Saturday, 31 January 2009

CERN Podcast

Interesting podcast about the Higgs-Bosun et cetera.

"We have to trow away 99.9995% of the collisions we have to trow away" et cetera.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Dappy Ideas for Democracy #1

This one's for the ladiez.

Like, umm. The principle of supermajorities is already in use in the US democratic system. The senate needs a supermajority to end a fillibuster. And for a good reason - fillibusters are neat.

Why not mitigate some of the disadvantages of the first past the post system (voter apathy, wasted votes, tactical voting, et cetera) by rigging the presidential powers to the proportion of the popular vote the winner achieves (weighted according to turn-out)? That way it's more reasonable to vote for your guy, even if you happen to live in a safe seat state.

So, like. If the President has done a W. 2000 and won the electoral vote, but not the popular vote, zhe doesn't get to make so many federal appointments. Maybe there could be civil society institutions waiting in the wings to make these appointments. Or let foreign governments do it! Also, the President doesn't get the power of selective pardon. Either nobody gets pardons, or everybody gets one.

Or if the President gets a big mandate from the popular vote, tilt the balance of power zher way by requiring only a 2/5 Senate approval for Supreme Court appointments.

For really upper echelon shares of the popular vote, the President gets incredibly powerful technomancy anime attacks.

Maybe this could all be relativised according to what popular mandates have been achieved by the legislature and the judiciary's SAT scores.

These are just examples, they're probably not "tweaky" enough!

Anyway, the situation on the ground is fast overwhelming these fanciful & reformists maggotes in my brain: the results of yesterday's by-election in Stoke Newington show a swing of 0.4% from Labour to Green since 2006!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

No quiche for me boys . . . THAT bucket is ISRAEL

Darling unique hits!


"A protest and sit-in in the Asa Briggs lecture theatre ended peacefully last night (Tuesday 27 January), when the students involved agreed to a final statement which the University had presented earlier in the week in response to their original demands."

Is this a climb-down? I can't tell. The original demands, so they were wafted thru my rude hermeneutage (ta the pollen-fragrant zephyrs of Luke et. Al!) were that (a) the bookshop not stock Israeli books or weapons till Olmert adopt absolutely strict proportionality policy viz. a quasi-aimless doodlebug sort of lethally nosing in the vague direction of some Gaza depot or militant or kid or like bollard just as and when really, & (b) the University become the University of Zuzzex, & (c) the Ariel Sharon zombie not be included in the trust-building exercises scheduled for the morning, & (d) the totality of human relations to be seen as it would appear from the perspective not of redemption, but of damnation.

More action at QMU, LSE, etc. I am at Birkbeck, which is more suited to the needs of mature students!

My friend Steve Tarrant and I were shopping today and Steve was reaching to buy an air purifier. I said to him, "Steve, you know that's an Amcor air purifier right?"

Steve looked like I was an air raid and he was an exposed Palestinian urchin!

"And I suppose Orchard Mechanization do your power ladders Steve. My God Steve. When you're finished tipping out all the blood pooled in your basket, why don't we go out and grab some Hod Lavan turkey-burgers. Keep up the good work!"

Then Steve tried to compare it to me shopping at Primark! Idiot. Ornit blind rivets, they're nature's conflict diamonds! Primark is just a guilty pleasure, like Coldplay / scotch eggs!