“Holding keys to a paradise” 11/11/11

I used to think that scientific research study could only ever be a good thing, but now I’m not so sure. I think I was merely exhibititing “specialisation” type social behaviour in response to this civilisations increasing complexity.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out we’ve got continually deteriorating social & environmental problems. Don’t think there’s anything wrong with the way we do things today? There’s a book entitled The Fourth Civilisation, which is precisely the type of text more scientists should read before deciding upon their next topic of research. It’s what everyone should read, instead of those silly English novels they get you to read at highschool. Read all that first and with that in mind, then embark on your career.

“The great danger for the world in the post-cold-war period may come from the combination of economic problems and the struggle for cultural survival.” – Alexander Tomov, 1996.

When I was at university, science was all about solving problems. Come to think of it, research is essentially the slow process of gathering or “discovering” new factoids that one day may just come in handy for future researchers. But what we don’t want is answers to problems we’ll face during the next century or the next decade or even now. What we [b]needed [/b]were answers [i]yesterday [/i]for the problems we were facing DECADES ago! All too often, scientists belatedly come up with half-arsed ‘solutions’. Answers to consequences that science itself is or was originally implicated in.

For example, exactly how can this purported “Grand Unified Theory” possibly benefit anyone. To me it reaks of human ignorance & . What the HELL kind of answers can these experiments [i]possibly [/i]reveal that will help us here on Earth [i]before [/i]we wipe out not just our own civilisation but half the freakin’ species that live here?? I for one think it would be good if the whole science community got a bop on the head so to speak and took onboard some good old fashioned COMMON FUCKING SENSE.

I’m feeling pretty optimistic today, even so, I still think the world is generally fucked… for every single scientific invention there’s been some kind of unintended negative consequence. Possibly the only exception is the humble solar panel, and we don’t use them nearly enough as we should.

During my post-graduate degree, I learned that scientists are veritable EXPERTS in justifying research funds. It’s late & I don’t know what I’m saying but I would like to see the same amount of money given to sociologists & see what they come up with. They’d probably come up with better answers for this planet than all those particle physcists put together.

I read the other day that the MIT & other various groups were trying to create “Wireless Power Transfer via Strongly Coupled Magnetic Resonances”… now keeping in mind what I said earlier about ‘unintended negative consequences’, hands up who actually thinks that pursuing this is a good idea? Why do it? Do we hate cables that much or are we just becoming too lazy to plug them in to their respective sockets???

Who wants to live like the fat buggers on that inter-galactic spaceship in the movie WALL.E? Not me, that’s for damn sure. I happen to like it here on Earth. I like animals and plants. I’m happy to co-habitate with them. I’m no tripped-out hippy, but I think we could actually benefit by some much-needed changes.

This is your mother Earth speaking.

Hello, this is mother Earth speaking.

Look, I’m sorry but we really need to talk. This has gone on long enough. I thought I wouldn’t come to this. But you leave me no choice. You’re one of my three dearest children. I know I gave birth to you all and everything…

But you’ve been living under my roof for tens of thousands of years now… and you still haven’t moved out yet! Your father isn’t around anymore so I’m just going to have to start charging you board and lodgings. You’ve always using up all my oxygen and you never contribute to making any of it! So I’m just going to have to start charging you for it.

It costs money to produce pure oxygen you know! And you keep burning it all! Oxygen does grow on trees you know! But you insist on cutting them all down now, don’t you? What do you have to say for yourself? Well?! So what do you think is going to happen?

Look. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Don’t come crying to me when your room fills up with CO2!

What’s that? You don’t believe me? You still don’t believe in climate change? Just look at your sister’s room! Now tell me… I bet you’d conveniently forgotten about her. No, I didn’t think so.

Venus left her room in one hell of a state when she moved out. And now look at it! Look at it!! It’s a right runaway greenhouse mess now – I’ll never be able to clean it up! There’s acid rain in there and everything! I can’t even touch the floor of her room, it’s so hot. 462°C. What kind of a temperature is that? So let that be a lesson to you!

And what’s going on with your water? You keep pissing in the fresh water! Your father and I have told you time and time again not to do that. And all this time we thought you were toilet trained. But if that weren’t bad enough – you try to hide the evidence by flushing it all with even more fresh water! As if that helps anything!

You sneak about after dark poisoning all of that valuable organic waste with all sorts of horrible drugs. I don’t know where you even get a hold of those chemicals!

And if that weren’t bad enough, then you go out into other people’s backyards, dig everything up trying to look for something to fertilise the plants here with! Didn’t your aunt teach you better than that? Where are your manners? You know you should be going to the toilet directly in the garden. How many times do I have to tell you? Why do you insist on wasting all of our hard-earned nutrients like that? I just don’t understand it. You’ll send us all broke if you keep it up! Don’t make me force you to wear diapers again! Just imagine the look the asteroids would give you…

Do I really have to remind you of your little brother Mars? To this day nothing will grow in his room! To this day!! I thought you would’ve known better. That’s what happens when you don’t take responsibility for your own water usage. There’s barely a drop in the whole room now! Nothing will grow there anymore — and I do mean nothing.

I thought after your little NASA moon escapade over the weekend that you’d have a little more respect for your own mother, after you saw first hand how hard it is to live in outer space on your own. I thought you’d begin to appreciate exactly how hard it is to make it by yourselves. But no. Do you think it ever becomes ‘easy’, to live in outer space? I can assure you it’s not! Not even for me. And I’ve had 5 billion years of practice.

There are bills to pay. Laws. Regulations. Responsibility. Right now you just don’t have enough responsibility!

I told your father I didn’t like you hanging around that crowd of friends at school! You’ve picked up all these bad habits from them haven’t you? It’s not like you don’t have your own income either. Is it? You’ve got more than enough money coming in. But you waste it all on bullshit material things. Things you don’t need instead of the things that really matter. So how about you helping out your ol’ mum from time to time?

Someone posted this on LinkedIn…

537068b5-4af5-4240-98a1-48af74d7ba46-large

And here is my internet response:

Nice looking car BUT it still has exhaust pipes. Why?

*glares at everybody in the room* [that’s right]

For fuck’s sake, companies were meant to be phasing out the internal combustion engine more than a decade ago. I know that is not what you want to hear, and actually I don’t enjoy speaking out, but honestly, someone has to. Because in today’s world, this is bullshit. You should not be allowed to even build a 503 horsepower car in the year 2016, let alone sell it.

It may *look* cool, but it is most definitely *not* cool. Do you want to know what I honestly think? I think that while it still has exhaust pipes, no combination of advertising, graphic design or industrial design can make it cool.

It’s like mechanical HDDs. We know the technology is all but dead, but people still buy them.

You can make the exterior as stylish as you want, but if there’s still a fucking combustion engine lurking in there somewhere underneath the bonnet (or wherever new place you want to put it), you –as customers– should all turn your fucking noses up at it. You should all turn your noses up in disgust. You should put on a posh voice and say “oh, darlings, exhaust pipes are so 1992 don’t you know?”.

Now, you don’t often see scientists speaking out on such matters. We tend to shut up and stay in our laboratories. Stuck behind all sorts of weird instrumentation and computer-controlled devices. And I’ll admit that most scientists have always traditionally appeared very uncool. We were usually the clever ones who were picked on most at school. As scientists, we might know a lot of shit, but the trouble is, we don’t have the power to actually persuade anyone of anything.

Well not this scientist. This scientist has also recently studied design. That’s what makes me ‘dangerous’. And among other things, design is most often used to pursuade people to buy new products and services. There’s a conundrum here though because this scientist has studied science before design. What difference does that make, you ask? It makes all the difference. It means to me, science will always drumpf design. Not the other way around.

I believe that scientists (and ex scientists for that matter, because I fall squarely into that category) all have a DUTY OF CARE to planet Earth, to call out whatever they see as unsustainable. Otherwise, you non-scientists would all be whinging in two hundred years time: “Why didn’t you tell us anything a hundred years ago? Why didn’t you warn us then?”.

Well we are warning you, now. We are all waving our fucking arms in the air effectively saying “Danger Will Robinson, danger! Climate emergency!”.

Here’s the thing: we can’t appear too emotional, because we’re scientists. It’s our job to be as unemotional and as Spock-like as humanly possible. Right? Otherwise our data, our results and conclusions may be biased by our mere ‘feelings’. And we just can’t have that. We have to be as objective as possible. So we usually keep ‘feelings’ out of it.

But I think this is actually half the reason people are still not listening to us — because there’s not enough emotion in our collective voices.

Jesus fucking Christ. What more do scientists need to do before the world starts getting it? DO YOU WANT US TO SHOUT? Do you want us to dance up and down? What!?

Now, I know that 7999 people will most probably not like my reply. But there will be a few wise ones that do like it. And gradually, I hope that small percentage goes up with time. That is the purpose of me speaking out. That is the purpose of this blog.

I believe that chaos theory can explain the unsolved phenomenon of turbulence.

You should probably read this post about sensitive dependence on initial conditions before reading this here.

“Remember when your teacher told you that whenever you round up or down a repeating number or a surd, like 2, that the ‘remainder’ is ‘insignificant’ when compared to the size of the large overall number? Well, they were wrong. Because those remainders add up. Especially when you are dealing with scientific equations that have factors of 1030 or more in them.”

You know, it’s been a long time since I plugged very large numbers into equations. But I know for a fact that all the students would get slightly different answers to problems, depending on how much they rounded down and how often. Back when I was doing exams, I noticed that any equation with Avogadro’s constant (6.023 x 1023) in it is very susceptible to this behaviour when rounding down. The exact result also has a lot to do with how much these irrational numbers are multiplied with each other and where they appear in the equation(s).

Now, yes, in the exam room, you will still get the answer ‘correct’, even if you are slightly off. They even make allowances for that, because some people will be rounding numbers at different points in their equations. Some people will put a temporary answer into the calculator’s memory to be able to complete the remainder of the equation later on (this is to reduce the risk of making a mistake, because some of the equations are so long, they require many button presses).

I always used to use the full accuracy of the numbers until the last possible moment, because  yes I do believe them to be significant.

Science (by that I mean the lecturers and the university) will tell you that you have the right answer so long as you get close to two or three significant figures. But is that good enough? If we want to explain turbulence, then we want to know where those errors come from, don’t we?

You see, right now, the mathematical proof of turbulence is still debated. It’s actually one of the great unsolved physical mysteries (and there is a million US bucks up for grabs by the way). It’s one of the reasons that weather cannot be predicted very accurately for a very long period of time, because the weather is a chaotic, turbulent system.

Do you want to know what I now believe? I believe that chaos theory can explain the phenomenon of turbulence, that’s what. Unfortunately, I’ve become more of a graphical, visual person that is way too hopeless at mathematics to prove it. Hahaha

[addendum]

So if you’re still reading, and you happen to be a mathematics expert, I would just like to give you a little clue. Next time you try to tackle one of the unsolved millennium prize problems, specifically the one to do with the Navier-Stokes equations, can you please redo the whole thing? This time from first principles assuming that irrational numbers like surds cannot be simplified further without significantly changing the resulting answers.

On creativity. And Space Ace Jase.

Nautilus
Illustration by Leslie Dean Brown. © 2015. All rights reserved.
What is the strangest thing you have ever heard?

When I was growing up, by far the funniest, most preposterous thing I had ever heard anyone say was this:

“I can kick a soccer ball to China”.

As kids, I can remember us all standing in the middle of the street. And we simply erupted with laughter.

Air, friction, gravity and power aside… it was the silliest thing I had ever heard anyone say. So forever afterwards, he was known in our circle as “Space Ace Jase”.

He had said something that none of us had ever heard before. What he said… he had said the impossible.

Looking back, you have to hand it to this kid – he was certainly creative.

And I can remember wondering, how did he think up such things? Kick a soccer ball to China… that’s ridiculous! Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

But then later in life, we realise we have lost a lot of that creativity we were inherently born with. It has been slowly eroded from us.

We are taught what to say. How to say it. When to say it. Why to say it. Where to say it. Which people to say it to. So we eventually lose that sense of silliness.

I think it’s because people seem to assume you dont need to be ‘clever’ to be creative.  It all starts around high school. All the nerdy, intelligent people do maths and science to get a higher tertiary entrance tank score. And science, engineering and maths don’t at first appear to be very creative, do they? They always rank higher than music, literature and art.

I used to get paid quite a bit but I found it all rather boring after several years. So you need to ask yourself: what does compensation matter if you /really/ don’t like doing it?

And then sooner or later we want to get some of that creativity back again…

So how do we become more creative?

I think creativity is simply doing something in some new way with something that has never been done before. Creativity is after all… simply creating something new!

Creativity simply means taking two things that have never been put together and just… whacking them together.

First off, have you noticed that parents often tell their children: “don’t be silly!”? They say something completely new and then they are promptly told it is silly. “Don’t be silly” you hear parents say straight afterwards.

Well I think in order to be creative, you have to be prepared to take risks like that. You have to be prepared to say something wrong. Just like kids. They are always making mistakes, but they are naturally very creative.

For me, being creative, maintaining my creativity —or better yet boosting it— usually means doing something differently. And doing something completely different each and every day.

Going somewhere I have never been. Seeing something I have never seen. Listening to sounds that I have never heard before. Or reading something I have never read before. Even feeling things I have never felt before. I’ll skip the sense of smell just to throw you off my sense-track-pattern.

So my best advice to you, if you want to be more creative, to do that, is to start doing things differently. If you have a choice, choose the option you don’t normally choose. Don’t go to the same old cafe. Don’t walk the same route.

Why do creative careers pay less anyway?

Being creative uses your intelligence in a different way. We should all be paid the same. The same as ‘clever’ people. Because I’ve noticed that clever people can actually be very uncreative. That’s why nerds are drawn to all sorts of comics. Becuase they can’t come up with that shit themselves. Am I right? Of course I’m right.

I am slowly becoming more creative and it has taken about 1-2 years to build that skill. I could argue that there is much more actual work involved in creating one of my illustrations than pressing a button and getting the results from a scientific experiment. What I mean is that there are many more minute decisions that have to be made. I should be getting paid more for illustration. But I get paid much, much less.

Unfortunately the world doesn’t seem to work that way. “Like anyone can be creative.”

I would say that if there is a theoretical basis for undervaluing creatives, it is because to be creative, sometimes you have to be prepared to make mistakes (you can’t please everyone). And people that make mistakes are sometimes not seen as being ‘creative’, they are seen as being ‘wrong’. And being wrong or silly doesn’t pay.

So creatives always get paid less. Or do they? If you think about it, professional actors and musicians are some of the most highly paid people on the planet. I’m talking way, way more than 200k salaries.

Well that’s it from me today,

Take care,

Les.

What’s new with GMO?

Today I’m going to do things a bit differently.

I‘d like to encourage my followers to read several articles I just found out about. So here are several interesting pieces of news regarding CRISPR, a new gene-editing technique and a couple of links to the first ever completely synthetic, artificial cell:

  1. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/monsanto-nets-first-crispr-license-to-modify-crops-with-key-restrictions/
  2. https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/10/crispr-diagnostics-gene-cutting/
  3. https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/23/florida-keys-mosquitoes-genetically-modified/
  4. https://www.statnews.com/2016/08/05/mosquitoes-genetically-modified-florida-zika/
  5. https://www.statnews.com/2016/08/18/genetic-code-synthetic-life/
  6. https://www.statnews.com/2016/07/18/crispr-off-target-effects/
  7. https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/16/crispr-first-human-trial-cancer/
  8. https://www.statnews.com/2016/07/21/crispr-experiment-humans/
  9. https://www.statnews.com/2015/11/17/gene-editing-embryo-crispr/
  10. https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/02/synthetic-human-genome/
  11. https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/09/superbugs-antibiotic-resistance-mcr1/
  12. https://www.statnews.com/2016/07/07/superbug-new-gene-discovery/
  13. https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/02/project-human-genome-synthesis/
  14. https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/04/synthetic-genome-church-endy/
  15. https://www.statnews.com/2016/05/13/harvard-meeting-synthetic-genome/
  16. http://www.jcvi.org/cms/press/press-releases/full-text/article/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell-constructed-by-j-craig-venter-institute-researcher/home/
  17. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703559004575256470152341984
  18. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2082278-artificial-cell-designed-in-lab-reveals-genes-essential-to-life/

Please read all of the above articles and educate yourselves. This isn’t in the mainstream news, but it should be.

I should probably state here that I don’t even pretend to know about genetics. I’m not a geneticist, I studied Materials Science.

All I do know is that nature has laws and you cannot break those laws. Bacterial diseases are lifeorms too and they are just as robust and ‘innovative’ as even the cleverest of humans.

I think that scientists often tend to overestimate their own intelligence level, and at the same time, underestimate the resourcefulness of nature itself. I don’t think we can ever fully predict the “revenge effect”. But it is there. The risk is always there.

I’m sure the field of genetics is really, really advanced by now. I’m not saying that it’s not. But the big worry for me is just that— as science becomes more and more and more specialised, people get ‘cleverer’ but they don’t always become ‘wiser’. So to put that another way, the greatest geneticist minds may claim to know all about genes, and they might even be right, but then they cannot also be the greatest experts in ecosystems. The fields of science are that big today that no one can know everything. It’s impossible! That’s the big worry.

“I don’t think it represents the creation of an artificial life form,” said biomedical engineer James Collins at Boston University. “I view this as an organism with a synthetic genome, not as a synthetic organism. It is tough to draw where the line is.” [source]

[Read more…]

Zada speaks for Earth. At age 5.

I think this kid is surprisingly clever. She obviously knows what she wants. She’s not just self-aware, she is also aware that other animals are self-aware. She shows empathy for other living, feeling, conscious beings. That to me is true intellect.

You know, I was raised to eat meat. Our family used to eat every single day. I was never really told where it came from. I didn’t even realise that cows were ‘smart’ or had many feelings until I was a teenager and spoke with my friend in highschool. He used to live on a farm and he also informed me that sheep were very smart too. Prior to that I suppose I just thought they were like factory robots or something. It was just something I never really thought about I suppose.

I almost never buy meat nowadays. Especially not red meat. I just was in the supermarket yesterday and I wandered past the meat aisle. I thought about cooking some nice, tasty chicken for myself. And then I remembered this vid. So I chose not to…

Thanks, kid. I’ll try and remember you whenever I’m tempted to buy/eat meat. Because I like animals too. And, no, Zada, no. No they don’t really like being cooked in the oven. They don’t like that very much at all. :(

Some perspective

Imagine if 7 billlion people had always lived on a dust-bowl Mars-like planet with no life outside of the base stations. Imagine if that’s the way it had always been. Imagine if that was humanities’ entire existence, on the red planet…

With that in mind, I’d like to do a little thought experiment. I want you to imagine what would happen if we were to start exploring the solar system, from our home Mars.

The closest other world, Earth, looks very promising. We’ve spent a hundred trillion dollars on this latest space mission, okay. It’s been 30 years in the planning stage alone…

So we go to this new place called ‘Earth’.

And we don’t find another dust-bowl freeze-your-arse-off planet with no oceans, a toxic atmosphere* and a severe lack of oxygen. We don’t find it to be uninhabited. We don’t find the gravity extremely off-putting. We don’t find a desolate, barren wasteland devoid of all life like the home planet. No.

Instead, what we encounter is another world no unlike this one, the one we already know as ‘Earth’, exactly the way it is now, but without all the humans. Without any civilisation.

Imagine if we found 60 amur leopards, 400 Sumatran tigers, 880 mountain gorillas, 1826 giant pandas, 4080 snow leopards, 4848 black rhinos and 10000 blue whales!

Impenetrable jungles! Countless species of insects! Fish! Crustaceans! Molluscs! Birds! Frogs!

“Frogs? What an unusual name. What are they? Oh they’re slimy but harmless critters –amphibians– that thrive both on the land and in the water and use jumping as a form of locomotion.”

[Read more…]

Who are the greenest printers in Australia?

I just finished a diploma of graphic design a few months ago. And during a subject called “prepress”, I found out that printing is not the most ecological part of graphic design. In fact traditional printing is not very good for the environment at all. It isn’t all just about the paper they use, but they also use loads and loads of metal printing plates and lots and lots of water.

So I have been shopping around for the most ecological printer for some time now (like 6 months, on and off). And I think I’ve finally found a quality one that is reasonably priced. [Read more…]

This is the reason I don’t buy gold:

What is the environmental cost of consumerism?

“We’re very very disconnected from what we consume. So because of the widening degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed we no longer have any real appreciation for the embodied energy, the embodied destruction, the embodied suffering that goes in to every stage of the supply chain in the things we buy.” — Mark Boyle

I‘m sure that most consumers don’t care less what chemical elements are used in the manufacture of all the products that they buy. I’m talking about all the elements and compounds required to make all of these products function like they do. But consumers should care. We should care about what products are made of, what they are made from.

But with things like consumer electronic devices, customers simply don’t think about their ‘ingredients’ much. I think the problem with this world today is that consumers don’t question the true origin of synthetic materials, let alone how they are extracted and processed.

I think people really need to wake up and ask where their materials are coming from, learn about all the many processing steps each material requires (extraction, refinement, manufacturing, production) and also ask what happens to all these materials at the end of the product’s life. In many cases, even with recycling of plastic/paper/metal, the majority of materials on the periodic table aren’t being recycled and are ending up in landfill (and/or the ocean).

I think each product sold should have an ‘ingredients’ label showing exactly what materials are in it. That way, people could [eventually] reference which materials have the highest ecological impact…

The obvious exception is of course food. Wherever food is concerned, then consumers quite rightly want to know what they are consuming. We want to know all the food ingredients. We want to know what we put into our bodies.

[Read more…]

Where do you want to go today? [Windows upgrade psychology]

A few days ago I received yet another persistent reminder to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. So I thought I’d share some insights from a long-time windows user. Here is my open letter to Microsoft.

Dear Microsoft,

It all began with that nagging little popup thingo at the bottom right of my computer screen. I don’t know about the other X00 million people, but I personally found that so annoying I soon disabled it. As soon as I realised it wasn’t going to disappear on it’s own. As soon as I saw the pattern. Why did I do that? I did it because I know that it was far easier than upgrading the whole OS.

There’s a famous quote about lazy people at Microsoft:

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”– Bill Gates

Now you have taken to my inbox. Several times in fact. Humans are good at recognising patterns, aren’t they? I’m sorely tempted to label your email ‘spam’, because I don’t recall signing up to any email newsletters about Windows upgrades. What’s next? Are you going to be pestering people to upgrade with facebook and twitter? I really don’t think you should do that. Trust me.

Yes we are busy people. Some of us do need reminders. But what about people with good memories? Do you think we have forgotten about your kind offer? Or are you lumping us all in with the forgetful ones? Thanks. [Read more…]

The most powerful people in the world are not who you think.

I type “most powerful people” into today’s most powerful internet search engine, google. Seven of the top ten references are made to Forbes’ annual rich list, ranking people according to their estimated net worth. But are rich people really as powerful as they claim to be?

YES they say that money talks. Money can buy people’s opinions. Money can corrupt. Money can certainly get people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. In that way, money can definitely change people’s behaviour. But why have we come to regard money as synonymous with power?

For sure, the more you own, the more you have to lose. The more you can be manipulated and blackmailed. But there’s much more to it that that… [Read more…]

Petition to ban the publication of unethical lethal whale research

I have started a petition to ban the publication of unethical lethal whale research.

I have attached a transcript of my letters to SpringerLink regarding this issue in chronological order because it makes for more interesting reading. It’s interesting to see Springer’s official stance change completely when they are called out.
Maybe this will make interesting reading for someone… in about 300 years time when people realise that some animals are more important than humans:

From: Dr. Leslie Dean Brown [mailto:info@lesliedeanbrown.com]
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 9:56 AM
To: Onlineservice, SCSC
Subject: TN606818 “I speak for whales” [petition: banning lethal whale research] FS

Hello,

I’ll get straight to the point.
As I’m sure you’re aware, people all around the world are getting more and more annoyed with the Japanese that continue to kill whales and do unnecessary scientific research on them. Many people thought the research was all lies. The really scary part is that it is actually true. Yes, they are in fact researching whales… :-(

I am writing to you because some of these papers have been published in the Journal “Polar Biology” with the latest appearing in 2014:
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00300-013-1424-3

I have started a petition to ban lethal whale research:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/656/717/561/ban-japanese-%22research%22-that-is-lethal-to-whales/

I hope you take notice of this petition and reject all publications by the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research, North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO), the International Whaling Commission (IWC) or any other organisations that are involved in the slaughter of whales and the whale meat industry.

Did you know that the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research openly sells whale meat in exchange for financial support from the public? [Read more…]

Racism vs culturism

Illustration by Leslie Dean Brown. © 2015. All rights reserved.
Illustration by Leslie Dean Brown. © 2015. All rights reserved.
CULTURES are different, by their very definition. Anyone who has travelled extensively has surely witnessed that. But it just so happens, that many –not all– cultures are divided by geographical barriers, national boundaries known as a countries. And that’s when the generalisations begin…

I T’S generally fair to say that the majority of Japanese people are very reliable & punctual. Likewise, if I were to say that Tongan people are very friendly, stress-free & relaxed, that comment would also be acceptable to most people. Why are these statements accepted? Because they’re positive cultural observations. [Read more…]