganda machine. There isn’t much to cover but if you had some objective and open minded theists in the room you could likely spend weeks trying to break down how it is you live day to day without the all powerful jeebus guiding your path. ‘Comparative Religions’ is a bit misleading, I agree. ‘Spiritual beliefs of the world and the lack thereof’ is a bit long-winded though 😉

    As for the LHC. You’re right, this month was just the initial ‘turning of the key’ so to speak. The tinfoil hat people actually have a few years before the machine is running at full power. They have done some much smaller test beams to make sure things are in proper alignment but it won’t be at full universally destructive power until sometime in 2010 if I recall properly. Sadly for them it won’t be destroying anything at all but it will, however, be gathering an epic amount of data. A little paragraph from the CERN website I mentioned:

    The data recorded by each of the big experiments at the LHC will fill around 100,000 dual layer DVDs every year. To allow the thousands of scientists scattered around the globe to collaborate on the analysis over the next 15 years (the estimated lifetime of the LHC), tens of thousands of computers located around the world are being harnessed in a distributed computing network called the Grid.

    If my knowledge of DVD storage is accurate that’s about 12 petabytes of data in total.

    Most welcome for the ‘Kerfuffle in the Caucasus news update. NPR had people from both Georgia and Russia on this afternoon as well as one reporter on the ground in Tblisi which provided some great info and insight.

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