The Anime Encyclopedia Rides Again

So, keep an eye out for it with your bookstore!

Helen McCarthy: A Face Made for Radio

… or, as some prefer to call it, The Madness of Clements & McCarthy III

Here is is, in all its gilded glory – or rather, here it will be at the end of 2014, just in time for your Christmas gift list. The weight is now so daunting that there’s an e-book version – Stone Bridge Press, as a socially responsible company, doesn’t want to give delivery staff all over the world back strain just before the holiday.

And yes, pedants everywhere, we know that so far anime can’t be conclusively dated before 2017. We were two consistent voices arguing for conservative, securely documented dating during that brief period when the discovery of the Matsumoto fragment led some to posit a date before 1907 for the first animation made in Japan. But “a century” is a fair subtitle tag for an industry that’s been around for at least…

View original post 361 more words


GM-pollen in Honey: a constituent or an ingredient?


Post by John Davison, Research Director (retired), INRA Versailles, France.
WinnieIn 2011, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made a judgement regarding the case Bablok and Others v. Freistaat Bayern(1). Honey produced on Bablok’s farm was supposedly found to contain pollen from genetically modified MON810 maize(2, 3). It should be noted that no accredited scientific evidence regarding quantification  of MON810 pollen in Bablok’s honey was ever published.

Based upon these ‘facts’, and with reference to Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003, the ECJ concluded Bablok’s honey contained ingredients produced from GMOs within the meaning of the regulation. The situation was further complicated by the fact that MON810 maize was authorized for cultivation and consumption but, at that time,  MON810 pollen was not authorized as food (this has now been rectified). The threshold for unauthorized GM-pollen is 0%.

The ECJ decision was taken without…

View original post 809 more words

Pulling on a web string #10-25 | Frankenpolitics: The Left defence of GMOs

Excellent overall debunking of anti-GMO arguments by Leigh Phillips, a scientific writer and journalist.


Some background: Last September, Red Pepper , a progressive UK magazine, published a brief article,  “Silenced GM scientist speaks out against biotech coercion“, on its website about Gilles-Eric Seralini, the French molecular biologist sharply criticised by the scientific community for his infamous and headline-grabbing GMO-rat-tumour study, and promoting his British speaking tour. I’ve written for the magazine for many years and was furious that this discredited quack was being taken seriously by my colleagues. An extended email to the editors explaining the problems of the left-anti-GM position evolved into an essay for an upcoming print edition, which then turned into a multi-page debate between me and my friend Emma Hughes, a campaigner with the (really great) London-based environmental group Platform and who is also an opponent of genetic modification. 

The print edition has finally come out, but due to understandable space constraints, the full essay had to be condensed.

View original post 4,757 more words


On my screen #5 | Humor jihad for peace after marriage

SmilingBlackCatA while ago, I stated on one of my Facebook status that I believed humor, not philosophy or politic, would save the world. Apparently, comedian and  movie director Ghazi Albuliwi, originally from Jordan but raised in Brooklyn, thinks the same. As Haaretz reports in an article about an interview with him,

Albuliwi has a healthy fondness for provocation and a deep belief that humor can topple walls and illuminate the human and absurd facets of traumatic events such as the second intifada, 9/11 or, in an entirely different realm, the New York dating scene.

Reading this interview, I have a very good feeling about his last movie, Peace after mariage, and thus I really hope it will be screened in Europe as well.  Here are a few quotes from the Interview that should make you feel like going to see this movie if it is showed near you.

Like Arafat, the character in his film, Albuliwi dated quite a few Israeli women. “Write that I am looking for an Israeli bride,” he instructs me, adding, “Do you think there will be single women at the festival? That’s the only reason I’m going to Jerusalem.”

A notable one [scene] shows Arafat, who is trying to earn money as an actor, going to an audition in which he is asked to portray a mentally unstable Palestinian who is about to perpetrate a suicide attack. Wearing an improvised explosive belt, Arafat tells the American casting people, “I don’t know if this character is credible. There’s nothing anywhere in the Koran about 72 virgins. And who would want to blow himself up for 72 virgins anyway? Give me one whore who can get the job done and I’d be happy.”

Later, after he and Michaela sleep together for the first time, he tells his best friend proudly: “This is the first time a Palestinian ever exploded next to an Israeli without causing loss of life. I deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“After the 9/11 disaster, no American girl would go out with me. It was the pits. The attitude toward Muslims changed overnight. The whole dating scene was off-limits. Bin Laden forced a period of abstinence on me, and I will never forgive him for it.”

“As an example of how he blurs fiction and reality, there is a scene that Albuliwi has created in “Peace After Marriage” that is based on a traumatic incident from his past. A flashback that is meant to make it clear to the audience why Arafat’s parents are so desperate to marry him off shows the family in an Arab village in the West Bank − about to marry him to a Muslim girl. But he changes his mind and refuses to sign the marriage contract. The bride’s family pursues him and threatens to kill him. In an attempt to save his life, Arafat runs toward an Israeli army checkpoint, holds up his hands and shouts, in English, “Don’t shoot!” The soldiers aim their weapons at him, but in the end save him.”

“Every time I arrive at Ben-Gurion airport I undergo a security check of four hours at least,” he says. “I usually try to make them laugh and start up with the female checkers, and at some point they realize that I am actually enjoying it − and then they let me go.”

Journalist: Do you think they will believe you when you tell them that you are the director of the opening film of the Jewish Film Festival?

“That’s hard to imagine,” he laughs. “They’ll probably think, ‘Wow, these Hamas guys are really sophisticated. We’ve never heard that story before.’ My dream is to be so famous that even the security people at Ben-Gurion airport will recognize me.”

Well, our dream would be that it is possible for anyone, not just the VIP,  to travel through Ben-Gurion without being singled out for special security check, and that will happen only when the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has found a fair resolution. But great humor like that of Ghazi Albuliwi will certainly help this process, if only a little bit. But the sea is made of tiny drops!

It is possible to follow the news about the movie’s whereabouts on Twitter and Facebook! Don’t hesitate to “like” these pages!

Pulling on a Web string #10-21 | How far are SCAM proponents ready to go to promote their quackeries?

See on Scoop.itEpistemology | Epistémologie 2.1.

The latest November issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You has appeared and has delivered on its promise to devote an issue to cancer treatment with homeopathy and other quackery. It has been a tense…See more on The Quackometer.

Continue reading