Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Music and stuff

I have been trying to hear the music of MIA for same time. She's an Asian woman called Maya, who lives in Shepherd's Bush. There the similarities end, of course. She's a well-known DJ who is playing at SONAR this year, and also a graphic artist. She's also on the right side of 30, thin, pretty, daughter of a Tamil Tiger, etc. But anyway, here are some of her songs! And a good radio station as well.

To make me feel a little bit better, I am now a regular contributor to ContaNatura. It's in Portuguese, but my post this week kas a lot of nice pictures of Tanzania. So check it out!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Quote of the day

"Nature loves diversity, society hates it"

This is actually part of the advertising for the 'middle sex' program on TV, but I thought it quite a nice little phrase that fits in with a small theme current running through at the moment. Reflected by:
-a (female) friend of mine complaining about how ugly her white skin was compared to mine, and me trying to convince her every skintone is beautiful.
-a sticker saying: "Against racial genocide", turned out it was for the British National Party, campaigning for preserving racial purity. In Kensal Rise, a very mixed community. What was it doing there? I toyed with the idea of peeling it of, because I thought it might make some of the people there feel sad (I felt more amused, really). Toyed with the idea of putting up something like 'inbreeding may cause mental retardation'. Decided to do neither, freedom of expression and all that, plus doesn't deserve the bother.
-this idea that females choose male partners based on the male's immune system being sufficiently different from the female's (from studies on a few mammal species, including humans).

I think this all adds up to the idea that most (but not all) of society around me seems to value diversity.

Any thoughts on this or whether this adds up to something else?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

campaign against sadistic English weather-people

They used to start by zooming in on the Iberian Peninsula, cloud-free and with high temperatures in Portugal and Spain and only then zoom to the British Isles covered in gloom. It seemed to get better for a while, with English weather-people starting off by showing Great Britain. But yesterday evening, the weather-man actually started off by SAYING: "Brilliant hot weather in Portugal with highs of 20, in England, however, it was quite cold...". What is this?!
Why should you start a national weather program with how the weather is in another country? Do the weather-people want to depress us even more? It would be funny if Portuguese weather-people started the program by saying: " In Great Britain it is drizzling and grey with highs of 5 degrees" before turning with a snigger to the weather in Portugal : "But here it is sunny, with clear blue skies and highs of 20". How about that?


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Quick quote

" Boys don't have to be as clever as girls because half the world isn't trying to fuck them"

From the program FAQ U, on the question " Are guys thick?"

Not saying I agree, mind - with the explanation, that is.

Any alternative explanations, or explanations to the opposite answer welcome! (I point out, if it wasn't obvious, that the above quote is from a man)

I might then give my own views on the subject.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Having an intolerable day:

Started by booking a registration. Then a hotel. Then wrote an e-mail asking someone about the work they're doing for us. And another asking someone else the same. And another one explaining to someone else exactly what they need to do for us, as if it wasn't perfectly obvious.

If I'm going to be a secretary, should be paid like one rather than being paid like a scientist.

Something along these lines on Ana's website. My favourite quote on her link:

I'm now 31, and have never recorded a hit album, acted in anything that was seen by more than about 12 people, written a best seller or indeed done very much of any merit whatsoever. However, by the time he was my age, Kurt Cobain had been dead for five years. At least I've out-achieved him in one respect.Pete Hazell, London, UK

And some favourite quotes from a list I got today:

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man -- for precisely the same reasons.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

This all ads up something. When I've figured out what I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Busy, busy jungian days

Lovely, calorie-consuming weekend with a capoeira roda on Friday followed by a club that I thought was so good that I'm not even going to advertise it. Met some friends on the bus home - wasn't suprised as I was sort of expecting to find them. Significant coincidence?

Saturday afternoon rode a bike for the first time in several years, managed not to cause too much damage to myself or others and it was a good ride to Paddington along the canal and back.

Saturday night birthday party at the Dogstar, another possibly significant coincidence meeting and lots of very calorie-consuming debates. I think we managed to cover almost all of debatable science issues in one night.

Sunday slept all day, of course.

Monday another jungian day with a conversation about fractals, Jackson Pollock and elephants that paint and with my advertising class in the evening. Plus all the work in the middle. Yesterday and today were again those days when you spend all your day running around seemingly just to stay in the same place.

Speaking of which, have to go register for a conference in Vienna. Anyone interested in joining me there for the second weekend in June?

Friday, May 06, 2005

The road to hell...

My own personal cinema analysis... Some years ago it seemed to me that a trend started for films that debate concepts of reality, personal or social. This idea was helped by the me seeing 'Blade Runner', 'Clockwork Orange' and 'The Matrix' in one weekend. (Which also showed that the Matrix is just special effects, really). It then carried on with 'Vanilla Sky', 'Existenz' and that film with Michael Douglas about a game. And then 'Fight Club'. And 'Total Recall', I guess.
Now I have a feeling that a new trend might be starting: films about religion. 'Constantine' showed what would happen if the things the bible says were actually true, 'L'immortel' showed human gods and now 'Kingdom of Heaven' about the crusades. And they're making a film on the 'Da Vinci Code'. If anyone knows any more examples let me know - I haven't been going to the cinema a lot lately Most of this is influenced by how important having a different religion has become again for world politics, of course.
With the other (widely acknowledged) trend for documentaries, how long, do you think, before we see a documentary on religion?
And to show that now reality is mostly stranger than fiction (so no more need for films that give us alternative realities) the update on the State of Kansas vs Evolution story:

The evolution of a fight to the end
In Kansas, God and science are going toe to toe again
Empty chairs sit reserved for members of the Science Standards Writing Committee at the first day of hearings Thursday in Topeka. Mainstream scientific groups boycotted the hearings.

By Alex Johnson
Updated: 3:16 p.m. ET May 5, 2005

Hoping to avoid a bitter public showdown, defenders of the theory of evolution boycotted the first of four days of hearings Thursday over the science curriculum in Kansas, where members of the state Board of Education critical of the standard theory are considering changes to give more weight to creationist ideas.

Whole story here