Friday, 2 May 2008

Our pets get along so well that...

... when I went down to collect eggs from the chooks this morning I surprised a cat, who was sitting next to the laying box.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Comparing apples and mutant apple hybrids

I really don't want to be seen as a conspiracy theorist here, or a luddite, or in any way wishing to stand in the path of progress or nervous about those mad scientists, but I do get nervous when people fuck around with fundamentals like food. So when I read that Western Australian boffins have developed an apple which doesn't go brown when its cut (ABC News Online), my first question is How the fuck did they do that? and my second question is, somewhat contingent upon the first, Is this actually a good thing?

I don't know what lies behind the browning process, and can't find a sufficiently authoritative-seeming resource at short notice, but the word "oxidation" springs irresistibly to mind. Regardless of that, the fact of a colour change seems to implicitly lead to "chemical reaction". Which means that a fruit has been developed which is, if it doesn't undertake expected chemical reactions, chemically different to its brethren. With me so far? Good.

Which leads to the worrying thought: If it's chemically different, is this a good thing? Does it take like an apple, or does it have more citric acid in it? Other news reports tell me that it's not GM, only used conventional breeding techniques, and even that it was bred from Lady Williams and Golden Delicious. Fine, so it's first cousin to two current eating apples. Which is like saying that deadly nightshade or tobacco is first cousin to potatoes, so that's okay. Apple seeds contain a cyanide compound, you know.

Yes, I know they've consumer taste-tested this new breed, and I'll be interested to get my teeth into one, but I really wish they'd tell me what they have done.

Pack of bastards

Couple convicted for neglect of dogs. (ABC News Online)

Without knowing anything more about the circumstances, what are the odds that this couple of scumbags defend themselves by saying (cue belligerent tone) that they were looking after the dogs, and weren't doing anything wrong, and it's all the fault of some neighbour who doesn't like dogs and complained about the noise?

Please note that the article, as extraordinarily short as it is, mentions 100 dogs kept in fenced compounds, and "malnourished, with mange, eye ulcers and open sores".

Rot in hell.

When account-level system security gets REALLY ANNOYING

"You do not have the proper privilege level to change the System Time".

How fucking bad does Vista have to be if XP is preferable?

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