And here are some pretty science pictures, also courtesy of the Beeb.
Armed dolphins escape in the disorder of hurricane Katrina. [via del.icio.us]
Cory Doctorow has started podcasting his stories in serial form.
A New Zealand Blog
Attempt to clear up pool soiling
By KAMALA HAYMAN
At least one public swimming pool in Christchurch is closed every three days because a child has defecated in the water, costing the city thousands of dollars a year.
Worst affected is the Pioneer Leisure Centre, forced to close at least once a week due to a faecal incident. In the past four months it has closed 21 times for a total of 42 hours. All but one closure was in the leisure pool, usually crowded with children of all ages enjoying the wave machine, river area, fountains, or swimming lessons....
Christchurch City Council recreation facilities manager John Filsell said most faecal incidents were due to toddler toileting accidents and he urged parents to take steps to avoid them.
"The best thing the community can do is to ensure young children go to the toilet before using the pool."
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"It's tiresome to see male characters in adverts who don't resemble anyone you know," he says. "But what's perhaps worse is the absolute reliance of advertising on its own regurgitated cliches."Well, yeah. Though advertising isn't trying to represent life as it really is, but either trying to sell you a better one or use well-worn stereotypes as a shortcut to character development and narrative (it's hard to tell a story in 30 seconds). Advertising has a always seemed like a bit of a self-contained symbolic system to me (as is film and television, but perhaps to a lesser extent). His list seems pretty accurate though:
I've been reading (far too much) Judith Butler, who takes it as axiomatic that men have traditionally been associated with the mind and rationality and women with the body and materiality. If advertising reflects the prejudices of society, it would seem said prejudices have changed quite a lot. Women are still shown as more emotional (traditionally thought of as counter to reason) than men, but also more rational (because emotion and reason are no longer antithetical).
4. Mums are often harassed but NEVER depressed/unable to cope.
5. Any act of male stupidity (e.g. walking across a clean floor in muddy boots, putting the dog in the dishwasher, etc.) will be met with a wry smile, not genuine annoyance/anger.
14. Men are inherently lazy/slobbish; women are the reverse.
20. All women (except stay-at-home housewives) have interesting and enjoyable careers.
Labour Minister Pete Hodgson is facing police inquiries after assaulting a mother who was peacefully protesting at Otago University today, ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks said.Furthermore:
"She has confirmed to me that he pinioned her so that she could not raise her arms to show her protest sign to the television cameras."
Man, I hate people. I've always found people willing to unquestioningly support one political party quite dull and unimaginative, but when I saw some of the Labour, Green and Act peeps (yes, I'm using that pejoratively) today I noticed something else. They Ugly.
[T]he people who were there as part of the event, wearing the Labour gear, holding the balloons and passing out the leaflets. Oh, and ripping anti-Labour material out of the hands of students, stealing belongings and running away with them.
"You won a free ticket to see an Eric Clapton concert (which has no resale value). Bob Dylan is performing on the same night and is your next-best alternative activity. Tickets to see Dylan cost $40. On any given day, you would be willing to pay up to $50 to see Dylan. Assume there are no other costs of seeing either performer. Based on this information, what is the opportunity cost of seeing Eric Clapton? (a) $0, (b) $10, (c) $40, or (d) $50."That is fucking astounding, but possibly even more telling is that
When they posed their original question to a large group of college students, the researchers found that exposure to introductory economics instruction was strikingly counterproductive. Among those who had taken a course in economics, only 7.4 percent answered correctly, compared with 17.2 percent of those who had never taken one.The explanation for such performance, the article (which I can't be arsed reading beyond the abstract) suggests, is that courses are too mathematically rich and cover too wide a range of topics at the expense of really coming to understand anything at all.
The arguments in Kimberly Cornish's The Jew of Linz that Wittgenstein was the genesis of Hitler's anti-semitism:
A school photograph (shown on the cover of the book) shows Hitler and Wittgenstein standing next but one to each other.
The school had 329 pupils - not a huge school , and of a size when pupils would likely know each other.
They were the same age, although not in the same class, as Wittgenstein was a year ahead and Hitler a year behind the average (p.10).
A pupil records that Hitler called someone a "filthy Jew" who at the time did not realise he had Jewish ancestry, this description fits Wittgenstein.
In Mein Kampf Hitler recalls a Jewish boy "who was treated by us with caution, but only because various experiences had led us to distrust his discretion and we did not particularly trust him". Wittgenstein is well known for his "confessions" and his obsession to tell the truth, again making the link between Wittgenstein and Hitler at school.
Wittgenstein’s family was incredibly rich and powerful, hence Wittgenstein because of his family alone would have been well-known to the other pupils. However in addition Wittgenstein was a "small, unathletic, stuttering, homosexual, adolescent" (p.18) which means it is inconceivable Hitler could not have known Wittgenstein.
Both Hitler and Wittgenstein loved Wagner (p.12-14) and were both able to whistle large sections of his music. This common interest not shared by the other pupils again makes it likely they would have known each other.
Wittgenstein referred to other pupils as "muck" and spoke down to them using the term "sie" (p.18). It is on record that Hitler also referred to other pupils as "sie" (p.21) and this term was also used in later life by Hitler (p.22). Their both speaking in the same manner again points to a connection.
Both pupils were major figures of the twentieth century, it is likely that as children they would have stood out and hence be known to each other (p.18).
Wittgenstein had two homosexual brothers who had killed themselves. This would have made him widely talked about at the school (p.30), again showing Hitler must have known of him.
Wittgenstein’s family financially supported anti-Wagner artists and musicians. As a lover Wagner, Hitler would have known this and resented Wittgenstein for it.
The descriptions Hitler in later life gives of Jews actually fits Wittgenstein: the outward appearance of being european (p.23); bearing titles of nobility (p.23); being ‘court Jews’ (p.25); writing for the world press (p.27); spending the night in the Hotel Excelsior (p.30). Even Hitler’s laws defining who was a Jew (three of the four grandparents had to be Jews) seemed especially to be written for Wittgenstein (three of his four grandparents were Jews). This shows Hitler had Wittgenstein in mind when he pursued his war against the Jews.
Another reference Hitler makes to the Jews is "of German he possesses nothing but the art of stammering its language" (p.23) - Wittgenstein was a stammering Jew, hence again Hitler makes specific references to Wittgenstein into general attacks on the Jews.
Statically there few Jews at the school, hence Hitler’s references to Jews at the school make it more probably he was referring to Wittgenstein or had him in mind.
Hitler actually refers to Wittgenstein in a speech following invasion of Austria, when he says "would that on this evening, some of our international seekers after truth whom we know so well could not only see the facts but later admit them to be facts". "Seekers after truth" is a reference to a philosopher whom Hitler knows well - Wittgenstein.
Also some nice discussion on what Cornish might have been trying to do by making such a claim.