Neural Apathy

Hopeful enthusiasm tainted with sorrow & fustration

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Read a story in todays metro. Yes it is the newspaper equivalent to trailer trash, but it is costed at exactly what it's worth. The story is about a civil servent at a gym who sees a story about IDF jets killing a civilian. He makes a the outburst *****ing *ews. Now this is a reaction to the news story, and yet 2 other patrons of the gym decide to sue for racial harrasment.

Now what would happen if he had said ****ing palestinians and was sued? Cue the same paper and the daily mail wailing about the right to protest.

The metro is trash, but what annoys me is when it becomes manipulated trash.

Talk Hard
After that time of year for me I'm back and resolving to update this more often. Too many times I have the anger and the voice swilling in my head, yet can't commit the words pounding through my consciousness.

I watched 'Pump Up The Volume' tonight, after being lucky enough to watch it the first time in my early teens. I was hooked on the righteous anger and the need to vent, well before listening to Bruce, Pryor, Hicks (stuff you Leary, you're a pretender)

I still feel the films magic now. Why doesn't any one else recognise the impact it had on my generation? It started me on my way to see the world differently, looking past what I was supposed to see to the carbuncle beneath

I'm past those dark days and yet I do still the teenage emptiness. I am the suit and yet I will never fit in. Seeing Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis both topless was hot too :)

I will ramble here and I may not be the eloquent and concise, but what I put here is me. How far I go before I'm stopped is up to fate.

Angry America and the NHS
It seems some of the more venomous US republicans are getting angry about being thrown into the political wilderness. I love the reports of demonstrations and shouting within the normally quiet town hall meetings. It is a sign that a portion of US society, losing an unusually high amount of influence.

What prompted me to write was the recent entry on Sarah Palins facebook page, calling the UK NHS a 'death panel'. Now, I'm not the sharpest tool in the box, but even a sperm can see the flaws in that argument.

So this is one right back at ya, Palin. If you were a single mother on minium wage america, how would you get the healthcare to support your Downs kid? Whoops! thats right, no medicare for you. In fact, you'd be running to the nearest abortion clininc and begging them for RU whatever.

The NHS has it's failings, we all know about that, but what it allows is everyone to have healthcare and the very rich to buy their own top ups.

Teddybear hearts
I took my Eldest Daughter to 'build-a-bear' to go through the wallet bruising effort of getting a teddy bear. She had been whinig for ages and I had now decided to cave in. The sales assistant tried to give the bear patter, and although I could see he was simply going through the motions it was spellbinding for her. The most intriguing part for me was the placing of the bears heart before it was sown together "Rub on your tummy so he never goes hungry...Rub on your head so he is clever". Her response being 'but she's called lilly'.

Trite, contrived, and simple, the process had the feel of a religious or at least deeply symbolic nature. Why?, do we humans have an built in need for this sort of process?

Looking back at school
I went to an open day at my eldest Daughters new infant school. It is the same school I went to over quarter of a century ago. Fragments of vague memories came back to me as I walked through the building and sat in the now small, but then huge hall. I like the school, I like the flint building and the village school feeling it brings.

The new head is a new style educationalist. Now, I'm as progressive as the next man, as long as the next man isn't Gene Hunt, but I feel uneasy about classifying 'Writing' as 'Mark Making' and creating 'value trees' with children. Even more worrying is I feel the head is more concerned of being a head than teaching or, even being with children. Now the same could be said when I was there, but if my daughters have to suffer this until secondary, the damage could be longer lasting.

There is another school, but I wouldn't consider that as it is the feeder for all the estates.

The school was meant to close down, but has won a reprieve by enlarging to become a primary as well. This is at the cost of the playground and fields; portakabins to sit alongside flint buildings and children being bussed to another playing field. The long term plan being to move the school to a new building on the new estate being built to the North of the town.

London at Sunset
I went to London today to attend the Sussex lecture, held at the Royal Society. I had signed up to this assuming it would be at Falmer, but only twigged the location when it was too late. Anyway I liked the idea of visiting London again.

Wearing a suit after such a long time felt awkward, but walking through central London came flowing back to me. It was sunny and the walk from Waterloo to the Mall was pleasant. Previously my time was alway marred by the time I spent underground. I never fully realised how compact the city is.

The mix of what I'm brazenly going to generalise as Business Types, Students, Tourists, and Fashionistas was a pleasant sight, and I wish I had time to spend at a cafe, and someone to share it with. Must remember to have another Grand day out soon.

The lecture was entertaining enough. A simple introduction to precision cosmology. Although the definition of precision differs from the laymans term when you're considering the entire universe. I used to sneer at these sort of open talks as being too simplistic, however I now see the need to get people passionate about the subject.

How toddlers think...scanning the past

Interesting article from slasdot. The last example given explains why the parental sarcastic comment seems to have a bigger effect than the reasoned one.
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Diabetes and White Flour
I've always wondered why this should be so prevalent, and wasn't satisfied with the conventional answer of "too much sugar" After all you can reduce sugar intake and still get it.

High Fructose corn syrup is evil, but I didn't realise that white flour was a cause too. Flour and Fructose are everywhere and give a better fit allowing the disease to be for widespread.


Firefox Addons
One of the many reasons for me sticking with firefox, well until Chrome is officially built for linux, is the sheer number of useful addons available. These are user built tools plugging into firefox.

My current ones are

ubuntu firefox modifications
A default set of tweaks supplied by ubuntu

I use BT for my broadband and have issues with the phorm tracking they employ. This nicely scrambles there data.

flashblock, and noscript
Useful tools to limit the amount of adware I have to put up with. Browsing the net became a pleasure after adding these. I still can't see why people would want NOT to use them.

password exporter
I generate my own passwords but can rarely remember them. This hides them for me and encrypts too. It's not water-tight, but is good enough for the usual passwords.

property bee
Useful page tracker for Rightmove.co.uk. Highlights when house prices have changed for ammunition against estate agents.

stop-or-reload button
Does what it says on the tin and save me a GUI button

A nifty RSS reader built straight into the browser. I am surpised RSS reading hasn't been improved in firefox. Live bookmarks is a start but hardly comparable to lifrea or the dedicated RSS readers. However, this fills the gap for now.
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So what it's Christmas
Christmas is an awkward time for me. I feel bemused as people hurry around me organising meals, presents, and a whole campaign of festivities. I suppose part of my bemusement comes from not following the religion. I could not believe that Jesus would co-incidentally be born alongside an existing pagan holiday. However, most of the people around me don't follow the region either? Then why all the bother?

Ironically, I do feel the need to be spiritual at this time. It's as if the commercialised madness around me could be contagious and I might lose what remnents I have any any moral fibre.

Why is everyone expected to be gracious at this time? Is it alright to be nice to everyone today if you can be an arse to them for the other 364 days?


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