Monday, 19 January 2015

Entertainment stuff from the week 12-18/1/15

Hi queuers,

In only three countries, according to a recent ranking (the variable reliability if which is discussed on the second-to-last More or Less episode) is your boss more likely to be a woman than a man.

If you follow the link, you'll see which three that are claimed to be them, but i shan't repeat, for fear of implanting false ideas into your heads.

The article makes a huge leap of faith, though, when it translates 'boss' to 'power'. If the female bosses are head cleaners in a smalltime cleaning company, then that's hardly comparable to the big businesses, in which the heads are still much more likely to be male.

Because female humans are biologically predisposed to be risk averse, and male humans more risk-embracing (hence the majority of Darwin Awards going to men) it's intuitive to think that men are simply more willing to pursue such roles. Men are also more diverse in competence than are women, with most of the top smarties being men, but also most of the dullards being, too.

This analysis is very limited in what it can say about society, and the motives of people when deciding on their own and other people's careers. This latter element is the responsibility of an employer, comtemplating taking on new staff. But i'm sure that won't stop feminists from extemporising on the wilting power of the penis, in business!

Speaking of feminist nonsense...

I don't often do this, except when i can connect to a generalised point, but i was referred to a particularly asinine feminist screed, by an article on the BBC website, recently.

Here's the title, and the link to my gleefully snide satirisations of it:

'The Everyday Sexism of Women Waiting in Public Toilet Lines'

Yes. Toilets are sexist now.

I've heard much more outrageous diatribes from feminist hatemongers, but this one has such a vague, somehow-charming delusion about it, that i carried on reading.

Needless to say, just about every sentence had something either logically, factually, or journalistically wrong with it.

Such fun :-D

From the war on toilets, to the war on drugs. Or, as i call it: the war on drug users.

Johann Hari's new book is out: Chasing The Scream.

'Chasing The Scream'

It's a terrifying (and apparently immaculately researched) non-fiction book about the history of the so-called 'war on drugs' and how that has affected drug users and the rest of society.

I pre-ordered it, by the way, and i haven't read it yet, but it promises to be quite a read.

Here's the web-site. See if you can score well, in the introductory quiz about the history of the 'war on drugs':

'How much do you really know about the Drug War?'

The Good Thinking Society (founded by Simon Singh) now has a YouTube channel:

'Good Thinking Society'

Good thinking, Good Thinking Society :-D

In other news:

Eleven years after it mysteriously went missing on the surface of Mars, Beagle 2 seems to have been found. It's still not known how it failed, but from pictures, it looks like its solar panel 'petals' didn't all unfold. With the communications equipment concealed beneath the last of them, communication with Beagle 2 would have been infeasible. But who knows - a little nudge, and it might become operative, in the future - unlike plutonium batteries, solar panels can go on 'forever'. The leader of the mission - Colin Pillinger - died last year, frustrated by the lack of follow-up mission; but credited with injecting huge amounts of much-needed enthusiasm into European Space Science.

The Pope apparently thinks it's OK to enact violent revenge for a minor or nonexistent crime, and has said so, thereby condoning the murderous offences on Charlie Hebdo and the Jews' market, in Paris, last week! Was it a joke, as religionist apologists have said? No, it wasn't. He meant it. But like i said, last week: by normalising the acts of violent revenge, and blaming the satirists, you are contributing to the problem. By doing this, the Pope has sided with the Islamists, against reasonable, civilised society. Who would have thought the head of the world's most powerful superstition-motivated organisation would be responsible for crudely and vulgarly inciting violence? Anyone who's familiar with, and unprejudiced toward, religion. That's who. So much for 'the atheist's pope' as some morons have called him!

'Schools are for teaching, not for preaching'. This applies to 'psychic' charlatans like this guy, too. He was invited to the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, of all places, to lie to and delude Science students, and thereby undermine the scientific method that their courses are supposed to be teaching them! Inculcation of superstitious beliefs is not 'motivational' speaking.

Technology to help you fake your way into relationships. Multiple start-ups are now offering the use of technology that can simulate hand-written text, replete with minor variations on the same letters, and even hone its style to your own handwriting. The entrepreneurs are marketing it as a personal touch. But whose personal touch? No-one's. Research shows that people are more likely to open a letter with a handwritten scrawl on the outside, and be more sympathetic to the sentiments within. Clearly, this is technology that can be used for bad, and probably more prolifically than for good e.g. for people who can not physically write for themselves. You can see the robopen in action, if you follow the link:

Here's some more contentious technology: dissolveable electronics. Good for espionage maybe, but also good for medicine. Called 'transient electronics' it could be used to make dissolving catheters, organ sensors, and post-surgery infection trackers. The silicon structures break down by hydrolysis, into silicic acid, which is apparently biologically benign.

Remember the boy who went to heaven and met angels and Gawad and stuff? No, not that one - another one. Well, he didn't. Duh! He now admits that he said he had, to draw attention to himself. Presumably, he was neglected as a consequence of authoritaran Christian parenting. But that's just hypothesisation. The book about his nonexistent experiences has been retracted by the religionist publishers, but of course, they refuse to accept that the very premise that theological superstition can ever be true, is false. Now, isn't it about time that the enhyperlinked Burpo kid owns up, too?

One of the ways fakes become hoaxes, is that someone creates something that other people change the semantic context to. For example, this Oklahoma  City meteor story. Someone produced videos demonstrating how to fake meteors, as a demo of how to create visual effects using computer programs, but the fakes were augmented in context, and redistributed as hoaxes. Consequently, and especially as meteor strikes are common, many people can be fooled by a simple and seemingly-non-intentional deception. The deception, of course, is perpetrated by those who present the video as a real meteor - not by those who present it as a visual effects demo.

Remember the creepy finger, found on a Darwin beach, north Australia? Well, it's finally been identified. All it took was donation to the natural science department of the Museum and Art gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT) for marine biologists Dr Richard Willan and Ms Suzanne Horner to identify it as a solitary sea squirt. Hurrah! S much for the 'scientists are confused' narrative that so many journalists love to utilise.

'Pakistani Father Sacrifices Five Children 'to Gain Magic Powers''. The title says it all. Superstition can be immensely dangerous.

But good news for albinos in Tanzania! The  government there has apparently banned witchdoctors (arbitrary authorities), in an attempt to stop the killing of people with albinism for their body parts. Christocentric Northeners might like to think that this is an archaic barbaric behaviour, but it is in fact only decades old, and definitely post-indoctrination into Islam and Christianity. The government has also launched an education campaign to address the problem of abductions and killings of albinos and to inform people that the claims of becoming rich from the body-part charms is bogus. Since 2000 there have been at least 74 murders of albinos and after 2009 the Tanzanian government saw fit to have albino children placed in special homes for protection. Albino body parts can sell for as much as $600 in the area and a full body (deceased) can bring up to $75,000.

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

'Why is Canned Air a Liquid?'

'happy radioactive new year with radium rockets, radon fireworks & gamma spectroscopy!'
Beware of the radioactive dust :-D

'Shelf Life Episode 3 - Six Ways To Prepare a Coelacanth'

'How to always win at Dots and Boxes - Numberphile'

'Question for God - a short film by Tadas Vidmantas'
Hilarious :-D

'Speaking With Statues: Charlie Chaplin'
This series doesn't get any less creepy :-D

'Happy Hour - Trio KlaViS with Aleksey Igudesman'

'Halestorm - Apocalyptic [Official Audio]'

'Saudi fatwa bans snow camels and snowmen'

Pure, unadulterated stupidity :-D

'Man who had been in coma for over a year woke up when nurses wafted cash under his nose'
In other news, some Christians prayed for rain, until it rained, and then claimed their prayers had been answered. This is a classic example of superstition :-D

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

Word Of The Week: persiflage -- light-hearted banter, raillery, frivolous discussion

Stupid Use Of The Term 'Frankenstein's Monster' Of The Week: "“It’s no longer Dairy Milk. It is similar, but not exactly Dairy Milk,” said a spokesman for Cadbury, [] with a flippancy almost as hard to stomach as this new, Frankenstein’s monster of an egg is bound to be."

{Frankenstein's Monster was reanimated dead material. This chocolate is neither made from other dead chocolate eggs, nor is it animated. In fact, if it were made from previous creme eggs, like Frankenstein's Monster was made from previous people, then it would have to be made with the same chocolate as the old version, thereby negating the point of the comment, in the first place!}

Fact Of The Week: If you own more than £500,000 of capital wealth, then you are in the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the world. This is in the range of common house prices, in the UK.

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

'The Brian May Band - Since You've Been Gone - Live At The Brixton Academy'

A recent upload, but an old (90s) performance. Here's the full gig.


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