01-12 December, 2003

This entry was posted on
Monday, December 1st, 2003
at
9:30 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20031201
The Big Conversation
Time
09:30
The Torygraph: Labour’s Big Conversation is a fix!

I love the closing statement:

Last night a Labour spokesman admitted it had contacted specific individuals to get the website up and running. He confirmed that submissions had been “edited” but claimed that there was no question of cutting out anti-government material.

Heh. That little assertion could be taken either way, wouldn’t you agree?

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Date
20031201
And So This is Christmas…
Time
09:45
The UK Weblogger’s Xmas Party was a real treat and – homeward bound adventures notwithstanding – could not be faulted. Except for the music, which sucked balls.

There are a number of posts about the party, most of which can be discovered quickly and easily via this handy list of attendees. I’ll post links to photo collections as they come together.

Here’s a small collection to get you started, and here’s a posted-when-pissed-post-party-post that’s not to be missed.

UPDATE – A solid collection of party-related links can be found at this post at FunJunkie.

And I’d like to join everyone in saying ‘well done’ to Rich Wild, who organised the event. It was a corker.

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Date
20031201

Time
12:50
Andrew Hewitt has been a busy surfer today. First he piped up with not one (albeit potential) climb-down by the Bush administration but two:

US climb-down on steel ‘imminent’

US ‘set for Guantanamo releases’

Do keep in mind that, so far, these are only promises, and the release of 100 inmates from Guantanamo Bay does not address the human rights violations to date. Nor does it help the 560 or so that will remain.

On a more local note, he later emailed in with this little gem. Having just heard a report on Ian Huntley’s statement on the radio I must point out that there is a damnable ‘due process’ germ in my brain that insists that the horrific result of this incident must not blind us to the possibility that he’s telling the truth about its cause… but that doesn’t stop this from being mildly amusing:

‘Huntley Innocent’ Says New Defence Lawyer Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf

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Date
20031201

Time
13:33
Ha! The perfect Christmas gift idea comes to you via TTR2, thanks to their timely discovery of The Screaming Jesus Clock. Finally, a viable replacement for my Mosque Clock.

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Date
20031201
Photoshopping
Time
14:31
B3tans have discovered this absolutely huge collection of kitty-images (don’t click if you’re on a modem – the page is a massive download).

As a result, the B3ta messageboard is going kitten-crazy. Highlights include this sneezing kitten and the AT-ST kitten. Oh, and one evil mouse.

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Date
20031201

Time
16:06
An office bandwidth usage report has just landed on my desk. Yours truly tops the chart (by a long way) with close to 40,000 connections and 665Mb of viewed/downloaded data – in one week alone.

Oh, I got some work done, too….

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Date
20031201
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
16:09
As Tom points out, the Diebold story has pretty much been ignored by mainstream press – the only outcry was online. But we still managed to motivate Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, who now plans to do something about it.

Click here if you’d like to thank the man personally.

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Date
20031201

Time
17:15
I don’t abuse my keyboard quite as badly as this, but I am pretty heavy-handed, and manage to pound one into submission every 8-12 months or so.

Currently, I have a good collection of back-ups at home. I picked up 6 USB keyboards at £1 each a while ago.

Why so cheap?

Well, some bright spark from the dotcom era thought there would be a few quid in making keyboards with special buttons for ‘GoTo’ and ‘eBay’…

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Date
20031201
Michael Jackson
Time
18:59
Recording devices found in ‘smokers corner’ outside Santa Barbara Sheriff’s office. Clever….

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Date
20031202

Time
09:11
See your site through the eyes of Apple’s Safari Browser.

1. I love the way they’re dealing with the heavy load on their bandwidth. That’s one nifty queue and expiry system.

2. Bloggerheads appears to be invisible. Oh dear…

UPDATE – Rogi assures me that it is visible. Phew! I almost alienated the Betacam users, there…

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Date
20031202
The Big Conversation
Time
09:16
The LNR Journal is running over Tony Blair’s Big Abortion like a catcher-less mower. The way they’ve chewed up and spat out Tony Blair’s personal message is particularly promising. (Heh. ‘Dear Friend’… it reads like he’s been briefed by a Nigerian spammer.)

Keep an eye out for further mulch and – eventually – quality compost. As I blogged yesterday, the whole thing appears to have been a fix from Day One.

UPDATE – I told there’d be more. Here’s a quick comment from an unbeliever and – hip-hip-huzzah – here’s someone providing an alternative in a more conversational format.

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Date
20031202

Time
09:23
Joe and Dee – of greatdreams.com – were brought together by ‘positive co-creation’, and believe that we all channel human consciousness and spiritual energy. If you can make your way past the MIDI files, there’s a lot to enjoy here. Oh, and in case you’re wondering if this power of dream intepretation and prophecy is in good hands, I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that they’re on our side.

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Date
20031202

Time
09:31
Justice of the Peace accused of exposing himself to undercover officers in the woods at night. He claims that he had to pee:

“I had to urinate, OK. I have prostate problems. I had prostate problems. In fact, I had prostate cancer.”

Oh, did anyone else catch Absolute Power on the BBC last night? I found myself looking forward to the next episode of a series for the first time in a long time. In fact, I felt this tingling sensation in a dark corner of my brain that hasn’t been stimulated since Frontline.

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Date
20031202
Lunchtime Links
Time
09:41
Great Vomits of the 20th Century! As The Ultimate Insult notes, there are no pictures to fear, only the occasional passage of extraordinarily evocative text.

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Date
20031202

Time
09:45
Wow. The Bush administration actually looks serious about ‘repealing most of its 20-month-old tariffs on imported steel’. Oh. Wait… I missed the word ‘most’ there. I wonder what the exceptions will be…

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Date
20031202

Time
10:16
The site at worldaidsday.org appears to be resting after a busy day yesterday, but linkandthink.org is still ticking.

Also, there’s quite a lot of buzz about over Julie Burchill’s parting shot – a claim of ‘quite striking bias against the state of Israel’ in The Guardian and an article from the same issue by Emanuele Ottolenghi – ‘Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism’.

Here’s a thought or two on the subject of these two articles, and you can follow more here.

My view? I think there are two sides to this little propaganda war. In fact, here’s a solid shot against the Palestinians (all of them are bomb-making gun-toting nutbags, dontcha know).

As dangerous as anti-Semitic views are, you can’t claim outright that it’s the only cause for criticism of Israel – especially as one of the most dangerous things about anti-Semitism is the polarising effect it can have. Would it be better for Israel to believe that they’re above criticism?

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Date
20031202

Time
10:27
See a bunch of photos of coppers who served in Whitehall in the early 70’s.

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Date
20031202
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:31
Which Michael Jackson Are You?

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Date
20031202
South West Trains
Time
10:31
Annie’s put up a solid post about my recent adventure with South West Trains. Judging by this and a lot of email I’ve received on the subject, you really have to be a fellow victim to appreciate the level of my indignation.

No answer from Andrew Haines yet. Yet….

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Date
20031202

Time
10:36
Vote on the cheesiest music videos of 2003

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Date
20031202

Time
10:38
Man pays for petrol with nephew. Well, to be fair, he left the boy as collateral when he went to get the necessary cash. Two years ago.

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Date
20031202
Follow Up
Time
10:42
Following on from George Bush visited Baghdad… or did he?

The White House claimed that Air Force One was spotted – and contacted – by British Airways craft on the way into Baghdad. British Airways denies this ever happened.

Here’s a bunch of people arguing about it over at Fark.com, here’s The Independent reporting on the news this visit overshadowed, and here’s some largely unrelated paranoia.

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Date
20031202

Time
10:48
Come back, Bill Watterson – the world needs you!

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Date
20031202

Time
10:49
Young Barbara Bush spotted at gay punk concert.

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Date
20031202

Time
12:28
I’m a danger to society… but you knew that already.

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Date
20031202

Time
12:28
Just about every blog hosted at Blogger.com appears to have fallen on its arse. I haven’t been able to access a single one of these for most of the morning.

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Date
20031202

Time
13:20
From the NHS believe it or not: be careful what you give or get this Christmas….

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Date
20031202
Anyone but George
Time
13:44
Buzzflash: “Bush’s war on terrorism is all image on the surface; and all incompetence, deception and profiteering on the inside.”

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Date
20031202
The Big Conversation
Time
18:13
Ahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, the interwebnet is just overflowing with wicked and cynical people…

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Date
20031203
And So This is Christmas…
Time
09:02
It’s Christmas snowglobe wrath! You’re the wrath. Enjoy.

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Date
20031203
Doing The Rounds
Time
09:04
To everybody sending this admirably-recycled joke by email: please stop.

George Bush met The Queen, and he turns around and says: “As I’m the President, I’m thinking of changing how my country is referred to, and I’m thinking that it should be a Kingdom”

The Queen replies “I’m sorry Mr Bush, but to be a Kingdom, you have to have a King in charge – and you’re not a King.”

George Bush thought a while and then said: “How about a Principality then?”, To which the Queen replied “Again, to be a Principality you have to be a Prince – and you’re not a Prince “.

Bush thought long and hard and came up with “How about an Empire then?”

The Queen, getting a little annoyed by now, replies “Look Bush, to be an Empire you must have an Emperor in charge – and you are not an Emperor.”

Before George Bush could utter another word, The Queen said: “I think you’re doing quite nicely as a Country”

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Date
20031203
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:06
One of our bloggers is missing. What’s the bet that he’s been hassled by right-wing extremists?

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Date
20031203
Feedback
Time
09:11
A short-but-sweet missive from Mrs Willenburg:

Dear Manic,

I am a very big M*A*S*H fan. The sole purpose of this e-mail is to let you know that I loved your lame M*A*S*H quiz. Although I’m not sure that I really resemble Captain Pierce much, me being of the gentler sex, I still thought that it was great. Good job!

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Date
20031203
South West Trains
Time
09:16
I’ve heard back from Andrew Haines regarding my South West Trains adventure. He’s investigating. Right now about half-a-dozen employees are busy getting their stories straight.

On Annie’s London Underground weblog, the comments continue…. there’s also this classic picture of Santa having a sly slash in the subway.

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Date
20031203
Video
Time
09:22
One small change really makes this sincere speech by Tony Blair come alive (streaming WMV file). Cheers, Martyn.

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Date
20031203
In The News
Time
09:26
A 74-year-old man who has been arrested at least 400 times and had his licence suspended over 30 times has been sentenced to 17 years in prison on drunken driving charges.

Also, a woman from Michigan has been charged with animal neglect after officers removed 49 dead cats from her garage.

Finally, here’s The Sun, bringing you the news what matters: Ryanair logo gets a boob job.

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Date
20031203
Porn
Time
09:39
The latest buzz on the porn front (and the subject on many an email in my Inbox) is that Paris Hilton video. To find out what the fuss is about without actually paying for it and/or viewing pornography on your work computer, click here. You’re not missing much… unless you’re a high-tech voyeur and your favourite pastime is viewing naked ladies with your night-vision goggles.

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Date
20031203
Normal People
Time
09:45
Meet Andrea Chempinski, a 29 year old attorney who – for some reason – has decided on a career in website and graphics design. She’s into Douglas Adams, Mickey Dolenz and Corey Feldman.

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Date
20031203
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:55
Tom Watson – his position on the sale of organs.

His position is on record; it’s archived, and we don’t need to rely on the interpretation of a newspaper and the (possible) publication of that interpretation online to find out about it. You can even comment on that position if you like.

I’m sure you’ll pardon me for being optimistic about the future role of this format in politics.

UPDATE – A link to this far more detailed post on this topic also turned up on Tom’s blog today. When the definitive history of the Interwebnet is written, I’ll be wanting my own paragraph, yessir…

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Date
20031203
Flash Games
Time
10:04
Best. Online. Driving. Test. Ever!

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Date
20031203
The Bush Administration
Time
10:07
Here’s a bloody good post on the subject of steel tariffs.

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Date
20031203
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
10:15
Googlebombing is alive and well! Cheers, Wibbler.

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Date
20031203
The End of Democracy
Time
10:21
Diebold backs down! Read all about it at Wired, The Inquirer, Internet News, The Register and Slashdot. (That last link also contains the usual slew of comments. Enjoy.)

This is what happens when we band together and stick to our guns when something is Just. Plain. Wrong.

You’d best keep that in mind, because this is just the start of the fight – but now we don’t have to muck in with one hand tied behind our back.

UPDATE – Wim de Groot has pointed out this excellent piece in the New York Times and the particularly fine close:

The point is that you don’t have to believe in a central conspiracy to worry that partisans will take advantage of an insecure, unverifiable voting system to manipulate election results. Why expose them to temptation? I’ll discuss what to do in a future column. But let’s be clear: the credibility of U.S. democracy may be at stake.

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Date
20031203
Christianity Watch
Time
11:22
Behold the hot-air balloon dedicated to the glory of our Lord, Jesus! (Link via Ramblings and Revelations.)

Are there big rubber patches on the wrists, do you think?

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Date
20031203
Google
Time
12:41
Google News Alert is the mutt’s. I not only use it to stalk Tim Yeo, I have news alerts set up on my name, my website, and the new activism-driven presence at interwebnet.org

This morning I got an email about The Star Wars Photoshopping Project from the chap behind The Scotsman’s Lazy Guide to Net Culture. I sent a reply and was expecting to hear something in 2-3 days. About an hour and a bit later, I got an email from Google’s News Alert feature, which responded to the keyword ‘bloggerheads’ in a news article.

The related article at Scotsman.com was live and Google had let me know about it before my live referral stats even had a chance to squeak.

Like I said; the mutt’s.

UPDATE – Breaking the news on the B3ta messageboard. Includes a large version of this nifty picture of George W. Bush and Marcellus Wallace’s wife doing the twist at Jackrabbit Slim’s.

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Date
20031203
Viral Marketing
Time
15:13
A carefully calculated measure of guilt for you to enjoy.

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Date
20031203
Updates
Time
16:50
Added to the blogroll:

Someone Take The Wheel – Because I admire her focus.

Kuboid – Because he takes looking like Donny Osmond in his stride (and is able to pretend that you are the first to notice).

Zach Everson – Because I don’t believe I’ll need to give a reason once you’ve read his posts on De Beers and the Red Cross. The latter hit me harder than anything I’ve read since this post by Riverbend.

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Date
20031204
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
09:11
There’s lots of loose talk about Google and Update Florida.

MediaJunk is talking about little else lately. Danny Sullivan is holding on a verdict for now, but provides some good links. Among them is this relatively easy-to-understand flowchart explaining how and why your site may have been (or may yet be) ‘penalised’. I say ‘may’ and include inverted commas on the ‘penalised’ because – as seductive as the assumption may be – I haven’t yet bought into the idea that Google is cynically driving small businesses into Adwords. Yet.

To me, a lot of penalties seemed to have been doled out over incoming link popularity that’s clearly automated. Or, perhaps, clearly automated as far as Google can see. The optimist in me hopes that the test version of this system involves a dictionary of commercial words and combinations because this is where most of the worst offenders operate.

Gateway Pages

Gateway Pages are designed to appear only to indexing robots and not human beings. Often, they’ll be held off-site at a different domain name (because they’re naughty, and if they get discovered they’ll be removed from the database). Because of they’re Not Real Pages, they will never be listed in a directory or voluntarily linked to by a real person. So people who provide such facilities interlink the gateways pages they provide for clients so they work to artificially boost each other’s PageRank.

Downside 1: If one gets discovered; they all do.

Downside2 : This, now, will be detected as automated linkage.

Link Sellers

A whole industry has grown where companies sell multiple inbound links. This practice is not to be confused with link support provided to clients, friends and associates from this single website. We’re talking large networks of automatically generated pages of little merit, not unlike FFA link pages, but in this case specifically designed to alter PageRank (and regenerate themselves at a new location as they get discovered and discounted). This exercise appears to be largely academic, as now Google is detecting not the sites, but the practice itself.

Link Negotiators

There’s a whole other set of people who promise to do ‘research’ in order to negotiate link exchanges with other websites. To give you an idea of how savvy these researchers are, they regularly contact me in the hope that I’ll play ball. This cold-emailing technique irks me, but the result is a step closer to the diverse inbound linkage that Google respects – too bad many overdo it on the keyword weighting, because this too appears to be detectable.

Where does this leave us? Well, right now, nowhere. Shit’s still happening. But…

1) It still makes sense to optimise your page to what it’s actually about, but try to vary the context in which you present your content. Same Page Title again and again and again? That didn’t work before Update Florida, and it’s certainly not going to do you any good now.

2) Connecting with the online community in a genuine way appears to be the only way forward in terms of link popularity.

Finally…

3) To have an influential connection between Adwords and the core database makes no sense for Google. If having an Adwords program somehow improves your standing – or even if the new algorithm merely ensures that commercial enterprises have no choice but to abandon (genuine) optimisation and opt instead for Adwords, then this commercial aspect of Google’s business will be having a pronounced influence on their central database. Be from a legal standpoint or a moral one, they’ll get a well-deserved slap if this is the case.

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Date
20031204
A Blog Is Born
Time
09:15
Meet Steve Johnston. He’s a nice bloke who’s able to talk to old-school marketing bods, but he also possesses an understanding of the Interwebnet (i.e. common sense) that most of these jokers lack. He is therefore a rare beast and to be treated with respect.

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Date
20031204
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:21
Wibbler informs us that Tom Watson is a ‘featured site’ on Movable Type today.

Tom blogged quietly behind frames (and minus an archive) for months-stroke-years before I came along, but his first birthday on the MT format is due sometime early next year. We should have a party.

UPDATE – Looking just now, Tom has a treat for me this morning. Meet Mark Latham MP. He’s the leader of the Australian Labor Party, and he has this to say about Prime Minister John Howard’s visit to George W. Bush:

“Howard is an arse-licker. He went over there, kissed some bums, and got patted on the head.”

Now *that’s* the voice of opposition! I say we get this man a weblog. In fact…

Your mission today is to get in touch with the man and make him aware of the potential of this format.

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Date
20031204
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:37
The inside story of the redevelopment of the Harper’s Magazine website.

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Date
20031204
Follow Up
Time
09:39
Or did he…?

Washington Post: British Airways said yesterday that none of its pilots made contact with President Bush’s plane during its secret flight to Baghdad on Thanksgiving, contradicting White House reports of a midair exchange that nearly prompted Bush to call off his trip. Honor Verrier, a spokeswoman for British Airways in North America, said two British Airways aircraft were in the area at the time and neither radioed the president’s plane to ask if it was Air Force One.

OK, let’s give Dubya’s team the benefit of the doubt. Instead of lying about going to Baghdad, perhaps they just bullshitted a little bit about the ‘in the air scare’ to give the pointless turkey-run a bit of spice for the news boys.

UPDATE – And now we discover that the turkey at the centre of this photo-op was a fake.

UPDATE – Now we learn the Queen is bodging it a bit, too. Of course, this kind of thing has always gone on… but Bush’s team is so crap at it, now we’re all keeping a sharp eye out for strings.

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Date
20031204
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:47
Click here to see the Paris Hilton video! No, not that one, the other one.

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Date
20031204
Survey Says…
Time
09:50
90 percent of men would choose world peace instead of a bigger penis. So that’s where the spammers have been going wrong all this time.

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Date
20031204
Normal People
Time
09:52
I don’t know how I managed to miss this one for so long: read a weblog of last meal requests.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
And So This is Christmas…
Time
09:55
Radio DJ under fire for proclaiming live on air that Santa does not exist.

I may pay for this myself, but…

You can bluster about hope, love and peace and ‘Yes Virginia’ me until you’re blue in the face… that doesn’t change the fact that Santa was turned into a corporate whore by Coca-Cola and today serves mainly as a child’s introduction to consumerism.

I have no problems with fantasy and faith, but when the story ends conveniently with ‘gimme gimme gimme’, I’m going to start to ask questions.

Hundreds of thousands of families are going to voluntarily put themselves into debt to make the most of a seasonal celebration that was hijacked by the Christian church when they ruled the roost, and is now owned primarily by our new masters.

People are so touchy about this. I remember getting a serving from one of my teachers as a youngster for singing alternative words to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. I was told to ‘have some respect’… FFS, it’s hardly a hymn. In fact, it’s damn near a corporate jingle.

UPDATE – ScaryDuck on people who overdo it with the outdoor Christmas lights

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Christianity Watch
Time
10:15
So much for the separation of church and state… atheists cannot hold public office in seven U.S. states.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Animation
Time
10:18
More stupid ‘Dancing GIF’ pages than you can shake a stick at.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Web Design
Time
10:23
Oh dear. Fire up your speakers and prepare yourselves for the dramatic sound file that greets you at www.tower-of-london.com (via Martin).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Tony Blair
Time
10:47
The latest issue of the Popbitch newsletter reports:

Poor Tony Blair. Senior Labour politicians are gossiping that his recent stomach troubles have forced him on several occasions to wear sanitary protection, or “man nappies”. (FYI: There’s a strange rumour going round that Tony secretly had his appendix out at St Thomas’ Hospital)

All stuff and nonsense. Why, Tony is as young and vibrant as he’s ever been. The years are not taking their toll (Tony is immortal) and if there were anything wrong he would be the first one to tell you about it honestly and openly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Sign Here Please…
Time
11:39
Via Someone Take The Wheel (who today smirk childishly at shadow-penis-puppetry):

The NRA have a blacklist. The lobbying arm of the NRA actually publishes this list of people and organisations that have dared to speak out on the subject of gun control.

Attention all gun nuts! Here’s a list of people that have pissed us off!

Charming.

NRAblacklist.com has more information and even invites you to join the list by signing a special petition. If you’ve got the guts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Michael Jackson
Time
12:32
Also from Popbitch this week:

Amazon users hammer the recommendations function with interesting suggestions.

Clearly the ‘let us know if any of these recommendations are inappropriate’ button isn’t working as well as it should. Either that, or the die-hard fans are having trouble keeping up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Consume!
Time
13:50
Own a fluffy animal head and keep it on a stick. Then go for a nice walk.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
Photoshopping
Time
14:06
West Bank Monopoly. Heh.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031204
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
17:32
Hey, guess what? As regular Bloggerheads readers, you get to be first to see the plan for the next Interwebnet project.

This one’s going to be fun, folks. Padlocks at the ready!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Guns, guns, guns, guns, guns!
Time
09:20
Dave would like to warn all viewers of sillyvision in the UK that Bowling For Columbine is showing this Saturday at 9pm on Channel 4.

If you have the time, see it. If you don’t have the time, tape it!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Orwell Was Right
Time
09:23
“I’m watching you, son!” Police helmets to be fitted with cameras.

I feel so much safer all of a sudden.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:24
I knew of the subliminal saturation bombing method, but it wasn’t until I did some serious image-surfing yesterday that I realised how blatant and consistent Shrub and his team are about it (mind you, they don’t always get it right).

Look at any picture of George W. Bush delivering a speech, and you will see in the background:

1) The glorious Stars and Stripes

2) A subliminal message

3) Both

Unless, of course, alternatives such as a national landmark, ‘real’ people or fake turkeys are available… but even on the USS Abraham Lincoln, they couldn’t hold back on a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner (and when the heat was on they lied their asses off about who was responsible for it).

FFS, Bush and his team even brought their own backdrops with them for the UK visit!

Now you can help to deliver a more fair and balanced view with The Bush Backdrop Generator. Enjoy!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:49
Seyed Razavi calls it a day on Blogshares.

I’m sure someone will snap it up soon – but whether the interested party will turn it around or screw it over remains to be seen.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Flash Thingies
Time
09:53
My oh my, it certainly is turning out to be a Bush-heavy day. No matter. This next one is a barrel of fun:

BushFlash.com hosts an impressive collection of thought-provoking animations.

Go and hammer your bandwidth.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Or Did He…?
Time
09:56
The Bush administration has offered a third version of its story about the pilot (yet to be identifed) who spotted Air Force One while it flew to Iraq (yet to be proved).

They definitely, positively, without question, heard from someone with a British accent… someone who hasn’t been heard from since the incident, despite the encounter being given worldwide coverage.

“I say, Ginger! That bally crate looks just like Air Force One, do you think we…YEEARRGH!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Activism
Time
10:04
My collection of signs along these lines have all been removed. Well, when I say ‘removed’, I mean ‘roughly torn down’. All of the street spam along the same stretch of road remains in place.

Who needs government interference when you have rabid adherents?

I’ll be working on more robust signs in a new location over the weekend.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Christianity Watch
Time
10:09
64 die after ingesting ‘anti-sorcery’ potion administered by Roman Catholic priest.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Google
Time
10:11
Farkers react to the ‘miserable failure’ Googlebomb.

Oh, and here’s an early participant in the scheme.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Tim Yeo
Time
10:14
FT.com – Letwin’s ‘conflict of interest’ decision could turn spotlight on Tory colleagues:

Mr Yeo, shadow health and education secretary, has said he would be “disappointed” to give up his chairmanship of Univent, a nursing home operator, but is seeking advice.

You heard him, folks!

Call Tim Yeo at the House of Commons:

020 7219 6366

Call Tim Yeo’s Constituency office:

01473 823435

Email Tim Yeo:

timyeomp@parliament.uk

yeot@parliament.uk

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Viral Marketing
Time
10:27
It’s overly commercial, but cute – Navigate Santa (via FunJunkie).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
In The Courts
Time
10:29
Woman gets 10 years for running over McDonald’s manager. She was denied mayonnaise on her cheeseburger, and flew into a violent rage. And you thought I was bad.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
10:31
This special report by The Guardian on Guantanamo Bay is charting well on Blogdex this morning. The LNR Journal (now tastefully merged with The Friday Thing) also points us to this:

Bush administration defends detainee policy.

The power Bush wields – to order the capture and long-term detention of ‘enemy combatants’ as long as the (perpetual) war on terrorism continues should not even be questioned, it seems.

Well, I’d dare to f**king question it.

The latest Interwebnet.org campaign launched last night. I invite you all to check it out and make your plans for Christmas and beyond.

January 5th is Guantanamo Bay Lock-Up Day!

This’ll learn ‘em to lock us away in Free Speech Zones….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
And So This is Christmas…
Time
13:40
It seems to me that Portland is long overdue for another Santa invasion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Porn
Time
14:02
Did anyone catch the TV special on the Fake Porn Detective? He’s been a hero of mine pretty much since I first set foot on the Interwebnet. Actually, by the looks of things, he hasn’t updated his site design since then, either.

(NSFW linkage – careful @ work!)

But he does fine work of great importance, so I suppose he can be forgiven for his continuing (and quite baffling) use of Comic Sans.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Appeasing Bush
Time
14:46
Ha! Today’s Steve Bell cartoon is a classic. Yesterday was pretty solid, too: Turkey, anyone?

I do believe I’ll write the man a nice email and express my thanks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Photoshopping
Time
16:24
I knew I was onto something

Macworld – Photoshop ‘exists because of Star Wars’!

Read the full history of Photoshop here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031205
Tony Blair
Time
20:54
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; to see Blair’s lies in their purest form, turn to The Sun:

HOW much would you pay to keep your family safe from terrorism?

Since September 11, 2001, Britain has spent £5.5billion on the war on terror. For a family of four, that’s less than £400.

A small and worthwhile price to pay.

How much of that was spent on the war with Iraq? (A country that, I need not remind you, had no connection with terrorism until well after the The Illegal War.. which attracted terrorists to – or sparked extremism in – that region.)

Oh, and who do we talk to about a refund if we consider this ‘worthy’ investment to be wasted?

You could try here, but I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you. You could also try here, but I feel compelled to remind you that Blair is not for turning.

(Bending is OK. Turning is right out.)

Americans await the election. We await the outcome of The Hutton Inquiry. Bush and Blair are sure to have a contingency plan for each crisis.

What is required for a vote of ‘no confidence’? Surely we have enough ammunition as it is?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
09:44
It’s been a while since we browsed through Tony Blair’s Inbox.

This gem arrived on Friday afternoon from some bright spark who:

1) Thinks tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk is Tony Blair’s email address. It’s not.

2) Fully accepts the forever-suggested but never-proven Iraq/terror link.

3) Cares not a jot for the hundreds being killed (with their properties being destroyed) in Iraq – presumably, because they’re all terrorists.

4) Obviously doesn’t realise that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

5) Is probably going to be less than impressed with this ‘humanist and anti-war propagandist’ when his open letter goes a little further than he expected.

His request that GWB and Blair refer to his earlier email (sent almost 9 months ago) is the icing on the cake.

—– Original Message —–

From: LT COL RATTAN S. SEROHI

To: president@whitehouse.gov

Cc: tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk

Sent: Friday, December 05, 2003 4:25 PM

Subject: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN AND BRITISH CITIZENS

It is only Mr George Bush, the great President of the United States and Mr Tony Blair the British Prime Minister, who could take the bold decisions to use force in Afghanistan and Iraq. No one else could have the courage and convictions to act to save the world from the horrors of terrorism. US action has succeeded to a great extent to dislodge and disintegrate the forces of evil, looming over the world. Soldiers of US and allied forces have gone to war and suffered casualties, for the world to be a safer place to live. It is sad that the US President and also Mr Tony Blair, had to face criticism from their own countrymen. The so called humanists and anti-war propagandists, have failed to realize and understand the horrors of extremism and terrorism endangering the humanity. If this is not curtailed and tackled now, it will be to late.

Mr G. Bush and Mr T. Blair should have been blessed by every noble heart and they should have been recommended for the ‘NOBLE PEACE PRIZE’. That could have been a small token of appreciation by the world community, for their hard work and single handed righteous decisions.

The danger is not yet over. all the civilized nations are facing the scare of terrorism. Hundreds are being killed and properties destroyed, all over the world. We must now realize and extend our whole hearted support to their noble endeavor to isolate and eradicate this deadly menace, if world has to survive to see a better future. Let us not undermine the criminality and evil designs of these terrorists the world over. They have only one aim and one goal i.e. to destroy the peace and harmony of each and every country. Let all the countries unite to back their efforts and share the responsibilities. US and UK citizens need to stand by them to strengthen there hands.

Lt Col Rattan S. Serohi Ex

NOTE: Please refer to my earlier email messages during Iraq war.

Lt Col Rattan S. Serohi Ex

1403, Sector – 37

Arun Vihar

NOIDA – 201303, INDIA

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Date
20031208
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:59
New York Post: Struggling 2004 Democratic wannabe John Kerry fires an X-rated attack at President Bush over Iraq and uses the f-word – highly unusual language for a presidential contender – in a stunning new interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

He used one swear word, people. Reason enough for us to reject the entire interview on principle, I’m sure.

Also, a ‘Paris Hilton Video weblog’ appears to be referral-spamming its way up the charts (not counting the one or two links from bloggers who actually believe they’ve published Paris Hilton’s mobile phone number).

Don’t bother visiting, folks. It’s mostly stuff you’ve already read elsewhere and a bunch of NSFW affiliate links.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Christianity Watch
Time
10:01
Heh. If Jack T. Chick were a Cthulhu-worshipper.

Also: Pope shows his true SATANIC nature by appearing under an INVERTED CROSS. Sorry for GETTING ALL SHOUTY, but we are talking about the NEW WORLD ORDER here, folks…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Google
Time
10:08
The ‘miserable failure’ Googlebomb went mainstream over the weekend:

BBC | Newsday | Sydney Morning Herald | Calcutta Telegraph

Oh, and here’s a new version of a familiar email.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Normal People
Time
10:15
Behold the Gallery of Bellydancing Librarians. I think we can slip this one in under 789….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Thunking Ahead
Time
10:20
The Elephant’s Memory is ‘a pictorial language consisting of more than a hundred and a fifty combinable graphic elements’. See it in action.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:24
You may now vote on the Wizbang weblog awards. The voting system appears to have been built by Diebold, but feel free to waste a vote or two regardless.

Also, Tom reports that Jorn Barger has been found alive and well. Again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:08
Harry Hatchet in The Guardian: Of course a quick glance at the sites of Bush, Howard Dean or Wesley Clark will reveal that in reality the politicians aren’t making much, if any, contribution to the blogs that bare their names – others produce the links and the comment. The in-house blogger has become part of the campaign staff.

That’s an unhealthy trend that I’d very much like to reverse, but let’s look closer to home for a moment…

Here, we have real politicians blogging as real people. That’s a healthy trend that I’d like to encourage but – as Tony Blair’s Big Abortion proves – the risk is still there that the purpose and benefit of this format will be totally misread. This can still go in the wrong direction.

So, the only choice is to stimulate blog growth amongst MPs.

The way I see it, there are two ways to do this:

1) I was against this idea when it was first proposed (I think by Icklesheep), but I think perhaps the time has come for us to stalk our local MPs on a one-to-one basis. I’ve learned a thing or two from stalking Tim Yeo. If I share that knowledge with the world, almost anyone could sign up at Blogger (within minutes), become the top search result for the name of their chosen MP (within days) and blog on their behalf with a few short minutes each day and/or as and when information crops up.

2) Alternatively, myself and an interested party or two could hold an in-Commons seminar specifically targeted at MPs, to show them what this is about and what they’re missing.

I’m still pondering. Let me know what you think.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
And So This is Christmas…
Time
11:09
Make each morning brighter with The Holiday Special Advent Calendar (link via The Ultimate Insult).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Photoshopping
Time
11:29
Oooh, this is lovely:

Minimum wage loyalty.

Equally distracting:

War, Actually…

UPDATE – I had a little fun today, too:

Winning hearts and minds.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Flash Games
Time
14:55
Easy as pie this one, all you have to do is insert the key into the lock. But what happens after you’ve had a few drinks? Zigacktly!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031208
Or Did He…?
Time
17:12
Heh. Thanks to a quick email from ScaryDuck, none of us will miss out on the letter to the editor of the European and Mideast edition of Stars & Stripes from Spc. Damian Torres (2nd letter down).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
Flash Thingies
Time
09:11
Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
09:12
The Observer: Halliburton, the engineering group formerly run by US vice-president Dick Cheney, has been given $1 billion worth of reconstruction work in Iraq by the US government without having to compete for it, thanks to repeated delays in opening up a key contract to competition.

That’s OK, you just sit there and wait until the election. I’m sure this bunch of crooks will be quite happy to sit there and let you vote them out of office.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
Video
Time
09:15
See the Toronto skyline from dusk to dawn (requires Quicktime).

This same site has still images of the aftermath of the theatre wall collapse that even made the news on this side of the pond yesterday.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
The End of Democracy
Time
09:53
Robert X. Cringely reacts to mainstream coverage of the e-voting scandal… and then swiftly moves on to approach the problem purely from an engineering perspective – which still brings up one very awkward question.

I also have this for you: a press release from Diebold that seeks to answer critics (instead of gagging them with dodgy copyright claims).

Good news, right?

Don’t hold your breath.

The only critic answered in this press release is Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, (who is a Republican and a Freemason by the looks of things). Tinfoil helmets on, people…

Blackwell takes Diebold to town over a number of issues, but not the obvious conflict of interest. He makes a number of demands, but – strangely – does not see the need for an auditable paper trail.

Diebold’s reaction: ”Yes, we’ve seen those problems. They’re fixed. No problems here. We look forward to a fair and honest election…”

Matter closed, then.

It appears from this related ZDNet report that the earliest we can expect a voter-verified paper trail is 2005. Or 2006. By which time Bush will be back in and the damage will be done.

Sorry, not good enough.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
Mission Accomplished!
Time
09:56
New York Times: As the guerrilla war against Iraqi insurgents intensifies, American soldiers have begun wrapping entire villages in barbed wire. In selective cases, American soldiers are demolishing buildings thought to be used by Iraqi attackers. They have begun imprisoning the relatives of suspected guerrillas, in hopes of pressing the insurgents to turn themselves in.

Innocent civilians. Who just happen to be related to suspected guerillas. I’m sure that’ll go down well.

Meanwhile, here’s a statement that will make you spit gravy…

Newsday via Associated Press: President George W. Bush’s chief of staff yesterday dismissed as “a moot point” any lingering question about whether Bush relied on faulty intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

BTW, I received a total of 32 emails during the Chasing Bush campaign that began with the usual ‘911 – never forget’ but barely paused for breath before saying; ‘The war is over. Get over it.’

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
10:09
Take your pick: jesusishitler.com or fakedrpepper.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
Lunchtime Links
Time
10:20
Man haunted by years of slaughtering chickens spills his guts. And here’s his weblog.

If you’ve read Fast Food Nation, then you should already be cheering.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
And So This is Christmas…
Time
10:28
A timely find from The Ultimate Insult: a Christmas message from Ozzy Osbourne.

And, if you have the bandwidth to handle it, this is awesome: Battlestar Galactica: The Game

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031209
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
13:21
From a filthy, pinko Guardian journalist who should mind his own business:

President’s Business Partner Slices Up Iraq

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031210
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
09:00
Via Toby we learn that, during Bush’s visit, the policing bill alone came to £4.1 million. While the Met were busy protecting a war criminal, ‘incidents of street crime in inner London boroughs rose from 30 to 180′.

Now I’m wondering what the final bill was for Bush’s enforced photo-opportunity in Sedgefield.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031210
Video
Time
09:08
Check out this excellent fan-produced trailer for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. It’s available for streaming or download as an MPEG… but modem users should be warned that we’re talking about 19.3MB of data here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031210
And So This is Christmas…
Time
09:12
Eurgh. I’m seriously considering changing this subject header now I know that the Pop Idol finalists plan to butcher John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over).

Anyway, FunJunkie suggests that you send a voicemail to Santa.

Oh, and the Hello World Project offers to project your 2 cents onto mountains and buildings across the world with friggin’ laser beams.

Is that 21st-century enough for you? Are you happy now? Good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031210
The Daily Mail
Time
09:20
Because The Daily Mail won’t catch up with the rest of the world until early next year, I can’t show you the latest in a long line of techno-fear headlines. Oh, wait… I can! My typewriter just happens to be hooked up to the Interwebnet, so here we go:

AMNESTY PLAN FOR INTERNET PERVERTS

What? You mean we might miss out on public burnings? No fair…

(As I was typing this, I was infected by a KILLER EMAIL VIRUS and my kids accidentally downloaded 2.4MB of FILTHY WEB PORN.)

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Date
20031210
Follow Up
Time
09:27
A morning full of disappointments: the Esperanto critic has punked out on us.

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Date
20031210
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:28
This had everybody jumping yesterday, and tops the Blogdex chart this morning:

Former vice president Al Gore plans to endorse Howard Dean for president.

That’s Wesley Clark’s cue to get his war-boots on and adopt a Starr-like role.

Dean fights for the election (that may or may not take place and/or be rigged), Clark fights for immediate impeachment. A classic pincer movement, you understand…

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Date
20031210
Music
Time
09:35
Proving that the Bush administration is hard on crime and big on substance, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has appointed James Brown Brown to be the first US ‘secretary of soul and foreign minister of funk’.

*ahem*

Speaking of substance, George Clinton has been arrested and charged with drug possession after admitting that he had some in his pocket.

UPDATE – The Smoking Gun makes good with the mugshot.

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Date
20031210
In The Courts
Time
09:39
Nicholas van Hoogstraten has been freed on the basis that – oh, you’ll love this – he could have no way of knowing that the men he sent to rough up rival property developer Mohammed Sabir Raja would actually kill him.

Raja was stabbed five times and shot at point blank range. The autopsy revealed no evidence of finger twisting noogies, chinese burns or nipple cripples.

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Date
20031210
Michael Jackson
Time
09:43
A confidential investigation by Los Angeles police and child welfare officials concluded earlier this year that allegations Michael Jackson sexually abused a cancer-stricken boy were ‘unfounded,’ according to an internal government memo obtained by The Smoking Gun.

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Date
20031210
Normal People
Time
09:45
LNR readers discuss the ever-shouty ‘Sinners and Winners’ man who haunts Oxford Street.

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Date
20031210
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
09:47
New York Times: The Pentagon has barred French, German and Russian companies from competing for $18.6 billion in contracts for the reconstruction of Iraq, saying the step “is necessary for the protection of the essential security interests of the United States.”

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Date
20031210
Tony Blair
Time
09:49
The Love Calculator reliably informs me that:

A relationship between Tim Ireland and Tony Blair has a reasonable chance of working out, but on the other hand, it might not. Your relationship may suffer good and bad times. If things might not be working out as you would like them to, do not hesitate to talk about it with the person involved. Spend time together, talk with each other.

Lord knows I try…

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Date
20031210
Eye Candy
Time
09:51
Meet Lana Landis. She’s very retro. And that’s about it.

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Date
20031210
The Interwebnet
Time
09:54
Just a friendly warning for you; the U.S. is officially in charge of the Internet. Oh, but the mafia is in charge of spams and viruses.

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Date
20031210
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:02
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?

I’m Charles VI of France. A lot of a loony, but a bit of a sweetie.

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Date
20031210
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:08
Martin Lloyd has a promising little crop of links this morning.

U.S. Authorities have arrested a dangerous terrorist, but nobody cares because he doesn’t wear a towel on his head.

Also, British troops in Iraq are outnumbered by private military contractors. But why should you care?

Well, this how my favourite pink broadsheet puts it: By definition, a private military company is in Iraq… not to pursue US, UN, or EU policy, but to make money.

And that’s got to be a good thing. Without privatisation, our railways would be in a right mess…

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Date
20031210
South West Trains
Time
10:17
I’ve received a reply from Andrew Haines in response to this, but it has one of those confidentiality statements at the end, so I can’t tell you what his email contains.

I can, however, tell you what it doesn’t contain; an explanation for the usual lack of information when SWT services perform under par. Put simply, they’re better off if you don’t know – no data makes it harder for you to complain. If you don’t even know that a number of services have been cancelled, then you may not think to complain at all.

Given that the number of complaints a train operator receives is used as a primary indicator of overall performance, I’ve requested clarification on this point and am polishing my arse-kicking boots…

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Date
20031210
World-Famous in…
Time
13:56
Hehehehe. Now I can add Israel to the list.

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Date
20031210
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
14:31
That crazy lady is still sending Yahoo greetings to not-the-PM’s email address.

UPDATE – Heh. When I look at these, she no doubt gets a message telling her that her message has been viewed. Which probably explains why she just sent another one. What do you think; should I string her along or put her out of her misery?

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Date
20031210
The Interwebnet
Time
16:08
Read this… then read this.

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Date
20031210
Established Media
Time
17:01
Meet Nedra Pickler. She’s the very definition of ‘fair and balanced’, as a quick search should prove.

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Date
20031210
Photoshopping
Time
17:11
BBC: More Afghan children die in raids

One potatochopper’s reaction…

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Date
20031210
Consume!
Time
17:21
One for fans of the Hummer H2. The submissions gallery should have you smiling well into the evening.

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Date
20031211
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
10:24
Congratulations to the Simon Wiesenthal Center who are running tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk as one of the destination email addresses for this petition to world leaders. As a result, I have been urged by a grand total of 11 form letters to ‘take the lead in establishing any suicide bombing as a crime against humanity.’

It sounds like one heck of a burden, but I’ll do my best…

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Date
20031211
Photography
Time
10:31
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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Date
20031211
Environmental
Time
10:33
BBC: Australian forestry officials have admitted to killing the nation’s largest tree, by mistake.

The general manager of operations for Forestry Tasmania, Kim Creak, described the incident as a ‘learning experience’….

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Date
20031211
Fame Is Good
Time
10:40
Jennifer Love Hewitt puked her guts up during a White House visit. The upchucking was the result of over-medication intended to address a urinary infection.

From this day forward, I won’t be able to look at a picture of her without thinking about a painful stinging sensation. Because she also got stung by a bee, obviously…

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Date
20031211
Funny, That…
Time
11:00
Pretty women scramble men’s ability to… thingie.

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Date
20031211
Fair and Balanced
Time
11:01
News cameras in Iraq focus on destruction, not reconstruction. Life is good, and getting better.

And now, a word or two from Sgt. Jason Paxton, who has written the following to the European and Mideast edition of Stars & Stripes:

I’m sick and tired of this war. More than 34 Americans have died in the last week. They were killed by those whom we’ve given freedom. In the meantime, a platoon in my company is unable to perform missions because they’re under investigation for accidentally breaking an Iraqi’s furniture during a cordon search.

Why are we even here? I’m a proud American and patriotic soldier, and if my country needs me to fight and die to protect it, then I’m able and willing. But there’s no purpose in us being here. We continue to fight and die every day against an enemy who cannot be pinpointed, and our hands are tied by a command that’s too afraid of bad publicity to allow us to fight this war the way it needs to be fought.

As for the “innocent” Iraqis, if they’re so innocent, why aren’t they telling us where the improvised explosive devices are instead of watching as we drive into them? Either allow us to do our job or send us home where we belong.

Life is good, and getting better.

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Date
20031211
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:07
The right-wingers have placed this at the top of the chart with their barely-contained link-joy over claims that Howard Dean is re-inventing himself and being too reactive but – as many linkers are pointing out, the same could be said of proud serviceman and flight commander George W. Bush.

Today, the final word on this matter goes to the renowned political journal, Mad Magazine.

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Date
20031211
Consume!
Time
11:17
Watch a video of all the people who lined up for the opening of Apple’s first Japanese store (requires Quicktime and zippy connection).

See the Beckhams whoring themselves to the Japanese (requires a strong constitution).

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Date
20031211
Orwell Was Right
Time
11:21
False memories now a reality.

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Date
20031211
McDonald’s
Time
11:22
Hong Kong government asks McDonalds to withdraw seasoning from their french fries that may or may not contain a substance capable of altering your genes.

“Pleasing taste, some monsterism…”

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Date
20031211
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
11:31
See a bunch of beast-reared babies at feralchildren.com

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Date
20031211
In The News
Time
11:32
CNN: No matter where you look, even in some of the remotest parts of the planet, you can’t avoid Monty Python.

Do tell…

Yahoo: A practical joker has stirred up trouble by publishing a Japanese-to-English phrase book with incorrect definitions for every phrase.

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Date
20031211
Normal People
Time
11:35
Galveston residents up in arms as 35th Street street walkers start chasing daytime trade.

Worth it for the anecdotal detail and the tale of the mother-and-daughter camcording team alone, but the true joy lies in the story (and picture) of Robbie McBee, who would turn tricks while her husband slept and return home, claiming to have found the money on the ground.

And now, for no reason whatsoever, here is a clean version of the ‘wife with carton of eggs’ joke.

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Date
20031211
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
11:46
Reuters: The United States will hand over key members of the former Iraqi regime to a special tribunal established on Wednesday, and Saddam Hussein could be tried in absentia.

The Guardian: Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said yesterday.

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Date
20031211
Weblog Marketing
Time
13:38
And here I was thinking Project Blog was the ultimate in misguided community marketing

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you the glorious wonder of Hyperteams!

The following text is from core site, which is available to anyone invited to join on of these teams via ‘permission-based email’ (in the case of the promotion for Alistair Griffin, this email came complete with a command to download a 626Kb MP3 and play it on a loop):

A Hyperteam is a sophisticated and powerful guerrilla-marketing tool that recruits and manages a ‘team’ of interested fans via the web. Fans/members are incentivised to perform tasks in return for prizes.

A Team can consist of as little as 50 core members or hundreds and potentially thousands of members capable of delivering highly targeted and highly effective ‘peer- to-peer’ marketing on and off-line.

I’ll let ‘incentivised’ slide for the moment….

As a copywriter, what grabs me first is the leading promises of the second paragraph. A team can exist of as little as 50 core members, but potentially thousands. All of these members are capable of delivering the sales message. Heh.

In return for fabulous prizes…?

Hey, does anyone here wanna buy some seeds? No? A subscription to Grit, perhaps?

*ahem*

The attempt at transparency is admirable, but to spell this out in such a way – marketing buzzwords and all – is not unlike giving your sexual partner a clinical rundown of intended foreplay and preferred positions.

In either case, once an arrangement reaches this formal stage, the time has come for actual money to change hands.

The only other alternative is to actually engage and let nature take its course.

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Date
20031211
And So This is Christmas…
Time
13:40
OK, so – mainly because of that bastard Dickens – most of us won’t be able to get around buying gifts for selected loved ones this Christmas… but what I can do for you is save you the huge waste of money and resources normally involved in packing your gift. You’ll only get away with this once, so choose your target and timing wisely.

Rather than buying a £5 gift box, pop along to your nearest charity store and pick up an old jigsaw puzzle. If it doesn’t have a price sticker, add one – and/or the text ‘5 pieces missing’… then pop the actual gift (CD/book/blouse/whatever) inside the box, mix it in with the jigsaw pieces and wrap the lot in whatever scraps of Christmas wrap you can find.

It saves you money, it’s less wasteful, and it gets a great reaction – but you really should be there when the recipient opens it, for reasons that should be obvious.

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Date
20031211
Michael Jackson
Time
14:02
Yes, you too can become an opinion columnist; it really is this easy.

UPDATE – Yes, this is that Amy Fisher.

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Date
20031211
Music
Time
14:15
Enjoy Silence of the Lambs: The Musical

It doesn’t contain the song I’ve Grown Accustomed To Eating Her Face, but Put the Fucking Lotion in the Basket more than makes up for this oversight.

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Date
20031211
Updates
Time
16:56
A belated wrap-up message has been added to Can Weblogs…?, drawing a line under Project 8: Can Weblogs Chase Bush Out of Britain?

I’m going to have a little rest on this front for a while, but new projects will continue at Interwebnet.org

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Date
20031212
Civil Liberties
Time
09:41
David Blunkett has threatened to resign from Amnesty International after the organisation accused ministers of creating ‘a Guantanamo Bay in our own backyard’ by holding foreign terror suspects without trial.

The response from Amnesty International is really quite wonderful:

“We hope David Blunkett will not conclude it is incompatible to be Home Secretary and a member of an organisation that champions human rights, fair trials and international standards of justice.”

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Date
20031212
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:35
References to the anti-terror rallies in Iraq are all over the place this morning:

Healing Iraq has a bunch of photos.

Iraq The Model lays out the intentions of the march and lists organisations that were involved.

Instapundit reviews these two posts and what little news coverage there was.

The Washington Times reports on the rallies.

The Jersey Journal’s report was the first one I came across that actually acknowledged:

1) That the drive behind this march came from American-backed councils

2) That this didn’t stop many people marching about decidedly ‘off-message’ issues such as health, welfare, and a general objection to being illegally occupied, bombed, shot at, and robbed blind

CTV in Canada also acknowledges (ahem) a mix of sentiment.

The sad thing is, not many people will get beyond the facade of these demonstrations, obviously intended to soften the attitudes of misguided peaceniks in the west (and those that try to peel back the green curtain will no doubt in this case be accused of being anti-Iraqi and pro-terrorism).

I was curious to hear what Riverbend made of all this. So was the jerk behind the fake Riverbend blog (who, after being rumbled for pretending to be her, has now taken to attacking her): ‘Will she make a mockery of it or totally ignore it?’

You can read what the real Riverbend had to say here.

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Date
20031212
Consume!
Time
10:38
Hooray for the return of the Innovations catalogue.

(Seasoned surfers will, of course, note a striking similarity to the B3ta quizzes of days gone by: 1, 2, 3)

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Date
20031212
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
10:44
New York Times: The United States government is paying the Halliburton Company an average of $2.64 a gallon to import gasoline and other fuel to Iraq from Kuwait, more than twice what others are paying to truck in Kuwaiti fuel, government documents show.

BBC: An oil services firm formerly run by US Vice President Dick Cheney may have overcharged US forces in Iraq by some $61m, a Pentagon audit has found.

Iraqis aren’t the only ones being robbed. This money goes straight from the U.S. taxpayer to Dick Cheney’s mates. And while we’re on the subject…

The Onion | Report: Poor People Pretty Much Fucked

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Date
20031212
And So This is Christmas…
Time
10:50
Dead puppies and a ban on letters to Santa… bring it on!

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Date
20031212
South West Trains
Time
10:53
Oh dear, just as the train companies line up a fantastic photo-opputunity of old trains being scrapped (I watched a biot of this on the news last night) , along comes a real story to bury it:

The Independent – Trains are arriving even later, despite cutbacks to timetables

The number of complaints are down, but we all know why that’s a statistic that can’t be trusted.

Back to the subject of demolishing trains; I’m very happy that new trains are being brought into service, but:

1) I would ask why I spent £300+ a month being ferried about on trains that were 40+ years old (and declared unsafe 15 years ago)

2) I would also question SWT’s policy of introducing a ‘no-smoking’ policy by stealth (in that the new rolling stock just happens to lack smoking carriages or compartments of any kind). Be you a smoker or not, you have to admit that this is just a little bit sneaky.

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Date
20031212
The End of Democracy
Time
11:03
A hail ‘president’ Bush the champion of democracy!

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Date
20031212
Christianity Watch
Time
11:04
Farkers discuss differing methods for getting rid of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Date
20031212
Follow Up
Time
11:09
Responding to the reports that the largest tree is Australia is no more, my Dad writes:

As usual, the journos have got it wrong. The destroyed tree was the largest tree in Tasmania…

Australia’s largest tree is a mallee tree in Western Australia which is only about 4 metres high but covers several hectares. Its root system has grown to this size over hundreds of years and it has thousands of visible stems, but still has only one root system.

It is in a plant reserve, I believe, but after its original discovery about 5 years ago, the locals have kept quiet about it. Otherwise it too would be a victim of a learning experience.

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Date
20031212
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
11:50
The B3ta version of Froogle went fully live a few hours back and results are now being fed in through the central database on a number of ‘test’ products. That result you see nestled under Amazon is from a client site. I’ll be watching these very carefully over the next few weeks to see if – as some people suspect – catalogue sites are being punished in order to encourage sign-ups to the Froogle service. I know of at least one client result (involving a model number that’s in the Froogle directory but not being served into the central database just yet) that, having previously ridden high as the top search result for months, today does not appear in the central database at all.

Given that Sergei Brin, founder of Google, is on record describing the concept of trusted feeds as ‘evil’, and – as this waddles, quacks and shits just like a trusted feed (even if it is free… for now) – I’m sure you’ll pardon me for having an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach.

For now, I’ll be advising relevant clients of this change and judging the process of inclusion on a case-by-case basis.

Not that we can actually join in at this stage, right now it looks like UK stores will just have to suck it and see:

Froogle – Information for Merchants:

This beta release of Froogle only supports U.S. online stores with English-language websites and products priced in U.S. dollars. While we plan to offer support for multiple languages and currencies in the future, we want to be sure Froogle offers the best possible experience to users and merchants before we expand the service. We will not be accepting feeds from international merchants until that time.

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Date
20031212
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
12:11
It’s… The Web User Christmas Weblog Special! (Brought to you by ILG – selling your body’s chemicals

after you die – and by L’il Sweetheart cupcakes – a subsidiary of ILG.)

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Date
20031212
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
17:58
Expats Against Bush presents an exclusive interview with a National Guardsman based in southern Iraq








About Tim Ireland

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