Mushroom foraging? Remember your mobile |

Only a week ago I was bemoaning the fact that it is not as easy as I would expect to identify the flora and fauna I bump into on my catwalks. I want to be able to go to a web search specialising in plants and just put in a few details like colour, number of petals or points, habitat, country, etc and be presented with a page of photos of possible matches so I could pin down what I’ve just photographed. Best I can find, so far, is this one.

What I really want is similar to what we see here (on the site – not in the arbitrary mushroom photograph). Point your phone at the specimen, take the photo and upload it, and get a response back in seconds telling you what it is. Now that would be sexy.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Panorama | Childrens Fight Club

I submitted a dissenting comment to the BBC regarding this program. They have not chosen to publish it. Fair enough if they don’t think it’s good enough. But it is notable that they haven’t published any other dissenting voices and I would be thoroughly depressed to learn that I was the only one. (Though all the more reason to publish, I would argue.)

Certainly every comment to date is right behind their call for censorship. For example:
I cannot believe that they find it acceptable for the public to moderate these videos and allow them to be shown.” This ordinary citizen probably thinks he’s a democrat. Sad.

update 8 August: Got to be fair. There are now comments which are more in line with my dissenting views. [SET CONSPIRACY = OFF]

Nevertheless, while publishing here on Stumbleupon isn’t a major blow against the self appointed guardians of our souls, it is a start. It shows that we have ways of getting around their censorship. You can help by spreading the word.

You can read my full comments on my personal blog but the gist is that where the BBC Nanny Statists want to censor this material, I want to expand it in a positive direction – Trusted Surveillance under Democratic Control.

And, in any case, after watching Presidents and Prime Ministers start illegal wars, killing hundreds of thousands of people, including thousands of their own people, and get away with it, what credible objections can we make about a bit of brutal happy slapping where hardly anyone dies. Yeah, it’s bullying and nasty and humiliating and gruesome and gross and childish and chimplike. But then, quite a lot of real life is like that. And always has been. We just haven’t previously acknowledged it or allowed it to be seen.

Introducing the Catcam |

See, even the cats are getting into Trusted Surveillance!

Drinking increases bowel cancer risk – Times Online

Contrast this with last week’s stories about Cannabis increasing risk of Psychosis. That was raising a 1 % risk of a non fatal illness from which a majority recover – to 1.4%. This increased risk applies almost exclusively to heavy adolescent users and almost always only if they have a particular genetic makeup. Nevertheless, that “shock finding” was deemed sufficient to justify continuing its universal illegality and make the penalties even more harsh.

This story is talking about NORMAL levels of alcohol consumption causing a 25% increase in a usually fatal disease which already strikes 5-6% of the population. Against, in other words, 800 psychotics a year resulting from the ill advised (if you’re in the risk group) consumption of cannabis, we’re talking about FOUR THOUSAND DEATHS EVERY YEAR caused JUST by Alcohol induced bowel cancer. And that’s just in the UK. And you already knew about the thousands of other deaths already attributed to Alcohol didn’t you?

Yet Alcohol remains both legal and advertisable.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Extraordinary Popular Delusions

“The trial of this offence must not be conducted like other crimes. Whoever adheres to the ordinary
course of justice perverts the spirit of the law, both Divine and human. He who is accused of sorcery
should never be acquitted unless the malice of the prosecutor be clearer than the sun; for it is so difficult to bring full proof of this secret crime, that out of a million of witches not one would be convicted if the usual course were followed!”

An extract from the section on the Witch mania which gripped the western world in the 17th century. Spot any echoes in the modern day? Like the common use of Torture and Rendition? Or the plea to throw away Habeas Corpus and lock up certain individuals just on suspicion?

Social psychosis is alive and well. If you want to know the nitty gritty gruesome details of what went on during the days of Witch-hunting, or the South Sea Bubble, or how early hypnotists were believed to be manipulating biological magnetism? and so on… this is the book for you.

A truly enlightening collection of well documented tales of the follies of mankind which helps to put today’s insanities in perspective.

A friend lent me his copy of and I’m still wading through it as we speak. I’ve just discovered that – because it so old (first published 1841)- it is now in the Public Domain and we can consult it online. This, in turn, means I can stop highlighting great swathes of my friend’s copy and create my own offline store of quotes to use.

I’d still recommend buying (or borrowing) a copy of the book because – at 720 pages – it’s a bit much to read online!