Jan. 25th, 2009

Net News

Jan. 25th, 2009 03:38 pm
valkyrieza: (NCIS - Ducky serious)
This is an old report from the "Onion" about McDonalds, referenced by someone on Digg It is about 12 years old by now, but still funny as it laughs at the idea of obsessive cult fan and the lack of usefulness of some of the aspects of modern consumerist culture.

There is also an old issue of some expensive NCDs (negotiable certificates of deposits) using teleportation. It starts of with a mysterious disappearance of approximately 8 million South African Rand en-route from the headquarters of one bank to another in Johannesburg. The distance between the two banks? About 10 minutes walking at a leisurely pace. These same NCDs were put to the branch in the Western Cape Province to be cashed out on the same day they went AWOL in Johannesburg, bear in mind we are talking more then 1000km difference between the physical places and back in 2000, when this started not very frequent air trips between the Johannesburg and Cape Town. Of course, everyone has signed off to the fact that they were in Johannesburg and the businessman who has asked for the NCDs to be redeemed has proof of purchase for the these papers. Add to that a grisly death, a persistent heir still trying to redeem the money, a bypass of the Reserve Bank's exchange rules regulations and numerous court dates. I reckon the people who specialise in being Private Investigators in financial matters will have a ball. Who needs a smoky office and people shooting at you?

I did not know that this year is an International Astronomy Year 2009 for South Africa. It seems there is also a solar eclipse on the cards this coming Monday. My neighbour bought a telescope so this will be an opportunity to view a solar eclipse with proper equipment.

There is also the tragic news of the murders of infants and one of the minders in the small town near Brussels in Belgium. I had spent about two, not the nicest months in Belgium and despite my feelings towards certain people there, it is a law-abiding place where such violence, especially towards infants (youngest was 6 months old) is doubly unexpected.

CNN.com offers the first page story about 25 years of Macs. I wonder how much Steve Jobs paid for that little promotion? It took a little scrolling to see this article. It is about reversing the policy that "prohibits U.S. money from funding international family-planning clinics that promote abortion or provide counselling or referrals about abortion services." [CNN.com, "Obama reverses abortion-funding policy", accessed 25.01.09]. This policy has been implemented each time an uneducated, pardon the expression 'hick' like presidents Reagan and Bush reverse it. I applaud the common sense shown by the Obama administration, this is one of those issues that should not be politicised. I believe most women, myself included do not appreciate a mainly male body of politicians deciding about their bodies.

BBC offers a cheerful combination of reporting about violence in the world and more impacts of the global financial crisis. it is interspersed with a cheerful article about a pilot who had managed to land his plane on water after both its engines were crippled by birds . I have done some quick Googling, it is exceptionally difficult and has only been a few times before, where like in this case, everyone had survived.

Also, for[livejournal.com profile] lyonza , an academic article about how MUDs were started. It is a bit old, but still interesting to know how.

Back to studying, thank goodness, it is an open-book exam.
valkyrieza: (Karev)
The People Time Forgot: Flores Find - question below

It is an old story, but worth reading )

Of course, the opposing side disagreed, claiming that one skeleton is not enough. From what I can understand this caused quite a furore in the palaeoanthropological community. Heck, if 'complicated' terms appeared in mainstream newspapers, then it is indeed quite a discovery. The sceptic in me, does wonder if one skeleton and partial remains of several other skeletons is enough to claim a new species, even if they are the descendants of the Homo erectus species that evolved into their own species over time thanks to isolation of the island. This of course brings the other contentious point of how Homo erectus got there in the first place.

Recently, as in just over a month ago, a
Minnesota anthropology professor, claimed validity to the existence of  Homo floresiensis in his study.

Article )

So anyone who is more knowledgeable on the matter?

I do not have even the basic ground facts to make an informed decision with which side to agree. Another human species is undoubtedly cool, especially as recent as this one to have interacted with our ancestors. On the other hand, there is not enough evidence to fully justify such a claim. This is not a subjective topic such as religion/politics where my view makes it right I my eyes.  I also do not have a greater understanding at a higher level then high school, like with economics or accounting to be comfortable to 'choose a side'. I am open to more information and explanations that I can at least feel better about this.

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valkyrieza

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