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Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Genetic Engineering - update

It seems ironic that a week or so after I post about genetic engineering, that 30 bags of babies bodies are recovered in India, thought to be linked to female infanticide. (link in title).
According to one estimate, up to 10m female foetuses may have been aborted in the country in the past two decades.

India, where boys have traditionally been favoured over girls, banned gender selection and selective abortion in 1994.
Surely having gender selection is better than female infanticide? Ok, so there are some idiots out there who want to use G.E to "cure" homosexuality, but should these idiots stop the freedom of choice for others? Ok, so the thought in india that males are more desirable than females is also wrong, but at least giving them what they want would prevent all these deaths.

Where do you draw the line? *sigh*

I'd write more but I'm supposed to be working...

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Sunday, 22 July 2007

I have X-Box Live!

I am so madly excited about this fact that even I feel like I'm being ever so slightly sad and too geeky, but stuff that - I have an e-box live gamertag at LAST!

Of course, I don't actually have my *own* x-box, but it's as good as, hehe. The thing is - I've been playing for a year with a normal game tag so I have to start all my achievements and stuff from scratch - which sucks. But I'm gonna have lots of fun playing now, now that I know it's kinda worth something. Arcade games here I come! Oh, AND, my username was free, so my gamertag for any who want to add me (incase you can't guess) is: Esmerelde!

I'm kinda gutted about my high scores, I have an on-going bejewelled 2 game on endless mode and I'm up to level 30 and about 450,000 points, but ah well *sigh*

Let the gaming commence! I may even start playing Oblivion on the x-box rather than the PC if I can get used to the controls. It's a bummer because I wanted to play with the beautiful people mod and a load of hair mods but meh. I can deal with sacrifices....sorta!

This is one very excited geeky gamer girl signing out ;)


Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Chess. And I thought I was good.

Yesterday I watched a really interesting programme on channel 4 called "my brilliant brain" and it featured a woman who became the first female grand master. She was amazing. For example, she was shown a chess board lay out for three seconds - on a moving truck - and she could re-create the board exactly, heh. But seriously, her chess skills were amazing, I wish I could play as well as her. Granted she had been trained by her dad since she was about 6, but still. We can all aspire to something eh?

I consider myself good at chess, but I can take a long time to make my moves - particularly if I'm playing someone about the same standard as I am, and as they explained on the show "an ammature wastes time by calculating all the posible moves" and that is exactly what i do, though with practice we all obviously become quicker. This woman (I can't remember her name and the channel 4 website is failing me) could move at lighting speed and predict almost exactly what her opponent would do next. To a small degree I can also predict what people can do, and it's always useful to be able to predict their moves, but I can only do it when they take a long time over their moves. if someone were to play me and not really think about what they were doing and move their pieces really fast I would probably lose because I would lose valuable thinking time - or piss them off for thinking too long (like I do in scrabble, lol).

I used to have a really awesome computer chess set but I left the batteries in and when I went to play it recently it didn't work. I've been on the lookout for one ever since, but they don't seem to produce any nice ones these days *sigh*.

Here's to becoming a better chess player!


Monday, 16 July 2007

Genetic Engineering - What would you do?

For some reason I was thinking about genetic engineering of children on the way home from work on Friday. I can't recall if it was bought up by one of the evening papers now though, though it seems likely.

Everyone seems to have this terrible opinion of G.E. and - if it was to be used for things like eye/hair colour - then I agree, but in matters of gender, and say, number of children I don't have a problem with it. If someone really wants to have a boy/girl and we have the technology, why shouldn't it be used? I know a family that really wanted a boy and ended up with 3 girls, and they decided 4 children would be too much so they stopped trying, and to me that is sad. Sure they loved their three girls just as much, but still.

Of course, might have issues in places like China where they can only have one kid - so they would all chose to have boys. not good! However, one second thoughts, isn't letting them have that boy better than having a very high rate of girl child infantide?! I think so.

So what would I do? I think everyone knows that I am not big on having children (haha, understatement of the century), but they also know that if I do have kids I want girls. no boys allowed! Well, maybe, be it'd have to be like the 3rd one or something. Daughters first please!

On the tube, I also thought I'd like to have non-identical twins. I mean, you only have to go through the pregnancy once (bonus!) and they have someone their own age to play with. My brother is only 1 yr and 10 months younger than me and I wouldn't have kids any further apart than that. And there is no way in HELL I would dress them identically. That sucks. Big time. I'd also make sure they were in different classes at school. but I'm getting way too involved here so I'll stop methinks!

But yeah, I'd use G.E. if I could. Why leave it up to chance when we have the means and it's not dangerous? And if anone brings up the "playing God" argument I'm gonna scream, lol.

And now I've said all this, fate is gonna screw me up big time and I'll have a family of 4 boys *rolls eyes*. Bring it on!

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Friday, 13 July 2007

Geology makes you mad?

Well, we all know that to get into the field of geology/palaeontology in the first place we all have to be a little crazy - but what if it actually makes you mad in the long run?

This post is obviously in jest, but today in coffee we were talking about this japenese guy (can't remember his name), who was convinced that he had found new species of animals/humans preserved in rocks (which he has thin sectioned) from the Paleozoic of Japan. Why are they new species? because they are all no bigger than 10 mm in size! yes, he believes he has found the remains of a 3 mm tall human man. he even described the hair, beard and nose. Hilarious. And slightly crazy :P

It is following in the trend of the guy who saw Nummulites everywhere, and published loads of stuff about the Nummulosphere or something. I'm sure someone will correct me on that one.

But the moral of the story...when you start seeing the critters that you study everywhere you look (and are considering self publishing because noone else will take you seriously)...you know you've been working on the too long!


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Wednesday, 11 July 2007

The Impact of Society?

A friend of mine at work let me to question the impact of society, or perhaps more accurately our peers, upon our lives. Of course this is a very wide subject, but I am thinking of it from on online sense.

The phenomenon that is Facebook has been in the news quite a lot recently (you may have to check the more obscure pages), and while they often praise the capacities of the website, they will often fall back to the "how much info do I want people to see about me?" or "I don't want them to see x photo of me - what will they think?!"

Do we really care about what people think of us so much that we are unwilling to let certain media images/videos or facts be displayed? If there is a funny and/or embarrassing image of me on Facebook - I see it, think "Oh no!" and then laugh, and more often than not, tag myself. (For those unfamiliar with Facebook this allows the image to seen via my profile under "images of me").

The way I see it, that image, or any image, is a snap shot of my life. It is a unique portrayal of ME. And I'm proud of me. Besides, if I'm stupid enough to get myself photographed when I'm so drunk I fell off a bench for example, then surely I deserve everything I get ;)

Laugh or hide, we all deal with it in our own ways, but I for one would rather take life with a pinch of salt and a smile on my face :)


"Games Consoles Give Real Workout"

Also in the Metro today was the following article. Here are a few excerpts:

The latest consoles, which react to a player's movement rather than just keeping his or her thumbs busy, can give users an effective workout, research suggests...Consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, or a Sony PlayStation 2 equipped with an EyeToy webcam, can burn as many calories in just over half an hour as a brisk one-hour walk, experts found.

Now, while this all well and good, it reminded me of a particulary funny penny arcade cartoon. I tried to upload it here as an image but it was too fuzzy, so here is a link to the cartoon. Enjoy!


Marriage and Benefits

On the forums I go to there has been a lot of threads about marriage lately, and reading the metro this morning I was reminded of one of them. I wont paste the original post because it was quite long, but this was my answer:

Primary purpose of marriage...well, if I ever got married I would like to think that it was purely because I very much in love with someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Though I suppose you cannot deny there there are benefits and stability that come with it. Though I would see those as more of a bonus than as a *reason* for getting married. If you're thinking about the benefits you can get by marrying your other half...well, maybe you aren't getting married for the right reasons wink.gif

As for "a stable environment for children"...if you need a piece of paper to prove that your relationship is stable enough for you to have a family, I think there is something wrong there. The kid isn't going to know any different, and in this day and age, no one is really going to give a damn whether you are married are not. If you are mature and responsible enough, and have the desire and love required to have a kid, then do it.

And finally, everything I just said goes for same-sex couples as well. Even the kid stuff. I was raised by gay parents since the age of 3, and I turned out absolutely fine thankyouverymuch tongue.gif

I'll just draw your attention to the bit I said about benefits incase you didn't read all that: "If you're thinking about the benefits you can get by marrying your other half...well, maybe you aren't getting married for the right reasons". So. what do I read in the Metro this morning?

Mr Cameron said he believed marriage and strong families were the bedrock of society. Britains high rate of family breakdown was linked to a tax system which failed to recognise marriage and a benefits regime that discouraged couples from living together.

Now, I quite like David Cameron, but saying that marriage is linked to tax, and thinking that people are less likely to have a family breakdown because of TAX just seems to be going a little to far, don't you think? It's like we are living in an archaic society sometimes. Reminds me of the "do you believe in 'sex before marriage'?" thread which I also participated in yesterday. But that's another story.

2007 going on 1907. *Sigh*


Monday, 9 July 2007

The Joys of Grammar

My mood: Happy and shiny
My music: Razorlight

I was perusing on of my forums recently, and the subject degraded into the proper use of grammar. On forums, if you believe the original poster has a sucky argument, or is just an idiot in general it is a popular recourse to point out the awful spelling and lack of grammar and punctuation in their post (which usually ends up with them flaming the reply-ee eg. "o yeh?! wel i dont care abt grammer dis is a gaming forum!!!111!"...yes, really). Of course, some posters are just idiots who don't actually have anything to contribute to the discussion, so point out bad spelling and grammar just so they have something to post. But we are getting into the good, the bad and the ugly of forum psoting here so we'll leave it there.

The story I was trying to tell, was that after it got into a grammatical discussion it actually proved to be quite interesting, with someone stating that you can have eleven "had"'s in a row in an English sentence, and it could make sense. Here is the sentence:

James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher.

Doesn't make much sense at the moment does it? But if you punctuate it properly, it totally does. I was dubious at first, and out of curiosity googled the answer. All shall be revealed below, so if you want to try and work it out first...look away now!


James, while John had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had a better effect on the teacher.

Amazingly, it does make sense. Now if only I had known that sentence when I was in school. It would have made a great sentence in a random piece of homework somewhere!

And so endeth my long-winded rambling on the wonderful world of English grammar.


Friday, 6 July 2007

Forget about the G-string - it's all about the C-string!

My music: Final Fantasy 8 soundtrack - Nobuo Uematsu
My mood: Incredulous

Yep, you heard me. The C-String is the new way to wear pants. Now, I'm not really a fan of thongs, but they do have their uses. Sometimes you just don't want to have VPL (that's visible pantie line for you blokes) on a night out on the town, but generally I stay away from them, mainly because they are uncomfortable and I don't want to spend half the evening pulling at my ass. These c-strings are just something else though. I mean, they resemble an underwired bra but for your nether-regions. No thanks. Still, in the weird world of fashion I'm sure they'll catch on somewhere.


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