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Weekly Rochester Events #314: Where in Franklin is Armory High?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I had some ideology I wanted to spread around but I almost forgot. This week's ingredient is "pseudo-science." That movie White Noise got me thinking about it again. Also, The Filthy Critic reviewed it this week which reminded me again. My friend Peri even approached the topic in her journal. Then I remembered that Dr. Robert L. Park wrote an article last year titled The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science which was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education (among other places.)

The question to me is, "how can you prove that something is pseudo-science?" Maybe I should start with "what is pseudo-science and why does it suck so bad?" I guess the name is somewhat self-explanatory, but for the rest of you, it's generally using the language of science in relation to something non-scientific. And science is "the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena," at least according to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation.

Dr. Park's article deals primarily with devices that are based on bogus scientific claims — his point was to help educate judges on when they should consult an independent expert. I'm more concerned with how to derail the scientific clout of a pseudo-science claim without coming off as a complete asshole. I've seen a lot of skeptics resort to mockery and name-calling because it's so obvious to them that a claim is bogus that they can only conclude everyone else is just stupid. For instance, check out The Skeptics Dictionary's article on electronic voice phenomenon.

I just went to The American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena to see if I could get a better explanation, and here's their answer to "How are EVP messages formed?" from their FAQ:

There is considerable speculation about this question and much of the past and present research is designed to provide a definite answer. The short answer that appears to be emerging from the research is that there is mind-to-mind communication between the communicating entity and the experimenter. The experimenter functions as a medium for this exchange in much the same way that spirit mediums bring messages to the physical. The message, itself, is then thought to be telekinetically impressed into the recording media. Even though the evidence seems to support this view, it is apparent that the experimenter is normally unaware of his or her part in this transfer of information.

To me, this screams of pseudo-science bullshit. See, there are three underlying assumptions: mind-to-mind communication is possible, there exists an entity that is communicating, and telekinesis is possible. With each of these, the answer is "maybe, but it's never been definitively proven but nobody has definitively disproved it either." The paths of research run dry pretty quick, as each of them fails to be demonstrable in a scientifically controlled setting (at least not yet.)

Compare that to, say, aspirin. I visited the Aspirin Foundation Home Page and found the topic How Aspirin Works which says (the part about pain relief):

... While its effectiveness was well established, it was not until 1971 that doctors learned the secret of why aspirin was so effective in relieving pain. The process was discovered by British pharmacologist Sir John Vane, who found that aspirin worked by inhibiting the body's production of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin, which is one of the building blocks that causes pain by stimulating muscle contractions and blood vessel dilation.

With this explanation, I have definitive hooks to start from. The underlying assumptions are that there is a substance called prostaglandin that causes pain, and aspirin reduces the effectiveness of prostaglandin to reduce pain. From here, I can do further research: Does prostaglandin really cause pain? Do people in pain have more prostaglandin than those who don't? If I increase the amount of prostaglandin in someone, do they experience pain? How does aspirin affect prostaglandin? Even if the rationale is wrong, I can at least check the work of the author and make a determination for myself.

My point is that the underlying theory behind pseudo-science is usually poorly formed. What surprises me is that Dr. Park danced around this concept in his article but didn't state it directly. To me, this is the keystone to differentiating scientific theories from pseudo-science theories: the more a theory of operation is based on assumptions that are difficult or impossible to prove, the more likely it is to be pseudo-science.

Science is based on building a foundation of knowledge then using that foundation to make new discoveries. The idea is to take many simple steps to construct complex understanding. On the other hand, pseudo-science is based on taking giant leaps and simply ignoring the intermediate steps. While this method may be shown to be viable, it is not science, but by co-opting the terminology of science, it only reinforces its fraudulent nature.


Last week I quietly introduced a new icon for MySpace.com, MySpace link, which links to a band's page on that site. I keep finding lots of bands — particularly local ones — using MySpace since it seems to be pretty easy to include their music for web broadcast with or without the ability to download it.

Hmm ... what else ... I also managed to break then fix then break then replace and fix then break then fix one of the crank arms on my winter bike. (Did you get all that?) These are the kind with the squared off axle that fits into a square hole on the crank arm. Periodically the right side arm would get loose and it would dent the square hole. Well, it finally got so bad that there was no way to get it to stay on. My first attempt to fix it was to use aluminum solder to restore the original shape of the hole, but I don't have the right tools, so I tried using a strip of sheet metal to make the square axle larger, but that broke right away.

From there I bought a new crank arm and installed it but in my haste, I either bought the wrong side or I cross-threaded the pedal. I tightened it in hard to see if that would work, but alas no: I stripped the threads right out. So, I figured I'd try the aluminum solder again to restore enough material to cut threads. I did that, then notched the hardened steel threads to roughly approximate a tap. I threaded the pedal into the blank hole and successfully pulled it off. Or, I guess, didn't pull it off. At all. Even when I put all my weight on it trying to get it to strip out. Hooray!

Aside from that, I made it out to Kelli's party for Chad on Friday, and several other shows ... unfortunately, nothing so exciting to write about that I can actually stay awake to do it, so it looks like it's pretty much time to go to bed for me.

Ciao!


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  • Shi mian mai fu (The House of Flying Daggers, at The Little) - Kinda like Robin Hood, only Chinese.
  • Coach Carter - The coach of an undefeated high-school team benches them because of their poor academic record. Right ... just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
  • Elektra - A hot chick is some kind of assassin.
  • Racing Stripes - A talking zebra thinks it's a racehorse but gets killed by a stray cheetah.
  • In Good Company - Something about old people still being useful. Wait a minute ... I'm old.

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JayceLand Pick Today's Thursday Thinkers in the Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is titled Picking Productions: How GEVA Theatre and Downstairs Cabaret Choose Their Fare presented by the Producing Director of Downstairs Cabaret (20 Windsor St.) Chris Kawolsky, Literary Manager and Dramaturge of Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) Marge Betley, and Director of Education and Artist In Residence at Geva Skip Greer. [source: Friends of the Public Library flyer]

Tonight's another meeting of The Bertrand Russell Society at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) at 7 p.m. Tonight is a panel discussion titled Portraits of Russell from Memory. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

This evening in Webb Auditorium at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) is a discussion titled Tortured by the U.S. Government featuring former death-row inmate Shujaa Graham and co-editor of Voices of a People's History of the United States, Anthony Arnove from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: RIT Events Calendar site] [all ages]

George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will present a workshop this evening starting at 6:30 p.m. titled Get the Most Out of Your Digital Camera presented by Doug Hitchcock. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Clarissa Room (293 Clarissa St., formerly Shep's Paradise) is Simon Fletcher and The Gibbs Street Project starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: WITR calendar]

Artist, sculptor, and craftsman Wendell Castle will discuss his life and work at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

There's a free The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concert tonight at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) sponsored by The City of Rochester at 7:30 p.m. The performance is Overtures and Arias of Love directed by James Gaffigan and is also a food drive for Foodlink (936 Exchange St .) so bring some non-perishable food item with you ... oh, and you'll need to get tickets, but they're free. [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Barfly starting at 8 p.m. Right ... "Henri Chinaski" ... we all know it's really you, Mr. Bukowski. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting good Irish-slanted punk band Tom Foolery and the Shenanigans, and First OffenseMySpace link starting early around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar]


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Over at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 8:30 p.m. is Steel Kingdom, 2 Days Till Nothing, A Missing Piece, and Intox. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight around 7 p.m. at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is the opening of Wormhole by Emile Devereaux, Snow Black by Haluk Akakce and screenings of artists in the temporal medium, Zbig Rybczynski, Jan Svankmajer, Patty Chang, Liss Platt, Eric Harvey, and Paul Dodd and runs through February 20. Ms Conceptions by Bernice Cross is opening tonight as well but will close on February 3. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 10:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 11:30 p.m. at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva Comedy Improv. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Bukowski: Born into This starting at 8 p.m. I probably should read some of what Charles Bukowski wrote or else any testimonial will be really really fake. The dude seemed like an interesting character, though. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) is really good 1960's/rockabilly-styled rock-and-roll from The Hi-Risers starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

JayceLand Pick Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting really good and fun punk-rock band The Flour City KnuckleheadsGarageBand linkMySpace link, awesome punk-rock from The Blastoffs, and The Shakedowns starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: WITR calendar] [21+]


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Martin Luther King, Jr. born 1929

JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

JayceLand Pick Today from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Dome Center (E. Henrietta Rd. and Calkins Rd.) is a Home Improvement Auction. [source: Freetime] [all ages]

The Bureau of Parks, Recreation, and Human Services (30 Church St., City Hall) is sponsoring some events related to Martin Luther King Day including African Kuumba Dance and Drum: Youth Alive City Wide at 7:30 p.m. tonight and 2 p.m. on Monday at Dazzle Theater (112 Webster Ave.) [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Songwriters in the Round with excellent acoustic soloist Maria Gillard, the witty and accomplished Brian Coughlin, and the charismatic Scott Regan. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Le Monde vivant (The Living World) starting at 8 p.m. I'm not into foreign films for the sake of their foreignness, but some just seem really cool. This one is a medieval fairy tale without any period costumes and stuff ... even the mighty lion is just a dog. It's preceded by Bugs Bunny in Knighty Knight Bugs. Oh, and both films will be shown tomorrow, as well, at 5 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is rock band The Atomic SwindlersGarageBand link, DSpellMySpace link, and great rock from The Earl Cram Revue. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Top Pick Water Street Music Hall and The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will have a Rochester Groove show featuring complex rock with strong groove-rock influence from The Niche, excellent straight-up reggae from Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro), excellent instrumental funk from The Filthy Funk, solidly good rock band with strong groove rock influences (or vice versa) from Dudley DawsonGarageBand link, The Park Avenue BandGarageBand link, groove rock jam-band Five Spiced Fingers, Jupiter 4H Project, Kevin MacConkey, wicked fun percussive groove-rock from The BuddhaHood, and not too jammy groove-rock from Groovenutt. [source: Water Street calendar]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting Lewis and Keller starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]


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JayceLand Pick Today is one of the many starts to the city's ColdRush ... today at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) there are a number of events starting at 2 p.m. including Family Sunday: A Cold Rush Day of Events: Characters, Crafts and Cocoa for kids (and stoners) featuring children's book characters Corduroy Bear and Froggy, ice sculptor Charles Dawes will be giving an Ice Sculpture Demonstration, they'll be showing Ice in Slides: A Travelogue featuring the Ice Hotel and Ice Globe featuring Sweden's ice hotel, Blaise Lamphier will be signing his book Hockey in Rochester: The Americans' Tradition, and The Rochester Curling Club (71 Deep Rock Rd.) will be giving a Curling Demonstration. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

The show of Amanda B. Clarke's art will close today at 5 p.m. at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) [source: artsound website] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is This ProvidenceGarageBand linkMySpace link, Four Year Strong, FiveStar Riot, Farewell Injuria, The Hoodies, and Daphne Loves DerbyMySpace link starting around 6 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]


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Fly the flag today.Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing At the River I Stand starting at 2 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. tonight. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, this is a documentary about the events that led to his assassination in 1968. Admission is free although donations are gladly accepted. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) will be hosting From Between featuring Tatsuya Nakatani, Michel Doneda, and Jack Wright, impressive organic experimental jazz band The Blood and Bone Orchestra, and Tunis/Nuuja Duo starting around 9 p.m. [source: artsound website]


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The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Sånger från andra våningen (Songs from the Second Floor) starting at 8 p.m. A deadpan comedy about the end of capitalism and of society. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Zach Broocke, The Unwelcome GuestsGarageBand link, and The Global Village IdiotsGarageBand link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) will be hosting the blues-charged rock-and-roll/groove-rock of Buford and the Smoking Section starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar]


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RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) will be holding their Annual Celebration of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Ingle Auditorium. [source: RIT Events Calendar site] [all ages]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

 
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On this day ... January 13



Link of the Week:
Here are some links to organizations that are aiding the relief effort for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsumai on December 26. Please give to their general funds so they can distribute money in a way that makes the most sense.

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers that provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. They are supporting the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) appeal for basic materials for survival and personnel.

Unicef focuses on child protection and immunizations, as well as helping countries in crisis with emergency assistance.

Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. They are providing emergency aid equipment to help in disaster relief.

American Red Cross Disaster Relief page is an Amazon.com donation page and it's among the easiest ways to donate from if you're an Amazon.com customer.

JayceLand #312 is the updated I did on December 30 with the chain letter these links.



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Related Sites:

Freetime Magazine
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... Armory High was located at 314 S Franklin St. in Syracuse. I guess it's now a club called Foundation.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Jayce World, Jaceland, Jaseland, Jayceworld, Jaceworld, nor Jaseworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, January 13, 2005 (Thu, Jan 13, 2005, 1/13/2005, or 1/13/05) Friday, January 14, 2005 (Fri, Jan 14, 2005, 1/14/2005, or 1/14/05) Saturday, January 15, 2005 (Sat, Jan 15, 2005, 1/15/2005, or 1/15/05) Sunday, January 16, 2005 (Sun, Jan 16, 2005, 1/16/2005, or 1/16/05) Monday, January 17, 2005 (Mon, Jan 17, 2005, 1/17/2005, or 1/17/05) Tuesday, January 18, 2005 (Tue, Jan 18, 2005, 1/18/2005, or 1/18/05) and Wednesday, January 19, 2005 (Wed, Jan 19, 2005, 1/19/2005, or 1/19/05).


JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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