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The censors are at it again (4/10/2008)
Some Saudi cretin complained about Pat Condell's latest video at YouTube and the video was removed. It is back now, so some sanity has been restored. Apparently the complaint was made on the basis of infringement of copyright, which is the same lying, deceitful tactic used by slimemaster Benny Hinn to have one of my videos removed. Not a pixel of copyright material in either video, but that didn't stop people lying to YouTube.
I immediately loaded the Pat Condell video up to my YouTube account, and here it is. See if you can detect the copyright infringement.
Well, it was at GodTube an hour before I wrote this but it isn't there now. I have received no notification from GodTube through either email or my message box on the site explaining why the video has been removed so I can only assume that either they fold and run away even if no threats or complaints are made or they are in the censorship business. They did the same thing with my Benny Hinn video, so I guess I will just have to assign the GodTube site to the list of worthless, hypocritical sites which want to preach but won't extend the courtesy to others.
And, by the way, while I'm thinking of it, here's the video which annoyed Benny Hinn enough to make him lie to have it removed from YouTube.
And speaking of Benny Hinn ... (4/10/2008)
I don't know why it is, but some people seem to think I am Benny Hinn. While I would appreciate the multi-million dollar house in California looking out over the Pacific Ocean, the Mercedes Benz company car and the many millions of dollars of tax-free annual income, I have none of the body shape, the hair or the amorality that go with the job. Here is the latest email:
Subject: Prayer Request
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2008 12:16:59 +0200
I enjoy watching God TV at home. I live in Zimbababwe. I am a mother of 4 and have prayer request for three of my four children. They all seem to have a wondering spirit and as a result none of them seems to do anything productive. They are aged 36, 28 and 22 the eldest is a male, they have all wondered away from the lord. My husband and myself have been interceding for them for ages. I ahve thanked the Lord for the people that I have watched bein d delivefred in your Ministry. Their name s are Kevin, Pamela and Nyasha. Please pray for them that their souls turn to God and that they be deliverd from the demons that rule their lives.
May the Good Lord Bless You.
Mrs. S Saungweme
How is the move going? (4/10/2008)
There is a real possibility that someone is about to sign contracts to buy Ratbag Castle and its extensive estate, so the move to the bush should be on real soon. I will not miss having my life continually interrupted by real estate agents, potential buyers and useless tyre-kickers who just want to waste everyone's time. I must admit that having an agent do all the showing and negotiating has been useful, because some of the offers have been of such ludicrosity that had I been doing the talking I would have dropped my normal polite manner, seized the clowns at collar and crotch and hurled them into the street. I hate shopping, and I especially hate shopping for houses and cars, so I can't see why any sane person would find it entertaining to spend their weekends wandering through other people's houses criticising the carpets and kitchens without any intention to buy the houses they are looking at.
Every time one of these parades comes around we have to tidy up, remove all signs that someone might live in the house and take the Cody The Religion Hating Dog for a walk. Apparently, house buyers won't buy houses that look lived in. Cody is all in favour of the situation but he isn't trying to get any work done.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I should be able to get back to regular and comprehensive updates of this site real soon now. Another distraction this week was some under-the-hood work to improve page loading times. At least that was the sort of job where I could stop work, stack everything in neat piles, go for a walk and resume pretty much where I left off. Writing and researching stuff isn't as flexible.
Charles Darwin's birthday party (4/10/2008)
Next year brings the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, possibly the single most influential scientific book ever printed. Rational thinkers all over the world will be celebrating enthusiastically and partying like it's 1859. One conference celebrating the anniversaries will be held in a place that might surprise some - The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. The title of the conference is "Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories" A critical appraisal 150 years after "The Origin of Species", and it is sure to offend some people who believe that belief in creationism and a young earth are essential qualities for anyone claiming to be a Christian. In fact, I hope it offends a great number of them, because creationists are the sort of people who should be offended on a daily basis. Apparently there was a conscious decision made to only have scientists and theologians as speakers, that is to say people who might know what they are talking about. Creationists, Intelligent Design IDiots and "researchers" from the Discovery Institute were wasting their time trying to get on the roster. Like I said, only people who know something about either science or religion were welcome, and creationists prove with their every utterance their ignorance of both.
Should I click? (4/10/2008)
I was reading something on a online newspaper the other day when the following two Google advertisements appeared together. I didn't bother to click on either, although I was intrigued at how two obviously similar products could have such different descriptions. I like the warning on the second one, though - it certainly would be "fat loss for idiots".
Wellington Grey's web site seems to have evaporated.
A homeopathetic challenge (18/10/2008)
I have been sent a list of 50 facts about homeopathy with the apparent intention of converting me to the cause of woowoo and nonsense. Here are my responses to the first 25 "facts". I will respond to the rest when I have stopped laughing. I don't want to overdo the asthma medication I needed when I hyperventilated with amusement. My answers are in italics.
How Homeopathy Works
* Fact 1 - Hippocrates 'The Father of Medicine' of Ancient Greece said there were two Laws of Healing: The Law of Opposites and the Law of Similars. Homeopathy treats the patient with medicines using the Law of Similars, orthodox medicine uses the Law of Opposites, e.g. antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics.
Who wrote this? It really is funny.
* Fact 2 - Homeopathic theories are based on fixed principles of the Laws of Nature which do not change -- unlike medical theories which are constantly changing!
It gets better!
* Fact 3 - Homeopathy is an evidence-based, empirical medicine.
Come on, comedy should rely on suggestion, not outright lies.
* Fact 4 - Homeopathy is both an art and a science.
Practised by bullshit artists and pseudoscientists.
* Fact 5 - The Homeopathic provings of medicines are a more scientific method of testing than the orthodox model.
My eyes are watering.
* Fact 6 - Homeopathic medicine awakens and stimulates the body's own curative powers. The potentized remedy acts as a catalyst to set healing into motion.
That's better - comedy based on assertions of the absurd. Remember Monty Python?
* Fact 7 - Homeopathic medicines work by communicating a current/ pattern/frequency of energy via the whole human body to jump start the body's own inherent healing mechanisms.
* Fact 8 - Homeopathy assists the body to heal itself, to overcome an illness which brings the patient to a higher level of health. Orthodox medicine suppresses the illness, bringing the patient to a lower level of health.
* Fact 9 - The homeopathic practitioner endeavours to search for and treat the cause of the disease in order to heal the effect.
The Marx Brothers?
* Fact 10 - Outcomes of homeopathic treatment are measured by the long term curative effects of prescribing and complete eradication of the disease state.
* Fact 11 - The homeopathic practitioner treats the whole person, believing all symptoms are interrelated and seeks to select a medicine which most closely covers them all.
The Goon Show?
* Fact 12 - Homeopathic remedies are cheap.
The Bach Relief Remedy at my local pharmacy sells for $1,895 per litre for the cheapest form of brandy available. This is obviously much cheaper brandy than Courvoisier, which costs $100 per litre.
* Fact 13 - Pharmaceutical medicines are expensive.
Paracetamol is available at my local supermarket for about $3 for a packet of 24 tablets. Generics not carrying brands of pharmaceutical companies are cheaper.
The Brauer sleeping tablets I used to use in demonstrations sell for $14.95 for a packet of 20 tablets. The metformin I take for my diabetes costs me $13.70 for a packet of 100.
* Fact 14 - There are more than 4,000 homeopathic medicines.
Actually, there is an infinity of homeopathic medicines. In fact, the man who runs King Bio admitted that all of the "medicines" made by his company were identical and could only be distinguished from each other by reading the labels.
* Fact 15 - Homeopathic medicines have no toxic side-effects.
Water is like that.
* Fact 16 - Homeopathic medicines are non-addictive.
Water is like that.
* Fact 17 - Every true homeopathic medicine is made using one substance -- whether plant, mineral, metal, etc. The exact substance is known, unlike most modern drugs where we are rarely informed of the ingredients.
Really? Ever looked at a packet of tablets or a bottle of liquid medicine.
Like I said above, comedy should not have to rely on lies.
* Fact 18 - Any remedy up to a 12c or a 24x potency still contains the original molecules of the substance and this is known as Avogadro's number.
Fact 18a- the above sentence is incoherent.
* Fact 19 - Every Patient is Unique so homeopathic medicines are individualized.
So why are they on sale in health food shops and pharmacies? Why do companies like King Bio and Brauer exist? Are they committing fraud? (Rhetorical question)
* Fact 20 - Homeopaths treat genetic illness, tracing its origins to 6 main genetic causes: Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Psora (scabies), Cancer, Leprosy.
Wow! That is the funniest line yet.
Just for fun, please explain the genetic bases for these diseases. You know, alleles and all that.
* Fact 21 - Epidemics such as cholera and typhoid were treated successfully using homeopathy in the 19th century with very high success rates, compared to orthodox medicine (http://www.whale.to/v/ winston.html).
Come on! No comedian should have to resort to admitting that they are telling someone else's jokes.
* Fact 22 - There are thousands of homeopathic books, available at specialist outlets, not sold in the high street.
How is it possible to see a homeopathic book? Surely its size has been reduced by a factor of at least a million.
* Fact 23 - There are 5 homeopathic hospitals in the U.K. -- in London, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow. They cost the NHS under £10 million a year compared to the £100 billion for the total annual NHS budget for 2008!
Seems to show that nobody gets treated in those hospitals, doesn't it? I thought that homeopathy was taking over medical care, but now you say that it represents only a 4X dilution. That's .0001 or 0.01%.
* Fact 24 - At one of the earliest debates on the NHS Act of 1948 the Government pledged that homoeopathy would continue to be available on the NHS, as long as there were "patients wishing to receive it and doctors willing to provide it".
Politicians are like that. Funnily, the NHS used to provide heroin because there were "patients wishing to receive it and doctors willing to provide it"
* Fact 25 - There is a campaign by certain U.K. Professors to oust homeopathy completely from the NHS after they wrote on NHS headed paper to all Primary Care Trusts in 2006 telling managers not to refer patients to the homeopathic hospitals.
Good to see that somebody was acting sensibly.
I'll look at the other 25 jokes later. I have to rush off to give my cat his 12C breakfast. By the end of next week he should be used to it and thriving.
And what was the reply I received from the person presenting me with these "facts". Here it is in its entirety. It suggests that the correspondent has a 100C intellect.
The price of prayer (18/10/2008)
I friend of mine has just come back from a trip. One of the places he visited was Pisa in Italy. At the cathedral he was presented with a dilemma, as you have to pay to get in. It wasn't so much the paying that worried him, but the blatant discrimination shown by the fact that you could get in for free if you wanted to pray. His dilemma was whether he should join the select group known as Twenty Minute Apostate Atheists and use the free entrance or pay up like a good non-prayer (that's prayer not prayer - I am sure you can see the difference). I think he paid the seven euros.
This policy opens up several possibilities. Should blind people be able to get into the movies for free (with the dog at half price perhaps)? How about free CDs for deaf people? Should I be entitled to free piano lessons on the basis that nobody (except perhaps one of those aforementioned deaf people) could ever mistake me for a musician?
I was wrong about something!! Imagine that.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that a video by Pat Condell had been removed from YouTube because it offended some Saudi imbecile. The information I had at the time was that the pathetic but useful claim of copyright infringement had been used to get the video removed. It turns out that I was mistaken, wrong and misled. It was removed for defaming the Saudis by saying that the government of Saudi Arabia is mentally ill. Pat has now issued an apology in which he says that, in fact, the government of Saudi Arabia is merely suffering from severe mental illness. That's my sort of apology.
I am suitably chastened (18/10/2008)
The following comment was posted to my YouTube channel on October 2, 2008. As always, I am deeply impressed by the comments of anonymous people and will immediately change my ways.
So you're the "expert" behind the millenium project? Wow, you look like such a highly successful individual... Seriously mate, making a living from whinging, snivelling and pointing out the negatives everywhere you go... how do you find any joy in life? Were you abused as a little boy? Or are you just bitter about being a balding, aging "management consultant" who never got anywhere with your own abilities and could only become known by moping and bringing others down?
You sap the world of all that's good. Go suck a tail pipe.
Speaking of the brain-dead ... (18/10/2008)
The following comment was posted to one YouTube video I saw during the week:
is this scene on youtube? If so can somebody give me the right tags to find it
Think about that for a moment. This person wants to know where they can find the video that is displayed on the very page being looked at. I wonder who turned the computer on for the fool.
Requiescat in Pace (18/10/2008)
I was saddened to belatedly hear about the death on September 15 of Richard Wright, keyboard player for Pink Floyd. It is always a little disturbing to find out that the people you grew up with are dying of natural causes. As a memorial, here he is working behind another couple of rocking old age pensioners. (Yes, both singers are older than I am. Just. Both are also richer than I am. A lot.)