Sunday, September 30, 2007

What it's like to not exist in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran.

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Conservative peer claims the BNP have 'some very legitimate views' on immigration. This is Sayeeda Warsi, who has cropped up here before, so is obviously keen that the new Conservative party should be comprised of homophobes AND racists, just like the old one.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

As A Dodo. The obituaries you'd like to see

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Still Hateful After All These Years

He's back! Discredited Hitler-apologist, Holocaust-denying historian David Irving has returned.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Susanna Clarke in discussion with Neil Gaiman about her work, including her two novels Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Worth it for the brief discussion of who would win a fight between Neil and William Gibson.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another white guy in 'not a terrorist' shock.

Following up on this, here's a case of a man who actually sent letter bombs to addresses. Again, he's white. And again, the words 'terror' and 'terrorist' do not appear in the report. People of a darker hue of skin gets labelled as terrorists even when they are guilty of no crime. White people can be convicted of crimes relating to a desire to cause terror in a section of the community and don't get called what they are.

"I was hoping to achieve a bomb scare, to shut down a building, but cause no real harm to any individual," he said.

Of course, you didn't intend to harm anyone by sending fully functional letter bombs did you? You terrorist arse.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

After Bloggerheads was shut down thanks to the machinations of Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist Alisher Usmanov Manic has relocated to B-Heads.

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If there was one thing that would make me suspect that the parents were somehow involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann it's the soap opera style of the unfolding of the story. Yesterday was all about how the Portuguese police had decided not to charge the parents unless they find a body and more conclusive evidence, today it's all about whether a couple of pixels in a photo show Madeleine is in Spain because, of course, there aren't going to be any other children in the whole of Spain and any differences between the two children, such as hair colour, can be explained by hair dye, not the possibility that OF COURSE THIS ISN'T HER! Another alternative is that Paul Dacre arranged this kidnapping so his paper would have something to write about all Summer between gaps in it's attacks on the BBC. I think we've long past the stage where this is a valid possibility worth examining.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Well, that's obviously it for evolution then...

[via Pandagon]

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Genuine responses to Family Fortunes.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Scots tell aliens to get stuffed.


South Korea to build robot city.


We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Approve and encourage installation of Mahtma Gandhi's Statue in Parliament Square.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Recognise that Brian Hoare is a national hero and to honour him as such.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Refuse to recommend that Tony Blair be awarded a Knighthood or Peerage.

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Nope, you can't have a school without a religious character in the UK.

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Palais De Danse, Hammersmith Station

Palais De Danse, Hammersmith Station
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers

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Henry Moore Exhibition at Kew Gardens
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers
Yesterday I decided to take advantage of the mild Autumn weather and go and check out the exhibition of Henry Moore statues down at Kew Gardens. I'd never been there before, I knew little to nothing about Moore, it would be ideal.

I went in and, first things first, I've got to give kudos to Kew for providing a map for the public that is accurate and easy to use. I don't know why but most other institutions seem to think the public go to an exhibition intending only to see a proportion of what is on display, or they encourage visitors to use serendipity in finding the various statues, but we got a map, to scale, and every item was where the map said it would be, so I managed to see everything. Bravo to Kew for that.

With twenty-eight pieces in the Gardens I ended up following the paths just looking for the exhibits, it'll be a seperate trip if I want to explore the grounds down to the river bank, or visit the house or enormous greenhouse but that's okay. Now I've been there once I've more reason to go again.

As for the sculptures, I'm illiterate when it comes to art so all I can say is, I liked some more than others. Insightful huh? What was really annoying where the other people. Ignoring the parents who disregarded the signs asking people not to climb on the exhibits and let (or in some cases encouraged) their children to do just that, the number of times people trying to take photos were blocked by other people walking directly in front of them to fondle the sculptures or to take their own photos were beyond count. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that if you walk up from behind me, you can see I'm trying to take a picture, it's the height of bad manners to then come and stand right in front of me with your poxy cameraphone, as happened on several occasions.

Never mind that Kew seems to have taken a more sensible view of the whole photo thing than the Tate, why do so few people seem to bother paying attention to what the people around them are doing, or caring about it?

I really hate it when people make me sound like a Daily Mail leader column...

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

A petition to bring back unhealthy food at school.

Someone wants to 'bring back' militias to the UK in case we're invaded while the Army is 'busy' in another country. Call me suspicious, but isn't this more about legalising gun ownership again?


Friday, September 21, 2007

"You are so sued! I'm suing you in England!"

Bloggerheads has been shut down for Manic's hosting Craig Murray's website in which he mentioned that Alisher Usmanov, a previously unknown-in-the-UK Uzbek (Uzbeck? Uzbecki? Uzbeckistani?) who seeks to become the chairman of Arsenal F.C., is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist. Thanks to his efforts in gagging and/or shutting down the few people that paid attention to Murray, Usmanov has ensured that bloggers are picking up on the story, which should mean with luck that old media will have the story by the end of next week.

If you are in any way interested in finding out why Murray feels that Alisher Usmanov from Uzbekistan is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist then there are still many places on the interweb that have the original article, here's one for example. And you may want to spread the word about that Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist Alisher Usmanov and his attempts to gag free speech, it would help if the place you're writing on is not in the U.K.

Septicisle has more on the Bloggerheads angle, he's been thinking about Alisher Usmanov for a while now.

NOTE: Which is not to say I automatically believe Murray's accusations, I just think it's a pleasant sounding phrase that trips off the tongue when in the presence of someone who tries to sue other people out of existence.

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Hillary Not Dorothy

Hillary Clinton is not a lesbian. Apparently some people were confused.

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After my last post eulogising Escape Pod, they seemed to go, for me anyway, into a bit of a slump. We had several weeks of off-beat stories that really didn't do anything for me, leaving my short-term memory almost as soon as they arrived.

I did enjoy The Sundial Brigade by James Trimarco, in which humanity struggles for freedom when the Earth is run by alien museum curators rather than megacorps or fascistic politicians. It's one of those stories that I wish were longer so that some of the more interesting throwaway ideas could be more fully investigated, like the idea that bad behaviour by the humans is punished by their being given negative personality traits, like being made smokers or alcoholics. On the other hand, if these traits are investigated you get the novel length version of Isaac Asimov's Nightfall, so maybe the short stories are best left alone.

On the train to work this morning I listened to Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane by Jonathon Sullivan. Set during WW2, the war of choice for a country so reluctant to take part in it at the time, it's one of those stories that mingles fact and fiction as it tells of the escape of Danish Jews, including Bohr, through the eyes of a young boy, torn between the competing demands of his rabbi Father and his desire to follow in Bohr's scientific footsteps. I can't really mention the fantasy element without blowing the whole story, but while it's true to say that it's fundamentally a traditional story, I think a number of the plot points won't be surprising anyone, it's notable for the strong relationship Sullivan evokes between father and son, so much so that I'm glad I was busy navigating around the London Underground towards the end of the story and so was occupied at the emotional high points of the story.

On a tangentially connected note, I only recently read Maus and was similarly moved by the relationship between author/artist Art Spiegelman and his father, Vladek, pumping him for the story of how he and his wife survived Hitler's Europe and the death-camps, while finding him so difficult to deal with in the present as he tries to survive in the modern-day USA. The relationship between children and parents seems to be a touchy one for me at the moment, probably the first stirrings of middle-aged angst .

While I'm currently single and don't want a relationship or kids, at the same time there's something buzzing at the back of my head to remind me that by my age my Dad was married with two young children and a mortgage. It's funny how part of me seems to want to measure myself against standards that I feel I've consciously rejected. But I wonder if that conflict is what, at the moment, makes me look for parent-child relationships in stories and resonates with them.

There are more stories at Escape Pod, for sci-fi, Pseudopod for horror and I'm also looking forward to their new show, Podcastle, which will be starting soon to spin off the more fantasy based stories.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007





Why do I do it? Why do I look at the Daily Mail website when I know the paper is written solely to annoy the hell out of me? Today's exhibit: 'I spent a week living like a woman' in which a Daily Mail orc tidies his flat, is aware of what he eats and drinks, makes conscious decisions about what to wear, reads Cosmo, phones his Mum for a chat, has his legs waxed and pays attention when people speak to him. It's 'all a bit of fun' of course, in the same way that a crowbar to the head is 'light-hearted japery'.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

From the 'parodying something we were talking about ten minutes ago' desk, after this we, somewhat inevitably, have this:

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"Fuck you with something hard and sandpapery!" (NSFW)


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6 billion Others doesn't go fully live until next year, but there are some videos you can watch now. It's a project to try and remind us that we are not alone, that we are all part of a larger whole, the 'sea of humanity' which includes everyone from the humblest immigrant worker in New York to the President of Russia. From where it stands now it looks like it will be well worth coming back to next year.

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Is a Jewish Glasnost coming to America?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bollocks to Page and Plant, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine are reforming!

What do you think of the post so far?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mark Thomas went to the Defence Systems and Equipment International, got countries that had always denied it to admit to torture and got turned away. The Daily Mail sent a reporter to fondle the big guns and have his photo taken with naked women. He got in. He celebrates in the glorious name of 'Robert Hardman' (Same Robert Hardman who was a chairman of Cambridge University Conservative Association? Probably not, don't mind me Lorraine, just Googling names again.)

Daily Mail readers are a funny lot. They believe, on the lack of any evidence, that scrounging Eastern European scum are coming to steal benefits from this country. They believe that the BBC are pinko subversives out to transform this country into the U.S.S.R. A lot of them seem to think that if you don't support hanging as a punishment for wearing a hoodie then you're a crazy bleeding-heart liberal. Surprisingly, they draw the line at being an arms manufacturer.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cooking Instructions

Cooking Instructions
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers
Have a look at the instructions for microwaving. Do you see either a mistake they made in writing or a mistake I've made in comprehending what they've written?

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I realised just now that it was about ten years and one week ago that I entered the realm of the gainfully employed and started my first job. Since then I've been continually employed to date, now in my third job in that time.

I graduated from university in the summer of 1997. Returning home with no clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life I lasted about a month before my parents forced me to go and sign on. When I did so the job centre had only one library-related job on it's books (or rather in it's database), librarian at a girl's school in Surrey. I went to the interview and, much to my surprise, got the job. I was signed up in my new job before I'd received my first dole check, and ended up being on the dole for all of about a fortnight. We already had the family holiday booked and, because I'd been interviewed at the start of August my new employers allowed me to start a week late. So we went on holiday, Princess Di snuffed it in the early hours of my twenty-first birthday and we came home on the day of her funeral. I had a flat, unfurnished and lacking central-heating, but wasn't able to move into it until after my first week of work, so I had a week of commuting in a massive slingshot, Maidstone to Victoria, then back out to Wallington.

Those years were pretty wretched, I managed to lose contact with all my friends from university and didn't really find any to replace them. Getting a job in North London three years later was a real turning point, but that's a story for 2010...


"Leave Britney Spears alone now! I mean it! Anyone who has a problem with her, you deal with me!"

[via linkmachinego]

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Reasoned Critique of Something or Other.

Its time to point out just how much evil, death and human destruction the left - including the British left - have been responsible for.

Bravo Man in a Shed!

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What Causes a Wiccan? A vital service brought to you by those fine decent Christian folks at Landover Baptist.


Stephen Green, head and, it would seem, sole member of charmless bigots Christian Voice, posted his review of his day picketing Brighton Pride last month. It's very amusing.

'Shame on you', chanted an overweight man, You bitch! clutching his 'boyfriend's' hand, seemingly unaware of the paradox of accusing others of shame while foaming out his own shame (Jude 1:13)

...What were the National Front doing turning up half-way down the parade? Homosexuals are not black or Asian as a rule, they are overwhelmingly white, and therefore totally scrumptious from a National Front point of view... Funny how the NF have just picked up on the idea of protesting at gay pride events, three years after we started in London 2005. Could it be that some homosexual in the NF has worked out that their presence could devalue ours? No, they aren't that bright, surely? But just maybe the spirit of homosexuality is still as inseparable from national socialism as it was when the Nazi Party began its obscene life in a Munich gay bar.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Here's an interesting article from Vanity Fair about the trials and tribulations of the Al Gore 2000 Campaign for the Presidency, though, without the use of extraordinary rendition and Cheney-approved torture we're unlikely to get the whole truth about why so many lies were told, and of course, those who could tell us the most about the story ain't talking.

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Isn't British policing wonderful? Isn't foreign policing awful? Wouldn't things just be better for everyone if British police officers policed the planet?

It would seem that nothing else happened over the weekend. Yes BBC News 24, I'm looking at you. Blanket coverage of the McCann's driving to the airport, then repeated ad nauseam until the plane they were on touched down in the UK, then that was rolled around until they returned home to the village they live in, now that's swarming with reporters with no news to report.

There's been talk over the last weeks of how the BBC should cut back on it's digital channels so that minority interest shows like The Today Programme on Radio 4 aren't axed. Now, as far as I'm aware Today is only listened to by politicians, newspaper columnists who need inspiration to fulminate against the world and retired early risers in the counties. It's The Archers for Westminster folk, of practically no use to anyone else. Still, I'd be quite happy to sacrifice BBC3 to keeping it open, if it could be sealed in concrete, along with the casts of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and TittyBangBang , and dumped in the North Sea, then that is something to be applauded. But hands off BBC4 which, with a few exceptions, is like Radio 4 only people pay attention to it. News24, I still don't understand why our money is wasted on this. If you watch News24 then you realise very quickly that, just because something newsworthy could happen any time, that does not mean that news is happening any time. Or rather, there is lots of news going on that the BBC don't bother covering. It increasingly seems that when anything happens outside of Washington then the BBC turn over coverage to ABC. I can't remember Western Africa cropping up in the news since Mark Thatcher and a load of ex-Eton pupils decided to try and take a country over for a laugh. Those little Russian or ex-Russian states round the edge of the old U.S.S.R. don't get a look in (is there still a civil war going on in Chechnya? I watch News24, so I don't know). And China? Supposedly Murdoch dropped the BBC from a satellite TV package he wanted to flog to the Chinese people, I don't know why because they only ever get mentioned in the financial news.

So yes, let's shut down News 24 and BBC3, and give the money to John Humphrys for his pointless little show.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

A meeting conducted in blog comments. Though not in the kind of comments I get in this blog, obviously.

... You taciturn bastards.

[via Tranniefesto]

Actually, didn't I see some of these guys in this video? What happened to the cute boy doing the second part of the second chorus?


We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to rebuff the suggestion by Lord Justice Sedley (05 September 2007) that a DNA sample be provided by all UK citizens/visitors, to call for the abolishment of the current DNA database and halt plans for an identity card scheme - on the grounds of civil liberties and respect for the British Citizen.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to outlaw the practice of Gazumping, when buying or selling a property, or land.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Allow people to do voluntary work and stay on long term income support.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Scrap ID/DNA/Surveillence database plans.

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I'm back. Look busy.

I'm currently loading holiday snaps up at Flickr. You can have a look here, or take a look at all my photos here. Or maybe you want to go to Hell when you die?

Talking of which, Guardian Journalist, guess what DVD I got for my birthday?

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