Fighting Poverty, Canadian Style!

Senator Hugh Segal (from Canada) gives a great talk aboot defeating poverty and homelessness. The problem is less complicated than people make it out to be and far more easy to fix than many believe. Talk below:

Anyone else have any links on realistic ways to deal with the problem of poverty?


Crash Course In What Carbs, Sugars and Proteins Do To Your Body

So, as of the past week or so, uni has crushed my will to blog. Far too much rote memorization of cell structure terms that don’t mean anything (yet), combined with an influx of exams. But I’m ruminating on a post to do with the recent French terrorist attacks that I hope will make up for the absence.

In the meantime, let’s have a short post on why we know what we know about the way that different molecules work within the body.

There’s a great youtube channel called CrashCourse based around teaching a general understanding of basic scientific ideas (though, you can possibly thank the non-existent gods and goddesses that they don’t quite delve into the full vocabulary and understanding that is really necessary to understand what is going on within each area of science, because there’s a lot more to know about everything than anyone expects first up). I’ve been indulging in it’s biology section for what I’m currently learning (online uni sucks, *grumble grumble grumble*).

Anyway, cell biology is sa-wheet so here’s a basic rundown of how all those food ‘types’ you eat (or potentially avoid) actually effect your body:

Why Were 8 Children Murdered In Cairns?

Terry Firma has an interesting blog post on Patheos about the recent killings in Cairns. Obviously, I live there (or I did, until a few weeks ago) and so I heard plenty of local ‘news’ on the subject. Mostly speculation and gossip, the kind that surrounds any horrible local event, but the big thing that it was blamed on was the drug “ice”. It seemed like a semi-reasonable explanation at the time, after all, “ice” is certainly a hell of a drug.

However, new evidence has been coming through that points at another cause for the killings. From the Courier Mail: Continue reading

Murdoch, Faux News and Wild Propaganda

This is a frustrating, terrifying and insightful look into the propaganda machine that has been built by Rupert Murdoch. The hundreds of news channels, cable channels, papers and magazines that Murdoch owns (and fills with his personal right-wing anti-fact agenda) reaches a STAGGERING 4.7 billion people. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Power corrupts, ultimate power corrupts ultimately and being able to force your biased viewpoints down the throats of more than half of the worlds population is pretty fucking similar to what I would call ultimate power.

As David Brock, the President/CEO of Media Matters for America, says about Murdoch/Faux News:

He doesn't believe in objectivity, he has contempt for journalism I think. They wanted all news to be a matter of opinion because opinion can't be proven false. And I think that's very dangerous because if people don't have a set of facts they can agree on, I think it's difficult to reach a consensus on what's correct public policy.

Acid Attacks

I just wanted to say that I’m not going to show any of the graphic images of acid attack victims, out of complete disgust as to what humans can lower themselves to, but I absolutely fucking hate, with every inch of my fibrous being, people who throw acid on another person.

What fucking honour could you possibly be retaining by permanently scarring another living being? There’s absolutely nothing honourable in the action. I mean, really, it’s fucking terrible. If you disagree with someone, then fine, talk about (or potentially, if you have the fucking guts, to) them, perhaps start a blog and argue with their viewpoints that way. Act in a way that discounts their viewpoint. Chucking fucking acid on someone has none of those qualities.

It marks you, not the acid victim, as a perpetually disgusting human being. You are utter filth. It’s one of the most horrific acts I can imagine someone doing. Far, far, far beyond the shame of being rejected, or having to defend your honour in public, or any of the other utterly contemptible and incredibly pathetic rationales offered for such a disgusting act.

Fuck you. Seriously. Fuck you, you fucking inhuman jerks. It makes the bile rise in my throat. Fuck you.

The Rap Guide to Human Nature

I’m an old school rock guy in love with Bowie, Beatles and Queen. A lot of the time that musical heritage discounts rap as a pathetic attempt to talk over a pre-recorded beat (can you feel my bias already?). I’m not entirely in the rap camp, though I do understand the way that the musical discourse of rap countered the racial aspects of musical success (to an extent). I also find many rappers very talented in wordplay.

MC Paul Barman displays a grand example of the intellectual discourse that rap can achieve (and the depths that wordplay for the sake of wordplay can sink to), along with Jurassic 5 (who don’t sink to those depths, as far as I’m aware) and numerous others, but my favourite by far is Baba Brinkman. He has a whole album entitled the Rap Guide to Human Nature (it’s literally free, FREE). And it is fucking brilliant. It’s old(ish) now, but it’s still a genius work of popular culture attempting to integrate itself with the current level of human knowledge. My favourite song from Baba is Performance, Feedback, Revision (though it’s not on the Rap Guide to Human Evolution album).

He has some (what I consider, at least) flaws in his music, especially to do with feminism (although it requires a close listen to pick them out) but overall it’s an awesome attempt to integrate the latest art with the latest science and I couldn’t knock him for the world. Listen and cum.

Cops Killing Black People

In all honesty, I can’t hold my rage in anymore. Police are not a body unto themselves. They are civil servants. That literally means they work for the people. The people don’t work for the police. The people don’t have to submit to the authorities in every potential situation and there’s no situation where police should escalate the violence.

There is a ridiculous amount of unarmed deaths that occur in police custody or apprehension in America (here’s some stats). The Australian system is less examined, which means the data is less useful, but there are a number of suspicious indigenous deaths that have occurred in police custody, including Eddy Murray, Cameron Doomadgee, Ian Ward, John Peter Pat and Thomas Hickey. There’s also been a number of severe violations of bodily integrity since Tony Abbott took control of the country. Continue reading