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Ian Nowland
Works at Tracelink
Attended Northeastern University
Lives in Boston
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Ian Nowland

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Yet another reason I need to go back to New Zealand:
Octopuses are pretty wondrous animals with all those legs and insanely astute critical thinking skills. It’s actually not surprising at all an animal trainer working at Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium in New Zealand, was able to train an octopus to take photos. In fact, it only took “Rambo” the octopus three attempts to understand [...]
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On Theology and taking the Bible "Literally":

I got into a bit of a theological debate with some Christian friends recently about how to take the bible as truth, and what's amusing is that I've had nearly the same debate with Atheist friends - both sides making the exact same point, but the Christians to say that certain theories of modern science must be wrong, the Atheists to say that the bible must be wrong. In both cases, I think that my debaters are making what I perceive as a common mistake of misunderstanding truth, and especially "literal" truth.

The particular passage in question that seems most debated in this aspect is the creation saga of Genesis 1, the whole in-the-beginning schtick, all the way through to the 7th day where God rests. One of the very first things I notice about the passage is that it's a poem, meter and everything, and here's where the "literal" part comes into play. If we read the passage as being poetically true - where words and phrases are analogies rather than their most strict definition, then "day" starts to mean something like "period" or "epoch" - and "Let there be light" is suddenly a fantastically close description of the Big Bang. As a poem, it's "true" without being "literally" true. It's poetically true, and expecting it to be more than that is actually a bit silly. If I say "my love for my wife is as deep as the ocean", are you expecting to go out and measure it? And are you going to account for the fact that the oceans have changed depth over the ages? Heck, even the exact definition of "day" fluctuates, as things like the Japanese Tsunami change the speed at which the earth rotates.

But I want to point out that we can take even one more step back: the very idea of how we take something literally wasn't around for a fair amount of the bible - (or actually a lot of historical texts, not just the bible). Taking something literally means trying to apply Greek rules and formalisms about logic and structure to a piece of text. I suppose this is less of a problem to Atheists ("the bible can't be taken literally so it must not be true" - but I was saying it can't be true anyway) than Christians - but any notion that you should try to take the bible as scientifically literally true gets thrown out by the very next chapter. If you read Genesis 1 literally, God creates the animals, and then man. If you read Genesis 2 literally, God creates man, and then the animals. So now you're in the awkward position of having to explain why one passage should be taken following Greek rules of scientific logic and the other should not. The answer is you shouldn't have tried to do that with either passage in the first place.

When you read any text, religious or not, figure out the literary vehicle being used in the text, and apply the rules of that style to what you get out of the text.
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talk about driving skills: 
No, you don't need AWD to drive on the ice. Here's proof.
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A great video to educate you on radiation. Make sure to watch to the end. And it shows just how much fears of nuclear energy are overblown.
 
+Veritasium has got to be the most effective person to teach you something using videos. What you watch will stick with you, unlike so many other "facts in your face" productions. He's got a PhD on how people learn best, and he uses it.

This video may scare the shit out of you before it even comes near making the point in the last minute. Nice job. 

Also, pay attention because this has a lot to do with why people are misguided on how we should power our energy needs going forward. 
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If you’ve ever dreamed about what it might be like to explore the furthest reaches of the Solar System, filmmaker Erik Wernquist just brought that vision to life. His short film called Wanderers is, as Wernquist says on…
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A yacht designed to look like the batmobile? I know what I want for Christmas...(the new smash brothers game)
Redefining Traditions. You can be forgiven for thinking, at first glance, that you're seeing a leaked still from a yet-to-be released, Fifth Element style sci-fi blockbuster. Far from being fiction, though, this yacht has been designed with very real, very modern and very useful applications in ...
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Amusingly Wrong, from 1985:
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Today's Penny Arcade was made just for me :-)
<p><img src="http://art.penny-arcade.com/photos/i-6B7SFFW/0/1050x10000/i-6B7SFFW-1050x10000.jpg" alt="Codex Parentes" /></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2015/01/07">Codex Parentes</a></strong></p><p><a href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2015/01/07">http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2015/01/07</a></p>
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This is fascinating: the missing Roanoke colonists have been found, and confirmed via DNA. They were captured and enslaved by the local Eno Native Americans.
Lanford, NC| Archaeologists excavating an early 17th century Native American village near the Enoree River in Laurens County, North Carolina, have discovered seven contemporary Christian sepultures h
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Carolyn King's profile photoJo Guthrie's profile photoIan Nowland's profile photo
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Ah, pity
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Okay, she's a pretty awesome magician
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A master Gift wrapper:
Cheezburger.com - Crafted from the finest Internets.
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Story
Bragging rights
Oldest and tallest of 14 siblings.
Education
  • Northeastern University
    Physics And Computer Science, 2000 - 2005
  • Johns Hopkins University
    Computer Science, 2007 - 2009
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Employment
  • Tracelink
    Senior Software Engineer, 2011 - present
  • Novell
    2009 - 2011
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Boston
Prompt and courteous as always
Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
We ordered delivery from Desi Dhaba the day after a blizzard. I know driving was a little slow for the driver because of the blizzard, but 4 hours? And they didn't even get our order right.
Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Poor - Fair
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
2 reviews
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