Tuesday, 9 January 2007


Sunday, December 25, 2005

All Right, I'm The Grinch!
Sitting here, just had two very good friends over for a great dinner and drinks and talk and talk and talk until about 30 minutes ago, and they don't celebrate Christmas although they are Christian, and I've decided I like that more than what Christmas has become...
I'm the Grinch. Bah humbug!
Let's face it, the kids are expecting a fat jolly myth who dresses like a Coca Cola advertisement, to put presents which were obtained at the Altar of Myers and Woolies, under a tree which is symbolic of an almost forgotten pagan festival, on a day which most theologians and historians agree is not the right birthdate of Jesus the Christ anyway...
I think I just said it all in that one paragraph, damn. Now the rest of this article has nowhere to go. Good morning, Merry Christmas, and I hope you enjoy it.
Categories - ::/:: posted at 2:04 AM Ted Comment made, yay!
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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Technology Accelerates. Even Back In 2500BC.
I loved the BC comics. Hart and Parker found offbeat ideas and turned them into comics that made me choke with laughter at each new book that came out.
In particular, I'll always remember one particular series of panels that took the concept of technology acceleration to the ridiculous. In the first panel one fo them invents a device and challenges the others to guess what it is. The reader can see it's a nail, and his clue is 'I'll give you a clue, it's useless without a hammer.'
That leads to a series of panels that just escalate the technology. Because of the nail and hammer, someone else invents the first telephone and nails it to a tree. Another character sort of says well big deal, who you going to call with that thing.
While they're standing looking at the world's first and supposedly only telephone, it rings, then stops. 'Call them back' says someone. The inventor picks up the phone and then puts it back down again looking stunned.
'It's busy...'
So imagine my amusement at finding this story online today:
'Hey wefound a 5,500 year old civilisation!'
'What happened to them?'
'Oh, some more advanced civilisation wiped them out...'
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Saturday, December 17, 2005 10:13 AMposted at 10:12 AM Ted
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Veritable Diarrhoea Of Stuff Today
Seen on a car parked in the city today, a sticker in the back window which reads -
"Your looking at more woman than you can handle."
I had a whiteboard marker with me, tell me what else could I have done?
Wrote in erasable marker, right next to that sticker -
"And you're spelling is terrible..."
Categories - ::/:: posted at 9:11 PM Ted Comment made, yay!
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Round-up of stupid links...
Just because I've not been posting much doesn't mean I haven't been being geeky and finding stuff that amuses me online - no games but a lot of fun reading...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:51 PM Ted
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The Lousy Lifeboat part II
Not so far back, in a post far far away, I mentioned that perhaps we are not so much God's Debris as yet another loop in an endless cycle of evolutionary repeats.
I think I might have mentioned something about a planet sized ark or mothership like a big seed, carrying DNA and enough people to seed that DNA all over any likely planet.
Hmmm any idea what size and orbit a mothership like that would have to be parked at?
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 8:45 PMposted at 8:43 PM Ted
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Saturday, December 10, 2005

stupid mouse game...
stupid mouse game...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 8:06 PM Ted
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on my last post.
After my last post, I've discovered one thing. It's going to be one of the more emotive and divisive issues of the decade... While the majority of people I've spoken to agree with keeping an Australian culture Australian, there are some people who find the issues to be too distressing to contemplate. To them too I say - this is what we do here, this is our culture here - love it or shove it.
It's a pity, because we do have one of the best blended multicultural populations in the world. But the crux of the matter is and always will be, that we have to remain Australian not a blended beige place. What goes with that territory is that we have bloody kangaroos, we have bloody snakes, we have bloody Christian principles at the root of our culture - bloody well deal with it!
To my commenter about the bloody stupid and bloody insistent Christmas music in every corner shop and city store and deli and cafe - deal with it... It goes with the territory, it's once a year, and it's easy enough to tune it out of hearing. I readily admitted coming here as an immigrant, and I note that this particular commenter is also in much the same boat as myself. I repeat - it's not just part of the Australian culture, I know for a fact it's also part of my commenter's culture and part of mine.
What's not to like about Christmas is the relentless commercialisation which makes it a prerequisite for all those stores to play that music or else be thought of as 'unchristian' by the bulk of the population who are apparently Catholic extremists... hehehe... But you know what? That commercial drive comes from the influence of the United States, and is another place where we bent over to include another culture and got 'bent over' instead... So if you hate Christmas commercialism, by all means do so but don't aim that inward where it destroys our own culture.
One last thought to chew on. In Australia, the penalty for drug smuggling is not death by hanging. But Van Nguyen was not arrested on charges of drug smuggling in Australia, he was arrested in Singapore, and there, the penalty can be death. And despite all our lobbying and pressure on them the judiciary system over there stood firm. When in Rome do as the Romans do, when in Singapore don't expect Australian laws and customs to apply. And when in Australia, drink beer and say 'g'day'...
Also as I said in my last post, it's a relatively small minority making all the noise and fuss, who are ripping the guts out of Australian culture and lifestyle in a wholesale manner - and you all elected them...
Categories - ::/:: posted at 7:58 PM Ted
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Friday, December 09, 2005

the right to leave
Much as I want to appear cosmopolitan and cool and erudite and all, I hate to admit that I agree with this email I received today:
Australia- The Right to Leave Our Country
- YOU Have the right - the right to leave !
After Sydney not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas lights. After hearing that the State of South Australia changed its opinion and let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her face covered.
This prompted this editorial written by an Australian citizen.
Published in an Australian newspaper.
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.
I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity.
As Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language!
"In God We Trust" is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, Because God is part of our culture.
If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, And we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this.
But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, "THE RIGHT TO LEAVE"
If you aren't happy here then f#@* off! We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it.
I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please.
No matter how many times you receive it... please forward it to all you know.
To me the crux of the matter is that we would not be so ignorant or rude, and our hosts would not be so spineless as to grant, that, for example, for the sake of those of us living in Iraq, we asked that the Iraqis removed references to Allah from their school curricula and public places. Can you imagine that happening? Yeah right...
So to our pissweak lilylivered liberal pansy-assed politicians and the far-too-vocal minority of politically correct asskissing sycophants who seem to be running the country, I'd like to add this -
Piss off and go found your own little country where everyone is beige, with beige land and beige water and beige people and beige customs. Enjoy beige drinks and beige food and beige sex and beige tastes and beige religions and beige everybloodything for all I or the rest of Australia care - just leave God's Own Country alone!
wohoo - addendum already!
>> While I agree with some of his comments, he is part of the problem.
how so? i agree pretty much totally with the writer of that little piece of invective.
my family came here as immigrants in the early 60's. we did not try and make our neighbours speak german, we didn't ask australia to switch to the austrian custom of giving presents on christmas eve. we just asked for the freedom to be able to do that in the privacy of our own home - and we were freely granted that freedom. we learned to speak english, we didn't expect anyone whom we needed contact with to learn german. we adhered to the old old old and oh-so-true dictum that 'when in rome do as the romans' - why do you think that particular saying has survived for so long?
nope. if some poor starving indonesian family has snuck in via a refugee boat they should not expect us to all turn muslim for them. if someone from somalia came here to escape the tyranny of some pocket dictator or other well guess what, this is australia and we let them do as they want in their own homes, but we decorate our shopping centres the way we want. if they miss how there was no nativity in december back in good old nigeria, fine, go back there and see if the sledghammer to the kneecap is worth it, or if it's worth it to just sit tight, shut up, and enjoy a quaint local custom in a country which has given them freedom from having their kneecaps busted.
come on xxxxxx you have got to agree that the country's being run as a kakistocracy right now, there is not one shred of democracy left if we have to forgo our own beliefs and customs and national festivals and holidays on account a handful of ass-kissers...
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Friday, December 09, 2005 3:13 PMposted at 2:39 PM Ted More Comments: (2)
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Monday, December 05, 2005

An interesting corollary to the previous posting has just come up. Someone I know rang me about that article and their question [paraphrased by me] was this:
What about our eyes?
This is one of the sticking points of evolutionary theories, really. Basically, the question in full is 'if evolution is based on survival of the fittest, and vision is necessary to be a successful hunter, then how come so many people have eyesight defects, shouldn't those eye problems have been selected out millenia ago?'
Well, the theory of survival of the fittest and evolution may well be challenged by this but I don't think I am, at all. If, as I suspect, our recent evolutionary progress is part of a much longer chain of similar evolutionary events which we bridge each time by sending out basic DNA and material to other planets, then there's a good explanation of this, and it also explains our love affair with communication and computers. [Of which you can read more here, I've mentioned this link before but there really are some things worth exploring in the book.]
As I said, by my theory we've evolved to this stage before, on another planet. Our predecessors [in a manner of speaking] sent out an ark, an egg, which parked in orbit around the sun, found a suitable habitat, and seeded it with DNA and biological material able to survive the then prevalent conditions, confident in the knowledge that the DNA would show out and result in a species very similar to what was required.
We probably aren't that final species but we must be close to that stage, and because our final form will be a technological society good eyesight isn't a prerequisite. And that has been captured in the DNA over countless iterations, that eyesight is important in the beginning when natural selection thins the race out, but later it doesn't matter and therefore the junk DNA carries very few genes that express in perfect eyesight.
That also gives us a very good clue as to what we might evolve into or turn into, in the very near future - what communicates fast and well, has more electronic senses available to it than biological life forms and thus doesn't need good hearing or vision, instead has immense intelligence to help it survive, and can survive in the rigours of space for millennia between seeding planets with the biological precursor to itself?
Categories - ::/:: posted at 10:40 AM Ted
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The Lousy Lifeboat
Extensively rewritten later in the day when I was more awake. Enjoy...
I spend a lot of time thinking, which is unhealthy I know, but there you go...
One of the things I've often wondered about is the... the... the perfectness of everything. No I do not attribute to some supernatural agency that which is more easily explainable by observable fact, but I do find that some things are just too good to be true and that means there has to be another explanation. Given that evolution is truly random, there just hasn't been enough time to produce as much successful variation as we have.
Take life, since I just mentioned it there. It seems that if you throw stuff into a heap in a corner of some sulfurous hellhole, it will still spontaneously burst into life and start reproducing and being stubbornly and obstinately alive despite the atrocious conditions. By all rights that should actually be just a pile of dead atoms right there but no - life forms spontaneously at the drop of a hat everywhere we look.
One thing life needs is water. Obligingly, the Universe contains lots of hydrogen and oxygen. Also obligingly, water is the only substance we know which is less dense as a gas, more dense as a liguid, and then less dense again as a solid.
That means that instead of ice sinking to the bottoms of the oceans and lakes and then staying there because the sun's heat will never reach down that far, ice floats around on top of the water, where it can melt away in the sun and let oxygen into the water again, and let all the creatures up to the surface instead of freezing slowly into the ever deepening layer of ice that would form if water was like any othr material.
Yes life evolved to exploit that pecularity, but what a price it paid in terms of oxidisation and free radical damage due to the chemistry it had to adopt. Somehow, I can't see life having got it right over so many species and such a short time. Anybody that says well there were waves of life and extinction events can go to the top of the class - briefly - and then go sit in the corner with the dunce's hat on.
See, there's those words "cycle" and "extinction". How did all those marvellously clever adaptations in the DNA make it across a cycle or - especially - and extinction event?
And that actually brings me to my next kvetch, evolution. Can anyone explain evolution and not sound like a complete halfwit?
"Uh yeah, there is this random mutation that happens and which changes organisms so that some are more fit to survive than others, and that improves the species overall."
My problem with all that is that mutations seem not to be random. I won't say "intelligent design" because that brings in one of those mythical supernatural agencies that I tend to avoid, but I must say "directed mutation" because nothing else would seem to make sense.
I love the chicken/hawk response example because it's easy to understand this one. Chickens have a hide and flee reaction when anything hawk-shaped appears in the sky above. This is not a learned response but a hard-wired reflex in their systems, and that's pretty much been proven to my satisfaction. The explanation is of course ridiculously simple - if you take a thousand generations of chickens with mutations, the ones whose systems did not startle at the sight of a hawk ended up eaten and this never passed that particular lack of a reflex on to any offspring. And the ones that startled at anything at all, well they burned up more energy than they had time to take up in feeding and so they also ended up dying of malnutrition.
What interests me in the example is the extremely directed nature of the mutations. If you think of every possible mutation that could occur, you begin to realise that there are literally billions of possible variations. Some of these would be beneficial, but the majority would be detrimental. Assuming that there's one variation per "village" of chickens per generation, that means that there will be more chickens in each tribe more liekyl to die from their mutation than wil survive. The overall trend we should be seeing is lots of tribes of chickens dying away.
Secondly, what passes the desirable traits from tribe to tribe right across the world? Surely the same variation doesn't just spontaneously happen all around the world at the same time? And yet that's what apparently has happened over and over and over...
Another thing I've read [sorry no source this is OOLLDD material] was about an experiment done with pigeons which were kept in extremely caustic atmosphere, and after only a generation, the offspring exhibited mutations adapting them to better survive, if I recall rightly it was something in the lung tissue or something. The point is that this particular mutation was not observed in control flocks of pigeons at other places, yet in this colony it was the most common mutation among different clutches of eggs.
So what gives here then? I wish I knew. I can give one other example of direction. A good friend of mine once told me that her father had done some research on population and how to use that to predict wars. It seems that for 15 to 20 years before a war, more male children are born, almost as though the tribes/races had some kind of foreknowledge and used that to prepare themselves for the battle. Also it seems that wars always come at times of great stress, and act to relieve that stress. So the good Doctor friend had a valid observation and felt he had a valid explanation.
But not so, say I. Thay man had the right idea but the wrong end of it. Wars start because there is intense social pressure, most often caused by too many males and not enough females in a population. So the wars are an outcome not a selector. And wars come as a result of population pressure caused by too many sons born because their mothers were stressed and usually in poor health, and having more sons [and the resulting unrest] caused more stress...
And what does stress and poor health cause? Well, changes in body chemistry for one thing. More acid I believe, that's one of the resulting conditions. And guess what? Acid conditions favour male sperm over female sperm! So what at first seemed a spooky supernatural thing the human race was doing in predicting wars turns out to be a sophisticated feedbakc mechanism. Conditions deteriorate, get stressed and sick. Get stressed and sick, get overly acid body chemistry. Get overly acid body chemistry, and you kill off more female sperm and therefore more males are born. And get too many angst-ridden, testosterone-addled teenage boys together in one place and you have a pack, a rabble, and - if you handle them right - an army.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------added next day when i was more awake:The checks and balances seem a bit too well designed, the responses are not like life on this planet is evolving for the first time. It's more like the junk DNA is left over from many previous treks up the evolutionary ladder, like those sequences are there because over our true history of life evolving over and over and over, and THAT's where the real evolution has taken place, in previous incarnations and evolutions on countless other planets.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now i've read this article and it has me wondering some more. As the article points out, often the difference between 'natural flavour' and 'artificial flavour' is that the natural one is produced using old school technology and it often has impurities that make them less safe than their 'artificial' counterparts. The article sprouts a lot of high-falutin' chemical formulae but remember that they got those flavours and scents out of the same material that plants get them out of, only without the internediate step of having to eat shit to stay alive. Now this makes sense to me, in a twisted way...
Because say there was a big - BBIIGG - "mothership" /slash/ "ark" accident. I'm talking a mothership that left us the asteroid belt, so, um - planet sized. They are remnants of another evolutionary cycle which ended in the destruction of the world they were on, and which is finally ending in that big ark, right here in orbit around our Sun. They may even have gotten to the stage of figuring out their really long term history, realised that the DNA would always result in similar life forms, and realised that they were next in the super-evolution to have to repeat the process themselves.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------also added next day when i was more awake:They had time to check a few worlds to use as survival liferafts and seeded those with food and equipment that would last a long time, and adapt to surroundings. They would have picked this lifeboat planet to be as conducive to life as possible, started the terraforming process, and started all the basic organism growths, and probably have lived their lives out on the ark keeping an eye on their progeny for as long as possible before their ark underwent its own Big Bang...
The reason why the taste of bananas is a slew of chemicals is because they were designed that way. Strawberry has 350 flavour compounds, well that's how we would make sure that we'd eat it even after we devolved.
The reasons pigeons "know" to evolve tougher lungs in response to caustic air is because those sequences are there in the junk DNA from a previous cycle. Yes, some random mutations would be in there but only a useful one will make it into the DNA, and live on to become junk DNA in the next cycle.
Move over Von Daniken here comes Von Teddles!-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Categories - ::/:: Edited on: Monday, December 05, 2005 9:21 AMposted at 2:53 AM Ted
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