Category Archives: Stuff

My argument against guns

Imagine the person of average intelligence – completely average in everything actually, average morals, average income, average relationship, average use of alcohol and other substances.

Then realise that because that is a true average, that logically 50% of the world are less intelligent, less moral, more desperate for money, in worse relationships, drink more alcohol, and take more drugs than the average person.

Then notice that it is unlikely that any one person is actually better than average in every one ¬†of these areas, and they almost certainly won’t be better than average in all of these areas for their whole life.

Testing for suitability to own a gun will never take into account all of these factors, which are recognised to be associated with irrational or anti-social behaviour (even temporarily). Gun ownership increases the chance of suicide and death by shooting for the people around the person – given the list of risk factors, this shouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising is that many still believe that these things won’t ever happen to them.

Moebius (Jean Giraud) died this week

Moebius was an artist who began drawing a cyberpunk future before punk existed. His ideas illustrated steampunk decades before William Gibson and Bruse Sterling wrote the first authoritative steampunk novel The Difference Engine. In the same way that Gibson’s ideas changed the way that the world relates to technology, Moebius changed the vision of technology and the future. His work influenced Blade Runner, Alien, Tron, and countless other films that are genre masterpieces, and he inspired a generation of comic book writers to try to reach an audience beyond teenagers.

He will be sadly missed, but his influence will live on.

Here is a good tribute and summary of his work, also, here is Neil Gaiman’s tribute.

Wet weather precautions

After all the snow this winter, there is a high chance of flooding. Fear not! The web provides answers for all occasions! If you have been thinking to yourself ‘Hmm, it’s about time I gathered up a load of animals in a big wooden boat’ then here’s how to go about it:

How to build an ark.

Oh, and happy new year!

Funny reviews

There really is some pretty random stuff out there in the internet, even on generally serious websites. You will probably have seen the Three Wolves Moon T-shirt reviews on Amazon. You may have seen the reviews for uranium ore on Amazon too (best title for a review ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to buy this from Libyans in the parking lot anymore’). Another slightly obscure one is for the Bic Crystal medium point pen (known to the rest of the world as a completely normal biro), the chief point of the humour there being why would anyone buy a biro online? Even on the less mainstream sites you still get some lovely little flashes of humour. I found this review of a Samsung PS42C450 television – now, for a 42 inch HD TV you’d think not showing full-HD resolution would be the biggest downside, but apparently it’s not. In the pros and cons section of the review, the number one ‘con’ of the TV is ‘doesn’t dust itself’.

Maybe I’m a grammar geek sometimes, but I love the way unordered lists can create something funny.

This news just in: apparently men can kiss eachother

In the UK, we’ve had an advert for ‘New York Deli-style’ mayonnaise. The idea of the advert is that the mother, who is making sandwiches, has been transformed into a male New York deli owner by using the product. Get ready for the shock – s/he kisses goodbye to her/his husband! On TV!

Beware. This advert may signal the beginning of the apocalypse.

I’ve got no problem with this whatsoever, but it’s rather funny reading the comments of people who do… Or perhaps it’s a bit tragic? Or maybe people on the internet all have their react-o-meters instantly set to eleven. My favourite response? It’s tricky, I’m torn between two:

The first time I witness this advert I shall be complaining loudly to the appropriate authorities, and will certainly not be buying the product.

That wins points for deciding in advance of seeing the advert to ‘complain loudly’ afterwards. It’s good that they’re keeping an open mind until they’ve seen it.

Second up we have a wonderful bit of hyperbole:

This is what the word boycott was invented for!

Err… No, I don’t think getting in a flap about a mayonnaise advert was what the word was intended for. I also like another comment that describes the leader of the Christian Anglican Church, Rowan Williams as a “liberal druid”. Priceless.

For UK readers, you’ve probably already guessed that these delights come to us courtesy of the Daily Mail. (In fairness, there are a fair number of sensible people on there too, who can’t see what the fuss is about.)