Comfort-able Lies

raycomfort

It’s just a pity I cannot reblog this post about Ray Comfort from Skepticblog. Instead I’ve lifted the hilarious image above, and you can read the rest here.

For those who don’t know, Ray Comfort is a preacher of sorts who hails from Down Under, and now plying his trade in the USA, which is perhaps one of the most gullible countries in the world. Comfort trades in lies, by the way.

Like Ken Ham (who coincidently also hails from down under), Ray Comfort perverts the basics of science any way he can, to spread pathetic lies about Evolution, while promoting the absurdity known as Creationism. When his total and utter lack of understanding of the basics of biology and science is pointed out to him, he ducks for cover behind willful ignorance.

After reading the article, one has to wonder whether Ray is indeed a total idiot, or a very clever money-grubbing scumbag.

Wine Wasting

Let me make it quite clear. I’m no wine connoisseur, but as I’ve grown older I’ve developed a taste for good wine; a real liking for this nectar of the gods.

How do I know which wine is good? I don’t. If it tastes good, it’s good wine. I generally prefer white wine to red, but recently I’ve started liking a certain brand of rosé. I also tend to stay away from the cheap plonk; which is not to say that I buy expensive wine.

A lady friend heard about a wine tasting event that is held annually at various venues along the Vaal River in South Africa, and suggested that we give it a bash. So this Sunday past, six eager wine tasting virgins drove down to the Vaal Meander and a place called Stonehaven-On-Vaal, to see what all the fuss is about.

Being a skeptic, I was well aware of the suspicions against people who claim to be wine experts. However, part of this excursion included a boat cruise on the Vaal River with lunch and wine (tasting) on board, not to mention the companionship of four beautiful women… and I was not about to miss that.

At the restaurant prior to the cruise, we were allocated an expert of sorts who served us 26 different wines to taste. I think the idea was to swirl, sniff, taste and spit out the remnants into a bucket provided, but I couldn’t be bothered with all that; I just quaffed down every portion poured into my little goblet. My companions however tried valiantly to play the part, and we all rated our wines on a score-card provided.

Wine aboard

Wine aboard

We could not complete tasting all 26 different wines, before boarding the boat for the cruise. The “expert” was kind enough to allow us to return after the cruise to complete our little wine tasting adventure, which we did. Even then we just could not go through all of them, but managed around 18 labels, including that served on the boat.

I am pleased to say that I gave 5 labels a perfect score of 20, which unsurprisingly differed wildly from my companions ratings. So I guess it all comes down to personal taste. Perhaps I was being too generous, or maybe a little drunk, but there you have it.

All in all it was an enjoyable outing, well worth the measly cost. Seems there’s going to be a beer festival at the end of the month at the same venue. Guess what? Yep, we’re in…

More dueling banjos

Remember the dueling banjo scene from the movie Deliverance?

Last night I found another clip on YouTube with a Laurel and Hardy look-alike duking it out with guitar and banjo.

Awesome, aren’t they? Have a super-cool weekend.

On the not-worth-talking-about scale

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck South Africa today around lunch time. Originating in Orkney in the North West Province, the tremors were felt in large parts of the country and even in neighbouring Botswana and Mozambique.

I felt it in my office while on a conference call and just looked up at the ceiling. I’ll bet many others looked up at the ceiling too. Probably a normal reaction, that. It’s being reported as one of the biggest to hit South Africa. Seems there wasn’t too much damage, except for the unlucky guy who died after a wall apparently collapsed on him.

Up here on the Reef, we live directly above working mines and tremors from mining activity is quite normal. Sometimes in the dead of night, I can swear I hear the locomotives running deep underground in the mine tunnels. But this was a real quake, albeit not much worth talking about when compared to the recent disaster in China.

In other not worth talking about news, I discovered today that there’s a random dude from South Africa who’s following my blog. What’s not worth talking about though is his blog which spews the kind of bigotry I rant about here on my own blog. Seems he’s a homophobic, patriarchal, anti-feminist, religious ANC supporter.

Not sure I want his kind following my blog. Get thee gone bigot.

And finally, it’s being reported that the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) is losing its relevancy. That to me is not entirely correct. Presided over by Angie Motshekga, this woeful organization lost its relevancy a long time ago. They were merely going through the motions of being constituted, whereas all they were doing was supporting the puerile ambitions of power-hungry ANC men, and furthering the patriarchal agenda.

It is widely said that Motshekga single-handedly destroyed South Africa’s education system. Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but she most certainly played a huge role in dumbing it down, and still does. And her feats of maladministration in the Education Ministry are now legendary.

The cremation of the ANCWL will not come soon enough, and hopefully we won’t have to suffer the presence of Angie in Education much longer too.

Waltzing through the week

I’ve just had a truly relaxed weekend. Did nothing, nada, niks; just listened to some classical music and then did some more of that diddly squat.

I did find something though, that I’d been meaning to listen to for some time. I remember it as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2 from the Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut, but apparently that’s quite incorrect. The version made famous by the film is supposed to be known as Suite For Variety Orchestra, Waltz No. 2.

This was not, in my opinion, a great send-off for Kubrick. He died a few months before the film’s release in 1999. I think Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman may have had something to do with that. No, not Kubrick’s death; the not-so-good film.

However, I did find a cello-only arrangement that is just awesome. Get a load of this:

I’m so chilled right now, I could waltz through the rest of this week…

How DO you get rid of Pazuzu?

I’ve been maintaining a neutral position on the Israel-Gaza situation and sometimes it’s been very hard. But I still feel that it’s the most sensible thing to do, because any emotional investment in this tragic situation does not help anyone.

Here’s something from a fellow-blogger who’s definitely got his shit together…

colemining

Well.

Hello again.

Recently, I’ve been on something of a hiatus/sabbatical/terrible-and-extended-period-of-complete-and-total-writer’s-block. It wasn’t planned, and it has been hard to get back into my regular cole-like round of thinking and writing about the world around me.

There are reasons for this. Some are practical- I write all day and words have become sort of hard to come by in my ‘leisure’ time as a result; I’ve been fighting to ensure that insurance companies fulfill their contracted obligations and that lawyers are remaining on top of required procedures and such; I’ve been trying to catch up on some summer reading (too many books, not enough time); and (I have to admit) I’ve become a little hooked on Modern Family (HOW did I not watch that show before? Simple- and regretful- answer has to do with the fact that I was prejudiced against Al Bundy. BIG mistake. He’s great in this show…

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OMG! Why are so many people going ballistic over GMO?

If social media is to be believed, Monsanto is Public Enemy No. 1, or very close to it. Seems like even people I would normally consider as reasonable, just seem to go batshit crazy when it comes to Monsanto and GMO’s more specifically.

I’ve been conducting a running argument on this blog and over email with one of my many critics (whose name shall remain concealed from those who have not read the comments section on the relevent post), who insists that GMO’s are harmful, evil even, despite there being little to no evidence to support that assertion. He picks his evidence from websites that spread absolute bollocks, like Natural News.com (no, I’m not even going to link to it), to trusting without question the horse-shit written by wacko’s like Mike Adams. [Read this response to his latest attack on GMO’s].

I’m not going to try to convince you on my own why GMO’s are perfectly safe. I’ll just leave that to someone who is by far more eminent. Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I’m amazed how much objection genetically modified foods are receiving from the public. It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new emergent science, where people don’t fully understand it or don’t fully know or embrace its consequences, and therefore reject it. What most people don’t know, but they should, is that practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food.

There are no wild seedless watermelons; there’s no wild cows; there’s no long-stem roses growing in the wild — although we don’t eat roses. You list all the fruit, and all the vegetables, and ask yourself: Is there a wild counterpart to this? If there is, it’s not as large, it’s not as sweet, it’s not as juicy, and it has way more seeds in it.

We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and animals, that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them. It’s called “artificial selection.” That’s how we genetically modify them. So now that we can do it in a lab, all of a sudden you’re going to complain?

If you’re the complainer type, go back and eat the apples that grow wild. You know something? They’re this big, and they’re tart. They’re not sweet, like Red Delicious apples. We manufactured those. That’s a genetic modification.

Do you realize silk cannot be produced in the wild? The silkworm, as we cultivate it, has no wild counterpart because it would die in the wild. So there’s not even any silk anymore. So we are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs. I don’t have a problem with that, cause we’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years. So chill out.

Here’s the video: