April 05, 2007

Little Thoughts on Big Stories

Time to play a little catch-up:


Religion

When you've already encountered God-as-banana, then somehow God-as-peanut butter doesn't seem all that surprising. For a more practical, coherent, and factual study on peanut butter, may I suggest The Effects of Peanut Butter on the Rotation of the Earth.

***

Ah, Easter! The time that celebrates (for Christians) the witnessed resurrection of Christ! Even if some editing was necessary to tell about it.

***

For fuck's sake: if you can't leave the bullshit in religion behind, then don't bring the rest of it. Okay?


Politics

Quoting Syrian Ambassador to the U.S. Imad Moustapha: "Syria will take a step forward every time the Americans take one."
Quoting Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem: "Dialogue is ... the only method to close the gap existing between two countries."
Quoting Bush on diplomacy with Syria: "Sending delegations doesn't work. It's simply counterproductive."
Quoting Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley: "We must not allow our justified loathing of the horrors and tragedies of the past become a barrier to creating a better and more stable future for our children."

Strange how politics can actually work, eh, George?

***

Rory Stewart has proposed that the mission in Afghanistan should change: from a battle to root out the Taliban, an expensive and brutally difficult task, to focusing on building the infrastructure of those locations currently held. This isn't as far-fetched as it may seem. As I mentioned before, Afghanistan isn't a single nation (despite the best efforts of map makers the world over), and the break isn't an unnatural one.

The point he makes is that if we stay to the communities that are welcoming us, building those permanent structures that improve daily lives of the people there (as compared to these), then that will make it a more stable and prosperous region. And that, frankly, could do nothing but help.


Sex

Another GHB death, this time right close by. This is one of the date rape drugs running around - dangerous this time because GHB looks and smells like water. It also frequently comes as a white powder, but that is more likely to be purchased by a deliberate user than a predator.

There is something in common with all the date rape drugs: they're depressants, just like booze. It does what booze does, only with far less needing to be consumed. This means it's far easier to die while using it, or to accidentally OD; it's tough to stop the heart from working by making it beat faster (as stimulants do), but quite easy to make it stop by slowing it (with depressants).

There is NO time when a woman should leave her drink unattended, and that means carrying it around with you, even to the bathroom. No, I'm not kidding: if you're out with friends, they can be very easily distracted by a decoy (or two) while the drink(s) get tampered with. Think about it: they're out to have a good time too, right?

***

Happier story: I recently found a collection of photographic erotica from a wide selection of artists. The endless variety of imagery is astounding and delightful. Enjoy.


Science

Sign off! A University of Manchester report studying 10 million married couples found absolutely NO corelation between relationships and astrological signs. Hardly surprising to me, as the Significant Other and I are 90 degrees off from each other in pretty much every way, according to both Western and Eastern astrology. Really, it's not even a case of opposites attracting: we are flat-out wrong for each other, even going into the strange mount of ass-covering that astrologers do (houses, degrees, moon signs, rising signs, etc.). So will this finally kill the invincible astrology bug?

Not hardly - I did say invincible, didn't I?

***

Anyone who thinks that they can ignore politics doesn't know what the word means. Physicians from around the world are talking to one of the premier medical journals (the Lancet) to convince them to switch publishers.

Why?

Because they are tired of piecing together what publisher Reed Elsevier encourages others to blow apart.

This isn't the first time writers have tried applying pressure, but it is the perhaps the best organised effort by medical professionals rather than artists.


Motorcycles

Personal opinion, but I've always felt that motorcycles are all about the elegance. It can be any bike: from the sleekest lines to wind tunnel tested designs to the most obnoxious, clapped-out, or just downright freaky rat bike going, once they enter a curve, then the elegance is what it all comes down to.

Elegance typifies skill; it defines it; it is the proof that you are capable of doing something with consummate skill if you can do it with elegance.

The biggest flaw with motorcycling, perhaps, is that bikes have become extremely specialized, surrendering capabilities in one field to improve in another.

R-Bike is trying to change that, with what can only be considered a true hybrid. I'm guessing that the owner of the company used to watch the Transformers a lot as a kid. (Heh - I know I will.)


Hockey

'Tis the season, and less than a week away from all the matchups being set for the second season. I get the feeling I'm going to be doing a lot less with my time for the next few months. I'm still leaning Anaheim's way to win the hardest champonship in the world, but the playoffs are rife with plotlines, as always...

***

The CBC has reached a deal with the NHL to broadcast in Canada for another six years; you'd think it would be a done deal, given 54 years of Hockey Night in Canada, but it's no guarantee, given Comissioner Bettman's awkward track record... Speaking of which, hockey has made a couple reappearances on FOX!


Other

A couple of years ago, my mother (otherwise a mostly well-meaning and rational woman) decided I really, really needed a book called Doga, which was a parody of yoga positions performed by dogs.

I have just read a report on this very thing. Life? Parody? Who can tell any more?

Labels:

posted by Thursday at 8:04 pm

2 Comments:

Blogger Gazetteer said...

Hey T'Day.

Thanks for the links to the R-E thing. There are other very good reasons to hate the corporate hegemony over science (ie. I am very much in favour of open source journals), but I didn't know about this as well.

And re: reconstruction vs. destruction in Afghanistan, there was an interesting piece in Friday's NYT about the approach that the Dutch are taking which appears to be leaning strongly towards the R rather than the D.

(link to the NYT story is over at my place).

1:45 pm  
Blogger Thursday said...

It's tough to know who owns what in pretty much any business now, especially if you've got no reason to look. Hope the message to Reed Elsevier gets through!

I haven't seen the story in the Times yet, but I will! I think it's the right approach: show people that life can be better. Want these folks on our side? Well we'd better Lend-Lease them to the same degree the allies did with Germany, then!

3:01 pm  

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