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!'

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