Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Random headline wool-gathering and commentary

I was lying in bed last night, too tired to sleep or concentrate, and squinting at the screen of my phone as I scrolled through page after page of news, scanning the headlines for anything interesting or relevant and tagging it to read later.

Suddenly I realised that my brain had been digesting a headline it had read five items ago, and that it read "
NZ man finds US military files on MP3 player" (ABC News Online). Wait, what?

The Nasca lines in Peru are one of the more tiresome of Erik von Daaniken's bits of "evidence" that aliens visited Earth and fostered human civilisation. What he fails to acknowledge, of course, is the strength of commitment that common-or-garden religious belief can engender in all societies, primitive or (apparently) otherwise, and the lengths that a people who built the Sistine Chapel without powertools will go to when a powerful enough leader holds a whip over their heads.

Now it seems that the
Nasca/Nazca (wikipedia) lines (Skeptic's Dictionary) may have been the result of endlessly repeated ritual, as the "Peruvians walked walked their prayers into the earth" (New Scientist).

In order to belabour the obvious, the not-new and the tiresomly status-quo, ABC News Online tells us that a
Social Service provider says support programs struggling.

The Courier Mail, perhaps unwittingly, vastly strengthens the case for a Parenting Licence or mandatory Parenting Training, as it tells us
Parents panned as kids not toilet trained in time for school.

more stating-the-bloody-obvious from the Courier Mail, who trumpet that Mr Risky is aggressive on the roads, survey reveals. This was going to be a complete post by itself, but I really can't be bothered. I don't want to discuss potential procedural issues with the research, so I'll just point out that I don't ignore speed limits at all. I may choose to disobey them after checking the road conditions, my own mental and physical state and what other drivers are doing, but I always know exactly what they are.

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