Friday, July 29, 2011

Why I don't believe in god

The New Statesman has an article that consists of a collection of statements by an array of people who doubt the existence of god or gods. It is definitely worth reading, but I recently had a not-so-subtle reminder of why I don't believe in god.

My wife was flipping channels, and came upon a documentary on PBS about life on planet Earth. The show had just begun talking about the relationship between predators and prey. During this segment, there was one scene that was only up for about five seconds, displaying a young gazelle that had been felled and was being devoured by two lions. It was still alive, looking back over it's shoulder and pathetically flailing it's front hooves at the two lions that had torn open its belly and were already feasting upon the flesh of the small animal.

A horrific scene, but necessary for the lions to continue living. Scenes similar to it are played out thousands (if not millions) of times per day, from spiders feasting on insects, to housecats toying with baby birds for sport (this happened in my back yard on Monday - I discovered a neighbor's cat had been chewing on a featherless chick near my shed), to piranha consuming other fish alive. This has been going on for hundreds of millions of years, and will likely continue until our sun runs out of fuel and expands to the point where it envelops the Earth.

Who could possibly be so naive as to believe that a benevolent, caring god would create a system that requires so much pain and suffering?

*Edited to include the link to the New Statesman article that I neglected to insert

Monday, July 25, 2011

Making the jump

After a year and a half of brewing beer using Brew House, Coopers, and Muntons beer kits, it looks like I'm edging towards the laborious exercise of all-grain brewing. It will turn brew day from an hour or two of light work (an hour for Brew House kits, two for Coopers/Muntons kits) into an all-day exercise of grain mashing and wort boiling. However, it grants me full control over what I'm producing, and allows me to say with pride (or shame, if I turn out a horrible beer), "I made this." No longer will I have to pretend that I did more than take somebody else's work and throw some yeast on it, then keg/bottle the results. I will now be horribly responsible for pretty much every step along the way (short of growing and preparing my own grain, hops, and yeast, of course).

This weekend I'll be making a mash tun out of a relatively new beer cooler, and picking up twenty-five feet of 3/8 inch copper tubing with which to fashion an immersion chiller. Once I have those two items, I'll order in some base and specialty malts, as well as pick up some hops. Then, the experimentation begins!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hockey Nerds?

It's no secret I love hockey and computers, and other than looking up stats online, I rarely get the opportunity to enjoy both of them together. Let's just say that when I'm strapping on the goalie pads in the dressing room, very few of the guys on the team get the point of my Splunk "I see dead servers" t-shirt.

So when I heard Mike Commodore had signed up with the Detroit Red Wings, I had to smile when I heard that he might try to use his name and choice of jersey number to stir up a little geek humour. He tweeted that he was thinking of debuting the number sixty-four with his new team this season.

What nerd worth his salt wouldn't enjoy seeing this circle around on the ice?

Puck Daddy has started a pledge drive to try and convince Mike to use that number for the 2011-12 season. So far they've received pledges of over three thousand dollars that they're offering to donate to a charity of Commodore's choice if he uses that number. I might just cough up US$64 (what's that in Canadian dollars these days - 20 bucks?) and actually watch a Red Wings game to see that jersey in the NHL!

H/T to Mike Brownstein.