Soapbox Speakers

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 1st April

In News for Speakers' Corner on April 2, 2018 at 8:30 am

“. . . just to place the finger on but one  of all the unsolved problems of the world, and say of it: ‘Thus the Creator thought,’ is worth a man’s whole life.”
David Avery, M.Sc.

1. It was Easter Sunday today, but where was Mirko?

Did he hide his own Easter Eggs last night, and have trouble finding them this morning?

2. Yes, it was Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day. Mr B admitted he had no prank planned, but did recount an incident in which he had rung a friend to ask him: “Please make me as many bowls of jelly that you can. I’ll pick them up tonight on my way to a party near your place.” The friend still had a fridge full of jelly days later. Helmut remembered the time when the Telegraph informed its readers the Queen had abdicated, and Charles was to take her place.

Mark the Grinner suggested that two thousand years ago the crucifixion was just an April Fool Day’s joke that got way out of hand. That theory was quickly dismissed. We didn’t talk about religion for the rest of the day.

3. And, it was also the end of Daylight Saving.


4. Mr B spoke
 about a clock being built inside a mountain in Texas, U.S.A.. The clock will keep the time for 10,000 years, and it’s powered by the varying temperatures of the mountain between day and night. Mr B’s grasshoppers figured it had to be an April Fool’s Day joke, but it wasn’t. Or was it? Here is one of Mr B’s 38 sources  if you’re game!

As you would expect, Mark the Grinner took the fun out of the talk by pointing out that a simple sundial would do the trick. Mind you, he is assuming the sun will still be there in 10,000 years, and there is no guarantee it will be.

Riverfront Park Sabarmati Sundial Ahmedabad River

5. Mr B proposed that we create a Speakers’ Corner organisation and grow it into an ethical, law-abiding $30b monolith.

If one person in the organisation were to become a kiddy-fiddler on the premises, should the victims be able to sue the organisation and take its assets, even though the organisation itself, and its other members, have done nothing wrong? Mr B said ‘no’, they shouldn’t be able to sue the organisation. Instead, the fiddler (and anyone else knowingly allowing it to happen) should lose their assets and go to jail, and the public should pay for any counselling the victims need. To make that happen, he suggested we double the Medicare Levy from 2% to 4%.

Mr B said that by expecting the Church to compensate its victims of sexual abuse, we are abrogating responsibility. We should care for ALL victims of sexual abuse.

One grasshopper suggested that we let the victim’s family deal with the perpetrator in a closed room. Uncle Pete wondered if that’s fair, pointing out that many perpetrators were once victims themselves. Gosh it gets complicated, doesn’t it?

Mr B also explained how innocent Christians are having their churches sold by the Anglican Church to pay the victims’ compensation. As if there weren’t enough victims already!

It’s safe to say not everyone agreed with Mr B.

6. Let’s say Speakers’ Corner does choose to become an organisation worth billions of dollars. Who would be in the committee? Here are my nominations:
Treasurer: Uncle Pete was quick to volunteer for that position. Thank you, Uncle Pete! That’s the spirit!
Science Advisor: Mirko.
Public Relations: Uncle Pete & Mark the Grinner.
President: Arthur
Vice President: Tony Boyce
Secretary: Mr Bashful
Publicity: Helmut. Helmut has given us plenty of publicity in the past.
Token women on the board: Sue & Jean

We have plenty of capable people willing to take a position: Ray, Steve Maxwell, Ben the Whisperer, Tommy, Greg, Jack, Howard, Kieron, Albert, and Peter the Younger, who was AWOL today.

Please don’t point out that the gender disparity on the board indicates sexism. There are only two women regulars at Speakers’ Corner and I’ve put them both on the board because they’re female, not because they deserve a position. I couldn’t be less sexist than that, could I?

7. Imagine there is a carbon fibre rod one light-year long floating in space. Your spaceship has a towbar, and you hitch one end of that rod to your towbar. Then you fire up your (powerful!) engines and begin to pull that rod along at one km per hour. Question: would the other end of that rod instantaneously move as well?  Or would there be a delay before it moved?

Mr B said that nothing, including information, can travel at the speed of light except light itself, so the other end would not move instantaneously. There would be a delay. Feasibly, (or hypothetically) the rod could be pulled thousands of kilometres before its other end began to move, years later. How can this be? How could it stretch so?

Ben the Whisperer and Helmut howled him down.

Was Mr B right? As promised, he provided this scribe with more information. Try this and this.

8. Mark the Grinner stood upon the Ladder of Knowledge and spoke about the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which is when someone is not bright enough to see that they aren’t bright, or aren’t talented. (Or that they shouldn’t be a soapbox speaker, Mr B.)

Mark gave us the name of an American President who might provide an example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

He also spoke of the opposite effect: (no, not the Kruger-Dunning effect, silly), the Imposter Syndrome. That’s when someone (more often a woman) believes she doesn’t deserve to be in the position she is in.

9. Other subjects discussed:
– A grasshopper asked, “Why are so many leaders not up to the task?” He received plenty of answers.

– Steve Maxwell promoted the beliefs of the Rationalists.

– How rigged is the television program, “Australia’s Got Talent“?  Very!
The title of that program irritates this scribe. The title should be, “Australia Has Talent”. The word ‘got’ is ugly and unnecessary.

– Malcolm Turnbill is not our leader. He is the leader of the Liberal Party and our most senior public servant. So, if he isn’t our leader, who is?

– Helmut discovered he is the reincarnation of Sir Isaac Newton, so he spoke about sub-atomic particles. With Mark the Grinner’s assistance he also explained to Mr B how a radio wave can easily pass through a brick wall, but can’t pass through a radio antenna.

– There are 9,728 planes in the air at this very moment, explained Mr B. That’s a lot of planes! Naturally, Uncle Pete questioned the figure by suggesting that one may have just landed and two taken off, and that would make the figure inaccurate.
Sigh.
And would Farmer Brown in his crop-duster be one of those planes?
Sigh.

– Some amputees suffer pain in “their missing limb”. It’s called phantom limb pain. Helpful grasshopper Sophia explained how someone can rid themselves of that phantom pain. (Mr B tried to explain, but failed dismally.) Here is a brief video of the mirror box:

10. You might as well check out our Facebook page before Facebook becomes obsolete.

And try our Archives site, which is already obsolete.

Pink fairy armadillo

 

 

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