Sunday, 26 June 2016

Entertainment stuff from the week 20-26/6/16

Hi snifters,

Well, another week, another torrent of cretinous nationalistic bullshit on TV, and another nail in the coffins of various people's careers. Especially UK scientists.

I'm very slightly surprised by the British nationalists' isolationist campaign successfully getting the UK ditched from the EU, but i'm a lot more disappointed. The kind of disappointment i feel is a kind of pastoral one - the kind a parent/teacher feels, when their kids do badly at something.

"Now then kids. I'm very disappointed in you. Look, i know you think you're clever. I know you think you're being brave and forthright. I know you think you're carving 'your own path' and jabbing one in the eye of the grown-ups. And that's fair enough. But your display in the last exam was appalling. I'm appalled. I'm appalled and disappointed. Disappointed and appalled. Plaster of Paris is not what the Eiffel Tower's made of. The Philistines were not islands in the Pacific. And the victims of The Plague did not grow boobs on their necks!
I know, i know, i know - there are boys in the other classes - and girls too - who tell you silly stories. I know the one about the appendix being the part of a book that doesn't have any use. Stop laughing. STOP laughing! You've got to understand that these answers are not 'your' answers - they're wrong answers. They are wrong. You have all deliberately flunked a big chance to prove yourselves, and to build your futures, this week. I could excuse what you've done as adolescent myopia, but goddamnit you should know better by now.
You're not young. The little kids look up to you. You're seniors. What are they going to think of you, making these stupid, self-defeating decisions? Do you think they should copy you? Do you think they should throw their opportunities away, like you have? You only get one chance in a lifetime to do A Levels, and you've blown it.
Now, as it happens, i might be able to persuade the Headmaster - the new one that is, as the old one resigned in disgrace - because of you! I might be able to persuade the new Headmaster to let you all try again. And i want you to remember: your grandparents fought wars so that you could be free. Don't throw their efforts back in their faces, by pretending the school is your enemy. I hope you'll remember this, and i want you to think about it. Class dismissed"

In this case, there was just one question. And millions of people, who genuinely think they 'won' have actually lost. They've thrown away thousands of words [boo! hiss!] of legislation specifically written to protect them from dodgy businesses, and thrown themselves further into the clutches of the British nationalist movement, which is funded and run by the owners of dodgy businesses.

For a brilliant example, Tim 'Wetherspoons' Martin - a funder of UKIP, and the funder of the Vote Leave campaign. Full-length, HD, professional camera-crewed paranoid conspiracy theorist pseudo-documentaries and all, the Vote Leave campaign has been a massive industrialised machine, funded to the hilt by Martin et al. Older people have simply heard the bullshit for decades longer, through the newspapers.

Tim Martin is a man who has made his career in the liver disease industry - the alcohol industry. In the same period that liver disease has fallen in the EEC/EU, it has increased 6-fold in the UK. Now, why do you think that a man who profits from something that the EU has legislated restrictions against, would want people to vote against EU legislation?

People like him have cynically and avariciously conned millions of British people into nationalist isolationism, just so that the EU finds it harder to stop him from killing people.

As i said 3 weeks ago: "This is the same Tim 'Wetherspoons' Martin who thinks that selling alcohol in motorway service stations is a good idea"

I shall repeat myself again: millions of people, who genuinely think they 'won' have actually lost. Who benefits from liver disease? Who wants it? Only private medical companies, and the alcohol industry. No-one in the NHS wants to see it. No-one who drinks alcohol wants to see it. It's not a democratic Right. It's not a Human Right.

The EU has built itself on and around the application of Human Rights legislation. The British nationalists want to scrap Human Rights. Cammers himself - the one who promised the referendum, if he couldn't get myopic nationalist concessions without leaving - approved the revocation of Human Rights, to be replaced with a 'Bill of Rights'. What the hell for? Just to remove the word 'human' from it? Or to remove the emphasis on human beings??

And what has the rhetoric of the British nationalist isolationism movement been? The rhetoric they've used to con people: "Geev us arr freedum!!" and "we need to take back control"

The latter sounds brilliant, but is profoundly dumb. It only takes seconds to realise that handing a wodge of power back to the same old scumbags who shaft us from Parliament 365 days per year, is not 'taking back control' in any way whatsoever.

The 'take back control' chanters are like passengers in an aeroplane, who feel worried because they're not driving it.* They rush into the cockpit, punch the pilots out, grab the steering column, and then think "does anybody know how to fly this thing?" [plane dives for the ground and everyone dies]

But at least they were in control. In control of a vehicle they didn't know how to control.

{*This is a genuine analogy - you're more likely to die, getting in a car, but you feel safer. This is why people worry about plane flights - it's nothing to do with genuine risk}

Nationalists might feel like they have more control, under an English Parliament, than under an English Parliament + EU Parliament, but it's all an illusion. They're no freer from bureaucracy - British laws are written by the Civil Service, who are unelected bureaucrats; and they have no more democratic influence - no-one can vote for any more than one member of a Parliament of hundreds, which can be controlled by a Party that didn't even win a majority of votes. And that Party itself is controlled by a tiny minority of its own members.

The idea that nationalists are standing up for little people, by defending democracy and 'sovereignty', the latter of which is pure word salad by the way, is complete bollocks. Nationalists don't care about people - that's what makes them nationalists, and not socialists.

- Socialists are people who think that people are more important than anything else.

- Nationalists are people who think that arbitrary lines on maps are more important than people.

This is why 'patriots' who care so much for 'their' nations, command others to kill/die for their country, and not for their people. If they were to admit that it were about defending people, then potential recruits would err agianst joining the bloodshed.

"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons"
- Bertrand Russell

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" - Samuel Johnson

I was actually told by someone, the day after the referendum, that they 'voted leave' because their father died in WWII. At the time, as far as i got was to ask whether he would have fought the French too. What i didn't get as far as, was pointing out that the war was started by nationalists - Nationalsozialismus - Nazis.

He died as part of an effort to stop nationalism. A nationalism reinforced by 'arbeit macht frei' pseudo-socialism*. So why should you be the one to throw that back in his face?

Millions of people, who genuinely think they 'won' have actually lost.

"The trouble with democracy, is that every silly bastard gets a vote" - Arnold Rimmer

*How anyone thinks genocide is 'social' beats me. But then, some people think the way to end sexism and racism is to call for a sexist, racist genocide. Some people really are that thought-averse.

Here's a little sunshine, after all the Brexit bitterness. And i still think that term sounds like a breakfast cereal. "Start your day the patriot way. Eat Brexit" :-D

'12 sun safety myths debunked'

So now you can ignore the marketing pseudoscience, and do what's really best for you. Or just blame the EU for sunshine, and take back your 'dermic sovereignty' :-P

In other news:

In sympathy with the British nationalists, Russian nationalists have taken the opportunity to make life in their country yet worse still. Through dominant Party 'United Russia', Irina Yarovaya has passed a bill doubling the number of crimes that Russians as young as 14 years old can be prosecuted for, forcing telecommunications companies to store datalogs for months, and introducing prison sentences for failure to report 'grave crimes'. And what's their excuse? Of course: "fighting terrorism". The fact that they are the ones who're inducing terror into the Russian people for diplomatic gain, is presumably something they're hoping most of them don't notice. The macabre irony of nationalism, is that the perpetrators of it are the terrorists they think they're fighting to stop.

USAians can celebrate their continued protection under 'net neutrality' law, as an appeals court has upheld the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules. Net neutrality means providers are not allowed to restrict access to content, by pricing. In contrast, the UK, which has no net neutrality law of its own, is now facing economic strangulation, as an increasing number of businesses and individuals depend on a neutral internet for their work. The EU fixed net neutrality long before the USA did, and the UK was previously covered by that legislation. If the isolation of the UK does go through, all of that legislation will have to be copied out... that is, if the pollies think it's a good idea.

Lawmakers in Germany have responded to announcement by fossil fuel companies to ram ahead with fracking, by passing legislation that bans it. The Greens have criticised the legislation for being too lax, as it doesn't cover other methods of extracting fossil and fossil gas - only the fracking method. But surely some legislation's better than nothing, when it's on the right track. Fracking in the USA has helped export the country's emissions to the rest of the world, where American coal has been imported to. One of those countries is Germany, thanks to the same Greens who got nuclear power rejected. [grits teeth again]

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced new rules, compelling search engine websites to vet the sponsored search results (adverts) of companies, before allowing them to go public. This has been prompted by the death of a man who wrote a public letter about his abuse by a Beijing-based company, whom he'd found through a sponsored search result on Baidu - a sinese cross between Facebook and Google. They promised effective cancer treatment, and he found it lacking. If he'd received proper medical treatment, he might still be alive today. Baidu has been accused of taking money to promote 'less proven' treatments, with good reason. This kind of fraud threatens people all over the world.

Academic Motorsports Club Zurich (AMZ) has set a new world record, with an electric car that can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (just over 60 mph) in 1.513 seconds, beating a University of Stuttgart team's 1.779 seconds. In comparison, the Porsche 918 Spyder holds the production car record, at a comparatively-lethargic 2.2 seconds. Even F1 cars struggle to get to 100 km/h in less than 2 seconds!

A pair of screwworm sexologists have been posthumously awarded a 'golden goose' award for committing to research that was thought to be "silly, odd or obscure" while conducted, but turned out to be genuinely useful. They were mocked for putting so much (largely self-funded) effort into studying the sex life of the screwworm (also known as the blowfly) species, from the 1930s-50s; but their efforts returned a method to render male screwworms infertile. Reintroducing these males to the wild, they would attempt to breed with females, but fail to produce another generation. Screwworm larvae burrow into the flesh of wounded animals, and can kill a cow in 2 weeks, so their eradication, or at least control, has saved the industry billions of dollars. Today, researchers get mocked for studying snails, and all kinds of things. Any one of them could achieve the same, from their method of 'pure science' research, unblinkered by narrow industry funding restrictions.

It's well known that mammals survived the asteroid impact, and resultant climatic devastation, that sent all of the non-avian dinosaurs extinct, allowing them to flourish in the aftermath, and diversify into the species that we can see around us, today. But what's less well known, is how close other vertebrates came to extinction. According to this study, more than 90% of mammalian species also went extinct, disappearing from fossil records across the K-Pg boundary, produced by the asteroid impact in Chicxulub. More limited prior studies had underestimated mammalian extinction rates, according to the researchers, and so also underestimated the diversification of mammals into their habitats, in the 300,000 years after the extinction event. So mammals are actually highly susceptible to climatic change, but it's their ability to adapt that helps them to recover. According to the fossil record, anything larger than a cat went extinct, as there simply wasn't enough food for larger animals. Nudge nudge, humans :-P

According to this agricultural research, crops are not keeping up with climatic change fast enough, as the lengths of their generations do not permit fast enough changes to keep up. But this study doesn't seem willing to go beyond the 'conventional' technique of genetic modification by artifical selection (breeding/husbandry) which can easily be trumped by genetics research, and genetic engineering. So it seems to be a choice of: genetic engineering, or a future of low farm productivity, and starving people.

There've been a handful of old canards in the gutter press, this week: the Torygraph, Fail and Metoo all claimed that cranberries can prevent STIs. Well, they would, as the press release was funded by Ocean Spray, who specialise in cranberry juice. Superfoods are a well-documented fraudulent racket. The Mirror, Beeb, Fail, and Old Times have been passing around the idea that ginger, acupressure, acupuncture, and "drugs" beat morning sickness, even though there's no convincing evidence that any apart from "drugs" actually do anything*. The Fail went out on its own in continuing the superfood quackery bandwagon, by adding another article to its cancer-obsessed series. According to their psychotic reportage, broccoli cures heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancer. It doesn't. Eat a healthy balanced diet and get plenty of exercise, is the best advice you can get. According to the Mirror and the Torygraph, the way to eat breakfast is 'like a king'. But again, they would, given that the study was funded by Nestle - a company famous for its breakfast cereals.

{*A common problem with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (or 'morning sickness' as it's erroneously and colloquially known) is that the nausea discourages people from eating. The resultant hunger makes them more nauseous, further discouraging them from eating. So people can con themselves into thinking ginger 'supplements' work, just because it means eating small amounts, thereby partially relieving their hunger, and the portion of their nausea that came from the hunger itself. Are you following me? LOL. The claims stemmed (no pun intended) from new guidelines issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Medical organisations that deal with women a lot are notorious for pandering to their superstitious beliefs, so i have no qualms in pooh-poohing their suggestions that acupressure and acupuncture fraud be imployed. Quackupuncture is an active threat, as it involves breaking the skin, risking infection.

Solar Impulse 2 left New York on Monday, heading across the Atlantic to Sevilla, with a predicted journey time of 90 hours - three quarters of the longest leg between Japan and Hawaii. But in fact, they did it in just 70 hours, landing at 7:40am, local time.

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

Word Of The Week: snifter -- a glass with a wide bass and narrowed top, designed for spirits like brandy and whisky, so that the scent evaporates a lot from the shallow pool in the bottom of the glass, but is trapped by the thin top; hence the name 'snifter' as the shape helps trap the scent for sniffing. Many snifters are designed so that the right quantity of drink will exactly reach the rim without spilling, when the glass is set on its side, as demonstrated here

Quote Of The Week: "I'll try anything once, except incest and folk dancing" - Christopher Hitchens

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

'Fake Platinum Electrode - NurdRage gets ripped off... again'

'Looking at Mercury Vapour - Periodic Table of Videos'

'Black Dwarf Stars: Corpses of Creation'

'Image: Hubble sees new dark spot on Neptune'

'Image: 'Floating Piers' on Lake Iseo from the Sentinel-2A satellite'
It's a GIF, so you might have to click on the image

'eRally Zoe | Fully Charged'

'Bim Bim Bim'

'Surprise Store {The Kloons}'

'The Chaser's Election Desk (2016) Episode 3'

1 comment:

  1. Update on the acupressure 'study'. It's certified bullshit :-D
    Skip to ~40" for the section in which it's mentioned: