Monday, 26 October 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 19-25/10/15

Ermahgerd readers,

Everything happened in the last week/fortnight. Or that's the way it seems. Maybe it's the clocks going back to GMT that lend that illusion?

...but how much extra can happen in just one hour!? And how can i cover all of it? I won't, as per usual :-P

The shooting of Red Dwarf series XI is expected, around about now:

'I’ve never readthrough… a script'

'Tucker’s Luck'

The hoverboard bollocks appears to have returned and resurfaced... again...

'Omni's Propeller-Based Hoverboard Prototype'

Well, not really.

This is one that actually works, but has severe limitations, because the key to stability is to keep the centre of mass above the centre of pressure. If they're too close together, it'll flip over easily.

In order to keep the centre of mass high, therefore, the hoverboard has to be as light as possible, which excludes hugely heavy gyroscopes from its construction, and also big heavy fuel tanks or batteries.

That's why the guy in the video could only set a world record of 275.9 metres, before the fuel ran out.

So it might be fun, but it won't last very long.

If it does get popular, however, the Austrian transport ministry has made sure to categorise it, just in case :-D

'Austria authorises hoverboards... even if they don't exist yet'

If you do see a hovercar kind of thing, it'll be a big bulky thing, like this, where the stability-correction mechanism makes less of a difference. The problem with these, is that there aren't many places you can take them!

And the Volkswagen Group investigations continuum, and the Volkswagen Group investigations continuum...

{That's a Red Dwarf reference :-P }

25.1% of all new cars in Western Europe are manufactured by VW Group. That proportion must surely be higher in Germany specifically, where the motor industry employs 5% of all employed people in the country!

The immense power of the motor industry promises to completely leave to their own devices corrupt governments, the way industries are known to do.

Car companies rent the largest exhibition stalls at Party rallies, in return for huge donations fees to the Party; they pay for adverts in the Party propaganda magazines; and then they make direct donations to government factions too.

VW leads the way in all categories. But then non-VWAG BMW's owners can still donate €690,000 to the Angela Merkel led CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and large sums to both the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. Daimler (Merecedes Benz) donates to these two as well.
{ref: Private Eye 1304 p.20}

So whichever Party happens to have power, in the German government, the 'local' multinational powers at large are always ready to 'keep the pollies happy'.

No wonder then, that bids to 'green' the country, during the 'financial crisis' involved a scheme to spend €5,000,000,000 of public money, on encouraging people to trade their old cars in for newer ones. About €1,600,000,000 of that found a new home at VW Group.

So public money disappearing into big Business' coffers is very much not peculiar to the UK and USA then. Of course not - these are generic mechanisms, exhibited by a generic species.

If anything, this rampant corruption is something to make human beings feel closer to each other. National boundaries be buggered, because we genuinely are all suffering the same basic problems.

This week's national news, on TV in the UK, has partly been about zero-nutrition drinks, generally referred to as products of the 'Sugar Industry'.

I quote Alison Boyd of Sugar Nutrition UK, via Private Eye: "Sugar in itself has no specific causal role in obesity, rather the overconsumption of all calories is to blame".

But the evidence shows that sugary drinks provide the problematic surfeit of calories, that harms health by causing obesity, and harms teeth as well.

Sugar Nutrition UK, by the way (formerly the British Sugar Bureau) is funded by sugar producers, of which Coca Cola is not one. But Coca Cola certainly deals in a heck of a lot of it!

While Jeremy 'pronounced with a c' Hunt insists that he must sit on the scientific reviews, that have for many years demonstrated that a sugar tax, and an abolishment of food and drink advertising, especially to children, would be of great benefit to the national health, in great obsequity to the sugar industry, ecological and medical activists campaign in vain to persuade the motor industry friendly Ministers to contradict their funders, in Germany and abroad.

The nationalists, i'm sure, will barely notice, that societies suffer this corruption, regardless of national boundaries.

The financial ramifications of this exposure of GM Group's software-based deception, are likely to be too small to make a huge influence, but it might just wrest a small amount of power away from the businesses that do so much to corrupt the governments that are supposed to represent the people.

Anti-abortion pro-suffering bigotry is still a thing to be campaigned against, in swathes of the world.

'Helen and Graham Linehan on abortion in Ireland'

Here's a disappointing follow-up review:

And those people are still doing whatever-it-is they think's going to contra-evidentially make the world better.

'Sarkeesian's fans try to get critic FIRED and REPORT HIM TO POLICE!'

The extraordinary malevolence of people acting on ideologies that engender a feeling of moral impunity!

Oh, and here's a follow-up to my addendised comment on the Suffragette film, that i wrote two weeks ago:

"Watch this video of us being dragged off the red carpet. Fight goes on. Stop cuts to domestiv violence services now" [link]

Back then, i said this:

"The suffragettes' actions were actually an active problem for the egalitarian movement, and a godsend to those looking to misrepresent suffrage-supporters as hysterical miscreants, who can not be trusted to behave civilly, let alone be rational enough to cast a vote."

As if to prove that the same uncivility remains, here we see them flopping all over the floor, petulantly refusing to allow people to see the premiere of one of their own propaganda movies!

I'm sorry if i burst your bubble, but you are being those same hysterical miscreants! Respectable people do not behave like that.

Can you really look at these sullen, cantankerous, infantile, churlish human beings, behaving in such a cantankerous and obdurate manner, and think "yep, that's the intellectual height of mankind"?

They're not justice warriors. They're not heros. They're not martyrs. They're petulant idiots, who deludedly think themselves the best of womankind.

There's a huge contrast between them, and the Linehans, who are much more sympathisable with, and can command a much greater sympathetic response.

If the abortion rationality movement had instead just rolled around on the floor, at the premiere of a movie, do you think they'd have had such a great effect?

I really do not think so.

P.S. I have no idea what "domestiv violence" is. I think it might be an incredibly obscure Game of Thrones reference.

P.P.S. The feminist egomaniac who featured in the top link, has since withdrawn from YouTube, having had her 'one rule for us, another for you' bigotry come back to bite her.

'Karma, ONLY A BITCH, if you are one! SJW self inflicted wounds!'


In the second of the Back To The Future films, Marty and Doc travelled forward in time, to the 21st of October 2015. To mark the occasion, fans around Los Angeles transformed a town into Hill Valley - the fictional hometown of Marty McFly - to home their themed celebrations. As a tangential connection, a team of engineers have developed a self-driving, electric DeLorean that can drift. Footage can be seen, at the link.

In other news:

Amazon is currently suing more than 1,000 people who allegedly offered to write glowing product reviews for cash. This might seem quite familiar, if you watched the second of Thunderf00t's links above, all the way through, as the Laughing Witch herself wrote her own reviews, for her own company. Because you know someone has integrity when they write their own reviews! But how can you tell when a reviewer is being sincere? Well, humans are generally woeful at doing so - as bad as chance - but researchers at Cornell have come up with a language-pattern program called Review Skeptic that can correctly identify genuine/fake reviews 90% of the time. Here are the heuristics: liars mention specific irrelevancies but miss useful vaguaries (they probably don't know the product) they are overly enthusiastic (evidence tempers people's opinions) and they include jargon (unlike real customers) and trade names/numbers to game search engines. Real reviewers are more likely to say things that are genuinely useful about a product, and to review a plausible range of products, rather than just one company's or everything in the whole wide world. Also, the more reviews the harder to fake them all, and reviews that agree on common problems are likely to be sincere. So there you go. These heuristics can be generalised to any review - even of an ideology - fake reviewers will not be able to give details e.g. "umm, err, i can definitely name games, Mr Colbert. they all cause real-world violence" whereas sincere reviewers will give verifiable criticisms that actually relate to the actual thing e.g. "you faked evidence in [this] game, denied evidence that games don't cause real-world harm, and contradict your own dogma". Ultimately, the only way to tell a practiced liar from a sincere person, is evidence. Don't ever "Listen and believe".

Negotiators of British-Sinese nuclear deals will have a tough sell this autumn. What with the government corruption, questionable international activities, and flagrant abuses of people's human rights, China could well be unwilling to deal with a country like the UK! A country that holds secret arms fairs in its capital city, protected rather than regulated, despite knowledge that the highly-illegal dealing in torture devices (torture is something the UK still leads the world in, including the relatively-new heat torture method) has occurred unabated at the event. Further to that, the UK has an unstable and fractious government, seething with duplicity and scandal. How can the Chinese possibly trust a government that is so incapable of constructing an energy policy, that it deliberately undermines its renewables industry, and then complains about energy security? And a government so disdainful of its poor, and so lacking in desire to social progress and social mobility? The Chinese must be in a bad way, if they're forced to negotiate with that lot ;-)

A 1950s film of beaver rehoming, by a rather unusual method, has been recovered and digitised. It shows the beavers of one region, which was overpopulated with beavers, being put into boxes, loaded onto an aeroplane, and parachuted down to the ground, in their new homes.

Hoax of the week, is a picture of a 'city' supposedly 'floating in the sky'. The trouble is, it's a static image from a single video, surely taken in an urban area (there's a city in shot!) so how's there no other video with the 'city' in it? Secondly, it doesn't look like a distant city of skyscrapers - it looks like the crenelations of s small castle; and it looks like it's on the ground (you can see it, on the right) and just shrouded in low clouds. Despite the lack of credibility, it got selected for newsworthiness by national UK newspapers - Dependent and Torygraph, i'm looking at you - attached to ludicrous conspiracy theories about NASA imposing a New World Order, using a New Age religion enforced with impossible technology. Magical floating cities are apparently 'evidence' of this being true! Cripes :-D

Have pity on le pomme de terre de ciel de terre, because according to Swiss publicly-funded research, it is wasted more than other vegetables, on its way to plates and packets. A quarter are sorted out by farmers, a quarter is deselected by wholesalers, and then a sixth is wasted by consumers, either in purchase or at home. Overall, only half of harvested potatoes end up being served. And ironically, 'organic' labelled potatoes are more likely to be rejected than those not labelled so. My hypothesis is that people who like 'organic' stuff are picky bastards, who are less willing to just eat what they're given. Of course, not all of the other potatoes are truly edible by humans - potatoes are infamous for blight; and can be adversely affected by poor growing conditions, infestations, and parasitism. Of the potatoes that are used, some are given to livestock. So make the most of your tatties, people :o)

Much of South East Asia has been encloaked in smoke, in recent weeks - an occurrence that is a regular feature of the area. Every year, the dry season heralds fire outbreaks in the tinderbox environment, which at least this year, has led to international inflammation, with Indonesian officials understating the problem, and Singaporean ones severely contradicting. The initiation of the fires is actually industrial - part of the slash-and-burn method of destroying rainforest, to replace it with palm oil plantations. The legal and illegal palm oil industries in the area are funded by demand in wealthier regions of the world, where customers remain ignorant of the harm caused by the trade and the specific products involved in it, and vendors remain flippant about it. The fires actually make a huge contribution to global CO2eq emissions, which exacerbate climatic warming, making the dry seasons dryer, and thereby increasing the hazards of future fires spreading out of control. It's a dangerous positive feedback cycle. In fact, at the fires' heights, they emit more CO2eq than the entire USA! Here is an aerial image of Borneo, obscured by the smoke.

A 16th century church, built at a town called Quechula, has resurfaced from its watery crypt, 49 years after being buried by reservoir waters in a southern Mexico dam project. Prolongued droughts have caused the water level to fall markedly. The last time the church walls were seen was in 2002, and both that time and this, superstitionists and sightseers trecked to witness it. Apparently, heavy rainfall has reobscured it, since the article's photo was taken, on the 21st of October. From what i have gleaned on WKSE Images, usually only the top of the entrance stands above the water level.

Comet Lovejoy, it seems, is releasing large amounts of alcohol and sugar into space. Both are relatively simply organic molecules - glycolaldehyden and ethanol, of boozing fame - which could be construed as evidence of fecundity. In other words, whenever an astrobiologist sees them, they get excited. It's already known that Earth's surface water didn't come from comets, but its surface organics - the building blocks of living organisms - might have been contributed to by comets. Comet 67P/Churyamov-Gerasimenko has also shown the presence of simple organic chemicals, but none that are already-synthesised into more complex ones like nucleobases (the Cs Gs As and Ts in DNA) and complex amino acids.

New Horizons has a new target - 1.6 billion kilometres beyond Pluto lies an object currently known only as 2014MU69, which it should reach by 2019. MU69 is thought to be 10 times larger and 1,000 times more massive than average comets, including the one being orbited right now by Rosetta. MU69 is barely 1% the size of Pluto and perhaps one ten-thousandth the mass of the dwarf planet.

The oldest abecedary ever found, has been dated to ~1500 BCE. Latin script (the letters this blog is written in) can be traced back, through its historical forms, using artefacts such as these, because they feature all the letters employed by their manufacturers. It's literally an alphabet, but before a-b-c, was a-b-g (alpha-beta-gamma) and before that '-b-g (aleph-beth-gimel) which on this abecedary is seen in a different order - HLHM (halaham) which was used for Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Arabian and Classical Ethiopian scripts.

Some birds and aquatic mammals, and now crocodilians. No, i'm not talking about posh restaurants, i'm talking about sleeping with one eye open. Direct evidence has established that crocodiles too sleep with an eye open, to maintain awareness of threats while resting. But the bigger question is: do they stand on one leg? <s> :-P

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

'Beat Frequencies'

'Meteorite, Meteor: What's the Difference?'

'The Things that Live on Mars 4K'

'The Real Reality Show: How the Moon was Formed'

'Old and New Labs - Periodic Table of Videos'

'Man in the Middle Attacks & Superfish - Computerphile'

'Postcodes of London'

'Time Travel DEBUNK'


'Image: Sentinel-2A captures Mexico City'

'Video: Hefty Prominence Eruption Observed by SDO'

'BEYOND THE HORIZON - Symphony of Science + The Planetary Society'

Plonk returns for its difficult second season. You would have thought it would mature with age, wouldn't you ;-D

'Bottoms Up On The Road To Plonk (Plonk Ep 1.1 - Season 2)'

'The Taze of Wine and Roses | Adelaide Hills (Plonk Ep 1.2 - Season 2)'

'Sinking Stones & Rolling Caravans | Adelaide Hills (Plonk Ep 1.3 - Season 2)'

'Brother Taylor of Sevenhills | Clare to Barossa (Plonk Ep 2.1 - Season 2)'

'Hives & Seek in The Clare Valley | Clare Valley (Plonk Ep 2.2 - Season 2)'

This is the best episode by far :o)

'No One Forgets a Barossa Boy | Barossa (Plonk Ep 2.3 - Season 2)'

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

Word Of The Week: scrimp -- verb: to be thrifty or parsimonious, to economize stringently; spending as little as possible to save small amounts at a time, with the connotational expectation of significant effect; used as in the expression 'i've been scrimping and saving just to get by'

Expression Of The Week: 'dancing the Tyburn Jig' -- being executed; Tyburn is a famous hanging spot in London, UK, that became the subject of many generalised euphemisms for execution, including 'go west' (as in 'thanks to some prig in management, the whole show's gone west') which is a contraction of 'go west to Tyburn'.

Quote Of The Week: "Pasta is just wet bread" - Ben Goldacre (both are basically just starch, held in place by a small amount of protein)

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

'Scientology's music is crazier than Scientology itself'

'Islam's hardcore punk scene'

'What's happening on "weird Soundcloud?"'

'The Darkness-Mudslide House of Blues Chicago'

'Rock of Glam- The Darkness House of Blues Chicago'

'Friday Night-The Darkness House of Blues Chicago'

'The Darkness - Mudslide (Live)'

'One Man Show - Coles'
For foreigners, Coles is an Aussie supermarket ;-)

'One Man Show - Facebook'

'Peter Sellers - Parkinson Interview: very funny!'

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 12-18/10/15

Hi punctists,

This week's issue's going out late, and through no fault of your own. Sorry. Better late than never, right? Right??

Let's get on with it, anyway....

'EU lawmakers reject GM crop compromise'

What a horrible mess. The various nations of the EU are tearing each other to pieces, motivated by anti-GMO superstition.

Within each nation, there are people who accept the facts, that genetic modification is a process, not a product, and that genetic engineering especially, holds huge promise for the future, to make millions of lives better.

But there are also people who hold fears of 'the other' and believe the murderous propaganda of organisations like Greenpeace, who strive to prevent foods like Golden Rice from being allowed to save millions of people.

I dearly hope that science wins against superstition, in this case, but i suspect that even if it does, the anti-GM supersitionists will continue to campaign against the technology.

Ironically, their actions are jointly motivated by fear of capitalist corruption, which is often well-placed (see VW for an example), and if the anti-GM movement persists, patent control of crops can only get worse.

Let's be clear: genetic modification has been done for thousands of years, and large companies already control the supplies of commercial species' seeds. Nothing they are doing will change that.

The anti-GMers' criminal acts, against places like Rothamsted Research, only push the power toward the agricultural oligopolies, as the research is generally done by publicly/charitably-funded organisations.

Developments by these organisations (Rothamsted Research being one) are in the public domain, and so do not pose a threat to humanity, economically. If they were forced out of operation, then all that would be left, would be the feared Monsantos and Syngentas.

It would be like living in a privatised healthcare system, where you could only buy heinously expensive patent drugs, that are all old evergreened stuffs. Most of the best, new medicines are not developed by Big Pharma, which spends its money this same way - repatenting old drugs.

The way forward, is to make sure that genetic engineering, and its discoveries, are kept public (the same lesson as in medical research) and seed manufacturers limited only to dispersal.

While the anti-GM movement is tolerated, in keeping the emphasis of 'the conversation' on whether science is science or not, this big problem is not being challenged.

To deal with the real problem - the economics of agriculture - the anti-GM movement must be stopped.

'Jewish school found guilty of selecting pupils based on parents' sex lives'

Sexual perversion? In religion? You don't say!

I repeat the mantra, for the second time:

"Schools are for teaching, not for preaching"

Religions and other superstitious ideologies should never be allowed to infiltrate schools. This is one of many examples why.

In other news:

Possibly the most important news of the week: an Astrophysics PhD student has won an award as 'World Porridge Making Champion'. Included in those he beat, were a medical doctor, a museum manager, a biochemist and a cook. Who cares that he beat a cook, though - he beat a biochemist! Physics takes its place, where it should be - on the top of the pile. Mary Anning, Charles Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould, Fritz Haber, Barbara McClintock, Linus Pauling, Louis Pasteur, we have beaten them all, we have beaten them all! Isaac Asimov, can you hear me? Isaac Asimov... your boys took a hell of a beating! Your boys took a hell of a beating!

Headline of the week: 'highly dangerous chance occurrence has small compensation in providing a small statistical advantage in fight against probable cancer'. Or, as the papers, put it: 'shark attack saved my life'. Um, no. That's some major misunderstanding of statistics, you just did there.

wild mushrooms? spontaneous orgasms? sign me up! unfortunately, it's not that simple. The idea that there's a species of fungus, that causes female (but not male) homo sapiens to have orgasms when they smell it, dates at least as far back as 2001, but despite a complete absence of verification, it just doesn't seem to die. Credulity, perhaps? Couldn't possibly be! <s> Having looked the journal of origination up, i'm not impressed by its remit and the kinds of studies it gets published in it - it seems to be mostly advertising for the mushroom and quack (supplements) industries. The original study is linked here, and what it says is... "busy". I've not been able to read it, dagnabbit! Maybe the journal always says that :-S

Here's one of those stories where the 'papers just get everything wrong! Dead animal? Washed up by tsunami? Mysterious? News? No - none of them. It's just the remaining blubber from a shark or whale, where all of the rest has been stripped or decomposed. And although that's interesting, it's not mysterious. Even the footage being thrown around doesn't post-date the 2011 tsunami, as claimed - it was first uploaded in 2010. Fails all around.

VW update: Germany's motor transport agency has ordered a recall of all 8.5 million VW cars sold in Europe, with the test-deceiving software, which VW has revealed to be applying to 2016 models! This is much better than VW's pathetic plan to 'give people the option' of contacting them, maybe, perhaps, if they can find the number. The USA's FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is now investigating VW's adverts, for fraudulence. Those adverts, of course, feature the claim that their cars are low on emissions, which we now know to be a lie. Marketing something on the basis of unfounded claims, is the definition of fraud, so it looks like this could be additional expense for VW Group. As expected, these revelations have had a retarding effect on VW's plans for world domination, but its sales are still growing up, and its global market share has dropped by only 0.3% to 23.3%. That's a scary amount of power for one car company to have!

According to Forbes Magazine's queries through 'online sources such as Nielsen, IMDb and interviews with managers, lawyers, industry insiders and the stars themselves' PewDiePie is YouTube's biggest payee - to the tune of US$12 million! Believe it or not, i still haven't seen one of his videos, all the way through! Maybe i should take some tips, and minorly increase my chances of earning a few bucks from inanity. Some hope :-D

There's compassion, and then there's 'Animal Rights' which can be completely different. Like with the 'Women's Rights' and 'Men's Rights' movements, there are some really wonky arguments. Instead of genuine attempts to improve lives, they condemn things that they just don't like. So when a zoo, as in this case, compassionately euthanases a lion, and then decides to educate some people by performing a public autopsy, the rational response is: "oh, wow - you don't get to see that very often". The irrational response is to send death threats to the zoo, and condemn the dissections as 'not very nice to see'.

Stop the press! Backwards apostrophe alert, in Bishop's Stortford. Must have been a slow news day :-D

GCHQ, please talk to us more, LOL. Pollies in the UK are protected by the Wilson Doctrine, which was made in 1966, and said that no lawmaker's phone should be tapped unless during a national emergency. Well, it turns out that the Wilson Doctrine doesn't apply to the activities that GCHQ does, which don't involve direct tapping. So MPs of both wings are up in arms, about the possibility that someone might find out what they're really doing, on the public's behalf. Surveilling the activities of politicians is actually what GCHQ should be doing. In fact, it's what journalists are supposed to do. Because the actions of pollies, in office, affects the public, data pertaining to their behaviour is publicly relevant data. This is why pollies and corporate execs are considered to be PEPs (Politically Exposed People) as their 'personal' activities often turn out to have a public element - hob-nobbing with industry shills, who're paying for their dinner, for example. It's a difficult life to lead, so i have empathy for them - but it's one that requires the acceptance of public surveillance. By which i mean the public surveilles them - not the other way around! Organisations like GCHQ munching through the personal data of millions, on the tiny probability that one of them might be the shill, is simply unjustifiable. It's not the borderline case, as it is with MPs. If only GCHQ and the NSA did talk to us, about what pollies and corporates are doing, then they might have some form of defence!

The second annual survey of American fears is out, and it's found that the statistical person who exhibits most supernaturalist superstition is a: dark-skinned, unmarried, Catholic woman, who doesn't have a degree, doesn't attend religious rituals much, and lives in the North-East of the USA. So when you find this woman, try to be tactful, because she has 41.4% confidence that places can be haunted by spirits, and 11.4% belief that Bigfoot is real - so don't wear your gorilla costume, at the time! It seems apparent, to me, that the survey excludes religious superstition, and so that is probably why the woman in question is Catholic and inattentive to Churchy rituals. Protestantism tends to be more zealful, in the USA, so the statistical person would probably be a highly-attentive Protestant if that data were included. I just don't want to comment on how common the superstitions surveyed are though! FSM, give me strength :-D

Identification of the features of a 125 million year old mammal skeleton, has pushed back the evidenced hisory of mammalian fur and ear development. Spinolestes xenarthrosus was fossilized with remarkably intact guard hairs, underfur, tiny hedgehog-like spines and even evidence of a fungal hair infection. The unusually well-preserved fossil also contains an external ear lobe, soft tissues of the liver, lung and diaphragm, and plate-like structures made of keratin known as dermal scutes. The specimen measures 24 cm in length, and it might have weighed 50-70 grammes in life. Like modern rats, it had teeth adapted to insectivory, but might have been as omnivorous as modern rats are. The idea that it had a fungal infection, comes from observations of truncated hair growth, of the kind consequent to dermatophytosis, which can be seen in modern mammals. Soft-tissue preservation is also brilliant - enough to show bronchiole structures of the lung, and possibly the animal's diaphragm. You can see a picture and artists' impressions, by following the link:

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

'The Thors Hammer experiment! -Potassium vs Ice'

'Lenticular Holograms and Animations'

'Jupiter As You've Never Seen It - 4K'

'Dad³'s Secret Recipes! - Vegan Surprise!'

'The Sex Shop Made Of Felt'

'Bite Me (feat. Crabstickz)'

'Closest northern views of Saturn's moon Enceladus'

'Cassini Begins Series of Flybys with Close-up of Saturn Moon Enceladus'

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Season 2 Episode 5'

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Season 2 Episode 6'

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

Word Of The Week: punctist -- from punctator, meaning 'one who draws dots', especially in Hebrew (can apply to the person who made the backwards apostrope)

Fact Of The Week: it was Ringo Starr who shouted "i've got blisters on my fingers" at the end of Helter Skelter. So there :-P

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

'Tom Lehrer Decimal The Frost Report'

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 5-11/10/15

Hi pore pluggers,

I'm a bit late with this, but the Daily Fail's suing Gawker for its expos
é of the fact that gutter press rags like the Fail, don't write their own articles - they just fiddle with press releases. In an Anglican bishop sense.

'Daily Mail insists it isn't a copycat, sues Gawker'

The revelation that this is how the tabloids work, is not a revelation to me. It was only partially surprising when i found out from Chris Atkins, through his film Starsuckers, that he'd worked in an office of just three people. It provided a "no way, that's actually true?" explanation for how their standard of journalism is so consistently poor.

I, for example, write all of my blog up on a Sunday morning. Imagine writing an entire newspaper every morning! You'd have no time to really understand the press releases you were being sent, let alone be able to contribute anything useful to them, before publication.

But this is how the British press works.

Rather unsurprisingly, therefore, they are full of errors - both glaring, in their factual inaccuracy (only to those who already know the answers and therefore don't need to read any newspaper) and glaring, in their inept image-editing.

'Photoshop Disasters: The Daily Fail'

All of these are real, and taken from the pages of the Daily Fail's online issues. Try not to implode with incredulity, when i remind you that the Daily Fail has a daily readership of 4 million, and its website receives more than 100 million hits every month!

Sometimes, you just want to break down and cry :'D

But don't just yet, because there's this:

'Poor Flora wasn't PC Enough...'

And now you may cry :-P

Remember that time internationally renowned psychologist and science communicator Richard Wiseman promised that "I will personally thank everyone who tweets me in the next 5 mins" and then got so many hundreds of tweets (including one in which Rob Webb called him an "intellectually effete wanker") that he couldn't possibly respond to them all?
[link for before the promise]
[link for after the responses]

No? But it was only a few weeks ago. You must have short memories :-P

P.S. Rob Webb is a friend of Richard's, so he didn't mean it... probably. And yes, he is that Robert Webb who was on RHLSTP a few months ago.

'bending truth' - theramin trees

This video is on the subject of factionalism, indoctrination, and self-deception; but more importantly, the terrifyingly mundane nature of it all.

We are all gullible, stupid, and acquiescent, to some extent; but just because we're not perfectly skeptical, perfectly knowledgeable, and perfectly assertive, that doesn't mean the victim of the lies is evil. Actions can be evil - objects can't.

We are all responsible to each other, to be skeptical of ideas, and to encourage each other into positive habits. Often, inaction/inassertion can be better encouragement than reckless action/assertion.

And, staggeringly well timed, we have these factionalist machinations, in feminism, with it excusing its crimes, and condemning its outsiders, purely to exert control over faction members.

'Feminist arrested for HATESPEECH #KillAllWhiteMen'

[coughs] #feministsareuglysarcasm

This is how corrupting an ideology can be, that it can lead to one of the palest-skinned women in the room, with the wealthiest family backgrounds, claiming to be representative of a minority, while a woman of recent-African ancestry holds her microphone for her! "Yessum, ma'am, anything else for ya?" Strike me pink!

"I... can not be sexist or racist toward White men..."

Toward white men...

White... men...

She defines her enemies by race and sex, but she's not racist or sexist? Ministries of Truth are real, and doing all the bending Theramin Trees inadvertently described.

And to demonstrate quite how bad the problem of feminist sexism has become, this woman is employed as a student diversity officer at Goldsmiths, University of London!

The University of Warwick bans ex-Muslims from its campuses; the University of Reading segregates audiences to accommodate Islamic preachers; and the very people at these organisations that you would expect to care about all people as a minimum qualification for the role - a diversity officer - turns out, again and again, not to think that certain races and sexes are worth bothering with!

- Kings College London saw no problem with an Islamic preacher who called Jews “filth” and gay people “sick” in 2010

- London South Bank's torn down posters to the FSM (All Praise Her Noodly Appendage) claiming they're 'offensive' but leaving all the others up.

- Middlesex University happily accommodates a 'Centre for Homeopathic Education'

- the University of Westminster deliberately associates with Quackery companies [link 2]

- the University of Caen has been complicit with the anti-GM nutbags it employs, in proliferating pseudo-scientific propaganda

- the University of Virginia and Duke University have become infamous for the feminist movements on their campuses, campaigning to enact physical violence against young male sportspeople, without any evidence of the claimed rapes having happened. UVA closed down all fraternities (but not sororities), to help them terrorise men and women on campus.

- Brown University decided that debates must be banned, if they hold the mere possibility of someone criticising a term that feminists treat as holy, in their Ministry of Truth lexicon - 'rape culture'

- but Dalhousie University sees nothing wrong with holding a female-only panel of feminist preachers, who declare that women must always be allotted the privilege of speaking first at events, and that men (and only men) should be forced to write apologies to female claimants of crimes, when they have not even been proved to have committed those crimes!

- and then the University of Michigan is perfectly happy to be a harbour for pseudo-academic propaganda, through its professors and 'concentrating on the women' projects, claiming such things as "The average prison sentence for men who kill their intimate partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced, on average, to 15 years" when the actual fact, is the complete opposite in sentence length! Even Michigan's own researchers know this to be a reverse.

Far from being universally welcoming, many Universities seem to be happy to accommodate divisive sentiment, even amongst its staff, at the expense of valid criticism.

Must do better!

P.S. There's a film about the suffragettes out....

'Simon Mayo interviews Abi Morgan'

It's worth remembering that the suffragettes were arrested for crimes that they had actually committed - arson and vandalism being the most famous of their criminal acts. Abi's remarks that they were 'subject to' the police's actions, misses this crucial point - criminals who come noisily do not get treated like criminals who come quietly.

The suffragettes' actions were actually an active problem for the egalitarian movement, and a godsend to those looking to misrepresent suffrage-supporters as hysterical miscreants, who can not be trusted to behave civilly, let alone be rational enough to cast a vote. The serious work that women had to do, during WWI, and did bloody well, was what clinched the deal for non-aristocratic women.

The egalitarianism of universal suffrage was much better embodied by the suffragists, who committed no such violent acts, and were well prepared to work with the men whose concurrence was necessary for the gaining of suffrage. All of the people who voted for it were men, after all! Look at any feminist meeting, and you'd get the impression that men were extraneous to the process of progress.

To this day, the same movement, commonly labelled 'feminism' refuses to accept that compassion for all human beings is better than a boy-girl grudge-match. Feminism willfully pushes women ahead of men, treats its own crimes as inconsequential, and treats the experiences of some humans as more important than those of others. Its symbols are still those of violence (e.g. fists in Aphrodite symbols) and it still plays the martyrdom game by pretending to have been harassed, when really they are the evildoers.

"War's the only language men listen to" - suffragette/feminist in Morgan's eyes // "War's the only language Westerners listen to" - the Islamists of (e.g.) ISIS

Coincidence? No.

Both parties are intolerant of genuine equality - both insist that sexism is a war between men and women, or Muslims and Non-Muslims, and so their own crimes are inconsequential.

Both 'offer' fake resolution, and fake salvation.

Humanity can do better than this.

In other news:

It's nice to know that local Council's can get their priorities right though, isn't it <s>. What an odd world we live in, that they're under more peer pressure to erase drawings of human bodyparts, that cost nothing more than the risk of educating profoundly ignorant people; than they are to fill potholes, which cost large amounts of money in damage to vehicles. "Picture of a nob? We'll be there in 24 hours. Pothole? Ah, we'll be there in a month or more..." This is what prudes would erroneously call a 'value judgement' though: which do you value more - preventing damage to vehicles, or forbidding blasphemous depictions of the prophet penis? Must do better. Again. LOL

In stark contrast, this is the BEST. BIOLOGY. TEACHER. Everrrr. Why? For showing all her bodyparts, LMAO. But seriously, Dutch needs a translation for 'six pack' :-D

Rumours of the week: alligators and pythons are roaming the floodwaters of South Carolina. They're not - the stories are hoaxes. Killer caterpillars are swarming in Pennsylvania. They're not. These are stories that make it difficult for responsible people to tell fact from fiction, in order to inform their safety-making decisions. Also, Rowan Atkinson is still alive. Just sayin'.

Another issue in the ongoing saga of misdeveloped-libel law abuse, by quacks, has come to a close. And this time, in humanity's favour, with the Science Based Medicine blog being deemed innocent of defamation, for correctly describing Edward Tobinick's claims as 'dodgy' (my paraphrase).

Some people in Canada have 'dressed up special' in protest at the permission for people to wear niqabs {Blogger tries to 'correct' this to 'minicabs'} in voting booths. They went to vote while wearing bags, masks, and costumes (anything that hid their face) and were allowed to do so, which doesn't surprise me. Every time i've ever voted, there has been no requirement for visual ID. I, too, assumed there might be some problem in not showing my face, but as long as i give a name and address, that's deemed enough. Prevention of voter fraud doesn't warrant ID, it seems. By the way, my presumption is that the officers thought my wings and headcrest were part of a costume ;-)

The USA's Senate Finance Committee has opened an investigation into VW now, over its industrial deception. It seems $50 million in undeserved tax subsidies might have gone to VW, under the impression that it had achieved fuel-efficiency standards, that for obvious reasons, include emissions criteria. It's not a lot, compared to the billions it'll be fined by the EPA, but it could have been a motive for VW to commit the offences in the first place.

So, do you want to take sides in the Israel v. Palestine conflict, like Bahar Mustafa? If you're an upper-middle-classist yuppy, who doesn't like to think too hard, you'll probably opt to take the side of Palestine, thinking it to be 'the underdog' and therefore 'the victim' but reality doesn't work like that. The 'Free Palestine' movement is contributing to the conflict, because neither side is right. In recent days, attention has shifted from the Jewish atrocities of Israel, to the broiling Islamist factionalism of Palestinians. What makes them newsworthy, is that they're children. "I like throwing stones at the soldiers, like the other youngsters," said Mustafa, aged 10. "I want to die a martyr". The conflict depends on people being willing to take sides - don't be one of those people.

Here's an update on Homo naledi. Two new research papers, about the foot and hand of the species, confirm that it was physically capable of both climbing trees and walking on the ground, to get around, but would also have been capable of precise manual manipulation. The wrist bones and thumb show commonality with Neanderthals and Humans, indicating ability to use tools. The curvature of the digits of the hands, however, suggests that they were still suited to arboreal (tree-based) life. For pictures, follow the link:

Human conspiracy theorist homophobes, quake with fright! A gene has been found, that causes gayers to emit a pheromone that attracts other men [dun-dun-dun-durrrr] ...except it only works in nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans). A single gene has been found to encode the production of excretory pores, that in turn result in sexual attentions from other males. Most nematodes are hermaphrodite, which means they have both boyy and girly parts, but a minority are formed without the girly bits, and so are deemed 'male'. Very rarely, these researchers have found, the males can be sexually attracted to other males, and attempt to reproduce with them. This is of course futile, but since when has love cared about futility!? You can read more about the details, in the article, in which you will also find that "male-male excretory pore plugging" is the new euphemism for gaysex :-D

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

'Dung beetle disperses seed that looks and smells like poo'
They might not have cognition, but they have cross-generational smarts

'Crazy Chernobyl Cyclists - the ghost town of Pripyat by bike'

'Neutrino Nobel Prize - Sixty Symbols'
According to McDonald, his research could help develop fusion power, as any physics relating to the Sun can be connected to the nuclear fusion that goes on there, and in labs on Earth.
And how does the winner of the Chemistry Nobel react? With a plastic cup of champagne, of course. These scientists, they're such egomaniacs. Plastic, indeed :-D

'Battery V Petrol. The Lawnmower Test | Fully Charged'

'Glow in the Dark Peanut Butter'

'Image: Pluto's blue sky'

'Image: Sentinel-1A captures Azore islands'

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

Expression Of The Week: 'stone the crows' -- a generic and mostly non-literal expression of frustration, which might result in an attempt to dissipate said frustration by throwing stones at birds, especially if they were the source of the annoyance. English idioms with the same meaning are 'i'll go to the foot of our stairs', 'strike me pink', 'i'll be a monkey's uncle' or 'if that don't take the rag off the bush'

Unintentional Headline Of The Week: people should be fined for delivering the Daily Fail :-D

Intentional Headline Of The Week: being tall causes cancer (Daily Diana)

{Here's the NHS Choices' team's competent analysis of the study, from which the claim was derived: }

{This story actually follows on to one about elephants, and an explanation of how they're less likely to get cancers than expected: }

Unparaphrased And Intentional Headline Of The Week: "Wonder diet to stave off cancer" (Daily Diana)

{For those who are unfamiliar with the quackery-obsessed Diana Express, this kind of headline is not actually rare!}

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

'Te presento a la vaca...' (I present, the cow...)

'Pareidolic Iceberg'

'Firework Under Ice'

'Neither Google Nor God'

'Psicología de ascensor' (The Psycyhology of Lifts)

'Cycling Mash'

'Pouff - Grocery Trip'

'Huella bacteriana de la mano de un niño de 8 años'

'Las misiones Apollo'
This is part of a cache of more than 8400 photographs uploaded to Flickr, recently.

'10 points to anyone who knows why the range of distances'

"Elliptical orbits" while a true thing, is not the correct answer. Anyone who's seen an orrery in motion has the mental equipment to understand why.

If anyone meets Sarah, do tell her that she's fucking amazing :o)

Oh, and here's my own spider shot:

'Massive Garden Spider'

'Rowan Atkinson Live In Belfast I Hate The French Sung by Howard Goodall'

'Room 101 - Bill Bailey - Part 3, The Bill theme tune'

'The Bill 1988 - Full length theme'

'Victory - Darren & Stephen Loveday - RED DWARF Back to Reality song'

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 28/9 - 4/10/15

Welcome, my patchwork species,

I am both excited by, and disappointed with, humanity, this week:

'NASA Confirms Evidence That LIQUID Water Flows on Mars, September 28, 2015'

'Anita Sarkeesian asks Google and United Nations to ban her critics!'

Here we have the best and the worst of humanity, demonstrated within days of each other:

- One, a Science that has demonstrable achievements, through its rigorous evidence-base; and the other...

- An arbitrary range of incoherent factionalistic dogmas that cast a long-extant social problem as a war between two sexes of your species, which can only be resolved by one of those sexes winning.

The fact that horrible bigots like Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn can get to preach at the UN, demonstrates that the long-extant social problem has not gone away!

Quite the contrary - all feminism has ever done is to replicate sexist prejudices of the past - switch the genders around, and you have tired old masculist sexism, staring straight back at you, right there, out of the page.

Feminism motivates people to care only about crimes when female humans are victims of them - because they've decided that they represent all women, regardless of what those women think, in the same way as 'patriarchs' have advocated only for men, and pretended to represent all of them.

"All [people] are equal, but some are more equal than others" - George Orwell

The comparison with Religion is adroit, too.

In the same fashion, the myriad arbitrary religious dogmas are glibly advocated by a wide range of human beings, who blindly believe that a better world will be achieved by them.

Even though there are thousands of sects of Christianity, thousands of sects of Islam, and thousands of sects of Feminism, members of all of these sects are happy to advocate as if they were a representative of all of them, and equally happy to declare the other sects to be wrong, and their own insights to be superior.

"Yes, but they're not proper Christians/Muslims/feminists". The illogic is simple: "i'm right, because i am, because i am" and if you disagree, you're harassing me - you're Christophobic, Islamophobic, or an Anti-Feminist.

And so you must be silenced.

Religion does not agree with itself, because it is made of superstition.

Racism does not agree with itself, because it is made of superstition.

Feminism does not agree with itself, because it is made of superstition.

All of this can be avoided by just not being a feminist and instead adopting a label that genuinely describes ourselves.

I care about equality, so i am an egalitarian. Nothing can possibly describe me better.

My conscience forbids me from joining any faction of feminism, in knowledge of the harm that it threatens, and the harm that it has already perpetrated on the human species.

It's not new insight - it's old bullshit, with a makeover.

According to the metaphor, if you put lipstick on an old chauvinist pig, you don't get a beauty - you get a feminist.


In a turn of 'unexpected' hypocrisy, the women who invented the Peeple app, which allows users to rate people they know (or don't) on whatever grounds, in a Yelp kind of way, have banned and blocked the criticism they've received for developing it.

'People-rating app sparks firestorm'

The App has not yet been released, but it is intended to enable people to rate each other, from 1 to 5 stars, and has been accused of being a tool of online harassment.

"We are bold innovators and sending big waves into motion and we will not apologize for that"

Oh, feminism, what are you going to do with this - condemn the developers (never - they're women!) condemn the users (likely mostly women, but we can bury this truth) or condemn technology itself and bemoan the general maleness of the tech industry?

Feminism being made of arbitrary bullshit, i suspect all three will find a place in the torrent of 'criticism'.

Some updates on VW's diesel dilemma thing.

'VW, Audi offer online check if vehicle has trick software'

Volkswagen and Audi (owned by VW) are updating their websites, so that people can find out whether their cars need 'editing'. I'm not sure whether that's good enough - VW should be making an active effort to contact its customers, as well - the problem should be regarded as an environmental emergency as well as a consumer protection one.

But they have released more information on the range of brands involved. These numbers are for the USA only - 2.8 million in Germany, and 1 million in the UK are also known to be involved.

"The company has said that 11 million diesel vehicles from several of its 12 brands had engines fitted with software that can help them cheat through emissions tests. Those include 5 million Volkswagen passenger cars; 2.1 million Audis; 1.8 million Volkswagen commercial vehicles; 1.2 million Skodas; and 700,000 vehicles made by Spain-based SEAT."

'US regulator missed its best chance to catch VW cheating'

We also have an update on how the EPA managed to miss the emissions problem - they simply opted to neglect cars from their measurements, and concentrate on trucks. A decade ago, they developed the technology that was used to catch VW, last year, but they decided not to use it on light vehicles, that aren't very popular in the USA, for economy's sake.

'EPA sets new ozone standard, disappointing all sides'

And in other news, the EPA has reached a compromise on ozone pollution. Medical advocates want the regulations to forbid concentrations above 60 ppb (parts per billion) to prevent a range of lung-related health conditions that can and do result in death. The regulatory limit is currently 75, and is to be dropped to 72 ppb. Unsurprisingly, industry representatives (Republicans) have complained at the dampening affect this will have on the killer industries that they run.

In comparison, the EU's regulations are currently set at 120 µg/m^3 which equates to 60 ppb - the amount environmental/medical advocates want, for the USA.

Rather more frivolously, Green Car Journal has rescinded its 2009 prize, that it awarded to VW for one of its offending models!

'Volkswagen loses 'green car of the year' prizes'

If Robert Merkel, writing in The Conversation can be trusted, the source of the problem might lie with the IT industry's culture, where fudging benchmarks are apparently not uncommon.

'Where were the whistleblowers in the Volkswagen emissions scandal?'

The parts involved, he thinks, must have required collaboration between a team of engineers at VW, the parts suppliers - Bosch - as well as the management of the company, who oversaw the whole thing.

Also drawn into the picture by him, is the glaring absence of whistleblowing. In such a large company, it's more surprising that no-one had the presence of mind (or personal freedom?) to alert an investigative body to what they had witnessed, within the company.

It's not impossible, however - just less likely.

To be honest, i don't have the highest opinion of engineers, compared to those with other scientific domains. Whenever a fossil fuel industry front group needs a shill, they can generally rely on an engineering graduate, who gullibly believes everything they're told, and is happy to be seen on TV, repeating it.

And because of the Tech industry's feminist recruitment propaganda, to change the supply and demand graph so that they don't have to pay their workers as much, i don't have the greatest confidence in them either!

But still, some of them have to be 'good eggs' surely?

According to Michael Biesecker, this is a long-standing problem, caused by that old kettle of codswallop - self-regulation.

'VW just the latest in long history of cheating car companies'

"General Motors agreed to spend $45 million as part of a settlement with government regulators over defeat devices installed in Cadillacs sold between 1991 and 1995"

"In 1998, Ford agreed to spend $7.8 million on fines and fixes after defeat devices were installed in about 60,000 of the company's Econoline vans."

"During the same period, Honda agreed to $267 million in recall costs and fines to settle allegations it disabled a misfire monitoring device on 1.6 million Accords, Civics, Preludes, Odysseys and Acuras built between 1995 and 1997"

In fact, VW's been here before, half a decade ago, when the world was analogue, not digital: "In 1973, VW was dinged by the EPA after it was discovered the company had installed temperature-sensitive switches that turned off emissions controls on about 25,000 Fastback, Squareback and bus models"

And the cheating isn't just limited to NOx emissions, either.

'Auto CO2 emissions 40% higher than claimed'

The gaping leniency, by which manufacturers are allowed to construct their own emissions tests, provides myriad opportunities for them to corrupt tests, and make their vehicles look cleaner and greener than they ever are in real life, when being driven on real roads, with real surfaces, and real winds, and real jams, and real temperature fluctuations.

So the solution is simple: regulation. Such as is required for car safety, which was mentioned last week, and is generally much greater than automotive 'greenness'.


The 30th of September is Blasphemy Day. It was founded in 2009 by the USA's Center for Inquiry, to encourage blasphemy of unjustifiable ideas, in the face of censorship by bigoted whiners. Since the organisation has been infiltrated by feminists, i hope they don't now use it to condemn blasphemy of their own opinions.

The 3rd of October is the 25th anniversary of the reunification of West and East Germany, after 45 years of segregation and control by external powers - the USA, UK, and CCCP. The very next day - the 4th - an all-German Reichstag (German parliament) met in Berlin.

The 5th of October is 'La Día de la Medicina Peruana' - the national Day of Peruvian Medicine - which celebrates the personal sacrifices of scientists, for the sake of everyone's health. It is also World Teachers' Day'_Day

In other news:

"Listen to your feelings, Luke; they'll tell you what to do". "They tell me that i'm invisible, and can now steal £514 of perfume, even though i have the money to but all of it and more". "Oh dear, Luke; oh dear".

Remember the story about giraffes humming, from last week? Well it turns out their humming is the real explanation for some observations by residents near a zoo, in the UK, starting late last year. Of course, without a scientific explanation, some people were willing to commit their hyperactive imaginations to fantasising ridiculous ones, and then, as those who wrote in the Torquay Herald Express have done, denying the plausible explanation in the hope that something more 'mysterious' might be true.

This story is a spine-tingling example of a real explanation, delayed by superstition. When a woman felt pains and heard sounds that no-one else could hear, instead of going to a medical practitioner, she... prayed. By the time she'd actually had herself checked out, there was a small silk nest inside her ear canal. Now isn't that a much better explanation than 'goddunit'?

Foam! Lots of it. And all of it in the wrong place. This is what regulations are for. In Bangalore, surfactants have been collecting on the surface of a lake, to the extent that rivers are now concealed in foam, and fires can be lit in it, without being quenched by the water beneath. This might look fun on an advert for a 4K television, but in real life, it's an environmental disaster.

Here's an interesting advance in artificial coagulation. Blood loss can be a big hazard to health, but the bigger hazard is infection of an open wound. That is why our bodies produce coagulants, to close even the smallest wounds. But when it's difficult to close off a wound, artificially, such as inside a womb, post-birthing of a baby, physical methods just aren't possible, and chemical methods don't work well, because the flow of the blood itself washes the coagulants away. This research is involved in the development of a fizzy coagulant, propelled by CO2 bubbles, like an Alka Seltzer, that can push it upstream, to where it's needed. My intuition says that injecting gases into the bloodstream is generally a bad idea - O2 and CO2 are fixed into haemoglobin for transport to cells - so i wonder how safe this is would be, in practice. The cost-benefit analysis must be quite tricky, if it gets that far.

This year, the Islamic migratory ritual known as the 'Hajj' has cost 700 mortalities and 850 morbidities... at least. It has also cost the government of Saudi Arabia £200 billion (equivalent) to arrange the events involved to be safe. On top of this, the coming-together of millions of people, from around the world, to exist in a homogeneity of homo sapiens, provides the rest of the world with a disease threat. If the pathogens could think, they'd say "yes please - more religious gatherings - i want more humans in one place, that i can eat from the inside out; mmm, nommy". So the question is: how can me make this superstitious inanity safer? Well, the best answer is: don't do it at all. People should be advised not to go. There is zero reason for doing it. It's pure cost, as are the Christian pilgrimages and all the others. If something constructive were done at the other end, then that would be different, but as it is, the cost-benefit analysis is very simple - it's all cost.

Ah, you mammals, you're all the same. Capuchins and rhesus monkeys both see the Delbouef illusion, the way humans do. That's the one where a circle is perceived to be bigger, because the circle around it is smaller. The monkeys were rewarded with food, for correctly identifying which circle was bigger, and so the experiment simply meant showing them images, with and without the illusion, and seeing which ones they favoured for foodiness.

So, safe spaces for men women, where men women can get away from those awful women men, at for example, a golf book club, are utter rollocks, but 'green spaces' do not involve insidious self-perpuating social consequences, and can be beneficial in urban environments. According to this research, the small patches of greenery provide not only a place where all people, regardless of sexual dimorphism, can shell peas together, but a haven for biodiversity. The importance of which, i've banged on about, before. On top of that, the plants that people choose to grow reflects the arbitrary culture of their background, and provides an opportunity to sample new tastes.

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

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Season 2 Episode 3'
For more information on the release of the Al Jazeera journalists:

'The Chaser's Media Circus - Season 2 Episode 4'

'IF men acted like feminists (HATE MAIL SPECIAL!)'
[coughs] internalised misandry :-D

'Making history fit the Bible (like squeezing a large guy into a small car)'
Ah, the amusingly pathetic consequences of people trying to reconcile religious superstition with reality :-D
For those of you in Denmark and Germany:

'Electric cars and the Blind | Fully Charged'

'First lunar eclipse ever photographed with a transit of the ISS'

'Image: SDO views active region loops'

'Dawn team shares new maps and insights about Ceres'

'Pluto's big moon Charon reveals a colorful and violent history'

'Rosetta's first peek at the comet's south pole'

'Shelf Life Episode 10 - The Dinosaurs of Ghost Ranch'

'Super Blood Moon in 4K: The Most Beautiful Eclipse You'll Ever See'

'Magnetism and the Search for Life'

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

Word Of The Week: contempt -- the feeling that something is below respect, value or worth; that something is worthy of scorn; the state of being despised, dishonoured, disgraced; a disregard for something that should be taken into account; or disobedience towards courts of law or their officials (professional)

Quote Of The Week: "Pierre Curie voluntarily exposed his arm to the action of radium for several hours. This resulted in damage resembling a burn that developed progressively and required several months to heal. Henri Becquerel had by accident a similar burn as a result of carrying in his vest pocket a glass tube containing radium salt. He came to tell us of this evil effect of radium, exclaiming in a manner at once delighted and annoyed: “I love it, but I owe it a grudge”." - Marie Curie

Fact Of The Week: Since at least as far back as 1550 CE, it has been convention to write the number 'four' on the faces of timepieces as 'IIII'. The convention of writing Roman numerals deductively (IV, IX, XC, etc) post-dates the development of this convention. The Romans themselves, of course, did not have watches or clocks, but they did have sundials. There are no sundials in the world with modern numerals on them - original Egypto-Greco-Roman sundials have no markings whatsoever - only unnumbered lines marking the hours of the day. Many people misremember clockfaces, as their memories are corrupted by intuition. Just try it on people you know: ask them to draw the numerals on a clockface, and watch them get it wrong!

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

‘Moon and Earth, from the ship DSCOVR’

'Brian May and The Troggs - Wild Thing'

'Wreckless Driving - Grand Theft Auto V - GameFails'
When the convoy goes off road land, you can't not fail :-D

'Possibly a Mod - Assassin's Creed Rogue (Glitch?) - GameFails'

'Reign Of Kings - On Top of the World - Tallest Tower Ever - Ultimate Base'

'Nerd³ Challenges! RTFM - Besiege'

When you find a game that not only shows you how bad it currently is, but how bad it is going to continue to be, you have found a game that fails even to provide you with hope of improvement, and thereby finds new lows in gaming. Is Galactic Hitman the worst game ever? :-D

'Nerd³'s Hell... Galactic Hitman'