Near Earth Archive

A backup of Near Earth Object by Paul Fidalgo

Month: July, 2010

Toby Meets His Great-Great-Grandma Fidalgo

This was such an important moment for me: my 8-month-old son meets his 96-year-old great-great-grandmother, with his great-grandma (as well as her cousin), his grandpa and his mommy and daddy all there to introduce the two.


My New Tweep


I’m an NPR Daddy

How can you not love being a parent with a monkey like this?

Much to my surprise, I was part of a panel of daddy bloggers on NPR’s “Tell Me More” with Michele Martin, which aired today. The piece is the latest of the show’s discussions on the recent New York Magazine article about a trend of parents finding no joy in parenthood. This installment obviously focuses on the perspective of fathers, and spoiler alert, I’m pretty pro-parenthood.

I was joined by Jason Sperber of Rice Daddies, and Keith Morton of African American Dad, as well as Jennifer Senior, author of the article in question.

I haven’t listened to the piece yet because I get embarrassed hearing myself yammer, but I invite you to check it out.

I should also note that the funny title of this blog may pose a problem for further grandiose self-promotion–neither I nor the host really knew how best to pronounce it. I will contemplate that further, and if I get to go on the radio again, I may make a sudden-yet-easy-to-remember name change.


Due to my ham-fisted tinkering, I may have destroyed all the comments ever placed on this blog. I’m working on bringing them back, but it may be too late. If so, I apologize!

Update: Okay, the old comments are back, though I did destroy any comments on this post. Sorry, Brent. 🙂

‘Let’s Reclaim Our Country from the Terrorists and the Communists’

Yeah, he really said that.
And what the hell was that “this guy” section about?

LOL Consequences

… whereas we used to spend hours a day passively watching the tube, now we spend our time editing Wikipedia articles and creating lolcats for every occasion. In a vacuum those acts may seem trivial; but the collective consequences can be vast (witness the open-source software movement). Moreover, even a silly act like crafting the perfect title to place above the photo of an obese cat is more creative—and more productive, more satisfying—than merely watching Seinfeld. The lolcat is more evolved than the sitcom.

Television / from a working library

Musical Meta-Jut

As I noted in a previous post, I am trying to force myself back into writing and performing more music. I began with a quickly-slapped-together version of a Robyn Hitchcock song, just to get me started. Then I recorded an equally-slapdash version of one of my own songs, “Jut,” but never posted it here.

But now I will because I found a really cool thing that iMovie ’09 does, and I had no idea, which is the ability to lay another piece of video–audio intact–over the main footage. So, while this is not my ideal performance-quality rendition of one of my songs (not to mention the choppiness of some of the overlaid video recorded with Photo Booth), it’s a fun experiment in what I might be able to do with far more polish down the road. So, just for fun, here’s “Jut.”

Why You Can’t Work at Work

Why You Can’t Work at Work – Jason Fried

I think this applies just as well to non-profits, where I think if anything there’s more a sense of people trying to justify their existence with interruptions.

Nightline’s Atrociously Bad Report on Atheism

Smugness. Ur doin it rite.

It’s important for the atheist movement to get more mainstream coverage. More Americans need opportunities to see their atheist neighbors, to understand where they come from, and that they are not monsters. It can’t always be about whether or not we pray for Christopher Hitchens or whether Richard Dawkins is a little snide.

So when I heard that ABC’s Nightline was going to do a piece on atheism, I was eager to see it, but I must admit, not terribly optimistic. The program’s previous handling of atheist matters has been clumsy at best, and always coming at the subject with unwarranted wariness rather than raw reportage.

But I didn’t know how bad it could get. Dan Harris and those responsible for his report on Edwin Kagan, in-your-face atheism and “de-baptism” should be ashamed. The entire piece is a seven-minute finger wagging at those mean atheists. The questions to Kagan pretty much never move beyond variations on “don’t you think you’re being really rude?” Kagan and those with him at the de-baptism ceremony are portrayed as nasty, callous jerks who are out to hurt feelings for the sheer joy of it. Plus, they drag out the subject of Kagan’s fundamentalist son, I suppose to serve as some kind of foil, as if to say, “How come your son is a man of God and you’re such a jerk?” Harris even pulls the “what about Stalin” canard.

There’s no genuine coverage of the actual movement. There is no broader understanding given of atheism as a worldview, of the secular movement, of the new breath of life given atheism by the New Atheists. Just one ceremony, conveniently full of costumes and silliness and songs, all of which to outsiders, with the help of selective editing, look weird and unreasonable.

As the only bit of information that might count as background, it uses footage of the YouTube-based Blasphemy Challenge from the Rational Response Squad from years ago. This strikes me as utter laziness, because the RRS was a main part of Nightline‘s most famous previous handling of the subject of atheism, and they probably already had the old footage handy. This way, the whole phenomenon of unapologetic atheism is reduced to mean atheists mocking baptism (and how rude it is) plus teenagers dissing the Holy Spirit on those intertubes. Extreme!

It’s a terrible, terrible piece of pseudo-journalism, a hit job on atheist Americans, but here is the link if you want to suffer through it yourself.

Note also the smug, disapproving look on Harris’s face. Do us all a favor, ABC News. Stick to subjects like that of the piece that followed this one: an exposĂ© on spray tans.

The Low, Low Bar

It’s hard to imagine Palin competing at the policy level the press claims she needs to get to, but easy to imagine her competing at the level they actually play on. Quick, cast your mind back to the countless 2007/2008 Democratic debates. Do you remember Hillary’s mastery of policy? No. You remember her fumbling an answer on drivers’ licenses for illegal immigrants, you remember Obama telling her she was “likable enough,” and perhaps you remember Dennis Kucinich talking about aliens.

But does she really need to learn anything? – David Weigel