Daily Archives: March 28, 2012

Duncan’s Ditty of the Day #6

Another shameless filler. As I mentioned in the last ditty, I think that the most influential musician since the 1960’s is Lou Reed. I can see Reed’s influence all over indie, industrial and even 80’s stuff. So it’s only right to include some Lou Reed now. This from his ageless 1989 album, New York.

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An attempt at a short post

In my career as a forum antagonist, I know that I was guilty of, shall I say, going on a bit. I used to have a bit of envy for one poster, called oh_once, who was much better than me at getting a point across succinctly and economically. Also, arguably, the best blogs are the ones that keep it short and sweet. Bruce Gerencser, from Fallen from Grace, is asking for guest contributors, and he says:

…keep your post short. Usually, less than 2,000 words is best. Years ago, I wrote Op-Ed pieces for a local newspaper. The editor told me that it would be best if I kept my articles to about a thousand words. When I objected he told me, Bruce you can make it as long as you want. However, if you want people to READ it, keep it to a thousand words. Years later, I have found this to be good advice.

I didn’t start this with the intention of getting anyone to read it, but as it grows in content I will open it up. And 4600-word posts probably aren’t the best way of doing it.

So I’ll keep this one short.

When a post is published in wordpress they splash a screen telling you how many posts you’ve made, what your next target is and include a quote from some great.

The last one I thought was really good. It was from Blaise Pascal, of fascinating triangle and daft wager fame.

I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.

Sums me up, I suppose.


Prayers work, say British politicians

I admit to being the world’s worst advocate of democracy. It’s 38 years since I became of voting age and in all that time I’ve managed to put my X in the box twice in general elections. I do think that honest abstinence is a legitimate position, though.

I see that David Cameron is on the defensive after his former party treasurer was forced to quit after offering access to the Prime Minister and senior colleagues for money. This is only the latest in a string of scandals going back many years, and only a couple of years ago Parliament’s reputation suffered the biggest blow it has ever probably suffered in the so-called expenses scandal, as MP after MP was exposed systematically cheating or at best breaking the spirit of the law. My own MP, Bill Wiggin, claimed mortgage payments on a “second” home after buying a cheaper property outright.

This is one of the problems with democracy – you have to be very careful who you vote for. Actually the low esteem in which politicians are held is an argument for democracy, insofar as we can get rid of them, albeit sometimes it might seem akin to cleaning out the Augean Stables.

One can see that I’m not particularly enthusiastic about our legislators.  But if I lived and voted in South West Devon, South Luton or Westmorland right now it would just be too embarrassing. The members for these three constituencies are active in the “Christians in Parliament” group, and have written to the Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) attempting to get the authority to change its adjudication on a Christian group that claimed that God heals illnesses. As these claims were highly specific, naming particular illnesses, this could well be the easiest adjudication that the respected ASA has ever had to make. Continue reading


Creationist drivel – Thermodynamics

Having a little time, I thought I’d pass a few comments on remnant’s next supposed scientific disproof of evolution, although it’s a bit tricky, because remnant’s source doesn’t actually offer any.

First Law of Thermodynamics (1847). Heinrich von Helmholtz stated the law of conservation of energy: The sum total of all matter will always remain the same. This law refutes several aspects of evolutionary theory. *Isaac Asimov calls it “the most fundamental generalization about the universe that scientists have ever been able to make” (*Isaac Asimov, “In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even,” Journal of Smithsonian Institute, June 1970, p. 6).

“Evolution Handbook”

Obviously Asimov himself didn’t sympathise with the view that the law refuted “several aspects of evolutionary theory” because he was himself a non-believer and a committed supporter of evolutionary theory.

It looks like we’re not going to be told what the “several aspects of evolutionary theory” that have been refuted actually are. Pity. Continue reading