Author Archive | Kowality Jesus

In Defense of Muhammad (From Both Sides)

So for some reason or another, after centuries of proselytization by the sword and hundreds of terrorist attacks in the 20th/21st century, when a French cartoonist is murdered for being a violence-baiting, blasphemous shock-jock towards Muslims, suddenly everybody thinks Islam is evil.  Yes, Islam has usually been a thorn in the side of Western Civilization and certainly Christendom, but it was begun by a remarkable man both in wisdom and power.  I found some words of Muhammad excerpted from the Koran that show that many who “submit” to Islam are probably just not listening to their prophet very closely.

Even though Arabic is the only holy language of Islam, and the Koran can never be translated yet retain its status as Word-Of-God, these English translations of Muhammad’s statements might give us a teleological vector on what he intended his followers to embody.  Reading the quotes and looking at today’s Muslim world might lead some to wonder “What the hell happened?”

Thus spake Muhammad:

Do you love your creator?… Read the rest

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Environmentalists Have an Irrational Hatred of Nuclear Power

The first American nuclear reactor of the 21st century, Watts-Barr will soon begin operating west of Knoxville in Tennessee.  This reactor will almost continuously generate 1,150 megawatts of electricity for the next 60 years at $0.06/kWhr, with near-zero carbon emissions (over the same period a coal plant would release 500 million tons of CO2, for reference the US releases 6,526 million metric tons CO2 annually).  With this happy marriage of steadily satisfying consumer demand yet generating very little CO2, one would imagine that greenies everywhere like the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund and thousands of other environmental groups would be out in the streets rejoicing and calling for more nuclear plants!  However, it seems that environmental groups roundly and universally decry the vast potential of nuclear technology.  But why?
We in the pro-nuclear community have yet to collate and diagnose the almost-dogmatic hatred of nuclear power in the environmental movement, but it seems to stem from several uninformed but understandable complaints:

1) People seem to widely conflate ‘nuclear power’ with ‘nuclear weapons,’  however the danger of a nuclear explosion occurring at a power plant is the same danger as a 1988 Ford Pinto going 250 mph, that is, not any danger at all.… Read the rest

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Promoting the Apocalypse

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Eisenhower warned of the dangerous marriage between government and war profiteers, but did he envision how subtle and insidious it would become today?

via The UNZ Review:

If you read a major newspaper on a regular basis you will no doubt have seen the full page ads placed by defense contractors. The ads generally are anodyne, featuring ubiquitous flags and eagles while praising America’s soldiers and war fighting capabilities, sometimes to include a description of a new weapon or weapons system. That a company whose very existence depends on government contracts would feel sufficiently emboldened to turn around and spend substantial sums that themselves derive from the American taxpayer to promote its wares in an attempt to obtain still more of a hopefully increasing defense pie smacks of insensitivity to say the least. I for one find the ads highly offensive, an insult to the taxpayer.

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Origins of the “Jewish Nose”

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Although there are very few distinguishing characteristics of Jewish people, (e.g. European Jews are almost entirely of European genetic stock with a few distinguishing esoteric alleles) due to the Jewish diaspora across many different regions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, Jews have traditionally been portrayed in Western art as having large, hooked noses. But does this proscribed depiction reflect actual Jewish features? Not very much. Why?

Elissa Goldstein of Jewcy.com relays the fascinating explanation given by historian Sara Lipton:

Historian Sara Lipton has penned a fascinating article for the New York Review of Books about the origins of the caricature of the hook-nosed Jew. In ‘The Invention of the Jewish Nose,‘ Lipton, author of Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Iconography, explains that the image of the Jew with the massive schnoz—the one we know so well from Nazi propaganda, to name just one example—is “far from ‘eternal’” and in fact didn’t exist before 1000 AD.

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The Great Filter to the Fermi Paradox

Environmental space robot

Why have humans not been contacted by aliens (at least officially)? Drake’s Equation states that humans are almost certainly not the only intelligent species in the galaxy (estimates of existing alien civilizations currently range from 2 to 280,000,000 for the Milky Way galaxy). Thus there should be a preponderance of alien races zooming around and colonizing throughout space. Yet neither Bill Clinton, nor George W Bush ever got a photo op with sapient extraterrestrials.

This led Enrico Fermi to coin his famous Fermi Paradox, which observes the discrepancy between the theoretically high number of existing alien civilizations and the curious lack in any observed evidence of their existence.

There are a number of theories which attempt to reconcile this paradox, not the least of which is the theory of the Great Filter. The Great Filter postulates that a harrowing bottleneck of life causes very few civilizations to come into existence, thus we have not seen any evidence of them.… Read the rest

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Memories Transplanted With Organs

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I recently came across an interesting and novel phenomenon via a remarkable fact I read on Kickassfacts.com. It seems organ recipients sometimes have living memories or peculiar affinities which somehow carried over along from their donor. Can the ‘Ship of Theseus’ that arrives with new oars, planks, and sail be considered the same ship that left port?

Ethically, very few religions around the world actually have a problem with organ harvesting and transplantation. With reference to harvesting from the brain-dead, Pius XII said that knowledge of when death occurs is the domain of medical science. However some Judaic authorities take issue with harvesting the organs of a brain-dead individual because anything that will stop the heart beating causes death. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses have changed their stance since the 1980s, excluding the acceptance of an organ from their definition of cannibalism (which includes accepting blood transfusions).

However, no religions to my knowledge presently acknowledge the idea that a person may somehow be incarnate after their death when another person has accepted that person’s organ.… Read the rest

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Terrestrial Energy Co.: Vanquish the Arrested Future of Nuclear Energy

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In a Sept 2014 talk at the Economic Club of Canada, Hugh MacDiarmid coolly lays out the groundwork of a new energy future, without the pie-in-the-sky wishes of fusion, the intermittent inadequacy of solar and wind, or the non-renewable carbon emissions of coal, oil, and gas.

Canadian company Terrestrial Energy is on track to make the first commercially viable molten salt nuclear reactor by early next decade, at first supplementing coal but ultimately supplanting it for electricity production. The molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of Generation 4 reactor with roots in the 1950s at Oak Ridge National Lab and has manifold advantages over existing reactors. The MSR uses a liquid salt loop to contain its fissile material such as uranium, thorium, or plutonium oxides. Since the reaction occurs in liquid fuel, it is literally impossible to melt down, and since it reacts at atmospheric pressure there is no need for a massive reinforced containment vessel.… Read the rest

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Satan’s Hollow – The Portal from Ohio to Hell

This video by a YouTube channel called ‘”Believe’ A Paranormal Experience” follows two young men on a pilgrimage/road-trip across country to visit paranormal places. Their last stop requires venturing into a storm drain known as “Satan’s Hollow” which allegedly hosts/hosted devil worshipers and demonic rituals. The radio device they use to communicate with the netherworld at the end is a nice touch.

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New Tor Drug Kingpin In Town

Silk_Road_Marketplace_Item_Screen

Via Wired:

In the digital drug trade as in the physical one, taking out one kingpin only makes room for another ready to satisfy the market’s endless demand. In the case of the FBI’s takedown of the Silk Road, the latest of the up-and-coming drug kingpins is far more evolved than its predecessor—and far less principled.

Since it launched early this year, the anonymous black market bazaar Evolution has grown dramatically, nearly tripling its sales listings in just the last five months. It now offers more than 15,000 mostly illegal products ranging from weapons to weed, cocaine, and heroin. That’s thousands more than the Silk Road ever hosted. And Evolution’s popularity has been driven not only by a more secure and professional operation than its competitors, but also by a more amoral approach to the cryptomarket than the strict libertarian ethos the Silk Road preached. Case in point: About 10 percent of Evolution’s products are stolen credit card numbers and credentials for hacked online accounts.

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Fukushima’s Real Threat: Undue Fear

The Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Reactor 1 to 4 from right to left.

The Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Reactor 1 to 4 from right to left.

Our reaction to the crisis in Fukushima Daiichi has been and continues to be generally irrational.  Contrary to the assertions of some recent sensationalistic articles, there is no evident increase in thyroid health problems in Japanese children living in and around the Prefectures of Fukushima, and it is unlikely that there ever will be (UN Report; Nuclear News; J. of Am. Phys. and Surg.; CBCnews; Hiroshima Syndrome; National GeographicAsahi Shimbun).   This is because the only cause of thyroid risk during a nuclear disaster, iodine-131 which has a half-life of 8 days, was allowed to decay during evacuation and with restrictions on food and milk from the area.  After 80–90 days had passed, released radioactive iodine-131 decays to less than 0.1% of its initial quantity, and therefore the danger is essentially over.  (These precautions were not well followed near Chernobyl and thus resulted in many health problems in future years for the people of Ukraine.)

In fact, it has repeatedly been shown that the worst health effects from Fukushima have come not from any radioactive exposure, but from the the stress of evacuations and fear of radiation itself (Gaji 2013; Japan Daily Press; WHO Report; NYTimes).  “The psychological stress…we should never underestimate that…it’s really what the big problem is, because there’s a lot of fear which might actually cause health effects,” says Kai Vetter of UC Berkley nuclear engineering department.  In fact, not one person has yet died from exposure to Fukushima’s radiation, and it’s likely that no one ever will.… Read the rest

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