Thursday, September 18, 2014

We're going to need a bigger Bag of Dicks...

...the New Zealand election is approaching.

1936 of them ought to be enough.

On close inspection, they appear to be uncircumcised.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I am disappoint

The Corso Magenta in Genoa is not that colour after all.
Also too, on the way to the flight home from Malpensa Airport I stayed one night on the Via Porpora, which turned out not to be be purple.
Neither was the Porpora beer on tap at Birrificio Lambrate.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Smut, don't drink it!

It is a general rule that no pissant Northern European country is truly independent until it has its own heinous liqueur, for the olds to sip as an indigestif so that local cuisine tastes better in comparison, and for the younglings to drink aggressively to show their unconcern and immunity to flavour.
Vana Tallinn is built on base notes of bay rum aftershave, accented by subtle harmonics of gentian, eucalyptus, cubeb and Purple Drank. It triggered reminded the sister-in-law of growing up in her father's apothecary pharmacy when every winter he would brew up 44-galloon drums of cough syrup -- each of the neighbourhood doctors favouring a slightly different recipe, a slightly different melange of herbs and spices to mask the underlying laudanum and coca extract. Of course this was before antibiotics, roughly contemporaneous with Paracelsus.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Travel oddvisory

One thing you learn at conferences is what a skwirl looks like after random phase shifts.

Now in Budapest, after the night train from Belgrade. The latter city is noted in the Metronomicon*  for possessing an underground train network of the simplest possible form, i.e. a single Metro station but no tunnels.
* The blasphemous Book of Naming of Stations was penned by the mad arab Abdul al-Hazmat shortly before he died under conditions both mysterious and unpleasant, being torn apart in the Damascus marketplace by an invisible ticket inspector.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dateline: Stuttgart

Fuck off backpack. I'm sick of carrying you around.

Sisyphus had it easy.
Also too, because you're all so interested in stereoscopic vision, here is BONUS STEREO FUSION FAIL courtesy of the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie.

Hmm. On reflection, there are more annoying ways those images can be used...

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I am being held captive in Winchester and made to work on maximum-likelihood multidimensional scaling algorithms!

Posting will be light, so here is a photograph of feral babies claiming another victim.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

We are not monsters, we're moral people: Chairman of the Bored edition

Helpful commentatoriser Helmut Monotreme was wondering the other day:
Really? Scientifically dubious, unethical stem cell therapy as a treatment for autism. Dare I ask if that particular treatment has passed a review board?
Now here at Riddled Research we are keenly attuned to the ethical issues of experimenting on unwitting or often unwilling human subjects, and we are scrupulous about swinging each proposal past the Independent Review Board -- they have their own rubber-stamp! -- before warming up the Evolvamat.
Behold our IRB. Despite the geometrical blocks and the matching holes in the ground, and the black-clad ninja figures concealing themselves behind one of the blocks, the scene is not from Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage production consisting of a dramatised and musically-enhanced game of Tetris. Though anyone who chose that answer when we used the picture in last week's quiz need feel no shame for it an easy mistake to make. Better luck next week, Thundra!

Now a great boon to mad scientists is the Clinical Trials database, which provides a window into what other mad scientists are doing and whence they are sourcing their IRB advice. And here is an interesting entry for a study that finished in April, with results due real soon now:
The purpose of this study is to show that a magnetic field applied to the front part of the brain of children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) can improve function and ameliorate symptoms.
What happens, wondered researcher Jeff Bradstreet, when you take TMS a.k.a. transcranial magnetic stimulation -- a well-established method of rebooting parts of the brain -- and rebrand it as "magnetic resonance therapy™ ", with a trademark as a signifier of seriousness? As any fule kno, in TMS you whack the subject on the noggin with a clock-key winder a transient magnietic pulse from a butterfly coil induces an electric current through part of the cortex [blame those bleeding-heart interfering liberals for banning small nuclear explosions, the obvious way of producing a cerebral EMP].

Bradstreet credits one Yi Jin as the pioneer of MRT™:
Professor Yi Jin of the Newport Brain Research Laboratory and the Brain Treatment Center in Newport Beach, California, developed a different theory about the way the brain functions and how it uses harmonic energy to synchronize its communications. That led him to develop a new system of transcranial magnetic stimulation now known as MRT™.
"Harmonic energy"? Faith in the competence and credibility of all involved remains uninspired. The reported price of $11,500 for a month's treatment does not help.

Bradstreet -- biomedical envelope-pusher extraordinaire and erstwhile exorcist -- has also run trials on hyperbaric oxygen (in our own experience, litotic oxygen is no worse than the hyperbolic kind). No trials are recorded for his other autism treatments -- with secretin, industrial chelators, injections of cells from Ukrainian embryos, and now magic Guernsey-Island yogurt -- so they must have been insufficiently invasive or experimental to warrant the oversight of an IRB.

Meanwhile back at Riddled HQ, the most recent experiment was almost a success, spoiled only by the subject's failure to raise the hands fast enough in a gesture of abject surrender.