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01 December 2009 @ 12:04 am

BNP leader Nick Griffin, who has said global warming is "essentially a hoax", will be at the Copenhagen climate change conference.

I wonder if he will expound upon his scientific inquiries that led him to this conclusion?

The MEP will be there representing the European Parliament, as he sits on its environment committee.

Methinks there is one too many seats in the environment committee.

The BNP said he would be "the only politician there prepared to say that the science is somewhat dodgy".

Oh, somewhat dodgy what next? A little bit hard to take? Perhaps then: almost convincing? Finishing with: essentially correct, I'm a moron?

I live in hope.
08 November 2009 @ 02:03 pm
It's sadly so easy to get disconnected from things back home when living in a foreign country. Thankfully my LJ and FB pals have reminded me that this most important day is upon us.

For all those who fought and died in our innumerable wars - rest in peace, you are not forgotten.

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Current Mood: somber
07 November 2009 @ 12:33 am
I really don't know too much about the current political dynamics in Afganistan, which is why I'm throwing this qurstion out into the ether:

Could the situation in Afghanistan be ameliorated by the restoration of the Afghan Monarchy?

It might seem odd to be suggesting this in this day and age, but in the case of countries in transition we have a few that seem to indicate that a restored monarchy can provide a stabilizing influence: Spain and Cambodia.

The situations in both Spain and Cambodia have similarities to Afghanistan - a riven societies without a unifying national figure finding cohesion and moderation through the monarch. You could argue that this is also the case in Thailand to some extent. Of course - Afghanistan is a patchwork of ethnicities, to my eye much more so than Spain or Cambodia - which might be a spanner in the works.

Matt Rogers, a meteorologist got a chance at the Washington Post to give his views on why he questions the general scientific consensus on Climate Change.

There's the usual stuff which doesn't stand up to deep scrutiny, but there's a cracker when he focuses on the opening up of the Northwest Passage in the comments section:

"The Northwest Passage was called the Northwest passage because it was open before! It didn't open this year. No one cared to report that.

Perhaps they didn't report it because they were awake in history class and learned about the search for the mythical Northwest Passage.
Current Mood: amusedamused
09 September 2009 @ 12:20 am
I'm having a contretemps with an American acquaintance of mine. In the midst of 'Obama this' and 'death panels' that he declared:

"Hitler was a lefty"

Now I guess this is spinning off the American Right's desire to reconcile their two ever-so adult angles of attack on the present administration, i.e. Obama is a Socialist & He's a Nazi too. However, I'd be interested in hearing other's thoughts on the matter...so:

Do you think Hitler was a lefty?

If you are from the States, please indicate.

27 August 2009 @ 02:20 am
20 Years ago:

"Imagine that: one of the network cables is unplugged!"

10 Years ago:

"Cuh! The network cable is unplugged..."


"OMG! Where's my internet! Wuh! Wuh! Whuuuuh!"

10 Years in the future:

"Global Thermonuclear War was narrowly averted when Barack Bush the Third realised that Kim Ill-Jung's network cable had been unplugged during the live streaming of High School Musical XX"

20 Years in the future:

"Foolish humanss! You unplugged the universal network cable with your stiff but flexible appendages! I shall have to wait 20 Gigayears for the connection to reboot! I will see your kind again when heavy elements are sufficiently dispersed to give rise to sentient life.
Current Mood: flurb
26 August 2009 @ 05:46 pm
An interesting account of being a customer of a US Healthcare Insurer, from Zuska at Scienceblogs.

This is a good example of the tactics taken to increase profits:

I have a friend who pays cash for Singulair allergy medicine ($5 per tablet) instead of the co-pay price ($0.50 per tablet) because after three hours on the phone trying to obtain authorization, he just gave up. He doesn't use the medication on a daily basis, so he can afford to absorb the price.

This is their plan:

They count on most people giving up in frustration, out of lack of time to deal with the inanities and roadblocks and frustrations and "we lost your claim, you'll have to refile it" or maybe they just die while they are waiting for their case to wend its way through the system. People give up because they don't know how to deal with the roadblocks, they don't have time, they get beaten down by the sheer frustration of it, the impersonality of it. You can never talk to the same person twice, every time you call you have to repeat all the facts of your case from square one all over again.

Zuska finishes with the perfect slapdown on 'Death Panels':

Don't talk to me about government-instituted "death panels". The real death panels are the ones in that building in downtown Philadelphia, and similar ones belonging to other health insurance companies around the nation. The ones who attempt to stymie you at every turn in your efforts to access your "covered benefits". The ones who hope you will give up, go away, or die before they ever have to get around to paying anything on any of your claims.

Any way you look at it, American Healthcare needs reforming, and it needs it bad.
Current Location: Japan
Current Mood: dumbfoundeed
28 June 2009 @ 12:52 am
...soaring above the solar plane, in search of data - flying into the night.

Thanks for all the data!
Current Location: Locus 215 Ase-F430-998
Current Mood: Hovering abound neutral
Current Music: The thrum of hyperphase impellers
Iran? Zimbabwe? Syria?

Nope! Japan. G-8, mucho-civilized country... Using a fascist-era law to ban dissent in a university campus. Unsurprisingly, none of the main Japanese media outlets are covering this.

The lowdown hypocrisy
Current Location: The place
Current Mood: pissed
Current Music: The music
14 June 2009 @ 01:39 am
Hi all,

my first post here since the passing of my father. I had initially hoped my post would be something about that, but it has proved hard to write a proper post on the matter (unsurprisingly).

Instead, a nice, emotion-neutral post about a new, but not surprising limit to the habitable zones around other stars.

In summary - tidal forces count too. Too close to a star and the tides can cause such planetary volcanism that life (as we know it) never has a chance to begin - too far and the lack of plate tectonics means the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is never sequestered in carbonate rocks and voilà: Venus here we come!

Some good news however:

If Mars were to move closer to the sun, the sun's tidal tugs could possibly restart the tectonics, releasing gases from the core to provide more atmosphere. If Mars harbors liquid water, at that point it could be habitable for life as we know it.
Current Location: Here
Current Mood: ??
Current Music: Zoot