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Topics - Desert Fox

Tech Talk / "Refreshed" business PCs sold a gaming PCs?
September 25, 2023, 08:03:18 AM
These computers are not just sold on eBay but are sold on Amazon and These are old Dell, HP, and Lenovo workstations that get a face lift. They are painted pretty colors, given RGB, etc. I have seen 3rd, 4th, 5th gen i3 or i5 CPUs. In some cases Celeron CPUs. Often their hard drives are NOT replaced by SSDs. If given a graphics card, they are often given anemic graphic cards that are no longer supported. Not even something like a GTX 970 or so.

They have effectively no upgrade path with the case unable to take a different motherboard, the motherboard itself unable to take any new CPU, and the power supplies often unable to be upgraded. Some are half height, which vastly limits what graphic cards you can put in the desktop.

I think they are pretty much a scam. They don't make clear what they actually are and sold as "Gaming" PCs. They are not what I would call a "gaming PC." Best they can do are eSports titles are ultra low settings. My guess is that they get some parent or grandparent buying then or a kid for their first computer. Without the pretty RGB, buying them on eBay for example, you will likely save several hundred dollars. Heard cases where something might be under $100 without the "refresh" but around $300 with the "refresh."

Any personal experience with buying one accidentally yourself or know anyone who did? Also, while I consider reusing computers to be the ultimate recycle, shoudl there really be some rules that let people know what they are actually buying?
General Discussion / 1970s Clothing Question
September 13, 2023, 08:08:18 PM
I am working on a story set in 1973 and have a question. I am not quite old enough (almost) to know this information but I know there are some older people on the board than I am.

I have been looking through online Sears and Wards catalogs from that time frame. It seems like all of the men's and women's clothes were made of polyester? Even stuff like polyester sweaters.

For those with a bit more money, were there materials like silk available? Silk blouses, for example.  How about cotton blouses? Were there solid cotton khaki pants available? Cotton dresses? How about actual wool sweaters? I know that I personally hate polyester pants. 
Warner Brothers is putting out an animated Babylon 5 Movie in August

I guess it is good that they are potentially hurting their own church

QuoteA vote by Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) members found Southern Californian megachurch Saddleback and Kentucky's Fern Creek Baptist Church were "not in friendly cooperation" with SBC, the Baptist Press reported.

SBC's mission statement says the office of pastor should be "limited to men."

Fern Creek's pastor told CBS News it was a "sad day for Southern Baptists".

SBC is an association of more than 47,000 Baptist churches with a membership of more than 13 million, the group's website says.

The church is a protestant denomination of Christianity, with congregations led by pastors.

In total, five churches have been expelled from SBC for being led by women.

Two were overwhelmingly voted out at SBC's annual convention in New Orleans after they had tried to appeal their expulsions, the Baptist Press - which describes itself as SBC's official news service - said. The other three did not appeal.
Tech Talk / Personal Locator Beacons?
March 17, 2023, 10:24:52 AM
I am thinking about get one before I start my kayaking and hiking activities for the year. I am looking at getting a used one because used ones on eBay are in the $100 price range while new is $250+ range.
Any suggestions?
They don't need a subscription service because they are only used in a real emergencies?
Since you are only suppose to activate in emergency, do they have some sort of self test?
In our day to day experience we don't run into scientific experts too much but we run into what might loosely be called technical experts. These might be mechanics who are suppose to work on your car. Repair people who are suppose to work on your computer, your house, or some other kind of equipment.   

They have attempted to cheat me so often that I honestly don't trust them.

One of my old cars with a carburetor, I was told that the car had burnt valves and would need the entire head rebuilt. Turns out that the carburetor simply needed to be rebuilt. Would cost a fraction of the cost as well. Had a mechanic recently suppose to do a diagnostic on my roommate's car and they claim they got no information. They wanted $800 to do a deep diagnostic which would not count towards the repair. I bought the same software they are suppose to use and got diagnostic codes. Ended up doing a repair I was not sure I had the experience but I had to do it myself. 

Had a computer that I built myself many years ago that kept crashing. It was the first computer I completely built myself. Thinking I did something wrong, went a computer store and they claimed I did not put the heat sink on right. Got it home and kept crashing. Turns out it was a bad motherboard.

Sometime soon I need to get a new roof on my house, maybe within five years. I had a leak on the roof though that I patched myself. We wanted to see if an expert could patch it though before I tried my hand. Instead of getting someone who goes up on the roof, we got a bunch of sales people who tried to sell us an overpriced roof way above what should be the price of a roof. The price they wanted for a conventional roof was what it should cost to get stainless steel roofing.

I know ideology is a part of distrust of experts but many of us have been lied to so often by those that might be considered experts that we we have another reason?   We don't deal with climate scientists, geologists, and similar on a daily basic but we do mechanics (for example)?
Tech Talk / Mirror of physical object?
March 04, 2023, 05:43:25 PM
I recently bought really cheap a sword. Just a decorative one, no interest in using it as a weapon.
There is a panel missing from the hilt however.

Is there any trick through molds (or other means) that I could create a mirror duplicate of the other side of the hilt? I could then maybe cut that piece off and fit it into the location where the piece is missing.

I guess it could be done via 3D Printing but I don't have one and not sure how expensive it might be?
I am having something of a crisis of skepticism with respect to conspiracies

Of course there is the long discussed conspiracies where police cover for each other. We only really show now with video. There are also conspiracies where it appears almost certain that the courts are covering for bad law enforcement, allowing an innocent person to be incarcerated or even executed to protect the police and prosecutors involved instead of doing the right thing.

I just recently found yet another layer on this conspiracy. I was listening to a podcast that discussed the murder of Irene Garza. The murderer, a Catholic Priest, was protected on multiple levels where the church protected him, the police obscured the case, and the prosecutor also obscured the case. The church conspired with them in order to protect the church. There were rumors and stories but nothing concrete, just as we do with other conspiracies.  It was not until the Boston Globe released their expose on the Catholic Church that some of the other priests involved broke their silence that any movement occurred.  Even then, decades after the murder, When the family pressed to get the case reopened, the DA refused.

The case also does verify the idea in spotlight that the Catholic Church has special monasteries for troubled priests.

I verified with other sources and it appears as if the podcast I listened to described the situation accurately and honestly.

Do we need to put to bed the idea that wide ranging conspiracies do not exist?
Tech Talk / Computer Audio / Speakers?
January 06, 2023, 10:20:28 AM
This is more a curiosity than anything but what do you use for the audio / speakers for your computer?

For my TV computer, I use a set of Logitech Z506 75 watt speakers. Five speakers and one subwoofer.
For my main computer, I use a set of Logitech Z313 50 watt speakers. Two speakers and one subwoofer.
General Discussion / Mamma Cat and Kittens
December 21, 2022, 05:22:00 PM
This is screwed up and just need to vent.

We have a stray cat and kittens at work. Have a coworker who is a hypochondriac who claims he is allergic but honestly I don't think so.

I manage to  capture the Mamma cat and all four kittens as of today. Captured the mamma and one baby Monday and the other three today. I though something had happened to them because they were not around Monday.

Contacted several animal rescue groups and basically got that they had no room. One offered to spay and release after the first of the year maybe.

Tried putting a listing on Craiglist and was basically immediately flagged for deletion. As far as I can tell, I did not violate any terms of service.

I  contacted the government animal shelter by phone and said I need to make an appointment. They may of course kill them immediately. Problem is that their appointments are for residents of the area I work but don't live and for surrendering pets.  I sent an email to make an appointment maybe. Also contact Gloucester animal control.
Tech Talk / Laptop Recommendations?
November 29, 2022, 08:18:44 PM
I figure this  could be an open thread. I don't plan to buy a new gaming laptop any time any time soon but with Windows 10 ending support, may be time to start looking at a replacement. I am actually thinking around the June 2023 time frame.  Looking used, not new.

I am looking for a 17 inch gaming laptop with an 8th generation i7 (or later) or Ryzen 7 processor (Ryzen 5 might be good in some cases). Needs to have a decent video card as well. I wish gaming laptops still had blu ray drives but they do not. I want both the ram and the M.2 / SSD to be relatively easily accessible so I can upgrade.

Asking so I know what to start looking for.   
General Discussion / Legal Employee Advice
August 14, 2022, 01:58:24 PM
I received this text message

I do not remember having signed anything like that but it has been likely been ten years or longer ago.

Virginia Law would appear to be against it on multiple levels

Two specific items are that my income qualifies as low income because I make less than $57 k and/or around $22 an hour and this part "A 'covenant not to compete' shall not restrict an employee from providing a service to a customer or client of the employer if the employee does not initiate contact with or solicit the customer or client."  I did neither.

Edit: In case you are curious, I have a job interview with my county park service as a park ranger. I told her about that. That appears to be what she thinks is a landscaping company.

The whole story is this.  I have been working for two security companies. One is small local company, poorly run that has a bad reputation, and a large  national company. I don't love everything about the second but it is better run.

I work at a site for the first company that is watching US Navy ships with civilian crews. Some support ships have civilian crews. The company sent us a new officer that was a total asshole. We all had issues working with him. He would show up late, for example. He also argued with us when we tried to tell him how the site operates.  He started leaving the site on his shift (midnight shift) and the managers of the vessel discovered this. That was the one item that manager of the vessel could not deal with. Various officers tried to warn her about this. Lady that runs the security company dismissed everything we said.

The manager of the ships (called a port captain) sent an email to the company tell them that they needed to replace him. The port captain received no response.  The manager then started looking for a new company. That just happens to be the other company I work for.  When he secured the new contract,  he informed the original company that he was terminating the contract. Only then did they respond.

I in no way solicited the client  or the customer (either the manager of the ship or the other security company)
Health, Fitness, Nutrition, and Medicine / Hair?
July 18, 2022, 02:10:24 PM
I have an issue with my hair and afraid that just doing a Google search with leave me with garbage.

Prior to the pandemic, I kept my hair very short. I tried to grow it out once but never let it grow out like I have now. Have not cut it since the start of the pandemic and while a little ratty, hangs down to my shoulders or so. I had fairly thick hair as a child but pretty thin now. Since I have never had long hair, I don't know the best ways to care for it. Biggest issue is that I brush it out real good and looks at least reasonably neat. A few hours later it is a complete and utter mess. Want to avoid looking like trash if I can.

Like to keep my long hair if possible. Do shampoos for thickening hair work and are they worth it? Is hair spray and/or mousse useful in keeping hair in place for longer periods? Would getting a hair cut to neaten it up be worth it? I went to get a hair cut 4 or 5 years ago and they asked what style but not know styles either? 
General Discussion / Contacting podcast hosts
June 22, 2022, 03:33:30 PM
I have been noticing a trend and wondering if it is just me

Several podcasts I listen to, Monster Talk and Cognitive Dissonance specifically, don't seem to have a way of emailing them from their website. Monster Talk only seems to have a way to email them for sales. Have others seen that? I thought Skeptoid had that too but was able to find a way to email them.

Anyone else see the same thing?
Tech Talk / Kayak camera set up?
May 10, 2022, 04:24:53 PM
I had to replace the passenger window on the truck I use to carry my kayak and it has been surprisingly cold for this time of year.
As such, I have not been able to go kayaking this year but plan to start in the next few weeks.

Was thinking that I might set up a camera to record my adventures. I don't know if I will stick with recording so want to go fairly cheap. Thinking about getting what is effective a GoPro knock off because much cheaper than an actual GoPro. If I like it, then invest in the better hardware.

What do I need to mount it and any suggestions for knock off GoPro systems that are decent at least?
(Edit: Would I also be better getting an old Hero 3+ instead of a Knock Off?)
Likely actually fits into skepticism but posting in general discussion because not sure of the fit.
I have this list of red flags when it comes to criminal justice cases. They are certain things that as soon as I hear them, I consider them something that tells me to pay more attention to what is going on. While I want to look at all possible cases for wrongful convictions, there are certain items that makes things easier.

A new one is when a Cold Case is supposedly solved years or decades after the fact without any new physical evidence. Doesn't have to be newly collected but needs to be new DNA found as part of the evidence or finding someone in a data base. Maybe you have DNA but nobody to match it and are able to find that person through an ancestry search.

Seen at least a few cases though where they reopen a case and they may find inconsistencies in a suspects interrogation or they may hang something off a few words someone says. As well, they may show a picture of a suspect from years before and they think now after years to decades they now recognize the suspect.

Thoughts on this? One of my thoughts is that I would personally rather have the case be unsolved than use evdience so prone to error. As well, I have a concern with juries able to convict on that.
I was listening to Bart Ehrman when he was on Gutsick Gibbon's YouTube channel and he brought  up a point that i was unaware of. There are no surviving Hebrew writings from the 800 to 1000 BCE time frame other than the bible. Apparently the oldest intact manuscript we even have is from around 1000 CE.

There are words in the older parts of the Old Testament that we simply do not understand the meaning. We have no other writings to look at where we might be able to figure out the context and know what the word actually means. With ancient Greek, we have enough surviving materials that we can generally understand what was meant.

As well, I was listening to Genetically Modified Skeptic and he brought up an interesting point. He was discussing that many of the early Christian groups, we don't have their writings. Instead we have the proto-orthodox writings on them. For example, with Marcionism, we only have Tertullian, who describes Sinop as almost a burning pile of trash.

Hard to trust these proto-orthodox writers to be describing accurately these rival versions of Christianity.
I am curious what are TV shows or movies you cringe today while you originally liked the shows?
I don't mean as far as special effects / physical production value but plot elements and/or social aspects?
I don't think anyone would argue that Fundamentalists pick and choose what parts of the Bible that they pay attention to or not. We can discuss this in connection with this if we need to though as well. 

What I am wondering about are thoughts of their obsession with Revelations? They are always try to fit modern events into it, even when the passage is vague or that they have to spindle the passages into something very different than what is written.
Tech Talk / Features of older electronics you miss?
January 31, 2022, 04:34:46 PM
I am getting an old netbook ready to send to a friend but the battery is dead. It is an internal battery so have to tale it apart to replace the battery. Makes me think about various items / technologies I miss.

1. External batteries - Not just on laptops but also on cell phones. Really nice to be able to simply replace a battery.
2. RAM and hard drives / SSDs in a bay for them. All you would have to do is open a bay to be able to replace them instead of taking the device apart.
2. Laptop optical drives. While I know a lot of stuff is available for digital streaming, not always in a place with the bandwidth. As well, there are still a lot of older material only readily available on DVD  / Blu Ray
3. I have an old 64 GB USB Flash drive where the protective cover simply swings open and out of the way. I find it much more convenient than those which slide out. Found out that Lexar still makes one up to 256 GB. Likely going to buy one based on that.
4. I had an old MP3 player that simply plugged into the USB slot like a USB Flash drive. While phones have more or less taken over that function, it was extremely convenient and simpler to use than most MP3 players. In general I found that most MP3 players were needlessly complex anyway.
What is the largest explosion you think was witnessed by Homo Sapiens?
I am thinking it might be the explosion of Mount Mazama, which formed Crater Lake
I am wondering if there is any way I might be able to find out more information on this issue. I have tried googling various items to try to find an article on it but have had no luck. I am almost certain I heard about the case on NPR radio. Hoping someone might know a good way to find an article on this?

Back in either the very late 1980s or more likely lid to earlier 1990s, there was a woman in Massachusetts, pretty sure specifically Boston, who came out as lesbian. Prior to this, she had a sexual relationship with a man who was an intravenous drug user.   At the time, many women who were lesbian would try to live a heterosexual lifestyle.

At the time, intravenous drug users had a high likelihood of catching HIV. As such, the woman was concerned that she might catch HIV herself even though being a lesbian put her in a low risk category. She went to get an HIV test and the nurse told her that she had HIV.

The women started getting sick and was put on HIV medicines. At the time, the HIV medicines were really hard on the body.  She started setting sicker and sick with the doctors thinking that she was getting full blown AIDS. One doctor however thought something  was wrong and decided to retest her for HIV and found out that she did not have HIV.  The side effects were due to the medicine.

It was later found that the nurse was extremely anti-lesbian and had lied to her. I am pretty sure the nurse was some variety of fundamentalist Christian.

A side item: I was telling my brother about the case and he stated that she was not a lesbian because she had a relationship with a man. I took the easy way out and just stated that because she identified as lesbian, I describe her as lesbian. Shoudl I have instead tried to describe the social pressures of the time?
TV & Movies / How do you define a Christmas Movie?
December 18, 2021, 06:56:39 AM
There is the big argument whether the first Die Hard movie was a Christmas movie.
Don't know know how people on the forum consider the move?

Anyone have other movies you think should be discussed as far as being Christmas movies or not?
For example, is "Less than Zero," set at the Christmas Holiday a "Christmas Movie?"
I was listening to Friendly Atheist . . . .Here is the accompanying article

There is a poll indicating that the number of people calling themselves White Evangelicals has increased
It appears if if these people never go to church, don't know the bible, and worship Donald Trump

At what point does a Christian stop being a Christian? I have operated by the idea that if you self identify as a Christian, you are a Christian but at some point I am not sure that still works.
A man was looking at the manuals on his laptop for a vintage camera, which I assume they mean film, and one of the passengers near him thought he was looking at bomb instructions. He then pulls out the camera itself to mess with it. I am sure we have all done that with new devices where we mess with something so we can understand it.

QuoteA man was tackled to the ground by airport security at New York's LaGuardia Airport on Saturday, when a fellow passenger mistook his vintage camera for a bomb.

The man had been watching videos about and reading instructions for vintage cameras on his phone, which the woman who reported him confused with explosive devices.

When the traveller pulled out a vintage camera of his own, the woman reported him to cabin crew, and eventually staff radioed to LaGuardia security that they would need assistance with a suspicious passenger and possible security threat upon landing.

Don't people watch old movies? They should have seen old cameras in those movies at least?
Curious how you rate diet sodas by taste?

Mine are:
1. Pepsi Max / Pepsi Zero Sugar
2. Cherry Coke Zero
3. Cherry Pepsi Zero Sugar (Very rare especially post covid-19)
4. Diet Coke (Sometimes flip with Coca Cola Zero Sugar)
5. Coca Cola Zero Sugar
6. Diet Pepsi

Then everything else. Cherry Diet Pepsi is nasty to me.
Religion / Philosophy Talk / Culpability to crime?
September 21, 2021, 03:04:35 PM
I figure this is a moral dilemma so fits into philosophy

I was listening to a case where I am wondering where the culpability of someone involved is in question.

You have a battered woman who is having an affair with another man. The woman's husband finds out that she is having this affair through looking at her cell phone. He beats the shit out of her to the point where she has two black eyes, a broken nose, and damage to her jaw. he also puts a gun in her mouth, threatening her.

The husband then uses her cell phone, posing as her, and lures the other man into meeting "her." The husband ambushes the man and beats the hell out of the man with his wife in the car. Tries to get his wife to finish the deed but ultimately she refuses.  The husband leaves his wife and the lover in the car for a few moments alone where the man tells her to use the machete on her husband which she refuses, likely out of fear. 

Eventually the husband shoots the lover several times, murdering him.  The husband drives one car and the wife drives the other vehicle (husband's and victim's vehicles) to a secluded area several hours north of where the incident happened. She appears to have been alone in the vehicle but is being led / followed by the husband in the other vehicle. It appears to be in a place where they have camped before.   

The wife is ordered to cut off the lover's head and bury the body separately. She does so and tries to bury the body parts and clean the victim's car. Somewhere along the lines the husband returns home to make arrangements where she is left in the woods. She is camping in a place where there is active hunting and fish and game is called on her. As soon as she is encountered by fish and game, she comes clean completely.

Now an interesting fact is that she was left with a firearm by the husband when he left for home but I don't know if she would think the whole thing through rationally. 

I don't think I missed any vital details although did try to simplify things a little. What do you think her culpability is?

(Post the exact case if nobody figures it out on their own but made me think)
I had a dream / nightmare the other day which then kind of intruded on my awake mind.

I am 53 years old. I likely have between 20 and 25 years more left in my life. While I exercise regularly, I am a diabetic. I am on the downhill slide where I have less life left than I have life behind me. Of course I likely hit that around age 40 but the thoughts hit me today.

I am an atheist. When I die, I am just dead. it is as certain as anything is to to that there is no afterlife. The party goes on but I am no longer there.

How do you deal with that in your own mind?
Kind of in a strange position with this one. I know that there have been a lot of protestant religious over the years who have been involved in some shady sexual activity. For example, Jim Bakker was accused of rape by Jessica Hahn. There was Jimmy Swaggart and the prosttute, including possibly trying to involve a nine year old girl. There is also Ted Haggard with his gay lover and meth. I don't have an issue with him having been gay but the hypocrisy was the issue when he preached against it.

Now thought it looks like QAnon is turning on evangelical leaders. Interestingly they seem to be ignoring Matt Gaetz. I do have to wonder if some of these evangelical leaders really are guilty but I don't really trust their source at the moment.
It is just ironic to me how many evangelical leaders have tied themselves to QAnon and now appear to be getting burned

QuoteEarlier this week, Right Wing Watch noted how MAGA pastor Jackson Lahmeyer, who is running a primary campaign to unseat Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, has openly embraced QAnon conspiracy theorists as part of his campaign, only to become a target of their conspiracy theories. QAnon activists accused the pastor of pedophilia and child sex trafficking in July after he posted a photo of his young daughter wearing red shoes.

Similar allegations are now being leveled against several high-profile evangelical leaders.

Late last month, self-proclaimed "prophet" and QAnon conspiracy theorist Johnny Enlow posted a "prophetic alert" on his Facebook page in which he warned that "many of our most famous pastors and Christian leaders are about to be exposed as sexual deviants, pedophiles and worse."

We had no idea what that meant at the time, but now it appears to be related to allegations being put forth by a woman going by the name Madyson Marquette, who claims to have been a former adult film actress who was sexually abused and trafficked by several well-known evangelical leaders, including Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, and even the late Billy Graham.

In the last week, Marquette has appeared on several evangelical programs that regularly promote QAnon and other right-wing conspiracy theories to level her allegations, including a recent appearance on the "Up Front In The Prophetic" program, which is hosted by full-blown QAnon conspiracy theorists Alan and Francine Fosdick.

Did some looking up of Madyson Marquette. She wrote a book "My Father's Daughter" in 2014. At both Amazon and Goodreads, there are reviews of her book from people who are reportedly former neighbors and cousins. The reviews were prior to what is being reported on Right Wing Watch.

They both indicate that she is lying in her book, which makes these claims appear questionable. One claims that she has been in and out of jail for fraud. Another review indicates that she did work as a porn actress but her blaming it on her father is false according to reviews. As well, it seems like every man she runs into rapes her.
Damn, another disaster, this time effecting birds
According to the TWRA, the disease is causing eye swelling and crusty discharge from the eyes of birds and may also be associated with neurological symptoms.

The disease is affecting songbirds, primarily bluejays, European starlings, American robins, and common grackles. Hatchlings are especially vulnerable.

While there are no confirmed cases yet in Tennessee, the disease may already be present. "That's where we are in Tennessee right now just trying to collect birds that are exhibiting these symptoms and get those to the lab for testing," says Hanni.

While scientists have yet to identify the cause of these symptoms, they have ruled out various ailments, "It doesn't have a name yet, and obviously tested for all the normal diseases or diseases that have currently been found in birds like West Nile Virus, Salmonella, Avian Influenza, and so those tests have already been conducted."

Games / Gaming humor?
July 08, 2021, 01:42:14 AM
Thought I might start this. Most of mine will be for tabletop games.

General Discussion / Changing my Handle?
July 01, 2021, 06:00:37 PM
I need to ask what people think

I have been on the forum for years as "Desert Fox."

The problem, to be blunt, is that Erwin Rommel is not blameless when it comes to war crimes.
Even though I chose my title based on artwork a friend made, it still is tied to Rommel.

It looks like he was trying to retrieve a lost cell phone

QuotePolice in Catalonia are investigating the death of a man who is thought to have become trapped inside a large dinosaur statue while trying to retrieve his mobile phone.

Officers were called to the statue in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, a satellite town of Barcelona, after a man and his son noticed something inside the papier-mache stegosaurus on Saturday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for the regional police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra, said the death of the 39-year-old man was not being treated as suspicious.

"A father and son noticed that there was something inside and raised the alarm," she said.

"We found the body of a man inside the leg of this dinosaur statue. It's an accidental death; there was no violence. This person got inside the statue's leg and got trapped. It looks as though he was trying to retrieve a mobile phone, which he'd dropped. It looks like he entered the statue head first and couldn't get out.
I almost stuck this in politics but decided to post this here instead.

QuoteA South Carolina woman who was hoarding gasoline caught on fire Thursday after her vehicle crashed and burst into flames, authorities said.

The Pickens County Sheriff's Office said the accident occurred after a deputy attempted to stop a 2007 Pontiac G6 with a stolen license plate.

"The driver of the Pontiac turned left onto Wolf Creek Road and accelerated the vehicle in an attempt to elude law enforcement," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "The deputy then activated his vehicle's siren. Before the deputy could complete radio traffic with the Communications center, the driver of the Pontiac lost control of the vehicle leaving the roadway and completely flipping the vehicle."

Authorities said "multiple explosions" could be heard coming from inside the car. When the driver, identified as Jessica Gale Patterson, got out of the car, she was on fire.

"The deputy pushed Ms. Patterson to the ground in order to put out the flames," the sheriff's office said.
I have run across some stories of people who were Protestant in the Tudor period and converted to Catholicism. Not under Mary but under Edward IV and especially Elizabeth I.  In most cases it looks like Elizabeth tried to mostly ignore Catholics during the start of her reign although did harden later in her reign.

I understand if you were raised Catholic why you might have wanted to remain Catholic but converting from Protestant to Catholic during that period seems a little strange. Anne Line is an example of that. While I am not religious, I can grasp the idea of a more personal relationship with God and Jesus that Protestants pushed.

On the other hand, unless you were highly educated, you would not have understood the Latin Mass. There does appear to be more pomp in the Catholic Church that does appear to have always been a part of the activities. I am not sure if the idea of saints works in the favor of the Catholic Church or not. Confessions are another item that I am not sure if the idea helps the Catholic Church or not.

I am sure that there are not just one reason for  conversions but are there more common reasons?
I thought that it would be something interesting to post
Cracks in the ranks

QuoteUnder the motto "love wins," the Church of St. Benedict in Munich is one of four in Bavaria set to defy the Vatican and bless same-sex relationships.

It is a short article and cannot quote much more before posting almost the entire article.
Please just click and read the article.
I know that I am asking a lot of questions.

I looked for various answers including looking for pictures of the local group. Now of the maps of the local group that I have found seem to give directions to know on which side of the Milky Way Earth is to the local group. On the other side of the Milky Way galaxy compared to the Andromeda galaxy does appear devoid, makings me think we are on the Andromeda side but not sure.

I am trying to figure out if an astronomer from the other side of the Milky Way galaxy would figure out if they are in the same galaxy. I am thinking yes due to other galaxies but not the Andromeda galaxy, assuming it is on the other side?

assuming that there was a blue giant star 10 light years away, how bright would it be?
Would it be brighter than Jupiter, the moon, etc?
Inspired by Science Fiction but makes me think

In the original Battlestar Galactica, Kolob Kobol orbited a dying star.
I believe there have been other science fiction movies (and likely books as well) where a planet is orbiting a dying star.
It sounds as if these stars are basically fading out, not getting hotter and hotter like Sol is suppose to.
As well, it does not sound like these stars are preparing to enter a red giant phase.

Makes me wonder something. Is there any way we could have a dying star in our 13.8 billion universe?

Our sun (G2 class star) will enter a red giant phase that would fry any world so not possible with a G2 class star or greater.
Does a small yellow dwarf star (Say a G5 class star) go through a red giant phase?
A G5 is suppose to last around 12 billion years so a really early one could be running out of fuel.
I have a feeling that they too will go through a red giant phase though.

K class stars (Orange Dwarf stars) will remain in their main sequence for 18 to 34 billion years, so there should be no dying K class main sequence stars.
As with G5 class stars, I am not sure if they are theorized to go through a "Giant" phase or if they might go out with a whimper.
I believe is is theorized that M class stars will never go through a Giant phase but trying to google search something so exotic is hard to get info on
I know at a certain stage a star will never burn helium. such as a red dwarf star but they are suppose to last longer than the universe is suppose to last.

I know this is a bit rambling but hard to organize my thoughts
Has anyone who watches YouTube heard about what happened to the child of a person called "Telltale?"

His daughter was taking a health class in the 6th grade, the teacher was suppose to be teaching sex education. Instead went on an religious tirade including no sex before marriage, throwing shade against other religions and those with none, said anti gay and anti-trans shit, etc.

Telltail had his daughter record the class. The recording was sent to the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and he roported it on his channel. FFRF send a letter to the school.

Instead of the school disciplining the teacher, the community blackballed Telltail and his daughter, along with him getting threats. It sounds like he had to flee the state.

Skepticism / Science Talk / Secret Instructions?
February 23, 2021, 04:00:16 PM
I am curious about something here

These thoughts came up while listening to the latest Skeptoid episode about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Several people involved claimed that secret orders came from Brigham Young to murder the settlers. Brian Dunning stated that there is no evidence of these secret orders.

As I hope is widely known, Adolf Hitler gave what are called "Fuehrer Orders"  that according to documentaries I have watched were not written down but were verbal only but still had the force of law. It is only through some pretty smart detective work and little clues left behind that we know of his orders.

Not trying to throw shade at Brian Dunning but wondering what the default should be? We know that secret orders have been given plenty of times. Should the default be that such orders were not given?  I think my own default be to ut a pin in it and not discount it while working with what we can know.

A friend of mine posed something interesting

QuoteIn that milieu--in any edition--it seems that "Faith" requires the abnegation and abdication of the "Self".  One can either have belief in one's own ability, purpose, and faculties....or one can place everything "in God's hands".  All of it.  It reminds me of what I once read someone (who may not have fully understood the subject) remark about Shi'a Islam, "You have just enough Free Will to hang (Damn) yourself."  Save yourself?  Not a chance.  To me, that sounds like an utterly rigged system.  Which describes a lot of religion, especially monotheism as we know it.  I refuse to participate in a rigged game or system.  The only possible course that would have any meaning would be to *destroy* it...or at least what made it rigged.  Which is why I instinctively have the urge to take up arms against all the "gods" and destroy them in world after world.  Even if it required using the Quantum Eisenstadt Device from "Crisis on Two Earths" in order to achieve that goal.

He brings bring up something really interesting.

Let us say there really was a God, Christian or Islamic barely matters. Those who do not worship him (always seems to be a male god) are tortured forever as some Fundamentalists like to fantasize about. Don't see this as just humans on Earth but any other beings in the universe that are Sapient.

In order to end  the torture, you can end the cosmos. Is the moral action to end the cosmos to stop the torture?
I checked and did not see anyone post anything on this

It appears as if German Nuns sold orphaned children to sexual predators for years.
These children were raped by priests and businessmen. 
The children were then punished by the nuns would punish the children if their clothing was wrinkled or if they had semen stains

QuoteROME—A jarring report outlining decades of rampant child sex abuse at the hands of greedy nuns and perverted priests paints a troubling picture of systematic abuse in the German church.

The report is the byproduct of a lawsuit alleging that orphaned boys living in the boarding houses of the Order of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer were sold or loaned for weeks at a time to predatory priests and businessmen in a sick rape trade. The men involved in the lawsuit say as boys they were denied being adopted out or sent to foster families because selling them for rape lined the sisters' coffers for their "convent of horrors." Some of the boys were then groomed to be sex slaves to perverts, the report claims.

The alleged abuse went on for years, with one of the males claiming the nuns even frequently visited their college dorms after they had left the convent. He said the nuns often drugged him and delivered him to predators' apartments. The Order of Sisters of the Divine Redeemer did not answer multiple requests for comment about the allegations.
Religion / Philosophy Talk / Absent God?
January 09, 2021, 05:16:28 PM
I had a thought process that is not really fully formed but I am think it might be an interesting presentation

I am thinking about asking a theist (almost certainly a Christian) this:
Say this is a god that maybe created the universe. Personally I don't see any evidence but we can work from the hypothesis. Say that this being does not interact with the actual universe. When you die, you are just dead. If you need help in life, this being will never help you.

Would you still worship this being? If not, aren't you only worshiping your god because you think it is giving you something?
General Discussion / MLM discusion
December 30, 2020, 05:40:37 PM
I thought about playing with the idea and I though about also posting this in the skepticism section but in the end decided to post it in general

A could of thoughts / questions
1. When you hear someone talk about "growing their business,"  should one immediately flag them as likely working for an MLM?
2. What are thoughts on why so many MLMs are located in Utah?
Skepticism / Science Talk / Embr Wave?
December 30, 2020, 05:33:02 PM
I have a feeling this item is a scam but it is being hawked on a number of (non skeptical) podcasts I listen to.
Why hasn't any skeptical groups looked at it (As far as I can tell)?
I am in no way a holocaust denier. I believe somewhere around 6 million people, mostly Jews, were systematically killed by Germany during World War II.  I believe that almost aspects of the German population was involved including the  Wehrmacht . They were in no way clean.

I noticed something weird though with pictures of Auschwitz.

That is that the remains of the barracks have chimneys.

I can think of three possible reasons for this. They are not necessarily exclusive. 
1. The winters are very cold and there would be no one left alive without some heat.
2. The chimneys were there for show so they looked more or less like normal barracks
3. Plans were to convert the barracks to something more convention when all the prisoners had been killed.
Likely a real good idea to have a presence on YouTube to go against PragerU
This is more philosophical than political

This a little rambling

I don't know it was my original position but I once supported the death penalty. Never very strongly but like a person who thinks that a rabid dog should be put out of their misery for the betterment of society. When I became interested in wrongful convictions, that changed. I realized that there was too high a likelihood of killing an innocent defendant. It also does pressure innocent defendants to plead guilty to save their lives.

I don't think I am a bleeding heart that believes every sob story about someone actually being innocent. I examine the evidence and hopefully see where it falls. I have a lot of shades of grey where some cases where I think the defendant is guilty when people are trying to argue for their innocence, cases where the person really may be innocent but the case is hopeless, cases where the defendant is likely guilty but the evidence is basically garbage, cases where I just don't know but the evidence of guilt is either nonsense and/or comes apart, and cases where I am sure that they are innocent and that I think the evidence proves it.

I recently found out that Jens Söring was given parole and deported from the United States. He is of the case where I just don't know but the prosecution evidence falls apart. Part of the evidence at trial was that Type O blood was found on the scene with him having O blood. When the DNA was tested decades later, it was not his blood. He is back in Germany now and hopefully he can live the rest of his life.

I was looking for more information on the case and there were some really horrify hate filled comments I found. These are not family members or friends of the victims, which I wound understand. I see this many cases where the defendants are either innocent or there is no real case again them. The vileness and the hatred spewed against them.

Is there just a hating personality type out there?