February 23, 2010

Yesterday - hot dogs. Today - movies. Tomorrow - the world!

Yesterday, it was hot dogs.  Today, it's movies.

I don't go out of my way to find this kind of nonsense, I swear.  Somehow, it just keeps fucking finding me!

Film characters disappear into thin air, travel through time, and know how to fly. They're all scientific impossibilities, but since they take place on the silver screen, we suspend our disbelief and go along for the ride.

But one scientist has had enough and is calling on filmmakers to temper their creativity by obeying the rules of science.

At a recent meeting of American scientists, physicist Professor Sidney Perkowitz suggested a new rule: every film should be allowed just one major suspension of belief for the sake of the story.

In other words, films shouldn't repeatedly violate scientific laws. And they definitely should avoid internal inconsistencies - breaking scientific rules established in earlier scenes.

"If it's scene after scene, it becomes greater than I can stand," says Prof Perkowitz. "I understand the dramatic impulse behind it. The natural tendency is to hype things up."

Others in the scientific community agree.

In order to emphasise a sense of "impending doom", filmmakers often ignore realities like time, says Dr David Kirby, a lecturer in science communications at University of Manchester. After all, if the asteroid in Armageddon was spotted years before it threatened to hit Earth, the story would lack tension.

Okay, so it's just some jackass physicist who apparently has no concept of fun, but still, people, please.  The article goes on to mention the three "worst" movies for science - among them, one of my all-time favorite bad movies, The Core.  Frankly, if you think the American people are so fucking uneducated that they think the vast majority of a flick like The Core could actually fucking happen, then the issue isn't with science.

It's with the education system.

And if you can't put aside your disbelief long enough to enjoy a movie, then you really need to score some hookers and blow and have a night out on the town.  Maybe while we're at it, we should ban such literature as Azimov's Foundation Series - after all, it's obviously scientifically impossible to predict the fucking future.  Or Burroughs' Martian Tales - really, folks, active life on Mars? teleportation? atmosphere on Mars?  And, fuck, while we're at it, World War Z might convince the poor stupid American public that the zombie apocalypse is coming right now.  (Okay, strike World War Z.  We all know teh zombies are coming.)

Lighten the fuck up and enjoy a bad damn movie.

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February 22, 2010

Nanny state it up for us, FDA. Please.

Oh, for fuck's sake, can't we even fucking enjoy hot dogs any more?  In case you've had your head up your ass for fuck knows how long, giving your toddler a hot dog that hasn't been cut into tiny pieces may pose a choking hazard.  As such, it is imperative that the government step in and tell us that we should redesign the "shape" of hot dogs so that kids don't choke on them, or at least affix grapes, hot dogs, peanuts, and who knows what else with warning labels.

Seriously.

"Any food that has a cylindrical or round shape poses a risk," he pointed out. Smith said that hot dogs were high on the list of foods that could be redesigned -- perhaps the shape, although he said it would be up to the manufacturers to figure out the specifics.

Hard candies, on the other hand, could be designed so they're flat rather than round, said Smith, who is also director of the Center for Injury Research & Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The AAP policy statement appears in the March issue of Pediatrics and is the first such guidance on the subject from that group.

[...]

The policy statement called for the government to establish a "mandatory system . . . to label foods with appropriate warnings according to their choking risk, to conduct detailed surveillance and investigate food-related choking incidents, and to warn the public about emerging food-related choking hazards."

Manufacturers' responsibility would be to affix "choking hazard" labels to high-risk products and to consider shapes, sizes and textures when designing products.

"I think there should be a commitment from the entire industry to label not only hot dogs but all high-risk foods with some type of informational label that allows consumers to make informed decisions," Smith said, adding that he thought companies would figure out that "safety sells."

My daughter likes hot dogs.  Without any government intervention, my husband and I had the completely unoriginal thought to cut them into small pieces that are easy for her to chew and swallow.  It's a fucking miracle that she's still alive, isn't it?

Posted by: Ember at 07:13 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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February 17, 2010

Can "nanny state" be taken too literally?

Okay, look, I get annoyed by an unruly kid as much as the next guy.  Even my kid.  Actually, come to think of it, especially my kid.  However, if I move in next to a daycare, or an elementary school, I better expect that kids are going to be kids and are therefore going to be noisy while they learn and play.  Apparently, that was not the case in Germany:

In Berlin alone, hundreds of complaints are made each year about noise levels in kindergartens and children's playgrounds.

Some day-care facilities have even been forced to close after local residents have gone to court in search of a quiet life.

Now Berlin's local government, the senate, has passed a law giving children the right to be noisy, the first law of its kind in Germany.

Axel Strohbusch, from Berlin's Department of Noise Protection, said it was "the first time we have it written in law that we have to consider the rights of children to shout and make noise while they are growing up and this must be considered by all the neighbours".

Oh, Nanny State, how do I love thee.  Let me count the ways.

Posted by: Ember at 08:04 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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February 05, 2010

Have I Ever Mentioned That I Hate Building Codes?

I bet this guy REALLY does.

A farmer who built a castle hidden behind a stack of straw bales has lost a High Court bid to save it from being demolished.


So this guy builds a castle in secret without permits.  Then, the government finds out about it and because he didn't have the permits they demolish it?  Fucking bullshit.  At MOST, they should be able to inspect it and see if it meets code and, if not, issue a fine or something.  If that was me I'd be on the roof with a rifle when they came to tear it down. 

Wait, I guess not in England. 

Fucking building codes.  I can get behind them for businesses because they are de facto semi-public locations and its nice to be confident that a restaurant's roof isn't going to collapse on your head.  But in private homes, they should butt the fuck out of any permits that can't DIRECTLY effect your neighbors' safety*.  You know, fire hazards and such.  But if I want to build a neat little castle tower in my back yard they can shove their permits up their fucking asses with hot sauce. 

I mean, in Milwaukee you need a rather expensive permit to build a FUCKING SHED.  Explain to me one good fucking reason they should have a say about a shed.  One.

Yeah, this shit pisses me off since we've been renovating our house non-stop since we bought it and apparently the stupid fucking government of Milwaukee has a say in almost anything we do.  Statist bastards.  I think we should pass a law that requires elected officials to get a permit from a citizen every time they want to take a shit.  $10.00.  I'm reasonable.

* - On the other hand, I am completely in favor of neighborhood organizations (willfully entered) that can set limits on what you can do with your property.  That's not police state shit, that's voluntary contract stuff.  That's fine.

Posted by: Moron Pundit at 11:52 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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February 04, 2010

DMV service at the doctor's office

Government control of health care will ensure adequate medical coverage for us all.  If by adequate, you mean "can't get access to an essential medication for months".  There's something to be said for a private insurance company that can be sued into oblivion if you have coverage but aren't allowed to use your benefits - it seems to make customer service pay just a little more attention to little details like whether you have prescription drug coverage.

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February 01, 2010

Correlation Does Not Imply Causation

Which, of course, shocks the cocks off nanny-state law makers:

Laws banning cellphone use while driving apparently haven’t reduced crashes, according to a study released on Friday that compared the number of total crashes before the ban with the number after. The study found virtually no difference in the numbers, a finding that had the researchers scratching their heads.

Might as well be scratching your asses, tardos because your world view disallows you from understanding why this is the case.

Simply put, the people that, when texting, were more likely to get into accidents are exactly the same people that are more likely to get into accidents while NOT texting.  Sure, texting while driving is probably dangerous but the people that drive inattentively will tend to text more dangerously than people who, all things being equal, would be less likely to get into an accident anyway.

So, your stats don't show a decrease because those same sub-standard drivers found some other way to fuck up no matter how many baby gates you put between them and their own stupidity.  Similarly, no matter how many weapons you make illegal or foods you ban, fucking fat people will still kill each other.

But, dillweeds, of course you can't understand that.because it is imperative that the risk of death and failure in general society be somehow revised to zero.  No matter how much evidence exists pointing out that natural selection gets its fucking cut, you insist on tilting at the windmill of perfect safety at the expense of general freedom.

So, you know... get fucked.  Die in a fire.

Posted by: Moron Pundit at 03:59 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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