Pick the World’s Greatest Seth

From the ages of 0-20, I only met two other Seths. Since I’ve been around the world and live in America’s two largest cities, yet I’ve only known a handful of other Seths. Yet every time I turn on a screen there’s another new celebrity Seth staring at me. The number of famous Seths shouldn’t be greater than the number of Seths I’ve ever met. There are strange otherworldly forces at work. And those otherworldly forces have proclaimed: Only one Seth shall reign supreme.

You get to pick which one.

We’re doing it tournament style. 16 of the most famous Seths 1OK fine, 15 plus me have been randomly seeded in a bracket to compete in Tests of Sethness. Pick your winners, submit your bracket, then do it again for as many as the 101 Tests of Sethness as you want. The eight Seths that win the most face-offs by midnight July 12 will move on the the quarterfinals.

Vote as many times as you want and share the battle with friends. The Era of the Seths is in your hands.

Click here to vote now →

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1. OK fine, 15 plus me
Yes, You Can Prove a Negative. Here’s Proof.

Lately I’ve heard lots of politicians and other nitwits who can’t win an argument pull out the maxim “you can’t prove a negative,” e.g.:

ME: Same-sex marriage doesn’t harm heterosexual marriage. 1Or “Vaccines don’t cause autism,” or “Guns don’t make people safer.”

NITWIT: You can’t prove it doesn’t, because you can’t prove a negative.

It’s a rhetorical device with no truth to it. If one couldn’t prove a negative, one couldn’t prove the statement “There aren’t any tattoos on my body” with some quality time in a brightly lit closet.

Granted, a negative statement like “same-sex marriage doesn’t harm heterosexual marriage” can’t be proven only by example or observation, but proving statements that can’t be confirmed by example or observation isn’t just possible but necessary. It’s the foundation of logic and mathematics.

Take the negative statement “two evens don’t add up to an odd.” You can’t demonstrate that the statement’s true by example and observation. You’d have to add up every pair of even numbers. But you can still easily prove it:

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1. Or “Vaccines don’t cause autism,” or “Guns don’t make people safer.”
I Got My First Tattoo

It took me a long time to get up the nerve, but I really needed a change, so I did it. In fact, I did it three times. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

The Day I Sacrificed My Dignity to Get Alex Borstein an Emmy

My #Emmy4Alex costume, v1If you’ve ever visited this blog before, or in any way socially interacted with me in the last two months, or found yourself on my block during the designated 45 minutes a day during which I yell it out of my apartment window, you know that Alex Borstein stars in my radio comedy Special Relativity (which you can listen to here, subscribe to/write a fawning review of in iTunes here or donate $6 for six more episodes here).

I adore Alex’s performance like a groundhog adores ground (as I’ve mentioned before), and if there were some award for it I could help her win, I would. I even signed her name to my proof of the Riemann Hypothesis so that she could be awarded a Fields Medal, but the committee saw through my ploy, possibly because my equations were written on a tray liner from Rally’s. So instead I turned my attention to scoring Alex another prize she most definitely deserves: an Emmy nomination for her performance as nurse Dawn Forchette in the superb HBO comedy Getting On.

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How Green is Your Electricity?

A few years back I wrote about how driving an electric car isn’t necessarily the most climate-friendly choice.  That’s in a large part because the electricity used to power those cars is often generated by very carbon-intensive methods. Well today over in IFLScience University of Sydney Professor of Sustainability Research Manfred Lenzen provides a surprising chart of the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity generation technologies. 1From the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation.

Find out what this means →

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1. From the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation.
How to Be a Better Friend

Yesterday for #SinceritySunday, a Twitter trend I started a few years ago that’s caught on all over my living room, I tweeted this:

Since hundreds of people 1All of whom are located deep within my imagination. have asked me what differentiates help, support, encouragement, and sympathy, I thought I’d clarify.

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1. All of whom are located deep within my imagination.
Here is Orson Welles’s “The War of the Worlds” and the Reasons Why You Should Listen to It

Orson Welles on the air with the Mercury Theatre

Update, May 7, 2015: Yesterday would’ve been Orson Welles’s 100th birthday. I originally wrote the piece below in 2012 when raising money for the pilot episode of my radio comedy Special Relativity. That show came to fruition last month, starring Alex Borstein, and you can listen to the first episode at SpecialRelativityRadio.com or on iTunes.

As today’s incentive to get you to donate to Special Relativity’s sprint to raise $125 a day for the next 20 18 days, I’m giving you a gift of my favorite radio show ever, which also happens to be one of the most important works of art of the 20th century. (I know that the way these pledge drives usually work is that I give you the gift after you donate, but we’re all family here, and if I had any business acumen I wouldn’t have driven six miles yesterday to save $1 on a box of Fruity Pebbles.)

The show isn’t comedy, but it is science fiction. It’s the Mercury Theatre’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, first broadcast on CBS Radio October 30, 1938, produced/directed by and starring Orson Welles. You can stream or download the entire hour-long broadcast after the jump, though you’re obligated to read through my explanation of why you should think it’s great. 1I should mention that the reason I’ve decided that it’s okay for me to distribute this recording is that the question of who, if anyone, owns the copyright to old broadcasts like this one is very unsettled. That’s partly because at this point nobody really gives a shit. And while the estate of the show’s writer Howard Koch unquestionably holds the rights to the script, those don’t extend to the actual broadcast. Lots of folks with no claim to the material at all make money by selling CDs and MP3s of the broadcast, so I figure I can give it to the world for free.

Listen to the show…

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1. I should mention that the reason I’ve decided that it’s okay for me to distribute this recording is that the question of who, if anyone, owns the copyright to old broadcasts like this one is very unsettled. That’s partly because at this point nobody really gives a shit. And while the estate of the show’s writer Howard Koch unquestionably holds the rights to the script, those don’t extend to the actual broadcast. Lots of folks with no claim to the material at all make money by selling CDs and MP3s of the broadcast, so I figure I can give it to the world for free.