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Archive for June, 2009

Britain knows little about the Bible

According to the Independent (p5, 29th June) Britain “knows very little about the Bible”.  As few as 10% understand the main characters in the Bible.

Apparently St John’s college in Durham carried out the survey and according to the Reverend David Wilkinson – “the consequences of ignorance went far beyond being unclear about what church leaders might preach”.

I’m sorry Reverend – did you say IGNORANCE?  How can ANYONE who has imaginary friends call the rest of us WRONG?  It is no more ignorant not to have read the Bible than it is neither to have read Spiderman nor the Koran!! Many of us have more important things to be doing with our lives. I’d be worried if we were the same as the USA where a large percentage of people DO actively read this stuff – and worse – BELIEVE IT.

Choosing to suspend logic and instead to believe a collection of contradictory stories written in an age where people thought the earth was flat , had not even the vaguest notion of evolution and thought we were at the centre of the universe – THAT is ignorance – and dangerous ignorance at that. Sadly many youngsters have little choice as their parents and the church brainwash them before they are old enough to know better.

Stick to births, marriages and deaths, Reverend!!!

Something New

Tired of XP – but Vista is rubbish and you don’t want to use the release candidate of Windows 7? Don’t despair!

Seven Transformation Pack

The solution is called “Seven Transformation Pack” and I’ve just installed this on my second computer – and up to now it’s BEAUTIFUL. No guarantees it won’t turn your computer into a harmless rock – but it worked for me! So what’s special about STP?

LiberkeyInstallation is simple enough, involving a reset and about 15 minutes of your time. The various packages that are put together by the author of STP include a Windows 7 start button, semi-transparent task bar, 3d task switch and a Windows 7-like set of gadgets… but probably the biggest boost for Windows XP users – large icons – at last!

Enough talk – here is the link to Seven Transformation Pack

RadioSureWhile you’re at it, a couple of other nice new packages I’ve added to my PCs… look up LIBERKEY – a wrapper around the best open-source software – which automatically updates the software for you and can be held on a memory stick or on your computer. If nothing else, apart from the other really nice OS packages included – I loved RADIOSURE the best… instant streaming radio and a quick search – pulled out Riviera Radio instantly and has niceties such as fade-in-fadeout – even fades between radio stations as you select.-

The death of Kodachrome

So now we’re supposed to get all emotional about the final demise of one the stalwarts of the analogue age – Kodachrome film. Wasn’t it wonderful, what about those subtle colours, the unique “flavour”…

For HEAVEN’S SAKE. I remember the same crap at the end of the valve era – that unique sound, how harsh transistors are (and there’s a simple reason for that, valves used to introduce even harmonic distortion into the sound giving it a warm but TOTALLY unrealistic sound whereas the early transistor amplifiers, driven by the need to keep costs down combined with a lot of ignorance on the behalf of designers LIKE AMSTRAD – our own Alan Michael Sugar – and his counterpart Clive Sinclair –  introduced some pretty awful distortion of their own…… but where are we now… only fools and horses still pretend that valves are better… mOSFETS were the turning point for those who like to bandy around technical terms – I recall I had several of the first Mosfets available – and managed to blow them all up…. but that’s another story.

And this brings us to photography – I remember when the first digitals came out – the same old crap, attacking a new technology in order to try to preserve the old – I could have told you over a decade ago (and did tell many people) that film was dead – the only excuse for using film now MIGHT still be for low-light exposure as most cheap digital cameras are rubbish in low-light levels – but give it a little longer and they’ll not only beat film, they will beat our eyes – indeed think about Hubble – some of the most beautiful images in the universe – are digital! You could stare at the night sky for a million years and never see what Hubble brings us.

I remember sending off images to BOOTS only to get the most BLAND rubbish prints back – the only way I could guarantee to get decent images was to order transparencies….  and let’s not forget that BOOTS in particular used to SHOP people who took photos they did not approve of – remember THAT? Kids in the bath etc!!!

In the hands of an idiot, it doesn’t matter whether the camera is film, digital or make-believe – the results will be the same – but if you’ve invested just a little time in learning how to use your camera and one of the MANY free tools out there – GIMP being one example – you can produce images that rival ANYTHING produced in the past – and in many cases go WAY beyond anything we could have done in the age of FILM. I believe that AVATAR was shot digitally! It’s certainly displayed digitally. What more could you want?

100110110111011.

Please – have my Kebabs

As someone who’s always been ready to be a donor (though donating blood could be a lot easier – they could have as much as they liked if they’d come out to my village for it – like the milk run in the morning – they could do a “blood run” in the evenings perhaps?), I’ve never understood the pathetic arguments of some of our religious friends (and some not-so-religious) over NOT donating their kebabs when they die. According to the BBC there are something like 10,000 people waiting at any time for organs and there is a shortage – what POSSIBLE reason can anyone have other than sheer ignorance, for NOT offering up their bits when they pass away. In a 21st century where donated organs regularly save lives, surely it is up to us to help save others when we no longer have a need for our innards.

Well, it looks like the various UK religious leaders have finally gotten their act together and are currently recommending to the faithful that they DO offer up their parts – WELL DONE CHAPS!!