Belated apology (4/7/2020)
I have a tradition of passing on the annual Gates Letter as soon as it's published in about February each year, but this year I forgot. I am here today to rectify this terrible oversight. The letter used to be issued as a PDF file but Bill has probably had a disagreement with the folks at Adobe so now it only comes as a web page.
Beware the cyborg! (4/7/2020)
Byron Shire is the poster child for woowoo and nonsense in my home state. It's where the strongest anti-vaccination movement lives. The Council recently announced that it had banned 5G mobile phone towers (despite the fact that local councils have absolutely no say or power of veto over telecommunication infrastructure). Residents are eternally disappointed that the town of Nimbin where people worship marijuana is outside the shire boundaries. People from there never tire of telling the rest of us that as Cape Byron is the easternmost part of Australia they get the sun before the rest of us do. The water is fluoride-free.
Someone has decided to crank up the weirdness to a new level.
Who wouldn't want to be warned about the encroaching full spectrum dominance iminent (sic) cyborg future? Surely you must be worried by the 606 new registered adult vaccines (luckily it's not 666) or the 5427 vaccines in development (such precise numbers!). The COVID-19 plague has already started us on the way to a cashless society (I had to use a card to pay for a coffee yesterday) so that battle is probably lost. As the Byron Council has banned 5G the locals won't have to worry about the 5G-7.5G NNEMF open air prison just yet.
And how many people turned up to the protest? Think of a number between 1 and 5.
Disclaimer: I live in a town named after a fairy, the biggest employer in the place is called Borg and the fluoride is back in the water supply. I'm probably doomed.
Quintessence Nook (4/7/2020)
July is always a strange month. It reminds us of the Julian calendar, which gave us the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th months but gave them names indicating that they are actually the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th. Somehow we manage to overcome the confusion. In Australia it is the month when the Australian Taxation Office web site continually fails through overloading because everyone at the ATO is caught by surprise as every individual and corporation in the country tries to file a tax return. A special piquancy was added to the tax problems in 2000 because we were all coping with a new consumption tax that the government had promised to never introduce and which put the full burden of the extra tax on end consumers, raising the price of almost everything by 10%. Exceptions and quirks to the tax regulations added to the load on the ATO web site as bewildered accountants asked for advice about their clients' obligations with such questions as "Does the GST have to be charged on cake icing as well as on the cake?" and "How do I apportion the GST across the ingredients for a lunchtime sandwich and why is it different if the customer buys fruit juice instead of a Pepsi?".
Here are some gems from the July 2000 archives of the now retired Quintessence of the Loon site. Sadly, the world is still infested with chaos and madness, but if that all went away I'd have nothing to write about.
Songs from Beyond
I was about to say "Now I've heard everything", but that would obviously be untrue as we now have a way to hear songs written by dead people after they die. This raises some interesting legal questions. Some years ago I wrote a book and I wanted to open it with a few words from John Lennon's Imagine but Michael Jackson (who owns John's words) would not give permission. So what is Whacko Jacko going to do about this site? Does he own the songs here too? Linda Polley has a whole CD full of Lennon songs to put out as soon as she finds a producer, and I am looking forward to her forthcoming tour with Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. Now, there's a band for you. Giuseppe Verdi will produce the souvenir CD and Picasso's doing the t-shirts.
[The picture of John comes from The Internet Beatles Album by Dave Harber Thanks, Dave.]
Sadly, this site seems to have dropped into a black hole like the one in the middle of a 12" vinyl record. But, as John himself once wrote, it was twenty years ago.
"They laughed at Galileo". Richard Milton does not actually say these words, but he shows every sign of believing in the principle. Apparently lots of loony ideas should be given careful consideration because some good ideas of the past took some time to become accepted and some were even declared nonsense by people who should have known better (or who, in many cases, had no access to what we know today). I had to think about that for a minute, but then it became clear to me - in the past some scientists were right but other scientists said they were wrong and some were wrong when they said others were wrong therefore today some scientists are right because other scientists say they are wrong and other scientists are wrong because they say the first lot are wrong. And the first law of thermodynamics is not universal constitutional law and can be overturned at any time without us all having to vote on it because it is just a precedent and tradition. And I know cold fusion works because it is winter here and the fuse just blew and my heater stopped working and I am cold. Perhaps my cat will perform an act of Spontaneous Feline Combustion and warm the place up.
Mr Milton's web site is no more, but you can still buy a copy of his book
End-time Deliverance Center
Quick! Save yourself from the demons! Don't go mountain climbing or bungee jumping. Throw away your frogs and slaughter all your unicorns. I won't tell you again.
This site would have been listed here anyway, just because it is about a play which has a character called "The Loon" and another one called "The Alchemist" who seems to be looking for his quintessence. Apart from that, I have no idea what it is about. There are lots of people in fancy dress who seem to be doing something. There are other people in fancy dress who seem to be having things done to them. There are people with no dress behaving in ways which would probably cause your maiden aunt to chew the top off a bottle of Jim Beam. There are people with strange headdresses on. Thankfully, there are no frogs or unicorns. The picture at right is the most understandable thing on the site, and it means about as much as the texture on a taco.
[Warning: there are a couple of images on this site which may really send your maiden aunt into the vapours. Make her look with her eyes closed. Actually, this site might offend everyone. It could be the most outrageous piece of blasphemy (with a hint of pornography) on the 'net, or it could just be the work of a pack of drunken fruitcakes with a camera and too much time on their hands. You be the judge. I'm off to sacrifice a platypus and eat its spleen.]
This site won Loon of the Month. The citation read:
|Loon of the Month|
|Richard Milton might look like a certainty for Loon of the Month as he seems to believe anything (provided that some scientist doesn't believe it), but he disqualified himself by flattering me on a public mailing list. I am not for sale (well, I probably am, but he didn't offer enough). Linda Polley was a strong runner because, by channelling John Lennon, she has helped me get revenge on Michael Jackson. I hope Jacko turns green (if it's a colour he hasn't used already). |
The winner is the Pentagrammation Rituals, just because I can't figure out what is going on there but there seems to be a loon and some quintessence and everyone is having such a good time.
International Association of Past Life Therapists
Do you want a new job? Sick of the boss and the office politics and the commute each way each day? Here's your chance at a whole new career as a Past Life Therapist. This means you can take people back into their past lives to see what causes their problems today. But wait, there's more! You can also learn how to become a Psychic Counselor, so you can fix up people's spirits. (I knew a bartender once who could fix real good spirits.) But wait, there's more (and a set of steak knives). You can even take on that highly-in-demand speciality, ET Abduction Counseling, and help people put their lives back together after they get back from the probatorium.
[There is a really strong warning on this site about using any words or graphics from it. The ETs made me do it. I must need counseling.]
The Nephilim Resistance Task Force
It always pays to be ready for the future. Here's an organisation which is getting ready to defend us from the Nephilim, or giants, who have been around since Adam and Eve started creative gardening and herpetology. You see, everyone thought that the giants who were around in those days had gone away, but the NRTF knows that they have just been hiding, biding their time until the appointed day and hour when they will arise from wherever they are and we will be thrown into pitched battle with these spawns of evil. The battles will be furious and blood will run like rivers. Respect will be restored to the practitioners of the ancient arts, men will again be able to say proudly to their sons: "I am a slayer", and women will be able to again openly offer fruit to their lovers. Snakes will walk again with pride.
It looks like the Nephilim have gone back into hiding. I hope we don't have to wait another 4,000 years for their next return.
Preemptive apology (11/7/2020)
If the weather don't mind (200mm of rain predicted in the area in the next week) and the COVID don't mind (more travel restrictions likely) I won't be here next week. I'll be in Bulahdelah (about 450 kilometres from my place) doing media coverage of a forest rally, only the second one to be run in the country after travel restrictions were eased. Everyone is very excited at the chance of driving their cars fast in places where I can take photographs (although I don't think I'm the competitors' highest priority). This week I'm getting everything ready, including checking the camping gear I haven't used for more than a year and putting better lights on the car I've just bought, so this update will be a little brief.
While looking at a map of the town I saw this. I note that Google Maps shares my view of the real purpose of "organic" foods – just see the "$$".
Oh, dear! (11/7/2020)
Our old friend Blackmore's, Australia's largest distiller of snake oil, has had another setback in their attempt to heal everyone by using natural wellness. They have a product named ArmaForce which is supposed to "have benefits for" colds and flu (never "treatment for" – that would be making a testable claim). Unfortunately it has some side effects. (What? Something natural with side effects? Tell me it isn't so.) These side effects include loss of sense of taste. You know, just like a COVID-19 infection.
Blackmore's state that this is a "practitioner only" product, meaning that it can only be sold by health practitioners like naturopaths and herbalists, unlike real medicines like paracetamol and fexofenadine which can be sold by supermarkets and those little shops at service stations to treat the headaches and sneezing from colds and flu. By pure good luck, pharmacists are included in the class of "health practitioners" and several have reported that people who have bought ArmaForce have come back worried that they might have a coronavirus infection. (Apparently no reports have been received from the customers of naturopaths and herbalists, or maybe these practitioners don't know how to pass on any complaints.)
I do, however, have to award Blackmore's several Chutzpah Points for labeling the product as "Vegan". As it's made from plants (unlike the aforementioned paracetamol and fexofenadine which are made in plants) that's probably correct, but in this case it has the added value of not having any animals used in testing. That's easy to not do if you don't actually do any testing, of course.
Those whacky chiropractors are at it again (11/7/2020)
Last month I mentioned that some chiropractors had published a criticism of chiropractic in a chiropractic journal. Not to be outdone, some more chiropractors have published another article in the same journal, Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, this time looking at the need for all those x-rays that patients of chiros seem to need on a regular basis.
The paper, Corso, M., Cancelliere, C., Mior, S. et al. The clinical utility of routine spinal radiographs by chiropractors: a rapid review of the literature. Chiropr Man Therap 28, 33 (2020), contained the following conclusion:
Radiographs are an important diagnostic tool in patient management when clinical indicators of serious pathologies (red flags) are present. We found no evidence that radiographs used to assess the function or structure of the spine improves patients’ outcomes. Therefore, in the absence of red flags, and given the inherent risks of ionizing radiation, we do not recommend the clinical use of radiographs for the routine and repeat evaluation of the structure and function of the spine.
You can read the full article here. I suspect that subscriptions to the journal might drop off if they keep publishing articles pointing out the absurdities of chiropractic and the way it is done.
I'm back! (25/7/2020)
I'm back from the wilds of Bulahdelah. I had to erect my tent in the rain, but apart from that it was a successful weekend doing my other hobby of media coverage of rallies. If you don't know what the game is about, here is one of the photos I took.
I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but this is the sort of car I use for my daily drive. I suspect the one in the photo has had its suspension modified more than slightly.
Because I had a lot of work to do after the event (including packing up the camp and driving 500 kilometres home) I've been a bit busy this week with updating my rally media web site and writing things for newspapers, so again this week's update here will be brief. And no, I wasn't tempted to eat the "organic" food from the local peddler of such morsels.
The great outchucking! (25/7/2020)
When I go to rallies at Bulahdelah I like to camp for free at the Golf Club but this year all free camping in the area was banned by the local Council because of the COVID19 scare, so I had to pay to stay at the Big4 park, part of a chain of similarly-named caravan and camping parks across the country. It was a bit expensive for a tent site, but the facilities were excellent. You might wonder why my travel arrangements should be of interest here, but the Big4 park at Caloundra in Queensland hit the news during the week.
The Vaxxed II Pox Bus turned up a unannounced at Caloundra, apparently sneaking in while the management were looking elsewhere. As soon as it was noticed the occupants were ordered to leave the park immediately if not sooner.
Reaction has been as would be expected. Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination-(this week's lies) Network immediately summoned the flying monkeys
The park's Facebook page was besieged by screeching anti-vaxxers and suggestions were made that bad reviews should be lodged at TripAdvisor and other reference sites. Legal advice was sought and delivered (before the bus left the park apparently, so we can take this with a bushel of salt – liars gotta lie). Comments about the park's management and their ancestry were made and anyone sane who dared to join the conversation to point out that a private organisation has every right to refuse entry to their property to anyone was abused, told they didn't care about dead and injured children, called "fucking arseholes" and some even more offensive terms, and generally shown all the politeness that anti-vaccination liars demand from the rest of us.
I happen to like camping as my travel accommodation, and despite the expense I'll try to stay at Big4 parks as often as I can in the future. Anyone who tells anti-vaccination liars to copulate elsewhere gets my full support.
Very relevant for the times. A search for the artist produced a very large number of references to the Reuters newsagency and a Google image search just gave me a list of Twitter posts with the cartoon and a heap of irrelevant suggestions of similar cartoons by other people. If anyone knows who "M. Reuter" is I'll credit the work (and I don't think it's German "musician" Manuel Reuter).
Oh, yeah? (25/7/2020)
An advertisement for this product popped up somewhere unannounced. It raised certain questions in my mind, but first here are the claims made about it in the advetisement.
Stem cells are invaluable to your continued health and vitality. This is because stem cells can transform into other kinds of cells when your body needs them, a process called differentiation. Stem cells can also create more copies of themselves, which is called self-renewal. Both of these properties are essential to tissue rejuvenation.
A healthy balance between these two actions promotes healthy tissue maintenance, growth, and longevity. But aging can cause stem cells to no longer function optimally — often losing the ability to self-renew, or differentiate into other cells, or both. Weâ€™ve created GEROPROTECT® Stem Cell to help maintain youthful, healthy stem cell function.
Firstly, I'm not sure what "Insilico Medicine" is and why it would be listed as an advantage for these pills, but the real question is how ingestion of vegetable stem cells can cause regeneration of human animal stem cells once the pills have broken down in the stomach and how these vegetable stem cells know which human cells need replenishing. Maybe the pills don't actually contain vegetable stem cells but just some plant things that trigger stem cell reproduction in the human gut. Or maybe they do nothing at all except move money from someone's wallet to a scamster's bank account.
As well as being vegetarian and suitable even for vegans I note that the product seems to have been given the approval of the farcical Non-GMO Project (or maybe some other fake certification outfit), so it must be good. I also note that the pills have been "scientifically formulated" (but not "scientifically tested"?) by some outfit called "Life Extension". As they say on the Life Extension web site:
Our clinical researchers continually push the envelope of scientific innovation in an effort to unlock new gateways to extraordinary wellness and vitality. Weâ€™re here to guide you through the hype and hysteria by translating science into everyday insights so you can make informed decisions and live your healthiest life. Here you will find in-depth protocols on a variety of health conditions and articles on the latest in health and nutrition science.
Who could argue with that?
Life Extension have additional information about the pills:
GEROPROTECT® Stem Cell uses three plant-based nutrients identified by artificial intelligence to support a healthy balance of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation for optimum cell health and longevity.
"Identified by artificial intelligence"! Well, I'm convinced. There is another way of processing vegetable matter and the picture below shows one result that can be found in paddocks all around where I live. It represents my opinion about these pills.