Monday, January 30, 2012

Science and Religion are Compatible, book says

Where the Conflict Really Lies : Science, Religion, and Naturalism

I heard about this book on NPR. I invite you to listen here.

From what I understand, the book seems to have a very simple point, but one that really needed to be said and it so very basic and yet overlooked. The incompatability of religion and science just simply doesn't exist. They might not agree, but they aren't opposed to each other the way most people seem to think.

The mutual disagreement arises between religion and naturalism (often seen as atheism). Now, many scientific thinkers are indeed beleivers in naturalism, but athiem cannot be "proved" any more than theism can. Specifically, both cannot be observed, and are merely an assumption. Admittedly, certain elements of religion are implausible notions, at best, and are the ones most often thought of, such as fundamentalist creationism. But even there, room for thinking allows plausability.

Your thoughts?

As a book, I have no basis for real recommendation, one way or the other. At first blush, it sounds like the book could have made its case as an article rather than a book, or as an entry in a compilation, perhaps.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

MegaFauna park... Ooo you don't see this every day

Once you get past the dinosaurs, it gets much more interesting, in my opinion. I have to wonder about the materials used. Are they simply concrete statues, or are they textured?

my gaming profile (my reference)

The website keeps changing, and my gaming profile keeps getting deleted, so I thought I'd re-post the matter here, and also embellish a bit.

Gamer from Tulsa Oklahoma. Well, backup, I am born 'n raised Triad but moved to Oklahoma, now back since '09. I was looking for you guys for a while. I now go to MACE and SCARAB. I have been a GM at MACE (NC) and Conestoga (OK).

I was looking for a gaming group like I had known in Oklahoma, which knew and played Carcassone and Catan and such games, and I found it here. I have been very pleased.

I have a collection of games now (not especially big, but quite decent) which includes Carcassone, the Catan Dice Game, Hey That's My Fish, Classic RISK, RISK 2210, TransAmerica, Doctor Lucky, Anachronism, Martian Fluxx, Havoc, my repurposed 2-Player Star Trek Card Game, my repurposed Havoc on Parade, Citadels, The Great Dalmuti, chess, Pit, In a Pickle, Bang!, Alien Abduction, Guillotine, and Jishaku magnets. Wow, I have more games than I had thought!

Anyone who has met and played with me probably knows I lean towards the so-called "abstract strategy," more chaotic games.

The Catan Dice Game was my first modern purchase, after chess and classic RISK and a large Star Trek collection. I began my hobby interest in the 90s with the Star Trek Customizable Card Game, played tournament-sytle not unlike Magic. There was a long break with intermittant chess, RISK games, and video games until I found a Eurogames group out in Tulsa. It has snowballed from there. Unlike most gamers of our type, I have never played D&D. I have joked with my girlfriend, in high school I just wasn't cool enough to play D&D. Ha ha!

Looking to someday buy Blokus, The Stars Are Right, Nuclear War, and maybe Forbidden Island

Timeline limited to my gaming background:
1997-2002 Star Trek Customizable Card Game, video games, RISK, chess
2002-2007 almost nothing
2008 awakened to Catan, Carcassone, Citadels, Fluxx, RISK: Godstorm, RISK: LotR, Nuclear War, and others
bought Catan Dice Game, Guillotine, The Great Dalmuti, Abduction
attended my first gaming convention, Conestoga, in Tulsa, OK
first attempt to preconstruct a Star Trek 2-Player repurposing
2009 less but some
2010 played many new games, first played Pit, In a Pickle,
found and joined a a few games groups on, esp. Camel City
Gamers and Games That Make You Laugh
bought Martian Fluxx, gift of Bang!
2011 bought Kill Doctor Lucky, In a Pickle, Pit, Carcassone, Blokus Trigon
First played Settlers of America, Anachronism, Star Fleet Battles,
The Stars Are Right
First visit to SCARAB (Jan) in S.C. and MACE (Nov) in High Point
2012 It's a new year! Gift of Anachronism, bought TransAmerica
played/pleased with Forbidden Island, Twilight Imperium
Also attended Mini-MACE

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Great News! Keystone Pipeline Halted! Obama Stood his Ground!

Wow, the Republicans and Big Oil lobby are going to go into a frenzy, even moreso than already.
And this isn't over. That's why I say "halted" whereas others say "killed"

I am suprised actually Obama was able to withstand all that pressure.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cool! Found this! Listening to sci-fi Trek authors talk radio

I just found the archives of this amatuer (yet notable) talk radio program and it has content of strong interest to me (okay, perhaps an understantement), recent Star Trek authors. For those who aren't familiar, ever since the late 90s the Star Trek books have all been relaunched with an emphasis on becoming literature, rather than "young adult" adventure books. A few editors, such a Marco Palmieri, were especially involved in this. Their success at inter-novel continuity marks this period. It began a little before the DS9 Relaunch (as it is often known) and around the 2003 Lost Era books, or perhaps with KRAD's Diplomatic Implausibility.

interview with Trek author Christopher L. Bennett, Airdate: Mon, April 11, 2011
Bennett speaks on Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock
Listen to internet radio with NDB Media on Blog Talk Radio

KRAD speaks on "A Singular Destiny" plus earlier work
go to about 12:30 at
Listen to internet radio with NDB Media on Blog Talk Radio

I am now adding Mere Anarchy and A Singular Destiny to my reading list, and probably Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows and Obsidian Alliances( which includes KRAD's The Mirror-Scaled Serpent, too.

First Contact Day!


Listen to internet radio with SciFiPulse on Blog Talk Radio

what have you read by Buckminster Fuller?

I had no idea who he was until today. I first heard of him a few weeks ago, mentioned in the Tao of Pooh, spoken of in the same breathe as Edison. That alone was enough to catch my attention.

Well, a quick online glance makes it amazing to me I had never heard of him before, or at least not in a way I remembered the mention. From what I see, he was a writer (as well as mover, shaker, and innovator) and from a quick look I think he is in line with my interests.

The website linked above suggests Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1963, or Critical Path as good starting points. I am going to add those to my ever-lengthy and ever-growing reading list.

His science is doubtlessly dated, and I suspect this is the major reason I haven't heard of him. But like a favorite author of mine, Willy Ley, I bet his enduring insights into various fundamental principles are worthy of note. He really isn't THAT outdated. He wrote until the 80s.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trek aliens: Caitians and Markalians

Well, the Betelgeusians are still without equal as my personal favorite obscure Star Trek alien (I've blogged about them before; they have the added mystique of never having been seen clearly) but I found two races recently that I hadn't known much about before. And there isn't much to know, appaarantly.

My girlfriend bought me a set of Deep Space Nine Season 1, and I got curious when I saw a few Markalians (unnammed as such). Mercenary characters catch my eye, what can I say. As for Caitians, I had previously seen them as characters in books, but had not known they were seen breifly in the movies, but especially The Animated Series.
Also, the "Shroomies" I always imgined them to be the Tzenkethi

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

epic gaming: Twilight Imperium

Last Saturday, for my New Year's afternoon I was talked into joining a game that I had seen around but hadn't played, Twilight Imperium. I say "talked into it" because, although I did want to play, I wasn't very confident about the time committment the game suggested. I was told we might play until 7pm. It was 2 pm. I expected it might run longer, which it did. Finally, I just had to leave, and I am very glad I did because otherwise it would have disappointed my girlfriend. Although I may have oversimplified, I described the game as "only half over."

Anyway, now I've added a new game to the class of epicly long games I've tried, such as 7 Ages and Twilight Struggle.

It was a very good game, though, even though we didn't even get to the true competitive parts. I want and plan to play again, although I don't know when that can be. I didn't get to play long enough to see any mistakes (or successes) I made in strategy.

Oh, and I saw Risk Legacy for the first time. That will be another epicly long game.