So... that was fun...

October 22, 2012

Google+ profile

I do not post much on this blog anymore, but if you want to can follow my Google+ profile :)


June 22, 2011

The GOP cares!


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March 28, 2011


Now this is what being open-minded really is.

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January 06, 2011

Data Visualisation

 Good presentation: 80% how it looks, 15% how it sounds and 5% what it says. This is why Data Visualisation is important! Read the profile on Hans Rosling (first link on the page) for more info about the man.


October 13, 2010


"Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity."

- Unknown


September 12, 2010

Is food less nutritious than it used to be?

Looks like the cheaper we want to produce the food we eat, the crappier the quality gets. Sure we can produce meat, chicken, veggies twice as fast as 50 years ago but what is the point if we not only get less out of it but it is also worse for our health (more fat, less protein, more omega-6 compared to omega-3, less vitamins and minerals...).
I suspect the reason behind all this is once again the fact that we go for the easy solution to produce food so we can maximize the profit. Consumers have to be informed to be able to make a proper choice and to stir the production towards the healthy alternative in some way. But don't hold your breath! More people are concerned about eating cheap than eating right!
Read the whole article here.

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September 09, 2010

Faith School Menace

Just watched a documentary by Richard Dawkins called "Faith School Menace?" (more info about it here).
It so nicely embodies my point of view, that believing in superstition and fiction can not bring humanity anywhere near anything good for itself.
Be spiritual all you want, but base your decisions and opinions on facts!

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January 28, 2010

More on Running

"Shoes may have changed how we run", article from the BBC here.

Landing on your heel is clearly not a good idea... :)


January 11, 2010


Some languages have two words for “we”, inclusive (me and others and you) and exclusive (me and others but no you). In English there are three: the regular we meaning you and I, as in “we had dinner together”; the royal we meaning I, as in “we are not amused”; and the marital we meaning you, as in “we need to take out the garbage.”

- The Economist Readers' letters


January 10, 2010

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Plastic in the Ocean: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, twice the size of Texas, plus how it pollutes life on Earth and our own organisms. The article is here.

If you wanna dig deeper, there is good stuff to read here, here and here.

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Sustainable Energy

How did a Cambridge physics professor come to write this year's must-read book about tackling our future energy needs, here or here.
Someone finally gathers the numbers so we can talk about the problem in a fact-based fashion!

You can read the book online, download the PDF for free or buy a hard copy on Amazon.

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December 24, 2009

Coal and China FTW

China is clearly not too worried, or not too concerned, about limiting the the effects of climate change...
And anyway, as the saying goes, in the long run we are all dead!

More info in this article:
"Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful "deal" so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen."
The rest is here.

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December 12, 2009

Constant growth in finite system conundrum

Why is it not a good idea to have x% growth a year on anything in a finite system? If you do not know watch this! :)

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December 10, 2009


"Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people."

- Doris Egan


November 10, 2009

Key oil figures overestimated

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The whole article from The Guardian is here.

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September 27, 2009

Cheap carbon = high emissions

Global carbon-dioxide emissions have grown by 25% since Kyoto was adopted in 1997 (source is here). Now can anyone tell me how we are going to achieve even 1% reduction by 2020 compared to our 1990 levels with the policies we have now? As long as the environmental cost is not factored into the price of carbon based energy sources, why would anyone care about doing the right thing? Let's have a carbon tax on ANYTHING pumping CO2 (and other climate change gases) into the atmosphere so that the final cost of using them is really reflected in the price the consumers pay. Then and only then will the free market really work its magic. And it would be so easy to regulate how much climate change gases would be emitted, just adjust the tax according to how far we are from the emission targets. The market would do the rest. The other beauty of the carbon tax would also be that it could be phased in incrementally and would send a powerful and proper signal to consumers and industries from which they could adapt knowing it is here to stay.
It is either this or ,as Cypher said, "It means fasten your seat belt Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye."

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September 09, 2009

Population control debate

This is from an online debate hosted by The Economist:
"During the past few years, the size of the world’s population has become a matter of public debate in a way not seen since the 1970s. The total number of people, 6.7 billion now, is forecast to surpass 9 billion by 2050. Many observers fear that an environment degraded by climate change will not be able to support so many. Half the British population, according to one opinion poll, think people should not have more than two children. Yet at the same time governments in Japan, Germany and Russia have been trying to reverse those countries’ falling populations. When is a growing population a blessing and when is it a curse? Is there a best size for the population of the world, or of any particular country? Should governments introduce population-control policies, whether voluntary or mandatory? And how important to demographic matters is climate change?"

You can follow how the debate went here.

Interesting to see that the people in favor (aka agreeing that we are too many) actually increases during the debate, to a total of 80% when it closed.

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August 24, 2009

Running barefoot

I was directed by a friend to a very interesting article about running shoes.
The main point is that we actually do not need any fancy shoes when running, and that we are actually more at risk of developing injuries when using them.
The theory behind this is that we run the wrong way (i.e. against Nature's design) and all these extras cushions simply prevent the foot and the leg to sense the terrain and react accordingly.
In response to these facts, Nike actually came up with the Nike Free line.

The article is here.
Make sure you read it all the way to the end, this is where you have all the good studies!

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August 03, 2009

Oil supplies are running out fast

Very pessimistic article from The Independent about oil supplies, here.

Here are the first 3 paragraphs:
"The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.
Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.
In an interview with The Independent, Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated."

If we do not manage to use less energy within the next 10 to 15 years and produce more energy from renewables, the shit will hit the fan big time....

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July 23, 2009

Going gently or at least when you want

Some days ago I read an article (here) reminding me how little freedom we have in some areas.
Here is the first paragraph:
"ON JULY 10th two people died whose lives, though long, were shortened by design and with others’ help. Sir Edward Downes, a British conductor, and his wife Joan had travelled to Switzerland, where the law on assisted suicide is the world’s most liberal. He was 85, partly deaf and almost completely blind; she was 74 and had terminal cancer. Holding hands and watched by their son and daughter, they drank a lethal dose of barbiturates and died."

And to know that I will not be able to end my life when ever I wish feels like a tremendous lack of freedom to me! Of course as long as you have freedom of movement noting can stop you from going to a shop to by barbiturates or even jumping from a high building of a cliff.

But that we live in a society where, even though you have all your head and you clearly decide to end your life, you are not allowed to do so (except in Switzerland and few other places) is incredible.
Is it the in heritage of our judeo-christian culture?

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July 08, 2009

Special report on ageing populations

In the issue dated from June 27th 2009, The Economist has a special report on ageing populations. It is an eye-opener in many regards and I highly recommend it !
Huge population changes are ahead of us and will influence our lives more than the current economic crisis...
You will finds the links to all the articles in the top part of the left column.

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John Pilger at Democracy Now

Good interview from Democracy Now.

"Award-winning investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker, John Pilger, joins us for a wide-ranging conversation on on Honduras, Iran, Gaza, the media, health care, and Obama’s wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pilger has has written close to a dozen books and made over 50 documentaries on a range of subjects including struggles around the world for a more just and peaceful society and against Western military and economic intervention."
The page with the audio and video is here.

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July 02, 2009

Wildlife crisis

Thanks to all humans, the wildlife is in grave danger...

But let's carry on polluting, reproducing and overloading this poor planet by any mean we see fit!
Fuck wildlife, fuck Nature and he, even fuck ourselves...

Being smart when not seeing the big picture is of no use.

"Life on Earth is under serious threat, despite the commitment by world leaders to reverse the trend, according to a detailed analysis of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™."
The whole article is here.

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June 29, 2009

JFK and the Unspeakable

The author meticulously examines the evidence and draws conclusions which ring
with unassailable truth:
1. The CIA coordinated and implemented he assassination of President Kennedy, an act of treason which destroyed democracy in the U.S.
2. The Warren Commission was created to propagate lies to conceal the truth from the American people.
3. There has been a continued cover-up by successive administrations and their stooges in the mass media.
4. The murder of JFK is directly related to the current domination of the American people by powerful oppressors within a shadow government that will continue to insist that only sustained war can keep the country safe from its enemies, never admitting that they themselves are the supreme evil.

You can find a good review here.
And the Amazon page is here.

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June 28, 2009

Canadian health care myths

Health care reform is a heated debate in the US of A. and it should be based on facts, instead of emotions and hearsay.
Too many people are afraid that their precious model will be changed to a socialist (meaning bad) model like the Canadian one.
This article, here, from the Denver Post presents the facts as they are, and it is not very flattering for the current American model.

The Myths:
  • Taxes in Canada are extremely high, mostly because of national health care.
  • Canada's health care system is a cumbersome bureaucracy.
  • The Canadian system is significantly more expensive than that of the U.S.
  • Canada's government decides who gets health care and when they get it.
  • There are long waits for care, which compromise access to care.
  • Canadians are paying out of pocket to come to the U.S. for medical care.
  • Canada is a socialized health care system in which the government runs hospitals and where doctors work for the government.
  • There aren't enough doctors in Canada.

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May 19, 2009

Monetary Birth Pains

How does the monetary system work and what is the best model? The Economist had a nice piece in this week's edition.
The full article is here.


May 10, 2009

911 - Demolition job?

Scientists discover both residues and unignited fragments of nano-engineered thermitic pyrotechnics in debris from the twin towers. Articles here and here.

One has to admit that the collapse of the WTC towers looks suspiciously similar to a control demolition job... Let's hope that with time we will get to the bottom of this!


April 23, 2009

Bad apples

So thanks to the memo release, we know that the whole "we have only a few bad apples" from Rumsfeld is pure bullsh*t! Not that we did not know it from before...
The article from CNN is here.

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March 08, 2009

Waste handling

Last week's Economist had a very informative report of waste and how it is handled in different countries but also on a world base (since countries ship their waste to others). Here are the articles:
My conclusion of the whole thing is that this culture of infinite growth we have is madness and will only make us more miserable in the long run.
Indeed, we live in a finite space, with finite amount of energy and water available. As if this was not enough, we are not able (yet?) to do many basic things in an environmental friendly way (we use and release so much chemicals in nature!). So we are basically destroying the planet we depend on for our survival.
So I say:
  1. Always aiming for more humans is wrong (I am not talking about population control but more about a change in mindset)
  2. Zero pollution must be the aim
  3. GDP growth for its own sake is not the answer. What matter is people well being not how much they consume
  4. Water is getting so scarce in places that they have to filter and drink sewage water. Alarm bells anyone?

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The evolutionary role of cookery

The Economist had an article not so long ago about cooking and its role for the evolution of humans, here.
Several interesting to note:
- Pre-agricultural man confined to raw food would have starved.
- Heat physically softens food. That makes it easier to digest, so even though the stuff is no more calorific, the body uses fewer calories dealing with it.
- The more processed food you eat, the more calories you have to store compared to the same intake of calorie with raw food.


Add water

Many places around the world are getting drier and drier. This chart shows how much water is need to produce several beverages. Shocking!
Original article from The Economist, here.

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March 01, 2009

World of Trouble

Interesting report from 60 Minutes, here, about how the banks in the US oversold loans to people who could not afford them, fueling the housing bubble in the process and making the fall even steeper.

"How did the mortgage industry destroy itself and set off an economic collapse that ruined the finances of millions of Americans? Executives tend to hold themselves blameless, saying that no one could have seen the disaster coming."

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February 22, 2009

Darwin's theory

For Darwin's 200th birthday, The Economist had a good article about what his theory was and what others thought/think of it. It is well worth the read, here.
The religious implications for the time were quite earth shaking.

A little extract:
"The idea of evolution by natural selection is not hard to grasp. It just requires connecting some uncontentious propositions. These are that organisms vary from one another, even within a species, and that new variation can arise from time to time; that some of this variation is passed from parent to offspring; and that more individuals are born than can exist in the available space (or be sustained by the available resources). The consequence is what Darwin described in his book as a “struggle for existence”. The weakest are eliminated in this struggle. The fit survive. The survivors pass on their traits to their offspring. Over enough time, this differential transmission of characters will lead to the formation of a new species.
But what was missing was the mechanism.
Malthus argued that natural populations grow at an exponential rate, whereas the increase in food supply is linear. In other words, more individuals are born than can possibly survive, [hence] winners and losers."

Darwin also stated that living creatures (humans included) have 2 purposes: survive and reproduce, the latter being of higher priority.


January 21, 2009

Unaware of own biases

NOBODY likes to admit an uncomfortable truth about himself, especially when charged issues such as race, sex, age and even supersized waistlines come into play. That makes the task of the behavioural scientist a difficult one. Not only may participants in a study be lying to those running a test, but they may also, fundamentally, be lying to themselves.

Find out more in this article, here.


January 19, 2009


"Remember that if a bear attacks your campsite you do not have to be faster than the bear. You only have to be faster than the slowest camper."

- Barry Silverthorne