Friday, December 23, 2005

Some of the most expensive liquid on the planet

Inkjet ink is priced at $3,000 to $8,000 per gallon; which helps explain the estimated US$28.5bn value of the ink and toner supplies market in the US last year.

It hurts. I bought an Epson R220 for £80, then found that a set of inks will cost £42 !

This image is from Epson's home page. It's a mistake, but telling, in that we get a glimpse of what they'd like us to feel in our subconscious; ie, only Epson make genuine ink.

In case you wonder what the answer to that question is:
"Why use genuine Epson ink?
- Superior image quality
- Longer print life
- More reliable
- Greater value"
Under 'Greater value' we learn:
"Individual ink cartridges make genuine Epson inks more affordable than ever.
... From just €9.99 for an individual ink cartridge, printing photos, schoolwork, letters, flyers – or whatever you want – is affordable and fun with Epson.

Offering even greater value for money, Epson inks are also available..."
"even greater value for money" - greater!!!! - like the other is already 'great value' and this is 'greater'. It's just not true.

When you read that 'Some oil traders are calling for $80 a barrel while more aggressive ones are setting their sights on $100' (- a barrel is 42 gallons!), you realise that oil is done. Inkjet ink is where it's at. Sink an inkjet ink well if you want to make it big.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Be Afraid

Huey Long, aka the Kingfish, governor of Louisiana and a United States senator in the 1930s, prophesied: "Of course we will have fascism in America but we will call it democracy!"

This fearsome prediction is quoted by Harold Bloom in his piece: Reflections in the Evening Land.

Read about Huey Long.

The Press Continues to Obfuscate

In today's Guardian, a UK national newspaper with left leanings, there's an article about Elliot White, co-defendant in the murder of John Monckton. The piece includes the following lines:
"His early promise squandered, he soon started smoking marijuana and was financing his habit by selling cocaine and heroin.

This addiction led him to criminal activity..."
What addiction? Marijuana is not considered an addictive drug, and he was selling, not using, cocaine and heroin.

In its 2002 report on 'The classification of cannabis under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971', the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs states: "In general cannabis users smoke fewer cigarettes per day than tobacco smokers and most give up in their 30s,..."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Pinter's Nobel Acceptance Speech

Art, Truth & Politics

See videos of the lecture or read the text in English, Swedish, French or German, at
"... the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives."

"The United States... quite simply doesn't give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Prepare for Odour

There's movement everywhere towards smoking bans, but there's an aspect we might not have considered -

I just came across this comment:
"In Ireland... when the smoking ban started, you could enjoy a smoke-free environment in pubs and clubs, but to my surprise the smell of smoke was replaced by a not-better smell of sweated armpits that you could not notice before. Yuuuuck…."
Source: Notes from Spain.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yeah, But You Said...

A slick piece of current propaganda here. The Republicans take a slug at the Democrats over the Iraq war.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"The ineluctable truth..."

Now David Cameron has been elected leader of the UK Conservative party, I thought I'd look back at some of the stuff written about him at the time of his refusal to admit to participation in any youthful alternative to getting pissed out of his skin.

The research provided much amusement, perhaps most from this Daily Mail article, titled:

"Drugs, David Cameron and a question that must be answered". ('must', mind you!)
"The ineluctable truth is that drug abuse is one of the most important and disturbing issues of our age and it is simply not acceptable for a man who aspires to lead Her Majesty's Opposition - and one day become Prime Minister - to claim that taking drugs is a private issue."
(nor is it wise or responsible for the media to propagandize over such an 'important and disturbing' issue)

"Today it's an open secret that in the worlds of politics, the media, finance, fashion and showbusiness, a spliff or a snort of cocaine are deemed all too acceptable."
(this from a member of the media!)

"If Mr Cameron had had an affair outside marriage, then there just might be an argument for regarding such a matter as being relevant only to his family and his own conscience rather than an issue for the public domain."
That stopped me. Surely, if Mr Cameron had had an affair outside marriage, then he would have lied to his wife about it. Do we really want liars for politicians? - any more of them, anyway?

There's a classic propaganda drip in this article, too:

"But the bitter truth is that there is a direct connection between this ambivalence over drugs among an affluent metropolitan elite and the hopeless, helpless junkies in bleak housing estates who are destroying their lives and blighting whole neighbourhoods through crime.

Is there a family in the land who isn't touched by this terrible evil? How many parents worry themselves sick over the possibility that their children will fall prey to the ubiquitous pushers?

How many people are prisoners in their own homes because of the drug dealing outside their front doors?

How many have their homes repeatedly robbed by junkies needing to feed their addiction?

And how many of those addicts have sunk into mental illness through supposedly "harmless" cannabis? (please see post on Cannabis and Psychosis below)

No fewer than 70 per cent of prisoners in Britain's jails have been convicted of crimes that are in some way drugs-related.

So vast is the prison population that a desperate Government is now reduced to letting inmates out early, in their tens of thousands, in an attempt to relieve the pressure.

Burglars, fraudsters, thieves and thugs - an army of undesirables is being decanted on to our streets in another symptom of the way our criminal justice system is being overwhelmed by the tide of lawlessness, largely inspired by drugs."

(kind of slipped all that in, didn't they?)

Just one other piece in that same article:
"In America, a land of truly transparent democracy, where holders of high office have to submit themselves to ruthless and unsparing scrutiny by Congressional committees, Mr Cameron's silence would be deemed astonishing and unacceptable."
('truly transparent democracy'; is that true?)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Driving and Cannabis

After hearing some ridiculous responses on a recent radio chat programme, I thought it worthwhile to post these pieces about research into driving and cannabis. They're taken from the Bulletins of the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine.

Researchers at the University of Maryland found the use of cannabis was not associated with the risk of causing a traffic accident. The records of 6,581 drivers who were hospitalized at a shock trauma center in the years 1997 through 2001 were analysed. Results on the presence of alcohol and illegal drugs were linked to police crash reports. Crash culpability was strongly associated with alcohol use, but no association was found between crash culpability and driving with cannabis in the system (as detected in urine).
(Source cited: Soderstrom CA, et al. Annu Proc Assoc Adv Automot Med 2005;49:315-30.)

The effects of the synthetic cannabinoid nabilone on driving ability was investigated in six patients with multiple sclerosis and spasticity. In a crossover design they received either 2 mg nabilone/day or placebo. No indication was found of a deterioration of any of the five investigated neuropsychological functions (reaction time, working memory, divided attention, psychomotor speed and mental flexibility)
during the four-week treatment period with nabilone. Nabilone shows similar effects as THC, 1 mg of nabilone comparing to about 10 mg THC.
(Source cited: Kurzthaler I, et al. Hum Psychopharmacol 2005 Apr 18; [Electronic publication ahead of print])