Tuesday, November 15, 2011


First of all a special thanks goes out to this week's guest Marty Yu for calling into the hatch! I would like to begin today by recapping an important point that was brought up on the podcast. Douglas Adams had this to say in an interview with American Atheists:

"I don't accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view. My view is that the moon is made of rock. If someone says to me "Well, you haven't been there, have you? You haven't seen it for yourself, so my view that it is made of Norwegian Beaver Cheese is equally valid" - then I can't even be bothered to argue. There is such a thing as the burden of proof."

Which brings me to exhibit A...

The Norwegian Beaver. Look at her, filled to the brim with self confidence, yet shorter than a blade of grass. Now, the moon's mass is roughly 1/81 that of the Earth's, and a beaver weighs, what..maybe 5 pounds and the moons mass = (1/81) X 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.
Now I am not even going to waste my time converting pounds to kilograms here because it is easy to see that even if we managed to coerce the entire known population of these NBs into a cheesary and gave them 15 billion years to lactate, we would still fall short of our Moon mass quota. And imagine the chaffing of their tiny little beaver nipples after 15 billion years of milking, not to mention the smell. It would literally stink to high heaven. And who would want to live in a Universe created by a God who would allow such a thing?

Then again beavers have been through much worse... consider Exhibit B

The Beaver (2011). Perhaps there is no God.

But just for the sake of argument let us burden ourselves a bit longer. On the podcast we ran out of time before we had the chance to introduce a key witness in the debate over the existence of God, Gordon Shumway, also known as ALF. In the episode called "Can I Get a Witness?" Gordon sites the Adam and Eve Story in court as a precedent to his case that he did not break the neighbor's window, therefor if an Alien Life Form with the ability to fly across the universe and into our hearts believes in God. Well Q.E.D.

here’s the clip
(I started watching at 8:58 plus there is a 30 second commercial)

May I point out that Shumway looks suspiciously similar to the Norwegian Beaver? Do ALFs make cheese?

Anyway now that we have incontrovertible proof of the existence of God, let us move on to another subtopic from Professor Blastoff's syllabus on Atheism that did not make it into the discussion.
When Man or woman Plays God.

My research led me to an interesting scientific breakthrough in the field of bio engineering. Scientists have manufactured a living organism from scratch, meaning they took some dirt, coded some DNA, and put the DNA into the dirt and it woke up... or something like that. Basically they made something not living, live. It is just a bacteria so don't get too worked up, and I'm sure as soon as the scientists finished God was like, "hey buddy get your own dirt", and the scientists were like "oh there you are."

Anyway here is that clip. (God's part was edited out.)


To wrap this up might I just say, there is a lot I don't know. That is what has drawn me to this job as researcher, and even though I am a believer I am also a raging I don't knowian and it gives me great joy to learn new things. I hope that this life isn't all we get because when I look up at the stars, I long for a chance to join the Professor and Captain Kirk and explore strange new worlds and civilizations and more importantly hunt down a moon made of Norwegian ALF cheese! It will be my white whale...or white dwarf, if it goes nuclear. I feel like this life is just too short for whoever created this place to tease us with the stars.

Thanks for stopping by! To comment or view comments please visit aaronburrellcomedy.com/pbafterthoughts 

Also if you have chanced upon this blog without listening to this weeks episode of Professor Blastoff on Atheism here is that link!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This week in the hatch we discussed the finer points of creativity and wood with Harvard alumni named Paul F Tompkins. We learned that he had magnificent hands! Take all the time you need to stare at them. Because these are hands that create... words on a note pad! 

Now onto something we did not get to cover on the episode. The healing power of music. As we all know, a good lullaby can send us right to sleep. My wife does not sing lullabies to me because she says I am too old for them, which really gets me angry and makes it so I can't sleep, so I don't ask her anymore.

The research I did on the healing power of music lead me to the story behind that movie with Iron Man and Jamie Fox where Jamie Fox played a schizophrenic musician named Nathaniel Anthony Ayers and Iron man played a Los Angeles news paper reporter who discovered how classical music seemed to have a pharmaceutical effect on Nathaniel Ayers.

Here is that clip

Pretty cool huh? As for me, creating music is very therapeutic... for me. Not so much for everyone else within earshot. I love to sit down at the piano and just play. I could play for hours and feel like a million bucks after words, but as soon as I try using my left brain to formally compose something I become agitated. It's like my right brain telling the left brain "stop crashing the party man!" or woman, in case Tig reads this. Piano lessons always gave me anxiety. Any attempt at taming that wild raw musical exploration always killed my buzz. I wonder if others are the same way. Maybe that is why people love free form art. There is something sooo relaxing when you can turn off your brain and use muscle memory to play a few chords or paint completely abstractly, not worrying if other people find your creation pleasing. True bliss is when you just play.

But creating something that is therapeutic to other people's eyes and ears is hard work, you're not so much playing anymore when you get caught up with music theory or whether your first act in your three act play is overly expository, whatever that means. I like to know that the creator really put some work into their creation, but not while I'm consuming it the first time. I like to sit back and take it in, and then think about all the work that must have gone into putting me into this pleasurable trance. Sometimes though I like to just remain in ignorance and pretend that the magic is real. Other times I can't rest until I find out how something was made, like how did they make all those dinosaurs look so real in Jurassic Park?! And how much of that realism was due to my 11 year old imagination filling in the gaps? And how skeptical will I become when I'm 81, will I allow myself to suspend any disbelief then? I really hope so, because looking back, being able to get lost in the same movie 29 times made life seem so much more adventurous. Now it seems like I have to see 29 movies before I can allow myself to turn off my critical mind.

Thanks everyone for reading. This first post is extremely free formed due to my limited time to edit. But writing this was very therapeutic, I apologize if reading it was not.

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