Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swine flu "offensive"

A nice example of just how stupid religious "feelings" can be;

JERUSALEM – The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed "Mexican" influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.

So now the word is a problem?
It must raise some interesting theological questions as if pigs are "unclean" then what happens if you catch a flu some comprising DNA of a pig flu? I imagine the pig flu itself is not unclean (DNA and virus's are not mentioned in the perfect, word-of-god, holy books) but never the less, the virus has been kinda associating with pigs and I doubt it "cleansed" itself before infecting humans.

Maybe they should volunteer to have it called "Israeli flu"??


Timelapse video

I like it

link from boingboing

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

GAH! Blasphemy to become crime in Ireland

Just when you thought this country couldn't get any nuttier - now they want to make blasphemy a crime;

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern proposes to insert a new section into the Defamation Bill, stating: “A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000.”

“Blasphemous matter” is defined as matter “that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”

Rather than just 'fix' the constitution they would rather ban free speech!!!

Goddamn these fuckers!

Bolivia is the new Saudi Arabia

Lithium the new oil!?

The Hunt For Gollum

This looks like a very high quality fan produced film; Can't wait!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Prisoners are not 'Persons'

how fucked up is this?

A Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not "persons" according to it's interpretation of a statute involving religious freedom.

1984 is coming closer all the time;


Friday, 24 April 2009

A Lisbon 'yes' group

Good god! I never heard of them before reading this but now I imagine the girls all wear bright pink, the boys sport huge quiff's and everyone says "super dooper" and "Gee willikers"

Some of the girls wore pink T-shirts with the legend “I only kiss boys who say yes” while other campaign members refused to wear the ‘chauvinistic’ shirts.

Who in their right mind though this was a good idea?


Thursday, 23 April 2009

Hitchens on Turkey & the E.U.

Clearly, I am against Turkey ever being made a member;

Here is what Hitchens thinks.

Turkey wants all the privileges of NATO and EU membership but also wishes to continue occupying Cyprus, denying Kurdish rights, and lying about the Armenian genocide. On top of this, it now desires to act as a proxy for Islamization and dares to waste the time of a defensive alliance in trying to censor the press of another member state!



Nice little animation


Nice little animation


Postcards from Cassini

more ...

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Games of Thrones TV

THE greatest series of fantasy novels since The Lord Of The Rings is being made into a TV series (god I hope it's good), and will be filmed in Northern Ireland! Cool!

George R R Martin's site


No Knead Bread

I love bread, but with very few exceptions I'm not very good at making it, so it was a nice surprise to find an easy way of making good bread over at "The Daily Spud".

The trick is to leave the bread for hours (about 24 in fact) so I made the dough on Monday night, covered it and went about my daily business.

last night I came home, did the final prep's which took about 10 minutes and again left the dough to rise before finally throwing it into the oven.

The result?

Perfect delicatessen quality bread.

original article

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


I am currently reading “The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao” which, aside from being very good, contains lot’s of footnotes and asides about the Dominican Republic and it’s history. Not a subject I know much about.

The most recent footnote regarded a native chief called “Hatuey” who tried to throw off the Spaniards in 1511. He was captured in the end and before being burned at the stake a priest asked him if he would accept Jesus and go to heaven.

Hatuey asked "Are there white men in heaven?" When the priest assured him that there were many, Hatuey replied "Then I’d rather go to Hell."*;

A quote I really liked and it could easily be paraphrased for use by today’s unbelievers, “Men of Faith”, perhaps?

I got an extra kick out of this as it really puts the Popenfuhres opinion of the conquest of the Americas into context;

Pope Benedict XVI told Latin American bishops in Brazil that American Indians had been "silently longing" to become Christians 500 years ago.

* There seems to be several differing versions of this statement on the web, I’ve used the one from the book

Introduction to Nanoscience


I can't believe they did this over 100 times to _anybody_...

They Giveth with one hand ...

... and take back with two others;

The local lootocrats often say that no one goes in to politics for the money - HA!
FIVE junior ministers will be sacked tomorrow and walk away with a "golden parachute" payment worth up to €53,000 each.

What would Jesus Not Do

One of the best yet, also humorous;

Erin Go Broke

I've been a long time reader of Paul Krugman of the New York times so it was kind of distressing to have him use Ireland as a "worst case" scenario.
“What,” asked my interlocutor, “is the worst-case outlook for the world economy?” It wasn’t until the next day that I came up with the right answer: America could turn Irish.
It goes downhill from there;

Meanwhile "Country Third" Tanaiste of Ireland mumbles a response

Monday, 20 April 2009

Danny MacAskill

Too cool/impressive not to share

A Joke

from boingboing

Friday, 17 April 2009

Argh! the pirates

For such a serious subject this article has two smirk worthy comments;
US Aircraft and Elite Navy SEALs Defeat Three Somalis in a Lifeboat
There is something obscene about a superpower whose media and population find great satisfaction, and some sick form of national catharsis, every time they manage to overcome a weak and desperate opponent.

You are being lied to about pirates

Why the crash will continue for a long while yet

Just why the whole "green shoots" thing is a crock of shit.
The financial media is abuzz with talk of a recovery as equities inch their way higher every week.

For 19 months, Bernanke has kept a steady stream of liquidity flowing from the vault at the US Treasury to the NYSE in downtown Manhattan. The Fed has recapitalized financial institutions via its low interest rates, its multi-trillion dollar lending facilities, and its direct purchase of US sovereign debt and Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities. (Monetization) The Fed's balance sheet has become a dumping ground for all manner of toxic waste and putrid debt-instruments for which there is no active market. When foreign central banks and investors realize that US currency is backed by dodgy subprime collateral; there will be a run on the dollar followed by a stampede out of US equities. Even so, Bernanke assures his critics that "the foundations of our economy are strong".

So far, $12 trillion has been pumped into the financial system while less than $450 billion fiscal stimulus has gone to the "real" economy where workers are struggling just to keep food on the table. The Fed's priorities are directed at the investor class not the average working Joe. Bernanke is trying to keep Wall Street happy by goosing asset values with cheap capital, but the increases to the money supply are putting more downward pressure on the dollar. The Fed chief has also begun purchasing US Treasuries, which is the equivalent of writing a check to oneself to cover an overdraft in one's own account. This is the kind of gibberish that passes as sound economic policy. The Fed is incapable if fixing the problem because the Fed is the problem.

The banks are all playing the same game of hide-n-seek, trying to hoodwink the public into thinking they are in a stronger capital position than they really are. It's just more Wall Street chicanery papered over with vapid media propaganda. The giant brokerage houses and the financial media are two spokes on the same wheel gliding along in perfect harmony.


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

An Inconvenient debt

even a stopped clock is right twice a day;

such a shame he muddies his message with pointless references to Al Gore..

Best anti-homeopathy poster ever?

link from here

Thursday, 9 April 2009


A picture about Hypatia maybe?

The production looks good, if it is about her I can't wait to see the reaction of the Christian churches.

Hope it's in English, but I'll watch it anyway.

link from rogueclassicism

Head scratcher from the Irish Times

I'll admit I don't know everything that's going on in this country but as far as I know nobody is seriously suggesting we rejoin the Commonwealth. The few times I've heard this mentioned has been by assorted 'media' personalities (usually on radio) and it always sounded like a flag flying exercise to me.

That being said todays Irish Times has a column by somebody called Newton Emerson who preemptively 'sets us straight' on the topic and warning us that we are definitely not welcome.
What on Earth makes anyone think we’d have you? For almost a century, the Irish have used multinational institutions to defame, insult and attack the British state.
Am ... ok, Irish people can sometimes get a bit over heated when discussing "The British", it can be embarrassing, but this does seem to be a slight exaggeration and a tensey bit shrill. He continues;
Commonwealth meetings provide our country with international respite from Ireland’s nationalist spite. There, Her Majesty’s diplomats may meet their peers without dreading the whiskey-dark whine of another lament from the bog.
Oh boy, I suppose the world should be grateful theres at least one "Irish need not apply" club left on the earth. You can't blame them. Remember that time when Bertie Ahern addressed the joint house of The Commons, got drunk, took off his shoe and started banging it on a desk while moaning and weeping about the famine?? No? I'm sure it happened!
Nobody serving my country abroad should have to endure the recreational Anglophobia of bad- mouthing Irish exceptionalists.

Imagine the embarrassment of discussing food aid to Zimbabwe, only to have some bitter buffoon bring up the potato famine.
It would be mortifying alright - why, just the other day Obama was discussing the tragedy in Darfur when Brian Cowen blunty cut him off to tell him about what happened at Kinsale. Happens all the time.
None of this would stop every Irish delegate moaning about “anti-Catholic racism” because they personally will never be king.
This is the number 1 topic of conversation in any Irish pub. Seriously! When Tony Blair became Catholic we all felt terribly sad that he could never become king.
It is especially galling to realise that Irish Commonwealth membership is often suggested as a “confidence-building gesture” to my own tribe. Why would Ulster unionists want yet another place to meet the Irish? We already have a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, a British-Irish Council, a North/South Ministerial Council and Tesco in Newry.
You can easily spot the difference between and Ulster Unionist and an Irishman because the Unionist will walk upright and his features will be less simian. I can only assume he forgot to mention he can also meet Irish all over Northern Ireland, you know, the ones who live there. Maybe google maps draws special routes for him whereby he avoids any Irish (and/or boggy areas) anytime he goes out?


I'm not one of those Irish people who thinks (or even wants) 'everyone' to like us, but there is something about the jumped-up bigotry, sectarianism and defensiveness of Unionists that really gets my goat.

Anyway, to show there's no hard feeling, here's a picture of me at work today

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Jarred Diamond on religion

the lecture is about 40 minutes, with a Q&A afterwards.

A different take on income tax

Seeing as yesterday the Irish government robbed us all to pay for theirs and other mistakes here is a different take on income tax.

I don't really agree with it, but its food for thought;
(certainly how taxes are spent is a huge issue)

An income tax is inconsistent with the historical definition of freedom. Today in America government has a claim on every person’s labor, just as feudal lords, the government of that time, had claims on the labor of serfs and nineteenth century plantation owners had on slaves.


Global Financial Collapse

Who do we (everybody) owe all this money to?

An Argentine opinion on the Global Financial Crisis, describing the whole Global Financial System as one vast Ponzi Scheme. Like a pyramid, it has four sides and is a predictable model. The four sides are: (1) Artificially control the supply of public State-issued Currency, (2) Artificially impose Banking Money as the primary source of funding in the economy, (3) Promote doing everything by Debt and (4) Erect complex channels that allow privatizing profits when the Model is in expansion mode and socialize losses when the model goes into contraction mode.

Take your money out of the banks it seems is the advice?

link from Information Clearinghouse

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

The dark side of Dubai

Yes it's full of the kind of stuff you'd expect (or at least, that I'd expect anyway), but it was good to know us westerners can treat people just as bad with very little encouragement;
As she says this, I remember a stray sentence I heard back at Double Decker. I asked a British woman called Hermione Frayling what the best thing about Dubai was. "Oh, the servant class!" she trilled. "You do nothing. They'll do anything!"
Fucking Bitch!
My patience frayed by all this excess, I find myself snapping: doesn't the omnipresent slave class bother you? I hope they misunderstood me, because the woman replied: "That's what we come for! It's great, you can't do anything for yourself!" Her husband chimes in: "When you go to the toilet, they open the door, they turn on the tap – the only thing they don't do is take it out for you when you have a piss!" And they both fall about laughing.
let's hope this couple end up cleaning Emirate toilets with their tongues.

Obviously the whole Dubai dream is built on tears, read about it here

A-Pod, Artificial insect

Beautiful, disturbing, fascinating;

I was most impressed when it walked - there must be some deep evolutionary thing going on there!?

Friday, 3 April 2009


I though Borat was halarious, Bruno looks just as good;

Open Mindedness

Excellent description

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Ant Slaves Revolt

An amazing story from the natural world

Humans aren't the only species that have had to deal with the issue of slavery. Some species of ants also abduct the young of others, forcing them into labouring for their new masters.
They found that the [slave]workers clearly care for the larvae, and nearly all of them were raised until their pupated. But at that point, the slaves' behaviour changed dramatically, taking on a more homicidal bent.

Two-thirds of pupae died before they hatched. The mortality rate was even higher (83%) for pupae containing queens, but very low (3%) for those containing males. The duo saw that the captives were deliberately killing the healthy pupae. In about 30% of cases, as in the photo, the workers would gang up to literally pull the developing ants apart. Another 53% of the pupae were killed by neglect, by workers who moved them out of the nest chamber.

These murders were solely the acts of the slaves. No P.americanus worker ever lifted a mandible against its own pupae.