39 posts • joined Friday 23rd November 2007 03:18 GMT
Not surprising, really. A few days ago the media was awash with advice from the UK Government that UK women who feared that they were about to be flown back to South Asia for a forced marriage should put a metal spoon down their knickers, so that they would set off the airport metal detectors, and thus be saved by airport authorities.
Clearly, this 70 year old was afraid that he was about to be abducted, flown to South Asia, and forced into marriage.
Our American friends ...
Unfortunately for our Americans and their porcine ammunition, they should have done some research first. There's nothing in the Quran that forbids coming into contact with pork, only with not eating it, in the context of halal food rules. And even then, it's not totally rigid- if the only thing between you and death by starvation is a large rasher of bacon, Allah will be compassionate.
Reminds me of the scene in the film 'The Fearless Vampire Killers', where a character pulls out a crucifix and waves it at the vampire, who keeps advancing, saying 'Sorry, but I'm a Jewish vampire'.
There goes the plot for the next Tom Cruise movie- th' President, or some other indispensable person, is about to undergo urgent life-saving surgery, BUT THE TERRORISTS HAVE HACKED THE OPERATING THEATER EQUIPMENT!!!
Can our plucky little scientologist (plus inevitable female sidekick with white hat skills) save the day?
Use a bot?
One possible measure is to use a price comparison bot- Shopbot, Getprice etc as a starting point for your search. Any price discrimination software worth its salt should be able to respond by offering a really attractive price ...
What's in it for him?
Well, what would you expect a mouthpiece of News Ltd to say? (apart from 'I can't recall ...')
Bottom line is that News Ltd is a media company, and would dearly love to push the responsibility and cost for policing copyright onto someone else. They'll be regularly serving up 'statistics' drawn from studies done by tame consultants, based on all manner of carefully selected assumptions. Then the News Ltd echo chamber will get busy as its various organs breathlessly cite this, and others' reports as to how awfully bad the situation is, and how struggling media moguls might just be able to hang on (in the public interest, of course) if Parliament would only pass a few little laws etc.
Mr Williams is trying to disguise blatant self interest as public interest. it's part of his job.
And those movers and shakers in the USA wonder why the rest of the world no longer trusts them or takes them seriously, or why they now get laughed at to their faces, rather than just behind their backs??
Perhaps if they spent less time worrying about the prospect of iPads getting to Iran or Assange getting to Ecuador, and more time monitoring their own defense contracting industry, they might retain greater control of their valuable military technology.
Wasn't it Lenin who said something like 'the capitalists will sell us the rope we will use to hang them'?
Re: @AC 1328hrs - annoying
Instantaneous water heaters may be good for providing full flow hot water on demand, but in my experience, they don't like providing low flow rates- they tend to overhead and switch off to protect themselves.
Re: "Ritual significance"
French archaeologists seem to have this conceptual predisposition- any piece of worked stone, wood, or bone that is significantly longer in one dimension than the other is immediately categorized as a cult or ritual object, or a phallic object. Even when there's a simpler explanation (Occam's razor style), they'll go for some elaborate cultural theory drawing on Foucault or Bordieu.
Re: Judith Curry
As far as sceptics go, perhaps a heavyweight compared to Christopher Monckton.
Sceptics must be getting desperate
Why did they only manage to get ONE practicing climate scientist to sign? Surely Lindzen wasn't the only one they asked? What about Roy Spencer? Judith Curry? Hendrik Svensmark? Epic FAIL. Sure they can appeal to Burt Rutan's expertise in climate change, the same way they can seek the Pope's expertise on cable tv installing- it's as relevant.
This will die quickly because the letter is so unconvincing. The points it raises are demonstrably fallacious- no new, substantive arguments, just the same old stuff. This letter was crafted for tabloid-readers and Fox-viewers and a passing mention in the media, rather than to persuade a presidential candidate.
Mullumbimby? a great little town, once famed for growing the disastrously potent strain of dope known as 'Mullumbimby madness'. Think of an semi-tropical combination of Midsomer and Royston Vasey populated by ageing hippies. No wonder it's the target for this scam.
Another fund-seeking beat-up
This item says more about the pitiful state of aboriginal archaeology in Australia and the agendas of several participants than about the actual find.
Amongst archaeologists and prehistorians, the fundamental, unstated competition is to find the earliest example of something. To date, Australian archaeologists working in the aboriginal/Pacific island field have suffered from a massive chip on their collective shoulder because the archaeologists working in the 'Old World' of the Near East seemed to have all the earliest cool stuff- stone tool technology, pottery, agriculture, complex social systems and cities etc. So the local lads jump at any chance to claim a first, hence this claim about the earliest groundstone blade, and also the unfounded but vocal speculation by some Oz astronomers that the aboriginals were the 'world's first astronomers' (we can talk about that gem another time). The Jarwoyn people also have an interest in claiming such a first. One-upmanship exists among aboriginal groups too.
Grinding stone is not as important in itself, as it is for signaling use of the technological process and the potential for social development- if people are grinding stone, ochre etc, then grinding grain etc is within reach, so we have a prerequisite for agriculture. Problem is, there's no evidence that the local indigenes took this grinding any further. They remained hunter-gatherers, grinding wild grains when they were available, as hunter gatherers the world over tend to do. In any case, flaked stone tool technology, because it produces really sharp edges, is more significant for social development- think of grain harvesting sickles, for a start. Also consider the time factor- how long would it take to hand-grind a blade compared to making a blade by flaking? And how long will the blade last?
So, it's interesting, but not a world-shaker. Nevertheless, the publicity will be timely and useful when writing up the funding application to the Australian Research Council.
only a matter of time
HAL- OPEN THE POD BAY DOORS!
yes and no
Speculation that Conroy will be kept in the Ministry is more likely to be correct. As your correspondent notes, he has had a win with the National Broadband Network/Telstra issue. This may be a sufficiently large brownie point to keep him in the Ministry, but doesn't guarantee he will get his old job back.
The change of PM provides some flexibility to drop or modify pear-shaped policies without losing face. The filter policy will be sent back to the drawing board, possibly to emerge after the elections as some kind of opt-in scheme. It's unlikely to be officially killed before then, to avoid giving the Christian Right any fuel for righteous election campaign indignation.
My theory ...
My theory is that this was actually part of Björk's next music video, but has somehow got totally out of control.
@ Aron- Ethnically speaking, Jews came from Judea- the 20km or so around Jerusalem. They may or may not have practised Judiasm. People practising Judaism from further north came from Samaria (part of the old northern Kingdom of Israel), and were called Samarians, or Samaritans. Even in Jesus' time, there was little love lost between these groups- the parable of the 'good' Samaritan was meant to show to the Judeans Jesus was preaching to that good existed in all people, even those as beastly as their northern neighbours. Yes, there have been Jews living in the region for a couple of thousand years, but there have been numerous other ethnic groups living there as well, at the same time, before and after. A Jewish state, justified by such historical oversimplifications, is based on a dodgy premise, particularly when it has to go to the extent of pinching British IT workers' identities to hide its extra-curricular activities.
You also seem to be confusing your Seleucids with your Sea Peoples- but don't worry, they're only a millennium apart.
Mossad's not what it was
Mossad's had some less than successful operations in recent years, like its stuffed-up assassination of Khalid Meschal; and even smaller stuff-ups like getting its spies arrested in New Zealand (of all places???). Its operations in the 60s and 70s gained Mossad a reputation for total efficiency, but it hasn't been able to maintain that peak- at a guess, it's got a bit middle aged and complacent, and the rest of the world has caught up with it a bit.
The operation looks too complex and well-organised to have been put together by anyone other than a state-based intelligence agency. As for the CCTV coverage, perhaps it's the price you have to pay these days- agents may have to resigned to having shorter field-lives than before.
Just the thing to use when staring at goats ....
More useful than you think
Mobile phone conversation-
Insurgent A- 'Good Morning Omar, you will be pleased to know that I'm watching you on a Predator video feed'
Insurgent B- 'Thank you. I shall move immediately to the nearest location containing significant potential co-lateral carnage. Fortunately for me there is a school/mosque/hospital/crowded souk nearby. Have a nice day.'
Insurgent A- 'OK, see you tomorrow.'
@ac 00:31. re Goldfinger- what are the odds that the next Bond movie will have a 'homage to the Goldfinger laser scene' scene, using an electropulse drill. White cats and Teutonic accents optional.
Not so effective as they might hope
Of course most of this hacking will be ineffective because there's precious little electricity to operate a tv in Gaza, so very few of the intended audience will be able to watch it (necessary IT content). Israel's been restricting supplies of petroleum (and everything else) into Gaza for years, and now they seem to be systematically smashing Gaza's civil infrastructure, so electricity will be in short supply for years to come.
I used to support Israel's actions, but now I'm nauseated by them. It's ethnic cleansing. There seems to be some unstated paradigm that because of the Holocaust, israel has a right to inflict some of its features on anyone else they choose.
Not a propitious date
Probably thought that it would be prudent to avoid the anniversary of the Pearl Harbour attack. If the W7 beta bombed, it might give 7 December another reason to be 'a day that will live in infamy ...'
While we're talking about the misuse of 'experts' in the Great war for Pork, commenters (even you, Jake) might enjoy going to Youtube and finding the bitterly ironic "Only an Expert" by Laurie Anderson.
blast from the past?
does anyone else notice a similarity between the 'sad tab' in the cartoon, and the Mac classic 'sad Mac' icon for a non-working Mac? What does this tell us about the antecedents of the development team?
Good ol' USA
What is it about the USA that nurtures the barking mad activists like Mr G? Is it just a distrust of organised society, or does conspiracy theory take over the mind, as in 'when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail'.
The coat, because the following old Goon Show exchange seems very applicable to Mr Gaubatz:
Neddy- 'is my jacket straight?'
Gritpype- 'yes, and i must say a straightjacket suits you perfectly'
@ BS, John Stepp and others
fer crissakes you idiots. It's dangerous because the galahs that are doing this have, amongst other things, been targeting passenger aircraft making landing approaches at Sydney and Darwin airports. Not a good time to have both pilot and co-pilot unable to see the instruments, controls, or the approaching runway marker lights. 100+ deaths as the result of some PFY casually leaning out a window waving his latest internet-purchased toy into the sky is a real possibility. Banning probably isn't the answer, but compulsory licensing for devices over 1mW may be the way to go.
What sort of jokes do Scientologists tell each other?
Aren't these documents the same as the so-called "Fishman papers" that have been floating around the 'net for years, despite the best efforts of the scientologists and their lawyers to suppress them? IIRC, the Fishman papers went all the way to OT13, ie several mortgages above OT8.
Paris, because she'd make such a wonderful recruit for the scientologists.
Biblical Accuracy? dream on
Ok, since this discussion has evolved into a discussion of biblical accuracy, I must add my $0.02 worth.
Just as evolutionary theory, geology and astronomy have destroyed the scientific claims of the Pentateuch, so modern archaeology has methodically exposed the origins of these writings as Iron Age spin and propaganda, collected around the 7th century BCE to bolster the territorial ambitions of Jerusalem-based kings. No Exodus, no Golden Age of David and Solomon. Excavation has, for example shown that the towns identified in the Exodus story were not inhabited during the period when the events must have taken place- but they were inhabited later, during the 8th-7th centuries BC, when the stories were being crafted. In any case, identifying a 'biblical' site is one thing, but it doesn't prove the claimed events actually occurred or that historical personages did what was claimed, any more than future archaeologists discovering the site of Edwardian-era London would prove the existence of Mary Poppins.
This is why the straw man approach of Aaron is misleading. The Old Testament is not pure myth, but a mix of facts (for credibility), fancy and spin, setting out for its 7th century BC audience a 'Golden Age' that can be returned to by adopting a particular brand of faith (and also, naturally, the Jerusalem-based kings that champion it). This doesn't mean that the OT is always wrong, it just means that until its contents can be corroborated with other texts or excavation results, it's best treated as a massively-massaged folk story.
And yes, I've read the Bible, but i've read other books as well.
Which galaxy is she in?
Sounds like she's had one too many Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters ... Or her speechwriters/minders have.
Hang on ...
Another leak on the Israeli air raid on Syria- another leak that doesn't quite fit with all the other leaked information. So now it's claimed that the aircraft came in after a radar station on the Syria-Turkey border was knocked out by bombing- this is now additional to the bombing of the actual target. Curious that no-one from either side has mentioned this til now, and particularly that Syria has not mentioned it, when it would be quite legitimate to complain about an attack on a radar station, irrespective of what the attack on the 'Box on the Euphrates' was all about.
Whatever the USA/Israelis went in looking for, it's increasingly clear that they didn't find it, otherwise they wouldn't have to keep releasing snippets supposed to demonstrate how awfully clever they are- they could have just taken the evidence of something really nasty to the UN and demanded instant action against Syria (and some strategic bombing of Iran for afters).
First, this was claimed to be a remote top secret recently constructed facility, then it turns out it's been there since 2003. see Google Earth 39.833long 35.707lat. Remote? a couple of km from a popular archaeological site. Secret? where's the boundary fence?
Something fancy might have been done to compromise the Syrian radar system, but it still looks as if these leaks are a ploy to distract attention from the central issue, that the raid turned up nothing of substance.
What was that old motto in Star Trek about keeping your lies consistent?
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