March 31, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals.

Sir William Osler

March 30, 2010

Morality located behind right ear

Scientists have located the human moral compass, and it's not down south, even in men.

The brain's moral region is in a place called the temporo-parietal junction. A apt name, if you ask me.

It sits behind the right ear, which is just about the last place anyone was looking.

How the brain constructs morality

March 28, 2010

Sexual politics grinds on

Over in the US, the now divorced Mrs Shackelford wants everyone to respect the sanctity of marriage.

Well, not really everyone, and not her ex-husband. She only wants skanky women to respect the sanctity of marriage. To prove her point, she sued her ex-husband's new partner for alienation of affection and intentionally or recklessly causing severe emotional distress. A two-day trial by jury resulted in $10M being awarded to Mrs Shackelford.

For anyone missing the point: she did not sue her ex-husband for alienation of affection and intentionally or recklessly causing severe emotional distress, despite the line of responsibility from point A to B resting with him. Mrs S sued the third party.

Apparently 62 year old Mr Shackelford was an innocent by-stander. As is usually the case. A pathetic man too childlike and malleable to resist a lollipop. Which, quite frankly, is no different to the Islamic cultural insistence that women must be covered head to toe because men are so barbaric and base as to be able resist the sight of a wrist, an ankle or a wisp of female hair. It's exactly the same spectrum of thinking, and the degrees of extremity aren't nearly as far apart as we, in the West, want to believe.

One way or another, we're all belittled - men and women - by this endless socio-political sideshow that treats all man as infants and reduces all women to nothing but cunning sexual temptresses.

Anyone thinking Mrs Shackelford deserves a pat on the back for her legal stunt is dead wrong.

Is an affair worth $10M?

Well that's embarrassing

Uma Thurman's latest film, Motherhood, attracted a total of 11 audience members for the whole of its opening weekend in Britain.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's a bad film, particularly when we consider the quantity of highly profitable excrement out there in film-land (hello James Cameron!).

Still, taking $150 for an opening weekend, even given that the film only opened at one cinema, has gotta hurt.

Here ...

March 24, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there.

Arthur C. Clarke

March 20, 2010

There's an app for that

The Mayan calendar ends on 21 December 2012. This has been interpreted by many to signal the end of the world, rather than being suggestive of a sloppy or lazy administrative oversight on the part of Mayan society. Much the equivalent of forgetting to put the garbage out, or not buying milk on the way home. Serious offenses that affect the daily lives of many in a negative manner, but not liable, short or long term, to be life threatening.

So, the Mayan's didn't get around to printing a new calendar. Many like to believe that forgetfulness is a prophecy.


Anyhoo, this trite piece is worth momentary attention purely for the first comment:

I'll be OK, I've got an Iphone (sic) app for that one as well.......

It's the end of the world as Sydney knows it

(And yes, isn't that the clunkiest heading we've seen for a while?)

Brown butterflies hate laboratories too

The common brown butterfly doesn't like being forced to live in artificial conditions.

It would seem the butterflies emerge from their cocoons on average 10 days earlier when a bunch of people in white coats and wearing protective eye goggles are watching on.

This is, of course, proof that we are all going to hell in a hand basket and proof of anthropogenically caused climate change / global warming / extreme weather events.

Our planet is doomed ... Tim Blair

Brain excuse

More progress, with logic slowly coming around to the obvious. Science, medicine and sociology will be prevent rapid catch up, such is the addiction to the medicalisation / disease model of every known human emotion, behavior or tick.

".. addiction is not a brain state, it is a behavior. As philosopher Daniel Shapiro of West Virginia University puts it, “You can examine pictures of brains all day, but you’d never call anyone an addict unless he acted like one.”

... promoting the idea of addiction as a brain disease would rehabilitate the addict’s public image from that of a criminal who deserves punishment into a sympathetic figure who deserves treatment. Good intentions aside, is the “brain disease” of addiction really beyond the control of the addict in the same that way that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis are beyond the control of the afflicted?

... The mechanical “brain disease” rhetoric is a symptom of the growing tendency to privilege neuroscientific explanations as the most authentic way of understanding human behavior."

A surprisingly old and not very useful paradigm. Sophisticated equipment has, ironically, taken us backwards.

Addiction: A Disorder of Choice

March 18, 2010

Booking plane to Cyprus

That's it, I'm leaving for Cyprus tomorrow.


How old is too old?

March 17, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely with too high a spirt to be encumbered with your old nonsense.


March 13, 2010

News flash: Fev knew he was married

Bingle had asked if Brereton thought Fevola would like her and if Fevola had a girlfriend, Brereton claimed.

"And I said back to her verbatim, 'No he doesn’t have a girlfriend, but that pretty blonde girl standing next to him is his wife,'" he said.

"And her reply to me verbatim was 'Do you think he’d still have a go after me?'"

Classy lass.

Brereton: Lara Bingle knew Fev was married

March 11, 2010

Bless Mr Martin

It has taken me nearly a week to discover that dear Mr Martin has been concerned, in the nicest possible way, about my well-being following the weekend storms in Melbourne.
Update: You know what's embarrassing? Expressing concern for someone you think might be floating upside down, bumping gently, head first, against a street drain, and this person doesn't even read your blog enough to tell you she's not floating upside down, bumping gently, head first, against a street drain.
Goes to show, the Interwebs isn't always the fastest way to communicate.

Still, there is much comfort in knowing that five days ago someone in Denver was concerned enough to ask the question.

Thanks John

You Okay, Caz?

March 10, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.

Fran Lebowitz

March 3, 2010

Oh, oops

A man has fallen to his death in New York after backing into a lift, carrying one end of a bed, as he was moving into an apartment. His wife was carrying the other end of the bed and could do nothing as her husband fell into what turned out to be an empty lift shaft.

In his day job, the 35 year old worked as a lift repairman.

Wednesday Wisdom

The states are as the men are. They grow out of human characters.