Neil deGrasse Tyson Warning on America and Science Denial

Redglass Pictures teamed up with Neil deGrasse Tyson to produce a 4-minute film that communicates something that I have been feeling for awhile. Tyson calls this “maybe the most important words he has ever spoken”. The film covers the recent rise of science denial in this country.

“That’s not the country I remember growing up in. Not that we didn’t have challenges… But I don’t remember anytime where people were standing in denial of what science was.”

Indeed, Neil. I too watched Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I was one of the first to actually use the Internet, then the World Wide Web. I used cell phones when they were so novel that people would stare at me using one discreetly in Wal-Mart.

“This is science, it’s not something to toy with! It’s not something to say “I choose not to believe E=mc², you don’t have that option!” …it is true whether or not you believe in it, and the sooner you understand that, the faster we can get on with… how to solve the problems that face us.”

Once had a friend – he is still a great, smart friend – that when I brought up a conversation from some 10 years or so earlier, I asked him if he still believed that global warming was a hoax. His reply was, “No, but it shouldn’t be a religion either.” I’ve thought about that remark a lot, and it reminds me of this Carl Sagan idea:

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.

My friend is right in a way. I believe that religion builds policies, procedures, and systems around spirituality, but not in a scientific method sort of way.

Religion doesn’t establish or even create morals, it establishes trusts. Throughout history and various cultures, these trusts between others in the tribe have moved civilizations forward, and sometimes backward. Two steps forward, one back.

It’s time to accept science spiritually. We have bigger things to do.

Skepticism ≠ Cynicism

Apart from the moral philosophical context of skepticism and cynicism, the difference between skepticism and cynicism lies in belief. A skeptic seeks truth without the belief that one notion or the other is true; A cynic believes one notion over another, with truth being secondary.

S1:E6, Todd Whatley, The Elder Law Practice

H. Todd Whatley, The Elder Law Practice.

Estate-Planning-Graphic-copyThis episode is with Todd Whatley, one of only 500 certified elder law attorneys in the United States. This is one of the most interesting podcasts I’ve done so far, and the information Todd provides is very useful for all of us.
The term “elder” is a bit misleading. Regardless of your age or your income, you can start planning for protecting your assets and enjoying life. It doesn’t really matter if you are 30 or 80 years old, there are important lessons to be learned, regardless of the size of your estate.
Todd’s website is rich with information, his weekly radio show podcasts, and a link to the live broadcast of his show every Wednesday at 9am (Central) on KURM.
Make sure to stay past the movies and other non-topic stuff, because there is a story at the end.

Amazon Echo links:

Movies:

Vacations

Larry Elison Hawaii Island – Lania (in the podcast I mistakenly said Kaui)

S1:E5, Steve Nordyke

Steve Nordyke

Steve Nordyke

Steves Little Boat2

Steve’s Maverick 18′ Master Angler

Steve's Big Boat

Steve’s Bertram 30 Moppie

Steve is a Commercial Real Estate Asset Manager with Torchlight Investors in Miami. He lives on the water in beautiful downtown Fort Lauderdale, “The Venice of America”. He has a beautiful family, and is truly living the lifestyle he planned. We talk about Fort Lauderdale, the band Rush, movies, and music.

Steve’s home is on the New River, surrounded by all sorts of skiffs, boats, and yachts. For some reason, I was too busy thinking about the podcast to take but one picture:
Photo of New River in Fort Lauderdale, from Steve's patio where we recorded the podcast.

Photo of New River in Fort Lauderdale, from Steve’s patio where we recorded the podcast.

New River that runs through the heart of Fort Lauderdale.

A member of the band Better Than Ezra (Wikipedia; Amazon) was hanging out with Steve and Rush in Monroe, Louisiana.

Movies:

The Hunger, David Bowie & Susan Sarandon
1937_Cord_GTO_Westchester_(6097100243)
220px-Duesenberg_Convertible_SJ_LA_Grand_Dual-Cowl_Phaeton_1935

Music Streaming:

Food:

Mohawk Tavern, Monroe, LA
Pauls Meat Market – Andouille sausage, Fort Smith, AR

Boating in Maui:

T2_West Maui
Trilogy – great service!

S1:E3 – Jessica Hayes, Fort Smith Montessori

"By the age of three the child has already laid down the foundations of his personality as a human being" - Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori Quote

Jessica Hayes is the Head of School at Fort Smith’s Montessori school. Before that, she was Vice President of Museum Operations for the U.S. Marshal’s Museum.

Jessica has a Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Ozarks, and a Master’s from UALR.

We visited about Montessori, the Japanese internment camps and segregation in Arkansas, and talk about the usual stuff: food, movies, books, and music.

Montessori Links:

Fort Smith Montessori School
American Montessori Society
Wikipedia entry on Montessori education
Wikipedia entry on Maria Montessori
Understanding Montessori, A Guide for Parents Book – Amazon Link

Japanese Internment in Arkansas

Huffington Post Article by George Takei (yes, that George Takei – who was interned at Arkansas’ Rohwer Japanese “Internment” camp.
Wikipedia entry on Japanese Internment during WWII
Wikipedia entry on Rohwer
Wikipedia entry on Jerome

Books

The Thornbirds
Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
John Adams Family (not Morticia and Gomez)
Jonathon Kellerman

Movies

Sleepless in Seattle
You’ve Got Mail
When Harry Met Sally
Son in Law
Elf
Father of the Bride

TV

Season of Friends
Veep

Music

James Taylor
Carly Simon
Carole King
Dolly Parton

Food

Taqueria Karina, 5309 W 65th St, Little Rock
Miguel’s Taqueria, 1719 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith
El Lorito on Lexington and South B St, Fort Smith
Juan’s, 3121 Towson Avenue, Fort Smith
Tassanee’s, 1611 Dodson Fort Smith
Pho Grand, 4013 Grand Avenue (across from George’s, another good place!) in Fort Smith
Chopsticks Grill and Tea, 4611 Towson, Fort Smith
Katz’s Deli, 205 E Houston St, New York, NY
Sarge’s Deli, 548 3rd Ave, New York, NY

Other Topics/Links:

Jerry Weintraub – When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man   Well, unfortunately, he did stop talking on July 6, 2015. (Can’t believe I could not remember his name during the podcast)

Bhutan, where happiness is designated by law. – CBS Sunday Morning video, where you must have Flash installed <sigh>. Or, you can read Bhutan’s Secret of Happiness text article.

John Gruber’s post on Apple Watch UI

Amazon Echo
Amazon Kindle

S1:E2 Melanie Radcliff, CPA – Podcast

Todays episode is with Melanie Radcliff, President of Radcliff CPA. Melanie is both an accountant and a financial advisor, so she has a much more holistic approach to things like accounting, tax planning, and investments.

Melanie was kind enough to sit down with me two weeks before April 15th, and we discuss not only small business accounting such as the difference in profits and cash flow, but of the importance of Star Trek and The Jerk.

radcliff-8272

Radcliff CPA

Movies:
The Jerk:  He Hates These Cans!  Navin R. Johnson, typical bastard (yeah I said typical asshole in the podcast – I have thought that was the quote for decades!)
Star Trek:
Star Trek versus Star Wars;  Star Trek: Kirk meets Uhura – Bar Fight
Why is the Rum Gone?

How to Distinguish Profits from Cash Flow

How to Calculate Inventory Turnover Ratio

Favorite Latino Restaurants: Rolando’s  and El Lorito

Disclaimer:

“Opinions expressed are those of the speaker(s), Melanie Radcliff and Tom Kirkham and are not endorsed by the Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. or its affiliates.  All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.  Neither the named broker dealer, nor its affiliates offer tax or legal services.  Certain Statements contained within are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predictions of or indicated future events, trends, plans or objectives.  Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties.  Radcliff Financial Group, Inc. is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.  Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  **Tom Kirkham is not an employee of Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.”