Sunday, 29 June 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 23-29/6/14

Hi androids,

So, Suarezident Evil's back on the job, and back off the game... for four months.

Apparently, this is a breach of his Human Rights, to suspend a multi-millionaire lunatic from playing a game for a bit.

"“It’s a breach of human rights that a player cannot go into a stadium where there are 80,000 people or into a hotel with his team-mates, that he cannot work for four months,” the defender said. “He has committed a crime, but this is barbarity. Not even a criminal would receive this penalty.”"

Suspensions are barbarity, but biting is not?

The only apt response:

Human Rights breach? It's not. You're an idiot. And if you disagree... you can bite me! :-P

I really don't see how a brief suspension from a paying hobby can be considered a greater crime than physical, toothy violence. And it is, btw. Let's not let soccerist zealotry conceal the fact that he has committed a violent crime.

But where does humanity go from here? What should the precedent be?

Well, i hope it's obvious that violent revenge will not be effective. But sending him 'for therapy' does not involve mysteriously authoritative powers.

A psychotherapist/counsellor is necessarily limited to talking things through with a patient. The last way to change behaviour, is to change the situation that prompts it. Which means avoiding the high-adrenaline environment of a soccer pitch. Which means...

He probably shouldn't play soccer any more.

At all.


Harsh judgement? Well, i think he has enough money to retire on; a sportsperson's career is always short, so early retirement's going to happen anyway; and i think the welfare of his victims is more important than any arbitrary sports team.

Four months and no criminal conviction, though? "Yer 'avin a larf!"

'Woman or machine? New robots look creepily human'

"In a demonstration, the remote-controlled machines moved their pink lips in time to a voice-over, twitched their eyebrows, blinked and swayed their heads from side to side. They stay seated but can move their hands."

"The robot, designed with a girlish appearance, can use a variety of voices, such as a deep male voice one minute and a squeaky girly voice the next."

"There were some glitches—such as the lips not moving at all while the robot spoke, or the Otonaroid announcer robot staying silent twice when asked to introduce itself."

More creepy than human, then :-D

You can see a video of various andriods, strutting their funky stuffs, here:

'Kodomoroid and Otonaroid: Professor Ishiguro's new androids at Miraikan'

I can't help but feel slightly concerned for the Japanese people... :-D

But i can't see why people are talking about the 'uncanny valley' just yet - they're nowhere near convincing!

On the other hand, maybe there are some who would be convinced:

'When in trouble during election, claim your opponent is a robot look-alike'

Timothy Ray Murray is an Oklahoman Republican, who opposes his Republican competitor for Congress - Frank D. Lucas - partly on the grounds... that he is no longer alive, and instead just a robotic facsimile!

This is an extract from his own web-site's front page:

"Rep. Frank Lucas, and a few other Oklahoma and other States’ Congressional Members were depicted as being executed by The World Court on or about Jan. 11, 2011 in Southern Ukraine."

Hmmm... Frank Lucas was executed in Ukraine, despite him still being around, no executions of US citizens having been carried out in Ukraine, 'The World Court' not existing, and himself having never been to Ukraine... hmmm...

Evidence, please?


Oh, well - looks like we'll just have to faith it :-D

Oh, and here's a picture of the two candidates:

Lucas is the dead one on the left, having been executed by a court that doesn't exist, in a country he's never been to; and Murray's the one on the right, with the cold dead robotic stare of a Madame Tussaud's wax lookalike :-D


On the 30th of June, the Cassini mission will celebrate 10 years of exploring Saturn, its rings, and its moons. The Cassini spacecraft, carrying the European Space Agency's Huygens probe, arrived in the Saturnian system on the 30th of June, 2004, for a four-year primary mission. Since 2008, NASA has granted the mission three extensions, allowing scientists an unprecedented opportunity to observe seasonal changes as the planet and its retinue completed one-third of their nearly 30-year-long trek around the sun.

In other news:

A 26-foot tall Marilyn Monroe has been found abandoned, at a dump in China. It is in fact a Chinese-made replica of the 36-feet tall replica (realistic statue) of her, made by Seward Johnson, and currently standing in Palm Springs, California. I wonder why Marilyn's fallen out of favour, in China, recently... ??

The UK government has continued its hysterical, anti-scientific drug prohibition agenda, by banning 'Qat'/'Khat', despite the fact that it poses no more of a threat to health than coffee. Professor David Nutt explains the situation, on the Naked Scientists, in this audio recording:

Since last Tuesday, Ray - a robotic car transporter - has been working at Duesseldorf Airport, parking people's cars for them. The robot is one of some cybernetic car-parkers, that can be booked by Smartphone. Once booked, all travellers have to do, is leave their car in the designated area for picking up, and then pay the €29 per day parking fee.

It's now known, how the 'disco clam' - Ctenoides ales - produces its disco light display. It's not, in fact, bioluminescence, where the light's produced through chemical reactions, but instead, it's simply reflected light, intensified by a string of silica nanospheres. By repeatedly furling and unfurling their lip, it's like flashing a heliograph - an effect accentuated by the fact that the other side of its lip is highly absorbent to blue light, which is most abundant under the waters of the sea. The resultant look is reminiscent of flashes of lightning. You can see a video of it, at the link:

Around 165 million years ago, the freshwater lakes of China, around modern-day Ningcheng, were partly populated by bizarre parasites. So bizarre, that they've been named 'Qiyia jurassica' (Qiyia is Chinese for 'bizarre'). It had a body like a caterpillar, with stumpy legs, a wide disc-like thorax, and at the front, a tubular head with piercing mouthparts. It was the larval stage of an insect that fed on the blood of amphibians, by piercing through their thin skin; but there are no modern insects with larva anything like it. It's thought to have survived in abundance, because there were no fish - only salamanders - which, unlike fish, are not known to keep insect larvae populations in check. There is still not enough information to speculate what the adults of these organisms might have looked like.

The Torygraph has churnalised an advertorial that the Daily Fail swallowed and puked into their pages. What's so interesting about that? It features a picture of a man in a mask, posing for a trailer for a video game - he's portraying the character of Asura, for Guild Wars 2. What's so interesting about that? Well, they were claiming it could have bean a humanoid monster, living in the hills. I mean really - it's not even close to believable! The question is: Does this beat the UFO seagull?

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

'Health and safety eat your heart out'

'Mathematical Way to Choose a Toilet'

What does it sound like if you replay a baby's cries in an echo chamber? Pretty awesome.

Here are some great others:

'UphallPS - P1/2 Long And Short Sounds (Real Reverb)'

'Rob Bridgett - Ocean cave entrance with nesting birds. (Real Reverb)'

'Stomp224 - Sine Sweep (Real Reverb)'

'joedham - Duck Quack (Real Reverb)'
{Remember this one, for when anyone says ducks' quacks don't echo!}

'Muse - Muse - Knights of Cydonia (Real Reverb)'

'IF Men acted like FEMINISTS!'

Haha; i love parody. But i think there genuinely are masculists who do behave like this - they're just less popular, for intuitive reasons :-D

'Were You There?'





'FACEBOOK FRIENDS | The Checkout | ABC1'
That link:

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

Word Of The Week: wallure -- the collective noun for walls (as in the physical partitions - not ice-creams or sausages)

Question Of The Week: How many Communions does it take for a Christian to eat a whole Jesus?

Answer Of The Week: How many roads must a man walk down before he can call himself a man? Just the one; but he must walk all the way to the end... and it's a ring road.

Macabre Explanation Of The Week: How lethal injections work; explained by The Naked Scientists

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

'All This Technology Is making Us Anti-Social...'

'Chevrolet Dog Ornament Anyone?'

'Tan Ice-Cream'


A COLLEAGUE, trying (and failing) to discover the science policy of the anti-EU UK Independence Party was tickled to find that its on-hold music was Johann Strauss's The Blue Danube. The usual lyrics to this classic piece exalt the unity of the Germanic peoples.
24 May

SEVERAL readers have alerted us to adverts appearing recently in the UK for "Gravity-free" and "Zero Gravity" chairs. One claims to use "anti-gravity technology originally developed for astronauts".
Steve Tunnicliff observes that "the anti-gravity effect isn't too strong", because in an illustration "someone gently leaning on the chair overcomes it" and presumes that this is why "NASA's interest waned".
Do we want, Monica Dalby asks, "to experience weightlessness for only £59.99?" Perhaps. But we recall writing about this marvellous furniture some years ago: and we have utterly failed to find it in the archive. Have we accidentally acquired a Zero-Memory chair?

24 May

EDITING this week's column, we found ourselves writing to a colleague: "next week, Thursday will take place on Wednesday 21 May." This is a consequence of the UK public holiday that some readers may have enjoyed not long before reading this, requiring that everything be done early.
In turn, as we draft this on Friday 16 May, the word "today" would mean "Saturday 31 May" – the date on the cover. Meanwhile, we are discussing with a colleague an idea for another publication, in which "today" is "Friday 23 May". So why was it not a journalist but a patent examiner who realised the relative nature of time?
31 May
{If today is tomorrow, and yesterday's then, again, and therebefore, and tomorrow... when am i writing this??}

DISCUSSING with colleagues the prospects for the climate change talks in Bonn, Germany, next month, we recalled the immortal intent of a diplomat in Geneva "not to move the discussion unnecessarily forward" (8 February). Other favourite diplomatic language includes "I shall have to refer to my capital," meaning: "I don't care what you lot say for the rest of the week, I'm not consenting to anything until we next meet."
In the record of a meeting, the words "one country said..." are a delicate way, in our experience, of recording occasions when the US, specifically, means: "dream on, people, that is so not happening."
Feedback expects readers have similar favourites. Will you reveal them, strictly between us?
31 May

AT LEAST five readers have taken the trouble to inform Feedback of the etymology of "petard" in the old sense of a small explosive set under defences – as mentioned by Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (17 May) – or used to blow open castle doors. It is "little fart". We hope no sensibilities were harmed in the making of this paragraph.
That making did, however, involve consulting an editorial document on ways of referring to excrement that are neither too rude nor too twee. It contains a "faecetious" list of suggestions. (For US readers, a "fecetious" list.)
7 Jun

EXPANDING on the etymology of petards, Andy Johnson-Laird reminds us of the great "flatulist" Joseph Pujol (1857 – 1945), who appeared on the French stage as le Pétomane. His shtick was "being able to fart at will (or in the general direction of Will)", or at least to appear to do so.
Further, Paddy Shannon observes that "When I was a student living in France, pétard was also the word for a cannabis joint, suggesting a different kind of lifting operation."

7 Jun

Ian Turnbull points to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries offering electric buses that provide "a quiet and comfortable ride to passengers with zero gas emissions" and wonders whether they allow old farts on the bus.

7 Jun

TOILET paper, for some reason, has also attracted copious responses following our sceptical inquiry into figures for annual consumption (3 May). John Davies was one to note his father saying that "in the British army he was issued only three sheets at a time – 'one to wipe, one to dry, one to polish'." Indeed we find Lee B. Kennett writing in the book G. I.: The American Soldier in World War II: "The British Army stocked toilet paper on the assumption that the soldier would use three sheets per day; the American ration was twenty-two and a half sheets."
7 Jun

CORRESPONDENTS, Juliet Gayton suggests, "are taking too literal a view of the use of toilet paper". Her list of uses includes: "3 sheets to grab and eject spider; 2 sheets to mop aphids from house plant; 2 sheets to remove hair from plughole; 2 sheets to blow nose; 5 sheets to mop up spilt early morning tea; 2 sheets to blot lipstick; 4 sheets into pocket in case public loos during the day found to be without – and all this before 8:30am." We redacted six sheets from Juliet's list to avoid making those who read this over breakfast drop the marmalade.
7 Jun

All dogs go to gate 97, please
EDINBURGH airport boasts a sign stating firmly: "No dogs except guide dogs and dogs travelling with passengers." It includes a helpful ideogram of a dog crossed through in a red circle. Stephen Hoddell notes that it forbids only dogs travelling on their own which have "successfully negotiated the airline ticket check, airport security and passport control" before reaching the sign.
The odds on those dogs reaching the sign being able to understand it are therefore higher than for, say, dogs seeing a sign on a street (17 March 2012). So it does, Stephen says, "seem a bit churlish to then stop them from boarding their flights".
14 Jun

OFFICIAL estimates for the UK's gross national income will henceforth include such illicit horticulture as mentioned above, and prostitution, the Office of National Statistics announced on 16 May. Feedback now wonders what other activities a finance minister desperate to report economic growth might want to add to the list. Suggestions on a postcard, please.
14 Jun

A headline on announces: "World's oldest man born in Poland." Like Amanda Reid, we wonder: how do they know?

14 Jun

Andrew Doble's bank annoyingly limits his online transfers to £999,999,999,999,999.99 – some 56 times the US national debt. What does it know about inflation that we don't?
21 Jun

FINALLY, our mention of the UK Independence Party's use of the Blue Danube as its on-hold music jogged a colleague's memory. Rather than referencing the musical paean to the unification of the Germanic peoples, might the party be referring to the code-name of the UK's first operational nuclear weapon?
That in turn jogged Feedback's memory. Somewhere in Cold War, a publication of the UK government department English Heritage, is a mention of one variant of the "Blue Danube" bomb being withdrawn because it was scarily unstable.
Digging turns up necessarily incomplete sources suggesting that this particular 1958 variant had a 1-megaton fission warhead – and the primary measure against unscheduled ignition was 6500 steel balls in a rubber bag, removed from the hollow uranium core before take-off. We now feel ill with retrospective worry.
21 Jun