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Ron Obvious

Profile Information

Name: Ron
Gender: Male
Home country: Middle Earth
Current location: Seattle
Member since: Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:37 PM
Number of posts: 5,538

About Me

I got the nickname Ron Obvious because -- in addition to being a huge Python fan -- my name really is Ron and I used to start sentences with \"Obviously\" a lot. Obviously, that\'s no longer a problem.

Journal Archives


Baptism in the time of Covid-19

The Guardian has an article with their top 30


Don't really agree with their top 30, as I don't think any of their post Computer World stuff is all that great, but it's an interesting read nonetheless, especially the comments.

Back in the early 70's, I certainly couldn't have foreseen an article like that. Only myself and one other friend loved Kraftwerk (as well as Tangerine Dream, Ashra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, etc), while everybody else didn't merely dislike them, but positively loathed them.

Last Sunday I had a discussion with that friend (with whom I've recently reconnected), and we talked about Kraftwerk and how everybody now appreciates them and their influence on music.

I said, "you know, it turns out we actually had really good taste in music after all", and we both laughed.

Kraftwerk - Autobahn (2009 remaster) and my introduction to sceptical thinking.

I used to have a freeway commute which lasted exactly as long as this track (about 22mins). I was amazed that the last few dying notes would almost always play when I pulled into the parking lot.

Then I realised I would subconsciously slow down or speed up along the way as required to make that happen. I also learnt about Confirmation Bias (remembering the hits and forgetting the misses).

Maybe I overthink things.

Nomination for sceptic of the year

Tanzania had received Covid-19 test kits from abroad.

The president, whose government has already drawn criticism for being secretive about the coronavirus outbreak and has previously asked Tanzanians to pray the coronavirus away, said he had instructed Tanzanian security forces to check the quality of the kits.

They had randomly obtained several non-human samples, including from a pawpaw, a goat and a sheep, but had assigned them human names and ages.

These samples were then submitted to Tanzania's laboratory to test for the coronavirus, with the lab technicians left deliberately unaware of their origins.

Samples from the pawpaw and the goat tested positive for COVID-19, the president said, adding this meant it was likely that some people were being tested positive when, in fact, they were not infected by the coronavirus.


Actually the prayer and the herbal medicine should disqualify him from any sort of sceptic award, really...

Vaping, public health concerns, and irony


I don't know that song, but I've certainly heard that melody before...

This happens to me a lot: a hear some music, and I know I've heard it before but I can't place it. That's probably happened to all of us.

This was different. I absolutely recognised the melody, but I was pretty sure I'd never heard the song before. This happened once when I asked the waitress what that so-familiar music was. "Bittersweet Symphony", she said, which meant nothing to me. It turned out that that was the music used by ITV for it's England Football coverage.

It happened again last night. I'd never heard the song before, but I just knew I knew it very well.

This is the song:

If you're a electronica nerd like me, you know you've heard the melody before, right? I've never listened to Coldplay to my knowledge, but I was intimately familiar with that riff.

It bothered me and I stewed over it for it for some time. Then it finally came to me: It's Kraftwerk from the Computer World album (1981)!

Bloody identical, right! Good to finally pass that brainstone.

I have a picture in the Louvre!

It's a bit of dirty graffiti I drew in the men's room.

(Channelling Floyd)

Ekseption - Sabre Dance (1970) - played in a barn...

Ekseption were a Dutch band from the 60's and 70's who specialised in rock/jazz versions of famous classical pieces. I had no idea this video existed, but I love how much they're enjoying themselves:

The Charley Project - profiles of over 13,000 "cold case" missing people.

The Charley Project profiles over 13,000 “cold case” missing people mainly from the United States. It does not actively investigate cases; it is merely a publicity vehicle for missing people who are often neglected by the press and forgotten all too soon. A person must have been missing for at least one year to be listed; see the FAQ for additional information on the site, its goals, and its founder/administrator.


This is very interesting: an amazing catalogue of human tragedies, implied or explicit.

The only case I'm personally familiar with is in there: a young woman who disappeared nearly 30 years ago from my workplace. She was declared legally dead 7 years later and her husband was arrested for her murder 3 years after that, despite her body never having been found. He's currently doing essentially life. I don't know what evidence convicted him 10 years after her disappearance without a body, but there seems little doubt that he's guilty.

I remember we formed search parties to look for her car and we did find it, but no trace of the woman herself.

I hadn't thought about that case in a really long time.
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