Cloning in the future?

Apparently, a specie of ant and of bee already reproduce by cloning themselves. For more info, see New Scientist.

Brazil v Argentina

A great match is to be played out today at 19:45. Brazil reached the final by beating Germany 3-2, whereas 10-man Mexico held a 10-man Argentina to a penalty shoot-out. Both of the Latin powerhouses are in with a chance, although Brazil has seemed to be playing below their full capabilities, and Argentina were dormant against Mexico until the second half of extra time, when they went a goal down and came back like a swarm of angry killer bees.

Congrats to Lil’ Sis

She’s got a research post studying behavioural and evolutionary science at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (prestige). So McDonald’s can shove it. On a different note, if you’re in Manchester, UK, and want to spot the International Space Station, check these timings and sightings. It’s the size of a football pitch, weighs 183,667 kilos (404069 lbs), and will be visible for a good 3-7 minutes, depending on the particular time.

Twice nightly

Old “Twice nightly” Whiteley is dead. Bless the fella. I wonder what’s going to happen to Countdown?? After more than 4000 shows!

Two sides of the same coin

I’ve been reading a book (yes, I do that sometimes) called ‘Experiences’ by Martin Amis, kind of autobiographical. He says that Princess Di’s favourite poem contains these lines

Life is mostly froth and bubble,
two things stand as stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
courage in your own.

Which his father, Kingsley Amis, parodies as

Life is mainly grief and labour
two things get you through.
Chortling when it hits your neighbour,
whingeing when it’s you.

Loss of an appendage

After cutting my lengthy locks for summer, I constantly reach up behind my head to feel the ‘phantom hair’ that’s no longer there. I think it’s now a bit too short, in a style that’s best described as a ‘neither-here-nor-there’. Amongst other things, my sister’s now joined the ranks of unemployed MSc holders. I’m not sure if McDonalds is planning to expand in India. But atleast they can reat assured that the talented labour pool is now in place.

Mexico v Brazil: 1-0

A quick cheer for Mexico, they showed Brazil on Sunday that just having (great) flair is not enough; if you come up against stiff defense, you need to be able to zing in crosses from the wings. You can’t always feed the killer pass in a crowded box, and you can’t always play narrow. I didn’t see a single useful cross coming in from the wings in open play, Ronaldinho’s corner’s mostly didn’t clear the first man, and Adriano couldn’t even get the ball past the first defender. Solid show by Mexico, and this isn’t the first time they’ve beaten Brazil either. Brazil seems to think that they can just play into the goal, and they often can. But if a few key players are not 100% like Kaka, Ronaldinho, Adriano, Roque Junior, etc. were, then this style of playing becomes difficult, and they need an alternative style to fall back on.

A lawyer’s morality questioned

A rich defense lawyer (let’s call him NK) prevents celebrities from getting their just rewards for speeding on the roads in their super-charged babe-magnets. This was the latest topic of ITV’s ‘Tonight with Trevor MacDonald’ programme (I can’t link to it beacuse, unlike the BBC, ITV has a pointless website). When NK was asked if he ever had any moral difficulties in helping them get away scott-free, he said if he did, he wouldn’t be able to perform as a defense lawyer. So that’s a ‘no’ then. Funnily enough, one prosecutor for the Crown said that NK was performing a valuable role in exposing the weaknesses of their prosecuting service. But don’t we already know that the rich are not treated the same in the eyes of the law? – Disgruntled.

The growth of a company

“Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.” -Frank Herbert, the author of the science fiction novels called The Dune Chronicles, wrote this fact. I think this furthers the argument of connectivity between different spheres of study. (I’m arguing both sides of the debate, I know).

Another important thought from Frank Herbert, and relevant to a friend’s post, is to remember that the only true science is the science of discontent. Mankind will always be unhappy with what he’s got, and it is to this science that we owe all our progress. Therefore I believe that the only true art is restraint, in order to balance things out. Anything in excess is harmful, as Freddie Mercury tells us, even “too much love can kill you”.

Blue Planet

UKTV History (those of you who bother to read this stuff will know it’s one of my favourite channels) is doing a Blue Planet weekend. The Blue Planet is a nature documentary by ‘Old Aunt’ BBC about the water bodies of our planet, and the life in it. Best of all, it’s narrated by Sir David Attenborough, who symbolises the genre for me. Ever since I was a child watching the Discovery channel, and setting up my 60-kilo (seemed like that) JVC video camera on its tripod in front of the telly in a room darkened with pillows stuffed around the corners of the curtains where chinks of light were prone to escaping and ruining the quality of the recording at the exact spot when the pride of lions were settling in for a spot of luncheon on a still-struggling wildebeest because there was something wrong with the video recorder that had a tape eject mechanism that could kick like a mule and was just about as reliable as one too, I associated that calm voice with good viewing. I think he deserves a knighthood for his work. What? Ok, give him another then. Today I was nestled in the comfort of my sofa (it gives in welcomingly like a familiar lover. For imagery, think about the hippie girl in the sofa in ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’) with the long-distance television-operating-gadget and my copy of Sir David’s autobiography called ‘Life on Air’. Bliss! Also a quick thanks to the BBC for all the great documentaries.