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

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Little Sparta

The poet Ian Hamilton Finlay has died. His garden "takes its place in the great tradition of poet-philosophers' gardens stretching from Epicurus to William Shenstone."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Technology 2.0

I invited Seumas to this event I was helping to run last night in collaboration with NTK. And I'm very glad he came. Not only was it good to see him, but it was Seumas who fixed things during the obligatory technology failures when speakers changed laptops.

I was very pleased with the event itself. Six speakers talking about their latest ideas/products in the technology/audio-visual field. These included: Promise TV, a new TV hard-drive that surpasses Sky Plus+ and will hopefully bring the end of adverts; a well-argued lament around the lack of innovation in the evolution of video games controls; an anthropologist's observations of information flows on the isles of Scilly and how he is turning this into Trampoline, a new knowledge sharing software system; a conceptual art project that attempts to visualize information connections (I didn't really get this one); and an open source approach to geographic mapping, based around Flickr.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Contact request

Seumas do you have Carlos's email address? If so can you email it to me - I just tried the old lgu.ac.uk but it bounced back.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fukuyama - I Was Wrong

Interview: Neocon admits he was talking arrant drivel.

Quite a lot of us could have told him that years ago if he'd asked.

Wiki advice

Can anyone tell me how to go about setting up a wiki - preferably a method for non-technically competent people? Is there something like Blogger for doing wikis, for example? Thanks.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Belfast City Airport to be renamed in honour of George Best

Don't quite know what to make of this, seems a bit odd - I think I like straightforward geographical names for my airports. Belfast City Airport is nice btw - views across to the great Samson and Goliath cranes at Harland and Wolff...

Saturday, March 18, 2006


OK. Seumas. I've got Ubuntu installed on my old (and currently only) laptop. All seems good but wasn't able to log in as root. I've just read somewhere that root log-in on Ubuntu is disabled from the get-go and users therefore use sudo instead. This is where I reveal my lack of linux knowledge (haven't touched it for 12 months or so): what is sudo?? It now occurs to me that I don't think I was asked for a root password during the install process, so this kind of makes sense but I'd appreciate a bit of clarification on this.

As mentioned the distro seems pretty good, nice user interface, runs OK on my aged 800Mhz, 128MB laptop (well Firefox does, not really tried doing much else with it). Good that it all comes on one CD too.

Oh No, They Killed Scientology!

Quite enjoying this spat between South Park and Scientology. The episode in question involves one of the kids being mistaken for the new L Ron Hubbard, and revealling all the details of their supposedly secret belief system. It's all about aliens inhabiting human bodies thousands of years ago, and is completely nuts. The episode involves Tom Cruise going off in the huff and hiding in the cupboard, as an excuse for endless jokes about him not coming out of the closet, and R Kelly singing songs about it. You can watch the episode here (scroll down to Nov 16 05).

Did you know that Beck is a Scientologist?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Birthday To ME!!!

Self-promotion is, of course, the new orange, so have a great St Paddy's day and drink lots of ethanoholicy type drinks in order to proclaim my celebrieviation. Cheers!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fun with Nanotech

I don't know if nano technology will save the world or not, but it does look like being quite fun

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Have you seen this del.icio.us site? It seems to be a sort of online bookmarks list which you can store links to all the articles you read and share them with your friends - sort of like a blog without the witty and informative commentary. Then there's a bit of peer-to-peer knowledge exchange on top. Charles Meaden's got a page here (he came to Fitzrovian once). (Thought a bit of internet techno news would counteract the doom and gloom, but I now see that his pages are full of Iraq and climate change stories.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How to Talk to a Global Warming Sceptic

Useful link. Not that the sceptics are likely to be terribly concerned with factual refutation of their arguments.

Friday, March 10, 2006

question for seumas

What's a good linux distro for an 800Mhz 512MB laptop. Just want to websurf and wordprocess - can you provide a URL to the ISO files?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Top 10 Dictators

The World's 10 Worst Dictators.

It's a Channel 4, Sunday night list show hosted by Jimmy Carr waiting to happen. I like no. 8 best - I think he's the one who's renamed the days of the week after members of his family.

Seriously, though, it has always amazed me how these people manage to get into those positions in the first place, and that countries are structured in such a way to make it possible.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Environmental Freakout (slight return)

Just been looking at James Lovelock's The Revenge of Gaia on Amazon and getting freaked out. This review in RealClimate seems a bit less doom laden but still not exactly comforting...