Sunday, 9 March 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 4-9/3/14

Hi nuclear physicists,

'Schoolboy, 13, creates nuclear fusion in Penwortham'

Is this real, or just more crankery?

Well, for a start, "creates nuclear fusion" is a semantically null clause, which goes to show that the journalists on the job probably aren't all that aware of the subject matter!
Nuclear fusion is a process - not an object - the correct clause would have to be "causes nuclear fusion".

The technique he employed is not, in fact, new - he used a generic fusion device to (possibly) be the youngest person ever to fuse their own helium from hydrogen.
Having produced a literal flash in a metaphorical pan, however, does not mean he actually achieved it - all the flash means is that he made some very hot air! Only the raw data will be able to verify whether any of that hot air fused. As the article says, his "record attempt is yet to be verified by the Open Source Fusor Research Consortium".

So he might have fused some hydrogen into helium, but he might not. Whether he did or didn't, either way, he should have stood behind a wall to avoid radiation from the machine. I hope he did so.

My only other point can be: "why did his headteacher give him £2000 for the project?"
I hope it wasn't school money, which could be far more usefully appropriated in consideration that the boy attended a failing academy!
{All 'academies' in the UK are failing. That's why they're made into academies}

It's understandable that no local laboratories or universities would fund his desire to make helium in a very expensive way - he wasn't doing anything particularly novel, and he wasn't doing research. And he wasn't producing energy, either.

Even the world's premier nuclear fusion research site - ITER, in France - is struggling to produce maintainable reactions that give out more energy than is put in. He will not have beaten them with 50-year-old technology!

What this story really means, is that a headteacher gave £2000 of someone's money so that a boy could do a 50-year-old science demo. I hope the publicity makes it worth it!

'Update and yet more DMCAs'

You might remember this story from a few weeks back. Myles Power is the guy who's been falsely DMCA-ed by the pseudoscientists behind the 'House Of Numbers' AIDS-denialist movie.

Some assorted other nutbags laid into him too, including an autism-ignorant anti-vaccer and a generalised fake-medicine rubber-head.

All those falsely-made DMCAs look set to be revoked, thanks to the assertiveness of the YouTube team.

I'm still not all that keen on Google+ ;-) But YouTube seems that little bit better, right now :o)

Long live Science!

As the new Godzilla movie approaches, a little bird has nudged me at the rather comic history of the Godzilla movies:

''Godzilla's' Humor Lives On'

It seems a shame, to me, that the Hollywood Godzilla franchise has not embraced the humour of its Japanese ancestors. But i suppose the original comedy had to be there - no-one was going to believe that a man in a rubber suit, stomping over a miniaturised set, was really a gigantic reptilian monster, were they!

Incidentally, 'Mothra v. Godzilla' was a real movie... and comparably funny. FYI: the new Godzilla movie will be out in May, at about the same time as AC/DC's new album is due out, and Queen go on tour with Adam Lambert.

Oh, btw, that little bird was Maynard, of ... A U !!!

Has anyone out there heard of the Tokyo Panorama Mambo Boys? I've decided i quite like them. Here's another of theirs:

'tokyo panorama mambo boys - pachinko (single version)'

Buddhist hysteria continues in Burma, where they've been violently persecuting Muslim people...

'Myanmar Leader Backs Buddhist Monks’ Calls for Laws to ‘Protect’ Religion, Race'

"In pushing their petition last year, Buddhist monks have said that Buddhist women wishing to marry non-Buddhist men must first receive permission from their parents and local government officials."
"Concerned that Muslims are spreading their faith by marrying Buddhist women, the monks also want non-Buddhist men wishing to marry Buddhist women to first convert to the faith."

Religionism and racism are not good for people, even if their symbols are fat men with smiles on their faces! There is no such thing as peaceful religion - only less religion.

"Religion poisons everything", as Hitch said. And this week's etymology of the week is actually 'toxophilia'. Which is not, as you might intuit, a love of poisons. It is, in fact, a love of archery!


You might be surprised to read that, back in 19th century Britain, archery was quite the sport for a young lady!

Even once trussed up in crinolines.

"Girls, move freely and break a sweat? How un-lady-like! But there have always been a handful of sports to which young women have been given grudging access…and one of them was archery. Here was a sport at which it was unlikely you might become overheated or over-excited. It was a sport you could do while wearing a corset (in fact, wearing a corset might even help!) And it gave you a chance to order adorable new clothes."

'Most Attractive Convict Suing Because Her Mugshot Became A Meme'

Was it OK for them to use her face, to demonstrate that some 'criminals' are attractive?

I think it was wrong for them to use it because it was done so without her permission - you wouldn't 'out' someone sexually, without their permission. That's a scummy thing to do - and releasing personal details (and what's more personal than a face?) can subject people to mob 'justice'. Reckless!

It's not OK when the Media do it, and it's not OK in this case. But if she were willing, then that would be a different matter. She's claiming that she's been done out of royalties, however, and erm... I don't think so, haha. Memes don't pay wages :-D

In other news:

This one's slightly late, but: it has been found, after decades, that cannabis does have a non-zero short-term lethality. In other words, it is possible to overdose on cannabis. But because these examples are so incredibly rare, they're not much to worry about. Drugs experts stress that neurological effects on adolescents are the major effects, along with the basic damage done by inhaling any burning plant, whether it's tobacco leaves, cannabis leaves, or cabbage leaves!

According to Forbes, Bill Gates is, once again, the world's richest person. In the USA, of course, companies are seen as people, so officially, he'd probably be way down the list!

Nepal's government has declared that every individual to climb Mount Everest must bring back at least 8 Kg of rubbish, or they will lose their $4000 (£2600) deposit! The mountain is littered with rubbish, deposited by climbers on their way up, in order to lighten their load. Many people have been up to clean the mountain, in the past, but it's not a practical effort. In 2010, strenuous efforts were made to recover two bodies out of the many climbers who have died on the mountain.

Last week, there was the story of the surfing crocodile in Western Australia, now here's a story about surfing swans, in Queensland. It looks like they're having fun :o)

This guy needs a slap! Apparently, Major General James Cowan has issued a sincere note to soldiers and officers of Bulford Camp, in Wiltshire. His comments included: “Quite a few officers in the divisional mess seem to be under the impression that they can eat their food with their hands... the practice of serving rolls and sandwiches must stop.” “a gentleman or a lady uses a knife and fork.”
He also condemned poor grammar and writing, and the "wanton use of capitals, abbreviations and acronyms" because they can, apparently, leave the reader exhausted! And this guy's in charge of more than 22,000 people. Hmmm... someone needs a slap and a cold shower.

An Indian man has set a new world record for typing out a pre-set sentence, in the shortest time... with his nose. Mohammed Khurshid Hussain, who already holds the record for typing out the latin alphabet with his fingers (3.43 seconds), has set a time of 48.62 seconds to write "Guinness world records have challenged me to type this sentence using my nose in the fastest time." There's an intense, pumped up, video of the feat being performed, at the link. Careful though - it's knackering just to watch :-P

"A zircon crystal has been verified as being 4.4 billion years old, making it one of the oldest known pieces of Earth's crust. The crystal, from Jack Hills in Western Australia, is less than a millimetre wide, but it should teach us more about how the Earth's crust cooled." said the New Scientist journalist that i just churnalised because there wasn't really any need to change their wording :-P

Pithovirus sibericum is a newly-found virus, that has been dug out of the permafrost of the coastal tundra in Chukotka, near the East Siberia Sea, where the average annual temperature is minus 13.4 degrees Celsius. When thawed out, and placed in agar jelly, the virus resumed replication, indicating that it had not been denatured by the experience. (Denaturing is the non-life equivalent of dying). P. Sibericum is not harmful to humans - it lives only in amoeba - but unlike flu, which has only 8 genes, P. Sibericum has 500 - it's a relative giant. The viral particles were dated to be 30,000 years old, by radiometric carbon dating of vegetation that also resided in the siberian ice.

Funny and unbelieved (by me) story of the week: Indian Police suspend work for 8 years, pending the recovery of a password. Highly doubtful.

Funny but far-more-plausable story of the week: Woman accused of attacking her mother with a vibrator. When blood runs hot, a vibrator's as good as anything, i suppose :-D

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

'Freezing your hand in LIQUID NITROGEN, how long?'

'John and Kevin's Sunday Papers - March 2014'

'Beer Vs. Chainsaw: Slow Motion'
Always use electric power-tools, eh? So that's where i've been going wrong!

'Computer paints images with millions of colours'"Hungarian programmer József Fejes has won a competition for software that creates beautiful images containing every colour made using red, green and blue"

'Cyborg drummer creates unique beats'

'SIGNS OF THE TIME | The Checkout | ABC1'

'CHLOROPHYLL | The Checkout | ABC1'
Any idea how chlorophyll's supposed to help with photosynthesis, in the dark of your gut? Nah - me neither. This is the same rubbish Not-a-doctor Gillian McKeith Not-a-phd was selling, years ago. That's her official title, by the way :-P

'Cannon fire'
A newly-uploaded demo from the RSC

'TOP 5 Best Tennis ATP Points 2014 FULL HD (January February)'
Not a bad start to the year, LOL

'Indian Wells 2014 Saturday Hot Shot Stepanek'*/Tennis/Media/Videos/Uploaded/2014/3/9/Indian-Wells-2014-Saturday-Hot-Shot-Stepanek.aspx

'Back To The Future Hoverboards Are Here!'
Well i have to give it to them - it is an interesting fake. All of those celebrities must have fantastic senses of balance! Captain Disillusion to the rescue: LINK. I await a video on it :-)

'Flying around the Christ the Redeemer'
This is exactly the kind of fun i don't want to have. Why, exactly, do i keep watching these? :-D

'Gender Swap - Experiment with The Machine to Be Another' via cibermitanios
I'm having interesting experiences, just pretending i'm in that gear, LOL. Oh, btw - there are bare boobs and hairy moobs in this video. So it's not safe for adults :-P

'Advanced Exoskeletons Made From Fishing Line?! (Brainstorm Ep175)'
It turns out Iron Man could have been built from stock in a hobby shop. I'm off shopping... :-D

'Dinosaurs totally made up for benefit of toy industry'
One of these last two articles is purely ridiculous... now which one? :-P

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

Word Of The Week: ronion -- a mangy or scabby creature

Headline Of The Week: 'Cameron Diaz Encourages Women to Keep Their Pubic Hair in Her New Book'

Etymology Of The Week: toxophilia -- love of archery; from tóxon, meaning 'bow'; and philia meaning 'love'. The meaning as 'poison' derives from poison's use on bowtips, in which sense it earned the name 'toxikon'.

Joke Of The Week: How many times can you subtract the number 7 from the number 49? Once - after you've subtracted 7 the first time, it's not 49 anymore :-P

Film Review Of The Week: Mark Kermode reviewing '300: Rise of an Empire'. I can't verify whether it's accurate, but it's certainly funny :-D  Magazine Monitor's laid into it, too!

Astronomical Effect Of The Week: The Yorp Effect (The Yarkovsky–O'Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack Effect)

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

'Anatomical Barbie, By Jason Freeny'

'The 'average' doll v Barbie'

Apparently, someone's committed to making a 'realistic' girly doll. All i can say is: "grrow, to the look on the right" :o)

I've never heard of Pat Hartley, before, but i don't think much of her, having read this quote:

"Finally someone has been brave enough to show what a woman really looks like"

Um... who doesn't know what a woman looks like??? Even bigots who've lived in the Vatican's dungeons for the last 20 years have some recollection of what a female human looks like!

It occurs to me that the best way to show the more-ignorant people how a woman looks (or a man, for that matter) is to urge everyone to go nude, as often as possible. But presumably, this is exactly the wrong way to show people what people who are real people, really look like.

Nudity is dirty and disgusting... but honest and daring and truthful and free, and must therefore be condemned as a method for demonstrating genuine bodily aesthetics! It'd be as absurd as putting realistic photos on food packets. Oh no, no - never allow it :-P

'Face of food!'
I can think of a less effortful way of putting my face in food, but i'd rather put the food in my face :-P

'Banksy's Wall And Piece Quote'
It is real:

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