Friday, October 23, 2009

Some useful tiny tips

These are some tricks I've discovered to get some things to work better:

  1. When you want to get the content of a bottle (like a Ketchup bottle), don't shake it up and down. First, place it horizontally and shake it up and down: this will make the sauce fall on one side of the bottle, and then place it vertically and shake it up and down. The sauce will slide down better and you will get out more of it and faster.

  2. Don't you hate it when the end part of the belt sticks out in the air, with nothing to pin it down to the pants (or the belt)? Many times those loops in the belt or pants are not located in the right place to catch that end of the belt. It is even worse with a dress which has no belt-loops at all.
    So here is my solution: Take a rubber band women use to tie their hair (a small thin one, in the same color as the belt; not red and bulky). Make a double loop of it if necessary to make it wrap tightly around the belt, and slide it onto the belt. You can easily move it anywhere on the belt and use it to pin down the edge of the belt. Flawless finish. :D

  3. Vacuum cleaner? Forget it. Get an iRobot vacuum cleaner. They perform better than a normal vacuum cleaner and vacuum on their own.

  4. This one is probably well known, but it is useful so I'll write it just in case.
    Opening a jar: The problem with those jars is that they are closed with vacuum. This creates a force that pulls the top onto the jar. It gets worse when the jar is cooled down since the air pressure inside the bottle drops even more, making the vacuum effect stronger.
    Solution: Create an opening for air to go into the jar. Slide a thin yet strong knife (or metal object) under the side of the lid, and slightly push the knife into the jar (or push the edge of the top to the side, away from the jar) to create an opening. This will let air in, cancel the vacuum and allow you to open the jar without any effort.

That is all. I'd be happy to get a feedback from you if you've tried it, or if you have similar useful tips.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Atheism and skepticism - Are the two connected?

No. Not for one who uses a correct thinking method.

Skepticism is the approach of doubting every single thing available to one's mind and senses.

Using it leads not to knowledge but to the destruction of knowledge. It leads one to become helpless in having certainty even in the existence of something as concrete a wall.

If a full skeptic does not believe in god, it is not the grace of any rational thought, but simply one more instance of doubting. A full skeptic equally doubts the existence of god and the existence of planet earth.

Knowledge is gained by collecting evidence based on observations of reality, forming generalizations, concepts and conclusions based on what one observes. It is a positive process of building one's knowledge, not a negative destruction of it.

You might ask: Isn't it important to be critical in one's thinking? Yes, but using critical thinking and being skeptic are not the same.

Critical thinking is merely a cautious, careful thinking on a topic - to make sure one's conclusions and knowledge are non-contradictory.
It is not the same as skepticism, which means to doubt all the knowledge one has.

If one uses logic and a positive process of collecting evidence, Atheism follows simply because there is no evidence pointing at the existence of god. There is nothing to doubt or reject since one does not form such a conclusion to begin with.

So in conclusion skepticism is not the proper method on which Atheism is reached. Logic is.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

How does statism grow?

"The crucial and basic political issue of our age is: capitalism versus socialism, or freedom versus statism. For decades, this issue has been silenced, suppressed, evaded and hidden under the foggy, undefined rubber-terms of "conservatism" and "liberalism" which have lost their original meaning and could be stretched to mean all things to all men.

The goal of the "liberals" - as it emerges from the record of the past decades - was to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. Thus statism was to come, not by vote or by violence, but by slow rot - a long process of evasion and epistemological corruption, leading to a fait accompli".

(fait accompli: an irreversible accomplishment)

-- Ayn Rand, Capitalism, the unknown ideal (article: Extremism: The art of smearing).

Friday, October 2, 2009

My (angry) letter to Glenn Beck

Recently, Glenn Beck has been blaming gang violence and what is "wrong with this nation" on Atheism, or lack of belief in god and religious ethics.

As an Atheist who is civilized, pro human life and would never do anything remotely similar to what those brutal kids did in the video he was talking about, I was enraged by his accusation that that kind of behavior is to be blamed on Atheism.

Granted, Glenn Beck is a good man, and I believe he sincerely thinks that ethics and rights are impossible unless they come from god (as seen in this video).

However, I will not sit here quietly while he is destroying what I care for, knowingly or unknowingly (in his case it is the second).

I hope you do the same by following my example and send Glenn Beck a letter letting him know what you think.

My letter is below.



____________________________________________________

Hello Glenn,


I am a regular viewer of your show and greatly admire the work you are doing. But today you said something very disturbing and deeply offensive to me and to all other atheists.

Does being an atheist mean being like the savage brutes in that video who do not value human life?

Is it the case that because I take reason and logic as absolutes that I am incapable of acting civilized?

I find the equation of morality with faith in god highly offensive.

You have had Yaron Brook appear on your show several times - as you know he is an atheist and at the same time he is also a passionate advocate of individual rights and the value of human life.
How would you explain his civility given that he does not believe in god?
Why is it that you blame brutality on atheism but do not grant Yaron Brook's morality to atheism?

The result of what you said is that from now on, everyone who will look at me and know I do not believe in god will be able to tell me that I am no good, immoral, and not worth listening to, because I "represent everything that is wrong in this country".

I am offended and angry, and I hope you would take what you said back and acknowledge that morality does not necessarily have to be based on a belief in god.


That said, I am still grateful to you for the wonderful work you are doing and your honesty.

Sincerely,

Ifat Glassman

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