14 July 2007

Behe demolished


Michael Behe is that creationist biochemist who made bold claims with his two books on 'intelligent design'. In a fascinating article titled 'Inferior Design' in the New York Times, Richard Dawkins demolished Behe's arguments. In this article, it is noted that one of the means which these creationists have used in their arguments is the following:

"This style of argument remains as unconvincing as when Darwin himself anticipated it. It commits the logical error of arguing by default. Two rival theories, A and B, are set up. Theory A explains loads of facts and is supported by mountains of evidence. Theory B has no supporting evidence, nor is any attempt made to find any. Now a single little fact is discovered, which A allegedly can’t explain. Without even asking whether B can explain it, the default conclusion is fallaciously drawn: B must be correct. Incidentally, further research usually reveals that A can explain the phenomenon after all..."


BBC Fiasco

It is fascinating how the Channel Controller in the BBC refuses to take responsibility. As related in an article in the Guardian:

"As pressure mounted on the BBC yesterday, Mr Fincham repeated his determination not to resign. His fate may now hang on a crucial meeting between BBC trustees and the corporation's director general, Mark Thompson, due to take place next Wednesday."

An ex-BBC staff instead blames it on young people:

"Yesterday the row showed no sign of abating. Former BBC chairman Michael Grade, who now runs ITV, told the Today programme he saw a wider problem in broadcasting because an influx of young, inexperienced people."

Whether the BBC used an outside source like RDF is immaterial, the BBC is ultimately the broadcaster and the procurer of the programmes. The responsibility lies with them.
Bornhelm

Bornhelm is an old player who was very active in 1993-1996. That was when I was active. Wilson and Colin were active in 1995 while Kuoby was in 1994-95. He came back to the MUD for a visit. Conversation on DuneMUD:

[19:24] Bornhelm says 'I've killed women and children... I have killed
everything that has walked or crawled at one time or another... And I
am here to kill you Reeka.'
[19:25] Shaaitan : Try me for size bub.
[19:25] Bornhelm : I'd just piss on the ground in front of you and watch you
try and save it Fremen scum
[19:26] Bornhelm fucking lafs.
[19:26] Qetesh rolls around in a fit of laughter.
[19:26] Bornhelm : You ever notice in the bible when ever god needed to punish
someone
[19:26] Bornhelm : Make an example or when ever god needed a killing he sent
an angel?
[19:26] Bornhelm : You ever wonder what a creature like that must be like?
[19:26] Bornhelm : The whole exsistance spent praising your god only with one
wing dipped in blood.
[19:26] Qetesh : that's not bad, you're quick on your fremen jokes
[19:26] Bornhelm : Would you ever really want to see an angel?
[19:26] Bornhelm spreads his wings.
[19:28] Bornhelm : Ok this is boring me just logged on to see if any of the
old players are on and they aren't...
[19:28] Shaaitan goes 'Mememememememememe !!!'.
[19:28] Bornhelm established on Dune in 1993
[19:28] Qetesh : yeah why don't you give shaaitan or apollo a try rather then
challenging players half your size
[19:28] Bornhelm : I don't play anymore
[19:29] Bornhelm : If I did I would rule this mud like I did 10 years ago
[19:29] Bornhelm leans on his walker.
[19:29] Mreh : Well, it's Bornhelm.
[19:30] Mreh : Back with a large quantity of shit-talking, and stuff.
[19:30] Bornhelm : Would you expect anyless?
[19:30] Mreh : Yes.
[19:31] Mreh : Now, get back on your walker, get your ass back to IMG headquarters, and attach that robotic brain of yours to their cybermatrix, so that you can teach these young bloods how to use the tools they have, instead of bitching about what's been removed.
[19:31] Bornhelm lafs.

13 July 2007

China: The World Greatest Carbon Dioxide Emitter

A dubious distinction? Well, it is a matter of time. Now, China is building 562 new coal power plants. With its cheap abundant coal deposits, it will be logical for a nation like China to want to rely on coal. It does not have to rely on the Middle East for power.

China has overtaken the US as the world greatest emitter of carbon dioxide according to a a Dutch report, though on a per capita basis, the US is still the leader.


Carbon Emissions 2006

China - 6,200m tonnes (population 1.3 billion) - 4.7 tonnes per individual
USA - 5,800m tonnes (population 303 million) - 19 tonnes per individual (Thanks Madonna!)
UK - 600m tonnes (population 60 million) - 10 tonnes per individual


As for rising demands for petrol and diesel in China, well, China has secured supplies in Iran. Guess what is it in exchange for? Hahaha. Oh well, playing with fire.

With Third World nations like China and India being exempted from the Kyoto Protocols, and these nations wanting to attain developed status, after all, every nation would want their 'place in the sun'* and good lives for their citizens, things definitely do not bode well. Quoting from an article on the Christian Science Monitor:

"China is the dominant player. The country is on track to add 562 coal-fired plants - nearly half the world total of plants expected to come online in the next eight years. India could add 213 such plants..."

This is gonna be fun!

Awesome!

*Guess which nation originally also wanted its place in the sun and what happened...
Friday! Yeah!
Unbelievable!

Is the BBC going to report on the apology? Well, wherever the apology is, it can't be seen on the main page of the news website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/ or their main site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/

It is hidden under the UK news section with a small headline, 'Papers feast on BBC royal apology': http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6896871.stm

Even then, the article has only a very small bit on that:

"The BBC's apology to the Queen is covered by several newspapers, including the Times and the Daily Mail.

The Times' report appears with two sets of images from the promotional video of the documentary about the Queen.

The first shows the BBC's version of her confrontation with the American photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

The other shows how the sequence of events actually unfolded. The Mail says the Queen was said to be livid at the way the footage was manipulated. "

With such a title, it is surprising to find that 75% of the article is not about the apology but rather about the national curriculum in British schools! How convenient.

Bravo BBC!


Addendum

I just found that the blog, Biased BBC, has detailed coverage.

The Times has also got a detailed report.

Addendum II

The BBC news site finally has a report on the front page. A new deveopment:

"The controller of BBC One has insisted he is not planning to resign over the Queen documentary blunder.

Peter Fincham spoke out after he allowed journalists to see a television trailer which appeared to show the Queen storming out of a photo shoot.

He said showing the footage, which had misrepresented the sequence of events, was a regrettable "human error". "

Best of it all, this report was filed under, get this, ENTERTAINMENT!
I wonder what happened to accountability there.
The McLaren Summons

Was it a new hero in the making? The new golden boy of Formula 1? It does appear now that Lewis Hamilton's driving and results are too good to be true. From the reports, the stolen technical data aspect makes perfect sense. From a report in the Guardian:

"McLaren are being summoned for an alleged breach of article 151c of the international sporting code which covers "any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport in general". Penalties can range from a reprimand to expulsion from the championship. Under formula one technical regulations, teams must design and manufacture their complete car and this dispute is about whether McLaren could have had any interest in adapting Ferrari technology in the design of their current MP4-22 model."

I don't think FIA will bar McLaren. There is simply too much money involved. Hamilton should be safe.

On a somewhat unrelated topic, I have always wondered about Lance Armstrong. Patriotic Americans may attribute it to a Francophile anti-Americanism. Somehow...


Addendum

The best bit of this? McLaren's defence is based on the premise that the document is exposed only to a single rogue employee! And of course, the single rogue employee is Mike Coughlan, their chief designer! Woo!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article2056456.ece
Manufactured News

BBC manufacturing news items? Well, in this Independent report, the BBC was apparently:

"were simply reduced to issuing a grovelling apology to the Queen, after being caught red-handed in a flagrant case of spin.

The source of their embarrassment and public repentance was a badly-edited trailer that implied the monarch had stormed out of a sitting with the photographer Annie Leibovitz. "

The BBC had:

"gave the impression Her Majesty had abruptly halted the photoshoot when Leibovitz asked her to remove her crown. Scenes of the pair clashing over the request were followed by footage of the Queen walking down a corridor and telling her lady-in-waiting: "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough dressing like this, thank you very much."

But those images, far from being filmed after the clash, were taken as the Queen made her way to the sitting. The trailer, which had been shown at the launch of BBC1s autumn season, had been edited incorrectly, executives conceded."

Bravo BBC! Anti-monarchy bias now?* Leftist institutional bias? Should the BBC not be reporting the news rather than manufacturing it?

And this report is from the Independent, a somewhat leftist newspaper with the infamous what many may consider as "pro-Palestinian" columnist Robert Fisk.

*I am not an admirer of the monarchy nor do I care for it but...

12 July 2007

'Explosion' Front Line Assembly



A compilation of tracks from various singles. I have all the tracks except for one remix of 'Circuitry' here. It's tempting. Just for one track? Hmmm...


Filling forms for owner's return and stamp duties now. Ugh. Heheh.
I went for a run last night. I think I ran about 3 km. I haven't been running the usual 5.2 km for quite a while. Hmm..

11 July 2007

Boeing 787

The Boeing 787 was just unveiled earlier this week. I wonder when the first flight is scheduled as the airliner is due to enter service in May 2008. That is in ten months' time!

From Boeing's website:

"First flight of the airplane is expected in late August or September. A total of six airplanes will be included in the flight test program, which will conclude in May 2008 with the certification of the airplane followed shortly by the first delivery of a 787 to ANA."
Live Earth: The Hypocrisy

The cool dude and head honcho at IZReloaded is pretty sharp. He was aghast at the waste of Live Earth, the extravagant ego-boosting event where hypocritical rock stars with huge carbon footprints pranced and strutted on stage:

"I'm all for saving the Earth, but after spending the night watching Live Earth, I realised that it may have done our dear planet a great harm. Flying the music stars all over the world and getting millions to head to the concerts and watch them on TV cannot be environmentally friendly aye."

Good guy. He exposes the event for what it is, the mountains of waste generated, the amount of power consumed. Now, the mainstream media is also beginning to realise that Live Earth is just a stage for rock stars like Madonna, with oversized egos and huge carbon footprints and new reports and articles have appeared. The pictures of the mountains of waste generated is appalling. The power usage is of course invisible...
'Brothers of the Snake'



A fabulous fast read. 'Brothers of the Snake' is a hugely entertaining tale of the Damocles tactical squad of the Iron Snakes Chapter of the Space Marines.
Carcass

Carcass is back from his posting in Korea. He was almost going to be a tanker before he injured himself. Now, he is stuck on a desk job somewhere on the continental US. More funny conversations on the chat channel on DuneMUD:

[22:11] Amenophis lafs.
[22:14] Krx : carcass... so, except for trying to be a smartass towards
someone who loged on after a year of zero gameplay.. any other hobbies?
[22:15] Carcass : yeas
[22:15] Carcass : i'm an asshole to people who logged on after a day of zero
gameplay
[22:15] Krx : cool, just thought I'd check...
[22:15] Marlboro : Psst, Carcass, what about the Thai Ladyboys and Silver?
[22:15] Carcass : i save them for the asian players
[22:15] Carcass : where is blackice?
[22:16] Marlboro : Oh, he's finally gotten a job.
[22:16] Carcass laughs.
[22:16] Marlboro : No longer in Missouri
[22:16] Carcass nods.
[22:16] Marlboro : or Texas.
[22:16] Carcass : MO i think
[22:16] Marlboro : Sold his guns and knives
[22:16] Marlboro : Yes, St Louis
[22:16] Marlboro : He was in Kanas for a bit.
[22:16] Marlboro : Kansas
[22:16] Marlboro acks.
[22:17] Marlboro : Silver has abought a house in Melbourne.
[22:17] Carcass : i'veheard
[22:17] Carcass : all the kuolings are doing well
[22:18] Marlboro laughs.
[22:18] Marlboro : They certainly are.
[22:18] Carcass : i hear he's taken a job prostituting himself at a truck
stop
[22:18] Marlboro : Not surprising really. Cheap Asian labour. Deprives
Draelon from his man-ho job.
[22:18] Carcass laughs.
[22:19] Marlboro : He's renovating his place.
[22:19] Marlboro : What about you Carcass?
[22:19] Carcass : been working on my place
[22:19] Carcass : almose done with the upstairs
[22:19] Marlboro : Besides getting married, what else?
[22:20] Marlboro : Little Carcasslings?
[22:20] Carcass shakes his head.
[22:20] Carcass : just the dogs
[22:20] Marlboro : You're doing the dogs?
[22:20] Carcass : no, not your mom
[22:20] Marlboro gasps in astonishment.
[22:20] Apollo gasps.
[22:20] Krx lafs.
[22:20] Marlboro grins evilly.
[22:21] Marlboro : I got a tip for you, Carcass. Doing dogs give puppies not
Little Carcasslings.
[22:21] Carcass thinks carefully.
[22:21] Marlboro grins evilly and gives Carcass a high five.
[22:21] Carcass : what do you get when you do singaporians?
[22:21] Marlboro : At least, you are quick on the uptake. Fast retort.
[22:21] Carcass : dog chow mein?
[22:21] Marlboro laughs.
[22:21] Marlboro cheers Carcass enthusiastically.
[22:22] Marlboro grins evilly.
[22:22] Marlboro : The last person who did a Singaporean got Silver.
[22:23] Carcass : fell sorry for her
[22:23] Marlboro nods solemnly.
[22:27] Marlboro : It's like Carcass is joining the Taliban.
[22:27] Marlboro fears Carcass.
[22:27] Apollo : Belt Bomb division?
[22:27] Carcass laughs.
[22:27] Marlboro : That would have to be a huge belt.
[22:27] Carcass : the taliban are a bunch of illiterate koran thumpers,
which is hard when you can't read the koran
[22:27] Marlboro : enormous belt.
[22:28] Apollo : Ouch.
[22:28] Marlboro : They live in camel shacks
[22:28] Marlboro : how how y'all live in trailers
[22:28] Carcass : news article on msnbc, they are still trading daughters to
pay for debets
[22:28] Carcass : er, debts
[22:28] Marlboro : like how y'all live in trailers
[22:28] Carcass shrugs.
[22:28] Marlboro pokes Carcass in the ribs.
[22:28] Apollo lives in a van down by the river.
[22:29] Marlboro : Did you know that Carcass once single-handedly fought off
a bunch of Talibans with his bare hands?
[22:29] Carcass : i showed them a comic book
[22:29] Carcass : they were terrified of archie and jughead
[22:29] Marlboro : In one hand!
[22:30] Marlboro : Psst, Jughead is gay.
[22:30] Marlboro : Archie's lover actually.
[22:30] Marlboro : Did you not know?
[22:31] Carcass : that's why they were scared
[22:31] Marlboro : What now, Carcass?
[22:31] Marlboro : Is that what you will be doing for the rest of your life?
[22:31] Marlboro : That career?
[22:32] Marlboro : Oh, I didn't make that up about Jughead and Archie being
gay. It's reported.
[22:32] Marlboro : It's something that appears in many blogs and websites
now and then.
[22:33] Carcass laughs.
[22:33] Carcass : urban legend
[22:33] Carcass : archie is giving it to old girl left and right
[22:33] Carcass : he plays gay to get chicks
[22:34] Marlboro laughs.
[22:34] Marlboro : And also why Jughead is the way he is...
[22:35] Carcass : i'm off to bed, fool
[22:35] Carcass : good night marlie
[22:35] Marlboro : Bye Carcass!
[22:36] Marlboro : Good talking to you again.
[22:36] Marlboro : Don't be too rough to your Thai Ladyboys man!
[22:36] Carcass : silver is on, enjoy him
[22:36] Carcass : w;ave evillly
Whining and Complaining

A funny conversation on DuneMUD:

[20:27] Mreh : Get the picture?
[20:28] Mreh : It doesn't matter -what- I try to do, fun or otherwise.
Someone complains.
[20:28] Dav grovels before Mreh.
[20:28] Mreh : And now, I'm minimizing this window and ignoring it for a few
hours.
[20:28] Saffron : well, it is a non-zero sum game... i have -1 and everyone
who thinks it's funny that i died so much has a +!
[20:30] Dav : need people my size to party with.
[20:38] Saffron : now i can't even fight the same things i was fighting
before... awesome
[20:51] Mreh : Holy fucking crap! Why do you not stop complaining?
[20:51] Mreh : Tell me, Saffron, in as few words as possible. What the hell
do you want?
[20:52] Mreh : What can I give you, that is completely risk free, that will
reward you to the point where you no longer feel you have lost something on this day?
[20:52] Saffron : i'm wimpying from lv5 gp tower mobs now, i was fighting
level 7s earlier today.... so something is messed up
[20:52] Mreh : Because, really? "I can fight these guys forever, without
incident or cause for alarm or concern." is such a great challenge that you can sit there and fight all day, accumulating guild experience.
[20:54] Saffron : and you seem to be taking my venting complaints as personal
affronts, which they were never intended to be
[20:56] Mreh : If you want to vent, open chat is not really the place for it.
[20:56] Mreh : And I'm not taking anything as a personal affront.
[20:56] Mreh : I see you, doing very little more than complaining, non-stop.
[20:57] Mreh : Complaining about a random bane, which comes up -very- rarely,
having a negative effect on your character, on this day, while experience values are more than doubled.
[20:58] Mreh : I then LOGGED MY CHARACTER IN, partied with you, earned you
experience while you sat idle for a lot of the time, and then logged out.
[20:58] Saffron : ok, well I didn't know it was a biorythm
[20:58] Saffron : i'm in the dark in most respects, I MUD because it relaxes
me, but I ate more than my share of shitpie today
[20:59] Mreh : If you really -really- want to see, taste and consume shit pie,
just ask. I'll arrange it.
[20:59] Saffron : I kept killing while we were partying
[20:59] Mreh : In the words of some very famous lyricists, "You ain't seen
nothin' yet."
[20:59] Saffron : and i didn't bot into the next rooms when done
[20:59] Mreh : I do hope you're not accusing me of botting.
[20:59] Saffron : why are you threatening me?
[21:00] Saffron : why does me having a bad day cause you to have a bad day and
want to make mine worse?
[21:00] Mreh : I was having a really great day.
[21:04] Saffron : no, i wasn't
[21:04] Saffron : i was responding to you saying i was idling
[21:08] Mreh : I have no problem at all with you idling.
[21:10] Skruideli idles idly into idleness.

09 July 2007

I felt somewhat sluggish yesterday when I went for a run. I ran about 2 km and walked another 5 or 6.