It’s in the information

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Rationalising The Universe

Any true science fiction fan will immediately recognize the featured image to this post as The Matrix – the late 90s trilogy where humans are stuck living in a simulated reality, which is aptly named theMatrix. In the film we enter a world where all experiences humans have; the taste of food, the feeling of a gust of wind or the solidity of surfaces is nothing more than coding embedded in the Matrix. We are led to the conclusion that once an individual is consciously aware of the existence of the Matrix, it is possible to manipulate the programming to perform feats that defy the known laws of nature on Earth – which is fine when you are living within a computer. One of the main characters, Neo, gains such a deep understanding of the Matrix that he is able to see things for the coding they are, rather than the…

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Freezing your genitals at a spa will give you frostbite not better sex

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wow, that’s crazy

Dr. Jen Gunter

The good people of Twitter alerted me today to the concept of recreational genital cryotherapy. Cryotherapy, for those who may not know, is freezing tissue for medical benefit.

The spa, because that’s EXACTLY the place you would want someone to freeze your vulva or scrotum or wherever is at the The Ainscow Hotel in Manchester, England.


I can’t believe I have to say this, but just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should. I will follow it up with the corollary that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

We actually use cryotherapy legitimately in gynecology (and other areas of medicine). The most common use in gynecology is to remove warts, but we used to use to treat precancer of the cervix until better therapies came along. I have LOTS of experience with the effects of liquid nitrogen on genital tissue as it was very common practice when…

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WTF Robots Special


Hallo Readers,

WTF’s dad used to tell a joke about a man driving around rural Ireland, hopelessly lost. Eventually, he sees a farmer leaning on his fence and stops the car. “Excuse me”, he says, “I’m trying to get to Dublin. Which is the way?” The farmer scratches his head and then replies “If I were you, I wouldn’t start from here”. And that is exactly the problem with Brexit. You wouldn’t start from here. Here is the political equivalent of being lost in the middle of fields in the middle of nowhere. Here is MPs who believe passionately in the EU, MPs who fought the last election in favour of staying in the EU, tramping through the lobby in favour of its abandonment. Here is the Leader of the Labour Party, purportedly pro-EU, imposing a three-line whip on his MPs to trigger Article 50 and the irrevocable process of leaving.  And imposing another three-line whip so that no-one…

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Dandelion Syrup: a recipe for sunshine in a glass

Confessions of a Hedge Witch

[originally published A Sense of Place, 05/09/13]

And over that potato-field
A lazy veil of woven sun,
Dandelions growing on headlands, showing
Their unloved hearts to everyone.
-from Spraying the Potatoes
by Patrick Kavanagh; 1940

Our gardens are full of Bearnán Bríde – the sunny dandelion.  I like to leave them growing because the bees and birds love them, so.  I also enjoy making yummy things with their flowers, leaves, and roots.  Today I gathered a few bright heads to make Dandelion Syrup!

Here in Ireland, as elsewhere, dandelion has many uses: from children’s games to herbal preparations.  The ‘clocks’, or puffy seedheads, were blown to tell the time, with number of puffs signifying the hour.  In Dublin, a cure for tuberculosis involved eating a sandwich of bread, butter, and fresh dandelion leaves.  Among other things it was used for cuts in Counties Cavan, Wicklow, Limerick and Kerry; for sprains…

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The Permanent Global Coral Bleaching Event


Despite La Nina, Ocean surfaces have not cooled enough to end the worst global coral bleaching event on record. What this means is that many reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef, are again under a rising risk of bleaching and mortality for the coming months. This is unheard of. Never before has a mass coral bleaching event lasted for so long or extended through the period of natural variability related ocean surface cooling called La Nina. Perhaps more ominously, the global coral bleaching and die off that began in 2014 may now be a practically permanent ocean feature of the presently destabilized world climate system.

Cool La Nina is Over

According to NOAA, the periodic cooling of ocean surfaces in the Pacific called La Nina is now over. And since La Nina brings with it a variable related low point of broader Earth surface temperatures, after a…

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