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December 11, 2021

Back! (11/12/2021)
That's a picture of a back. It's not my back, but I'm back from all the distractions of the last few weeks. There was a car rally that almost didn't happen because of flooded roads and a local council election that turned from working only on election day to two weeks of rather intensive days collecting votes before polling day. (Unlike some other countries, we make it very easy for people to vote in elections. More than half the eligible voters took advantage of the early voting centre, and as we had to do a preliminary count of the votes taken on the day at the end of polling day, the more early voters there were the sooner we all got home.)

I've somehow managed to not avoid helping a family member move house so I'll be busy for the next week or so, and then there's Christmas and New Year so I'll be disappearing from here until the middle of January. I'm also booked in for my COVID vaccine booster in the next week. Life just keeps getting in the way of life, doesn't it?

The picture of a spine reminds me that everyone should pencil in a New Year's Resolution to stay away from chiropractors. I make this resolution every year and it's one that I find very easy to keep.

Speaking of Christmas (11/12/2021)
It must be time for anencephelics to start raving about the "war on Christmas", when non-believers are supposed to start telling everyone to say "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas. As the word "holiday" is an evolution of the words "holy day" it would be rather silly to replace the name of one holy day with a generic term, but the fundamentalist extremes of religion and atheism are both so out of touch with reality that they can and should be ignored.

This particular atheistic secularist is quite happy to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Around my place it's a secular occasion when we get together with friends and relatives, have a couple of days off from work and celebrate the good things in our lives. And I happen to like some of the music at community carol singing events (although "Jingle Bells" sets my teeth on edge and I can't find any mention in the Bible of any little drummer boy doing paradiddles for the infant Jesus).

So, as I say every year - Merry Christmas, drink responsibly, drive safely and try not to do both on the same day.

Some laffs! (11/12/2021)
Some Christmas cartoons from the excellent Taboo book of cartoons that were rejected for publication. As the book came out in 1966 I'm not trying to find the artists' web sites.

Sovereign Citizens strike! (11/12/2021)
People have died in various parts of the world attempting to vote, so I have very little, let's say no, sympathy for anyone who refuses to vote because of "principles". People will tell you that voting is compulsory in Australia but that is not actually the case. What is compulsory is to be enrolled as a voter if you are over 18 years of age and that you turn up at a polling place and be marked as attending. (The US idea of registering to vote with a certain political party is a mystery to the rest of the world. Here you enrol with the Australian Electoral Commission and they don't care which party, if any, you favour and there is no way they can ask.)

Working at the council elections exposed me to some people who didn't take voting seriously. Here are their stories.

Not election related, but a Sovereign Citizen was prosecuted for not enforcing mask and sign-in rules at his hotel. At the court appearance he denied that his name was his name. (SovCits claim that the name on their birth certificate is not their real name - something to do with CAPITAL LETTERS and the government using the names on the certificates as asset backing for borrowing. Have I mentioned that these people are insane? My name is hand-written on my copy of my original birth certificate so maybe I was lucky to be born before the invention of the typewriter. Or something.) The magistrate then tried and fined him in absentia. The clown argued that he wasn't absent but the magistrate replied "You said you were" and moved on to the next thing on the agenda. I like this magistrate.

Death doesn't take a holiday (11/12/2021)
Back in 2014 a thing called Mayer Eisenstein died, making the world a better place. It claimed to be a doctor and was famous for coming up with the idea that autism could be treated (at huge expense) by a drug used for the chemical castration of rapists. The drug, Lupron, had a legitimate use in the treatment of precocious puberty so doctors prescribing it for autism were committing insurance fraud as well as medical fraud.

Unfortunately Eisenstein's ideas didn't die with it. I commented at the time that its family, who had knowingly and willingly profited from its lies, would probably continue its work. Well, finally, it looks like good news has arrived and this month's link check here showed that its web site has disappeared completely. Nobody can accidentally come across the bad advice any more.

It's not just Christmas being celebrated this month.

Speaking of death … (11/12/2021)
It's usually considered bad manner to celebrate the deaths and misfortunes of others, but a reasonable case can be made when COVID deniers and anti-vaccination liars die or get sick from the disease they say doesn't exist and for which no preventative action should be taken. I am of course horrified that someone should have created a web site specifically targeted at these unfortunate people whose resistance to COVID has proved futile.

I am not so horrified, however, that I won't tell you to go to and participate in the Schadenfreude of seeing what has happened to people who spread lies about a very serious medical problem that has resulted in an enormous amount of death and suffering. I just wish that I'd thought of it first.

Quintessence Nook (11/12/2021)

November and December finish the sequence of months with names ending in "ber", but they also have the distinction of having names that say which month of the year they are. November is the ninth month and December is the tenth. Remember that, it's important.

Here are some memories from those months in 2001.

Christmas gift suggestions
If last-minute present buying was not a good idea, the shops would not be open on Christmas eve. There is still time to get that gift for the friend you forgot or to get a little something extra for the most important person in your life. Deliveries can be slow at this time of year. Shop now.

Human Bone JewelleryWhat says "I love you" better than a vertebra with an inset precious stone? Or a pair of earrings made from coccyx tips? Be careful when you order, though. A friend of mine ordered an ilium brooch and she didn't know how big a pelvis was until it arrived.
LeechesChristmas comes at the start of summer where I live, and the place is full of nasty biting and stinging things and the sunburn gives us all skin cancer. A first-aid kit is always a useful present so, as well as the French perfume, why not give your wife a bucket of leeches?
The Fish BonkerNo, not what you thought! (Don't be so rude.) This is something that every fisherperson needs. Give one to the fish hunter in your life You never know when he might need to bonk a fish.
Human SkullsThe perfect ornament and conversation piece. Place them on the dining table with candles on top for that romantic occasion. Turn them upside-down to make unusual bowls to serve dessert to your guests. Put some on stakes in your garden to deter kids from taking a shortcut across your lawn. Thousands more uses.

[The Internet Archive was so surprised by this that it forgot to save a copy]
The Original Alaska POOP
MOOSE Candy Dispenser!
You've just finished a fine main course, the sweeter wines are being brought out to have with dessert, you think you hear your hostess say "I'll just bring out the mousse", and you look forward to a bowl of smooth chocolate confection with perhaps a dab of cream on top. Then you realise she said "moose".

Born To Sun: Word creations inspiring spiritual divine mastery
This is amazing. Have you ever noticed that some words contain letters and letter combinations that are used in other words? Once you see this, it is obvious that these words must be related, and it also opens up the possibility of creating new words from the building blocks exposed by this observation. As an example, I took the phrase "star struck". The first word is obviously made up of the letter "s", which is the same letter "s" as in the words "snake" and "serpent" (as well as the word "sibilant" that describes the noise they make, and it is the last letter of "reptiles") and the word "tar" which refers to the Unix backup utility program. The word "star" is therefore code for a compressed collection of snakes, or, in the vernacular, a "can of worms". It would be tempting to analyse "struck" in the same way and get a vehicle for transporting snakes, but it's more complex than that. In fact, you divide the word in half to get "str" and "uck". The first set of letters is the same as the start of the word "strumpet", which not only is obviously related to "crumpet" (the Englishman's word for a female) but contains the word "trumpet" which is part of the horn section. Need I say more? The second part of the word just leads to words ending in "uck", but I can't think of any word like that which could have anything to do with strumpets.

Irish UFOlogy
The signs were always there. Women dancing without moving their arms. Foaming black beverages where the bubbles go down as well as up. An obsessive desire to migrate and become police officers. Talk of "little people" and "the gift". Snakeless. Well, now we have an explanation - Ireland is a hotbed of UFO activity and alien visitation. You would dance funny, too, if you had just been probed and implanted, and what better way to achieve power than to infiltrate the police forces of major cities? The litttle people are grey coloured and the gift is telepathy. Every alien I have ever met has been partial to a meal of reptile (except the ones who landed in Iceland, who preferred auks) and the collapse of the Irish snake herds was due to over-hunting. (This was surprising, as most aliens come to warn us of environmental problems.) The bubble thing is the easy one - gravity was different where Guinness was invented.

And look at this piece of nostalgia, complete with blurring from being resized:

Mid-Atlantic Geomancy
I'm annoyed. When my house was built, the architect thought he could do it all himself and he didn't get a professional geomancer in to work on the labyrinth design. This has left us with a dwelling which lacks a bit of sacredness, although it is a very impressive labyrinth down there and the neighbourhood kids just love spending weeks lost in it. The real problem is bureaucratic, however, because we don't have the right certification. We have the plans for all the other services. There's the plan of the water and sewerage services and we had a dowser in to give us a good ley line diagram. I didn't know there was anything missing until we tried to sell the house and there it was on the agent's check list, right between "gas reticulation diagram" and "pest inspection certificate" - "labyrinth layout diagram". We have to get a licensed geomancer in and it's terribly expensive to do it after the house is built because of the maze of twisty little passages.

American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena
Every Christmas brings us new gadgets and ways of doing things. Now we store our music on CDs and MP3 players and such like, and the older technologies get forgotten. We keep the devices around the house for a while, but eventually they end up in the garage or attic, too good to throw away but too useless to sell. It is very encouraging, therefore, to find a use for that old reel-to-reel tape recorder that you paid so much for all those years ago. In addition, you can use the amplifier that you used to need before you got the new CD player and the microphones the kids had before they figured out that they were never going to be rock stars. Put them all together and you too can capture the paranormal sounds that permeate the aether. I went one step further and plugged in my old faithful Fender Stratocaster. I just left it all alone for a while, and when I played the tape back I could just faintly hear the beginning of a tune. As I strove to identify it, my daughter started to sing softly: "There's a lady who's sure, all that glitters is gold, ...".

The New Being Project
The creationists don't have it all their own way with scientific research, because here is a site showing how humans are evolving even as we type. The really exciting thing is that we seem to be about to make an evolutionary jump that will make the day that that monkey came out of the tree and invented calculus and swimming pool filters look like a picnic in the park. I can almost feel the non-linear intelligence around me. Come to think of it, IQ follows a normal or Gaussian distribution, which is definitely non-linear. But I digress ... I am also fascinated by the concept of "mind pretzeling". When I was studying psychology we did a lot of work with donuts, éclairs and the occasional sticky bun but nobody ever suggested the influence of salty snacks. I guess that's why I never became an edgeling.

I loved the background colour so much I had to keep it.

The Big Water Theory
I like a good scientific theory. For too long now, scientific creation scientists, the practitioners of Scientific Creation Science, have been handicapped by the lack of a cohesive and coherent theoretical framework to explain how the world is only 6000 years old. Oh, I know that there have been some attempts to force the Bible into the role of scientific textbook, but what was always needed was a Newton, a Galileo, a Harvey, a CrickAndWatson, an Einstein, a Pasteur, a Jenner, a Rutherford, a Bohr to make that next intellectual jump that opens up the truth to us all. Now we have one and, in fact, many of the people just mentioned are shown to have been mistaken in their ideas about how things work.

Another Tripod classic - bold red text on a black background. Perfect!

I couldn't decide between the two. See more from Judy Horacek here.


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