Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I've been busy working on my book, so I haven't written a post in almost two weeks. But for anyone who is interested, I have made some decent progress on "Too Stupid To Be An Atheist", and I am optimistic that my goal of having it completed by the end of the year is looking good. (Side note: I have created a Facebook page for the book and a Twitter account if you are interested in checking them out).  Ok, enough of the self promotion.  On to the post...

Hurricane Irene hammered away on the east coast over the course of the last several days.  High winds, storm surge and torrential rains have left at least 42 dead and caused that has been initially estimated between seven and ten billion dollars (yes, that's with a 'b').  My personal "Irene experience" was minor compared to many (I live in Maryland, about thirty minutes from Baltimore, if you were curious).  Our yard was covered by fallen branches from trees and our power was interrupted for about 24 hours.  I also had a very brief day at work on Sunday due to no power.  Luckily, we made it through unscathed.  But it was a powerful storm and many people weren't so lucky.  To appreciate the size of the storm, check out this amazing video of Irene from space:

Many people I know (either in "real life" or on social networking sites) were upset at their weather person (it doesn't get more PC than weather person) for not getting the timing right or predicting a bigger storm than we actually got.  People ignore the fact that it wasn't that long ago in human history (the first weather satellite was launched a little over 50 years ago) that a few trees being leveled in your backyard would be the first warning that a bad storm was headed your way (ok...there might be some hyperbole in there).  We knew about Irene well in advance.  A guy I work with is always saying, "the weatherman is the only guy who can be wrong a hundred percent of the time and still get a hundred percent of his salary".  This is unfair (of course, I should point out that this is the same guy at work who complete bought into Harold Camping's most recent prediction...he may be suspect).  Weather predictions are getting more and more accurate all the time.  But it tough to predict what is going to happen more than a few days out.  In fact, here's a quote from a weather guy in a really good Freakonomics article on the subject: “We have no idea what’s going to happen [in the weather] beyond three days out.”  So to cut this rant short, GIVE THE WEATHER GUY/GAL A BREAK!!!

The other thing that drives me nuts is the number of people without electricity praying for the lights to come back on.  Okay, I get want your power to come back on.  Mine was out for a day as well, and I wanted it to come back on as bad as anybody (I don't need much, but I need air conditioning and my internet connection).  But I have a few questions for anybody who found themselves "praying for power".  First, if prayer works (and I assume you think it does, or you wouldn't be doing it), why didn't you pray before hand for your power to not go out?  Better yet, why didn't you pray for the hurricane to miss you altogether?  Also, how would you feel if you found out the crew working on restoring your power had stopped working and was praying instead?  Do you think the power would come back on quicker that way?  I have a sneaky suspicion that you would be pretty angry if this happened (but, I'm wrong a lot).  If that did happen and you were angry, wouldn't that be an admission on your part that prayer doesn't work?  I'm not telling you not to pray.  I'm just asking you to think about it.

That's all from me...Peace (oh and did I mention the Facebook page for the book...."Like" it here)

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