Faith and Belief: Remnants of Our Ancestry Used to Enslave Our Minds, by Glen Vickers, attempts to look at the evolutionary psychology of religion, but fails miserably. It had the potential to be a solid work, however it could have benefited from better fact checking, a more skilled copy editor, and the reliance on citation. It also suffers from clear biases against religion, expressed by the author, rather than scientific objectivity. « Continue »
Robustness of a Theory
I have written a few articles on the misrepresentation of scientific theory. I have pointed out that theories are not “fact.” They are not known to be true. In the past, I have used the word “consistent” rather than “true” in order to address a theory, but consistency is not really enough to describe how “good” a theory is. For this, “robustness” is needed. While this short discussion does not generate an actual metric for robustness, I use the term enough that I should at least explain what I mean, in general, when I say that a theory is or is not robust.« Continue »
MST3K: Mad Scientist Cocktail
The other day I received my mug from MST3K. I was one of the lucky (or unlucky) ones that received an intact mug. Of course, calling it a mug is debatable, since it has no handle. So the task with which I was faced was to create some kind of drink that does not require a handle. For that, I created the Mad Scientist cocktail, named after the Mad family from the show. « Continue »
Omiai and Why the Japanese Population is Declining
Omiai is the tradition of arranged marriages in Japan, and it was a very large component of finding relationships in Japan, up until the 60s. Indeed, according to Typing the Knot, just half a century ago, around 70% of all marriages were arranged marriages, but by 1998, that number fell to less than 10%. Now, whether arranged marriages are “good” or not is beyond the scope of this article. There are benefits and there are negatives.
« Continue »
Net Impact of Cultural Systems
Whether or not we are to oppose a cultural system depends on a variety of factors.
I Have No Issue with Prayer
Some atheists are offended when people say that they will pray for them. I have no such issue with prayer. I simply don’t believe it will work.« Continue »
A very rough draft of a formalization of science, largely based off of the system of science established by Karl Popper.« Continue »
Long Pepper Part II
The dalmation is a grapefruit cocktail, made with either gin or vodka, and black pepper syrup. Forgo the black pepper and you have a traditional grayhound cocktail. I chose to go with gin, and specifically Uncle Val’s botanical gin, as I thought it would complement the flavor profile of the other ingredients.
For whatever reason, I have a metric jigger, and honestly, I think metric is the way to go anyway. This recipe makes about 2 cocktails. You can adjust the alcohol and simple syrup levels for personal preference. I made it a little sweeter and a bit less boozy so it would work for breakfast (don’t judge).
- 150 ml grapefruit juice
- 7cl simple syrup
- 12cl uncle val’s botanical gin
- 4 dashes grapefruit bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, or a chilled coupe.
The drink is initially sweet and tart, with that hint of bitterness that you get from grapefruit. You don’t notice the heat from the long pepper at all. It’s only after you finish your sip that it starts to become noticeable. Then the warmth lingers for some time, or at least until you take another sip.
Some people aren’t a big fan of grapefruit because of the bitterness, but I think it cuts through the sweetness of the drink. It just wouldn’t be the same with another citrus fruit as a substitute.
Long Pepper Margarita
I’ve had spicy margaritas before, and I have some “seedless” (read more seeds than normal) lemons, so I decided to give it a go with the long pepper syrup. I tried the drink both with triple sec and without and decided that I prefer to skip the triple sec in this case, both to highlight the flavor profile of the drink and to avoid it being overly sweet.
I used about 6cl blanco tequila (Corazón is my preferred brand), 2cl simple syrup, 4 cl lemon juice, and a splash of Grand Marnier. For the rim of the glass, I went with a combination of salt and grains of paradise (also available from Amazon), another once popular spice that doesn’t get enough attention these days.
This one is a work in progress I think. Maybe I just need to make more margaritas. Overall not bad, but it wasn’t as refreshing as I wanted it to be. I think next time I’ll use some fresh orange juice and skip the Grand Marnier which can be a bit overpowering.
Calvados Old Fashioned
Calvados, for those poor souls who are not familiar with the product, is a brandy made from apples, which has been produced in Calvados France. In some ways, it’s the cognac of the apple world. Calvados makes a fine autumn substitute for whiskey in an old fashioned, and seeing as I had some on hand, and wanted to see how the long pepper syrup would go with the recipe, I decided to give it a try.
- 6 cl Calvados
- 2 cl long pepper simple syrup (this makes a slightly sweeter cocktail)
- 2 – 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
Add Calvados, syrup, and bitters to a cocktail mixer, add ice, and stir until chilled (do not shake). Strain into an ice filled rocks glass.
It works, but admittedly the long pepper is harder to find in this cocktail than in some of the others. The Calvados Old Fashioned is rather boozy, and that masks some of the peppery quality, but it is there. The apple profile is quite apparent however, and I might relist this eventually under a Calvados article. You can also find out a lot about Calvados from Calvados: The Spirit of Normandy.
This is just a pet project of mine: constructing a fun little religion. Started many years ago when I was a kid. This is a work in progress draft of The Penguinomicon.« Continue »
The Problem of Evil: A Few Analogies to Bring Perspective
The problem of evil seems to destroy god claims. However, this is only true if we look at life as a very significant component of our existence.
« Continue »