Sunday, April 24, 2011

Covers of the Week - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams Sr.)

I am not a big fan of country and western music. I don't dislike but I typically don't include it among normal listening. But there are exceptions especially when it comes to classic country blues like the next classic. I've always loved Hank Williams Sr. (playlist) since I was a wee little boy and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is probably my favorite.

Cowboy Junkies (playlist) bring their own melancholy style

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Great Debate Debate

In The Long Debate and the Importance of Engaging with “Believers” on a Philosophical Level on JREF Matt Lowry talks about how his beliefs have changed over the years.

In the early days, I was often brash and overly dismissive of those who espoused various, for lack of a better term, woo-woo beliefs.  Over time I came to realize that I wasn’t really engaging in good skepticism but instead overt cynicism: I was simply adhering to a position and everything which didn’t automatically agree with that position got dumped into the proverbial dustbin.  I’ve spoken with a number of other skeptics who agree that this is how they used to behave as well; it was almost as if I was so proud of my newly acquired “skeptical badge” that I wanted to go around bashing everyone who didn’t think like me over the head with it. 
Now, from what I understand of human nature, we all do this sort of thing to a certain degree or another, but that fact doesn’t necessarily justify such behavior and it certainly doesn’t help to advance any sort of fruitful discussion.  
Funny how our different experiences cause us to change in different ways and so what one person considers the natural progression through life, can be completely opposite to another persons experience.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Random Meme of the Week #3

Have it read to you on youTube
Do we anthropomorphize inherently?
Have you ever noticed that everything "metaphysical" or "supernatural" ultimately is about we humans.  Whether it be a an exaggeration of our abilities, a projection of ourselves as the cause for all things, or the insistence that everything is here to aid us. When we hear a strange noise, see something we don't understand, or feel something strange, it's just we humans  in another form or human like beings (ghosts, spirits, angles, daemon sprite).  When random events happen, good or bad, it must be because of some human like purpose or intent to reward or punish us (fates, destiny, Karma, luck) or because some human like being wanted it to happen (guardian angels, animal spirits, ancestors, demons, gods). When we look at our world an need to figure out how it works or how it got there, it can only be some super being with all the intelligence, purpose, emotions, and vanity of we humans that did it (God, universal consciousness, ).  When we look into the heavens and play connect the dots, those pattern we imagine must have meaning and be meant for us humans (astrology). When some one dies, we know humans are indestructible and they are going to a better (or worse) place (heaven, hell, afterlife, Hates, Valhalla, nirvana,) or they will start a new (reincarnation). And it goes on and on. But Why?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Covers of the Week - Candy (Paulo Nutini)

The problem with trying to find covers for relatively new songs is that they don't have time to be adapted to a variety of styles and genre. The covers you find tend to be a lot of acoustic and karaoke versions by fans trying to recreate a favorite song. There is nothing wrong with mimicking a great performance and many of them are very good, but from a listening to multiple covers point of view they get repetitive and admittedly I love a diversity of styles. But  when you find a song with a lot of covers like todays cover, you quickly realize that this song is something special and the diversity of covers will come.  I discovered Paulo Nutini's Candy while doing a generic search for "covers" on youTube and quickly fell in love with it. There are over a 100 covers and many of them are very good.  The ones here are the ones I like the best and I hope you like them.

Stephanie deBruijn's was the first cover I found and love listening to it

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Story of California Dreamin'

Have it read to you on youTube
I want to thank uvurob for his California Dreaming -- Acapella/Acoustic Mashup video which is a nice arrangement of various (mostly acoustic) covers of the Mamas and the Papas' California Dreaming spliced into one song. Sometimes its funny what will reveal some inner truth about yourself and explain some of our quirkyness.

Well California Dreaming by the Mamas and Papas is one of my all time favorite songs. I have fond memories of walking to Jr. high school and high school in San Leandro, CA on many a cold, overcast, gloomy day and California Dreaming was my inner theme music. I felt one with the song as if it capture some quintessential part of me.

Covers of the Week - California Dreaming (Mamas & Papas)

This is one of my all time favorite songs.  I remember walking to high school and jr. high school in San Leandro, CA on many a cold, overcast, gloomy day with it going thru my head, feeling one with song as if it capture some quintessential part of me.  I think I have more covers (~15) of California Dreamin' than any other song in my collection and I would have more but this is the only song where I eliminated covers changed certain lyrics (normally modified lyrics are a plus) (See A Story of California Dreamin').

Here are some excellent covers starting off with Dana Owens' (Queen Latifah) absolutely awesome version:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Favorite Science Story of the Week

Science of the Week
The unexpected is always cool in real science.
Anomalies at Fermilab
-April 6, 2011 10:47 AM
The Tevatron accelerator at Fermilab is shutting down soon, for some unavoidable reasons (the LHC is taking over) and some frustrating ones (we’re out of money). But there may be life in the old beast yet; a couple of intriguing anomalies have particle theorists raising their eyebrows in charmingly understated excitement.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Talking with Your Body

On April Fools Day, Google announced a new feature called GMail Motion with the following:
The mouse and keyboard were invented before the Internet even existed. Since then, countless technological advancements have allowed for much more efficient human computer interaction. Why then do we continue to use outdated technology? Introducing Gmail Motion -- now you can control Gmail with your body.
I thought "This is dumb. Why would anybody want to stand up and jump around to do email".  When it finally clicked that this was a April Fools prank, I started thinking it was kinda funny but Google really could have taken it much further.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Random Meme of the Week #1

Have it read to you on youTube
You don't need Science to know that there are no gods. All you have to do is look around without assuming gods exist and you will see there is nothing in our reality that even suggests that there is a god. What science does, is remove that void of ignorance about the world around us, that we humans so readily fill with delusions of ourselves. So often, ignorance is that still water that mirrors our own reflection, projecting ourselves deep into that pool of ignorance, and making us believe that behind everything there is a creature that in so many ways looks like us. It's not God theists worship, It's themselves.

Covers of the Week - Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush)

So lets start it out with a classic Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. This song has many great covers although alot of people only try to mimic Kate which is of course nearly impossible.  Here are 7 who try to put their own bend on a classic.

Just plain Awesome:

Welcome to the Simple Atheist Blog

I'm Ray Higgins, and I go by Big Atheist on youTube. This is my attempt to rant on my thoughts and interest in a semi periodic way and see if I can build some dialog.   As my Blog Description says, this blog will be a collection of "Music, Movies, Memes, and Mayhem from another Gnu Atheist". Mind you the Movies part is really just my own animation which I do very infrequently and the Mayhem piece ...well someday I'll get around to it. I suspect this blog mostly will center around Music and Memes. The Music will mostly focus around my quest for great covers, mash-ups, or odd new music I find on youTube and elsewhere, and maybe some thoughts on why we like the music we like. The main intent for this blog is to talk about the Memes!!! which include my atheism, the atheist/skeptical community, society at large, science, the meaning of life, the future, and speculate a little on how I think it works. And all this from the point of view of just anther militant Gnu Atheist. I'm hoping I will spur some interesting conversations and maybe occasionally give you a new perspective on our reality.