Fools, money and the link between suckers, breaks and minutes. (5/12/2020)
People are right to be wary of electromagnetic radiation. In my youth I spent a lot of time at the beach and the EMF from the sun triggered a melanoma on my right leg. Police radar units send out waves that can cause you to have to pay money for driving your car too fast. Radiation from television and radio transmission towers brings "reality" shows and zany pairings of breakfast announcers who tell bad jokes into our homes. 3G, 4G and now the dreaded 5G radiation brings scammers with Peter Sellers Indian accents pretending to be from the tax office into our phones. The 3°K background radiation in the universe can deceive people into thinking there was a Big Bang billions of years ago, turning them away from the truth of Creation.
Most of these things are outside our control, but we can take precautions. The real danger lies when we introduce radiation radiators into our homes (just think about how infra-red radiators - actually called "radiators"- can burn your feet if you sit too close), and one that is appearing in homes all over the place is the almost ubiquitous WiFi router.
Someone has finally done something about this, and you can buy mesh boxes to enclose routers. yes, really - people are selling Faraday cages to block the radiation from routers and even more surprisingly people are buying them. As Don Henley wrote in a different context "they put up a lot of ugly boxes and, Jesus, people bought 'em".
At Amazon they are even more expensive ($250) and you have to pay $25 for delivery.
And then the fun starts. Many of the purchasers have been leaving reviews at Amazon saying that the boxes are faulty, because when you put the router inside one of them it becomes difficult to get WiFi working in the rest of the house. It's almost as if they block whatever it is that makes WiFi work. Who would have thought that something so potentially useful could fail to live up to expectations? Well, anyone with a nanosmidgen of knowledge about science would, but who needs to know all that pointy-headed stuff anyway?
In sympathy with people who find it strange that something that blocks electromagnetic radiation should block electromagnetic radiation I'm wrapping this site in tinfoil for the month of December. I probably need to do that anyway because I've bought a new mobile phone and it has more Gs than the old one.
Apparently this image comes from some stock photo service. I apologise to
the copyright owner but I have no way of knowing who that is.
See more from Close to Home here
(This cartoon has nothing to do with a person my age buying a new Android mobile phone.)
Hey Jude, don't take it bad, take your "thesis" and make it better. (5/12/2020)
Last week I mentioned that thesis novelist Judy Wilyman had introduced us to some of the craziest conspiracy theorising since Barack Obama flew a plane into the World Trade Center to distract attention away from the revelation that his Kenyan grandparents, deranged by the polio vaccine and fluoride in the water, had trained Oswald to shoot Jackie Kennedy (he missed!).
My friend Ken McLeod has spent a large amount of time going through Judy's doctoral "thesis" (something that we all wish the thesis reviewers had bothered to do), pointing out inaccuracies, omissions, inadequacies, misrepresentations and even some untruths. It's a bit too long to reproduce here, so you can go to the Australian Skeptics web site and read it at your leisure.
Advances in Chiropractic. (OK, I'm joking.) (12/12/2020)
Back in March 2019 I invented the cliché "As useless as the Chiropractic Board of Australia" and 21 months later it's probably time to see if anything has changed.
About 1,800 years ago the number zero was recognised. It can probably be defined as the average of -1 and 1, but up until that time it was only used as a placeholder in numbers like 10 and 100. We have to thank the Italian mathematician Fibonacci (aka Leonardo of Pisa), who brought it to Europe along with the rest of the Arabic numerals. I am of course reminded of Fibonacci by the several billion pine cones in the forests around where I live, but I digress ... .
What connects the cliché and the number is that the change in the CBA's policies, powers, control of the chiropractic "profession" and concern for patient welfare is exactly equal to zero. As it was zero before anyway I suppose we could say that it has increased greatly, and maybe even exponentially (that word loved by people who don't know what it means - in this case that y=0 for all values of x in the equation y=0x).
Periodically some nonsensical or dangerous procedure by chiropractors (isn't that everything?) comes to the attention of the relevant health authorities and action is promised to wipe out the offending practice. In 2013 it was cracking the spines of babies and young children; in 2019 it was internal adjustment of the coccyx bone in children (something which many (most?) of us would consider to be sexual abuse). Have chiropractors stopped doing these things? We'll never know because the advice from the CBA was to maintain a low profile until the publicity blew over.
A recent investigation of chiropractors' web sites in Australia revealed large numbers of them promoting the Webster Technique, a procedure to assist in realigning the foetus in the case of possible breech birth. How the uterus is related to "spinal health" is a mystery known only to chiropractors, but nobody is supposed to do it any more because it is against the rules. You might notice that I had no difficulty finding a definition on the web site of a supposedly "professional" chiropractic oversight group. Other sites promoted turmeric as a treatment for cancer, "cupping therapy" to "activate the immune system", manipulation to treat plagiocephaly ("flat head"), fixing subluxations to "boost the immune system" and to treat asthma and constipation. Even members of the board of the CBA offer untested and unlikely treatments. But why go on? Chiropractic can treat anything that a "patient" might have, and it all depends on the imagination and mendacity of the practitioner.
When the current situation was pointed out to the CBA and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency there was agreement that Something Had To Be Done, and done it has. AHPRA have issued new guidelines about what chiropractors can advertise. Note that this isn't placing any restrictions on what chiropractors can do, only on what they publicly say they can do.
So here's my prediction, and it's the same one I've made in the past.
Three years from now chiropractors will still be advertising that they offer supposedly banned treatments. They will still be talking about subluxations as if they exist. They will still be offering to boost the immune system, cure asthma and other medical conditions, still massaging the abdomens of pregnant women to turn babies the right way up, still pretending to be real medical practitioners (and insisting on being addressed as "Doctor"), still doing all the things they do today. Not one chiropractor will have been deregistered or have had any action taken against him by the Chiropractic Board of Australia (unless convicted of an unrelated crime resulting in imprisonment, and maybe not even then). It will be business as usual, just as it has been since DD Palmer invented the scam in 1895.
There is only one way to correct the excesses of chiropractic, and that is to close it down and stop pretending that it has anything to do with health or medicine. There is no Blood Letting Board of Australia because the world has moved on from that dangerous and useless practice. It's about time we moved on from the quackery of 1895 as well.
Stolen from Facebook
Quintessence Nook (12/12/2020)
December 2000 provided much debate about the coming year. Were we to call it "two thousand and one", "two thousand one" or the awful "twenty one"? Pedants who had been silent since the previous December reemerged with their arguments about when millennia, centuries and decades began, again pointing out that we start counting from one, not zero. A general agreement was reached that following the tradition of "eighties" and "nineties" we should continue to say that we were living in the "naughties". It was hot in Sydney and cold in Utqiagvik. (This was no surprise, it's always cold in Utqiagvik.)
Here's some quintessence from December 2000.
Life after death ~ Is Heaven Real?
It's perfectly reasonable to worry about what is going to happen to you in the afterlife. Here in the earthly plane we think about our investments and our pension plans, we buy insurance to cover us in case of accident or illness, we send our kids to good schools so they can get good jobs, we exercise and eat right so bits don't wear out or fall off us too soon. All of this is understandable, but there is more. We all like to think we lead good lives and don't sin too much. We all want to go to Heaven. Now there is a place where you can remove all doubt. Here you can take a quiz to see if you are eligible. I took the test. Unfortunately the news was not good, and I hope it is not too late for me to change my ways.
Nostalgia! There is a Hit Counter!!! It doesn't work any more, but it's the thought that counts.
The Language of Light
People often ask me what Quintessence of the Loon is about and I find it difficult to answer. Not any more, because I can now describe it in the language of light. The symbol at the right is the Quintessence of the Loon tone, and is made up of Tone Number 8, "Divine Union" which "creates the understanding that the active and passive modes of knowledge, awareness and beingness must join in purpose for a whole or complete consciousness to be created. All aspects are to be seen, understood and blended into completion" and Tone Number 44, "Unspoken Worlds" to "allow for truth beyond current boundaries in expanded awareness of self. Providing an actively changing creational environment, unspoken worlds create greater and greater opportunity for truth to expand. In blending with and surrendering to unspoken worlds, truth has the opportunity to become what it did not know itself to be". Is that clear now?
Or is it? This site has now turned itself into a Japanese pornography site, with a collection of photographs. Or maybe it's a gynecology site. I can't read Japanese so I guess I'll never know.
Dreams of the Great Earth Changes
Crop circles are called that because some of them are circles. The Sun appears as a circle in the sky. This would be enough to hint at a connection, but then you find that, just as there has been more than one crop circle, there is more than one Sun. This cannot be a coincidence. There must be meaning in it. Further examples of things that cannot be coincidences occur with the number 11. First there is the obvious fact that it contains two of the same numeral. A coincidence? I think not! Then there is the time 11:11 which occurs twice each day, the 11/11 date which occurs once each year (and yet is the same day in both mm/dd and dd/mm formats). Then there is the verse 11, chapter 11 which occurs in so many of the books of the Bible. It could not be a coincidence that there is a Revelation 11:11 and the eleventh character to be named in Hamlet is called "Voltimand". Lock up your lampstands.
Alien Bases on Earth
I know that's a picture of Mars, not Earth, but there are bases there too. It's a nice picture but, in any case, as I am a resident of Earth I don't want to give any more clues about here to the aliens by showing them pictures of the place. Let them get their own pictures. As it says on this site, we can find out "The places where the Aliens live and from where they operate. Also from where most Space Ships come and return after missions are accommplished (sic)". This is pretty exciting stuff, and I was pleased to find that there is an alien base doing agricultural research only about one day's drive from my house. I might go there for my next holiday. It's only a small town and grey people with big eyes should be easy to pick out as they accommplish things in the fields. I will have to go in winter because it's very hot there this time of year and they will all be sitting in the shade of the saucer and not accommplishing much at all.
The contents of this site have disappeared, leaving only an empty web page. I can only assume some form of abduction. Perhaps the aliens were annoyed at the spelling of "accomplished". PB January 2003
Wayne Manzo's AMERICA'S LINE: The Truth is Here!
I haven't seen the guest list, but I don't suppose Wayne had an invitation to the recent wedding of popular music diva, Louise Veronica Ciccone, better known to her millions of fans as "Madonna". You see, Wayne is suing Madonna and several other people, including his own brother, because they have been causing government instrumentalities to conspire to harass Wayne. I can't quite figure out how Madonna fits into all this, but maybe there are hidden messages in her songs. Perhaps the brother passes on information about Wayne's whereabouts to Madonna, she codes up the coordinates and puts them into songs, the songs get played on the radio and the CIA's testicle-kickers go round to Wayne's place with their rubber hoses. The only problem with this is that every time the local greatest hits station plays Like a Virgin, the FBI kicks down the door at wherever Wayne lived in 1984. (Wayne is looking for someone to share his life. Madonna will not be singing at the wedding.)
This site won Loon of the Month. The citation read:
|Loon of the Month|
|Loon of the Month was a lay-down misère. I know that means you don't win a trick, but that describes Wayne Manzo perfectly. It is really not fair to other potential monthly loons to include Wayne here, but now that he has won the field opens up again in future months. I feel sorry for the other sites that came up against him this month, but his arrival here was inevitable once Madonna said she was getting married in December. That announcement focussed the attention of the world on Wayne, and his garland is the result.|
Wayne's site disappeared in one of the regular purges at Tripod but I thought it was too good to lose so I grabbed a copy from the Web Archive. Also it has flames, rotating crosses and a Webring.
The Theory of Evolutionary Process as a Unifying Paradigm
I like a good philosophical argument. There's no sport quite like a team of Cartesian Absolutists lining up against some Euthanastic Ethicists, with teams of Moralistic Relativists, Kuhnian Popperists and Aristotelian Nihilists waiting on the sidelines to take on the victors. I'm not sure which side Frank would be playing for, but he would be the player to watch with material like "The first level is "point-like" or zero-dimensional in character, is "outside/beyond" space and time, and has complete (three degrees) freedom. Level I projects the "firelike" Ground of Being--the teleological impulse of potential/realization. The second level is "linear" or one-dimensional in character, "subsists" in time, and has two degrees of freedom and one degree of constraint. Level II precipitates and persists as the "watery" realm of becoming--the continuous charged flow of substance/force".
Cold Fusion and Plasmoids
Every now and then some scientist says that cold fusion is dead. Just to show that these orthodoxists fail to see what is really going on, here is just one of the many sites revealing that research into cold fusion is not only going on but is going strong. That's the trouble with scientists, you see. They keep asking for things like evidence and experiments that work and can be repeated. Is it any wonder that research in vital areas like free and unlimited energy are hampered when researchers have to comply with hide-bound rules made up by philosophers? Don't get me started on the conspiracy to prevent research. That's another can of worms entirely. A couple of other good points about this site are how easy it is to read and how it lists some bands. You don't find that on the Nature or Science sites, do you?
The orthodoxy has suppressed another pioneer, and this site has cooled to absolute zero. PB January 2003
It's the season to be jolly. So do it!! (19/12/2020)
The stores are packed with shoppers stocking up on groceries because supermarkets are going to be closed for a day. Plans are being made to stay at home because those panic buyers ignored the advice to only go out when necessary and wear a mask when you do, so there are some COVID breakouts in popular Christmas visiting locations (including the area where most of my family live - we'll be partying like it's 1919). Radio stations are playing Christmas songs and we are all hoping to avoid Whamageddon. Shopping centres are also playing Christmas music, possibly to keep people away unless shopping is absolutely essential.
This time last year there were massive bush fires all over my state and my little country town was almost cut off from the rest of the world (we weren't at risk from fires, but the roads in and out were). We all thought that things couldn't get worse, but of course they did. We are hoping for a better 2021 (even though it seems to say "2020 won").
I would like to thank all the visitors to this site over the year and wish you a very Merry Christmas, and I hope you all have a better year next year than this one. With more than 600,000 visitors during the year I can't complain too much about the work I put in to what is just a hobby. People who attach a religious meaning to the season are quite welcome to do so, but Christmas is a secular event around my place centred on friends and family. Fundamentalist atheists who want to complain about me using "Christmas" instead of the anonymous "Xmas" should direct their ire to email@example.com where their complaints will be comprehensively ignored. Christians who object to the depersonalisation of Jesus by the use of "Xmas" need to check out the Greek word Χριστού and notice the first letter of the Greek word for "Christ". if you want to tell me it's really Isaac Newton's birthday on December 25 I already know that.
To avoid offending anyone I'll just say that if your particular Solstice celebration or anything else you celebrate around this time falls on a different date then take this one as a bonus. And Happy Festivus to all.
I'll be taking a break, and hopefully will be back on or about January 16 with the annual Millenium Awards. As I say every year - drink sensibly, drive safely and do them on different days.
Thank you to the anonymous artist.
Get ready for the lies (19/12/2020)
One of the very few things that anti-vaccination liars are good at is lying about vaccines. With the arrival of vaccines against the current COVID-19 plague we can expect a ramping up of the lying and the distortion of facts. I was once told by a supporter of non-medicine that any death from any cause during a clinical trial means that the drug, vaccine or whatever is too dangerous to be used. This applies even if the deaths are in the placebo group, and we all know that vaccines are never tested against an inert placebo if they are even tested at all. In response to one of those "they are never tested for safety" claims I once pointed someone to more than 7,000 papers in medical journals reporting on vaccine safety tests and was asked to prove that they weren't all just reports of the same test, and also challenged to read them all. Of course, no clinical trials are ever carried out unless you count the >400,000 subjects in the trials of the Salk polio vaccine or the >30,000 in trials of Gardasil HPV vaccine. But what are facts when you are talking about vaccines except propaganda from Big Pharma?
The liars are having trouble convincing people that there are no trials of any COVID vaccine because news of the trials is everywhere, although they have transferred their "too many too soon" idiocy to "too quick too soon", ignoring the fact that the vaccine manufacturers have had a lot of experience with fast development (they do it every year for influenza) even if they haven't had to work with this sort of disease since the SARS epidemic of 2003. (SARS was caused by a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-1 The current version is SARS-CoV-2.)
If such a thing could be funny, I think the funniest anti-vaccination lie I've heard so far is a retread of the old "Catholics can't use vaccines" nonsense that was hit on the head by the Vatican in 2005. (Meryl Dorey from the Australian Vaccination Network lied about this under the headline "Vatican says, "Parents must oppose vaccines from human foetal remains".) And of course the earlier "Muslim Babies -- MMR Jabs have traces of Pork" lie spread by morons in Britain in 2004. The new one is that because the vaccine uses an animal or even maybe human cell line in its manufacture it can't be taken by vegans without violating their principles. Anti-vaccination liars test the concept of "nadir" and the size of the universe, because even if you go down as far as seems possible you still wouldn't have reached the depths of their depravity.
However, but and another "however". The FDA has admitted that people suffered Severe Adverse Events in the COVID-19 trials. An official document released on December 17 contains the following paragraph:
As of December 6, 2020, there were 3 SAEs reported in the vaccine group: a 65-year-old participant with community acquired pneumonia 25 days after vaccination, a 72-year-old participant with arrhythmia after being struck by lightning 28 days after vaccination, and an 87-year-old participant with worsening of chronic bradycardia 45 days after vaccination. On FDA review of the narratives, none of these SAEs are assessed as related. There were no cases of severe COVID-19 reported in the study.
So, if you get the vaccine be sure to stay indoors during thunderstorms or your heart might start to beat irregularly. And don't get old. Who knows where these things might lead?