Sunday, 27 October 2013

Entertainment stuff from the week 21-27/10/13

Hi mammers,

This week's puzzle, to mull over:

Spot the four-leaf clover

BTW, i'm not going to leave the answer at the end, because if you cheated, the fun would be ruined. Anyway, this one's quite easy :)

There's something that i forgot to mention, last week... Nobel Prizes!

If you want a rundown of who was awarded what, and how awesome that is, i recommend the Grauniad's Science Weekly podcast:

'Science Weekly podcast: 2013 Nobel science prizes special' (51 minutes)

While listening to the last episode of Skeptics with a K (73 minutes) (a podcast from the Merseyside Skeptics Society) i heard that in the USA, there are drive-thru liquor stores...

Surely not? Not even there!? But it's true!

'One for the road?'

'Concern over drive-up alcohol sales spurs efforts at ban'

And in Texas, there are even drive-thru liquor and guns stores! So you can get tipsy, run some people down, and shoot your partner in the ass, back home, while trying to get the cap off a beer.... USA: land of the wise??

'Only in Texas can you have Drive-thru Liquor and Gun Store'

But although alcohol is served at drive-throughs, it is not permitted, even in Texas, to drink and drive, so the drink has to be served inside a cup, with a cap and a straw, and all of that inside a sealed bag. Ha!

All of this was discovered while on holiday, there. They also discovered the phenomenon of eat-in cinemas. I kid you not!

So while you're sitting down, gently dozing through a tedious Hollywood blockbuster, a waiter comes up to you and takes your order for drinks, then food, and later, dessert.

As if noisy adolescents, munching on horrendously salty and stinky popcorn, weren't enough of a distraction. Oh no - you can opt for this, instead :-D

This seems to be an attempt to quietly undermine both the citizens' health, and the country's movie industry, simultaneously... well done, USA :-P

British people would never be so dumb. Umm....

The UK's Royalists (people with the specific delusion that some are innately more deserving of wealth and happiness than others, on the basis of their blood bearing a shorter wavelength than the rest of us - blue) are currently celebrating the Exojudaicalmessiahbasedcult-ening of a baby that recently plopped out of one of their 'special' people.

The more jelly-brained of the British Press have described its 'godparents' as 'normal' (as opposed to being frightfully frightfully posh 'Royals').

Amongst those 'godparents' are Emilia Jardine-Paterson, William van Cutsem, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton and Earl Grosvenor.

As Steve Punt put it: "A line-up so posh it could be the cast of a British drama!"

You can hear slightly more, here, within this excerpt of The Now Show

Also in that excerpt is the Daily Fail's second story (in conjunction with the Torygraph) on Tapejara in a few weeks. I hope this doesn't become a habit!

Members of their egregious ranks have demonstrated that they are capable of extending their xenophobia beyond the human species!

A Radio 4 programme - Tweet Of The Day - has received complaints because some of the birdcalls come from species that don't spend long in the British Isles.

...but surely that's the fun of hearing them!? Who wants to hear a Mallard Duck quacking away, over and over again?!?

The thing about birds is that they tend to... fly about.

And the ones that have flown the furthest are the most fun to witness.

For example, the videos in two posts from the first half of this month, of fascinating New Guinean species. [Post 1] [Post 2]

Meme Of The Week:

You've seen planking, you've seen owling, you've seen dogging... is that a meme? ...and here comes mamming:

'Women Taking B00BS To A Whole New Level - Internet Craze'

This is yet another attempt to exacerbate the disproportionate amount of money breast cancer research gets, in comparison to other forms of cancer.

All you have to do is rest your breasts on something, and have your picture taken.

If they're covered, will take your picture. If they're not... there's a whole variety of websites out there that will take 'em ;-)

{ and are different sites. One has boobs, the other does not. Please don't mix them up :D }

...oh, and btw, don't forget to remind the world that men have boobs too, so ~0.8% of breast cancer cases are in men.

Me, however - i'm a flying reptile - not a mammal - so i will not be able to join in :-P

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Little Doll - Short Film' by Anaïs Vachez
Creepy yet entertaining stuff

'This Building Is Like The World's Largest Pillow Fort'
An architecture firm in Shanghai has gained a commission to veil a building in white, nylon sheets. The intent seems aesthetic alone, but they claim insulation would be a benefit. It won't help or hinder ventilation, though - it's in Shanghai - they won't open their windows anyway!

'The Mindblower' via Cibertimanios

'Oarfish carcass discovered near Catalina Island'
Even Ripley's reported this as the "Loch Ness Monster" (which is a famous hoax) even though it looks nothing like a zoomed-in sock!?
For starters, whoever had a 56 foot long sock?!?

'The Darkness - live (funny moment)'
Justin's improvisation never fails to makes me laugh :D For more of him, see my playlist on YT

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: hellion -- a mischievious, unruly person; or a rough, aggressive person

Expression Of The Week: "keeping up with the Joneses" -- striving to match one's neighbours in wealth and lifestyle

Meme Of The Week: Mamming (see comment section at the top of the page)

Quote Of The Week: "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." - Jean Rostand

Fact Of The Week: Everyone in the world is within 30th-cousins of everyone else. Most people within a country are within 23rd cousins of each other

Acronym of The Week: Tony Hawks -- wanky tosh This guy's been around Ireland with a fridge, you know. Doesn't look the type, does he :-P

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

‘Corrie White at Eliza The Gallery’

More amazing photography from Corrie White:
Awesome picture 1
Awesome picture 2
Awesome picture 3

'Real-life toy town!' via Richard Wiseman
Apparently, Danny MacAskill spent weeks getting these moves right. Then why does so much of it seem like CGI? Hmm...

'Stop-motion clay chess'

This is one of those careers that you wish people wouldn't pursue :-/
'Hey, I Think You Have Something In Your Eye!'

'Girls don’t poop' - PooPourri
I didn't believe they were being serious until i went to their web-site - but it appears their claims are deluded rather than comic:
"Based on aromatherapy principles..." LOL - Aromatherapy is a relatively well-known pseudoscience - there's nothing to it - it doesn't work!
But like most quacks, they do toe the 'natural' line effusively:
   "NO Harsh Chemicals
    NO Parabens
    NO Phthalates
    NO Aerosol
    NO Formaldehyde
    NO Petroleum Distillates
    NO Ethanol
    NO Benzene"

Ah, well - it is a funny ad. I suppose they get credit for that :D

If you are the kind of person who rejects reality, and opts for Aromatherapy over real chemistry, then this product might also be of interest to you:

Yup - do all your kids' dentistry yourself, at home, with zero expertise, and total liability if you hurt them and get prosecuted for brutality, medical negligence, or both! Happy days :-D

It seems healthcare costs have got so high, that the only alternative is to not do healthcare at all!

Thanks, capitalism, for providing us with, and shoving us towards, these monstrous alternatives to real products that actually work and are safe :-P

I can't tell you how many times i'd had kiwi eggs before i realised what they were :-P

Don't doublethink this comic strip as you read it :D

My compliments to the chef...

The world made better through googly eyes :D

'Goth, Visigoth, Hi-Visigoth'
Via a friend, on Facebook :D

'Megahardcore indian chase'
This is everything i love about Indian movies - gritty realism - none of that Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Intelligence Officer rubbish ;-)
Also via a friend, on Facebook.

''Cause fuck gravity' via Physicist Tv
Yet another joke that reminds me of Red Dwarf. Sigh...

{Incidentally, Bobby Llew recently let rip with a rumour that series 11 had been commissioned. It has not - but it probably will, pretty soon, anyway :D }

'The Chemistry of Light 25 - Phosphorescence'

And the full lecture:

'It's a Gas 27 - Explosive Nitrogen Triiodide'

And the full lecture:

'Roger Federer - Top 10 Jaw dropping dropshots (HD)'
I can think only of Fabrice Santoro or Marcelo Rios who can play better cut dropshots than Federer. But then, Fabrice does play double-handed, which permits greater torque... and i don't know many ancient tennis players...

'Tennis - Ball bouncing back towards the net'

'Tennis - Ball bouncing back towards the net Vol.2'

'Basel 2013 Thursday Hot Shot Llodra'

Look at this - he's match point down, and trying to play through an injury to his forearm, and yet he shows such skill to win the point. Michael Llodra, i'm going to miss you when you retire, at the end of the year :)*/Tennis/Media/Videos/Uploaded/2013/10/24/Basel-2013-Thursday-Hot-Shot-Llodra.aspx

'Valencia 2013 Saturday Hot Shot Almagro'
And yet he went on to lose the match!*/Tennis/Media/Videos/Uploaded/2013/10/26/Valencia-2013-Saturday-Hot-Shot-Almagro.aspx

These guys are in a show called 'Ambassadors', on the Beeb, at the moment. It's dark and comic, like 'The Wrong Mans' (Matt Baynton and James Corden) so i'm liking it :-)

'That Mitchell And Webb Look - Scooby Doo'

'"Now we know" From that Mitchell and Webb look'
Probably one of the best lines for in-jokes, ever :-D

'That Mitchell And Webb Look - Sherlock Holmes'

'Mitchell and Webb - Pet Hospital'
{Ugh... i'm really, hungry, now!}

'Explorers - That Mitchell & Webb Look'
Very clever, this. Most people just get used to names and don't notice how misnomeric they can be. On the subject of mixing up 'east' and 'west', DYK the film 'Krakatoa, East of Java'?
Well, if you actually look on an actual map, you can quite clearly see, plainly before your eyes, that Krakatoa is west of Java, separated by more than 20 miles of water - not to the east, at all! But i suppose "East of Java" sounds better, so let's make the title of the film wrong :-D

'The Insulting Librarian - Mitchell & Webb'
One of my favourites, actually. I'm so tempted to actually try this technique on someone, even though the result would probably be disastrous :-D

'that mitchell and webb look - pedants unite'

'That Mitchell and Webb Look - Drawn out not a quiz show sketch'

...I told you i wouldn't say where the four-leaf clover is, and i'm not going to :-P

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Comment #22: -- On Friendzoning, Preference, and Orientation

Date Started: 14/10/13        Date Completed: 23/10/13         Date Published: 23/10/13

I had a period of lucidity, lying in bed, recently, in which the usual mess of thoughts came together, to resolve the following few subjects. It was a stream-of-consciousness style realisation, so they really happened in this order:


When it comes to relationships, there are a few categories that can be considered meaningful –
there are strangers, acquaintances, friends, and lovers.

It seems to me that people who have claimed to be 'friendzoned' do so because they feel frustration, that they're only friends, and not lovers, with another person.

But i notice there's no such thing as 'strangerzoning', where one party was hoping to be more than just a stranger to someone else. “Why is that?” i wondered. Why do these sentences never/rarely come to mind:

"It's awful being strangerzoned. They just won't let me in. And all because they 'see me as a stranger'. Well, if they just didn't, then maybe, maybe, they'd see that they do, really, want me to be more than a stranger. Then they might realise that they want me as an acquaintance, and as more than someone who pesters them in the street. Ugh – i can’t be just their stranger any longer!"

Note: if you want to go from stranger straight to lover, i'm afraid i can't comprehend your psychometry at all... unless you like dogging, or cottaging... but then surely it’s not romance you’re after??

All the social turmoil of this situation is caused by the emotional turmoil that occurs when you love someone, and when that person doesn't feel the same for you.

Think about it - you're already quite close, so you see them quite a bit, and therefore think about them a lot, which tempts and tantalises and teases you a lot more than if you weren’t already very close, and just wanted to be more than a stranger or acquaintance – to add them to your Facebook friends list, for example.

“They wouldn’t add me on Facebook. WTF? I like, met them once, and actually told them my name, and everything...”

“So i actually met Harry, after the show, and he was so awesome, and beautiful, and just as great in real life, and oh i love him, but he didn’t even reply when i shouted out his name! You’d have thought he’d ignore all the other people shouting and at least look my way. I know everything about him, and he looked straight past me. Marry me, Harry. Oh....”

Which seems more reasonable? Well, neither seems all that reasonable. But in the former case, the person speaking did actually meet the other. In the latter, there’s a lot of emotion, but really no reason to think that ‘Harry’ would even recognise whoever-they-are.

In the first case, very little emotional strain should occur, because very little emotion rides on the scenario. In the latter, they have clearly grown very heavily attached, and so feel immense heartache due to lack of reciprocity.

When a loved-one doesn't reciprocate, frustration can lead to scapegoating the other person, as part of the search for blame.

As emotional-rational beings we try to understand things (that’s the rational part) and we feel motivations to do things or attain things (that’s the emotional part). The tautology between ‘emotion’ and ‘motivation’ is no coincidence.

Note: they both derive from the latin root ‘movere’ meaning ‘to move’ {emotion} {motive}

ithout emotion – whether love, hate, fear, or whatever - we would feel no drive to do anything – to preserve/attain something (love) to erase/oppose something (hate) to prevent/avoid something (fear).
But without rationality, we would be blind idiots, unable to learn from our experiences, including knowledge of how to control our emotions, and when it is a good time to contradict an emotion or simply ‘go with the flow’.

The emotions we feel around acquaintances and friends are not as strong as with lovers, so we don't feel quite as crudely snubbed when someone doesn't want to be our acquaintance/friend. Also, it's less of a cost to become acquainted with someone, than it is to become friends with someone, than it is to become lovers with someone. That's why people tend to have thousands of acquaintances, a hundred or so friends, and only one or two lovers at a time, which means you're actually more likely to be rejected if you want to be someone's lover (due to stricter selection procedures – ‘quality control’ – no-one wants to spend every night with someone they don’t get on with!).

"look at that slag! She's got so many acquaintances. Yuck...."

Both of these elements of the situation (strength of relationship, and the statistics of acceptance) make the difference between being a friend and a lover far more weighty, and thereby more emotionally influential, than the difference between being an acquaintance or friend, or a stranger or acquaintance.

So when it comes to employing our rationality, to control our emotions, to allow us to see that they don’t want us back, the way we want them, it’s a lot harder to do if we’re ‘in love’ with them.

The emotion – the motive – to be with them (and presumably to do ‘certain things’ with them) is powerful – sometimes too powerful for us to control. Peer support makes it a lot easier, of course. There has even been research into friendship, and the amount of pain people feel when snubbed. If someone’s there to console them, they literally feel less pain!

This is why emotionalistic ideologies court irrationality, and denial of evidence. It’s simply easier to impart blame where there is none, than to accept that your own emotions are at fault, when you don’t have emotional self-control.

Like Tim Minchin says: “Love without evidence is... stalking”

So my advice is to remember that this is a problem of situation - you want more of them than they’re prepared to give - this isn't new, it isn't peculiar, you've been here before.

You’ve wanted things your parents wouldn’t buy for you. You’ve wanted to play on a team that didn’t want you. You’ve tried to get into a club that didn’t like your shoes. You’ve met someone who wouldn’t add you on Facebook. You’ve wanted to go out when your mates couldn’t be bothered.

It's just that the emotions of love are powerful and driving you cranky, which makes this specific situation much more difficult to live in than the others you've experienced.

You're not 'friendzoned' - you just feel something that they don't for you - fretting about it is only going to make you feel worse. If you can't control your feelings, you're going to have to walk away, and not just for their sake. If you can, surround yourself with friends who care, or who will at least distract you from the thoughts that taunt you.

‘P.S. On sexual 'preference'’

Firstly... do people still say that term? If no-one does, there’s little point in me continuing. Ah, well – here goes...

The primary problem with this term is that it makes sexuality sound like a choice.

"Oh, yes, well, i like boys, but then i like girls more, you know... oh, but look! Boys are on ‘3 for 2. In that case, i’ll have some boys then. Thanks"

But “preference”. That makes it sound like it's a menu, in a restaurant.

"Would madam care to pick a sex?" "I'll have... that one, please"

I might be pointing out the obvious here, but not everyone’s right-down-the-middle equivalently bisexual! So it’s not just a matter of choice.

The metaphorical book of sexuality is actually least about attraction to males or females, and mostly about what you want to do with males/females when you’re with them. Some people have very reticent sexualities that like to keep things simple, and some people have very outgoing sexualities that just want to try everything.

"Would madam care to be served with tongues, fingers, or would she like to see the menu of other appendages?" "Oh, gosh - i'll have them all ...yummy!"

But sexuality isn't like a restaurant menu in that sense, either.

“Would madam care to order a Main Course?" "I'll have them all!" "Is madam sure? That will be more than £600" "Ah..."

When it comes to bedroom antics (or non-bedroom antics, depending on your... preference?) you don't have to pick one option. You can have everything! Every option.

...although, like with food, maybe don't try all at the same time!

‘P.P.S. On sexual 'orientation'’

Whereas ‘preference’ implies choice that is not there, ‘orientation’ is a concept that struggles to imply variance in sexual interest.

Presumably, in the metaphor of orientation, males are on one side and females the other.

So which way are bisexuals facing? Both ways? Do they have to be two-faced!?

Or maybe the term can be made compatible with reality by implying that bisexuals have highly flexible, freely-swivelling necks, like owls, that enable them to be oriented toward both males and females with practical simultaneity...?

Surely the term ‘sexuality’, which is far simpler, does a much better job of alluding to... sexuality... without asserting fatuous implications about its nature?

Plus, it recedes sex-based sexuality into the backdrop of myriad other characteristics that we favour/disfavour in a partner:

Boys, girls, or both? Blondes, brunettes, gingers, mixture/all of the above? Skinny, chubby, anywhere across the range? Hairy, smooth, somewhere in between? Dark, light, or intermediate epidermic chromatics? Butch, femme, or either, by appearance or behaviour, either and/or aswell as, all above, or also including, too?

There are many features that our sexualities discriminate between. The shape of our dangly bits are just one variable!

If anything, sexual ‘orientation’ does an even worse job of representing this than ‘preference’, because most people don't consider orientations into the 16th spatial dimension! But thinking that someone can take 16 factors into consideration when making a preference... that’s more intuitive.

Either way, i don’t like them.

So, sexuality... it’s not about the choices you make, it’s not about who you face or turn your back on... it doesn’t matter whether it’s genetic or environmental – whether it’s about comfort, or dousing the fire inside... it’s all about what you find attractive.

And that’s why i prefer to orient myself toward the simple term ‘sexuality’.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Entertainment stuff from the week 14-20/10/13

Hi moonwalkers,

Here's a quizzle for you, to mull over as you work your way down the page (the answer's at the bottom):

'1 or 2?'

Coincidence of the week:

In the same week that i heard about the Moonwalk Marathon for the first time (a nightime marathon in which women (and men) walk a marathon with their (decorated or not) bra showing, to raise money for breast cancer research) i hear a story about a $10 million bra!

'Candice Swanepoel to Wear Victoria's Secret's $10 Million Royal Fantasy Bra'

The bra comes with a matching belt, and is inlaid with 4200 shiny rocks, including rubies, diamonds and yellow sapphires. There's also a 52-carat pear-shaped ruby hanging from the centre, and it's all set in 18-carat gold!

Do you think she'll be wearing it to a Moonwalk?

I think maybe not.....

Well, while we ogle the profligacy of 'Victoria's Secret' the hard times and furloughing of the USA's public sector are over (almost) - and NASA's back to work - now that the 'Tea Party' anti-socialists in the Republican Party have given in.

It really is embarrassing that the USA has such dreadful elements that resist the development of universal healthcare. Then again, the Conservative Party in the UK is trying to end universal healthcare, there! Isn't that unbelievable!?

Anyway, here's Scott Lewis, explaining what was happening at NASA, and what was not, at the time. NASA was worst affected by the furloughing - 97% of staff were temporarily laid-off!!

'NASA Shutdown Update, What's Still Running and What's Not: Space Fan News #116'

Friday 18th October was World Vasectomy Day! That's right, dudes - a day to celebrate deliberate impotency, for those who've really made up their mind :o)

'World Vasectomy Day 2013'

I must say, to everyone with the courage to have the operation - i really admire your spunk... it's so clean :-D

There's a show on UK TV called 'The Gadget Show' and one of their recent polls turned out results for viewers' favourite gadgets of the last 100 years.

Their favourite for 1943 - right in the middle of WWII, remember - was the Slinky.

Surely there were more important things to be inventing, right in the middle of a world war!? Why pick that one?

Anyway, let's not get stuck in the past. And on to the Roman Catholic Church.... :-P

This is something accidentally-amusing that i found this week.

'Pope Francis' Controversial Remarks Prompt Vatican 'Damage Control''

"What are these controversial remarks?" you might be wondering. "They must be horribly bigoted to be deemed controversial... for a Pope!"

Well, lets take a look at them...

1) He revealed: that he considered turning down the job

This causes agony in the minds of the pious, because the role is one of supposed divinity and infallibility. What's the Pope-to-be doing, demonstrating doubt, like some kind of Rationalist, who thinks before they act!?!?!?

2) He said that: everyone, not just Catholics, but also atheists, can get to heaven.

Even atheists! You know, those horrible nasty people who eat babies and FORCE the religious to do nasty things despite their will. They, too, could get to the magical fantasy land in the sky that the Christian brand of religion says bigoted people go to when they don't exist anymore!!!!!!

3) He said that: the corrupt bank that the RC Church uses to do all its criminal dealings, and everyone's been saying should be shut down... should be shut down!!

The 'Institute for Religious Works' (very Harry Potterish... who is a warlock and enemy of God, by the way) as the RC Church euphemistically calls this bank, was actually described by Pope Frank as "a story of love". Indeed - a love of dirty money!

4) He said the RC Church should strip itself of wordly wealth and concentrate on preaching

Yes! The head of the multi-billion-dollar organisation that is the world's wealthiest cult, and whom personally preaches from a gold throne, to his millions of impoverished, entithed subjects, has declared that maybe excessive hoarding of wealth is a bad thing. Actually, this is a standard for cult leaders, but usually two-facedly, saying it about everyone else, and not their own business!

5) He said: he lives in the Vatican hotel rather than the Apostolic Palace, because he likes it

So the Apostolic Palace was good enough for all those aged Popes down the centuries, but its draughty corridors and icey-cold floors aren't good enough for you, huh? What do you think the RC Church is - a care home? Get in that palace, suffer the way Mother Theresa would have wanted you to, and like it....

6) He said: miserable old nuns who drain the sunshine out of even the brightest summer days should be less gittish

He actually said they were like "old maids" and "with just a smile they could be flight attendants!". Mother Theresa must be spinning in her grave...

Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he wanted the sheeple to know the difference between 'a clever quip in a homily, and infallible teaching'. LOL

You'll notice, however, that these 'controversial' remarks did not spark vicious fury because they were bigoted, but because they were actually relatively sensible! I say 'relatively', of course. We shouldn't expect the sincerely deluded to start genuinely leading society, the way they claim to. These remarks seem exceptional, amidst the context of general bigotry that made him a cardinal, and a viable option for Pope, in the eyes of other cardinals.

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'A Quick Thank-You'
Richard Wiseman's Quirkology channel has reached 1,000,000 subscribers! This is a special, celebratory video. P.S. there's more than one trick in it ;-)

'Amazing sunglasses ad...' via Richard Wiseman

Aaah - copper compounds are beautiful :)
'Chevruel's Salt'

I don't think i've ever shared a video from EmuleNews in Entertainment before, but there's some weirdly beautiful physics in this video. Plus, it gets kinda funky at the end :)
'Shape oscillation of a levitated drop in an acoustic field'

'Have you heard...Loons?'
One of the cats that i live with, was quite perturbed by the red-throated loon. I wonder why... :-P

I hate remixes! But this one just makes me laugh. Good job, Mr Swingrowers, if that really is your name :-D
'Caro Emerald - One Day (Swingrowers Remix)'


'Titan's Chemical Cocktail'
"Is there life on Titaaaaaan?"

More science that's just awesome:

'Drones create 3D model of Matterhorn mountain'

This is what drones are best used for - not for war and sinister oppression.

'Natural Histories: Scientific Illustration on Display'
How do you draw exactly the right number of spines along a pufferfish's body? That's incredible!

'George brandis the All Bran of the Federal Government'

Classic conservatism. It always reminds of this quote from Yes Minister - Sir Humphrey Appleby: "...Many, many things must be done... but nothing must be done for the first time" So much to do... but nothing must be changed :D

'Tony Abbott's Indonesian offence'
I really don't understand why people do this. If you don't want to be harrassed by experiencing something new... stay at home!

'How Your Local News Is Made. (Very Disconcerting Video)'
The weird thing is that the majority of channels really do see 'News' as entertainment. And yet they're so lip-curlingly unoriginal! At least try to work out your own jokes, people!

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: busat -- the Sami word for a reindeer with a single, very large testicle

Etymology Of The Week: racket (meaning 'scam') -- from 'racquet' - the sporting equipment - suggesting a game, and the idea of 'playing' people

Quote Of The Week: "The claim of alternative practitioners to not treat disease labels but the whole patient...allows alternative practitioners to live in a fool’s paradise of quackery where they believe themselves to be protected from any challenges and demands for evidence." - Edzard Ernst

Fact Of The Week: Elephants, dogs and goats all take 21 seconds to empty full bladders. A law of mathematics seem to govern the time it takes for large mammals to urinate

Acronym Of The Week: TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) If you're really nerdy, you'll have noticed that TCGA are the four bases of DNA - thymine, cytosine, guanine, and adenine - how nerdy a name is that! I heard about this on the Naked Genetics podcast (13/10/14), from the Naked Scientists

Gene Of The Week: Lonely Heart (the Naked Scientists' Gene Of The Month) Lonely Heart is a fruit fly gene that’s involved, as you might have guessed, in building their tiny hearts. Loss of the gene leads to heart damage and eventually, as the scientists called it: "a broken heart"... no they didn't... they actually called it “abolishment of heart function”. Very romantic :-D

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

Who wants to see a 4-year-old banana? It's not quite how you think :-P
'Just Add Water 03 - Water in our Food'

For the full lecture:

'Penguins invade the London Underground'
Believe it or not, these are football fans. Apparently, Hartlepool FC fans dress up for the last game of the season. This year, the theme was penguins!

'The Amazing Dances of the Jumping Spiders'

'The Amazing Dances of the Coastal Peacock Spider'
And another spider video:

'Underpass Illusion. Newburgh NY'

‘Urban intervention’ by Fra Biancoshock

Awww.... a sleeping bear :o)

'Sitting pretty: Climber installs lounge seat 350ft up cliff face in Utah'
Aa-aa-ah This is scary!

'How about coffee?'
Yeah - i don't think i'd want her to serve me coffee, either :-D

How about a cappucino?
{Watch for at least 5 minutes ;-) }

Queen's just uploaded a tonne of old videos, to YouTube... ALL IN ONE GO :D

These are my 'best of' - there are many more...

'A Winter's Tale (Final Version, promo video, 1995)'

'Teo Torriatte (2005 Video)'

'Calling All Girls (promo video, 1982)'
Weird video :D

'One Vision (Extended Version)'

'Heaven For Everyone (promo video, 1995)'

'Queen & Elton John - The Show Must Go On (Live, 1997)'

'No One But You (Only The Good Die Young) 1997'

'I'm Going Slightly Mad (promo video, 1991)'

'Who Wants To Live Forever (by Ian Meeson & Belinda Gillet) 1989'
Hauntingly melancholic

'Headlong (promo video, 1991)'

And the answer to the quizzle: the arrow will move toward '2'


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Entertainment stuff from the week 7-13/10/13

Hi, alcies!

A foreword heads-up (not a rant) -- this is for anyone who can get sick -- so that's definitely you!

I have received this e-mail, from the AllTrials campaign to get pharmaceutical companies to release all of the data they've ever accrued, so that epidemiologists can get a fair and uncorrupted view of which drugs do what and to whom.

The AllTrials campaign is supported and conducted by medical doctors (principally Ben Goldacre) and scientific, medical organisations - it is not a libertarian/green/political front group - so these guys are really serious!


The head of Europe's pharmaceutical industry body has threatened "a series of lawsuits" if the EU's medicines body goes ahead with its great plans to publish more of the clinical trial information it holds. The European Medicines Agency plans to proactively publish the Clinical Study Reports (CSRs) companies submit to it when they apply for a license. Researchers at Germany's medicines licensing body this week showed that these CSRs contain vital information about drug effectiveness and safety and that regulators and doctors need that information to make decisions about treatments.

The industry body thinks they can delay or stop the release of this information with lawsuits. We need your help to expand the AllTrials campaign and make sure the attempts to kick this into the long grass don't work.

Here are 5 things you can do this week to make the AllTrials campaign bigger and better:

1. Get 10 people to sign the petition on If you haven't Tweeted, blogged and told all your friends and colleagues to sign please do that now.
2. Donate to the campaign - we need to expand our global reach. One way to do this is a really good campaign video capturing the voices of many of our supporters. Please help us produce that.
3. Ask your organisation to join the campaign. 400+ have already - is your professional body and its international association among them?
4. Add our powerpoint slides to any presentations you're giving or to your conference background slide.
5. Add our AllTrials web button. We have made banners and buttons in standard sizes."


And, of course, you could always mention the campaign on your Facebook, twitter, YT-channel, or even blog..... ;-)

Apparently, the UK's being taken over by an army of 300 drunk under-12s!

I know what you're thinking:

"300 drunk under-12s? Let me at 'em! Sounds like fun"

As you might expect, this is yet another example of shit journalism, mindlessly claiming pseudostatistics for the sake of an attractive headline.

'MoreOrLess: Underage drinking 04 Oct 13'

Incidentally, under-age drinking in the UK has gone firmly down over the last decade.

Sorry, newspaper readers.

...oh, and the sky isn't falling in, either :-P

Second, the USA's still being held to ransom by obstreperous Republicans who want their way, whatever that means for the country.

Very patriotic! <s>

Jon Stewart seems to have this covered:

Thirdly, Doctor Who's taken a change of tack, of late.

I noticed the last Matt Smith episode's already been advertised on the Beeb... and they haven't even started cranking Winterval up, yet!

And lastly and most importantly -- Peter Higgs and François Englert have won the Nobel Prize for Physics!

It usually takes ages for Science prizes to be awarded, because the developments have to show impact in order to persuade the panel.

That's why he didn't get it, last time around. But clearly, the discovery's made enough impact that he deserves it already :)

That goddamn particle's done him goddamn proud :D

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

Have you heard of... twogging?

Now here's a tennis troke you won't see played much :o)*/Tennis/Media/Videos/Uploaded/2013/10/7/Shanghai-2013-Monday-Hot-Shot-Giraldo.aspx

Watch the Nadal versus Del Potro highlights (the second half) - obscenely good tennis!*/Tennis/Media/Videos/Uploaded/2013/10/12/Shanghai-2013-Saturday-Highlights.aspx

'Imilac meteorite from London's Natural History Museum'
If you haven't seen a pallasite meteorite before... prepare to be amazed!

'Lovely perspective illusion...' via Richard Wiseman

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: suborn -- to bribe someone, monetarily or otherwise, to break a legal law

Etymology Of The Week: predate -- a back-formation from the noun 'predator' which itself derives from the latin verb 'praedari' menaing 'to rob'

Bird Of The Week: Definitely the King-Of-Saxony Bird-Of-Paradise!

Quote Of The Week: "I have three kids and no money! Why can't i have no kids and three money?" - Homer Simpson

Acronym Of The Week: MDR -- 'mort de rire' meaning 'death by laughter' - the french equivalent of 'LOL'

Anagrams Of The Week: Republican Senate --- incapable tenures - cabals repine tune - banal epicentre US; and the non-ironic ones: bacteria peel nuns - cannabis eel erupt

{Doesn't that sound like a mantra from a Japanese show :D "CANNABIS EEL, ERUPT!!!!"}

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'Evolution of Dance - By Judson Laipply'
I hadn't seen this before. It looks like i was the only one :-D

A paper lamborghini?
'Paper Lamborghini'
Oh yeah. Plus a timelapse video of them making it.

'Migaloo - The Albino Whale'

And here's a chimp...

How to cook. Step one:

Life's fun, down under :o)

This is how the police roll:
{I don't think this is impressing anyone, grandad :D }

"How did you get here?" "Oh - BDSM..."

Physics porn. Yes!


'When panorama shots go terribly wrong'

"Trust me. I'm an architect"

I can take the ouch away!

More of Cornell's ornithological videos, from New Guinea, where the birds are less birdlike, and more like transformers:

'Shape Shifting: and the Birds-of-Paradise'

'Black Sicklebill: The Thin Blue Line'

'Superb Bird-of-Paradise: Psychedelic Smiley Face'

'Parotia: Ballerina Dance'

'King-of-Saxony: Otherworldly Calls'
{This is the 'Bird Of The Week'}

'Curl-crested Manucode: Unusual Anatomy'

'Feathers: and the Birds-of-Paradise'

'Gunnison Sage-Grouse'

An audio quiz. You'll see the answers to which animals make these, at the end of each video:

'WILDaudio: Troubadouring Under the Ice'

'WILDaudio: Stemming the Vibe'

'WILDaudio: Drumming for a Date'

'WILDaudio: Trumpeting in Despair'

I got the first and last right. How did you do?

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Daily Mail, hatred, and everyone

This is a too-long-to-be-an-extract mini-essay, motivated by a particular event, but about the Daily Fail in general.

The Daily Maul has behaved utterly uncharacteristically, recently, by laying in to someone!

Apparently, the current Labour Party leader's dad was a socialist... and a foreigner [Dun-dun-durrrr]

This, according to the Daily Fail, means he "HATED BRITAIN"

I have a few points to respond with:

1) After WWII, when Miliband (Sr.) was active, a socialist government won the nation's General Election. So did a majority of the population hate Britain, at that time?

2) Before WWII, the Daily Maul stridently supported the Nazi movement. They went suspiciously silent in 1934 when their (Jewish) advertisers threatened to withdraw funding. Of course, if they'd continued, their actions would become treasonous anyway, and punishable with execution!

3) Ralph Miliband was a Belgian Jew who fled the Nazis, and fought with the British forces. So who's hated Britain more?

4) The main 'reasons' the Mail gives for Miliband (Sr.) 'hating Britain' are opposition to:

  • Monarchism - the idea that an arbitrary family should receive obligatory wealth and responsibility (most of it now funded by taxpaying republicans, such as me), and that one person in that family should become the highest authority in the land because they happened to plop out of a lucky vagina, at a lucky juncture.
  • Religious Establishment - the idea that arrogant, delusional, mentally enfeebled men should be given divine access to the UK's law-making processes, instead of being treated as the cult leaders and executives of criminal organisations that they really are.
5) Ralph Miliband has been dead for almost two decades! The Daily Fail have been trying to libel a dead man*. Classy! But why now?

*It's not actually the first time!

What the Daily Mail really finds so egregious about Ed Miliband (the current Labour Party leader), is that he is the son of a foreign, jewish socialist, whom they perceive to be a Communist...

and not the 'good', 'strong', 'decisive' 'leader' i.e. fascist, that they want to be P.M. of the UK.

They do not want him to win the next General Election!

Their historic fascism - which led them to support the Nazis - has still not gone away, and this is why they are so frequently described as a 'paper that deals in hate and fear.

But hatred is just what people do when they don't like something. It's a generic emotion, and not explicitly wrong. What matters is what we hate, not whether we hate. I, for example, hate deceit - possibly more than anything - and so it follows, logically, that i also hate superstition, and pseudoscience {see entire sections on my blog!} and propaganda, and therefore pretty-much everything that comes out of the Daily Mail.

... but boy, is there a lot that Mailists don't like! And it's all personalised. Their 'criticisms' are as subtle as a brick through a Jew's shop window.

The way a village idiot makes themselves feel bigger, is by mongering their world into a cartoon, that they find easier to understand. A world where there are goodies and baddies, the strong and the weak, saints and sinners, Christians and heathens...

In this paradigm, you're either on the 'right' side or the 'wrong' side.

In reality, if you're on any side, you're on the wrong side - real problems don't get resolved by factionalistic attrition - if you take sides, you're actually part of the problem!

No-one can fit this hyper-idealistic, reality-denialistic ideological attitude, and so plenty of emotion pours forth, but with no rationality to temper it. What matters to someone like this is not whether something should be feared/hated, but whether it can be feared/hated.

The Daily Mail, in all the xenophobia and cartoon-minded conservatism it exhibits, is a shining example of what happens when humanity goes wrong.

Despite its misogyny, the majority of Mail readers are female. Why? Because the loathing can always be pointed at other women (who are too fat/slobbish/poorly dressed/foreign/lesbian/etc).
Despite its xenophobia, there are readers who weren't born in Britain, because those people can loathe other foreigners (who are of another nationality they don't like/too fat/slobbish/poorly dressed/foreign/lesbian/etc).

All emotion - no rationality - as if spouting bigotry is some form of stress toy!

Other 'papers, though, like the Torygraph (called that because they have an ideological bias in favour of the Conservative Party) actually like the Daily Mail.

Not because they agree with them, but because they disagree. In fact, all the other papers look so pleasant, level-headed and... well, acceptable... because the Daily Maul's so outright repulsive. It's held as a paragon of obscenity.

Without the Daily Flail, standards would rise, and another 'paper would become the most right-wing, conservative extremity in British journalism. Probably one of Murdoch's.

And so, the Mailists who buy into the lies they spew forth, form a sort of cult. Resistant to criticism, and full of bile for anyone who fails to heed the word of the lord. Hallelujah!

...that lord's Lord (Viscount) Rothermere, of course.

That's right, Westboro Baptists - Britain beat you to it - we've had a universally-loathed bunch of bigots who are inexplicably popular within their group, for more than a century, and it's the Daily Mail. The difference is that there are only 40 of them, and the Mail has a daily readership of more than 4 million!

They say you should strive to be a good example, and if not that, at least be a terrible warning.

Mailists think they're a good example - but they're actually a terrible warning.

So really, the take-home lesson should be this: Know whether you're a good example, or a terrible warning, and strive to be the former!

Entertainment stuff from the week 30/9 - 6/10/13

Hi, haters...?

The Daily Maul has behaved utterly uncharacteristically, recently, by laying in to someone!

Apparently, the current Labour Party leader's dad was a socialist... and a foreigner [Dun-dun-durrrr]

This, according to the Daily Fail, means he "HATED BRITAIN"

If you'd like to read a longer-than-i-was-hoping-for explanation of the situation, go here. Otherwise, go straight on to...

There's a new campaign in Oz, to encourage people to look after their backs (literally, i mean), and Stefan Sojka's done a song for it :-D

'Mind Your Back - Single Version'

Remember - you won't have to get your back seen to, by either a chiro-quack-tor or a real doctor who actually knows what they're doing - if you don't have the accident in the first place!

"So mind your back,
One stupid moment and your spine could crack,
And you may never get the feeling back,
And your limbs are going to go real slack,
You can wind up in a wheelchair, yeah yeah,
So be aware, and take care,
And mind your back"


Ah, Newsthump...

'No-one should get something for nothing, claims man who got everything for nothing'

'Cameron and Clegg ‘perfect couple’ for Mars Mission, insists everyone'
I want a referendum! Let's make it official :D

'IKEA sofa found to contain traces of rocking horse'
{Here's the context, if you don't know it}

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Mitch Benn - You Hate Britain (The Now Show, 4th October 2013)' (my upload)

'Richard Saunders - Skeptic's Horoscope (September 2013)' (my upload)

'Homer Simpson vs Pierre de Fermat - Numberphile'

Two recipes in two weeks!? Greg's Kitchen might to have to become a regular slot! :D

'I Believe In A Thing Called Love (turkey version)'
Hahahaha.... sometimes it's the simple things, eh :D

'NEW! - 10 amazing bets you will always win (9)'
Waheey - they're now numbered!

'Can you figure this out?' via Richard Wiseman

'Amazing Perspective Illusion'

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word of The Week: vituperation -- bitter and abusive language

Etymology Of The Week: livid -- meaning 'a bluish leaden colour' - the colour people might go when they're furiously angry

Quote Of The Week: "you don't know you're wearing a leash if you sit by the peg all day" - Michael Parenti

Fact Of The Week: Weddell Seals have the largest proportional brain size at birth of any known mammal. This is because, like zebras and wildebeest on the plains, they are born into hostile environments and must quickly learn self-sufficiency

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'Anarchy in the UK Ballad' - Stefan Sojka

Stefan Sojka's wonderful parodies of the I-SCAM industry (Integrative - Supplementary, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine)

'Medicins sans medicine'
(Medicine without medicine)

'Life Wire'

'Eat Less'


'1-2-3 Gutflush'

"You can never get the weight off without the secrets that will be revealed to you in this miracle weight-loss academy programme. Sign up to 'Eat Less and Exercise More' and start losing weight today!"


'Ilusiones ópticas'A compilation of fantastic optical illusions, by Cibertimanios

'Not Your Kiddie’s Sandcastles'

'History Of Lyrics That Aren't Lyrics'

'Modern Art'
In a world where artists have forgotten that it’s the content of their work that makes it interesting, we should expect their ‘masterpieces’ to lose out to ventilation systems :-D

'Unlikely #62'

'Shots Of Water'
{^ Punning title ^ Did you notice? :-P }

Some more sounds to share with you. These birds really are incredible :D

'Through the Lens: Birds of Australia's Northern Territory'

'Through the Lens: Eastern Screech-Owl Camouflage'

'Voices: Barred Owl'

'Voices: American Bittern'

'Real Angry Birds: Sharp-tailed Grouse Battle'

'Voices: Ruffed Grouse'

'Voices: Semipalmated Sandpiper'

'Birding by Ear: Northern Cardinal Song'

'Voices: Magnificent Frigatebird'

'Voices: White-rumped Sandpiper'

'Voices: Willow Ptarmigan'

'King-of-Saxony Bird-of-Paradise'

'Greater Bird-of-Paradise'

'Western Parotia'
This one looks set for Bollywood :)

'Magnificent Riflebird'

'Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise'

'Lesser Bird-of-Paradise'

I'm not done with Cornell's ornithology, so expect more birdies, next issue :-)