Ayn Rand’s PR department: ambitious, unhinged

Paul Raven @ 13-08-2010

What do you get when you give an Ayn Rand fan a car with GPS, and a surfeit of spare time and money? The world’s largest GPS graffito, that’s what:

World's largest writing: "read Ayn Rand"

It’s a step up from “Kilroy Woz Ere”, I guess. Heck of an epitaph for a nation, though.

Added Objectivism-mocking bonus [via MetaFilter]: Our Daughter Isn’t a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn’t Read Atlas Shrugged. I LOL’d.


Expansion tectonics: the secret of Planet Earth that THEY don’t want you to know!

Paul Raven @ 10-08-2010

Thanks in part to spending my early teens as a stubborn geek outcast in a public boarding school*, I was once deeply involved with occultism and conspiracy theory, and the attraction of wild ideas and crazy-yet-almost-coherent philosophies has never truly dimmed… though I like to think I’m a lot more rational and critical of received information as an adult. (My loss, the world’s gain? Maybe… )

So here’s a corker of an oddball theory [via MetaFilter], and one I can’t believe I’ve never stumbled across before. What’s the secret? Plate tectonics is a myth. The Earth is expanding.

This modified map shows clear empirical evidence that Asia and Australia were originally conjoined with North and South America approximately 200-250 Ma, prior to creation of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

This earlier connection of Asia and Australia with the Americas is also confirmed geologically by the deep ocean trenches that delineate the Andesite Line containing andesite, the primary mineral of the Andes Cordilleran mountains running the length of South America. [Carey, 1976, p.256]

The evidence is empirical and the conclusions are obvious—the Earth ~200-250 million years ago was a single planetary landmass ~40% smaller than it is today, and at that moment in geologic time there were NO OCEANS!

Every island and seamount, and most of the water In today’s ocean basins that now cover over 70% of the planet, has evolved in the very short period of 200 million years! The Earth has been, and still is, steadily growing in size and expanding in diameter at an accelerating rate—contrary to what scientists believe because they are currently unable to detect and measure this relatively slow rate of growth.

THIS RAPID GROWTH AND EXPANSION HAS GRAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF MANKIND!

Every hallmark of web-based outsider science crankdom is there, with the exception of explicit references to Biblical quotations and animated gifs. Fat blocky font, check; BLOCK CAPITALS used for emphasis of salient yet hard-to-swallow FACTS, especially when the word PROOF appears in a headline, check; cutting edge web design circa 2001, checkity-check check check. (It should be noted, however, that the spelling and grammar is of unusually high quality.)

Oh, it’s so easy to be cynical, isn’t it? We’ll all be sorry when this dude’s theory turns out to be true. “First they came for the anthropogenic climate change denialists, and I said nothing…”

[ * To preemptively answer the three usual questions that follow this revelation: 1) yes, there was; 2) no, I didn’t; 3) if I could explain that, I’d probably have my own successful psychology practice and a lucrative career as a public speaker on the hedge fund circuit. ]