Monthly Archives: May 2010

TNQ | Today’s Noontide Query


I make up lots of characters — way too many in fact, and mostly for tabletop RPGs, though some just for my own written fiction.

It’s cool, sometimes, to come up with a persona to play, as with an actor, and vicariously live for a moment in a world that not only never was, but cannot be when going by the preponderance of a carefully gathered body of scientific data obtained over several centuries.

Yes, our understanding is currently crude, but getting better as time goes on.

I could, of course, abandon skepticism and reality and adopt magical thinking as my new logic, but that’s liable to make me a sucker for whatever bamboozle happens by and get me into a world of trouble — so I keep my fictional life and my real life separate.

As cool as temporarily assuming the role of a hero in a game might be, I ain’t him, whoever him happens to be for a given game-session.

So I’ll ask of you today:

If you could, which fictional character would you most like to be?

TNQ is a daily question that I pose to you, my readers, and please, do feel free to comment — I’m not an ogre. As per the title, TNQ is published each weekday at 12:00 PM

Teh Funneh Kittehs, Dey Run Amok…


TNQ | Today’s Noontide Query


A quote is attributed to Albert Einstein, as follows: “Intellectual growth should begin at birth, and end only at death.”

I try to live by this quote as I pursue my education, each day learning something really interesting, hopefully useful, and if I can, disabuse myself of at least one myth and/or misconception, which is always a good thing for a skeptic.

It’s never a good idea to believe you know something when in fact you don’t — confusing ignorance for knowledge, “I don’t know something, therefore I do!” — a common logical fallacy that anyone can make when they aren’t careful.

My intellectual journey takes me through a lot of twists and turns, around a lot of corners, and each leading to another, often leaving me in places I didn’t expect. There’s also the occasional dead end when I pursue leads that turn out not to be true. — But isn’t that always the case when you discover something previously unknown to you?

Whether discarding erroneous beliefs or acquiring real knowledge, this whole enterprise keeps me sane, active, open to new ideas, ameliorates my enjoyment of life, and prevents or mitigates a whole host of cognitive problems and errors down the road. This is a good thing.

So, tell me, or else I’ll have my inquisitors bring out the comfy-chair and the soft pillows…

What is the coolest thing you’ve learned this week?

TNQ is a daily question that I pose to you, my readers, and please, do feel free to comment — I’m not an ogre. As per the title, TNQ is published each weekday at 12:00 PM

Astronomy Pix of the Week


Rho Ophiuchi Wide Field

Looking Back Across Mars

Clouds and Stars over Cotopaxi Volcano in Equador

M13, the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

Atlantis over Rhodes

Teh Itteh Bitteh Kitteh…Wif Teh Byg Miaow


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