Durian and Acid Survivors Trust International Fundraiser

I have an opportunity to eat the legendary Durian.

Many foreigners have the horror stories about this fruit. And I have heard them all. A whole bunch of people love it and claim it’s the King of Fruits. And a whole bunch of people think these people are clearly mad.

It’s infamous for it’s smell that has been likened to that of a rotting corpse. Which interests me, I figure it’s to attract flies like the Rafflesia. I am no stranger to dead people and India leaves them rather ripe. I have a surgical septic ward here where we have patients with gangrene and that is “rotting” meat. So I am ready for it’s alleged smell. But the fruit is banned from public places in parts of Singapore and Hong Kong.

So it’s a fruit with a delicious taste but a horrifyingly grotesque odour.

If you want photos? I will be in Malaysia for Christmas and I shall be attempting to eat it (or succeeding in it). Then think of this as a fundraiser for ASTI. Yes! That’s still running! Let’s see if we can get closer to the target.

Torture is for the Sake of Torture

Torture exists solely for the sake of torture, it is indeed a sad world where we assume that torture is an acceptable way to obtain confessions and information. Sarah Palin’s attempt to portray torture as harmless and “a dunking” is the sort of revisionism you see when people just want to feel better about doing something bad. It’s just water after all. A lot of the torture that the CIA (and indeed the UK government by our involvement with the extraordinary renditions) was involved in was just that. Torture.

Sure you can call it a fancy name. Enhanced Interrogation makes it sound like a particularly difficult questionnaire. No. I am afraid water boarding is torture. And hiring someone else to do it for you makes you just as responsible for the blood their hands. The Republicans have long supported torture. A lot of Americans bought into the necessity of torture. I often joke that as long as Americans have the right to own guns they will accept any real loss of freedoms and abuses from the government because they still think that the gun will protect them.  [Read more…]

Age of Kali – Uber, Rape and Indian Corruption

For many people who have been paying attention, Uber got into India and was revolutionising the Taxi Industry here in a deep way.

Here is the thing? My place is 3 Km from the hospital in Rural India. I get a bus, lifts and cycle to work. Sometimes (like today) I end up taking an auto rickshaw which is the equivalent of a New York Yellow Cab. These things are (also yellow) everywhere but  they hold a monopoly over pick up rides.

This means they don’t have to utilise a meter. They can charge whatever they feel like and if you are shit out of luck, you have to pay them. I pay around Rs. 160 a day if I have to take them. Not a large amount of money if you are converting from pounds but a sizeable amount if you live in India. To break that habit, I purchased a bicycle figuring the 4000 rupee outlay would save me money in the long term. It has. The price of showing up to work sweaty is a small one though but “India is hot and I sweat at work anyways, what’s sweating 15 minutes before I get to work going to do to me?

But along comes Uber. A non union taxi service which gave back the power of the taxi to the consumer. What we began to see was a gradual erosion of the monopoly. While I like Unions, I think  they should work towards the benefit of the service rather than simply creating a monopoly of shitty quality like in India.

But when an Uber driver raped an Indian woman? The government of Delhi banned the service, blaming it for hiding rapists. And I disagree. I was skeptical so I did some poking around the claim.

[Read more…]

On Dawkins and Jesus

It’s kind of a weird tactic hear. On the one side WND is anti-evolution and thinks the world was created 6000 years ago and that Satan made things like the Cave Paintings and Dinosaurs freely roamed the Earth. These same people often think that this wouldn’t happen if you run into T-Rex.

Unless you were a particularly unlucky pumpkin. I mean this sounds silly, but some creationists seriously ran the “T-Rex as a Veggie” argument. My response at the time was to joke that “this was the reason Christians keep getting eaten by Lions”. [Read more…]

Outrage and Acceptability in Black Riots

I have an interesting way of explaining to people who don’t get “racism”. The idea of casual racism is much more deadlier than the Klansman.

The person you fear is not the swastika wearing goose stepping skin-head. That guy is all talk and no trousers. His very struggle for white domination is a joke. I don’t look at places like the Stormfront and think “MAN! That’s scary!” but “Man that’s kind of pathetic”.

These are  people who see themselves as the German Nazis. Educated, Erudite and Stylish.

Not potato men who the Nazis would have killed. These are the sort of people who think that “if only we beat the Darkies and Jews! We would be upto our balls in Hugo Boss and Frauleins”. Without realising the biggest impediment to their plans are the fact that they are not bright. These are people who literally think the people who are so bad that killing Nazis is akin too killing Aliens, Robots or Zombies in public media. And rather than take the reality where the Nazis were actually human beings with nuances and beliefs that had their roots in many things… they would rather just march around badly mutilating German. [Read more…]

How To Deal With Anti-Vaccine Parents

As the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases declines, the challenge of communicating the risk of not being immunized increases.Every situation is unique; parents have diverse concerns for various reasons. These can be cultural, religious or even personal. Many believe there is a link between some diseases and immunisations or believe in strange ideas perpetrated by unscrupulous online media. It’s no secret.

Blogs like this actually are in the minority. I understand my blog is in the medium sized category. I can get around 1500 to 2000 hits a day. What I get in a month Natural News often gets in a day. It racks up 8 MILLION views. If a 1000 hits equated to $1 it would be large enough to be making around 9000 dollars A MONTH and that is without sales of quackery and speaking fees and all the other things Mike Adams gets. Considering the level of research and the harm it causes it is quite shocking. [Read more…]