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Obama is the Antichrist? – Not again!

by Yau-Man Chan, Aug 16 2009

Last year, during the presidential campaign, “Obama is the Antichrist” websites started popping up all over the Internet.  My email address must have been poached by one the many “End Times” ministries as I found myself mercilessly spammed by their proselytizers and my email filter had to work overtime to keep up.  Eventually this wave of lunacy subsided and the Nigerian 419-scam-mails reclaimed their rightful place as the dominant bandwidth consumer of my Junk Mail Universe.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, another Obama-is-the-Antichrist campaign started up again. This time it came in the form of a viral YouTube video which claims that Jesus was quoted in the Gospel according to Luke to have revealed the name of the Antichrist.  This a accomplished with the help of some cryptic association of the president’s first and last name when rendered in Aramaic, combined with bad Hebrew pronunciation, gleamed from a text written in Greek. I will leave it up to Mike Heiser, host of the PaleoBabble blog,  Academic Editor for Bible Study Magazine, who is no fan of the President but has expertise in Hebrew and Aramaic to debunk this latest bunk. (continue reading…)

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Newsweek vs Oprah & Enabler Chopra

by Yau-Man Chan, Aug 02 2009

With a newly elected reality-based President in the White House, I was optimistic that our descend into an  age of “endarkenment” would be slowed down and halted. This optimistic outlook was further reinforced by last June 8 issue of Newsweek magazine.  The cover story took the very popular daytime TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey to task for promoting New Age stuff and “alternative” medicine for the masses uncritically.
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TAM 7 – Miscellaneous mumbling..

by Yau-Man Chan, Jul 19 2009

Ok..unlike Kirsten,  I’m officially a TAM virgin no more!  Despite my very busy schedule and cost, (what with the State of California implementing furlough for their employee and all, I’m in the penny-pinching mode) I did manage to sneak off for a long weekend to hang out with big names in the skeptics movement.  All the TAM sessions exceeded all my expectations and I understand from reading my fellow bloggers here as well as every other blog and commentary about the gathering, a good time was had by all. (continue reading…)

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Trip Report – Woo in my hometown

by Yau-Man Chan, Apr 05 2009

I just came back from a 10-day trip to my home town of Kota Kinabalu, capital of the State of Sabah (formerly North Borneo) in East Malaysia. It was a wonderful vacation.

Troupe of Proboscis monkeys

Troupe of Proboscis monkeys

The purpose of the trip was to attend my high-school class of 1969 40th reunion. In addition to meeting up with classmates who stayed and made their lives in Malaysia, I met up with classmates from Canada, Australia, Singapore and the U.S.  A few of us made our way (45 min. flight, 5 hr. drive and 45 min. up river by boat) to the interior of Borneo and spend a few nights in the Kinabatangan valley to see for ourselves what was left of the virgin primary forest – and communed with orangutans, horn bills, proboscis monkeys and even a pygmy Borneo elephant.
(continue reading…)

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Dalai Lama — Freedom Fighter
or just a great Salesman

by Yau-Man Chan, Mar 15 2009
Waiting ...

Waiting ...

Earlier this week, on my way to lunch, I had to weave my way through throngs of students queuing up to try to get tickets to see the Dalai Lama who will be speaking at the university (University of California, Berkeley) in April. This is the 50th anniversary of his exile from Tibet — when the Chinese government annexed his country.  The Dalai Lama, his family and his “court” escaped and are now all living in exile in Dharamsala, India. With no country to run, his full time job is now the chief propagandist for the Tibetan government-in-exile, and by all accounts, he is really good at it. (continue reading…)

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Consumer Rant – Oil Change Interval

by Yau-Man Chan, Feb 22 2009

(Some makes and models of cars mentioned have been omitted to protect the guilty!)

I’m going to sound like a conspiracy theorist – it’s my grumpy rant about oil-change interval for our much beloved automobiles. I don’t know why, but I get terribly bugged by this every time I happen to buy a new car – which I did last month.  I just feel liked being “bullied” into not making the right decisions about our environment and my pocket book. (continue reading…)

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Chinese Creationists?

by Yau-Man Chan, Jan 18 2009

I have been quite busy lately getting ready for a trip to Malaysia – Malaysian Borneo to be exact.  I will be attending my 40th high school reunion in the city of Kota Kinabalu, capital city of the East Malaysia State of Sabah.  For the Survivors fans, the city of KK was the staging city for the first season of Survivor in 2000.  Survivor Borneo was filmed on an island called Pula Tiga, about 3 miles east of the city.  It turned out that one of my former classmates was responsible for getting the show to be filmed there 9 years ago and so I am looking forward to meeting up with him as well as many of my other classmates I have not seen for 40 years.  

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I finally met one!

by Yau-Man Chan, Dec 21 2008

All right, I guess I should get out more often!  I finally met a real life conspiracy nut in person and I have to admit that the experience disturbed me more than I thought it should.  I met someone who is sure that the water vapor tails left in the atmosphere by jet engines (contrails) are really chemical sprays (Chemtrails) commissioned by the U.S. government for some nefarious purpose.  Yes, I have heard of them in passing, along with the 911 “Truther” and the JFK conspiracy nuts but I never thought I’d actually talk to a live one! 

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Real Feng-Shui or Feng-Shui Lite?

by Yau-Man Chan, Dec 07 2008

One of the hazards of being a Chinese in the San Francisco Bay Areas is that I frequently get asked to give advice about Feng-Shui. Feng-Shui is perhaps one of the most virulent strain of pseudoscience from the East that has attached itself firmly to the New Age Movement and adopted by many noveau rich of the Silicon Valley and Napa Valley who seem to have an affection for all things associated with Ancient Eastern philosophy or mysticism. I have been at gatherings where the conversation revolves around business successes attributed to good Feng-Shui and bad business outcomes or a failed startup vineyard or dot.com venture was blamed on the principals’ willful ignorance of the “fundamentals” of Feng-Shui when designing their corporate headquarters. (continue reading…)

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Fun With Numbers – the Chinese way

by Yau-Man Chan, Nov 23 2008

If you have been around Chinese for any length for time, you cannot help but notice that many of us are very particular about anything that has to do with numbers.  I don’t even know if it’s really “numerology” as is understood in the West but it really has to do with how a particular digit is phonetically sounded out.
(continue reading…)

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