Tuesday 26 November 2013

Friday 22 November 2013

Why I will never vote for the Christian Democrats

I put them last on the ballot, after the white supremacists and anti-science nutters.
"This morning, the Christian Democrats blocked a notice of motion acknowledging today as the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. “It is very disappointing that the (NSW)Parliament will not pass a motion commemorating victims of homicide just because they are transgender."
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is not a day of protest. There is no political activity, nor fundraising. It is, quite simply, a day where we read out the names of those slain for being Trans or Intersex, or killed for even appearing to be Trans or Intersex. Those whose names we know. 238 this year, with thousands whose names we don't know. We remember and memorialise their names, because no-one else does, and no-one deserves to die un-noted and unmourned. We don't even protest their deaths, just record them. This is unacceptable to the "Christian" Democrats. It's not enough for them for us to be killed, even the fact of our deaths must be erased.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

PanSpermia - Origin: Earth

How Life-Bearing Rocks from the Chicxulub Asteroid Impact must have Spread through the Solar System

Some 65 million years ago, an asteroid the size of a small city hit the Yucatan Peninsula in what is now Mexico. The impact devastated Earth, generating huge tsunamis, massive wildfires and rapidly heating the atmosphere. It triggered earthquakes and volcanic activity and then cooled the world as smoke and dust blanketed the planet.

This impact changed the future of the Earth, triggering the sequence of events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, the rise of mammals and ultimately the domination of humans.

Now Christopher House and pals at Penn State Astrobiology Research Center in University Park, say this event may have had an equally profound influence on other parts of the Solar System.

These guys have calculated the number of rocks ejected into space in this collision that would have been capable of carrying life and protecting it in space. They say that significant numbers of these rocks would have made the journey to Mars and Venus but also to Jupiter and Saturn. In particular, they say these rocks would probably have travelled to moons such as Europa, Callisto and Titan, where astrobiologists believe that conditions are ripe for life.

Monday 18 November 2013

Dishonesty - Moral Compass Broken

Ratings from the public rely on good faith. Professional liars like this guy break the model, making it useless for everyone. You also have to ask - what limits would such people observe? If they can be dishonest here, why not criminal elsewhere?
I've panned a few books - but never without reading them.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

The Day After Remembrance

I can remember sitting on my Grandfather's knee, fascinated by the different anatomy he had on his right arm. The missing fingers, the muscles that weren't there. Souvenirs of Passchendaele.

The story he told about taking shots from a very long distance to knock out the Berlin-Istanbul telegraph line, miles behind the lines at Gallipoli.  Every morning, at first light, a group of snipers would be tasked with infiltrating behind the Turkish lines, to take out the milk-bottle sized insulators from about a mile - as close as they could get. It took many shots, but they'd do it. And that night, the Turks would replace them again.

Then there was the Somme, after the evacuation... he didn't talk much about that.

And the time in 1917, when as a sniper out in no-man's land, a group of red-painted German fighters used him for target practice. I had an Airfix model of an Albatros D.V, and he recognised that as the general type. I've looked it up, and yes, Baron Manfred Von Richthofen's "Flying Circus" had rotated into that area at that time. He was only 19.

My father told me other stories, from the war after the War to end all wars. Recovering survivors from the 1-ton "land mines" the Luftwaffe dropped on Liverpool, which would level whole rows of  houses. How later on, when he was working on a "Black" Project in SE England, you were safe if you heard the buzz of the "Doodlebug" V-1 cruise missiles. But if one passed overhead, started going away, and then cut out, you took cover. Because they'd dive back onto the place they'd just passed over. He was only 19 too.

I have no such stories to tell my son, and I am so, so grateful to all those who fought, and died, to make sure I don't.

OK, I caught a spent LMG bullet in my leg once, and have been under 122mm rocket fire, and there's some other stuff I can't talk about, but the Cold War was not in the same league, for me.

At 19, I wasn't watching the skies for Zeppelins, or Gothas, or Heinkels, or Junkers. Or Illyushins or Tupolevs, trying to drop bombs on those I love.

That lack of fear was their legacy to us, and to our children. Lest We Forget.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Another for the Reference Library

Transsexual patients’ psychiatric comorbidity and positive effect of cross-sex hormonal treatment on mental health: Results from a longitudinal study -- Marco Colizzi,Rosalia Costa, Orlando Todarello Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 39, January 2014, Pages 65-73,
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of psychiatric diseases/symptoms in transsexual patients and to compare psychiatric distress related to the hormonal intervention in a one year follow-up assessment. We investigated 118 patients before starting the hormonal therapy and after about 12 months. We used the SCID-I to determine major mental disorders and functional impairment. We used the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) for evaluating self-reported anxiety and depression. We used the Symptom Checklist 90-R (SCL-90-R) for assessing self-reported global psychological symptoms. Seventeen patients (14%) had a DSM-IV-TR axis I psychiatric comorbidity. At enrollment the mean SAS score was above the normal range. The mean SDS and SCL-90-R scores were on the normal range except for SCL-90-R anxiety subscale. When treated, patients reported lower SAS, SDS and SCL-90-R scores, with statistically significant differences. Psychiatric distress and functional impairment were present in a significantly higher percentage of patients before starting the hormonal treatment than after 12 months (50% vs. 17% for anxiety; 42% vs. 23% for depression; 24% vs. 11% for psychological symptoms; 23% vs. 10% for functional impairment). The results revealed that the majority of transsexual patients have no psychiatric comorbidity, suggesting that transsexualism is not necessarily associated with severe comorbid psychiatric findings. The condition, however, seemed to be associated with subthreshold anxiety/depression, psychological symptoms and functional impairment. Moreover, treated patients reported less psychiatric distress. Therefore, hormonal treatment seemed to have a positive effect on transsexual patients’ mental health.

Fischer Explains How To Exorcise Your New Home To Rid It Of Demonic Spirits

on the subject of superstitious irrationality... some people who are terrified of shadows.

The cause of their terror.

"Jane Doe" and her G/Fs

Sunday 3 November 2013

Lessons of History Department

The Religious Reich has been like this for a while.