Rock And Roll


Portrait of Galileo Galilei by Justus Susterma...
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“And yet, it moves.”

Legend has it that the Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher Galileo Galilei muttered this phrase after being forced by the Inquisition in 1633, to recant his belief that the Earth moved around the Sun.

In other words, “You can force me to say what you want, but that doesn’t mean that it’s true.”

At this point, for the sake or dramatic narrative, let us contrast Galileo’s stance with the philosophy of perception as  proposed by George Berkeley.

George Berkeley was an Irish philosopher who created and promoted a theory he called “immaterialism” later referred to as “subjective idealism”. His dictum was “Esse est percipi” – “To be is to be perceived”.

If a tree falls in the forest

George, of course, did not have the benefit of the discovery of Quantum Theory, where, in the uncertain, fuzzy world of quantum mechanics, particles do not have fixed properties until they are observed.

Instead, objects that obey quantum rules exist in a “superposition” of all their possible states simultaneously. This would enable him ,as an observer, to perceive something, while at the same time, not perceiving it, choosing what woiuld be the results of his observations (who needs the scientific method?), or going to lie down in a darkened room with a cold compress.

Mildly interesting, then , to speculate what he would have made of Karen.

Karen is, or, more precisely, was one of the larger sailing stones, also known as sliding rocks and moving rocks, which are a geological phenomenon where rocks move in long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention.

They have been recorded and studied in a number of places around Racetrack Playa,Death Valley, where the number and length of travel grooves are notable. The force behind their movement was not observed until recently and has been the subject of on-going research.

Karen -designated as stone J, rather than stone K, for reasons best known to Bob Sharp and Dwight Carey, who researched the stones in 1972, – is a block of dolomite weighing an estimated 320 kg.

Perhaps not surprisingly Karen didn’t move during the monitoring period.

However, Karen disappeared sometime before May 1994, when a fresh bout of scientific monitorings was conducted by Professor John Reid of the University of Massachusetts.

Disappeared, eh?. Well perhaps she learned a trick or two from her Colombian cousins.

The rocks of the highest coastal mountain on earth, Columbia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta have achieved the geological equivalent of Michael Palin’s Around The World In Eighty Days.

In the course of its 170 million year history, the mountain has travelled a total of 2,200 kilometers. In fact, according to a report in the Journal Of South American Earth Sciences, “The mountain travels from Peru to northern Colombia and finally rotates in a clockwise direction .

Rock on, Karen.

Self Congratulation – Never A Bad Thing.

Great news for fans of the Facebook  page! Well, not great, perhaps, but quite good. And maybe not news, either, if I’ve

Is that Warrington? No, it's swans, see.

already told you… Anyway, 2 posts at warrington-online. com have been rated as excellent; Discovering Warrington, and Vampires in Warrington. OK, they each only received 1 vote, but the important thing is that it wasn’t MY vote!. So, here’s the plan. So far we have 2 votes for the posts, and 141 spam comments. If my maths are correct, each of the 21 fans of the page only have to have 7 friends each, and we’ll have more fans than spammers. Yaaay!!

Billy No Mates

So please make a start by recommending this page to your other friend. I mean, who has 7 friends?


Description: The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) is the...
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A while back, in August, a wild-pig wrestling competition in Northern Montana had to be cancelled after only 1 pig could be found within the 10-mile fee range property along the Marias River, where the boars are usually captured for the event.


Well, pigs can be very critical, as George Orwell indicated. Perhaps the wild boars were too fast for their would-be captors 

Maybe they should invite Zhu Jianqiang (Strong-willed Pig) from China should take part in the event.


One evening in October,
When I was about one third sober,
I was taking home a load with manly pride;
My poor feet began to stutter,
So I lay down in the gutter,
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.
Then we sang a song  “Fair weather,
When good fellas get together”,
Till a lady passing by was heard to say,
She says, “You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses”,
As the pig got up and slowly walked away,
Slowly walked away,
Slowly walked away,
As the pig got up and he turned and winked at me
As he slowly walked away.

Music by F W Bowers

Lyrics by Benjamin Hapgood Burt

Recorded by Frank Crumit    1934

Vampires In Warrington

Vampire or Werewolf?

Is this anything worth giving up an afternoon’s drinking for?” muttered Bill Warrington as he staggered blearily along Bridge Street in search of Vampires and Zombies. A story had recently appeared to his editor in a dream, suggesting that vampires, werewolves and similar had been seen indulging in secret beer-drinking rituals in Warrington’s underground caverns. The information, which came from an unusually unreliable source , suggested that a series of cellars connecting  Warrington Station with a secret location was the scene of some strange goings-on. Whether these cellars these cellars were originally constructed as part of storm drain Bunker leading to the Manchester Ship Canal, or were a lost branch of the famous Williamson Tunnels, was of no interest to anyone.

Bill had been tasked to manufacture (investigate , surely? Ed.) a story about the descendants of the tunnel builders,a zombie-like race, known as Irish Navvies, who never saw the light of day. At least when sober.

Lots of important people who know all about Warrington have denied that there were ever any such tunnels. One bloke in a pub drinking a.Vampire’s Kiss said he couldn’t care less. It appeared that there was no story about Zombies.

.But Bill had a source of information on Vampires.

Tracking Deep Bite to his lair in a booth in Porters Ale House was an easy task for a hack with Bill’s drinking habits. He found him sitting there wearing a pair of Grouch Marx spectacles and moustache, drinking a long ale.

But the initial reaction of Warrington’s foremost authority on underground culture was to deny any knowledge about anything.

Worldly-wise Warrington wearily withdrew a wodge and wafted it in front of the dubiously disguised Deep Bite. “Is there something in this hand that would make you remember about vampires?”

Deep Bite:

First thing I have to say about vampires. We do NOT… I repeat NOT… Sparkle in the daylight. Last thing I want to hear is another mortal swooning over Edward Cullen!

Bill W:

It has been reported in the British Psychological Society, that Vampires may be classified as succesful psycopaths who are ruthless, callous, fearless and arrogant.The report says that thanks to their superior self-control and conscientiousness, rather than landing in prison, they end up as company chief executives, university chancellors and Queen’s Council barristers. What do you say to that?

Deep Bite:

There are a lot of famous people who are actually vampires. You can tell who they are, because to make them look ‘normal’ they have to apply a LOT of fake tan. I can not tell you their names however, as we are all sworn to secrecy, however, If I say “Cheap as chips” or “Supermarket Sweep” I think you will know what I mean.

Bill W:

OK, how about this, then? Leading vampire expert Stephen Marche, writing in Esquire magazine on 13th Oct said,“Vampires have overwhelmed pop culture because young straight women want to have sex with gay men.” He went on to say “vampires are normal. They’re not Goth, they’re not scary, they’re not even that weird.”

Deep Bite:
e do not like the emo clique at all. They are annoying beyond compare. We are not as dangerous as people might think however. Yes we do bite, etc… however the Were’s are worse, with all that hair, all over their bodies.

And its not just the Werewolves, there are weres of pretty much every creature out there, including the weresquirrell… You can spot them easily by there huge red beards and their strange habbits when eating nuts. To try to blend in, they often just call themselves ‘furries’.

At this point our reporter made an excuse and left.

As he drifted off into the night, Bill wondered what the physicists Costas Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi would have made of these revelations. After all, they had recently published a report proving that vampires didn’t exist.

They argued that, if vampires had first appeared on 1st January 1600, then the human race would have been eaten up by June 1602. They had gone on to say;

Another philosophical principal related to our argument is the truism given the elaborate title, the anthropic principle. This states that if something is necessary for human existence, then it must be true since we do exist. In the present case, the nonexistence of vampires is necessary for human existence. Apparently, whomever devised the vampire legend had failed his college algebra and philosophy courses.”

Obviously, they never met Deep Bite.

Since this story first came to light, a significant silence has settled on Warrington, which has more than 100K residents. Not a single one has commented on this story. A conspiracy? Or something even less sinister?

Pirates of the Seven Seas

Arctic Ocean seaports.
Image via Wikipedia

Where are the Seven Seas? It varies considerably. In fact, if the Seven Seas was a religious festival, it would be a moveable feast.


The fact is, that, at one time or another, this term has included bodies of water from the Sea of Galilee to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the South China Sea to the Arctic Ocean.


And now it seems there is to be a new addition to the family.

According to a new report in the Barents Observer, the Northeast Passage, now renamed the Northern Sea Route, will become the new shipping route between Europe and Asia, now that it’s proved to be ice-free.

The journey through the Arctic Ocean was a hazardous one when Finnish-Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskioeld made the 15-month journey in 1878-1879.

But this summer, Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland sailed the exact same route in his little trimaran. It took a few weeks instead of 15 months, and he hardly saw any ice. In fact, he hardly saw any living things at all.

The Russian and international shipping industry see the ongoing climate changes and the retreating of the summer ice-cap in the Arctic as a new opportunity.

The great boon, of course, is that, once the ice has gone, you can actually sail to the other side of the world instead of getting stuck inside a Russian version of Hudson Bay. Saves time, saves fuel, saves money.


Also, and this is where the report gets interesting, “the Arctic is free of pirates.”

Well, of course that would be the clincher, except that pirates, just like the good people at BoingBoing, are not famous for their sense of direction.


A band of Algerian web pirates recently raided Belvoir Castle 

Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire


 , the family seat of the 11th Duke of Rutland, mistaking its website for that of  the

Belvoir Fortress, Israel


Crusader fortress of Belvoir in Israel.

Doubtless, the error stems from not realising that, in England, Belvoir is pronounced ‘Beaver’.


 Heaven help them if they ever have to ask Mr. Featherstonehaugh for directions to Cholmondley!





Frankenspud’s Revenge

Modified version of Commons image Category:Ani...
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Genetically modified crops have still not found flavour favour in the UK. This may be due in part to the famous British sentimentalism. We’re OK with Dolly the Sheep, but we look askance at Peter the Potato.
Not so in other parts of Europe.
Amflora is a strain of potato that is authorised for the likes of glue or paper-making, but not human consumption. Principally becauseit tastes more like glue than potato.
Development began in the mid-1980s, at the beginning of the revolution in biotech foods. A Swedish farmers’ cooperative, Lyckeby, one of Europe’s biggest starch producers, was searching for potatoes with high starch content to supply the starches it sells for manufacturing paper, textile finishes, glues and other products.
So, maybe tinkering with genes doesn’t improve the flavour.

In the best traditions of Hammer horror movies, the next step should surely be to strap the hapless potato down to a table and
harness the power of a Transylvanian  thunder storm.
Funnily enough…
Scientists from Obihiro University, in Japan, found that  simply giving spuds an electronic shock makes them more nutritious by generating more antioxidants, which have been shown to combat heart disease and cancer.
They believe the technique, which created enough stress to trick the vegetable into producing antioxidants, could one day turn spuds into one of nature’s ”superfoods”.

”We knew from research done in the past that drought, bruising and other stresses could stimulate the accumulation of beneficial phenolic compounds in fresh produce,” said Dr Kazunori Hironaka, who led the study.
The “torture chamber” for spuds. Scientist say zapping them with electricity makes them healthier. Photo: PA

As if it wasn’t enough to torture the vegetable, they have to play tricks  on it as well.If it turns out that potatoes are sentient beings, then scientists may suddenly find themselves being put on a list.

“Don’t tell him your name, Pike“!

While it may fairly be said that potatoes are not counted amongst the more ihtelligent forms of life, perhaps there is some proof that, if the shapes and sizes to which they grow are any indication, they may have a sense of humour.

The Biggest Potato in the World – Photo: Brad Wakefield/SWNS

This prize potato, grown by Peter Glazebrook, tips the scales at a whopping 8lbs 4oz (3.76kg), smashing the previous world record by 9oz.
The vegetable, Peter’s Kondor variety, was put on show on Friday at the National Gardening Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Thanks to;

2D B4 3D? That Is The Question

Shana Tova 2U from Second Life | שנה טובה מסקנ...
Image by VRider goes Web3D via Flickr

Or, to put it another way, can Second Life activities on-line be seen as a rehearsal for face-to-face relationships in the real world?

Social network Plurk has already given Second Life the status of a country,  and now commercial interests have gone a stage further by providing an interface between 3D reality and 2D fantasy.

The seaside town of  Atami in Japan is offering young men a tourism destination to frolic with their virtual girlfriends.

 The resort is based on a game called “Love Plus,” which encourages players to develop long-term relationships with virtual women . One hotel has gone as far as putting a barcode in its rooms, allowing players to see their “girlfriends” in a more private setting wearing  “summer kimonos”. Hmm.

While it’s obviously a great sexual relief to be able to practise, er,  frolicking  with the fantasy of your choice, it’s a little difficult to actually hold a hologram.

Fear not! There are further developements.

 In the underground sub-culture  known as Moe, in Japan,  men who are  obsessed with pubescent, female, Anime figures form “relationships” with body pillows covered with the girl’s image.

Sam Fox merchandise

Anyone else ever buy a Sam Fox pillow? (Too much information. Ed.)

Moving on.

Pillow girls and their 3D boyfriends

Cultural observers say the rise of 2-D love can be pinned in part on the difficulty many young Japanese of modest means have in geting to grips with modern romance.

More than a quarter of men and women between the ages of 30 and 34 are virgins; 50 percent of men and women in Japan do not have friends of the opposite sex, a government survey reports.

This phenomenon is by no means confined to the Far East.  In Germany, “Generation Porno” is said to be more chaste than debased.

Figures released recently by the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) showed that “overall German teens are less sexually active than they were in 2005”.

We will not speculate on what kind of sexual relationships these teens were having 5 years ago. Will we?

But the problem remains – how do you have  a sexual relationship without just diving in at the deep end, so to speak? And, having made a tentative commitment, what if it doesn’t live up to expectations?

Fortunately, the rubber industry has the answer. Or, at least, it did for a 50-year-old Italian man, who went to adult toy-maker, Diego Bortolin in Treviso, Italy, with his request.

He was apparently so obsessed with his girlfriend that, even after she dumped him – for reasons we can only guess at – he wanted a life-size doll made in her image.

He put together a collection of photos of his ex and commissioned Sgr. Bortolin to make a sex doll.

 “I want it just like her but with bigger boobs”, Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper said. The cost? A mere US$18,000.

There is no truth to the rumour that he was later seen wandering around the resort in Atami taunting Japanese youths by saying ‘”Been there, Done that. Got the pillow.”

What was it people used to call practising sex on your own? Something onan inane, no doubt.

Thanks to:


Resort Attracts Men With Virtual Girlfriends : Discovery News

Tweeting is the New Psychology. Philosophy, Too.

Rooney playing for England
Image via Wikipedia
It is a fact of modern society that those in the public eye have little choice but to have their private lives subjected to public scrutiny.
Hard on the heels of the revelations about Wayne Rooney’s off-pitch activities comes the hard core psychological analysis and advice from some of the Twitterverse’s deepest thinkers.
Natalie Rooney
Natalie Rooney, one of Wayne’s cousins, used her Twitter account within hours of the news surfacing, tweeting:
“Just bag him & bin him. You deserve a million times better. Not someone who does this to you and treats you like dirt while he’s out sleeping with dirt. Xx”
This advice seems to be wholeheartedly endorsed by the British Psychological Society.
Accor4ding to research by  Xiuping Li and colleagues of the National University of Singapore,
“If something’s troubling you, write it down, put it in an envelope and seal it. Doing so will help bring you psychological closure.
Sealing a disturbing news story in an envelope reduced the negative emotional impact of the story and reduced participants’ memory of it.”
This advice is being published in Sealing the Emotions Genie: The Effects of Physical Enclosure on Psychological Closure, with Liyuan Wei and Dilip Soman, Psychological Science, 2010
Natalie has arrived at the same scientific conclusion via her personal philosophy. As her Twitter bio says, Natalie “No longer thinks…just tweets!! Wayne Rooneys Cousin LOL!!”

Here’s To You – Let’s Save The Economy!

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingd...
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According to many accounts, Tony Blair’s memoirs would appear to be the political equivalent of a Stephen King horror story. It probably depends on your point of view, but this reviewer didn’t see anything ghostly in it.

Sadly, the memoirs did not reveal any exhortations that Gordon Brown may have made to the GB Public to back his fiscal policies by smoking and drinking in order to increase revenue.

On  the contrary, figures released today by the British Beer and Pub Association 

showed a 6% decline in 2009, the fourth annual decline in five years.

The association said UK drinkers were now consuming 13% less alcohol than in 2004, below the EU average.

Indeed, the emphasis of New Labour was usually on urging citizens to adopt healthier lifestyles.

Or at least not such sleazy ones.

Interesting, then to contrast this with the tactics of a true left-wing politician.

Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s Finance Minister, has called for increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol in a bid to lift the state’s revenues.

Alexei Kudrin has urged his fellow Russians to crack open the tinnies and light up (Reuters) .

It’s a position that’s sure to spark debate in the country. “If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems,” commented Kudrin. “People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state,” he continued.

Such a partying policy should be applauded. So let’s light up and get lit up.

And to start things going – I’ll provide the glasses;

Yours and Mine

My thanks to

Alexei Kudrin has urgedRussians to drink and smoke more |