The Great Marzipan Unravelling

I really need to stop watching TV. I had a post loaded up and ready to go about a prayer keychain that was sent my way that had the following message:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, Amen.

I was prepared to talk about how God seemed to be the wrong subject to beg for any of the aforementioned qualities, but now, after another night in front of the idiot box, I find I may need to invoke that prayer to save me from the TV. Or rather to save the TV from being thrown out into oncoming traffic by me. (NOTE: TIW will have a live video feed if this ever happens).

The program — from a reputable TV institution watched by millions — that the idiot box spit out last night was about scary prophecies and the end of the world–which has been coming for some time. If there is one thing you can count on, it is that the world is coming to an end. At the forefront of the scary prophecies of doom and gloom, were the Mayans and their deadline of winter solstice 2012, AKA the “2012 Problem.”  I was prepared to listen, because aside from being stunning astronomers, the Mayans have always had style. So sitting there on 12.19.15.17.16(Mayan Long Count) at approximately 9PM I was surprised to see the shows focus switch to the internet and something called “The Bot Project.”

Claiming to tap into the collective unconscious of the universe, this “bot” scours the internet for particular “end of days” keywords and attempts to make predictions. And it is coming back with an alarming number of scary prophecies. It used to make stock predictions and apparently when it got so accurate on that, they decided to turn the microscope inward to figure out how much longer we had until the hellfire engulfed us and perfectly respectful bloggers ran the streets throwing TV sets into oncoming traffic. In summer of 2001 it foretold that a major calamitous event would take place in the next 60-90 days. Out from the digital array of common words on the screen (marzipan, stock, TV, Britney Spears) the following 3 words are singled out in contrast:  New York, wahabi, Fire in the sky…and there’s your 9/11 link.

At this point I nearly swallowed my tongue and Mrs. Skarpowsky had to restrain me from doing physical harm to both myself and the TV. I immediately went to my notebook and scribbled down: Marzipan.

How idiotic is this? Almost as idiotic as my blogging about it. But to take as your dataset, the Internet, and work it around into some sort of doomsday hypothesis is the epitome of begging the question. The internet is, after all, a creation of man: as much as the Bible, the Stock Market, or the Mayan Long Count. It would be lovely to see what sort of logic and parsing the bot had to do to predict 9/11 when our own government was unable to do so. The inaction of the bot to warn us adequately is another discussion. And the lack of loose Nigerian women in financial need showing up at my door with erection pills and fake Rolexes should be enough to disprove this bunk. At any rate, you should be scared, because…

Now the bot is lining up on the Mayan’s side, predicting a worldwide calamity in 2012–the alignment of ancient and modern technology. Nevermind the fact that it is in dispute that the Mayan event of 2012 is considered an impending disaster and moreso a coming of a new era. What does this have to do with Marzipan you may ask? Everything and nothing. Because for my money, it is as logical to pick that word out of the bot’s matrix,  while we all sit huddled around our broken TV sets and waiting for the great unravelling.

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Yes, I said “Wacky”

It seems that a few readers have taken exception to my characterization of Jenny McCarthy (and her anti-vaccine crusade) as “wacky,” so I thought I’d explain some of the wackiness, as I see it…

Her motivation stems from her child’s display of autistic symptoms that she only began to notice after he received his first vaccines. As a result, she “just knows” it was the vaccine which caused the autism. Repeated studies and testing have shown no connection. Immunization specialists and most of the medical community are united in agreement. Here are a couple articles to give you background on “the evidence:”

http://www.livescience.com/health/080905-bad-autism.html

http://www.livescience.com/health/080401-bad-vaccine.html

 In fact, a new book, Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure, chronicles the whole situation in detail. The book is billed as: Continue reading

Finally, Your Vote Counts!

You may recall that some time ago I wrote about Amanda Peet taking on the wacky anti-vaccine crusaders “headed” by Jenny McCarthy. Well, it seems you can now vote your support for either side

Common Sense Science

You know what you really want in good science, you want it to stop getting complex as soon as it begins to be confusing to any typically insightful, average human being with a moderate education and intellect… If science says something that appears contrary to experience… oh… I don’t know, something like: “The sun does not rise and fall, it simply appears to” — then science needs to back off so regular folk can go on being comfortable in their modicum of understanding.

And that is why I am so happy for “Common Sense Science.” Finally there is science that I can “get” without having to exert any effort or work to understand! And it must be true, because it is so simple! (that’s Occam’s Razor right?! — but don’t ask me who Occam was or what it means)… Continue reading