Monday, February 28, 2005

Wow, that must have been one of the most unusually specific requests I've ever had to deal with: Do we have a directory of prominent international lawyers from the beginning of the twentieth century? Unsurprisingly the answer is no.

Back at work, back in hell. We're fighting the Long Defeat. Waiting to see who is going to be the first to crack. It may be me, as I'm determined to stop eating sweets and drinking 'energy drinks'. The paranoia is coming along nicely.

An odd little game for your Monday morning.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Now, loathe as I am to do anything but wish a slow, lingering death on everyone in, or who supports, the UK Independence Party, but I am willing to give them a teeny weeny bit of credit. While Tony bLiar is playing coy about when he's going to call the May General Election that'll be in May, people in my area get the excitement of getting to vote for a replacement for a lying scumbag Labour councillor. It means very little but this lunchtime I had a knock on the door from the UKIP candidate. This is slightly impressive as I don't usually even get a complete crop of leaflets for the more important elections. At the last general election I lived in a flat above a shop, so obviously leaflet distributors are going to cut corners and not bother going into the road behind the shops for the doors to the flats above. But even so, since then I've lived in a perfectly average cul-de-sac and the leaflet rate has been about 50% and I've never had a candidate knock on my door before. Now yes, I live on my own and, yes, I am at work during the day, but aren't we repeatedly told how much our vote is worth? Don't politicians from the main parties agonise over voter apathy? So why do they only go out canvasing during the day? Why do they seem to be chasing only the votes of housewives, the elderly, the unemployed or the self-employed? It's like getting someone out to fix something in your house, the NTL engineers who only work Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00, why should I have to take a holiday to wait for someone? Why doesn't more of this society expect to operate outside of normal work hours, after all I do.

There are those that give their vote purely on the grounds that the candidate was the only one to knock on the door. But wouldn't it make more sense for more candidates to try canvassing between 5:00 pm and 8:00 or 9:00, or at weekends, when there's a danger they might actually meet the people whose vote they need?

Smart women looking for a husband should consider a lobotomy.

The head of the Metropolitan police wants his armed police to have complete immunity in case they kill an innocent person by mistake. Well, if they were doing that in Iraq there wouldn't be a problem.

"Phew, thank goodness we weren't brainwashed by that strange sect."
"Shhh, Fox TV is on."

The Culture Show makes me want to worship The Kaiser Chiefs and lick them all over. This is deeply disturbing.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Another date for the art diary: John Virtue: London Paintings.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"Why aren't you dead?"

You're a Ravenpuff!: You are a very analytical and ingenius person, someone that likes to invent new things. The way you look at life is with wonder, and sometimes you're even a little naive. But people love you for that trait and they feel the need to protect you from the harsh facts of life so that you can retain your innocence. You are very capable person and when there is trouble people turn to you because you're able to stay calm and collected. You like balance in your life and you try not to make many waves. Even still, if there is something that you believe strongly in, you will commit yourself totally to that cause. Your weakness is that sometimes you can be indecisive and perfectionist, especially about little details and you drive people crazy sometimes with these traits. With the innocence of a Hufflepuff and the calm of a Ravenclaw you will be loved in life!

Which Mix of the Hogwarts Houses are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Strangely compulsive: Tetris 1D. [via Venusberg]

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

If you've ever had a deep desire to pretend you're falling into a kaleidoscope until your eyes start to bleed and you understand and quantum theory then you'll be needing this. And possibly something to be sick in to.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Catalyst: Hate site comes out on top in Jewish Blog Awards.

I watched Dispatches: Holy Offensive about the modern clash of fringe religious groups and art that offends them, concentrating on Sikhs in Birmingham about Behzti, Christians in London about Jerry Springer - The Opera and Muslims in Amsterdam about the death of Theo Van Gogh. In each case we see what happens when certain groups of people believe their views are more important than others. As one of the actors in Behzti says, it's about people who feel that a work of art threatens their own belief in the power that they think their faith gives them.

(Stewart Lee describes what happens in the second half of Jerry Springer - The Opera about how Springer dies, egotistically believing that he has reunited Heaven and Hell. I'm curious as to whether Lee intends for the truth of the play he writes that Springer achieves that, or merely believes that, because the thing that I noticed on watching it was that Springer does no such thing, the weakness is that there is no dialogue of any kind in the second half, it's just a few drawn-out metaphysical knob gags.

Oh, and I heard that since the TV show the charmless bigots of Christian Voice are picketing the theatre where the show is on. Presumably watching the BBC Show so they could really be offended they learnt that it's on every night in the sinful fleshpots of London's theatreland. But anyway...)

A bishop makes a good point that when Christianity started out it was condemned as blasphemous by Jews, Romans, Greeks.

If religion or, to be fair, small extremist groups (and this is where Dispatches goes a bit wrong, the worldwide Sikh faith didn't rise up against Behzti and only a couple of small fringe Christian groups have made a disproportionate fuss about JS, they do rather perpetuate the myth that this is all faith groups against freedom of speech) don't want things that challenge their faith then fine. We'll shut down all media, print no books, sing no songs, tell no stories, except those to do with religion. Fine. We'll respect their rights not to be offended. Okay. But then they respect my right not to be offended, we'll get rid of the creationist crap of the first book of the old testament, because that offends me. All the melodramatic nonsense about Moses and the Jews, that's got to go, the Book of Job I find to be one of the vilest pieces of literature ever, it's God as the serial killer from Seven and so on. There's stuff in the Koran I found offensive too, and give me a chance to read the Talmud and the Sikh holy books, I'm confident there's something in there. Some Christians are fond of claiming that 'same-sex marriage' is pleading for 'special rights'. 'Special rights' is actually religion wanting the right for people not to hold views that they might find offensive and air them in public.

Fiona Mactaggart, the Home Office Minister wheeled in to defend the incitement to religious hatred bill, claims they have to protect communities where 'words are used as weapons to put [them] in terror', unfortunately we then cut to the row over Satanic Verses where the only community that was in terror was that one based around Salman Rushdie and his publishers. Has anyone heard the Government explain what effect the incitement to religious hatred clause would have on Behzti and the like? I've only heard the usual New Labour thing of trying to suggest it'll solve all the problems of religious groups but not restrict the freedoms of those who want to criticise religion. The clause sounds at the moment as though it's going to incite hatred from religious groups towards those that don't share their views.

After that last post...

Patrick: Does this mean I should be expecting a visit soon? Come on, LA is totally cooler than Nueva York!

Sorry, at the moment I'm planning for a trip to Old Europe in the summer. I think I might panic if I got to immigration at the airport in LA. "Do you intend to commit acts of terrorism during your stay?" "Erm, ah, can I phone a friend?" I may have also sworn not to visit the States while it's run by a demi-fascistic, Conservative, fundamentalist moron, so I don't know when I'd be able to visit in the next fifty years.

If I did come to the States though, it would only be to visit Springfield.

Monday, February 21, 2005

I am filling in a passport application form. Please amuse yourselves in the meantime. Try reading Stay Free Daily.

Hunter S. Thompson commits suicide.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Is there a way in IE6 to highlight a load of links and get them all to open at once? I'm getting pretty sick with 'point, right-click, 'open in new window', Alt-Tab, point, right-click...'

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I choked on my porridge this morning to hear that Kevin Wells, father of Holly Wells who, along with Jessica Chapman, was murdered by Ian Huntley in 2002, has published a book of the diaries he wrote at the time to help him remember 'important details of the worst days of his life'. I'm surprised that no major publisher has picked this up, surely they can't be put off by the book's awful title, Goodbye, Dearest Holly? I'm less surprised that the Hate Mail on Sunday has bought the serialisation rights the clips in the radio advert made it sound like exactly the kind of tawdry emotional pornography they go for. I'm just hoping they'll also produce a report to claim that Ken Livingstone and a truck-load of illegal immigrants helped Huntley dispose of the bodies and that the immigrants heard Livingstone mutter anti-Semitic comments all the time. Melanie Phillips has been showing some Olympic level gymnastic skills to avoid addressing Livingstone's remarks about the fascist and anti-Semitic past of the paper she is happy to work for while simultaneously, erm, condemning him for anti-Semitism.

Friday, February 18, 2005

So you all heard the news about the aliens that landed, shot Tony Bliar, fired Shrubya into the sun and revealed the secret of eternal life? Well, I would provide a link to that but frankly it pails in comparison to the truly shocking news of the day: Smarties sweets swop round tube for hexagonal design. Some of the readers comments treat this news with the seriousness it demands...

This is a disgrace! I suggest we organise an immediate boycott of all Nestle products.

Heh heh heh.

This is utter blasphemy! The Smarties tube is a classic, and has been an integral part of my - and no doubt many other people's - childhood. Nestle are making a huge mistake.

It's disgraceful. It's about time that the government introduced some form of protection for things like this, like we have for listed buildings. Smarties tubes are a small but lovable part of our culture and they need to be protected!

We won't be able to collect all the letters printed on the ends of the tubes any more! I only need Q to complete the set!!

Quite simply the worst catastrophe to befall modern man. Don't do it, Smarties!!

Wait, you don't think they are being sincere do you?

For once it's My Stupid Touching Library User O' The Day Story: We normally have a 'baby rhymetime' on Friday mornings but today we're short of staff, mainly because it's half-term. So we cancelled it and put up signs saying we cancelled it. But the parents still came in and seemed to be ignoring the sign, no surprise there. But when we stuck our heads around the door five minutes later they were doing it for themselves, without staff. Ahhhh!

(Of course, now this means we never have to staff this event ourselves again, heh heh heh!)

Yesterday's tomorrow's news today. Or something.

Jeb Bush becomes new Iraqi President.

"Kiss my African-American ass, you limey slaphead,"

Tony Blair to apologise for Dresden bombing.

Speaking from the heart of Coventry — which accidently burnt down during a 1940 Luftwaffe operation to drop "Hey, why can't we all just learn to get along?" propaganda leaflets in 1940...

The Royal Identity Card application form.

If it would please Your Majesty, please don't staple any dead Pheasants to this form.

Michael Moore honoured with new Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavour.

"We thought about calling it... Fahrenheit 31.1 but we didn't think everyone would make the connection between the proper temperature for storing ice cream and the film that broke the theatrical documentary box-office record by seamlessly blending comedy with hard-hitting fact."

You know, the rich have a really tough time of things.

And never mind the fact the top 1 percent in this country pay a third of the taxes in this country. Or that the top 5 percent pay more than half.

Aah Fox News, the funniest of the fun News sites...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

An alternative perspective on the Why Men Wear Frocks show last night from Tranniefesto, which I think I disagree with as much as the show...

So, how long and indeed why is Amazon hosting movie trailers? Anyway, Hitch-Hiker's trailer here. It's hard to tell from this whether it's still a comedy as there doesn't appear to be any jokes in it and what looks suspiciously like a generic action movie bit as Trillian is carried off by some monsters. Still, other than Marvin, the film looks very well designed, the Vogon Constructor Fleet hovering over Earth like the Monoliths over Jupiter in 2010.

And while we're on the subject of Amazon, exactly how safe is a home defibrillator kit? I can foresee a lot of lawsuits, from people whose relatives died despite them using it, whose relatives died because they used it when it wasn't warranted.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Why Men Wear Frocks. Irritating and intelligent in equal measure. The transvesticism that Grayson Perry exemplifies is the type that reinforces rather than challenges traditional gender roles, all dollies and curls. He does make the forceful point that most transvestites are straight but he and his friends don't look much different to drag queens. Perry makes a very interesting comparison between transvestites and bikers leathers, in both cases people are wrapping themselves in a costume that gives them a certain freedom and license. But then he refers to a M-to-F pre-operative transsexual as 'he' and SRS as 'the chop'. Several times he and his friends talk about the qualities they feel in the clothes and use words like 'vulnerability' and 'softness'. They seem to believe there is a whole range of behaviour they can only access if they dress up in women's clothes. I'd like to hope that Perry is just a generation out of date. Or maybe it's me.

Nathan Barley. I'd say it was a couple of no-marks trying to rip off TV Go Home and Chris Morris if I didn't know that it was Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris that were behind this weak satire on trendy internet/media types. Barley is the twattiest of the twats, someone who calls everyone 'my n*gger' nd gives his office assistant large electric shocks just to put it on his webcam. However, because there's a limit to how interesting an idiot with no self-awareness can be, there are other characters like slacker journo Dan Ashcroft. He has just got some success from a magazine article on 'The New Idiots', who he sees all around him (and who, like Barley, don't realise he's writing about them), but when he tries to escape to a decent job on a 'proper magazine' he gets nowhere and has to return with his tail between his legs. Sadly the first episode is humour-free, despite some typically Morrisian touches like the magazine Ashcroft reluctantly works for, Sugar-Ape advertising itself with Suga in really small letters next to a huge RAPE, but FCUK parodies are the high point in a weak bag of tricks.

No, sadly what is more exciting to me this week is that I found in my library a DVD of The Box of Delights. Based on the children's novel by John Masefield it's deliciously unhinged, a traditional 'forces of darkness striving to take over the world', but through a dark prism of Alice in Wonderland and Gormenghast, paganism struggling with Christianity. Young Kay Harker, about ten years away from becoming William Hague, is travelling by train to the Middle England county of hmmphshrshrshire for Christmas, only to share a carriage with vicars with a neat line in card tricks and turning into freaking wolves whenever the train goes through a tunnel! However, being upper-class Kay bats not an eyelid at this, despite the fact they patently knick his wallet before they disappear he later insists they can't be pickpockets because they're clergy. He similarly doesn't think it strange that a wandering Punch-and-Judy man asks him to take an odd message to a woman he just happens to meet in the street, or that in the evening a tall man on a horse gallops past telling him "Aah Master Harker, I hear that the wolves are running!" He soon discovers that the Punch-and-Judy man, Cole Hawkins, has a magical box, nay, a Box of Delights, that evil Abner Brown and his henchmen will do anything to get. But although none of the children in this can act for toffee, I've seen plywood more expressive, the adult cast have Patrick Troughton, Robert Stephens and Bill Wallis. This show is amazing. This was from the era when children's television was allowed to be more scary and surreal than The Sixth Sense on brown acid. This gave me nightmares as a kid. Quality stuff.

The Guardian seems to be doing a daily 'Ken-watch' to see if Livingstone has apologised for remarks he made to an Evening Standard journalist. So far he hasn't, though today's story suggests he may be trying to find a way round to apologise to anyone in the greater community offended by his remarks but not the journalist or the Evening Poor Standard.

But on the subject of bad journalism, the Guardian article states:

[Livingstone] once again refused to apologise for likening a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

Except he didn't. He didn't liken him to a Nazi concentration camp guard. I'm just wondering whether this is worth emailing the Grauniad over, do they still have a 'Corrections and Qualifications' column?

But also from that Guardian article:

Mr Livingstone said he did not expect Tony Blair to intervene. "When I went back to the Labour party he made the position clear. It is my job to do my job. He is not there to manage me."

Tony Blair has urged London mayor Ken Livingstone to apologise for his Nazi insult to a Jewish reporter... the prime minister told Five's Wright Stuff show: "Let's just apologise and move on."


[T]he Mayor claimed the Daily Mail titles "continue to provide food for racism today".

On TV tonight we have the dubious pleasure of The Apprentice UK. It's a bit like Queer Guy UK, take the concept, replace the people with their less glamorous UK counterparts and slap it on screen. Glamour doesn't really apply to The Apprentice as the US version had Donald Trump, still the UK version does have Alan Sugar. I didn't even realise he was in business any more, I thought he'd retired ages ago in order to work on his Dave Lee Travis impression. Why Men Wear Frocks on Channel 4 might be more interesting, though advertising it with a picture of Grayson Perry and a dolly makes me worry that this is from C4 with their 'sensationalist' hats on.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Best headline ever! Underwater gnome threat 'returns'.

Fax Your MP has eaten it's spinach and transformed dramatically into Write To Them, which you can use to write to the elected officials in your area at every level of local, national and international government.

Monday, February 14, 2005

You need a working knowledge of X-Men history but if you do, then this is the cartoon for you.

Superman is a dick.

List of more pratical uses Superboy can make of a machine that can see through time:
1. Betting on the outcomes of sporting events.
2. Forseeing natural diasters and catastrophhe.
3. Letting Bruce Wayne know that his parents are going to be gunned down in front of his very eyes in a filthy alley, you dick.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Now that I've finished downloading the necessary files I'm quite happy to point you to this GYBO thread with an excellent New Order - Gwen Steffani boot and a homemade video for same. What you waiting for? Boom tish!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

London mayor Ken Livingstone in rather unpleasant open mouth- insert foot story.

Oliver Finegold: Mr Livingstone, Evening Standard. How did tonight go?

Ken Livingstone: How awful for you. Have you thought of having treatment?

OF: How did tonight go?

KL: Have you thought of having treatment?

OF: Was it a good party? What does it mean for you?

KL: What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?

OF: No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal and I'm actually quite offended by that. So, how did tonight go?

KL: Arr right, well you might be [Jewish], but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?

OF: Great, I have you on record for that. So, how was tonight?

KL: It's nothing to do with you because your paper is a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots.

OF: I'm a journalist and I'm doing my job. I'm only asking for a comment.

KL: Well, work for a paper that doesn't have a record of supporting fascism.

Well, Ken's best hope might be that as he doesn't actually say 'Nazi concentration camp guard' to point out that the British invented concentration camps and prey that works, but he'll have the Daily Mail empire gunning for him this weekend. Even more so than usual. Even though he's correct about the Daily Mail family's historic support of fascism.

I'm sure Ken can rely on the support of Tony Blair though. After all, BLiar has a friend in Europe who also likes to liken people he doesn't like to Nazis.

Unsurprisingly Melanie Phillips is more incensed by what technically is something we are all infering, not something Ken actually said. She seems to have no problem with working for a paper that sixty years ago would have wanted her kicked out of the country. Says more about her than Ken I think...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Are you tired with all the people on Ebay trying to make a few quid by auctioning their forehead as advertising space? Then you need the forehead ad blocker. No word as yet on whether they've developed a similar product to deal with all the women auctioning advertising space on their pregnant bellies.

Everyone in the United Kingdom will be dead by Sunday Teatime: You're all fucking idiots and I will hate you until the last drop of bile drips from my cold, dead fingers. At least, I hope it's bile.

Constitutional anachronism to wed. Or, if those rumours last year were true, Prince Charles to marry long-time 'beard'. Still, let's wish the stunted products of centuries of in-breeding well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yep, I decided to change the colour scheme back, though I will have a fiddle at some point to make the links stand out more. I felt I should have something a bit more Spring-like when I found this in my front garden this morning...

Spring is here

So last night was good fun, what I saw of it before panic sent me out the door and on a bus home (related elsewhere, I can't be bothered with cut'n'paste right now). And the first time I've met Barbeloids, MT-Listers and Biconners in one venue. Arrived with others to see compere Ida Barr in full flow. The evening was comprised mainly of people I'd either heard but never seen or neither heard nor seen, I'd heard of Ida, or rather her alter ego's alter ego but she was great fun, leading the theatre in a music-hall singalong cum rap song.

She introduced Caroline Parker, who does sign-language versions of hits. She signed along to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, though I'm not quite sure how 'Bismillah!' translates in to BSL. The best bit is where she goes all air guitar in the instrumental.

Next up was Incandescense, what I saw was mainly one woman doing some of that thing where you fall up and down a rope without going splat on the ground and two lads doing something with angle grinders that made a lot of sparks but somehow didn't set the place on fire. Unfortunately my gaze was rather impaired as for most of their performance I was faced in the opposite direction, trying to get a drink at the bar. Then it was Miss Behave, dressed like Zatanna's older sister with a gorgeous voice, she did some fire-eating and "she's not going toohmygodshe'sputitallthewaydownherthroat!!" sword-swallowing, as well as showing the best way to cut a cucumber.

I'd lost track and interest in the next act, Rob Newman, somewhere around the end of his partnership with David Baddiel and the release of his pretentious first novel, Dependence Day. I didn't regret it until last night, when he did a great set abour travels in the American South, Bob Dylan taking on corporate gigs and part of the story of the joint British/US sponsered overthrow of the government of Iran in the middle of the last century, though he did get rather distracted by the fact the name of one of the people involved was Kermit Roosevelt and he explained that he wasn't going to allow himself to get sidetracked on the role of puppets in revolutions. He was so good I'm tempted to give his latest book, The Fountain at the Centre of the World a try, and will look out for when he's next doing his full show in London.

Then it was someone who got one of the biggest cheers of the night, Mark Thomas. He did an all-too-brief set, starting with a conversation he'd had with Jeremy Hardy's manager. Following Jeremy's anti-BNP statements last year his manager had got a number of unpleasant calls at work. Rather than waste time talking to these morons he'd just tell them he was putting them on hold for a minute, only to come back half an hour later to find they were still holding! And the music being played to them while they were on hold? Bob Marley. Some of his set was stuff from his last tour but some of it, like his comments about Mark Thatcher were obviously new. Not surprisingly Iraq did come up,

What's the difference between an Al-Qaeda operative and an Iraqi civilian?
Welcome to the US Army.


What's the difference between Al Qaeda and Balfour Beatty?
When Al Qaeda are involved in some horrific act that causes death and destruction they admit responsibility for it.

After that it was interval time, people going round selling raffle tickets for the prize draw. We had a couple of people from the charity the night was in aid of to talk about what they are doing and the organiser who'd been in the area when the Tsunami hit, explaining that some of the Governments in the area were obstructing the aid being used to help their people (I forget which country he named, possibly Sri Lanka, maybe Burma). Then someone from Madness, Chas I think, to read some poetry and do the draw. Then it was time for The Blockheads, Ian Dury's old band, to take to the stage, which was about the time I left, though not because of them I hasten to point out.


Stuff One! Scaryduck on the similarities between Britain versus India in the 19th century and the United States versus Iraq in the 21st.
Stuff Two! Change This! A manifesto for all. Because what the world needs now is MORE bloody PDF documents.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ticket's still available.


Tues 8th Feb

AN AMAZING GIG at a fantastic venue



THE BLOCKHEADS - Legendary block heads with Chaz Jankyl, and old friends of the Empire. The Blockheads rock like the rockingest things . Vocals from them and special guests will ensure the sharpest London sound.


MR MARK THOMAS - Legendary Activist Comedian

MR ROB NEWMAN - Stand up comedian and author

IDA BARR - Your host for the evening, 19th Century Music Hall with a 21st Century Hip Hop Line. Aka Chris Green aka Tina C.

CAROLINE PARKER - Sign Language Rock Star

STICKLEBACK PLASTICUS - Ballroom Champions - .


INCANDESCENSE - Aerial Opera with death defying grinding and giant leaps, fresh from Thailand.

MISS BEHAVE - The worlds most famous Female Sword Swallower.


LAUNDRETTAS - The Laundromat of Love Pamper Zone - Winners of Best Area in Lost Vagueness at Glastonbury. Festival favourites who will whip up a 1950's hairstyle or apply free layers of love and care.

THE MINISCULE OF SOUND - The worlds smallest Disco ever and Hackney's key movers and shakers in the smallest disco world.

All Artists are giving their time free.

AND Special Guests

£10 plus booking fee

Monday, February 07, 2005

Michael Howard forced to back down over support for ID Cards. What exactly would be conservative about supporting something that would massively increase red tape and the power and cost of Government for something that would deliver no benefits against crime or terrorism? If he wasn't so obsessed with fighting the Government over who appears harder on criminals he may have stopped to see that ID Cards were a way to show they were different and more sensible than the Government.

However, the news that ID Cards could fall foul of human rights laws is unlikely to interest either side as both are willing to ignore such piddling concerns when it suits them.

God in no hurry to call His faithful servant home. He's probably got Jesus and the Saint's vaccuming Heaven and making sure that the dope plants are well hidden before He risks letting the Pope in. He still remembers what happened when Mary Whitehouse died during Heaven's 'gay rollerboot disco' party. There are many passages in the Bible that lend themselves to being reinterpreted as a BBC comedy-of-manners or farce. Saul walking the road to Damascas, he's grumpy, he's a tax collector, God blinds him, then his trousers fall down. Or Some Mothers Do Have Them with Samson? He leave Betty for that naughty Delilah, she cuts off his hair, source of his balance and he accidentally causes the temple to fall down at the end of each episode?

Meanwhile, for those who believe 'Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent and my kind of fella!' this article shows what a lack in their education forty years ago is doing to damage the educational standards in US schools today.

But the largest applause of the evening was reserved for a silver-haired gentleman in a navy blue blazer. "I have a question: if man comes from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why do you waste time teaching something in science class that is not scientific?" he thundered.

Were there no science teachers at this meeting who could have perhaps explained to him that evolution does not say that humans evolved from monkeys? And then perhaps thrown a board rubber at him and given him detention for talking out of turn?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Alan Moore's March of the Sinister Ducks again, but now with pictures! [via Linkmachinego]

And a discussion with Moore on how he writes.

If you want to examine your options for the General Election that hasn't been called yet: Strategic Voter. Although it told me that in my seat the only likely alternative to Labour is a Tory and I don't think I could live with myself if I voted for them right now. Looks like it'll be another 'expressive' vote for a party that I know won't get into government OR parliament.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Janina was feeling disappointed that the year is already 1/12th over and she'd only been to the cinema twice. I haven't been to the cinema at all so far this year, though I haven't really been keeping track of what's on, so that's my excuse. But I will be going for Sin City. I mean, look at that trailer, it's amazing! And I'm talking as someone who doesn't particularly like Miller's work.

Well, it didn't rain after all. The Beuys exhibition was interesting. I got in to trouble for taking a picture of one of the exhibits but I checked and there was no sign anywhere saying photos cannot be taken, so quite what you're supposed to do if you don't magically know about the whole copyright issue I don't know. All seems a bit daft really when there were art students with sketchbooks everywhere. It was all rather spartan, white walls, wooden floor. This didn't really matter, although one of the exhibits, 'Show Your Wound' was designed by Beuys to be exhibited in a 'desolate underground passage in Munich' and I can't but wonder if perhaps an attempt by the curators to recreate that atmosphere might have been more suitable. 'I Like America and America Likes Me' was a video exhibit and very amusing as Beuys is brought to a room in the US to spend three days locked in with a coyote. It's a shame that, although the caption on the screen said the film was some thirty minutes long it only showed the first ten minutes or so, with Beuys feeding the coyote scraps, and we had to rely on the pictures to tell us the rest of the story. It was nice to see the blackboards Beuys used for his Tate lectures from '72, again it's a shame that most of the chalk has been faded and rubbed off by time so their message is unclear (literally rather than figuratively). Similarly, with the last piece 'Economic Values' Beuys intended for the installation to slowly decay over the years and it's now well on the way.

It was an interesting exhibition, though thanks to the generosity (and membership card) of Janina I didn't have to pay to get in. It was rather adrift and context-free, I expect they were intending it to be an exhibition for Beuys fans and art lovers, I left knowing of Beuys work but not really much about the man or what people thought of him. Still, that's why we have Wikipedia.

Then to London Bridge through the enticing smells of the Borough Market. Shame we reached it as it was shutting for the evening. There was a slight hitch trainwise as it seems there was someone walking on the tracks at Old Street, so we had to use alternative means to get to Kings Cross, where we went our seperate ways.

I will want to look at Tranniefesto more later, but at the moment I am going out the door. Sky still looks ominous, BBC Weather assures me it isn't going to rain...

Palantir. Would be even better if they gave you more of an idea about the rules but hey, still addictive. What will LotR fans think of next?

In other news, it's my sister's 25th birthday today. From what I remember she was born in the early hours of the morning and was a bit premature. It turned out to be the first and so far only time in her life she was early for anything. If I can find some suitably embaressing photos of her, more later!

It looks like it's going to rain. And I'm going to Tate Modern to see the Joseph Beuys exhibition. Piss.

The Blunkett Song

I'm tough to be fair,
I'm tough to be kind.
Whatever you say
I don't mind.
I may be blind,
But I can see
How inspiring it is
To be me.
Remember when we laughed out loud
At what they would say.
"The socialist and socialite!"
What a headline-writer's day.

When we laid on the sand being kissed by the sun, with our boy in my arms we three as one. Now I'm here and you're there, and it seems so unfair, and the days are so dark.

Oh, how I miss my little one.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Some fascinating China Mieville-related discussions at Crooked Timber.

London Underground. Definitely Not Safe For Work. But very funny nonetheless.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

How good was the Iraq turnout really?

What they also didn’t tell you was that of those who voted, whether they be 35% or even 60% of registered voters, were not voting in support of an ongoing US occupation of their country. In fact, they were voting for precisely the opposite reason. Every Iraqi I have spoken with who voted explained that they believe the National Assembly which will be formed soon will signal an end to the occupation.

Maybe me and Roger should go on Jerry Springer and make up?

Veritas: From nought to fascists in under twenty-four hours.

UPDATEd to mention the picture is from Jeff who is a very nice person who especially likes people to come round his house early in the morning and knock on his front door until he wakes up. Why not track him down tomorrow?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Star Trek: Enterprise cancelled. A world mourns. Or maybe not. In a sense it's bad, because it was promised as being something new, Das Boot in space, lower tech, cramped conditions, character driven. In a more major sense it's very, very good, because it never delivered on any of it's promises, in the three years I've watched three main bridge characters never threatened to be interesting at any point and as for the other three, Archer, Tucker and T'Pol, well they all looked like they were acting a certain way and then the wind changed and they were stuck like it. When you're doing lo-tech stories you need three dimensional characters, Enterprise seemed to decide it didn't need them either. It won't be missed.

Old orange skin is back. And, as he obviously figures he's got nothing left to lose, Kilroy is straight in there with the racism:

Mr Kilroy-Silk, who recently quit the UK Independence Party, said "our country" was being "stolen from us" by mass immigration.

So, whereas the UKIP were stealing votes from the Conservatives, Kilroy's new party, Veritas, is aiming to take votes from the BNP.

Labour campaign spokesman Fraser Kemp said Veritas was joining "an already crowded field on the right of British politics".

Uh-oh, expect Charles Clarke to announce the return of flogging tomorrow then.

UKIP's chairman Petrina Holdsworth has said [Veritas] will just be a parody of the party the men have left.

How would anyone notice?

I think I'm going to be ill.

Message on a pebble.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

You'll be wanting to check out Trashbat. Trust me.

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