Organic food is no healthier than ordinary food, a large independent review has concluded.
There is little difference in nutritional value and no evidence of any extra health benefits from eating organic produce, UK researchers found.
Jul 31, 2009
Jul 30, 2009
Lest we get too carried away with imagining Obama's election turned America into a wonderland of meritocracy, I suggest you read this op-ed piece by Ross Douthat.
Jul 25, 2009
At the moment, I've been waiting for weeks for someone to tell me when I have to go to prison and where. I haven't got a clue. At the moment, my papers are somewhere in the depths of bureaucracy, probably on the desk of someone who's on summer vacation.
The delay is simply infuriating. I haven't got a clue if I'm going to jail next week or next month, or September, or when. Probably more like next month that next week, but still. Not being able to make any kind of plans for the autumn kind of sucks.
So if I haven't exactly been blogging much, it's because I'm a little stressed out by all this.
Jul 23, 2009
* Kava (the modern version of the drink)
* Bruce Springsteen (especially The Rising)
There is some research suggesting that kava has actual medicinal effects that reduce anxiety, but I've never heard of any studies on the Boss. What can I say? It works.
Jul 16, 2009
I got this scar on my face during a mighty struggle!
Jul 10, 2009
The judge decided to release him because she was "moved" by his injuries. A repeat offender, who according to the prosecution was most likely also drunk at the time he crashed, is walking free because the judge thought he was cute or something. If anyone gets hit by a motorbike doing 200 km/h in Helsinki, well, hey, them's the breaks.
Am I making this up? The original article is at Iltalehti.
The longer I live in this country, the more convinced I am that our justice system is completely insane.
Jul 9, 2009
Ok, the time has come to speak candidly about immigration and crime. American studies shows that there is a clear correlation: Immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born. This is true for the nation as a whole, for cities with large immigrant populations and for cities along the US-Mexican border, as Radley Balko explains in Reason.
Read his blog for more. That's some immigration criticism for you.
Jul 8, 2009
Basically, the Road is a rip-off of JG Ballard's early sci-fi novels, most notably Drought. The novel is startlingly similar to Ballard's stuff, but with the imporant difference that it's stylistically decisively inferior. McCarthy writes a very simple, down-to-earth style, which he occasionally interrupts with ridiculous flights of purple prose. The impression is occasionally very jarring. Overall, the writing and plot is captivating enough that it keeps you reading, but the purple prose is sometimes so awful it reminds me of Andy Remic. Seriously.
I didn't think the book really had any theme or message. Of course, I could be wrong. From the Wikipedia article:
British environmental campaigner George Monbiot was so impressed by The Road that he declared McCarthy to be one of the "50 people who could save the planet" in an article published in January 2008. Monbiot wrote, "It could be the most important environmental book ever. It is a thought experiment that imagines a world without a biosphere, and shows that everything we value depends on the ecosystem."
Oh, for crying out loud. You needed a novel to tell you that we would find it hard to live without any plants or animals at all? That, though, really is the sum total of the environmental message of the Road.
On a Fallout note, this is apparently the reason there isn't any vegetation in the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3. Having read the book, I now understand that the makers of Fallout 3 were trying real hard to give the game a "Road" vibe. I wish they hadn't, frankly.
To rant for a moment, I feel like these days, entertainment and art only comes in one of two varieties. Either it has no theme at all, no message, nothing to say about anything, or it has a single message that it bludgeons you senseless with.
The Road is firmly in the first camp. I didn't think it had any meaningful theme. Overall, it's captivating enough to make you read it through, but it's short enough that that isn't any challenge. It's a forgettable, mediocre novel. I can't for the life of me understand why it won awards.
Verdict: don't bother. Read J.G. Ballard's Drought or Drowned World instead.
Jul 6, 2009
The Times: Hitler? He got things done, says Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, said yesterday that he preferred totalitarian regimes to democracies and praised Adolf Hitler for his ability to “get things done”.
In an outspoken interview with The Times, the 78-year-old billionaire chastised contemporary politicians for their weakness and extolled the virtues of strong leadership.
Mr Ecclestone said: “In a lot of ways, terrible to say this I suppose, but apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done.
“In the end he got lost, so he wasn’t a very good dictator because either he had all these things and knew what was going on and insisted, or he just went along with it . . . so either way he wasn’t a dictator.” He also rounded on democracy, claiming that “it hasn’t done a lot of good for many countries — including this one [Britain]”.
Instead, Mr Ecclestone endorsed the concept of a government based on tyranny.
“Politicians are too worried about elections,” he said. “We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He was the only one who could control that country. It was the same [with the Taleban]. We move into countries and we have no idea of the culture. The Americans probably thought Bosnia was a town in Miami. There are people starving in Africa and we sit back and do nothing but we get involved in things we should leave alone.”
Has he been to one of Max Mosley's parties, or what?
I don't really know what to say. Basically I agree completely with one of the responses further down in the article:
"Stephen Pollard, Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said: “Mr Ecclestone is either an idiot or morally repulsive. Either he has no idea how stupid and offensive his views are or he does and deserves to be held in contempt by all decent people.”"
I think that's completely fair.
Any history of F1 is going to make interesting reading. For a while now, F1 has basically been run by the son of Britain's most notorious Fascist leader, himself notorious for his Nazi-themed sex parties, and an angry short man who thinks democracy is bad for his country and admires Hitler.
It's like no other sport in the world!