Summer, and a Stabbing on Cabbage Beach

Summer has come in the tropics when the poinciana trees bloom. This isn't the most stunning example of blooms that I saw, but it was handy. It is across the street. Yesterday on Prince Charles Drive, I saw a line of them that turned the street into shades of red and orange.

I met a German woman last night who was a naturalized French citizen named Christiane Wesche who has worked in the cosmetics and skin care business for many years. She is the founder of the Paris Bahamas line of organic, natural skin care products and uses the oil of the seeds from poinciana trees as well as the extract from sea grape leaves in her products. I predict that this line will be a success since she tries to build in anti-oxidant qualities into her products.

And Now For Something Completely Different --Disturbing Summer Scene

And in other summer shenanigans, I have a very disturbing Youtube video. At the top of the blog is Cabbage Beach. It is where I swim each day. It is near where I spearfish, snorkel and collect golf balls. It is beautiful.

It is also inhabited by undesirable animals called jetski drivers. These young men cruise up and down the beach trying to sell jetski rides for $70 per half an hour. One of them has killed a little British Boy when he drove a boat onto the beach at Atlantis, crushing the toddler who was playing there.

These characters hustle the women, sell adulterated marijuana to anyone who asks for it, and are a nuisance on the beach. There have been calls to ban them regularly, however the owners of the jetskis are politicians who make money from the activities of the jetski drivers.

Pictured below is a scuffle on Cabbage Beach where one jetski driver stabs another. It was filmed by a tourist.

Bahamas Wine & Food Show

This is my photo essay on the Bahamas Wine & Food Show that I attended yesterday.

There was something incredibly appealing to the eye with the ice cold champagne bucket, crystal drops of condensation from the ice, the necks of the bottles sticking out, and the outdoor sunlight.

Food Servers

The warming trays with their polished silver covers.

Booths along the perimeter.

The eaters came, they saw and they conquered.

Switcher (or "Switcha" as this is labeled), was the national drink of the Bahamas before the convenience drinks like Kool Aid, Tang and Gatorade came along. It is lemonade made with lemons and limes.

More Food !!!

The Wine Tent.

An arresting colour of flag over a food booth.

The lemons were a decoration at the Greek Food Booth.

This Greek serving girl posed for me, and it shook me -- and consequently the picture.

Local, organically grown produce -- under glass believe it or not.

This is the produce that I bought from the above stall.

Seafood paella.

Tropical fruits (mameys and mangoes) for sale. I bought some.

I found it ironic that there was a food show celebrating food, when the grocery stores where we get our everyday food serve up the dregs of North American supermarket ejecta that no one else will buy, at a price that is criminal. It is no wonder that the gross tonnage of the population surpasses that of the ships' registry in this country.

Harley Davidson Limo

Now I have seen everything -- a Harley Davidson motorcycle converted to a stretch limousine:

Actually the stretch limo looks kind of cool.

I'm not crazy about the gull wing doors though.

Not bad for a motorcycle.

The rumble seat rocks.

What next -- a moped stretch limo?

The Phuture of Pharmaceuticals

Here is another fearless prediction about the future of pharmaceuticals. I classed this under "things that need inventing", but I think that this prediction will happen more out of greed of the pharmaceutical companies rather than a genuine need of the people.

We all saw what happened when Viagra was accidentally invented. It because a multi-billion dollar revenue stream. That is when the drug companies first saw the light. It is more profitable to manufacture "convenience drugs" rather than to find drugs that cure diseases, alleviate suffering and make people healthy. Drug companies stopped being a boon to mankind and began to service the "luxury" niche of the drug market, which they accidentally created.

There will arise drug companies whose sole purpose is to manufacture and sell drugs of convenience. What kind of drugs? It is only limited by your imagination. Here are a few examples of what may come to pass (so to speak):

1) The "Mommy Mommy I have to pee!" drug. You have the kids in the car on a long road trip. Just like Gravol for motion sickness, you give them a drug that enables them to hold their bladders and not suffer discomfort. This will make millions. The possible side-effects are that you go humps just like a camel, but the convenience is worth it.

2) The "All Food Looks Gross" diet pill. Take one of these to the supermarket, and you won't buy junk food, because all food looks gross and makes you nauseous. Side effects might be that you will crave chalk and gnawing on wood or plastic, but at least it has less calories than junk food.

3) The Mood Multiplier Pill. Because of the social interactions of dating online, and living on Facebook and My Second Life, we will lose our capacity to genuinely feel emotions. Not to worry. Drop one of these babies and you will cry at funerals, think that your weird Uncle John is funny as hell, thoroughly enjoy visiting your aged parents in a nursing home, and actually look forward to leaving your computer screen to take out the accumulating garbage of empty pizza boxes and beer cans. This pill will be enhanced in potency and sold under the "My Life Doesn't Suck" label.

When I was first forced to read "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley in school, I thought that the part about having a "soma" a drug to make people happy was the biggest bunch of crap that I had ever heard, and wondered what Huxley was smoking when he wrote the book. As it turns out, he could accurately foresee the future of pharmaceuticals. And it didn't matter what recreational pharmaceutical that he was using, because ultimately he was spot on in his predictions.

Victoria Day Cottage Life

This is my photo essay of cottage life on the Victoria Day holiday weekend.

Dinner table in the screened-in porch.

View from the deck.

Sun setting over the hills.

Rocky shore mantled in green.


Day is done.

Swimming in the lake.

Gliding along the shoreline.

Lake, hills and sky.

Lightly row, lightly row, in our little boat we go!

Victoria Day Holiday

It is the Victoria Day weekend in Canada. It is a national holiday. Victoria Day is traditionally regarded as the beginning of summer. It is great to be in Canada for Victoria Day.

Another place, another time

I am not in the tropics. The north country beckoned for a long weekend, and a national holiday celebrating the birthday of a long dead queen. In a little town by the river, a piper pipes a newly minted bride and groom across the green sward in the shade of the stately maples.

It took me back to another time, to something that I lost somewhere somehow along the way.

Yves' Mango Tree


Yves has a little two year old mango tree in the back yard. It is only a meter or so tall. It is quite small.
The young tree is producing a lot of mangoes.

Mangoes are rich in iron, calcium, sulfur, benzene and arsenic, and other beneficial vitamins. They are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just two of these things have enough nutrition to feed a family of ten. I collect about 6 mangoes a week from this tree.

I will send you this tree for free. Just pay shipping and handling of $25,000 (US Dollars) and this wonder tree can be yours. (Note: When shipped, the tree looks like a stick. Just plant the stick and water it, and you will get these wonderful mangoes in a couple of weeks).

Tropical Headgear

In Canada and the US, headgear has been largely abandoned by adults. Sure they wear sunhats, and one sees the ubiquitous baseball cap, but large ornate things sitting on the head has gone out of vogue.

Not so in the tropics. I was reading an online gossip page, and they had pictures of society people in these tropics. The first was of a Justice of the Supreme Court. At first glance, I thought that the picture below was a joke.
The justices wear woolen wigs in the British tradition of several hundred years ago. To me, they look cartoonish. There is no way that I would put a dead piece of sheep hide on my head, to let folks know how important I am.

And the woman in the picture below was at church.

It looks like a stealth UFO has landed on her head. I believe that this woman is the prime minister's wife.

The headgear seems to serve as tools of self-aggrandizement. It seems that the largest or strangest thing atop your head signifies your importance in this society. At the Red Cross Ball, the men wore top hats. I think a Dr. Seuss hat shop would really go well here.

New Tires By Michelin -- The Tweel -- The Future of Tires

Michelin has a prototype of a new tire called the "Tweel". It is an airless see-through tire. It is the wave of the future -- the next generation of tires.

There is no air enclosure. It is made entirely of composites.

No more punctures or flat tires, or looking for an air hose at a gas station.

The new tires have spokes for a cushion. They are expected to hit the consumer market "soon". These photographs were taken at Michelin's plant in South Carolina.

Happiness Equipment

Pictured above is my happiness equipment.

West Indian Chiton II

In July of 2008, I wrote in this blog how I came to find out about West Indian Chiton. These things look like a dinosaur barnacle. A security guard showed me that these things were not only edible, but delicious. They are a bit crunchy like conch, but still highly edible.

I get a lot of Google hits on the article, and the question is always the same "Are West Indian Chiton edible?" The answer is yes.

Yesterday, I photographed a whole load of them at Golf Ball beach. The pictures are above. Just as a matter of interest, the natives consider these things to have Viagra properties. They call this Caribbean Viagra. When I tried chiton, I couldn't tell if it were true. I am on the beach every day, and I am quite hardened to the constant scene of semi-naked nubile female bodies, so I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

If you want to read the original Chiton article, please click HERE.

And now a word from our sponsors

OK, if you came here to look at Michael Jackson's lifeless body, or see the outrageous at a ghetto prom, this blog entry is not for you. Instead look at the pretty pitcher of golf ball beach above that I Gimpified.

What this blog entry does, is help my fellow geeks using MySQL databases and stored procedures. Man, I can make a Personal Digital Assistant talk over the length of a tropical jitney bus to an RFID card and then put out the result on WiFi using unmanaged code an programatically controlling a mobile device. However, sometimes I get hung up on stupid SQL database language syntax. Solving those issues takes longer than figuring out how to build a nuclear device using items purchased at WalMart that are made in China.

So I spent a long time yesterday trying to make a stored procedure work. It was a hair pulling experience. I used a prepared statement in the stored procedure because I wanted to pass the name of the table as a variable. The way that I do it, is cache the name of the table in another table row.

Well sir, when you use a table name variable in a prepared statement, everything works fine. However, inserting the table name as string into a column throws a MySQL error 1054 -- column not found. It gives the name of the string value as the column name. I would yell at the machine ... "Are you STUPID??" I googled and I gawgled and I trolled. In my dim memory, I had encountered this before.

My SQL statement worked on the command line and it worked with database tools, but it did not work in the prepared statement. After much frigging around, I found the answer.

It was okay to pass the primary table name as a variable. But if you are inserting text into a column everything is treated as a string. Even though the insert was one word "tablename" the variable value needs to have a single quote at the beginning and the end. In other words, if you want to insert the word shitsky into the table, you have to assign it to the variable as 'shitksy' with the single quotes included. Jumping Jehosaphat! Who was the nerd that programmed this horror.

Anyway, all is well that ends well. I just wanted to pass this on, so that when someone else encounters it, hopefully Google will hit this page first and save them a lot of time. You are welcome.

What is outside the universe

Following up on yesterday's post, I am doing more musing on the nature of the universe. Scientists, who are bound by math and experimentation and all that boring proof stuff tell us that the universe is folded back on itself and has no edges. They say that it is like a soap bubble where if you set off in one direction you would end up exactly where you started (eventually). That is like some places on the prairie in Saskatchewan, where all you can see in any direction is the back of your head.

But come on. If the universe started out as a single point, and 'sploded in the Big Bang, it must have been somewhere. Scientists (again what do they know), say that space didn't exist. It came about in the Big Bang. So what was there, before the universe? If there is one thing that we are learning, is that there is no such thing as total nothingness. Yet scientists insists that pre-universe, it was like a turd with the crap kicked out it -- pure nothingness.

I have a problem with the broad statement that the universe has no edges. I can understand how it appears to have no edges, such as if you decide to walk to the edge of the earth, you will never get to it (unless you come to Newfoundland). But you can always go up and get off the earth. So there must be yet another dimension that allows us to get out of the universe. It is sort of like an up after you use your first up.

Superstring theory tells us that there are 11 dimensions. Even Stephen Hawking in his book talks about space-time foam where the universe still hasn't formed the solidus of space-time that we live in, and the space time sort of peters out, like your chances of taking home a pretty girl the closer that you get to last call. So there has gotta be an edge to the universe.

So I got this flash of inspiration. Suppose where the universe is, is a seething sea of chaotic dimension membranes or branes, and the Big Bang is the equivalent of a supernova in our conventional universe. Instead of shedding matter into space, the supernova is the event that sheds a pile of dimensions and creates yet another universe. Our closest universe neighbour has done the same thing, but has come away with a different set of dimensions than ours. We got space-time and such, and they got space-time and the psychedelic dimension where you don't need hallucinogens.

This can account for the dark matter, and the dark energy and a whole pile of other stuff that is a current head scratcher for those scientists bound by rigorous mathematical proof of theories and experimentation.

I am sitting at home waiting for my Nobel Prize in Physics. I could use the cash to enter the Ferrari dimension. And I would still kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Big Bang Explained -- The briefest History of Time

I am going to take the cosmological part of Cosmological Cabbage and explain the Big Bang today. The universe started from a single point, and exploded in the Big Bang. It was nothing like a Hugh Hefner big bang. This was the biggest kahuna that you would ever want to see.

Scientists say that the point that the universe exploded from, had infinite mass. Hah -- what do they know. The only thing with infinite mass is the catholic church. What scientists do not realize is that mass was created in the big bang.

The point that started it all was like a package of jello. A very small packet can make a pretty big thing of wobbly mass. Jello is not the only thing that can make a wobbly mass -- so can a drunken priest and cellulite.

Anyway, the primordial point that was to be the world, the universe and erryting was 'sploded in a cosmological big bang. Twisted bits of space-time called tingums were coalesced from energy. Fourteen billion years later, they were given the name of subatomic particles. There are many brands of sub A particles. There are quirks and quarks, and leptons and protons and gravitons and gluons and freons, rub-ons and all sort of stuff. One particle is the god particle or the Capt'n Crunch Higgs Bosun which gives mass to other particles. See, you don't need mass to start the universe, you just get it afterwards when the particles all start sticking together like your pants on the stool in a cheap bar.

And pretty soon all the atoms freeze up into ice and comets and in the region of Uranus, they form assteroids. Then along comes the sun and burns for four billion years and blows up. The splosion creates carbon, and when things settle back into protons, electrons and klingons, life begins. At first its a primordial soup, but just like things in the fridge sitting for a long while, eventually it can make itself get up and walk away.

Of course I've skipped a lot in this brief history of Time, but the stuff that I skipped over is details. The bottom line is that we came outta the big bang and some day the whole shebang is gonna fizzle to a stop. I should be retired by then.

There is still a lot of explaining to do on quantum weirdness and all that sort of stuff, but we will save discussions of my family members for a later date. I hope that you are better informed on cosmology after reading this.

Mother in Law's Tongue

I was on a walk around the island, and I came upon a patch of scrub. The area was overgrown with a rough plant. As I looked closer, I immediately recognized the plant. It is a houseplant up north. Here it is a weed that grows wild. If I potted the area, I would have a fortune in houseplants. The plant is an ornamental called Mother in Law's tongue, because it is pointed and sharp. The scientific name is Sansevieria trifasciata.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the plant:

Sansevieria trifasciata is a species of Sansevieria, native to tropical west Africa from Nigeria east to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant forming dense stands, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome, which is sometimes above ground, sometimes underground. Its stiff leaves grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 70–90 cm in length and 5–6 cm in width.

It is commonly called the snake plant (not to be confused with the very similarly named "Snakeplant", Nassauvia serpens), because of the shape of its leaves, or mother-in-law's tongue because of their sharpness. In Japan it is also called 'Tiger's Tail,(とらのお)'. In Brazil it is commonly known as espada-de-são-jorge (sword-of-saint-george). Due to its bladelike shape, it is commonly associated with Ogun, the orisha of war (usually associated with Saint George), and is used in rituals to remove the evil eye. A yellow-tipped variant is known as espada-de-santa-barbara (sword-of-saint-barbara), and is associated with Iansan/Oya, the female orisha of storms (usually associated with the sword-bearing image of Saint Barbara). In Africa the plant is used as a protective charm against evil or bewitchment.

Like some other members of its genus, S. trifasciata yields bowstring hemp, a strong plant fiber once used to make bowstrings.

It is now used predominantly as an ornamental plant, outdoors in warmer climates, and indoors as a houseplant in cooler climates. It is popular as a houseplant as it is tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering; during winter it needs only one watering every couple of months. It will rot easily if overwatered. It improves indoor air quality by removing toxins such as nitrogen oxide and formaldehyde.

It sounds like a good plant to have around the house. Send me some cash and I will send you a hunk of this plant.