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Watch “John Williams (1980) plays Granada (Albeniz)” on YouTube

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John Williams (1980) plays Granada (Albeniz): http://youtu.be/rdb9efEXz8o

Dyslexia.

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Not  easy for the ordinary ‘normal’ (is there such thing?) person to understand dyslexia. You know that people suffering from this have a hard time to write and read, but do you really know how hard it is?  It comes in degrees of course but for some reading is almost impossible. And parents / teachers often get impatient because they do not understand either.

In years gone by those suffering from dyslexia were regarded as stupid. Now we hopefully know better!

A sufferer (Daniel Britton)  has created a font to explain what words look like if you are dyslexic.

dyslexia

I have seen something simalar before but cannot remember where it was not the same.

To see more you can check this link Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3112756/Take-reading-test-shows-s-like-dyslexic-Font-recreate-frustration-felt-condition.html#ixzz3cHze1NAt

Ten Books for Skeptics.

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I more than often blog so that I have the links of interesting articles at hand.

10 books

This article was in http://www.skepticnorth.com/2012/12/ten-books-for-skeptics/   from December 2012. You see people that are gullible and hold onto stories not based in fact are a real irritation to me. It is dangerous, it puts science in reverse. It destroys the planet!

  1. I have read this one:- The Demon-Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark“It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness.” If you read only one book on this list, make it Carl Sagan’s classic defense of scientific inquiry and critical thinking. A true sign of brilliance is the ability to communicate with clarity, and Sagan did this with an enthusiasm for science that is obvious. If any book is essential reading for those interested in skepticism, this is the perfect place to start.  For more, see Melany Hamill’s review.
  1. And I think pf reading this one too:- Why People Believe Weird Things– In this 1997 book, skeptic and author Michael Shermer looks at alien abduction, Creationism, psychics, recovered memories, Holocaust denial, and more. He explores why even well-educated people can hold beliefs that seem utterly baffling to others.

The problem is of course that there is little success in arguing with these idiots.

Everybody may have an opinion, but to express it is another story. It may be not politically correct for one and then you will be in trouble, remember the truth is not always politically correct.

Racism is not new it has come with us through the ages; it is part of protecting one’s own. So if somebody looks different, think different even smells different, your clan had to get rid of them.

Lots of people love to believe in pseudoscience, based on personal experiences that they somehow take as some miracle. And of course the media laps this up, Religion does too.

Most people that follow banting has never read up on the medical issues. They cannot even answer the most basic questions. They follow Noakes ( South Africa’s Dr Oz) (who is in it for the money and NOT a food scientist) blindly. They may end up skeletons with serious liver problems.  Now how did they get so fat in the first place? And Dear Noakes will never tell you how bad bacon is for you.  He probably does not know!

Maybe the general level of intellect has drastically dropped in the last fifty years.

People waste time on complaining, they love to, but nothing on the solution to the problem. That they love to leave to others!

True Satire

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Questioning Darwinism

Questioning Darwinism

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/scientists-earth-endangered-by-new-strain-of-fact-resistant-humans

Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

The fact remains we are doomed!

Animals are very smart!

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Even insects. There is no denying it.

Found this interesting article on bumblebees that use nicotine to self medicate here 

bee

So far, the majority of evidence for animals self-medicating—either by ingesting or applying substances with medicinal properties to treat or prevent disease—has been documented in vertebrates, and more specifically chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). But there is a growing body of evidence that a wider and wider range of animals seek out plants and other substances specifically for their healing properties.

Known as zoopharmacognosy (literally “animal-drug-knowing”), the most common examples involve parrots eating clay to absorb toxins in the gut or dogs eating grass to make themselves sick. North American brown bears (Ursos arctos) are also known to make a paste of osha roots and saliva to rub through their fur to repel insects in a similar way to how many species of birds wipe ants through their feathers to rid themselves of lice. But evidence of self-medicating in insects has until recently remained scant.

Recent research has shown that certain species of bumblebee might seek out nectar high in alkaloids—such as nicotine—when infected with a gut parasite. The alkaloids were shown to reduce the number of parasites after the bees had had their tipple of nectar.

charlie6

Now what Charlie is looking for I suppose is ….. probably a rat? He and Bully sometimes catch a rat when it comes over  from the veld. They bring it to me (Ugh!) and then I buy it off them with a treat. I do not want them to eat rats see.

But Oh Dear for the plants.

from the veld. They bring it to me (Ugh!) and then I buy it off them with a treat. I do not want them to eat rats see.

Something to read

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Once I have read an exceptional good book, I find it hard to find something to read again, And this year I have been enjoying some of the best sellers _ New York Times bestsellers.

First of course Dead Wake by Erik Larson, the extremely well researched history of the sinking of the Lusitania. But I have written about this in a previous blog and ARK has also concurred with me – this is a brilliant book, not to be missed.

dead wake

Then I picked up The Girl on the Train, quite an unusual murder mystery. Although this book will not win the Pulitzer Prize for literature it is still an engaging story. A fun-read. ‘ Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.”—The Boston Globe

Alfred Hitchcock may have said all there is to say about the fallibility of making assumptions about what you see through a window, but, like most important lessons, this one can bear some repeating. To the limited scope of a window frame, the former London journalist Paula Hawkins, in her debut thriller, “The Girl on the Train,” offers a few additional obfuscations. First, her novel’s protagonist, Rachel, looks out through the window of a moving train on her daily commute. Second, Rachel is your basic hot mess: depressed, unemployed, still in mourning for the death of her marriage and prone to alcoholic blackouts that coincide with critical moments in the tale of a missing woman later found dead. Rachel might as well be wearing a sign that reads “Unreliable Narrator.” New York Times review.

The girl on the train

The next book was Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days – whosebewitching debut takes us from the cosy confines of a London home to the dark heart of the forest, following the breadcrumb trail of eight-year-old Peggy Hillcoat. […] Like all good fairy tales, this is a book filled with suspense and revelation, light and shadow and the overwhelming feeling that nothing is quite as it seems in the Hillcoats’ lives. It’s spellbinding, scary stuff.
The Sunday Express

Is it all possible? I had to think about it. Are the characters for real, even the imagined friends? Oh yes for sure. But if you could survive that long in the wilderness I doubt very much.

our endless numbered days

And then Hausfrau. Jill Alexander Essbaum’s debut novel, but remember that Essbaum is first and fore mostly a poet which explains the beautiful prose.

Hausfrau

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  “Sexy and insightful, this gorgeously written novel opens a window into one woman’s desperate soul.”—People
There are echoes in Hausfrau of those other frustrated wives, Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina. Here, as in those novels, we expect tragedy at the turn of every page. 

So now I am reading for the second time ASA Harrison’s The Silent wife.

(I almost never read books twice so this should tell you something. The other book that I read twice was Julian Barnes A Sense of an Ending – superb.) “Harrison has spun a masterfully suspenseful tale in which the main plot point is given away from the beginning – no easy feat. It’s a story of the end of a marriage, the end of love and how long buried secrets can cast a long shadow.” – The Cleveland Plain Deale

Beautifully and superbly written. And had she lived I would imagine she would have gone on to   win many literary prizes.

None of these above should ever be compared with the third rate book (and very poor movie) Gone Girl. Please.

 I was never a fan of ‘Gone Girl’, and am glad I did not know that this novel, ‘The Silent Wife’ was being compared to ‘Gone Girl’. This is an entirely separate novel, connected only by the season, a summer novel/thriller. Amazon Review.

Here we call it autumn

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But it is actually fall.

Because although the nicest season of the year, it is a bit messy when the leaves start to fall and the grass is looking bleak. But the days are wonderful and sunny and Charlie Fox  is not yet ready for a coat. Not that I know if the coat will last. (Bully prefers the comfort of a chair.) And so on the doorstep of winter the color from the garden has gone and the changes to the trees are subtle. Nothing spectacular (yet). We are slowly getting ready.

Bully xxx

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