They should remake the Hindenburg movie

In 1975, a movie was made depicting the Hindenburg disaster. It was directed by Robert Wise and starred George C Scott. With such talent, it should have been a masterpiece. Instead, it became known as a farce.

Too much of the movie was fictional and even inaccurate, including the unsupported claim that a crew member planted a bomb on the airship. The crew member was given a different name (Karl Boerth) but in the book the movie was loosely based on, the crew member is identified as Eric Spehl, who was actually at the nose of the Hindenburg and was burned to death.

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An example of lying outright by a company that got away with it!

Pac-Man (Atari 2600)

Image via Wikipedia

In 1981, Pac-Man was the hottest video game in the world, and Atari was one of the most respected video game companies. So when Atari decided to make a home version of Pac-Man for its 2600 system, people expected it to be fantastic.

It wasn’t! Indeed, it was nothing like the original! Read this review for one reaction:

But look at how Atari described the game in its own manual:


We know that millions of people all over the world just love the PAC-MAN arcade game. PAC-MAN has won the hearts of men, women, and children everywhere. We also know that PAC-MAN has traditionally been an arcade game. Well, we at ATARI know all about arcade games. After all, we make some of the greatest arcade games in the world, and we know how to bring the same dynamite game play into your home.

Our PAC-MAN has all of the excitement and challenge of the standard arcade game, and you get to play in the comfort and convenience of your own home. This is especially advantageous if you still plan to make an occasional appearance at the arcade to show off your great playing skills. (Little do they know that you’ve been practicing at home all along.)

Having played both the original arcade game and the Atari home version of Pac-Man, I knew immediately that Atari was bullshitting everyone, but it somehow  got away with it!

It shouldn’t have! I would have gladly taken part in a class action lawsuit against Atari for that act of fraud on its part. If I had been the CEO of Midway Manufacturing Company, which made the arcade Pac-Man that Atari was supposed to duplicate, I would have sued Atari too!

Translations of Scriptures cannot be trusted

As critical as I am of the Baha’i Faith, I am equally critical of orthodox Islam, which the Baha’i Faith evolved from. The reason is simple: If you truly believe in an all-powerful and sovereign God, then the very idea that anything, like the Quran, can be the final revelation of God for all time is blasphemy. It is man telling God to be silent forever. So why not become atheist, then? I addressed this before:

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Why Intelligent Design cannot be scientific

We can look at the faces of U S Presidents carved on Mount Rushmore and know they were designed because we can come up with precise explanations for how human beings could have done it. We know human beings exist and that they are capable of doing such work. Likewise, we can examine a crime scene, knowing that human beings exist and are capable of committing crimes like robbery and murder, and how such crimes can be committed. But we know NOTHING directly about the supposed Designer of life on Earth or how he could have operated in the design process. Without that knowledge, Intelligent Design has no real scientific applications. It is nothing more than an appeal to religious prejudices.

Dinosaurs and Creationism

One of the biggest frauds committed by Creationists, especially of the “Young Earth” variety, is to assert that dinosaurs existed as part of God’s creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis, that they were on the Ark of Noah, and that they died out after the flood. They do all this without a single shred of evidence for their claims, nor do they give any clear statements from the Bible as support. So from both a scientific and a theological perspective, they fail miserably.

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Slammed by an electric company

First, read this:

“Slamming” is the illegal practice of switching a consumer’s traditional wireline telephone company for local, local toll, or long distance service without permission. The slamming rules also prohibit unreasonable delays in the execution of an authorized switch by your local telephone company. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) slamming liability rules provide a remedy if you’ve been slammed, discourage slamming by removing the profit, and protect consumers from illegal switches. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau can also take action against slammers.

Did it ever occur to the federal and state governments of the United States that electric companies might pull the same $#itty stunts?

At about 7:00 on the morning of December 9, 2010, we suddenly lost power at our home. Thinking it was a mere power outage, I called ONCOR, which manages our electric grid in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to have it fixed. But instead,

  1. We were told our power supply had been DISCONNECTED and that we had to talk to our electric retailer!
  2. TXU is supposed to be our retailer. But when we called them, we were told that we had been switched to another company on Dec. 1. We had no prior knowledge of this, nor could TXU tell us what the new company was. We were given another number to call, for ONCOR’s customer service line (the first number I had called was for power outages only).
  3. ONCOR then told us that the company that we had been switched to was Direct Energy. We were given their number to call.
  4. Direct Energy confirmed the switch and indicated that a sales rep for them had talked to my wife Cheri. But Cheri remembered nothing about asking to be switched. I told them they had no business cutting off our power, that I would dispute the charges and we wanted to be restored to TXU and have our power restored as well ASAP!
  5. At 9:30, our power was restored.

Consider yourselves warned! It could happen to you!

I no longer respect Oprah Winfrey

Not since I learned that she promotes fraud and woo on her TV talk show and her other publications. And that causes DEATH!

Ready for this week’s bit of skeptical activism? Orac has the details on Kim Tinkam, a woman who had stage 3 breast cancer and decided to treat it with The Secret (happy thoughts) and diet changes instead of science-based medicine. The science offers a 50/50 chance of survival. The happy thoughts add nothing to your not-so-promising chance of surviving 5 years without treatment.

Four years ago, Oprah featured Tinkam on her show and gave her the validation she needed to continue using quack therapy. Today, Tinkam is dying, forgotten as Oprah launches her 24/7 health network OWN.

Orac suggests we remind Oprah (or at least her producers) of the damage she’s done. Go to her contact page and show them the human cost of spreading misinformation.

Read more here:

Oprah doesn’t belong on television anymore, and we need to start a campaign to end her broadcasting and publishing career!