Monday, December 20, 2010

more newspeak from uk coalition

"The ministers pointed out that the new fees regime, under which students could be charged up to £9,000 per year, could mean the government increased its investment in the higher education sector." - in
bbc report

i love this - they cut tax for the rich, cut welfare for the poor, and then claim that requiring universities to charge the public more amounts to more investment! the universities (they seem to forget) are not civil service organisaions - they are independent by charter so "government investment" is ONLY that money that goes from the treasury to the university, and that has decreased. Fees are not investment either - they are just part of the cost of delivering the service - investment would imply expanding the service, which is exactly the opposite of what is just starting to happen. I wish the press would stop reporting stuff as fact when the government issues statements, and simply report it with words like "claim" and then put the facts next to the government-speak

Some libdems claim the vice chancellors are to blame for high fees. hmmm - blaming random parts of your constituency is usually the sign of a government on its way out - these guys sure have started early given their modest "majority" - here's how we're going to "increase" teaching to poor people:- I've another idea have them all join the polis for a year, and get paid to beat up students, then they can afford to go to Uni, and furthermore, could defend themselves...

i'll say it again: blaming your constituents for problems is a sure sign of a government on its way out. and they don't exactly have a true "majority" either.

talkin bout a revolution...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Age and Class

- Young people have nothing to look back on, and everything to look forward to
- Middle aged people have nothing to look back on and nothing to look forward to
- Old age people have nothing to look forward to, and everything to look back on.

- Working class people don't look up to no-one, don't look down on no-one either.
- Middle class people look down on working class as they have no aspirations.
Middle class people look down on upper-class people as they got there unfairly. Middle class people are so up-themselves.
- Upper-class people don't look at middle class people and don't even see working class people.

with apologies to Barker, Cleese and Corbett.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Silent Soprano, a Comic Opera in 3 Acts

The plot.

The younger sister of the phantom of the opera takes revenge on the lead singers, by stealing their voices and selling them to a troop of monkeys who are in town for the annual fair.

The monkeys, now possessed of speech, find gainful employment as bankers and the financial service sector sees a huge turnaround.

The opera singers find that without a voice, they stop bitching and backstabing and cooperate to try to get work - the prima donna decides that the show must go on, so they start to perform the world's first Opera in Mime - it is a tremendous success.

However, yearning to be heard, a young understudy baritone succeeds in stealing the voices back from the monkeys, wreaking havoc with the world's economy, and re-introducing turmoil and strife at the Opera House.

He is universally condemned and in the final scene, he is forced to give the voices back to the monkeys and then beaten with blank music manuscript paper until the staves and clefs leave indelible marks on his face and hands.

The tunes.

Phantasmagoria I&II from Jeff Buckley.
etc etc

The Libretto

short, and sweet- the monkeys could, for example, recite lines from the Enron trial transscript.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

roll over linaues

john daugman informs me that
In the 'Celestial Empire of benevolent Knowledge'(c.f. Jorge
Luis Borges in Book of Imaginary Beings
animals are taxonomised thus:
(a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame,
(d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous,
(g) stray dogs,
(h) included in the present classification,
(i) frenzied, (j) innumerable,
(k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
(l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher,
(n) that from a long way off look like flies.

much better than Fire, Women and Dangerous Things

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

maybe bass players are actually cool?

a lot of famous bands split up and their constituent parts can never capture the quality in their subsequent outings - what has johnny marr done since the smiths, or john squire since the stone roses? some ok stuff, but nothing quite so cool

but think about paul simenon post clash, jah wobble post PiL, mani, post stone roses, or jaco pastorious post weather report.....some very respectable work with the good/bad/queen, solo albums, primal scream, joni mitchell, etc etc....

so maybe we should stop being rude about bass players...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

economics 4.0

just reading a review of a slew of new books apologizing for the collapse of the "free" market and having just seen sight of a new paper by Andrew Odlyzko, outling some thoughts towards a model of Gullability and a talk by Michael Mitzenmacher about
Information Asymmetries in Pay-Per-Bid Auctions: How Swoopo Makes Bank,
I'm not only more and more convinced that Economics is sub-dismal in terms of science, but I am increasingly hopeful that a new discipline is emerging that sits on the intersection of modeling (computing/maths), social networking (including game theory, but allowing for opinion dynamics), and that it might have prescriptive consequences that are based in explanatory descriptions of how the economic world actually, operates and what the real, effective levers are for altering its behaviour in favour of humans who inhabit its spheres.

The behavioural economic models are half way there but lack predictive value. The old free market, Adam Smith fictions are demontrably nonsense (humans are not selfish rational players, and no market in reality is efficient or transparent in terms of information for many obvious reasons) - the two papers/talks above explain why people start to behave less and less the way market-nutters would like them to, just at the worst possible time. They also explain how systems can operate no-where near clearing price (marginal profit) without needing insider trading or other things regulators would like to think are necessary but worse, sufficient to keep the world turning on its monetary axis.

No, there's hope. Not much, and its possible no-one is listening, but maybe .....

Monday, July 19, 2010

torrid content providers

just read this note about who publishes what on bittorrent portals and why

much like a lot of the dark underbelly of the internet, its a bit of a sordid mess...

if it isn't fake content by copyright protectionista, it's likely to be
self-advertising by big sites or porn or malware perveyors....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Incurably informed

is it possible for a news item nowadays to be anything other than
plain dead or hysterically reported?

we've seen the gadzooks reports about Climate Change (or not), about banning flights during the Icelandic Eruption/Ash Cloud, and now its the H1N1 pandemic - the metareport is that it was over-reaction

Ask yourself this:
If climate change is true and we dont do anything, and Manhatten and Amsterdam are underwater in 2050, what will the papers say then?

Ask yourself this: if one single plane crashes with ash-clogged engines, and the airline goes broke under a class action because their insurance wont pay up, and everyone who flew on other planes sues because f post-traumatic stress, what then?

And given H1N1 is replacing the other flu virus as the most likely candidate for the seasonal flu this coming winter, what if we hadn't prepared at all? What would the public, the community or journalists write?

Anyhow, the lesson is this - we now have a global media which has positive feedback loops between components all around the planet. There is simply no mechanism to break the loop so that any story that has the least interest simply magnifies in the echo-chamber, the hall fall of mirrors, the lasing chamber that is the Inter-web.

This is bad - there's only the next story, and the next that kill previous stories, not any refutation or simple boredom.

In some cases (e.g. reporting suicides) there used to be reporting conventions (started by the CDC) because it was recognized that epidemics of suicide were triggered by over-emotional reporting. This has (fairly recently in the UK) died, and in fact in the case of terrorist suicide bombing, it was always largely ignored despite ample evidence that the poor dim, over-hormoned moody adolescent boys who were most the early recruits to this terrible plague were victims - care in reporting has never been more important, and never been more absent.

We need to fix this - I have no idea how (short of Chinese censorship which has other problems:(

Sunday, April 25, 2010

3 strange election "threat" stories/lies

Lie 1. a hung parliament will lead to economic disaster
This is trotted out by labour and tories alike and their lackies (or paymasters) in the press in some attempt to alter people's voting. This is bizarrely misguided.
I dont see why I would chose to vote for a scaremonger who said this,
or if I had already decided to vote libdem because
I can see Cameron for the sleaze he is and
am fedup with Brown's bumbling,
how is this _general_ statement going to alter my personal _specific_ decision?

My vote will be cast primarily because of selfish belief
in what policies might work for me
(including likely ones in a blanaced or libdem led parliament),
and partly because of the particular candidate
I am presented with in the constituency I vote in.
The line in the papers today (and much of the last week)
about not voting libdem because of the worry of
noone having a clear majority is more likely to make me vote libdem
(I wasn't going to - I usually vote green)
now just because it shows how stupid the alternatives are.

Lie 2. libdems will screw up the economy

Cameron, in a fairly mild Paxman interview, asserted with absolutelyu no arggument of substance, that Vince Cable is not the soothsayer. Excellent - I don't want a soothsayer in charge of the economy - thak you Cameron. Thatcherite/Reagan style laissez-faire governance, and Blair's refusal to reverse the trend of no-go regulation have led to the mess we are in - this is down to Cameron and Brown to present an alternative - neither of them have said anything whatsover to make a claim to fixing the underlying problems. Please go away and let someone new have a go - they actually cannot do worse than either of you and your legacies.

3. Cuts in health/education will not harm "frontline" services

Labour are brining in cuts already in health and education. Tories want to accelerate them. This is neither necesssary, nor is it possible without actually harming the health and education, and therefore economy, of the nation. The so-called efficiencies are not there to be made - we have had nearly 25 years of market driven efficiencies in the state health and education areas, and they are lean, mean, slick machines (unlike the government itself). If there is a place to make savings, it is in Whitehall, not in Hospital or School.
But I dispute savings are needed. Sell off the now largely owned state banks, and
think about sustainable economics instead. There are people up for election (clue: not red or blue) who have some ideas here that need trying.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

political posters for your home

This site is useful (thanks to Bad Science for pointing it out!):

Thursday, April 15, 2010

concentration camp

so I'm reading an amazing novel called Redemption Falls by the Irish novelist, Joseph O'Connor (it makes the Road look like a Bing/Bob road movie)...set just in and after the american civil war (there's a beautiful oxymoron - no war is civil, but civil wars seem to make other wars look like street fights) - in it, there's reference to
Andersonille prison camp

now I was always told that the lovely british invented concentration camps in South Africa during the Boer war, but it is clear that the chap who ran this camp shared a lot with the Nazis (he was hung, but claimed he was "only following orders"). I suppose people might claim the people in the camp were PoWs, not civilians....but it was a civil war, so what's the difference?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

nosegay stories

thinkin about Wallace and Gromit for a moment, I have to say that I think the story is a cover for an old gay couple - just look at Wallace for a second and think about it - he dresses up in funny old clothes, pretends to be a giant rabbit, has gentleman lodgers and his "relationship" with the (admittedly bi-) Gromit is never made that clear is it - ok so they have separate rooms, but so do lots of hetero- old couples I know:) - Wallace even has a fling with Feathers McGraw but then goes back to his faithful Gromit (who also has a fling with Fluffles of course in A Close Shave, but its clear to me even then that she is really just Gromit's bit of Hollywood star type poodle...

it is clear that when Wallace is "attracted" to female like Wendolene, she is a mother figure and when he falls for Lady Tottington (in "The Curse"), she is actually a guy in drag (you've never seen a real woman talk like that, have you? :-) And as for Piella Bakewall (reference to the "thinking man's crumpet" of the 1960s), she is also obviously a drag act - really

the whole thing is as plain as the pie on your face...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Why I shan't be voting labour (not that I did before)

Like many people, I suppose, I was quite excited when after the Thatcher/Major misery years, Labour finally took over under Blair. I hadn't voted for them (I generlaly vote for an MP not a party and there were good other candidates both Lib Dem and Green in my area) but I wished them well - as fellow travellers with apparently at least some common goals.

Ha. That was a gross, baroque and grotesque misunderstanding.

We now have a worse divide between rich and poor, we have used ill-gotten gains to boost the NHS and higher education, but the root cause of ill-health and societal ills (poverty, ignorance)are wosened because of the divide.

The underlying model of the economy was even more extreme laissez-faire free market than under Thatcher. This is now laid bare in all its stupidity, but noone is actually revisiting the alternatives or coming up with any novel approaches.
But there's worse.

Without any real justification, fundamental rights have been massively eroded by these idiots. Under Elizabeth the first and during the 2nd world war, the existing habeus corpus and right to not be held without charge was sufficient, but for obscure and ill-argued reasons, the UK now has one of the worst systems in the so-called civilized world of weeks of detention without trial.

The same sort of stupid technophobic and illogical thinking has led to a plethora of tiny right-erosions including annoying things like the digital economy bill and acts of moronic proportions like the loss of private data through criminal (well it ought to be) incompetence in government agency handling - despite this, a constant push to more and more centralisation of data and control.

We colluded with the CIA in torture - not only unethical, but counter-productive since it lends our enemies an actual justification (see under just war)

We continue to contribute to an unjust war in Iraq, and a pointless war in Afghanistan.

The list goes on and on, and just gets very depressing.

The Tories represent no alternative whatsover - their economic ideas are pathetic (see the recent chancellors-in-waiting debate on TV for how daft they are). They are clueless on class, and irrelevant on Europe.

I'd encourage people to vote with their conscience - we might gt a hung parliament, that might lead to a change in the voting system which might give a chance to some fresh blood to work its way into the moribund system.

We need some massive overhauling in society, economics and environment - none of the main parties has the ability or structure to tackle any of these other from the tired old postures of the past.

Time to die.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

city of music - 4 books on rock music & cities (especially London)

This is my view of these 4 books I just read about music - I love music- also I love london - I have lived in london (mostly) for 50+ years - I am from Camden Town - I went to Gospel Oak primary school - I went to the ROundhouse every sunday for over 10 years. I saw Dingwalls come and go and the Electric Ballroom at its ska best, and the Music Machine at its metal worst,, and all the pubs (hawley dublin castle, underworld etc etc) and dives and market nonsense and fun. Its still fun. Its still a live wire - don't believe any old farts who say "it aint like it used to be" - god, william gibbson namechecks it at the start of his fairly recent Pattern Recognition, even, because of the (serious - i.e. games, computing) new media design links -

Of these 4 books, Gillett is about why rock music comes out of cities and sounds the way it is and is scholarly, respectful and true.
Du Noyer's book is very good, but a tiny bit patchy (understandable - a complete work of this scope (entire history of london is more than 2000 years!) would be 10 times the size, but has some gems of much older links between east end music hall, via mime and the gay scene to glam and new romantic (think lindsay kemp, bowie, spandau) and on - this is a lovely cultural piece which is very london.

Barry Miles piece is fantastic - my mother used to go to the Gluepot woth BBC people in 1948, so it is awesome that this guy can mention that in the same breath as the Blitz and Heaven. I also LOVE that he has such a positive outlook on counter culture and its longevity. One thing about Gillett and Miles is that they both actually DID something (not just write) - Gillett of course was a great world music advocate and apparently relentlessly nice guy. Miles did Indica books (which ended up as Compendium in Camden, but now alas gone) and arranged many serious counter-cultural events too. Du Noyer and Kent are (mostly) journos, but both with v. good writing credentials.

I was very disappointed in the Apathy book - aside from it being an interesting personal piece, it is just that - it doesn't give a lot more insights into the stars that Kent hitched his rise (and fall) too (reminds me of Neil Gaiman:). He also admits without realising it to completely misunderstanding the different parts of london and the way they affect the different people (Stones, Bowie, Siouxie and the Banshees, Dr Feelgood) and why they are different from people from Manchester who he adopts at the tail end, and Bristol, who he seems ignorant of, or NY or the Laurel Canyon gang he fell in with for a while. Nevertheless its worth looking at if you were here or there then and can remember some of it.

But in reading preference order, I'd have them:

barry miles - london calling

paul du noyer - in the city

charlie gillett (rip) - the sound of the city

nick kent - apathy for the devil

Friday, April 02, 2010

category errors

when sam harris (e.g. see the google talk uses examples of religious groups
making immoral decisions, I think he is making a category error of the same kind that Nick Kent does when write about rock music (e.g. see this review of his apathy)

it isn't religion - its something anthropologists could easily describe and is a behavioural pattern.

it isn't rock music - its a lifestyle thing - basically NME in 1972-1977 was a lifestyle magazine - those of us who liked music (often the same bands, e.g. CAN, Zep, Pistols, etc) had criteria that we shared - critics like Kent were bewitched by personalities - sometimes, the personality was necessary for the individual to make that kind of music - often not - like the myth of van gogh's madness (in his letters to his brother he frequently described how it GOT IN THE WAY of his art), the destructive behaviour of the various megastars and burnouts he described is interesting, but not because it led to the music or the music was about it.

just so, the behaviour of cultures or social groups (e.g. to oppress women or to encourage suicide bombers) is not a feature of the religion - the religion is window dressing, life style etc - the decisions are made for social reasons

as a scientist, it behoves sam harris to do better - telling people that rational objective thought might lead to better moral decisions doesn't really help - it is like telling keith richard that giving up smack might make his playing in the stones more reliable. it is completely and utterly irrelevant.

it is beside the point.

it is a blues in Eb minor with lyrics from the koran and an album cover with photos from prophets in hell

it is bankers telling the government that increasing tax or NI is a bad idea.

it is beyond the pale, round the bend, up the wall, and thoroughly so.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

this blog is now going down for repair

I can't safely post in the UK anything that might be construed as "menacing"
by some arbitrary (literally) putative reader, so there is now no longer
any point in this blog - see this fine article in
The Lawyer for why

it's another sad day for the UK

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

adultery is a two way

so why in primative cultures (dare I say religions)
are women stoned for adultery?

most of these cultures (dare i say religions)
women are regarded as goods and chattels

so how can they be responsible?

surely, the men who commit adultery
are the only ones who could
be responsible
as they are the one
who have strayed

and, if the women are as cattle
have not the men committed a worse sin
than merely stealing another man's goods?

It'd be nice to here
a cleric's response
even if only
to laugh instead of cry

Sunday, February 14, 2010

dismal letter

20 "eminent" economists tell the government to do something about deficit asap or else.

why do we listen to economists?
why have we let them out of purgatory?

they got us in this mess with their advice on free markets...

until they have a root and branch clearout,
I'm putting them in a box with blair's cabinet for iraq/bush support,
and with thatcher for destroying a generation of lives in mining communities,
and that's a pretty bad place to be

frankly, the CRU guys incompetence at keeping data and analysis and personal comments sqeeky clean is a blip on the radar compared to these bozos and bastards.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

beyond belief

post chilton the blair apoligist supremo is pursuasive that his leader didn't mislead (so to speak).

Come on - you cannot have it both ways - if he didn't, then he sure was incompetent taking such poor intelligence advice.

once again:- either blair and his gang are guilty of gross negligence in not taking more care over such important decisions, OR they were unethical in extreme.

That is the reason people are slack-jawed in amazement once again at the parade of

afghanistan - sure - necessary - almost as clear cut a case as the falklands.
iraq - unnecessary, disastrously planned in any case for the aftermath, and
an appaling waste of lives and opportunities, now leading to a less safe world.

there's no point flogging a dead horse over this any more tho - basically
you are either pro-blair or you are with us. you are either wrong or right.
you're preaching to the deaf or the converted...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

UK gov trains us to think the unthinkable, daily

One of the reasons that the Chilton enquiry is getting some press, I think, is the whole "45 minutes to launch WMD" story - the problem with the story in the first place is that it was written by politicians and civil servants from a generation of people bought up under the threat of armageddon - but this was the first generation to experience this chilling thought, that a finger on a button in Moscow or DC could end the world.

Now, people are routinely hearing about "horrifying" or "terrifying" things on the news (natural, like Tsunami or Haiti quake, or human, like Bhopal or Beslan)- far from becoming completely numb to these things, rather, the population that bothers to think can now think in terms of plausible risks and limits to damage. This means that the general, critical thinking part of the population doesn't just freeze, when some bogey-man alleged threat is invoked - they stop to consider it compared to other threats (e.g. did saddam hussein have missiles that could reach beyond the middle east? nope.) and rank it in their thinking - as Martin Amis said on TV in the 30th anniversary shindig for Newsnight, "more americans drowned in bathtubs last year than in all the terrorist attacks on the USA" (I'm not sure he's right, but he's certainly in the ballpark).

No, fact is: governments better get used to the fact that anyone under 50 can consider a spectrum of armageddons, ranging from the War with the Machines from T2, down to a couple of pre-teen kids torturing a couple of other kids nearly to death, and seperate out reality from fantasy, and rank the risks.

We don't stop thinking anymore when we hear "armageddon"
This isn't the Cold War, and this isn't the Middle Ages.

Friday, January 22, 2010

redistribution of wealth in the UK under labour

appears to mean
take money and jobs from the people
and give the money to the banks and the jobs to other countries.

when asked (e.g. on QUestiontime on TV this week) why does the government let
Royal Bank of Scotland (80% state owned) lend money to Kraft to buy cadbury
government ministers (and of course tories) say
"oh, but if we intereed in what the banks did, it would mess up the free market and financial service industry which is so succesful at creating wealth and blah blah blahh

1. they messed up the free market by borrowing 150billion pounds from china and putting it into failing businesses (those banks)
2. those banks were not sucesful at creating national wealth, only wealth for a small number of people. other countries that didnt do this had JUST AS MUCH wealth increase
and had a better distribution of that increase over the population.

this is proof positive that the government are unfit to govern since they don't represent the people, not even as shareholders in the banks they bought "on our behalf".

anyhow, if i was (say) a rich bastard who owned a steel mill and a bank, would I let the bank invest money in a competitor steel mill and have it buy my steel mill at a knock down pice, asset strip it, and move on? no i wouldn't. so why did Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling let RBS do this?

The answer is they are too scared to do ANYTHING - they even looked like frighted rabbits in the headlights nowadays.

maybe they will copy Obama, now he's moved on from healthcare to wealthcare reform ....but i'm not optimistic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

billy bragg is right - the government and RBS are irresponsible, imoral, unethical, lying, short term thinkers behaving like robber barons.

Billy Bragg protest about RBS bonus is absolutely justified

value chain:-

sell of Cadbury to foreigners (just for 1 example) - make more people unemployed - sell of their houses - some of them to foreeign investors - some of them probably to MPs who use them as second houses and claim them as expensies.

profits (abroad) made by bankers, go to their bonuses so they have more money to buy more assets from the more unemployed layed off b the richer government in cuts in public services - banks bailed out by public momey

look, RBS is about to announce 1.5 billion in bonuses - this is the amount the government is cutting higher education&research this year. How short term, bone headedly stupid is that.

UK PLC - bollocks - we aren't a PLC - the government is not taking any liability, and is selling off our assets as if they belong to a private sector and rich minority, a sector that proved itself incompetent and corrupt many times over

now we see RBS is asset stripping British companies, selling them off to the US, and then making a fast buck to pay its bonuses - how stupid is this - an 80% UK taxpayer owned company is helping make UK taxpayers redundent (i.e Cadbury's workers), so they can't pay tax and the other ta payers will be supporting them on social security
so the bastards at RBS can get bigger bonuses.

billy is right to be angry. so am i. i predict a riot.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HR, worse than cockroaches

worse than lawyers and estate agents (realtors, for US reader), HR people makework
and they make pointless work

a friend of mine is applying for lots of jobs in charities - they seem to be completely infested with HR - Bullshit - basically, all the "job specifications" are 99% boilerplate and only 1% actually talk about the actual work - i.e. what is involved in terms of day to day activities and what is required in terms of specific skills - the rest of it, stuff that anyone who could actually carry out the activities and had the requisite skills and knowledge would, by definition, be able to do in their sleep, makes up 9% plus of any form, and is all boilerplate (i.e. required zero effort by the HR person responsible, zero thought, zero knowledge of the actual domain, zero skill, probably even involved copyright theft since a lot of them look the same so are probably nicked form other companies or other sites on the net) - its shocking - I've seen this creeping madness in staff appraisal schemes in academia and industry, but now it pervades the whle lifecycle.

It must be stamped out - these folks don't even deserve a berth on the B-Ark.

HR = Hateful Reflux

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

taxing patience, taxing bankers...nowhere to run

boris johnson (erstwhile mayor of london) claims 9000 bankers will leave london because of a) 50% tax, b) tax on bonuses.
So where will they go? certainly not china or india, who wouldn;t have them, and probably not america now that Barack Obama is thinking of introducing the same thing
(see NY Times today) or gernany or france where merckl and sarkozy both think Brown's tax is not such a bad idea at all

I like this - the banks thought they could get away from national regulation by being global - they forgot the G7/8/30/blah are global too - we can follow you, anywhere, even through solid air.

taxes on stupidity really need to be made more coherent too, though - we need to tax people who run large miliatry budgets, and tax exports from regions running (real) piracy
I can see a whole new emergence of control by the "outland revenue service" (ORS:)
tracking down miscreants (a bit like Al Capone, jailed in the end for tax evasion rather than just being a gangster

after all, what is the difference between organized crime and merchant banking?
(that's a rhetorical question, btw, but if you want me to answer it, the answer is
"absolutely zero").

holding on to longevity by fingernails?

so its generally acknowledged that all mammals have the rough same number of heartbeats in a lifetime - seems to be a result of the physics of scale Iguess

but what about the number of times you shed/replace skin, or grow new claws/ fingernails?
is that an invariant too?

I think we should be told...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

US healthcare update

seems pretty simple to me..

Monday, January 04, 2010

why don't birds freeze?

given their altitude and wind chill, I'd expect them to fall out of the sky and land on someone's head...but they don't do that very often - they have very little mass and therefore little heat capacity - how do they not just turn into a lump of ice eh?

Pere Ubu (well, the singer, David Thomas) said "I think the birds are a good idea" and he wasn't talking about the band either, but are they? I think they are as innumberable as bees and as indecipherable as