Thursday, November 30, 2006

Second Amongst Quiz Teams, First Amongst Normal People.

As you can probably guess, we came second in the Mucky Pup quiz. Which was a fine result all round and a great team effort. Special mention for Suzi, who despite not being born in the UK like the rest of the team, was absolutely brilliant at the marathon round which involved saying what dot on a map related to which place name (and this is trickier than you might think, particularly in the Midlands). And a further special mention for not killing the guy sat behind her who kept banging into her chair.

The overall winners of the quiz, or weirdos as I like to think of them, not content with Nick's quiz, actually had their own quiz amongst themselves afterwards! Freaks the lot of them.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Bukkake.

I've been asked to explain what bukkake is, as apparently it wasn't in the dictionary. I'm loathed to do so, but I hope this picture will work by means of explanation.

The Tweenies

Now you've gone and scrubbed your eyes, has anyone else tried singing the phrase "The Tweenies" repeatedly, to the theme tune of "The Sweeney"? It's a particularly good way of annoying the people you work with.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Britain's Unluckiest Man?

According to this article, Britain's unluckiest man, "as a child... fell off a horse and cart and was run over by a delivery van. As a teenager, he fell from a tree and broke his arm. On his way home from hospital - on Friday 13th - the bus he was in crashed, provoking another fracture in the same arm.

Since then, he's been hit by lightning twice, fallen victim to a rock-fall in a mine, has nearly drowned and has enjoyed three car crashes."

To top it all off, he recently fell down a manhole. I mean, who does that in real life? They've stopped doing that in comedy shows as no-one ever does it - like skidding on a banana skin - and now this! He's probably going to die while looking at a grand piano shaped shadow getting bigger on the street beneath his feet.


Winning Quiz Team Name

"I Bet That You Look Good On Rohypnol"

Easy target (Arctic Monkeys + Date Rape drug) won £5! Didn't do too well in the actual quiz itself, mind. Still, there was only the two of us, and the one that wasn't me is originally from Botswana, so not particularly good at knowing who Trevor & Simon are.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fucked Company

When I used to work for Demon Internet, and the internet bubble was just about to burst for the first time, there was a fantastic website set up by a guy called Pud. On it, people would send in information about how badly their company was doing, and often send the internal memos detailing just how fucked. As the industry came crashing down - handily about a month after Demon were listed on the Stock Exchange - Fucked Company would become a sad and depressing read of businesses in freefall. Entertaining if you weren't directly involved, but sad nonetheless.

Since I stopped working for Demon, I kinda stopped paying too much attention to how badly certain companies were doing - with the notable exception of Demon itself. So I was pleased and surprised to see the name of Pud appear on the blogspot dashboard. Surely this couldn't be *the* Pud? Well, it is. And he's still an entertaining read, but now he seems to have turned into some kind of agony uncle. You can read him here. And I think you should, he's kinda a nicer version of Maddox.


Kramer Joins The Klan

I don't know if you've ever watched "Seinfeld", but this spectacular piece of racism from the co-star Michael Richards, who played Kramer, may make you review your opinion. And I promise you it is him.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

"Suspect Nation"

Just watched "Suspect Nation" on More4 this evening. Nothing surprising from my point of view - apart from the fact they actually got the CCTV footage they requested from the Houses of Parliament - and I'm not sure enough people will have seen it who didn't already know of the problems discussed in it. Of which there were many, particularly in regard to the RFID enabled passports and ID Cards.

Which is disappointing. Particularly when you consider the dumbing down of the popular science strands - such as Horizon, which recently had Danny Wallace investigating whether chimps can understand language and should be classified as people - and the lack of hard-hitting journalism on the main terrestrial channels. Celebrity Big Brother or the X Factor, yes, stuff that is actually important, hell no, check out one of the minority channels instead.

The most interesting thing - from my point of view - was how the "No Fly List" used by the Americans to decide who can fly into and around the US, contained people who disagreed with the current government's position. Not terrorists in any way shape or form, but people like Senator Teddy Kennedy.

The War Against Terror (and the acronym sums up those who introduced it) has been used to introduce the majority of Civil Liberty infringing laws in both the UK & the USA. Unfortunately, these laws are now being used to restrict the populations of these countries from complaining about the changes. And there has never been a debate about how the Civil Rights - which have been in place since the signing of the Magna Carta - have been removed.

300 million people in the US alone had their telephone conversations monitored by their own government. That's a lot of people.

"Beneath Iraq And A Hard Place"

Annoyingly, "Suspect Nation" was followed by "Beneath Iraq and a Hard Place". I say annoyingly as I'm not sure how many people would have watched this either. Which is a shame as this was also an excellent piece of investigative journalism, into how American companies have profiteered out of Iraq and how 98% of the money sent into Iraq is unaccounted for. That's 98% of nearly $1billion just washing around somewhere in Iraq or, indeed, anywhere in the world. Yet if you transfer more than £1000 from your bank account to the Middle East, you're probably going to be investigated by the CIA.

Haliburton, under the auspices of Dick Cheney, had gas turbine generators sent in to produce electricity. Unfortunately, Iraq has never been a large producer of natural gas, so these turbines had to be changed to use low-grade oil at increased expense and for much lower electricity output. The companies who oversaw this are immune from any potential lawsuits from Iraq, so will never have to pay a cent toward the added costs they've caused.

The US have now stated they never intended to fully re-build Iraq after the invasion and that it was supposed to be "a jump start". Hundreds of thousands of people have died, cities around the world have been put at risk, and billions of dollars spent on a mission that was never intended to be completed.

$200bn has been wasted in Iraq due to the lack of planning prior to the invasion. As the late, great, Bill Hicks said, "the amount of money spent on weapons every day would be enough to feed and clothe the entire world many times over, without missing a single person out. We could then investigate space - both inner and outer - and go ahead as one to the stars."

Amen to that.


Note To Self

When setting up your shiny new 8Meg DSL, remember to turn the wireless security settings on. Which will stop one of your neighbours from leeching 12Gb of your monthly download amount in less than a week.


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New Update On Becca/Bob

There's a new update on Becca, received this morning from her father, which can be read here.

Please keep giving as much as you can afford to the "You Can Be An Angel" appeal, and please remember to send Becca a card - either Xmassy and/or something funny - whenever you can.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Picture Of A Tree Outside Vegas


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A for Average

Watched more television than usual last night while I was fixing our new and shiny Zen DSL through my old and weary D-Link router. First up, the final episode in this series of "Spooks"(BBC1).

I've gotten more into this than I'd ever planned to because of my flatmate watching it. And it's been okay. Particularly enjoyed the visual motif last week of the lead female character (I don't know who is who) covering her face in milk. Apparently it sorts out the effects of tear gas. It also resembles bukkake.

(Can I suggest that anyone who doesn't know what bukkake is DOESN'T look it up on the internet. You'll thank me after you've looked it up in a dictionary.)

Anyway, "Spooks". Worst CGI Ever. It's in the last ten minutes. You'll work out for yourself which bit I'm laughing at. Also, least convincing ending ever. As my flatmate pointed out, if they'd ended it a couple of minutes earlier the contract negotiations for the next series would have been interesting.

Then, "A for Andromeda"(BBC4), which was a re-make of the original. The death scenes were tragically short (particularly the one for Jane Asher) and the subsequent jumps ahead in time made it seem as though people were getting over other people's deaths all too easily.

I don't think the BBC actually increased the set or costume budget from the original's either, with half of it appearing to have been filmed in one of the BBC's corridors. The external stuff had lots of "that's been added on a computer" effects - especially when the astoundingly young Jay Kay-alike playing the serious scientist is walking past one of the frequent ambulance visits.

Anyhoo, the BBC didn't mess with the original material too badly, and I think this was to its detriment. Whole plotlines started and then were never mentioned again (the mysterious American on the Moors), the months flew past in moments (without anyone even changing clothes), and the ending still doesn't work.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ha, You Stupid Mackem Twat

A man from Sunderland was found with a bleeding colon after trying to launch a rocket from his arse.



After many, many weeks of trying, we finally won the Mucky Pup pub quiz last night!

At the end of the first half we were about fourth or fifth, behind the brilliantly named "Quiz Team Aguillera", despite us only getting four questions wrong. The marathon round this week was photos of famous people when they were young. We did pretty badly at this - but not as badly as everyone else as it turned out.

Some of the ones we got right were a young Eminem and a young David Frost (who looked a lot like Mark E. Smith does now). Some of the ones we got wrong were spectacular. Zoe Ball? Nope, Leonardo di Caprio. Jimmy Hill? No, that would be John Cleese. Margaret Thatcher? No, that is Germaine Greer. Her off Trinny & Susannah? No, *that* is Margaret Thatcher. My favourite of the evening though was one we thought was; Maureen off "Driving School"; Anne Robinson, or, Ann Widdicombe. That would be a young Demi Moore...

There's some of the pictures (including the Demi Moore one) here

Music round went fairly well, and we pretty much cleaned up on the final round - Teen Pop Bands. A fantastic team effort getting the names of all the members of The Monkees, only let down by Hanson's insistence that "Something Tells Me I'm Into Something Good" was by the Beach Boys.

Anyway, £60 between 6 of us, isn't a bad return.


Monday, November 06, 2006


For those of you not sticking with the Doctor Who spin-off (and anagram) Torchwood, or those lucky individuals who haven't seen it, The Register have a parody which serves as a perfect reason to continue avoiding it. Those of you who have seen it can also enjoy a fairly accurate version of the opening episode.

I think I've seen four episodes of Torchwood now, and I'm only watching it because I keep thinking "this cannot get any worse, oh, wait, it has". This is proper car-crash television.

Well done to all concerned.


Politically Advantageous

Does it strike anyone as suspicious that Saddam Hussein be sentenced to death the weekend before the American mid-term elections? I'll be properly skeptical of this if/when the no doubt long and protracted appeal process ends in defeat, and Saddam's execution *just* before the Presidential elections in a couple of years.

I'm no fan of Saddam Hussein - he started as a puppet of the American Government who gave him lots and lots of weapons so he could try and destabilise the Iranian government, and then the Americans ignored his systematic abuse of his own citizens letting him become the murderous dictator we all know and love - but surely he should be given a better trial than the one he got?

His defence lawyers were murdered, replaced, murdered, replaced and murdered once more. Then the trial judge was replaced at least once. Yet at no point was the trial stopped or re-started. Why wasn't he tried in The Hague? The EU are condemning the capital punishment part of the judgement, but seem to be ignoring some fundamental flaws in the trial itself.

I'm pleased to note that Amnesty International are also voicing their concerns about this, here. Unfortunately, Dubya's view is that this is a brilliant result for everyone. That's the same George Bush who oversaw the execution of 154 people, so hardly a surprise.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Quick Post About Football

There's been precious little to cheer about this season if you're a Newcastle United fan. Shearer retires. Owen gets injured at the World Cup and it'll be amazing if he plays again this season. Ameobi is likely to need a hip operation and may not play after January. Dyer gets nearly fit (after about a decade out) then manages to injure himself in training by running into a pole(!) and misses some more games. Given is injured, then his replacement (Harper) gets injured in the next match.

So when Newcastle flew out to play Palermo (joint leaders in the Italian Serie A) for a UEFA Cup match and we left Carr, Duff, Emre and Martins back home - as well as the injured mentioned above - I have to admit I wasn't expecting anything apart from a loss.

As George Michael so nearly said "I should've had faith". We won!

Okay, there'll be more posts soon about privacy being removed, banks being arses, the US being the new Roman Empire, and terror being the new control over the population, but for the minute, let me enjoy Newcastle winning something. Ta.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Surveillance Society

A report today (discussed here) has confirmed that Britain is "the most surveilled country" in the world. So yay us for being number one at something.

The Register has an interesting piece about the report as well (here) which does seem to be saying that if you treat someone like a criminal, they're more likely to become a criminal. You can be considered a criminal by simply ticking a number of boxes on some databases that you have no control over. And you can feel like you're a criminal by having your every move monitored and being forced to carry an ID Card. So that's a win-win situation then.

Don't panic though, it's apparently not a conspiracy, just a worrying development caused by being in power. So that's alright then.


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