Ana Tijoux 1977

I got this watching Breaking Bad – SoundHound recognised it and sent the link. I still get excited at these sort of possibilities. Tomorrow I’ll look up the text translation. :)

Posted in General, m.Staff-carboN, Science at December 15th, 2013. 2 Comments.

The greatest show on earth

It dawned on me today that I’ve followed almost the entire medical school education of Ozge through her blog. I read about study strategies, notes, old medical books, and the daily grind. I knew that a lot of study went into medical school, but in reality I didn’t have much of a real-life idea until reading about it on regular basis.


Medicine and science are so advanced, we know not our own ignorance more than ever. This breeds all kinds of dangerous egos, ones fed by access to technologies that we the users feel an extension of our own intelligence. But science is becoming a sort of voodoo practice against which groups rally with pitchforks – all because general lack of understanding. We want technology, medicine and to explore the universe, but as a whole put up roadblocks for those able to deliver it.

Margaret Atwood explains in Payback the ill sentiments towards the grain-mill owner and his family; the mill being one of the first large scale business service industries that could rob without you knowing it, for who could tell exactly how much flower was due from one bag of grain? When those delivering the solutions don’t struggle financially, or worse, are well-to-do, the suspicions and rumours start a life of their own.


So here is the simple game plan:

1. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. [And motives of others.] (Christopher Hitchens)
2. Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. (Horace Mann)

Ozge tells in one of her early posts how when she was growing up, she pretended that reading books gave her superpowers – a wonderfully simple rendering of a big idea.

A nod to the canon.


Posted in General, Science at October 15th, 2013. No Comments.

Always talk to strangers

In Beyond Fear I wrote: “Many children are taught never to talk to strangers, an extreme precaution with minimal security benefit.”

In talks, I’m even more direct. I think “don’t talk to strangers” is just about the worst possible advice you can give a child. Most people are friendly and helpful, and if a child is in distress, asking the help of a stranger is probably the best possible thing he can do.

Full article by Bruce Schneier.

I found the above after searching for “always talk to strangers.” The author is an IT security expert and I thought it interesting that he’s interested in security on a social scale. Now that I think about it, it’s not all that strange since most IT scale security breaches involve a good deal of social engineering and understanding human nature.

Posted in General, Life, Science at September 16th, 2013. No Comments.

Send in the clowns

I commented an article knowing full well that in most likelihood it will not get published. The knowledge that someone must read it as part of the rejection process was enough to get my keyboard and soapbox out. My second paragraph reuses phrases which the author quotes of others with pious delight.

A rather verbose column – Mr. Bergman is obviously deeply passionate about the subject. Unfortunately from first to last paragraph the content is tripe.

As the article unfolds one is left with a deepening feeling that the only science experience Mr. Bergman can possibly have is in being a test subject in a windowless, damp lab manned by ‘zealots and cranks’ suffering from ‘misplaced confidence.’

Science fraud epidemic – Factors driving the increase in science fraud today are many, but include a rejection of Christian moral absolutes.

Epidemic? Christian moral absolutes?

“Send in the Clowns”
“Don’t bother. They’re here.”

Mustang wanted

Watching these videos makes me really glad I’ve a relatively healthy fear of heights, but kudos to him. If there is one thing I envy – beyond the obvious thrill of the view – it’s the solitude he gets up so damn high. (Mobile technology FTW, we live in amazing times.)

Posted in General, L'autre bout du monde, Life, Science at April 10th, 2013. No Comments.

The sound of laughter

Głos Pana Piłsudskiego (Mr. Piłsudski's voice)

Głos Pana Piłsudskiego (Mr. Pilsudski’s voice)

(My quick Polish to English translation follows the Polish text. Or listen to the actual recording.)

Polish“Stoję przed jakąś dziwną trąbą i myślę, że głos mój ma się oddzielić ode mnie i pójść w świat beze mnie, jego właściciela. Zabawne pomysły mają ludzie! Doprawdy, trudno się nie śmiać z tej dziwnej sytuacji, w której nagle głos pana Piłsudskiego się znajdzie. Wyobrażam sobie tę zabawną chwilę, gdy jakiś ananas korbą nakręci, śrubkę naciśnie i jakaś trąba, zamiast mnie, gadać zacznie. Ciekawe! Chciałbym widzieć wtedy zebrane dzieci, do których ta trąba ludzkim głosem gada. A gdy pomyślę, że wśród tych dzieci nagle znaleźć się mogą moje własne, które na pewno pomyślą, że tatuś z nimi gdzieś za trąbą w chowanego się bawi, pusty śmiech mnie bierze, że ten biedny mój głos, ode mnie oddzielony, przestał nagle być moją własnością i należy już, nie wiem do kogo, nie wiem do czego: do trąby czy do jakiegoś akcyjnego towarzystwa. Najzabawniejsza jest jednak myśl, że kiedy mnie już nie będzie, głos pana Piłsudskiego sprzedawany będzie za trzy grosze gdzieś na jarmarkach, prawie na funty, jak pierniki, prawie na łuty, jak jakie cukierki. I gdy przed tą maszynką stoję, wciąż mnie jedna myśl prześladuje, bym mógł uwiecznić nie głos, lecz śmiech.”

[Jeśli macie tłumaczenie na inne języki, chętnie dodam.]

EnglishI stand in front of some unusual trumpet thinking about how my voice is to separate itself from me and go out into the world without me, its owner. People have funny ideas! Truly it is difficult not to laugh at this unusual situation in which the voice of Mr. Pilsudski will suddenly find itself. I imagine this funny moment when some simple man will turn a crank, press a screw and instead of me, a trumpet will start talking. Interesting! I’d like to see the the gathered children, to which the trumpet speaks with a human voice. And when I consider that among these children might be my own, which no doubt will think that daddy is hiding somewhere behind the trumpet playing hide-and-seek, I’m filled with empty laughter that this poor voice of mine, separated from me ceases to be my own and now belongs to I don’t know whom, or what: to the trumpet, or some collective society. But the most intriguing idea is that when I’m at last gone, the voice of Mr. Pilsudski will be sold for three grosze at some market, almost per pound, like honey-cakes; almost by the lot, like candy. And when I stand in front of this device, one thought nags at me – that I may forever preserve not voice, but the sound of laughter.

Posted in L'autre bout du monde, Life, Polskie Posty, Science at April 10th, 2013. No Comments.


‘We judge others by their actions, ourselves by our intentions’ was my conclusion of a late morning train of thought. I knew that I could not be the first to think of it and Google confirmed it. Next stop: Was this really my own idea, or did I hear it somewhere and it simply resurfaced?

You don't get to say I'm bored

“Even the inside of your mind is endless” reminded me of a quote by Erich Maria Remarque, but it’s hiding from me somewhere or I’ve confused sources. Maybe I’ll find it later, but after reading a few quotes from All Quiet on the Western Front I wish for a lazy afternoon and a chance to re-read it. The copy I have is very old and smells of the past, as if Paul Bäumer carried it in his pocket from Mons all the way to the Italian front in Vittorio Veneto.

Posted in Anti-theism, Delicious Literature, General, Life, Science at April 2nd, 2013. No Comments.