Yin / Yang


Time Magazine Changes Its Mind

Eat. Don't Eat.

Still Life

White Plates Empty Bottles

Abec Bearings


Lost Pet


The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

By Jared Diamond
UCLA Medical School

Discover Magazine, May 1987.

To science we owe dramatic changes in our smug self-image. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn't the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren't specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species. Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. With agriculture came the gross social and sexual inequality, the disease and despotism, that curse our existence.

At first, the evidence against this revisionist interpretation will strike twentieth century Americans as irrefutable. We're better off in almost every respect than people of the Middle Ages, who in turn had it easier than cavemen, who in turn were better off than apes. Just count our advantages. We enjoy the most abundant and varied foods, the best tools and material goods, some of the longest and healthiest lives, in history. Most of us are safe from starvation and predators. We get our energy from oil and machines, not from our sweat. What neo-Luddite among us would trade his life for that of a medieval peasant, a caveman, or an ape?

For most of our history we supported ourselves by hunting and gathering: we hunted wild animals and foraged for wild plants. It's a life that philosophers have traditionally regarded as nasty, brutish, and short. Since no food is grown and little is stored, there is (in this view) no respite from the struggle that starts anew each day to find wild foods and avoid starving. Our escape from this misery was facilitated only 10,000 years ago, when in different parts of the world people began to domesticate plants and animals. The agricultural revolution spread until today it's nearly universal and few tribes of hunter-gatherers survive.

Book - Sun Tzu And The Art Of Modern Warfare

I Am Reading

Interesting take and interpretation of Sun Tzu's Classic strategy on War. Distilled into 6 chapters with examples of from wars and battles.

Three Flags

Jasper Johns

Book - The Cholesterol Myths

I Am Reading

Doctor Ravnskov's in depth look at of fat consumption, the misinformation, the lies, the corporate funding, the egos, and the politics behind behind the current hysteria. He provides an exhaustive list of references to support his case against the establishment and mainstream media.

Global Warming And All That

Save The Planet

Alan Savory posted a TED Talk video on YouTube explaining deforestation as one of the main causes of global warming, how it can be stopped, reversed and in the process bring an end to global warming. No, its not your vehicle, electric lights or computers. It's the deforestation, silly!

Savory explains his 20 year investigation and research into the problem and his fix. If your a carnivore or a paleo fan, you'll be pleased to learn, meat production will help solve global warming. Go eat meat.

Watch the video, learn and enjoy.

Book - The World Until Yesterday

I Am Reading

An interesting read from Jared Diamond, author of guns, germs, and steel; collapse: how societies choose to fail or survive; the rise and fall of the third chimpanzee.

Interested to learn some aspects of traditional societies and what they endure, compared to living in the West or in the modern world.

I didn't agree with all his observed views, but still enjoyed the book.

Movies - Mr Nice

Howard Marks

The highs, lows, travels and travails of a nice, decent drug smuggler.

Based on the autobiography of Howard Marks, a long-time successful and non-violent drug smuggler. Rhys Ifans carries the part well. You get a feel for Marks' character through Ifans onscreen portrayal. Sometimes funny, easy watching.

Worth a look.

Name: Mr Nice
Year: 2010
Director: Bernard Rose
Stars: Rhys Ifans, Chloe Sevigny, David Thewlis.

Chromium Browser Flash Plugin Problem

No YouTube

After a recent Debian Linux upgrade, Chromium browser would not work on YouTube. I was previously running a pretty old version of Chromium, but it was stable, so I left it. No need to change it if it works.

The upgrade from Squeeze, an old testing, to Jessie, current testing went smoothly with only a couple of minor problems.

Adobe announced it would stop support for Linux Flash plugins, Chromium developers switched from Adobe to the Google Flash plugin. I checked Chromium to see which plugins were installed:


Only the PDF plugin was installed.

To fix it, in an xterm logged in as root, I did:

# apt-get install pepperflashplugin-nonfree

next I did:

# update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree --install

Finally, checked which version has installed:

# update-pepperflashplugin-nonfree --status

Close all Chromium browser windows and restart Chromium. Flash should work.

Here's the Debian Wiki on PepperFlashPlayer plugin.

Here's the Debian Wiki on Testing.

Here's the Debian Wiki to upgrade using Aptitude.

I did a full dist-upgrade. Its probably safer to do a safe-upgrade.




Poor Vision Or Not?

I suffer with hyperopia (longsighted/farsighted). I've been using reading glasses for around 10 years. In that time, my eyesight has slowly deteriorated. Specsavers would write to me and advise it was time for my bi-annual eye test. I would ignore the letter and continue using the glasses I had.

My expensive Specsaver eyeglasses were broken in a tussle, and I didn't fancy paying £100 for replacements. I opted for a £2 pair of reading glasses from a local supermarket. When I needed another pair, as my eyesight weakened, more cheap reading glasses, it was.

Over time, I went from 1.25 x magnification to 1.5. From 1.5 to 2 x mag, and then up to 2.5 where I stopped. I came across the Bates method as a possible means of curing poor eyesight. It didn't seem to work for me.

A few months back I came across the video below - Myopia: A Modern Yet Reversible Disease - on YouTube. I followed the suggestions, and really went at it. In the space of a couple of months, my eyeglasses went from 2.5 to 2.0, then down to 1.5. I'm now using 1 x magnification, el-cheapo reading glasses.  I'm aiming to be free of eye glasses by Xmas.

This method works and does not cost.

Watch the video and see what you think.

Boat Sink

Still Water