Tag Archives: Interweb

A nice day out

I like Vancouver. It’s my second favourite city on the planet. Well at least of those I’ve visited. Although I’ve got a soft spot for Berlin, and haven’t had time or money to visit Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore etcetera. Despite there being a Starbucks or Tim Hortons on every other corner. To be honest I prefer Tim Hortons coffee to Starbucks, firstly it’s cheaper, secondly it’s less bitter. Their doughnuts aren’t bad either. Although I’m more partial to an Apple or blueberry fritter for a cheap carb and calorie treat.

While we were in Vancouver we hopped on the Skytrain and I popped into the Telus ‘Science’ Museum because the Animals Inside Out exhibit was on, which I was interested to see. I was to be disappointed. What I found was somehow redolent of a 19th and 20th century travelling carnival freak show. Plenty of ‘Euw’ factor with the anatomy of people and animals on display, but woefully short on detail. For example; the Mako shark exhibit made little mention of what the Blue Dynamite with the short fuse was all about. Nothing about how it is one of the fastest sharks in the sea (Able to swim in bursts of over 80Kph), or that they run over 3.2 (12ft) metres long and more than 600kg (1300lb+). Little about habitat and diet (Apart from being a sea creature). The split down the middle Giant Squid display was impressive, As was the trifurcated Camel, but was there any information about the curious structure of the giant squids eyes? Not really. There was one museum staffer wandering around with an anatomised and plasticised human arm, inviting visitors to examine it, but as far as information was concerned, I found myself thinking this was the intellectual version of junk food. While the exhibition promised much in the way of mental nourishment, all it delivered was hollow emotion. The same was true for the the rest of the displays at ‘Science world’. Rather than have layers of information where, if interested, displays could direct people to where they could find out more, all they had were toys for toddlers, of which there was a plethora. Shrieking and pressing buttons, aimlessly playing without actually seeming to learn anything. A sort of Fisher Price level of ‘Science’. Which is a bit of a shame. Shrieking toddlers tend to put off older children and even young adults who want to know more about science in general.

Now all these observations could be dismissed as the rantings of an “Ignorant, angry old white guy”, a description which incidentally hits the quadruple target of being incorrect, ageist, sexist and racist by the way, but for the fact that what is on offer is a solution. A solution that is easily and more importantly affordable and which does not shut out key demographics like simply catering to noisy toddlers with toys. All that is required is a few bar code links and a web site with all the information you need to share, or perhaps about associated exhibits there isn’t room to display. All the kids have Smartphones capable of reading barcodes, right? Print out one of those rinky dinky square barcodes and paste next to a short description of the exhibit. Link the square barcode to various web sites containing more in depth information about said exhibit, and Robert, as they say, is the male sibling of your biological parents. Ta-daah! Using such a barcode while visiting should also enlist the visitor on the Museums Twatter, Crapchat, Instagrunt and Farcebook feeds so that if they’re interested, previous visitors will know when to come back again to see a real exhibit up close and personal. Thus generating much needed extra visits and gift shop revenue. A useful tool for Parents, Teachers and those who simply like to see real science and history stuff on display.

The same principal could be applied to Theatres, Cinemas, grocery stores, Aquaria, and Zoos for a relatively low overhead. Latest production or movie release, new product line, birth of a rare baby sea creature or mammal, all the novelty of the world can be brought rapidly and in depth into the public eye. For those interested of course. All the components are out there, all the institution or business would have to do is a little regular link maintenance. But then I’m just an “Ignorant, angry old white guy” with a broad technical education covering well over twenty years and a deep seated love of technology, so what do I know?

Any old road up. Mrs S and I had a nice day in Vancouver, and despite missing our bus for the ferry (By five minutes) and spending fifty minutes hanging around in the cold, got home with much to think about. We did pass by the Cirque Du Soleil, but as we’ve already seen one of their disappointingly lowbrow shows of mugging contortionists a couple of years ago, I declined to repeat the experience.

Where have all the Eagles gone…..?

From the very talented Minnesotans for Global Warming

H/T Jo Nova

No wonder we get Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons hanging around over my landladies suburban chicken coop. The wind farm up island is just too dangerous an environment for them. Maybe that’s why the Cougars and Bears are heading into our locale, they’re pissed off with the whoosh-whum noise of the bloody things.

The End

Well it might be. On the other hand probably not. But…

Nothing to do with me folks, I didn’t break it, but according to some obscure religious fruitcake scholar, the world is going to end today. No, this particular doomsaying is not from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Pope, United Nations, David Suzuki or Al Gore (This time), it’s some obscure Bible thumping sect called the eBible Fellowship. Well, they’re from Philadelphia, what do you expect?

Apparently the world is about to be obliterated by fire or something. So I thought I’d take a look around. It’s raining out, so that should damp things down a bit. Everything’s so wet over here you couldn’t light it with Napalm. Riiight, so I meandered over the a couple of relatively reputable information sources like Spaceweather.com. Any killer asteroids heading our way? No. Oh well, are the seas about to rise and cover the land, leaving a lot of beached fish and the odd annoyed crab? No. Not in this epoch. Not unless the moon gets hit by something at least half its own size and buggers up the tides. Rogue black holes? Sorry to disappoint, but none have been spotted. At least not in our spur of the galactic arm. A glitch with the Large Hadron Collider? Nope. Just finished an upgrade. No sign of a Vogon Constructor Fleet, either. Is God so pissed with us he’s going to throw a cosmic fireball our way? I gave him a quick call; “End of the world Bill?” He said. “Not on my to do list.” Well if an omnipotent being says he knows nothing about it….. Besides, we’re going fishing this Thanksgiving weekend, as God says, just to get away from all the bloody prayers. I also have it on good authority that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are booked for a Gymkhana for the rest of the week.

So, is the world really going to end? We’ll know in six hours or so. I could take the day off, but I’m just too darned busy for an apocalypse.

Must be a Wednesday. Never could quite get a handle on Wednesdays…. Hi ho. Back to the ennui.

Update: Yay! I’ve filled up my Apocalypse gift card! This means I get a free end of the world next time. Huzzah!
Apocalypse gift card I was looking for the full set, but only got my gift card after the Gordon Brown token had been withdrawn from issue.

And today…..

……Nothing happened on the Interweb. At least nothing that piqued my interest. Just the usual.

In the real world, all our recent guests are home safe, with airplane adventure tales told over Skype. Which now lets me off the hook to catch up with a little work and to generally chill out after the last few days chasing my tail. I don’t really mind since we only get to see Youngest once or twice a year, and it was her birthday week. What sort of parent would I be if I didn’t help her celebrate? Apart from Pizza cremation and a few other minor happenstances, like coffee machines almost, but not quite, going foom! All went swimmingly, and our stock rides high with our recent guests.

All is now settling down. I hope. Apart from Cougars in the back yard. Seriously. Actually I missed the Downtown fun. The conservation officers tranquilised it and now doubt the oversized moth eaten moggy will be dumped up island to annoy another community. It’ll be back. Who knows? Maybe it’ll have a chew on one of the local animal rights groupies. Don’t you just luurve natural selection?

On the work front I’ve just finished prying my good lady down off the ceiling, and she is recovering slowly from a recent upset. New software, no project plan, no staff training, deadlines cut; need I say more? I’ve had to restock the Tylenol and tissues twice. For the moment things are settling down before the next crisis digs into my schedule. That and credit cards being stuck in the Freezer to cool off after a months frenetic activity. A decent batch of curry has been prepared for the freezer, as has a similar sized block of home made chilli bolognese. I’ve done enough cooking for a while.

What else? Oh yes, I’ve received my voting card for the Federal elections and remain staunchly unaffected by sundry faces mugging out of billboards all over the place. Eeny, meeny, miny mo, who to vote for? Not telling. It is after all a secret ballot don’cha know, but despite my history as an ex-green party member (A youthful error of judgement on my part) my ticked box won’t be for the Greens. As some are given to say locally; Elizabeth May, but probably hasn’t. I’ve also put a ‘no soliciting’ sign at the front door. First to ring the bell gets a free earful of colourful Anglo-Saxon invective and a stern lecture on the parlous state of their reading skills.

Candy for Halloween is being purchased from Bulk Barn and left in a bowl on the doorstep for the kids to help themselves or next doors cat to shit on. I may leave out some beef jerky in the hope that a passing Cougar or Bear will spend some quality time on my front porch. Failing that, next doors surly moggy will do. Bad tempered animal. I shall leave a besom broom outside for effect. Perhaps with a sign saying; “Warlocks to Witches.” or “Prey, do not disturb.”

What can I say? I’m not allowed to put out Claymore Mines for the unwary or hard of reading.


So what’s a feminazi?

This is a question that’s been bugging me for a while. I’ve been hearing this particular neologism of an adjective bandied around for quite a while, so I gave the Igors down at the adjective testing department of the Bill Sticker Institute for just messing around with words a call. “Oh that.” Said Igor, current project leader, in weary tones. “It’s just a rather crude insult Boss, not even worth getting out the Thesaurus to swat it with.”
“Well, you might think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.” I replied. “It’s got a lot of Interweb types hot under the collar and shouting angrily at everyone they meet.”
“Oh all right, Boss. It’s only Sunday.” He grumbled, but I could hear the voices behind him. Some of the lads were bored and fancied a bit of a (maniacal) laugh. Even on a Sunday.

A few hours later, their analysis is on my desk. The term is (obviously) a contraction of ‘Feminist Nazi’, used to describe certain public feminists who say wild and wacky tinfoil hat stuff like “Cull the male population” because all us male humans are so uncouth and tewwibly wuff don’cha know.Sidewalk shadow Generally being a ‘couth‘ sort of chap, I think this is not sufficient justification for culling anyone, and Mrs S would no doubt have a few stern words with anyone who tried to ‘cull’ her considerate and loving husband (Her words, not mine). She’s very possessive, and my beloved sometimes displays a hair trigger temper hot enough to scorch shadows onto sidewalks (See inset picture.) I love her to bits. Even if I have to step in to save her from herself sometimes.

To distil the analysis, those to whom the ‘Feminazi’ descriptor may be most accurately applied seem mostly to be unattractive (Mentally or physically) Socialist Academic types who deliver courses for commercially worthless degrees on ‘Gender studies’. Or according to a graffito often found in University toilets next to the toilet roll holders; ‘Liberal Arts degrees; please wash hands after use‘. Essentially displaying that the belief that their specific view (Which is usually about as ‘feminine’ as a pair of my Marcus Expensius Y-fronts) should rule supreme, and all us males are going to be casualties. Then when all men are slaughtered, or subdued and stripped of our troublesome gonads, everyone can (safely) stride ‘forward’ under the banner of ‘Progressivism’ which is the philosophy that promises wholesale theft of personal property, and no drink or drugs allowed to take the edge off its bleak nihilism. Unless you’re one of the self selected ‘elite’ of course. Then you become one of the ‘Alpha’ class, and you get to lord it over all the other zeebs, even if you’re one of those who need staff to help you find your own arsehole in the morning. Then huzzah! There will be world peace, apart from when the new Alpha prima donna class get squabbling over the morning concepts, then bring in their private security to duff up the opposition, or at least claim they’ve been rude and horrid and must therefore have their Alpha membership (and if necessary their gonads) forcibly removed at gunpoint. Then hordes of conditioned warriors will be primed to beat up the opposition for daring to ask them to pass the toast without saying please or licking the Socialist Academics boots. Which rather sums up the tone of public discourse on these topics.

Such beliefs as modern progressivism, and extreme ‘Feminism’ can therefore be seen to be firmly rooted in supremacist doctrines, which, as any psychologist will tell you, are themselves firmly rooted in near-monolithic inferiority complexes. Or in other words “I know best, so shut up Pleb and do what you’re told, or you’ll never work in this town again.” Which is just as bad as (if not worse than) the ‘sexist’ all-women-are-property-bend-over-my-sweetness medieval world view.

What these radical types miss by a country mile is that men and women have different skill sets, and are (obviously-duh) differently equipped from a biological standpoint. Therefore neither sex can be viewed as ‘superior’. Some men will always be better at some things than some women and vice versa. Individuals have differing strengths. Humans are not born to be ‘equal’. This is a simple observation, so simple that these highly educated Academic Social Justice types cannot comprehend it. Even if you were to figuratively take hold of their head and forcibly point their eyes in the right direction. However, giving everyone a fair shake regardless of genetic inheritance is a good idea, because everyone’s abilities, aims and objectives are different. Let everyone achieve as they may. The SJW’s and radical feminists think that ‘Social Justice’ (Which does not really exist) can be enforced by the heavy, Godzilla-like hand of the state. Unfortunately, involving the state in anything as delicate as the nuances of human liberty is an accident waiting to happen because one size does not, never has and never will fit all.

As for ‘Feminazi’, this term can only be applied to the quota demanding, men hating (Why? Don’t know, care even less) loveless nutjobs. Regular feminists, who only ask for an equal chance to prove they can do a specific task as well as their male counterpart and want to earn their say, are fine by me. Just don’t demand that the standards are lowered or ‘quotas’ applied to allow the less able to push the able aside. That never works. That’s not meritocracy, it’s mediocrity.

That was easy

Guests have come and gone. Suitably full of wine, curry and a hearty fruit and cereal breakfast. We must have got it right because they’re angling for a return visit already. My Pratchett Discworld collection just grew by another six, and I’ve compiled a list of the few remaining hardbacks left to fill the gaps. I can buy a copy of The Shepherds Crown (Terry’s final work) locally. Details have been left with all the local secondhand bookstores to let me know the minute a copy of Sourcery with Josh Kirby’s dustcover artwork becomes available. There is a particular, if sentimental reason only that edition will do. It was the first Discworld novel I ever read, and had me in fits from start to finish. Coin, eighth son of an eighth son of an eighth son, Conina the Barbarian Hairdresser, The Drunken Seriph of Al Khali, Rincewind, Nigel (Signature battlecry; “Erm….”) and guest appearance by the Ice Giants (“Vot you vant? Go Avay hot person.”) all left a strong impression with me. This is from someone who generally doesn’t like Fantasy. You can keep Tolkein about what you find Hobbit forming, but I just wish the LOTR mob would stick an Orc in it.

Otherwise life trundles on; I seem to have contracted some obscure form of lurgy, but the quacks aren’t sure what it is yet, so I’m off to get do my best impersonation of a pincushion yet again this week. It’s nothing debilitating, just bloody annoying. Results of the first set of tests came in thankfully all clear yestere’en. However, I was sent a web link and code to register for future results, which of course didn’t work because I tried to register ‘too early’. Blood and sand. Hey ho. None of my bits are dropping off (Yet) so I’ll simply try and register again on Friday.

I see a few rather less than genius level intellects have an ill advised “Shout out your abortion” campaign on `social media`. Personally, even having seen the procedure done properly, I have no issue with terminating unwanted pregnancies. But ‘shouting out’ to the world you’ve had one? Seriously? That will come back to bite you, people. Are we going to have ‘shout out’ campaigns for Haemorrhoid removal next?

Never mind the strident misandry of certain campaigners. All I have to say is it takes two to Tango folks. Never mind leaping up and down after sex, screaming “You should have done something!” at your chosen bedmate when the test result is positive. You can’t use politics (or even shouting) on biology. Pregnancy is the female bodies way of telling them “Congratulations! You can conceive.” That said, I have always been a firm believer that the decision to terminate or carry to term is the woman’s choice, no-one else’s. Not the family, nor the biological father, clinic manager, nor priest or politician. That foetus does not belong to them.

This is from someone who has two grown up stepdaughters about whom he cares very deeply. Even if they are a right pair of (well educated) little rascals. Should they become ‘with child’ I would, regardless of what they decide to do, support their decision. No matter what my personal feelings are at the time.

It’s one of the things they don’t tell you when you sign up for this parenthood lark. That little bundle of gurgles and pinkness will gravitate (Whether you like it or not) from the cute as a button / Mummy and Daddy’s little darling stage, through “Well he / she doesn’t get it from me…” and “Don’t slam the….” (Too late) and unsuitable ultrashort clothing to “Your college fees are how much?” and “OMG! I’m too young to be a grandparent!”

It’s life. Enjoy it while you got it.

Nothing new under the sun

Life trundles on with no big deals apart from several ongoing sagas over legacies and banks. I won’t bore you with the details. That’s for my lawyers (Lye, Cheetham and Runne). Suffice it to say, someone was trying to dip into my cookie jar and I’ve cried ‘havoc’ and set the dogs of law onto them.

Nice display of Sundogs in the late afternoon a couple of days ago. Nothing unusual for August. Although they do presage a change to cooler, rainy weather which will have everyone crying for the return of unremitting sunshine after three days. Mrs S and I are now both getting back into the swing of work before relatives descend upon us in the latter half of September. ‘Les Girls’ (Wife and sisters) are off to Seattle while I play host to Youngest, which will give me a fine excuse to go see all the movies and go a few places Mrs S doesn’t much care for. The Imax beckons.

The only thing of any note is attending various lectures at UVIC, oh and Neil McCollum over at Forgotten Weapons has uncovered this little gem (See video below). A Gyrojet carbine? Well I never.

As he says. No flying cars or jet packs, but a rocket rifle? What fun.

Seriously, I’m quite a fan of Neils videos because unlike so many firearms blogs he brings a thoughtful and considered approach to studying antique and not so antique firearms, often field stripping them on camera so you can see the innovation that made the gun either ground breaking or prematurely obsolescent.

Deep misconceptions

Sensible mode engage…..Booting…..The lamestream do tend to mythologise things don’t they? But then that’s their business. Sensationalism, sex and scandal sell. That the public is presented with misrepresentation as fact, especially in the tabloids, is a scandal in itself. Take for example the headlines surrounding the creator of the Silk Road trading web site, who was recently handed a life sentence without parole. Here on Reason TV, Documentary maker and one time film comedy actor Alex Winter discusses his 2015 documentary ‘Deep Web’, samizdat copies of which are already available on YouTube and probably on every available streaming site by now.

Both the interview and documentary make interesting viewing.

Old jokes, a disambiguation

Following a little transnational cultural mistranslation in the comments of yesterdays post, I would like to offer a little clarification. Here at the Bill Sticker Institute for the preservation of old jokes, japes and facetiousness, our single becobwebbed researcher has been moved to lift his weary Jesters cap off the pages of the ‘Bumper Compendium of Auncient Fooleries‘ by Geoffrey Chaucer (1st edition). A venerable vellum tome which we alone own the copyright to, and have the last extant copy of. So there. It’s even got the one about the ‘Last goose in the shambles’. For any connoisseur of English humour, this should be a clue to it’s comprehensiveness.

One of our helpful customer service IgorsHowever, the jest in question is more recent than that, I merely mentioned that we have a copy of such a rare volume to demonstrate how seriously old jokes are taken around here. Notwithstanding, our researcher has been despatched, capering into our catacomb like archives with a jingle, a hey nonny-nonny and a blow ’bout the cheeks with his inflated pigs bladder (Which we hope is not a permanent condition). Not to find anything out, we just want him out of the way so our trusty crew of Igors can do the real work.

What they have come back with are the references to late Victorian music hall routines, where a comic actor or actress would make the statement “And my case comes up next Tuesday.” as a throwaway punchline. The focus for this line is a mockery of the various obscenity laws then being enacted, where any heretofore innocent act would reputedly result in the perpetrator being arrested and subject to trial in the various Police or Magistrates courts. Having one’s ‘Case come up’ means that one had been summonsed to appear before the magistrates on some unspecified charge of obscene conduct. The date of the appearance to be set by the teller of the joke. To wit; “My case comes up on Tuesday” is a statement that one has been accused, and a court appearance has been set for the following Tuesday. The ‘Tuesday’ is a random variable, and has no effect on the jests efficaciousness.

Therefore; “Embrace your inner Englishman.” Made as an exhortation to behave in a given fashion, would be met by;
“I did, and my case comes up on Tuesday.” To imply that embracing one’s inner Englishman, presumably in public, was a public decency offence and having a degree of obscenity sufficient for the forces of law and order to become involved. The subtext being that the exhorted would not be complying with the requested standard of behaviour.

This particular joke has largely fallen into disuse since the 1960’s and 70’s, when its last recorded use on UK nationwide Television was on the Morcambe and Wise show. Other notable users of this specific joke are Tony Hancock and the entire ‘Carry on‘ team. Researchers have also recounted how it was also a favourite of Benny Hill.

There are those of course, who will become outraged and scream like demented toddlers that such a statement is ‘anti (Insert cause here)’ because the use of said phrase implies that their chosen cause is an offence against public mores and morals, which in retrospect is probable. But these are people who take themselves and their opinions far too seriously. Therefore we should be cautious, and approach such topics only when heavily armed. Just in case.

For those of you who don’t give a fig for trendy causes, we are pleased to announce that our playlist of young ladies getting their kit off in an artistic fashion is an ongoing project, with videos being added at least once every day or two. We are happy to add that most are definitely not safe for work.

We hope the aforementioned has been of assistance.

As an appendix we would like to introduce, at least to lovers of satirical Country music; Miss Shirley Gnome.