Sunday, 24 April 2016

Entertainment stuff from the week 18-24/4/16

Hi hackers,

For the first time in what feels like a million years, i've got a new mini-essay up. I know -- don't faint :-D

'Lean/TPS Schemes Are Capitalist Pseudoscience'

'CrazyRussianHacker, Plagiarist and DMCA abuser! #WTFU'

Where's the Fair Use? And where's the fairness in Intellectual Property law in general?

Cue a repost of Kirby Ferguson's brilliant series on the creativity that IP is purported to defend:

'Everything is a Remix Remastered'


Laci's is the same illogic as used by anti-vaccers. They argue that diseases are rare, so vaccines are unnecessary. But they don't consider that diseases are rare because vaccines are abundant, and that therefore, the unuse of vaccines would lead to diseases becoming more prevalent.

By saying that rape claims are statistically likely to be true, and should therefore be believed, by default, she makes the same assumption - that false rape claims would be just as abundant under a skepticism-less system as under the current one. But they wouldn't.

If a fake rape claimant thought that a bunch of feminist faithists were going to defaultedly believe whatever they said, they'd be more likely to say it. Take Rolling Stone as an example - multiple men were falsely accused of a crime that couldn't have happened, according to the description.

A system that defaultedly believes rape claimants actually does a disjustice to real rape victims, because it creates a situation in which there are more fake claims being aired, and less confidence put in the people who have genuinely suffered.

General principle: you do not ever start with a conclusion and then work backwards.

No criminal/civil investigation should ever start with a belief. Whether it's rape, burglary, fraud, forgery, arson, tax evasion, or murder.

The investigation proceeds, evidence is accrued, and then a conclusion is formed. Then, and only then, might a belief in innocence or guilt be fairly formed in a rational mind.

You don't even have to believe someone to treat them with respect. Taking a claim seriously means investigating it seriously. Not faithing it.

Do not ever take anything on faith. Never. Ever. Never.


I suspect most of the false claims come When a bandwagon forms, such as with the exposure of a celebrity, or with the K
รถln claimants. Attention whores see an opportunity to make themselves feel like they matter, and so they throw their name into the hat.

They're probably thinking "well, the guy's guilty anyway, what difference will it make?" But it will make a difference, because other people will stupidly equivocate between claims and cases.

With Jimmy Savile as an example, the number of claims have risen so high, that it now looks unlikely that he could have had time to be on Top Of The Pops at all! The real victims have been drowned out by narcissistic gatecrashing bandwagon-barging fakers.

And that, i suppose, is yet another reason why legal cases should not be sensationalised by the media, until they're finished. And in some cases, not at all.

'Statue given detachable penis to thwart thieves'

No, this is not evidence of the institutionalised oppression of enstatuated men :-P

'What the European Union can learn from CERN about international co-operation'

Unsurprisingly, international collaborations that rely on public funding receive the same problematic retardations from whining nationalists, whether they're scientific or social projects.

Both CERN and the EU (EEC at the time) were founded using duplicity. To the petty-minded, the founders argued that they were necessary for competition, with the USA to the west, and the USSR to the east. But to each other, they just wanted advancement for its own sake.

The scientists who founded CERN just wanted to do amazing science, and the socialists who founded the EU just wanted to 'share the love' with the needy across the European mainland.

But in order to persuade the nationalists, their xenophobia had to be appealed to - the fear of non-Europeans, instead of the fear of other Europeans. Inter-continental competitiveness instead of intra-continental competitiveness.

Maybe the key to arguing against 'Brexit' as the nationalist press have nauseatingly titled it, is to convince the factionalists that a threat beyond Europe is more worth their hysteria than any threat within Europe.

If i were a conspiracy theorist, i might say that 'Islamophobia!' were a plot to prevent this greater fear, of a greater threat, from taking its rightful place, in the foreminds of such people.

How can MEPs really be seen as a bigger threat than murderous Islamists?? Could it be that the nationalists are so small-world-minded that they close the metaphorical door to both??

'American tech giants under EU cosh'

How convenient, LOL. Evidence that the EU's fighting for the little man, against the superpowers of the USA :-D

'EU case against Google shows contrast with US'

Their only defence seems to be that living under a monopoly might be better for the 'end customer'. Nope, not buying that. Re: enlinked mini-essay.


The 26th of April marks one of the world's rarest disasters - the failure of a nuclear reactor - specifically, Chernobyl's. To date, the coal industry has killed ~20 times as many people per kWh produced, compared to the nuclear industry, even including the big-3 disasters.

Hubble's 26 birthday is the 24th of April, for which it released this 'birthday bubble' picture:

In other news:

According to a survey, conducted by 'a national ranked Christian university' as Baylor calls itself, 9 in 10 USAians have prayed for healing at some time in their lives, and a third have experienced the 'magic hands' ritual. I'm calling this bullshit. I would not be surprised if the 1714 people surveyed, turned out to be Christians at the Christian University, where everything they do is Christianly stilted in favour of Christian superstition. It would be easy to find that many idiots in such a place, producing a hideous sample bias. But then, maybe the 'researchers' are actually the Commie Rednecks USAian fascists have been fearing for decades, and they're deliberately spewing propaganda to make USAians look retarded, to the rest of the world?! Well, it's basically one or the other. I'm always inclined to favour incompetence over malevolence, however; especially when the subject's superstitionists.

30 years after the Chernobyl Disaster, a study of wildlife abundance in the 834 square mile Belarussian region of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, has found that animal distribution is not influenced by radiation levels. They focussed on the predators, because their existence is predicated on an abundance of herbivores, which is predicated on an abundance of foliage. Apex carnivores are generally a marker of a healthy biome. Carnivores are also more susceptible to bioaccumulation of poisons, as they become more concentrated in each of the trophic levels - herbivores consume poisonous plants, and the poison passes to the carnivores that eat them. All the researchers found, was that the animals were more plentiful in areas with more food and water. To see the human-abandoned area around Chernobyl and nearby Pripyat, see bionerd23's YouTube videos.

Germany's DPA has announced that several car manufacturers in the country are going to recall 630,000 vehicles, for breaching emissions data. This announcement follows investigations, spurred by the VW deception. In the USA, victims of that farago have been offered two options: sell their vehicles back to the dealer, or get them fixed, free of charge.

Burkina Faso's association of cotton producers have decided to stop using a breed of cotton supplied to them by Monsanto. Naturalismist ideologues in the country, which is Africa's most active cotton exporter, have claimed victory, because the crop's irrationally labelled 'GM' but the real reason was a practical one. They wante to use the crop to enhance yields, which have been down, this year; but unfortunately, despite providing higher yields, it gives lower quality fibres. This means the product's worth less to them than other varieties, and is the real reason why they dropped it. It has nothing to do with superstitious associations. And that is absolutely right. Whether a product is inferior or superior is a point that stands for itself, whether that product is speciously labelled 'GMO' or 'natural' or 'organic' or 'gluten free' or whatever.

A study by the European Commission's Institute for Environment and Sustainability has reported that events previously expected only to occur once per century, will be once-per-year events by the middle of the 21st century. This means heatwaves, floods, droughts, etc, will be 100 times more abundant, across Europe, if 'moderate' estimates of temperature increases are true. Leading climatologists think higher temperatures are more likely, and historically they've been right. So even though Europe is expected to be least affected by sea level rise, there will be huge environmental stresses in the decades to come; as part of a trend that we have already seen.

Environmental groups have lodged a complaint with the European Commission, regarding planned logging activity in one of the continent's oldest woodlands, straddling Poland and Belarus. Historically, Europe's forests have been devastated by timber-based construction, over the centuries. England's New Forest used to sprawl from one coast to the other, but now it's more of a copse than a forest. And where there are really old forests, there are really old trees, and well-developed habitats housing hundreds of other species. Bialowieza forest hosts approximately 20,000 animal species alone. Unfortunately, they require continuity, to maintain biodiversity - transplanted species and 'replacement' habitats never have the same diversity that the originals had. It's not true, when construction companies, or the councils that are shilling for them, say that a bird species can be moved somewhere else, where they're planning to open a park. It takes centuries to develop a habitat - they shouldn't be thrown away so casually.

Darwin's finches (actually tanagers) are a classic example of adaptation by evolution - they've developed bills suited to different purposes, eating insects, seeds, nectar from cactus flowers, and blood from seabirds too, all since their common ancestor arrived in the Galapagos, 2 million years ago. But observing evolution in real time is difficult, because it means tracking a species' morphology in detail, for a long time. And the longer that species' generations are, the fewer generations any one researcher can see in their lifetime. This is how it's easy to see bacterial evolution (because they reproduce on a scale of hours, so thousands of generations can be seen) but difficult to observe human evolution, whose generations pass only as quickly as the observer's. 40 years of study by Peter and Rosemary Grant, of Princeton, has been necessary to observe the evolution of Medium Ground Finches' beaks, during drought conditions, in which those with larger beaks struggle to compete with Large Ground Finches. They have observed that the HMGA2 gene is the one that has been the locus of change, in this species of finch, resulting in the shrinking of their average beak size.

The evolution of dinosaurs is one that has to be seen in retrospect, however. It's known that they all laid leathery eggs, including the gigantic sauropods, but what you might not have realised, is quite how quickly this required them to grow. Egg sizes are limited by the amount of oxygen that can get in, through the shell, so ostrich-egg size is pretty much the limit. This means fossil baby sauropods have been found that would have weighed as much as a human baby, in life! To get to be bigger than a bus, by 20 years old, they would have to be bigger than a medium-sized dog by a few weeks old. Imagine a human baby growing that fast! Part of the mechanism that permits cetaceans to top the records lists for size and weight (namely, the Blue Whale) is their mammalian live births. Baby whales are born bigger than a car, meaning they have a head start against the terranean sauropods.

From animal to plant evolution. Did you know there are different mechanisms of photosynthesis? The general pattern is: CO2 + H2O + light -> sugar + O2 but there's a much more complex array of chemicals behind the reaction, in practice. This study, published this week, comes 50 years after the C4 mechanism of photosynthesis was discovered. Using the C4 mechanism, as opposed to the C3 mechanism, plants can grow 20-100% quicker, by building their leaves with less dense tissue, leaving extra to build 50% more roots, through which minerals can be gathered to fund growth. C3 is apparently an ancient mechanism, with C4 having evolved in arid and savannah environments, to increase sugar production. According to this article, C4 is exhibited by only 3% of species, but accounts for 25% of carbon fixation. Genetic engineering of C3 plants into C4 plants could present a method of reversing climatic change, therefore, as well as an adaptation of those plants to the effects of climate change. Maybe an artificial C5 could be even more efficient than either C3 or C4.

Dark Matter is not made of (some) ALPs (axion-like particles). An article published in Physical Review Letters has made this conclusion, using research involving NASA's gamma-ray telescope on the Fermi satellite, that should have seen a certain kind of ALPs in the direction of the Perseus galaxy cluster, if they were there. Most of the matter of the universe is made of (an) unidentified material(s) collectively known as Dark Matter. It's definitely there, bending spacetime, but it doesn't interact with electromagnetic radiation (light) so it can't be seen directly. Knowing that these ALPs can be crossed off the list, means efforts can be transferred to other hypotheses. This is how science is done: "an idea's wrong? Well, we'd better tell the world about it, so others don't mistakenly believe it". Most of science is finding out that things are wrong :-D

What do cosmonauts do when they have to deal with menstruation? For shorter flights, they usually deal with it in the usual way, as facilities are available. Other bodily functions have to be accounted for, anyway, so that's no surprise. But on longer trips, cosmonauts prefer to employ contraceptives for menstrual suppression, which means they don't menstruate, and so don't have to worry about it. But one thing they might have to worry about, is the long-term effect of the contraceptive on their body. Long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as IUDs and subdermal (beneath-the-skin) implants, or combined oral contraceptive (COC) pills are all viable options, each with their own identifiable drawbacks, but bone mineral loss is not so well understood. Bone health is a concern for all cosmonauts on long trips, so anything that might make it worse, well, it needs to be known about. Watch this outer space.

Here's another thing that can prevent menstruation -- pregnancy. More than half of births in 'northern' and 'western' Europe are now to unmarried people (couples) and this is part of a trend of increasing marriage-nihilism across the European continent. As people have become more laissez-faire about marriage in general, it's become dissociated from the idea of breeding, and building a family. For many, breeding now comes first, and the cod romance comes later. Over the past 50 years, the proportion of biths outside wedlock, in France and the British Isles, has increased from ~5% to ~50%. Presumably, someone's cursing 'dem gayz' for desecrating the sanctity of marriage, right about now :-D

FBI director James Comey has revealed that the organisation paid independent hackers at least $1.3 million to hack an iPhone belonging to one of the the San Bernardino attackers. According to him, it was worth it. Is there a Freedom of Information request coming, to justify the expense??

Solar Impulse 2 has been on the move again. Having suffered damage while crossing the Pacific - it's longest leg, around the world - SI2 spent several months in repairs. But now, it's competed its journey from Hawaii to California. SI2 is scheduled to make three more stops in the USA, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or Northern Africa.

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

'Image: Around Anuket region of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko'

'Image: NASA's SDO captures mid-level solar flare'

'Image: Proba-1 images Ice station Svalbard'

'Field Museum expedition captures animal selfies in Amazon Rainforest'

'Wellington "Funicular" Cable Car'

'Why Does Natural News Think You Should Stay Away From Sucralose?'

'Surveilling the Scientists'

'Shakespeare's Secret Playhouse (Part 1)'

'"Everybody Is Everybody Else" by Roy Zimmerman'

'CoinPen by Moritz Mueller'
Can this kid get any more amazing??

'Prada Body Bag - {The Kloons}'

'BLOOPERS AND OUT TAKES 3 - Greg's Kitchen'

'Total Recall : Bunnings BBQ | The Checkout'

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

Word Of The Week: hoon -- one who drives a car or boat in a manner which is anti-social by the standards of contemporary society, i.e. too fast, too noisily or too dangerously (Australian English)

Quote Of The Week: "What is indifference? I don't know, and i don't care" - Dave Allen

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

'The Two Ronnies - Rev. McFarlane Lang - Cockney Rhyming Slang (1976)'

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