Thursday, May 31, 2007

ah! what could be better, the mates and a sound system :)

big kudos to tanc & tiernan for shelling out for the sound system, and to mark thorp for the non-stop 36 hours work to make the place fit for the party.

great photos mark.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

how very american...


Franchitti Earns $1.6 Million From Record Indianapolis 500 Purse

'Dario Franchitti earned $1,645,233 from a record purse of $10,668,815 for his victory May 27 in the 91st Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. This year's event purse broke the record of $10,518,565 set in 2006.'

why does america seem incapable of separating sporting achievement and money?

no other country does it. perhaps that's why america sucks at world level in so many international sports that don't have a high dollar prize for winning an event..

i'll list a few:

rugby, formula 1, cricket, rally driving (contrary to fox sports, nascar drivers are not the greatest drivers on earth), & football (sorry, but women's soccer doesn't count).

just wait until the nfl football season starts. commentators will be falling over themselves about how much every single person who touches the ball makes. if the player actually does something he is supposed to, of course he will draw as much attention to himself as possible, gesturing like a prick, just so he can massage his own ego and make the highlight reels.

...o.k now watch the rugby world cup, beginning exactly 100 days from today.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

and on this memorial day weekend, we have:

25th - 27th World Superbike Championship rd 7, Silverstone, Great Britain. being shown on speed channel at 1pm on tuesday.

26th UFC 71: Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddell vs Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson - i hope rampage gives it to liddell for a second time.

the monaco formula 1 grand prix - live on speed channel at 7:30 sunday morning. go lewis hamilton!

27th & 28th memorial day party

- b a n g e r !

Friday, May 25, 2007

happy 30th birthday!

and yes, nutty queued up to see this film.

i was 15, and it was the longest queue for a film i had ever seen, and i didn't think i'd get in.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

theater of the absurd - Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs

not content with living in complete denial of what science tells them, creationists have spent $27 million on a museum that depicts man living in complete 'kumbaya' harmony with dinosaurs.

The Creation Museum will be upfront that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice, and in every area it touches upon.

We’ll begin the Museum experience by showing that “facts” don’t speak for themselves click here for a proposed drawing of this exhibit). There aren’t separate sets of “evidences” for evolution and creation—we all deal with the same evidence (we all live on the same earth, have the same fossils, observe the same animals, etc.). The difference lies in how we interpret what we study. We’ll then explore why the Bible—the “history book of the universe”—provides a reliable, eye-witness account of the beginning of all things.

After that, we'll take guests on a journey through a visual presentation of the history of the world, based on the 7 C' s of History”: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation. Throughout this family-friendly experience, guests will learn how to answer the attacks on the Bible’s authority in geology, biology, anthropology, cosmology, etc., and they will discover how science actually confirms biblical history.

i don't fret about people holding views other than mine, in fact i'm all for encouraging free thinking, but when the very bedrock of our civilisation, science is ridiculed, and children are exposed to what they are taught in state schools is wrong, then those responsible are guilty of the worst intellectual crimes. to actually discount not just one branch of established fundamental science but several, is tantamount to proclaiming that you are in fact, mad.

for instance, people have to drive to see this museum. how is this possible without the advances due only to modern science, and not biblical prophecy? i haven't read anywhere in the bible about the lord jesus christ and the four-stroke internal combustion engine... or for that matter god so loved the earth that he conveniently made plants and insects so that one day man might dig it all up, process it into crude oil, burn the petroleum in our combustion engines and in doing so release massive amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere and threaten mass extinction of animal and plant species and the well-being of the very poorest people on the planet (which he made in 6 days for us and then oddly decided to take a day off). can't see god's divine reasoning behind that. seems pretty fucked up to me that the richest people on earth can screw over those with the least say in the matter.

bugger! god must be a wonder the anthem goes 'god bless america'

o.k so he takes a day off. er, what's he been doing since? - his resume is not looking good...

hobbies - self-titled 'god', an omnipotent being, likes to force people to worship him, or else he threatens to torture them by burning them in hell for all eternity while their sins are read out.

let me get this right; he wants me to worship him...

no, these fully clothed (made in large industrial factories in china, shipped in giant container ships and sold in strip malls) fat americans, fed on processed food that is pumped full of chemicals, clutching their modern printed bibles, are going to get out of their air-conditioned cars, nod in agreement on how wonderful this 'exhibit' is as their absurd belief system is massaged with no awkward questions , and when they get back to their homes, built to engineering code by approved house builders, they will no doubt turn their tv's on using generated electricty (another scientific marvel) where they will no doubt watch pat robertson preach on about how sinful they've all been while they were out..."please give generously"

...meanwhile in the real world

Car Bombing in Fallujah Kills 21

Halljuah! - praise the lord! questions asked. wasn't that modern man living in the dark ages?

i presume that when these creationists and their loved ones get injured or fall seriously ill, they immediately turn to the very best medical diagnosis and treatment available that modern medicine provides...

if they want to be a creationist and eschew science, that's fine. i say let them. completely strip them of all their modern comforts and give them kansas.

let them form their 'removed from this world societies' and let god's law be their only law and sing their terrible hymns for their only entertainment. no metal tools of any kind because you need science to smelt metals and make metal tools, so no pianos for your

let them grow or hunt their own food without metals, build their own crude homes from trees (try that without an axe or saw, & good luck when it rains or the weather gets really cold or the odd tornado touches down) have no heat in winter except for fire they provide, have no a/c in summer, collect their own rainwater to drink or from streams, make their own clothes, go without toothpaste or use herbs and plants. they can forget toilets - a hole in the ground will do, oh and no loo paper. no trash collection, or cold storage apart from winter because there isn't any! no vacations, no visiting family and friends, and are finally, no pat robertson because there isn't any tv or electricity, and no printed paper, unless they can grow papyrus on their plots of land...and no going to the doctor when you break a bone or fall ill.

this is exactly the world our ancestors came from.

if they are serious creationists, they should flock back to this world. a world without science, a world without any rational explanation for what we see around us.

why should they worry, because they will all be together with jesus that much sooner, anyway...

they just might then all shut the fuck up and stop trying to brainwash the rest of us with their bollocks.

...and the government can simply issue warnings not to visit kansas.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

best print ad i've come across lately:

of course, you'd never see that language used in an american magazine.

the bike is made by ktm, an austrian company.

definitely not for harley davidson lovers!

it goes up mountains, crosses streams, and the makers claim it can go round bends in the road... and doesn't weigh the same as a hippo.

Monday, May 21, 2007

if only we could see in infrared- saturn's rings

The Cassini spacecraft surveys Saturn's outstretched ring system in the infrared from a vantage point high above the planet's northern latitudes. Nearly the full expanse of the main rings is visible here

Sunday, May 20, 2007


going to watch the orioles and nationals game today.

our first baseball game this year.

not really a fan of the nationals, especially since the whole team was lifted from montreal (the expos)- that was nice for the fans in montreal...

absolutely no loyalty in american team sports.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

e-mail to general motors

dear general motors,

i am sick to fucking death of your fucking pick-up truck ads. and i'm not alone!

every time i try and watch any sport on tv, all i see are fucking pick-up truck ads. i live in a city. what the fuck do i need one of your giant fucking ugly trucks for?

no wonder you lost your shirts last fiscal year. until you start actually stop trying to force-fucking feed me pick-up trucks during every available sports break, i hope your losses will continue to mount.

i will never, ever buy a pick-up truck!

...the only thing a silverado is fit for is delivering vast quantities of cheese to beesh.

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bebar, stefania's birthday, motorcycle racing - it's all going on this weekend

off to bebar for 88 : X, PULSE and Beyond to see our friends and enjoy some decidedly non-retro/progressive/alternative rock bollocks electronica.

then we're off to stefania's to say happy birthday to the old girl.

33 is pushing it.


it's a big weekend for motorcycle racing:

18th - 20th
British Superbike Championship rd 5, Snetterton. (alas no usa tv coverage - i used to go to snetterton, have actually been on the track there as well)

18th - 20th MotoGP rd 5:, Le Mans, France. - speed channel 3pm sunday.

go valentino rossi! - the most talented racer on the planet.

18th - 20th AMA Superbike Championship Rd4, Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, California, USA. - speed channel 10pm sunday.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Two years for elf lingerie thief

A man who claimed he thought he was a female elf when he stole underwear from a Belfast shop at knifepoint, has been jailed for two years.

Robert Boyd, 45, from Broadlands in Carrickfergus, held up staff at the Orchid shop on the Lisburn Road disguised in a wig, hat and glasses.

He told the court he had been in a role-playing game at the time and may have blurred reality and fantasy.

Boyd stole bras, knickers, suspender belts and stockings worth £250.

Before sentence was passed a lawyer for Boyd revealed that since the incident he had lost his job at Queen's University Belfast and both he and his wife had been subjected to ridicule. shit.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

general motors - if only americans were chinese...

yes, it's the wuling sunshine minivan.

The van costs $3,700 (£1,872), has a 0.8 litre engine, and weighs less than 1000kg - yet cheap labour costs mean that GM makes a substantial profit on each vehicle it sells.

But with labour costs of just $4 per hour - half the rate in Shanghai - GM Asia Pacific boss Nick Reilly says that the company is only spending $100 per vehicle on labour - and the factory is working around the clock on a three-shift system.

...that's funny that they make a vehicle that's fuel-efficient, because whenever i watch baseball or any other sport, all i see are GM's ads for pick-up trucks they can't sell...

it's so easy to take a swipe at america's automobile manufacturers:

let's see: who can name the most popular fuel-efficient car america produces?

go to europe and not only will just about everyone tell you it's a vw golf (40+mpg), but most will have owned one at some point. (i have, 2, actually, and drove across europe in one)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Illinois baby obtains gun permit

Bubba Ludwig may only be 10 months old, but he has already successfully obtained a gun licence in the US state of Illinois.

Bubba's father, Howard Ludwig, applied on his behalf after his grandfather gave him a shotgun as an heirloom.

Mr Ludwig said he had not expected to succeed, but he filled in the online form, paid $5 and the licence was his.

Technical problems

The licence includes a picture of a toothless Bubba and a squiggle that represents his best attempt at a signature.

In an article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Mr Ludwig, 30, said that he expected the application to be turned down.

Two rejections did in fact come, he said, but both related to technical problems - on one application he forgot to tick a box stating his son was a US citizen - rather than Bubba's youth.

His third attempt was rewarded with a state firearm owner's identification card (FOID), complete with details of Bubba's height, weight and date of birth.

'No age restrictions'

Illinois gun laws are said to be among the strictest in the US.

But Illinois State Police, who oversee the application process, said that they had followed the law in this case.

"Does a 10-month-old need a FOID card? No, but there are no restrictions under the act regarding age of applicants," the Associated Press news agency quoted Lt Scott Compton as saying.

...if americans want their precious, constitutional guns so much, they can stop the absurd act of praying for the victims of gun crime while doing nothing about making guns harder to obtain.

Huge bids smash modern art record
The auction record for post-war art has been smashed twice in one night.

Francis Bacon's portrait Study from Innocent X fetched $52.6m (£26.5m) at Sotheby's in New York - almost double the previous high for a Bacon work.

That was followed by a price of $72.8m (£36.7m) for US abstract artist Mark Rothko's 1950 work White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose).

They were far ahead of the last modern art auction record, the $27m (£13.6m) for Willem de Kooning's Untitled XXV.

New auction records were set for 15 artists in total, also including Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose untitled work from 1981 fetched $14.6m (£7.4m), almost three times his previous best.

The Rothko was sold by philanthropist David Rockefeller, who attended the auction.

The work had hung in his office since he bought it for less than $10,000 on the advice of Dorothy Miller, the first chief curator at New York's Museum of Modern Art, in 1960.

...proof that capitalism marches on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell - RIP with your bigoted views

The Reverend Jerry Falwell, a leading US conservative evangelist, has died in hospital in Virginia after being found unconscious in his office.

Doctors gave Mr Falwell emergency treatment at Lynchburg General Hospital but could not revive him.

US President George W Bush paid tribute to Mr Falwell, 73, who he said lived a life of "faith, family, and freedom".

"He taught young people to remain true to their convictions and rely upon God's word throughout each stage of their lives," Mr Bush said.

... bushy omitted to say that in 2002, he sparked anger across the muslim world by calling the prophet muhammad a "terrorist".

shortly after the 11 September 2001 attacks, he said that gays, atheists, civil-rights activists and legal abortions in the united states had angered god and "helped this happen".

and in 1999, he denounced the BBC TV children's show the teletubbies, because he believed one character, tinky winky, was homosexual...

Footballers win sex toy damages

A German sex toy firm is to pay German football stars Michael Ballack and Oliver Kahn 50,000 euros each after it used their names to sell vibrators.

The stars sued the firm Beate Uhse because it sold special World Cup vibrators called "Michael B" and "Olli K" last year without their permission.

...a 5-inch 'bend it like beckham' model will go on sale this autumn.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Confused penguin strays 5,000km

from the bbc:

A Magellanic penguin whose natural habitat is the cool climes of southern Chile has strayed thousands of miles from his home, arriving in Peru.

The penguin, native to the Strait of Magellan region of Chile, swam all the way to Peru's Paracas national reserve.

Scientists say the bird appeared to have made the 5,000km (3,000-mile) journey alone.

They say the penguin must have "got off course" to end up just 14 degrees south of the equator.

...they also say that the penguin most likely has the same IQ as paris hilton.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Star dies in monstrous explosion

from the bbc & new york times:

A massive star about 150 times the size of the Sun exploded in what could be a long-sought new type of supernova, Nasa scientists have said. Supernovae occur when huge, mature stars effectively run out of fuel and collapse in on themselves. But scientists believe this one was obliterated in an explosion which blasted all its material into space.

Astronomers have been following the star since last September, when it was discovered in a galaxy 240 million light years away in the constellation Perseus by Robert Quimby, a University of Texas graduate student, who was using a small robotic telescope at McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Tex., to troll for supernovas.

The star, SN2006gy, bears an eerie resemblance to one in our own galaxy, Eta Carinae (shown in the photo above), which has been burbling and bubbling in the last few centuries as if getting ready for its own outburst. The observations suggest that the troubled and enigmatic star, thought to weigh in about 120 solar masses, could blow up sooner than theorists had thought. Mario Livio a theorist at the Space Telescope Science Institute who was not involved in the research, said the death of that star could be “the most spectacular star show in history.”

...viewers in north america and most of europe will not see anything, sadly, if eta carinae goes supernova, as this star is located in a constellation only visible from southern latitudes. you'd think they might tell people that.

Hilton backs online pardon appeal

from the bbc:

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton is backing an online petition seeking a pardon of her 45-day prison sentence because she enlivens "mundane" lives.

....fair enough, i say, so i hopped online and signed the petition:

"i would like to add that not only do i want paris pardoned because she enlivens my mundane life, but also i would like all prostitutes pardoned, those convicted for supplying drugs, all those convicted of driving offenses released, and all illegal gambling convictions squashed.

now that would really enliven my mundane existence if i thought i could get away with all of those offenses!

if she's going to get pardoned because she enlivens mundane lives, then so should everyone else"



Tuesday, May 08, 2007

the 4 millionth land rover

from the bbc:

The four millionth Land Rover rolled off the Ford subsidiary's production line at its West Midlands factory on 8 May 2007. The car was donated to the Born Free Foundation for conservation and animal welfare.

...i think it's fair to say that there can't be too many people in britain that haven't been in one.

some internet radio worth listening to!

Welcome to BreaksFM, nutty!!

i'll put a link on the sidebar tomorrow

evolution, science, & politics

if this is your view of the world, then you're probably not going to like this:

(the theoretical model of the atom shown left was abandoned in 1908, in case you're wondering what's wrong with it.)

you’d think that as we edge towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century (reads like something out of a science fiction novel written 30 years ago, doesn’t it?), that we might have actually intellectually advanced as well as gain greater insight into all manner of things scientific, from unraveling DNA sequences to probing ever deeper into particle physics that examine the tiniest constituent components that make up everything in the known universe

yet amazingly, as we without thinking employ scientific principles in our daily lives without even thinking about them every single time we use a computer, there still seems to be a missing link when it comes to peoples' perception of evolution and religion.

out of the 34 developed countries polled by national geographic, the united states is second to last on the list that believes evolution is a fact, with only 14 % believing it to be how modern man originated. this worrying statistic reared its political head last week when the republicans’ party’s 10 candidates for president were asked during their first debate whether they believed in evolution.

senator sam brownback of kansas

mike huckabee, former governor of arkansas

and representative tom tancredo of colorado — indicated they did not.

not believing in the second most successful scientific theory of all time (evolution) is simply not an option, anymore than not believing in its most successful, quantum mechanics – which upon reading, makes no sense at all (go ahead - google/wikipedia it)

it may be uncomfortable for us to accept that that our most successful scientific theory of all time makes absolutely no sense, yet this astonishing science underlies our entire modern mechanical, electronics, and computer civilsation.

science isn’t about giving us comforting answers, it’s about asking any and all questions of the world we see around us and finding ways in which to answer them, and is always willing to adapt and accept new theories when a better explanation comes along.

generally, when a successful scientific theory has withstood the test of time, that theory is rarely overturned but is instead built upon (newton’s theory of gravity still works perfectly well for NASA, but it is einstein’s we use in explaining the grand workings of the cosmos).


the two images i chose represent established truths held by society. the first needs no introduction, so well-known is michaelangelo's painting of 'creation' on the ceiling of the sistine chapel.

the second is the 'planetary model' of the atom, developed in 1904 by hantaro hagaoka, a japanese physicist, but later abandoned in 1908, yet amazingly even today, some 100 years later, this is how nearly everyone imagines an atom because that is how they were taught it in school.

apart from the scale being completely inaccurate and misleading, we now know that in order to understand the atom, we have to view it as having three distinct models:

see: (copy and paste in browser)

our modern world relies on technology. we as individuals living in cities don't hunt or grow our food anymore, nor do we gather herbs for medicine, chop down trees and burn wood for heat, ride horses for transport or undertake long voyages to trade goods. technology enables us as individuals to be isolated and removed from these tasks (and live a lot longer doing so...)

almost everything we do relies on science and its principles. yet when it comes to the question "where did we come from", only 14 people out of 100 in the richest, most powerful nation on earth believe that science can provide the answer. for everything else, from cradle to grave, including posturing in politics, it appears that the other 86 live in isolated denial, quite content in using and abusing it.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Paris Hilton gets 45 days in jail

Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton has been jailed for 45 days after being found guilty of violating her probation for a drink-driving conviction.

A Los Angeles judge ruled she must start her sentence on 5 June and has no prospect of an early release.

Ms Hilton told the judge she was very sorry and that she would "pay complete attention to everything" from now on.

The socialite said she did not know her license had been suspended when caught driving without headlights in February.

She was also accused of failing to enrol in an alcohol education programme by a court-ordered deadline.

...the judge then made it quite clear that she was to remember to wear some underwear while serving time, and not to make any videos.

it must be really tough being that rich and that stupid.

move along, sir! - The Boeing 737 stuck in city road

Residents of the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) are wondering how long it will take to remove a disused Boeing 737 that has been abandoned in a busy road.

The decommissioned aircraft was being driven through the city at the weekend when the driver got lost and then abandoned the plane.

The Boeing used to belong to the private company Air Sahara.

Some locals are angry that no action is being taken to move the plane. Others say it is a tourist attraction.

It appears that after taking a wrong turn, the driver found himself facing a flyover that was too low for him to take the plane under.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

best racing this year - WOW!

the dutch suberbike races at assen in holland proved to be the best racing of the year so far, with our boy james toseland from yorkshire winning the first race and extending his lead in the world championship and troy bayliss wringing every last bit of performance out of the ducati to just beat james at the line in the second race of the weekend by just 0.009 seconds after 22 laps of absolutely flat-out racing.

...incredible to watch.

loads of british fans had crossed the channel on their bikes, showing their support for our man for this one, and the tv shot of the huge car park showed a sea of motorcycles.

assen is one of the best circuits to watch a race, and this weekend didn't disappoint.