"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Friday, January 28, 2005


This guy is going to be my new landlord. What amazes me is that there's a photo of Mike Flowers in the national portrait gallery...

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Browser Wars Escalate

There are more options than Internet Explorer or Firefox, but be careful which ones you choose! He was probably a terrorist anyway...

The case of the missing crisis

Some interesting stuff about Bush's plans to cut social security, what this would mean (according to Krugman), and some parallels with Britain by someone from the FT and Krugman again.

Worried? Us?

Being a glutton for punishment, thought I'd have another look at this story in Granta, that terrified me a year or so ago.

very sorry to see this on the bbc site today

Tumour diary: The time has come

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

blogs: a paedophile's dream?

This is the kind of idiotic rubbish that makes me despair of mainstream politics. It seems that all politicians are happy to agree on something provided it completely misses the point and can be guaranteed to terrify the populace.

As green as a neocon

BBC Springwatch

I've just seen a bumblebee, and am going to log it at BBC Springwatch. They're trying to monitor whether spring is occuring earlier. A south african friend was telling me the other day that they do a similar, annual bird count, and that this year all the birds had already migrated before the day of the count. Normally there are 1000s.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

there's nothing else for it...

Climate crisis near 'in 10 years'

I know everyone here knows about this stuff, but i'm finding the whole thing profoundly fucking depressing at the moment. Think i'm having the "most depressing day of the year" 1 day late. Maybe technology will save us (Bill Gates take on it - he's more concerned with biological terrorism).

Burns Night

It may expose me as a sniggering schoolboy, but I always find this to be one of Burns' greatest works.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Robot Wars

US plans 'robot troops' for Iraq. How long before K9 here is caught making Iraqi prisoners get naked with bags on their heads? That "there are plans to replace the computer screen, joysticks and keypad in the remote-control unit with a Gameboy-style controller and virtual-reality goggles" is particularly disconcerting. Although the batteries only last for 4 hours - which is worse than an ipod.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

War graves

Sometimes the internet is amazing. I stumbled across this site the other day, and looked up my uncle, who died fighting in WWII. This site found him in seconds, told me when he died, where he is buried, and the number of the grave. CWGC.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

'I don't like Monday 24 January'

It's me again, the bearer of glad tidings. Look out, next Monday is the most depressing day of the year, according to a part-time tutor at Cardiff Uni (quite a depressing prospect in itself): 'I don't like Monday 24 January'. At least we'll get it out of the way soon!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

On Thinning Ice

More environmental doom-mongering, this time from the London Review of Books. It's a review of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment study. High(low?)lights include: in the last 200 yrs, CO2 in atmosphere increased by 35% - a third of which in last 40yrs; an area of reflective sea ice 8 times the size of the UK has been lost in the arctic; melting permafrost releases loads of methane - 23 times better at trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2; not only melting ice but expanding water (as it warms) will raise sea levels; up to 37% of terrestrial species could be extinct by 2050; British and Canadia carbon emissions have actually gone up since 97 - most of the reductions are down to the switch to natural gas from coal and oil, that was brought about by Thatcher; worst of all (though hopefully dubious) is the (conspiracy) theory that the US doesn't care because it will emerge relatively unscathed compared to much of the world, and this will strengthen its power base even further.

As if that wasn't enough, there's another scary piece about coal, too.

What can you do? Except resolve never to take an unnecessary domestic flight ever again, as I have just done. And read comics.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Alliance Against Urban 4x4s

Alliance Against Urban 4x4s. If you're feeling adventurous, hector the owners by downloading fake London borough parking tickets from wastemonsters. Reasonable of them to include the 'Urban' in the title, too.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

another make poverty history link

middle age is definitely creeping up on me - this event was being publicised by the lady vicar on terry wogan's "pause for thought" slot earlier this week...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Waterstone's employee gets sacked for blogging.

Guardian article here. Actually (though i've not read his blog in any detail) it sounds like he didn't get on with his boss all that well in the first place...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Advent characters

Why is it always the 'advent of the internet'? Was just reading yesterday's Grauniad media section, and every third commentator talks about the advent of the web, or digital media, or the net etc. I find this irrationally and disproportionately annoying.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Mind Hacks and Tuesday

Anyone read this book yet? Looks pretty interesting.

Also next Tuesday is the 2nd Tuesday of Jan 05. I *think* I should be able to make it - anyone else interested? Was thinking we could maybe go for a curry rather than just drink beer...

Thursday, January 06, 2005


My sister got the DVD of Heimat for Christmas. I watched a couple of episodes and it is superb stuff. I vaguely remember them showing this on telly 20 years ago (20!). Imagine them showing a 16-hour, partly black and white masterpiece with subititles on British TV these days. I intend to steal it from her when I get the chance.