16-29 January, 2004

This entry was posted on
Friday, January 16th, 2004
at
11:07 am and is filed
under Uncategorized.

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Date
20040116
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
11:07
A handy tip for you: ensure you use correct and descriptive ALT Tags for your images.

UPDATE – A little proof-reading wouldn’t go astray, either…

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Date
20040116
The War on Terror
Time
11:21
Why the colour-coded terror alert levels are a load of useless old toss. (Link via Toby.)

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Date
20040116
A Blog Is Born
Time
11:39
Heh. I think I’ve done the right thing in unleashing Larry Grant. Check out this post on the role and ‘qualifications’ of people calling themselves Mortgage Consultants.

I’m so happy we live in a world where supermarkets are getting into banking… and going to bank is a lot like shopping in a supermarket. You know what I mean; when you ask: “Have you got any such-and-such?” and the usual reaction from staff is for them to join you staring blindly at the shelves.

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Date
20040116
Anyone but George
Time
11:48
Heh. I got a glimpse of Bush in 41.2 seconds last night. It’s superior to the bushin30seconds.org finalists in that:

1 – It’s longer

2 – It dares to tell it like it is

Martin (who I keep forgetting to add to my blogroll) completes the picture with a link to this excellent article at Salon.com

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Date
20040116
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
12:54
(Originally posted at 10:52am. Now reposted due to disk error. Are you new here? Want to know what’s going on? See the bloggage from Wednesday and Thursday.)

Oh, FFS…

Offensive No. 1: The Election Ploy

A quote from topless beauty Nicola T: “Clare should concentrate on politics and leave the glamorous stuff to me and the girls.” And to make her point that much more salient, Nicola has allowed Rebekah Wade to talk her into contesting the next election in Clare Short’s Birmingham Ladywood constituency. She was out canvassing yesterday while another topless model harangued Short on the street. She’s standing on a very sensible and clear platform; “Vote for me and save Page 3!” The Guardian has a few words to say on this matter.

Offensive No. 2: Celebrity Endorsements

Downing St was too smart to comment, but they got a bunch of other notables and celebs to wittingly and unwittingly give messages of support. The rather selective quote from Richard Madeley is an excellent lesson in the power of context, but the gem of the collection is from President George W. Bush’s White House spokesman Frederick Jones, who reportedly said: “I think it would be a shame to ban them.” That’s very carefully worded. Bush’s office can always fall back on the ‘right to free speech’ argument, but perhaps someone would care to clarify the statement. Is Bush in favour of boobs, as The Sun seems to be suggesting?

Offensive No. 3: Taking Name-Calling To The Next Level

As you can see on this page (which now also contains some fabulous feedback from rabid readers), Page 3 is ‘the platform that has empowered a string of stunning girls by launching them on the path to fame and fortune,’ and Wade has ‘empowered’ another young lady (Becky Rule from Ealing, west London – thank you, MegaStar) by convincing her to change her name to ‘Clare Short’.

I have to admit; that last one is a bit clever. Even if they drop this issue, this measure allows them to make regular, ongoing snarky comments and show tits at the same time. Again, we must turn to that well-known pinko broadsheet The Guardian for some words of wisdom on this subject: Poor Rebekah Wade is desperate. Editor for a year and the sales haven’t stopped falling. Hence this little wheeze, resurrecting an old feud with Short which provides an opportunity to spread plenty more breasts over her pages. Without good stories, the Sun’s strategy of last resort is acres of female flesh. This latest episode doesn’t even have the wit which sometimes characterised the Sun’s pranks in the past. It indulges that least attractive of the paper’s resources – the vicious personal attack.

It’s not the first time Rebekah Wade has pulled a stunt like this last one. Immediately after the 11/9 atrocities (please note correct formatting of date) she was still insisting that the poor sap of a reporter who had his name changed to ‘Harry Potter’ on her command flounce about town wearing a cloak and carrying a broomstick, which leads us neatly into:

Plan No. 1 – Ask The Nation: Is Rebekah Wade a Sociopath?

A valid question worth publicising, I think. There’s mounting evidence suggesting that she operates devoid of any social conscience. It would be handy to document this on a page that turns up anytime someone searches for her or the grubby tabloid she runs. I think it might even be possible to get an expert opinion or two. I’m not sure if we can actually get the woman sectioned, but the public awareness of her complete lack of scruples could contribute to the following…

Plan No. 2 – Act as Nation: Kill The Sun

This is not as ridiculous as it sounds. Their readership is lower now than it has been in decades (they’re losing ground to the tit-tastic Star). They’re vulnerable. The Australian version of this tabloid folded in ’88 or ’89 IIRC, and public distaste played a vital role. Think about it; every time you consider yourself proud to be British, you have to consider that one of the most influential newspapers in the country has tits on the first inside page. And it’s not something you can simply turn a blind eye to. Our Prime Minister, an avowed Christian (who continually dodges the question about whether or not he has prayed with George W. Bush) feels forced to snuggle up to Murdoch’s rag (and those of outright pornographer and Labour-party donor Richard Desmond) in order to stay in power. Killing The Sun will not stop the tide of tits (and as you’re about to read; this isn’t my problem with The Sun) but it will split the paper market clearly into three classifications; scud-mags, tabloids and newspapers. The Sun currently operates as and/or pretends to be all three. Its influence is pronounced; and based on lies.

Plan No. 3 – Money Talks: Shareholder Pressure

This is an excellent idea from Clive Soley, but we’ll need some serious cash onside to make a difference. Says Clive; “Maybe we ought to swallow hard, buy some voting shares in News International and start a shareholders pressure group within this rather sad organisation.”

By the way, I agree with Clive’s views on censorship and consent, but believe that the exploitative nature of the glamour model business as a whole needs to be brought to light, and that The Sun – forever posing as a moral crusader – is guilty of outright hypocrisy.

Oh, and as for suggestions along the lines that Rebekah Wade be ‘the first against the wall when the revolution comes’ – or, alternatively, when the world goes to ‘hell in a handbasket’ – I can’t really say that I’m on board with that.

I personally would prefer that she’s second in line. She deserves to know what’s coming.

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Date
20040116
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:55
Tom reports that The Guardian’s Backbencher column is running its own mini-awards for political weblogs. They’re of a mind that Britain lacks a political weblog with ‘tenacity and influence’…

*cough*thanksverymuch*cough*

I feel I should remind you again that 2004 is the year of Zero Modesty before pointing out that:

1 – It is because of the tenacity of Bloggerheads that you can now contact Tony Blair by email.

2 – It is because of the influence of Bloggerheads that blogs by politicians in this country are written by the politicians themselves and not by members of their staff.

Shameless cut’n’paste whorage follows:

Backbencher is seeking your nominations. There are only two criteria: the blog must be in the English language, and it must be predominantly political in theme. You can nominate your own blog, or one you admire. Just send in your nomination – preferably with a few dozen words of supporting prose – to backbencher@guardianunlimited.co.uk before January 25.

On January 28, the GU Politics team will pick ten of the best and profile each of them. Then we’ll invite you to vote online. We’re not offering prizes to the top-rated blogs. (They probably wouldn’t want them.) Just pretty good publicity.

Fine with me. Publicity counts. I look forward to a day when I can begin important phone calls and emails without having to explain who I am.

Make with the love, people.

Tom, Clive, Richard; I’m looking in your general direction…

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Date
20040116
Harrassment? Moi?
Time
13:05
Well, what do you know? Suddenly, I find myself in possession of the mobile phone number of the woman The Sun team have convinced to change her name to ‘Clare Short’.

I just called her. A transcript follows:

Hello, is this Becky Rule?

Yes…

The Becky Rule who’s just changed her name to ‘Clare Short’?

Yes… who is this?

My name is Tim Ireland. I just have a couple of questions for you.

OK…

First of all, whose idea was it to change your name?


(line goes dead)

Poor dear. She must have gone into a tunnel or something. I may try to call her again later.

Oh, I’ve got her home address, too. It’s a good thing for her that I’m not the kind of scum that would make this information public or turn up on her doorstep with a bunch of photographers.

(Well, there’s only me and my camera is broken, but I’m sure you see my point….)

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Date
20040116
Tony Blair
Time
14:46
Jose Bono (a current Spanish Socialist Party bigwig) was talking to Joaquin Almunia (a former Spanish Socialist Party bigwig). Presumably neither of them saw that the little red light was on when Bono called Tony Blair an imbecile and “a complete dickhead” on live television.

UPDATE – Found the link to the relevant Torygraph article.

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Date
20040116
Free Speech Zones
Time
15:00
Bush dropped into Atlanta to lay a wreath at the grave of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m sure I don’t need to waste my breath with words like ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘opportunism’…

Hundreds of outraged demonstrators were cordoned off and shielded from view by a row of buses topped with riot police, but the chants, catcalls and boos were clearly audible. For once.

WSBTV reports further on the protest cordon and the two protesters who were arrested for daring to step into the street. CNN also has more.

Oh, and Bush wasn’t invited to the ceremony. He invited himself.

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Date
20040116
Bunch of Stuff
Time
15:43
The latest B3ta newsletter is out. It contains a link to this Flash game, which is totally unfair, but a lot of fun. There are also some tasty airline meals for you to enjoy.

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Date
20040116
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
16:01
Courtesy of Dave Halligan… Stan Goff’s ‘Hold on to your humanity’ – An open letter to GIs in Iraq: So here is my message to you. You will do what you have to do to survive, however you define survival, while we do what we have to do to stop this thing. But don’t surrender your humanity. Not to fit in. Not to prove yourself. Not for an adrenaline rush. Not to lash out when you are angry and frustrated. Not for some ticket-punching fucking military careerist to make his bones on. Especially not for the Bush-Cheney Gas & Oil Consortium.

I wonder if he’s sent this to Stars & Stripes

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Date
20040116
Normal People
Time
16:31
Meet Bert Hickman. He likes to shrink coins and generally mess with electrons. I say we burn him. Or introduce him to Sarah Jane Newbury.

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Date
20040116
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
17:29
Some top-notch ‘shopping for you to enjoy. Support for Short is not thin on the ground.

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Date
20040119
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:27
(New to this whole Sun/Short thing? Check out the archives for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.)

Well, Rebekah Wade appears to have backed right off. Saturday’s edition carried no mention of the campaign against Clare Short; today’s issue is equally silent on the matter.

Instead, Page 3 wisdom has switched to more general concerns about political correctness. Katie (19, from Liverpool) thinks that: “Criminals are in prison to be punished. Warders must be able to show that they’re in charge and not have to pussyfoot around inmates.”

The rest of the paper mainly seems concerned about a sudden influx of gipsies and some recent dirt dug up on John Leslie. Oh, and it’s peppered with the usual in-times-of-crisis sidebars featuring snippets from readers explaining why they love their 30p Sun. Splash reminders of how cheap The Sun was also started running on the front page mid-backlash last week.

One would almost think that things are not all well in the tabloid world. Oh, The Guardian also carries a great little snippet in today’s Letters section:

The behaviour of the Sun over Clare Short is hateful (Comment, January 16). If the Sun believes it has a valid defence of page three, it has yet to show it. Instead, it has undermined its position by treating a respected and experienced female public figure with exactly the kind of degrading attitude it claims the paper does not encourage.

Jane Collier

Watford, Herts

The Mail on Sunday (Jan 18th) also carried a comment on this subject from Suzanne Moore:

Quite simply, is the purpose of these pictures to arouse or not? If not, what is the point? If men want to look at images of naked women – and they do – then there are plenty of places they can get them. What used to be the top shelf is now on the middle shelf. What used to be sold under the counter is available over it. Whatever else you want is on the Internet.

Ha! They couldn’t resist a neck-deep-in-filth swipe at the Interwebnet, could they? Also, we should probably gloss over the Mail’s propensity to include scantily-clad totty under the guise of holiday-destination features (cue woman in bikini), articles on weight-loss (cue picture of women in Lycra bodysuits) and thought-pieces on plastic surgery (cue picture of carefully cupped breasts).

Time to move on, then. Or not.

The offensive may have ceased, but the offensiveness continues. Barclay’s swoop on the Torygraph empire removes the urgency from my plans to show Richard Desmond a thing or two about the powers of pamphleteering. I think I may as well switch my immediate attention to Rebekah Wade. Or, I could run the two campaigns in tandem (they’ll be much the same, but very different). We’ll see.

There’s lots of work to be done this week (and bloggage may suffer) but in the background I’ll be busy quietly gathering evidence for that all-important and soon-to-be-widely-publicised question: Is Rebekah Wade a Sociopath?

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Date
20040119
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
09:34
People are right to be outraged. George W. Bush inviting himself to the MLK wreath-laying ceremony last week was the very height of hypocrisy.

Today is Martin Luther King Day. Time to remind ourselves of what this great man stood for and how his words reflect on what’s happening in the world today.

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Date
20040119
The End of Democracy
Time
09:42
So much for free speech. CBS is set to run two White House ads to play during the Superbowl, but has refused to air MoveOn.Org’s Child’s Pay spot (you can see it here if you haven’t already).

The site screwsoncbs.com is calling for a viewer boycott. Sign the petition, tell a friend.

Alternatively, just ignore the issue and watch the circus.

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Date
20040119
Church & State
Time
09:48
LNR on Bush’s ‘healthy’ family policy. Warning: article borders on hate-crime. Hate criiiiiiime!

UPDATE – The Memory Hole has more on Bush/Hilter comparisons being verboten

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Date
20040119
Greed is Good
Time
09:50
The Guardian: When the directors of Londis, a chain of mutually owned corner shops, decided to sell it off, they gave its 2,000 franchise grocers the good news – they were in for a £10,000 windfall each. But there was little mention of their own bonuses – £20m between four of them. Now the shopkeepers are fighting back.

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Date
20040119
In The News
Time
09:54
Would-be burglar caught wedged in chimney (includes pictures).

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Date
20040119
South West Trains
Time
09:57
Geoff’s SWT diary is now the 10th search result for ‘south west trains’. Toby’s is 30th and climbing. The workaholic in me is looking forward to writing a case study on the way we as consumers changed the face of the front page results for a specific brand name.

Oh, and it’s not too late to join in…

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Date
20040119
Photography
Time
10:00
As The Ultimate Insult notes, the site featuring recently-released aerial photographs from WW2 – at www.evidenceincamera.co.uk – already appears to have been hammered into submission. Here’s a Usenet post with more info for you to enjoy while we all wait for it to get back off the ground.

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Date
20040119
Seems Fair…
Time
10:07
Microsoft prepares to squash Mike Rowe (17), who dared to secure the domain mikerowesoft.com

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Date
20040119
The War on Terror
Time
10:08
Gore Vidal – The war against lies: How, then, will a people grown accustomed to being lied to about serious matters behave during an actual presidential election, in which billions of dollars have been raised to give us a generally false view of the state of our – their? – union.

I can answer that question with two words… bottoms up!

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Date
20040119
RWCs
Time
10:45
A story about Republican brownshirts gatecrashing a Democratic rally in Iowa and pushing Joan Jett around has been removed from this page. Atrios has a post complete with excerpt from the now-missing article and added linkage that notes:

“Fox News cameras are there at the concert before the disruptions begin. At a small student gathering. Go figure.”

Funny that an article about partisan media manipulation and censorship should be removed like that. I’m sure it’s just a technical glitch.

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Date
20040119
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
11:16
Did anyone else notice that The Simpsons episode featuring Tony Blair – The Regina Monologues (screengrabs here) – was repeated last night, 9 days after its debut screening? Most episodes go for months without a repeat. It’s almost as if they want everyone to see it while he’s still Prime Minister…

It’s also been fun to watch Geoff Hoon under fire from all sides and repeating the phrase “enhanced body armour”, “enhanced body armour”, “enhanced body armour” as if it makes any difference.

It occured to me that Samantha Roberts called for him to apologise and got nothing… but when she called for his resignation she got an apology. Perhaps if she calls for the amputation of a limb she’ll get that resignation…

Or – more likely – perhaps Geoff Hoon will remain chained to his post until early next week, when he himself is scheduled to take a bullet.

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Date
20040119
Photoshopping
Time
13:20
Not that I’m encouraging such anti-social behaviour or anything…

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Date
20040119
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
13:35
Forwarded by Toby

Apache killing video becomes viral news: A graphic US military video showing the killing of three Iraqi people is being circulated via the web after appearing on US TV news channel ABC News.

The story contains a link to the 4.62Mb MPEG – and ‘graphic’ is right. It’s in night-vision, but the end of the footage will knock you for six…

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Date
20040119
Virus Alerts
Time
15:30
There’s a brand new virus on the loose that warrants an alert. I’ve received two copies of this little bugger in the last two hours, and it’s so new that my last anti-virus update (done this morning) doesn’t protect me from it (should I be stupid enough to open the attached .EXE file).

Click here to learn more about W32.Beagle.A@mm.

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Date
20040120
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:02
The nominations for the 4th Annual Weblog Awards are live. Greenfairy and the London Underground Tube Diary are among the nominees. But I’m not. When do nominations open for the Chopped Liver Awards?

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Date
20040120
Follow Up
Time
09:08
MikeRoweSoft.com has launched an open forum and a defence fund.

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Date
20040120
Doing The Rounds
Time
09:11
Quiz: The US presidency

I’m ashamed to say that I only got 6/10…

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Date
20040120
Photoshopping
Time
09:12
Way to suck the fun out of life, guys. Please do excuse me for actively promoting your brand all these years… (Link via Rogi.)

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Date
20040120
Welcome To The 21st Century
Time
09:17
Enjoy some cars of the ‘future’ that never quite made it. All very fine and good, but when the hell do I get my long-overdue flying car? FFS, I’m still waiting for my silver jumpsuit…

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Date
20040120
Me Writer. Profeshunal. Make Wurds Good.
Time
09:22
I may be guilty of a few of these offences, but stand ready to claim artistic licence.

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Date
20040120
Church & State
Time
09:41
A whacking great granite monument has been put in front of Winston-Salem’s City Hall. Inscribed on one side is the Bill of Rights. On the other, a copy of the Ten Commandments.

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Date
20040120
Only Interesting to Hardcore Geeks
Time
10:43
You might want to read about the recent adventures of Chris Toshok. He had the FBI and the Secret Service investigating the theft of the Half-Life 2 source code at his door at 6:30am, presumably because of his association with The Hungry Programmers. They searched his house and took his computers (along with a bunch of other stuff) while a couple of ‘soft’ agents buddied up to him.

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Date
20040120
Virus Alerts
Time
10:44
Slashdot provides some informative linkage on the new virus blogged yesterday.

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Date
20040120
State of the Union
Time
11:09
Washington Post: The Bush administration’s inability to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – after public statements declaring an imminent threat posed by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein – has begun to harm the credibility abroad of the United States and of American intelligence, according to foreign policy experts in both parties.

The ‘reality’ of this threat was a major part of last year’s State of the Union address. What dazzling highlights can we expect this year, do you think?

*ahem*

Photoshop theme (or, rather, a series of images enhanced with Adobe® Photoshop® software, intended to evoke an emotive response) – Bush. In. Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

The Independent provides us with a list of items that probably won’t feature: George W Bush and the real state of the Union

If you have trouble understandabulating the whole thing, you may well benefit from the English – Bush Administration Lexicon. Assuming you’re not too drunk to care, that is…

Finally, presented in the spirit of ‘fair and balanced’ reporting, you may want to pick the whole thing apart with studious use of The Bush Conspiracy Theory Generator.

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Date
20040120
In The News
Time
11:11
I’m sorry, but this is too comical and complex to complicate with a caption: 1, 2

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Date
20040120
South West Trains
Time
11:17
Toby now has prettier graphs and nifty buttons. Geoff is building nicely on his personal accounts.

And, finally, the government twigs that this might be an election issue.

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Date
20040120
Civil Liberties
Time
11:22
Read more about the Codes of Practice for Covert Human Intelligence and Covert Surveillance. Found by PublicTechnology.net in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’…

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Date
20040120
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
11:27
Whoops. I spoke too soon: Lorraine Kelly mouths off about Clare Short and Page 3

1. She did not ‘relaunch her campaign’, you twit. She was asked her opinion and gave it.

2. So getting your top off is ‘cheeky and sassy but… essentially a bit of fun’? Then what’s your objection to the nude photos of you doing the rounds? Surely you can’t be suggesting that you feel demeaned by their release?

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Date
20040120
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
11:38
Which James Bond vehicle are you?

I’m sure you’ll never guess who’s responsible for this one….

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Date
20040120
Flash Thingies
Time
11:43
Ha! It’s a mad cow!

BTW, this morning I woke up with the framework for an animation/song based in an abattoir and featuring a re-working of I Don’t Like Mondays. It had a Fast Food Nation message with a bit of local spin.

Sadly, I’ve had to put it in my ever-growing list of Stuff That Will Most Likely Never Get Done For Lack Of Time Or Money. Oh, how I long to be independently wealthy…

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Date
20040120
Photoshopping
Time
14:10
Joe Smith wished to point out one image in particular from the Blair/Simpsons screengrabs yesterday. He thinks this one is right on the money.

Me, I think they missed a trick or two, so here for your viewing pleasure is a ‘missing scene’ showing Tony Blair at the Hutton Inquiry. Enjoy.

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Date
20040120
Doing The Rounds
Time
14:25
This design/content mixmaster is absolutely brilliant. So far I’ve tried to have Belle de Jour posting on Tom Watson’s site and Dubya posting on mine, but I’m not having a lot of luck with cross-formatting. Have a play yourself and see what you can come up with. (Link via Sam Gibson.)

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Date
20040120
Quality Entertainment
Time
15:07
Finally, a film to please James Bond fans and Super-8 fans!

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Date
20040120
Anyone but George
Time
15:40
Do I really want to be up at 2:15am (GMT) just to watch carefully-crafted lies live on TV?

UPDATE – No. I don’t think so. No good can come of the exercise.

UPDATE 2 – Here’s an alternative drinking game that looks like a lot more fun than the one topping Blogdex – particularly if you plan on having friends around. I sha’n’t be needing it. I shall be sleeping. And I don’t have any friends.

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Date
20040120
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
18:59
And so it begins….

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Date
20040121
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
09:23
The Which James Bond Vehicle Are You? quiz is ticking along nicely. Notable referrers so far include TTR2 and Greasy Chip Butty. It also got discovered somewhere over at Salon.com’s Table Talk sometime last night. I’m still digging around for the actual thread it features in, but in the meantime here’s a thread from that neck of the woods that talks about nothing but personality quizzes. It was here that I found:

Which John Hughes Character Are You?

I’m Cameron Frye!

(sings)

When Cameron was in Egypt land….

Which Dysfunctional Care Bear Are You?

I’m Bondage Bear!

(sings)

Oh baby let me be,

Your lovin’ Bondage Bear.

Use you leather, whips and chains,

And tie me to that chair.

Oh let me be,

(Oh let him be)

Your Bondage Bear….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040121
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:30
Technorati is currently running a test version of its new back-end. I used it to discover Tom Dolan’s very kind (if less-than-subtle) link-whoring.

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Date
20040121
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:34
Winston Churchill’s parrot is alive and well… and still cursing the Nazis.

UPDATE – Churchill’s family claims that this is not his parrot. I’m sure none of us will rest until we get to the bottom of this…

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Date
20040121
Anyone but George
Time
10:10
Well, I’m a man of my word. I slept right through Bush’s State of the Union address. But Martyn didn’t. He noticed that every channel bar Euro News and Bloomberg was showing it. He also noticed that Fox News seemed to be missing the hitherto-ever-present ‘terror alert’ immediately following the address.

Perhaps this is because – as Bush is claiming – pre-emptive action is actually making the world saferer. (Heh. The Guardian also carries a great cartoon by Steve Bell today.)

Yes, praise be to Jesus for saving us from the very real threat of ‘weapons of mass destruction-related program activities’….

You may be interested in the following Democratic Underground threads:

Bush State of the Union Address – What did you think?

After the State of the Union Address, is anyone more committed than before to removing that fraud from the White House?

One comment in that latter thread caught my eye: “This is the most disgusting politicization of our SOTU address I have ever seen”

Well, let’s be fair. It is an election year, and the man has a tough case to make if he wants to actually get elected this time around. Perhaps it’s possible to dig out a worthy comparison or two from this collection of past State of the Union addresses.

CNN has some analysis, as does The Onion.

Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of noise about the many hints of fundamentalist-driven policies on the horizon… but I’m hoping that will change soon.

So, the final word (for now, at least) goes to the Democratic response: (The pResident) has pursued a go-it-alone foreign policy that leaves us isolated abroad and that steals resources we need for education and health care here at home. The president led us into the Iraq war on the basis of unproven assertions without evidence. He embraced a radical doctrine of pre-emptive war unprecedented in our history, and he failed to build a true international coalition.

Note – If all of that is too much for you, try instead this concise summary of the State of the Union address (found at The Ultimate Insult).

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Date
20040121
Useful
Time
10:17
Have you handled a full transcript of Bush’s State of the Union address today? Please be sure to wash your hands afterwards.

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Date
20040121
In The News
Time
10:25
Police could not locate the family of Joynal Abedin after he was killed in a hit-and-run accident. A good thing, then, that the hospital knew where to send the bill.

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Date
20040121
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:30
I suppose this is what is meant by ‘an unprecedented amount of cooperation’.

Oh, that quote led me to Angry Bear who also notes today that: Now, the purported threat to America is not WMD, nor WMD programs, nor even WMD-related programs, but instead WMD-related program activities, whatever that means.

Oh, and reading the transcript, does anyone else notice how seamlessly the terror threat works in with the issue of rebuilding Iraq? The link is that America is also ‘dealing with these (terrorist) thugs in Iraq’ – but those thugs weren’t there until after Bush charged in with his pre-emptive (and illegal) invasion. Can you explain to me again how this is making us all saferer?

UPDATE – Heh. I’ve just noticed that I’ve started a post on 11/9 and then moved right onto Iraq with barely a pause for breath. Damn, he’s got me doing it now…

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Date
20040121
Photoshopping
Time
10:45
Another ‘missing scene’ from The Regina Monologues for you. This one shows Tony Blair this time next week.

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Date
20040121
In The News
Time
11:00
Bugger the truck; save the beer!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040121
Consume!
Time
11:33
How can you say no to a portrait of you with Stevie Nicks?

(Or, alternatively, a portrait of Stevie Nicks with your cat…)

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Date
20040121
Everybody Loves George
Time
12:01
Salon.com – the ‘no jobs’ pResident (requires subscription or ad view): The Bush years are a study in deliberately wasted effort: Repeal of the estate tax. Tax exemption for stock dividends. Ballistic Missile Defense. The USA PATRIOT Act. The war on Iraq. Each of these initiatives has a clientele. None of them seriously aims to achieve its stated goal, be that economic recovery or homeland security or national security writ large. The method is clear to any who choose to study closely: It is a method of subterfuge and deception. It is the systematic and relentless pursuit of partly hidden agendas, sold to the public with slogans. The tax cuts were not aimed to produce recovery and jobs; they were a reward to the rich. The war on Iraq was not waged to help the war on terror; it was about getting Saddam, as we have now had confirmed by Paul O’Neill’s report on the Iraq agenda Bush carried from the beginning. Missile defense is not about North Korea, and still less about Iran or any other “rogue state”; it’s about the contracts. In all these cases, the decision on what to do came first — then the circumstances of the day were arranged to suit.

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Date
20040121
The ‘Biased’ BBC
Time
12:12
You’d almost think that Richard Desmond has developed a bit of a problem with the BBC. Or that his pal Tony Blair needs some dirt slung around ahead of the release of Hutton’s report next week. Or both.

The front-page headline for today’s Express is a dandy.

One look at it, and you just know that the BBC is about to hire a shouty raghead who wants to blow us all up. And that this has been done to maintain a mad level of political correctness. Or to undermine our way of life. Or both.

The article is about the hiring of Ibrahim Helal, former editor of the Arabic satellite TV channel al-Jazeera. Owned by…?

Owned by the Qatari government.

Not owned by Osama bin Laden. Not even owned by one of his close personal mates who happens to run a huge porn empire on the side.

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Date
20040121
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
15:05
I just got one of my regular ‘local crime’ alerts from the Neighbourhood Watch chappie. It reads:

Theft – An insecure man’s blue mountain bike was stolen from the rear garden of a residential housing building.

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Date
20040121
Flash Games
Time
15:23
Penguins at the ready? Batter up! My personal best: 436.9

UPDATE – Make that 491.1… Oh, and there’s a copy of this game here, too (but this one appears to be a tad sluggish of the sluggage). Cheers, Smoosh. Cheers, FunJunkie.

UPDATE – 534! OK, back to work…

UPDATE – 555.7! The sweet spot you’re looking for is a bounce somewhere between 300 and 350…

Right. Work…

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Date
20040121
Anyone but George
Time
16:10
Hooray for educational eugenics!

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Date
20040121
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
16:40
I’ve got some bloody idiot woman here who thinks that the British Prime Minister needs to be emailed the full transcript of Dubya’s State of the Union address. Just in case he doesn’t already have access to it, you understand…

I swear, one day I’m going to start replying to these people.

First on the list will be the shouty chap who emails every other day (and CC’s everyone from George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin to Interpol and the FBI) with his thoughts on the Catholic Church, drugs & whores… and drugs & whores in the Catholic Church.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040121
Consumer Power
Time
17:19
A warning to all UK businesses:

If you try to fob me off with customer ‘service’ via a call centre in India, I will take the time to track down a local landline and hassle you that way. You should also be aware that from this point on, you will be dealing with not one complaint, but two.

FFS!

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Date
20040122
Conservatives
Time
10:22
Ahahahahahahaha! Tories reveal plan to privatise universities. That’s some serious blue-pie-in-the-sky thinking, folks.

Oh, wait. That’s not funny at all. If Blair doesn’t take his bullet like a man, the resulting damage to Labour’s reputation could actually see the Tories get in at the next election – and education could go the way of the ‘always on time and not at all stripped to the bones for profit’ rail network.

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Date
20040122
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:25
(Post updated with figures that are less silly, but far more entertaining. Cheers, Jon.)

The Sun appears to have all but given up on attacking Clare Short. Since Monday, most of their printing costs have gone towards touting their status as ‘official’ newspaper for the next series of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. But on Tuesday, Rebekah Wade came up with the ingenious idea of choosing a softer target; shouty Muslim cleric Abu Hamza. A smart move, in that his evil eye and menacing hook are sure to strike fear into the hearts of all Sun readers – even those who can’t read.

A hotline was set up yesterday, and the case presented with some niftily-rounded and easy-to-understand numbers. Today, the votes are in… a ‘colossal’ 98.4% want to boot Mr Scary Spongepants out of the country. Victory for The Sun! They’ve found someone that more people hate than their own editor! Or have they?

Let’s take a gander at some recent circulation figures and generously afford Rebekah 3,277,000 readers per day during January. Out of these, 35,935 rang the You The Judge, Jury and Executioner hotline yesterday (making £3593.50 for The Sun and BT in the process). That’s just over 1% of the readership. Not entirely unhealthy (they’d make one hell of a mob if you armed them with bricks and torches) but ‘massive’? Hardly. Yet the The Sun crunch the numbers rather selectively and say that ‘a colossal 35,353 (98.4%) had contacted our You The Jury hotline to vote Yes, Hamza should get the boot.’

And completely fail to point out that this amounts to a mere 1% of Sun readers that care enough to spend 10p on it.

How can this be? This man is eeeeeevil – and he costs the taxpayer £1m a year (or something like that).

Perhaps the remainder have trouble operating touch-tone phones… or care far more about whether or not Jordan gets her boobs out on I’m a Celebrity…

Actually, now I think about it, The Sun ran a similar phone poll last week asking how many readers thought Clare Short was wrong to threaten their right to titillation. I’d very much like to know if more or less readers voted pro-breasts rather than anti-Hamza. Sadly, they don’t appear to have published the response to the previous hotline, so we may never know…

Sidebar: The Sun today takes time to mention the diamond geezers who tried to rob the Millennium Dome, but there’s been no mention of Tony’s Big Idea robbing us and how the Dome sitting mainly empty for the last 3 years has cost taxpayers £30m (with another 3 years of similar costs ahead of us before it’s – theoretically – developed into A Large Useful Building Of Uncertain Purpose).

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Date
20040122
Useful
Time
10:30
Test: How fit is your brain? Mine can bench-press 167 useless facts in 30 seconds.

UPDATE – But it’s not very good with numbers.

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Date
20040122
Follow Up
Time
10:32
Microsoft admits that it may have taken its trademark rights “a little too seriously”… No? Really?

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Date
20040122
Google
Time
10:35
Someone’s looking to get sued. (NSFW)

UPDATE – SMH reports on Booble.com and the ‘unnamed New York-based former internet executive’ who asked that he remain anonymous ‘to avoid being barred from his daughter’s school softball games’. Before you look, yes he’s taken the precaution of registering with this ‘private registration’ firm, so a WHOIS reveals nothing. But I’m sure Google will track him down sooner or later. His ‘parody’ defence is shaky at best.

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Date
20040122
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:38
Everything’s old SOTU news this morning…. but the MP3 of Howard Dean going shouty-crackers has morphed into a hot dance remix.

Oh, and the addictive Penguin-batting game blogged yesterday is sucking productivity out of offices all over the world. You might want to take the time to meet some fellow victims. (Note – this link now requires registration. Sorry about that.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
In The News
Time
10:46
Art Garfunkel has been charged with pot possession. We can probably expect an official response on the news section of his website sometime today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:52
Explore the hidden wonders of creative link-whoring.

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Date
20040122
Corporate Wisdom
Time
10:56
Finally, the awakening we have all been waiting for! Television advertising on the web looks like it may finally become a reality, and we have not just new technology to thank, but some brilliant new thinking: The new ad technology, from Unicast, an advertising company based in New York, invisibly loads the commercial while unwitting users read a Web page, then displays the ad across the entire browser area when users click to a new page.

Yes, I can see this becoming very popular….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Anyone but George
Time
11:17
Atrios stared in incredulous wonder at the ‘weapons of mass destruction-related program activities’ line in Bush’s State of the Union address, and now – thanks to one of his readers – we know that the line isn’t just a line of bull, it’s a plagiarised line of bull. It first appeared in this Detroit News editorial from Monday, October 20, 2003.

Moving right along…

LNR has a take on the State of the Union address, as does Instapundit, but Headline Of The Day goes to Catch, with ‘fair and balanced’ linkage as follows: Why does McPaper hate America?

Catch.com also brings us a link to this cartoon take on the SOTU address. Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:18
What’s this blogging thing all about, then? This one man’s theory; it’s the punk movement all over again. And a party.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Seems Fair…
Time
11:25
Authorities in town of Sharon, Massachusetts publish ‘bad check’ list. You can see the list of deadbeats here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Anyone but George
Time
11:29
Curse me and my leftist intellectual elitism: They like Bush, and they are not stupid

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Christianity Watch
Time
11:41
Bush: All your parks are belong to us. Want to learn about the Grand Canyon when you go to visit? Prepare to see it from a Christian perspective. And by that I mean discover that it was created no more than a few thousand years ago.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
The Hutton Inquiry
Time
12:08
The Guardian – Five questions for Lord Hutton

And one question from me: If the report finds Gilligan and/or the BBC at fault, will the government at any stage dare to spin this as ‘proof’ that the document in question was without fault?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Follow Up
Time
14:21
I just couldn’t help myself. I had to dig into Booble and track down this anonymous Interwebnet executive from New York City.

As I pointed out before, the domain name booble.com is registered with domainsbyproxy.com, who provide an anonymous WHOIS service.

But lo and behold, hidden in the code of the webmaster sign-up page at booble.com (view source and scroll down), we find a clue; what appears to be a leftover scrap in the code in the form of a copyright notice for ‘Charlie Company’.

So, now we dig…

We have no guarantee that charliecompany.com is the URL for this organisation, but the WHOIS for charliecompany.com does reveal an admin contact in NYC. It’s registered to Charlie Company, Inc., but the address given for this is in Canada. Kind of shaky ground so far…

But then we look at the technical contact and find one Abner Krawiczieki, of ‘Sir Rodney Ltd.’

Hosted at www.sirrodney.com is a ‘guide to free and paid porn and erotica’…a link by theme!

The sirrodney.com domain name was registered with… domainsbyproxy.com… a link by provider!

So back we go to that orginal WHOIS for charliecompany.com, whose admin is listed as mailbits.com; an online marketing arm (another possible link) of a company by the name of Bradford & Reed… who appear to be operating as an ISP in NYC.

What do you think… am I getting close?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040122
Flash Games
Time
15:07
B3ta’s blogged it, as has The Ultimate Insult. I may as well do my bit to introduce the world to the wonders of epilepsy and plug the eye-burning, mind-spazzing doplhin game as well.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
In The News
Time
09:34
Well done, Jenny Tonge. Nail on head. Guts to say it. Debate started. Good job all round. But f**k me, you’re going to pay for it.

You may want to get in touch with Jenny Tonge today and do your bit to balance out the hate mail.

Of course it’s a bloody tragedy when someone dies, but how stupid is it to blindly dismiss the motivations of the people who perpetrate these acts? What possible way forward is there without sensible dialogue?

I don’t know if I’d be inclined to become a suicide bomber under these circumstances, but I think I can state with a fair degree of certainty that I’d be one of the first people throwing rocks.

UPDATE – This report by The Independent carries a nice quote from Tonge’s made-necessarry-by-shouty-people clarifying statement: “To say that I understand why they take this action does not mean that I condone it. The world is not listening to the plight of these people. The Middle East peace process is failing Palestinians and Israeli citizens alike. It is about time world leaders took serious action to resolve the Middle East crisis, rather than look the other way.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
Told You So
Time
09:51
Labour and Blair see poll ratings plummet

Tory support at 11-year high

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
Anyone but George
Time
09:57
Howard Dean’s shouty-crackers moment has become an issue that may be hard to shake (though this may have helped). Even remixes of it have made the news. Meanwhile, George orders ribs

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:30
The Sun’s Hamza-out-hotline-count is up to a whopping 75,000. That’s 2.2% of their readership. Perhaps this is why the ‘massive’ number of callers is today tucked away in a small corner of the front page instead of covering most of it like it was yesterday. Or perhaps they think they’ll sell more papers with the I’m a Celebrity… battle of the boobs and the tragic news that J-Lo and Ben have split up.

No matter. I’m sure a campaign against Jenny Tonge is being lined up as we speak. Even the Page 3 girls look prepared to move on. Yesterday, Ruth (23, from London) said of Hamza: “He’s a sponger and he has got to go. I’m not at all surprised that The Sun has been swamped with support for its campaign.”

But today, Corina (19, from Oxford) seems far more concerned about the cannabis debate, saying that: “The whole issue has been a complete fiasco and handled very badly.”

She’s right you know. The world would be a better place with teenage glamour models in charge.

UPDATE – I’m a busy busy busy person in the next two weeks, but I really want to get this Is Rebekah Wade a Sociopath? page going. Offers of help bring the evidence together (text/linkage concisely presenting examples like the ‘Bonkers’ Bruno incident and the paedophile campaign during her time at NOTW) would be a very welcome time-saver.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:41
Boston.com – Senate panel’s GOP staff pried on Democrats: Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:47
Poor old Tom is finally getting his debate about RFID tags, but they’ve scheduled it for right after the tuition fees vote. He’ll be standing up just as 600 MPs leave the room.

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Date
20040123
Flash Thingies
Time
10:52
Five….

Four…

Three…

Two…

One!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
Fame Is Good
Time
10:56
Ron Jeremy gives his thoughts on life, his career and… the education system?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040123
Normal People
Time
10:59
Meet George C. Reiger Jr. He’s Disney’s No. 1 fan – and has over 1000 tattoos on his body to prove it. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20040123
Clowns Are Evil
Time
11:09
Get comfortable, kids. It’s story time. Don’t count on a good nap afterwards, though.

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Date
20040123
Activism
Time
11:17
Finally, a cause to unite us! (Link via Ionicus.)

If you don’t know what ‘goatse’ means, count yourself lucky and move on. Seriously.

UPDATE – Oh, and if you do know what goatse is, then you’ll love this. (SFW)

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Date
20040123
Google
Time
11:39
The database for Google’s image search appears to have been updated for the first time in 6+ months. The first thing I’ve noticed is what a lucky bugger Tim Yeo is. This first page of results could have been much more unpleasant.

UPDATE – Heh. This search result appears to tell a wonderful story.

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Date
20040123
Seems Fair…
Time
15:37
BBC – Tonge sacked over suicide comment: Jenny Tonge has been asked by Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy to quit his front bench following her remarks about Palestinian suicide bombers.

Well done, Charles. Another fine example of your leadership qualities.

I just love the comment from shadow foreign secretary Michael Ancram: “There can never be an excuse for taking innocent lives…”

What, never? No, never? Well, hardly ever…

How do ‘accidental’ civilian casualties fit into that equation? Or shooting unarmed civilian protestors?

I’m not pointing the finger at Israel here, either. Keep your ocean calm and blue. I’m just saying that there seems to be an automatic blind spot any time the magic word ‘terrorism’ is used.

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Date
20040126
Church & State
Time
10:26
I watched yet another documentary on abstinence programmes last night, this one from the biased heathens at the BBC. There’s a further outline of the programme from the producer here.

This one focused on the Silver Ring Thing, which already enjoys $700,000 in funding from the Bush administration. They’re seeking further funding ($2m here, $2m there) “to combat the ‘liberal’ message of sex education” – and to take the show on the road to Uganda.

Current funding rules require them to run a ‘non-faith-based alternative seminar’ where funding is ‘directly’ involved. The Christian version ends with new recruits donning a ring inscribed with ‘1 Thess 4:3-4‘… I can’t help but quietly wonder if the alternative seminar features the same $80,000 sound and light show – and the same jewellery – or if it’s held in a small side room with a buffet of cucumber sandwiches and ‘alternative’ rings inscribed with: ‘I’m an Atheist and I don’t give a fuck’.

The guy running the show – Denny Pattyn – was shown organising a university-based debate with dangerous liberal types. He wanted Meg Meeker there to help sell the medical side and offered the time-strapped author a flight by private plane (no doubt funded ‘directly’ by private donations) to get her to this debate. He also announced the following without shame: “I haven’t told them you’ve written a book, because I don’t want them to go out and read it.”

At the very same debate, Meg Meeker dared to claim that she “was not about withholding information”.

These same people lobby to prevent kids 12-14 year old kids from receiving basic sex education. Yet Denny Pattyn’s own 11-year-old daughter wears a ring and is able to spout the STD-fear dogma almost word for word.

There’s more. And I’m grinding my teeth as I write this, so please excuse me…

The question we have to ask – especially given the funding – is as follows:

Is this about education and health, or is this about religion?

At the climax of the rally shown (I’m sorry, but there’s no way you could describe it as a ‘seminar’), Denny Pattyn got very close to the microphone for the Big Sell: “Maybe tonight’s the night you need to make your peace with God. Maybe tonight’s the night you need to settle it. Why not let tonight be the night that when you put on the ring, it’s the same night you say ‘Lord forgive me, forgive me for what I’ve been up to!'”

Forgive me for being unfair. I’m forgetting the ‘non-faith-based alternative’ seminars. Reid Carpenter, a consultant for Silver Ring Thing, is obviously a big believer in their effectiveness, and says at a later meeting: “Without Jesus, this thing is a failure!”

This programme is a blatant Christian recruitment drive – and just in case you have any doubts…

Silver Ring Thing founder and director Denny Pattyn: “I believe that the end of the world is approaching very quickly and I believe that Christ will come back. I think about that. I think that I might just be living in the Last Days.”

And, when asked if he thinks this is coming if his energy really should be put into an abstinence programme: “We’re not really putting our energy into abstinence as much as we’re putting it into faith. Abstinence is the tool that we’re using to reach children.

He’s not worried about their health. He’s not worried about their future. In fact, he appears to be fairly certain that they don’t have one. Unless it’s with Jesus.

UPDATE – 100 things to do with your boyfriend or girlfriend instead of it.

And, presented for no reason whatsoever, Chapter 3 of George Orwell’s 1984

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Date
20040126
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:32
Bill Gates is to receive an honorary knighthood for “services to global enterprise”

grmf*

Gates also declared war on Spam recently. Interesting… I’ve been talking to some people following the trail of Spam and it nearly always leads straight back to core providers just like him. All he has to do to stop it is to refuse to provide the backbone of the service.

UPDATE – Slashdot reacts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:38
It’s Tony’s big week o’ trials, and here comes Rupert Murdoch to the rescue!

The Sun today runs a a very interesting editorial, in which it claims (with foresight bordering on precognition) that: “On Wednesday Mr Blair faces his second test when Lord Hutton opens his report into the circumstances surrounding Dr David Kelly’s death. The signs are that Lord Hutton will clear Mr Blair of directly contributing to that event. Hutton appears to have got that right.”

They then go on to suggest the suicide may have been prompted by Dr Kelly’s involvement with ‘a California-based Islamic sect’. Involvement or not, influence or not, the way they describe the Baha’i faith has ‘Crazypersoncrazypersoncrazyperson!’ written all over it. And whatever you think of the Baha’i faith, describing it as an Islamic sect is pretty much like referring to Christianity as a Jewish cult. The inference is clear; Dr David Kelly was obviously a shouty towel-head whose only failure was to take a few of us infidels with him.

Oh, and if you’re concerned that you haven’t read about this incredible revelation elsewhere, worry no longer – you can read more about this and Dr Kelly’s troubled youth in Murdoch’s broadsheet The Times.

Was David Kelly assasinated? No. But his reputation seems to be in for a beating.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
Only Interesting to Hardcore Geeks
Time
10:40
IKEA WALKTHROUGH v2.3.1

You want me to do *what* with the scented candles?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
Seems Fair…
Time
10:42
The Guardian – Lib Dems petition for Tonge’s return

Today’s paper also carries a rundown of editorials, including the one from The Independent that had me cheering on Saturday morning, which begins: “Charles Kennedy should be ashamed of himself.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
11:11
The Independent – Saddam’s WMD never existed, says chief American arms inspector David Kay.

The Telegraph – Saddam’s WMD hidden in Syria, says chief American arms inspector David Kay.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
On This Day…
Time
11:14
Today is Australia Day! This year marks the first time I’ve even pretended to care.

Oh, and yesterday was International Internet Free Day. I missed it, yet somehow ended up participating by default. Lucky me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
In The News
Time
11:19
Convenience store clerk charged with larceny after snatching a winning $20,000 lottery ticket from a customer and giving her only $100.

Also; Police arrest man for indecent exposure after he leaves a photo of his genitals – along with his cell phone number – taped to a drink machine.

Heh. I was wondering just the other day why there aren’t any flashers targeting photo booths and leaving a quad-print of their wedding tackle behind…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
Consume!
Time
11:48
The sheer cheek of the copy on ads like this amuses me no end, but at the same time I worry about the poor saps that are taken in by this rubbish.

Yes, this is a ‘classic retro style’ typewriter being offered for the incredible price of £49.99 – you save £1000.00 ‘on the cost of buying a computer’.

And spare ribbons for only £5.99 each! Bargain!

The fun continues: ‘Ideal for those who don’t want to spend over a thousand pounds on a computer and a printer and then there’s the electric bills.’

This ‘fabulous gift for all those who remember the good old days’ is offered to the public by Bright Life UK. I’m pretty sure this is the same company who brought us the UK-version of the ‘marketing breakthrough’ that is the GFX-100 indoor TV dish antenna.

Bright Life UK have been slapped over the wrist for running misleading print ads in the past, but I’m amazed that they stopped short of making the perfectly legitimate claim that this ‘rare classic’ typewriter is invulnerable to computer virus attacks.

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Date
20040126
Consume!
Time
12:48
I. Must. Have. This!

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Date
20040126
‘Is That Real?’ Etc.
Time
14:29
Yeearrrrrrrrgh! Run! Run for your lives! (Do feel free to try this at home….)

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Date
20040126
‘Is That Real?’ Etc.
Time
17:11
Baby dragon discovered in a garage in Oxfordshire, southern England. There’s a nifty close-up here.

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Date
20040126
Google
Time
17:27
A good question from Tom: Why is this necessarry?

Well, to be fair, the BBC really could have picked a better first subject for the so-called experiment, but AdWords does have its applications, and immediate/short-term coverage of a vital range of search terms just like this happens to be one of them.

The BBC enjoys excellent newslink coverage on these queries, and this article and this feature enjoy 5th and 6th place respectively, but that’s just for ‘hutton inquiry’. There are also many people who search for ‘hutton enquiry’, ‘hutton report’, etc. etc. etc.

The BBC is just making sure that no matter who searches for what relating to the Hutton Inquiry, that the page they want to show will be visible for all manner of search queries. Perhaps one might ask why they feel *that* is necessary… but the cost (as with the demand) appears to be minimal; about 4p per click.

Unless of course some entrepreneur decides to make their mark with a run of ‘I Survived the Hutton Inquiry’ t-shirts tomorrow… or some twit reads the Guardian article and decides to up the bidding just to piss Auntie off.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040126
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
17:35
I have decided that, should Tony come a serious cropper on Wednesday, I will finally start answering some of the (very) persistent people who are still emailing the hoax email address. I can pretend that he’s barricaded himself inside No. 10 and seeking kindred spirits to help him take back the country. Or that he’s determined to ‘blow the gaff’ on the top-secret plans of shape-shifting lizards that really rule the world before they come to take him away.

Or I can email all of the people who’ve sent him email like this and ask if perhaps they can put him up at their place for a while:

—– Original Message —–

From: javaid hameed

To: tony-blairATprime-minister.co.uk

Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 2:46 PM

Subject: sir please help me

Respected sir,

I am very poor I have no job, I am the only person who is eligible to earn money. Here in Pakistan unemployment ratio is very high.

We are six brothers and sistres I am the only son all my sisters eligible to get married

so I need money to full fill my family need, Now in thease circumstance I am very diappionted from my life.I heared from my friends in Pakistan many job apportiounties in UK, so do me this favor .

I will be thanks full to you for whole life.

I hope your response will be positive.

Sir, i do my work very Honestly sir please give me any job like sweeper ,loder, kitchen cleaner,etc.

Sir please please give me a one chance.nobody help me please help me

Thanks

Javaid Hamid.

PAKISTAN

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Date
20040128
Virus Alerts
Time
10:33
Bloody hell, what a morning… and rotten bloody viruses appear to have hit big at the Best Possible Time. I take it you’re all aware of MyDoom. I’m fully updated and protected, but there’s hundreds of the buggers clogging up my mail server. If you emailed me yesterday, hang in there. I’ll dig out the important stuff soon enough.

delete

delete

delete

delete

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:35
Sun leaks report into leak that judge insisted not be leaked!

If it’s genuine, I’m sure Hutton will have something to say. If it’s not, I’m sure the PCC will want to give them a good gumming. It’s just a shame there isn’t a law against barefaced cheek.

Trevor Kavanagh, political editor for The Scum, was on Radio 4 this morning and actually said that they didn’t have an agenda – either for Tony Blair or against the BBC. Right…

Roll on 12:30….

UPDATE – Here’s a picture for you that may have a very short shelf life. Enjoy it while you can: click here to embiggen.

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Date
20040128
Consume!
Time
11:20
The Guardian – The price isn’t right: Supermarkets don’t sell cheap food, we just think they do – and they’re ruining local economies.

So I’ve noticed. The cheapest, nastiest 6-rasher packs of bacon on offer at the local Tesco and Sainburys don’t even go below £2. My local Londis has a range of wonderful 6-packs starting at £1.09 – you used to be able to get it cheaper and better from the High St butchers… but it closed down this time last year.

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Date
20040128
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
11:26
A MyDoom/Norag virus alert, of course.. and the New York Post reporting on Al Franken ‘bodyslamming’ a Dean heckler. I see a few more reports popping up here and there, but so far every printed response has been from the right. Proof of the overwhelming influence of liberal media, no doubt…

*ahem*

Also, there’s this: Confessions of a Car Salesman.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
In The Courts
Time
11:30
Lawyers wrangle over evidence in $1.5 million ‘cat attacks dog’ trial.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
11:35
I gave another SEO seminar yesterday (sorry, forgot to warn you of possible non-bloggage). It was my first all-day seminar, and it gave a lot of elbow room to make it clear what this whole SEO/viral/weblog/community malarkey is all about. But my throat hurts.

Anyway, from there I toodled off to the public meeting that launched an inquiry into MPs and blogging. Juicy quotes follow, but you can find a far more comprehensive report from Bill Thompson here.

Clive Soley: “I think it will take off, actually. I think it is a very good way of communicating.”

Tony Benn: “The media never report what is said in a public meeting…. this information can now come back into the public domain.”

Tom Watson: “Political weblogs are starting to set an agenda in parliament, and that’s got to be a good thing.”

For the doubters, I present to you Tom Watson’s adjournment debate on RFID, which I think contains the first link-credits ever afforded in parliament.

While waiting to gain access to the mysteriously full Stranger’s Gallery (which is where I got my little souvenir), I found myself in the lobby as the vote went through for top-up fees. Blair manages to turn the leader of the rebellion and still only squeaks by 5 votes? Battle won, strength of troops revealed in the process. I can’t see that being a good thing in the long run.

I saw and heard lots (for instance, the police were very worried there would be trouble inside as people left the gallery) but the highlight for me was meeting and shaking hands with Tim Yeo.

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Date
20040128
Animal Kingdom
Time
11:39
Intelligent parrot displays signs of telepathy! Wordlab begs to differ.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:43
ScaryDuck reports on the Popbitch whispers that Belle De Jour is ‘a well known young British author ‘. The Popbitch thread he references appears to have been pulled or blocked.

UPDATE – No, broken. Now fixed. You can read the relevant chatter here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
11:46
Heh. Cheers to Abnu for pointing out this article, which claims that Bill Clinton only sent two emails during his time in office. One of them included the very important message; ‘test’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
A Blog Is Born
Time
12:05
Meet Claire Potter. She’s a Lib-Dem Councillor on Worthing Borough Council. And now she’s also a blogger.

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Date
20040128
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
12:45
BBC: Lord Hutton said he had decided that the question of whether intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction justified going to war fell outside the scope of his inquiry.

Bugger!

Oh well. Back to the central question of the inquiry; who was primarily responsible for the death of Dr Kelly? Lord Hutton points the finger at… nobody!

Oh, but we can now expect an inquiry into the leak of the conclusions of the inquiry into the leak that started it all.

But no independent inquiry into the decision to go to war – a decision based on what appears to be the government cherry-picking and/or influencing intelligence, currently being fed to us as an ‘admission’ that they trusted poor intelligence.

Instead, we have this.

Ho-hum.

The full report should be available here sometime soon.

And what of Tony? Well, it’s beginning to look like he’s going to be in power forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever….

UPDATE – The Guardian – Hutton delivers damning verdict on BBC.

This is really starting to stink. My only consolation is that The Scum may be too busy fending off a legal battle to proceed as you might expect. But I’m not holding my breath.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
Tinfoil Helmets
Time
16:13
Mydoom overtakes Sobig.F as biggest computer virus ever

The Sobig.f virus was first detected on August 18, 2003 – during the 2nd week of evidence to the Hutton Inquiry when we first started hearing from core members of the government. Now we have Mydoom, just as the final report is published.

I’m just saying is all…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
Seems Fair…
Time
17:03
Reuters – BBC chairman resigns after Hutton report

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040128
Video
Time
20:41
This guy should run for President.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Photoshopping
Time
08:55
Like a lot of other people at B3ta, I did some ‘shop-venting yesterday. As ionicus notes, this was a highlight. The Sun/BBC post prompted the most discussion, but outright shoutiness soon became tiresome.

My personal venting was as follows:

After the delivery of the report

Like a Hutton on a string…

New BBC Test Card

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Told You So
Time
09:20
Well, I was close

Bloggerheads Jan 22: And one question from me: If the report finds Gilligan and/or the BBC at fault, will the government at any stage dare to spin this as ‘proof’ that the document in question was without fault?

Lord Hutton: In the context of the broadcasts in which the “sexing-up” allegation was reported and having regard to the other allegations reported in those broadcasts, I consider that the allegation was unfounded as it would have been understood by those who heard the broadcasts to mean that the dossier had been embellished with intelligence known or believed to be false or unreliable, which was not the case.

Tony Blair: That is how this began: with an accusation that was false then and is false now. We can have the debate about the war; about WMD; about intelligence. But we do not need to conduct it by accusations of lies and deceit. We can respect each other’s motives and integrity even when in disagreement. Let me repeat the words of Lord Hutton: ‘False accusations of fact impugning the integrity of others … should not be made’. Let those that made them now withdraw them.

Nice to Tony to take a phrase aimed at the media and fire it across at Mr Howard like that. Anyway…

The Guardian: Mr Blair quoted Lord Hutton as saying that No 10’s need for a powerful dossier might have “subconsciously influenced … members of the JIC to make the wording of the dossier somewhat stronger”.

The BBC is under fire for a culture and structure that allows for spectacular moments of significant failure. What of the government? Is it really so mired in spin, that this level of influence can actually be described as ‘subconcious’…?

Oh, and we’re still waiting for the progression from ‘we did not unduly influence this document’ to ‘we were right’ (tempered with ‘but the intelligence was wrong’), but the twist is coming.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:22
Bit a a gentle start from The Scum, perhaps because they know they’re in a for a roasting themselves:

The Guardian – Sun faces investigation into how it obtained leaked copy

The Independent – Leak or sting? ‘The Sun’ refuses to name source for report

Tony Blair has been getting all angry and shouty about people pointing the finger at him, but, boy, this pro-Blair tabloid with a blatant anti-BBC agenda sure got the day off to a cracking start, didn’t it? There’s been such a furore over the anti-BBC footing that what criticism there was of the government in the report (that has been very carefully worded but could not be denied without ignoring publicly-accessible evidence) barely made it to the surface. Oh, and the report made no ruling on the validity of the causes for war – but it is here – on a vindicated high – that Mr Blair wants to draw the line and move on.

Whitewash? Pah! How about ‘avalanche’?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:38
The Oscar nominee list is out! Try to pretend you care.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Welcome To The 21st Century
Time
09:39
Reuters: A Danish biotech company has developed a genetically modified flower that could help detect landmines and it hopes to have a prototype ready for use within a few years. The genetically modified weed has been coded to change colour when its roots come in contact with nitrogen-dioxide (NO2) evaporating from explosives buried in soil.

Landmine safety and flowers? Diana is smiling at us from heaven with Baby Jesus and a host of angels. The birds are singing. Even the slugs are happy….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Animal Kingdom
Time
09:44
Everybody loves exploding whales. They’re blubber-tastic.

UPDATE – More on this from the biased liberal money-wasting shirt-lifters at the BBC.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Seems Fair…
Time
09:48
Tree surrenders its life to protect young Christians from hoards of paedophiles that might lurk behind it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Spam
Time
09:55
ZDNet: Stopping Spam should be simple, if we can just stop all the open relays, eradicate the viruses that open them up, patch every last bit of software to reject spam, stop anyone buying anything from these con merchants and lastly hunt down the spammers and hit them over the head with old fridges until they promise to stop. Stop sending spam, or stop breathing, I’m not fussy.

There’s also some stuff about cats in there, if you’d care to wrap your head around it and keep it warm.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Art
Time
10:04
A cool domain name and some extraordinary art here. My jaw’s on the floor. This front-pager by B3tan Fragger isn’t half-bad, either.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
In The Courts
Time
10:15
Apple accused of stealing apples.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
Music
Time
10:24
A sturdy girl is what you need (1.1 MB WMA file). There’s also a 2.1MB MP3 here and other wonders to be discovered here.

That’s the good news. Now, the not-so-good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20040129
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:41
Former top US weapons inspector David Kay: “…the intelligence service believed that there were WMD. It turns out that we were all wrong, probably in my judgment, and that is most disturbing.”

Oh, the poor dears! Obviously, they were mislead by the intelligence community. Oh, and their own subconscious, no doubt.

More from The Scotsman, if you want to get your teeth into it.

Beware of ‘admissions’ that are in themselves yet more lies. And don’t be fooled by misdirection and suggestion.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to point out that us silly misguided peaceniks who questioned the validity and reliability of intelligence before a single bomb was dropped saw our opinions dismissed on the basis that we had an agenda.

UPDATE – Here’s a little something from Feb last year showing the kind of intelligence/media on-message-massaging that was going on at that time. It also clearly shows BBC bias at work.

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Date
20040129
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
12:49
Ooooh, I like this one. I like this one a lot:

What is Your UK Movie Rating?

I’m rated 12A. Greasy Chip Butty is rated 18. The filthy bastard.

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Date
20040129
Updates
Time
12:52
I should let you know (just so you don’t start dragging the river) that this afternoon I’m taking off to enjoy a well-earned and long-overdue 4-day weekend. I hope to leave something interesting behind. We’ll see what the day brings.

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Date
20040129
Bunch of Stuff
Time
14:42
Heh. I haven’t been to OffMessage for a while, but just popped over to see two great finds.

The first led me on this trail:

After a lifetime of plotting in the bottom of drawers and boxes, the Lego people are planning to take over the world. Will they start with bigots who hate pink Lego or the mad scientists who hack, carve and paint Lego people for their own twisted pleasure? No matter. Strike they will, and with Cthulhu as leader, mercy will become a relic of times past. Your only chance is to strike now. The LEGO FAQ does not reveal why the Yellow Ones are yellow, but it does tell you that if you wash them, their faces come off.

Soap! Water! Freedom!

*ahem*

The second was a (SFW) fetish site for men who like to watch girls stranded in the mud. From here I went no further. Some areas of the web are best left unexplored…

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Date
20040129
Seems Fair…
Time
16:04
Woooosh Thunk! *Thud*

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Date
20040129
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
19:02
The Guardian – The Hutton saga is a sideshow. The real issue is who will pay the price for war and occupation.

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Date
20040129
“The same thing we do every day, Pinky…”
Time
19:04
Here you go; this should keep you busy. See you Tuesday.

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Date
20040129
BBC
Time
22:10
Ahahahahahahahahaha!

Campbell named as new BBC director general! Catch it while you can. (Link via Wibbler.)

UPDATE – What are you hanging around here for? I’m done now. Really! Get writing!

Essay assignment:

What the BBC means to me an why I won’t let that c**t Murdoch take it away.








About Tim Ireland

Tim is the sole author of Bloggerheads.
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