A Candle in the Dark

A look on science, politics, religion and events

Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

May the force not be with you

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From the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, passed by the House of Commons in the UK

‘17B Meaning of “religious belief”

For the purposes of section 17A a religious belief is confined to—
(a) Christianity;
(b) Islam;
(c) Hinduism;
(d) Judaism;
(e) Buddhism;
(f) Sikhism;
(g) Rastafarianism;
(h) Baha’ism;
(i) Zoroastrianism;
(j) Jainism.’.

’17B Groups not protected by Part 3

For the purposes of section 17A any group of persons holding the following religious beliefs or lack of religious belief shall not enjoy the protection of this part of the Act—

(a) Satanists;
(b) believers in human sacrifice to propitiate a deity;
(c) believers in animal sacrifice to propitiate a deity;
(d) believers in female genital mutilation to live in accordance with the rules of a religion;
(e) believers in violence as a means of proselytising a belief;
(f) believers in the supremacy or superiority of one race over another;
(g) believers in the supremacy or superiority of one gender over another;
(h) Scientologists;
(i) Jedi Knights.’.


In fact, it gets better. From the transcript of the MP’s discussing the bill,

Mr. Grieve: In amendment No. 25, I listed Scientologists before Jedi Knights. There has been debate about whether Scientology is a religion, and there is a court authority to suggest that it is a set of philosophical beliefs but not a belief in a deity. I leave that to one side. With Jedi Knights, it is difficult to know. They seem to believe in a force, because the force has to be with you, and they appear to be able to master the force by the processes of their own spirituality.

Chris Bryant: It is fictional.

Mr. Grieve: I have no idea whether being a Jedi Knight is fictional. The text from which it is derived was written by an author who was not pretending that it was revealed truth, but there seem to be a number of people who, for their own reasons, put in their census return that it is their religious view. I cannot comment any further on that.

Chris Bryant: I hate to say this, but it is also true that several hon. Members have placed light sabres in the Cloakroom in the place where they could be hanging their swords. I do not think that that means that anyone believes genuinely in the power of the force in the sense of a religion.

Written by parseval

December 25, 2008 at 7:29 am

Posted in fun


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I see that wordpress has a new poll feature. Let me test it out with a completely unscientific poll.

Written by parseval

November 14, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Posted in fun

I should fire this physio

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This is from the (otherwise) greatest game in the world.

From CM 01/02

From CM 01/02

Written by parseval

November 1, 2008 at 3:44 am

Posted in fun, video games

Stay a while and listen

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Diablo 3 is going to be released. wow wow wow !!!


*CRASH*, there goes my GPA

Written by parseval

July 3, 2008 at 3:38 am

Posted in fun, video games

Hot poetry from MIT

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These are samples from MIT’s poetry page for the Thermodynamics of Materials course, taught by professor Craig Carter. Check out the website for more really good (and some terrible) compositions. This one from Juliãn Villarreal is simply brilliant.

Solids, Liquids, Gases, lend me your heat; I come to bury Willard, not to raise him. A mess of atoms lives after him; The heat is oft stored with their bonds; So let it be with Gibbs. The noble Carter Hath told you that Gibbs was minimized: If it were so, it’s at stability, And at stability hath Gibbs done it. Here, under leave of Carter and the rest – For Carter is a knowledgeable man; So are they all, all knowledgeable men – Come I to speak in Gibbs’ funeral. He was heat’s friend, generous at low T: But Carter says he was minimized; And Carter is a knowledgeable man. But entropy hath brought many systems To parity whose energies were less: Is this how Willard was minimized? When temperature rose, Gibbs hath died. “Minimized” should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Carter says he was minimized; And Carter is a knowledgeable man. We all did see that in the lecture hall He thrice showed Gibbs in differential form, Which we did thrice confuse: was this “minimized”? Yet Carter says he was minimized; And, sure, he is a knowledgeable man. I speak not to refute what Carter spoke, But here I do speak so that all may know. we all did love Gibbs once, not without cause: What cause witholds us then, to exalt him? O grade point! thou art fled to fours and threes, but 3.046 hath taught us much. Such as these: Gibbs is naught for systems in parity, And equals enthalpy less S and T.

This one is from professor Carter himself.

To freeze or not to freeze: That is the question: Whether ’tis fav’rable to gain entropy with such jostlings of outrageous portion Or to bond, free’ng seas of enthalpy And thus subside S? P and T: thus G No more; and by reducing say we end Activations of thousand nat’ral shocks that bonds do suffer. ‘Tis min’mization Devoutly pursu-ed. To freeze, to melt; To melt: perchance to flow; ay, there’s the rub which warms shackles that tie so rigidly; by such warmth to be dislodged, even boil.

And of course, what good is a poetry page without limericks?

There is a state function named S,
Whose growth is a pitiful mess,
“Just look at its gut!”
“The size of its butt!”
Poor entropy will never be less.
-Terry Huang

This one’s from Tim Hong

There once was a smart girl named Sandy,
When it came to thermo she was quite handy,
Request a phase plot,
And more often than not,
The Gibbs phase rule was her modus operandi.

And while on the subject of MIT poetry, check out this song by the fifth beatle, Prof Max Tegmark (Thanks to Chiranjeevi for the pointer)

Written by parseval

May 13, 2008 at 11:48 pm

Posted in fun

Rediscovered in a library

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A while ago, I had come across a worrying index in the science section of a library. However, I recently discovered that the errant index was actually corrected!


Libra has left the building



Huzzah! Cheers to the librarian or whoever got it fixed!

Written by parseval

February 29, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Posted in fun

Speech recognition?

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After sitting through the long “training session” of the speech recognition package which comes with Microsoft Office 2003, I was ready to test it out with the opening passage of my favorite book.

As I got off the plane he was making for me holding up a stack of cardboard with my name’s to build on it. I was on my rate will confidence of signed this and he need not cost those devoted to this seemingly hopeless prospect of improving the presentation of signs on commercial television. Be all the measures had kindly send a driver.

“Who you mind if I ask you a question” he asked as you read it from a bag.
“Know I didn’t mind”
“Isn’t a confusing to have the same name as that site is very?”
It to me a moment to understand. Was the winning Monday? Finally it dawned on me.
“I am that site is dry eye” and said.
he’d lost and then smiled. “Sony and that’s my problem I thought it was yours to two”

No prizes for guessing where this is from.

Written by parseval

February 15, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Posted in fun