Quid Novi? | Year’s End Quasi-Blogcation


It’s that time, time for a hiatus on scheduling posts until I’m back online on the 28th of this December, which would mark the tenth anniversary of this blog. So, posts going live from here until then will all be pre-scheduled. 

I’ll continue to be active on blog maintenance and in responding to activity here from visitors to the site in the meantime.  

I’ve lately seen a need to address my use of social media, including this blog, how I go about doing that. It would be nice to get more traffic on the site, but that’s a poor motivator, as I’ve health, physical as well as mental, to consider. Self-care takes precedence over page views.

The next few weeks and months will be busy as my family and our cats prepare to move out of the house in at least another year’s time. No details just yet until renovations are done and we get ready to sell the condo to move to a temporary place before our final residence out of state. 

I’ll miss Virginia, where I’ve lived since 1974 at the age of ten, in short, most of my life. And I’ll miss the physical company of the IRL friends I leave behind, but I’ll continue to stay in online contact with all of you. 

So, December 28 will see renewed post scheduling for the end of 2018, and for early 2019. I’ll be back, and I hope year’s end and the New Year see all of you in good health and high spirits, or at least better and higher ones given the terrifying shit-show of world news during the last three years. 

Here’s to better times. 

I’ll see you then! 

Tf. Tk. Tts.

MetaCognitions | A Perfect Storm – Post-Florence


Vanakkam. I enjoy blogging, and have done so ever since adopting the current posting schedule for Tuesdays and Thursdays nearly every week.

I’d like to be able to maintain that consistently, but a perfect storm of events last week conspired to keep me away from WordPress’s editing window, namely my birthday celebration with family (I’m now 54 years of age and still kicking, thank you.), home renovations, reestablishing our family presence at home after mandatory evacuation from our street during Hurricane Florence, and the publishing of my new book, The Giant who Fell from the Dark beyond the Sky: And Other Collected Works which went live after pre-orders ended on the 19th. I’m glad I finally got that done, and on time!

Here’s the cover art and link to the book on Amazon for Kindle:

the-giant-who-fell-cover

https://www.amazon.com/Giant-who-Fell-Dark-beyond-ebook/dp/B07H64FSSK

So, it’s back to the paradigm, and I’ll be scheduling posts from here on, at least into the first few weeks of October. I’ve begun drafts for new non-fiction material, some of it in keeping with this blog’s skeptical bent, to be published when each is complete and ready. Study is mostly done for September, to be renewed on the first weekday of next month. So far so good, it’s been a mostly sustainable schedule that doesn’t put my health at risk. Not a perfect one, but a good one. I never expect perfection, a manifestly unreasonable standard in my view.

One more thing …

I’ve started a monthly newsletter, still in its first run, that I started in June of this year. It’s the Pikatron Monthly, published as a PDF file to those friends, family, and others on my mailing list on the first of each month. It covers topics of interest from fractals, to blogging, to my fiction, and general topic matter I tend to cover on this blog and elsewhere.

Interested subscribers should write me at troythulu@gmail.com to receive your free copy of the newsletter. I’ll be sure to put you on the mailing list. Also, I’m sending out back issues from June and afterward as requested, otherwise it’ll just be whichever is the current issue for that month.

Thanks!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Mr. Eccles Presents | Mindscape: Heredity, DNA, and Editing Genes


Published on Aug 6, 2018

SUBSCRIBED 15K

“Blog post: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/… Our understanding of heredity and genetics is improving at blinding speed. It was only in the year 2000 that scientists obtained the first rough map of the human genome: 3 billion base pairs of DNA with about 20,000 functional genes. Today, you can send a bit of your DNA to companies such as 23andMe and get a report on your personal genome (ancestry, health risks) for about $200. Technologies like CRISPR are allowing scientists to edit genes, not just map them. Science writer Carl Zimmer has been following these advances for years, and has recently written a comprehensive book about heredity: She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We talk about how our understanding of heredity has changed over the years, how there is much more to inheritance than simply listing all the information we pass down in our DNA, and what the future might hold in a world where genetic manipulation becomes widespread.”
“Carl Zimmer is a leading science writer whose work regularly appears in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. He is the author of thirteen books, including a university-level textbook on evolutionary biology. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Academy of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. He teaches as an adjunct professor at Yale University.”

Mr. Eccles Presents | Mindscape: Threats to Liberal Democracy


Published on Jul 30, 2018

Blog post (w/ audio player): https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/…

“Both words in the phrase “liberal democracy” carry meaning, and both concepts are under attack around the world. “Democracy” means that the people rule, while “liberal” (in this sense) means that the rights of individuals are protected, even if they’re not part of the majority. Recent years have seen the rise of an authoritarian/populist political movement in many Western democracies, one that scapegoats minorities in the name of the true “will of the people.” Yascha Mounk is someone who has been outspoken from the start about the dangers posed by this movement, and what those of us who support the ideals of liberal democracy can do about it. Among other things, we discuss how likely it is that liberal democracy could ultimately fail even in as stable a country as the United States.”

“Yascha Mounk received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. He is a Lecturer on Government at Harvard, a Senior Fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America, and Executive Director at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. His most recent book is The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It.”

Mr. Eccles Presents | Rogue Catnip – Public Figures & Cosplay . . . Why?


It’s time for more from the Rogue Catnip channel as Montel Talks about those cosplayers who find or who place themselves in the spotlight. and wind up running afoul of their egos by catering only to a small segment of the public instead of a wider fanbase. This is a good one, and Mr. Eccles gives it two jelly beans up!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Podcast Spotlight | #TheESP: The European Skeptics Podcast


(This post has been rewritten and updated, on 2016.02.15)

Hi guys. I’d like to point you all in the direction of a great new show, The European Skeptics Podcast, featuring your hosts, András Pintér, Jelena Levin, and Pontus Böckman. It’s moving well along, and evolving nicely, already into Episode #009 as of this update.

The ESP features news and updates on skeptical organizations across Europe and sometimes features interviews with active skeptics from throughout the continent and elsewhere.

Originally biweekly, the show now airs each week. The show includes a segment on logical fallacies, news items of concern for the skeptical movement in Europe, a discussion of listener feedback, the occasional aforementioned interview or two, and others.

The intro and outro music features Song for Skeptics by Keisha Gray and George Hrab, and that’s always a nice, mellow way to start and end the show. I also get a kick from the Outtakes segment at the very end of the show as well, and there’s always a good quote to conclude the show proper.

Follow them on Twitter: @espodcast_eu, email them at info@theesp.eu, and Like them on Facebook.

Do check them out! Subscribe via RSS, on iTunes, and on Stitcher as well!