Something for everyone

Over at Leg-Irons a couple of days ago, I happened to mention that there was such a thing as a ‘Bondage Barbie‘. Specifically a Barbie doll into whips, chains, ball gags and all the impedimenta of certain sexual proclivities. Hell, whatever floats ones boat, as I have learned to accept. So just to amuse myself I googled ‘Bondage Barbie’ and good grief! My eyebrows shot half way up my forehead and I had to step away from the keyboard for a while. I mean, it’s not what I’d want to find in my seasonal stocking, if I actually wore that sort of thing, but then I’m boring like that.

bondage barbiesApparently the whole ‘Bondage Barbie’ meme been a minority fetish since the 90’s and early 00’s since a certain Ms Pitt, doll and dressmaker first tried to commercialise the concept. Something which Mattel, who market the mainstream version of said childs toy, strongly objected to on copyright grounds. It’s very big in some circles, allegedly.

However, I suppose the wrist cuffs and latex malarkey could be construed as aftermarket adaptations, therefore strict copyright infringement is probably a bit of a reach. You might make a product, but if someone else chooses to adapt it for a particular application, you can’t tell them what colour it can be repainted. So long as they don’t come back to you for a warranty refund after modification, that’s fine.

All this on its own might seem odd, and that’s without getting into the whole ‘Cosplay‘ thing, where fans of various TV programs and movies dress up in (often highly revealing) costumes based on their favourite character. Very popular at Science Fiction conventions and events like comic-con‘s ‘Maskerade’ where only the very staid dress up as Captain Picard or Mr Worf, where other more adventurous types prefer to dress up like Barbarian heroes and heroines with lots of flesh and much less loincloth. Which some might find a little weird when such role playing is (inevitably) carried into the bedroom, but chacun à son goût. There have even been Star Wars themed Church services and Las Vegas (of course) can cater for Intergalactic Weddings. So I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised.

Which can get some folk’s panties in a bunch but nowadays my only reaction to that sort of costume is “Don’t you feel a little cold?”

Happy Chillmas

Yes I know in the past I’ve said some pretty disparaging things about this time of year. Well not really, but you could be forgiven for thinking so. Nevertheless; I would like to wish my one remaining reader a very Merry Chillmas and laid back New Year in which I promise to mock the politically correct killjoys and extract as much urine from the perennially uptight as is humanly possible. Between work, essays and coursework that is. Posts may get even more sporadic.

News from over the water is good. Youngest has moved into new London apartment and has gone a little mad buying such fripperies as new bed linen and big, fuck off fluffy bath towels. Which we are happy to subsidise. Eldest is likewise embedded in her host culture and assisting the spread of civilisation and mobile communications in her part of Africa. A few extra quid to make her life easier is the least we can do. Especially since the postal service to where she is can be described as half way between sporadic and non-existent. Why go to the huge expense of sending a parcel that may never arrive when she can use her twice yearly flight back to London to stock up on the necessities?

As for me, at present I’m finding chauffeuring Mrs S around a little troubling. Specifically when it comes to Christmas shopping traffic. On our penultimate shopping trip I twice almost had to physically restrain her from getting out of the car and giving what for to some gormless types who had a very poor idea of how to drive, or a sense of how much road space they occupied. After that experience, a very large drink was called for once our apartment door was firmly closed behind us for the evening. I do love my wife very dearly, but she has a firecracker temper that once set off is hard to rein in. Suffer fools gladly she most certainly does not. Fools aplenty are on the roads and clogging up the Mall car parks at this time of the year, so I avoid them as much as possible.

Anyway, for your entertainment and edification, here’s a little seasonal sexist dance routine all the way from the bad(?) old days of 1974.

As for all you other husbands who drive their wives around, Gawd help us, every one……

What the hell, there’s always the bus.

Merry wossname….

Ah, it’s that time of year again; the tills of Yuletide are ringing, credit cards are melting under the stress and tempers are shortening, even if it’s not really a certain religious figures birthday. Truly, it’s not.

In our household there’s a nice leg of pork in the freezer waiting to be thawed out and converted into a sizzling roast topped with well-salted crackling and served with apple sauce. Said meat to be served with thick gravy, roast potatoes and buttered sprouts with a liberal sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper followed by New York style Cheesecake and a litre bottle of Sauvignon blanc, or maybe a Carmenere or Cabernet. The aforementioned will be served with much ceremony on the 24th, then repackaged with other cold meats, pickles and cheeses for the 25th when the cook of the household (me) is having the day off with a good book and bottle of single malt after a Champagne breakfast of Smoked Salmon and scrambled eggs. Our household will remain a Turkey-free zone until at least the 29th. Possibly not even after then, either. Drawbridge up, portcullis down, electric fence on, minefield along front path active, Piranha tank trapdoor set.

The Igors have already gone off on their seasonal break to spread their unintelligible lisps elsewhere. The kids will be talking to us via Skype but the TV and radio will remain firmly off. I may check the weather forecast online, but nothing more. The object of said time out being to relax so we’ll be refreshed and ready for whatever crises other people thrust upon us. As they will, for ’tis the season, etcetera, etcetera.

Myself, nowadays I prefer to gently decerebrate with a good book and bottle of single malt while the rest of the world stresses itself out over Mithrastide / Solstice / Whatever. However I’d like to wish both my readers to have a really nice time, because I’m sure some mean sod will try to ruin it. Even at a feast time when all is supposed to be about joy, good fellowship and all that shizzle, there are some people so happy to be miserable that they’ll try to spread their misery around. As far as I’m concerned they can Fuck off and die. As a public service announcement the local Police Department have asked those so inclined not to litter the streets with their discarded bodies as this may incur a fine of up to two thousand dollars per offence and may constitute a public health hazard. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Please note; no halls were decked with holly during the writing of this post. A little tinsel and some baubles are judiciously situated around our apartment, but no Holly and definitely no Ivy, even if full grown. A few carefully chosen gifts have been placed under the mantelpiece and no trees were sacrificed either, because we just couldn’t be arsed.

Oh yeah, for any male with a drop of red blood still circulating, watch this video from boxing day 1969.

Comments disabled, but WTF cares? The cameraman certainly didn’t. The young lady in question looks about 18-19 then so she’d be around 64-65 by now, and probably a Grandmother. Which is a sobering thought and probably noteworthy. A very merry, and possibly thoughtful thingummy to you all…….

About that Science ‘denial’ thing……

I was watching Stefan Molyneux’s Youtube channel last night and was entertained to listen to the following video.

In it, a caller to Stefans show on Freedomain Radio outlines the difficulties of being a scientific researcher in a publicly funded institution. Which makes for intriguing listening. As for the rest of Stefan’s videos, I’ve got my misgivings about “R / K selection theory” applied to humans because it appears to make the assumption that people cannot or will not change their point of view. His impassioned rants can be simultaneously entertaining and enlightening, so I’m happy to listen, even when he’s going off on one. However, his ‘Truth About’ video’s occasionally throw up the odd golden nugget and are worth the ear bashing.

We’re continually told by folks making their customary ‘Appeal to Authority‘ arguments that “Most scientists agree that….” therefore we lay ignoramuses should shut our ugly mouths and do as we’re told, or else it’s off to bed with no supper and no Internet either, you damned cheeky fellows. How dare you question the all-wise and all-knowing, you, you, Heretic, you!. Even if you were one of the people who set the whole bandwagon in motion.

Which is all very well if the authority is actually an authority and not some Zeeb making it up as they go along to keep themselves in academic comfort. Which in certain (If not many) areas of scientific research, is what is actually going on. At least if Stefan’s caller is to be believed. But then if you’ve ever worked in big organisations, you’ll be aware of the toxic ‘go along-get along’ corporate mentality where failing to be part of the ‘team’ can find you looking for a new job, sharpish.

Face it, chums (Either of you), until a theory can be replicated by experimental data by other researchers, it remains just that, a theory. An idea. A dream. Yet a lot of dreams and theories are repeated by modern media sources as though they are real for the sake of a sensational soundbite. “Giant meteor on collision course with Earth!”, “Unstoppable sea level rise to drown New York by next Tuesday!”, “Killer plague will decimate humanity next week! Use our plague postcode checker ap to check your vulnerability!”, “Polar bears are cute, fluffy and dying in millions, and it’s all your fault!” God help anyone who questions such impeccable (Hah!) sources. If you do you’re a filthy ‘Denier’ no more fit to live on God’s clean Earth than a slime worm. A conspiracy theorist whose tinfoil hat is slipping. Your ignorance is a given. Even if you personally have read and understood the research papers in question (Unlike your accusers and the doomsaying media types). Even if the researchers are all using the same ‘adjusted’ source data when reality seems to be in a state of constant contradiction of the claimed results.

Hi ho. Time for a day out methinks.

That’s pathetic

As in meaning 2 in the online Oxford Dictionary. But there’s a few people out there who are threatening to post ‘spoilers’ of the new Star Wars movie unless Disney makes the movie they demand. As George Lucas himself says at the end of this comic clip of ‘Trigger warnings’; “That’s pathetic.”

Not a particular fan of the fluffy* Star Wars space opera end of Sci-fi myself, but seriously? It’s J J Abrams movie, his brainchild, his living, not theirs. The “Spoiler Jihadi’s”, as they have come to be known, come across as a bunch of whiny spoiled brats who deserve a good slap. The result of Mommy and Daddy being too indulgent and not saying ‘No’ at the appropriate juncture, confiscating their techno-toys and switching off their TV for bad behaviour.

Now piracy of the movie is one thing, if of course you want second rate sound and 640 pixel grainy visuals, but out and out blackmail of the movie makers? That is so far from not on it’s not true.

Spoiler Jihadi’s are the despicable little shits who talk during movies, telling their friends and everyone else loudly what’s going to happen next with lots of “Yeah, this is a good bit. It’s where he / she / it…..” Which is fucking annoying, and on one occasion even had mild mannered me turning round to snarl “Shut. The Fuck. Up.” In the cinema. I was wearing my ragged oil and tobacco reeking cut offs over a roadstained leather jacket that day, over ten years before I came across the civilising influence of my dear lady wife, so my personal grooming was rather erm…. unruly. Did I intimidate, or scare him to silence? I’m not entirely sure but the mouth artist in question did clam up, so I suppose he must have felt some form of embarrassment. At the time I felt annoyed enough to think about dragging the importunate little S.O.B. into the bog and indicate my displeasure by re-enacting the toilet murder scene at the start of ‘Casino Royale’ (Although this incident was well over fifteen years before that specific movies release). I’d paid good money to get into the theatre that damp afternoon and some inconsiderate cunt was trying to ruin my entertainment.

It’s bad enough when someone enters the room when you’re chilling, enjoying a TV movie and demands “What are you watching?” without any consideration whatsoever, talking over an important piece of dialogue or enjoyable action sequence. Instead of simply joining you on the couch to watch and enjoy. Or even being considerate to make some tea and bring a cookie with them to share the experience. I have taken Mrs S to task for such interruptions on more than one occasion and the ‘pause’ button on our Apple TV Box remote is beginning to look a little worn.

So, don’t like what the movie makers have produced little spoilt-jihadi? Go make your own version, writing your own storylines to watch on your home system, but let the Star Wars team do their thing, which most people will actually think worthy of paying to go and see.

* 'Fluffy': A TV show or movie watched for entertainment value alone, no matter if the plot resembles a Gruyère cheese and some of the dialogue is so groanworthy it's actually hilarious.

Public conversations

Got into a minor spat on a Youtube comments thread about Nuclear Fusion a few days ago. A couple of guys were repeating the “ITER will give us Fusion in four years” mantra so I pitched the alternative view to them. Needless to say, they just regurgitated figures culled from press releases at me, and thought that I was just trollishly trying to wind them up. Which wasn’t true, by the way. Life is too short, and I have one. A life that is.

Now what I am is a fan of cutting edge science. The real thing, not the output of breathlessly over optimistic (or pessimistic) press releases. I want us to have Nuclear powered space ships plying their way out to far flung solar systems at multiples of light speed, taking humanity away from the nursery of the dear blue Earth to a greater destiny amongst the stars. When I was a boy we were promised flying cars, unlimited electricity, better house building, space travel, and colonies on the Moon and Mars and I truly did want to believe in a better life from technology, but I don’t believe in Nuclear Fusion created by ITER for one really good reason; it’s based on an archaic Soviet Tokamak design.

ITER Tokamak cutaway diagramNow Tokamaks can produce nuclear fusion, this much is true, but because of one flaw that even a fool such as I can see, ITER or its spin offs will never deliver as a generator of fusion power. Why? Put simply, shockwaves. Let me enlarge. In the late 1990’s I was watching a BBC documentary / news item, and was enthusiastic, nay excited to hear, that the Joint European Torus lab near Oxford had actually achieved nuclear fusion. With a Tokamak. Wow. The documentary showed the pressurisation and heating of the plasma until some of it fused and went ‘bang!’ in a very controlled and genteel manner (Well, the JET is near Oxford.) Until quite a while later, I too believed (back in the early 2000’s) that we were but four short years away from cheap Fusion power for all and only the Eeevil coal, oil and gas interests were standing in the way. Then I came across the theory of Tokamak fusion and the plasma physics needed to make it work. While I was reading the various texts and diagrams, I recalled how the fusion detonation shown on the broadcast had propagated through the torus containment field and tried to reconcile the theory behind Tokamaks with what I’d seen. My heart immediately sank. From that moment on I knew Tokamaks would never be mankind’s wonder-producer of limitless energy for one simple reason; when the plasma fuses, part of it literally explodes, sending shockwaves through the superheated plasma torus. This disrupts the containment designed to feed fresh deuterium and tritium into the plasma to be pressurised and fused in a controlled manner. When the flows and containment are disrupted by the initial fusion shockwave and Electro-Magnetic Pulse generated by the detonation, further fusion cannot take place until the plasma has stabilised, so all you get is a single bang and that’s that. That’s without controlling all the ELM’s and like phenomena associated with Tokamak fusion devices. I’m not the only person who thinks like this. For a more academically sound source, try here.

If anyone thinks that the aforementioned makes me a believer in ‘Cold’ fusion, think again. ‘Cold’ fusion was a false positive generated by a faulty experimental model. End of. Which was a shame, but there you go. Same for the sonoluminesence ‘star in a jar’ concept. Would that it were not so, but as one of my old lecturers from my first year in Engineering college told me when I was trying to make a special radius cut with the wrong tool and vice setup on a vertical milling machine; “You can wish all you like, but that won’t make it work.” Like reaction drives (rockets) won’t even get us close to the speed of light. Sad but true.

“Okay-mister-know-it-all-brainbox” my critics might be tempted to say, “why don’t you give us your answer?” My answer is; I really don’t know. All I do know is that things that work have underlying processes. Life is a process. Put all the processes, digestion (Fuel), respiration (oxidiser), heatbeat (circulation) and electro-chemical signals (control) etcetera together and you get organic life. A four stroke internal combustion engine works because underlying its operation is a series of repeatable processes. Atomise and detonate a mixture of explosive gas in a closed chamber to drive a piston which in turn pushes a crankshaft translating the pressure of the fuel air mix explosion from a linear impulse into rotary motion. Inject, pressurise, detonate, exhaust, repeat. A process. Turbines work because superheated steam or hot gas is made to drive impeller blades around a central axis. That forms a continuous process. All Tokamak fusion can currently deliver is a single bang-in-a-bottle. Which can be a bit of a let down and not really viable as a sustainable generator of electricity. Like trying to have a gunpowder driven Internal Combustion Engine. Possible, but there are too many issues.

Like so many others I fear we will never see the bright future we were promised and so eagerly anticipated. Tokamaks are like electric cars and wind turbines, a technological dead end, pointless exercises in turd polishing. It’s hard not to feel more than a little cheated of a bright technological future that might have been. If only.

Now Lockheed Martin have an intriguing High Beta concept for hot fusion and based upon my (fairly limited) understanding, I also feel the Polywell concept has elements worthy of further investigation, but all the big ‘hot fusion’ money is going into ITER. Which is what happens when the purse strings are in the hands of politicians who really don’t understand the issues. Heavy sigh.

Of course I could be wrong, and the ITER team might just make their new version of the Tokamak work without all the plasma arcing and scouring issues. One day they might get all the fuel input and field containment equations right and their big dream will crackle into seemingly miraculous life and continuously produce a thousand times the energy it takes to fire up, but I don’t see that day coming any time soon. Which is disappointing, as despite my misgivings I’d dearly love the project to be a success. Such is life.

On a happier note, Youngest just got offered (and has accepted) a proper solicitors contract by the law practice she recently joined. Mrs S and I have been doing the dance of joy all morning. Eldest has also just bagged a primo job in Africa helping project manage a major mobile data comms infrastructure roll out. There is much smugness chez Sticker at present. Which is nice.

Absolutely average

Just for a lark, I took a quick time out and completed this fun Quiz on ‘How evil are you‘? Turns out that I am moderately Nefarious. Which is absolutely average as far as most people are concerned……Moderately nefarious As my reader will attest, this is hardly news. If I wasn’t, then I’m sure I wouldn’t have a full crew of Igors slaving over a hot dictionary upon my behalf. They don’t work for anyone who is less than at least modestly evil.

Me? I’ll settle for moderately nefarious. Sounds about right.

ne·far·i·ous
nəˈferēəs/
adjective
(typically of an action or activity) wicked or criminal.
“the nefarious activities of the organized-crime syndicates”
synonyms: wicked, evil, sinful, iniquitous, egregious, heinous, atrocious, vile, foul, abominable, odious, depraved, monstrous, fiendish, diabolical, unspeakable, despicable; villainous, criminal, corrupt, illegal, unlawful; dastardly
“the nefarious long-lost brother returned to steal Iris’s family jewels”

Proof? You want proof? Why should I give out any? No-one who is at the very least mildly wicked would even dream of confessing their evil deeds in public. Half the fun is watching others tie their petty moralities in knots trying to figure you out.

Favourite TV character; Raymond Reddington. So charmingly wicked.

Pass it on

Marthter William hath been complaining about our rethent lack of output here at the Bill Thticker Inthtitute of Free Thinking and Luncheth.  Even though our rankth hath been thinned by illneth, he’th told uth to “Potht thomething, anything, dammit.”  Tho here ith a little thomething for the revolutionary in your life.  Thome updated artwork for a truly honetht Che Guevara pothter. Jutht the theathonal gift for that chilly revolutionary thtudent bedthit.  Oh yeth, we’re pretty thure he hated gay people ath well.

Che Guevara

About the only thing we’re not thure about ith whether he hated the dithabled or not.  Thourthes?  Thtephan Molyneux theems to have the nathty bathtard down to a T.  Even Cathtro didn’t like him much.

Pity the Bolivianth could only thoot the evil thod onthe.

Sex and the thingle Igor

Thorry for the lakthity in pothting, but itth been hell down here. Igor hath caught a nathty computer virus, Igor is on a thtake out, and young Irog ith indithpothed with a bad cathe of dythlekthia. Dethpite all thethe perthonnel problemth, we at the Bill Thticker inthtitue for Irony and Thatire have notithed the reathonth behind all thethe nathty terrorith attacks and people lothing their headth to the Daeth. The prethident of Turkey hath been buying their oil, the Various Gulf thateth thent them money, and the United Thtateth ith thending them gunth.

Nonetheleth; over the weekend, the ladth fell to talking about that old perrennial, thex. You know, bonking, boinking, beatht with two backth, humping, shagging, fukcing and fornicathion, and how whole magathineth theem so fixthated by what ith, after all, a natural human functhion. Which ith, if one thinkth about it logically, ith rather like having magathineth dedicated to going to the toilet, although at thith point we recalled the experimetth of Great Uncle Igor, who briefly potheththed two penitheth. “Double the pleathure, double the fun.” Ath he wath moved to thay at the time. Great Aunt Igorina, a broad minded woman by all accountth, got thick of him fainting every time he and the were in the mood, tho he went back to jutht the one, tho they lived happily ever after.

Thith being the cathe, and after much discuthion, we thent young Igor out to find out what he could.

He found thith;

Which rather contradicth all thethe claimth of North American and European collegeth camputh ‘Rape’ culture, which ith, according to one of the nativeth ladieth, more of an African phenomenon. Thee her TED talk below.

Thith tendth to confirm Young Igorth experienth of Englith Colleges, where it wath not tho much ‘rape’ ath waking up in acute embarathment with the wrong Igorina after a heavy night on the embalming fluid. Thtorm, teacup. Ath marthter William ith wont to obtherve; “Nothing to see here folks. Move along.” Thame ath the whole ‘Thlutwalk’ protethth being originally bathed on one Ontario Politheman’th public pronounthement. It’th jutht activitth posing with their pet peeveth. Maybe if they had better thexth they’d be happier? Probably not.

The Marthter hath popped in on hith way home and pointed out that both hith thtepdaughterth went to two theparate Univerthities, and while they had thteady and not tho thteady boyfriendth during thothe timeth, neither young lady ever complained of anything untoward.   No young gentlemen of their acquaintanth ended up with their trthticleth for tonthilth either.  Ath would have happened if unwelcome advanceth had occurred.   Youngetht kickboxeth and Eldetht doeth Karate and Krav Maga tho we are told…….

On ‘Drive by’ commenting

There are people on various comment threads who accuse others of making ‘drive by’ comments. Asking a question or making a comment and not responding to any replies. Which is an online sin, if that is what it is, that I will honestly put my hands up to.

Truth of the matter is that I simply don’t have the time to respond (I have a life) or consider a given riposte to be either not worthy of my attention or even a worthless troll feeding exercise. Even with my reading speed (1200-1450 words per minute), there’s simply too much out there in jolly old Interwebland and that’s not even without delving into works like ‘Sapiens‘ which requires more careful word by word examination or my work related reading and college studies. I’m working my way towards a college degree, so shoot me.

Ergo, if I have not replied to any witty online epistles or lackwit attempts at badinage it’s because my plate of life is currently a little full, so don’t hold your breath. On the other hand, I could think of certain people I’d like to watch trying. To hold their breath, that is…… (Insert low key evil chuckle here)

In the meantime you’ll be stuck with the Igors holding the fort. So have fun and play nice.

Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad

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