Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hunting Walter Palmer

Some of the comments levelled at American Dentist, Walter Palmer, after he killed of one of Africa’s most famous lions has been a bit extreme.
For all we know Mr Palmer may have any manner of reasons for wanting to hunt animals, possibly he has a remarkably small penis so feels he has to prove himself by slaughtering animals from a safe distance.   
It could be that the scumbag is a Viagra user as he can no longer get it up or maybe he hasn't got a spouse and he hopes killing animals will prove his manhood and attract a mate.
Maybe the sorry excuse for a human and inadequate coward didn't get enough love from his mother as a child and luring a practically tame lion out of its preserve and killing it somehow compensates for it in his demented mind. 
It is not impossible to assume that he indulges in the unadulterated cruelty out of some bizarre reasoning that he is doing the animals that he inhumanely slaughters a favour, an excuse i have heard previously from equally deranged individuals who hunt.
As this same dentist was convicted of poaching a black bear five years ago, then lied to the game warden about where he killed it, perchance he is a fantasist living in a world where he considers himself a mighty warrior of some sort saving his tribe from danger.
It could be any of the above but my best guess is that he is just a complete tosspot who gets his kicks out of killing creatures for no earthly purpose.
As his name and picture are now all over the internet, i hope that his dental patients are as reviled as
the rest of us over his abhorrent 'hobby' and his practise is soon hanging the 'out of business' signs over the front door.
Now he is the hunted and I'm sure the douche bag is fine with it, all things being fair.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A New Arms Race Looming?

As a Cold War kid of the 80s, i look back at that time and think it wasn't so bad, the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction was a comfort which kept the nukes in their silo's and we had great songs like Two Tribes and Two Minutes to Midnight.
Sure we had to watch public information films telling us the way to stay safe in the case of a Nuclear War was to turn the sofa upside down and crawl underneath it but although the chances of the Cold War becoming a hot one was remote, if it did the Earth would be lifeless now except for cockroaches.
Thankfully the threat of nuclear war has diminished and the arms race has died down but we could be on the cusp of another one, this time with artificial-intelligence-based autonomous weapons.
Such luminaries as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have signed a letter warning against the dangers of starting a global arms race of artificial intelligence technology unless the United Nations supports a ban on weapons that humans 'have no meaningful control over'.
The letter was presented at the International Joint Conference On Artificial Intelligence in Argentina and explains that: 'If any major military power pushes ahead with AI weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow'.
The risks, the signatories say, could be far greater than those posed by nuclear weapons.  
As the history of the human race has been one stupid decision after the other i'm sure the warnings will be dismissed and drones are just the beginning of the latest wheeze to kill us all and this time we won't have the background music of Frankie Goes To Hollywood to soothe us as a robot with face recognition software kicks down the wrong door and blows up an innocent family at the dining table.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Complicated

Turkey have been fighting the Kurd's since the 80s and but things got a more bit complicated recently as the Kurds were being used by the Americans as their 'feet on the ground' in the battle against ISIS.
In one recent flash point in the Syrian city of Kobani on the border of Turkey, Kurds fleeing an ISIS attack on their city were forced back towards ISIS by the Turkish military.
Turkey are enemies of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, so they did not want to fight ISIS as it will help the Syrian President but now they have joined the fighting with the proviso that as well as targeting ISIS they also attack the Kurds.
Complicated for the US and UK as the Kurds are on our side so we have the farcical situation where Turkey have joined our side but are attacking the people on the same side.
So to recap, the UK, USA, UAE and Saudi Arabia are battling against the people they armed and funded to remove the Syrian President who they are now helping by batting the elements trying to remove him.
Meanwhile, one section of the allies is attacking another while it is being defended by USA planes. 
Got it? Good. Now explain to the rest of us who is fighting who and who we are supposed to be cheering for.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Kepler 452b

Scientists have discovered a planet they are calling 'Earth's older, bigger first cousin' and 'The closest
thing that we have to another place that somebody might call home'.
As the planet, Kepler 452b, is 1400 light years from Earth it does present a few problems with following up if anyone is living there or if we can someday leave here and pitch up there.
The first problem is as it is 1400 light years away, what we are seeing today was as it was 1400 years ago and in the intervening years it could have been swallowed by a gigantic black hole or been smashed to bits by a collision with some larger planets bigger relative.
Then there is the distance we would have to travel as 1400 light years works out to around 8,230,075,757,747,774 miles which travelling at the speed of Voyager 1, 38,610mph, would take 24 million years to get there.
I have already suggested that we send the current British Government there on a discovery expedition immediately but as we are having to look so far away for suitable planets to go to to survive as a species, maybe we should love this planet a bit more because we are making such a monumental mess of this one and it it looks an unfeasibly long distance for our future generations to escape this polluted one.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Fabian Delph & The Karma Gods

I doubt if there is such a thing as karma but if there is, the karma Gods of football were working when it come to Fabian Delph.
After his much publicised 'i want to show there is loyalty in football' speech where he turned down a mega-money move to Manchester City to stay at Aston Villa before making the move anyway 3 days later, the midfielder lasted 19 minutes of his debut in a pre-season friendly before pulling his hamstring.
Considering that he was always destined to be a bench warmer with the occasional appearance in League Cup games for the duration of his five year deal, this is a case of starting as he means to continue, watching the game from the sidelines. 
Now let's hope that the same karma Gods have not forgotten John Terry.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Royal Nazi Salute

Not as much outcry over the Royal Family making Nazi salutes as i imagined, mostly because everyone knew Edward VIII was a Hitler fan anyway and the Queen was only seven and her sister Margaret just three so they can be excused.
What i am not hearing is why the Queen's Mother, the other grown up in the picture, is merrily heiling Hitler and she has no such excuse of being too young to know what she was doing.
Buckingham Palace said it was disappointed that the film had seen the light of day and was investigating into who had released the 20 second movie to the Sun Newspaper, not disappointed that the Royal's had been shown making Nazi salutes.
Very few people seem to be mentioning that there is also a 33 year old woman in the photo, who obviously knew what she was doing.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

All Change At 33

There are not many things us adults all agree on but one thing we can say for definite is that we all think that music today is rubbish.
I grew up in the 70s and was a teenager in the 80s and those years were pretty poor also but today's tunes, phew, what a stinker.
Now we can say that our parents told us the same thing when we were dancing around our bedroom to Duran Duran (No? Just me then?) and praising George Michael and Andrew Ridgely as much more talented than that Beatles rubbish they listened to in their days. 
At some point though someone flicks a switch and we go from listening to the radio in wonder at the greatest generation of musicians ever to listening to the radio just so we can throw our hands up in the air and despair at the talentless dweebs making music these days.  
Scientists have managed to pinpoint the precise moment when the switch flicks on (or off depending on your point of view) and that is at 33 years of age.
The science goes that at 33 years you begin to get stressed by the modern world and sink back into the familiar music of your youth so people of my generation will hate anything made this side of 2000 unless it is a remake of something from our era which we will hate on principle as it somehow proves that they are less talented today.
I'm not sure at what age you listen to a Rod Stewart song and think: 'Actually, this is quite good' but i'm not there yet thank goodness.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Space Exploration Calendar

For the moment Space is the new black due to the New Horizons trip to Pluto and the amazing images it is sending back to Earth over 3 billion miles away but being a fickle lot, the public's interest will soon wane and Space exploration will shift into the background.
What space needs to keep the public interested in it are those big sexy missions and a glimpse into the explorers calendar for the next few years shows that there are some things in the offing that could grip the nation once again.
 
2018 - David Bowie amongst others will be interested to find out if there's life on Mars and we may find out in three years time when the ExoMars Rover is due to land there. The rover is armed with a drill that is able to dig down to a depth of two metres into the Martian soil and the European Space Agency (ESA) just have to agree on which of the dried up river beds to place the ExoMars Rover.
Also in 2018 the ESA will be sending up a sun-observing satellite which will travel within 21 million miles from the suns surface, the closest to our Star we have ever been and it will send back pictures of unprecedented detail.
The Hubble Space telescope's replacement will also be launched as the James Webb telescope, which is larger and more sophisticated than its predecessor, will be able to provide greater detail of the thousands of exo-planets where the astronomers are hoping to find life.
2020 - The Rosetta Mission landed a spacecraft on a Comet but pencilled in for 2020 is the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) which plans to grab an asteroid, tow it along and place it in orbit about the moon. The mission is in the planning stages but if it can raise the funding required, we could have our own pet asteroid.
2022 - The ESA Jupiter icy moons explorer (Juice) mission is due to launch in 2022 and will concentrate on the Solar Systems largest moon, Jupiter's Ganymede. Potentially this is the most likely other place in our solar system for life due to it's sub glacial lakes and the spacecraft will be looking beneath the icy surfaces using radar imaging.

After many decades of wasted time, it appears that the space exploration may be picking up the pace once again.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Hello Pluto

If an object was travelling at 32,400 mph in a vacuum how far would it travel in 9 and a half years may sound like one of those hypothetical maths questions that maths teachers enjoy torturing their students with but this is not a poser from a man with leather elbow patches on his jumper because the New Horizons probe has just done it and the answer is to Pluto, or 3.78 billion miles.
When it blasted off in 2006 it was set on a course for the ninth Planet but by the time it arrived Pluto had been kicked out of the Planets club and is now a Kuiper Belt Object or Dwarf Planet which must have caused much confused for horoscope writers around the World.      
As it is the first time we have had a close up look at Pluto, the first piece of information received by NASA was that it is ever so slightly bigger than we thought, having a diameter of 2,370km or just a touch over two third the size of the moon.
The first pictures show the expected pock marks of craters and as the probe gets closer before flying past onto the Kuiper Belt scientists are hoping it will clear up what is actually at it's dark pole.
Finally Pluto will get it's moment in the Sun, or not as it is 40 times further away than the earth from our star but anyway, the lonely little ball of ice and rock, last in the queue in the far flung reaches of our Solar System abandoned by the bigger boys and relegated to a dwarf planet is taking it's turn in the spotlight.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

High Hopes For Tony Abbot

It was always a concern that when George W Bush shuffled off into the Texan sunset the World would never again find a leader so toe curlingly stupid but fears have been allayed because we have Australian Tony Abbot filling that Bush shaped hole.
We have had sexist comments such as  He has referred to abortion as 'abortion is the easy way out for women', 'women are physiologically unsuited to leadership' and his election campaign contained the alarming 'Vote for me because I’m the guy with the not bad looking daughters'.
His lack of green credentials have led to his belief that  wind farms are “visually appalling, noisy, and a potential health risk' while claiming 'Coal is good for humanity'.  Cynics would say that his view chiming exactly with the fossil fuel lobby in Australia who make massive political donations to his party is just a coincidence.
His view on gay marriage and homosexuality itself is that he feels 'threatened' by it and that 'homosexuality challenges orthodox notions of the right order of things'.
Leaving aside tasteless jokes about thick Irishmen and Aborigines, his most high profile moment came at the G20 summit when Abbot had talked tough about Russian president Putin and saying that he was going to shirtfront him when the Russian turned up, when Mr Putin showed up Abbot handed him a Koala Bear and then posed for cute pictures.
He may not be in the GWB league of idiocy just yet but he still has some time left to elevate himself higher.