Monday, April 28, 2008

ERV has moved

Thanks to Mark (and I mean really, thanks to Mark, this wasnt a generalized Blogger glitch, this was Blogger BS), is back up.

But Im moving to ScienceBlogs!

And backing up all of my old posts tonight instead of studying.

*flips off Blogger*

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why do weird people believe smart things?

Even though Michael Shermer has... confused me... recently, theres no questioning that 'Why People Believe Weird Things' is a skeptical thinking classic. I especially enjoyed the chapter on 'Why Smart People Believe Weird Things'-- How can someone be a physicist during the day, and a ghost hunter at night? How can someone be a high school social studies teacher, but keep a blog on 'THE LOST SECRETS OF ATLANTIS!' during their free time?

Hell, Im even superstitious sometimes-- I think if I dont do the same activities every morning in the same order, Arnie will get disgruntled and get into the trash/bookshelf/futon while Im at work.

But an equally interesting question went unanswered in 'Why People Believe'.

Why do weird people believe smart things?

Im not joking when I look at Creationists like a confused puppy and say "How do you function in the real world?" Do they just randomly accept normal things?

Humans and other primates descended from a common ancestor: NO.
The earth is round: NO... I mean YES.
Its physically possible to boil water to make tea: LET ME CHECK MY BIBLE.
I wondered that very question while watching Robert Kennedy Jrs presentation on campus last week. You all might remember RFK from Respectful Insolence. RFK wrote a good ol fashioned slander piece about the non-existent VACCINES-->AUTISMOMG a couple years ago. Not just the normal stupid anti-vaxer claims-- slanderous crap against scientists and the CDC.

So I was interested when I heard RFK was coming to campus (a medical research campus) to speak about global warming. Despite the fact RFK is on the 'science' side of climate change, his previous behaviors have clearly established that he is not pro-science. Hell, he is anti-science. So why is he pro-science in the case of global warming? I mean, global warming is in fashion this political season (YAY! As long as it isnt just for show), but is he that shallow?

I dont think RFK is *that* shallow, but he is definitely anti-science.

His presentation on global warming, to scientists, included no science. Lotsa folksy stuff, like how hes just so miffed that he cant eat the fish he catches with his boys cause the lake mercury levels are too high. Cause Jebus Christ told em that he is supposeta take care of the earth (I was treated to a >20 minute sermon, you know how much I enjoyed that). Cuase its good economics to go green!

Well, I agree with two of those three things, but, um, no science.

Except when he urged the audience, several times, to have their hair tested for heavy metals. If he was a woman, he said, his mercury levels are so high he would be at risk for having a baby with autism.

Isnt that special.

Shorter Robert Kennedy Jr--
Only do the right thing when it directly benefits you.

Only do the right thing because an invisible sky pixie will hurt you if you dont.

Only do the right thing because its cost effective.
I guess thats how weird people can occasionally believe smart things?

Monday, April 21, 2008

ERV, Queen Elizabeth, James Dobson

What do ERV, Queen Elizabeth, and James Dobson have in common?



I cant find my favorite songs on YouTube from my other birthday brother, Iggy Pop ('Turn Blue', 'Some Weird Sin'). So heres just a friggen hysterical clip:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Second EXPELLED Copyright Case 'Resolved'

'Inner Life' and all of its yellow permutations are out of EXPELLED.

No such 'luck' for The Killers:

"I just spoke to the band's manager, and adding to the confusion was the fact that they did authorize a project months ago with this request:

'The film is a satirical documentary with an estimated running time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, exploring academic freedom in public schools and government institutions with actor, comedian, economist, Ben Stein as the spokesperson.'

She later added:

"The band asked the producers to remove their song from the film when they became aware of the true nature of it. They were told it is too late. That's all there is."
Well, you all can write the jokes from here. But something jumped out at me-- "1 hour 50 minutes"?

It was 97 minutes pre-XVIVO.

Now its only 90.

Its the incredible shrinking propaganda film.

Which even the TheoTARDS think is 15 minutes too long.


(H/T Quidam at AtBC)


For $25, you and a friend could go to EXPELLED for shits and giggles.

Or, if youre in the OKC area, you can go to the OKC animal shelter* and adopt a dog or cat-- Theyre having a special promotion right now :)

Spayed/Neutered, all shots, $25 (I spent hundreds on Arnie to get him checked out/shots/fixed).

A little running buddy.

Someone to keep you company while youre studying at 4 am... for the third night in a row.

Waggy mess of fuz that makes it physically impossible to ever have a real Bad Day.


Just putting it in perspective for those of you tempted to watch the train wreck...

*In honor of the OKC shelter pledging to be no-kill by 2010, Im using my birthday money (*COUGH*MONDAY*COUGH*) to buy some fleece blankies and bags of raw hides to donate. A friend is dropping them off for me, though, as I dont 'do well' at shelters...)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Premise Lawsuits, Toddler Animations, and a Final Resolution

Mkay. So I just got a copy of Premise Medias SLAPP lawsuit against XVIVO.

It is quite possibly the dumbest thing I have ever read in my entire life. And I have read the Bible and Atlas Shrugged.

Its 16 pages.

The first 15 pages explain why they filed the suit in Texas instead of Canada (Premise) or Connecticut (XVIVO). 15 pages. Of this:

12. In addition, on information and belief based on the materials
displayed on the XVIVO Web Site, an Internet user in Texas and in this district can interact with XVIVO over the Internet in the following ways, among others:
a. view XVIVO promotions, offers for services, and solicitations;
b. hyperlink and download various items of sample work product including but not necessarily limited to the Inner Life Video;
c. provide information to, and otherwise communicate with XVIVO;
d. ask questions and receive answers about XVI VO's products and services, including ongoing projects
... etc etc etc etc etc...

Shorter first 15 pages:
Yeah. Im sure it has *nothing* to do with the fact Texas has no anti-SLAPP laws. Premise is suing in Texas because "an Internet user in Texas and in this district can interact with XVIVO over the Internet".

So whats the last page about? Its a fucking ad for EXPELLED:
Premise Media's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a provocative documentary film that examines the scientific community's academic suppression of those who dissent from the belief of the adequacy of Darwinian evolution to explain the origin of life.
The Documentary Film Expelled is narrated by Ben Stein, a well known actor, who is also a lawyer, economist, writer, and former presidential speech writer. Mr. Stein and the Expelled producers feel that Neo-Darwinism inappropriately dominates the classroom and academia and are interested in promoting free speech and debate regarding a diversity of views.
It goes on and on and on like that. But eventually they get to the meat of their claims. And they make no sense whatsoever:
In preparing the Documentary Film, Premise Media commissioned computer animation of some of the natural processes inside a living cell (ERV-- Please note, even in the lawsuit, they dont say who made their animation. I will be taking bets in the comments if you have guesses).

Some time ago, as part of the pre-release activity relating to the Documentary Film, Premise Media commissioned a DVD highlighting some parts of the Documentary Film as then planned. The DVD was designed as an educational resource highlighting the theme of the Documentary Film and was distributed free of charge in all cases. The resource DVD included a short clip of an animation of the inside of a cell. The short clip showing the cell interior was independently created early in the production process, and was used in the resource DVD. At the time the short resource DVD was made, the Documentary Film was not complete. The final version of the film does not contain the segment from the DVD on which XVIVO appears to base its claims in its April 9 letter.

Even so, Defendant evidently obtained access to the resource DVD or its contents, as indicated in Exhibit 1, because, on information and belief, at the time it sent that letter, XVIVO could not have seen the Documentary Film (it had not been released).

The specific segment from the educational resource DVD is not even in the final version of the Documentary Film to remove.
So, they knew what they were doing was morally and legally wrong, and have been working on a replacement for theatrical release. The animation on the DVD is not in the movie. But the reason they changed it was NOT because it was obviously stolen from 'Inner Life' and other resources.


Makes sense to me.

But this part is funny shit and worth reading 15 pages of "I CAN EMAILZ DEM SO I CAN HAS LAWSUIT IN TEZAS?":
Even if the resource DVD or Documentary Film had relied on the Inner Life Video in part (which it did not), any such use would be protected by the doctrine of fair use.

In addition, the fact that XVIVO makes available the Inner Life Video on its website with the "lead in" that "A full length version of 'The Inner Life of a Cell' is now available online for educational use" (emphasis added) creates an implied nonexclusive license for Premise Media to precisely do what XVIVO now complains Premise Media is doing, arguendo, i.e., make "educational use" of that video, via a Documentary Film.

Shorter version:

So, youve heard it here first, folks! All of you that saw previews of EXPELLED and saw a yellow 'Inner Life'-- you were hallucinating. All of you. Mass, country-wide, specific hallucinations. 'YELLOWZ INNER LIVES IS NUT IN EXPELLED! YELLOWZ INNER LIVES IS NUT IN EXPELLED! WHooooOOOO!'

Dont feel bad, hallucinating readers. Mark Mathis is even having trouble remembering what he has seen and which animation is in EXPELLED:
GW: I have compared the original Harvard footage with the promo DVD version that Myers has posted at Pharyngula, and though I’ve only seen the film once, as I recall, there are very, very substantial differences between the final cut of the animation and the version that appears on the promo DVD. Is that right?

MM: You know, I haven’t made— I believe that’s the case; but I haven’t actually watched what Myers has posted. I haven’t made my own comparison. I apologize; I should have done that, because I have the DVD version. I have the film on PC, too, so I can do that. My problem has been that I’m running so hard and fast doing twenty-seven other things that— I know that we’ve got Executive Producers who have dealt with this specifically, and this is kind of in the periphery of what I’ve been involved in. But I’m glad you brought that up, because I need to make that comparison myself, just for my own. But I know, because I’ve watched both, that certainly there are significant differences and improvements, and I believe that, because of those substantial differences, there isn’t any merit to the charge. (H/T Quidam)
Poor poor Mark Mathis. All those lowly internet rats giving you trouble when all you want to do is steal other peoples hard work and make money. Must be so stressful. Explains you forgetting things.

This might be what is in the final version of EXPELLED:

So, EXPELLites knew after Dembski got caught they couldnt leave the real 'Inner Life' in, so they created the Frankenstein 'Inner Life' as a place-holder until they could find some 5 year olds to create a shitty Las-Vegas-Meets-TeleTubbies 'Inner Life' for the actual theatrical release because they knew their Frankenstein wouldnt hold water in court. Prescreenings were tightly regulated so 'no one' could attend but stupid rubes who wouldnt be familiar with 'Inner Life' to squeal on Premise.

I gotta say, this lead up and animation detective work has been a hell of a lot more entertaining than the actual movie will be. Now that the 'real' animation is up, I have no reason to waste $10 to go see it myself. Save my money for quality films.

And XVIVO, Harvard, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute are vindicated-- Their hard work, though pilfered by these shameless half-wit Creationists for the past year, will NOT be in the final version of EXPELLED. WHOO!

Open Challenge to Premise Media

Hi Premise Media!

I know you all read and monitor my blag, cause I see you on SiteMeter. I hope youre learning lots of fun things about endogenous retroviruses and American Staffordshire Terriers.

Anyway, its come to my attention that, unsatisfied with 'merely' stealing a small animation companys work (and money from Sesame Street), you issued a press release about your plagiarism that implied you were going to utilize litigation (curiously in Mega-TARDs backyard) to return honor to your good Christian name.

Now, I cant help but notice that the 'dude', 'cell biologists', or 'team of animators', the individuals who would have the most to lose by being unfairly labeled thieves, are not the plaintiffs-- Premise Media is. And I cant help but notice how after admitting you stole the animation, you think 'stealing' somehow involves free speech rights. But here is my challenge for you, Premise Media. A litigation-free way of clearing your name:

Upload the animation you used at the December 9, 2007 screening.

You made it. You own copyright, right? So upload it. Harvard has theirs online, so you cant possibly be afraid of anything. I dont care if it is a crappy work-in-progress, as long as it shows you were genuinely trying to do this on your own. So upload it.

If it is 'Inner Life', then take responsibility for your actions like big boys. Simply admit that you lied, you got caught, and take it out of EXPELLED (think of this challenge as a bonus for avoiding more litigation with Howard Hughes Medical Institute).

If its not 'Inner Life', then congrats! You made an animation identical to Harvards in approximately 12 days (8 business days!)! Took them about 420 days! YAY! Creationists are 35 times as smart as Harvard. Good for you. And you should have all your data behind you to back up that time-frame, including reasons for why a multitude of errors in 'Inner Life' also appear in your animation. HURRAY! You arent lying thieves. Everyones honor will be satisfied.

You have my email if you wish to direct me towards the video when you upload it. I look forward to resolving this issue.

Your Friend--

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Okay, Angry ERV doesnt stay angry for long if you know the trick-- If you make me laugh, I cant be angry anymore.

Darwin Central made me laugh.

The Official EXPELLED Paternity Test.

H/T to midwifetoad at AtBC!

EXPELLED: ERV finally gets angry

*squints eyes* *slams head onto her desk* *keeps slamming her head onto her desk* *deep breath* *keeps slamming her head onto her desk* Okay, so like, you all know what I think about Creationists. Im not an appeaser. Im mad at the current generation of PhDs for not crushing them years ago. I continually get reprimanded from the PTers for calling Creationists 'stupid'-- but every time I hear Behe/Wells/whoever speak Im shocked the men can figure out how to feed themselves, much less get a goddamn PhD. I think theyre evil little morons. I didnt think it was physically possible for my opinion of them to go any lower. You know the next line: I was wrong. You know those other parts of the animation in EXPELLED? The parts that arent obvious traces of 'Inner Life'? I figured they just got those parts from 'Unlocking the Mysteries of Life' or some dumbass Creationist crap. But I kept getting emails from people "I know Ive seen that other stuff before!" "Students who plagairize dont just use one source-- I bet EXPELLED people used something other than 'Inner Life' too." But I ignored those people. I was like "HAHAHAHAHA! DI Fellows are stupid mother fuckers, but they arent that stupid! No, Im sure they made those parts on their own!" AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA. No. That top picture is from the video titled 'The Central Dogma Transcription of DNA to RNA'. The bottom picture is from EXPELLED. But youre probably thinking "Wow. EXPELLED really did some hunting to find that Australian animation. I guess thats kinda like work. I mean, the closest thing youll ever get to 'work' out of a lazy ass silver spoon Creationist." Nono, dear reader. You know where those fuckers got the idea to steal that particular animation? PBS. After denying, then admitting, then denying (OH! Took that last post down! No harbles for him, eh?) stealing the hard work of a small animation company and a couple of hard working scientists, turns out the Discovery Institute Fellows stole from PBS too. The organization they found just sooooooooo offensive after 'Judgment Day' and 'Evolution'. The organization that teaches little kids how to count and the alphabet and how to read and how being different is okay... The Discovery Institute stole from Mr. Fucking Rogers. You have got to be shitting me. What the fuck is the matter with those people??? They arent just idiots-- everyone acts stupid now and then. They arent just delusional-- everyone can act wonky if you give them enough NyQuil. The only answer is that they are genuinely bad people. Thats all we can expect from them. Ever.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well shit. I was going to save these posts until after EXPELLED was released, but now there is no point in waiting. After the Discovery Institutes blatant theft of a small animation companys work, three out of four of Papas remaining functional neurons must have died after working so hard to drip out 'But all deh cells looks dey sames!' as a defense... only to have their massive effort ruined when Megalomania bravely screamed 'LEEEEEEEEROOOOOOY JENKINS!'-- admitting the DI stole XVIVO/Harvards damn animation. Right on the internet. For everyone to read. Including Harvard law. *blink* But I might as well put this series of posts up so you gentle readers can critique the stolen animation for your friends, if they should still be under the impression that the Discovery Institute Fellows are somehow 'honest' or 'intelligent'. EXPELLED EXPOSED: ACTIN NETWORKS Actin is one of those pesky proteins Creationists wish didnt exist. You see, humans got several different kinds of actin out of that impossible evolutionary mechanism of gene duplication and divergence. But bad news for Creationists is good news for you! Youve got different kinds of actin that have their own special duties. For instance, you probably remember 'actin' from high school bio, when you talked about muscle contractions-- Actin, myosin, etc. Thats 'alpha' actin. The actin at the beginning of 'Inner Life' is 'beta' actin. Beta actin forms the cytoskeletal network at the cell membrane surface, and can quickly change shape when a cell wants to move. But this actin network is never static, and it does not change shape by itself. Beebopping around the network are proteins that stabilize the structures, and ones that destabilize it. Here is a short list of the little actin-altering dudes floating around. Changes within the actin network at the cell membrane surface is an integral part of the 'Inner Life' plot. I mean, the whole story is about how a lymphocyte moves to a site of infection, and the cell wouldnt move at all if it werent for changes in the actin network. But XVIVO chose to omit all of the actin binding proteins for simplicitys sake: Whats important to note here too, is that in addition to the static actin network structure, in addition to the absence of actin binding proteins, notice how 'Inner Life's actin network forms a nice, pseudo-diamond crystal, horizontal sides differing from the vertical component in size, general shape/structure, and color. This is what an actin network looks like through a microscope: Hat tip and thank you to The Daily Transcript for the pic (and go read the rest of that post on actin!). So, knowing what you know now, gentle readers, can anyone explain the EXPELLED rip-off video as anything other than a rip-off? Same diamond crystal structure. Same vertical/horizontal component size/structure/color differences. Same absence of same proteins. Its just a shittier version of 'Inner Life'. The horizontal 'actin' looks like it belongs in 'Two Girls, One Cup', not a fucking professional bioanimation. More to come.