Monday, 26 January 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 19-25/1/15

Hi terrifying alien fossils,

'Boring' statistics:

100% : UK newspaper front pages devoted to slaughter of 12 people in the Charlie Hebdo massacre by mad Islamists

0% : UK newspaper front pages devoted to slaughter of up to 2,000 Nigerians by mad Islamists

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[PETITION] 'Stop Boko Haram's reign of terror'

Have a look at this beauty:

It's the mouth of a frilled shark - Chlamydoselachus anguineus. One of which was fished out of Australian waters recently.

Contrary to sensationalist journalisings, it's not a "living fossil", it's not "out of 'Alien'", it's not particularly "horrific" or "terrifying", and it's perfectly fine to show to kids before going to bed.

It's not mature to engender abject hysteria in an audience -- the frilled shark looks the way it does because it hunts squid in the dark depths of the oceans - not because it's a plot construct for anthropocentric horror movies.

'Amazingly spectacular, perfectly natural: Frilled shark caught'

'The Vital Statistics of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko'

'Rosetta data reveals more surprises about comet 67P'

'Rosetta data give closest-ever look at a comet'

'Rosetta gets a peek at Comet 67P's "underside"'


Today, Sunday, NASA's New Horizons mission, to Pluto, will take its first photograph of the dwarf planet Pluto's surface/atmosphere, whatever it can see.

NASA's Opportunity Rover, however, celebrates its 11th anniversary on the planet Mars, with this panorama from the top of Cape Tribulation:

'Panorama from Mars' Cape Tribulation Marks Opportunity's 11th Anniversary'

And this one too:

'Opportunity's breathtaking view from atop Cape Tribulation'

In other news:

THE FBI has announced that a single wire-paid invoice scam has bagged the perpetrators $214 million in just one year. All they did was send a range of companies fake invoices, requiring them to be paid by wire. This is a cheap, easy service, used to pay directly into any account in the world. Security experts regularly warn people not to pay by wire, unless they already know exactly whom they're paying to.

A beach in Cornwall, in the UK, lost all its sand, down to its bedrock, when a high tides tripped it away. But don' worry, because it eventually got a new one washed in. Sandy beaches are especially susceptible to longshore drift, because the small particles in sand are easier to move around. If you've been 'down to the beach' it's unlikely to be the same sand, every time, because it's constantly being shoved along the coastline by sea currents.

A mountaintop in Northern Ireland has lost all its sea god statues (just the one) having been stolen by Christianity enthusiasts. They replaced it with a 5 foot cross emblazoned with: 'Thou Shalt Not Have False Gods Before Me'. Their false god is the only acceptable one, apparently. Blasphemy dogmas are just as moronic, whatever the dogma. But then, all dogma is. What happened to the dogmatism of 'thou shallt not steal?'. Morality's off, when religion's being advocated.

A UFO has been sighted over the skies of New Mexico. What it could it possibly be? Space Jews? Grey Aliens? The Brocken Spectre on holiday? No - it was a balloon. So that'll make it an IFO then. Number of cases that turn out to substantiate conspiracy superstitions: zero. Number that turn out to substantiate mundane explanations: all solved cases.

The USA's Justice Department has reached a $134,000 settlement with a New York woman after federal drug agents used information from her cellphone to set up a Facebook page mimicking her own. They did this so that they could contact known potentially-dangerous individuals in drugs cartels, exposing her to harm from them, for prying, as if she were acting in accordance with a federal investigation. She had been involved in a 'drug bust' in 2010, but this doesn't excuse them using tactics worse than scammers - using real people as both shields and weapons, in their own fights.

The most recent Ebola outbreak has taken a huge toll on humans living in west Africa, with thousands of people dying, but it has been nothing compared to more-frequent and more-dangerous diseases like influenza, which kill orders of magnitude more people. For other primates, however, Ebola has been hugely more dangerous. In fact, since the '90s, a third of all gorillas and chimpanzees in the world have been killed by Ebola alone! That would be 2,300,000,000 people if extrapolated out. The most deadly outbreak was in 1995, when it killed more than 90% of the gorillas in Minkébé Park in northern Gabon.

Did you know that there's DNA in food? Well, of course there is, unless all you eat is salt! Humans, like millions of other species, rely on the consumption of the organisms of other species to survive and thrive. But apparently, most people aren't aware of that. "According to a recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, over 80% of Americans said they would support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.”" Calls for labelling of 'GMOs' are just as fatuous, and unproductive, given that most people don't know what it means, anyway - they'll just assume that it means something vaguely bad, and avoid perfectly good (or better) produce because it's got a label on it.

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

'The Top 5 Science Stories of 2014 - A Week in Science'

'Snails use insulin weapon to swallow fish whole'
I'm imagining a giant snail, in a film, using this technique to slow down and eat human cosmonauts. Eek :-O

'A rap about technology - Konnie Huq at Ada Lovelace Day Live 2014'
Konnie's married to Charlie Brooker, which is why she features in his programmes so much; linked further down the page.

'Martian Solar Panel - Objectivity #3'

'Life in a Nutshell {The Kloons}'

Fantastic :-D

'Jesus God News #25'

'German rabbit breeders criticize Pope's sex comments'

'Love Letters to Richard Dawkins'
This is the sequel to this video ;-)

'A Song To Bring Peace On Earth... Christian Reilly: "Dark Wood And Light Wood"'

'Bono's Song For A Broken Hand by Christian Reilly'

'L’homme invisible (Adrien Ménielle)'

'Trevor Noah: African American - Sports in America'

'Where's The Baby?'


'Russian Ghost Car DEBUNK'

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

Word Of The Week: fandabidozi -- corruption of 'fantastic' originated by The Krankies. This is what it sounds like when sung.

Etymology Of The Week: diabetes, diarrhoea -- diabetes comes from the greek meaning 'siphon', originally 'diabainein' meaning 'go through'; diarrhoea comes from the greek 'diarrhein' meaning 'flow through' from 'dia' (through) and 'rhein' (flow). In modern German, the name for diarrhoea is 'durchfall' which has the same literal meaning of 'throughfall'.

Quote Of The Week: "Ill-conceived love, I should warn you, is like a Christmas cracker. One massively disappointing bang and the novelty soon wears off!" - Blackadder

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

'Charlie Brooker'
Every single thing that Charlie Brooker's ever done, ever ever ever ever ever, in chronological order. Except not quite everything.

'World's Deadliest - Bizarre Slime Cannon Attack'
The Velvet Worm is on the prowl!

'How To Discourage Smoking'

'De ja vu'

'A joke worth milking'

'Mr Bean eats a Snickers'

'My first time...'
Scary stuff :-D

'The Forest - Survival of the Idiots! (Funny Moments / Co-op Gameplay)'
The game isn't finished yet, so there are bugs everywhere... wonderful, wonderful bugs :-D