Pat Robertson and Haiti
It even made NPR.
On the 700 Club, regarding the Haiti Earthquake, Robertson said this:
Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.
But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.
They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable

I’ve got to wonder–is Robertson perhaps trying to bash Roman Catholicism or just Vaudou? Does he want Haitians to convert to his brand of Protestantism? Is THAT the motivation for his words?
This is not the first time he’s said religious nonsense (According to his twisted theology, Katrina was punishment for America’s sins, and Ariel Sharon had a stroke because “he was dividing God’s land”)
Its days that Pat Robertson doesn’t get struck by lightning for invoking God in such a manner that moves me out of the agnostic camp and into the atheist camp.

Photosynthetic Sea Slug
Shaped like a leaf itself, the slug Elysia chlorotica already has a reputation for kidnapping the photosynthesizing organelles and some genes from algae. Now it turns out that the slug has acquired enough stolen goods to make an entire plant chemical-making pathway work inside an animal body, says Sidney K. Pierce of the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The slugs can manufacture the most common form of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that captures energy from sunlight, Pierce reported January 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Pierce used a radioactive tracer to show that the slugs were making the pigment, called chlorophyll a, themselves and not simply relying on chlorophyll reserves stolen from the algae the slugs dine on.
The findings have to be replicated, of course. It could be a mistake and the slugs are getting the chlorophyll from algae rather than manufacturing it completely by themselves. Still, it shows that Nature is far more strange than we imagined…

Dragon Age Origins

Flickr is not cooperating with me at the moment, so I don’t have any screenshots to show you.
Anyway, Dragon Age: Origins is a hell of a lot of fun. Complex, detailed, and bloody, this is the most fun I’ve had in a CRPG in years.
I am playing a human mage, named Lorius. I am trying to play it straight as a white hat (which is not as easy as you might think!)
Green Ronin is doing a pen and paper version of the game. If it expands upon the world, I’ll pick it up for research and background purposes alone!

Giants Opponents for 2010

The great thing about the National Football League is that as soon as the season is completed, teams know who they’ll play the next season.
Giants Opponents for 2010:
Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Carolina
Away: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle
I will have to see if my friend Kevin will take me to (another!) Giants-Vikings game next year…

Minnesota 44 NYG 7 and my NFL Predictions

Well, I went to see the Giants-Vikings game in person with my former Fed co worker and still friend Kevin Pachl (he has season tickets to the Vikings).
The 44-7 rout was much more fun for him than it was for me. I tried to take a few pictures…

Eli drops back to Pass
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

A picture from the romp of the Vikings over my Giants on Sunday

Anyway, with that out of the way, its time for my predictions for the upcoming NFL Playoffs!
Finishing strong is important, and getting that bye week is a mixed blessing. With that in mind, I think that the Vikings will revert to form sometime during the playoffs and crap out, the Saints will continue their skid, and (Heaven help us), the Dallas Cowboys will emerge to win the NFC Championship.
The AFC side is even wilder. I don’t trust the Colts not to underachieve again. The Patriots will hopefully get beaten by SOMEONE, and the Jets, Bengals, and Ravens can all be had. So I am going to go with the “sexy pick” of the San Diego Chargers to represent the AFC, and take home its first ever Super Bowl victory.
San Diego 27 Dallas 21

Final Book Tally 2009

A few days late, but this is my final list of books read in 2009:
57 Shadow Pavilion, Liz Williams
56 Dragon Keeper, Robin Hobb
55 Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon
54 Roadside Geology of Minnesota, Richard Ojakangas
53 Finch, Jeff Vandermeer
52 Unseen Alchemicals, Terry Pratchett
51 Precious Dragon, Liz Williams
50 Three Unbroken, Chris Roberson
49 Things We Didn’t See Coming, Steven Amsterdam
48 The Very Best of Fantasy&Science Fiction, Gordon Van Gelder
47 The Tuloriad, John Ringo and Tom Kratman
46 Age of Misrule: World’s End, Mark Chadbourn
45 Tales of the Road, Cathy Wurzer
44 The Edge of the World, Kevin J Anderson
43 Sun of Suns, Karl Schroeder
42 Fledgling, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
41 The Compleat Traveller in Black, John Brunner
40 River of Gods, Ian McDonald
39 Two Hawks from Earth, Philip J Farmer
38 The Pluto Files, Neil DeGrasse Tyson
37 Academ’s Fury, Jim Butcher
36 Songs of the Dying Earth, Martin and Dozois, Editors
35 Judas Unchained, Peter F Hamilton
34 The Tourmaline, Paul Park
33 Poison Study, Maria Snyder
32 Furies of Calderon (audiobook), Jim Butcher
31 Other Earths, Nick Gevers and Jay Lake
30 The Revolution Business, Charles Stross
29 The Affinity Bridge, George Mann
28 Yellowstone’s Treasures, Janet Chapple
27 Warbreaker, Brandon Sanderson
26 Naamah’s Kiss, Jacqueline Carey
25 Midwinter, Matthew Sturges
24 Children of Chaos, David Duncan
23 Infoquake, David Louis Edelman
22 Empire of Ivory, Naomi Novik
21 All the Windwracked Stars, Elizabeth Bear
20 City Without End, Kay Kenyon
19 Mortal Coils, Eric Nylund
18 Santa Olivia, Jacqueline Carey
17 What Happened to the Indians, Terence Shannon
16 Kitty Goes to Hell, Carrie Vaughn
15 Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand, Carrie Vaughn
14 Drood, Dan Simmons
13. Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Carrie Vaughn
12. Kitty Takes a Holiday, Carrie Vaughn
11. Kitty Goes to Washington, Carrie Vaughn
10. Kitty and the Midnight Hour, Carrie Vaughn
9. History Revisted the Great Battles, Mike Resnick
8. The Planiverse, AK Dewdney
7. The Accidental Time Machine, Joe Haldeman
6 Fables #1: Legends in Exile, Bill Willingham
5. The Domino Men, Jonathan Barnes
4. Chariot, Arthur Cotterell
3. The Story of Mathematics, Ian Stewart
2. Pushing Ice, Alistair Reynolds
1. Gladiatrix, Russell Whitfield