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Archive for July, 2012

The Summer of Sun

Entries in here in August are likely to be thin on the ground as we’re in Spain now for the duration. If you want to head over to the Spanish blog site you’ll find I’m keeping that up to date.

Here’s a typical (though ever so slightly hazy) sunset in Galera where we’re currently enjoying peak daytime temperatures of up to 37c.

Sunset in Galera, Andalucia

Japanese Cargo Ship Success

Amazingly while many of us were getting excited that Space-X had finally put America back in the launch business after the demise of the shuttle program, quietly (at least, I certainly missed it and I check BBC news website every day) the Japanese have just sent their own ship off to the Space Station!!

Not to be sneezed at – the ship is carrying FIVE TONS of stuff up there including a fishtank.  Article here worth reading. The plan with the fishtank is to breed 3 generations of fish in space – never done before – so they can see how they come on. Imagine that – legally the children will be off-worlders!

Japanese Rocket–July 2012

How Evil Are We? The Eli Roth Experiments

In the 1960s an experiment was undertaken to determine if the Nazis really were evil or, if in the right circumstances anyone could perform evil acts under simple instruction. Psychologist Stanley Milgram performed a series of experiments in which test subjects were instructed to electrocute another person in increasing doses.

The world was horrified (well, those who manage to get past watching Coronation Street were horrified) to find that a large number would indeed inflict serious pain on others if instructed to do so – read about the original experiment here.

Ok, so we can be happy that after a couple of generations of teaching people about World War 2, endless TV documentaries on the subject and overall supposedly improved education, we’d be well past that? Well, no.

In a recent version on Discovery where 10 subjects were sat in a room and asked to electrify a “test” subject (who was actually a plant") in increasing doses for answering simple questions, all but ONE did so obediently. Some had doubts as the subject complained about his heart and said he wanted out of the experiment – but when instructed by the authority posing as a psychiatrist who told them despite the pain the person was really in no danger, they continued on, pressing buttons marked 240 volts and beyond.

All 9 of these people were no better than the evil monsters of World War 2 Germany – except there was no chance of them being shot for disobeying orders. To anyone watching the show –and the producer himself this was HORRIFYING – yet absolutely real – we are almost all EVIL at heart and will absolve ourselves of responsibility as long as someone else tells us what to do.

If you think about it, from childhood we are taught by parents to do things regardless of whether we agree or understand – as for school I certainly didn’t understand why I had to do certain things but often, no explanation was given. But most of us started off life like this – and many can be hypnotised easily into doing the will of others. Something, somewhere in evolution went horribly wrong.

If we accept this reality – and anyone who has studied the original experiment and the modern equivalents really has no other choice – it seems to me that we need to do two things – firstly find out what part of our genetic makeup makes 9/10ths of the population prone to committing such evil – what makes the other 1/10th immune to this and start some pretty rapid genetic engineering BEFORE it’s too late and we repeat the horrors of the last world war (If you watch the Discovery show with Eli Roth, such research is being carried out – but going from there to improving the population is a BIG step we’re likely not ready to contemplate).  Surely also we should be looking at the responsibilities of authority – the people at the top who we trust in all walks of life – sure everyone can make mistakes and that’s fine but when they deliberately abuse that given authority to make people do things that are immoral – surely we need to dramatically re-think the punishments for such abuse and provide a MASSIVE deterrent – clearly we are mostly sheep who can easily be misguided – and need protection – even if we don’t think we need it.

Think you’re beyond this, that it would not affect you (I certainly would have walked out of the room immediately I knew I was actually inflicting ANY pain – but then I’ve always had a problem with authority -  at least I HOPE I would walk out) – that this really is not the case? Study the link I’ve given and more importantly check out the Eli Roth experiment for discovery channel. Read the Q&A in the link below-  this is worse than any Hammer horror movie. Beware however that it might put you off people! 9 out of 10 would seriously electrocute another on instruction – that’s REALLY, REALLY horrifying.

Global warming my backside

Constant, never-ending, ceaseless, relentless, continuous,incessant, eternal,non-stop, uninterrupted rain. I’ll bet they’re still on a hosepipe ban down south.

Crappy British Weather in July

Another week of this and I’ll be potty by the time we go on holiday… this is what we Brits are missing.. central Spain forecast for the next week.. notice “chance of rain” at ZERO… fortunately I’m off to Blackpool tomorrow so there’s at least a chance of a little sunshine….


A Trip to the Curve in Leicester

As part of a multi-purpose trip to Lancaster this week I had a meeting at the CURVE Theatre. Thought you might like to see some pics of the Curve itself and the surrounding area including the local market.

We stayed at a nearby hotel – the Mercure – nothing too ostentatious…

Leicester Mercure

Within walking distance of the Mercure is a half-decent Italian restaurant and a Southern Indian restaurant. Picture below taken inside the Italian.

Italian Restaurant

The CurveCalzone pizzaFood at the Italian was excellent and they had one of my favourites, a Calzone pizza.

For the last day of our trip we had a meeting in the Curve which is quite an impressive building in terms of size but also the design of the building itself is ultra-modern as you can see from the photos.

For much of the time the weather was nice which helped when taking pics!!


More photos.. you can click on any of these to enlarge.

MercureMercureLeicester market