Author Archive | Nick Margerrison

Will You Vote Not To?

Not voting is often a matter of principle for some people. Stand up comedian Mike Payne makes a seriously good case here:

I don’t vote. I also avoid conversations about voting, because when I mention I don’t vote, otherwise reasonable people respond by shrieking like a hyena that has been freebasing.

MAN travels in packs; even supposed !INDIVIDUALISTS! feel better when they can be part of the mob. Voting helps sate this craving, and trying to argue the herd out of herding is like giving the finger to gravity. Doesn’t accomplish much.

Still, the sanctimony of proud voters during Presidential races is so feverish I can’t help myself.

The least impressive argument I hear from voters: People died to give you the right to vote.

So what? People also died defending the Third Reich. Their dying for a cause doesn’t alter the merits of the cause one bit. Dying isn’t a big deal.

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Lasers Before Butter

Picture credit: Teh Intertubes

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side” – Han Solo

The military’s Star Wars generation looks set to finally get what they surely always wanted, kick ass lazers!

Wired reports:

“On directed energy” — the term for the Navy’s laser cannons, “I’d say two years,” Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, the chief of the Office of Naval Research, told Danger Room in a Monday interview. The previous estimate, which came from Klunder’s laser technicians earlier this year, was that it will take four years at the earliest for a laser gun to come aboard.

“We’re well past physics,” Klunder said, echoing a mantra for the Office of Naval Research’s laser specialists. Now, the questions surrounding a weapon once thought to be purely science fiction sound almost pedestrian. “We’re just going through the integration efforts,” Klunder continued. “Hopefully, that tells you we’re well mature, and we’re ready to put these on naval ships.”

Wired full story

With a mounting fiscal deficit in America the political hot potato that is military funding has been thrown around quite a lot recently.… Read the rest

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Will a ‘Ban’ on Long Hair, Tattoos and Piercings Help the Ailing Music Retailer HMV?

Picture: "Amanda's Tattoos", Bridget from Seattle (CC)

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde

It seems UK music store HMV has gotten itself into a bit of bother with a controversial new dress policy that has restrictions on long hair and tattoos. Its core demographic of long-haired tattoo-wearing teenagers have inevitably been annoyed.

The story was first reported in The Sun newspaper:

HMV warns anyone ignoring the policy will be disciplined. Until recently the chain owned some of Britain’s best known rock venues such as London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Many top stars — like tattooed Ed Sheeran and Professor Green, and long-haired Jack White of The White Stripes — would be ruled out of an HMV job because of their appearance.

One worker said: “We’ve got new management. It’s ridiculous and discrimination.” HMV insisted it wanted staff to express their personalities but had to balance this with customer expectations.

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New Study Provides “Confirmation for Stereotypes About Sex-Hungry Males and Naïve Females”

Picture: Oliver Abels (CC)

Harry: … men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.

Irritating rom-com, When Harry Met Sally, may have been on the money as regards the age old question of platonic relationships between men and women. Scientific American reports that, according to new research, men see their women friends as potential conquests:

researchers brought 88 pairs of undergraduate opposite-sex friends into…a science lab.  Privacy was paramount—for example, imagine the fallout if two friends learned that one—and only one—had unspoken romantic feelings for the other throughout their relationship.  In order to ensure honest responses, the researchers not only followed standard protocols regarding anonymity and confidentiality, but also required both friends to agree—verbally, and in front of each other—to refrain from discussing the study, even after they had left the testing facility.

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Did David Icke Call Out the British Establishment’s Pedophile Jimmy Savile?

Picture: Sharf (CC)

David Icke plays Wembley Arena this weekend. It’s much bigger than his usual venue, the more modest Brixton Academy which has a maximum seated capacity of 2,391. This year Icke has gambled on an additional ten thousand people turning up. Tickets are still on sale at around £50 and it will be interesting to see how well attended his latest nine hour marathon is. Particularly given the way in which major news events have recently tended to favour his world view.

Disinfonauts are likely to be familiar with Icke’s story. He first became famous in the UK as a TV sports personality for the BBC. He then went through some sort of ‘nervous breakdown’ or ‘spiritual awakening’ and appeared on television in 1992 to be ridiculed without mercy. His subsequent writing and speaking career has gathered a considerable worldwide following over the years. That said his worldview has also shifted and evolved away from the shambolic TV appearances of 1992.… Read the rest

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‘Child Sacrifice’ in Northern India to ‘Trace Hidden Treasure’: When Magick Goes Wrong?

Allegations that a ten year old child was kidnapped and used as a human sacrifice after going to see a performance of Ramila (a sort of religious pantomime show) in The Deccan Herald:

The child, Aman Kumar went missing from his house at Jamunapur village in the district on October 6. He had gone to see Ramlila but never returned home. His body was recovered from a ditch outside the village a few days ago.

There were injury marks all over the body. A red colour cloth, incense sticks and other articles were found near the body. It prompted police to suspect sacrifice after an exorcism attempt. On Saturday, police claim to crack the mystery and arrested three persons, including a woman, all residents of the same village.

During interrogation, they revealed that they had been told about a hidden treasure in their house by a tantrik — an exorcist.

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Nobel Peace Surprise for Failed EU Superstate.

In the months leading up to World War II, there was a tendency among many Americans to talk absently about the trouble in Europe. Nothing that happened an ocean away seemed very threatening” – Gene Tierney

The ailing dream of a United States Of Europe has been given an unexpected boost courtesy of the Nobel Prize steering committee:

Sky news reports:

The EU has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its long-term role in uniting the continent, as the bloc faces its greatest internal crisis since it was established in the 1950s.

The 27-nation group was praised for rebuilding Europe after World War II and for its role in spreading stability to former communist countries after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said it had been crucial in the transformation of a “once torn Europe from a continent of wars to a continent of peace”.

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‘Conspiracy Road Trip’ Presenter: ‘I Was There To Debunk It For The BBC’

According to UK Comedy website Chortle, comedian Andrew Maxwell, has doled out a some surprising revelations regarding his controversial BBC TV show “Conspiracy Road Trip”. He was arrested at gun point while filming the “documentary” but claims his amazing stand up act saved him from serving time in a US prison. He and his team were detained at infamous “secret” US Military base, Area 51. Apparently Maxwell’s madcap routine about The Middleton Sisters which stopped him from being hilariously flung into a dingy holding cell:

The Irish comic and a documentary crew had snuck into the vast desert  installation, believed by ufologists to contain remains of a flying saucer that crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, to shoot a BBC show.

But guards armed with machine guns swooped, and ordered the group of 12 to  lie face down on the floor for three hours while the FBI checked their credentials.

Maxwell claims that only the intervention of a Lincoln County deputy sheriff, who had seen his Live at the Apollo routine about  the Middleton sisters, prevented them from being thrown in a Nevada jail.

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Is Willpower a Limited Resource Which Can be Cultivated with Exercise?

Picture: Robbin Cresswell (PD)

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” – Aiwass

New developments in biological science suggest your willpower is drawn from a limited supply of chemicals which accumulate in the brain over time.

According to Wired willpower is:

a measurable form of mental energy that runs out as you use it, much like the gas in your car.

Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University, calls this “ego depletion,” and he proved its existence by sitting students next to a plate of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies. Some were allowed to snack away, others ordered to abstain. Afterward, both groups were asked to complete difficult puzzles. The students who’d been forced to resist the cookies had so depleted their reserves of self-control that when faced with this new task, they quickly threw in the towel. The cookie eaters, on the other hand, had conserved their willpower and worked on the puzzles longer.

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The United States of Europe Continues its Decline…

Picture: SsolbergJ (PD)

The struggling European Supertstate has demanded an extra £1 billion from a cash strapped United Kingdom. The EU’s central command centre (located in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium) is due to issue its latest demands later in the month.

From Aol.co.uk:

Brussels is to bill Britain £1bn extra because it’s blown its 2012 budget. Brussels will pitch its demand for UK taxpayer cash – £976 million, to be exact – in late October, shortly before MEPs rubber-stamp a 7% hike in the EU’s annual budget.

The move puts more pressure on the UK government’s relationship with Brussels as EU spending strays, again, beyond previous estimates.

American readers who are not familliar with the ins and outs of the EU are directed towards this excellent guide from This American Life:

This American Life: Continental Breakup

If you’re like us, when the words “European debt crisis” pop up in the news you feel a little worried, and a little like taking a nap.

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