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The goat a man was ordered to marry in Sudan has died, apparently after eating a plastic bag, and not before she, err, gave birth to a kid. What caught my attention was that this became one of the BBC's biggest stories ever, so far as the internet new site is concerned. Truly we live in the end times.

At some point I may return to posting more than random linkage. Just not yet.

Splendid

Apr. 13th, 2007 11:13 pm
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For all of us who occasionally dip into the Have Your Say section of the BBC News Site and watch in horrified fascination, there is now Speak You're Branes (though the address, "ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com" is possibly an even better title.)

A collection of ignorance, narcissism, stupidity, hypocrisy and bad grammar.

All the comments quoted were found on the BBC "Have Your Say" site. Yes, people really have written them. On purpose as far as I can tell.

(Via Booklectic)

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V. good article by Daniel Davies on Comment is Free about the desirability of stasis. With particular reference to large public sector IT systems, but his points apply across the board:

"The phrase "The status quo is no longer an option" is reliably the leper's bell of the modern managerial idiot. It is almost always wrong. Like Status Quo, the status quo is often vastly underrated simply because it is unfashionable. The great thing about the status quo is that it is not any worse than the status quo. Surprisingly few proposals for "radical and far reaching reform" can actually beat this standard."

Comments also worth reading, including in particular DD:

"If anyone thinks I posted this purely in order to start a flamewar with BBC Micro owners, you are right. Face it, your games sucked. Your Dunlop and Fila trainers were crap too."

(It makes sense in context.)

Mitch Benn

Aug. 16th, 2006 02:03 pm
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Via Neil Gaiman, so most people will have seen it anyway, Mitch Benn's Myspace Page"

Including The Myspace Song and "I May Have To Murder James Blunt".

I may just have to murder James Blunt
He's an evil...
and no I must confront.."

In vaguely similar vein, Adam (as in "And Joe") Buxton has some good stuff on YouTube.

Yes I am very juvenile.

Lebanon...

Aug. 4th, 2006 12:39 pm
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Moorish Girl reads about Lebanon. Well worth a look.

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I've been arguing about the cretinous description of three Guantanamo detainees killing themselves as "assymetrical warfare" elsewhere rather than here: the Fafblog engages with the notion as only it can...

they only committed suicide as part of a diabolical ruse to trick the world into thinking our secret torture camp is the kind of secret torture camp that drives its prisoners to commit suicide! This fiendish attempt to slander the great American institution of the gulag is nothing less than an act of asymmetrical warfare against the United States - a noose is just a suicide bomb with a very small blast radius, people! - and when faced with a terrorist attack, America must respond. Giblets demands immediate retaliatory airstrikes on depressed Muslim torture victims throughout the mideast!

Quite.

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My Italian's dodgy to non-existent (ok, I confess, my Italian, like my spanish, consists of making a stab at things from the basis of latin and french), but the Fistful of Euros confirm that Umberto Eco is threatening to leave Italy if Berlusconi is re-elected. Those of us from the UK note with despair that Paul Daniels and assorted others appear to remain resident despite similar threats, frankly I think we'd do marvellously well to trade the lot of them for one Eco...

The Religious Policeman has a rather good crop of posts this month

j4 on the mystical symbols that are Sudoku: I continue to steer clear of its entrapments myself.

Tabouli on apartheid, racism, people jumping to conclusions, and South Africa. Well worth a read.

liadnan: (Default)
[Poll #688337]

Ths sun is shining, yet I called off my planned escape to St Malo. Maybe next week.

In the meantime, with Mr Brown planning to lumber to his feet once more in a few short weeks, work is.. a tad busy. Bah humbug

This has to be a joke, no? (Via Salon via Apostropher on Unfogged: original link possibly not safe for the more puritanical workplace, Apostropher's post is fine and will tell you all you need (?) to know.)

Passed on without comment: a flash advert for sports bras... skip the intro and, well, judge for yourself. This site too may be frowned upon by some employers I suppose.

For those interested in V for Vendetta Gez has a long article up about the original graphic novel (thats two links in as many days, I shall have to start rationing.)

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For those interested, Gez has an interview with Dave McKean about Mirrormask on Film Focus plus a review. And as a result finds himself on Gaiman's journal. The git.

Stayed up way too late watching The Actors on Channel 4 last night. With a bottle of Glenmorangie. Plus I have horrible fencing bruises all over my body. Ughughugh.

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Things like this (via Unfogged via Metafilter etc, and a few months old) give me hope:

Office of the Mayor, Lawrence, Kansas

WHEREAS: Dadaism is an international tendency in art that seeks to change conventional attitudes and practices in aesthetics, society, and morality; and
WHEREAS: Dadaism may or may not have come into being in the summer of 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire at 1 Spiegelgasse in Zürich, Switzerland, with the participation of Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Emmy Hennings, Marcel and Georges Janco, Jean Arp, and Richard Heulsenbeck; and
WHEREAS: The central message of Dada is the realization that reason and anti-reason, sense and nonsense, design and chance, consciousness and unconsciousness, belong together as necessary parts of a whole; and
WHEREAS: Dada is a virgin microbe which penetrates with the insistence of air into all those spaces that reason has failed to fill with words and conventions; and
WHEREAS: zimzim urallala zimzim urallala zimzim zanzibar zimzalla zam;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dennis “Boog” Highberger, Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Kansas, do hereby proclaim the days of February 4, April 1, March 28, July 15, August 2, August 7, August 16, August 26, September 18, September 22, October 1, October 17, and October 26, 2006 as “INTERNATIONAL DADAISM MONTH”
and I encourage all citizens
Dennis “Boog” Highberger
December 27, 2005

I find George Galloway's purported livejournal funny: you may differ. (Via Harry's Place)

Oh, and over on the Fafblog Giblets tells us the seven species of conifer he can never forgive, including The Bristlecone Pine for lying in wait to ambush Giblets for four thousand years and The Western Prickly Juniper for double-crossing Giblets, stranding him in Bangkok and handing over the emerald spider to Alfonse LaFarge and his cabal of undead ninja assassins, not to mention Fafnir's minutes of the desert island sub-committee on whether or not to eat the coconut. (good thing I caught the rather Freudian set of typos on that last word before posting...). And checking back through the archive for the first time in a while I see I missed The Challenge of Soup in a post-9/11 World

I am resisting the temptation to write about Jowell, Mills & Berlusconi. Suffice it to say that leaving aside entirely the political angle, the setup blatantly smells to me like, at best and stretching credibility somewhat, legitimate tax avoidance but quite possibly slipping over into evasion, and also quite possibly money laundering. The only point I can see in their favour at present is the thought "but if so, it's so blatant". Yet we're expected to believe Jowell, in September 2000, not only was so naive as to become the cliche of the woman who happily signs a joint mortgage without thinking about it when her husband asks (a cliche that has given rise to a number of leading cases) but with her husband was actually able to obtain a loan of £400,000 from Hambros without them insisting she took full independent advice to protect their security from a charge of undue influence, at a time when Etridge No 2 was trundling towards the Lords and some years after Barclays Bank v. O'Brien. And then they pay the lot off just over two months later... Just a coincidence, and a chance gift, she says. Now what was that phone number again...

ETA: (for reference) Actually Exists has a good summary of what Mills actually seems to have done.

Cartoons

Feb. 1st, 2006 06:06 pm
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Many are aware already that The Religious Policeman, a Saudi dissident, is well worth reading and often extremely funny. But his take on the Danish cartoons story, particularly today, really deserves attention.

ETA: In the meantime, various newspapers reprint them, for which the editor of France Soir is sacked (by the Egyptian owner). And (via Ritu) the New York president of the World Jewish Congress weighs in with a letter to The Times

I have to wonder whether it would be a criminal offence to print the cartoons in the UK, ECHR not withstanding, had the Government managed to reverse the Lords amendments on the question of incitement to religious hatred. I think there would be a real issue there, which to my mind highlights why it was so important the Government lose that one.

Seems to me it's a grave insult to any religion to suggest that it is so weak it requires threats of penalties under the civil or criminal law or of violence to protect it and the faith of its members from criticism, comment, or satire.

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In commemoration of the chap who fell down the stairs at the Fitzwilliam the other day and bust a trio of 300-year-old Chinese vases the Guardian asks for other smash hits. Horrifying and hysterical, all in one. And then there's the ones from "Moses", the reply from "PC Plod ("Just to let Moses know that we found the aforementioned broken stone tablets and as nobody came forward to claim them, they were auctioned off and sold to the lady at the back with the pink hat for £0.75 who we later found out was a member of Opus Dei and Dan Brown's writing a book all about it"), and Doris who was "dusting the controls of the superlaser in the original deathstar"....

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"Feminism for Bright Young Things" (Sunday Times, possibly not a permanent link). Mainly for my own future reference. To wonder: which is the more significant factor on her aspirations and potential future, not to mention her ability to express herself: the fact the author is a woman or the fact she is currently headgirl at SPGS?

You What

Jan. 20th, 2006 01:14 pm
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Pilot whale spotted in the Thames, above London Bridge.

ETA: now thought to be a northern bottle-nose. This is what I mean about the BBC making silent corrections, see?)

ETFA: Snowmail comments as follows:

This is a day when television simply cannot resist a sensational picture story. For the first time since records began in 1913, a whale has found its way all the way up the Thames past the House of Commons to the salubrious wastes of Chelsea. It’s a northern bottlenose whale. My amateur observations suggest that its size and lack of barnacles render it a relatively young whale -- this is added to the theory that its mother is somewhere off Southend.

It's a sloane whale, isn't it?

Links

Jan. 16th, 2006 01:44 pm
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Two minor placeholders of interest: Lord Phillips of Sudbury (LibDem peer, not to be confused with Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, now LCJ) on ID Card Bill amendments (via Nosemonkey):

"The amendment to be debated today will tap into cross-chamber insistence that resisting calls for estimates of the full costs of such a massive initiative not only prevents proper scrutiny but aborts discussion of alternatives. It also seems to be unprecedented. The Home Office minister Baroness Scotland tried to justify the intransigence on the grounds of commercial secrecy during the tendering process. Besides wondering at the presumption of embarking on tenders long before the bill is through, to think that commercial convenience trumps parliament's right to know is a baleful reflection on our democratic ill-health.

Although the government seeks to pretend otherwise, our ID card project is uniquely vast, complex and intrusive. It risks outscandalising the Eurofighter, the Millennium Dome, the Scottish parliament, the driving licence and NHS computer projects and a host of other less daunting cock-ups. No other nation has essayed a single central database with a file on every citizen over 15.

ETA: and the Lords have indeed put a spanner in the works. Good. I would very much like to see the costing for a start.

And, entirely unconnected, Michael Barrymore is likely to be served with a private prosecution on CBB. Worth noting that the "former solicitor" (and note the former there) is a known nutjob, once described by Nigel Farrage of UKIP (with whom he shares political views) as "eccentric".

ETA: the BBC story has been updated and indicates that Bennett has now delivered the papers to the producers for service. So it may very well be a case of "would Michael please come to the diary room...."

Incidentally, it's vaguely irritating when you link to a BBC story at some time and it's later altered under the same URL, either because of the story developing or because of some error. I can understand why from their point of view they do it, but there should be some way of archiving what the story said at first.

ETFA: This gets better. I am informed, though no link as yet, that the update to the BBC story is incorrect and Channel 4 are refusing to accept service on Barrymore's behalf. Since he has lawyers acting for him, and a known normal residential address I don't see why they can't serve there. Can't be that they really want to serve on prime time television, surely?

Nosemonkey rounds up Bennett's CV here

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Photoshopped Romance Novel Covers (via Itchyfidget). Brilliant. My favourite is probably "I can see right up your nostrils".

TNH and assorted commenters on Making Light on the poetry of Nigerian 419s:
I now salute you in the name of Ghod,
I who a piteous widow must complain.
My son, my joy, arrested by a squad —
And in far Lagos he shall soon be slain..
(James McDonald)

Stan Stankowski on Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground on The Truth About Discovery (mainly for lawyers this one. Not just US though. I have been before Masters where the outcome has been something very close to: Judge (after a whole lot of other crap): You are both hideous little people who fight about nothing. Both of your motions to compel are granted. No fees.

And I've just remembered I have almost a week of Dinosaur Comics, Piled Higher and Deeper and The Fafblog to catch up on. Shame this thing does actually have to be drafted tonight.

ETA: Oh, and Wikipedia, your days are numbered.

liadnan: (Default)

.. while I thnk about my own responses and so anyone else can go play:

Joff asks about laziness, morality, and class as matters arising from yesterday's "Chav" thread.

Frankie writes about style.

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