Monthly Archives: November 2011

Top 10 Stand-up Comedians Who Joke About Muslims/Islam (With Videos!)

We’re 6 months away from “Every Draw Mohammed Day,” but we’re still hearing stories about violent anti-free-speech advocates. Most recently, the office of the satirical French weekly “Charlie Hebdo” was firebombed because of an upcoming edition in which a cartoon of Mohammed was to be printed. But apparently, in an inspiring tale of French badassery, they not only published the original, but they drew a subsequent cartoon. This time, it was of a male Muslim with a male Charlie Hebdo staff making out, under the words “Love: Stronger than hate.” And if there’s anything I love, it’s comedy; so in that spirit, I have compiled a list of the 10 best comedians YouTube can find, who talk specifically about Muslims, Islam, or even Osama Bin Laden. You’ll want to take a few minutes out of your day for this, trust me.

Posted in Activism, Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, TED | Tagged | 1 Comment

Love Plus Imagination – Part 1: Dating Sims and other Simulations

“Thank you for saving me!” she says, planting a kiss on the hero’s cheek. Indeed, the hero who saves the damsel in distress had become the fantasy many gamers wanted to live out in their video games. Of course, books and films had the same appeal – people identified with the heroes, and liked to see the happy ending where “the good guy gets the girl at the end” (though it doesn’t always work out that way). But it’s the virtual world that allowed people to experience and overcome the challenges themselves. They could make mistakes without real risk, while feeling the accomplishment of completing their task. Then, in the 1980’s, game developers started to wonder: Instead of making “getting the girl” the end result, why not make that the entire game? And so we have today a wide selection of what are known as “dating simulation” games.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Sex and Sexuality, Video Games | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Iron as an Achievement of Science, and a Warrior’s Tool

Iron can be found in many places, but not in the form that it was once used to influence the wars of the world. To be more precise, the iron that can be discovered in various places is not strong enough to be utilized as an effective tool. Only after it goes through a specific smelting process will it be in a form that people can actually use for practical purposes. It is with this in mind that we take a look at the unbelievable rigour blacksmiths thousands of years ago must have had to come up with just the right solution, and what that has to do with science.

Posted in Science, TED | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Is Preserving the Panda Doing More Harm than Good?

Everyone loves pandas – how could you not? They’re adorable, they’re interesting, and the media has proportionally few stories of pandas being dangerous to humans – probably more a reflection of their lack of numbers rather than lack of aggression. But for the last few years, people have been raising the question… should we not just let them die? Maybe, they say, it would actually be in our best interest to simply let them become extinct. Everyone sympathizes, but some believe that we have to be realistic, which means leaving pandas for the history books.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Media | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“Modern Warfare 3″ is Released With a Bang, and Lots of Crime


Video game violence and their effects on youth is a hot topic of psychology research. New studies come out every month – such as the recent study out of Australia which found that players devalue themselves and opponents while playing “Mortal Kombat” – saying basically the same thing: Video games increase aggression, but still don’t necessarily make people violent. This article, however, isn’t about the general research on video game violence. This is about a particular game that came out recently, which has caused a storm of violence.The really crazy thing about this, though, is that the gamers haven’t even played it. They went berserk just over getting their hands on the game.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, Legal Issues, Uncategorized, Video Games | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Gate-gate

“Watergate” was the name designated for the 1970’s political scandal of U.S. President Richard Nixon. Since then, however, it has spawned an annoying trend in the English-speaking media of adding “-gate” to everything. I’m not talking just about scandals, but basically unimportant things as well. It would be nice if journalists, reporters, and pundits would stick to explaining the news rather than trying to create soundbites or fancy names for it. So it has finally come to this: Gate-gate.

Posted in Activism, Media | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Whatever You Think You Know About bin Laden’s Death is Probably Wrong

The weeks following the announcement of bin Laden’s death were full of speculation, story-retelling, and fabrication. A new book, Seal Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden, reveals the details of what really happened, and it’s certainly not the same as what the media has reported. Author Chuck Pfarrer, says “It became obvious in the weeks evolving after the mission that the story that was getting put out there was not only untrue, but it was a really ugly farce of what did happen.” What really happened, and why did the details of his death spin out of control?

Posted in Biographical, Media | Leave a comment

Nationwide Health Experiment: The Fat Tax

Denmark is doing something that has never been done before. They are imposing what is known as a “fat tax.” That is, they have decided to raise the cost of fattening products while reducing the price of healthier alternatives, such as fruits and vegetables. Despite the nation being under the European average for obesity, they’re going to great lengths to keep the population healthy. Will this be effective?

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Psychology | Tagged | Leave a comment

Relax! Because video games will soon react to your physiological arousal

As technologies multiply, so too do our uses for them. In fact, video games in particular started out as nothing more than a form of entertainment – some would say “mindless entertainment.” But especially in recent years, games have turned from “fun” to “therapeutic” and “educational,” among having other cognitive and social benefits. This article won’t be about these benefits, though, but about where the industry is headed in terms of its biggest new hardware innovations, and why non-gamers should care about them. So far, it looks like the next big thing is a controller that can actually sense your physiological arousal.

Posted in Culture, Medicine & Health, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Skeptikai Becomes a Blip!

A few days ago, Skeptikai reached 10,000 hits. That is, either the same person kept clicking on the same few pages over and over, or my articles are actually being read. Ten thousand is really not impressive for bloggers who get more than that per day, but this is a big accomplishment for me. I have no sponsors, no blogroll exchanges, and basically this site is 100% found by Google searches & random obscure links from places like Facebook or Reddit, neither of which I use. So I can now say that Skeptikai has become a blip on the radar. Nothing big, but it’s a start.

Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments