Friction can be a drag

In the interests of free speech…just make it interesting

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A man after midnight.

with 22 comments

Well you’d be shit out of luck  in Sweden now.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/world/europe/10iht-sweden.html?emc=eta1

A couple of quotes from the article:

” His 2-year-old twin sons, Julian and Mateo, call him Mama. He and his now former wife shared parental leave by alternating days at work and at home.”

“The ponytailed center-right finance minister calls himself a feminist…”

Ugh.

Written by gipperfan

June 17, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Posted in depressing

Synthetic cell

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Scientists have created synthetic life in the form of a new species of bacteria that operates entirely under the control of a man-made set of genetic instructions, originally stored on a computer. They synthesised the genome of a bacterial cell and used it to “boot up” the empty cell of another species of bacteria, which then replicated freely as if it were carrying its own set of genetic instructions instead of a set made in a laboratory.

“This is the first synthetic cell that’s been made, and we call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesiser, starting with information in a computer,” Dr Venter said.

“This now provides a ‘proof of concept’. The applications of this enabling technology are enormous and one might argue this is a key step in the industrialisation of synthetic biology leading to a new era of biotechnology,” he added. Professor Douglas Kell, chief executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, said the study was an important step in the development of a new area of science. “Synthetic biology is a relatively new field and within the global research community there is some truly avant-garde science happening.”

Some ethicists, however, expressed concerns. “Venter is not merely copying life artificially … he is going towards the role of a god – creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally,” said Professor Julian Savulescu, an ethicist at the University of Oxford.

“What is really dangerous is these scientists’ ambitions for total control over nature, which many people describe as ‘playing God’. The claim of authorship of nature goes hand-in-hand with the claim to monopoly patent rights over it,” said David King of Human Genetics Alert.

Interesting discussion beneath full article in today’s Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/synthetic-cell-is-a-giant-leap-for-science-and-could-be-bigger-still-for-mankind-1978869.html

Are we getting closer to ‘God’?

Written by tree2one

May 21, 2010 at 9:04 am

Posted in free speech

Parallels between current Canadian and UK Political situation

with 2 comments

Why is it that no one in the press has draw the parallel between the current Canadian political situation and the new political situation in the UK.

The equivalent of the Labour party of Canada, the Liberals, ruled Canada for an extended period of time. They also ruled through a crisis triggered by a Moody’s possible downgrade.

Paul Martin was an acclaimed Treasurer who took over for Jean Cretien but was never elected as Prime Minister.

After scandals, the Liberals (Lab equivalent), were dropped, but the conservative party in Canada could only manage a minority election success.

The conservative party of Canada is only strong in the West, as the Tories are only strong in England.

Quebec has a strong nationalist party, the Bloc Quebecois which is equivalent the the SNP, although more successful.

Only the Liberals have a trans Canadian presence- ala Labour.

Canada has a strong “3rd” party which is always pushing for PR, the NDP- National Democratic Party- akin to the Liberal Democratic party in the UK.

Canada has a first past the post system which usually means a minority government doesn’t last.

But this one has, because none of the parties can gain any traction in any of the elections they have called.

The great thing is that their status as a minority government has meant the conservatives in Canada couldn’t be as brutal and right wing as they wanted to be, which Canadians are happy with, but they still had a conservative agenda, which Canadians wanted a bit of.

I’d argue the UK is in a similar position, wanting the toughness and cuts and market orientation of the Tories without letting them get too extreme and theoretical….

So a hung parliament can work (see Canada), and it’s not unprecedented, and in fact the overlap is incredibly similar.

Written by rexinfinite

May 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Posted in free speech

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Written by zygruntee

March 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Posted in free speech

Are the latest labour MP sleaze allegations really that bad?

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Probably not, at least when compared to the expenses saga that we thought would never end but perhaps it may finally be the catalyst for much needed parliamentary change.

For me, I never liked Byers, Hoon or Hewitt but then again there are very few labour MP’s I would call career politicians at least in cabinet.

It seems to me that this is nothing new, probably been around since the rise of big business and lobbying but we know it’s wrong so why does it still go on?

I say pay them from the tax purse and ban sponsored contact with lobbyists or enterprise.

Written by sanchezdemarcos

March 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

Papal apologies won’t wash…it’s time for his head to roll!

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Back in 1998, after having apologised for the Inquisition, the following statement came from the Vatican: “The church cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without pressing its children to purify themselves in repentance for their errors, infidelity, incoherence and slowness.” (Cardinal Roger Etchegaray)

As the threshold was crossed we know that the Catholic Church continued ‘pressing its children’. The Pope has apologised to victims of child sex abuse by priests in Ireland. This is said to be the first pastoral statement of its kind by the Vatican on the sexual abuse of children. This is bullshit – In his papal order Horrendum, Pope Pius V (17 January 1504 – 1 May 1572) said that priests who abused children were to be stripped of the priesthood, deprived of all income and privileges and handed over to the civil authorities. 

Let’s be avin ya then!

The papal noncio in Dublin has used diplomatic immunity to refuse to collaborate with the investigations into clerical child abuse. Victims have been offered pay-offs (relatively tiny amounts that would have Michael Jackson turning in this grave) in return for confidentiality agreements. A secret order called “Crimen Sollicitationis”‘ ordered bishops to swear the victims to secrecy and allow the offending priests to jog  on to another parish. It has emerged that when Ratzinger was Archbishop of Munich, one of his paedophile priests was “reassigned” in this way. He claims he didn’t know. Yet a few years later he was put in charge of the Vatican’s response to this kind of abuse and demanded every case had to be referred directly to him for 20 years. What happened on his watch, with every case going to his desk? The BBC’s Panorama studied one of many such cases. Father Tarcisio Spricigo was first accused of child abuse in 1991, in Brazil. He was moved by the Vatican four times, wrecking the lives of children at every stop.

A few years ago this same nazi youth pontiff had to apologise for his anti-Islamic gaffe where he quoted a medieval emperor, calling Mohammed “evil and inhuman”. This sparked calls for his head which at the time seemed as absurd as Jihad against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. However, now we must all surely join hands in demanding the Pope’s head!

In his public address in St Peter’s Square yesterday, he had the gall to cite the gospel passage about Jesus inviting those without sin to cast the first stone toward an adulterer. Surely this is beyond shamefull and is simply intolerable?

A state visit to the UK is planned for September 2010, for which the taxpayer is going to be faced with a bill of some £20m for the privilege.

There is an online petition opposing the papal visit here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ProtestthePope/

This doesn’t go far enough. We should demand that he handed over to the authorities for crimes against humanity as soon as he steps foot here.

Written by tree2one

March 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Hey lads!

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Well… I cant say that trying to bust onto the scene is easy from my perspective… seeing as you lot have been chit chatting for god damn years, I’ll have to interject and perhaps start my own run of the mill thoughts adding to the already heavily politicized arena, you boys play rough with all of your insights into the workings of the world and perhaps I can learn a thing or two by watching and playing in this area of unrest, I’m sure there are enough things to talk about to fill books so I’m going to listen and ninja my way in with little pieces of my reality and see if it mixes well.

Written by William Monet

January 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Posted in free speech