31 August 2006
31st August 2006. Somerset House. Looks like violent porn involving axes and bestiality - better make sure the owners of the house are prosecuted under the forthcoming New Puritan Law making S&M illegal. Who owns it? Well the Government in large part as the Inland Revenue camps out in much of the building. Would they be the responsibility of Gordon Brown? I look forward to the trial.
So, here we have a picture of my sister-in-law and her husband in Spain. Rubbish quality I have to concede, but still, definitely them because they were waving and everything when asked. Taken only five minutes ago via a webcam, a digital camera and coordinated through the use of a mobile phone. Now there are of course other ways this could have been done but I rather like the fact that a webcam was involved. Of course it is silly and poor quality and there are lots of better ways to spend your time but my dad would have been amazed!
Oh and those two moon things - don't know - probably dirt on the webcam lens. Or we are being invaded by lizard creatures.
30 August 2006
28 August 2006
25 August 2006
22 August 2006
21 August 2006
The internet. Freedom. Fun. Heinz (the food people) have understood - you can order your ketchup with it's own label. They don't go all the way and allow you just to order the labels, but still, great marketing: a story you'd want to tell, a product you'd want to share, the loosening of ties, anti-corporate yet corporate... v. clever. Go see here.
20 August 2006
18 August 2006
Some things in life aren't clear to me:
1. Beards - middle management and never kisses anyone? Or rugged individualism? Or then again, maybe just a gay thing?
2. Reggae - really very dull? Or something to sink into?
3. Musicals - the seventh circle of hell? Or the sixth?
4. Fast cars - ecological Armageddon? Or almost as much fun as is commensurate with being legal?
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16 August 2006
12 August 2006
I'm not normally much of a one for armies and their traditions - put it down to the Quaker heritage. This, however, is beautiful and one of the most affecting things I've seen on the interwebs. Don't read the words first, just study the picture. Go see and wonder.
No one knows, but everyone is having a stab at guessing. (For example Boingboing, Andrew Sullivan, any daily paper you care to imagine). We will have to wait and see but, should it prove to be the case that there actually is something to this plot (as opposed to the red mercury one, the poisoned hamburgers one, the puffy jacket on a sunny day one, the ricin one and who knows how many others), then it might be useful if this is made clear to us citizens as soon as possible might it not? While there is no information rumour and disquiet grow, and in such times as we are living these are the last things we need (useful though the government and media may find them for both voting and circulation-boosting purposes).
Apparently 22nd August is judgment day according to a number of web sites. And the WSJ is also having a careful look at the date, with Professor Emeritus at Princeton Bernard Lewis suggesting that there may be some sort of action by Iran then. He also talks about religious belief and Mutually Assured Destruction, and of how for Muslim terrorists it doesn't matter if some Muslims are killed as collateral during an attack on the Great Satan and Little Satan (the US and Israel). He says:
At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead--hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement.
But hasn't this always been the case for all religions? It is atheists who have the most to lose when caught between the fantasy world of Christianity and the equally strange world of Islamic Fundamentalism.
11 August 2006
10 August 2006
Responding to criticism that leftwingers smell conspiracies where none are present, Krustallos comments on the Guardian (bear with me) website:
"Scepticism is not the same as conspiracy theorising. We sceptics try and make no judgement that the available evidence will not support. The available evidence in this case consists of a number of highly ambiguous statements by police and politicians, all using the conditional tense - "intelligence suggested that devices were to be constructed" etc. They do not say at any point that explosives have been found.
Comparing the language used so far with the language used in previous episodes, combined with the Lebanon-unfriendly timing, is what leads many of us to suspect that there may be more, or to put it another way, less to this plot than meets the eye. And that the timing is more a matter of choice than necessity. But we will wait and see what actual evidence emerges in due course.
I really would have thought that after their governments invaded a country in search of non-existent weapons, killing tens of thousands and triggering a civil war, people would be a little less inclined to believe what they are told without question. Apparently not."
Of the hundred or so comments (from a total of 400+) that I read, the above seems the most sensible summary of today's situation vis the liquid bombers plot though I don't believe the Lebanon-timing connection - it's cock-up instead of conspiracy for me every time. I would advise you to read the postings - there are some great riffs there. (Oh, and of course one must believe that there are Islamic fascists who have no qualms about killing in the name of their beliefs).
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Is that where we are at now? Anything done in the name of anti-terrorism is fine and dandy? Drinks? What happens when the first terrorist gets on board a flight with highly flammable clothing, his suit being his weapon? Thereafter, are we all to go naked? Good grief.
Four beardies and a box of matches you think? Or will our boys in blue have unearthed something significant this time? And what's with the drinks ban? Can this ever be lifted in the future without the Daily Mail squealing? Where will drink prices go on aeroplanes now (I wonder)? Will there be WMD at the various houses or will it all result in some more kiddie fiddler charges and statements from the other Mr Blair moaning on that no one believes them but there really are naughty people out there? And, as we reach the highest alert just days after the government went public with its terrorist warning system, will they wish it went up to 11?
8 August 2006
More from the BBC - their story about photo sending by phone being on the increase reminded me that I witnessed my first videocall the other day - a man gurning into his Nokia outside Waterloo. At first I thought he was taking a picture of an invisible friend over the road; then I thought he was taking a self-portrait. Then it dawned on me that he was speaking at the same time as filming / snapping. No doubt this will become a more and more common sight and I, for one, can't wait. The future rushes up to us again.
There you are, up in a microlight for the first time, when your instructor notices that someone is stealing his daughter's caravan. Rather than think "phew, thank god that monstrosity is no longer in the family", your instructor goes all undercover agent on you and starts following the "thieves" who have no idea they are being followed:
"The student pilot I was with, and myself, just screamed with pleasure." said the instructor.
More available at the BBC.
7 August 2006
One of the (dis)advantages of working in a health setting is that the moment one is even the slightest bit unwell questions arise as to the advisability of one remaining at one's post. Such was the case today - I rang one of the wards at the fine institution where I spend office hours and let slip that last night and this morning had found me feeling a little nauseous (lovely onomatopoeic word that esp. when pronounced nor-shus - almost up there with "elbow" or "knee" or the ever lovely "plank") - quick as a flash I was contacted by Infection Control and advised to leave the building. I'd only rung to say that I wasn't going to be able to see someone as I didn't want to go to the ward and pass anything on. In fact, a number of other members of staff had already gone off with much worse symptoms than mine (such that a long train journey, for example, would be considered unwise) so it was off home for me - immune-compromised children and virulent stomach bugs are not a good mix. So then I had to pop into the new Carluccios for the chocolate powder they use to make that exquisitely thick chiccolata calde before home to read the absorbing Cloud Atlas which I would most heartily recommend, odd sci-fi bits notwithstanding.
The moral of the tale? A virus doesn't necessarily mean that you won't get fat.
6 August 2006
4 August 2006
Dilbert's creator Scott Adams seems to have a point - terrorism is a weather-related activity:
When it’s 125 degrees outside, given the choice of sitting inside a one-room hovel with seventeen unwashed relatives versus launching rockets at Israel, the terrorist option starts looking mighty appealing. Because you know what else I never see on TV when they show footage of the Middle East?
And I understand that. Most hobbies involve one of these things:
1. Glue (it would melt)
2. Spending money (they don’t have any)
3. Being outside (it’s 125 degrees)
There is more here in a similar vein - reading him makes one wish one had half his brain power.
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One nice quote amongst many from US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Yahoo's ("Chinese? Jail him") news site:
To prevent terrorists from having access to confidential information, judges handling the cases must be able to temporarily exclude defendants from their own trial if deemed necessary for national security.
Ah me, I'm so glad we have our Special Relationship (Doormat to Feet).
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1 August 2006
If companies told you the truth about their products. For example, Netgear: "By all means buy this wireless kit IF you plan on placing your router 2mm from your computer and don't mind spending HALF YOUR LIFE reconnecting, repairing, disabling and searching for your "always on" (ha effing ha) connection." On the other hand, if you want something that works, why not try elsewhere?
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Not a secret WMD I was trying to buy from undercover News of the World reporters but a software programme that said it could back up my files online. Only it couldn't. Well, in fact, I guess it could, but it would have taken 93 days if the overnight speeds of uploading I got were anything to go by. 47Mb out of a total of 13Gb in 8 hours. I don't think so. The search continues.
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