Hades (Άδης or Ἀΐδας; from Greek ᾍδης, Hadēs, originally Ἅιδης, Haidēs or Άΐδης, Aidēs, meaning “the unseen”) refers both to the ancient Greek underworld, the abode of Hades, and to the god of the underworld. Hades in Homer referred just to the god; the genitive ᾍδου, Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: “[the house/dominion] of Hades”. Eventually, the nominative, too, came to designate the abode of the dead. In Greek mythology, Hades is the oldest male child of Cronus and Rhea. According to myth, he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated the Titans and claimed rulership over the cosmos, ruling the underworld, air, and sea, respectively; the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, was available to all […]


In most religions, Heaven is a transcendental realm in which people who have died continue to exist in an afterlife. The term “heaven” may refer to the physical heavens, the sky or the seemingly endless expanse of the universe beyond, which is the traditional literal meaning of the term in English. The term in English has also typically been used to refer to the plane of existence of an afterlife (often held to exist in another realm) in various religions and spiritual philosophies, often described as the holiest possible place, accessible by people according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith or other virtues. The modern English word Heaven is derived from the earlier (Middle English) spelling heven (attested […]


In many religious traditions, Hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict Hell as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict Hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions located Hell under the external core of the Earth’s surface and often included entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations included Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise, Nirvana, Naraka, and Limbo. Other traditions, which did not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward, merely described it as an abode of the dead—a neutral place located under the surface of Earth (for example, Sheol or Hades).

HL Mencken

Source: Prejudices: Fourth Series, 1924, pp. 173-79. First printed in the American Mercury, Feb., 1924, pp. 201-03   Portrait of an Ideal World HL Mencken  That alcohol in dilute aqueous solution, when taken into the human organism, acts as a depressant, not a stimulant, is now so much a commonplace of knowledge that even the more advanced varieties of physiologists are beginning to be aware of it. The intelligent layman no longer resorts to the jug when he has important business before him, whether intellectual or manual; he resorts to it after his business is done, and he desires to release his taut nerves and reduce the steam-pressure in his spleen. Alcohol, so to speak, unwinds us. It raises the threshold of […]


I’m terrible at making time for non-directed research, play and practise — aka “hobbies”. There are a bunch of things I’d like to try, however: games we play electronics robotics music writing/creating playing running events London marathon Edinburgh marathon triathlon Ironman Kokoda trail cycling activities family tour adventure triathlon get bike shipped from Bendigo ham radio astronomy minatures (hobby modelling and painting) Maybe?

Home automation

“Home automation” is the design and inclusion of cybernetics that improve the “habitability” of a residence i.e. computer-controlled systems that attempt to adjust the environment in anticipation of our messy, fleshy human needs. Ideas Lighting smart-switches lights dimmers motion-sensitive stair lighting controllable shelf accent lights in library for finding books Environment control temperature logging rooms refrigerator & freezer weather station automatic heating, cooling powered curtains/blinds Monitoring utilities electricity mains solar (input) water gas Internet usage (GB) services database web-server file-server security Cheap! No ongoing costs Motion detection Intrusion notification email IM SMS phone Remote-controllable Integrated display on existing screens Network/Comms Media integrated UI/UX television – smart-tv multichannel TV recorder (PVR) downloaded tv series movies streaming channels music collection ripped CDs downloads streaming Internet […]

How should I spend my time?

I’ve really got to figure out how I should be spending my time — what things I’d like to try, the things I like doing, ways to diversify income and how I might make the world a better place. Even if I can become functionally immortal (and there’s no guarantees), time is one thing we can’t recycle. TV and music I like games we play hobbies projects Some notes from an earlier incarnation: Writing code that can make a real positive difference to peoples’ lives Open source Releasing Android software Running a low-touch, high-income business online business models 7 models for doing business online. Physical goods Stuff you have to deliver offline. Publishing The sale of data, whether it be digital or   physical […]

How to become a Superman

Accept your birth-right, Kal’El. I’m a hacker and scientist on a mission: to change my body composition from > 30% body-fat to a lean, mean living machine. My genetics seem favourable: I put on fat quickly, but I put on muscle relatively easily too — so I just need to form habits and patterns that will support the latter rather than the former. That, and to achieve immortality. I have a strong desire to not die and therefore wish to reach my best: the peak potential that my corporeal state can achieve, starting from here and working for the rest of my (hopefully extended) life. And, as is the case with a lot of my goals, it feels like one […]

Human Augmentation

“Human augmentation” means increasing and enhancing our “natural” abilities (or overcoming our limitations) through external means i.e. using tools and techniques which augment our natural abilities to provide new “capabilities”. Individuals will each have different capabilities, as each brings different natural abilities and selects different tools. Capability augmentation is nothing new to humanity — we’ve been augmented since the day a proto-human picked up a rock and enhanced his skull-cracking capability. These days, augmented humans can fly, communicate across vast distances, carry enormous loads, even survive in the vacuum of space: it all depends on the tool being used. As we head towards the 22nd century, the tools used may become more and more part of our bodies — pacemakers, artificial […]