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Video of the Week #018

This week’s post will be a bit different than normal as it relates to part of my personal worldview. I have decided to begin by giving a bit of background and a teensy explanation of some of my “beliefs”. I hope that folks do not mind. If any of you want clarification about certain things, feel free to drop me a line via PM or by leaving a message in the comments section. Please note ahead of time, that I am focusing on ideologies rather than people.

As some of you already know, I am an Atheist that used to be a Christian. For many, their faith or lack of faith is a strong part of what motivates their actions. I am not unusual in this regard and I don’t consider myself special. However, I do find the notion of holding to a belief that doesn’t hold up to evidence and logic as not being exactly helpful in dealing with the root causes of the numerous problems of the world. As some of you are aware, religion is sometimes the cause of strife in certain regions of the world. We’ve also seen acts of terrorism, abuse of human beings and animal abuse as a result of certain scripture throughout the spectrum of different belief systems.
When I was still a Christian in an evangelical church, I recall meeting people from other denominations and the topic of evolution sometimes came up. For many theists, evolution is an assault of sorts upon their faith as many believe that their scripture offers a blow-by-blow account of the origins and rules of the universe. I recall a few religious publications, including Creation Ex Nihilo, being marketed to Christians, as well as numerous short films making various claims about the history and science of evolution.
It feels very strange looking back at that time. I remember perusing the pages of an issue of Creation Ex Nihilo at the local Christian bookstore and I remember watching at least one of the video “documentaries” on the subject of Charles Darwin. Looking back, it was an exercise in confirmation bias as I never really read outside of the filter of material made by religious people that genuinely believed that what they asserted was true but it really didn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny.
As soon as I started reading outside of the materials offered by people whose religious bias led to some of these conclusions, I began to realise that many of these assertions were false as they didn’t line up with what the field of science was saying, nor was it reflective of history. It was a case of, “Science says that we came from monkeys but why are there still monkeys?!!!” when science says that the process is a lot more complex than that somewhat shoddy attempt at a rebuttal.
Over time, we’ve seen arguments asserting that the easily debunked dating methods should be pushed as some sort of rebuttal to evolution in science classes. We have also seen some Christian science teachers stand up and shake their heads, saying, “No, we don’t find this material to be anything other than a tool for indoctrination.” Many of us are at least aware of the Texas School Board debacle a decade or so ago, wherein a man championed for specific Christian and Creationist-friendly content to be added to school science textbooks. Whilst many of these people deeply believe what they say, it doesn’t make what they say right or appropriate to be taught as science if it doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. This doesn’t mean that an individual or group is “silenced” or “discriminated against”. If such statements can be easily debunked, then why allow it to be added? If folks want it to be taught, then teach it in a different class on the history of the evolution of scientific thought rather than actually teaching it as fact?
We’ve also seen the resurgence of “flat-Earthers” and “Young Earth Creationists“, an example being Magic Johnson that recently “came out” as a flat-Earther. Many of these folks receive a certain amount of ridicule for making crappy arguments. Laws are now being made to protect certain religious beliefs from criticism as well. The world has always been a bit topsy-turvy but to me, no ideology, religious or otherwise, should be “protected” from criticism especially when many make big claims about reality and lead to laws that can potentially lead to people getting harmed. These laws often show preferential treatment to specific groups as well, which seems like an odd choice given that in the same breath many say that they are pushing for a just and equal society.

I could waffle on and rant about this stuff for ages. However, I have to sum up how this ties in with the video of the week. Claims about truth and reality usually stem from deeply-held beliefs. Many of us listen to other people for our information but never wonder where the idea came from in the first place. If there is evidence to suggest that something is false, then it is fair to say that we should change our opinion according to the available information. We should also admit when we do not know something rather than fill in the gaps with something else. It is a move towards an open and honest life.
And yet, change isn’t easy. We have to deal with a lot of baggage and habits developed over time. If it is related to an ideology, we also have to negotiate what is and is not true or useful from that ideology. We have to admit that not all ideas and concepts need to be cast aside if they have value and are backed up by evidence. There will also have to be a point where you reject enough of an ideology to no longer consider themselves a worshipper or practitioner.
Accept the good ideas and reject the bad ones. And this is quite true of the concept of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This idea has value and is closer to the egalitarian mindset. It is a simple concept that rejects the notion of favouritism in how we treat each other. This also means that a person should be honest with others if they do not wish to be lied to, having their worldview be based on evidence and truth rather than misrepresentation and lies. And therein lies the reason for sharing the following video.

This week’s video relates to the many myths surrounding Charles Darwin. Quite a few people that push many of the myths mentioned in this week’s video do not realise that they are myths. It is by no means exhaustive but I do think that it covers a LOT of the big claims made by those that do not believe in the easily-observable process known as evolution. It delivers the list with citations to sources as well so that folks can read the material for themselves for the sake of verification.

You can find the TodayIFoundOut channel here.

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Sunday Playlist 07/16/2017

It is Sunday again. Sorry about the lack of a playlist last week. My hubby wanted some quality time and we ended up playing computer games most of the day. Good times! Anyhoo, this week’s playlist is a collection of rock from around the world.

  1. Meu Monde by Elipê from Indústria da Felicidade Humana [BRA]
  2. Sense in Working by Thomas Allan from Walks Like Chaplain [DEU]
  3. Robot Love by Nuns of the Tundra [GBR]
  4. Another Way of Living by nomoredolls from Another Way of Living [ITA]
  5. Pedestal by Nicholas Falcon from Nicholas Falcon and the Featherweights [USA]
  6. 21st (album version) by My Monthly Date from Chaos Theory [ITA]
  7. Life Comes Close by Michael Ellis from LifeCityLove [DEU]
  8. Come On by LM from Come to the Station [FRA]
  9. Echoes by Kolony by Sledge [CAN]
  10. Holiday by Kismet from Hiatus [NLD]

You can find the playlist here.

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Video of the Week #017

This week’s video moves to the science of learning and is presented by John Dunlosky, a fellow that I became familiar with when I was studying University of Queensland’s MOOC The Science of Everyday Thinking at EdX a few years ago. Please note that it is a long video (around fifty-two minutes) and that his presentation begins around the four and a half minute mark. So, feel free to skip to that section if you aren’t interested in hearing stuff about his background and general hype.


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Creative Prompts 2017-07-13

Today is the fourth and final instalment of my current creative prompts series. To finish it off on a strong front, the final theme is “Day”. The day is tied to night and vice versa. We also see the connection to morning and sunrise, the beginning of a day. It is nearly exclusively tied to positive things and new beginnings. However, we also see it posing some danger in arid locales such as the desert. “Day” can also be used to describe the entirety of a twenty-four-hour cycle, which is in turn one-seventh of a calendar week which typically begins on a Sunday. There are numerous other definitions for “Day” as well, including those tied to law.

  • Text prompts: Sun, Sand, Beach, Desert, Yellow, Orange, Red, Fire, Workday, Daylight, Daytime, “Special Day”
  • Title prompts: Doris Day (actress), Felicia Day (actress, screenwriter and writer), Charlie Day (actor, musician and screenwriter)
  • Article prompts: Day @thefreedictionary, Day @wikipedia, Calendar Day @Duhaime
  • Audio prompts: The Best Days of My life by The Kyoto Connection from No Headphones Required, New Day by Jai Lynn from Jai Lynn EP, It’s A Beautiful Day (original mix) by Igor Pumphonia from Euphoria 3
  • Visual prompts: Instead of giving you links today, I encourage you to go out at different times of the day to take note of your surroundings. Take some photos and/or sketch what you see, whether it is the sky, butterflies fluttering about your plants or other wildlife doing their thing. If you feel so inclined post them on your own blog (with applicable creative commons licensing) or post in the comments section. If you choose to post online, remember to remove geo-data from your files for the purposes of security.

I wish you the best with today’s prompts and look forward to starting my next series of prompts next week.

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TV Review: Something About One Percent Episode 15

Episodes: episode 15/16 of English subbed KDrama series
Something About 1 Percent Online: MyDramaListDramaFeverIMDBAsianWiki
Genre: Romantic Comedy

After a long hiatus, I have returned to finish the remaining two episodes of Something About One Percent. Today, I will be discussing the fifteenth episode of this series and will try to finish up next week.

After Kim Da-Hyun (Jeon So-Min) and Lee Jae-In (Ha Seok-Jin) finished up their contractual dating period in episode fourteen, we see them dealing with the emotional fallout of no longer being together. With some mild deception, Min Tae-Ha (Kim Hyung Min) is blackmailed by Dada’s best friend Hyun Yin (Im Do Yoon) into getting Lee to address his feelings for Kim Da-Hyun who happens to be showing a brave front but is actually quite depressed. It also leads to a decision on Lee Jae-In’s part.

Episode fifteen spends a lot of time showing us what Kim Da-Hyun and Lee Jae-In internal musings via flashbacks. We also see Dada falling prey to misunderstandings of how Lee Jae-In was dealing with their separation. All the while, Lee has been set up on various dating interviews. It finally comes to a head with Lee’s decision.
This latter part also avoids the “last minute dash”, wherein the story tries to finalize the main arc and every single loose thread in the final episode. It appears that our couple’s own relationship status has been acknowledged on the part of both of the main characters. How the remaining threads play out is predictable, but I am looking forward to seeing a happy ending for Kim Da-Hyun and Lee Jae-In.

Until next week!

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Creative Prompts 2017-07-12

Today’s prompt is the second-last instalment in my current series. Today’s theme is “Night”. At the mere mention of this word, many of us immediately think of certain things. Given its tie to “dusk”, it evokes the sense of an end to the day and rest. Many of us also think of mysteries at Midnight and secretive cults meeting at abandoned churches to do human sacrifices, perhaps led by Steve Buscemi. Who knows why? Night also has a different context based on the region. As such, we see cities come alive with nightclubs and street food whilst rural areas grow noticeably still. The concept of night will often be tied to the lunar cycle.

Sorry about the lack of quote prompts this time. Hopefully, the prompts that I have offered will get those cogs working. In any case, best of luck with your creative endeavours. Now get to it! ❤


Manga Review: Gokko

Year: 2003
Author + Artist: Konoko Sakurokoji
Version: Waatame Shoujo Scanlation (1st story) + Haruhime Scanlations (remaining installments) [English translations]
After Morning Love Online: MyAnimeListMangaFoxKissManga
Genre: Shoujo, Romance, Drama

The following review is based on my own personal tastes. It is opinion only and each person should make up their own mind if they decide to read the series.

Gokko is a collection of four Shoujo Romance one-shot stories. The stories are varied though each is based in modern-day where four very different couples develop and accept mutual attraction. The obstacles that each of these couples face is distinctly different because these individuals lead, as I said before, distinctly different lives. Some of these obstacles are related to social status, misunderstanding and “knowing oneself”.

Though this may not be the best one-shot collection of Shoujo Romance that I have read, it was highly enjoyable. I found myself liking each couple which is the first step in keeping me interested in a story. I saw no issues of questionable consent, one of my  big turn-offs for modern romance manga and anime. To me, focusing on sex rather than developing the relationship between two characters seems like a cheap way to avoid telling a story about two people. Konoko Sakurokoji avoided this very modern problem for the genre.
To my actual issues with these stories, I found that the first and fourth story seemed a bit too short. These two stories could have easily been expanded to two parts each in order to give enough room for us to understand the couple in each. Also, I wish that we could have seen more of the thoughts of the male protagonists in each of the stories as this would have allowed us to get more into their heads. But this latter desire would have also created problems for marketing given that the stories were to be marketed as Shoujo Romance. Shoujo tends to focus on the internal workings of the female character due to the demographic being young adult and teenage females.

In conclusion, this series is a pleasant read for folks looking for Shoujo Romance focusing on people rather than sex. It would also be a great introduction for newcomers to the genre. Be sure to avoid if you are looking for stories focused on sex, but note that there is an abundance of series out there that does meet that particular need.

If you decide to read this series of short stories, feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you thought of it. Also feel free to post any recommendations for short-run, one-shot or longer run manga. I am always looking for something to perk my interest and appreciate folks sharing what they’ve read and enjoyed.