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Police prepare for sea-level rise 85% Posted Aug 2017

Police prepare for sea-level rise

Caption: 197 days ago

The U.S. version of "The Bill"

Dunkirk statistics 87% Posted Jul 2017

Dunkirk statistics

Comment: 204 days ago

"I would be much more humble towards hurt feelings in France" Hmm - I'd actually try and establish a more objective reality check. Hurt feelings I think are more likely to give rise to myths and obfuscation.

"criticism from in the US" Yes, right - take criticism on the depiction of WW2 in films from the country that brought us "The Great Escape", "U 571" and "Inglourious basterds" (sic) amongst others?.

"But then, the filmmaker never intended to tell a realistic story about Dunkirk." Where did you get that from? OK, you can't have an exact duplication of the event (which would last days and people would really be killed or injured), but Nolan wanted to recreate what it like on the ground and I think he did a great job.

The Daily Show - Mooch loves Trump 87% Posted Jul 2017

The Daily Show - Mooch loves Trump

Comment: 209 days ago

Yes, but can he do the fandango?

The Queen has a double 87% Posted Jul 2017

The Queen has a double

Comment: 211 days ago

Try turning the audio on then you can hear her say, "A stand-in is not a look-alike: I don't look like the Queen."

Klezmer Dolphins 88% Posted Jul 2017

Klezmer Dolphins

Comment: 211 days ago

Is that how dolphins say, "please stop that godawful music"?

Lawrence Krauss - Does ESP make sense? 87% Posted Jul 2017

Lawrence Krauss - Does ESP make sense?

Comment: 214 days ago

How did I know the right answer? ("Bigger")

How did I know the explanation for the right answer? ("If the metal had been there, the area round the "hole" would have got bigger")

How did I have the experience that everything was the same and was a rerun apart from the surprising reverse of the answer? (Classroom, problem, hands up, different answer from everyone else, correct explanation of the answer).

One explanation is some sort of precognition experience (ESP). Given the rest of my life and the number of other times I haven't experienced it, ESP seems unlikely, but...

...the other explanations (all a dream, heard it elsewhere and had a memory glitch to invent a non-existent scenario) seem equally unlikely.

I had an odd experience. There are a number of unlikely but possible explanations, one of which is ESP/precognition.

The old Ptolemaic view of the universe with the Earth at the centre was so bleeding obvious that people had to invent increasingly bizarre models to account for the anomalous movement of Mars (apparently going backwards then forwards). Actually, the simple solution was that the Earth was not at the centre after all.

If you're saying that (leaving out the charlatans and magicians) all instances of ESP can be explained by ever more complex psychological phenomena, then maybe it's time to accept that the simplest solution could be that maybe ESP does exist.

If you accept the quantum physics phenomenon that the observer can affect the experiment, isn't that just some sort of ESP by another name?

Lawrence Krauss - Does ESP make sense? 87% Posted Jul 2017

Lawrence Krauss - Does ESP make sense?

Comment: 214 days ago

"Didn't you just have a memory glitch?" No. My definition of memory is something that happened in the past that I recall now. There was no time when I was the only one to get it wrong.

"You could have been asked or heard the question in a different scenario, maybe on TV, or overhearing a conversation, or read it in a magazine - and then mis-remembered." So I heard it on the TV, then rather than think, "Oh I vaguely remember something about this," I created in my mind the certainty that everyone else had put their hand up to the same question and I had been the only one to get it wrong.. This is obviously possible, but I suggest just as unlikely as precognition.

Another possibillity I've entertained is maybe the whole thing is made up. Maybe I had a vivid dream (a la Inception) and it never really happened to me at all. All I can say is here is an odd experience, how can I account for it? And some of the non-ESP explanations seem as unlikely as the ESP one(s).

"Something interesting is going on there" Yep.

"I'd talk to a psychiatrist first before concluding ESP was involved." OK, if the teacher asked "Does the hole get bigger or smaller?" and I answered "penis" - then maybe I'd think about seeing a psychiatrist.

Anyway, do have a look at that Horizon programme (slow day today, I had another look) - and here's one of the guys involved giving a "not TED" talk. He worked with the US security services.

It's like there's enough weird stuff out there that people have to invest more in denying it than accepting it just might have a truth. Surely there's enough weird stuff documented in quantum physics for you to admit the tiniest possibility of at least some ESP experiences being just that: genuine phenomena that cannot be explained by our current scientific understanding (yet).

Lawrence Krauss - Does ESP make sense? 87% Posted Jul 2017

Lawrence Krauss - Does ESP make sense?

Comment: 214 days ago

A short bit of personal experience:

In physics at school, the teacher asked us a very specific question: "If you heat a sheet of metal with a hole in it, does the hole get bigger or smaller?" Hands up for bigger, hands up for smaller.

I and one other guy were the only ones to say "bigger" (the correct answer). Everyone else got it wrong. The teacher asked us how we knew and my answer was, "Because I got it wrong last time."

I was absolutely convinced this was the 2nd time he'd asked that question and the 1st time I'd said "smaller" and been the only one to get it wrong.

So what actually happened here? It's most unlikely that the teacher and 35 other boys forgot this was the 2nd time, so we can discount that. It wasn't a lucky guess on my part because the question was specifically about sheets of metal, holes and expansion and I correctly "remembered" the reason for my answer.

The only explanation I can come up with is that it was some kind of ESP/precognition experience - but I was too stunned and confused at the time to ask any questions of my classmates or the teacher.

So what?

1) Although there's no way of me being able to prove this to you, I know it happened to me - and I think there are loads of similar experiences that have happened to others. For us ESP is a reality.

2) In my case, it's not fraud, subconscious cold-reading or intuition. It was a genuinely inexplicable experience - but no less real for being inexplicable.

3) I think the question/answer was too specific to be explained by randomness. If I think of someone and they telephone me that could be random: just think of all the times I think of someone and they don't telephone.

4) I (and the others who have experienced something) cannot reproduce it, therefore our experiences cannot be entered in the scientific canon.

So yes, there are frauds claiming to speak to your dead granny. Yes, there are entertainers pretending "magical" powers. Yes, Randi has exposed charlatans. Yes, these things cannot easily be reproduced under laboratory conditions.

But yes, ESP exists in the random experiences of many ordinary people.

Anyway, if you have 90 minutes you might enjoy this old BBC Horizon programme on ESP (though they might have made it all up!)


Trillion-ton iceberg of doom 87% Posted Jul 2017

Trillion-ton iceberg of doom

Comment: 215 days ago

Being specific, the penguins and polar bears featured in a 3rd party promotional video for the company proposing to tow icebergs to the Gulf. We don't actually know RT's position on their coexistence - but I think we should be told.

Tony Blair: It's absolutely necessary that Brexit doesn't happen 87% Posted Jul 2017

Tony Blair: It's absolutely necessary that Brexit doesn't happen

Comment: 217 days ago

I'm not convinced on "the will of the people". Tea v. coffee is pretty binary - and that wasn't the choice people were offered.

We were offered "would you like highly regulated, expensive tea with a lot of foreigners having the right to come over here - or would you like a wonderful alternative to tea that will make your life wonderful and rejuvenate the NHS?"

"No, we can't say exactly what that beverage is, but it's better than tea trust me."

While it would be possible to dodge/ignore/fudge the last result (it's what they did in Ireland, after all), I think you're right about having another referendum on whatever deal gets negotiated. It gives everyone a way out and might limit the number of fingers we lose altogether - but (thank you, Boris) we've already lost a couple of joints off the longer fingers.

(not sure how long this metaphor will last).


A better way to negotiate 87% Posted Jul 2017

A better way to negotiate

Comment: 217 days ago

How is this different from "Getting to Yes" 1977?

Tony Blair: It's absolutely necessary that Brexit doesn't happen 87% Posted Jul 2017

Tony Blair: It's absolutely necessary that Brexit doesn't happen

Comment: 217 days ago

I agree with most of your comment: we were force-fed half-truths and spin. Arguments against Brexit were dismissed as "Project Fear" and the Leavers stoked Jingoism and xenophobia until they squeaked through with a narrow majority. They are now peddling the lie that it's "the will of the people."

However, I disagree with your comment, "I think it's important that we through with it and see what the fuss was all about." You shouldn't put your hand in the mincer just to find out how dangerous and damaging it is to grind your fingers off.

If you disagree with the result you have an absolute right to continue to campaign in order to prevent something bad happening - when the opposition loses an election it doesn't go home and sit on its hands for 5 years.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that if the result had been 48% to 52% the other way, Nigel Farage and his ilk would not have packed up their tents and gone home. They'd have been banging on about the tragedy of half the electorate having their legitimate hopes and expectations being ignored - and arguing for some kind of compromise solution.

As a remainer, I think that's what we should be doing and (like Walter) while I disagree with Blair on many issues, on this occasion I think he's right.

It's just a bit disappointing that the only people who seem to be representing my views at the moment are Tony Blair and Vince Cable.

Korean gun prank masterfully executed 94% Posted Jul 2017

Korean gun prank masterfully executed

Comment: 222 days ago

"Seppo" = "septic tank"?

Backstage at Glastonbury with Labour's John McDonnell 87% Posted Jun 2017

Backstage at Glastonbury with Labour's John McDonnell

Comment: 236 days ago

"and expect others to pay for it"

Quick reality check: that's what all parties do. Who has actually coughed up the £billion for the DUP? It's not come out of Theresa's pocket

Cambodian girl makes a fishing bow 87% Posted Jun 2017

Cambodian girl makes a fishing bow

Comment: 238 days ago

Hang on - where's that monster fish shown in the pre-view frame? I've been click-baited

Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury 2017 92% Posted Jun 2017

Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury 2017

Comment: 238 days ago

She offered strong and stable leadership.

She warned against a coalition of chaos.

She said there was no magic money-tree.

I'm waiting for "Brexit doesn't mean Brexit."

64% Posted Jun 2017

"Oh Jeremy Corbyn" breaks out over Glastonbury

Comment: 239 days ago

You're talking as if the UK's government were as fixed as the US: you are stuck with Trump (barring death or impeachment) for the next 3.5 years. The UK is not necessarily stuck with May.

While your first sentence is true, ("Corbyn did not get the majority of seats so he didn't win and May is still PM") it could more accurately be written as "Corbyn got an increasing number of seats so he's on the rise, while May lost her majority and is fighting to remain PM."

May has some serious legislation to get passed by Parliament. The Tories are split between hard/soft Brexit as well as Remain - and even with a coalition with the DUP (still undefined as to the terms) she will find it hard to command a majority, if not impossible.

That will trigger a vote of no confidence and another election - I'd guess withing the next 6 months.

The Subscription Economy - Why buy things you only use once? 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Subscription Economy - Why buy things you only use once?

Comment: 242 days ago

Not sure about his example of borrowing a turkey-roaster (whatever that is) for Thanksgiving - that's the day everyone will want to borrow it.

But hiring cars, tools, tuxedos makes a lot more sense


The Putin Interviews - Putin discusses NATO 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Putin Interviews - Putin discusses NATO

Comment: 243 days ago

Very clever man who is running rings round western foreign policy at the moment.

George Carlin - How to speak English 88% Posted Jun 2017

George Carlin - How to speak English

Comment: 245 days ago

I'm looking forward to George Carlin's next podcast on "How to build a career on not being funny"