Friday, 28 December 2012

How watching basketball rots your judgement

How could basketball be better than hockey.

When you use the sex metaphor, there is no comparison.
We all know that when your team wins or scores,
it's good for fecundity.
There's also the issue that a goal is a stress release,
much like spunking. So, when basketball has over
150 such events, then you cannot receive sexual
pleasure or even a good stiffy. The metaphor doesn't
Hockey often has 5 or 6 climaxes a night. That's just
about right.

check it and laugh:  Reformed banker

The Difference Between Skill and Luck (or why basketball > hockey)
    Joshua M Brown
    November 18th, 2012

This book The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck is probably my next read as soon I finish this teen vampire thing I've been poring over with a highlighter for the last six months.  I find this stuff utterly fascinating and Michael Mauboussin uses lots of examples from investing and finance to make his points.

There's a really good talk with Mauboussin posted at Wired this weekend in which the writer and scholar explains why some sports have a higher degree of luck relative to skill affecting final outcomes.

Basketball comes closest to chess in terms of being the game with the most skill involved. In comparison, hockey looks more like the lottery (and don't even ask about trading). His spectrum of pro sports and other activities below:

The bottom line is that the law of smaller numbers allows for more variance in individual player and game outcomes in a sport like baseball or hockey - in baseball the most skilled hitter only gets up to bat a few times per game and in hockey the star players aren't on the ice much more than a period or two out of three. Less plate appearances or ice time can mean that it is more likely that a fluke of some sort, good or bad luck, can make an impact.  This is in contrast to basketball where there are only five players at any time and the stars typically play most of the game - more playing time means a bigger sample, by extension this means less variance.
I'll pause for a moment to allow all the Canadian, Russian, Eastern European and Minnesotan readers of mine to scream out an open window in outrage....feel better? Good. No one is saying skill isn't important in hockey, merely that half the goals are scored via accidental ricochet. Just kidding.

Anyway, it's more complicated (and interesting) than that, obviously, so I'll send you over for the whole thing. The applications here for investing and fund selection and stock portfolios and trading etc are mind-boggling...

Van Gogh & Gaugin in the Last Utopians

It was early to mid 19th century time when those two great artists met
and were motivated by other artists to imagine a just world.

Anybody like that today would be bloodtested for crack.

That's not to say that they were not averse
to using the food budget on some hookers.  
let's see how they perceived their world,
through an absynthe glass
checkit:  The Guardian
Van Gogh and Gauguin letter tells of artistic hopes that turned sour
'Electrifying' missive written by artists on pages of French exercise books goes on sale in Paris next month
  Kim Willsher in Paris
   , Friday 23 November 2012 18.12 GMT
The handwritten letter, penned jointly by Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin on cheap paper torn out of a school exercise book, speaks of friendship and hope. Written at a critical point in the careers of both men, it refers to dreams of founding a utopian community of brother artists, of a new artistic renaissance, and of paintings now recognised as masterpieces.
The reality was to be less idyllic. Shortly after the missive was sent, the pair quarrelled violently and in one of history's most notorious acts of self-mutilation, Van Gogh sliced off his right ear. It was an act that marked the Dutchman's final decline into madness and suicide.
Now, the four-page letter signed by both artists has emerged from a private collection before its auction in Paris next month, where it is expected to fetch up to €500,000 (£405,000).
Thomas Venning, an expert with the auction house Christie's, said the document offered an insight into the "most famous artistic menage in history".
"I spend my life dealing with letters and this is one of the greatest, most electrifying I have ever seen," he said. "It takes you into their house, into their lives at this particular moment.
"You can imagine Van Gogh sitting down to write the letter on cheap paper because they didn't have much money, then saying to Gauguin: 'You finish it off'."
The letter is written on the square-ruled paper of French exercise books and addressed to Emile Bernard, a young avant garde artist who inspired both men. It was composed in November 1888 at Arles in Provence, where Van Gogh had rented two floors of a private house, 2 Place Lamartine, the subject of the painting La Maison Jaune.
The previous week, after months of procrastination, Gauguin had arrived to live and paint with Van Gogh for one or two years. At the time, the French art world was moving from impressionism to modernism and surrealism, but Van Gogh and Gauguin had yet to be widely recognised.
Van Gogh, mentally fragile and prone to violent mood swings, was fired up with childlike excitement. In the letter, he gives his first impressions of the French painter.
"Gauguin interests me much as a man – very much – I have long thought that in our dirty profession as painters we have the greatest need of people with the hands and stomachs of a labourer – and more natural tastes – more amorous and benevolent temperaments – than the decadent and exhausted Parisian boulevardier.
"Now here without the slightest doubt we are in the presence of a virgin creature with the instincts of a wild animal. In Gauguin, blood and sex prevail over ambition."
He adds: "We have made several excursions to the brothels and it's likely that we will end up working there often. Gauguin has at the moment a painting under way of same night café that I also painted, but with figures seen in the brothels. It promises to become a beautiful thing.
"I've made two studies of falling leaves in an avenue of poplars and a third study of this whole avenue, entirely yellow." [Les Alyscamps.]"
Van Gogh writes that he and Gauguin are discussing "the terrific subject of an association of certain painters" and of his "presentiment of a new world … and a great artistic renaissance" that will find its home in the tropics.
On the final page, Gauguin adds: "Don't listen to Vincent, as you know he's prone to admiration and ditto indulgence. His idea about the future of a new generation in the tropics seems absolutely right to me as a painter, and I still intend to return there when I have the means to do so. Who knows, with a bit of luck …?"
Eight weeks later, on 23 December, the partnership came to a violent end when the pair quarrelled violently over, it is believed, Van Gogh spending the meagre household budget on prostitutes, and his refusal to stop drinking absinthe.
Van Gogh threatened his "friend" with a razor before slicing off his own ear. Shortly afterwards he entered the first of a series of asylums and died in 1890 aged 37 after shooting himself.

Gazan kids rock their world

We've got new multimedia messages from Palestinian youth,
coming soon.

They slap everyone around, including their own leaders.

They just want a chance at life, like any kids would,
in an Occupied city.

checkit:  The Observer

Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict
An anonymous group of students has created a document to express their frustration born of Hamas's violent crackdowns on 'western decadence', the destruction wreaked by Israel's attacks and the political games played by Fatah and the UN
    Ana Carbajosa
  Sunday 2 January 2011
The meeting takes place in a bare room in a block of flats in the centre of Gaza City. No photographs, no real names – those are the conditions.
This is the first time that a group of young Palestinian cyber-activists has agreed to meet a journalist since launching what it calls Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change. It is an incendiary document – written with courage and furious energy – that has captivated thousands of people who have come across it online, and the young university students are visibly excited, but also scared. "Not only are our lives in danger; we are also putting our families at risk," says one of them, who calls himself Abu George.

... The Manifesto

"Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community!

"We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in...

"We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal-dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, home-made fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

"There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalising this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope.

"We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the Earth. During the last years, Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want.

"ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart-aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want! We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask?"

Bullyngdon Club Strikes Again

When Dave had a gathering in Boris's territory, everyone went "bonkers."

They tore the place up and caused 4 million pounds worth of damage,
and shrugged it off in 15 minutes.

Because now they run the show.

Of course, I'm talking about the Leveson Report.

While the Bullyngdon club, of rich bored kids, existed
and used to trash restaurants, what I'm
saying is that now they're in politics in the UK, and
trashing the country.
Each of them has their turf.
Dave has the UK, with his second in command, George.
London, the Greater part without the City part, is Boris'
turf. But he let's Dave run the Westminster part without
getting in his face.

Anyway, the royal and privileged are more ensconced
in  power now than they have been since the early days
of Victoria.

The Leveson enquiry was charged with getting a grip
on the out of control media in this country lest they
take over the government (too late).
So, in order to show that the country is not run by
Rupert Murdoch, his sock puppet Dave trashed the
Leveson report 15 minutes after it became public.

The annoying thing is that Leveson dealt with illegality.
Phone tapping. e-mail tapping. These are traceable
and punishable crimes. It's just that nobody is looking
to charge the media bosses.
Piers Morgan gets a pass because he knows where some
bodies are buried.
In fact, an Inquiry was called because the government
did not want their friends and bosses to go to jail.
ah, British justice. spelled JUST- US

And the whole sick show continues on as before.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Monogamy is not a type of wood

-but it can be used to beat you senseless
-but it can be formed into a yoke

I don't even know who the guys on this video are,
but they had the best discussion I've heard
normal-seeming guys, like me, have about
issues such as monogamy, attraction,
unconscious attraction, and nudity.
[on the wood theme, nudity helps you to achieve wood.]

These buys don't have all the research angles
or the appropriate PhD, but who cares.
Food for thought.

the blurb under the video:
Published on 25 Nov 2012

"Most Americans were shocked that retired four-star general and CIA Director David Petraeus resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair. Few should be surprised.

Modern life distances humans from many natural experiences, but not without some negative consequences. Heating and air conditioning let some of us live in 24/7 comfort, but mostly by digging up fossilized carbon deposited over millions of years and releasing it into the atmosphere—something that's bringing our entire species ever closer to disaster.

Sadly, we've also unnaturally altered our sex lives.

In their 2010 book Sex at Dawn, psychologist Christopher Ryan and his psychiatrist wife, Cacilda Jethá, reject the notion that we moderns know how to do sex. From studying behavior in primitive cultures and among our primate cousins, they conclude that the modern social requirement for lifelong fidelity has seriously messed us up."*

Are men and women wired to for monogamy or multiple partners? What attracts people to each other, and what is the evolutionary root? In the wake of the David Petraeus affair scandal, Steve Oh (COO, The Young Turks) and Jimmy Dore (The Jimmy Dore Show) break down the nature of cheating and sex.

*Read more from Jim Catano/ Salt Lake City Weekly:

newest military hardware: ready-made tourniquets

At Christmas time, this is just the gift for the soldier of
fortune, or poor dupe in the US or UK army,
especially those stationed in Afghanistan.

Ever wondered what was going through the mind
of a soldier right after stepping on a land mine?
(other than shrapnel, that is)
Where's the f$^&kin' goddamn tourniquet?

Now, his prayers have been answered by this product 
from Stump Brothers, Inc., 
the ready-made tourniquet

You wear it on any limb and if needed, it is readily adjustable
to cut off the flow of blood at any point on that limb.
your ankle's blown to smithereens?
squeeze the velcro tight

Saturday, 8 December 2012

does Starbucks have an image problem?

it certainly doesn't have a financial one,
despite posting no profits in the UK.
What some people forget is that ,
like the Banks, Starbucks is a globalised company
with its tentacles , I mean, interests in many of the
key tax havens, like Switzerland, which must have
the best hothouses, seeing as it's supplying the UK
branch with plenty expensive coffee beans.

So, the UK Uncutters don't seem to understand
that "Starbucks tells UK it's broke, after 20 years here"
and tells its investors
"we're making a killing. buy our stock"
because their stock takes into consideration all of their
tentacles, I mean, interests.

Friday, 30 November 2012

universal remote life-giving

It is a service to humanity to get a little peace
and quiet into a social visit to a cafe.
It took We Are Change cam guy, Luke Rudkowski to
perform this public service for humanity.
Maybe he's just gunning for the competition, as he has
many hits on Youtube, the tv of the revolution.

spy vs anti-spy

SPYING ON THE SPy satellites.

We're supposed to be oblivious to the spying. See the Guardian
story two slots downward.
This French guy is fighting back by tracking
the geo-synchronous beasts in orbit.
Get your Merlot Missile out, Henri.
I will not sleep until the day that Henri can mess with the
internals of a satellite and beam bestiality shows into Germany,
those f%^&king prudes. Or Schauble's colostomy bag.
Fascist on wheels.

story on

Black Friday Hole sucks in Reverend Billy

and he hasn't been seen since, although he has tweeted
a few times.

The awesome Rev. has been out there exorcising the
consumerist demons, by a laying on of hands, on tills.
Nothing salacious.

Anyway, note how the cops eyeball him and then drag
him and their other victims into the store, to be fleeced.

Rev BILLY BlackFRIDAY2 H264 ACC xVIMEO3 from How to Change the World? (HCW?) on Vimeo.

frankly, it's all got a racist tinge: Zach and Miri

The Guardian laughs along with the spies

Guardian sees nothing wrong in bored cops
on cctv spy-cam video following harmless yobs, 
and then taking the blooper video to the media.

Let's all hail the surveillance society,
Orwell & disinformation.

let's cut to the video:

Young Turks ride O'Reilly, Gangnam style

As judged by the meter of the day, Youtube,
Gangnam Style is the cultural phenomenon
of the year. That's a stunning coup for a
Korean song.
Gotta admit it's fun and it's message is suitably punk.
i.e. Eat the rich, or laugh at them, because they're stupid.
It has gone way too far. Some
artsy fartsy boys 
did a GS
for Ai Wei Wei
Like it was a rain dance, or something??

Now, Bill, seeing this foreign "thing" burning up the charts, it
literally burned his ass. That's where most of his stories come
from, his ass. Either it's happy, or it burns.

Now, his American pride is hurt because Elvis, the dead guy,
is losing out to Psy. Also, his favourite meme for the Fox
crowd (the over 65 idiot) is that anything "strange" and
"foreign" and anti-Elvis must be working on people's
heads like a drug.

He found a psychiatrist named Psy. no, sorry, wrong
guy. He found a Psych shrink who was suitably pissed off
at "foreign stuff" because his book about
"how to be a good person and an asshole at the same time"
did NOT fly of the shelves. It got knocked off
more times than getting bought.

This tragicomic farse is lampooned by Cenk, who,
god bless him,is a shitty actor.
He couldn't hold it together, but still, his analysis
is sound.
He was right also, that Bill was trying to cut off the message
that goes against Fox's mantra that "rich people need
to be worshipped."

let's cut to the video: Let's burn O'Reilly's ass

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Odyssey, a re-imagining, with sh*t & mops

A lot of Greeks have it tough. Now they're scattering
across the known world, again, to find work, because
their home country is run by evil sh*t bastards.

This is however, the perenial Greek story.
The Odyssey.

Except this time, it's got mop buckets
 and Swedishsh*t. 
Rather less dramatic than the tales of yore.

The fella just wants to die in Greece. ok? He's middle aged and suddenly
feels rather mortal.

checkitout: Bloomberg
Jobless Greeks Resolved to Work Clean Toilets in Sweden
By Oliver Staley - Sep 7, 2012 2:51 PM GMT
Tilemachos Karachalios works as a janitor in Stockholm, forced from his home by Greece’s economic crisis.
As a pharmaceutical salesman in Greece for 17 years, Tilemachos Karachalios wore a suit, drove a company car and had an expense account. He now mops schools in Sweden, forced from his home by Greece’s economic crisis.
Enlarge image Greek Exile Tilemachos Karachalios
Tilemachos Karachalios, a Greek former pharmaceutical salesman, looks at photographs of his family in his rented apartment in the Rissne district of Stockholm, Sweden, on Aug. 5, 2012. Karachalios is one of thousands fleeing Greece's record 23 percent unemployment and austerity measures that threaten to undermine growth. Photographer: Casper Hedberg/Bloomberg
“It was a very good job,” said Karachalios, 40, of his former life. “Now I clean Swedish s---.”
Karachalios, who left behind his 6-year-old daughter to be raised by his parents, is one of thousands fleeing Greece’s record 24 percent unemployment and austerity measures that threaten to undermine growth. The number of Greeks seeking permission to settle in Sweden, where there are more jobs and a stable economy, almost doubled to 1,093 last year from 2010, and is on pace to increase again this year.
“I’m trying to survive,” Karachalios said in an interview in Stockholm. “It’s difficult here, very difficult. I would prefer to stay in Greece. But we don’t have jobs.”
Greece is in its fifth year of recession, with the economy expected to contract 6.9 percent this year, the same as in 2011, according to the Athens-based Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research. Since 2008, the number of jobless has more than tripled to a record 1.22 million as of June, out of a total population of 10.8 million.
“In Greece, there was no future,” said Ourania Michtopoulou, who moved with her husband to Sweden in 2010 after both lost textile industry jobs in Thessaloniki, where they had a comfortable life with a house and car. “Here, I can hope for something good to happen. Maybe not for me -- I’m 48 -- but maybe for my children.”
‘Go Home’
Their family now crams into a small apartment, while her husband, Nikos, works for a landscaper and her teenage children struggle with Swedish lessons.
“It was not easy for them,” she said. “My daughter said lots of times, ‘I hate Sweden -- I want to go home.’”
Karachalios began his career in pharmaceutical sales after his mandatory military service, working at three different companies in the southern city of Patras. He married a Chinese woman he met at the 2004 Athens Olympics, had a daughter, and divorced.
“You can plan, you can organize, you can make plans for 10 years, 20 years, but you don’t know what life brings,” he said.
An intense man with flecks of gray in his thinning black hair, Karachalios said he has lost 20 to 30 pounds since moving to Sweden. His hands are stained with grime. Instead of the suits and ties he once wore, he now dresses in jeans and work boots. His suits remain in Greece.
Lost Job
In Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus is the son of Odysseus, a Greek hero who spent 10 years struggling to return home from the Trojan War. Karachalios was named after a great-uncle who was a favorite of his parents.
Karachalios’s troubles began in early 2010 when the Greek government, which provides health care, forced drugmakers to cut their prices by as much as 27 percent. To reduce costs, his then-employer PharmaSwiss fired him and two other salesmen, leaving his former supervisor to manage the accounts, he said. Karachalios searched for jobs and eventually spent two months in 2011 as a telemarketer in Athens. He quit after not being paid. An ill-fated attempt to start a retirement home cost him months of work and most of his savings.
Determined to move, Karachalios considered Australia before rejecting the immigration process as too expensive. He had a friend in Sweden, had visited before and knew its reputation.
“I knew they were very organized,” he said. “Everyone pays their taxes and it’s fair. There is no cheating.”
Single Dish
Karachalios arrived in March. His friend helped him find a room to rent and he pays 4,500 Swedish krona ($670) a month for a room in a quiet apartment complex that houses other immigrants, many from the Middle East.
His studio has no stove or oven, just a hot plate and microwave. He has a single dish, and when he has a guest, he eats out of a plastic container that used to hold feta cheese. A tiny Greek flag is taped to the wall. The room came with a television though Karachalios said he never watches. In the evenings, if he has the energy, he studies Swedish.
Because of his background in health care, Karachalios at first applied for jobs caring for the elderly. He was rejected without an interview because he didn’t speak Swedish.
To find a job, he began knocking on doors of restaurants and janitorial companies, and eventually found a position cleaning rental houses. It was hard, lonely work that didn’t allow a break for lunch, he said. His first week wasn’t paid because he was told he was being trained. After his second week, when he was paid for only 32 hours instead of the 40 he said he worked, he wasn’t called back.
Frugal Living
In July, he found work with a cleaning contractor run by another Greek. Although the hours are long and the work difficult, Karachalios said he is at least treated fairly.
In Greece, Karachalios was paid between 2,500 and 3,000 euros ($3,143-$3,772) a month, after taxes. In Stockholm, he makes 80 krona an hour. Based on a 40-hour work week, that equals about $1,907 a month.
“I was doing something more glamorous but I don’t mind this work,” he said. “I feel alive again. When you are unemployed too long, it’s very hard. I was angry all the time.”
Karachalios wasn’t paid until mid-August for work he did in July. In the meanwhile, he lives frugally, saving half-smoked cigarettes while he waits for his parents to wire money. He also worries about finding another job, which will be necessary once school resumes and the cleaning contract ends. If he can’t find a permanent job in Stockholm, he said he may move with his daughter to Shanghai, where his ex-wife lives.
“I don’t have anywhere else to go and work, and it would be helpful for my daughter,” he said.
Little Contact
There are now 1.4 million foreign-born people in Sweden, or 15 percent of the population, an increase from virtually none at the end of World War II. While Sweden prides itself on being a tolerant and progressive nation, an anti-immigration party drew 5.7 percent of the vote in 2010, the most ever, said Klas Borell, a Swedish professor of sociology.
At the schools Karachalios cleans, he has little contact with Swedes. The principal of one school in Uppsala, Andreas Kembler, said that while he doesn’t know the janitors by name, he makes a point to say hello to them in the hall. The students have been learning about the crisis in Greece, and about the implications of unemployment, Kembler said.
When told about Karachalios, Kembler says he is troubled that Greeks are forced from their homes in pursuit of work.
Wrong Reasons
“I can see, now that our economy is strong and theirs is weak, that it may be natural to move somewhere where there are still jobs,” Kembler said. “I also feel that the move should be for the right reasons, positive reasons, and that in his case there must have been a certain amount of duress that he was under, which of course isn’t an appealing thought that he was forced to move away from his family.”
Karachalios wakes at 5 a.m. with the sun already up because of the long Swedish summer days. He checks Facebook on his phone for news from Greece and takes the subway one stop to Rinkeby, a gritty working-class neighborhood. Near the station is a parking lot where people without homes sleep in their cars, leaving their shoes and bottles of water outside the doors.
At a litter-strewn gas station just off the highway, Karachalios waits for a van to pick him up. Other migrant workers, headed for other destinations, wait nearby. He smiles with anticipation: once he’s in the van he’ll borrow a co- worker’s iPhone to talk with his daughter, Katerina, on Skype.
... An intense man with flecks of gray in his thinning black hair, Karachalios said he has lost 20 to 30 pounds since moving to Sweden. His hands are stained with grime. Instead of the suits and ties he once wore, he now dresses in jeans and work boots. His suits remain in Greece.
Lost Job
In Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus is the son of Odysseus, a Greek hero who spent 10 years struggling to return home from the Trojan War. Karachalios was named after a great-uncle who was a favorite of his parents.
Karachalios’s troubles began in early 2010 when the Greek government, which provides health care, forced drugmakers to cut their prices by as much as 27 percent.
... Frugal Living
In July, he found work with a cleaning contractor run by another Greek. Although the hours are long and the work difficult, Karachalios said he is at least treated fairly.
In Greece, Karachalios was paid between 2,500 and 3,000 euros ($3,143-$3,772) a month, after taxes. In Stockholm, he makes 80 krona an hour. Based on a 40-hour work week, that equals about $1,907 a month.
... Sweden prides itself on being a tolerant and progressive nation, an anti-immigration party drew 5.7 percent of the vote in 2010, the most ever, said Klas Borell, a Swedish professor of sociology.
At the schools Karachalios cleans, he has little contact with Swedes. The principal of one school in Uppsala, Andreas Kembler, said that while he doesn’t know the janitors by name, he makes a point to say hello to them in the hall. The students have been learning about the crisis in Greece, and about the implications of unemployment, Kembler said.
When told about Karachalios, Kembler says he is troubled that Greeks are forced from their homes in pursuit of work.
... In Sweden, struggling to make sense of Greece’s decline, Tilemachos Karachalios suggests a conspiracy by Germany and France to economically cripple the country in order to seize its Aegean oil reserves. He’s also bitter about comments made by former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who said in interviews abroad in 2009 that corruption and tax evasion were to blame for Greece’s problems.
“Who, me?” Karachalios said. “I’m not lazy. I didn’t steal from the government. I was honest and they made me like this, to come here.”
... On weekends, he cleans his apartment, does his laundry and sleeps. He is almost always tired and has few people to talk to. He contrasts that to his life in Greece, where he spent weekends chatting with his parents over coffee and taking his daughter to the playground.
Even with his contempt of Greek politicians, Karachalios is proud of his country. The Stockholm subway isn’t as good as Athens’s metro, he says. Swedes aren’t as tidy as Greeks.
I want to die in Greece,” Karachalios said. “I want to leave my bones in Greece.”

cos 67 may be a prophet, part 4

Now, I'm no geneticist, but :

A few years ago i did a story where I
made fun of Richard Dawkins and played
up the planet of the apes, all with the
message that DNA research had not
reached what I would call it's
piece de la resistance.

If we humans are 95% like the common
mouse, then DNA, as we know it, is
not the answer to life. There's got to be more.

Well, here's the proof. As always, it's in the
stuff that everybody threw away as junk.

checkit: from Hang the bankers

Scientists discover “junk” DNA has uses

07 Sep 2012

by Jacque Fresco

For decades more than 98 percent of our genetic code was dismissively labeled “junk” DNA. But a massive new study shows that it actually plays a crucial role – a discovery that could revolutionize science and medicine.

We know that only 1.2 per cent of our genetic code contains specific instructions for how to synthesize proteins that create the cells that make us who we are.

As for the rest? It was assumed to be useless baggage, or at the very least, its function wasn’t obvious.

In 2003 a $120 million project called Encode was launched to find out what, if anything, is happening in the rest of the DNA. It united more than 400 scientists in over 30 labs all around the world.

The results were published in 30 different scientific papers this week, and have blown up our understanding of the gene.

The rest of the DNA may be regulatory elements, or using a simple metaphor, switches.

“Regulatory elements are the things that turn genes on and off,” says Professor Mike Snyder of Stanford University, a principal investigator in Encode “Much of the difference between people is due to the differences in the efficiency of these regulatory elements. There are more variants, we think, in the regulatory elements than in the genes themselves.”

“I don’t think anyone predicted that would be the case,” says Dr. Bradley Bernstein, an Encode researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Encode claims that 80 percent of all DNA seems to have some biological function.

“These parts of the DNA have important implications for the growth and development of embryos and foetuses during pregnancy. These are the kinds of elements that make your tissues and organs grow properly, at the right time and place, and containing the right kinds of cells,” says Anne Ferguson-Smith of Cambridge University.

They also regulate the predisposition towards illnesses like cancer, diabetes and Crohn’s disease.

Tim Hubbard of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge gives an example: “We know that breast cancer is not one disease but there’s multiple types of breast cancer with all sorts of different mechanistic processes going wrong.”

tattoo wearers are not necessarily sane

so they wear them like a wrinkley shirt? so what?

As I said in an old entry, the ones who get a tatt,
and then a second and then do their whole back,
are not cool. They're as demented and anal
as the "normal" people that they make fun of.

Here's a case. This guy's stuck on Miley Cyrus.

He needs to check his head.

the video, from a German show
(can't find My Tattoo Addiction):

Saturday, 24 November 2012

check, please

we're getting out of this all-trusting all-globalising
heads the US wins, tails, you lose, game.

We want our gold back.

Apparently the UK is willing to cover all bank
losses from infinite re-hypothecation, as Brown did
in the Brown's Bottom Show. He covered the banks
when the evil Germans decided to ask for their gold

I wonder why they don't trust those Brit re-hypothecators.

I would. pfffffffft

Just because the UK government lost money, prestige and gold
doesn't mean that the banks learned their lesson. If the re-hypo
laws were not changed, that means the UK wants the banks
to stack up their gambling so that they're too big to fail.

checkit: Zerohedge

It Begins: Ecuador Demands Repatriation Of One Third Of Its Gold Holdings
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/31/2012 17:25 -0400
One week ago, when we reported the news that the Bundesbank had secretly pulled two thirds of its gold from London years ago, we said the following:
... Germany has done nothing wrong! It simply demanded a reclamation of what is rightfully Germany's to demand.
And here is the crux of the issue: in a globalized system, in which every sovereign is increasingly subjugated to the credit-creating power of the globalized "whole", one must leave all thoughts of sovereign independence at the door and embrace the "new world order." After all this is the only way that the globalized system can create the shadow cloud of infinite repo-able liabilities, in which we currently all float light as a binary feather, which permits instantaneous capital flows and monetary fungibility, and which guarantees that there will be no sovereign bond issue failure as long as nobody dares to defect from the system in which all collateral is cross pledged and ultra-rehypothecated... for the greater good. Until the Buba secretly defected that is.
 And this is the whole story. Because by doing what it has every right to do, the German Central Bank implicitly broke the cardinal rule of true modern monetary system (never to be confused with that socialist acronym fad MMT, MMR or some such comparable mumbo-jumbo). And the rule is that a sovereign can never put its own people above the global corporatist-cum-banking oligarchy, which needs to have access to all hard (and otherwise) assets at any given moment, on a moment's notice, as the system's explicit leverage at last check inclusive of the nearly $1 quadrillion in derivatives, is about 20 times greater than global GDP. This also happens to be the reason why the entire world is always at most a few keystrokes away from a complete monetary (and trade) paralysis, as the Lehman aftermath and the Reserve Fund breaking the buck so aptly showed.
 We are confident that little if anything will be made of the Buba's action, because dwelling on it too much may expose just who the first country will be (or  already has been) when the tide finally breaks, and when it will be every sovereign for themselves. Because at that point, which will come eventually, not only Buba, but every other bank, corporation, and individual will scramble to recover their own gold located in some vault in London, New York, or Paris, or at your friendly bank vault down the street, and instead will merely find a recently emptied storage room with humorously written I.O.U. letters in the place of 1 kilo gold bricks.
It appears that the story, which has refused to go away, was not covered sufficiently fast, and precisely the worst case scenario - at least for the "asset-lite" status quo - is slowly but surely starting to materialize. From Bloomberg:
Ecuador’s government wants the nation’s banks to repatriate about one third of their foreign holdings to support national growth, the head of the country’s tax agency said.
 Carlos Carrasco, director of the tax agency known as the SRI, said today that Ecuador’s lenders could repatriate about $1.7 billion and still fulfill obligations to international clients. Carrasco spoke at a congressional hearing in Quito on a government proposal to raise taxes on banks to finance cash subsidies to the South American nation’s poor.
So yesterday: Germany... today: Ecuador... tomorrow: the World?
Because while Ecuador, with its 26.3 tonnes of gold, may be small in the grand scheme of gold things, all it takes is for more and more banks to join the bandwagon and demand delivery in kind from official repositories (i.e., New York and London), and the myth that is the overcollateralization of hard money by central banks will promptly come to an abrupt, bitter and, likely, quite violent end.

we gotta see the penguin

When a pimp says he's got money for your poor school to give
to kids, I think you oughta hold your morals and buy those kids
some books with the pimp's money.
The Greek government is more moral?
I got it! The Troika is moral.
I'm having difficulty with this.

I guess Greeks are more moral than desperate, since they turned
down the Madame of the Hour, who came to save the local kids
from becoming illiterate, drug-addled,  uhm  hookers.

She's the boss

Read 'em:  guardian

Greeks wary of brothel owners bearing gifts after school donation
Parents protest after needy school in port of Patras is forced to return madam's €3,000 cheque
    Helena Smith in Athens
   Friday 9 November 2012 19.42 GMT

Soula Alevridou in one of her brothels. Greek authorities said of her donation: 'What is legal is not necessarily moral'. Photograph: John Kolesidis/Reuters

In a country ravaged by recession, Soula Alevridou stands out, in more ways than one. Where other Greek entrepreneurs have fallen on hard times, her business is booming – so much so that she has been forced to open new premises to meet demand.

With success has come largesse, but in a nation where few can afford to give – or are too busy stashing their ill-gotten gains abroad – her generosity has touched a nerve.

Alevridou, owner of two brothels in the central Greek town of Larissa, is at the centre of a furore after local officials insisted that a primary school return her donation to cover the costs of textbooks and a photocopier.

This is not her first brush with notoriety: she recently bailed out her local football team, and players now proudly – if awkwardly – wear bright pink jerseys advertising Soula's House of History and Villa Erotica, the two brothels that have made her rich.

"I am a Greek woman, and I love my country," said the petite 67-year-old, who has a penchant for stacked shoes and small dogs. "If we don't help our scientists and athletes, where will we be?" she said last month after announcing she would sponsor the cash-strapped team.

It seemed only natural, then, that when a primary school in the western port city of Patras became insolvent – with bankrupt local authorities making clear they were in no position to provide books or even a photocopier for the school – the self-styled philanthropist would come to the rescue again.

Moved by an appeal last week from the school's parents' association, Alevridou immediately wrote a cheque for €3,000 to cover the costs of the photocopier and a small library.

At first the school was grateful. "She was the only one who tried to help," the town's deputy mayor, Theohari Massaras told the Guardian.

"Schools, now, are totally under-funded. Local municipalities are in charge of their finances and there's no money, not even to buy aspirin for the kids," he said.

"Parents who have badly affected by all the austerity measures are desperate. Many of them can't afford to buy textbooks for their children."

The gesture would have been a footnote in the economic crisis bedevilling the debt-stricken country had news of it not got out. As soon as local media ran with the story, Alevridou found herself at the centre of a furious row over the propriety of a brothel madam stepping into a gap created by fiscal recklessness and state profligacy.

Although prostitution is legal in Greece – where in 2006 its ability to spur economic activity prompted the government to revise its GDP calculations on the basis of tax earnings from the profession – it is frowned upon. Authorities have been quick to denounce Alevridou for using philanthropy to promote her establishments.

"Donations reveal the depths of sensitivity of our society … and as such schools are allowed to accept them especially when they come through parents' associations. But we must not forget that primary school teaches new members of our society, it dictates their value system and stance towards life," said Giorgos Panayiotopoulos, the provincial director of education in western Greece.

"Exploitation of a school, and by extension its children, by different businesses is unacceptable and should be denounced in the strongest possible way, especially when the principles of the business in question are not in keeping with the principles of education," he said, demanding the donation be returned to the brothel owner. "What is legal is not necessarily moral. We must protect our children."

Alevridou admits that her brothels – run out of pastel coloured bungalows in Larissa – have fared better than most, but vehemently rejects accusations that her latest act of goodwill is aimed at self-promotion. "She is very upset and very disappointed and doesn't want to talk," said an employee speaking on her behalf. "She has told me to tell everyone she was only trying to help. This whole thing has been distorted."

At the Patras primary school, teachers and parents are fuming. With the donation returned to its sender, the school remains without books or a photocopier to get children through the term. "It would have been much cleverer had the school simply taken the donation and not said who it was from," said Massaras. "This way everyone has been left with nothing. It's tragic."