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'

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