The Matrix

The Matrix is, I’m given to understand, one of the best SF films that Hollywood has produced. Many of my film-going friends tell me this. It was up for the Hugo award for best science fiction dramatic presentation in 2000 (it was beaten by Galaxy Quest, in what is said to be a rather strong field). It’s currently (19-Aug-2001) #31 in the IMDB Top 250, with a rating of 8.5 out of 10.

The War On Some Drugs

“The war on some drugs” is one of the common names for the phenomenon. “Some drugs” refers to the fact that alcohol and caffeine are untouchable. Nicotine seems to be falling, but even it isn’t getting hit by the drug warriors, it’s dying a different death. Politicians tend to call it just “the war on drugs”. I’ve also heard it called “the war on civil rights”, for reasons which should be pretty obvious.

Continue reading The War On Some Drugs

Idling Your Engine

I’d never seen one in the summer before. Just the other day, I was walking through the Target parking lot down by Southtown, and there it was. A car. Sitting there, empty. With the engine running.

In the winter, it’s a fairly common piece of idiocy. I see several a week. I’ve almost gotten inured to it. But I hadn’t seen it in the summer before.

What’s wrong with it, you ask? Just the usual. Polluting the air we all breath, adding to the heat load in the city we all live in, consuming irreplaceable fossil hydrocarbons, adding green-house gases to the atmosphere that’s going to cook us all one of these days. Also probably contributing to car thefts, and leaving open some possibility of nasty accidents (cars have dropped themselves into gear before this).

(Yes, I know we don’t every single one of us live in a city. I and the people who have been leaving their cars running in parking lots where I see them all do. And we share the same atmosphere even with those who don’t.)

Are those costs bad enough to justify saying it’s wrong to keep your car warm, or cool, while you’re shopping, so you don’t freeze, or fry, when you come out and get back in? Seems like it to me; and that’s why these are rants, I get to let fly based on just my opinion. I hate heat as much as anybody, more than most (it’s hot if it’s over 70). But I don’t think my comfort is so vitally important that I should run a car engine just to provide a little heat or cooling, so I don’t have to wait as long to be comfortable again.

Thoughts on Christianity

I don’t “get” the religious impulse. It appears to be widespread, appearing in essentially all cultures, across recorded history and most likely back into the realm of archaeology (though we must remember the tendency to categorize anything not understood as “religious artifacts”). It’s quite possibly hard-wired into the human brain. But I still just don’t get it. I don’t understand why people want any religion, or why they pick the ones they do.

Continue reading Thoughts on Christianity