31 March 2006

A little while ago, Isabella Plantation brook. Spring is here at last.  Posted by Picasa

Where have you been?

I'd like a Trackstick I think - you pop it in your pocket, go off on your journey, they replay the journey on Google maps later. Or, you pop it in your partner's pocket, replay their journey, then go to court for following someone else's movements without their permission. Shame it is only accurate to 15 metres or so otherwise you could, as a football manager, get all your players to have one then track their movements over the pitch through the course of a game - the balletic nature (or otherwise) of their movements would then be highlighted, perhaps colour-coded according to position played and the like. Over time, you could feed the results of various match mappings into a computer and see if any patterns emerge....

29 March 2006

China loosening #2

Credit to Microsoft then - they have been hosting the blog of the wife of someone called Hu Jia (sorry, I'd not heard of him until today), an AIDS activist in China. And he has been freed. And his blog not censored. Maybe the government minions overlooked the couple? Seems unlikely and thus is the good news compounded. Rebecca MacKinnon has more.


And then, moments later, we get this, one in the eye for rednecks and FUD-spreaders everywhere (whether the house is White or Number 10). Superb. (Broadband required).

Al? Kai-eeda!

Someone was telling me that they'd been talking to someone else who'd been talking to her husband who'd been talking to "someone high up in the government" who had told them (phew!) that the police have foiled a number of huge terrorist outrages in London. Mmm hmm. Apparently the press have agreed to keep quiet about it because of the panic it would cause. Well b****r me if that isn't the biggest load of rubbish since the whole WMD farrago. A few points:
1. If this were true, the police would be shouting it from the rooftops so that they could increase their already not inconsiderable powers [Photo from a train? Not allowed sir. Rubbish bin at a station? Receptacle for a bomb, sir. Dark skin? 28 days questioning (we wish it were 90) sir. Phone tapping? On you go sir. In the US, they're trying to get control of the libraries, as noted previously by Mrs Lemon].
2. Why has there not been a trial? If there is a trial, why is it being held in secret and in defiance, therefore, of the very freedoms our beloved Toni is supposedly defending?
3. Why is it that all the hundreds of Al? Kai-eeda! operatives running around the western world have managed to do is a lucky shot when they were first out of the gate in the US, followed up by some bombs on trains (wow, the imagination - and the UK people didn't even say they were from Al? Kai-eeda!)? Yep, horrible, vile, barbaric, typical of a medieval attitude to the successes of secularism and so forth. Nonetheless, not in and of themselves events that are evidence of a brilliant criminal organisation masterminded by someone who would put Goldfinger to shame. Rather, some shabby and ill-planned (remember the fact that the hijackers in the US told the flying schools they weren't interested in learning how to land? Mmm, bright) events that have had cinematic appeal and have come at a time when there isn't another enemy to ignite the neocons need for war, military spending and an excuse to secure the world's oil. Of course, you can get all tautological and say that the reason they haven't done more is because of the brilliance of our boys in blue and the Vauxhall brigade but I'm sorry, I don't believe it for a minute.

27 March 2006

Furries: New Directions

So, it's been a while since I mentioned our synthetic-suited friends the Furries and I thought I ought to draw your attention to this posting describing the new-suiting of a furry's avatar in Second-Life... Has all this stopped making sense? Well check out the further information at Wired ,give up the meatspace and go virtual for Fur's sake. Truly, there is more under the skies that one could ever have imagined.


Did I imagine it or did my Gmail account have a delete button earlier today? Back to the drop-down "Send to Deleted Items" now but it was nice while it lasted.

Locking up children? Yep, it's the UK

You might want to have a look here to see what you can do to prevent kids and their families being locked up in the UK without having committed any crime. Have a look, have a think, email the Home Sec if you feel so inclined. Anyway, at least have a look.

Beware: Obsessive @ Work

The marvellous Movie Timeline can be found here, the work of Paul Karensa who, the evidence suggests, has a touch of OCD. Fantastic work, and if you have the answer to what day of the week Groundhog Day is set on do let him know - it'll help put him out of a fair amount of misery by the looks of things, although doubtless some other date will begin to gnaw away at him... Thanks to Boing Boing for yet another great link.

Push It

27th March 2006 Shopping trolleys, Sainsbury's Posted by Picasa

He ain't heavy

As I think I mentioned before, my little bro' has a blog. Only trouble is, he's still keeping it to himself - anyone read a blog in part based on the foibles of a daily commute, perhaps a la the Going Underground blog, centred on the Metropolitan Line so beloved of Mr J Betjeman (he of the following: "Now if the harvest is over, And the world cold, Give me the bonus of laughter, As I lose hold.")?

22 March 2006

Riya Rubbish?

Well, perhaps a bit early to say. But here's the rub. I've uploaded perhaps 750 pictures or more and the software has found about 50% with what it identifies as faces (although the true proportion is far higher). And these you have to tag with email and name. Erm, well sure, I could tag my whole collection like that but what would be the point of that? I am, I must admit, struggling to see the point of it. I've identified one person in about 30 photos and she is in hundreds more but Riya appears "blind" to them. Honestly, it's a terrible shame as I was hoping for really good things and the developers seem keen, kind and friendly, but really, a site where you upload your pictures and tag them, isn't that called Flickr?
Update: Should have read the small print#2. To delete the 1142 pictures I have to open them all up one by one... Ah well, I guess I shall just have to leave them on their servers, hogging space and not performing any sort of function.

20 March 2006


Links gone. Counter gone. I am such a dork - changing template without taking notice of the small print. Doh!. Will put these up again (Boing Boing, Sneeze with Steve, Fat Man Walking and the like) when I have a moment. Off now to sleep - exhausted after early rising yesterday and Polish beer tonight.... Love to you all out there. And the pink, BTW, is deliberate - cheers you up, reminds you of your youth, puts you in mind of frilly gay men and happy girls with well-groomed dogs, bubblegum and stars..... Night all.
One more thing tho' - have tried to delete photo but no joy - new smiley happy pic will appear soon I promise. Also, google search gone, google "no clicks, not-a-one" ad-sense gone - ah me, what will I do without the revenue.....?

19 March 2006

19th March 2006 Isabella again. You might care to have a closer look.  Posted by Picasa

19th March 2006 Spring sun, Isabella.  Posted by Picasa

Newspapers' Obsession with Actors

Then again, those papers eh? How irritating can they be? If you are looking for advice on how to live your life and want to know how actors have done it, off you pop to W H Smith. Here are your choices for today:

Observer - Vanessa Redgrave
Sunday Times - Charlotte Rampling
Sunday Telegraph - Dawn French
You magazine (Mail on Sunday) - Madonna
Independent - Shazza Stone
News of the World - Danniella Westbrook

All women this week for some reason. Well anyway, take your pic and good luck following their guidance. I'm not against their having a say, just that there are far more qualified people out there. The best qualified, mind you, probably keep below the radar.

18 March 2006

Keeping Busy

is that the main thing? I don't know but it seems there is nothing else in the face of the rude indifference of the universe.
Update: BTW, this was perhaps an unclear posting. What was meant was something metaphysical, not something small-time and related to this blog (as might be suggested by the first comment on this entry). To elaborate: facing the ultimately meaningless task of living, is keeping busy an adequate response?
But hey, WTF, it's early on Sunday morning and perhaps more coffee and paper-reading is required....

8th March 2006. Cat on guard afterhours in shop on Lamb's Conduit Street. Guardcat? Well, would you go in?  Posted by Picasa

10th March 2006. Luton Airport: The Romance of Travel.  Posted by Picasa

17 March 2006

For some real photography, you need to be elsewhere...

Read about, and see the photos, of Asya Schween here. A "25 year old photographer located in South Central LA. She has a PhD in Bioinformatics [typo originally had that as biroinfomatics - that's more my style, sadly - I'm not even sure what bioinfomatics are, but they sound incredibly bright], Masters ... in Applied Math and Computational Biology [there we are again with the unknown brain power] and a Bachelors in Physics." On top of which, her pictures are amazing.... Picked up the link to this (Bending Light magazine) via Robert Scoble who, thankfully, is back blogging after a bit of a wobble - still a bit unsure, seems to me, but for the moment the interesting man is positive again.

Trouser Funk

My trousers smell. Serves me right, I guess, for buying two pairs for £20 at DUNNS STORES, GALWAY. If you want fresh clothes, go elsewhere. A shame really as trouser purchase is one of the most difficult of the shopping challenges facing modern man (and I use the gender advisedly).

16 March 2006

A post below

Well, it's a thought isn't it? Random emails for world defenestration / delectation / disection / dislocation and discombobulation....
Too much time on my hands you think?

Stats: A drunk supporting a lamppost, as someone once said

The Guardian, bless it. The other day their stats had it that 600 people per day go missing, which would mean that between the birth and death of a person living to 70 over one quarter of the population of the UK (assuming a population of 60 million) would go AWOL ("whoa, dude! Where's my peer group?"). Then today we have the same paper telling us that there are approximately 10 million disabled people in the UK, excluding those affected by ageing.... What's that as a percentage, about 18%? So 18% of the all the people I know are disabled? Lordy, I hadn't realised.
Actually, of course, the reason I hadn't realised is that the figure is a complete load of cock and includes all those people who wear glasses, have an ingrowing toenail or are currently sporting a plaster.
I do wish pressure groups would grow up and realise that exaggerating their cause doesn't make readers think "wow, I must do something about that" when what it actually makes one think is "oh FFS, isn't there a reporter with an ounce of credibility out there?"

My apologies that most of this post is in Italics - it is because, of course, Blogger is arse. Or else the JustBlogIt! crapware that I've been using of late is, in fact, the arse culprit. Either way, what was meant to be in italics was the phrase "a day". So read the above again now please. Or don't, your call.

16th March 2006 South Bank - exhibition entitled "After the Wave" - promoting the work done by Oxfam after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.  Posted by Picasa

15 March 2006

15th March 2006 Jain Teacher, BM Posted by Picasa

15th March 2006. Another one for the tourists. This one is actually better than the first, non? Except for the converging parallels of course. By the way, I am deeply indebted to Mr Rule at Durrants School all those years ago who taught me how to spell parallel. He taught me little else however I'm afraid to say - he was a Russian emigre who used to swear under his breath at the slightest opportunity, for instance when I half-drowned in his charge as he attempted to keep order in the school's horrible outdoor swimming pool (the same pool behind which I was assaulted and threatened on my first day at the dreadful school by girls in the third year who were after cigarettes - thanks for the welcome slappers).  Posted by Picasa

15th March 2006. BM again - this time a 1st Century Roman statue sillhouetted (sp?) against the Great Court ceiling.  Posted by Picasa

15th March 2006. BM - it's like Greece in there.  Posted by Picasa

15th March 2006 British Museum (I know what I said yesterday - it was a brain fart - ignore it - I'll carry on a while yet). This is one for the tourists.  Posted by Picasa

14 March 2006

That's it

I am bored with this narcissistic activity now. No more. I might come back here later but I'm not so sure. In the meantime, I've had enough - too little feedback, not enough interaction. Goodbye. Enjoy the archives.

8 March 2006

Fingers? Keyboard? No thanks.

So you think the thought: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." And there it is, on your computer screen. Can it be true, or is it high-quality vaporware? Let's hope the former - gizmodo has more.

Boing Boing really is wonderful. And a directory.

Stranger and stranger is the world of America. Were you aware that it is possible for you to register a private police force there? Marvellous. I wonder if the same is true in the UK? I might have to police the road outside the Blairs' house and arrest them under anti-terrorism measures such as "thou shalt not appease the Daily Mail ALL THE BLOODY TIME" and such like.

7 March 2006

More from Stasi-Style America

So an American decides it would be a good idea to pay off his credit card. Pays off a chunk, more than usual, and guess what? Yep, like the library mentioned below, he came to the attention of the Dept. for Homeland Security and was Scripps Howard News Service">subject to investigation. The American in question is a retired school teacher. That'll teach him to pay off more than normal.
So come now, you huddled masses, pop off to the land of the free. Wherever it is, it isn't the USA.

6 March 2006

CRB checks? Oh I don't think there's a need.

More here about councils getting schools to CRB check all their staff. Why would they not be doing this already, anyone got any ideas? Similarly, why were ministers ever prepared to give sex offenders jobs in schools, under any circumstances? I mean, there are 10 million other jobs out there, go and do one of them but you are not working, on a daily basis, with children. Wouldn't that be simpler?

Wish you were here

Got a friend or relative doing a 10 stretch? Don't send them any old card with your own thoughts in, send them a card specially designed for the occasion by Prison Expressions. Yep, cards for lags. Simple.

4 March 2006

Mills: It Over

It is sad that Tessa and Mr Mills (I thought they were the Jowells previously - apols)have split, as reported by the beeb, but even allowing for this, questions remain do they not?

2 March 2006

What is digg for, exactly?

Image at top shows map renderer from Ask about 10 seconds after putting in postcode. Underneath is image on Google after about 2 seconds, using the same postcode. So the post at digg suggesting that Google is being "beaten" by Ask's maps? I think we can safely say please, no more time wasting.

Poor selling

Seth Godin believes that Global Warming isn't scaring us for a couple of reasons, namely the name isn't frightening and the pace is too slow. Sounds right to me - you won't sell a drink called Cactus, and adolescents smoke....

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: An Anti-Islamist Manifesto

I'm with Andrew Sullivan on this - it should be reprited in full:

Andrew Sullivan | The Daily Dish: An Anti-Islamist Manifesto: "'After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of 'Islamophobia', an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val
Ibn Warraq"

Honestly dear, I didn't think you'd be interested

Four years before you learn that your husband has been given £344,000? Mmm hmm. Were one to believe it (and I don't for a minute suggest that you should), it tends to suggest that Mr and Mrs Jowell are so vastly wealthy a third of a million pounds popping up in one of their bank accounts doesn't warrant a mention. Which doesn't give one much hope for our Tess being in touch with the needs of the people she's meant to be serving.

When I tap the windscreen I want you to open that document

Simple. And brilliant. LifeHacker reports on a dance dance style cursor control device. Huge, dumb and fifties looking in the picture, scale it down and you get something much much better.
Imagine: Move your mouse from the desktop to the floor. Turn an optical mouse upside down and wahey, away you go - no learning curve whatsoever. Toe down - left click; heel down, right. Maybe scroll by moving the whole device. Customise it - gameplay gets another dimension .... you get the idea? Superb. Now, remind me, where was that court in Texas where they give out patents like A* GCSEs?

M, Soho