Sunday, June 30, 2019

Virtually London

In London this weekend looking around UCL with my Son, interesting place. Afterwards I treated him to a little fun and we went down to Omescape in Aldgate to play a virtual reality game together. The game was brilliant, utterly immersive and almost glitch-free, which is unusual for a completely free-movement VR game in my experience, you usually get a couple of minor signal interruptions (that break the spell) in a hour's worth of gaming. We played as a team trying to solve problems and navigate a virtual universe against the clock, with a couple of little hints from the game supervisor we were successful and did pretty well for a couple of rookies. This kind of technology is getting better and better as time goes on, I think this one was the best I've seen so far, really cool thing to do on a really hot Summer afternoon!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday Smirk

Why is it that so many Islamic apologists revert to excusing the most immoral preachment's in the Koran (we all know which ones we're talking about since they're pretty much the same ones in the Bible) by claiming that you can't properly understand the "context" unless you read and speak Arabic fluently. This, of course, is a blatant attempt to distract (i.e. quick, look, a flying horse!) the real problem is the ambiguity of the content and the myriad layers of interpretation and alteration that have been imposed upon it over the millennia; it's like a cake recipe that's been re-written by so many different chefs that it's now a complete "dog's breakfast" (I wonder what the Arabic translation of that phrase is :). Most of these related texts ancient and not so ancient have been translated into many languages including English by scholars who read and speak Arabic (particularly ancient Arabic) better than the vast majority of Arabs can. Whenever you hear this excuse, simply apply the same logic to something the speaker would reject, i.e. ask them if it's true that you can't criticise the Bible unless you read and speak an archaic version of Hebrew or you can't reject Phlogiston theory unless you speak fluent German?

Phew what a scorcher!

Live temperature in France today! ..And yet there are still people out there who believe this isn't a man-made trend because they refuse to accept the science and to make matters worse, won't actually look at it... some of them even run countries..

Thursday, June 27, 2019


Amazing how some people seem to pinpoint problems long before they become endemic..

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

ASDA (or, do as I say not as I do...)

As usual, J&M wrapping a serious subject in satire to get a message across. ASDA have a lot to answer for in this case, not only are they hypocritical, it appears that they've decided to give preferential treatment to the opinions of a group of religious employees over one who is not, this is discrimination if ever I heard it and should be enough for any aspiring lawyer to make a name (and a few quid) for themselves with, sounds like a £100k out-of-court settlement to me?

For those that don't know the details the supermarket fired someone because they shared a video clip of a Billy Connolly sketch about religion (on their personal Facebook page) and some co-workers complained that they were "offended". It would appear that the complainants were Muslims, many of whom just love to play the "offended" card and throw their toys out of the pram whenever their religion is even mildly criticized. Clearly these people need to grow up and realise that their opinions on theology mean absolutely nothing sacred to the vast majority of people here, but even if they were offended, so what? In an ironic twist to the story the very same video of Connolly ranting about religion can actually be purchased in ASDA stores! 

Connolly was perfectly at liberty to say what he said (never a truer word etc..) and this 54 year old disabled check-out assistant was perfectly within his rights to post a clip of it on his own PRIVATE Facebook page. We have freedom of speech and expression in this country (supposedly) and I'm sure the vast majority of people here would agree with this chap's right to express himself however he sees fit, within our laws. Those same people now need to stand up to ASDA on this issue and call out this blatant hypocrisy, religious discrimination and abuse of authority.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sour ginger beer

Attended an investor party at our local craft brewery Siren yesterday. It was a nice little gathering, lot's of interesting beer to try of course but also a quick tour around their new canning line and a financial update from the CEO. One of the beers I tried for the first time was the one in the picture, it's called "stand in line" and was made in collaboration with Huddersfield based Magic Rock brewing. The beer is a Berliner Weiss flavoured with ginger and lime, being a sour beer style it takes a few sips to acclimatize to, but once you're up and running the effect is interesting, like a citrus infused ginger beer, refreshing and ideal on a warm muggy day.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice

It was the longest day in the UK yesterday, unfortunately I didn't have a Sarsen stone handy to hug so I had to make do with a pint of ale and a packet of peanuts, still, Sun's out..

Conspiracies everywhere..

Isn't it amazing how many people seem to see conspiracy theories everywhere they look - here's a great example of the kind of mocking response they deserve..

Friday, June 21, 2019

Friday Smirk

J&M highlighting one of the many contradictions in our lives, especially within the ranks of our religious brothers and sisters. It's the contradiction between what we say and what we do, this seems particularly prevalent within majority Islamic communities who often claim to be "moderate" and yet support ideas like discrimination against Women or killing of homosexuals and apostates, all things which should be an anathema to truly moderate, inclusive and modern societies. It's even more baffling why Western left leaning types seem not to be able to comprehend this either, many preferring to turn a blind eye to real injustice rather than risk appearing racist (priorities gone haywire?)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom (the day after)

I always find it amusing that many people these days expect everything in the world to be easily accessible to them otherwise there must be some kind of "fault". The number of times I've heard the fallacy "it must be intuitive to use" (meaning I have to completely understand it instantly on first glance) in relation to software. Something could be intuitive but it must be.. why? Is plumbing or car mechanics "intuitive"? (No of course not, complex things require investment in learning before they become "intuitive")

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tuesday Titter

This little cartoon reminded me of some of my meetings today... :)

Monday, June 17, 2019


Went for a walk at lunchtime today, grey day, grey sky and Monday morning blues but noticed these piercing points of scarlet and black by the side of the road, wonderful colours, so vibrant, cheered me up..

Friday Smirk (late!)

ha ha... dunno about bears, possibly sharks with all the crappy rain we're having..

Rainy Bristol

My Son and I went to Bristol on Friday to attend the University open day there, Bristol is one of the institutions he's looking at as a possible place to do a degree course next year. I haven't been there in many years and it's changed quite a bit, lot's of little developments around the place and a distinct "Shoreditch" feel (graffiti and shipping containers) to the area around the bottom of the city-centre dock area. We stopped in the Wild Beer Company tap room at Wapping Wharf and had a beer and some late lunch, both very good, unfortunately the weather was abysmal, it rained non-stop all day. Not the best advertisement for the city but bugger all we could do about it other than transport a big golf umbrella around everywhere, anyway we were determined to make the most of the day and had a good old mooch around. We even attended some "sample" lectures, which were great fun and took me back! Ah those days, everything ahead of you, anything possible, non-stop intellectual stimulation, blatant substance abuse and no responsibilities to speak of, now that's living..

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Mid-Week Mirth

Atheist pig on the money as usual...

Equal among beliefs

Jesus and Mo. on target once again, sometimes people prefer to believe any old rubbish rather than admit that we don't know something, or simply that they can't be bothered to expend the effort to properly investigate a subject using the best tools available (i.e. Science). It's difficult to reason someone out of a position that they didn't reason themselves into!

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Important education

Chart showing the rise in homophobic hate crimes in London over the last few years (source Met Police) As the recent attack on two women taking a night bus in Camden (London) shows, these attacks are often perpetrated by young people; in their case the two women were assaulted and left covered in blood by a group of boys aged between 15 and 18. Unfortunately religious people (Islamic) in various places around the country remain insistent that their children should not receive education on LGBT+ relationships (i.e. simply that they exist). The rest of us live in hope that these mis-guided and short-sighted people can perhaps now see why this kind of education is important. Just as teaching our children that there are many religions in the world and that other people's weird and wonderful supernatural delusions should be at least tolerated, we should also have the open-mindedness to do the same for other important minorities like LGBT+ people.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Wild Weather

Quick half of "Easy Livin" by Wild Weather (based in Silchester nr. Reading) in the Fox & Hounds whilst waiting for my daughter to finish school yesterday, nice beer, very peachy tasting and an appropriately named brewery for the blustery conditions this weekend..

Friday, June 07, 2019

Friday Smirk

Noticed this on the inter-webs, it's the menu from the recent dinner event hosted by the Queen for the rug-meister in chief and his cronies, what I love about it is the way in which font and vocabulary have been used to disguise the fact that what they had for dinner was steak (without the chips), veg and ice-cream, along with a crappy American sponsored wine that no one has ever heard of. Glad to see they didn't raid the palace cellars for that clown, Trump is allegedly teetotal anyway, so anything decent would have been totally wasted on him. 

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Mid Week Mirth

Nice little J&M for a sunny Thursday lunch-time. Theology, the subject that's most like one night stand sex, i.e. 10% friction, 90% imagination. Or, as a good friend of mine used to say (he did a theology degree at Kings) "Theology, or as we used to call it, the study of the unknowable".. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Equality among racists

I see that anti-Trump protesters are out in force this week to mark the visit of the hairpiece in chief to our fair shores. One aspect of the coverage did stand out for me and that was the choice of placard that many of the demonstrators had made, looking at the coverage it seemed as though many of the (left-leaning) people had gone for "No to racism, No to Trump", it's probably a fair point but is it really the strongest criticism that you could level at this president? 

I perhaps would have gone for the anti-global warming conspiracy theories issue (since it affects the entire population of the planet) or perhaps the war mongering with other nuclear powers (since that also affects the entire population of the planet) or even perhaps the accusations of sexual assault, but racism? I do wonder if the term "racism" is becoming a superficial catch-all, used primarily by left-wing types (although more and more by right wing types also) for simply anyone that disagrees with them. I do hope I'm wrong about this, the biggest risk in my view is that a trivialization of this term will inevitably lead to REAL racists being able to hide behind an accusation which has lost all of it's teeth, and can be safely ignored by everyone, or maybe we've reached that point already?

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

American Evangelists

American evangelicals are odd creatures. In Kentucky there's a skillful huckster committed creationist called Ken Ham, he's made a name for himself spreading the mythology of the Biblical creation story in Genesis as fact and science, or as the rest of us call it, lying to children via their gullible parents. By all accounts he's trousered a fair bit of wonga doing this over the years and has added a new attraction to his ever growing "Biblical theme-park" empire. This time he's built a "replica" of Noah's ark!

Of course Ham, being a Biblical literalist, asserts (without any actual evidence whatsoever) that the story of Noah and the flood really happened, exactly the way it says in the King James Bible, and to prove it he claims he's built an ark in Kentucky just like the one Noah did around 2 thousand years before the Roman Empire (who never managed to build a boat anywhere near this big). There are a "couple" of issues with this claim of course, the kinds of issues that people like Ham prefer to gloss over, small things like where did Noah get the lifting gear to hoist the preformed laminated composites and steel braces into place that give such a large structure enough strength not to collapse under it's own weight? Issues like, how did a wooden structure this large not flex and twist in water, like wood does, without leaking or even breaking? Dinosaurs? Where did all the water come from? How did Noah feed 400,000 separate species of beetles? Kangaroos? How the heck did Noah find the time to visit every Pacific island and populate it with so many unique species of flora and fauna after the flood? Anyway, questions, questions, one thing is certain among the evangelical crowd, you don't need to ask questions when you have faith and gullibility... oh and don't bother turning up unless you have a pocket full of cash to spend, apparently Jesus loves you and forgives you but is hopeless with money.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Flopping into the UK

I see that the hair-piece in chief has landed, or should I say flopped onto British soil today; I can't say that I'll be taking any interest whatsoever in his visit, hopefully missing every incoherent uttering that he coughs up as he shuffles his way around the high and mighty of our land pressing his copious flesh with theirs. I did hear something amusing on the topic this morning though, apparently in Windsor, the Queen sent Prince Philip out in the range-rover to pick Trump and his wife up from the airport, Lizzy hasn't heard anything since, must be traffic on the M25?