Monday, June 22, 2009

I have relocated.

After holding the domain for almost a year and doing nothing with it, I have finally moved my blog from blogspot to it's new home ...

All previous entries can be found there, so please update your bookmarks and start using that URL instead.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lesson #5489 in getting media sympathy: violate human rights worse than your neighbor.

What the f*%k is up with the media in the last 12 months? Anywhere there's a conflict happening, the reporting is as arse-backwards as it could possibly be, if not more so. Case in point, the current fighting happening in Sri Lanka between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers. I am yet to see a news story that doesn't demonify SL while glossing over the TT. Sri Lanka attacked a hospital, they injured and killed women and children.

I'm sorry, but the only reason not only the women and children were attacked as well as the hospital in the first place was because the Tigers set up their base of operations INSIDE the hospital, using the women, children, sick and injured as human f*%king shields! That's a horrendous act. It's low. It's despicable. It's cowardly. It's pathetic. It's a MUCH worse violation of human rights than what Sri Lanka are doing, yet it's only Sri Lanka getting demonified for it! WHAT THE F*%K IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???

I don't give a rats arse how bad it is that Sri Lanka attacked because comparitively the act of hiding where they did and using innocent civilians as they have done is a hundred times worse.

It's the same with Israel/Palestine in their conflict earlier. Hamas regularly send salvo after salvo at Israel trying to provoke them, yet every time Israel fire back they are the ones demonified. In the latest invasion of Palestine by Israel, it was as a direct response to regular attacks on Israel despite cease fires being in place. Again, Hamas hid troops inside peoples homes using civilians as human shields. They set up their base of operations in hospitals using the sick and injured as human shields. They booby-trapped hospitals, schools, and peoples homes trying to lure Israeli soldiers inside often resulting in civilian deaths as the traps went off or were detonated prior to soldiers going in. Who copped all the blame in the media and calls for humans rights violations? Was it the ones who set up the innocent civilians to be injured and went out of their way to ensure innocent people were between them and the guns? No, it was Israel!

Damned f*%king straight I'm pissed off, and with good reason. I understand the people of Palestine want their independance, same for those in the area where the Tamils are, but the actions of the Tigers and Hamas are so horrible, despicable and cowardly they defy words. I can't think of anyone more deserving of going up against the human rights courts, yet by all accounts they appear to be getting off scot-free, and it just makes me sick.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The difference between supernatural and natural: underinformed.

One often wonders how there can be so many people out there that believe in supernatural things. Or for that matter, how people can not believe in them when there's so many websites, books and documentaries about such things. So much information, but is it enough?

Despite all the information these sources have, they're always incomplete. They always paint a picture of what is directly observed but highly lacking in surrounding information. It is usually in this surrounding information that the explanation lies.

Take a look at this post by Brian Dunning. You can tell straight away he's a sceptic by the amount of seemingly irrelevant information he's providing. A believer for example would talk about the hills and the cars driving on those hills, the houses, and that's it. They wouldn't talk about the trees, the clearness of the sky, or mention the security guard in such detail. Without that key but seemingly irrelevant information that a believer wouldn't include, one would have no hope of coming up with the right explanation for the lights as per Brian's second post here.

It reminds me of a discussion at another forum with someone about so called light angels. This particular image (right) was the example he used of a mysterious light that appeared for 3 days in a row. These would appear before the sun was up and would disappear and re-appear quite quickly. I've seen these before so instantly knew what it was and tried to explain them to him, but no matter what I said he wouldn't believe me. His most common rebuts were that the sun wasn't up and that these were in a shaded area.

After a lot of very persistant questioning he started a new thread and included a location (Novy Jicin, Czech Republic), a rough map (left), sunrise (5:22am) and times it appeared (6am-7:30am). From this I was able to track down the location in Google Maps. From google maps, I could use the shadows of the buildings and surrounding trees to scope out the size of them in comparison to each other and low and behold, all the evidence backed up my explanation to a tea.

What was happening was that it was early in the morning. In both maps you can see roughly where the photographer was located. They were in a position that kept them in the shade. The building to the south blocked the direct light from the sun to the person. The building behind the person was taller than the building to the south. The walls of that building are not reflective enough to reflect much of the light. The windows on the other hand, were.

As the sun caught the windows, they not only reflected the light but also expanded as things do. With nowhere to expand due to the window pane, the glass formed an ever so slight concave shape which warped the light being reflected. This light then shone over to the building across from it, warped, forming the shape seen in the picture. It only appeared in the morning when the sun was in the right position and at the right height.

The trees to the south of the southern building as well as clouds meant the lights appeared and disappeared suddenly. The change in path of the sun through the seasons means it only occurred for a 3 week period.

Here we have a perfect example of the warping of the light. The ones in red are unwarped, the ones in yellow are warped.

Evidence which he hadn't payed enough attention to himself to take note of happened to be the key evidence required to find the rational and correct explanation, no supernatural one required.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is nothing safe? Woo is now involving wine!

Today I tried to summon a sandworm. I know full well they are a fictional creature, but sometimes you come across something that affects you in a way that you just cannot help but to create a rhythmic thumping sound similar to that used in their summoning. I'm sure you too have experienced such things. One moment you're innocently browsing the internet, reading the paper or watching TV. The next moment there is an emanating thump, thump, thump, thump, as your forehead repeatedly hits the palm of your hand or the desk in front of you.

Today's summoning comes from a story on BoingBoing about an apparently new trend taking rise mostly in England, Germany and America. The story is about a method of farming called "biodynamics". The methods read word for word as though from occult, magical, and mystic traditions although the purveyors of it do not advertise it that way. They tend more to claim it as a method of organic farming, free of modern "harsh" chemicals and sprays.

Before reading further, I would like to request you ensure you are seated and have a collection of cushions ready. Please place one either in the palm of your hand, or on the table in front of you.

It was all started by one Rudolf Steiner in 1924 who claims to have come upon this after communicating telepathically with spirits. Please add another cushion. The two most popular are to place either fermented cow manure in a horn, or ground oak bark in a cow's fresh skull. This horn or skull is then buried in a shallow moist hole in a field for two seasons upon which time it is extracted and the contents applied in nearly undetectable quantities (akin to homeopathy) throughout the field.

It doesn't stop there. Biodynamics extends beyond the farm too. Please add another cushion. The two wine producers responsible for almost one third of the wine sold in the U.K. have started using biodynamics in their wine tasting too. You see, it's not just about the growing of the plants, there's also the consumption to consider. The consumption times are based upon a combination of moon cycles and astrologyy to seperate the days and hours out in to periods known as fruit, flower, leaf and root, the former two being the best for tasting and the latter the worst. How one figures out which period is which is a tightly held concept, but of course they are more than happy to let you know what times are good and bad ... by selling you an overpriced calendar containing this information.

So, biodynamics can be summed up as a combination of druidic, wiccan, magic and occult practices, ghosts and other-worldly beings, homeopathy and finally astrology. I bet these people claim to be christian too. Those of you who didn't add enough cushions throughout reading this most likely also have wormsign.

Source1: BoingBoing.
Source2: The Guardian.
Source3: SF Weekly.

As an aside, I've heard many people speculate that thanks to modern medicine, human evolution has all but come to an end. Sometimes though when I look at all the woo and people purposefully and willingly choosing the options which have zero supporting evidence and deriding the options that have mountains of supporting evidence ... I start to wonder if this increase in willing ignorance is actually a new evolutionary change to once again bring back the possibility of survival of the fittest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The piddler fails again.

The piddler is continuing on his campaign of misinformation and blatant lies about the filter. Anybody else would have gotten sick of being caught out so many times, but fortunately for Conroy, the media for the most part don't really care so it's only those of us who are informed about the Rabbit-Proof Firewall who seem to notice how pathetic and incompetent he is at anything other than backstabbing and weaseling.

Case in point, according to this article at computerworld, at a press conference earlier today Senator Conroy stated "It is completely untrue that the leaked blacklist contains political content. This is a list which contains sites that promote incest, rape, child pornography and child abuse."

I would like him to point out the incest, rape, child pronography and child abuse at abbey winters, a website whose tours and opening page are on the blacklist. I'd also like to see how any of those are promoted by euthenasia websites. Amongst the other pronographic websites, is he going to stand by his words that every single one of them promote those things? Most of the ones I dared visit to check certainly didn't, nor did an Australian reseller of toys and media whose address is located in Queensland and again is on the very same list.

Mr Conroy, I believe these words of yours could well be considered defamation by those whose websites are on the list who do not promote such things. Are you willing to back up your claims?

Source: ComputerWorld.

Agnry on the filtar!

I'm regularly being surprised by the number of people who are letting their anger at the Australian Rabbit-Proof Firewall cloud their judgement and ability to analyze things clearly. I too am completely opposed to the Rabbit-Proof Firewall in its current form, but lets take some realistic looks at what can be seen on the list.

One thing that majority of people seem to be forgetting, Michael Meloni and Mark Newton included, is that it's not just about the content hosted on the site. It is also about the delivery methods. I know people hate comparing new media to old media, but it's the clearest way I can think of to give an example of what I am talking about.

Old Media:

When it comes to pornography on old media, most people think magazines. There's limites to not only what you can and can't show in magazines, but also in what you can and can't show depending on the restriction methods. If you want to have skin showing but no boobs or genetalia on the cover, your magazine is allowed to have its entire cover being displayed on the stand. Exposed boobs require a bit of censorship, the more you show inside the magazine and on the cover the more restrictions you have in place right down to the magazine having to be in a sealed plastic cover with a large non see-through patch covering the magazine.

Now in the final example where the magazine is one that must be in a non see-through sealed plastic bag, although the content itself (the pictures in the pages) themselves are legal. If you take two copies of the magazine, take one out of the sealed plastic cover and put both back on the shelf, what do you have? One is now illegal and one is now legal. They are both the EXACT same magazine with the EXACT same content, but because one is being distributed WITHOUT the required age verifications, that makes that particular magazine's distribution illegal.

New Media:

For new media I will use an example which has been mentioned on almost every website with an article about the blacklist ... abbywinters. The ONLY parts of Abbywinters which are blocked are the free tours and the base page, both of which display full frontal nudity without age verification. This method of distribution according to all Australian laws is illegal. These are examples of the magazine that is not inside the sealed plastic cover.

The sections of abbywinters behind the login page (which does adequate age verification at time of signup) and the login page itself are all accessible! These are examples of the magazine still inside the sealed plastic cover. The difference is the distribution method, nothing more nothing less.


This is the key to what can be seen on the ACMA blacklist. Same website, same images in some cases, but examples of legal and illegal distribution. It is only the sections being distributed illegally that appear on the 18th March 2009 ACMA blacklist.


99.99% of the list then can be summed up as the following: Illegally distributed porn, childporn, terror on teh interwebs (anti-zombie website which tells you how to make a small bomb), incest, euthenasia instructions (not just discussion).

There's that, and 3 other pages.
1. A website link anonymiser. The idea behind it is that the linked-to website cannot see in the server logs where the person who clicks on the link is coming from. I am completely at a loss as to how this is illegal.
2. The dutch blacklist. Again, I'm at a loss as to how this is illegal. The best possible excuse I can think of is that it is a link to a link to a page of links to illegally distributed content.

3. A ballroom dancing website's guestbook which has had the crapola spammed out of it. Again the best possible excuse I can think of is that it is a link to a link to a page of links to illegally distributed content.

Can anyone tell me if it is actually illegal to link to such things in this country, or are all three examples above overly-zealous?


I'm sure there's more 100% legal pages and sites I missed when perusing the list, but that's the best I have found for now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tequila. The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.

If anyone had tried to tell me this I would have just looked at them strangely and allowed the word "bullshit" to flow out of my mouth. However, this is found on the internet so it MUST be true!

It seems some scientists in Mexico have found a way of using Tequila for more than just getting people drunk, getting ugly people laid, and making people worship the porcelin god. They claim that they've found a way to turn it in to "diamonds" which can be used for detecting radiation, coating mining equipment, and even as a replacement for silicon in computer equipment.

Can someone explain to me how a drinking alcohol, a radiation detector, a solid coating for mining tools and a silicon replacement can be even remotely related?

They say that due to restrictions on tequila/cactus harvesting many Mexican farmers have changed to hashish farming. Methinks the scientists have been smoking a tad too much of their produce. Read the article and decide for yourself.


Via: OCAU.