Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Is veganism better for the planet vis-a-vis climate change?

If the argument is about which is better for your health vegan or omnivore, that's one thing, but this thread is about whether producing meat is good for the planet, climate-wise.

If food production produces 18% of the GG problem now - U.N.F.A.O., how much lower do you think it is possible to get it? It won't be zero.

But this is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. You have to solve the population problem first before you worry about how many cows there are. If the population gets to 9B by 2050 as the UN says it will, the question of meat vs. veggies will seem small potatoes, if you will pardon the pun.

As for right now, reducing the number of cattle, pigs, etc. is of small concern while Nigeria and Siberia are lit up brighter than Paris or New York by gas flares you can see from space.
They flare off more natural gas each year completely wasted, than most countries and many states consume.

The GG thus produced make the cows issue trivial.

Come on now, let's focus on the correct issues..

Monday, November 22, 2010

Koko Classic Triathlon

Just watched 5-0, they faked a triathlon as a backdrop to the drama.
Bad Five-O! Dissing triathlon by stating that they were blood dopers!
Maybe some long distance triathletes have blood-doped but this fake Koko event was a sprint or Oly at most. There`s no benefit to doping for short distance events. The writers got it wrong. I suppose it was jus`t so they could `find` a fingerprint on the blood bag. AND they had the robbers posing as triathletes doing a hard workout the night before the race!
Anyway, a bunch of real triathletes got some on camera exposure as extras on a primetime show, and that has to be a good thing.

3 inches of snow and minus 10C right now. Sucks.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ten Rules for Modern Life

I received the following in an e-mail today and have seen it before attributed to someone else. Whoever wrote it has some wisdom.

"Love him or hate him , he sure hits the nail on the head with this!
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did
not and will not learn in school..
He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a
generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them
up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your
self-esteem.. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you
feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You
won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had
a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault , so don't whine about
your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are
now... They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and
listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you
save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try
delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life
HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll
give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't
bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and
very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on
your own time.

Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to
leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.""

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sexual Stupidity & the Afghan War

One would have to admit surprise, initially, when reading of the stupid errors of judgment made by obviously smart men, and women, but we'll get to them later, in matters concerning sex.

John Kerry, Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, John Profumo, Marv Albert and men who were perhaps less smart, Tiger Woods, Hugh Grant, Jimmy Swaggert, Edwin Mose, Charlie Sheen, Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, Steve Garvey, hundreds of priests and other non-famous men. What is it? Hubris?

Why would someone who has a great deal at stake, make such boneheaded errors in judgment? Maybe that should be boner-headed errors. Was it arrogance that made them think they could get away with it?

It may be simply that in matters concerning sex humans universally act irrationally. There is arguably a disconnect between natural sexual urges and the convoluted, sophisticated, social arrangements we make to corral and direct the sexual urges humans universally feel.

Consider a stark contrast, say, the gulf that exists between the adolescent male urge to mate with anything that will hold still long enough. Or the famously documented urges of Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Caligula, henry VIII, and so on. Given the power to obtain access to women, whether legally or illegally, powerful men will rack up as many partners as time permits.

Even when social agreements like marriage, or informal relationships like living together are made moderns will stray. Notwithstanding whatever thrill may come from getting away with it, men will often not think twice when sex is made freely available. So what is this phenomenon? Is it perverse or noramal?

Of course terms like normal and perverse are subjective. Yet, we act surprised when a prominent person is involved in a sex scandal. If we knew our history we ought not to be surprissed, we whould pay it no attention because we expected it. Yet we continue to promote lifetime commitments to fidelity and exclusiveness and enact punitive laws to enforce them. What's going on?

Is it hypocrisy to take marriage vows? Or is it simply futile? When a man stands up in church and vows fidelity in front of God and his congregation is he lying, being self-deluded, simply stupid? Is the woman so desperate, self-deluded, dishonest that she goes through with it?

In other cultures, say, Islam, where it is akin to taking a slave, marriage may be the only way a man can legally have a sex partner, the law exists to enforce the ritual and the institution.

From an evolutionary perspective, it is a good male strategy to have as many breeding partners as possible. Since partnerships are problematical, promiscuity is a sound program to persue. It is in conflict with a female evolutionary perspective that must be centered around child-rearing to ensure projecting her genes into the future. This results in complex social arrangements, including invasion, raping and pillaging, sharia, marriage rituals such as seen in many of the world's religion. It may even be that the whole point of a religion is to regulate and give order to the natural mating urges of men and women.

Organized religious authorities set themselves up in power by creating myths about sex, fertility, sin, and so on. If you want to wield power over the people you must control their natural urges. Create a concept of sin associated with sex, then show people how they can get to exercise their urges legally and without sin, and you have control over them is the strategy devised by the Catholic Church and is copied by others.

But the urge can be stimulated to ennervate the individual to act in contrary manner to rational thought. Many examples exist of men who were seduced by a beautiful woman. Prostitutes are committed to tempting men toi have sex with them. Their task is easy because nothing could be more natural than to have sex with a willing partner. In the balance is loss of various degrees of prestige, moral propriety, and material wealth.

We in the wealthy western world cannot imagine returning to a time when women do not have property rights and defence of law such that they cannot be taken sexually at the will of a more powerful man, as happened centuries ago and still happens in areas of the world where the law is absent such as the Congo where mass rape is common even today.

Take the view of the Taliban in Afghanistan where the US and Foreign troops are regarded as threatening sharia law and the Afghanis rights to control their women. These Afghanis will fight to the death to prevent this. It is as simple as that. Under sharia law a man gets a woman and the right to control her sexually.

"If you want to defend the rights of women in Afghanistan you have to defeat the Taliban, and you have to do it militarily." - Douglas Ross, Professor of Foreign Policy, Simon Fraser U.

Young men & women are most susceptible to acting irrationally, that is to say, based on instinct rather than on reason, because between puberty and say, 40 yrs old, sex hormones are most plentiful in the body.

Denying young men access to sex partners by ssimple admonition or proclamation is almost impossible and in western democracies has consequences of unwanted pregnancy or heartbreak, but in many areas of the world it results in men taking up arms and many deaths are the consequence.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Minister Rich Coleman, Drunk Driving & Cindy Berner


Re: Drunk driving, Minister Coleman and Cindy Berner
- Alexa Middelaer, 4, was killed after she was hit by a car driven by Carol Berner.
- Minister Coleman considers telling RCMP to back off a bit in enforcing drunk driving laws
I view it as absurd that on the same news broadcast a woman is being sentenced for killing a 4-year-old girl while driving under the influence, and at the same time, the Minister is contemplating “educating” the public that it’s okay to have two glasses of wine with dinner. So go ahead, go out to dinner, drive to the restaurant, have a few glasses of wine and drive home.
Who is being smart here? The citizens who are staying home to have dinner and enjoy their wine without risking killing some 4 year old child, or, the Liberal Government’s Minister, who is so wishy-washy about enforcing his own laws, that a few restaurant owners whining in his ear can persuade him to back off & he is now prepared to put children at risk on the streets?
We didn’t back off about another drug that was killing people and costing the health system money. Cigarettes. So why back off now over the consumption of alcohol?
The reason for the law in the first place, in both cases: cigarettes and alcohol, is the same, and that is: people die, and those who don’t die, cost us money in terms of health care costs, property damage and thereby in insurance costs.
Do not listen to the lawyer who sounded off about the fewer number of criminal cases relating to drinking & driving. He is just trying to drum up business. We don’t need more people with criminal records. We do need fewer people drinking & driving. The RCMP seem to have got it right this time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who needs to be good at Math anyway?

G.V. Ramanathan, wonders if the nation isn't all in a lather about nothing, a professor emeritus of mathematics, statistics and computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he suggests the average person doesn't need higher math.

Ann Bibby wrote on Care2 Causes today:
"In a recent article for The Washington Post, Ramanathan questions the frenzied call to arms of the education establishment to try and boast the almost zero interest most Americans have in math beyond the basics. He points out that since the first clarion of concern in 1983's A Nation At Risk a lot of money and time has been devoted to promoting math, but that standardized test scores of American teens have improved not one bit since the 1980's. And despite the angst and alarm this causes politicians and business interests, the fact is that most people aren't required to use advanced math in their daily lives, either at work or personally. Math is less relevant to daily life than literature, history, politics, music and communication skills."

My take:

Sure the average kid can get by without higher math. Is "average" all you want your kid to be?

Math is the gateway skill to the high tech jobs of the future.

The "average person" can be intimidated by just tossing out a few statistics. The competent ones are not afraid of challenging politicians who attempt to hoodwink us by citing dubious stats to get us to panic into supporting lame bailouts that they don't properly understand themselves. Do you imagine W understood the bailout? Unlikely.
His advisors may have, who were likely huge investors in Wallstreet, but they were interested only in their own agenda.
Anyway, hoi polloi let them get away with it and now we have a multi-trillion dollar debt.
If everyone viscerally understood debt and compound interest, we might have burned Keynes at the stake instead of sanctifying him.

Another take, the lottery is just a tax on people who suck at math.

No one is "bad at math" but teaching makes them appear so. Teaching it by a method which relies for its success on short term memory - our weakest mental faculty, instead of say, imagination - children's greatest strength, is barren of ideas and a betrayal of children's potential.

Consider this - traditional math teaching is nothing but the forced memorization of facts, rules, formulae and process.

Where's Understanding supposed to come from?

My point is, if kids aren't learning by the way we are teaching, it is time to teach them in the way they can learn.

"Teaching Math with Manipulatives" - Geoff White