15-31 December, 2003

This entry was posted on
Monday, December 15th, 2003
at
9:37 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20031215
Online Marketing
Time
09:37
Paul Carr is spot on about pop-ups and sustainability. I also love his early lead-in on the subject of touchy ‘viral’ marketers. I think the fact that they actually have (or had) an advertising spend with outlets such as The Friday Thing shows that their viral mechanisms aren’t really all that viral, in that they need a serious jump-start just to enable them to stagger from the operating table.

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Date
20031215
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:38
Gutless wonder John “I’m personally not in support of the death penalty” Howard has publicly backed the death penalty for Saddam Hussein, thereby cementing his place in history as an appeasing butt-muncher.

Mr Blair’s special representative in Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, made the UK stance on this clear by telling Radio 4: “We would have no part of a tribunal or a process that had the death penalty as one of its penalties.”

A pity, then, that Camp Justice appears to be the ideal place to hold the man while they interrogate him. We’ll just have to make do with standing by and allowing it to happen elsewhere.

UPDATE – And so we will.

On the subject of interrogation… Saddam has a plan (otherwise he would have fought tooth and nail or topped himself) but so does the Bush Administration, who are sure to focus on a confession regarding WMDs. If they get this, they won’t need evidence, because they’ll have ‘Proof’.

On the subject of violence… expect more. Those who wish to make it clear that they’re not fighting in Saddam’s name will want to make a bold statement. They may need a week to get their ship together, but you can bet something big is on the way.

On the subject of Bush’s addressBlah-blah-blah freedom, blah-blah-blah democracy, blah-blah-blah close by – yet again – linking the illegal war on Iraq with the perpetual war against terrorism.

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Date
20031215
Viral Marketing
Time
10:04
Tom Watson’s Teens page has claimed yet another victim, the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who uses it in this Guardian article to make his point that ‘the brain just isn’t ready to vote at 16’…

Tom has, quite rightly, taken him to task and suggested that even learned minds shouldn’t be above doing a little research… especially when such minds seem unable to detect irony without assistance.

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Date
20031215
A Blog Is Born
Time
11:51
Someone has started stalking Julie Kirkbride.

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Date
20031215
Photoshopping
Time
15:45

Ladies and gentlemen… we got one!!!!

Posted over at B3ta, where the poor sods have been inundated with an endless stream of ‘Saddam as Santa’ images since late yesterday.

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Date
20031216
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:32
Bloody hell, it’s going to be a busy one this morning…

Still, I just have time to direct you to the new trailer for Spiderman 2. (My goodness, the strain of those mechanical arms must be rough on the spine…)

Topping Blogdex today is a slew of ‘Saddam captured’ links, along with the Torygraph reporting on the timely discovery of ‘proof’ on an Iraq/911 connection. Iraqi (coalition) officials refused to disclose how and where they had obtained the document, but I’m willing to bet that a fireproof shoebox is involved somehow. Every past memo and/or leak of this nature has proved to be faked/groundless; so I’m inclined to question this one, too. The timing also makes me suspicious, in that – even if the memo is proved to be a fake – the idea itself (presented at the height of our joy over Saddam’s capture) is sure to stick in the mind.

Time to remind ourselves who the real war criminals are and what their overall strategy is. (Warning: contains traces of tinfoil.)

End rant. Another coming… hang in there.

Stating the obvious: PowerPoint Makes You Dumb

Giving till it hurts: Salvation Army’s Santa Monica captain cops flak over his million-dollar house.

Aaaand here comes Rant No. 2:

You should check out this hilarious collection of clips showing Arnold Schwarzenegger whoring himself to the Japanese. (Save a copy or two to disk if you can. Arnie is reportedly trying to have these removed).

One of the products (currently illegal in the US and the UK) is an ‘energy’ drink chock-full of nicotine goodness. The website (and almost every external reference to it) gives the product’s name as Arinamin V, but its real name – according to Takeda, the Japanese pharmaceutical giant that makes it – is Alinamin V.

Amusingly, the drink is not listed on the company’s website under ‘Ethical Drugs’, but under ‘Other Products‘.

You’ll also be happy to note that Takeda has subsidiaries in the UK and in the US. The happy human faces of the company make clear that Takeda has ‘an entrepreneurial spirit’ (as opposed to an ethical one), so perhaps Arnie can have a quiet word with his mates and get this much-needed tonic on western shelves sometime soon.

Our wage-slaves need fuel, too!

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Date
20031216
Normal People
Time
14:25
Hi everyone. I’d like you to meet one poor soul who’s been completely Bush-whacked. I won’t give you his name…. let’s just call him ‘Dick':

From an email on the subject of the war Iraq and possible motivations of the Bush administration:

You question the motives – meaning you are referring to the US or the UK in some way getting money or control of Oil. One – the control of Iraq is/will be back in the hands of the Iraq people – so we are not stealing or claiming anything and Two – if for example a foreign country had saved my country from tyranny I would be fucking grateful and any business or discounted goods or anything I could put that county’s way as a jesture of thanks I believe that would be the polite thing to do.

From an email on the subject of the democratic process and trust in our leaders:

So called ‘peaceful do-goober’s such as yourself who think the whole world is wrong and against them have no hope. Until you understand what is going on and why such unpopular and difficult decisions are made ‘for the greater good’ you will continue to walk around blind without a cane. Decisions will always be made and need to be made independently of the general public knowledge as otherwise nothing would ever get done as the debates necessary would take too long and not be done in time and when necessary.

This not a troll, folks – it’s a genuine and heartfelt opinion. More’s the pity…

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Date
20031217
Updates
Time
09:23
A 14th page has been added to The Star Wars Photoshopping Project. It includes this offering from yesterday in reaction to the many ‘Saddam as Santa’ images posted to B3ta over the last few days.

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Date
20031217
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
09:26
Attention gullible ‘work from home’ types; envelope-stuffing will make you poor, not rich.

Can you sew? If so, why not take the lead of providers of crap action dolls (click to see the latest ‘captured Saddam’ doll) and make body bags for Action Man dolls? You can get busy immediately and sell them as job lots on eBay, or set up a more concrete shop with WorldPay and OSCommerce.

You’ll not only make a little cash, you’ll be making a valid point.

Oh, and I get 5%, OK?

UPDATE – The military prefer to call body bags ‘human remains pouches’. The U.S. government pays about $38 for each bag, but you can buy them for less at todiefor.biz and keep a few handy in the office, where death lurks around every corner.

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Date
20031217
Normal People
Time
09:43
Meet Steve Walker; he likes to draw with pencils. (Link via the ever-morphing Hanging Day LNR Friday Thing Journal.)

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Date
20031217
And So This is Christmas…
Time
09:47
Enjoy some Christmassy violence, or calm yourself by making a snowflake (latter link via FunJunkie.

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Date
20031217
The End of Democracy
Time
09:51
Ahahahahahahaha! Diebold memos reveal price-gouging culture within company.

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Date
20031217
The War on Porn
Time
09:54
Texas housewife arrested after selling a vibrator to undercover cops. It’s official; the long arm of the law is now lubricated.

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Date
20031217
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
09:56
Bush says Saddam deserves ‘the ultimate penalty’. Just in case we’re not all clear on what that means, and official statement from the White House confirms that he was referring to the death penalty, a policy the UN does not agree with.

Oh well. A least Bush didn’t face the camera and imitate Saddam under interrogatio with a mocking round of: “Oh, please don’t kill me Mr Bush. Please don’t kill me!”

Even if – and I stress if – this happens without US interference, it bears noting that a ‘necessity’ for Saddam’s death exists; driven by the fears of the Iraqi people that he could still somehow return to power… and of course, that has nothing to do with this.

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Date
20031217
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:14
Howard Dean puts on his ass-kicking boots:

Empowered by the American people, I will work to restore:

The legitimacy that comes from the rule of law;

The credibility that comes from telling the truth;

The knowledge that comes from first-rate intelligence, undiluted by ideology;

The strength that comes from robust alliances and vigorous diplomacy;

And, of course, I will call on the most powerful armed forces the world has ever known to ensure the security of this nation.

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Date
20031217
Activism
Time
10:21
Hiroshima survivors dent the recently-restored restored Enola Gay with bottle of red paint. (Posted at Fark, triggering an inevitable flame war.)

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Date
20031217
In The News
Time
10:23
Man calls 911 and insists that police arrest his cat. Police arrived, agreed to search his house for the cat… and found ‘drug paraphenalia’. Whoops.

Also, it’s not a good idea to pay the babysitter with marijuana.

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Date
20031217
Christianity Watch
Time
10:25
Hip hop singer Lauryn Hill has urged an audience to seeking the blessings of God not men. She also slated the Roman Catholic Church for corruption of its leadership and stated quite clearly that she ‘does not believe in representatives of God on earth’.

She made these comments while performing in a concert at the Vatican.

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Date
20031217
Dead Man Walking
Time
10:32
Oh dear… we interrupted Saddam’s blogging. Heh.

According to CNN, Saddam is being a ‘wiseass’ under interrogation, but ‘denied having ties to terrorists or knowledge of weapons of mass destruction’.

When you hear the sound of the bell, please put on your tin-foil helmets…

*ding*

Indications Saddam Was Not in Hiding But a Captive

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Date
20031217
LOTR
Time
10:38
To make the battle scenes in LOTR: The Return of the King more realistic, the computer chappies created more than 200,000 digitized soldiers (plus 6,000 or so horses), all with ‘distinctiveness and individuality’… and the gift of autonomy.

Special effects designer Richard Taylor: “So each of these computerized soldiers is assessing the environment around them, drawing on a repertoire of military moves that have been taught them through motion capture – determining how they will combat the enemy, step over the terrain, deal with obstacles in front of them through their own intelligence – and there’s 200,000 of them doing that.”

Their biggest problem? For the first two years of development, they couldn’t stop the computer-generated soldiers from simply running away.

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Date
20031217
Spam
Time
10:46
Bush signs anti-spam bill. Oh, and I learned the other day that some spambots deliberately target sites that mention the word ‘spam’. Isn’t that nice?

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Date
20031217
Photoshopping
Time
10:50
Steve is doing a little ‘proof of concept’ work for the ‘print on demand’ outfit, Immediart. He emailed me the other day about offering some of my work as enlarged print thingies. I must admit to being dubious, despite previously entertaining some notions of doing this same thing on a much larger scale.

I now hold in my hands some opinion-changing samples. They make it pretty clear that resolution is a major issue, so I’m going to have to do some development if I want to play along – but right now I’m the proud owner of a sodding great A3 ‘signed’ print of Tony Blair in the nude.

What do you think I should do with it… run a test sale on eBay or give it away as a nifty prize?

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Date
20031217
In The News
Time
11:36
The Scotsman: Garden gnome-lovers have been targeted by official-looking letters which threaten prosecution if they do not remove their outdoor ornaments, a council warned today.

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Date
20031217
Doing The Rounds
Time
13:45
Damn and blast it, I missed Monkey Day.

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Date
20031217
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
13:46
Yet another greeting card for Tony Blair.

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Date
20031217
Civil Liberties
Time
13:52
Independent: Vetting loopholes ‘could allow another killer into a school’

BBC: Soham head calls for law change

Isn’t it wonderful that he at least gives a passing nod to civil liberties?

But we’ve still got to protect the children!!!

Really? Then perhaps extended checks should be compulsory for all staff, not just teachers – but setting up a shiny new database that details every allegation made against a person leads us down a very dangerous path.

UPDATE – A ‘shopped comment by ScottyB

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Date
20031217
Dead Man Walking
Time
14:07
Michael Moore on the capture of Saddam and how much saferer it makes us.

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Date
20031217
Doing The Rounds
Time
15:22
This news is spreading like wildfire this afternoon:

Get a free PC ‘in exchange for your commitment to watch up to 3 minutes of advertising per hour of use’.

You’ll pardon me for being less than charitable, but just the thought of it makes me want to shoot myself in the face.

Oh, and where’s my free bloody TV and radio, then?

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Date
20031217
The Big Conversation
Time
15:57
Tomorrow, Vladimir Putin will appear on Russian TV to answer questions posed by the population via the telling-bone and this website. So far, he’s facing 800,000 questions. He may want to get an early start (or do what Tony does and use a ‘happy filter’ that only lets through 0.01% of questions). Cheers, ScaryDuck.

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Date
20031217
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
16:20
Halliburton-KBR feeds troops filthy food. Oh, and Bush had carefully screened troops waiting for him in the mess hall for his ‘surprise’ visit. Others were turned away. But they all love him. Really.

To be fair and balanced (as is said) here is a view from the right. Do take the time to read the comments. My favourite:

When Bush has to order a enthusiastic crowd, his days are numbered.

UPDATE – Read this. Very enlightening. During Chasing Bush is was noted by many Americans that Bush hasn’t appeared in public for years. The love ‘his people’ feel for him is completely staged.

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Date
20031217
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
16:46
From the ABC Bush television interview comes this staggering exchange…

DIANE SAWYER: But stated as a hard fact, that there were weapons of mass destruction as opposed to the possibility that he could move to acquire those weapons still —

PRESIDENT BUSH: So what’s the difference?

DIANE SAWYER: Well —

Please – please – can somebody drag this man into a court room?

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Date
20031218
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:19
Democrats not doing themselves any favours I

Democrats not doing themselves any favours II

Still, a bit of left-wing shoutiness beats the hell out of right-wing extremism. £5 says that Tom Watson’s on that list.

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Date
20031218
The War on Porn
Time
09:27
This is sure to catch a few beginners and – as some of ou may suspect is the real point of this exercise – quite a few headlines as well. “Hey look at us! We’re doing stuff!”

Part of me also wonders quietly how well-optimised these sites are.

As with the War on Terror, this cause is just – but I dare to question the intent of certain people and organisations would use this cause to clamp down on freedom. And for now, I’m allowed to…

MSNBC – How the Internet could become a tool of corporate and government power, based on updates now in the works:

The Internet’s pre-eminent dean of darkness is Lawrence Lessig, the Stanford University guru of cyberlaw. Beginning with his 1999 book “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace,” Lessig has been predicting that corporate and regulatory pressures would usurp the open nature of the Net, and now says that he has little reason to retract his pessimism. Lessig understands that restrictive copyright and Homeland Security laws give a legal rationale to “total control,” and also knows that it will be sold to the people as a great way to stop thieves, pirates, malicious hackers, spammers and child pornographers.

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Date
20031218
Google
Time
09:39
Google reaches out to explore and display information that is held offline… and in doing so creates yet another commercial environment for their users.

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Date
20031218
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:42
The results are in for the Guardian Blog Awards.

After last year’s kerfuffle, they were very careful not to have an overall winner… which is why, instead, they’ve opted for a special ‘catch-all’ award from the judges. This appears to be more or less the same thing to me. Not a beef; just an observation.

The ‘best written’ award went to an excellent blog: Belle de Jour.

This weblog (by a London call girl) is, arguably, a specialist blog… but it’s the writing that makes it remarkable. It even managed to pass through B3ta’s harsh filters. For once, they didn’t care if it was commercial – or even real – it was just Very. Well. Written.

UPDATE – Hmmm. She also looks to be a perfect candidate to publicise this union drive. Oh, and the nod given to Annie was well-deserved. Perhaps if she were more willing to put out she would have pipped Pepys at the post.

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Date
20031218
Church & State
Time
09:55
The man behind the prosecution of the woman who dared to sell sex toys in Texas is County Attorney Bill Moore, who is sure to approach the matter in a fair and balanced manner, being as he is a proud member of the First Baptist Church of Burleson… who are proud supporters of the local not-at-all-biased Pregnancy Aid Center.

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Date
20031218
“The same thing we do every day, Pinky…”
Time
10:09
Evil on a Budget (or, How to threaten the free world on fifty dollars a day).

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Date
20031218
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
10:31
Computer programmer launches WMD ‘treasure hunt’ based on public documents.

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Date
20031218
Doing The Rounds
Time
10:33
Did you think yesterday’s freebie offer was nifty? This has it beat hands-down. (Please note that adding the word ‘trousers’ here would have resulted in an over-punnage penalty.)

An Australian company is offering men a two-week vacation in Australia in exchange for their sperm.

The offers comes from this company. The catch is you have to stay in Albury while making regular donations.

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Date
20031218
‘Is That Real?’ Etc.
Time
10:41
It’s a wooden Ferrari. And I don’t care.

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Date
20031218
Follow Up
Time
10:42
Yesterday’s link about the computer generated soldiers in LOTR reminded Dave of the killer kangaroos. You’ve seen it, I’ve seen it – but it still makes me laugh like a drain.

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Date
20031218
In The News
Time
10:45
Adams County Waste Reduction & Recycling office take out full-page newspaper ad to combat problem of abandoned urine.

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Date
20031218
Activism
Time
10:47
Here’s one reason why I believe co-ordinated individual action is the the way forward at present:

Salon.com on the violence and intimidation used to discourage traditional forms of protest.

“There is a pattern developing cross-country with regards to the interaction between police and protesters,” says Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, president of the Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “That pattern sadly involves the police viewing protesters as terrorists and treating protest situations as crisis situations akin to war or combat.”

Endure the ad, get the free day pass, read in full – and prepare yourselves for January 5th.

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Date
20031218
Privitisation
Time
11:04
BBC: Experts warn of blackout danger over the Christmas holidays.

You don’t have to be an expert to see this coming. I stocked up on torch batteries yesterday after a series of rather disconcerting brown-outs over the last few days.

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Date
20031218
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:48
Vote 1 Tom Watson and his nifty bobble-hat!

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Date
20031218
And So This is Christmas…
Time
11:55
Another Christmas, another missing Baby Jesus. When oh when oh when will people realise that we need to set up a central database of people who have been heard to express a dislike for nativity scenes to stop this kind of tragedy occuring?

Oh, and here’s some hints on Turkey safety recently posted to Usenet. Useful, if somewhat overlong and misplaced.

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Date
20031219
Normal People
Time
09:56
Meet Patrick Findlay. He’s lonesome. And handsome.

Also, you might want to spend some time getting to know Vaclav Halek. Mushrooms sing to him.

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Date
20031219
Dead Man Walking
Time
09:59
Here you go: a massive collection of cartoons on the subject of the capture of Saddam Hussein.

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Date
20031219
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:00
The right-wingers are still on their ‘the Democrats have lost it’ kick. Quite a few links on Blogdex target a tongue-in cheek comment made by Madeleine Albright, suggesting that Dubya has Osama bin Laden tucked away somewhere, ready to be ‘found’ just before the election. As fun as it may be to watch Fox News foam at the mouth, the most interesting article on this subject is this one in the Washington Times, that references a number of conspiracy theories voiced by the left and reactions to them. It includes this snippet:

Earlier, Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, the presumed leader of the Democratic presidential candidates, spoke of “a theory,” which he later said he didn’t believe, that President Bush had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks and did not take steps to prevent them.

That’s, like, totally nutty.

CBS News: For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented.

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Date
20031219
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:12
More people watched Paris Hilton in This Simple Life on Fox than watched President Bush’s interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC. Here’s a jolly good transcript of the moment when she nailed him. What a pity the people who really needed to see this moment weren’t watching.

UPDATE – Heh. Zach has made a Christmas Wish List for everyone’s favourite lean, green shagging machine.

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Date
20031219
Activism
Time
10:18
PETA plans to hand out “Your Mommy Kills Animals” to youngsters whose mothers are wearing fur. The blind spot these people and a faction of the Huntingdon crowd have for human rights really gets on my tits (I’m not a big fan of animal experimentation, but I’m dead-set against the public displays of tortured animals that they set up in busy shopping areas).

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Date
20031219
Online Marketing
Time
10:24
LNR comments on the Metronomy ‘free PC’ offer.

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Date
20031219
And So This is Christmas…
Time
10:25
Best. Christmas. Link. Ever. The RIAA makes Baby Jesus cry.

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Date
20031219
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:27
Rebecca Blood’s thought-piece requires more thought. Why name Pepys and Boswell? Is that really that difficult to come up with the names of two famous pamphleteers?

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Date
20031219
Guantanamo Bay
Time
10:32
BBC – Double legal terror blow for Bush: The Bush administration has suffered two legal setbacks in its efforts to curtail the rights of those it accuses of being involved in terrorism.

I’ve posted a shedload of related links over at Interwebnet.org

January 5 will be here before you know it. Plan your targets; polish your locks.

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Date
20031219
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:42
Salon.com takes a closer look at the latest ‘proof’ of a link between Saddam and Osama. The usual ‘free day pass’ rigmarole is in place, but it’s worth it for the read.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031219
Photoshopping
Time
14:47
A special Christmas image for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031219
Bunch of Stuff
Time
15:05
The latest B3ta newsletter is a cracker. A highlight is the naked MP calendar, which reminds me of the evil thoughts I was having late yesterday afternoon about Tim Yeo…

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Date
20031222
Music
Time
09:06
Abnu quite rightly points out that we should reward the creators of whatacrappypresent.com with a resounding ‘Huzzah!’, so…

Huzzahs all around for the folks behind downhillbattle.org, who are fighting the good fight with a staggering level of dedication, style and humour. You can contact the co-founders and track their successes in the press here.

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Date
20031222
LOTR
Time
09:15
String, or nothing,

String, or nothing,

Baggins, we hates it!

Smeagol; break it down!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Perpetual War
Time
09:17
The terror threat level has been increased in the U.S., who are now officially at ‘Ernie‘. Here’s hoping nobody gets an Elmo this Christmas.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:20
Wizspark cleverly bring to light the well-known ‘referrer spam’ loophole in Blogdex and in doing so plug their viral event buzz thingies with (ahem) admirable subtlety.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
It’s War! And Totally Justified At That!
Time
09:50
It really steams my bean that, after constantly patting us poor, misguided peaceniks on the head and telling us that we just don’t understand the complicated forces behind political decisions, that Bush and Blair would so boldly tie Libya’s recent decision to drop their WMD programmes to their ‘success’ in Iraq.

Over to Clare Short, writing in The Independent on Sunday:

The co-ordination of the Blair-Bush press conferences on Friday night claiming a big success in the “war on terror” has a pathetic tone that reflects the Prime Minister’s desperation and the two men’s continuing belief that they can prosecute their “war” with half-truths and deceptions.

This piece goes on to point out how this ‘victory’ was actually achieved and to develop a solid case for concerns we should have about the future, as does this post from Billmon, over at The Whiskey Bar:

Still, I can only shake my head at the incredible twists and turns in what passes for the Bush administration’s foreign policy. It was just a few short weeks ago that Bush was vowing to end America’s past practice of overlooking the sins of odious regimes — as long as they were willing to serve U.S. interests.

Did Saddam Hussein cement his rule without outside assistance? No, he didn’t.

Did the illegal war against Iraq right these wrongs and make the world safe against terrorism? No, it didn’t.

Can we expect an improvement to human rights and/or free and open elections in Libya anytime soon? No, we can’t.

Do you actually have to walk across the horizon to see it? No, you don’t.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Dead Man Walking
Time
09:58
Remember this post from last week about indications that Saddam may actually have been a captive?

The Sunday Express has been following this line of inquiry also (via ‘an unnamed Western intelligence source’), as Conspiracy Planet reports. A Yahoo report on this same news is also doing the rounds but, so far, only the Sydney Morning Herald digs a little deeper, dusting a number of Kurdish fingerprints.

Cue Bush and Blair post-fanfare, saying that “It doesn’t really matter who got him, we got him!”, and “It’s time to move on!”, etc. etc. etc.

UPDATE – More (much more) at Metafilter.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
‘Is That Real?’ Etc.
Time
10:11
Blood-red sky in Edvard Munch’s The Scream attributed to volcanic activity in Krakatoa.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
And So This is Christmas…
Time
10:32
Tennessee judge allows traffic offenders to sing a Christmas carol rather than pay a fine. Does that apply to seasonal drink-drivers as well?

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Date
20031222
Flash Music Video
Time
10:34
Far out, man. I can see the music!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
10:35
See what Chimpy is costing you at bushtax.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Established Media
Time
10:36
One of my favourite things ever is when a newspaper rips off a scoop by The Smoking Gun and perhaps – when feeling generous – ‘names’ the source as ‘an American website’. MSNBC helps to correct the balance with this review of recent SG scoops and their coverage in mainstream media.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
‘Is That Real?’ Etc.
Time
10:47
Meet Bob and Denise. They’re ‘caravanners (and) people too’. They’re also popular. Very popular. Watch out for the big ‘whoosing’ sound.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Orwell Was Right
Time
10:53
The Observer: After speed cameras, road humps and mobile phone bans, there could be more bad news for Britain’s motorists. Police are urging Ministers to give them the power to stop vehicles by remote control.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:55
Time names the American soldier (a ‘bright, sharp instrument of a blunt policy’) as Person Of The Year.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
Flash Thingies
Time
13:50
Halliburton: Your Trusted Reconstruction Partner!

And here’s a little something to read for afters…

(Look, I know this isn’t the kind of shafting that makes for good TV, but can someone over there please, please get on with the long-overdue impeachment proceedings? You don’t want to be out-done by Lithuania, now do you?)

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Date
20031222
Doing The Rounds
Time
14:09
WOoOoOOoooOOOooo…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031222
It’s War! And Totally Justified At That!
Time
14:45
A nifty ‘shop cartoon and post/discussion on the subject of Bush’s “What’s the difference?” interview.

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Date
20031222
Video
Time
15:15
Yahoo News: In the midst of a film industry crackdown on digital movie piracy, filmmaker Robert Greenwald is urging rampant, unauthorized copying of his documentary criticizing the Bush administration’s reasons for invading Iraq. Greenwald has bypassed movie theaters and television, and instead has organized “parlor screenings” in thousands of homes across the United States with the help of Internet-based liberal advocacy group, MoveOn.org

Want to see it? If you live in the U.S., you can simply click here to find the nearest viewing party.

Perhaps we can get a little viewing party together in London…

Delivery of videos appears to be delayed for most folks, so let me just ask first; has anyone bought a copy already that may arrive faster or – even better – is already in the country?

UPDATE – The link above also features a trailer. Oh, and here’s a full transcript. (Hmmm. I wonder what we have to do to get this broadcast in the UK?)

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Date
20031223
Anyone but George
Time
09:35
I’ve started poking around Democratic Underground lately. Lots of interesting stuff turns up (but from time to time you will need a tinfoil party hat).

One thing that keeps turning up is appreciation for individual entries in MoveOn.org Voter Fund’s political ad contest.

This Bush in 30 secs ad I blogged yesterday still has me laughing 18 hours later (the delivery is right on the money), and I just spotted this extremely well-executed number on the subject of 11/9. However, this entry makes me giggle. OK, so it’s a solid rap, but the guy looks like Mark Lamarr.

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Date
20031223
It’s War! And Totally Justified At That!
Time
09:48
New York Times: As a special envoy for the Reagan administration in 1984, Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the defense secretary, traveled to Iraq to persuade officials there that the United States was eager to improve ties with President Saddam Hussein despite his use of chemical weapons, newly declassified documents show.

But… but.. but.. that still leaves (um, errr) the Rape Rooms! Yes, Rape Rooms were what this war was about! Saddam had Rape Rooms!

(ahem)

You can dig through a growing collection of links and info on this subject here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031223
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:53
The next version of Movable Type will feature comment registration in an effort to control comment spam.

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Date
20031223
Photography
Time
09:57
An excellent – excellent – Brooklyn-based Photolog that focuses on ‘strange signage, urban decay and general weirdness': Satan’s Laundromat

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Date
20031223
Web Design
Time
10:00
Jakob Nielsen’s Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2003.

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Date
20031223
Flash Thingies
Time
10:02
Merry Xmas from a kid who means business! (Requires Flash and a stomach for violence. Link via Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20031223
Would You Believe…
Time
10:05
Here’s the real reason Libya was desperate to do a deal; they want to host the World Cup in 2010.

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Date
20031223
Activism
Time
10:07
Miami Herald: A judge presiding over the cases of free trade protesters said in court that he saw ”no less than 20 felonies committed by police officers” during the November demonstrations, adding to a chorus of complaints about police conduct.

According to Amnesty International, they also violated a few international laws and covenants on civil rights as well.

This will all come out sooner or later, and we will win back the right to march peacefully, but for now, it’s Secret Squirrel time!

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Date
20031223
In The Courts
Time
10:14
I feel I should warn you that singing in court (as blogged yesterday) doesn’t always guarantee leniency.

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Date
20031223
‘Is That Real?’ Etc.
Time
10:17
Heh. Sarah M. Giles and Sarah Shea on medically-appropriate responses to injuries in nursery rhymes.

Incidentally, brown paper is great for head cuts (which bleed a lot). It’s more fibrous than normal paper, and applying it to a cut can actually help the blot to clot. Seriously. I’m not sure what good the vinegar would do (perhaps it’s there to reduce bruising/swelling) but I read the other day that it’s great for washing squirrels before you casserole them.

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Date
20031223
Photoshopping
Time
13:18
A little non-festive cheer for you. (Also posted to B3ta.)

“Little Mikey never saw his parents again…”

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Date
20031224
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:19
Fabulous isn’t it? We’re on high alert, and Bush & Blair appear to be arguing over who gets to fly into Iraq for a heart-warming photo-op.

If it is Bush that flies in, do you think this time he’ll claim to have seen Santa along the way?

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Date
20031224
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:24
Why do you think Condoleezza Rice is none-too-keen on tesifying under oath before the federal commission investigating the 11/9 attacks?

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Date
20031224
Flash Music Video
Time
10:39
Disturbing and spooky but ever so woo-some… damn right you better watch out!

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Date
20031224
In The Courts
Time
10:41
BBC: American comedian Lenny Bruce has been granted a posthumous pardon by the state of New York.

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Date
20031224
And So This is Christmas…
Time
10:42
Santarchy.com – “No force on earth can stop one hundred Santas!”

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Date
20031224
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:00
Newsday: A Brooklyn cop is being investigated over Internet postings that brag about beating suspects, writing phony tickets and ignoring calls to his precinct.

If you go to the blog in question, you’ll find that it’s recently been emptied. Bugger.

No matter. If you’re quick, you’ll be able to scan through this Google cache that mostly reveals an obsession with ‘funny’ NSFW images. More specific searches and cache views allow you to dig a little deeper, which is how I tracked down and verified the post regarding bogus traffic tickets.

(Again, you’ll have to coast past many, many NSFW images to get to it, so I’ve posted the guts in full below for more immediate and worksafe reading.)

“The new commanding officer of the precinct is pressuring us to write more and more tickets. We were officially told NOT to write anymore tickets for headlights and taillights. Most people fix the problem within 24 hours and the ticket would be admonished therefore the City of New York makes no money in the end. So I have come up with a better way of writing tickets. I just write down the plates of the cars that cut me off the the parkways and I send them a bogus parking ticket in the mail. The person will then have to deal with the Parking Violations Bureau and not me. Problem quickly resolved. So, in other words, be careful who you cut off on the road. They might be an off duty cop and they could write your plates down and write you a $150 parking ticket. Have a nice day.”

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Date
20031224
Tim Yeo
Time
11:14
That A3 poster of Tony Blair in the nude is being offered as a special prize over at the Tim Yeo Weblog, and will go to the first person who digs out verifiable transcripts of Tim Yeo’s love poems.

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Date
20031224
Photoshopping
Time
11:16
This year’s Christmas image is humbly dedicated to Douglas, who is missed (and needed) now more than ever.

Have yourself a Merry Christmas, and please try not to consume more than is good for you.

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Date
20031229
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:44
This Persian photoblog of Iranian quake victims and rescue efforts tops the chart today. The commentary may be beyond you, but the pictures should be enough for anybody. Close behind is The National Iranian American Council’s earthquake aid fund.

Not only, but also…

Keeping in mind that I’ve already warned you about the need for tinfoil party hats at democraticunderground.com:

Democratic Underground Forums – Could US have caused the Iran earthquake?

A mix of instant dismissal and earnest debate here, and – quite interestingly, I thought – details of the U.S. Space Preservation Act of 2001, which calls for a ban on ‘tectonic weapons’… and mind control from space.

(ahem)

Unless it involves “civil, commercial, or defense activities (including communications, navigation, surveillance, reconnaissance, early warning, or remote sensing),” in which case it’s OK. Major League Baseball, the way is open…

Back to the subject at hand… now with a view from the far side of the right:

I don’t want to name and shame (there are a number of flame wars going on that quite simply don’t need extra fanning) but I was sure that there would be a number of trolls on the subject of the tragedy in Iran and whether or not it was God’s will. A quick search in Google confirmed my suspicions, and also revealed quite a few earnest Christians making much of these three almost identical passages from the Bible, all relating to signs that mark the End of Days.

Matthew 24:7-8 (link) :

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Mark 13:8 (link) :

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Luke 21:10-11 (link) :

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”

For the record, President Bush has expressed sympathy for Iran, but he has many Christian supporters who believe that the war on terrorism is a battle between good and evil battle predicted in the Bible as a precursor to the Second Coming.

UPDATE – The damage to the Bam Citadel is not as bad as it seems. Oh, and here’s an entry at The Memory Hole on the subject of tectonic weapons.

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Date
20031229
Royal Rumours
Time
09:49
Meet Australian chappie Michael Abney-Hastings. He’s the rightful King of England, don’t you know…

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Date
20031229
The Little Guy
Time
09:52
A group of witless teenagers elected unpopular geek Andrew Ironside valedictorian as a joke. Nobody thought he would have the guts to go through with it, let alone stand up to deliver a valedictorian speech that made asses of them all.

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Date
20031229
And So This is Christmas…
Time
10:03
One for ScaryDuck:

Christmas light display loser tears down his own entry in a rage before setting his sights on the competition winner.

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Date
20031229
Doing The Rounds
Time
10:07
About.com’s 10 Dumbest Quotes of 2003

DU’s Top Ten Conservative Idiots

Best of B3ta 2003

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031229
Passing On
Time
10:22
Bob Monkhouse passes away peacefully in his sleep at age 75.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031229
Flash Thingies
Time
10:34
Make your own magic garden.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031229
Activism
Time
12:19
The Guantanamo Bay Lock-Up Day message has started to spread amongst LiveJournal users. The entry with the most comments is here, where the safety aspects of the campaign are discussed in a fair and balanced manner. It also cracked the language barrier a few days back.

Lock-Up Day is next Monday, folks. If you haven’t scoped a good target yet, please do so today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031229
The End of Democracy
Time
14:28
Australian journalist gets a taste of Department of Homeland Security hospitality.

The sign in the CBP office says it all for me: Your Silence Is Appreciated

New Idea is a vacuous woman’s mag, usually referred to as No Idea. The journalist was on her way to interview Olivia Newton John, which is not an altogether unusual occurence. So where’s the problem?

The problem is that she didn’t have a special I-visa for journalists. This isn’t a new thing, it’s just being enforced quite heavily lately – and I’m sure you can work out why.

I love the way this legal site puts it:

The I visa category is for media representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media. The role of foreign media in the U.S. is significant, particularly with the worldwide events taking place after September 11, 2001, where U.S. media need similar visas from countries where they report on international developments. For example, our news media would need to obtain visas comparable to the U.S. I visa to enter Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031229
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
15:29
PaulMartinTime.ca is a jolly good spoof of the official site of the Canadian PM at paulmartintimes.ca which is now getting seasonal cease and desist letters from ‘a law firm representing the Liberal Party of Canada’.

The folks from BlogsCanada.ca are polishing their arse-kicking boots. You may wish to join in. (Cheers to Abnu for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031229
The Bush Administration
Time
16:19
Parts of the Patriot II Act are now law. Bush’s team buried nasty bits in other legislation and swept a biggie through on a Saturday afternoon to avoid a Senate Floor Debate. This also happened to be the same Staurday afternoon on which Saddam Hussein was captured.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031230
Flash Thingies
Time
09:24
I don’t care if they do want to eat your spicy brains; violence against zombies (Chapter 1, Chapter 2) is a hate crime. Hate criiiiiiiiime!

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Date
20031230
Normal People
Time
09:26
Some women are born to wear sweaters. Others have sweaters thrust upon them.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031230
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:28
Apart from a bunch of people kicking themselves over this and an appeal from Wikipedia, it mostly looks like a batch of mixed feelings from The Washington Post today.

All is not well in Iraq, and the army appears to be stretched to the point of forcibly drafting its own soldiers, but to criticise Bush is a hate-crime. (They were going to make it a thought-crime to simply not like him and keep quiet about it, but are waiting until the next quiet Saturday afternoon to pass this into law.)

Laying the boot into Howard Dean is OK, though. After all, we’re battling liberal media bias… somebody has to say something.

UPDATE – Boston.com – Hate speech of the left… where Jeff Jacoby insists that comparing Bush & Co. to the Nazis is way out of line. It’s nothing personal, Jeff, just a valid point of reference.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031230
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
09:41
LNR: The Beagle has… oh

Over at the Beagle 2 weblog, they seem to be busy staring at their own bellybuttons. The latest news? Lord Sainsbury dropped by to visit… erm… they got 16.4 million hits on Christmas Day… oh, and someone in the office got engaged.

Meanwhile, The Guardian tries to salvage some national pride by going with the ‘heroic failure’ angle.

UPDATE – Why are we wasting time sending robots to Mars when we should be busy blowing up the moon?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031230
Passing On
Time
09:52
Actor who played ‘Wilson’ on ‘Home Improvement’ dies. They were going to announce it sooner, but couldn’t find anyone to identify the body. B-bm tischhhh….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031230
Art
Time
09:56
I’ve blogged the Picture of Everything before, yes? No matter. It’s worth looking at again, if only to wonder what exactly is going on between Dr Strangefate and Supergirl.

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Date
20031230
The War on Terror
Time
10:05
More airport security hijinks; read the incredible tale of the spindly killer goldfish (no doubt identified as a terrorist by his scaly orange coveralls).

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Date
20031230
Spam
Time
10:08
BoingBoing points out a new method being used by the PayPal scammers.

Oh, and there’s a new ‘Bank of England’ scam doing the rounds, too.

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Date
20031230
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:18
Look at a lot of web pages other people have been looking at… and look at them all at once.

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Date
20031230
Christianity Watch
Time
10:19
Sharpsword Minstries warns us that; “the internet has given an arena to every screwball that thinks he is the Messiah to vent his twisted mind,” but this pales into insignificance next to the threat of the awful conspiracy to usurp the scriptures.

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Date
20031230
It’s War! And Totally Justified At That!
Time
10:28
Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, has nicked my favourite analogy:

“For Bush and Blair to go into Iraq together was like a bunch of white vigilantes going into Brixton to stop drug dealing. This is not to deny there’s a problem to be sorted, just that they are not credible people to deal with it.”

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Date
20031230
Flash Games
Time
10:36
Be a Royal Marine. In your head. The uniform drives imaginary girls wild.

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Date
20031230
Everybody Loves George
Time
10:42
Oh, and Neil. Neil can do anything.

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Date
20031230
Civil Liberties
Time
10:49
Wake up America. Please… wake up…. please?

AP Wire – FBI issues alert against almanac carriers : The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.

Check out more from The Washington Post and some reactions at Democratic Underground. Also, this Fark thread contains a neat paraphrasing of the statement often attributed to the German anti-Nazi activist, Pastor Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the almanac-bearers

and I did not speak out

because I was not an almanac-bearer.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.

(Damn! Did I just unwittingly compare the Bush administration to the Nazis? Hate crime! Hate criiiiiiiiime!)

UPDATE – Now early-morning mall-walking is a no-no, too. Breathing in and out will be next, you just watch…

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Date
20031230
RWCs
Time
11:38
Kuro5hin – How Free is Free Republic?

They’re awfully keen to go charging into liberal/left web communities to cause havoc with obvious trolls (all the while bleating about any moderated posts as ‘an attack on free speech’) but the moment you try to make a reasonable comment on their site… *plonk*.

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Date
20031230
The Interwebnet
Time
11:44
Reuters – Cyber Blackmail Wave Targets Office Workers: Cyber blackmail artists are shaking down office workers, threatening to delete computer files or install pornographic images on their work PCs unless they pay a ransom…

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Date
20031230
Follow Up
Time
12:29
Stolen Baby Jesus returned with ‘corrected’ skin colour.

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Date
20031230
Photoshopping
Time
14:04
The Guardian: The Cuban authorities have launched an inquiry into how the official newspaper of the Communist party ran a front page photograph of Fidel Castro which appeared to have been doctored to make him look like Adolf Hitler.

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Date
20031230
Civil Liberties
Time
14:30
Arthur Sibler on the subject of RWCs and other ‘moral bullies’:

1. “They are the enemies of mind, and of thought — and they are the enemies of truth, justice and freedom in a very deep sense. They are the advance guard of the Truth Police. For them, history does not exist, nor does the past in any meaningful sense at all, nor does the future.”

2. “I want to state one thing very clearly and unmistakably for the benefit of any warbloggers who might read this — particularly those warbloggers and other hawks who strut their self-announced moral superiority and constantly shove it in the face of everyone else, and who act as if any disagreement with their historically ignorant views of the world constitutes some sort of treason. You are the enemies of America — just as you are the enemies of thought, of history, of ideas, of any conception of what genuine liberty means, and how it is to be achieved.”

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Date
20031231
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:09
Well, lookie here…

MSNBC: Attorney General John Ashcroft (has) recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation of the unauthorized disclosure of an undercover CIA officer’s identity.

CNN: Comey, second in command at the Justice Department, automatically becomes the acting attorney general for this case and has the authority to determine how the case is investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted. Comey said he has appointed Patrick Fitzgerald — currently the Chicago-based U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois — as the special prosecutor to take over the investigation.

The good news is that Fitzgerald is a Republican, but not a total flunky.

Josh Marshall has an excellent post on this subject, which includes the following: It’s always been more or less an open secret who the perps are in this case. And they’re very high-level folks — people with deep influence of the formulation and implementation of policy. And the wrong-doing here is directly related to the execution of policy. So if a crime was committed, and if an indictment is forthcoming, it will bring under scrutiny a whole complex range of wrong-doing (though not necessarily criminal wrongdoing) relating to administration war policy and intelligence manipulation and other stuff we can go into at a later date.

BTW, the results from the Hutton Inquiry are about two weeks away. The BBC is preparing a block and basket, but what of Tony’s camp? Or Gordon’s, for that matter? Interesting times ahead, folks….

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Date
20031231
Funny, That…
Time
10:11
Now there’s a bright idea; cleaning the hard drive before dumping your PC.

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Date
20031231
Consume!
Time
10:11
Where in the hell is my flying car?

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Date
20031231
Bunch of Stuff
Time
10:12
I tripped over a wonderful link-log called Digital Dialecte this morning. Chock full of quality goodness, it is – and well worth a visit.

Here’s just a few things that I found there:

This Flash game will completely mess with your head, especially if you end up back inside it.

This is 9.6 MB of Quicktime, but will make you smile if you have the bandwidth to deal with it. Cuddles!

And this collection of Dubya photoshops puts the Tim Yeo collection to shame (but watch out for some NSFW entries).

The final discovery should, I feel, be embedded within some text from this post on the subject of racism in LOTR by Lloyd Hart over at Indymedia:

In these times when a homicidal maniac from Texas… has stolen the American throne and called for a “crusade” against the “evil doers” in nations that white people have been invading, terrorizing, raping and pillaging in for 5000 years with zero provocation, I think we could manage some cultural sensitivity in our popular culture which one must acknowledge has a powerful propaganda affect on the general population that participates in it.

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Date
20031231
Cats = Evil
Time
10:29
Cats suspected of interfering with propane tank and setting off blast that levelled their owner’s house. Microwaving’s too good for ‘em.

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Date
20031231
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:32
USA Today – Freewheeling ‘bloggers’ are rewriting rules of journalism

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Date
20031231
Oldies But Goodies
Time
10:32
Star Wars Origami rocks. Fear of paper cuts should keep the local sytems in line…

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Date
20031231
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:56
I don’t know why, but there’s something very entertaining about watching Star Wars geeks discover the M*A*S*H Quiz….








About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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