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From Hijab to Burka

I am often bemused by the response that woman who wear headscarves as a requirement of their religion give.

Their first response is as one would expect, defensive. I like wearing the Hijab or Burka or other veil. Like most people if you ask someone why they do what they do their first impulse is one of defense.

Oddly the Qur’an does not mention such headgear except in reference Muhammad’s wives being instructed to wear a veil in the presence of the many men that he entertained as a dignitary. The only reference in the Qur’an to woman’s clothing was for women to guard their private parts and throw a scarf over their bosoms in the presence of men*. It wasn’t until generations after that woman were made (yes made) to wear such head gear. Like most thing in religion it is about dominance. Though that is not what I want to say today.

Today I have a statement and one question I would like to propose to such woman.

I understand you would feel uncomfortable not wearing your Hijab. The continual wearing of a piece of clothing is habit forming and the removal would give the person a sense of unease. This is perfectly normal and to be expected in a society where such habits are common place.

What I ask is this. If you were to decide not to wear your Hijab at home or in public, how would others in your family and society view you?



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Climate scientists do it for the money!

I am sure if you are anti AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) or man made global warming you subscribe to the theory that the reason why so many scientists agree that global warming is man made is because that’s where the money is.

Research done suggests that 97% of scientists support man made global warming.

Ok lets take a look at this logic.

If proponents of this theory are to be believed it means that a significant proportion of that 97% are more interested in money than in scientific truth.

The theory goes like this. To get grant money a scientist must apply. An applicant that supports AGW is more likely to get grant money therefore most climate scientists submit papers supporting AGW.

In short a very large percentage of climate scientists are dishonest. Isn’t that what  Global Warming Deniers believe?

So if we assume that a very large percentage of climate scientists are dishonest and they are in fact only following grant money (I used to believe this until common sense got in the way). Then we must believe they are intrinsically dishonest.

BUT if they are intrinsically dishonest why do 97% support AGW surely they would go wherever the money leads. Governments aren’t the only source of grant money. Large corporations provide grant money, universities provide grant money interested groups provide grant money. There are dozens of different sources of grant money for a scientist whether they are climate scientists or not.

Many of those organisations on the surface don’t believe in AGW. They have vested interests in AGW being wrong. Oil Companies. Insurance Companies. Political Parties etc etc.

Lets assume that say 60% of climate scientists are dishonest and only follow the money. So for every 100 climate scientists who agree with AGW 60 are dishonest and only do it for the money (the other 40% are just easily led).

This means that of the 3% who are against AGW 1 is easily led the other 2 out of the 100 are dishonest.

But if 60 out of 100 are just plain dishonest, Why do most of them side with AGW when there is plenty of money available to anyone with a science degree who is willing to denounce AGW.

Why? because the very clear majority of climate scientists are in fact honest and therefore believe that AGW is real.

I used 60%. You can use whatever percentage you think makes sense. The answer will always come out the same.

The claim makes no logical sense whatsoever.

No Justification

I awoke this morning to the news that over 100 students were murdered in Peshawar. Shot in their classrooms by Taliban Militants.

A reprisal attack for a recent military offensive against the Taliban.

What evil twisted minds can justify an attack on innocent students sitting at their desks.

There is no justification. There are no words that can be uttered there are no mitigations there is no softening of thought towards these evil men.

If you harbour any thought of justification towards this evil. Then you are evil. There is no other way to think of it.

Man needs god to exist!

Perhaps its a bit of a generalisation, but in watching people I have realised that people in general need god to exist.

They need the concept of god to…

  • make their own life have worth
  • answer unanswerable questions
  • feel like they can be forgiven for the bad they do
  • and many many other reasons


The very fact that man needs god to exist is proof positive that god does not in fact exist.

How to improve your dental health for free!

If you have never been told, one of the quickest easiest and certainly cheapest way you can improve the health of your teeth is to swish.

That is as simple as it is and it can be done almost anywhere. Take a glass of clean water after meals or drinks or eating any sugary food (my down fall was sultanas, I love them) and swish then spit it out. If you do it in a clean basin you may be surprised to see how much stuck food it removes.

When I say swish I mean using your cheeks to force the liquid through your teeth. It will dislodge a lot of stuff that will otherwise sit for hours and also remove a lot of, if not all of the sugar left behind. My other love was sugared coffee, had I swished after each cup I’d probably be in much better shape.

So eat drink swish and be merry!

The bible said the bible was right.


This is on arstechnica. Repeated here because I thought it was worth repeating.


“Source: The bible said the bible was right.”

Isn’t that known as a circular argument? The bible is right because the bible says its right!.

Actually I have read the bible from front to back. I see no where in the bible does it state it is correct or factual, nor even that its the word of god. That’s just what we are told.

So what you are believing in then is the word of man.


Original article:

It was in response to this post


Time : is it real?

This is my theory of the non-existence of time.

Time is said to be the fourth dimension. I am going to introduce a new idea. Time is not a dimension. Time is not a thing at all. Time does not exist.

What do we know about time?

Well the first thing we know is it is hard to discuss time without referencing time. Time is integral to the way we think. So please excuse some of the circular references, I am sure you understand why.

Time moves forward. We can’t back it up, not for even a femtosecond. We also know time is dependent on gravity. As we move out of the gravity well of Earth time speeds up.

We have learned two things about time

We know time can be influenced. And, without time nothing could change. The universe and everything in it would be static.

But what is it actually. What makes yesterday different from today. What makes a second ago different from now?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Everything!

The entire universe changed dramatically in the last second and we barely noticed it. The universe you live in this very second is different to the one you were in just a moment ago. At this point you are probably thinking uh oh crazy guy. But if you will just ponder it for a moment you will know I am right.

It is different because every atom has changed, every photon has moved, every energetic action has changed. The sun and all stars have changed, planets have moved, wind has blown, electrons have moved (in an indeterminate way). Everything is different.

So now you see what I mean by the entire universe has changed. Everything in it is slightly different.

And that took time to happen! Or at least that’s the way we think of it.

Without time nothing could change. The universe and everything in it would be static.

So far all I have done is reconfirm what we call time. So now we will explore the theory of the non-existence of time.

Imagine this. Every single molecule in your body stopped moving. Every atom stopped vibrating, every electron stopped spinning. Nothing moved, absolutely nothing. Now imagine this continued for a year of everyone else’s time. For one year of normal time you were in a completely motionless state.

After twelve months, everything resumed moving. How much time would have passed for you? None, that’s right, between stopping and starting no time passed. You didn’t age, you didn’t breathe, your hair didn’t grow, and your thoughts resumed exactly where they stopped.

For you not even one second of time had passed, while for the rest of us time marched on a full twelve months.

Did you time travel?

I am going to take what I said before and change it just by one word.

Without motion nothing could change. The universe and everything in it would be static.

So time is really synonymous with motion. In fact what we call time is just our way of measuring motion. If so then why does time move at different rates dependant on the strength of gravity?

It helps to understand how we ultimately measure time. At the most precise level we measure time by counting the vibrations of an atom. An atom that vibrates at a very stable rate.

Atoms are influenced by gravity. It is my contention that the vibration of the atom changes based on the strength of the gravity field it is in. All matter changes based on the gravity field it is in. Because space changes based on the strength of gravity. Therefore a clock in orbit runs at a different rate than a clock on earth. Measuring the difference would make you think the rate of time was different. But it is not, just the rate of vibration is different.

Ultimately does this theory of the non-existence of time change anything? No it doesn’t, time is still a very important measure of the rate of change around us.

What it does do though is answer one question!

Can we time travel?

Yes we can, by influencing the rate of change of everything in our vicinity. My fanciful example above of a complete atomic stasis is one way, changing the gravity field is another way, although it is measured in fractions of a second. Possibly high speed close to the speed of light will work.

This though is a one way ticket. We can only ever go forward by slowing our personal clock (motion). We can never go back again, there is nothing to go back to. Because there is no such thing as time.

Time is not the fourth dimension. Time is what we humans use to measure motion.

Are we Gods experiment?

The major religions follow a similar line. Only the faithful shall enter the Kingdom of God. Whether it be Christianity, Judaism, Islam or many of the other major religions (excluding Buddhism and Hinduism).

But each religion makes exclusions. I mean I am faithful, I am faithful to my wife, I have faith that the sun shall rise tomorrow yada yada. yet I don’t qualify because I don’t follow their brand of faith. I must have faith in not just God but their brand of God!

They all claim to speak the mind of God, So they must be right.

So what’s the logical conclusion to this?

There is almost 7 Billion people in the world now, but they don’t all follow the same religious belief. The top ones can be broken down into a multitude of sometimes mutually exclusive sects.

Not everyone follows the same brand of religion, and according to the adherents only their own secular faith gets the right of entry into heaven. That means of the 7 billion or so people only very few actually have the right to go to heaven.

And that doesn’t include those who have already passed on.

What can this possibly mean?

Lets make some religious based assumptions.

1/ God is all knowing

Ok because of this God knew from the very beginning that he was creating people where the huge majority will end up in hell (at least Catholic Christians believe this).

2/ God is loving

What could the purpose of this be? Why would a supposedly loving God create man knowing at best most will be cast aside or at worst spend eternity in hell.

3/ God gave man free will

What does this even mean? How can you have free will when the outcome is already known?

Lets assume instead of there being one outcome there are innumerable outcomes all based on man exercising his free will.

If we assume there are as many different outcomes as there are people. So if we actually do the math on this a rough approximation is 7Billion factorial. wolphramalpha gives us

1.2550874172367861035137264048483017925786069073982… × 10^65875624912


Ok given the subject is God we can assume this number is a mere trifling and God can see all of those possible outcomes. In actual fact the number of outcomes tends a lot closer to infinity the above enormous number only relates to each person exercising their will only once in their lifetime. Given that each person exercises their will countless times in a day you can see how this number becomes even daunting for a god.

What have we learnt so far?

  • God created man knowing most will die wasting their life or will be punished just for being God’s creation.
  • Gods love doesn’t encompass those he considers unworthy. Plenty examples in the bible of God destroying those he dislikes.
  • God is truly great with numbers

If we can be so bold as to consider what God’s plans are and I don’t see an issue with this as if you ever ask a Christian or Muslim or whatever about God they are more than willing to tell you what they think gods plans are. So why should we be barred from considering the same question?

So assuming we wont be burned at the stake for doing what religious folk do every day we will attempt to consider what all of the proceeding means?

With so many possible outcomes what can be the ultimate goal?
With so many discarded lives what can be the ultimate goal?

To be honest I can only come up with one plausible answer. We are Gods experiment, God is trying to build the perfect human and each failed life is just one more experimental miss, discarded as the worthless life it was.

Eventually God will find that perfect being.

What then. Will God continue looking for another perfect being or will he be satisfied and turn off all of creation?


Where do YOU fit, Are you that perfect being?



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Conspiracist Ideation and censorship

Conspiracy theorists attempt to censor research into their actions

This article on Ars Technica discusses the removal of a study into conspiracy theories due to pressure from the conspiracy theorist blogs themselves.

Here is the original now removed article. Fortunately the University of Western Australia is not so easily cowed by such threats.

Now lets watch the Streisand effect do its work.

This article also introduced me to the term “Conspiracist Ideation” A great term :)

md5 is still good enough for passwords

I read a lot about how md5 is hacked and don’t use it for passwords blah blah blah

It is true that finding collisions in md5 is easy enough and brute forcing them with modern day computers is trivial.

But are they useless?

I Don’t Think So!

The following is based on someone getting access to your database because say you left the door open and they were able to inject some sql which revealed your user accounts. Sadly a very common occurrence.

The reasoning for not using md5’s as password hashes goes like this. I can brute force 5 Billion Hashes a second therefore I can crack all your passwords within minutes therefore md5 is terminally broken.

Well Yeah, That is correct if you don’t salt your hashes and you should! What is salting? Salting is adding random characters to the password to increase its complexity. It is done by the webserver or whatever program is using the password

It goes like this..

instead of

hash = md5(password);

you have

hash = md5(password . salt) ;// . means concatenate

Now if the cracker doesn’t have the salt he cannot brute force your password and rainbow tables and collisions are also out.  (rainbow tables are massive precomputed tables of cracked hashes)

The trouble with the above solution is two users with the same password have the same hash. That little leakage of information could be enough to crack the password.

So what you need to do is to add a unique salt, one per password. This then prevents two passwords having the same hash.

hash = md5(password  .  unique salt);

But this means you need to store your unique salt with your password. So if your database is hacked then your salts are also known! But it does give the bad hacker a headache they still need to brute force every password in your database with a different salt for each password. It makes it exponentially harder.

How about we add another salt to the system will that help? Yes it will!

If you add a third common salt to the system so that your algorithm now becomes

hash = md5(password . unique salt . common salt);

Then the bad hacker needs all three. As long as the hacker does not get the common salt then your passwords are safe. BUT DO NOT STORE THE COMMON SALT IN THE DATABASE!

If they have the database and get your common salt because you were silly enough to store it there then you are back to the salt plus unique level of complexity. Good but not great!

Remember this too, as a developer we can do all we want to protect our users passwords. But if users are stupid enough to use simple passwords and then share them across multiple sites then they deserve to get hacked.

To protect them from themselves when setting passwords for users always set a minimum complexity.

So go ahead and use md5 in the knowledge you are reasonably safe. Of course if they get access to your server then once again you are in trouble!

So the solution is two salts a unique and a common salt stored in a different media (configuration file)

AND insist on minimum complexity passwords.

md5 Is fast and that’s why its still a good choice for a busy server.

Of course you may have different reasoning so I’d love to hear it.

P.S. If you really want to give your bad hacker a hard time then add a counter to your hashing algorithm.

hash = md5(password . unique salt . common salt);
for (i = 0 to 1000000) {
           hash = md5(hash);

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