Monday, May 29, 2009
Dendrofilous* tree dwellers ;-)SWMBO and I interpret this theme a little differently, it wood (sic!) seem ;-)
On the left, my good wife is sampling the carved and polished tree trunks made into chairs at the Landhotel Potsdam on 18/4/2009. The chairs are good-looking, but not comfortable in the long term. On the right, yours truly found Geocache GCVVTV up a tree in the Zingst National Park (Germany) during May 2009. Uncomfortable too ;-)
Our dogs thought we were both barking up the wrong tree ;-)
Fat-turd-day, May 27, 2009
Hommage : Michael Jackson was phat.
Thursday, May 25, 2009
Censorship sneaks into Germany :-(Paragraph 5 of our constitution states quite plainly "There is no censorship!".
And yet - this very week - the Bundestag passed a law introducing just that :-(
Oh sure, it was under the guise of good intentions. A law to prohibit the viewing of child pornography on the internet. A good idea inasmuch as minors are raped when producing the videos. Which was illegal anyway. And child pornography was illegal anyway. So no change there (and not much enforcement either).
But now, five appointed - not elected - civil servants (of undisclosed beliefs) will assemble a secret list of URLs witch (sic!) they deem to have inappropriate content. German web providers' name servers will be required to check each URL and, if it is on that list, serve you a picture of a Stop Sign instead (see screenshot top left).
Our very conservative family minister(photo top right), mother of seven, religious, thinks this is a good idea. Personally, I think it is a bloody stupid and ineffective idea.
You see, the child porn is still there! So if you know the IP address you can get around her clever barrier. Or you change your browser to use a DNS outside her jurisdiction.
Presumably the minister will ban poverty and homelessness too, using this scheme?
But that's only the half of it. If you hit the stop sign, even by accident, your IP will be logged and you will be investigated as a pedophile, even though you didn't proceed!
Personally, I think it would be more sensible to pursue the purveyors of child porn*,
child porn servers and site owners, rather than viewers. A whois shows most of the top twenty
child porn servers to be in the
USA and/or Europe,
making prosecution easy.
To my surprise, none of the top pedophile servers were based in the Vatican ;-)
Why do I think this is a bad idea? Because it is setting up the infrastructure to censor anything ! Shades of Orwell's 1984 :-( Already there have been calls to censor sites of different political opinion (left,right, etc), sites with shoot-em-up aka killer 'games', sites with copyright-protected content (aka DRM), sites with information potentially useful** to terrorists***.... Next, they'll be censoring us atheists for blasphemy, etc.
Going back to the Nazi era, we had Niemöller's protest poem :-
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. Then they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. Then they came for the trade unionists, I did not protest; I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.And this is why I am speaking up today, protesting against a bad (and ineffective) new law. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. This law is the 1st paving stone :-(
... not being allowed to wear this button ;-)
Charles Pergiel wrote : Right on, dude! What to post on the internet, and what not to post. That is the question........... While there is a pervasive sexual undercurrent in human society, it does not have to affect every aspect of our lives. That is why it is possible to conduct business. Lies and deception. "There is just no bottom to these people", or words to that effect, I read in a murder mystery by Scott Turow. He writes some good stories.
Ira Nee asked "Do journalists reporting from Iran read your blog?"
Mike Erskine-Kellie observed "A fascinating post. And I agree. It's a slippery slope and the slipping has begun:-("
Monday, June 22, 2009
Unlikelihoods ; shit happens :-(One in a million :
Having participated in motorised traffic now for nigh on fifty years and averaged about 23,000 miles per year, I guess I have now totalled a million miles or more. So my first accident with injury last month represents a one in a million lifetime probability.
One in ten million :
One in a hundred million :
Of course, in the very popular Terry Pratchett Discworld® fantasy novels, things with a probability of one in a million (or less) ALWAYS happen ;-) So, is pTerry right here?
Charles Pergiel wrote : I jes luv statistiks, dun u?
Some people like to say airliners are the safest way to travel, on a per mile basis.
I am not sure that is the statistic I am interested in.
How about the odds of surviving a airliner flight, versus the odds of surviving a drive in a car?
Say your average automobile trip is five miles, and your average airliner trip is 500 miles.
How many people actually use a car on a regular basis? How many people fly? How far do they travel
using each conveyence each year?
I suspect maybe half the people in the world use a car, and maybe half of them fly on airliners
at least occasionally (once every ten years). I suspect about half of the passengers on airliners
are business travellers who make at least four trips per year (quarterly). I suspect they amount
to less than one percent of the population of the planet.
I have been driving for 40 years, say 12,000 miles per year, comes out to roughly half a million
miles, or about half what you have driven. I have had three semi-serious collisions with another car,
enough to require repairs to one or both vehicles. Whiplash was the most serious injury. I have probably
had half a dozen minor bumps into the surrounding terrain.
And how about them meteorites? "Chances of being struck by a meteorite are around one in 100 million."
I have to assume that is in one's lifetime, which makes it pretty small. Still, with those odds,
and six billion people on the planet, and an average lifetime of, say, 60, that would be one
person every year. Is that right?
Friday, June 19, 2009
WHO swine fever pandemic prevention tip
Don't DO that!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Yet another profiling memeWhile I was in hospital, Xtreme English tagged me to do a meme, but only now can I catch up with her request :-
1. If one song were to describe your life, what song would it be?
2. Which item of clothing do you wear most?
3. What's for dinner?
4. Last thing you bought?
6. If you were a God or a Goddess, who would you be?
7. Favorite holiday spots?
8. Reading right now?
10. Okay, what were you thinking about just then?
11. What kind of books do you prefer; history, fantasy, mystery, romance, political?
12. Funniest thing you saw in your life?
13. Who's your hero/heroine?
14. Share some wisdom?
15. If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
16. Fictitious characters who made a lasting impression on you?
17. 4 words to describe you?
Thanks, Stu. That took lots of extra effort with your broken shoulder, I know, so you deserve the FIVE words to describe yourself, not four. Your answers are both interesting and often inscrutable... just like mathematics. I'd say you are Loki incarnate....Stu : innumerate, like I wrote (issa joke, babe);-)
Schorsch wrote :-
I had expected 13) Mike Hailwood. Who TF is Andrew Wiles?Stu : the guy who proved Fermat's Last Theorem.
Bobby J. wrote :-
re 3) A Tyrolean Ham? you mean like Arnie?
Liz Hinds wrote :-
"I think the final sequence of the very final episode of Black Adder
is one of the most moving things I've ever seen."
Thursday, June 11, 2009
65th birthday recovery mode; a crash coarse :-(It was always my life's ambition (NOT!) to spend my 65th birthday in a hospital bed.
So thanks are due to the young man whose driving abilities(?) enabled me to fulfill this dream :-( But REAL thanks are due to fellow motorcyclist and accomplished surgeon Dr. Baumgarten, who spent two hours putting my right shoulder back together.
Back home now, I shall have to wear this spacing-sling for a couple of months until the ligaments grow back onto the bone and I can start to load up the upper arm muscles again. Meanwhile it's daily physiotherapy so the muscles don't atrophy. I'm learning to write and peck-type with my left hand, so blogging will be light for a while.
So: no more archery, tennis or squash. We'll see about the rest come fall (sic!).
Nevertheless, I remain REALLY optimistic. Wanna know why? I just read my OP report, and it turns out
that the first name of the doctor assisting Dr. Baumgarten is Igor :-)
belated wishes for your b'day mine was on the 30th.. will be singing when I'm 64 all year and hope you shoulder on (sic)
Liz Hinds wrote :-
And belated happy birthday! I thought that was a ukulele you were holding/playing.
Löst Jimmy wrote :-
Just read of your shunt wishing you a swift recovery! And belated 65th birthday greeetings. I'll hold my beer glass up to your health and birthday this evening, and in pleasant memory of your visit here last year. PS I have just purchased or rather in the process of concluding a deal for a Suzuki GSX Katana - should be with me at Victory Mansions by the end of the month
Helen B Abby wrote :-
So sorry to read about your injury and wish you the fastest recovery. It will be made faster if Cornelia, Frieda and Kosmo could be with you too! Bulldogs have amazing curative powers don't they! Belated happy 65th too!
Doug Alder wrote :-
Yikes man - I hope it was your car and not one of your bikes that got whacked by the xxxxx (hey I have my priorities you know ;) ) Seriously - I hope you get sell soon and a belated happy 65th hatching day - a couple more months and it will be my 60th - wtf did all the time go eh?
I want to wish you all the best and a speedy recovery. Happy belated birthday and all the best, my friend!
Mary wrote :-
all that and a birthday, too? happy demographic crossover! and many more. that looks very much like an American hospital room... and the balloon is in English! i'll bet you really live in indianapolis, close to the speedway....
Charles Pergiel wrote :-
Happy Birthday, old man! I am sorry to hear about your accident. Hope your recovery goes well. I would wish you a speedy recovery, but at our age that just doesn't happen. I just realized that I am going to be 60 in a couple of years, and that is pretty much the definition of old in my book. Guess I'll have to start looking for a new definition.
What a bummer! Here's hoping your shoulder mends well and soon. We need you back online... Very happy 65th, by the way : ) I'm sad to say I'm no longer your China correspondent because I've moved to Australia and am living in a small place in WA called Williwonglongdong, or something like that. It's very nice and I can actually see the Milky Way and there are dolphins in the sea etc. So, to be fair, I have to say I'm not sad after all. HK was getting all a bit too hectic and polluted.Stu: Is Williwonglongdong where all the male Strine pornstars come from? ;-)
And I thought you were having time off to recharge the mental facilities [see your blog of 1st May].Sorry to learn of the situation. It would have to be the beer-holding hand...so, how are you managing? I noticed you didn't mention biking in the list of now-redundant pastimes........ And as Robin Williams said "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."Stu: It'll be autumn at the earliest before I can bike again :-(
Quoth Pearl :- "Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Kees Kennis blogged consolations.
Stolen from Phil, but still appropriate ;-) :-
A man wakes up in hospital after a harrowing operation. The surgeon is standing beside him in the bed. He looks up at the surgeon - full of dread. Our man says timidly "Well, how did the operation go?". To which the surgeon replies "Well, I've got some good news and some bad news". "What's the good news?" "We managed to save your testicles" Our man breathes a big sigh of relief ."What's the bad news?" "They're under your pillow".
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Involuntarily offline for a fortnight :-(
dear stu....i have never dreamt of death. this means i will not be dying, thank you. i'll leave that for the rest of you to stew (stu?) about. but but but....do you have any idea of the supreme irony of what follows your death dreams post? "offline for a fortnight". in-effing-deed! so i'm guessing. a) you went on a hoiiday for two weeks. b) you went on a holiday for two weeks, crashed your motorcycle, and broke your shoulder. c) you decided to paint your house and fell off the ladder. d) you have a mighty death wish. i hope you're feeling lots better. the only time i ever broke anything was in 1994 when i broke my wrist while rollerblading. hurt like hell. and the codeine scrambled my brain good... took months for me to get my marbles back in working order.
I've never had any specific dreams of my death. I have had the falling and waking up before I hit the ground ones. And, for all I know, my dreams about things like "talking whales" (yup) and "snow on the ground in winter" may have something to do with death. More often than not though I wake myself up laughing. Really.
--> Most recent Blog
Search this site
Who links here?
And her big son 'Kosmo'.
Finding life hard?
Kay's Thinking Cap
Decrepit Old Fool
Flight Level 390
Jonny B's secret diary
Manic Street Preacher
Not Always Right
One Good Move
Stupid Evil Bastard
The Poor Mouth
The Magistrate's Blog
Too many tribbles
Who can read this?
Michael Jackson parody
Swine fever prevention
Yet another meme...
65th birthday recovery
Dreaming of Death
Pareto charts revisited
Three greens :-(
Check mat :-(
Geocaching 108 : Best of
La Maison du Chocolat :-)
Jedi Blessings ;-)
Dea(r)th of Creativity
Terry Pratchett DVDs
80/20 rule; Pareto.
Spring is sprung ;-)
Good Books :-)
Geocaching: Travel Bugs
Pythagoras on a sphere
I, Q ;-)
Geocaching: Event Cache
Bankers' Pile :-(
The Pastor's Ass ;-)
Religion 101 ;-)
Track days :-)
For you Lurkers :-)
Geocaching: Vandalism :(
Is your organ hard?
c/o the Astronauts@ISS
The REAL Star Trek
Jan Feb Mar Apr
ENGLISH : I am not responsible for the contents or form of any external page to which this website links. I specifically do not adopt their content, nor do I make it mine.
DEUTSCH : Für alle Seiten, die auf diese Website verlinkt sind, möchte ich betonen, daß ich keinerlei Einfluß auf deren Gestaltung und Inhalte habe. Deshalb distanziere ich mich ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten und mache mich ihre Inhalt nicht zu eigen.