Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Because UV is a Hairy-Legged Girl's Best Friend

Ultraviolet Light Is Key to Spider Mating

And in jungles all over the world, the coming of the black lights symbolises a time for... love. Female spiders cease munching on their tiny wannabe beloveds and instead stare longingly into their remaining eyes. Jungle shrieks and squawks segue into groaning saxes and pumping rhythms, Barry White love-making music. Uhuh, you hear what I'm saying woman? Do those legs go all the way up? All eight of them, all hairy eight? mm-hmm, woman!

A Family Food

Unhappy Meals - Michael Pollan - New York Times
if you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid food products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a good indication that it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.

I fricking Hate William Fricking Gibson

I am:
William Gibson
The chief instigator of the "cyberpunk" wave of the 1980s, his razzle-dazzle futuristic intrigues were, for a while, the most imitated work in science fiction.

Which science fiction writer are you?


BBC NEWS | Politics | Manchester wins 'super-casino'

Manchester also represented a good place to test the social impact of a super-casino, and "the council's consultations with other local authorities and relevant bodies gave us confidence on that", added Prof Crow.

"Manchester has a catchment area for a casino second only to that of London, and it is an area in need of regeneration at least as much as any of the others we observed.

"Indeed, the city has the greatest need in terms of multiple deprivation of all the proposals that were before us," said Professor Crow.

Oh... bollocks. We're a test site for casinos? Because of our "multiple deprivation." You honestly think that establishing a giant casino is somehow going to heal the city's ills? How? We're going to be a Mecca for every gangster, people smuggler and low-life in Europe - and by Mecca I mean a place of pilgrimage from which all return richer, right? Is this some sort of Southern plot to destroy Manchester?

I wonder where the casino's going to be situated as well. I mean "The super casino will have a minimum customer area of 5,000 square metres and up to 1,250 unlimited-jackpot slot machines" so it'll need a lot of elbow room. Casino Times says it'll be a "a run-down area of east Manchester, which would see a £265m investment and create 2,700 direct and indirect jobs." So, hum. Cheetham Hill? There's a lot of long-term unemployed (gangsters) in that area.

I think it's a fix anyway. What are the chances that the bookies fixed the panel so they wouldn't choose London or Blackpool, the odds-on favourites. What a good start that would be...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

We Heart Google

Inadvertantly, whilst I was trying to send a document to myself for copyright purposes on Gmail, I noticed a new button - open in Google Documents. I clicked it, agreed to another contract that I never read, and went in. It's fecking amazing, a full word-processor online, completing eroding the need for the bloated Word I currently use.

Excited, I popped over to Google Labs and installed a few random Firefox extensions, before spotting Google Trends; Griliopoulos of course brought up no results, but Grill... Anyway, then I ran out of cool stuff and went to bed. The End.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thanks be to Toby for introducing XKCD to me... or rather me to XKCD.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Advantages of Allowing Gay Adoption

The Advantages of Allowing Gay Adoption
1) More children adopted by parents who want them.
2) Firm no to religious interference in the state.
3) Ruth Kelly quits!
The Disadvantages of Allowing Gay Adoption
... God told us not to?

The Horror Of Communication

I was being pestered by irritating music promoters from Greece on MSN because they think that, because I have a Greek name and work for the Official Xbox Magazine, that I care about their concept to link festivals the world over through Xbox Live Vision cameras. While their idea might be fine (I couldn't care less), it's a horrible concept that one day all msn, phone and email systems will be linked to a global fast network so that nowhere you go will there be peace, solitude and quiet but only the eternal binging, buzzing and clanking of your receivers. Thank Zeus, the Chinese will have shot down all the satellites by then with their new rockets and reduced the world to a faux-communist wasteland.

Pope-ular Games

Gamasutra - Pope Benedict XVI Criticizes Violent Video Games
In his message, Pope Benedict specifically singles out "commercial competitiveness compelling communicators to lower standards", continuing: "Any trend to produce programmes and products - including animated films and video games - which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behaviour or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programmes are directed at children and adolescents."

Video-games are like the bible then, targeted at children who have no concept if it's real or not, who are subjected to stories about genocide, murder and the inferiority of women. Of course video-games justification is only hedonism, while the bible is justified arbitrarily by appeal to a rabid, jealous god. I do not like violence in video games, preferring the clean conflict of German board games like Carcassone and Settlers of Catan, but will not stand alongside a religion that is horrifyingly hierarchical, has persecuted and massacred throughout history, and in its modern form perpetrates dangerous random doctrines like no-contraception and condemns this stuff. Neither the Pope nor I have clean hands on this particular moral issue so I think he should just butt out.

I do hope he's reading.

(Angry today.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Listening to Blue Jam in the office…

Listening to Blue Jam in the office…

…is a very bad idea. Seriously bad. It definitely helps with writing though.

Not as bas as Hillary running for office though, when there are newspapers (and the Murdoch corporation) that have been storing dirt on her since Chelsea was in diapers and Bill was in Monica.

And isn't Hillary the man's spelling of Hilary? (Ah, Google informs me that she's named after Mountaineer Sir Edmund, so it's definitely more manly.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Ultimate Wiener Schnitzel (Vat-Grown)

In 2002 scientists at Touro College in the US removed some muscle from the abdomen of an anaesthetised goldfish and placed it in a saline solution enriched with foetal calf serum.

The muscle reportedly grew by 15 per cent in a few weeks. It was then coated in breadcrumbs and lightly sautéed in olive oil: scientists said that the resulting dish “smelled good”.

Is there any need for this? Quorn is pretty much vat-grown meat, being mainly protein and not too hideous to eat. Let's pass over Soylent Green rapidly, as it would be a tremendously inefficient way of reclaiming flesh - much better to use our flesh as the material for other things to grow on and feed many than render it down into burgers and feed only a few.

That said, I quite like the idea, if only from a "The Future Is Here" feeling. I like the idea that these scientists, perceived by the public as severe white-coated types replete with clipboards and furrowed brows, are sitting there mixing foetal calf (veal) with lean goldfish flesh to create the perfect white meat, which they then make into the ultimate Wiener Schnitzel. Balls they didn't eat it - anyone who goes to the trouble of breadcrumbing and sauteeing it is going to squeeze a little lemon over it and ask "Dr Moriarty, will you be having tartare or horseradish with yours?"

(Good quote from Churchill at the end)

Winston Churchill, a carnivore to the core, saw the future of meat back in 1936. “Fifty years hence,” he wrote, “we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”

Friday, January 12, 2007

Charlie Is My Darling

Pepys' Diary: Monday 11 January 1663/64

This morning I stood by the King arguing with a pretty Quaker woman, that delivered to him a desire of hers in writing. The King showed her Sir J. Minnes, as a man the fittest for her quaking religion, saying that his beard was the stiffest thing about him, and again merrily said, looking upon the length of her paper, that if all she desired was of that length she might lose her desires; she modestly saying nothing till he begun seriously to discourse with her, arguing the truth of his spirit against hers; she replying still with these words, “O King!” and thou’d him all along.

Oh, dear. It appears Charles II was as ribald as cinematic and literary portrayals would have it, and slightly less witty.

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