Some reading while I’m uploading

A bit of time, a window of opportunity, so I’m quickly (ha!) uploading the pics from the long weekend as promised. I started pruning my pics from my flight with Sea & Sky and then I thought no, sod that, I want to remember every moment of it, so I’ve just put them all up in a set yet to be uploaded (and therefore available). Expect whales, coastline, and skies forever and ever…

UPDATE: Now up – here

And I haven’t even looked at the rest of the photos from the rest of the weekend. Met eish, ja.

UPDATE: Also now up – here

But I’ll link to them in a separate post (UPDATE: Which I also did – here), because until those pics are available, you need to read this:

Some (obviously) excellent writing from Jacques Rousseau including a hilarious off-the-cuff dig at the French and this vitally important line:

The point is that there’s an arms-race of hyperbole going on…

And yes, he’s absolutely right and it’s making the internet an increasingly unpleasant place to be and additionally (and more importantly), it’s stifling and devaluing meaningful debate.

Nigerian student uses magnets to prove gay marriage scientifically impossible

Headline of the day, right there.

Ah. Science. So long the bastion of the rational mind. So, when I read that Chibuihem Stanley Amalaha, a student of University of Lagos studying Chemical Engineering at the School of Post Graduate Studies, had scientifically proven that gay marriage was impossible, well, then assuming that his methods were sound and his work peer-reviewed, it must be true. Right?

I had to delve more deeply, so I went here to read about how Amalaha had come to his conclusion. And it was there that I learned that it wasn’t just magnets which had aided Amalaha in his deduction, it was poultry, electrostatics and algebra.
Yep, before you’ve even thought of a basic rebuttal to the magnets thing, he’s already got this one sewn up.
Or so it would seem.

Amalaha isn’t some two-bit, backstreet researcher, either. He’s worked on projects involving optics, fundamental mathematics, environmental chemistry and astronomy. He’s won awards and been on TV. You’re going to find it hard to argue with his credentials.

There’s a long interview with Amalaha on ThisdayLive (the link above), so I’m taken the important points from his work and I’m putting it here, because this guy is a genius and I like genii.

Amalaha on magnets:

I used two bar magnets in my research. A bar magnet is a horizontal magnet that has the North Pole and the South Pole and when you bring two bar magnets and you bring the North Pole together you find that the two North Poles will not attract. They will repel, that is, they will push away themselves showing that a man should not attract a man.
A female should not attract a female as South Pole of a magnet does not attract the South Pole of a magnet. But, when you bring a North Pole of a magnet and a South Pole of a magnet they will attract because they are not the same, indicating that a man will attract a woman because of the way nature has made a female.

At first, I was like, that’s so simple that it can’t be right.
But then, I was like, hang on, that’s so simple that it has to be right.

Physics has spoken. On the issue of homosexual marriage. In magnet fashion.

Amahala on acid (quite possibly by the sound of it):

When you bring surphuric acid and you reacts it with sodium hydroxide which is a base you are going to have salt and water. That tells you that the acid is a different body, the base is a different body and they will react. But if you bring an acid and you pour it on top of an acid chemistry there will be no reaction.  If you bring water and pour it on top it shows that there will be no reaction. If you bring a base either sodium hydroxide and you pour it on top of a sodium hydroxide you find out that there will be reaction showing that a man on top of a man will have no reaction. A woman on top of a woman will have no reaction, that is what chemistry is showing.

Again, this undeniable theory that like and like don’t go together.

“Who’d have thought, we could be lovers? She makes the bed and he steals the covers,” sang Paula Abdul and MC SkatKat in their 1989 hit Opposites Attract which Amalaha didn’t quote, but probably should have done. But they got on just fine, simply because she was a pre-alcoholic singing sensation and he was a collection of pixels in feline form. Christ alone knows what Amahala would make of that relationship.

And yes, Hydrogen atoms mate for life and make H2 and they’re the same as one another, but it’s worth noting that Helium doesn’t form diatomic molecules, because, as Amahala would have said if only he’d thought of it, He and He simply don’t go together.

Amahala on fowl cocks (I am so sorry – Ed.):

In biology, I used simple experiments and I came down to a lay man. We have seen that the female of a fowl is called hen and the male of a fowl is called a cock. We have never seen where a cock is having sex with a cock and we have never seen where a hen is having sex with another.

Or maybe it did happen and you missed it because you were playing with your magnets?

Amahala on A + B (this is long, but it’s worth reading):

If you say A + B in mathematics you are going to have B + A. For example, if I say two plus three it will give five. If I start from three, I say three plus two it also give you five showing that two plus three and three plus two are commutative because they gave the same results. That shows that A + B will give you B + A, you see that there is a change. In A + B, A started the journey while in B + A, B started the journey. If we use A as a man and use B as a woman we are going to have B + A that is woman and man showing that there is a reaction. A + B reacted, they interchanged and gave us B + A showing that commutativity obeys that a man should not marry a man and a woman should not marry a woman. If you use idempotency, it’s a reaction in mathematics where A + A = A. Actually in abstract algebra, A + A =2A but we are less concerned with the numerical value two. We are more less concerned with the symbols A, you find out that A + A will give you A showing that the whole thing goes unchanged. It didn’t change unlike commutativity A + B give B + A there is a change. A started the journey in commutativity and A + B gave us B + A and B started the journey after the equality sign. But in the case of idempotency A + A will give you A showing that it goes unreacted. You started with A and you meet A, the final result is A. Showing that a man meeting a man A + A will produce a man there is no reaction, it goes unreacted and in chemical engineering you have to send the material back to the reactor for the action to be carried out again showing that it goes unreacted. That is how mathematics has shown that gay marriage is wrong because commutativity proves that gay marriage is wrong.

I trust that you found that as easy to follow as I did.

I particularly like the ironic use of the word “equality” about two thirds of the way through and the hint that gay men should be sent back to a reactor. If – and I doubt this was the case, but – if you were unconvinced before that every single branch of (Nigerian) science hates the idea of same-sex marriage, this streak of mathematical genius will surely have turned you around.

So if today is spent at a Nigerian School of Post Graduate Studies, what does tomorrow bring for Amahala?

I want to be able to publish it in international journals. The finance has been a problem in this area because I found out that you you have to pay in dollars for international journals to publish you. You know finance is a factor and I don’t have money to start paying in US dollars and I need sponsors so that I can pay for the journals to be published.

Somehow, I don’t think the finance side is going to be your biggest stumbling block in this particular endeavour, sunshine.

All in all, I feel dirty. I feel wronged. I feel that something I hold dear to me (science) has been bastardised and sullied by an idiot who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s like when Lewis Pugh starts spouting nonsense about fracking, but with more lab work.

Of course, this isn’t really science. Well, sticking two magnets together or performing neutralisation reactions, actually, that is science. However, then applying your results of those simple experiments to same sex marriage goes a little beyond the recognised scientific method. It’s like saying that oil and water don’t mix, and then claiming that it inconclusively proves that you should never buy a French hatchback.

No. This isn’t science. This is pure bigotry.