Facepalm Friday - Devolved Thought

This Facepalm Friday comes entirely from Missing Universe Museum, a site which tries to prove Christianity by disproving evolution. Thus they fail basic logic as well as basic biology and basic theology.

They helpfully give a list of questions no evolutionist should be able to answer, including:
Which evolved first, male or female?

Just let that sink in for a moment.

It's just so awesomely dumb, it deserves repeating. And so they do.

If you don't believe God created all living things, male and female, in 6 days....How many millions of years was it between the first male and the first female?

Moving on, they manage to fail basic geology too.

Why aren't any fossils or coal or oil being formed today?

Now, I've read a lot of opinions (and a few books) arguing against the central tenants of Darwin's theory. So far, there's not been a single one that understood the theory, but it's rare to find that lack of understanding so completely encapsulated in once sentence.

Why hasn't evolution duplicated all species on all continents?

How can they possibly top that? Well they can. By forgetting probably the most basic fact of life.

If life began hundreds of millions of years ago, why is the earth still under populated?

Yes, they've forgotten that things die.

It's good to know that some of the insane community isn't just obsessed with presidential birth certificates, denying medicine to those who need it most, or Rube Goldberg methods of demolishing skyscrapers.

They devote their lives to attacking the single best evidenced scientific theory in the world, one they fail to grasp despite its amazing simplicity...and one which doesn't affect their lives one little bit.

And as an extra added bonus, they also offer a million dollar prize to anyone who can "prove evolution" by naming five living transitional forms between any two species. So all you need to get rich is bring four species back from the dead.

Jesus! Facepalm!


An unexpected phone call from my previous employer, the language school down the street.

Did they have another oversize class of eager Spanish teens in need of an eccentric teacher? Or an Arab businessman wishing to become completely fluent in a month? No, they just wanted some advice on backing up CDs. Oh well, in the land of the technologically illiterate, the sometime nerd is...always assumed to be available.

At this time of year there should be at least a hundred students in a small school like that. There's fifty, and it'll be thirty next week. Pretty disastrous. All the schools in the area are posting No Vacancies, even for part time or casual teachers, at what should be peak demand time.

And what's the excuse used by foreign schools and agencies? Apparently Europe thinks the UK is riddled with swine flu. I'd have thought recession was a good enough reason on it's own.

There's been 31 deaths so far from H1N1 in the UK, of around 1250 worldwide, of c42,000 reported cases. So it's not a completely trivial number, but I'm probably more likely to be killed by a bus because I was distracted thinking about swine flu...than by swine flu.

But check back in a year to see if that's still true. And to see whether there's an economy to speak of. And whether I'm still trying to be a teacher.

Jack-King Off

I don't pay much attention to newspapers now they've mostly mutated into celebrity gossip sheets. But I do glance at headlines on the shelf. Here's what I've learned from headlines over the last fortnight.

* Michael Jackson was not the father of his three children

* Oh yes he was

* Oh no he wasn't

* He was on oxycontin

* He was buried with a white glove

* He was buried without his brain

* The brain is in a jar

* He was buried with his brain

* But not quite all of it

* He was on propoful

* Family members say he was murdered

* His cardiologist is not a suspect

* The cardiologist is in hiding

* The cardiologist is a suspect

* His dermatologist isn't a suspect

* Jackson had a fourth child

* He didn't really

* He didn't have a nose

* He might have been on heroin

* Some newspapers have got just a little ghoulish in their Michael Jackson obsessional coverage. But not this one

Headlines: The early version of Twitter.

Kafka, PLC

How to buy something online:

1.1) Try to login to your ebay account
1.2) Try again to login to your ebay account
1.3) Get ebay to send you an email which contains a URL to a page where you can reset your password.
1.4) Go through the password resetting rigmarole
1.5) Login to ebay

2.1) Try to login to your paypal account
2.2) Try again
2.3) Go through the rigmarole of resetting your paypal password
2.4) Login to paypal
2.5) Find that you need to re-connect your bank account and your debit card with your paypal account, because paypal have disconnected them, because you haven't used paypal for a while

3.1) Initiate the re-connection process
3.2) Wait a few days

4.1) Try to telephone your bank to get the information you need to complete the process
4.2) Get asked for the security number you were never issued, to unlock your security lockout, that was put in place when you couldn't give the security number six months ago
4.3) Telephone your bank again to find out your security number
4.4) Get told they can't tell you your number, but they can reset it to the default they can't reveal, after which you can set it to whatever you want, provided you can get through a different set of security checks
4.5) As an aside, get the information your need to complete one half of the reconnection process

5.1) Telephone your bank to change your security number
5.2) After giving your name, sort code, account number, date of birth, "special memorable word", "special memorable place" and details of a recent ATM withdrawal, get told to enter your new security number on your phone's touchpad.
5.3) Get told you've got the wrong kind of phone for this to work, and you need to try using your mobile instead.
5.4) Do it again, this time on your mobile
5.5) Do it again on your mobile because for no apparant reason it didn't work
5.6) Get redirected to an automated system which will check whether all your details are now as they should be
5.7) Get timed out of the system

6) To be fucking continued.

Porny Ride

Agatha Christie supposedly once said "There's nothing duller than dull pornography". I don't know whether she really said it, but it's certainly true that often the dullest bits of porn are...the porn.

There's clips on youtube showing the first minute or two of a porn scene - the part before there's any clothing removal or body contact - as humour. Bad acting, bad scripting, bad hairstyles, bad decor and bad sound quality from the 70s and 80s.

The "setup" where the macguffin is introduced for the following ten minutes of groaning and pumping. The pizza delivery boy and the bored housewife, the photocopier repairman and the busty secretary, the soccer player persuading the coach to let him play for the team.

Porn is a fantasy of sex for no reason other than pleasure, so why does the fantasy need some other reason built into it? Maybe the childhood indoctrination of pleasure-as-sin is still hanging around in the director's mind - or the viewer's.

Most of the real sex I have has less chatting and framing than the movies that are supposed to substitute for it.

There's a few rather dire "flick" flicks that I've kept - solely for the musical possibilities of their soundtracks. One has a blond collegeboy talking for a full five minutes about his girlfriend's breasts, winding himself up into such a frenzy that he'll let another blond collegeboy suck him off - probably better than the girlfriend could have.

Another is bookended by an alien invasion plot - from where else but Uranus. I've got a vague plan to cut them up over some ambient music.

Treasure Island Media produce some of the most, um, direct and uncomplicated stuff around for the gay market. It's owner Paul Morris dignifies his product as documenting real, hot, unscripted sex - as though it needed a justification beyond filming blameless pleasure to sell for creating more blameless pleasure.

The company motto is "Suck Dick, Save the World". Hippy Dick indeed.

And finally, I stumbled over a cheerfully low-budget title recently, with a somewhat unexpected blurb:

In the 1820's, when there were well over 200 known brothels in New York City alone, many of the moralists who sought to curb prostitution pointed to the commonplace of interracial sex and forecasted a bleak future should such sin continue. Reflecting white fears of black sexual supremacy and racial integration, they sought to criminalize prostitution to control the mingling of the races. Fast forward almost 200 years and several wars later, and interracial sex is still somewhat taboo in several circles. The desire is still definitely there though. Most of the white guys I talk to about modeling practically beg to have sex with black guys. It seems as though the hundreds of years that reformers tried to marginalize black men by classifying them as potent and sexually obsessed, has only made the thought of interracial sex all the more erotic. So the next time you watch a video of a big dicked black dude totally dominating and getting off on using a smooth white guy, you can thank the religious right. Without their fear, there probably wouldn't be so much desire today. Randy definitely has a desire for black men, because he confided in me that he thinks about black dicks so much he worries he can't stop sucking off black men.

The irony is, this rather unsexy piece of out-of-place cultural theorising is more incisive than what you'll get from your average cultural theory graduate. I speak as a cultural theory graduate. It's also probably more interesting than the film.

The title? "I Can't Stop Sucking Off Black Men".

Cronked Out

Did you know Walter Cronkite was once sick on live TV?

They only had one camera on the show and no other presenters were ready, so they couldn't quickly switch to another talking head. They had no VT cured up at the time so they couldn't run that, and for some reason no one thought to put up the colour bar pattern and announce technical difficulties.

And so it was that, on August 21st 1978, the great anchorman brought up his lunch in front of the nation, and still managed to be professional and dignified about it - saying he was terribly sorry and joking that normal service would be resumed as soon as possible.

After nearly two minutes, it was resumed, and Mr Cronkite - with a slightly stained tie - finished the report, before handing over to the weatherman.

Okay, none of that happened - I just made it all up. It's all horseshit.

But the thing is...did you believe it? Did you want to believe it, in spite of the somewhat implausible details? And do you think other people would believe it if you wrote about it on your blog?

I wonder if we could try a small experiment here. If you feel like participating, could you recast the above story in your own words, put it on your blog - possibly as an aside to something else - and see if anyone calls you out on it?

could we even start a meme here? Pump some bullshit into the internet and see if it travels anywhere. Maybe even the dizzy heights of wikipedia.

MJ? Eroswings? David? It might be...fun.

Who was it remarked that alcohol increased your desire do to the very things it took away your ability to do?

Well the perversities of fermented fruit are greater and more subtle than that, because the best time to do mindless exercise on your new skiing machine is when you're alone and intoxicated - a state which also vastly increases your appetite for carbohydrate-rich foodstuffs - bread, pasta, rice and chocolate biscuits.

With the result that I'm not sure right now whether I feel sick because I'm pissed out of my skull, or because I'm stuffed with extra-large portions of spaghetti in sweet-and-sour sauce.

Lift and Stretch

Another pair of aching feet, another bucket of hot water. But the last for a while because my friend's house is sold, cleared, surrendered and no longer anything to do with me.

The overladen skip outside is gone too, which means the steady procession of men in white vans picking over the detritus for gold has mercifully stopped. All the vans are off-white, and all the spivs have the same patter spoken in the same accent - all dropped H's and Ts, with long slurred vowels and soft rhotics. There must be a factory stamping them out somewhere.

One thing they didn't find was the suitcase stuffed full of money. Hundreds of high denomination notes, just waiting to be uncovered by the lucky curious. Okay, so it's actually Chinese Yuan...and from before the revolution so it's not legal tender...but these are just details.

I sat outside on the discarded sofa, feet up on the table half-smashed by the careless skip lorry, waiting for some officious cretin - preferably a police officer - to mistake me for a snoozing vagrant and try to intimidate me. At which point I'd offer them a suitcase full of money to go away and leave me in peace.

But sadly, all the officious cretins were working at estate agent's today. That's a different story.

Oh, I am now the proud temporary owner of a skiing machine, my reward for a week of getting painful muscles and stiff joints the natural way - lugging awkwardly shaped furniture around awkwardly narrow stairs.

Dad moaned and complained that there was no space for my gym-junk 'cos it was all taken by his motorbike-junk. Then he tried the machine and declared it had cured his sciatica.

So good stuff all round. And no I won't help you move house.
If there is a heaven, it consists in having your aching feet in a bucket of slightly-too-hot water.

Having the water topped up occasionally by nubile Indian boys with cheeky smiles would make it perfect.
Our girl dog may or may not be pregnant by one of our boy dogs.

If Perry's the father, we're in for one or two (or knowing him, three) strong boistrous brown and white papillions. If the daddy's Dino, it'll be a few light, small boned brown and while papillions. And if it's Harry, we'll find out what a cross between a papillion and a maltese looks like.

What's halfway between these two?


Yesterday a piano broke an axe. Today a bed broke a hammer and a chair broke my head.

I'm tired and most of me aches. If this is real life, you can keep it.
I've spent the last few days carrying furniture up and and down stairs, humping around remarkably heavy bags of old books and vinyl records, and breaking stuff up to put in a skip.

Today I tried to break up an old piano long past repair. But it broke the axe. The trouble with things built to last is...they do.
My brother's getting married. I'm just not sure why.

Neither he nor his longtime girlfriend are especially romantic or conventional, there's no famillial pressure, zero plans to have children, no financial incentive, and even if they were surrounded by people urging them to do it, they're far too sensible and independent to do it for that reason.

Still, she's a good women - highly intelligent and cheerfully cynical with a fondness for fluffy dogs and absurdly hot curries. If she were my boyfriend, I think I'd marry her.


Old people are not stupid.

They don't enjoy being patronised, can learn new things, have initiative, aren't full of idiotic prejudices, aren't obsessed with mindless gossip and aren't a complete and utter waste of space.

Charities can we well-run, useful and free from pointless bureaucracy.

Education is about helping students educate themselves, not faking exam results.

After today, I just need to remind myself of these things.

You see, two years ago the government took a very dim view of unemployed people doing voluntary work - they saw it as a way for them to avoid doing "real" work, and they'd fine you if you did it. Yes, it is stupid.

Now though, they'll try to force you into doing voluntary work, seeing as there's few paid jobs around and so much socially necessary work is now done by charities. So they're trying to get me to do some - not much at the moment, just a few regular hours.

So today I dutifully arranged and attended an interview at a charity that offers IT courses to the elderly. I'm a teacher, I know computers, and those of my friends who aren't under thirty are over fifty, so it made sense.

Now, I've worked for some vague people in my time, but these folk take the proverbial biscuit.

I ask: Who are my colleagues? Comes the answer: It depends who turns up.

Will I be working one-to-one or teaching a class? It depends who turns up, how they feel, and how you feel.

How long does a class last and when does it start? Whenever a "client" is there.

What do the other IT teachers teach? They don't know much more about computers than the "clients". But they do like Windows Vista.

What exactly would I be teaching? Whatever you feel like - provided you teach it a dozen times in a row for those with memory problems.

All pretty free-and-easy, right? Not quite. There is a series of exams, which I absolutely must administer and collect statistics on - in order for the charity to continue to receive government funding. So there is a core of issue I must teach and test, even if I do nothing else.

Here are some of the things I'd have to teach. See if you can spot what they all have in common.

* A Trojan is a program which tries to fool you into installing a virus.
* People called "Criminal Hackers" try to put spyware on your computer, using programs called Botnets.
* Installing the latest updates to your programs keeps your system secure.
* If you use social networking sites, you should not put any information on them, for your security.
* Something called the Virtual Global Taskforce will prosecute on your behalf if you're ripped off online.

So what do all these statements have in common? Yes, that's right - they're all complete bollocks.

Virtual Global Taskforce? I've asked around, and no one's heard of it. Keep your Facebook page empty? That kind of defeats the purpose. Botnets? Possibly they're referring to net bots, but these can't install software at a distance.

All these "facts" are taught by the most patronising, simperingly grating educational multimedia package I've ever come across. Oh, and it took me half an hour to figure out how to navigate it - with the help of two established volunteer teachers who kept saying it was different the last time they used it.

So it would obviously be really easy to use if you've got the early stages of Alzheimer's and have never used a computer before.

I've also got the phone number of a museum that wants tour guides. A job which also involves telling the same lies over and over again.

Which is more disgusting? Eating mayonaise from the pot, or curry paste from the jar?

What can I say? I'm peckish, it's 0400, there's nothing else in the room, I like curry, and it's probably better for my diet than mayonaise.
There's a house on the street up for sale. The front garden is piled high with rusty kitchen equipment, bits of furniture, irregularly sized planks of wood and other...stuff.

Someone's presumably tried to carry away a tasteless bright blue carpet, abandoning it in the gutter on realising how much carpets weigh. I expect to see the pile get smaller over the next week - till there's just the kettle on the cooker left.

I've got the threadbare maroon office chair. One of the castors is missing and you can't adjust the height, but it swivels wonderfully. At last, I don't have to blog sitting on grandma's old piano stool.
This morning, Mother and I worked out that we have fifteen working computers in the house - plus three nonworking ones.

Most are obsolete PCs of around 1GHz, assigned to single tasks - one records DAB radio, one scans documents, one records TV shows, one's an ebook reader, and one makes periodic backups of all the others. There's one used for trying out new ideas for the others, and one that's for storing and sifting data backed up before there was one dedicated to backing up.

Now we've got sixteen. My friend, comrade and fellow nerd Peekok (who does have a non-nick-name, but no one uses it and I can't pronounce it) has given me his old PC, on the grounds that (a) it hasn't been used for a year and (b) there's no room for it.

And yes, I can think of a use for it.
C has once again decided that I'm a vindictive, hate-filled manipulator who can't cope with him being happy, and he's never ever going to communicate with me again. He's communicated this to me four times so far in as many hours.

Apparently I'm evil for not trying to win him back after he said all that.

And the moral of the story is: Don't lend your computer equipment to drama queens - they might go postal and not give it back.

Facepalm Friday - Jonesing

There's a line in the film Snatch, spoken by no less a luminary than Vinny Jones. For those who don't know, Mr Jones is a former soccer player turned occasional actor, whose popularity (or not) in both professions was based around his absurd hypermasculine image. And like everything hypermasculine, it was camp as tits, suggestive as a sausage, and gay as a treeful of pink monkeys on nitrous oxide.

"Midnight Meat Train"?! I rest my case.

The line? Oh yes. He says, "You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity."

All of which unreasonably long intro means...it's time for a mercifully brief Facepalm Friday! With a gay theme!

Four of these quotes are from Youtube comments and one is from an elected political representative. See if you can guess which is which.

"WHAT ????!
- loliman777 (musicoligist and cultural theorist)

"god doesn't like homos - he finds them awfully irritating."
- dirtyskank007 (theologin, 007 agent and, um, dirty skank)

"i can be friends with gay but i dont like when some 1 stand behing me lol"
- ghhf1 (logician and humourist)

"How gives a shit about mixed up gay people. Fuck them."
- Machtvollkommenheit (grammarian and psychologist)

"If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism."
- Alan Keyes (some random whackjob)

Sports-related and comically masculine Facepalm!


The old sci-fi show I've been revisiting for the last month is...Lexx. Episodes were previously available from Joost, now from Veoh and some in segments on Youtube.

However, one of them came with subtitles - in, I think, Dutch. So I've picked up a few Dutch words.

Some are fairly obvious. Words starting with "doed" are about death or killing. "Korridor", "Roboter" and "Natt" are "Corridor", "Robot" and "Night". Captain is "Kapten" :-).

Some common words are familiar from other languages, or have that "English in disguise" feeling:
  • Var - Where
  • Prat - Speak (cognate to "prattle"?)
  • Sa - Say, tell
  • Jag - I
  • Mig - Me
  • Min - My
  • Du - You (singular)
  • Vi - You (Plural) or Your, I'm not sure
  • Det - It
  • Alla - All, every
  • Nu - Now
  • Kan - Can, be able
  • Nej - No, not

  • Other's I'd never guess:
  • Glom - Forget
  • Inte - Does not
  • Vaend - Turn (maybe cognate to "Bend"?)
  • Troett - Tired
  • Mossa - Hat

  • "Mittpunkt" occurs four times, and is identical with the German term which literally translates "midpoint" - but each time subtitles the english "center". Is there no single Dutch word for "center"?

    One word I rather like is "Panikslagen", used to translate the notion of freezing up under stress, but I suspect the nuances are different. "Panik" is obviously "Panic", and "Slagen" is an intransitive German verb meaning "to break" or "to shatter". So it looks more like "to come apart under pressure" or "to crack up".

    Of course, it might not be Dutch at all. It might be Swedish, or for that matter Icelandic. Either way, figuring out the subtitles adds another layer of enjoyment to TV I probably shouldn't admit to enjoying.

    Update: I've found Anthony Hopkins' Slipstream and George Lucas' THX1138 with Japanese subtitles, but they're a little beyond my ability to interpret. My command of Japanese is still limited to sentences about pencils on tables.