Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hour By Hour, We're Saved by Jack Bauer...

24 logo "24": you're either there or you're not. If you're into it then you're REALLY into it, and you won't need to read a synopsis here. If you're not into it - you philistine, you! - then you also wonJack Bauer't need to read a synopsis here. Back to sipping cocoa in front of "Coronation Street" !
It is however a very clever TV concept, where every minute on-screen is a minute in 'real-time' action. Of course, there's poetic licence taken to sustain the storyline and also a large dose of 'temporary suspension of disbelief' (let's face it: not even Bond, James Bond, could do so much for so many in such a short time)! Meanwhile, I'm proud to say that every week I settle down to watch the latest episode... sipping my hot cocoa from my official "24" mug!!
Now that's possibly being TOO MUCH into it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Japanese Whaling Produces Results - NOT!

Japan constantly argues its whaling industry is really research and that some 20,000 whales have died since 1986 not for profit, but for science. What is this research? I'm sure there's been plenty of product development and marketing research devising schemes to make whale meat more attractive to Japanese consumers. But what about real, valid, peer-reviewed scientific research? Ah-hah! Ask, and ye shall receive!
Research, huh? Do you think Western scientists sit down to a dinner of petrie dish fermentations when their research is done?Finally, after decades of lethal research, the Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has released a "scientific" report that has rocked the world! Japan has proven beyond all doubt... that whales eat fish! Who would have thought it, eh? Many scientists have long speculated that whales eat fish: now thanks to Japanese research whaling, it's a fact - no longer just a theory.
However, Japanese research will continue because there needs to be a scientific model constructed to prove this fish-eating behaviour is permanent, not just an aberration. More whales must be killed every year to establish that eating fish is something whales do all the time and not just during leap years. Is global warming a factor? Does it have something to do with the position of the stars? We won't know unless more whales are killed for further study.
Japan claims that all whaling in Antarctica and the North Pacific is conducted for research purposes and it's unfair to accuse the programme of being commercial. Japan maintains the only reason the whale meat is sold is so it won't be wasted. Annual whale meat sales bring in more than $500 million dollars which Japan claims is used to fund the research. True - increasing the kill each year will increase profits but this is not the goal of the programme, according to the Japanese government. Yea...right!
This Japanese announcement is a weak attempt to establish that the mass slaughter of whales is producing any discoveries. However, if the Japanese are only "discovering" now that whales eat fish, just what the hell have they been doing with their so-called scientific research programme for the last two decades?
Perhaps this approach to science by Japan is the real reason why no Japanese scientist has ever won a Nobel Prize for whaling research!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Say It, Not Sein It

Ever thought how much of what we say in "normal-speak" has actually originated on the telly? Yes, television - TV, the boob tube, the gigglebox - has had an enormous impact on modern society's lessening ability to communicate articulately.
Consider this: you meet someone at a party and they say to you, "How you doin'?" That's actually a pick-up line from the popular TV sitcom Friends, as regularly used by Joey Tribbiani. Friends was also responsible for an explosion in the use of "so" instead of "very" e.g.: "Paris Hilton is like so hot!" (which not only indicates an inability to communicate using correct English but also highlights poor taste in celebrity idols!). Seinfeld was another TV sitcom with huge social impact - "...not that there's anything wrong with that", "master of your own domain" and "no soup for you" are still heard years after the show's demise. In fact, comedian Jerry Seinfeld came up with such a linguistic lexicon that his -isms are often referred to as 'Seinlanguage'. But I can't see future generations saying "Eeee, by goom!" (a la Coronation Street) to each other, can you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Could They Somehow Be Related?

Has it ever occurred to you that Pope Benedict looks alot like Uncle Fester from The Adams Family movie? The dark shadows under his eyes...that evil glare...mind you, he has gone without sex for a very long time so this may well be the result!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hell, As Explained By A Chemistry Student

The following is an actual (so we're told) question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term:
Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
The answer by one student was so ‘profound’ that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well. Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:
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First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today.
Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.
Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:
  1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
  2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it? Bite me! If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that "It'll be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you", and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then No.2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that, since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct……leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why last night Teresa kept shouting: "Oh my God!"
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This student received an A+.
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I've been searching for this for months: glad to have found it for you.
Whether or not the story is true, it's still a good read!