Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Youtube have lost the plot

This is almost impossible to believe. YouTube have suspended the account of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), one of our planet's foremost organisations dedicated to the promotion of scepticism, rationality and the debunking of pseudoscientific bullshit. No reasons have been given yet and it's idle to speculate. JREF President Phil Plait asks for patience while they work on a resolution with YouTube. He also thanks people for their support - so here is my bit. Pass on this video and, if you feel so inclined, complain at the address below.

Youtube have lost the plot - JREF account suspended

From dprjones:
To complain to youtube follow this link;

Scroll to the very bottom and click on "new issue"

Select "suspended account" from the options and express your opinion.

The mediafire link is;

Thank you

And I've just heard that the Rational Response Squad have been suspended too.

Don't know any details yet, but this has happened to them before. What is the world coming to? Grow into these trousers... >>

Monday, 30 March 2009

Sheep art

I just had to pass this on:

Extreme Sheep LED Art

Thanks to GrrlScientist <<<< great blog - go look! Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Red Dwarf: Series 4 -Episode 5

Arnold Rimmer - what a guy!

Red Dwarf ~ Dimension Jump ~ Part 1 of 3

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.

Red Dwarf ~ Dimension Jump ~ Part 2 of 3

Red Dwarf ~ Dimension Jump ~ Part 3 of 3
Grow into these trousers... >>

A limit to scientific knowledge?

I just paid a visit to The Random Fish and found a link to a BBC news article that's well worth a read.

What do you get if you divide science by God?

It's an interesting article about the 2009 winner of the Templeton Prize, Bernard d’Espagnat. The prize is awarded to honour:
"a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works."
From the article at Templeton:
"...d’Espagnat has written and lectured extensively on the philosophical significance of the universal truths of quantum mechanics. He notes, however, that quantum physics merely predicts observational results. As far as describing reality, it suggests that not only our plain, everyday concepts of objects but also our scientific concepts refer only to phenomena – that is, to mere appearances common to all.

Still, d’Espagnat warns, experiments often falsify theories and so there must exist, beyond mere appearances, something that resists us and lies beyond the phenomena, a “veiled reality” that science does not describe but only glimpses uncertainly. In turn, contrary to those who claim that matter is the only reality, the possibility that other means, including spirituality, may also provide a window on ultimate reality cannot be ruled out, d’Espagnat insists, by cogent scientific arguments. Although he concedes the theological implications of the term “veiled reality,” he guards against using it as justification for specific religious doctrines which can be falsified by reason and fact."
My feelings are more in line with Steven Weinberg and Martin Rees in the BBC report above. Physics can seem 'chillingly impersonal' (so can biology, just watch a wildlife documentary). Does it matter if we can't conceptualise where quantum theory is leading? I think not. The theory works exquisitely. Scientific hypothesis and experiment can still continue even if no one currently understands the contortions and ramifications of, say, a super-dimensional space (though they try). So long as there is a chain of logic to be followed then holding a mental picture, as of a 3d object, is not important. An underlying 'veiled reality', as d’Espagnat postulates, could be shattered tomorrow by one person's insight. Or the universe might get more interesting by becoming even less intuitive. Who knows? It's still today. Science offers hope; 'veiled reality', like religion, is a closing door to inquiry.


Bonus thought for a Sunday:
"The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand."
Frank Herbert (1920 – 1986)

and a previous TFAS:
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm.... that's funny...'.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992) Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Music continues

I do enjoy hearing a well structured song. One where the backing complements an insightful lyric line and which has the light and shade to be truly memorable. Here's an example, and the deep growling saxophone is ace.

Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - The Tears Of A Clown
Grow into these trousers... >>

It's a musical time

For a change.

Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony

4th movement

For anyone searching, the 1973 Hovis advert is below the belt...

2nd movement Part 1

Hovis 'Bike' advert 1973 (Britain's favourite TV ad)
Grow into these trousers... >>


Read on at Abstruse Goose. Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Women, politics and religion

I took a taxi home a few nights* ago. I knew the driver (I know many of the local taxi drivers :) and during the short journey we usually enjoy a serious but light hearted conversation, if that makes sense. It's not unknown for us to continue, parked at the roadside, to round off a discussion.

My friend, though a cab driver, is well educated, intelligent and widely traveled. He is also a devout Moslem. I am not, but even though we are on either side of a wide divide, we both enjoy these exchanges. Well I do and I'm sure it's mutual. We talk about science or politics or music or the news or whatever. Or religion, quite often. Usually we share a laugh about our ability to 'agree to disagree'.

Good banter... Until the other night when I asked about the position of women under sharia law. Out of the blue came "women are no good at running countries".

I hit back with Magrat Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto which seemed to cause a sharp intake of breath, and damn! I was home, and we couldn't carry on because of parked cars and traffic. Next time...

To make my own position clear:
I believe in equality between all people. Black, white, brown, olive, yellow, red, green, blue or orange. Male, female, non-gendered, cross-gendered, medically re-gendered, transsexual, transvestite, bisexual, homosexual, lesbian, hermaphrodite or those who have suffered desexualization by disease, accident or Bobbitt. Rich or poor, strong or weak. Educated, streetwise or neither, healthy or ill, young or old, religious or atheistic, sober or drunk we should all be equal under the law of the land.
J.A. Holroyd 26.03.09
Now I have had time to think, and look-up female presidents and prime ministers etc, I should have started with Pharaoh Hatshepsut of Egypt.

Below the belt, as a memory jogger for myself, I reproduce this list from About.com of women political leaders from 1960 to 2000ish.

  1. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka
    Prime Minister, 1960-1965, 1970-1977, 1994-2000.
  2. Indira Gandhi, India
    Prime Minister, 1966-77, 1980-1984.
  3. Golda Meir, Israel
    Prime Minister, 1969-1974.
  4. Isabel Peron, Argentina
    President, 1974-1976
  5. Elisabeth Domitien, Central African Republic
    Prime Minister, 1975-1976
  6. Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain
    Prime Minister, 1979-1990.
  7. Maria da Lourdes Pintasilgo, Portugal
    Prime Minister, 1979-1980.
  8. Lidia Gueiler Tejada, Bolivia
    Prime Minister, 1979-1980.
  9. Dame Eugenia Charles, Dominica
    Prime Minister, 1980-1995.
  10. Vigdís Finnbogadóttír, Iceland
    President, 1980-96.
  11. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway
    Prime Minister, 1981, 1986-1989, 1990-1996.
  12. Soong Ching-Ling, Peoples' Republic of China
    Honorary President, 1981.
  13. Milka Planinc, Yugoslavia
    Federal Prime Minister, 1982-1986.
  14. Agatha Barbara, Malta
    President, 1982-1987.
  15. Maria Liberia-Peters, Netherlands Antilles
    Prime Minister, 1984-1986, 1988-1993.
  16. Corazon Aquino, Philippines
    President, 1986-92.
  17. Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan
    Prime Minister, 1988-1990, 1993-1996.
  18. Kazimiera Danuta Prunskiena, Lithuania
    Prime Minister, 1990-91.
  19. Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, Nicaragua
    Prime Minister, 1990-1996.
  20. Mary Robinson, Ireland
    President, 1990-1997.
  21. Ertha Pascal Trouillot, Haiti
    Interim President, 1990-1991.
  22. Sabine Bergmann-Pohl, German Democratic Republic
    President, 1990.
  23. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar (Burma)
    Her party won 80% of the seats in a democratic election in 1990, but the military government refused to recognize the results. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
  24. Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh
    Prime Minister, 1991-1996.
  25. Edith Cresson, France
    Prime Minister, 1991-1992.
  26. Hanna Suchocka, Poland
    Prime Minister, 1992-1993.
  27. Kim Campbell, Canada
    Prime Minister, 1993.
  28. Sylvie Kinigi, Burundi
    Prime Minister, 1993-1994.
  29. Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Rwanda
    Prime Minister, 1993-1994.
  30. Susanne Camelia-Romer, Netherlands Antilles
    Prime Minister, 1993, 1998-
  31. Tansu Çiller, Turkey
    Prime Minister, 1993-1995.
  32. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, Sri Lanka
    Prime Minister, 1994, President, 1994-
  33. Reneta Indzhova, Bulgaria
    Interim Prime Minister, 1994-1995.
  34. Claudette Werleigh, Haiti
    Prime Minister, 1995-1996.
  35. Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Bangladesh
    Prime Minister, 1996-.
  36. Mary McAleese, Ireland
    President, 1997-.
  37. Pamela Gordon, Bermuda
    Premier, 1997-1998.
  38. Janet Jagan, Guyana
    Prime Minister, 1997, President, 1997-1999.
  39. Jenny Shipley, New Zealand
    Prime Minister, 1997-1999.
  40. Ruth Dreifuss, Switzerland
    President, 1999-2000.
  41. Jennifer Smith, Bermuda
    Prime Minister, 1998-.
  42. Nyam-Osoriyn Tuyaa, Mongolia
    Acting Prime Minister, July 1999.
  43. Helen Clark, New Zealand
    Prime Minister, 1999-.
  44. Mireya Elisa Moscoso de Arias, Panama
    President, 1999-.
  45. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia
    President, 1999-.
  46. Tarja Kaarina Halonen, Finland
    President, 2000-.

I've included Tarja Kaarina Halonen because, by most reckonings, the year 2000 is actually part of the 20th century. (The year "0" didn't exist, so a century starts with the year "1" - or so the logic goes.) As the 21st century arrived, yet another was added: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo - President of the Philippines, sworn in on January 20, 2001. Mame Madior Boye became Prime Minister in Senegal in March of 2001. Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of founding head of state Sukarno, was selected as Indonesia's fifth president in 2001 after losing in 1999. We can only hope that many others will be on a list of Women Presidents and Prime Ministers for the 21st century. I've limited this list, however, to the history of women heads of state for the 20th century, and will not add anyone who took office after 2001.

* It wasn't 1001 nights.
Grow into these trousers... >>

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

What a good idea

Barstool Design Win

There's even little bowls for your roasted nuts!

fail owned pwned pictures

Via FailBlog. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

How is this for stupid?

On the first day:
I go for a quiet beer at teatime...

Earlier in the day, the Landlord of my local went to the nearby Screwfix store for two of those stickers to grace his emergency doors. All as per regulations and law (but I must say that there are occasions when I have performed this action repeatedly and still not got the reward!).

However, the store was out of stock and only had one of these stickers. Arrangements were made to deliver the second one on the following day.

When asked how he would transport the single sticker, and if packaging was needed, said Landlord rolled up the sticker, pushed it in a pocket and mounted his (rather cool) motorbike to go back home.

On the second day:
I go for a quiet beer at teatime and end up in a photoshoot...

There was a delivery as promised, by the couriers DHL.
It's so big I have to put it below the belt. And I am not talking about my Darwinesque beard. Photo alert!!!!

Here is the sticker:

And here is the box it came in, no joking:

Grow into these trousers... >>

Monday, 23 March 2009

Gullibility as a human trait?

I just watched some great videos of chimpanzees over at Afarensis, take time to watch them all too. Myself, I am amazed at chimps' intelligence and resourcefulness though I maybe should not be given our shared heritage. There are times, however when the difference between us is clearly demonstrated.

Chimpanzee vs. Human child learning (1/2)

Update: Oops, accidentally posted part (2/2) - got it right now. Both are worth seeing though. Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Not so much a close shave as...

Duncanr at The Mad Hatters asks if we prefer the bikini line waxed or au natural. My own preferences are very clear:

Now watch Dan Dennett as he begins to explain the roots of attraction.

Cute, sexy, sweet and funny -- an evolutionary riddle
Grow into these trousers... >>

Semi chilled #2

I just tripped over New World Odor's blog via Alpha Inventions, there's a post of the band 'Midnight Oil' unplugged, go visit. It got me thinking but the best I could come up with is this.

Men at work: Land down under
Grow into these trousers... >>

Time wasting games again

Deep Pearl

Shoot groups of bubbles with the same colour. If you miss, or hit a lone bubble, the clusters grow. Quickly.

The screenshot shows me in big trouble, I'll have to bounce off the side wall and hope to hit the group rather than the single purple...

Ah well, I missed, reload level. Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

Translations of the holy Koran.

From Sura 23:33

Do not force your girls into prostitution to make money if they want to be chaste. If they have been compelled to do so, God will be All-merciful and All-forgiving to them.
Muhammad Sarwar - 1981?
But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in the goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, is Allah, Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (to them)
Abdullah Yusuf Ali - 1938
Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful.
Marmaduke Pickthall - 1930?

Truly the mercy of Allah knows no bounds. Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Red Dwarf: Series 4 -Episode 4

An IQ of 6000? Planetary pool?
Everyday life continues aboard Red Dwarf.

Red Dwarf ~ White Hole ~ Part 1 of 3

The balls are addressed below the belt.

Red Dwarf ~ White Hole ~ Part 2 of 3

Red Dwarf ~ White Hole ~ Part 3 of 3
Grow into these trousers... >>

Oh, come on - I'm not that drunk

Pink elephant is caught on camera


How do I say this?


Flying pig alert:

Grow into these trousers... >>

Lost Generation?

I think not. Not while that generation is making videos like this.

Submitted to the AARP* U@50 challenge a couple of years ago, where entrants had to
create an original video (your "Video Submission") not exceeding two minutes in length that describes how you envision your future and upload it to YouTube
this video came second. Why it didn't win I can't fathom out. Take a moment [1:44] to watch, it's brilliant.

See the Uat50 YouTube channel for all the entries and big thanks to econoom for the tip.
* AARP stands for American Association of Retired Persons according to Wikipedia. Their own site, even in the 'History' section, strangely fails to mention this. Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 20 March 2009

Here comes Spring!

Happy vernal equinox. From now till October, the days will be longer than the nights. Phew! We've had a few warm sunny days here in West Yorkshire though early morning mists, or just being in the shade, can still make it feel cold.

Pollen is in the air, so the hay-fever sufferers tell me. I've seen queen bumblebees flying, presumably looking for nest sites, and one of my (two) cats brought in the hind leg of a young rabbit. Left by their food bowls it was clearly a 'share' gesture. That's the first rabbit kill this year, there will be many more.

Anyway, Spring is sprung and a young man's fancy turns to lust (or something like that, I forget), so here's an introductory lecture into the nature of sex. Professor Robert Sapolsky explains the ins and outs of sexual reproduction.

Note: it's a long video [1h 40m] but interesting, funny and very educational. Make time and listen, you will be entertained. Highly recommended.

Prof. Robert Sapolsky on the Neurobiology of Primate Sexuality: Part 1

There's a part 2 but I've still to see it I just saw it and I guess Prof. Sapolsky will does enthuse in the same way.
Many thanks to Bayblab for the link. Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 19 March 2009

!k me - it's work

Google Street View is now in the UK. See BBC news for a write-up and the list of cities covered so far. Here's where I work:

No kidding. These photos are very recent, if you click the link and spin round 180° some of that scaffolding is still there. If you zoom out - well I'm not sure who is in the car parked on double yellows, and the image is Google distorted. But if I wanted to (I don't) I bet I could find out. Does this raise privacy problems? You bet it does.

A few steps East and South shows the Civic hall clock. Ten minutes later and I probably would be on the street below.

Though time is relative as Leeds Town Hall clock clearly demonstrates.
Grow into these trousers... >>

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Semi chilled

10cc - Dreadlock Holiday [totp2]
Grow into these trousers... >>

Amanda Gefter - How to spot a hidden religious agenda

Last month I posted about a New Scientist article by Amanda Gefter reminding us all How to spot a hidden religious agenda. If you visit that NS link now you see this:
New Scientist has received a legal complaint about the contents of this story. At the advice of our lawyer it has temporarily been removed while we investigate. Apologies for any inconvenience.
What? This was good article and deserves to be read by a wide audience, especially in the UK where the ill conceived idea of 'Intelligent Design' is creeping into the science teaching of some schools.

The internet wins again because the article is now re-posted all over. Read it, and beware the next time you open a newspaper, view television, or review your kid's school curriculum. I wait to see who (note the singular) has made the 'legal complaint' and why.
Via everyone in science blogosphere. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Online image editing/painting application

Surprisingly, this was in a 'Learning and Teaching' circular I get at work. <Growl> a regular, dead tree copy, in magazine quality sent to all the xxxx's of staff, most of who will 'recycle' it unread. Why don't they spend the money on 'Learning and Teaching'?</Growl>.

The link is worth passing on though.

Need a decent image editing application but want it free? Try SUMO Paint. An online, fully featured, Flash based tool that's quick to load up and seems to have all the functions you might expect from paid for software.

As you can probably tell I'm no artist (except in the p*ss department), but there's a gallery from the more talented on their home page.

Have a play! Grow into these trousers... >>

Monday, 16 March 2009

More late night music

It's late, and in the morning I'll have to 'roll away the dew'.

Master mudicians playing a two chord riff.

Grateful Dead - Franklin's Tower @ Radio City 10-31-80
Grow into these trousers... >>

Bit of late-night fiddle and mandolin

Here you go:

Fairport Convention Live
Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Red Dwarf: Series 4 -Episode 3

Space mumps, escort boots and the justice field.

Red Dwarf ~ Justice ~ Part 1 of 3

Big problems below the belt...

Red Dwarf ~ Justice ~ Part 2 of 3

Red Dwarf ~ Justice ~ Part 3 of 3
Grow into these trousers... >>

MMR and autism / Reality FTW

Ben Goldacre, Guardian columnist and blogger of Bad Science fame, had a spot on ITV London news last week. I'll re-post it here for the rational amongst us.

The story goes back to early this year when LBC Radio presenter Jeni Barnett paraded her ignorance live on air with a mind numbing, hour long, screech against MMR vaccination. Ben posted the audio but was swiftly ordered to delete it by LBC's lawyers. Of course, in true internet fashion, it then spread even more widely. I heard it via The Lay Scientist (whose blog page features in Ben's report - kudos Martin), and blogged about the issues here and here. You can currently listen to Jeni's diatribe on YouTube, where are the lawyers now?

Anyway back to the point, Ben made this clip to respond to the irresponsible, scaremongering, poorly educated Jeni Barnett's of this world, enjoy:

Tips for mainstream media:
  1. A balanced argument is not about giving equal air time to the guy with the 'portents of doom' sandwich board.
  2. The plural of anecdote is not data.
  3. Measles is not a trivial childhood illness - MEASLES KILLS.
Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

The Yorkshireman's prayer

'Hear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
and if ever tha does owt for nowt,
do it for thissen'. Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 14 March 2009

There are times in life, things don't work out...

and you've just got to say:

Grow into these trousers... >>

So You Think You Can Fly?

Is this guy an unbelievably skilled pilot or is he stupid and lucky?
I'll go with lucky.

Now this is real skill.

Grow into these trousers... >>

One of these could be useful

how arguments should end
Grow into these trousers... >>

Half an hour of Bullshit!

An early episode from Penn and Teller's excellent series takes a sceptical look at ESP:

Penn & Teller (1/3) ESP

The debunking continues below the belt.

Penn & Teller (2/3) ESP

Penn & Teller (3/3) ESP
Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 13 March 2009

Addendum #2 - It's not just science or music

I forgot mathematics,
and art,
and history,
and philosophy,
and linguistics,

and brewing!

:) Grow into these trousers... >>

Addendum to last post - It's not just science

It's not just science that enables learning. There's music too. See this New Scientist article.

Music lessons provide a workout for the brain. Grow into these trousers... >>

A great way to teach science

Thanks to GrrlScientist for this video link. OK, sometimes doing real science can be boring drudgery, but when you are young it should be gob-smacking and amazing and... FUN!

As you grow up in science you realise that you have to do the repetitive stuff to gather raw data. Then you can have fun! Playing with your own original observations and maybe learning something new about the world.

Getting older, if you are lucky, you can employ others to do the spade work. You still get to see all the results and hopefully, guiding by your own experience, you can pass on your youthful exuberance to new generations. Or with the right idea, your own or someone else's, explore a bright new horizon.

Older still and you just fly round the world eating lavish conference dinners, so I am told! Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 12 March 2009

I'll try not to...

I often get a laugh get from double entendres, innocent misunderstandings and mistranslations. This is one reason why I like the site Engrish and it's more mature co-site Adult Engrish.

I'm hoping the real translation is more like 'keep your dog on a lead'. Grow into these trousers... >>

Drummer needed

Calling musicians in Northern England. My good friends Siva are looking for a drummer after a mix-up/fall-out, you know the kind of thing that happens sometimes. There are gigs in the diary and studio time booked. These guys are rising stars, great musicians and talented songwriters so if you play drums contact them via MySpace or leave a comment here and I'll put you in touch. Check out their recordings and videos anyway - impressive.

Grow into these trousers... >>

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

'Mantra' and 'Sons of Merrick' - This Saturday, in Cleckheaton


Sons of Merrick

I hadn't realised but local promoters NAFF Music (ie my partners in musical crime Steve and Rammy - get a website guys FFS) have a top line-up for this Saturday night, 14th March.

If you are in the Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield area then shift your asses to Mead Hall@The George in Cleckheaton (zoom) this could be a classic. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Edgar Meyer and Béla Fleck - right music!

From the 2002 Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee.

If you haven't seen this DVD yet, or any of the other years, then do yourself a favour and look it up. There's just one or two tracks from each band, so the music is very varied, but it's played to an exceptional standard. I guarantee something for everyone’s taste.

My fav (Phil Lesh and Bob Wier, ex Grateful Dead) isn't on YouTube yet but this will do for now:

Edgar Meyer (bass) and Béla Fleck (banjo), I think it's called 'The B song'.

Grow into these trousers... >>

Monday, 9 March 2009

Red Dwarf: Series 4 -Episode 2

Do you get aroused by electrical appliances, and then take Polaroids?
It's all part of being human.

Red Dwarf ~ D.N.A ~ Pt 1 of 3

"I want to talk to you about my penis"

Red Dwarf ~ D.N.A ~ Pt 2 of 3

Red Dwarf ~ D.N.A ~ Pt 3 of 3
Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 8 March 2009

More Beer

Place the pipes to link the kegs up to the bar. Keep the beer flowing or the customers will kick you out. MORE BEER. Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

No man is an island. entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne (1572 – 1631)

Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions (1624)
Meditation XVII. Grow into these trousers... >>

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Popeye the Sailor

Is this truly the first ever episode? I was weaned on this TV cartoon series and it transports me back in time. No dates, no clue, but I'm sure I've seen this before. As in ' blue rocket bracers' times (see header text above). Wow!

popeye 1st episode
Grow into these trousers... >>

A fishy story about sex

Recently there have been news reports of fossil finds which show that, 380 million years ago in the Devonian, fish were reproducing by internal fertilization and giving birth to live offspring. PZ Myers had a good post on this, see 'Exposing the intimate details of the sex lives of placoderms', and Nature have released a video describing the fossils and their interpretation. Watch it on YouTube:

F**king ancient fish! This of course raises questions as to the lineage of land vertebrates such as ourselves. The majority of fish reproduce externally by spawning (the aquarium guppy is another exception though I'm sure there are more). Amphibians can vary. Most spawn, though the females of some frogs and salamanders can take up the male's sperm packet to fertilize their eggs inside. The unusual caecilians all practice insemination, though some species then lay eggs whilst some give birth to live young. Reptiles, birds and mammals all copulate, sometimes with surprising variety.

But there remains one important question I have to ask.

Did Tiktaalik fuck? Inquiring minds would like to know.
(And if so, did the guys dress to the left or to the right?)
Thanks to Atheist Media Blog for the video link. Grow into these trousers... >>


Is now online. All your questions are answered. Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 6 March 2009

Motorhead visit The Young Ones

Motorhead - The Young Ones - 'nuff said.

motorhead - ace of spades (the young ones 1984)
Grow into these trousers... >>

What If God Disappeared?

Everyone else seems to be posting What If God Disappeared? by that lovely young man, Edward Current. But honestly I think he's better as a salesman than a pastor. Or maybe not, see for yourself:

PrayerMAX 5000™ Commercial

Edward's counselling skills are below the belt

Resisting The Urge: A Guide For Christian Boys
Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Red Dwarf: Series 4 -Episode 1

Here we go with series 4.
Another classic episode for the smeg heads.

Red Dwarf ~ Camille ~ Part 1 of 3

Smeg off below the belt for the rest.

Red Dwarf ~ Camille ~ Part 2 of 3

Red Dwarf ~ Camille ~ Part 3 of 3
Grow into these trousers... >>

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Great news - PZ Myers to write for The Guardian

Top UK newspaper The Guardian started a new science column last Monday and I have just learned that "leading American evolutionary biologist" PZ Myers is to be a monthly contributor. If you are a scientist, a sceptic or an atheist (or all three) and you are not following Myers' blog Pharyngula then you are missing out big time. He can be quite funny too.

The Guardian column will also feature:
A good crowd to counter the vomit that the media normally chucks our way.

Combining this with the existing Bad Science column from Ben Goldacre makes a winner with me. Grow into these trousers... >>

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Hard day on the planet - more Loudon Wainwright III

I guess I first heard Loudon Wainwright III in the mid 1970s. Later he had a regular spot on one of Jasper Carrott's TV comedy shows, sometime early 1980s (?). Exactly when this version of 'Hard day' was recorded I have no idea, but it sounds like yesterday.

Loudon Wainwright - Hard day on the planet
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Monday, 2 March 2009

Do You Have Biblical Morals?

Take this test to find out. It seems I do not have biblical morals, thank Dog. Rather, I have a real sense of morality.

Your morality is 0% in line with that of the bible.

Damn you heathen! Your book learnin' has done warped your mind. You shall not be invited next time I sacrifice a goat.

Do You Have Biblical Morals?
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I took this test too, to be honest I'm a bit disappointed with my score. Oh well, at least I've read the thing.

You know the Bible 73%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
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Men! Beware!

Take a small bicycle clip, attach a jubilee clip with teeth. I was going to say 'like an inverse circular saw', but my buddy says it's more like a man trap!

Why? Follow this link, and then this one. Just the where's the cut-off point? (I can't believe I just typed that!)

Oh well, it's another reason why we're all going to hell. Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Timewaster time

Picross 2
The numbers describe the pattern to fill in the blocks. Think carefully, 5 mistakes and you're out.

As before, follow the link and then click PLAY THIS GAME! Grow into these trousers... >>

Red Dwarf: Series 3 -Episode 6

Kryten's service contract expires when his replacement is delivered. The crew throw a farewell party.

Red Dwarf III "The Last Day" (Part 1 of 3)

There are two more bits below the belt.

Red Dwarf III "The Last Day" (Part 2 of 3)

Red Dwarf III "The Last Day" (Part 3 of 3)
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A thought for a Sunday

"You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind".

Timothy Francis Leary (22 October 1920 – 31 May 1996)

Quote from Office Yoga : Simple Stretches for Busy People (2000) by Darrin Zeer. Grow into these trousers... >>