Wednesday, July 30, 2008

IT - It's All About Cooling

As is so often the case, when your computer goes kaput, it's likely to be down to the failure of one small fan. The same applies, apparently, to the UKTV servers.

Hat-tip to DailyWTF via Timmy

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You're Next!

A colleague of mine has just rung up to tell us he'd found a USB drive lying around in an airport in Ireland. Nothing terribly unusual in that, mine falls off my lanyard about once a month. What was unusual though was the contents on the one he found.

A completely non-encrypted drive, with nice easy to read Word documents etc, showing Next's entire catalogue for next season and who was going to be sacked across the company.


If anyone from Next - who his wife called to tell them about this, but they have so far failed to ring her back - would like this dongle returned, please contact me via the comments.


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This Is Newcastle, Man!

Okay, so not as glamorous as shouting "This is Africa", but with a similar disregard for laws as the former colonies.

Newcastle's drinking culture has come under the spotlight today, with the Spy Bar in Jesmond selling bottles of strong lager for just 10p each. And yes, 10p is still a lot of money in Newcastle, thanks for asking.

Anyway, note the slight change in outlook between the BBC's interview:
Spy's owner, Mr Handa, said: "The bottles were being sold at full price months ago, but they were no longer on sale. Two or three cases, or 36 bottles, were later found behind the bar and were sold off at the cheap price, but they were limited to one per person and only offered to regular customers. There was certainly no promotion, no adverts or anything like that."
and that from the Metro.
Spy Bar spokesman said: "I don't think we have been irresponsible at all. We were given two crates of beer by the brewery and just wanted to get rid of it. If people are drinking too much alcohol that is their choice."
It most certainly is. Although for some reason (surely not bandwagon jumping?) the local police and council now want to get involved.

Police Supt Dave Wormald said: "Northumbria Police is committed to tackling alcohol-related disorder. My neighbourhood officers will be speaking to the management at this establishment to take the appropriate course of action to discourage them from offering such promotions." And if I were the management I'd be telling you to get out of my premises.

Councillor Anita Lower, executive member for community safety and regulation (which is surely the most pointless job title you've heard in quite some time) at Newcastle City Council, said the bar's management would be "invited to meet the council's licensing committee". Again, if I was invited to the City council, I would be telling them to fuck off out of my business.

What the bar did - regardless of how they did it - is not illegal. The big supermarkets do this sort of thing all the time (have you seen any wine advertised as £7.99 a bottle, £10 for 3?) and keep getting away with it. Bars are having huge problems getting anyone into them; the smoking ban and the public perception of a credit crunch are not ideal conditions for welcoming people to a night out.

This twunt - another Doctor, who can presumably afford £30 bottles of Claret - has a different idea though. (From the Metro article):
Dr Christopher Record, who works at Newcastle's Freeman and Royal Victoria Infirmary hospitals, said: 'The offer is absolutely monstrous. It's totally irresponsible, one bottle of that beer contains 2.8 units of alcohol and they are charging the equivalent of 4p for a unit.' The doctor added he wanted to see new laws making it illegal to sell alcohol for less than 50p a unit.
Now that, I believe would be called price fixing. And that is most definitely illegal.

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Blank Passports Going Cheap!

The BBC are reporting that a batch of 3000 blank passports has been snatched during their delivery from Manchester to London.

The Foreign Office admitted a serious breach of security over the loss of the passports and visa stickers, which were being sent to embassies overseas.

However, the passport service said the stolen documents could not be used by thieves because of their hi-tech embedded chip security features. The passports were the new electronic variety which contain a chip replicating the data printed on the document itself.

Well that's a relief. Because obviously no-one has shown the flaws in the new e-passport, have they? So it must be "secure" in a sense I'm not familiar with.

And correct me if I'm wrong here, but not every country in the world is going to have the necessary equipment for reading the passports anyway. So if you're travelling to say, Australian Samoa by boat, how high exactly are the odds of your passport being checked using the e-passport reader?

Ah, I've worked out the meaning of "secure". It means that we in the UK are, while the rest of the world who can't afford the e-passport reader are now open to 3000 potential terrorists. Well that makes me feel a whole load safer.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Stop Having Children Or The Planet Dies

From the Register, an article about the attempt of two doctors to reduce the population of the UK. Sadly, there's no Harold Shipman type slaughter of the elderly being proposed. Wonderfully, however, they do recommend a reduction in the number of children - so it's not all bad news after all.

And while I would normally support such a call for less children, I have some reservations. Because the doctors are suggesting that controls are needed because kids cause carbon emissions and, therefore (at least in their eyes) climate change. The ecopalypse! Noes! We're all going to die!

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there. The two medics suggest that choosing to have a third child "is the same as buying a patio heater or driving a gas-guzzling car" and that "GPs should advise their patients against it". Yes, you did read that right - Doctors are comparing children with consumer goods. How splendid is that? It makes my heart swell to hear the medical profession talk in such loving terms.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, John Guillebaud (emeritus professor of of family planning at UCL) and Pip Hayes (a GP) raise the spectre of global population explosion, and suggest that the children of the developed world are a particularly severe carbon burden.

You think? I have three words to say to you: Too. Fucking. Late.

There is no "spectre" of a population explosion, there's already been one. If you're over 40 years old (and thankfully I'm not quite old enough to be in this group) the population of the planet has DOUBLED since you were born. I am old enough to remember being taught there were 5 billion people on Earth - the figure now is around 6.75 billion.

There are too many people on this damn planet. To quote Bill Hicks; "How about we take a moment out of our frenzied rutting to work out the whole food/air deal, huh?"

While some - China - have set limits on the number of children a family can have, and the birth rate has fallen in most Western countries, family size in third world/developing countries has actually increased.

In 1984, when Band Aid exhorted us to "thank God it's them instead of you", there were 42 million in Ethiopia and 8 million of them were starving. There are now 78 million people in Ethiopia, and 10 million are starving. When Band Aid suggested we "feed the world", I think they would have been better advised to teach family planning.

From the Country Studies site of the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress (as part of the Country Studies/Area Handbook Series sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Army between 1986 and 1998) a short paragraph giving some insight into why this may have happened.
In 1990 officials estimated the birth rate at forty-five births per 1,000 population and the total fertility rate (the average number of children that would be born to a woman during her lifetime) at about seven per 1,000 population. Census findings indicated that the birth rate was higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Ethiopia's birth rate, high even among developing countries, is explained by early and universal marriage, kinship and religious beliefs that generally encourage large families, a resistance to contraceptive practices, and the absence of family planning services for most of the population. Many Ethiopians believe that families with many children have greater financial security and are better situated to provide for their elderly members.

Analysts believed that reducing the population growth rate was a pressing need, but one that could only be addressed through a persistent and comprehensive nationwide effort over the long term. As of early 1991, the Ethiopian regime had shown no commitment to such a program.
Funny that, as feuding tribes (and Ethiopia was at war with two different countries during the 90s) don't really like this option. Unfortunately, religions don't like this option either. Both for the same reason, weirdly. If there's less people on your "team" then there's more chance of you being taken over/killed by the opposition. This "breeding for God" approach does no-one any favours.

Sadly, using the fear of the ecopalypse to encourage people to breed less also fails to do much good.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

How Not To Name Your Child

Something from yesterday that I didn't get time to do, a child in New Zealand has had her name changed by a judge. Her parents had initially named her Talula Dances The Hula From Hawaii. Which is quite some name.

Judge Rob Murfitt said that the name embarrassed the nine-year-old and could expose her to teasing. No shit, you think? "The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name," Judge Murfitt wrote. "It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."

"New Zealand does not allow names that would cause offence or that are longer than 100 characters" Registrar-General Brian Clarke said. "Officials often tried to talk parents out of particularly unusual choices that could embarrass their offspring" the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

Which is fair enough, when some people have attempted to call their children: Yeah Detroit; Stallion; Twisty Poi; Keenan Got Lucy; Sex Fruit; Fat Boy; Cinderella Beauty Blossom; Fish and Chips (twins)

However, this does fall down slightly when you see the names they have actually let through: Violence; Number 16 Bus Shelter*; Midnight Chardonnay; Benson and Hedges (twins)

Strange people, Kiwi's, strange people.

* I'm presuming this nomenclature is similar in rationale to Brooklyn Beckham's, although obviously a great deal less glamorous

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South Central

Not Los Angeles's infamous suburb, but the wild lands that are South London.

Following on from last week's mob attack on two policemen who tried to get a girl to pick up litter, news today of a woman being slashed by a 10 year old boy who wanted a cigarette off her.

The woman, in her 50s, was confronted by the boy and his friend outside Selhurst railway station in south London on Wednesday. He tried to grab a lit cigarette from her mouth and attacked her when she shouted back at the pair. Passers-by rushed to her aid as she bled heavily from the wound which was inflicted with a craft knife or razor.

South London: it's the place to be, I tell you.

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Fined For Smoking In Own Van

As someone who drives a van, this article worried me slightly.

I consider the van to be my own private space. Anything I do in it that doesn't harm anyone else outside of the van, I consider to be reasonable behaviour. I would extend that to "has the potential to harm anyone outside the van" to rule out me drink driving or under the influence drugs, but as the emissions from the van would probably cause some people to have an asthma attack, I can't fully commit to that proviso.

However, Ceredigion Council would appear to think somewhat differently.
Gordon Williams, a painter and decorator, says he had popped to the shops earlier this month, when he was pulled over by council officials carrying out spot checks on the safety of vehicles. "I was told that because my van is my place of work I had broken the smoking laws," he said. His vehicle, an unmarked blue Suzuki Carry van, is "not my place of work - I decorate houses not vans."
Good point that man.

He believes it is the first ticket of its kind handed out by the council since the smoking regulations came in last year - the fixed penalty notice was number 0001. Mr Williams' wife Sue has already paid the fine - of £30 - fearing it would increase if not settled promptly. Which it would, to £50.

Simon Clark, the director of smoking freedom group Forest, condemned the fine as "absolutely ridiculous". He said:
"It smacks of some jobsworth council official interpreting the law to the most extreme level. This surely is not what the change in the law was intended for - it was not meant to harass and persecute people going about their ordinary lives. It is ridiculous that someone should be fined for smoking in their own private vehicle away from any workplace."
Ceredigion Council said they could not comment on individual cases. Which is a shame as I'd just love to hear the justification for this.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Yesterday was the last day of term for MPs, who are now on their annual Summer holidays for a spectacular 76 days. If you thought teachers had a long holiday, try becoming an MP! Not only do you get paid so much more for doing so much less, you also get the opportunity to be a truly hypocritical bastard.

While coming out in droves to announce that there will be a clampdown on the alcohol industry and a forced end to "happy hours", MPs themselves enjoy the types of bar prices that the rest of us can only dream about. Oh, and they can also smoke while getting hammered at our expense, so that surely makes the whole thing more enjoyable, eh?

Compare this press release from ALMR that has uncovered hidden statistics which show the House of Commons Refreshment Department operated on a subsidy of £5.5 million of taxpayers’ money in the 2007/08 financial year, equivalent to total annual tax receipts from 35 pubs. When you've finished reeling in horror from that little statistic, check out the following:
Given the level of subsidy, it is unsurprising that MPs can enjoy much cheaper drinks than their constituents. A pint of Foster’s in Stranger’s Bar costs £2.10, compared with a national average of £2.80 (33% higher) and a London average of around £3.00 (43% higher). A House of Commons 8-year-old Scotch costs £1.35, while our politicians can enjoy a Pimm’s on the Thames-side terrace for just £1.65.
With the following report on the BBC which says Ministers have told the drinks industry to act more responsibly or face new laws governing alcohol sales.
Interim findings (of the government's review of the impact of pricing on alcohol consumption by Sheffield University) published to coincide with the consultation suggested cheap prices encouraged increased consumption in the young and heavy drinkers.

Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and chairman of the UK Alcohol Health Alliance, pointed out one in four adults is drinking more than the recommended daily amount.

"This is not just something affecting a small minority, it is not about the binge-drinking culture, it is affecting a large part of society. If we don't get to grips with it, it will have serious health repercussions.

"The key to tackling this is price. Alcohol is too cheap and that has driven up consumption."
Which does tend to support the ALMR press release which says:
The subsidy, not published in the House of Commons’ Annual Accounts, was £693,000 higher than in 2006/07, a 15% increase.
So despite (or perhaps because of) the low prices, the Houses of Parliament subsidy has increased in the past year. Yet these bastards are demanding an end to cheap booze in pubs and supermarkets!

Utter cunts.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

BBC Having A Laugh, Again

The BBC initially headlined that today's report by the Charity Commission into the Smith Institute had cleared them of too many connections to the Labour Party. Bloomberg had a slightly different slant on that report. The BBC have now amended the headline, probably because the original one wasn't entirely true. And you wonder why some people think the BBC is a bit biased towards Labour...

Now, on the Magazine page, there's an article saying that there are "Reasons to be Cheerful" in the current economic climate.


I have responded to said article with the following:
Good grief, was this written for you by a Government minister?

The elderly are getting wealthier are they? I'm sure the many pensioners in fuel poverty would be delighted to hear that. As well as the ones unable to pay the ever-increasing Council Tax.

The employment figures quoted are from May and obviously won't take into account the people made redundant in the building industry over what is normally their busiest times.

The RPI isn't weighted very well and puts too much emphasis on consumer electronics (not regular purchases) when the more major increases have taken place on food and fuel. Consumer electronics have always come down in price over time. Also how can it go down if house prices are still going up as you contend in the first point?

While there has been some over stating of the downturn in the economy, this article is diabolical.
Although I wish I'd asked them how tractor production was going. Or the war with Eurasia, come to that.

Fucking bastards.

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Gordon Brown On The One Show/Knife Crime

Unbelievably, the Prime Minister spent yesterday evening on the comfy sofa of BBC1's 'The One Show'. I say unbelievably, as you'd think the fucker would have more important things to do with his time than being 'interviewed' by Adrian Chiles. And when I say 'interviewed', I mean "thank you for explaining Government aims and policy to us Prime Minister".

Obviously attempting to build on his "stunning" appearance on American Idol, Brown seems to think that by being on a non-political TV show (and note his lack of appearances on Newsnight, Question Time, Daily Politics, or even Channel 4 News) spouting his usual political platitudes, "real people" will believe him. Mind you, Tony Blair did do Richard & Judy, so there is a precedence.

On "The One Show" he re-iterates that carrying a knife should be punished and knife crime eradicated from society. But that he doesn't believe, unlike Cameron, everyone should be jailed. He seems to think that there needs to be more visible policing, but that it needs to be Community Support Officers! Which is ironic, given that just last night three actual policemen were hospitalised by a gang of people who beat them up for asking a girl to pick up some litter.

A more effective approach, I suspect, would be that advocated by the actor Lennie James in an open letter published in the Observer, that I feel needs as much viewing as possible.
To whom it may concern,

My name is Lennie James. I am a 42-year-old father of three. I grew up in south-west London. I was brought up by a single mother. I was orphaned at 10, lived in a kids' home until I was 15 and was then fostered. I tell you this not to claim any special knowledge of how you've grown, but to explain how I have, and from where I draw my understanding.

I want to talk to you about the knife you're carrying in your belt or pocket or shoe. The one you got from your mum's kitchen or ordered online or robbed out of the camping shop. The knife you tell yourself you carry for protection, because you never know who else has got one.

I want to talk to you about what that knife will do for you. If you carry it, the chances are you will be called on to use it. It is a deadly weapon, so if you use it the chances are you will kill with it. So after you've killed with it, after you've seen how little force it takes for sharpened steel to puncture flesh. After your mates have run away from the boy you've left bleeding. When you're looking for somewhere to dash the blade, and lighter fluid to burn your clothes. When your blood is burning in your veins and your heart is beating out of your chest to where you want to puke or cry, but can't coz you're toughing it out for your boyz. When you are bang smack in the middle of 'Did you see that!' and 'Oh, Jesus Christ!' here's who to blame...

Blame the boy you just left for dead. Blame him for not believing you when you told him you were a bigger man than him. Blame him for not backing down when you made your chest broad, bounced into him and told him about your knife and how you would use it. Blame him for calling you on and making you prove yourself. Tell yourself if he had just freed up his phone or not cut his eyes at you like he did, he wouldn't be choking on his blood and crying for his mum.

Then blame your mum. When the police are banging down her door looking for you, or she hears the whispers behind the 'wall of silence', tell her it's all her fault for being worthless. Cuss her out for having kids when she was nothing but a kid herself, or for picking some drug or some man over you again and again. Even if she only had you and devoted herself to you, even if she is a great mum, blame her anyway. Blame her for not being around more to make sure you took the chances she was out working her fingers to the bone to give you.

When you're done with her, blame the man she picked to make you with. Blame him for being less than half the man he should have been. When he comes to bail you out and starts running you down for the terrible thing you've done, tell him straight: 'I did what I did coz you didn't do what you should have done.' Even if he did right; respected your mother, worked to provide for his family financially and spiritually, taught you right from wrong and drummed it home everyday... Even if he nurtured you as best he could, blame him for the generation of men he comes from.

The one that allowed an adolescent definition of manhood to become so dominant. The one that measures a man by how many babymothers he has wrangling his offspring, or by how 'bad' his reputation is on the streets of whatever couple of square miles he chooses to call his 'ends'.

Damn them for letting you believe that respect is to be found with gun in hand or knife in pocket. Damn them and everyone who feeds the myth of these gangsters, villains, thieves and hustlers. Anyone who makes them heroes while damning hard-working, educated, honest men as weak, sell-outs or pussies.

If you are black, blame white people for the history of indignities they heaped on you and yours. For the humiliation of having to go cap-in-hand or get down on bended knee or having to burn shit down before you are afforded something so basically fundamental as equality. If you are white, blame black folk and Muslims for taking all your excuses. Failing that, blame a class system that keeps you poor and ignorant so the 'uppers' and 'middles' can feel better about themselves.

You have good reason to blame them all. I wouldn't be you growing up now for love nor money. Your generation has so little room to manoeuvre. We had more space to step around the bullshit. We weren't excluded at the rate you lot are. Teachers hadn't given up or lost their authority over us. They still tried to protect and guide us even through our most disruptive years.

The police stopped and searched us, but we fought that right out of their hands - we hoped into extinction. But they want to bring back that abusive practice. They are still hooked on punishment rather than prevention. They seem ignorant to the fact that they are feeding you acceptance of an already prevalent gang mentality. As far as you can see, the police are not protecting and serving you, they are coming at you like just another street gang trying to boss your postcode.

When I was where you are now, generations of state agencies, social services, policy-makers and politicians had not abdicated all responsibility for me. We weren't left to our own devices like you have been. Is it any wonder that you end up expressing yourself in such a violently pathetic way?

We should be ashamed. I am. You have shamed us into a desperate need to do something about ourselves. We have collectively failed you and we should take all the blame that is ours for that... but so should you.

I blame you. I blame you because as a generation you are selfish, self-centred and have little or no empathy for anyone but yourselves. You are politically stunted and socially irresponsible and... you scare us. What scares us most is that you would rather die than learn. Your only salvation may be that still most of you aren't playing it out dirty. The vast majority of young men, even with all that is stacked against them, are finding their way around the crap. The boy you will kill, should you continue to carry that knife, almost certainly had the same collective failures testing him. He probably felt no less abandoned and no less scared. He also, almost certainly, wasn't carrying a knife.

Whatever it seems like, whatever you've read, whatever you tell yourself about protection being your reason, statistics show the life you take will be that of an unarmed person. That is what that knife will do for you. It will make you escalate a situation to where it is needed. It will give you a misguided sense of confidence. It will make you the aggressor. That knife will make you use it. It will bring you nothing worth having. There is no respect there. The street may give you some passing recognition, but any name you think you might make will soon be forgotten.

Your victim will be remembered long after you. Name me one of the boys who killed Stephen Lawrence. Once you've bloodied that knife you may as well be dead because you'll be buried for 10 to 20 years. Banged up for that long, only a fool would look back and think it was worth it. You'll be nothing more than a sad, unwanted, unnecessary statistic.

If you were mine, this is what I would tell you. I would make myself a big enough man to beg. I'd get down on bended knees if I had to. I would beg you to take that knife out of your pocket and leave it at home. I would tell you that I know you are scared and lost and that I know the risks involved in what I'm asking you to do. I know that what we could step around, you have to walk through, and that there is always some fool who isn't going to make it any other way but the wrong way. I'm just begging you not to be that fool.

Be a better man than that. Let the story they tell of you be that you exceeded expectations... that you didn't drown. Don't spend your days looking to be a 'bad-man' - try to be a good one. Our biggest failure is that our actions have left you not knowing how precious you are. We have left you unaware of your worth to us. You are precious to us. Give yourself the chance to grow enough to understand why.

Be safe.
Lennie James
Now, ask yourself, who is talking the most sense? Lennie James or Gordon Brown?

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Exactly How The Credit Crunch Happened

But in a slide presentation of stickmen. Best viewed in full screen (click the little icon in the bottom corner)

Hat tip to Obnoxio The Clown (and if you think I swear a lot, you may want to cover your eyes)

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How Many Five Year Olds Can You Take In A Fight?


OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Beat that you fuckers.

Hat-tip to The Devil

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Thanks BBC!

The post I made earlier this morning (about Jacqui Smith's proposal to send knife attackers to see victims in hospital) has become slightly weird if you happen to click the link. Instead of where it went this morning, the BBC are now using that page to showcase Gordon Brown's opinions instead.

Never mind though, because the one-eyed son of a manse can always give comedy quotes.

From where the link goes now we have this wonderful piece of Orwellian prose (my emphasis):
He said stop and search powers would be increased, with more visible policing and 110,000 "problem" families with "disruptive young people" would be dealt with.

These are children who have either been excluded from school, been in trouble with the law or identified as likely to be in trouble later on, Mr Brown said.
So the Government are now going after people who are LIKELY to be in trouble at some unidentified point. Or 'Future Crime' as I think it was called in many a science fiction plot that served to show up the authoritarian nature of the world that lay ahead of us.

Oh dear God, we really are all fucked, aren't we?

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TFL And Their Version Of Time

Click image to embiggen it.

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Jacqui Smith, Please Fuck Off.

The deluded Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith (the woman who didn't give the Police the full payrise an independent pay review panel recommended) is now proposing that people who commit knife crimes should visit the person they attacked in hospital.

Good work there, you dumb bitch.

Few things you might want to consider, and I've only had one cup of coffee today, so there could well be more;

First up, person in hospital might not be terribly thrilled to see their attacker.

Secondly, the attacker would find it quite easy to finish off the job as their victim is likely to be bed-ridden.

Thirdly, the attacker is presumably some sort of street chav and probably up for a bit of thievery - and hospitals aren't renowned for being secure, are they?

Fourthly, your average street chav isn't exactly going to help hospital cleanliness levels are they?

Fifthly, why, if you know who the attacker is, isn't the little cunt in prison? Rather than being out on a jolly to a hospital, wasting more resources being transported there securely (to avoid them fucking off) and presumably monitored the whole time (to avoid points two, three and four).

Madness I tells ya, madness.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Unnecessary Censorship

Just hilarious.

Hat tip to Dizzy

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And You Think I'm Mad?

Via Popbitch comes this truly awe-inspiringly bonkers site,

It is just stunning. And huge. The first page, which will probably take over an hour to read, is just for starters. At the top of the page you'll also find links to many, many more pages of inane ramblings, but I would recommend sticking to the first page you come to.

Some examples;
When I arrived at Heathrow on that fateful day in July of 1998, I was one of a few people carrying a US passport. The question remains why was I the one chosen. It was not random. A member of the few people who lead the United Kingdom was using this system to sexually harass me.
That was when she thinks she contracted Mad Cow Disease.
I still would like one day to return to England, even though Her Majesty, The Queen never liked me, particularly since the divorce. I suggested to Princess Diana that her marriage must be annulled because her husband stood at the altar aware of his plans not to be faithful to her. I also suggested that children of any woman he slept with must undergo a DNA test, especially if these children are older than her sons. After these legal strategies were introduced, the Church, of course, never objected to the divorce, and the Royal Family never again attempted to revoke custody from her. For these reasons, I have never contacted her regarding this.
For an American, she does seem to have quite an obsession with the Royal family.
The White House knew who I was. I am the one they always turn to for help in negotiations strategies. But I receive no payment because Prince William does not want me working full time while being a mother.
Did I mention she also has quite an obsession with Prince William?
The issues involving Prince William's demand of me to return to London are much more emotionally complicated... He sends grapevine subliminal messages through friends and co-workers attempting to lure me with jewelry and other luxuries, while reminding me repeatedly that in five years I will be forty years old - over the reproductive hill. His pre-impregnation demand is that I tolerate his inability to handle my obtaining one of the jobs I have been offered in my field of anthropology.
Like I say, just a slight obsession. Although why she's going into anthropology at all is beyond me, seeing how good she is at weapons & stuff...
When President Billy was considering invading Iraq, I proposed the invention of a bomb that would neutralize the biochemical weapons Saddam Hussein was storing. These are some of my contributions. I have also made personal contributions to the administration of the United Kingdom. I have been laughed at when I asked for payments and instead had to work at the department store which required walking constantly on hard marble floors while I was very sick.
Oh yeah, very sick indeed. Only not in the way you suspect, my dear, but in the mind.

This, while at some points incredibly funny (albeit unintentionally) is really very sad. It is (unless it is a very well done hoax) a statement of mental illness, writ large on the internet for the world to see. Whether anyone has actually done anything about it - like contact her, or section her for her own protection - may be written somewhere amongst the many pages. I doubt it, somehow, that anyone actually cares.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thoughts From Roskilde

First up, wonderful weather for the majority of the festival. This made quite a change from last year's floodfest, although still allowed an absolute downpour just as Jay-Z came on stage. Wonderful timing!

Pick of the bands were The Hellacopters (although added to by the dancing man in front of us), Job For A Cowboy (started well but then got a bit repetitive), Seasick Steve (who needs a MUCH bigger venue next year), Hot Chip (very bouncy in the rain, but NEVER end with 'Nothing Compares 2U' *ever* again), Kings of Leon (more chatty than usual) and Bullet For My Valentine (for encouraging people to crowdsurf in a venue that completely discourages it, not for playing too much off the new album).

The "why?" list of bands included Neil Young (4 songs in 45 minutes, on stage 2.5hours that felt like a week), Gnarls Barkley (doing the only song anyone knows right at the end is pretty cunty behaviour), Grinderman (even Nick Cave fans were disappointed) & The Chemical Brothers (the new stuff is worryingly Kraftwerk-like and the light show was just irritating).

Highlights generally were the happy smiley faces of pretty much everyone there, the range of food (although you might want to order more of the popular stuff next year, eh?) and the atmosphere.

On the downside, there was no shade whatsoever in Get A Tent camping, the snack bars ran out of coffee on the second morning and then closed completely before Jay-Z had really got started, and there really needs to be more places to sit that don't smell of piss.

And yes, I shall be going again next year.

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Racist Toddlers

When "Yuck" can be a racist phrase, apparently.

Via Mr Eugenides, comes this rather depressing report from the BBC about a 336-page guide(!) aimed at helping 'identify potentially racist attitudes in youngsters'.

The guide says: "A child may react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying, 'Yuck!'". That may indicate a lack of familiarity with that particular food, or "more seriously a reaction to a food associated with people from a particular ethnic or cultural community".

Guide author Jane Lane said: "The book is about being alert and asking questions, being sensitive and never attacking a child, but always trying to think about why they may have said or done something."

Because of course, the child wouldn't just say "Yuck" because you were trying to feed it something it didn't like, would it? No, they're all racist! That's the thing with children, they are inherently racist and can immediately tell if you're Muslim as well. Plus, they *just know* that the curry you've given them doesn't come from the right part of India, the organic muesli is an anachronism & the hand-knitted mung beans are fucking disgusting.

For the sake of fuck. Please pass me my gun.

What culinary tradition does the UK actually have? Chicken Tikka Massala is one of the most popular dishes, Thai is increasingly the only option in pubs, fatty foods are frowned upon and nowhere South of Durham does a decent stottie. When was the last time you actually went out for 'an English'?

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Exercising Your Democratic Right

Fellow revolutionary Old Holborn is suggesting taking a spot of exercise on November 5th. Walking from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square then back again, at about midday onwards.

Obviously this route may well pass Downing Street and, given Prime Minister's Questions taking place at 12.30, may afford a possible chance for interaction with Gordon Brown or one of his many lackeys.

I intend to be taking the Government's advice on exercise and strolling in that very area on exactly the same date. I may also be taking Old Holborn's advice and wearing a similar 'V for Vendetta' style get-up. I shall also be making sure that thieves don't have the chance to get their hands on any documents with my identity on it by leaving all of them at home.

Revolution: it's coming your way, soon.

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Define Voluntary

Because if you were to, I doubt it would come out as anything like the definition being used by the Devon & Cornwall Police.

From LPUK a rather depressingly familiar tale of authoritarianism.

Well, in Redruth, Cornwall, 'voluntary' clearly has a new definition to the one I was brought up with. A report in yesterday's Times explains how 'voluntary' curfews are to be imposed on teenagers in the town, with all under 16s required to be off the streets by 9pm.

Police have written to local residents, asking for their co-operation in this 'voluntary' measure. Fair enough, you might think, but what will happen if they don't comply?
"Parents who do not agree to the scheme, and whose children are found out after 9pm, could be subject to parenting or antisocial behaviour orders."
So that would be 'voluntary' in the 'compulsory' sense then.

While I'm all for gangs of menacing teenagers being off the streets and being under the care of their parents or guardians, wouldn't it be more prudent to actually introduce more police? You know, doing what police are supposed to do and stop anti-social behaviour rather than clamping down on the law abiding majority?

This country is fucked.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Back From Roskilde

I am now back from the fabulous Roskilde Festival, and unlike last year, I didn't get soaked to the skin every single time I left the tent.

More about this and other things later today/tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I'm Covered In Bees, Eh?!

With the line from Eddie Izzard, the rather awful pay off. A truck containing twelve million (yes, twelve million) bees over turns in Canada.

My favourite bit (and as there's a video, I was a bit spoiled for choice) was this:
A Canadian journalist who tried to get too close to the overturned truck was stung several times, but no-one has been seriously injured.
Those Canadian journos, eh? Never ones to let getting stung repeatedly by bees in the way of a good story.

And just for good measure, Eddie Izzard, covered in bees.

(Or click here if the video isn't playing)

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