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It's nine o'clock on a Saturday, the regular mail
shuffles in (6/7/2019)
Because Facebook notifies me of messages from friends and relatives I rarely look at the Messenger application, but when I did the other day I found a couple of messages from other people that needed a closer look. Enjoy!
Jack's back. He can hit the road. With his face. (6/7/2019)
I hadn't heard from Jack Shitman (never Jack Shulman™) for some time, so it was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with his idiosyncratic writing style. As in the past he has publicly called me a paedophile and a "GRADE A NAZI, SCHEISS-MEISTER OF THE ART OF WEB TERRORISM" (I must get that on a t-shirt) I really couldn't care less about what Jack likes or wants.
You're single minded, Peter. Obsessed with bashing people you believe you disagree with. Do you actually believe the Millennium Project and Ratbags somehow improves your image or serves some goal of vengeance against people? It piques my curiosity. Or is it that your mind can't survive without publishing obsessioned harassment of people publicaly to invalidate them for having beliefs you believe should be condemned publicly. It's gotten you in legal trouble before. What makes you believe it won't again. You consider yourself an expert. In what? Using SpyBot? I'm curious about what motivates you. In my 50 years in Comp Sci related work, I have only found two people as persistently abusive of others as you, you being one of them. More of a gadfly than anything. Rather than snapping back how about a rational explanation for what drives you. I don't always disagree with your opinions. But I'm curious about how now, 25 years after, you're still using the Web to soap box your criticisms of others accompanied by abuse. Care to actually explain your self? What happened to you in life that drove you to this?
Just curious, not for publication...
Not for publication? Jack doesn't understand the rules around here.
This one from Blake Rooney had lain hidden since October 2018. Succinct. I like succinct. If it had come by email I would have asked Blake if it was his email signature.
I am advised
Evan earlier, Linda Bly had shown concern about my wellbeing back in June 2018.
Hi. I saw your post on the into. Chemtrail page. 1/2 people there have fake profiles. This is a propaganda site to blind the masses. I can tell you're intelligent and want the truth. Here's a group that a friend of mine joined. You will get your proof and websites to back it up for you to research. Fluoride is poison. There's so much I bet you don't know and you will get an education! I'm going to join it myself.
I'm trying to help you see the truth. you will know it when you join the group.
I feel safe, though, because I have the t-shirt and the sign.
(When my local Council held a public meeting about introducing fluoride into the town's water supply the usual group of tin-foil-hatted kooks turned up to tell the usual lies and stories about the coming horror. I'm so evil that I couldn't resist wearing that t-shirt to the meeting.)
Thought for the day (6/7/2019)
Where does the time go?
When I did the monthly link check on this site I found an unusually high number of broken or moved links that needed attention. Some of them were too good to lose, so I had to dig around in the Web Archive to find what they looked like back in the day, which is about all I had time to do with this site this week.
Here is a selection of recovered wonders.
Sadly, it looks like the famous Butt Candle web site has gone legitimate. Instead of selling something like an ear candle butt (sorry!) for use in a different orifice it now seems to be an explanation of suppositories. Butt (there he goes again) it does have a photo taken with spread cheeks (if you get my meaning) that I won't show here because this is a family web site.
Here's the original for you to wonder at.
Another site that has gone 404 belonged to Philo T Farnsworth, who not only invented television but managed to sustain a nuclear fusion reaction for more than ten minutes on his benchtop (suck on that Pons and Fleischmann). I found it in the Web Archive and wonders of wonders it has a visitor counter just like sites used to have back in ancient times.
I still like my suggestion that the output power of fusion reactors should have "philo" as a unit of measurement, with a really good machine operating in the kilophilo class.
You can see Philo's work here
In 2007 linguists and theologians got together under the spiritual guidance of Ceiling Cat to produce a version of the Bible in LOLspeak. Unfortunately the web site has gone into the great litter tray in the sky, but traces still remain like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Liars gotta lie
In late 2002 it was announced that preliminary results suggested that a vaccine against human papilloma virus could shortly be available. Anti-vaccination liars immediately started campaigning and lying about it, even though a vaccine didn't exist at the time. In 2006 the vaccine (Gardasil) was approved by the FDA, and other countries quickly followed. The lying increased, as anti-vaccination liars turned their attention from wanting more dead children to wanting more dead older women in a parallel with their campaigns against a possible HIV vaccine. The vermin don't care how many people have to die as a result of their relentless, psychopathic agenda.
Hey, Jessie - even Dr Emmett Brown rolls his eyes at your time travel story. He probably thinks you are lying, and he would be right.
Public warning posters 1918 (left), 1939 (centre) and 1941 (right). Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Stop it! Please! (13/7/2019)
Just when we thought that the media had finally become aware of the problem of false balance (where both sides of every story must be presented even if one of them is nonsense) my Facebook feed and email inbox caught fire with a perfect example. A quite reasonable article in a small-circulation local paper promoted vaccination under the headline "Just get the jab". Everything was going well until the following paragraphs appeared:
Founder of the Australian Vaccination-risks Network, Meryl Dorey disagrees with NSW Health’s efforts and believes that flu vaccinations are both ineffective and “reactive”. Ms Dorey referenced the 2009 case of Saba Button, a Western Australian child who successfully sued the state government after becoming severely disabled from receiving a flu jab.
“The flu vaccine has been used since the late 1970’s and since that time it has been shown to not only be incredibly ineffective but also incredibly reactive,” she said. “In 2009 an experimental flu vaccine was pushed by the government in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria in the lead-up to the so-called swine flu epidemic, which never occurred. One child sued the government successfully because she is now permanently disabled as a result of the flu vaccine.
“When people vaccinate, they do so because they think that the vaccine is going to prevent a disease and keep them healthy. The flu vaccine has shown that it does not prevent flu, in fact flu like symptoms are one of the most common side-effects reported after the vaccine and it doesn’t keep you healthy because it can cause life-long disability and even death.”
50 times something is something else
2019 is a big year for 50x anniversaries, with Woodstock turning 50 next month and November seeing the 150th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin Of Species. (Miles Davis brought out Kind Of Blue 60 years ago but I celebrated anyway. His July 1969 contribution was In A Silent Way.)
But today ....
Where were you?
On July 20, 1969 something marvelous happened. I wrote about it for Australasian Science magazine ten years ago.
During July it was hard to miss the hype about the fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing.
In July 1969 I was in the army stationed at Holsworthy, west of Sydney, and on the day in question most of the battalion were somewhere else, with only a skeleton crew left behind. My job that day was to man the boom gate at the entrance to the camp in case the Viet Cong advanced down Heathcote Road. Suddenly the word went round the camp that we were all invited to the Sergeants' Mess to watch something on television. It had to be something very special, because there is strict segregation of social activities in the army and this was a building exclusively for the use of non-commissioned officers. We were a bit out of touch with world news at the time and I imagine that some of us would have secretly hoped that we were going to see the Prime Minister announce that the war and conscription were over and we could all go home.
What we saw instead was something so amazing that it I can't imagine how anybody could forget where they were when they saw it. We saw incredibly brave men do what no human had done before - stand on the surface of some place in the universe other than Earth.
But were we being told the truth? Was what we saw on television real? Was it just another clever piece of science fiction presented as truth by the media, like Orson Welles' famous 1938 radio play, The War of the Worlds? Could it have even been something more sinister - a government plot to deceive the Russians and to raise the spirits of the American population by letting them know that John Kennedy's 1962 promise to do the hard things had been fulfilled?
Almost as soon as those blurry images appeared on television there were those who claimed that the whole thing was a hoax, a conspiracy maintained until this very day to deceive everyone. It was a very good conspiracy, too, because it required the continued silence of approximately half a million people who worked on the Apollo project in some capacity. Presidents Nixon and Clinton must have wished that they had been as successful in keeping secrets, but as every conspiracy theorist knows there are some secrets protected by levels of security beyond even those available to the President of the United States.
The most commonly proposed location for filming the hoax television show is the famous Area 51 in Nevada. I have my own theory which involves large subterranean chambers carved as part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, but discussion of that option can be left for another day. As I am drinking coffee from an Area 51 mug even as I type I will stick with the conventional theory.
So what arguments have been offered to counteract the hoax theory? Let's look at three anomalies pointed out by the moon landing skeptics and see what the scientists have to say.
The first one is the waving flag. Everyone knows that there is no air on the moon, so what makes the flag flap after it is positioned? The flapping must have been caused by a breeze, so the flag planting must have happened on Earth. Well, say the scientists, with no air to damp the inertia of the flag material it would keep moving for a while even in a vacuum.
The next two have to do with photography, and both are illustrated by the famous photograph of a suited Neil Armstrong taken by Buzz Aldrin. Where are the stars in the dark sky behind Armstrong? If they are in space there should be stars. Scientists offer some weak explanation about exposure times and taking photographs in bright light. Then there's how Armstrong's suit is brightly lit but there is no shadow of the photographer. The scientists ramble on about "infill" and something about how the surface of the moon is so reflective that you can read by the reflected light 350,000 kilometres away.
In the latest attempt to refute the skeptics, NASA has released some photographs allegedly taken from something called the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and supposedly showing the remains of the Apollo lunar lander on the Moon, plus some photographs of footprints.
The immediate reaction of the "skeptical" community was to point out the capabilities of the software program PhotoShop, but this is a case where the skeptics are definitely wrong. I have it on good authority that budget cuts at NASA have rendered PhotoShop too expensive, so these pictures were made using Corel PaintShop Pro. You can trust me on this because I read it on the Internet. And I have this Area 51 coffee mug ...
Picture stolen from hahastop.com who stole it from someone else.
But wait, there's more
I've had some things to say about my contempt for moon landing deniers too, and here is an example.
Good work, Buzz! (14/9/2002)
Almost everybody who has ever owned a car has had that sinking feeling of hitting the starter and having the thing fail to start. Just yesterday I was on my way to buy petrol because the tank was low when I was stopped on a steep hill by a red light. I immediately found out how low the tank was because the engine cut out and wouldn't start again - the steep slope had taken the remaining fuel to the back of the tank and the pickup was breathing air. This was a minor inconvenience as I was only a couple of hundred metres from a service station where I could get a can of petrol to get the thing started again. Imagine, however, how it would feel to know that if your engine stopped and you couldn't start it again you would certainly die, even though millions of people knew exactly where you were, you were in constant radio contact with friends, and there was no immediate threat to your life. The only resources to sustain your life were what you were carrying yourself, there was no possibility of getting any more food or water, nobody could get to you to help, and all this was happening on television. This was the situation facing the men who walked on the moon, and the bravery of these men is almost beyond the imagination of the rest of us, particularly the courage of the first, who could look to no precedent of anyone having done it and survived.
Contrasted to these heroes is a group of idiots who claim that nobody has ever gone to the moon. On September 9, 2002, one of these clowns, Bart Sibrel, accosted Buzz Aldrin and demanded that Aldrin swear on a Bible that he had really been to the moon. Buzz decided that an appropriate response to some lunatic coming up to him in the street and calling him a liar was to settle things quickly because there was nothing to discuss, so he punched Sibrel's lights out and then went on his way. Sibrel (who is 37) is now whining to anyone who might care that a 72 year old man beat him up. Fortunately, nobody is caring. I usually don't condone violence as a means of settling arguments, but in this case I will make an exception. I didn't think I could have a higher opinion of Buzz Aldrin but now I have. He should be congratulated.
And the truth (21/7/2019)