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11 comments on Episode 131: A Giant Circle Jerk of Prophecy
Did you notice “ted nugent” (I refuse to capitalize it) is the conservative Texan’s treasurer? Awesome, a republican in bed with a draft-dodger, who’d a thunk it?
This note is for ? Alexi ? about Atheist Resources. I’m not quite sure what he wanted, but maybe this massive project is what he is looking for, and he does not need to reinvent it:
Concerning Colorado Springs… Good chance Klingerspackel could get elected to state legislature there. COS is home of Focus On The Family and another mega church. The wing nuts there will love him. Lived there in the early 90’s and still have business there. Fucking place reeks with god blathering.
If I remember correctly, Colorado Springs was an attempt at and Atlas Shrugged / Fountainhead style libertarian “paradise”. Taxes were and are kept absurdly low, because taxes somehow frighten Jesus away so he can’t do his “job-from-a-hat” trick, which makes other wealthy people try to follow suit. It was an attempt to prove the Randian notion that taxes and government are what is standing between us and an unregulated free-market paradise.
The end result is that, if this is the same Colorad Springs I heard about during the recession, disabled two of every three street lights because they had no tax revenue, sold half their ambulances because they had no tax revenue, sold a quarter of their police cars because they had no tax revenue, sold their only police helicopter because they had no tax revenue, sold one of their fire trucks because they had no police revenue, and then watched crime rates spiral out of control because they have so few emergency responders left, and much of the town is now dark at night.
It is also my recollection that they disabled the non-emergency police number, and had all “calls” go to a web form, with notice that an officer would not be responding to any non-emergency calls. A ticket would be placed, and the person would get an incident number they could use if needed for insurance purposes.
Modern Libertarian Conservatism is faith-based. I do not mean it’s Christian, though pundits regularly throw bottles of Jesus-glitter at it so it looks shiny and pretty to the fundamentalists. When arguing with these people, you have to remember you are arguing with a fundamentalist zealot, for whom the Holy Tinity is Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand, and Gold.
Telling these people that the government *does not* leave suffering and devastation and ruined companies in its wake is the same as telling an evangelical baptist that Satan did not create the fossil record or homosexuality.
Telling these people that unregulated free market will *not* suddenly turn into a force of benevolence is like telling militant Islamists that imposing their own version of Sharia Law everywhere will not bring about world peace.
I totally understand not liking a food because of its consistency or some other non-taste related aspect. I personally just can’t eat mushrooms because, as a biochemist, find fungus and the idea of consuming fungus repulsive. Nothing to do with the taste, it’s purely the idea. Apple pie I can’t eat now because of a bad episode of cotton fever I had when I happened to have eaten apple pie earlier that night. Apple pie tastes wonderful, but eating it repulses me.
My question is your comment that egg nog simply isn’t a good tasting food. I get the issue with consistency, but why do you think it’s bad tasting? Personally I find mayonnaise disgusting because of its consistency, but I can’t say it tastes bad. It just can’t, it’s pure fatty cream stuff. Having now made it from scratch you now know the constituent ingredients. I would be surprised if you dislike the taste of sugar, butter, vanilla, or eggs. What element of it do u think causes it’s bad taste? Did u add nutmeg or something? I simply don’t get how any of the individual ingredients could taste so bad, above and in addition to the consistency getting your panties in a bunch as well. Personally I think it’s like a deep fried snickers ice cream cone. Disgusting? Yes. Bad tasting? Fuck no. Some things are just too decadent to be desirable.
Oh and whoever came up with the idea of mixing bourbon and egg nog was clearly an alcoholic that needed to drink in order to deal with their family. Bourbon should ONLY be taken straight. It’s like mixing dry gin with nonfat milk before school in 9th grade bc it was the only other liquid in the fridge and you don’t know any better. Dairy and alcohol are NOT good together (Save any kahlua-based drinks).
And fluorine is highly reactive, not fluoride. The reason fluorine is so reactive is that it has only 7 electrons in its valence shell, 1 shy from a complete set. All atoms want to get to a full valence set, but the degree of their ability to do so is called its electronegativity. Fluorine has the distinguishing quality of being the most electronegative atom on the periodic table, meaning it has the strongest tug to steal an electron (react) with another atom. The chemical formula goes
F2 (Flourine) + E-Donor Atom(s) –> 2F- (Fluoride) + NowDonated Atom
Fluorine(F2) is super highly reactive because it wants to become Fluoride (F-). The -ine vs the -ide makes a huge difference. Fluoride, or F-, is the only type of F atom any of us deal with on a regular basis, and is fairly non-reactive. It has it’s full valence shell of 8 electrons and isn’t looking to dance with anyone.
The same goes for sodium. The opposite of electro negativity is when an atom wants to give up electrons to form a perfect valence shell. Sodium has a full valence set plus this pesky extra electron, making it highly unstable. It would take WAY more work to add 7 more electrons than to simply give up the extra one, That’s why sodium metal can cause explosions, it’s so insanely reactive willing to give ANYTHING it touches it’s extra electron.
E-Accepting AtonANYTHING —> Na+
Na+ is happy and non-reactive, just like F- (Fluoride). This is because post-reaction both have nice full valence sets of electrons. The same is true for turning Chlorine (Cl2) into Chloride(Cl-). Super reactive/Highly toxic —> very stable/non-toxic. The reason things react in the first place is to get to their lowest possible ( most comfortable if I may personify atoms) energy state. You shouldn’t go ingesting unnecessary amounts of fluoride in toothpaste but it’s not because fluoride is in any way highly reactive. Really, eating the small amounts used each day from brushing probably wouldn’t kill you even, but since there’s no benefit to eating it, there’s no reason to risk it.
I looked up fluoride long ago.
Fluoride is among the most aggressively reactive elements, and so is highly toxic, corrosive, and very difficult to store.
It is like iodine in that it is good in tiny amounts, but quickly becomes toxic.
As I recall, it is good in toothpaste in that it is highly toxic to some families of bacteria, and it also helps calcium anchoring on tooth enamel.
As you said, it should *not* be swallowed, because it is highly reactive, but what is in water and toothpaste is very safe levels.
Actually, I asked a dental hygienist about this after reading a few things about the tap water, and there are some who think the benefits from fluoridated water are too minuscule to be worth the accident risks involving fluoride in water treatment plants. There is also an argument, which I will not dismiss, that “water fluoridation” is just a way to let industries use otherwise toxic waste as a tax write-off. “Don’t pollute, dilute.” Please note that these are industrial-based discussions, not a debate on the benefits of fluoridated toothpaste.
Also, you will see that a lot of the fluoride based debate comes from the John Birch Society, who claimed (and claims) that fluoride weakens one’s will, and was a plot for the government to establish communism. I have a running joke with a co-worker “Fluoride Causes Communism!”.
I am a biochemist (BS in biochemistry/chemistry from UC San Diego, and I work in the biotech industry now), and the analogy Cecil gave in the show was actually perfect. The example was oxygen, when in its ozone O3 form is deadly to humans if inhaled but we need diatomic O2 oxygen to breath on a regular basis.
Another great example would be chlorine and sodium. Chlorine gas (containing suspended Cl2) was used in WW1 in the trenches and can cause death in a matter of seconds. Sodium metal (Na) is so highly reactive that if you threw a golf ball sized chunk in a swimming pool it could create an explosion that would connect the jacuzzi to the pool. But what is basic table salt that we use everyday? NaCl.
The way chemistry, and ESPECIALLY biochemistry, works you can’t just look at chemical formula and say oh there’s an atom of X in this, that means it is going to have the properties Y. The oxidative state, polarity of the molecule, reactivity of various sites based on said polarity in the molecule, what ligands are bound around the molecule, a TON of different things matter as to how a given molecule will behave. That’s why in chemistry we deal with molecules. Focusing on individual atoms is for physicists. So I wouldn’t worry, keep in mind if the fluoride conspiracy theorists were right, there should be a huge death toll resulting, which still to this day fails to materialize.
Err I meant to add the second reply I made above to your post. Look above for the post explaining why fluoride is not highly reactive, at all, and the difference between fluorine and fluoride. You seem like an intelligent guy that didn’t major in chemistry but is looking for answers, and chemistry happens to be the one field I can reliably provide those answers to someone, so I hope you get a chance to read these two replies.
But just to summarize.., fluoride is NOT aggressively reactive, nor highly toxic, nor difficult to store. On the contrary, fluoride (F-) is extremely stable and non-reactive, and is present in basic tap water amongst other things and is thus not difficult to store. Neither is it what I would call highly toxic… Being that it is quite healthy to ingest up to a certain amount each day that governments mandate it to be present in either tap water (US and Canada) or food salt (European countries). Like every substance in existence (even water has an LD50), it does pose a health risk at certain dosages.
The aggressively reactive, highly toxic, difficult to store substance you are talking about is Fluorine (elemental F2). It is so reactive that it will react with pretty much anything it comes in contact with so that it can convert itself to fluoride (our super stable friend I just talked about). Once it becomes fluoride F-, it takes hell and high water (plus a STRONG oppositely driving reaction) to force fluoride F- to turn back into elemental fluorine F2. It’s fucking damn near impossible. Things want to be in stable, low energy states. It’s this reason that no one outside of inorganic chemists working in a laboratory ever come close to being in contact with elemental fluorine F2.
Overall what Cecil said in the episode ties together the main lesson here: a molecule determines what chemical properties a molecule has. You can’t just look at an empirical molecular formula and see a fluorine atom and determine that it will have certain properties. This is why cranks try scaremongering sucralose by saying “the molecule has a chlorine atom in it!” Same goes for the argument that Prozac is toxic because the huge molecule has a fluorine atom in it. It’s just not how chemistry works.
Not sure exactly what Alexi was looking for but @KevinJSteward has started a forum board that lists many podcasts, meetups, books, blogs etc…
and if I can self plug a bit Kevin is also helping me organize a giant atheist meet up in Vegas (June 27-29) details as they come can be found on his forums or contact me on twitter
Glory Hole fella’s