Saturday, April 25, 2015

Exactly when the world is not expecting it
Exactly when we're sure of ourselves
That's exactly when the old gods return
And sweep our cities back into hell

How time flies! It seems only last Thursday that tenured mouth-breather Johan Goldbreg was extolling the electability of Newt Gingrich in a presidential election, having identified a thirst amongst the electorate for "an Abnormal Man for an Abnormal World"; yet it was four years ago. The original column at NRO was depublished some time after April 14 2014 and before April 6 2015,* perhaps because the debt to William Tenn's story was too apparent.
Pendulum swings both ways, seeks pit
Since then the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, and the peizoelectric quartz crystal has oscillated, and [Insert rhythmic chronological metaphor of choice]. A different tenured mouth-breather at NRO is extolling the electability of Scott Walker, having recognised a thirst amongst the electorate for tedium and unremarkable mediocrity:**
the Republican party might consider borrowing a slogan from a century ago and offering the public a 1920s style “Return to Normalcy.”
[H/t Roy at Alicublog]
"Borrowing slogans" is a special case of "stealing intellectual property in general", which is the Republican Way.
Golden Age: Only when it was too late did we
realise that clothes were a terrible mistake
"Normalcy" here requires no definition for it serves to convey a mood rather than a meaning, a general sepia-tinged sense of longing for something in retrospect... a vanished Golden Age, or the womb, or a dog's favourite vomit.

Whatever the newsworthiness or otherwise of "Right-wing duckspeaker says something stupid", C.C.W. Cooke provides an excuse to fire up the N-Gram machine and plot the cultural popularity of "normalcy" across the decades -- in itself, or as a return destination -- and check whether the public's craving is as fervent as he believes.

Sadly, the Alicublog commentariat are cursed with the unfashionable and uncomfortable attribute of "memory". This led them to recall that the comfortable, predictable status quo to which Harding promised to return in 1920 (with the first iteration of the slogan) eventually proved to be that of the late-19th-century Long Depression, making Cooke's suggestion more apposite than he thought.
* The column being syndicated, copies continue to reverberate across the Intertuba; the moving finger can no more be called back than can the nude selfie or the buttocks upon the photocopier at a regrettable office party.

** For values of "mundane man-of-the-people" which include "fuckpuppet for billionaires".

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The small, strange drum emitted only two notes, and it almost croaked them: kid-nork, kid-nork, kid-nork!

The Whackyweedia reports that after the Tibetan diaspora, skull hand-drums
began to be manufactured in India and Nepal, with a continued degradation of quality.
[Alas, no citation to explain whether the deterioration is due to shoddiness in the materials  or in the processing]

Mass-tourism merchandise spoils everything.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's Tuesday so it must be time to make fun of Australians!

And to help us in that worthy endeavour, their Pry Minster Tony Abbott has been over here in New Zild, unveiling the new War Memorial.

Now our War Memorial Park is an itty-bitty affair and a very recent addition to the scene. It is no match for the Norstrilian equivalent, which stretches the length of Anzac Parade in Canberra, in which heroic statuary -- commemorating the futility and the brutality of previous military involvement-- is interspersed with empty plots designed for coming generations to erect and learn from future monuments to the futility of current military involvements.

They generously invited NZ to contribute a memorial for their Parade... it looks like a borked bronze MacDonalds logo, but is in fact intended to represent the handles of a giant handbag buried beneath the avenue. In return we were behooved to invite the Ozzies to contribute their memorial to the new War Memorial Park in Wellyton.
The architects describe the design -- an array of stone chimneys * -- as a "landform of Australian red sandstone, forming an iconic and appropriate place of memory and reflection, embodying the Australian character and responding to the urban and heritage qualities of the site". Are the blocks pivoted so they can revolve in the wind? ARE THEY BOGROLL. Anyway, real Australian rock was expensive so they elected to cut costs by outsourcing the icon source to India. But this is to commemorate the centennial of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I, and every single component of the Anzac Tradition -- our National Identity Forged in the Crucible of Foreign War -- is bullshit and mythology, and what could be more appropriate than inauthentic mendacity?
Right: Ataturk Monument
with bogus inscription

The fragility of the mythos requires us to treat it gently so the Anzac Brand is protected in the manner of Olympic or World Cup logos to prevent people cheapening it with unauthorised merchandising. Everyone wants a slice of the intellectual property, no-one wants to pay, we might as well be in US glibertarian politics. Bad Woolworths! Bad Scientologists!
Fortunately the prohibition and the fines do not apply to politicians. Abbott was free to co-opt the war-memorial-opening ceremony as a propaganda exercise for his decision to send troops to Iraq (to help clear up the mess created by the last intervention in Iraq).
Mr Abbott several times made pointed comparisons between the old Anzac campaign in Turkey and the joint deployment to Iraq which should be established in Camp Taji near Baghdad by the end of May.
"It is a remarkable thing to look back 100 years to that terrible baptism of fire that our two countries had on the Gallipoli peninsular [sic] on the 25th of April, 1915," Mr Abbott said.
"I think it is quite fitting that 100 years on, Australians and New Zealanders are again working for our values and our interests together in Iraq in the Building Partner Capacity mission that we are jointly engaged upon and will shortly be operational in the Middle East."
That total débâcular balls-up when soldiers went off to the Middle East to die for some other country's pointless war? That blood-in-the-sand balls-up from which we have spent a century extracting every last drop of cultural ressentiment to foster a Never-Again spirit of national independence? Tony Abbott thinks it is the perfect comparison for the current deployment to the Middle East for some other country's pointless war. Also, he and NZ's own Pry Mincer Key reckon it's everyone's patriotic duty to attend the Anzac ceremony on Sunday so they can cite the turn-out as a show of support for their policies.

Bless their hearts.
* Similarity to Anselm Kiefer = TOTAL COINCIDENCE.
Similarity to Paul Dibble's memorial sculpture and Berlin Holocaust Memorial = TOTAL COINCIDENCE.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Quirk Strangeness and Charm

So yesterday was the mandatory refresher course in "Social Responsibility for Mad Scientists". None of the speakers specifically singled out the alarums and excursions with the vat-grown godmeat and the giant telekinetic vat-grown brain, but they certainly seemed to be giving us more than our fair share of glances. Not to mention the Riddled Participle Accelerator, which fortunately no-one mentioned.*

So they were all "Remember the time when Borges hybridised stag and eagle conceptual DNA in the laboratory, and then Perytons escaped from the cognitive containment facility into the fictive realm, and people accepted them as figures from genuine classical mythology as opposed to modern fakelaw myths?"

Yeah, yeah, we rounded most of them up in the end. Now there are only radio astronomers using "peryton" to label a kind of spurious burst which are emitted by mis-operated microwave ovens (and are totally not signals from the alien overlords instructing the radio astronomers as to the next stage in the master-plan)... which is kind of cool.

"Remember the time when Francesco Colonna managed to cross-breed insectile and proboscid archetypes, and suddenly the noösphere was awash with half-ant half-elephant imagery?"

"The episode was vastly exaggerated," said Colonna.

"Shut up," we explained. "You're not supposed to be here, everyone thinks you died in 1527."

"Remember the time when Another Kiwi went back in the Riddled time machine and revised the Declaration of Independence so that it encouragedthe Fur-suit of Happiness?"

Of course no-one remembers that because it was all promptly un-happened again. The Chronocontinuity Police were not well-pleased with all the extra work, although I happen to think that the resulting version of America was more fun than the one we have now.
New Accelerator
* The goal is to accelerate articles and participles and bang them together at high energies to restore the broken symmetry between strong and weak verbs, in the hope of creating new parts of speech. The possibility of a general syntactic collapse into grammar-free LOLpidgin are ENORMOUS EXAGGERATE.

Don't forget, tomorrow is International Talk Like a Jack Vance Character Day! I hope you have all booked costumes ahead of time.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Despite the name, Slippery Elms are not well-lubricated and can cause woodcuts

An earlier post was focussed on snake-oil economics --
She will be starting GCMAF shortly which is a product from Switzerland & comes with a price tag of $4,000 for 6 weeks supply. If this treatment shows an improvement, Fran will continue on these injections for up to 12-18 months to completely clear the cancer.
-- So this earlier step in the patient's story ended up on the cutting-room floor:

We were introduced to Dr Anna Goodwin, a specialist from Braemar Hospital, by Dr Twentyman in May. Dr Goodwin and her team arranged for Fran to try a different strength of Chemotherapy - also known as Pine Bark treatment - to try get the tumour under control so other options could be explored. Fran was able to have 4 treatments of this but at the beginning of July, at her follow up with Dr Goodwin, the family was told that unfortunately the treatments have not worked and the cancer is advancing.

Dr Goodwin here is an anti-fluoride campaigner with strong views about diet, which she expressed to a recent anti-GMO meeting, taking the theme
"Overweight, undernourished, sterile, and dying of cancer. Our food is it sealing the fate of humanity?"
Dr Goodwin is also is the Oklahoma-trained head of the chemotherapy unit at a private hospital. When the unit opened two years ago, local public-sector chiefs were not convinced by promises that it would deliver radical improvements in treatment.

As for "pine bark treatment", the American Cancer Society provide a roundup of the data within their "Complementary & Alternative" section.
Although there is interest in pine bark extract among medical researchers, only limited data from clinical trials supports the claims made about its benefits for health. A few early studies in humans have shown possible benefits in reducing swelling from a circulation disorder called chronic venous insufficiency, but this needs further research. Laboratory studies have indicated pine bark extract may have some antioxidant properties.
Given their diet, beavers should be VERY HEALTHY INDEED, but this one does not look happy about the circulation in its tail.
If nothing else, the pine-bark extraction industry could provide a useful application for the destructive energies and bark-stripping tendencies of the local Kaka population.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We drink elixirs that we refine
From the juices of the dying (#2)

Call me old-fashioned but I do not rate for holothurians as a culinary ingredient, not after the lamentable white-sauce episode... it was a mistake anyone could have made, with 'bêche-de-mer' and 'béchamel' being adjacent in the index, but the Frau Doktorin was not well-pleased. Also 'trepang' is covered by Rule #7, "Never eat anything that belongs in a Batman sound-effect bubble".

So it was with some trepidation that I approached the latest wonder-drug in the cancer-cure scammocopeia -- TBL-12 -- which apparently consists of sea-cucumber squeezins. But it turns out to be the placebo of choice for a dying cricketer, and the website is bejazzled with tropical-blue-sea imagery,
and it has a nice Origin story in which the producer's father -- dying of cancer in 1962 -- was taught the secret traditional recipe for echinoderm smoothies by a benevolent Chinese fisherman; so it's all above-board after all. Which is a relief, given the price-tag.

The Google Machine led to a crowd-funding webpage inviting assistance to help a dying victim of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia pay for the TBL-12 and Iscador prescribed by one Dr Ulrich Doering. Further inquiry revealed more crowd-funding to help pay for the TBL-12, Iscador and GcMAF prescribed by Doering for cancer patient "Franny", and led to a patient with breast cancer, offered TBL-12 at $500 a month while the GcMAF would cost $4000-$5000 per week.*

"What in the name of fuck is Iscador?" asks the avid reader, in a pitch-shifted, format-shaped voice that is hardly recognisable as mine. "Apart from a character in a LotR knock-off?" Thereby providing me with an opportunity to mention Rudolf Steiner, 1920s Übercrank who contributed substantially to the gaiety of nations once he slipped the surly bonds of rational thought and just let the crazy fall out of his head.

We have already met Steiner's notions of mystic astronomy with the great migrations of spirits from planet to planet, in the manner of Scientology (though with less Xenu and fewer volcano-and-H-bomb-related activities); and his scheme for esoteric pest control through magickal burning of gonads. The latter is of course a foundational concept of Biodynamic Farming. Here at Riddled we try to support the Biodynamic farmers by offering them such innovations as Rainbow Aquaculture and the EasyMilk SideNipple Deer.

...but do they thank us? DO THEY BOGROLL.

At some point the leprechauns in Steiner's Teutonic underwear informed him that cancers are really a kind of parasite, and therefore a distillate of parasite would cure cancer, and then he revolutionised oncology by introducing tapeworm extracts. No, wait, he didn't; the cure had to be a plant parasite, and specifically mistletoe. You might think that fully parasitical plants like dodder or Rafflesia or the NZ Woodrose Dactylanthus taylorii would be twice as potent as as the merely hemi-parasitical mistletoe, but they do not provide the pharmacist with an excuse to go climbing trees with a golden sickle. At Riddled we support any conceit that allows us to illustrate posts about Steinerian medicine using images of Getafix. The recipe calls for fermentation of an aqueous extract, i.e. MISTLETOE BEER, totally not an ingredient in the Riddled Christmas Ale.
Baldr and Höðr: Mistletoe
injection goes horribly wrong
By now the reader is thinking "Why, yes, I would totally put my life in the hands of someone who has trained in this egregious scholium of thought, and believes that blood pumps itself around the body (with the heart merely there to modulate its flow), and that the skull is an inside-out femur." Then come to New Zealand! For here we have Anthroposophic GPs, accepted as members in good standing of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners. In particular, one Dr Ulrich-Bero Doering.

"So much for Iscador," says the reader. "But what is GcMAF with the $4000-$5000 / week price-tag?" HA HA not really for we have already covered this Wonder Drug that Doctors Don't Tell You About, on many occasions.

Intensive research The gazoogle reveals a loose network of NZ doctors who have been importing GcMAF for a while... presumably in the ampoule form (extracted from human immunoglobulin) rather than as Ruggiero's magic yogurt. Already in 2011, a breast-cancer cancer patient was "paying $1500 per month for an alternative treatment [...] an alternative medicine from Europe known as GcMaf" [see also depressing coda to the story]. The network was coordinated around St Benedicts Health Care -- a clinic so over-the-top in its cheerfully syncretic promotion of mutually-contradictory modalities (as the young people call them) that one could easily believe it to be Californian.**

The latest development is Immuno Biotech Ltd! This is located at the same premises as St Benedict Health Care and is owned by Doering, along with Michael Kelly,*** previously the St-Benedict-based source of GcMAF guidance. However, the clinic has the appearance of a subsidiary or a local franchise of Immuno Centre / First Immune / It shares its name with David Noakes' Guernsey company for GcMAF production.  The services it offers overlap with the specialties of Noakes' colleague Marco Ruggiero... sonoporation, "the Swiss Protocol", "Advanced In-House Imaging [...] i.e. Cortical Abnormalities in Children with Autism".

The cost of a first medical appointment at Immuno Biotech is NZ$460. "Follow up appointments can take up to 30 minutes and cost $230".

This is not nearly as funny as when GcMAF was an overseas phenomenon. I must distract myself now by arranging the transport of another shipment of freshly-harvested squaculture rainbows.
Thx to (et alia) Grant Jacobs, Mark Hanna
* "Dr Doering has a friend that can get the drug down to around $450 a day as his friends wife is receiving this treatment and is doing great living with stage 4 cancer."
At Riddled we advise against drugs which the doctor is offering at a discount because another patient no longer needs the entire course of treatment.

** If the happy healthy sun-time banner at the St Benedicts site is any guide, it is the favourite provider of holistic solutions among Russian stock-photograph models.

*** Kelly is a Dielectric Resonance Management Practitioner and Biological Terrain Management Practitioner. He also owns "Vibronics Health" which offers Electronic Gem Therapy from the same address. His CV explains that having cured his own lymphoma with life-style changes,
In 2004 Michael trained under instruction from Dr Jon Whale of Whale Medical, on "Dynamic Radiometric Thermal Diagnostics" and "Dielectric Resonance Management Procedures" (Electronic Gem Therapy). He used this technology to further help repair and strengthen his body
In 2005 Michael trained under an associate of Dr Timothy Ray in his "Biological Terrain Managment", utilizing analysis of Saliva and Urine for health assessment and intervention recommendations.
In 2009 Michael completed four years training in Western Biomedicine and three years training in Acupuncture, at the Auckland College of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In 1992 Michael was initiated into the Sufi tradition and studied Psychology, Philosophy and Mysticism.
Coincidentally enough, the palatial Riddled offices happen to share premises with Mikey Hemlock's No-buzz vibrator-repair service, Œstrus. The shop has that name in the hope that people will ask how it is pronounced. This is our opportunity to explain that “The O is silent”.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Making Cockade

It was 4.20 in the Riddled office, which had relocated for convenience to the Wigglesworth lounge at the Old Entomologist, where we were trying to watch "Inanimate Objects Cage Match" on the Sports TV, despite the stream of interruptions.

First it was an albatross carrying a dildo in its beak, tapping at the window to ask directions to the 15th Century, where it was supposed to appear in a production of "Horology -- the 13 Clocks & the Wonderful O" (an early Renaissance farce, Twain Thumbes Upp from the Nuremberg Chronicle, Ye Banquette Skene was one laughfe one minuet). We gave it directions and the perfidious albatross was on its way. Not much had happened in the TV sports; neither pen nor sword had made a move despite the high expectations for the former.

Then tigris turned up in a huff which she left parked outside. "Did either of you happen to read the comment from Rurritable in last week's Arachnophobia thread?" she asked, accusative and tense.

"Oh no," Another Kiwi vouchsafed. "We never read comments. That's a job for Little Tim the intern."

"Then he writes witty comments in our names," I said, "while we sit under the trees in the garden bar quaffing Roggen-Wolfen-Dunkel-Weizen-Spezial. The duties are strictly demarcated, it is only fair."
This crane JUST CANNOT
with the knots in its neck
"You should read it," tigris explained, so we obeyed. The comment links to a Rawstory post which simply echoes a post at some Medical clickbait site which in turn quoted a video in which an Australian evolutionary biologist opened his facehole and let the stupid out. And I was all "I don't even" and AK was all "Finish your Roggen-Wolfen-Dunkel-Weizen-Spezial, you'll feel better."

I am not making this up:
The environment in which humans live in also factors in penis size. Early humans had to endure freezing temperatures that were more tolerable due to large penises, which release heat. The human penis helped regulate body temperature keeping it warm and cool.
It warms and it cools, penes are magic! I am the satyr in the painting, suspicious of the blowing on things to warm them and to cool them, breath is magic too! It is a pity that 50% of our early human ancestors did not have large penes so they never survived the icy conditions of equatorial Africa.

"I can only surmise," AK vouchsafed, "that Curnoe was influenced by Alex Werth's discovery that bowhead whales have a 12-foot organ of erectile spongiform tissue inside their mouths which they use to dump excess body heat."
"I remember that story," I said. "Didn't we put Greenish Hugh in the Evolvamat to trigger his dormant genes and see where he would develop erectile spongiform tissue, and with what function?" We shared a chuckle over the memory of Evangeline van Holsterin's reaction when Greenish Hugh tried to drink a beer after the experiment. The full implications of Werth's observation for the field of cetacean asphyxiation porn and auto-erotic bondage remain to be seen.
Anyway, back to the clickbait article:
Whether you’re a couple of inches more or less than the average penis size, chances are you’re a lot larger than your primate cousins.
"I should have thought," I said, "that at most 50% of readers would have larger penes than non-human primates."

"Rawstory and Medical Daily don't have female readers," AK explained; "they all died of poor body-temperature control."

"Buggrit -- we missed the end of Pen vs. Sword. Now they've moved on to Egg vs. Chicken. Egg seems to have the advantage."

"Switch channels," AK suggested. "They should be setting up the nets for Piscine Tennis about now on the other channel."

"Sea-horses are shite tennis-players," I opined.