Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things To Do When You Are Bored

There are a lot of websites in the world. Mine is just one of them. I don't read mine every day, as I tend to remember what I wrote. I do, however, read a lot of other people's websites every single day - including some that I refresh repeatedly throughout the day.

These are mostly political blogging sites and technology sites, although I have recently started to check out more and more amusing picture sites. There's the classic LOLCats and the spin-off LOLDogs. There's also the sometimes weird Picture Is Unrelated and the wonderful look at everyday life letting you down FAILblog.

And it is from that last one that I discovered Photobombing. Photobombing is basically where you hijack someone else's photograph. The person taking the photo is (usually) aware that there's some hijacking going on, but the people in it almost definitely aren't. Like this, for example.

However, with the advent of compact digital cameras, there's a pretty good chance that one of the people in the photo will actually be taking the photo, and the photobomber has a great opportunity for hijacking without anyone being the wiser until after the photo has been taken. Like this, for example.

There's also the possibility of an accidental bit of photobombing, where something going on in the background that you weren't aware of at the time, only becomes obvious once the picture is seen in a much larger format than the back of the camera. Like the following two fine examples.

So the next time you see someone taking a photo, bomb it. You know it makes sense.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

An Open Letter To Roskilde Festival

I'm sorry I have to write this, but I need to tell you how unhappy I am with your line-up this year.

Firstly, let me explain my background. I was introduced to Roskilde by The Devil, she rated it as the best festival in the world, and raved about the time she had at the 2006 event (headliners Bob Dylan, Guns & Roses, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, sub-headliners Primal Scream, Kaizer Chiefs, Deftones, Placebo, Scissor Sisters among others)

I went and was soaked in 2007, but amazed by the acts provided. Pretty much everyone on the main stage and the Arena stage were people I'd heard of and were interested in seeing. Okay, so there were a lot of American and British bands, but they were, for the most part, rock acts. While I stood in the horizontal rain patiently waiting for my wristband, I heard the Killers. From the leaking tent you provided, I heard The Who, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Queens of the Stone Age. I dragged myself through mud to watch My Chemical Romance and Machinehead in the tent. I stood all day in front of the main stage watching Muse, Arctic Monkeys, Flaming Lips and Basement Jaxx.

Despite the soaking, despite the mud, despite the leaky tents, we came back for 2008. We bought our tickets before the headliners were announced. We were delighted with your free Get-A-Tent tickets to make up for the debacle of the previous year's tents. We waited with bated breath to see what delights were in store for us.

And you announced Grinderman, Slayer, My Bloody Valentine and Neil Young. We didn't complain as we felt sure there would be other acts added to make the journey worthwhile. You added Slayer, Gnarls Barkly and Radiohead. We noted with delight that we could avoid Radiohead fans by going to see the final Hellacopters performance. We hoped Bullet For My Valentine would be as good in the tent as MCR had been the previous year. And then you announced Jay-Z....

I mean, really. What were you thinking? And he was closing the festival? What. The. Fuck. A rapper/hip hop bloke closing the Roskilde Festival? Had you taken leave of your senses?

The Festival itself had much better weather than the previous year. Which was a relief, as we spent most of it as far away from the main stages as possible. Seasick Steve was in too small a venue and we saw nothing. MGMT were too far from anywhere to get to easily. And Slayer were only funny because of infants dancing to them whilst wearing headphones. The "highlight" for me was the fact that it started to piss down with rain just as Jay-Z was about to come on stage and everybody legged it. We managed to squeeze into the tent for Hot Chip and dried off by bouncing up and down with the crowd there - until they ruined it by finishing their set with a cover of "Time After Time". Way to go to ruin a vibe.

And so to this year. It started off with some promise: Slipknot, Madness, Nine Inch Nails. And some dross, Coldplay, Lily Allen and the fifteen years past their "prime" Oasis. It will pick up, we said, and even though the disastrous fall of the GBP against the DKK meant the tickets were nearly twice as expensive as last year, we bought early. We also dutifully filled in the Artist Request forms so you could see what we wanted.

And then you announced Lil' Wayne and Kanye West. And, just for good measure, the fucking Pet Shop Boys. Oh how we fumed. But we believed that you would, Roskilde Festival, pull out some big names when you announced the main line up for this year's event. And in some ways, you did. Not the ones we were expecting though, sadly.

Grace Jones?!? Who the hell asked for Grace Jones? Why do you bother asking for band requests and then book Grace Jones? Where's Faith No More? Where's Limp Bizkit? Where's the upcoming metal bands? Didn't this used to be a rock festival? Why the obsession with hip-hop?

Consider this a warning. Please get some better acts or we won't be back.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Nominative Determinism?

Possibly just a really impressive piece of naming by her parents, or the sort of unfortunate juxtaposition that coincidence likes to throw up, but a woman named Cassandra telling police that her husband would kill her, and the police then not doing anything about it, is eerily reminiscent of Greek mythology, don't you think?

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Perhaps I'm Horrified At The Wrong Part

Read this story (the link is from the Daily Mail, I read it in the Metro) yesterday on the way to work, and couldn't work out what was bothering me about it.
The headteacher of a primary school where London Mayor Boris Johnson sends one of his children has been suspended over claims he watched pornography in his office
Having reflected on the above information, I realised that it wasn't those facts that bothered me. The story is obviously old (suspended in October last year), the reason for the suspension is obvious (pr0n at work is "bad", when your workplace is a school this is obviously doubleplus bad), and the first paragraph mention of Boris Johnson is being used to justify the exposure the story is getting now.

No, none of that bothered me.

This, bit, however, did.
Jay Henderson, 35, is awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary inquiry possibly due this week.
35?!?! Thirty fucking five? And he's the fucking headmaster? What the fuck? How? Shouldn't he only have progressed to head of year or something? How old are the rest of the teachers? Twelve?

As I said, I think I may have been horrified by completely the wrong part of this story.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Linux User Too Suspicious To Be Ignored

Rather a weird tale from Boston, where a Computer Science student has had all of his computer kit seized (and pretty much everything else he owns) and has been suspended from his job for the heinous crime of understanding Linux. The University are alleging slightly more than *just* that, but they do seem suspicious of someone who can navigate their way round a non-Windows OS.

The EFF - who is representing him - has a copy of the warrant and says
"In his application, the investigating officer asked that he be permitted to seize the student's computers and other personal effects because they might yield evidence of the crimes of "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" and "Unauthorized access to a computer system."

Aside from the remarkable overreach by campus and state police in trying to paint a student as suspicious in part because he can navigate a non-Windows computer environment, nothing cited in the warrant application could possibly constitute the cited criminal offenses.

There are no assertions that a commercial (i.e. for pay) commercial service was defrauded, a necessary element of any "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" allegation. Similarly, the investigating officer doesn't explain how sending an e-mail to a campus mailing list might constitute "unauthorized access to a computer system."
The Slashdot post that brought this to my attention was tagged with "Idiocracy", which sums it all up rather nicely.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Billboard Fun

H/t again to Obnoxio.

This is great. Change the wording to whatever pleases you.

Click image to embiggen

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Drinking, The New Smoking.

I read in the Metro this morning that 80% of doctors and nurses polled by the Royal Colleges of Nursing and Physicians believed that putting the price of alcohol up would curb people's drinking habits. The Metro article is quite short (and I'll cover why in a second) but the BBC have a much longer version of the same thing here that also mentions that the Prime Mentalist isn't too keen on the idea.

It seems Gordon is worried that moderate drinkers would be hit by such a plan. You think? I think Gordon is probably more worried that people who drink would hate him to the point of murder if he was seen to set minimum prices on alcohol, as Liam Donaldson wants.

But that's not my main point. The Metro, on the same page as the snippet linked to above, also had this spectacularly stupid idea.
Busy town centre pubs may be forced to introduce orderly post office-style queues when they run cheap drink promotions. Pubs and clubs may also have to limit customers to buying two drinks at a time, ban drinking in the queue and hire extra door staff to prevent trouble breaking out. Landlords would be made to give authorities a week's notice of promotions and pay for extra police officers to patrol, Oldham council in Greater Manchester has said.
Because pubs have plenty of spare cash at the minute, don't they? They could easily afford to pay the (presumably now hiked up massively) rate for doorstaff and/or police out of their huge profits*. The upside presumably would be that you wouldn't be able to go to the bar and get a round in for more than you and one person.

It gets better though.
Bars which refused to sign up to the new measures would be stripped of their licences.
Nice touch there: volunteer to do this, or we'll put you out of business. I wonder what kind of cocksucking ass hat would even think about being linked with an idea as monumentally insane as that?
MP Phil Woolas has described Oldham town centre as like the 'Wild West' at weekends.
Ah, there's a shock. Phil "we'll stop immigrants, oh wait, we can't, we're in the EU" Woolas. Or Phil "rent-a-quote" Woolas, as I like to think of him.

Amusingly - for me, at least, your mileage may vary - Alcohol Concern (a made-up charity, funded pretty much entirely by the Government, yet wheeled out as a legitimate voice of the public in matters such as this) said the plans "might have little effect" and added: "A pub is a very different environment to a post office."

Used to be very different from a Post Office, would be more appropriate. There are now a couple of worrying similarities. Firstly, there used to be lots of Post Offices, but quite a few of them have closed down and you have to blame that on the government. Secondly, you can't smoke in a Post Office.

I would also like to point out at this point, that while doctors, nurses and various government types are attempting to reduce alcohol intake by the majority of the population (and buttering us up for a minimum alcohol pricing structure by mentioning it at every fucking opportunity) the bars of Westminster in which the MPs drink are subsidised. By you, the taxpayer.

Fuck the Government. Fuck the minimum price of alcohol idea. Fuck the Nanny State. And fuck the arsewipes who cannot manage to drink without getting themselves injured.

This is my body, I will decide what does and does not go into it. I will not come crying to you if I damage myself and you will leave me the fuck alone and stop telling me how to live my life.

Now get back to your taxpayer funded porn and stop bothering me.

* - Sarcasm, for those that missed it.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What One Trillion Dollars Looks Like

H/T Obnoxio

Ever had difficulty visualising the stunningly large amounts of money being bandied around at the G20 and on the news? Well, this is a helpful visual aide.

And you will be quite literally AMAZED by the size of a trillion dollars. Especially after learning that $1 million would fit into a small shopping bag


Friday, April 03, 2009

Things To Do For Free In The Easter Holidays

And I've deliberately used that title in order to garner more hits from Google. This wonderful idea comes from B3ta's sickipedia site.

With the Easter weekend approaching a lot of people will be going to the seaside and visiting amusement arcades. If you live near one of these places it's a good time to play the following prank

1. Get loads of 2p coins
2. Get some Cillit Bang
3. Use the Cillit Bang to write swear words on the coins
4. Go to your local arcade and put them in the 2p pushes machines
5. Enjoy your Easter knowing somebody is going to win a 2p coin that you've written "CUNT" on!

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