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June 19, 2008

He's back!! (19/6/2008)
Well, almost. I'm gradually easing myself back into regularity. But enough of my personal health matters, I am also getting back into the habit of updating this site. This week's update will be a little slim, but the boilers are building up pressure and the turbines are spinning faster each day. (Greenness note: 10% of the electricity being used to type this comes from renewable resources. Honestly. I have seen the wind farm owned by the power company.)


The widening gyre (19/6/2008)
The Millenium Project is pleased to announce that the 90th edition of the Skeptics' Circle will be hosted here on July 3. As I am a re-emerging polymath, the topic will include anything that fits into the categories of Resurrection or Eclecticism. Put another way, just about anything to do with skepticism in general will be eligible for inclusion even if it is something that has been said before. Get your entries in to skircle@ratbags.com as soon as possible. As July 3 will happen a bit earlier in Australia than most other places, please try to get your submissions in a day or two before that your time.


That reminds me ... (19/6/2008)
No particular reason, except that I like the poem. (I do have a Falcon car and it is prone to falling apart.)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats 1920


Have I offended anyone lately? (19/6/2008)
Probably not, but here goes ...

Iridiocy


Goji - this week's cure for everythingAm I going to offend anyone soon? (19/6/2008)
Probably. I certainly hope so.

A friend of mine is always looking for sources of income for the members and beneficiaries of a small non-profit organisation. He recently suggested to me that a multi-level marketing company whose name I can't mention because of the confidential settlement of a court case might be a suitable place to look for advice. I was as polite as I could be when pointing out that MLM is always a scam and that if I ever changed my mind about that fact then this would be the last company I would be doing business with. (He must have forgotten that he introduced me to them in the first place and should have been well aware of what subsequently went on.) His latest great idea is Goji juice and I have been invited along to a presentation by a naturopath who is going to tell us all about the miracles of the juice and the awesome income potential of the opportunity. I asked if I could be rude to the speaker and I was told that I was specifically invited to play the part of Devil's Advocate. I can hardly wait. I am very impressed by the scientific research demonstrating how this magic juice can cure almost everything (leukaemia has been mentioned!), particularly the study where all twelve (yes, 12) subjects in the "double-blind clinical trial" were employees of the juice sellers. I might just ask the naturopath if Goji juice can eliminate the need for vaccination. That should lead to an interesting conversation.


Some good news (19/6/2008)
There have been a couple of outbreaks of common sense lately.


Error message of the week (19/6/2008)
I love informative error messages from software. We all learn from our mistakes and each error provides an opportunity to expand our knowledge. I was particularly impressed with the following error message I received while trying to obtain some educational material from Microsoft to use in my classes with school kids. I marvel at its succinctness and its precision. It tells me nothing that I didn't need to know.

MS error



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