Anytime I hear "the year of our Lord," I always associate that with something distinctly Medieval Europe. Anyways, happy new year.
Quick Update: Visual Basic (.Net) is still paying the bills. :) I'm still in Branson. And still living in my Condo. So, not much has changed. I did buy a new bicycle, which I hope I will actually use. It's a fairly cheap Target bike.
I did finish the Primary campaign in NWN2, and was somewhat disappointed after it was all said and done. It is a good RPG, and it does an excellent job of crafting a story where you feel your decisions have a radical impact on future experiences in the game as far as opening up differently dialog, quests, and even the "feel" of the game. There were some supremely well scripted parts that were both fun and technically impressive. And the dialog was typically well written and different for each character, although there are parts that almost seemed forgotten or never were re-read, and that's odd. When you're reading a book it's either poorly written or well written. Same with most games. This one was either typically above average with specks of total lameness thrown in (Voice acting was exactly the same). Mostly, it made me want to buy a newer video card, the graphics were good.
I found a really interesting podcast today, The Economics of Religion. Most interesting was the demographics of Atheism which was towards the end, but I don't want to take anything away from the rest of the podcast. It just so happens that I, mostly, fit the profile of an atheist: single, young, male. Although beyond that I don't. It helped shed some light to me on individuals such as Richard Dawkins, and why they are out to get anybody who's religious. It's been interesting to watch his PR campaign unfold on both digg and youtube that attacks Christianity primarily and religion in general. He seems to have had some success, judging by the comments on Digg.
A quote from wikipedia: "...a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations that is predictive, logical and testable." In this precise definition, it is difficult to put forth the argument that Intelligent Design is valid Scientific Theory, or for that matter Evolution. Neither is testable. The fact that mutation has never produced testable, predictable empirically knowable evidence suggests that both are theoretical discussions of origins, rather than valid Scientific Theory.
The baffling item to me is that no one has proposed a theory surrounding what is predictable, logical, testable, and even observable is the amazing de-evolution, for lack of a better term, of human and animal life on planet earth. The entire time of recorded human history, as well as fossil discovery, we factually know that what has happened has been genetic information loss, the shrinking of the gene pool. For example, a community of animals, cut off from the rest of the group, will have genetic information loss that will render them genetically abnormal from the other "original" population, and instead of being a new species or type, will in fact have become a genetically reduced smaller gene pool group, a sub group with less variation. In terms of global impact we have seen in the last 5 years scientists and businesses who are trying to keep different variations of plants stored due to the growing concern of genetic loss that would make entire crop fields susceptible to certain bacteria because they are so sparse in their variation. This problem is largely due to genetically engineered crops and farmer selection to replant only the most successful crops. The result has been to create a higher overall crop yield, but hasn't produced greater variation within the plants to actually provide a higher yield individually, per plant. Although, you often hear about the second law of thermodynamics in regards to this phenomena, it is often brushed aside by Evolutionists as being incorrectly applied to the planet Earth, despite factual evidence to the contrary. Much ado has been made about whether or not global warming is valid, but while the theory may accuse the wrong thing, it's predictive nature is very accurate and very real, and that is where theories should either sink or swim.