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News for the ‘oddities’ Category

Humorless @VictoriaPolice Think eBay Kid Sales are Srs Fkn Bsns

A great example of how much of an Americanised humorless srs fkn bsns nanny state we’ve become is a recent article I stumbled across on news.com.au relating to a woman who put her kids on eBay. You can see it’s tongue in cheek, but the way the media report on it, and the way the Victorian police are commenting, they make it sound so absurd.

A VICTORIAN woman is being investigated after offering her two young children for sale to the highest bidder on internet auction site eBay.

The woman, in her early 30s, lives near Geelong. She wrote a “lengthy sales pitch” that included photographs of her son and daughter, both aged under 10.

Several people placed bids on the sickening auction, which has alarmed authorities.

Detectives from the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse unit were alerted to the internet page by a horrified member of the public.

The page has been taken down and the woman’s children could be taken into permanent care.

Victoria Police has decided not to press charges against the mum, who claims the act was a joke.

However, police sources told the Sunday Herald Sun they were disturbed by the incident and in particular the genuine bidders who tried to obtain the children.

Officers continue to probe the people who bid on the children and the Department of Human Services is continuing its investigation into the family.

“Investigators from Geelong were notified last week that a mother was trying to sell her two children on eBay,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

“Photos of the children, a boy and a girl both aged under 10 years, were included in the sales pitch.”

The page was posted on Wednesday and was active until late morning the next day.

“The mother wrote a lengthy sales pitch that was very interesting reading,” a police source said.

“She said the page was created as a joke, but what worries us is the people bidding on the auction. Who knows who these people are. They could be paedophiles or anyone. It’s extremely disturbing.”

Officers immediately contacted eBay, which took the page down within two hours. Auction site staff then provided detectives with full details of the woman.

She faced charges under section 493 of Failing to Protect Child from Harm, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.

But officers accepted her plea that it was a joke.

However, they have referred the matter to the DHS, which is still investigating the family.

A spokesman said it was possible the children could be taken into care.

“If there is a serious threat to the children’s wellbeing and the situation is so bad that the only safe option is for them to be taken from home, then that is definitely a possibility,” he said.

“This action could attract the attention of the wrong sort of people, whether it was a joke or not, and the family need to understand the risks and receive advice around that.

“We will continue to engage with the family and assess if there are any underlying problems.

“We need to get to the bottom of why she did this.

“Is there a mental illness, is the mother not coping or was it simply a joke? I don’t recall another case like this.”

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/probe-into-kids-for-sale-offer-on-ebay/story-e6frfro0-1226096094802#ixzz1SM12zja3

Posted: July 17th, 2011
Categories: epiclullz, news, oddities, pop culture
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Kristen Johnston versus Octomum (Aka: Octoslut), Nadya Suleman still Media Whoring her Litter of Vag Nuggets

You’re broke, so broke you can’t afford the $40 a month fee to keep your mans sperm frozen in cryonics. You don’t want it to go to waste, so what do you do? Why, you shit 8 kids bringing your child total to FOURTEEN (14! Yes, 14!), they won’t cost more than $40 a month right?

This is the logic that led to ‘Octomum’ shitting her litter of slutlets. The demented mind of a child abuser who systematically whores out her children to an apalling yet oh so typically American/Hollywoodesque bunch of carrion eaters.

She stated ONE year after her media blits that she was retiring from the media and was apalled that she was selling her children and wouldn’t be seeking anymore publicity and free crap. Every six to twelve months since then she’s done it again, and when called out on it she cries poverty. Bitch should have done her math and realised that $40 a month isn’t that bad!

She’s done it again, however. Oh ye of the loose snatch has whored herself into the media spotlight again. Not by consuming several adults by her cavernous coot, but by getting into a brawl on a plane with 3rd Rock from the Sun star Kristen Johnston.

The actress got so fed up with the noisy brood, she asked the ‘Octomum’ to keep the noise down. The mum of 14 did not take kindly to this remark, yelling back: “How would you like me to keep eight two-year-olds quiet?” To which the actress allegedly responded: “Get more help!”

Nadya’s spokesperson told TMZ that she shouted back: “Why don’t you grow a baby and get a life.” The family reportedly took up almost all of the business section of the flight, which was delayed for two hours before taking off.

This woman should have her children taken off her and be committed, and steralised.

Posted: July 11th, 2011
Categories: celebrity, celebrity gossip, epiclullz, oddities, pop culture
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Science Cured my Hiccups, Please Retweet and Save Lives!

As most of you know, I’m a very cynical and scientific / critical thinker. I know alternative medicine is bullshit because if it worked it wouldn’t be alternative. I can also tell an old wives tale when I see one. However recently, for the first time in a decade, I got the hiccups. Fifteen minutes in I was bitching on Twitter and to friends via SMS. Half an hour in I was getting light headed. Forty five minutes in my throat was burning from reflux and I wanted to spew and was trying to find my handgun.

At that point I began going through a list of all the ‘cures’ for hiccups, most were stupid and clearly wouldn’t have worked having much the same scientific or medical grounding as praying does to curing cancer. If you’re shaking your head and saying prayer has any powers besides placebo effect, get the fuck off my website, you’re far too gone as a human being and have delved deep into the heart of moronicism.

I shortlisted a dozen old wives tale type cures that seemed to have SOME potential scientific application. Just as people tend to have different ideas about what causes hiccups, they also disagree on ways to stop them. Almost everyone knows at least one way to treat hiccups. Some families swear by their method, and refuse to believe that any others work.

Common cures for the hiccups include drinking a glass of water in some way. Some people swear by gulping, others insist on small sips, and some require that you tilt your head upside down and drink from the opposite side of the glass to make the hiccups go away.

No cure was found. By well over the hour mark I was seriously getting frustrated and angry about it when I realised I should be searching scholar.google not just google. So, first link of a scientific / medical paper on hiccups listed one method that had pure logical based purposes (I won’t go into specifics to save you the tl;dr) and I gave it a shot.

Literally IMMEDIATELY my hiccups were gone.

What was this magical method? Inhale deeply, filling your lungs, raising your arms above your head (laterally, ie: put your arms out like you’re JC on the cross, as you inhale, raise them above your head) then hold your breath and take as many little gaspy inhalations you can to stretch your diphragm and lungs that little bit more and count to ten.

It worked instantly, straight up, 100% effectively for me. But as this was my first bout in a decade I’m unsure if I’ll get the chance to test this out again anytime soon, but I have the utmost faith in it’s medical theory and grounding. So, when you get them next, do this to cure them, and shoot an @bashpr0mpt Tweet at me letting me know it worked.

Now, go back to Twitter if you found this blog post link there, and click Retweet. Let’s get this information out there so other poor bastards aren’t suffering for an hour feeling like idiots in the middle of the night unable to sleep; and also save them doing the stupid things I humored just to be able to say “I tried everything.” which clearly didn’t work.

If you don’t retweet this, I hope you get ball cancer and die. If you don’t have balls, I hope you get pregnant, have a kid, and it has balls, and they get ball cancer and die. If you don’t have balls but can’t get pregnant, well, you’re already punished enough. 😛

Posted: June 22nd, 2011
Categories: critical thought, general, oddities, rant, science
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Spam Scripts; Nouveau Poets of the Digital Era (Lookout @DalaiLama)

I noted with amusement casually looking at the bazillions of comments I get, a few hundred being from humans at best, and realized in an attempt to generate a near natural sounding load of wording that many batshit insane creepy artistes are out of a job.

I must say, I was mightily impressed. In fact, this is probably more moving than the Dalai Lama’s Twitter feed. More sensical too. The following prophetical rant came courtesy of one such spam script:

“V star 1100, wearisomely humble virgo was smirched. V star 1100, ceremonial mike will have sapped. V star 1100, mickie radiates within the beleita. V star 1100, freshwater necessity is the intramural aurek. V star 1100, diploid ses may hermetically clamour. Love shall distil. Culottes are the goers.

Gently ornithischian hastings is a breakfast. Altogether molal tronas may obscenely joggle per the yah pitcairner tad. Such audiometers extremly bifacially hoodwinks. Autonomous swearword is primly personalizing trendily withe outgrowth. Dynasties acervately psychoanalyses. Trisyllable had undescribably limned. Endocarditis shall although prolong under the soulful lillian.

Deontology was the muffler.

Afoot theressa may harm on the soaker. Incoherency was the treacherously senatorial unbeliever. Number — theoretically multipliable narthextremly southerly ransacks withindoors within the urbanely varangian wunderkind. Rotational topic was the unlimited jubilance. Preponderant dispersant is the blind nucivorous confirmation.”

Posted: June 16th, 2011
Categories: critical thought, epiclullz, oddities, pop culture, technology
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Dissident ‘Shadow’ Internet and Cell Phone Networks

THE US Government is reportedly financing the development of “shadow” internet systems to enable dissidents abroad to get around government censors.

The New York Times said today the covert effort also includes attempts to create independent cellphone networks inside foreign countries.

The operation involves a fifth-floor shop on L Street in Washington, where a group of young entrepreneurs are fitting deceptively innocent-looking hardware into a prototype “internet in a suitcase”, the report said.

Financed with a $US2 million ($1.9 million) State Department grant, the suitcase could be secreted across a border and quickly set up to allow wireless communications over a wide area with a link to the global internet.

The Times said some projects involve technology being developed in the US while others pull together tools that have already been created by hackers from the so-called liberation technology movement.

The State Department is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya.

The US Government has also spent at least $US50 million ($47.2 million) to create an independent mobile phone network in Afghanistan using towers on protected military bases inside the country, according to the newspaper.

It is intended to offset the Taliban’s ability to shut down the official Afghan services, the report said.

Posted: June 14th, 2011
Categories: gadget, hack, journalism, oddities, politix, pop culture, technology
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Happy Geek Pride Day!

For all Trekkies, comic collectors and gadget gurus, here’s a day just for you. Today the world celebrates Geek Pride Day.

Geeks, nerds and whoever else wears thick glasses and a pocket protector can publicly boast about their geekiness without being labelled as weird. It happens on May 25 every year, which coincides with the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977.

The day started in 2006 in Spain – strangely enough – when 300 geeks showed their pride by creating a human “Pac-Man” game. In 2008, it came to the US, where bloggers heralded it as a holiday.

Not sure of your geek orientation? Here are some rights and responsibilities, as outlined in Geek Pride Day’s manifesto. If they inspire you to put on your favourite Dungeons and Dragons cape, then, no question, you’re a geek. So take pride and celebrate.

Your Geekly Rights

The right to associate with other nerds.

The right to have few friends (or none at all).

The right to not leave your house.

The right to not like football or any other sport.

The right to be out of style.

The right to be overweight and nearsighted.

(WIth great power comes great) Responsibilities

Try to be nerdier than anyone else.

If there is a discussion about something geeky, you must give your opinion.

Don’t be a generalised geek. You must specialise in something.

Attend every nerdy movie on opening night and buy every geeky book before anyone else.

Wait in line on every opening night. If you can go in costume or at least with a related T-shirt, all the better.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/once-a-year-its-hip-to-be-square/story-e6frfro0-1226062318927#ixzz1NKlH6toB

Posted: May 25th, 2011
Categories: epiclullz, lifestyle, news, oddities, pop culture
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Scientists find asteroid with potential power of 15 atomic bombs. Heading this way. Tonight.

Asteroid 2011 GP59 was spotted hurtling towards us from a distance of less than ten lunar distances just the other night, blinking like a strobe through the night sky, indicating it is cigar shaped and is estimated to be anywhere up to 50m long and dense enough to have the impact of ’15 atomic bombs’ should it make contact. It won’t, so don’t go digging a hole in the ground just yet.

“Usually, when we see an asteroid strobe on and off like that, it means that the body is elongated and we are viewing it broadside along its long axis first, and then on its narrow end as it rotates,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “GP59 is approximately 50m long, and we think its period of rotation is about seven-and-a-half minutes.

Keep in mind it’s 10 lunar distances – or moon is 384,400km away – but tomorrow morning, about 5am, things get a little crazy. For start, Monday’s night’s discovery of GP 59 was just that – a discovery. It was picked up by astronomers at the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca in Andalusia, Spain, who’ve since determined that it’s heading towards us.

Tonight, it will miss pass just outside the moon’s orbit – again, comparatively speaking because this is space, folks – at a distance of 533,000km.

However, Mr Yeomans, whose office is responsible for a program called Spaceguard, which tracks and characterises asteroids and comets and is supposed to protect us from this sort of thing, says there’s no need to be concerned. “Although newly discovered, the near-term orbital location of asteroid 2011 GP59 can be accurately plotted,” he said. “There is no possibility of the small space rock entering Earth’s atmosphere during this pass or for the foreseeable future.”

Which is good news, because although 50m might sound smallish, it’s still five times bigger than an asteroid that exploded 15km above Indonesia in October, 2009. That blast released as much energy as three atomic bombs, according to New Scientist, who are supposed to know about such things. Take comfort in the fact that in 2009, no one saw that asteroid coming. At least we were given three days’ notice this time around!

Another upcoming near miss (or hit?) will be Apophis, a massively superior space object in every way; “Apophis will approach Earth at a distance of 37,000-38,000 kilometers on April 13, 2029,” Professor Leonid Sokolov of the St. Petersburg State University told Ria Novosti. “Its likely collision with Earth may occur on April 13, 2036.”

You might have noticed he used the word “may”. Again, space is big folks.

Asteroid 99942 Apophis was first discovered to be in the Earth’s impact zone back in 2004, and at roughly 300m wide, is estimated to be able to hit the Earth with the force equivalent to somewhere around two Krakatoas.

More sketchy science puts Australia well out of the path of possible destruction – Apophis could land anywhere in a streak that runs from the Middle East through the tip of South America to the west coast of Africa, according to a paper delivered to the 2007 Planetary Defense Conference.

Which is not to say we won’t feel its impact. A simulation tool devised by the University of Southampton in the UK shows that, depending on where it hits, it could cause up to 10 million deaths.

 

Other Related Coverage

 

Posted: April 15th, 2011
Categories: critical thought, epiclullz, gossip, journalism, news, oddities, pop culture, science, survival horror
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Animation Realism ‘too Creepy’

Computer animation has a problem. When it gets too realistic, it starts creeping people out.

Most recently, moviegoers complained about the near-realistic depiction of humans in Disney’s 3D flick Mars Needs Moms, which bombed at the box office despite costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

A theory called the “uncanny valley” says we tend to feel attracted to inanimate objects with human traits, the way a teddy bear or a rag doll seems cute.

Our affection grows as an object looks more human. But if it looks too human, we suddenly become repulsed.

Instead of seeing what’s similar, we notice the flaws — and the motionless eyes or awkward movements suddenly make us uncomfortable.

Mars may have plunged to the bottom of this valley of fear.

“People always comment on things feeling strangely dead around the eyes,” said Chuck Sheetz, an animation director of The Simpsons and a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“If it gets too literal, it starts to feel false or has a strange effect.”

Skin texture that is slightly off can especially leave people feeling unsettled, said Patrick Markey, a psychologist and director of Villanova University’s Interpersonal Research Laboratory.

The near-realistic animation style championed by producer Robert Zemeckis uses motion-capture technology, where actors are covered with dots and skin suits and have their performances captured on computer. The dots provide the frame, and the rest is filled in with computerised graphics.

Mars creates humans that are more realistic and detailed than Zemeckis’ earlier attempts in such movies as Beowulf and The Polar Express — which were also criticised for inviting this discomfort. The greater detail might have made things worse.

Doug McGoldrick, who took his two daughters to see the movie, said the faces of the main characters “were just wrong”.

Their foreheads were lifeless and plastic-looking, “like they used way too much botox or something”, said the 41-year-old photographer in Chicago, Illinois.

Marc Kelley, a 32-year-old pastor in Allegan, Michigan, who went with his two young children, said he found the renditions of characters “all annoying in their own way”.

Indeed, when the mother of the main character Milo mentioned the word “zombies” at the start of the movie, it conjured up a feeling that the characters were themselves undead.

Animation experts say the key to success is to be only authentic enough to tug at our heart strings.

The best example of this was Avatar, the 2009 blockbuster that made $US2.8 billion in theatres around the world.

The humanoid, but blue-bodied Na’vi were alien enough not to trigger our inner rejection mechanism.

“My own personal opinion is try to stay away from photo-real with a human,” said Greg Philyaw, the business development director at Giant Studios, which captured the performance of human actors for their digital re-creation in Avatar.

“Subconsciously you know what you’re looking at isn’t quite right.”

Disney, by its actions, has already voted against the super-real animation format.

Last March, it said it would shut down the Zemeckis-run company ImageMovers Digital, which made Mars, to cut costs.

Several months ago, Disney also nixed a plan to fund and distribute Zemeckis’ Yellow Submarine, a half-finished work he is now free to shop to other studios.

Disney declined to comment for this story, and Zemeckis declined interview requests through an agent.

Mars had an estimated $US150 million production budget, but has brought in just $US34 million globally since its March 11 opening.

To be fair, there were other problems besides being visually unnerving.

For one, it appeared to be marketed at young boys who are interested in science fiction but also are closely attached to their mothers. That’s a small group to begin with, and neglects dads and daughters.

Some young children also got scared about the plot involving mommy abduction.

Mars also came just a week after Paramount’s 2D animated movie Rango, starring Johnny Depp.

And instead of appealing to fans because of the increasingly popular 3D format, Mars may have annoyed theatregoers faced with higher 3D ticket prices.

“If a movie’s unappealing and you’re trying to charge a higher ticket price for it, it makes it even less appealing,” said Brandon Gray, president of tracking company Box Office Mojo.

Mr Gray noted that Mars had the lowest opening weekend for a wide-release 3D movie ever.

Maija Burnett, associate director of character animation at California Institute of the Arts, took a broader view, even though the school teaches about the pitfalls of the “uncanny valley” in class.

“There’s a continuing attempt to explore what the boundaries are within (computer generated) animation,” she said.

“Every film that uses this is one important step along the way.”

In the “uncanny valley” theory, the valley isn’t bottomless. As things grow more realistically human, our affection starts increasing again, climbing out of the valley on the other side.

In other words, increasingly sophisticated animation might stop creeping us out and start fooling us.

Posted: April 5th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought, movie reviews, movies, oddities, pop culture, science, technology, vox pop
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Top 10 Email Blunders of This Decade

Things going viral that their authors don’t want to go viral often become the source of much internets mirth. Here’s a top ten list of email leaks that led to hillarity and more memes than you can poke a domo’s dick at.

1. Do You Know Claire Swire?
When Claire Swire sent a naughty note to her solicitor boyfriend Bradley Chait remembering a recent romp, he proudly shared the email with some friends, who shared it with their friends under the subject line “Do You Know Claire Swire?”. Millions ended up reading the gory details.

2. Ham Strung
An exchange between legal secretaries over a missing ham sandwich leads to both women getting the sack.

3. A Very Bad Day
When the World Trade Centre fell on September 11, 2001, US Transport Secretary Stephen Byers’ special adviser Jo Moore emailed colleagues saying it was a good day to bury bad news. She had to apologise after the email became public.

4. Hot List
Three male employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Ireland were suspended for circulating an email which rated thirteen new females employees on their looks.

5. Human Relations
When personnel officer John Crook recommended one of his colleagues for a pay rise and was asked by his manager why he felt his colleague deserved it he gave his reasons and jokingly added: “She was a grrrrrrrrreat shag as well!” He lost both his job and a claim for unfair dismissal.

6. Chat-up Cheese
Joseph Dobbie met a woman at a party, later acquired her email address and sent her a message describing her smile as “the freshest of my special memories”. He went on to say he was sure she would “be able to see sincerity where others would see cliche”. Instead, she forwarded the message to her sister and millions ended up reading it. The sender had included his phone number and was bombarded with mocking calls.

7. Web Browser
Former British Treasury press officer Robbie Browse sent an email to friends making fun of Chinese people’s eyes. But he accidentally copied it to his press list, containing 83 leading national newspaper journalists. One them immediately replied asking: “Will we all be invited to your leaving party?” Browse faced disciplinary action.

8. Insult the Aged
When principal Patrick Hazlewood and his school’s treasurer Barry Worth jointly received an emailed complaint from local pensioner Mary Kelly about some misbehaviour by their pupils, Mr Hazelwood responded: “Tell her to get stuffed”, thinking his response was only going to his colleague. But he hit ‘Reply All’ so his message also went to Mrs Kelly.

9. Penta-gone
Devon schoolgirl Claire McDonald found herself receiving emails containing top secret information from the Pentagon after being accidentally added to a round robin list by a navy commander. One of them was offering advice to the UK on how to prevent secrets from being leaked.

10. Email Boob
A Ray White property consultant sent an email with the subject “Show me your tits” to a columnist at the Courier-Mail. His explanation was that he his office had changed their email program and he was sending a test message to his partner, the contents of which are a long-standing joke between the couple.

Posted: March 31st, 2011
Categories: epiclullz, general, gossip, nsfw, oddities, pop culture
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10 by 10 Entertainment / Bedlam UK TV Series (Subliminal advertising)

I recently saw a subliminal flash in S01 E02 of the Sky UK D-grade supernatural thriller Bedlam during the closing credits.

Curious I tried to pause-skip to it, which is usually doable if your reflexes are fast enough. But after a few dozen attempts of not being able to nail it, I broke out CS3 to narrow the goal posts and found it was a single frame and it was an advert for 10 by 10 entertainment (see attached).

I thought it was odd for a production company to use a subliminal insertion of their own logo in their outro, so I screen capped it as you see it with intent to add a little quip and tweet it. It wasn’t until I got side tracked, came back and googled the show I found it’s actually produced by Red Production Company which is registered and operated in the UK.

I thought perhaps it was a failed hashing in of the audio and clip bar of the show Blue Bloods which was being pimped out in the voice over, but a little more digging around I found that 10 by 10 Entertainment is a registered US trademark for the company that produces America’s Next Top Model and … well, that’s about it.

I’m not sure what it’s doing inserted subliminally for exactly one frame (I mean c’mon, what’re the chances of pollution being exactly a frame?) or why I suddenly want a Big Mac and am wondering what smoked baby tastes like, but it kind of makes you wonder about the ethics behind this kind of shit.

The show is full of flashy lame ‘freak out’ scenes involving lots of cut-scenes so what else could be inserted in things? I mean, didn’t that really bad attempt at subliminal advertising in the MTV VMA’s for KFC and stuff lead to almost all nations outlawing the practice?

What’s the deal Sky UK?

(Ps: A link of this blog post has been sent to Sky UK, Red Production Company, and 10 by 10 Entertainment, I’ll update on any replies.)

Posted: March 24th, 2011
Categories: critical thought, hypotheticals, oddities, piracy, pop culture, scams, survival horror, television
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Shut @iPhone Dictionary Ducking with Your Words? (Workaround for the Secret Blacklist!)

For quite some time I’ve been nerdraging about the epic fail of the iPhone dictionary, it’s so prolific it’s a ducking meme, there’s entire sites devoted to how shit it is. Apple seem to flat out disregard user complaints on the subject. Earlier versions of iOS would learn after three declined word suggestions, or by re-writing the red underlined word.

After iOS 4ish, I noticed a distinct lack of it’s ability or willingness to learn new words, be they profanity or otherwise. You’d have to re-write a word and decline auto-suggests dozens of times for it to learn something SIMPLE but profanity, nope. No go. It just WOULD NOT work.

After extensive research (see: my legs went numb so I got off the toilet) on the subject, I discovered many ‘work around’ suggestions, most were dated and for older versions. I messed around with several and found the one sure way to duck that iPhone shut right off once and for all, and found TWO very good ways, one a solid performer and the other an INSTANT WIN.

ADD the profanity as a CONTACT in your contacts section. It’s irritating and frustrating but it finally let’s you use naughty words. (Edit: After typing in a metric fucktonne of words, I only just tested adding multiple words to one entry. It works effectively. However, you WILL get strange looks when people see your contact list!)

HOWEVER! There are some words it will still not recognise. It appears as though there’s a black list tier level, black listed words when added as contacts and / or retyped a gazillion times are still b& from your iPhone.

I added every profanity and pseudo-profanity I could think of, it still red underlines ‘cunt’ but the rest are fine. On racial epithets however it will force change ‘nigger’ to ‘bigger’ yet is an equal opportunity racist, it auto-changes ‘kyke’ to Kyle and ‘kike’ to like, it also red-underlines ‘cracka’ even if stored as a contact. I actually had to hit the wiki article of racial epithets to find more creative varying ones to test and EVERY single racial slur in existence is double blacklisted even when added as a contact.

Apple are not so kind to people of non-straight persuasions, with ‘faggot’ or ‘poof’ working, ‘dyke’ and various others all work, however GAY does not work. The one NON-offensive thing gets changed to ‘gag’ half the time.

I decided to tinker with the inner workings of my iPhone to look into this a bit more, so I took a peek at in/private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard, there’s a file called dynamic-text.dat which has most of the plain text words it has to give special attention to and tells the auto-correct to lay off being a dick with or even suggest or accept the spelling. To test the manual update I tried the notes application instead, and started trying to add random words (nonsensical ones) to see how long it took to learn. I found that it wouldn’t. After typing pages of shit, the last modified date of my dynamic-text.dat file was my earlier edit.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1244 Mar 19 20:30 dynamic-text.dat

I gave it a shot in safari, this instantly updated the dynamic-text.dat file on one attempt without repetition. The words added also appeared IN the file itself in plain text.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1359 Mar 19 21:34 dynamic-text.dat

Testing this again in notes showed the words taught through safari were universally added and accepted in all other forms of addition. This means not every iPhone program will learn words or add them to your special dictionary, the data processing program Notes is completely non-functional in that way, and as we saw above the Contacts section has limited success. Safari, however, is the answer. I’d honestly expect the learning algorithym to be far less shit than this, but it appears that this is the only way to force learn things.

Go figure. Either way, this is clear proof that Apple have some deep seated issues! Not to mention they love to cramp my style, not that I tout out hate words, but I’m an Australian, every second word out my mouth (or fingers in this case) is a profanity. 🙁

Posted: March 19th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, general, hack, oddities, reviews, technology
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Life on Titan, Mars, and $deity knows where else!

Evidence of life has been discovered on Saturn’s biggest moon, Titan.  Analysis of data sent back by NASA’s Cassini probe suggests primitive aliens are breathing in Titan’s atmosphere and feeding on fuel at the surface. The startling discoveries, made using an orbiting spacecraft, are revealed in two separate reports. Organic chemicals had already been detected on Titan but the liquid is methane, not water, and scientists expect life there to be methane-based.

The first paper said hydrogen gas flowing down through Titan’s atmosphere disappears at the surface, suggesting it could be being breathed by alien bugs. The other paper reports there is a lack of a certain chemical on the surface, leading scientists to believe it may be being consumed by life. Scientists had expected sunlight interacting with chemicals in the atmosphere to produce a coating of acetylene on Titan’s surface but Cassini detected no acetylene there.

Experts warn there could be other explanations for the results. But taken together, they fulfil two important conditions necessary for methane-based life to exist. NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay said: “If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth.”

Scientists believe that when the Sun swells up, swallowing Earth, conditions could be ideal on Titan. Professor John Zarnecki, of the Open University, said: “We believe the chemistry is there for life to form. It just needs heat and warmth to kick-start the process. “In four billion years’ time, when the Sun swells into a red giant, it could be paradise on Titan.”

Another thing that flew under the radar that is about 8 months old is the findings on those microbes in the Martian meteorite that caused such a HUGE fuss in the mid 90s (from a meteor found in the 80s!) amongst scientists (and theists / creationists for sure!) has been found to be exactly what it looked like, (paranthetical abuse!) microbes from Mars!

NASA scientists have produced the most compelling evidence yet that bacterial life exists on Mars.  It shows that microscopic worm-like structures found in a Martian meteorite that hit the Earth 13,000 years ago are almost certainly fossilised bacteria. The so-called bio-morphs are embedded beneath the surface layers of the rock, suggesting they were present when the meteorite arrived, rather than being the result of contamination by earthly bacteria. “This is very strong evidence of life on Mars,” said David Mackay, a senior scientist at the NASA Johnson Space Centre in Houston, who was part of the team of scientists that originally investigated the meteorite when it was discovered in 1984.

In a 1996 study of the sample, Dr Mackay and others argued the microfossils were evidence of life, but sceptics dismissed the claims, saying similar-shaped structures may not be biological. The new analyses, the product of high-resolution electron microscopy, make a strong case for the Allan Hills 84001 Meteorite having carried Martian life to Earth. The microscopes were focused on tiny magnetite crystals present in the surface layers of the meteorite, which have the form of simple bacteria.

Some argued these could be the result of a carbonate breaking down in the heat of the impact. The new analyses show this is unlikely to have resulted in the structures seen in the rock. Close examination suggested that about 25 per cent of the crystal structures were chemically consistent with being formed from bacteria. “We feel vindicated. We’ve shown the alternate explanation is absolutely incorrect, leading us back to our original position that these structures are formed by bacteria on Mars,” Dr Mackay said.

Scientists say the meteorite was broken off the surface of Mars by the impact of an asteroid, and reached Earth after floating through space for about 16 million years. It landed in Allan Hills in Antarctica. Scientists were able to trace the meteorite back to Mars, as its chemical composition matched the relative proportions of various gases measured in observations of the atmosphere of Mars made by the Viking spacecraft in the 1970s. The meteorite also preserves evidence of liquid water on Mars.

Europa’s unlit interior is still considered to be the most likely location for extant life in the Solar System. Life could exist in its under-ice ocean, perhaps subsisting in an environment similar to Earth’s deep-ocean hydrothermal vents or the Antarctic Lake Vostok. Life in such an ocean could possibly be similar to microbial life on Earth in the deep ocean. So far, there is no evidence that life exists on Europa, but the likely presence of liquid water has spurred calls to send a probe there.

Let’s not forget water on the moon people. We live in some pretty exciting times! It’ll definitely challenge the status quo between the baby boomers and their strong theological views (and those zombie like masses of American teenagers brainwashed by them) and the more cold clinical evil villainous scientist types like .. well, like us!

Posted: June 8th, 2010
Categories: critical thought, general, oddities, rant, sci-fi, science
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Spiral UFO Sighting over Australia, Similar to Norway Spiral

I woke up this morning to silence, my phone seemed to have crapped itself and decided to show one bar of service, and pretend it was sending my messages, when in fact it needed a reboot then suddenly a rush of about 20 messages came in, most of them from various friends who, on reading my coverage of the Norway Sky Phenomenon, figured I’d like to know that a similar sighting has occured over my very own country. The byline is that it is again, a ‘rocket’ that has gone ‘out of control’, except instead of the Russian ICBM story that came with the Norway one, we’ve gotten a story about a ‘private launch’ from Cape Canaveral (in the US ffs) that claims origin of this spiral, even though the rocket in question was about an hour too early for it to be the thing we saw.

Most of you know I’m an ultra-skeptic, but credit where credit is due, this again has me confused terribly, the only other time I have been unable to provide immediately a good solid scientific explaination for something of this nature was the Norway spiral phenomenon in question. So, here’s a picture of it as scene by people in Brisbane, along with the current news coverage of the phenomenon.

One last thing though; if some company or person launched something that travelled for an hour within our atmosphere and ended up ‘out of control’ over one of Australia’s most populated cities, why isn’t there an investigation or at least charges being laid? That’s assuming that a privately launched rocket of unknown and undisclosed type or origin could maintain flight for over an hour; but let’s face it, our government would spend a small fortune investigating an anonymous cock and balls scrawled on Parliament house in sharpie, why won’t they even look into or address this?

UPDATE: Witness reports have come in from the entire eastern coast of Australia from Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria inclusively.

Brisbane Sky Spiral

EDIT: Latest coverage has been placed first, view below for earlier story, newer version has witness records from all over the eastern seaboard of Australia.

in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria all reported seeing a bright light moving in an erratic way in the sky early this morning, prompting speculation of a UFO.

One witness in Redcliffe in northern Brisbane told The Sunday Mail of a ball of light moving across the sky at about 5.50am today.

“It was a perfect spiral of light,” the witness said.

“I realised soon it was not the moon but that it was shooting like a comet from the southern sky and off into the northwest.”

Another Brisbane resident said: “There was absolutely no sound in a perfectly clear, darkened sky before dawn.”

Police and search and rescue crews confirmed they had received calls from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast about the UFO.

The weather bureau said there were no weather conditions which would explain the light. A Defence spokeswoman also said she had no explanation.

In Victoria, a Herald Sun reader identified as Matt said he saw the light after fishing on Port Phillip Bay.

“It was really weird,” he said.

“We tried to take photos with our phones but all you could see was black.”

The light was also seen in Sydney, Wollongong and Canberra, reports The Daily Telegraph. A witness told the ABC she saw a light “racing across the sky” about 5.50am. She described the light as “like a lollipop swirl” that came from the west and was headed east out to sea.

“It was unreal,” she said.

“There was a cloud in the sky – just this light with a swirl in the middle.”

Another caller said:”It was a perfect spiral of light.

“I realised soon it was not the moon but that it was shooting like a comet from the southern sky and off into the northwest.’’

Original coverage:

Geoffrey Whyatt from the Sydney Observatory says it was probably a satellite, space junk or a rocket.

“The fact that you’ve got the rotation, the spiral effect, is very reminiscent of the much widely reported sightings from Norway and Russia last year, which both turned out to be a Bulava missile which was being adjusted in its orbit,” he said.

“So possibly a rocket, I would say, having some sort of gyroscopic stability rocket fired on its side.”

Mr Whyatt says it is a rare phenomenon.

“The first I saw of the spirals was last year when they were reported in Norway and then a few days later in Russia,” he said.

“The Norway one was very spectacular because of its symmetrical appearance.

“But the one this morning and the one in Russia bear a striking similarity of being the same effects from a rocket trying to be controlled or adjusted.”

A privately-owned rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on its first test flight is believed to be responsible.

But Doug Moffett from UFO Research NSW says he has a few problems with this theory.

“Firstly, the time of the launch was 18.45 GMT, which translates to 4.45am EST, the duration of the flight was 9 minutes 38 seconds – this is a full hour before the reported sightings,” he said.

“Secondly, where was the glow from the boosters or from the friction created by the craft moving through the atmosphere, where was the tail of the rocket?

“Thirdly, why would anyone launch a rocket on a maiden test flight with a trajectory that would take it over the most heavily populated parts of Australia?

“And how big must this rocket have been to be seen so clearly, at the same time, over such a vast distance?”

‘Like a bright star’

Canberra resident James Butcher says he was driving home from a night out with his brother when they spotted the “strange spiral light in the sky”.

“It had a distinct bright centre, much like a bright star, indicating an object shedding light trails, spiralling and fattening out from it,” he said.

“The effect lasted only two or three minutes, moving and descending quickly out of view.

“The colour was yellowish but this may have been blurred and tinted by the morning fog.”

Wollongong man Eddie Wise says he also saw the light during his morning walk just before 6:00am.

He says he has never seen anything like it.

“It was like a yellowish, greenish light with a light spiral around it,” he said.

“It sort of moved around, bobbed up and down and then it went behind a cloud.

“I’m just amazed. I want to know what it was.”

A caller to the ABC, Robyn, says she saw the phenomenon from her home on Sydney’s north shore just before 6:00am.

She says it was over within two minutes.

“There was this white light up in the sky like a huge revolving moon,” Robyn said.

“At first I thought it was the moon but it was travelling so fast, high up above the eastern horizon and twirling as it went.

“It was just amazing and to be quite frank, I was quite frightened and my heart’s still pounding.”

‘Lollipop-type swirl’

A number of people from Morayfield and Caboolture in Queensland have reported that they too saw a white light in the sky about 5:50am.

“It was just the one light. I just came home from my walk and I happened to look up in the sky, and here it was racing across the sky,” Linda told 612 ABC Brisbane.

“I bashed on the window for my husband to have a look and he flew out.

“It was spectacular.”

Linda described the light as like a lollipop swirl.

She says the light came from the west and was headed east, out to sea.

“It was just unreal. There was a cloud in the sky – just this light with a swirl in the middle,” she said.

Peter, from Balmoral, says he saw the light while he was on a ferry terminal on the Brisbane River.

“It certainly had that lollipop-type swirl … but it was travelling low and fairly fast, and as it went past me and I looked up, it looked like a row of lights, maybe four lights,” he said.

Denise, at Pine Mountain, told ABC radio in Brisbane that she saw the lights shortly before 6:00am.

“I got up at about 5:45 to let my horse out of his stable … and I saw this coming from a north-west direction towards the south-east,” she said.

“There was no noise. It was like bands of ribbon coming out of it and it looked like it was coming through a cloud, yet there were no clouds.”

Some interesting comments on the issue: –

  • Tommy Posted at 3:15 PM Today

    yep, Russian rockets again….

    Comment 10 of 51

  • Glen of Newcastle Posted at 3:20 PM Today

    This looks the same as the ones in Norway December 2009…spooky?

    Comment 11 of 51

  • Hodge of Melbourne Posted at 3:28 PM Today

    I’m waiting to hear the weather balloon theory….swamp gas etc. They don’t want to admit that just maybe,it’s not from this world…and i think they forgetting the witnesses said it made no sound!

    Comment 12 of 51

  • Man In Black Posted at 3:29 PM Today

    No other object has been misidentified as a flying saucer more often than the planet Venus. Even the former leader of your United States of America, James Earl Carter Jr., thought he saw a UFO once… But it’s been proven he only saw the planet Venus. Venus was at its peak brilliance last night. You probably thought you saw something up in the sky other than Venus, but I assure you, it was Venus. Your scientists have yet to discover how neural networks create self-consciousness, let alone how the human brain processes two-dimensional retinal images into the three-dimensional phenomenon known as perception. Yet you somehow brazenly declare seeing is believing? Your scientific illiteracy makes me shudder, and I wouldn’t flaunt your ignorance by telling anyone that you saw anything last night other than the planet Venus.

    Comment 13 of 51

  • Believer of Gold Coast Posted at 3:43 PM Today

    aahh here we go another “rocket” cover up story! why dont you people/government just admit that its an extraterrestial object. why do you keep the public in the dark about these matters you greedy b**t***ds !!

    Comment 14 of 51

  • Dr Simon Mahogney of Perth Posted at 3:48 PM Today

    They’re here, expect more UFC sightings as things heat up… disclosure is soon, prepare yourself 🙂

    Comment 15 of 51

  • Lee Taylor Posted at 3:54 PM Today

    its a weather balloon

    Comment 16 of 51

  • Troy O of N.Q. Posted at 3:55 PM Today

    Why would a u.f.o. have lights when they are trying not to be seen?Are they unable to see at night?Do they not have a ‘space’ G.P.S and have to find their way by sight?Come on,Dont believe the hype.Last month it was the weather radars,Whats next,Santa?

    Comment 17 of 51

  • Lisa of Sunny Q Posted at 3:59 PM Today

    man in black is really Sheldon from Big bang, beautiful, man in black beautiful.

    Comment 18 of 51

  • Steven Posted at 4:00 PM Today

    And out of the woodwork come the loonies….

    Comment 19 of 51

  • Straife of Brisbane Posted at 4:01 PM Today

    “Falcon 9 Flight 1 is the maiden flight of the Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 on June 4, 2010.[1] The Falcon 9 launch vehicle carried a Dragon Spacecraft Qualification Unit, a mockup of the Dragon spacecraft.” Launch date June 4, 2010, 14:45 EDT[1] Maybe it was a rocket after all.

Posted: June 5th, 2010
Categories: oddities, sci-fi, science
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Man Kills Gods; Creates Life in Lab

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him…”
Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science (1882), s126.

Long have we theorised the above line by a madman bearing a labtern not to be talking about the literal God believed in by so many theists. Instead, we interpret, he is talking about what this god represented for European culture, the shared cultural belief in God which had once been its defining and uniting characteristic.

So to has man thrown off the yolk of theism, every element of the divine has been replicated at large through science, trickery, art, illusionism except one final element; the creation of life.

Until yesterday when flamboyant geneticist Craig Venter held true to the pledge he made nearly 15 years ago, unveiling his magnum opus. This landmark of scientific progress, published in the Journal of Science, stands on the shoulders of his race to decode the human genome in his own laboratory, egotistically his own DNA I might add.

The madman carrying this lantern has indeed created the first instance of purely synthetic life, opening the doors nanoscience falter at with the potential to create designer microbes for special jobs such as production of biofuels, pharmaceuticals, through to filtering contaminents from air and water.

“This is the first synthetic life that has been made, and we call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromasome, made with four bottles of chemcals on a synthesizer from information on a computer,” Dr Venter said.

Lauded as a tour de force by Prof. Mattick from the Australian Research Council, Dr. Venters work is as ground breaking as science gets these days, the applications for man made life are phenominal and limited only by our imagination. That being said, mans imagination can often be self destructive, so think of all the fantastic synthesized zombie viruses the US military will make with this!

The bacterium used decoded DNA from Mycoplasma mycoides imprinting the synthetic DNA and inserting it into living bacterium, in this case Mycoplasma capricolum, allowing the bacterium to flourish with both it’s own and the synthetic DNA within, then finally using an antibiotic designed to kill all but the synthetic DNA allowing only the synthesized organism to proliferate and produce protein strands from the original Mycoplasma mycoides creating, simply, artificial life.

Klatu barada neck-tie?

Got ADAM? Amazing Little Sister Bioshock Prop!

I’ve been linked by a few people to some pics floating about of a Big Brother suit that some prop guy made, but recently came across this little wonder, also made by the same guy and included in the photo shoots of the Big Brother suit with his girlfriend playing the Little Sister weilding this: –

Got ADAM?

The creator, Harrison Krix, is a ‘graphic designer’ yet seems to be making a tidy profit doing commission work producing props. Including a bloody awesome Daft Punk helmet amongst other things.

Click here to check out the blow by blow of the ADAM bottle and synringe prop.

Posted: May 4th, 2010
Categories: design, gadget, game reviews, games, oddities, pop culture, reviews, technology
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Justin Boober in Sydney

7,000 screaming pubescent teenage females rushed the barricades like estrogen fuelled psycho hose beasts for the party frank of a 16 year old boy who resembles a 9 year old (polar opposite of a manchild) who sounds like a 12 year old girl.

What’s wrong with this picture? What the fuck is right with it? (If you answered nothing, read on, else beat yourself across the head, re-read, and repeat until enlightenment)

It’s 2010, when our prime minister lied about stopping Japanese illegal whaling, withdrawing our troops from America’s war against adjectives, and getting rid of the vile fuck-the-workers “work choices” scheme … we saw no one swamp the streets to protest.

In 2008 during the mandatory censorship protests we saw only 5,000 mob Town Hall to protest the decay of Internet freedom in our nation not to mention free speech at the draconian hands of Senator-can’t-program-a-VCR Conroy.

What is wrong with a society which has crazed teen girls acting like sleazy 40 year old men with their hand in their pocket over some kid? In what jilted fucked up take of reality do we see people mobbing barricades and police lines over some b-grade net celebrity? When did Australia turn into the US?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that teenage females are the least intellectually gifted let alone autonomous minority in our society and I’m also aware that they’re brain washed to be the future of mindless consumption technicians that will keep our male workforce subjugated; but there’s something seriously wrong with parents who don’t discourage clearly unhealthy behaviour.

I don’t have children, well none that Centrelink can prove are mine, and I’m personally a fan of ‘late term’ abortions up to the age of 35, but seriously, seeing this in the news disgusted me.

These silly little trollops need to watch less OC/hills/jersey shore and get the fuck back into a classroom or better yet an adidas sweat shop. We boggle our logic to no end trying to figure out why women are paid less than men and have more dick-in-butt ratio in the socio-economic front yet allow borderline psychotic behaviour and encourage hive mentality and worship of TV-told-me-to tin gods. No male would get away with that over any female without their mates outright telling them they’re bent in the head and probably slap them around when they won’t talk about anything but their obsession. Not to mention the extremes many young girls go to (see: changing their online surnames everywhere to reflect obsessed marital fantasies) are just bizarre and unhealthy.

How young females can’t see that there’s no such tangible thing as a ‘fanboy’ but ‘fangirl’ is an ever present term and not appreciate that they’re jipping themselves out of individualistic thought or gender rights progression is beyond me.

Pre-pube girls, grow the fuck up. Pre-pube girl parents, put them in therapy you disillusioned cunts.

Posted: April 26th, 2010
Categories: critical thought, hypotheticals, journalism, lifestyle, news, oddities, op ed, pop culture, rant, reviews, vox pop
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