Tuesday, March 31, 2015

In an alternative reality, the denizens of 100-Aker Wood were a team of crime-fighting superheroes

"Lend us the Riddled time machine!" they begged. "Promise we will not use it to meddle with important historical events!"
This never ends well.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Workshop of the Telescopes #2:
Irritation of Christ

A NZ bishop knows what it is like to suffer crucifixion. Apparently it was a brutal form of execution favoured by the Romans, in which numpties who opened their pieholes and let the stupid out became the recipients of other people's mockery. It was a combination of Kristallnacht, the Spanish Inquisition, the Gestapo and a high-tech lynching.

I bet he's kicking himself flaying himself in the manner of Saint Bartholomew now, that he never thought of comparing himself to Galileo (who famously joined the honoured ranks of "denialist" when the church officials refused to look at the moon through his telescope).

UPDATE: If you believe the rest of the Anglican hierarchy, John Gray has been stood down and a Vicar-General -- which is the spiritual counterpart of a Lieutenant-General -- has been appointed to his episcopal responsibilities. Gray himself rejects the hierarchy's power to censure him and insists that he retains his rank for he ANSWERS TO NO-ONE BUT GOD. Perhaps there will be a Great Schism and an Avignon Bishopric with rival silly hats.

Left: Great Schism

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chocolate Bunnies go punk

Packed for shipping:
If the Doktorling has any sense she will save the packaging for re-use next Crossmas.

...additional seasonal imagery recycled from two years ago because lazy.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bears do not shit in the woods.
Bears have never shat in the woods

Right up to 10 days ago the Republican Party's bloggers and ideologues seemed to be a lock for the 2015 IgNobel Prize in Theology, with their critiques of the Pope for propounding an insufficiently authoritarian and indeed borderline-heretical variety of Catholicism. Not to mention the attacks on American Jews for their treasonous disloyalty to one faction of Israeli politics. But suddenly the Chinese Communist Party are looking like strong contenders with their new-found insights and exegeses into the doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama has mooted the possibility of leaving his next death as his final one, and not returning to the Karmic Wheel for a 15th incarnation. Rolling their eyes in vicarious embarrassment at his ignorance of his religion, Party duckspeakers were obliged to assplain the non-optional nature of reincarnation:
Mr. Zhu accused the Dalai Lama of trampling on sacred traditions.
It was not entirely clear how they intend to drag Tenzin Gyatso back from Nirvana and incarnate him against his will. It may involve यम Death-God's waveguide technology for abstracting an atman psychic soliton resonance from the Bridge of Heaven. Failing that, perhaps the 15th Dalai Lama will be an AI.

Tenzin Gyatso has previously set the fox amid the hen-house by conceding that his next incarnation could be female.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Can't see the baby for the bathwater

The post corresponding to this title appears to have been thrown out with the forest.

Black planet hanging over the highway

There will aggressive drinking and shouting at clouds if those miniature planets do not get out of my face soon, for they are annoying and distracting beyond endurance as they weave around in a complex Douglas-Ouyang dance, as if fooled by the two meanings of 'orbit'.
And are the helpdesk team at IxCorp actually any help? ARE THEY BOGROLL. "Small vision-occluding planets are not covered by the warranty of Tleilaxu artificial eyes, for the feature is mentioned in the small print of the documentation and the User License Agreement." I certainly hope that "conversations may be recorded for the purposes of performance evaluation"; so record this!

Miniature planets are more fun when they are a few orders of magnitude larger and you can poke them right in the eye of the hurricane. HUR HUR your storm is a goatse!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

IgNobel Prize Nominations: Cell Biology


Atanas Todorov Atanasov's interesting and challenging theory that cells have their own central nervous systems are inspired by Ulam's noöcyte research, and by James Blish's observations of paramecium language skills.

It is a good question. Are the centrioles sensory centres, which integrate internal-milieu signals from the microtubules with external information acquired from the cilia, allowing the cell to respond intelligently to its environment?
Why ask me?
Because you're a cell.
No, I am a Shmoo! Or a character from a Magritte painting! I forget which.

These attempts by the cells to conceal their sentience is suspicious and hints at some form of hidden agenda. What are they up to?

Belated UPDATE. Atanasov's theory accounts for cancer, as a kind of cellular psychopathy that happens when centriole malfunction robs a cell of its sense of rationality and decorum: Things go pear-shaped. This is why the theory featured in the proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Anticancer Research, as published in Anticancer Research journal* [warning, 494 pages].

For completeness it also behooves us to mention Dumitru Pavel's etiology, in which cancer is a kind of protest action provoked by breathing wrong or heartbeating wrong. The unsatisfactory milieu distresses the cells so much that they morph into cancer cells to express their discontent (except when they morph into TB bacteria or HIV virions). Misused heart-muscle cells degenerate into leukemia; chewing wrong provokes epithelial cells into becoming stomach or esophagal cancers; lactating wrong causes breast cancer; not flaring one's nostrils properly while breathing turns cells into lung cancer.

Pavel's publication of his theory-shaped hairball was published, and then retracted from a bottom-feeding mockademic journal (on account of the AIDS denial and TB denial).** Pavel further promotes it in comment threads whenever there is a high-profile cancer death, and it has also been pulled from the trash pile and printed as a 17-page letter-to-the-editor in a marginally less skeevy journal faced with a surplus of empty pages (here).
* Both journal and conferences are not-entirely-mainstream affairs edited and organised by the enthusiastic John G. Delinasios.

** No longer accessible through the Gazoogle Cache, and the publishers deleted the original to cover their trail of slime, but here is a saved copy as my gift to the world. Read it and marvel for it is as mad as a barrel of green squirrels dancing a jig on a giant blue flower.