Fuel Injected Freedom: Raising a $60 Nissan From the Dead

Sentra 01I recently bought a 1992 Nissan Sentra coupe from a coworker for sixty dollars. It came with some fun features such as a dead twelve-year-old battery, no muffler, a bad fuel injector, an incorrect throttle cable held in place by vise grips, and mold in the carpet.

The interior actually cleaned up really well, but the exterior needs some help. It’s missing about half of the white paint in large gray splotches, which gives it the effect of being draped in an image of a Holstein cow from a giant laser printer that’s running out of toner.

Continue reading

High Cooking: Noodles and Hot Dogs

This is an old family recipe. It is simple, fast, and delicious, plus you can modify it endlessly with your favorite additives.

Substances required:

  • 16 ounces of pasta
  • 6-8 hot dogs
  • Oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, slice the hot dogs and fry them in a tablespoon of butter or oil until they become so deliciously crispy and fragrant that you start compulsively eating them.

IMG_4567

Continue reading

The Absurdity of an Ultimate Purpose

If the whole universe was made for us, why is most of it better engineered for the production of giant flaming balls of gas?

The purpose of the universe seems to be producing giant flaming balls of gas that fling massive amounts of radiation in every direction, rendering almost all of spacetime unfit for the survival of living things. It’s almost like the universe was fine-tuned for the production of stars!

One of the most common religious objections to humanism or materialism is that such worldviews don’t have any basis for objective purpose or meaning. They claim that without assuming a specific god is real, we can’t figure out if anything else is real, or distinguish between good and evil, or know anything about whatever specific topic they are trying to claim ownership of for their religion.

There are many problems with such arguments, which can vary depending on what the subject is. If you’re talking about morality, I’ve written quite a lot about why morality is inherently subjective and adding a god to the equation doesn’t actually fix the “lack of objectivity” the religious person thinks non-theistic morality suffers from. This time, I’d like to examine the idea of an “ultimate” purpose for humans, something Christians seem to think we need despite it being a vacuous and imaginary concept.

Continue reading

The Thousand-Foot Sub Sandwich

Hoagie_Hero_Sub_SandwichThose people who deny the problem of wealth and income inequality seem unable to grasp the reality of what’s going on in our nation’s economy. I’ve offered many analogies in an attempt to explain why it’s a problem, even on a purely mathematical level, yet there’s always someone who doesn’t get it.

So this is another analogy. Let’s say that the resources of your country are represented by a thousand-foot-long sub sandwich. It’s a magnificent sandwich, full of all sorts of delicious meats and cheeses produced by various citizens and their businesses. The population of your country is a thousand people, and your job is to manage the economic resources–your job is to make sure that the sandwich is distributed in such a way that none of your citizens are left hungry.

Continue reading