Pages

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Room Lights May Boost Health

Room Lights May Boost Health

Frikken sweet! Using room-lights instead of radio for wireless networking? Cars talking to each other and to the road through their headlights and brake-lights?

Awesome!

Getting the Monkey off Darwin's Back

Getting the Monkey off Darwin's Back (Skeptical Inquirer June/July 2005)

I must admit, I suffered under a couple of these misconceptions myself.

Definitely a good article to read if you're taking up arms in the struggle against Intelligent Design.

Coffee: Does a Body Good?


Coffee: Does a Body Good?

HA! I knew it!

I'm feeling a little free-radically, I'm gonna go pour me a cuppa joe.

"Coffee is the finest organic suspension ever devised." - CAPT Kathryn Janeway

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Surfing the lunatic fringe


I thought Sitchin was bad. I was right, but this guy is even worse.

He calls himself Rael, and he’s started his own religion (read “cult”), the Raellians.

He fancies himself a sort of modern-day Mohammed or Joseph Smith, having received the divine revelation from an alien who showed up one day when no-one else was looking.

His claptrap is clearly based on Sitchin’s theories, and he uses a lot of Sitchin’s warped biblical translations in his book “Intelligent Design”.

Like Sitchin, Rael is clearly scientifically illiterate and his ideas have absolutely no basis in fact. Unlike Sitchin, Rael’s ideas aren’t even internally consistent, and therefore not logically possible.

(I’ll give Sitchin credit where it’s due: he tells a good story. Rael doesn’t even do that.)

What I find interesting is that this guy has written several books which he has published for free on the Internet. You can download them yourself at his cult’s website www.rael.org.

Since he’s not making any money out of it, what is his angle? Are we headed for another Heaven’s Gate with a deadline of 2025?

Too bad I cut my hair so short, or else I could use my “natural antennae” to commune telepathically with the Elohim and ask them (yes, he too claims that “Elohim” is a plural noun, which it isn’t) myself. Just like Samson and all the world’s scientists. (I shit you not, he actually says that.)

He claims to have 50 000 followers around the world. I suspect he’s added a zero or two (or three) onto the end of the real number. He also claims to have created the first human clone. Of course he hasn’t, but that doesn’t stop him from claiming it.

Although his drivel is so ridiculous it doesn’t even merit scientific attention, I think it would be wise to keep an eye on these guys. Marshall Applewhite seemed harmless at first too… I bet the families of his 39 followers who committed mass suicide in 1997 would claim that he really wasn’t that harmless after all.

(Aside: I enjoyed the way he tries to turn his followers away from anyone who might cast doubt on his nonsense... note the character "Satan the Skeptic".)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Intelligence makes people unhappy

Intelligence makes people unhappy@Everything2.com

IOL: Herbs are vital against HIV, says Manto

IOL: Herbs are vital against HIV, says Manto

Now this just pisses me off.

Yes, it's true that nutritional education should be a priority for the department of health, but by indirectly implying that traditional medicines (for my non-SA readers, "traditional medicine" is the PC term for the ministrations of tribal witchdoctors) are as effective as anti-retrovirals in combatting HIV is reckless, irresponsible and just plain stupid.

This woman has to go.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Wedding (Prologue – Part 2)

Well I have a date for the wedding now. Hippy reluctantly agreed to go with me.

As if it’s not bad enough that I’m such a loser that I can’t get a real date to a wedding, I actually have to bribe one of my best friends to go with me instead.

I don’t like the fact that I had to convince her to go. I don’t have a good feeling about it. It’s going to be hard enough as it is… do I really want to have to deal with a date who doesn’t want to be there as well?

I thought it best that she go with me because she was there for me during the whole “Getting over the Ex” phase. She knows all the details and back-story. She even told me when I first heard about the wedding that she would go with me, without me having to ask. Seems she changed her mind somewhere along the line.

Maybe I should have accepted when some of my other friends offered to go with me voluntarily.

Crackpot Index

Crackpot Index@Everything2.com

As I was reading through this I was trying to run up a mental tally of how Zecharia Sitchin would score... I lost count around 250.

I momentarily considered sitting with copies of his books and a calculator, but I decided that would just waste my time and annoy the pig.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The price

I have a very good friend who, like many of my other gal pals, happens to be gorgeous. The leggy, blonde, athletic type. Very nice.

Despite the fact that I find her very attractive, nothing has ever happened between us. I’m not her “type”. I can live with that… she’s not really mine either.

The thing with this particular gal is that she is VERY flirtatious. I have some theories as to why that is, but I’m not going to psychoanalyze her in this post.

When she’s single, as she currently is, she tends to hang all over her guy friends… Saturday night was my turn.

Some guys find it irritating to be hung all over by a girl they know they have no chance with. I dunno, I just like the attention. That was the most action I’ve had in months.

It’s somewhat problematic in that afterwards I start thinking “Was that just her being her usual self, or was she really flirting with me? She’s never been that affectionate with me before, and she gave me 67% more hugs than usual during the course of the evening…” And once I start down that road I start getting my hopes up, then I’m headed for a fall.

Fortunately not a long fall… a quick SMS exchange with (our mutual friend) Hippy the next morning cleared it up for me, and all was well.

I suppose it all boils down to Beavis and Butthead philosophy: “You can’t have stuff that’s cool without stuff that sucks”.

Disappointment was the price I paid for a pleasant evening. That seems to be a pretty normal currency in my dealings with women of late. The more fun I have with the woman in question, the greater the disappointment cost.

Now what I need to figure out is a way to purchase pre-paid disappointment credits. That way I can be all down and miserable beforehand, and then go out and have some fun without wondering how I’m going to pay for it.

That sounds like a plan.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Shamelessly plagiarised from an Everything2 noder

A few ways to stay single, at least as far as said noder has been able to determine:

- Be reasonably attractive and intelligent. Everyone will assume you're taken.
- Don't regularly go to bars. I don't care whether or not you drink, if you don't go to a bar to do it, or if you don't do it at all, you are seriously limiting yourself in potential mates. Excellent way to stay single.
- Also good is if you refuse to date anyone you work with. Given modern life, most folks don't get to meet many people anywhere else once leaving school. Of course, there's actually some sense behind not dating people you work with, but that doesn't stop most folks. Hey, at least it gives me something to talk about on my lunch break.
- Like yourself, or really like your job, or have something satisfying in your life. If you have this, what can you use to strike up a conversation? I mean, what if you don't have an unhappy childhood to complain about? What will you discuss then? Television?
- Don't give a shit about where the toilet seat is, how you squeeze the toothpaste tube, or which way the toilet paper roll is put on. This is a bit more long term, but remember, eventually you will need to have things to argue about to keep the relationship alive.
- And of course, the easiest way to stay single is to have in mind exactly what you want from a relationship with someone. You're better off dating yourself at that point.

Well I’ll be jiggered if every single one of these doesn’t apply to me (at least I like to think the first one does).

A victory for science!

Commentary, August 19, 2005

It really lifts my spirits when I hear things like this. Although a relatively small victory in the war against antiscience, it is a victory nonetheless.

"For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root"

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Another significant day

One year ago today I met a lovely girl who has become one of my closest friends, one of my all-time favourite people and even my new house-mate: Hide.

¡Aniversario feliz!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hooray for boobies

You know what, I'm not going to deny it. I like boobies. I am a fan of human mammary glands. I like milk, but I like the packaging even more

I read somewhere that by looking at breasts for ten minutes a day I could help prevent heart disease. I don't know how true it is, but I'm not going to argue

Tonight I was pleasantly surprised. I went to a friend's birthday thing, which was a stand-up comedy show. What I didn't know was that before the comedy started, there was an hour long dance... uh... show

It was nothing lewd, all very tasteful. But they were topless a lot of the time. Excellent

I may not be a fan of strip joints, but the truth is everything seems better on the other side of boobies. And since I don't have a girlfriend's breasts to look at, I have to take them where I can get them

Suddenly my life doesn't seem so bleak

Stop judging me. I'm single. I'm allowed to like boobies.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Generic Star Trek problem solving

Generic Star Trek problem solving@Everything2.com

This should have been included in the Officer's Training course at Starfleet Academy.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Men are stupid, women are evil, food is good

Men are stupid, women are evil, food is good@Everything2.com

Yeah.

Lock 'n load!



This is the next Starfleet uniform I’m going to be putting together.

It’s the ‘Combat Fatigues’ or ‘Battle Dress Uniform’ from the 2375 set, which is the fictional era the Dauntless is set in.

I’ve decided I’m going to get kitted for paintball, so it seems only logical that part of that kit should be a Starfleet uniform… that way I can represent while I’m paintballing.

It won’t be 100% accurate, but it will be obviously the same uniform. Instead of the neoprene (or perhaps it was foam rubber sheathed in trilobal) they were made of for the show, I was thinking something more canvassy. Rugged, and easily washable.

Plus if I have it made a size or two too big, I can easily fit all the body armour I want underneath it.

It’s going to be frikken cool!

Ascertain

Decipher - The Art of Great Games



This is the card that cost me the tournament on Saturday.

I had my usual Federation 2-Mission-win deck running with a couple of improvements.

In the first round I was paired with Bruce and his Borg deck.

I've played him a couple of times before, but his Borg deck was always clumsy and slow, and didn't really pose much of a threat to me. I also knew the holes in the Borg affiliation that I could exploit as far as Dilemmas were concerned, so I wasn't worried.

He attempted his third Mission, I used my first Dilemma (Harsh Conditions) to block his Locutus then gave him a sure-fire Dilemma targeting Diplomacy or Law... no way out, he was going to fail the attempt, and I was going to win on my next turn.

Then he produced Ascertain. I hadn't seen it before... somehow I had overlooked it upon inspecting the card list of the latest expansion. He replaced the Diplomacy requirement with 2 Programming and easily slipped past with the Borg abundance of Programming Personnel.

There was much swearing.

I ended up in 2nd place.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I remember when it was me who made you want to take over the world and enslave humanity

I remember when it was me who made you want to take over the world and enslave humanity (idea)@Everything2.com

What is the Future of Diagnostic Medicine? - Popular Science

What is the Future of Diagnostic Medicine? - Popular Science

The concept of personalised medicine is a very exciting one from a Transhumanist point of view. Customising medical treatments specifically for you... testing everything that can be tested to as to be able to predict future medical problems and stop them before they start.

Proactive beats reactive every time.

The biggest question I have, as is mentioned in this article, is what about the Medical Insurance companies? Will they be as eager to fork over the cash for preventative medicine as they are for treatments of exisiting conditions?

Sure, Discovery Health and a few others in South Africa make a big deal about promoting general healthy living by providing discounts for gym memberships and other healthy lifestyle activities, but that's cheap in comparison to full-body CT scans, genome sequencing and goodness knows what other tests can be performed for each and every one of their clients.

I'm fairly confident that I will live to see the 22nd century, but then I live in a somewhat privelaged social class. These kinds of advances are meaningless if they can only be provided to the rich... who is going to pay for the CT machines and geneticists to examine the millions, or possibly billions of those folks who are living below the bread-line around the world?

Captalism, the true expression of the 'survival of the fittest' ethos, is going to result in a speciation... I can see it coming.

The humanitarian in me becomes outraged at the mere thought of it, but he is soon calmed by the cold logic of my inner Neitzcheist.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Jhuger - Kissing Hank's Ass

Jhuger - Kissing Hank's Ass

I'm not really a big J. Huger fan, but this page is brilliant.

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

James Randi Educational Foundation � An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Duke asked me for this link, but I figured it would be cool to share it with the rest of you guys. Enjoy!

Early Christmas gift hint: this comes in hard-cover too :-)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

She's fired

LD slipped up and blew her chance.

On Thursday evening I invited her to come visit me. Although she said she was interested, she didn’t give me an answer.

After asking her three times if she was going to be coming through she gave me some lame excuse about how she had gotten the dates mixed up for an assignment and that she would have to work on it all night.

Now while this is exactly the kind of thing she would do, I don’t believe her for a moment. She didn’t explain her evasiveness and didn’t apologise for the last-minute cancellation. Nevertheless I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and let her off the hook.

She then emailed me first thing the next morning as if nothing had happened. I asked her if she had finished her work, and I haven’t heard from her since.

This is exactly the kind of behaviour she used to exhibit before. Unreliable, untrustworthy and generally disrespectful. Although I may not be able to prove that she did anything on Thursday night other than what she said she was doing, her attitude makes it clear that she is hiding something.

Maybe I’m being unfair and asking too much from her, but the fact is I deserve better than this. It’s obvious she’s not ready to give me what I’m looking for. I’m not going to waste any more time or mental bandwidth on her.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I was touched by his noodly appendage

Open letter from the First United Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the Kansas School Board demanding that the equally valid theory of Flying Spaghetti Monsterism be given equal time in school along with Intelligent Design and real-life science.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

It’s time

No more fannying about. The time has come for me to shuffle off this illusion of obscurity I have worked so hard to maintain, and for me to step up and truly embrace my destiny: To become the Emperor of All the Earth and Beyond!

Since all of you mere mortals couldn’t stop me even if you wanted to, I see no harm in telling you of my plans.

Step 1: Vision and Mission Statement.

This part is easy. I want to become the absolute ruler of planet Earth and all its people. Then, once I’ve accomplished all that, I’m going to blow it up.

The blowing up thing is Phase 2, and I’ve already dealt with that in a previous post. This post deals specifically with Phase 1.

Step 2: Obtain a Trusted Lieutenant

This must be someone I can rely on 100%. If I have a dodgy Trusted Lieutenant my entire plan could fail. If some would-be-hero were to try and infiltrate my plans, a less-than-perfect Trusted Lieutenant would provide him a perfect opportunity. I can’t have that.

If you think you’d make a good Trusted Lieutenant, let me know. I’m holding interviews.

Step 3: Obtain Legions of Terror

This is an enormous army of fanatical followers who are dedicated to my cause. There are, of course, many different types of Legions of Terror. My favourites at this point are as follows:

- Storm Troopers (a little mundane, but easy to come by)
- Evil Ninjas (Very cool)
- Flying Monkeys (expensive – I’d have to have them custom made)
- Killer Robots (Extra nifty. I happen to know some geeks that could help me make really cool ones… ones that can’t be overcome by lame-ass Star Trek-esque logical paradoxes)
- Mutant Zombies (I’m not convinced about these)
- Undead Knights (There’s something to be said for using soldiers that are already dead)

I suppose these are all subject to availability. And there’s no reason I can’t have all of them. Once I have recruited my Trusted Lieutenant I’ll know what resources I have at my disposal for obtaining my Legions of Terror.

Step 4: Obtain a Lair

It’s very important to choose the right Lair. A hollowed out volcano is always first prize, but it’s not always practical… especially if it’s still active.

I’ve looked at getting hold of some old missile silos as a temporary solution. I would need somewhere to launch some vehicles into space so that I can construct my Orbital Palace with a Really Big Gun (The Big Gun is for Phase 2).

It would also need to be roomy enough to store my Giant Robot Battlesuit and have an indoor training area for my Legions of Terror.

It might be even cooler if I built it on a site of great significance… like in a giant cavern underneath the Great Pyramid. That would help with Step 6.

Step 5: Eliminate the Competition

I’ll have to remove any other major players who are also vying for world domination. This would include G.W. Bush, Bill Gates, Barney the Dinosaur, Elvis, the Masons and Mensa.

My Legions of Terror will have to include a team of specialized assassins for this task (Ninjas perhaps?)

Step 6: Enslave the People

This is the fun part. I use my Legions of Terror to locate and crush any sort of resistance movements and to enforce my new laws (don’t worry, they’ll be cool laws).

I’ll also use things like propaganda and the Delphi technique to convince the people that even though I’m evil, I’m really not such a bad guy, and that it’s a pretty good idea to do what I say… or else.


Well, there it is: my brilliant plan. It can’t possibly go wrong.

Everyone feel free to join me for a “Mwahahahahah!”

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Science of Stealth - Popular Science

The Science of Stealth - Popular Science

Hmm... a rogue artificially intelligent UCAV so evil that it downloads pirate music from the Internet.

Now I have to see it!

Truth Or Fiction - email reality check - verify rumors

Truth Or Fiction - email reality check - verify rumors

Finally a weapon to aid me in my crusade against the propagation of silly emails rumours and chain-mails.

Before you pass on that ridiculous email, LOOK IT UP HERE!