September 16, 2005

Scientifc Dark Ages

I am not going to go into a debate with the likes of Ogre on the merits of Darwin's Theory of Evolution. You cannot argue with Creationists as their beliefs are anchored in the ecclesiastical and not in the realms of science and arguing points of faith is a most unsatisfying pastime.

We all know the basics of the Theory of Evolution. The one that most people refer to is the Survival of the Fittest, where a creature that has adapted to its environment more effectively than its competitors therefore resulting in dominance. There are other aspects that Darwin touched on (such as the ability of a creature to adapt to a specific niche and therefore bypass its competitors and that necessity dictates the evolutionary path of a creature - yes Ogre, the sponge did not develop certain characteristics because it never needed to develop them) have been shown to have a basis in truth because observations, fossil evidence and genetic study have shown it to be so.

Theories exist to be proven or disproved. They are a proposition of possibility based on factual evidence available and hypothesis. Much of physics, for example, is a similar thing and as the advancements of people like Hawkins in this area continue theories can continue to be proven, disproved, expanded upon or altered as necessary. Considering the level of sophistication we have achieved now, and then compare that to Darwin's resources available to him at the time of proposing his theories.

As I touched on in Harvey's comments there is a real danger that the US is entering a scientific dark age. Funding has been cut, America is no longer attracting the people to expand on their knowledge and then to share with with the wider world. It is almost as though there is a real fear of science and discovery. I remember not too long ago seeing on the BBC website pictures coming from the various space probles that have gone to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and reading with awe and interest the discoveries that these have made. Has America lost its sense of wonder?

The name of Darwin will forever be written in the history books. I wonder how many Creationists will be remembered in a similar light.

Posted by AlexC at 02:57 PM | Comments (8)

September 14, 2005

Stop Feeding My Child Crap!

You may remember that there was a big things about the quality of the school dinners that are served to our children. There is a follow up here and it is shocking.

Finally someone is getting the point about these dinners and so the powers that be are attempting to do the right thing for once, and then parents f**k it up?!?!?! Why? Are these people really as stupid as they sound???

The answer quite clearly is a resounding YES to this question. These parents feed their children pleb food, convinience crap, fast food, high sugar and salt food that kills their childs palette for later life (and yes, my sister in law, I am referring to you and the poision you feed your 18 month old son) and then because their child, who is used to this utter s**t, refuses to eat the healthy alternative that is put before them and they stop their child eating the dinners! It was shown during the TV series the massive improvement in the children's behaviour, concentration span, attentiveness, etc.

Star eats a lot of healthy things. Lots of fruit whenever she wants, fresh (sometimes raw) vegetables, proper meat (no processed crap), healthy drinks for her. Sure she has the occasional meal of crap, but even she knows it is not good for her ("Why is this food bad for you Taz?" "Because it is all brown and doesn't have different colours.") and she can tell the difference at FIVE YEARS OLD. Dessert is fruit or similar, no ice cream or stuff like that. I am glad of that because sometimes the school menu is appalling with no nutritional values and too many of the same food groups thrown together. We live in the town that taste forgot though, so this is understandable to a degree, but still makes me angry. None of the parents really seem to know better though.

Children go to school to be educated but it seems you cannot educate some of the parents, no matter how hard you try.

Posted by AlexC at 01:52 PM | Comments (2)

September 08, 2005

It's Coming Home, It's Coming Home, Football's...

Only it's not.

You there, American reader with your notion of soccer (it's football you know. Played with the feet? No? I give up!) being a quaint game that the entire rest of the world plays - this may mean nothing to you but read on anyway.

Three Lions! En-ger-land! Ranked 6th (I believe) in the world, most populated of the Home Nations, winner of a World Cup, possesser of £193 million worth of talent in their squad versus Northern Ireland, 116th in the world (with the likes of St Lucia) and population probably equal in total to our 5th largest city! Easy victory on the road to qualifying to the world cup. A staggering repeat of the 4 - 0 win we enjoyed over them. Job done!

Only it wasn't.

We failed to come up with a single goal. The Northern Irish did. They scored one 10 minutes from time (coincidentally the time that I turned off the TV). Admittedly the Northern Irish defence played out of its skin to frustrate us but hats off to them. They had the passion and commitment and belief we so obviously lacked. They are managed by someone who has never stopped trying and instills confidence in his players.

I despair. Football is our national game, we had a good team, we have undoubted talent there in most positions, we can give anyone a good game on our day, but we are managed by a man who bought the Scudetto in Italy with Lazio and that seems unable to adapt his thinking and tactics to a game where, and let's be honest about this, you need to be tactically astute. Sven is not a passionate man (he bonks like one according to the headlines about all his alleged affairs) but seems disinterested in the game as a whole.

I am not going to say we need an englishman as manager because I think that is old fashioned talk and total nonsense. I do think we need someone who believes in what they are doing and has passion and drive and can communicate this to the players. Sven cannot do this. He is flat in his communication with the press and you wonder how he translates this across to the players.

Like many people I want to be proud of my team and see us winning, but I want some passion about it too.

Posted by AlexC at 03:02 PM | Comments (1)

September 06, 2005

Stop Whining About Gas Prices and Try Living Here

Hello occasional reader.

Gas (or petrol - you DO realise that it is a liquid and not a gaseous substance don't you?). Lifeblood of the economy for most nations (unless you live in Papua New Guinea and headhunters have taken to using scooters). F*****g expensive in the US I understand.

How I laugh. To give you some idea about how ripped off the average British motorist is I will give you some figures. We pay road tax (which, despite it's name, is used for everything other than road maintenance) that amounts to around £165 (or just over $320) per year. Then there is the tax on buying the car (highest in Europe). Then there is the servicing, tyres, etc (all taxed). Oh, then there is the price of gas petrol. nearly £1 (or nearly $2) per LITRE. Not gallon, litre

I lived in the US and you have had it so good for so long on things like that but now it is all going pear shaped. It is going pear shaped here too, but we're used to that because we live in a country where we get ripped off with prices all the time. The whole effect of the war in the Middle East is simple - it has destabilised the region to the point where the flow of oil is interrupted by dangerous fanatics who want nothing more than the world to go back to the point where we had just invented the wheel.

Running a military campaign is gas petrol heavy too. You seen how many gallons to the mile your average MBT does? Or how much fuel an aircraft uses in a typical flight? In that kind of situations most government go "Screw the civilian population - they don't matter. After all, the elected us for four years and by then end of that time they will have forgotten about it."

Remember, you live in a democracy and that more or less guarantees you a right to a voice. One voice is tiny, an insignificant thing drowned out in the sea of noise that is politics, but thousands of voices all shouting the same message can be heard. You vote for these people to do the right thing by you - your country is nothing without the people. As Jimmy Stewart once said "Mr President, you do things by the will of the people FOR the people" (and that goes for Blair too).

All I can say is that certain politicians in the US must be thinking "|Thank god - we have something else for people to focus on other than Iraq and gas petrol prices and a faltering economy".


Posted by AlexC at 11:44 AM | Comments (3)