I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

CSI Miami got its Physics wrong

In the episode titled Sinner Takes All of the 10th and final season of CSI Miami, the CGI people got an animation wrong and nobody noticed.

They showed a bullet in slow motion.  The grooves caused by the rifling impression of the barrel were left-handed, but the bullet was spinning in the opposite direction, as shown in the following sketch:

That was clearly wrong.  To convince yourself of the mistake, imagine to look at the inside of the barrel, as shown in this classic image from Sean Connery's Bond films (actually, I flipped it horizontally because the rifling in the original image was right-handed):

The bullet, forced to go through the barrel, would spin in the same direction of the rifling, not in the opposite one as shown in Miami CSI.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Aborigines and the Australian Constitution

Australian Aborigines request recognition in the Constitution.  Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister, stated last August (see theguardian.com) that such a recognition would complete our constitution.  This is obviously nonsense, as our constitution is not incomplete, and any addition to it would be an amendment.

All politicians make favourable noises concerning such an amendment.  Therefore, it is almost certain that we will arrive to a referendum, so that all Australians will have their say about it.

As I don't care a little bit about political correctness, I will state straight away that I will vote against such an amendment.

I am not racist (I know: most racists would state exactly that, and you are free to think that I am one of them if it pleases you; I know I am not), but I cannot see what the presence for 40,000 years of Aborigines on this continent has to do with the Australian Constitution.  A constitution is the basic law of the country and, as such, there is no need for it to state that somebody was present before the modern state was formed.

The Aborigines were mistreated, abused, and killed.  Still today, they clearly represent a disadvantaged minority and are often discriminated against.  I consider it a moral duty of all Australians to work towards redressing centuries of injustice and to make possible for Aborigines to have the same opportunities that most Australians take for granted.  And it is not only an altruistic attitude, because there would be great benefits for the whole society.

We should also be prepared to support the Aboriginal communities for as long as necessary, but the constitution shouldn't mention any particular section of the Australian nation.  It should be equally valid for all of us.  I would rather create an Australian Bill of Rights and then focus on ensuring that all Australians, Aboriginal or not, enjoy them.