Saturday, December 30, 2006


The whole article can be found here. This is outrageous and disgusting that science and knowledge should be usurped by an administration with a religious agenda. I'm surprised they aren't required to say the Earth is flat, after all, the bible says it has four corners.

HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON’T SAY — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

“In order to avoid offending religious fundamentalists, our National Park Service is under orders to suspend its belief in geology,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “It is disconcerting that the official position of a national park as to the geologic age of the Grand Canyon is ‘no comment.’”

Friday, December 29, 2006

I wrote that article on Sam Harris' myths and truths of atheism, substituting mine for his. They can be found on my commentary blog:

10 myths—and 10 truths—about atheism

You can compare what I wrote with what Harris wrote:

Sam Harris

Atheism and Sam Harris

I've not been a big fan of Sam Harris, never read any of his books. What can he tell me that I don't already know about atheism or the fallacies of theism? And most likely I can write it better than he did. Still, he did write the books and I didn't and I'm glad to see a public figure who is unabashedly atheistic in public and has sparked public interest in it.

However, a recent article of his really impressed me. He actually did say a few things in a way I hadn't thought of, it can be found here:

Sam Harris Article

Below is an excerpt I especially liked. At the end of the article he mentions another article he did that answers 10 myths & truths about atheism. I was less impressed with that one and will write my own answers to it when I have the time and post them here.

*1. /Religion is true/:* There are two problems with arguing that any one of the world’s religions is true. First, as Bertrand Russell pointed out a century ago, the major religions make incompatible claims about God and about what human beings must believe in order to escape the fires of hell. Given the sheer diversity of these claims, every believer should expect damnation on mere, probabilistic grounds. The second problem with arguing for the truth of religion is that the evidence for the most common religious doctrines is terrible or nonexistent—and this subsumes all claims about the existence of a personal God, the divine origin of certain books, the virgin birth of certain people, the veracity of ancient miracles, etc. For thousands of years, religion has been a haven for dogmatism and false certainty, and it remains so. There is not a person on this earth who has sufficient reason to be certain that Jesus rose from the dead or that Muhammad spoke to the angel Gabriel in his cave. And yet, billions of people profess such certainty. This is embarrassing. It is also dangerous—and we should stop making apologies for it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Keith Olbermann

Just watched his show tonight and he replayed 4 of his special commentaries. Man, is that powerful to hear four of them in a row like that. He has become our modern day Edward R. Murrow pretty much by default, because none of his colleagues, the so-called news media who prefer to spend their time on whether Angelina will marry Brad instead of talking about what really matters and informing us on what we need to know in order to have a democracy.

They inform us on nothing, they bring in a spokesman from each side and let them have their say without comment. One of them could be lying through their teeth but the news people don't tell us that but present the most outrageous lies as if it was truth, and as if facts were a matter of opinion. It didn't use to be this way, the news people would not let someone get away with lies like that. Only Olbermann does not do this but informs us of what the facts really are, not the spin.

Here all of his commentaries can be found - Countdown - in full glory. They can be read or you can watch the video's. Here's my favorite quote:

"Mr. President, these new lies go to the heart of what it is that you truly wish to preserve.

It is not our freedom, nor our country—your actions against the Constitution give irrefutable proof of that.

You want to preserve a political party’s power. And obviously you’ll sell this country out, to do it."

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Blogging is a great way to put off work when you want to procrastinate. Here it is, Sunday, I'm at my home computer ready to work, football on my little TV, and what do I do? Post on my blog, of course.

One thing I want to do on my blog is talk about OSX applications I like, I have about a dozen good ones for making life easier for a Mac. Apple makes their basic system then third party people come in and develop all kinds of apps to do all kinds of things so OSX becomes as customizable as it's possible to be. Today I'm going to mention my number one app - PATH FINDER, that's the screenshot above. It's a Finder replacement, I didn't even realize how inadequate Apple's Finder was until I started using Path Finder. On the left I have a shelf for all the folders I use all the time, just to the right of that is all my hard drives and below that are folders of my current works in progress. In the middle is my usual Icon View, at the bottom right is my Preview, it will show a preview of pretty much any image file including Illustrator files (that's my granddaughter Ally in the preview). Above that I have all open apps which I can quit from PF one at a time or all at once, but I usually have that set for Info. It would be impossible to describe all of Path Finder's features except to say I can no longer work without it, and with version 4.6.1 they seem to have gotten all the bugs out and it's fast and never crashes. Check it out for yourself at Cocoatech, you can download it for free and test it for 21 days, must have Tiger. That's just long enough to find out you can't live without it and the $32.95 price is very reasonable and includes a full version of Stuffit 11.

Now, time to get to work. . .

My Top Ten Movie List

Yes, I'm the kind of guy who keeps a top ten movie list, even have it on my Palm so I can revise it as needed. They are in no particular order except Casablanca which definitely takes the number one position:

The only movie I've seen more than 3 times, I can watch this one all the time and never get tired of it. When AFI did the top 100 movie lines of all time 6 of them came from Casablanca. No need to name them, we all know what they are. This is the most classic of movies.

2-Last of the Mohicans
So well done many scenes gave me chills and the last ten minutes are some of the best movie making ever done, entirely without dialogue yet I was riveted.

I liked this movie so much I actually went out and got books on Scottish history to read. At least half the movie is true, which is pretty good for Hollywood, the other half is simply not known. Few records of William Wallace survived, most of what people think they know came from a ballad created centuries later. But he really did throw the Brits out of Scotland and was its military leader for a few months, and he really was drawn and quartered by Edward Longshanks.

4-Spirited Away
I love animated movies but this should not be looked at as one, it really stands in a category all it's own. It's a wonderful, mythic tale of a girl who learns she is both brave and resourceful, and done with amazing imagery and fantastic ideas. Miyazaki is a film maker like no other and all of his work should be seen differently than other movies, and Spirited Away is his best.

5-Maltese Falcon
What can I say, I'm a Bogart fan. This is the classic film noir detective movie, the one that created and defined the genre and with a top notch cast. Hard to get better. "You're good, you're awful good."

I can't tell you how upset I was that this movie got such little recognition, it only got one Academy Award for Supporting Actress when it should have gotten Best Movie and Best Actor as well. Ed Harris was remarkable both in front and behind the camera, a true masterpiece.

I don't think I need to say much about this one, it too is a Classic with a terrific cast. Harrison Ford's best role and the set design has been adopted by just about every sci fi movie since then because it was so well done and struck a deep chord about how all of us feel the future will look.

8-Kill Bill 2
A pure act of genius by Quentin Tarantino. This was every kung fu movie and every comic book I've ever seen done perfectly. The plot was assembled just right, the dialogue brilliant. In most movies I'm mentally rewriting parts of it in my head where they could have done it better but not with this movie. Even the music was genius and I hope everyone who saw it noticed his use of it. But Tarantino's greatest talent is his ability to make an actor great. Who else could make Michael Madsen a top notch actor and David Carradine brilliant. Carradine should have paid Tarantino for this role.

9-Return of the King
This is just about the most perfect movie ever made. I read Lord of the Rings first as a teenager then reread 3 times since then, the problem with movies about books like that is they can never match the vision I already have in my head about it, but Peter Jackson not only matched it but improved on it. And despite the fact that I knew the story quite well I was still on the edge of my seat as the war, and Frodo and Sam's journey, all reached a crescendo.

10-Sin City
The only movie more overlooked than Pollack. With this movie Robert Rodriguez takes his place as one of the modern greats, alongside Tarantino and Jackson. This is the most original movie I've ever seen, have the critics forgotten that movies are an art form? They must have or they could not have failed to recognize that this movie is art in it's highest form, pure genius. It's film noir on steroids and acid, visually powerful and unique with great performances from all involved, especially by Mickey Rourke as Marv. This should have won best picture for that year or at the very least have been nominated, and Rodriguez should have gotten Best Director. Everyone should see it but beware that it's very bloody.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Human Nature

I've long had the idea that evolution has adapted us for hard living - hunting down our food and running from hungry lions. When things get too good and we have nice lives we are miserable because we aren't genetically equipped to deal with this much prosperity (speaking in the general "we" meaning humans, there will always be exceptions). I've long been amazed that here in America, as life gets better our society seems to get crazier and crazier and so many people are unhappy and stressed.

Fortunately, over the next hundred years we are going to change human beings and make us much smarter, via genetic manipulation, smart drugs, super computer teaching techniques, nanobots in the brain or maybe all the above and a couple others I haven't thought of.

Then it will be a whole new ball game. Imagine a society where we have Replicators in our homes (the Star Trek kind, not the Stargate kind) and can order up any food or device we can think of so there is no want of any kind, no need to work or steal, and the average IQ is 200. We will either destroy ourselves or do some really amazing stuff, like break the speed of light and start flying around the galaxy

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Al Mora

Back in September of 1971 I started art school, 18 years old and fresh from my high school graduation. That's where I met Al, 24 and fresh out of the navy, we've been friends ever since. Now, 35 years later he's embarked on a new career - mystery writer. He's only written 2 stories but has already sold one, it can be downloaded here:


Scroll down to Al's picture and Gemini is the name of the story, it's worth a read. I love the picture, he looks like a high school science teacher, when I met him he was much thinner (weren't we all?), had a full head of very black hair along with a big, black handlebar mustache and looked like Poncho Villa.

We're getting a bit old.

Friday, December 8, 2006


I wanted to leave a link to a audio file on my last post about Cat Stevens but there doesn't seem to be any way to do that with your own MP3 file. But I did manage to find Cat on YouTube so I'm going to use that. This is my first attempt at doing video on Blogger.

And this is pretty much the theme song for Harold and Maude.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Cat Stevens

Once upon a time in the very distant past I was a big fan of Cat Stevens. Last night I watched a recording of CBS Sunday Morning and they did a piece on him. His recent life doesn't interest me much but they played a lot of his old songs and showed him in concerts from the 70's. It brought back many memories, especially of the movie Harold and Maude, one of my all time favorites and only the second movie I've ever seen more than 3 times (Casablanca being the first). His songs, with their melancholy cheerfulness, were the perfect counterpoint for the dark humor of that movie. I went on iTunes and checked out what they had and played their little snippets of all my favorite Cat songs (there are lots of them).

Makes me wonder how I lost my connection to music. I used to listen to the radio, tuned in to rock n roll at least 12 hours a day. I knew all recent songs and the artists, knew them going back to the Beatles in the early 60's, and I had all of Cat Stevens' albums, probably still do somewhere. At some point in the late 80's I stopped listening and just don't seem to care for music much these days. I don't hate it but I don't seek it out, either. Talk radio has taken over my life - the little bit I listen to radio at all which is usually only in my car.

Despite being a Mac user for many years and having iTunes since it first came out I have yet to actually buy anything from them, though my wife has bought a few songs. But tonight I think I'm going to download a bunch of Cat Stevens songs and remember the days when I was barely 21.
Maybe even burn a CD to take them to work. My wife has the iPod, I don't use one and never have. Practically sacrilegious for a long time Mac user.

Monday, December 4, 2006

The Third Beginning

I approached blogging the way I do most things, I completely ignored it and thought it a waste of time. Then, one day I started checking out Blogger and jumped right in to creating a blog. I learn best by doing. I originally intended just a business blog - Bear Byte Graphics - but then I put my cats and grandkids on it. Didn't seem right so I started a second blog called - Here In The Future - for me to spout off on philosophical issues, or whatever I felt like. I liked this but still not right so this is my third blog which I will keep as my main blog. So I moved the cats and grandkids over to here so Bear Byte Graphics can remain strictly for business. Here In The Future will remain for long diatribes, with links to new post here, but this will be where I post most often.

In the links on the right are web pages of my comic coloring, cats, grandkids, other blogs and for any upcoming books, movies or TV shows I like.

This is a very small Cead with a big yawn. Pronounced Cade, her name is Gaelic for The First, because she was the adventurous one. The other cat is Aki, which means Fall in Japanese, because she looks like Fall colors. The World's Greatest Cat, Nikko, died 3 years ago and we got these two 2 weeks later. We had had Nikko for 17 years only to have her die of cancer, but she had a long and happy cat-life. It's unfortunate that these two have such a hard act to follow, but we often think about how they don't measure up to Nikko. We don't tell, them, though, so they won't feel bad. They are three years old now, littermates who have never been apart a day in their lives. It's amusing how like human sisters they can be, fighting hard enough to make one of them squeak one day, then curled up on the bed like the best of buds the next day.

I've always loved cats but could never be near them because of severe allergies. Darcy told me if we get a kitten I'll adjust to it as it matures, so we wound up with Nikko. I sneezed and took lots of Vitamin C and Alka Seltzer Plus for 3 months when all symptoms suddenly disappeared. I have not been allergic to any cat since, however when I got an allergy test a couple years ago cats still showed as my biggest allergy by far. I don't know what that means except now it feels strange not to have a little cat following me around the house. Check out my links for a small photo album of the cats.

The one with the helmet is Ally, the one with the cookie crumbs is Maddie. I did what the bumper sticker said "If I knew grandkids were so much fun I'd have had them first." I did this by having no kids but married a woman with 2 boys, both over 18 when Darcy and I first moved in together 20 years ago. Those boys ended up having kids and I'm now their grandparent, a step one perhaps but they don't know that. To them I am just Grandbear. Bear has been my nickname ever since Darcy and I got together, that's the reason the business is called Bear Byte Graphics and why I became Grandbear. Darcy also coined that one and she's Grandarcy. There's also a link for them on the right for a small photo album.