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Via Liberal England:

[BBC]: A convent in Italy is being shut down after a fight between its last three remaining nuns.

So badly did relations deteriorate between the sisters of Santa Clara in Bari that the Mother Superior ended up in hospital with scratches to her face. [cont]

Somehow neither these nuns nor the ones convinced their Mother Superior is possessed by the BVM seem to fit with my memories of those I knew as a child. Though come to think of it, in most fights I’d have put my money on the Poor Clare known affectionately (and, frankly, accurately) as The Fat Nun*.

*It was a closed order but she was her convent’s external nun, charged with being its link to the outside world. Which meant she was to be found at almost every social event, enthusiastically collecting gossip.

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... in England, given the so-cunningly-timed introduction of the ban on smoking, are clearly the Clerk of the Weather's attempt to prove he has a truly unpleasant sense of humour. Either that or punishment for Gordon Brown. (But I thought Gordon Brown was our punishment for Tony Blair.)

Never mind. I shall persist in my stand against this government's roughshod trampling of civil liberties.. oops, sorry, wrong page, that's a rant for another day about something or other. I may not like the ban but this (the petition for JR referred to in the post, not the post itself, obvs) is clearly balls and I hope the costs order reflects that.

Going back to the weather, I bet the AELTCC wish they'd pulled their collective fingers out re sorting out that roof on the show courts at Wimbledon. This must be shaping up as one of the worst Wimbledons, weatherwise, of recent history, and I suspect I am not the only one whose interest has waned as a result.


Mar. 22nd, 2007 06:23 pm
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It appears (from Snowmail) that the Jamaican police are to announce they will be treating Woolmer's death as murder: apparently he had a broken neck. Far too early to draw any conclusions, but I can't help wondering if some nasty things in the state of international cricket are about to come to light. Apparently there is already chatter of a match-fixing ring.

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Prompted by Oursin I have just been poking around the Downing Street Petitions site. I finally broke at this one. Although I could have been convinced to sign up for this one.

The British Library one, which sparked Oursin's original visit, I happily signed, incidentally.

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Your daily terror threat analysis. I for one will be signing up. It can go into the "random" folder, along with Snowmail, B3TA, and Popbitch. Another step more ludicrous every day...

I was promised flying cars, not a daily terror-level email.

I was tempted to add something crude about the expression on Dame Elizabeth Manningham-Butler's face in the photograph, but we are all grown-up and above such things. Aren't we?


Dec. 13th, 2006 06:23 pm
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Someone has created an anonymous journal to preserve for posterity yesterday's bizarre account of "My Tornado Hell" in the London Evening Standard. It takes rare genius to cause me to lose sympathy for someone who has, after all, seen their home destroyed, but she almost manages it... Every sentence a gem, though the narrow frontrunner is probably:

"He said we could stay in a hotel. Adrian explained that there is only one hotel in London: Claridge's. Simon did not demur. And he loved what's left of our specialist-polished plaster walls".

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Gunter Grass has admitted that he served in the Waffen SS

As Moorish Girl says, WTF?

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Words fail. (via The Sharpener)

"I don't think Israel is really bombing Lebanon. I think it's faulty construction that's causing these buildings to fall."

Blibble. I think my brain just fell out.

Elsewhere, George R. R. Martin is refreshing (see also his previous post for context).

A thought from another place I read... how long before we start to worry about orally ingested explosives. Or worse: those anal (and vaginal) probes GRRM mentions may be on the cards in the not too distant future.

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Mark Stephens on The Times Law Blog on the Orgasmic Asbo granted this week in Newcastle.

I started several paragraphs but have to admit to being somewhat lost for words. I mean, what are the terms of the ASBO? "You shall not have a noisy orgasm"? Breach of an ASBO is, of course, a criminal offence.

In the mean time, Chris Bertram on Crooked Timber, and Gary Slapper and Mark Stephens (again, and rather more succinctly than Slapper) put the boot in on Blair's plans to "rebalance the criminal justice system", reminding him of this little thing called the presumption of innocence, and the difference between a suspect and a convicted criminal.

Dear God

May. 24th, 2006 06:44 pm
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I think faced with an event such as this of antiotter's I'd hit the whisky collection. Very heavily. Fortunately I think it highly unlikely that either K or the elderly lady who lives on the other side keep .44 magnums in the house.

Via Ergates.

Ho hum

May. 10th, 2006 04:02 pm
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Apparently I shall be in Avignon from Wednesday to Saturday next week. Ho hum.

The flights for this little jaunt cost considerably less than those for the round day trip to Jersey on business on Tuesday. Madness.
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(Via The Fistful of Euros): Belarus Today

Forward elements of the 1st Motorized Division have entered the outskirts of Minsk, and have overwhelmed the light opposition they have faced. The 3rd Airborne Brigade remains firmly in control of central Minsk. However, in the last ten minutes we have experienced multiple attacks from what appear to be Belarusian Air Force aircraft.

Minsk is burning.

Not until you reach the bottom of the page do you find "This website is part of a foreign policy simulation. The events depicted are not actually taking place."

(ETA: Since the real news looks like this it may only be a matter of time.)

Quick Q

Mar. 6th, 2006 01:46 pm
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A very sketchy check of google, technorati, and BBC News would seem to indicate that bird flu has somehow slipped into being old news. Have we given up worrying about it, or just resigned ourselves to being Doomed?

liadnan: (Default)

From yesterday's Snowmail:

The Taliban are alive and well and still oppressing people in Afghanistan no matter what the British or Afghan governments might claim and tonight we'll show you the proof in the form of one incident caught on camera.

It all takes place in wilds of Helmand province - where thousands of British troops are being deployed to try to bring order and tackle the poppy fields. The Taliban in Helmand have been waging a campaign against education - burning schools, attacking teachers, terrorising all concerned.

An independent team working for Channel 4 News in Helmand got a tip off that such an attack was underway and went to film it in progress as a group of Taliban set fire to a school. Incidentally it is worth mentioning the Taliban were clearly Afghans and not foreigners from Pakistan as is often claimed by President Karzai.

While our team were filming the Taliban attack a group of Afghan armed police arrived to defend the school. Chaos ensued in which most of the Taliban got away, our team got beaten up and the school got burned. And this is the chaos our soldiers are walking into.

On the BBC website now:

Bush praises Afghanistan progress

US President George W Bush has praised the progress of Afghan democracy on his first visit to the country, where the US helped eject the Taleban in 2001.

On a surprise first stop of his maiden trip to South Asia, Mr Bush told Afghan President Hamid Karzai his country was "inspiring others".

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"When five-year-old Jehan Martin was murdered in 1457, the culprits were quickly apprehended, imprisoned and brought to trial. The case followed the normal procedure for such a serious crime, except in one important respect: the accused were pigs. Following the customs of the Burgundian court that dealt with the matter, the pigs' owner was invited to make representations "concerning the punishment and execution of justice" against the animals. He waived this right and the prosecutor demanded the death penalty. The judgment that followed was unusually tricky, since one of the animals appeared to be more culpable than the others. The child was killed by a sow in the presence of her six piglets. These were stained with blood at the scene of the crime but there was "no positive proof that they had assisted in mangling the deceased". After consulting with local experts[*] the judge ruled that the sow should be executed. A hangman was brought from a neighbouring town to hang the beast by its hind legs from an oak tree. The verdict on the piglets was less severe. They could return to their owner if he was prepared to vouch for their future behaviour and present them in court "should further evidence be forthcoming to prove their complicity in their mother's crime". The owner refused these terms and the pigs were forfeited to a local noblewoman. It appears that their subsequent conduct was blameless and no further punishments were needed."

Darren Oldridge, Strange Histories: the trial of the pig, the walking dead, and other matters of fact from the medieval and Renaissance worlds chap. 3 citing E.P Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (1906 repr 1987) and E. Cohen, "Law, Folklore, and Animal Lore", Past and Present 110 (1986)

[*] This was a recognised area of expertise?

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You WHAT? -Journal entry leads to FBI/CIA investigation. At least, so the author says: I know nothing about her but it seems an unlikely story to make up and from the rest of her journal she seems sane... (Link from Quixotic Kitten)

Some other links, that in my painkiller fuelled world seem to connect in some way to paint a picture of a seriously fucked-up world:

Bush website blocked outside North America (and see also Crooked Timber)

The fallout from what I continue to think was a rather twattish idea of the Grauniad's.

And on a rather different note, Queen of the Sky suspended by Delta for "inappropriate" photographs on her blog (no one seems entirely sure what was so inappropriate about them).

ETA that it is now time for episode 2 of The Power of Nightmares

Edited to further add, because they seem to belong here, two other bits from Crooked Timber:

The ridiculous row about Charlie Brooker's throwaway comment in the Guardian listings mag;

and On bombing Fallujah because they "won't hand over Zarquawi".

"I am, as a result haunted by a nightmare in which I am flying in a helicopter gunship above the town of Fallujah, looking down on the wrecked buildings and bodies below. I find myself having a conversation, through a megaphone, with one of the residents:

Me: Just hand over Zarqawi and we’ll let you live!
Resident: OK! OK! We’re having a bit of trouble finding him!
Me: A likely story! Bomb them again, Lurch!
Resident: Could you just give us a hand? Like maybe tell us where in Fallujah he’s staying?
Me: I don’t know. But we have excellent intelligence that tells us that you’re harbouring him! Bomb that coffee shop, Lurch, it looks like an ammo dump!
Resident: Well, what does he look like?
Me: Everyone knows what Zarqawi looks like! You’re just playing for time! Bomb him again!
Resident: Well, how many legs does he have? Give us something to work with here!

And at that point I wake up, screaming."

liadnan: (Default)

About a week ago I was wandering up to the bridge at Primrose Hill, in a daze as ever at around seven on a working day, when I noticed a Royal Mail post cart in the communal carpark of some flats, just short of the bridge. Unsurprisingly I thought no more of it, and continued on my merry way.

A few days ago I saw two of the carts, about three hundred yards further along the way to my flat, again abandoned and empty.

They sat there for a couple of days, occasionally changing position but never moving far. I wondered if someone was making a rather dull artistic statement.

On my way home tonight, I found a third one. Just outside my flat.

I'm scared.

Croydon tomorrow, an application in the High Court on Wednesday and a trial Thursday and Friday. Joy joy.

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Once again, Christ on a bike... (link via Rainstorm).

LAX or Checkpoint Charlie circa 1970: you decide.

On a more amusing note (via Neil Gaiman) thousands of Christians (for certain values of Christian) plan to move to South Carolina and then secede from the union. As Gaiman notes, it is unclear what the current population of South Carolina think about this.

On a final note, days spent arguing against litigants in person are somewhat tiring. And I have a full day's trial on something rather more substantial tomorrow...

Edited to add a small theological point on the Christian Exodus people.... they say their definition of Christianity is as wide as possible, but I notice they've included the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. Well, that excludes the Catholic and, to the best of my knowledge, Orthodox churches...


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