Tuesday, 8 April 2014

FSM: Cosmos is cool but...

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has been enjoying Neil deGrasse Tyson's new show, the remake of Carl Sagan's Cosmos:
I must say that the new Cosmos - A Space Time Odessy is a wonderful piece of televisual art. It clearly sets out the formation of the universe and the basics of the physics behind it.
There are two blind spots in it that I'm happy to fill-in here.
The origin of the Big Bang. Guilty! That was me, I was bored, I had no time for boredom, I had to invent that too.
Abiogenesis: Yeah that was me too, I created trees, and a midget. After that it is a bit of a blur. I woke up next to a beer volcano and a stripper factory.
Frankly, it hurts a little that I don't seem to be getting a mention. I wouldn't want equal time but a mention would be nice. But if there is one idea that I do like it is this gravity thing they keep talking about. It seems like such a huge labour saving device for me.
Some of you have noticed the universal expansion is accelerating, with the universe so spread out now I'm having a little trouble keeping it all together. At this point I so wish I had thought of using gravity when I created the universe, it would have meant that I could spend more time hanging out with my pirate navy, but it didn't seem important because it is such a weak force.
Now that I have mentioned my pirate navy, Please do stop shooting them at sea or arresting them for nonsense charges of "offending religious feeling". Please remember if you're not a Pastafarian Pirate you're in a parody religion. So be nice, please.

See also
  RawStory: Creationists demand equal time for "balance"

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

FSM: "take a breath... It's just a movie"

While critics from major thought traditions are hyperventilating over the atrocity that is Russell Crowe's new movie, The Flying Spaghetti Monster has issued a statement...
I get why people don't love this film, there is so much that is wrong with it. However, might I suggest, that everyone take a deep breath, count to 10, and release. It is just a movie, and as a movie it is an interesting piece of story telling which suffers from just one major flaw, its plot.

Bill Maher has commented on this film too.


Later, the Flying Spaghetti Monster said of Bill's critique “I find Bill's comment curious, because I don't recall any giraffes in it, perhaps there was a random Cosmos style edit in the reel or something.”

Turning back to the movie His Noodliness remarked “It's a grim fairy tale, not to be confused with Grimm Fairy Tales, despite obvious parallels.  I noticed many things, that were jarring about this movie like everyone's wearing pants, which would be so European in the 45 centuries to come.

The movie opens with 13 year old Noah getting a coming of age blessing from his father Lemech with the aid of a magic glowing snake skin. Rather than wearing robes, the pair are setting trends in the middle east with pants. They are interrupted when Dino (the reptilian dog) turns up, with an arrow in his side, Lemech goes to tend to the animal, at this point Tubal-Cain his cousin turns up with the rest of his hunting party. After a little chat Lemech is dead, and Noah is freaked out running away from the rocks he was hiding behind. This event could set a boy up for serious mental health issues in later life.

Next we see Noah (500) with his family. He and Ham are on a rocky hill side, they look for herbs, Ham picks a pretty flower and is gently admonished, by Noah who points out that the flower creates the “seed” that is scattered by the wind to make more flowers. These guys should go ahead and sign up with Greenpeace, and the scene begs the question why aren't Rick Perry the Koch Brother's conservationists? After they are done, Noah returns to camp to rest and he's having trouble sleeping, often a sign of psychological disturbance.

There is no specific mention of the angry old man not in the room in the early stages of the film he is merely referred to as “he” or “our lord”.
Naameh: Did he speak to you?
Noah: I don't know.... I think he's going to flood the world.
These wives have names, now that's novelty for ya. The name was given to various places in the Middle East, so applying this name to a person, may just be the killer app innovation this story needs.

Shortly after Noah decides to go see grandpa Methuselah. Along the way they find a young Ila, an injured girl and the last survivor of an over run settlement.  Noah, his family, and young waif are forced to run as Tubal-Cain and his hoards run them off as pretenders to his claim on the desolated settlement home to curious looking heavily engineered iron geothermal piping. As they run off Noah is KO'ed by rock people. When he awakes, he and his family are in a pit surrounded by rock people who mostly decide to leave them in the pit. But one of the rock people says “Follow me” and leads them to Methuselah for a cup of tea. Be wary of old men who live in caves offering peculiar tasting tea, the DEA may be watching the place.  At this point Noah hallucinates the ark in addition to his usual nightmares.

Clearly, it does not dawn on him that his imagination is running wild, because grandpappy just got him totally baked.

So far there has not been a single tree in site, nor any running water. Before Noah leaves the company of his grand father, the old man gives him a seed from the garden of Eden.

Noah plants the seed, and a day or two later the rock people show up, kind a peeved that Noah got help from one of their own, Noah makes his case as best as he can but they are unmoved until a spring pops up where the seed was planted and flowers, grasses and trees spring up the same we way see in Hanna-Barbera cartoons, or these days Sponge Bob Squarepants.  So impressed were they that the rock people were they decide to help build the Ark.  So the bible had it all wrong, Noah was really just the project manager. Of course Project managers always say they built this or that, so you can see how there is room for confusion.

We also see white pigeons/doves flying towards the constructions site, which begs the question, slugs, snails, turtles and crawling insects, weta. Later a massive flock of assorted birds self organises roosts in the Ark and are then knocked by magic anaesthetic smoke that has no effect on humans. Lets assume such a gas available, the suppressed metabolism of these birds could not be low enough to prevent them from starving over the course of a year without killing them so they would still starve even though they were asleep. Even though some bears hibernate in the wild, they aren't asleep the whole time.

There is a sequence that explains, the history of the rock people. Ancient text describes the as fallen angels encrusted with rock, because the angry old guy not in the room is mad at them for helping humans live better lives through technology. So yeah this angry old guy is an anti-science anti-technology whack-job working for Cthulhu – The Destroyer or is Thule – investigation pending.  Oddly these great aliens so well protected by the burden of the rock are strangely not impervious to iron age weapons and many of them were killed. Despite having an opt-out option available to them.

Ila, who has taken to dating Shem, has trouble coping with foreplay because of the scars from the attempt to kill her as a child have left scars. And she and Shem have been at it for a few years and she appears to be having fertility issues. So concerned is she, that she discusses leaving the family with Naameh. It appears that in her mind her only worth is in child bearing. Later this causes conflict.  Naameh, goes to Methuselah, and asks for help.

Some of the locals, from Tubal-Cain's settlement set a steel bear trap, Just how many of these have ever been found in pre-Sumerian archaeological digs requires some research.

Noah's depressive psychosis deepens, he comes to the conclusion that his family should just die out after the flood. Ham can't take to the plan and sets off to the settlement to find an innocent woman to bring home.

Meanwhile Ila comes across Methuselah is the forest, he claims to be looking for berries, and enlists her help. She find none, but then he notes that she has been a part of the family for so long, that he may as well give her his blessing, he reaches out and touches her belly with his hand (his hand yeah right), and poof – magic happens. On her way back to the boat, she runs into Shem and jumps him like a cow girl – Yeehaw!

Strangely and accidentally, Ham finds a girl his age in a pit of corpses, some of whom were her family. Rather than saying help me get out of here, she threatens Ham with a rock until he shows her that he means no harm with a rag full of bread crumbs. Dating was clearly cheap in this culture, not even a single goat exchanged. There they sit for a while until it starts raining. In the rush to get to the Ark the girl steps in the bear trap. Ham frees her but injured she cannot run, they are over run by Tubal-Cain's hoards, Noah pulls Ham out of the chaos.  Ham is not exactly grateful as Noah leaves the girl behind.

The hoards arrive at the ark and the meat grinder begins, with the rock people slamming the hoards like a scout troupe crushing roaches pouring out of a disturbed nest. The hoards do eventually start to get the better of the rock people, jamming pikes in the gaps. And here is where the opt-out clause kicks in the rock people say “Forgive me” and rip off the incrustation and explode into a light beam flying home and killing a bunch of the panicked hoards at the same time. I note that they could have done this at any time, in a safe location. Perhaps even worked out a plan with the angry old guy not in the room to avoid they mess he held them responsible for creating.

As the last of the rock people emigrate out of this crap-fest, flood waters wash off most of the hoards but Tubal-Cain pokes a hole in the side of the ark and stows himself away. He is later discovered by Ham,

Water spouts pop out of the ground around the ark. And a glimpse of the spherical Earth covered in hurricane weather, runs completely at odds with the flat earth model which was maintained until about 500bce or long after the authoring of the original Cuneiform or revised Hebrew text.  These water spouts, have inspired some to push a hypothesis referred to as the Bukkaki Theory in which the crust of the earth split open and the water under pressure spurted out thus explaining the water on other celestial bodies including the Moon, Mars and Europa. The hypothesis ignores several major flaws, the release of energy from such an event would bake, if not ionise everything in the biosphere, never mind the extra ordinary accuracy of striking these objects with a jet of water from random fissures in rocks.

Ham, despite being a nice young man, out of character decides to help Tubal-Cain in the hope of revenge for the loss of his girl friend. Mental disturbance from grief seems to run in his family.

The family settles in. Screams from the out side penetrate the wooden bulk heads of the ark. And the pinnacle of a mountain has a lot of adults on it getting hosed by big waves, No children are depicted among them, kinda weird this is a horror story right? And the story is supposed to be history say some. Perhaps they forget, or like to forget that the angry old man not in the room is committing mass infanticide at this point. Ham took 5 minutes to find an innocent and even he did not come up empty. This really is kind of like Chris Christie, punishing the innocent, to get back at the few he's mad at. Noah distracts the family from the howling by telling the story of the universe, which is accompanied by an animation sequence that could almost have been ripped from Cosmos, depicting something like big bang cosmology, followed by evolution with special creation tacked on like Eeyor's tale.

Tubal-Cain makes and interesting point to Ham “Your father fills the ark with sheep while children drown” Ham does do a deal with Tubal-Cain, and they plot to ambush Noah on the beast deck.

Ila reveals that she is pregnant and Noah loses his sh*t as his psychosis deepens. He steps out on to the loading ramp yells at the sky, ponders his navel, demands to be let off the hook, before deciding, boy's – meh, girls – gotta kill 'em. Shem's Pretty much has his dad's state of mind nailed saying “Are you mad?” At this point it truly is a miracle that Noah is not a milliner by trade.

Ham pops up and announces that the beasts are rousing and eating each other, a ruse so Tubal-Cain can beat the snot out of him. So the Death Match begins. Ham is kind of stunned by the violence of the brawling, Shem turns up and is KO'ed by Tubal-Cain who is determined to finish Noah himself. While this brawl is happen the ark runs around, convenient, because it stops Tubal-Cain finishing off Shem. Imagine Tubal-Cain's surprise when Ham overcomes his shock, takes his moment and puts the knife Tubal-Cain gave him under Tubal-Cain's arm pit. While dying Tubal-Cain notes that Ham has become a man and gives back Ham's grand fathers snake skin. There seems to be a nonsense here, real men, especially those in my pirate navy avoid killing, especially homicide, and yet every male character in this film has demonstrated a clear capacity and willingness to commit every kind of killing, and that includes the angry old man not in the room.


While the brawl goes on, Ila's twin girls arrive, Noah's wife tries to hide that they are girls, Noah not dissuaded and dagger in hand, finds Ila on top of the ark holding both infants crying. She pleads to let her calm them first, and sings an old song Noah sang to her the first night they met. This seems to give him time to cool off, nurturing instincts kick in and as he holds the dagger above the new born twins and finally relents saying he cannot do it. I would suggest that this moment makes the Noah character more moral/ethical than the angry old guy not in the room. And Scene.

Next we see the ark on top of a green hill, since all the vegetation had been under water for a year, where did this grass come from? The ark didn't carry seed.

It would not be a story about Noah without the drunk ass naked bit. But so much is missing from it, The text says Ham notices that dad is passed out drunk, and when Noah sobers up rather than being grateful that he got him help, he banishes Ham, Possibly for similar reasoning that Fred Phelps Sr. might have employed. 'cause nothing says gay like happening onto your drunk ass naked patriarch and calling for help. In this film Ham leaves of his own accord, without any prospect of finding a mate, he may be opting to just off himself, given the relationship with Noah is so completely in the toilet. But even if not, Noah's potential for instability and the treachery thing would unlikely to be resolved any time soon. To make matters worse, good counsellors were really going to be hard to find.

We finish with a blessing of the twins, and Noah says “.... be fruitful and multiply.” The camera pans up to the 100% high cloud covered sky, with a magic concentric rainbow, of precisely the kind excluded by the physics of refraction.

Reaction to the film has been mixed, Christians are hating it because it's not “historically accurate” enough for them. Muslims are hating it because it depicts Noah, who they hold as a prophet. And it might loose a bunch of money for the studio so the Jews may hate it too. And rationalist atheists, hate it because it is completely unrealistic in terms, of logistics and physics, its obscene globacidal violence, and a cast of characters that would be considered a bag of ass holes in any other dramatic production.

But remember it is just a movie. Humanity survived the final seasons of Dallas, it'll survive this, It may be two hours out of your life that you'll never get back, but it's not like anyone lied to the UN to start an unjustified war. Enjoy the popcorn. Or better yet get the Smurfs movie out on DVD.

See also
   Lunar Bukkake theory

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Japanese Whalers must stop suggests FSM

Today the Flying Spaghetti Monster has announced a new suggestion that "Perhaps Japan's whaling fleet would do better by refraining from ramming vessels engaged in non-violent direct action because it just gives piracy a bad name, especially while the fleet has exceeded its permits for 'scientific whaling'." Commenting on today's International court of just ruling his noodliness said "I think it is a good move, it'll be great to see the whalers take action and stay at home. I did take quite a bit of care to make sure whales evolved, it would nice to not have them driven into extinction by an industry that is it self headed for extinction."

The FSM also noted an incident in the southern ocean. "The most disturbing thing I spotted recently was when a 8000t Nisshin Maru and a 5000t fuelling vessel put literally put a squeeze on the 500t Bob Barker, that's not what real piracy is all about, it's a black mark on the tradition of the pirate traders of colonial America who dedicated themselves to supplying colonists with affordable tea and coffee and breaking the evil empire of the East India Company."



At least the Somalis have a genuine desperation to support their case for the most part, but Japan's whaling fleet is producing a product that no one really wants, and even ends up being dumped, after storage in industrial deep freeze storage. Piracy as busy work is just plain silly, and when associated with destructive and pointless activity, barking mad. If i Didn't know better, I could swear they were working for Cthulhu the destroyer.

Many might be wondering how the industry survives with no market, Americans call it corporate socialism. Members of Japan's political system who have perhaps too much in common with Strom Thurman, Louie Gohmert, Mitch McConnell, who would supported by people who have much in common with Fox New's audience all have fond memories whale meat on their plates which was introduced to ensure an adequate level of protein in the Japanese diet after World War II when Japan was a mess, and would have mass had starvation with out it. Nowadays, there are better options with less mercury. And then there is the cultural thing, a few coastal villages did take advantage of whale strandings, and harvest whale meat that way but whale hunting was never really a thing until American advisers showed them how. Most other villages exalted whales in a religious way, so for them and those of their tradition whaling is a sacrilege.

The MV Bob Barker, is currently docked in Port Of Wellington, and today was the last day in which they were having free public tours. Well worth the 30-40 mins. The ship itself has a very interesting history, she may not look it but she is 60years old. The working life of most vessels is 30years. They don't make the quality high carbon steel she's made from any more. She is basically a floating fuel tank, this gives her the capacity to stay in antarctic waters for the full season.  And it does help that the whaling fleet is as welcome as a fart in a elevator car, the first task is finding the fleet, a task made easier when other vessels like tourist ships are willing to give away the fleets location. And this has happened on a number of occasions.

In February, a harpoon ship the Yushim Maru #3 pulled a sharp turn across the Bob Barkers bow causing a collision, while the whalers and their friends like to claim the Bob Barker rammed them, you can see by the video, that the Bob Barker does not turn with respect to the waves until it is struck. Ignore the wake, and keep in mind that since the camera is mounted on the Yushin Maru #3 and can create the false impression that the world including near by vessels are turning when the Yushin Maru #3 is turning, so the trick(clever thing - not doing climate gate again) is to see how the Bob Barker is moving in relation to the ocean. The evidence here is the Bob Barker is moving in a straight line, and the whalers are moving into straight lying.

See also
  3News: International Court of Justice - Japanese Whaling not scientific & must stop.
  Scoop: Yushin Maru No 3 hits Bob Barker
  Telegraph: Yushin Maru #3 cuts off Bob Barker[VIDEO]

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Thousands say no TPPA

Today thousands of New Zealanders marched demanding an end to the secrecy surrounding the TPPA negotiations. Including and estimated 500 at parliament. People from all walks of life and across the political spectrum. While next to nothing of any substance has been officially announced to the public, negotiators themselves have said there will be little in it for New Zealand.
What is known about the TPPA comes from leaked documents available at wikileaks.
Three things stick out as big concerns for New Zealanders.
Pharmac negotiates for cheap medications, this is likely to be seriously curtailed, either preemptively by Pharmac soft balling to avoid suit under the investor-state disputes chapter, or by suits claiming lost profits by pharmaceutical corporations seeking compensation from the tax payer.
SOPA the "Stop Online Piracy Act" tabled in the US house of Representatives, was so awfully unworkable it would break the internet, and so clearly hideous that not only were there street protests, even Google and Wikipedia protested it with 24hour black outs.
The ability of government to legislate for the public good will be subordinated to good of multinational corporations in member countries. Philip-Morris in Hong Kong could sue the tax payer for lost profits if we implement plain packaging as Australia did. There is already a pending case against Australia for their plain packaging law.

The thing that bothers most critics of this "treaty" is the unusual secrecy with which it is being negotiated. Even US Senators have publicly complained they can only read the text if they specify which bits they wont to read, and sign documents swearing they wont tell anybody what they have read, and while they are reading it they can take the documents out of the room.

Given what we do know about the history of "free trade" agreements and their economic effects, and more specifically the leaked chapters of this agreement it hard to understand why any country with an advanced economy would willingly sign up to this pig in a polk.  If this thing is so good, why the secrecy? Any one would be forgiven for thinking there was some chance that if we understood what was in it, we might hate it more than the oh so suspicious secrecy which it has surrounded it.

For working people in advanced economies like New Zealand and USA, the biggest threat comes in the form of investment mobility, what this means, investment capital will be more freely movable to low wage economies, meaning that higher wage economies will manufacturing workers toss into the street to scrape for the jobs in the wonderful world of minimum wage service industries which are pushing for no minimum wage, while offering zero hour contracts and precarious employment. This is get that step too far, after 30 years of neoliberal economics, which has only offered a plentiful supply of empty promises, while delivering the wealth created by working people to the top 10% of income earners. Just how perverse this situation has become, was recently well summerized Bill Maher (See here at Raw Story).

See also
  3News
  One News

Friday, 21 March 2014

Drop Dead Fred and Thank you for your cooperation.

Finally at age 84, Fred Walden Phelps Sr, Founder of the Westboro Baptist Church is dead.
Mourned by few outside his cult, with the possible exceptions close family with stockholm syndrome his death sees the end of a twisted tale of abuse, bigotry and public ridicule.
In the manner of the pot calling the kettle black, Jerry Falwell in 2007 described Fred as a "first class kook", coming from a man who once claimed that a hurricane, I forget which one, happened because his god was pissed at Americas gay community.
Associated Press

Somewhere along the way he lost plot, he was once a civil right lawyer in the fight for black civil rights but things went strange when he sued a court clerk after they failed to get court paper to him on time. After that the breaks  on his "road to hell" journey.
It's thought his family excommunicated him for the crime of dying before Armageddon, form which they infer he is indeed Hell bound.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A deeper look

This has got to be big news, perhaps our first glimpse behind the cosmic firewall which obscures our view to about 13.5 billion light years. Prior to that point photons were scattered by dissociated protons and electrons, rendering the universe effectively opaque and once the universe cooled enough, the electromagnetic force was able to overcome the energy levels and hold electrons and protons together as hydrogen, allowing the universe to become transparent.
This makes it impossible to see the earliest moments of the universe directly, but this week it appear the first crack in the cosmic veil of secrecy has  appeared. It comes in the form of polarity shifts that are observable as altered polarity in the CMB radiation. Theoretical work suggested that gravity wave from the earliest moments of the universe could affect the polarity of light that form the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation.
Observers in Antarctica, have seen twists in the CMB that seem to approximate some predictions of this earlier theoretical work.
This is also the first time we have seen evidence of the gravity waves that were predicted by Einstein. It may also be a big step toward a grand unified field theory for explaining the for fundamental forces of nature, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force, and the wascally wabbit of them all, gravity.

See also
   Washington Post
   Forbes
   Chicago Tribune
   New Yorker
   New Scientist

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Not A sad farewell...

No, it's not a video capture from Walking Dead
Nate Phelps son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, reports that his father is gravely ill and is near death. This news leaves him conflicted, while sorry for all the hurt and anguish Fred has put himself, the rest of his family, and many others through, it comes with a sense of relief the Fred will no longer be able to offer the world the venom of Mosaic Law. Fred is still his father, and that means some sadness for a lost chance to reconcile.
Fred's life is in a sense a monument to poison of religious belief. Fred's adopted positions made himself and his family not only the pariahs of a nation but a laughing stock of a world that understands compassion reason, science and respect for the grieving. Even GW was forced to act to reign in the antics of this "first class nut" (Jerry Falwell 2007). His beliefs also led to abuse within his family.
Some 20 members of the family escaped in 2004, perhaps this great family rift can be put down to Fred's dogmatic understanding of the ancient and savage text.
So with the respect Fred has due and on behalf of the many families he and his family picketed, I bid him farewell as apropos. So long sucker - you won't be missed.

A brain on religion is a truly hideous thing. What good might he have done had he not been infected by this terrible infection of the mind.

See also
  The Daily Kos
  patheos