Saturday, April 30, 2005
Thursday, April 28, 2005
It's no secret, I want want Labour to be hammered this time. It's not just because of the the war in Iraq, though let's be honest, that's reason enough; it's not just because of that sneering liar Tony Blair; nope, it's more to do with the fact of having a cabal of tories running what was formerly a socialist party for the ordinary people.
I particularly would like to see regime change in my local constituency where I would like to see Kate Hoey replaced by Charles Anglin, the candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
Now this represents an enormous change of tack for me. I always said a vote for the Lib Dems was a wasted vote, but now they are the only party I can bring myself to vote for. There is absolutely nothing could induce me to vote Conservative, this country is still reeling from the damage they inflicted on it and Michael Howard is just Loathsome.
Anyway, back to Ms Hoey, who should be ousted by the good burghers of Vauxhall. Back in 1997, she made an impassioned plea for support at Duckie in Vauxhall stating very clearly that she supported gay rights and she was going to vote to end fox hunting. She has a poor record of voting ongay-related issues, frequently being absent during votes and she has been vociferously against the ban on fox hunting. Just two reasons why I want her out.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
One day 36 years ago, Nek Chand, a humble transport official in the north Indian city of Chandigarh, began to clear a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area. He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures recycled from materials he found at hand. Gradually Nek Chand's creation developed and grew; before long it covered several acres and comprised of hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards.
After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered by the authorities.When they did discover Chand's garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal - a development in a forbidden area which by rights should be demolished. The outcome, however, was the enlightened decision to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers. Nek Chand's great work received immediate recognition and was inaugurated as The Rock Garden of Chandigarh.
Dolphins, Seals at Home in London's Reborn River: "More than 130 seals have been spotted in the Thames since last August, according to the Zoological Society of London. Bottlenose dolphins have been seen upstream of London Bridge. And last summer the first sea horse was recorded in the Thames estuary in 30 years ...
... The condition of the Thames—which rises and falls with the tides as far inland as London—was very different 150 years ago. 1858 saw the "Great Stink," when the stench of raw sewage got so bad Parliament, which meets in a riverside building, had to be dissolved.
In 1878 the pleasure steamship Princess Alice sunk in a river collision. Most of the 600 or so passengers who died did so because they were overpowered by a noxious cocktail of human and industrial filth before they could reach safety.
A pump is attached to a roundabout which pumps water from a well when the children play.
I love it when lateral thinking gets used to solve problems - just like the wind-up radio.
My brother lives not far from a wind farm, which is another great way to generate power without consuming fossil fuels.
What I don't understand though is why people don't use water wheels in rivers to generate power
Friday, April 22, 2005
Achtung pigs! You will buy my books, schnell, schnell
It seems that Ratzi really does have the power of the dark side - he has seven of the top ten best selling books in Germany this week - even managing to knock the new Harry Potter book off the top spot - now that takes some serious mind tricks
The writings of Joseph Ratzinger, who has become Pope Benedict XVI, have knocked the next Harry Potter book off the top of a German book chart.
The German version of online retailer Amazon has the Pope's books occupying the top three spots in its chart, with four more of his titles in the Top 10.
The necropolis was discovered by a joint US and Egyptian team in the Kom al-Ahmar region, around 600 km (370 miles) south of the capital, Cairo.
Inside the tombs, the archaeologists found a cow's head carved from flint and the remains of seven people.
They believe four of them were buried alive as human sacrifices.
The remains survived despite the fact that the tombs were plundered in ancient times.
The three white cassocks on display in the window of Gammarelli Ecclesiastical Tailoring come in small, medium and large, because no one knows what size the next pope will be.
In the world of religious raiment, few distinctions are as great as counting the leader of the Roman Catholic Church as a client. So when 115 cardinals meet on Monday in the Sistine Chapel to begin a conclave that will select the next pope, the tailors of Gammarelli will be especially interested to see who will emerge wearing white.
Filippo Gammarelli, 63, whose family has been making papal clothes since 1798, including those for John Paul II, is hoping that the next pope, who will eventually step out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica modeling a Gammarelli cassock for millions, will like the fit.
That has not always been the case.
For the plump John XXIII pins and tape had to be used for last-minute alterations, while in 1914 the diminutive Benedict XV swam in his white silk simar, the special cassock worn by popes only.
So I wonder if anyone's done a study to see the harm that is done to one's intellect from using Word and PowerPoint all day. They are guaranteed to make my brain melt with frustration at least 20 times a day.
One of the people I work with just discovered that you can drag bullet points in PowerPoint to promote or demote them and was thoroughly impressed.
Yes Microsoft, it's nice of your programmers to create neat little user-friendly gimmicks like that, how about fixing all the hideous bugs that litter you bloated software
"Email users suffered a 10 per cent drop in IQ scores, more than twice the fall recorded by marijuana users, in a clinical trial of over a thousand participants. Doziness, lethargy and an inability to focus are classic characteristics of a spliffhead, but email users exhibited these particular symptoms to a 'startling' degree, according to Dr Glenn Wilson.
The deterioration in mental capacity was the direct result of the trialists' addiction to technology, researchers discovered.
Email addicts were bombarded by context switches and developed an inability to distinguish between trivial and significant messages. Incredibly, 20 per cent of trialists jeopardized their immediate social relations by rushing off to 'check their messages' in the middle of a conversation.
But just in case you're ever caught in the middle of a zombie attack, there are plenty of helpful hints to help you survive
After your initial panic, it's important to remember that a significant component of your surivival is the demise of the ghouls trying to get your tasty brains. Despite some reports to the contrary, the only way to permanently un-animate a zombie is to destroy its brain. This isn't rocket science (although that would be a cool way to do it). A gunshot to the head is the most direct way to disable a zombie, but not the only way. Decapitation also works, although the head will probably still function so don't let it bite you. If you survive long enough, and society collapses along with any hope of rescue, you'll need to develop some means of skull penetration that doesn't involve guns - a professional bowhunting setup works if you can get it. You might be squeamish at first, taking out your neighbors; with time this will pass, you might even adopt a gleeful hangman's sense of humor in your executions.
The only reason I mention this is that I think this storyline would be the best storyline for the next Spiderman movie and perhaps Morbius will be the character played by Thomas Haden Church.
For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.
Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.
In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Look, more people who think he's dodgy ...
He bears a striking resemblance to Nosferatu in this one
Dear Microsoft Word,
Here are a few tips for you.
1.) Don’t ask me if I want help when I’m writing a letter TO YOU at 2:48am.
2.) Don’t do that stupid auto-format shit you just did when I hit enter after I typed “am.” That always messes up my outlines because apparently we don’t have the same style. I go “I.” then “A.” then “1.” then “a.” OK? I don’t want to print my fucking outline at 5am after I’ve worked on it all night and suddenly notice that my shit is all fucked up and you literally WON’T let me fix it. I have to have to wrestle you like a psycho bitch to get you to let me type how I want to. I get A’s in school, ok? Teachers like my outlines the way I do them. I’m sorry.
3.) My teachers want one inch margins. I know, it sucks, but they think I’m a slacker when you slyly auto-fuck with my margins. YOU’RE the slacker, asshole!!!
4.) If I’m writing a ten page paper about, oh, say rhetorical discourse, and I’m on page nine and we’ve (you and I) have been working together for about five hours and I suddenly type “rheotoric,” can’t you REMEMBER that I have correctly typed “rhetoric” nine thousand times by this point and just fucking fix it for me? I have a laptop. Right clicks on those are annoying as shit.
5.) Your dictionary/thesaurus is missing SO MANY fuckin words! What’s up with that?
6.) When I hit “print preview” you really should let me actually EDIT there, too. Print preview means, ok, I’m gonna look it over one more time and see if it’s all good. When I notice something’s fucked up, I have to close print preview to go back and search for it to fix it. C’mon.
7.) When you say something is spelled wrong but really it’s just a word you haven’t learned yet, (it’s ok) and I fix it for you before I type anything else, you switch it back to being wrong! Fuck you is that annoying!
8.) Sometimes, I am just right with the grammar and you’re not.
9.) Is it going to hurt my eyes to see the whole damn menu if I click on File or Edit? What are you ashamed of?
10.) I’m sorry I have been such a rude bitch. We have had great times together, and overall you’re thesaurus has made me sound much smarter than I am in many, many papers. Also, I love it when you track my changes. That’s so sexy. And who can forgot Courier New, to turn a seven page paper into ten! Thank you!
Originally uploaded by iGav.
So when I said perhaps the new Pope already had the white clothes ready, maybe he was using power of the Dark side to guarantee the result of the election.
Remember the mix up between the black smoke and the white smoke? There's no smoke without fire.
Oh and by the way, just in case anyone flames me about it, according the this chap, I'm already going to hell, so I don't need anyone else telling me, OK
Originally uploaded by iGav.
Is it me or is the new Pope wearing the old one's clothes? Surely there hasn't been enough time to create an entire new wardrobe for him in this much time.
Or did he already have the wardrobe and was planning to get his hands on the job ...
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Tao and colleagues at Chicago's Rush University isolated the lactobacilli from the oral and vaginal cavities of healthy human volunteers. The team then tested the bacteria against HIV and found two strains that specifically trap the virus by eating mannose and -- in the lab at least -- block infection.
'If we can find its natural enemy, we can control the spread of HIV naturally and cost-effectively, just as we use cats to control mice,' Tao said.
Let's hope this might one day lead to a cheap effective cure
Who should I vote for?
Your expected outcome:Liberal Democrat
Your actual outcome:
|Liberal Democrat 90|
|UK Independence Party -22|
You should vote: Liberal Democrat
The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.
Take the test at Who Should You Vote For
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
An ambitious and controversial genetics project that uses blood to trace the migration patterns of ancient humans faces a possible boycott as it launches this week ...
The Genographic Project is the brainchild of the National Geographic Society and features IBM as its key partner in building the world's largest and most sophisticated human DNA database. The program will cost at least $40 million over five years and includes support from the Waitt Family Foundation of San Diego (which was founded by Gateway founder and chairman Ted Waitt) ...
It's a large and technically challenging project, but nothing IBM hasn't done before,' said Saharon Rosset from IBM Research. IBM will create a secure, scaleable database that will store the data centrally, and will provide sophisticated online collaboration tools.
We know indeed that IBM have helped track down different ethnic groups before
Monday, April 18, 2005
Well, there's no point disputing what I already knew, I'm politically well to the left and I'm proud of it - and isn't it a shame that in the forthcoming election I can no longer bring myself to vote for Labour and especially not that foxhunting apologis Kate Hoey.
By comparing your answers to the answers of the respondents in the opinion poll, we can tell you how your views compare to those of the whole population of Britain.
Compared to the whole population...
0.9% are significantly to your left
5.9% have views about the same as yours
93.2% are significantly to your right
Friday, April 15, 2005
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Monday, April 11, 2005
Being a boring consultancy with a graphics department, we have no sound capacity on the PCs, and so can't access Internet radio (I know how very 20th century!) and have to use the lousy cassette radio thing with a broken ariel that loses tuning every few minutes.
Still I shouldn't moan too much as having control of the tuning button means we can listen to XFM instead of being subjected to the execrable Virgin that plays the same ten songs over and over again.
Now let's get it straight, I don't have anything against Coldplay, U2, Scissor Sisters or Snow Patrol, or their songs, it's just I hate the way Virgin plays the same two or three sonds by each of them endlessly. Are they paid by someone to conduct this aversion therapy on the British public???
Friday, April 08, 2005
ALAN POUL Yeah. I mean, listen, we're all going to be very moved, and I think we want people who are watching to be moved. But on our show I don't think we've ever tried to move people through sentiment. I don't think overt appeals to sentimentality are part of our style book. So the ending will involve life and death and will involve darker turns for some people and lighter turns for others. The most important thing is we want to have a sense that every story has reached its appropriate conclusion.
Guess it's good that it's a planned ending rather than half the cast leaves and the storylines fizzle out like so many other shows
In their paper, the researchers detailed thumb-as-stylus designs that allow users to operate hand-held devices using only one hand. Although existing stylus-based gesture systems do not preclude the use of the thumb, no systems have been specifically designed to be operated using the thumb, according to the researchers.
Excuse my naivety, but isn't that how I control my iPod every day?? I stroke the trackpad with my thumb whilst holding the iPod in the same hand for one-handed thumb-driven action
Is this not just a case of Microsoft trying to take the credit for something which was invented by someone else?
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch The longest town name in the world means 'The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave'.
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that 'cool' or 'intellectual' book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
So here goes:
It looks as if they were employees, not slaves, which they would have been in the West Indies. Queen Elizabeth herself had a negro servant, but that did not stop her from issuing a proclamation that 'there are of late divers blackamoors brought into this realm, of which there are already too many considering how God has blessed this land with great increase of people of our nation ... those kind of people should be sent forth out of the land'. A Lubeck merchant offered to help by shipping them back to Sapina dnPortugal , where he was sure of a good market, but his overtures came to nothing , and the proclamation was never strictly enforced.
It's just the book I'm reading at the moment: Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard.
I wonder what would happen if you put all the quotes that people have come up with together, would it read like some psychotic William Burroughs pastiche???
Burroughs is one of my favourite writers - here you can find sound files
Thursday, April 07, 2005
If you type: -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 b into google it will list directories of unprotected mp3 files. Even better if you add an artist name to the search string it will search for that artist
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Presumably this was in the hope that there would be genuine shock at the end of episode 13 which is when, one would assume, the Doctor is injured in such a way that leads him to regenerate.
Presumably the BBC rushed a press statement once the press got hold of the story of Ecclestone leaving
Head of drama and commissioning Jane Tranter said: "The BBC regrets not speaking to Christopher before it responded to the press questions on Wednesday 30 March.
"The BBC further regrets that it falsely attributed a statement to Christopher and apologises to him."
A BBC spokesman said a mutual agreement was made between the corporation and Eccleston in January that the fact he was not making a second series would not be made public.
But after journalists questioned the press office, the news was confirmed.
Monday, April 04, 2005
Unfortunately, the place where I'm working currently insists on doing everything in Word, but most particularly long long boring pitchbooks with millions of numered headings, subheading, points and sub-points, bullets, sub-bullets and so on ad infinitum.
Why is it after all these years Microsoft Word cannot managed to keep a list of bullets consistent from one paragraph to another?
I've been formatting pages and pages of the bloody things, and from one paragraph to another, Word changes the size of the bullet points.
As if that isn't enough, the author of this dreadful report also insists on using list numbering as well as heading numbering. The list numbering has to start from 1 everytime it is envoked. Try telling Word that. Restarting numbering half way down my document just wrecked all my formatting for the entire document.
I tell you this much, had I been at Buckingham Palace the other week, I would have used the Queen's sword to much better effect than to knight Bill Gates, I'd have frogmarched him to the nearest computer and forced him to sit there formatting a 100 page document in Word to my satisfaction.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
rings as performed by stuffed rabbits … I kid you not!
Entropy House Productions brings to the big screen epic adventure as it has never been presented before. Come with us on a quest to defeat darkness, to save the world from the menace of unsleeping evil.
The Dark Lord Sauron needs but a trifle, a golden ring, to fold Middle-Earth into eternal night. It is given to one small person, Frodo of the Shire, to carry the Ring through many perils to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom…
Friday, April 01, 2005
The BBC wants Tennant in place to shoot a “regeneration” scene at the climax of the 13th and final episode of the revived sciencefiction classic.
He is then expected to make his first appearance as the Doctor in a Christmas special, in which he will team up with Billie Piper, who plays his assistant, Rose.
So if this report is correct, does this mean the BBC want to shoot a different ending to the season than was originally intended?
Or does it mean it was all part of plans for the series, and that they wanted to get the regeneration happening that didn't happen at the beginning of the new series.
There's quite a lot of chatter in the blogosphere to the effect that Christopher Ecclestone's announcement has happened to keep up interest in the show and also to get people excited around the idea of regeneration.
The Daily Mail is reporting that BBC bosses are furious as Ecclestone's departure has ruined all the merchandising they had lined up for Christmas
BBC bosses are furious over Christopher Eccleston's decision to quit as Doctor Who after spending millions on merchandising which carries his image.
They had hoped to cash in on the show's popularity by exploiting the lucrative Christmas market with toys and other merchandise with the actor's distinctive features.
BBC Worldwide licensed Manchester firm Character Options to design more than 20 items. And a 12in action figurine of him is ready to be in the shops by October.
But by Christmas, Eccleston will have already been long departed as the Doctor - his last appearance on television being in June - and will have already been replaced by a new Docousfor the second series, rendering the merchandising obsolete.
There is also the embarrassing possibility that the actor's replacement will already be starring in the planned Christmas special