April 14th, 2003


In the spirit of WW3

The US have effectively announced the Hizbollah are next on the list of terrorist groups to be taken out.

Coincidentally, Hizbollah are supported by....Syria, right next door to Iraq, strong opposers of the war on Iraq and almost certainly providing shelter for Iraqi government ministers.

So we're back at the same point again. The Syrians are anti-democratic and definitely not nice people, but hands up if you're in favour of the US carving a swathe across the Middle East?

Personally, I'm in favour of the UN carving a swathe across the Middle East, but I'd like it to be a nice, slow swathe consisting largely of education and economic help that slowly brings people around to our way of thinking. How many people would die under each method is, of course, a matter for debate and the creation of meaningless statistics.

Associating smell

Smell's an odd sense. We don't think about it much, but it's a fantastic memory trigger.

Scientists associated a smell with frustration for half their test subjects and then set them a task while exposing them to the same scent. Those that had had the association made were much more likely to give up on the new task.

More here.

Super Monkeyball!

You get to enter the competition through getting a lucky Pepsi can.

Some of the lucky winners get to be on the tv show.

The person that wins that gets a million dollars.

And then, in a stroke of sheer genius, a monkey picks a series of lottery balls. And if the winner wins that too, they win a billion dollars!

Ain't society grand!

Quick Quiz

Nicked from Kimberly

"Name for me five events/things that shifted your perception of yourself or the world around you greatly."

Aged 10: Scoring 91% in a maths test and coming in top of the class. First time I realised that I was particularly good at something.

Age 21: Chris Campbell comes to find me because people missed me when I wasn't in the bar. First time that I became conscious that people could miss me.

Age 23: Reading The Schroedinger's Cat Trilogy and Prometheus Rising, which opened my eyes to the games society plays. Yes, I was particularly oblivious.

Age 24: Reading an introduction to neural networks and a book on complexity (The Collapse of Chaos), which demonstrated how seemingly complex results can come from simple causes and how the brain (possibly) interprets events.

Age 24-27: Going out with Gina (and then looking after her and then being her friend), which opened my eyes to the instabilities and neuroses in all of us.