Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The next 5000 days...

The web is about 5,000 days old. I was there when it came along - I remember starting to notice it when Lynx replaced Gopher on the local university systems. I was too busy playing MUDs to pay too much attention, of course.

Watch this talk by Kevin Kelly. It may be the most important thing you watch this year.

Now, consider the summary list at the end and the messianic language it is couched in.

Let me ask one question - how would a mitochondria describe a person?

Thursday, 25 September 2008

A brief note on the etiquette of anal penetration

Imagine, on some long Saturday evening, you are relaxing and watching television when your lover/partner/spouse walks into the room. They stand in front of you, blocking American Idol or whatever the hell you watch on a Saturday night, and proceed to pull a long plastic glove onto their right arm, and make a fist.

Then they bring out the KY, and start slathering it all over the glove. You can't help but noticing, in a rather horrified fashion, that they've made sure to lubricate it well over half way to the elbow.

Then they tell you to stand up, drop your pants, bend over, and grasp your ankles firmly.

There are two important things to note at this point:

i, You have a perfectly good right to ask "Why?" AND
ii, "There's not enough time to explain" is NOT a good enough reply.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

What does an apogee look like?

A decade ago, 1998, I started mentioning my theory that US had reached its apogee, the maximum level of power, and was on the downward part of the curve. At the time, this seemed pretty presumptious, but then again, what exactly would an apogee look like? You'd expect it to look much like the previous few rosy years, with perhaps a small but niggling indicator showing some problems.

In my particular case, I chose the net return on national investments. In 1998, this flipped - the US was paying more out to foreigners who owned US assets than it gained from owning overseas assets. It had moved from a bank balance in the black to an overdraft.

I thought this would grow slowly over the next couple of decades before people would start to notice. I didn't expect the Bush administration to come along and fuck things up quite as thoroughly as it did. Hell of a job, Georgie.

And now this news:

Check out the chart showing the recent spikes in the US 10-year credit default swap. In other words, the market is now pricing-in the genuine possibility that the US will struggle to pay-back some of its long-term T-bills.

That possibility is still deemed to be quite low. But the ultimate financial question – until recently, unthinkable – is now being asked. Yes siree, the mighty US government could default. That’s how much the world has changed.

Welcome to the world run on the Euro.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Placing promises of tax-cuts in context

From G-Blog, National Monopoly:

An observation on feminists' supposed commitment to equality...

...from personal experience, even the most assertive and independant woman will arrange to have at least two burly males around when it comes time to move house. And we fall for it every time out of our desire to be helpful. Curse the wiles of the whole wretched species.

I feel so used.

And sore.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A brief lesson on the Newtonian laws as they apply to politics...

For every action, there is a reaction.

Even if they are your supposed allies. And you will notice the words "equal" and "opposite" do not apply in politics.

Just saying...

Thursday, 11 September 2008

You know all those song lists people keep compiling...

...you might want to reconsider before posting.

From here:

What your music says about you

Indie: Devotees have low self-esteem and are not very hard-working, kind or generous. However, they are creative.

Rock 'n' Roll: Fans have high self-esteem and are very creative, hard-working and at ease with themselves, but not very kind or generous.

Blues: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing and at ease with themselves.

Classical: Classical music lovers have high self-esteem, are creative and at ease with themselves, but not outgoing.

Heavy metal: Very creative and at ease with themselves, but not very outgoing or hard-working.

Reggae: High self-esteem, creative, outgoing, kind, generous and at ease with themselves, but not very hard-working.

Country & Western: Very hard-working and outgoing.

Dance: Creative and outgoing but not kind or generous.

Rap: High self-esteem, outgoing.


Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Why looks matter in politics...

If you look like this, you can only rise so far:

If you look like this, however, the Republican party will embrace you and the media will love you.

Even if you have essentially the same policies...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

On dying for a good cause

At around 3 or 4 this morning, a blue warehou was happily swimming around Cook Strait. Shortly afterwards, it was very surprised to be hauled into the air by a net, bonked on the head, and put on ice. I know it was surprised because I saw the impression on its face.

At about 7.15, as I was leaving the house for a long, long walk, the fishing boat was tying up at the dock outside the Sunday market outside Waitangi Park. At about 11.00, I finally got to the market, and saw the fish gutted and filleted in front of my face. I purchased it, some fresh red peppers and fresh green capsicum at the market (along with other stuff - including three or four kilos of fresh oranges).

At about 2 p.m. I finally got home, along with groceries and a haul of books from the local market. The fish goes in the freezer, the groceries in the fridge.

At 6, the oven top is heated up and some oil goes in the pan. At 6.02 half of the fish went in the pan. One pepper, one capsicum, an onion, some Korean fish oil and a lot of pepper.

Oh, God, I'd forgotten how good really fresh fish is. The only thing missing is some mushrooms. Something to consider for Tuesday or so when the rest of the thoroughly surprised fish gets hauled out.

My friend, you died in a good cause.

Friday, 5 September 2008

What works against terrorism

There's been a report recently of a Rand Corporation study. It surveyed almost 650 terrorist groups that operated between 1968 and 2006. This is how they died:

43% ceased after a transition to the political process.
40% were destroyed by effective police work.
10% dissolved after victory.

And 7% were defeated militarily.

Note that - police work destroyed 40% of them, the military destroyed 7%. And this is the Rand Corporation saying this, not some leftist peace institute.

Feel free to cite these figures the next time wingnuts start getting erections over weapons.

Not to be shared with the better-smelling gender...

Okay, so THIS site could come in real useful.

But try not to spread it around where *they* may be listening...

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

For the first time in human history...

... it's possible to circumnavigate the North Pole.

The problem here, of course, is a positive feedback cycle - open water aborbs sunlight whereas ice reflects it. Thus the prediction that we will wave bye bye to the Arctic ice-cap entirely in summers.

Sorta sucks to be a polar bear.

Now watch what happens with the Antarctic ice cap (= sea level change) and with the possible release of Arctic methane deposits (= another positive feedback cycle). And I'm sorta wondering what the fuck happens to Thermohaline circulation with the icecap gone.

But, of course, global warming is all a myth and a conspiracy...