Thursday, 26 September 2013

GM corn used for hearing aids

This is from the Puns-for-business department.

The problem of deafness is rife in our country
of 75 decibel car stereos and Mp3 headphones
turned up to 11.

Pretty soon the most common word in
the world will be the equivalent of "eh?"
"what did you say? I can't hear ya"

Along comes the pariah company Monsanto with
the solution. They let corn be so much more than
the diabetes bomb of Hi fructose corn syrup. It
can also be used as a hearing device.

The ear of corn:

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Revionist history of Olympic gods -Seoul 1988

The 100 metre race, particularly in the Olympics,
is the great prize in track and field, and the winner
is an instant god and rich man.
The lives of big track stars have been documented
since ancient Olympia. However, now, the
100 metres has, in particular, a bad reputation
because of the belief that runners will do anything,
including drugs to win that prize. It's like human
New drugs come along to boost
performance, and so they're the first to line up.
and it takes years for any drug to be
tested chemically.

This is why the IOC, or the anti-doping agency
have the biggest collection of old piss since
your favourite pub started cleaning the toilets.

I would hate to think that Ussain Bolt is guilty
by association. He has been a genuine
character and a star whom everyone likes,
despite the lederhosen.

But back in the Cold War days of 1988, the
drug war was a well-hidden secret; hidden
from public view.Some coaches new the score.
The IOC had also developed tests for steroids
and had regulations about a lot of chemicals.
It just didn't enforce them all evenly.

I personally am finding the old story
"I took a cold medication" as a bit of a farce
because everybody knows they go for that
excuse. Indeed, those medications may
be covering up even heavier chemicals,
or blood doping.

The following story claims, convincingly,
that those med stories don't hold water, but
the IOC accepted them in 1988, changing

The order was:
1 Ben Johnson (Canada)
2 Carl Lewis  (US)
3 Linford Christie (UK)
4 Calvin Smith (US)

Who knew that the fourth guy would be
the eventual "winner" , by default, and unrecognised.
Even the story below shows him little
kindness. They talk about his clean "record time"
but they don't say what that 100-m time was.
Maybe one day he'll get respect. Go Calvin!
It just shows you how famous the winners are.
Everybody is still saying "who dat? Calvin who?"

the story below also has implications for Jamaican
runners, and the latest big names in 100 m running
who were caught.

Checkit: Reuters

Athletics - Smith true winner of 'dirtiest race' in history
If anti-doping regulations had been strictly enforced, Calvin Smith, a gifted American sprinter with a distinctive upright style, would have left the 1988 Seoul Games as the Olympic 100 metres champion and world-record holder.
Eurosport - If anti-doping regulations had been strictly enforced, American Calvin Smith (fourth left) would have left the Seoul Games as 100m champion.
On the day that changed the face of the Olympics and his sport forever, Smith finished fourth behind Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and Linford Christie. Today he is the only man among the first five finishers in Seoul untouched by a drugs scandal.
"I should have been the gold medallist," Smith has said of a race that has been variously described as the dirtiest and most corrupt in history.
"Throughout the last five or 10 years of my career, I knew I was being denied the chance to show that I was the best clean runner," he told journalists. "I knew I was competing against athletes who were on drugs."
Canadian Johnson was infamously hustled out of Seoul after testing positive for the steroid stanozolol following his victory in a world-record 9.79 seconds.
Lewis, who clocked 9.92 seconds, was promoted to the gold medal ahead of Britain's Christie who then took the silver in front of Smith. Lewis's time was eventually recognised as the official world record when Johnson's mark of 9.83 seconds, set at the 1987 Rome world championships, was also erased.
 Johnson's time in Rome was an astonishing tenth of a second faster than Smith's then world record of 9.93 seconds set at altitude in 1983. Smith won consecutive world 200 metres titles but never a global 100 gold.
 In the popular mythology of the time Lewis, a glorious sprinter and long jumper who won four gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, was the clean-cut hero and Johnson a scowling villain.
 It was an image Lewis was keen to foster.
 "In the old Westerns they had the guy in the white hat and the black hat," Lewis said years later. "I felt like the clean guy going out and trying to win, I was the guy in the white hat, trying to beat this evil guy."
 Not everybody warmed to Lewis and his incessant self-promotion coupled with a holier-than-thou attitude to drugs offenders. The sceptics felt vindicated when it was revealed in 2003 that Lewis had failed three drugs tests for stimulants during the 1988 Olympic trials.
 Under the rules of the time he should have been banned from the Games but the results were covered up by the US Olympic Committee after it accepted his plea that he had innocently taken a herbal supplement.
 Christie failed a test for the stimulant pseudoephedrine after the final but was cleared on a split decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical commission when he argued that he had taken it inadvertently in ginseng tea.
 If Lewis had been banned from the Games and Christie disqualified, Smith would have been next in line for the gold medal and his world record would have stood once Johnson's times were scrubbed from the books.
 The noise and furore at Seoul airport when Lewis and Johnson arrived for the Olympics resembled the frenzy associated with a world heavyweight prize fight featuring Muhammad Ali.
 At the opening media conferences, Lewis was as articulate as always. Johnson, whose natural shyness was exacerbated by a stutter and an accent showing traces of both his native Jamaica and his adopted homeland, said little.
 Johnson's coach, the intense and ambitious Charlie Francis, was both fluent and relaxed while continuing to conceal an explosive back story which shocked the world when he revealed all to a Canadian government inquiry in the following year.
 During the 1976 Montreal Games, Francis realised drugs were a vital ingredient in the East German success story and, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, formerly secret documents showed he was right.
 Francis also knew that drugs, which allowed athletes to train harder and longer, were only one element in a sophisticated programme but at the elite level, as he explained to Johnson, a one percent difference in performance meant a one-metre advantage in the 100 metres.
 "Steroids could not replace talent, or training, or a well-planned competitive programme," Francis said. "They could not transform a plodder into a champion. But they had become an essential ingredient within a complex recipe."
 In Seoul there were those who thought a bigger cheat than Johnson had gone unscathed.
 Florence Griffith-Joyner, who died 10 years after the Games at the age of 38, had been a glamorous and successful sprinter in the years leading up to Seoul but had always finished among the minor medals.
 In 1988, her physique noticeably altered and her voice deepened dramatically, both signs of possible steroid abuse. "She sounds like Louis Armstrong," exclaimed one journalist at her news conference in Seoul.
 Of more enduring significance were the times she set in that unreal year. No woman, even 2000 Sydney Olympics triple champion Marion Jones who eventually confessed to years of systematic doping, has even come close to Griffith-Joyner's times of 10.49 and 21.34 seconds for the 100 and 200 metres respectively.
 Griffith-Joyner announced her retirement in 1989, the year mandatory random drugs test were introduced. Eleven women's world records in Olympic events remain unchanged since the 1980s.
 Since Seoul, athletics, in general, and the sprints, in particular, have been battered by drugs scandals and the central sport of the Olympic Games has suffered increasingly in credibility as a result.
 At the 2004 Athens Games, Justin Gatlin won the 100-200 double for the United States after serving a one-year ban following a positive test for amphetamines. The sentence had been halved when the world governing body accepted he had taken a prescribed medicine for attention deficit disorder.
 Two years later he again tested positive, this time for excessive levels of the male sex hormone testosterone, and was banned for eight years, later reduced to four.
 Gatlin worked with Trevor Graham, the coach who initiated a drugs scandal equivalent to the Johnson furore when he sent a syringe containing an undetectable steroid called THG to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
 A test was quickly devised for the drug manufactured by the BALCO laboratory in California and a number of prominent athletes in track and field and baseball were implicated, including Britain's European 100 metres champion Dwain Chambers.
 Jones, who won three gold medals in Sydney after announcing she wanted to go one better than Lewis and Jesse Owens by winning five titles, was the biggest victim of the BALCO scandal.
 After years of denial she finally confessed she had been on a drugs regime similar to Johnson and was imprisoned for lying to federal investigators. Other sprinters banned as a result of the BALCO investigations were her former partner Tim Montgomery, who was the first man to run faster than Johnson's Seoul mark, and double world women's sprint champion Kelli White.
 To its credit, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has consistently uncovered drugs cheats over the 25 years since Seoul. It has also pointed out that other prominent Olympic sports, notably weightlifting and cycling, have been bedevilled by doping.
 However, the positive tests keep coming and this year has been a bad one for the world of track and field.
 Former 100 metres world-record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica and former world champion Tyson Gay from the United States both missed last month's Moscow world championships after positive drugs tests which were revealed on the same day.
 Jamaica, the Caribbean island which currently dominates world sprinting, was struck by another doping scandal when twice Olympic 200 metres gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown was suspended by her national federation after a positive test for a banned diuretic....

Sunday, 22 September 2013

this musht be shum great movie mishtake

I just watched part of a show called
Great Movie Mistakes IV. That means
it's the fourth one, folks!

I'm amazed that even one was produced. This
show picks through movies and finds discontinuities
anachronisms and stupid prop mistakes.

I've got several problems with this show:
Firstly, it takes an eagle eye just to catch the
problem, even with the help of the host.
That means only complete anoraks would
be sitting with binoculars trying to catch
Spielberg flubbing. I'll bet he's trembling.

Secondly, that the people who put the show on
felt this was important enough for a show, makes
me question the sanity of British tv nabobs.

Thirdly, it's a toss-up as what looks stupider,
the movie that's lampooned, or the lampooners
trying to lampoon.

Fourthly, I would not want to meet a person
who thinks that this sort of show is a worthy
passtime, let alone someone who enjoys the
hobby of catching movie mistakes.

Fifthly, a great movie mistake would be, like,
hiring Ben Affleck to play Batman.
Michael Keaton should have been ample
precedent for not hiring that type of actor.

The show Great Movie Mistakes does not show
any Great mistakes like that one.
There was a Yahoo piece, recently,
that I'll look for, that was
about casting mistakes. I think one was Liz
Taylor as Cleopatra. Apparently she was too
suburban America to be the sublime Egyptian
empress. She did however have a cold-bitch
Sixthly, if indeed Brits like this show, it sure
proves a lot about the neuroses they're famous
for. Perhaps they're just getting their geek on.
Perhaps they're taking the piss outta their own
neuroses. They can't help themselves so why
not send themselves up, as they say.

an example, with suitable nerd alert:

Sunday, 15 September 2013

He's more concerned about shoe throwers

This story is about how journalists are trying to imply
that their messages are listened to by politicians.
Sometimes,the media think that their bright ideas
mean that they know how to run a country.

So, journalists are ignored. Talk show hosts are the
ones that politicians go to for attention. The conversation
stays within bounds of polite chit chat.

So, Mark Carney is unassailable. He doesn't have to listen to anybody.
City AM have to try harder to recruit sane staff.

checkit: City am
Mark Carney should learn from the failure of the Soviet shoe industry
by John Butler
July 1, 2013, 2:39am
GROWING up in the West in the 1980s, new Bank of England governor Mark Carney was almost certainly inundated with stories about how the Soviet Union was not only an odious regime, but how even the possibly well-intentioned aspects of Soviet central planning inevitably resulted in sub-optimal economic outcomes.
A classic example was shoes. Absent a pricing mechanism to match supply and demand, there was invariably either a glut or shortage. And even when there was a glut, there were plenty of summer shoes, but a shortage of winter boots. Central planners just couldn’t get it right. By contrast, the largely capitalist West, responding to real price signals in real markets, did a pretty good job at producing, in sufficient quantities, a range of shoes that customers wanted, that fit, that they could afford.
But you can’t produce shoes without machines and materials. Machines and other productive assets comprise the capital stock producing all things that we consume. To provide a higher standard of living in future, the capital stock must grow and adapt. And as it ages and depreciates, maintenance is required just to keep it working efficiently. But if central planners can’t even get the day-to-day shoe situation straight, how are they going to maintain, grow and adapt an economy’s entire capital stock to provide for the future needs of consumers?
They can’t. Only real price signals in real markets can do that, although in the case of the capital stock, the prices that matter are asset prices. Stocks, bonds, interest rates, and all associated derivatives thereof that trade in our capital markets are the critical signals that determine, today, what the capital stock is becoming next week, next year, or next decade. If these signals are distorted, how can we be confident that the capital stock we are growing for the future can produce what is even remotely desired?...

the voice of corruption- BBC

It's always been in the folk summation of
Any Questions, that the BBC is sold out
and reflects the bosses' wishes. Now
people are starting to prove it.

We pay for a tv licence so that the
BBC can be the voice of freedom, but
no, it's the voice of the oligarchs, both
inside and outside of the government.

Checkit: treasure islands blog

Jun 04 2013
Is the BBC afraid of the City of London?
Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts
I’ve chosen this headline because I wanted to follow on from an earlier blog I wrote entitled Is the BBC afraid of tax havens? That was a very good question then, and it remains a very good question now. Amid all the global noise now about tax havens, the BBC remains a timid follower of the story, at best, raising serious questions of the extent to which the BBC is fulfilling its mandate to be, in the words of its Director General, ‘unflinching in holding power to account.’
Today’s blog looks at research from Dr. Mike Berry, lecturer at the University of Cardiff. It focuses on one small but influential part of the BBC – its flagship Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. I think it’s fair to say that my colleagues and I have always been under the impression – hard to prove but still a strong impression — that the Today Programme is substantially ‘captured’ by the City of London, the UK’s Financial Services industry. (And for what ‘capture’ means here, see this.)
The article is called The Today programme and the banking crisis, and it meticulously researches six weeks’ of coverage by the Today Programme, during the crucial period of the British bank rescues in October 2008. The article’s abstract should surprise nobody who knows the programme:
“Results indicated that City sources dominated coverage, particularly during the two- week period around the British bank rescue plan. The consequence of this was that listeners were offered a prescribed range of debate on the UK government’s bank rescue plan and possible reforms to the financial sector. The research raises key questions regarding impartiality and balance in public service broadcasting.”
Berry’s paper provides some context, exploring other analyses that have been done of the media response to particular episodes: Forte’s hostile takeover of Granada; the FT’s coverage of the Asian financial crisis, the recent Greek crisis, and more. He cites earlier research into the run-up to Ireland’s country’s banking crisis, for example:
“They [journalists] viewed them [bankers and property developers] as friends and allies and essentially became advocates for them. Their approach was justified editorially because many developers and bankers limited access to such an extent that it became seen to be better to write soft stories about them than to lose access.”…

This coffee is sh*t, literally

No, I don't mean Starbucks, but doesn't the
cardboard cup add such a warm chemical
whiff to your cuppa Joe? And that glue!

No, this is about the latest in biological,
and organic sustainable harvesting methods.
This is where we actually make it somewhat
feasible to keep the jungles green, just
so that we can harvest this crap coffee.

There once was a rodent that would
eat coffee beans because it was hungry.
Unfortunately, this rodent could not digest
them. The locals, who relied on coffee
beans for their income, hated these
rodents until:
they looked their shit square in the eye;
that of the rodents.
They boiled it up and walla!
Bitchin bean bags. This sh*t was hot.

Now, the originator wants this poop & scoop
coffee to stop because the animals are suffering.
Geee, isn't that capitalism for ya.  Deadly business.
see cocaine (not coca), cigarettes (not ceremonies),
refined sugar, refined flour, Mary Jane

Take something from nature and then you kill
the golden goose, or cage it and feed it
down a tube, but I digress.
Fois, do you want?
 This from the taste lab:

So, technically, it's not shit coffee, but shat coffee.
It had been shat before becoming a coffee.

It's also sh*t because of the way it's harming nature. You know,
nature, that thing you see on infomercials asking you to save it.
You get letters from your wood, if you sponsor it.

checkit:  GUARDIAN
Civet coffee: why it's time to cut the crap
When I introduced civet coffee to the UK it was a quirky novelty. Now it's overpriced, industrialised, cruel – and frequently inauthentic. That's really hard to stomach
Civet eating coffee beans
I am today launching a campaign (pdf) aimed at ending an industry that I created. That trade is in kopi luwak, AKA civet coffee – otherwise known as "wolf", "cat", and "crap" coffee, and the most expensive coffee in the world.
Over the past 20 years Kopi Luwak has become the ultimate bling coffee, a celebrity in its own right, stocked by every aspiring speciality retailer worldwide, and appearing on CNN News, Oprah, and The Bucket List (a Hollywood film with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, no less).

To my regret, I was the one who started it all ...

I first read a description of kopi luwak buried in a short paragraph in a 1981 copy of National Geographic Magazine. Ten years later, in 1991, as coffee director of Taylors of Harrogate, I was the first person to import kopi luwak into the west – a single kilogramme. I didn't sell it through the company, but thought, perhaps naively, that its quirky, faintly off-putting origins from a wild animal roaming Indonesian coffee estates might be of interest to the local newspaper and radio in Yorkshire where the company was based. It proved to be so much bigger than that – national news, TV and radio fell over themselves to cover it. Kopi luwak put Taylors – and me – on the map.

Genuine Indonesian kopi luwak is collected from the droppings of a wild cat-like animal called the luwak (the common palm civet, Paraxorus Hermaphroditus), a shy, solitary nocturnal forest animal that freely prowls nearby coffee plantations at night in the harvest season, eating the choicest ripe coffee cherries. It can't digest the stones – or coffee beans – of the cherry, so craps them out along with the rest of its droppings. The beans are collected by farm workers. Cleaned and washed, they have acquired a unique and highly prized taste from their passage through the luwak's digestive tract and the anal scent glands they use for marking their territory. Being wild, hard to collect, variable in age and quality, and very rare, kopi luwak is not a commercially viable crop, but just an interesting coffee curiosity. That's why I bought some.

But nowadays, it is practically impossible to find genuine wild kopi luwak – the only way to guarantee that would be to actually follow a luwak around all night yourself, one experienced coffee trader told me. Today, kopi luwak mainly comes from caged wild luwaks, often kept in appalling conditions. A Japanese scientist recently claimed to have invented a way of telling whether kopi luwak is fake or genuine. He'd have been better off inventing a way of telling whether the beans come from wild or caged animals.
Indonesians Farm Civet Cats To Produce World's Most Valuable Coffee
A luwak is kept in a cage to be shown to tourists at a coffee plantation in Bali, Indonesia. .....


Trapped and caged in cramped conditions. Force-fed, gnawing at its legs and passing blood in its urine. These are the conditions that the civet, a small cat-like mammal in Indonesia, are kept in to produce the world's most expensive coffee. [1]
At £60 a cup, civet coffee is made from collecting the droppings of the wild civet who eat and partially digest the coffee beans. But an increase in demand has led to battery-cage conditions with animals kept in tiny spaces to mass produce the coffee for the global market.

Tony Wild is a coffee expert who introduced the coffee to the UK ten years ago. Now he is calling on retailers to stop stocking the product, shocked by what the industry has become. So he's started a petition on calling on one stockist, Harrods, to take a lead and stop selling this cruel coffee. Click here to join him.

Harrods' Indonesian supplier say they only use droppings from wild civets but experts say it is impossible for any civet coffee to be guaranteed as "ethical" [2]. Tony believes that if Harrods stop selling the coffee it will put pressure on other stockists and suppliers to end what he calls a "brutal and horrific industry".

Tony is devastated that these animals are suffering just so that people can enjoy a cup of expensive coffee. He believes that if enough people join forces and tell Harrods to set an example, they will be forced to listen.

Join his campaign and tell Harrods to "cut the crap" and stop selling civet coffee.
Thank you,
Kajal and the team