babies ‘full of cannabis’ – really..?

Brain Scan MRIAMW82D Brain Scan MRI

While we increasingly know more about the brain – some theories about it are just plain weird.


The brain is an intensely hungry organ – using around 20% of our body’s energy just to function normally.

Having an organ using copious energy doing mostly nothing is an evolutionary dead end if nothing else.

If we only used 10% natural selection means we’d only have that 10%.

Maybe we are indeed the end result of a primate with much larger brains they didn’t use?

Pity those poor fools and their basketball-sized-skulls.

There is however, a hint of truth to the claim.

While we do use all of our brains we don’t use all of it at once.

The way the energy supply of the brain is arranged, our bodies can’t supply enough to increase activity in all of the brain simultaneously – so only a small fraction of it can be ‘activated’ at once.

You know that old joke about why men struggle to think?

The one that ends with ‘only enough blood to run one at a time?’

It’s like that – only scientific.



Source: Babies are full of cannabis? The five most surreal claims about the brain | Dean Burnett | Science | The Guardian

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going out for the night – with the far-right..

Milo Yiannopoulos arrives at a rally in Cleveland.

At the Republican convention Laurie Penny was invited to a rally led by alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopolous and an unholy cast of characters united behind Donald Trump – for whom turning raw rage into political currency is just a game.


Milo shows no remorse for the avalanche of misconduct he helped direct towards Jones – who is just the latest victim of the recreational ritual abuse he likes to launch at women and minorities for the fame and fun of it.

I have come to believe that Milo believes in almost nothing concrete – not even in free speech.

Milo puts on a bulletproof jacket.

He does this ‘because it’s funny’ although he worries that it may be insufficiently flattering.

‘I’m going to send it to my guy at Louis Vuitton’.

It’s all an act.

A choreographed performance by a career sociopath.

Milo Yiannopoulos is the ideological analogue of Kim Kardashian’s rear end.

Trickster breaks the internet.

The larger of the two security guards takes the wheel.

Milo strokes his arm and tells him it’s all right to go fast.

There follows the single most terrifying car ride of my life.

I make it to the venue intact apart from my faith in humanity.

‘Get Laurie a cigarette darling’ Milo says to his personal trainer.

We smoke in the car park as his camera crew arrive.

Then the crew livestreams the delighted Twitter martyr’s Reservoir Dogs strut through to the VIP room – a carpeted ballroom on the seventh floor of hell full of manic trolls and smug neo-fascists from every slimy corner of the internet.

Over by the bar is Geert Wilders – the Dutch far-right leader.

I realise that I have stumbled into a den of goblins.

It’s way too late to cast a protection spell.

Milo swoops away to hold court.

I hear a throat clear right in front of me.

It is Daryush Valizadeh – also known as Roosh V – self-styled leader in the “neo-masculinity” movement – author of a suspicious stack of sex travel guides and headline-hunting nano-celebrity in the world of ritualised internet misogyny.

Roosh hates feminists for a living.

He asks me what I’m doing here.

I ask him the same question.

Roosh is tall and well-built and actually rather good-looking for – you know – a monster.


Source: My night out in Cleveland with the worst men on the internet | US news | The Guardian

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misery feeds creativity..

The idea that sadness somehow kindles creativity is a popular and long-lasting one.

Its roots go back to antiquity; even Aristotle noted that those who excelled in the arts politics and philosophy had a tendency toward ‘melancholia’.

The artistic canon appears to be full of people whose dark mental states kindled their brilliance but also brought their lives to an early end – such as van Gogh – Rothko – Hemingway and Woolf.

This notion is widespread but in science it remains controversial.

Research has not really demonstrated a direct link between sadness and many of the most lasting achievements in art history.

Now a fascinating new study from an economist at the University of Southern Denmark appears to show that link.

Karol Jan Borowiecki examined the emotional state of three of the West’s most influential composers through the full course of their lives.

Using linguistic analysis software that scanned the text for positive and negative emotions such as joy – love – grief and hurt – he analysed 1400 letters written by Mozart Beethoven and Liszt to their friends – colleagues and loved ones.

He then compared that data with the compositions they produced in a given time period – looking in particular at their most influential and transformative works.

What he found appears to bear out popular ideas about creativity and melancholy: a link between periods of negative emotions – especially sadness and artistic brilliance.

The three composers lived in roughly the same time period and region of Europe and all had turbulent lives – sometimes tragic and sometimes jubilant.


Source: Misery found to feed creativity – Lifestyle – NZ Herald News

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op-ed: relax everyone! – the banksters are doing ok..!

New Zealand’s banks have shrugged off global market turmoil and the depressed dairy sector to make a net profit of $1.1 billion in the first three months of this year.

KPMG’s Financial Institutions Performance Survey shows the banks’ collective earnings were up 8 per cent on the previous quarter – with ANZ’s profit up $69 million to $416m and BNZ’s increasing $67m to $259m for the three months ending March 31.

Net profits for Westpac, ASB/CBA and Kiwibank were down on the previous quarter but were still near record levels.

Total bank profits hit a quarterly record high in the three months to September last year when they reached $1.27b.

Non-interest income – income that comes from fees and charges applied by the banks – as well as gains from financial instruments – was the biggest driver behind the profit growth – according to the report.


(ed:..whew..!..that’s a relief..! so many things are turning to shit – but the banksters are making (record(!) profits..

(and that profit mainly from clipping the tickets of their mug-punter customers – with/by their ‘fees and charges’..)

but we all know the banksters always win/never lose –

– and that is ‘cos the system is rigged in their favour – and against the interests of those aforementioned ‘mug-punters’…(funny that..!

market goes up – market goes down – those tickets are still clipped..

..and when those banks are foreign-owned (as is mainly the case in nz) that ‘rigging’ just seems all the more

(see what i did there..?..with the banking-pun..?..)

best just nationalise the be done with it..

..return those record-profits to the

..where they belong..

Source: Big Banks’ profits up 8% to $1.1b – Business – NZ Herald News

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filthy rich: tv soap ‘no one wants’ to receive nearly $7m in govt. funding..

On Monday with little fanfare, NZ on Air announced the renewal of Filthy Rich  – TV2’s soapy inheritance drama – for a second season.


Critically savaged and mostly ignored by its audience it limped along to a final pair of episodes watched by just 120,000 18-49 year olds across live, +1 and time-shifted.

By comparison Step Dave season two which aired just months beforehand ended with a hair under 150,000 viewers over its final two episodes.

It was promptly canceled.

By any sensible analyis Filthy Rich would have met the same fate.

A bold experiment – unspooling its 20 episodes over 10 weeks.

But an experiment which definitively failed.

Miriama Smith in the television series Filthy Rich.

Miriama Smith in the television series Filthy Rich.

Yet here we are marveling over the enormous sums being thrown at the second season of a show no one wants.

On Monday we learned that the second series received $6,896,419 in public funding to continue the saga of the Truebridge family for 14 episodes – a 16 per cent funding increase on a per episode basis.

This represented a shade over 45 per cent of the $15,238,680 allocated to local drama in the round – all of which went to shows to be broadcast on TVNZ.


Source: Duncan Greive: Filthy Rich is making an unwanted return – Entertainment – NZ Herald News

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john oliver unpacks the republican convention..

The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host traces the divide between Trump’s real and imagined business acumen (or lack thereof).

‘Last Week Tonight’ host John Oliver on Sunday devoted his main segment to last week’s Republican National Convention – which he called, ‘the most apocalyptic thing ever to happen to (Cleveland) – and bear in mind their river has repeatedly caught fire’.

 A running portrayal of GOP nominee Donald Trump focused on his business and management acumen.
Among speakers attesting to these attributes were UFC president Dana White and Trump’s daughter and business associate Ivanka.

‘That message of Trump as a skilled manager was somewhat undercut by the fact the entire convention was a mismanaged shit show’ Oliver said.


Source: WATCH: John Oliver hilarious takedown of Donald Trump’s “mismanaged sh*t show” of a convention –

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‘growth in white poverty fuels trump’s run’..: (+ op-ed..)

The GOP overlooked the poverty that’s spread to white suburbs — those neglected Americans turned to Trump.


There was Donald Trump standing on the platform center stage at the Quicken Loans Arena basking in the moment the highest paid minds in media and politics told us over and over he would never have.

What accounts for his improbable rise and what does it say about  where our nation is  really headed?

Just how did our corporate news media miss the amassing of the millions of mostly angry white voters with their pitchforks and torches that  helped Trump stage a hostile takeover of the GOP?

Could it be that the elites of both parties and their media stenographers  ignored the plight of poor whites for so long that they missed the explosion in their numbers –  even as they marched on the town square?

Certainly people of such poor education and  such low social circumstance could not impact the politics of a nation so wordily and wealthy as America.

Perhaps  the oversight  is understandable.

After all with no disposable income worth targeting there was no reason to run any detailed analytics on poor whites unless you were selling beer – guns and bibles.

The reality is that under the current Democratic occupant of the White House and a Republican-controlled Congress poverty has exploded and expanded from its traditional urban and rural concentrations  into America’s white suburbs.

This precipitous deterioration happened as beltway leaders of both parties put their partisan gamesmanship and personal enrichment ahead of  attending to the increasing ranks of the nation’s poor and struggling working class of all colors.


(ed: of course this has also happened here in new zealand..

both of the major parties – the tories (from whom you expect such behaviour) and the labour (in name only) party – from whom you expect better..

(but such expectations having been dashed for three + decades – since the neoliberal/rightwing revolution that was rogernomics..)

both of these parties have steadfastedly turned their backs on the poorest in new zealand..

…for the really really poor – until the recent pittance-$20 increase for (some) families – with more clawback-hooks than a sealords-long-line – income-support for the poorest had not risen in 42 years..(!)

helen clark sat there for nine long years – crying crocodile tears for ‘the struggling middle class’ – and doling out welfare payments to people earning over $100,000 a yr.

but for the poorest/those doing it hardest..?

not a fucken

(and i am not even going near how she also stigmatised/ostracised/persecuted those poorest families/people..

(who can forget her ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ families wedge/sermons/screeds.?..) fact given her record with the poorest of/in new zealand – when it was announced clark was going to the united nations to care for the worlds’ poor..?

..i actually was felled by an irony-overdose – had to be taken to a&e..

so these dysfunctional (except for themselves) political-class-elites from both main parties have brung us to this:

world-beating rates of inequality/child-poverty..

..and the neoliberals’-dream – a low-wage/high-cost economy (capitalisms’ sweet-spot)..

and as in america – this out of control neoliberal nightmare foisted on new zealand has also now seeped through to the working-poor..

people slaving their guts out in those shit low-wage jobs – and yet still not being able to feed/house themselves/their families – and being reduced to living in cars..

young people facing futures of shit-jobs/student-debt/ inability to buy million dollar/wooden-shack ‘homes’..

and for those people who think i am being too harsh on labour – consider that their policies towards the poorest were/are little different from those of key/the tories..

..labour in 2014 election-campaign bowed their knee to their neoliberal-consensus – and confirmed they would – like the tories – only raise benefits for the poorest by the rate of inflation..

in essence – they promised to do nothing..

so..this brings us to where we are now..

..and if both of those parties think they will be immune from the howls of outrage/rebellion seen in britain/united states (and many countries in europe..) ..come the election in 2017..

..they are dreaming/deluding themselves/in denial..

and the only question being who will ride that whirlwind here..?

..will winston peters be able to do a nigel farage..?..(as he must dream/hope)..and be able to churn that resentment with/by his racism/xenophobia etc..?..and turn it into votes..?

..or will those long-neglected voters turn to the left..?

..will the greens and/or a revitalised mana party be finally seen as the parties of change they both undoubtedly are…and will they reap those rewards..?

this we will find out in 2017..

but of  those two major parties it is labour who faces the most damage from this/any repayment for their decades of neglect…

and they ignore this fact at their peril…


Source: Growth in white poverty fuels Trump’s run: Largely ignoring the trend has consequences –

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