South West Trains Does It Again

or
What Happens When you Dare Complain

To:
Andrew Haines
Managing Director
South West Trains

From:
Tim Ireland
30th November, 2003

Dear Andrew,

This was going to be a private letter, but it’s become clear to me after your reaction to my complaint of June last year (which was to send a bunch of flowers to the woman whose life your staff so blithely put at risk) and the treatment to which I was subjected early on the morning of Sunday 30th November 2003 that your company deserves a long-overdue public shaming.

Please bear with me…

I arrived at Waterloo Station in good time for the 00:08 express service to Guildford station. That service was not displayed on the boards. The nearest thing to it was a multi-stop service due at 00:10 that was shown as being 30 minutes late.

At 00:00 I enquired, I would think quite reasonably, as to the fate of the 00:08 service. I was informed by Jobsworth No. 1 that what I saw on the board was pretty much what I could expect.

I avoided naming names last time, but this time I am really – and quite justifiably, I would think – pissed off, so I ask you most humbly to suck this and see:

Jobsworth No. 1: Molly Morgan

Given that the timetable advertised a service that you were not publicly acknowledging as a failed, late, or possibly cancelled service, I saw fit to question the current state of affairs. Enter Jobsworth No.2…

Jobsworth No. 2: Tim Reilly

We’ll hear more from Tim soon, because he’s a plucky young lad, able to hold a man’s gaze, but not above abusing his position of authority in order to stifle valid complaints. Initially, all you need to know is that he intervened at this stage and informed me that The Way Things Were were The Way Things Were.

Andrew, you should know by now that I’m an idealistic chap, prone to impromptu shows of rebellion. The first thing I did as a result was to head to the information boards on the far side of the concourse and inform those staring hopefully at these boards that there was a whole service that had been cancelled without their knowledge, and that they should make a complaint regarding this.

Misguided? Perhaps. Satisfying? Definitely.

By now, it was 00:15. and another service – the 00:23 to Guildford via Clapham Junction, Woking and Worpleston – was long overdue for display.

I went back to the ‘information’ desk and enquired as the fate of this particular service.

I received little in the way of information, or satisfaction, and became quite agitated – especially when Jobsworth No. 3 informed me that this service was ’30 minutes delayed’, but they still saw no reason to advertise this fact on the boards.

Jobsworth No. 3: Rob Boorwell

You know as well as I do that – kept from the information that shows a failure of service – many people will be unable to make a complaint regarding that service. 13 information screens stood empty at ths point (save for a Waterloo Station logo). There was plenty of room to show such a failure, but only one person was complaining about it. Me.

I was soon to find out why, as jobsworth Tim Reilly really came into play. I was informed that my tone was abusive and that the police had been called. I held my ground and enquired in unreasonably reasonable tones exactly what had become of the 00:08 and 00:23 services.

Jobsworth No. 1: Molly Morgan (manning the ‘information’ desk)
“All I can tell you is what you see on the boards.”

Jobsworth No. 2: Tim Reilly (standing not 3 feet from the ‘information’ desk)
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to ask at the information desk.”

My immediate reaction was to turn to waiting commuters and point out what they could expect if they dared to complain. In fact, I even dared to point out what was at stake and why your staff hoped they would not complain.

When faced with multiple layers of bullshit, I tell it like it is. You know this.

Result? Some hopeful faces, but no action; they knew what was in store.

By now, I also had some drunken RWCs (right wing cunts) getting seriously In My Face for daring to question authority. No effort was made to control these individuals. In fact, the smug look on jobsworth Tim Reilly’s face seemed impossible to shift.

Enter the police…

God bless the London Met. So intent on their duty, they ignored each and every aspect of my quite valid complaint and informed me that South West Trains was – as a result of my ‘abusive’ behaviour – refusing to carry me as a passenger. I was to be escorted from the concourse.

They’re ripping us off blind!
“Not my problem…”

You’re leaving me stranded in London with no way to get home!
“That, sir, is *your* problem.. off we go.”

(Hand on elbow; to make any move from this point on is to Resist and get thrown in clink on a technicality. Smile on jobsworth Tim Reilly’s face defies polite description..)

And so I was led from the concourse to resounding jeers. I was informed by the police that these jeers clearly showed my lack of popularity, but….

The clever clogs did not account on me making my way via the Underground, back onto the platform to the now very late 00:10 multi-stop service (which, in the end, terminated at Walton-On-Thames and had to be completed by bus).

On that trip, I met:

The dozen or so people who congratulated me on my courage but failed to speak up themselves for fear of similar ‘complain and you will not travel’ treatment.

The gentleman who informed me of the Guildford service that left at 11:50, made up of 4 carriages (from the 12 that were available) that was so hopelessly overcrowded that many gave up on it.

The few RWCs – one in particular – who gladly took the time to inform the driver of my unauthorised – albeit fully paid for – presence on board. (Happily, I had made the devilishly clever move of removing my jacket, thereby rendering me invisible to the waiting authorities at Clapham Junction and Wimbledon. If you got burgled or mugged in these areas on this night, it was because police were called away to incarcerate The Man Who Dared To Complain. I do apologise.)

Andrew, I appreciate that you’re an honourable man in a difficult situation, but in this case I’m sure you’ll pardon me for saying Fuck You & The Horse You Rode In On.

There is one reason and one reason only why I choose not to work in London. That reason is South West Trains.

It’s obvious to me after this experience that the main priority in too many employees’ minds is to protect this failing system – and/or their jobs – at all costs. In fact, the few small actions I took following our disagreement last year led to many staff fearing my camera (and hating my guts) but not changing their ways.

(Do you remember the charming sign that greeted customers who approached the staff room at Guildford? And how after I took a photo of that and sent it to you, it was removed? Well, following that minor event and the major one that preceded it, I found that I was being carefully watched by staff and so didn’t need to send anything to you to have an effect. I took a photo of misspelled sign; it was immediately removed. I took a photo of shit on the tracks; this area and this area alone was immediately hosed down. This was fun while it lasted, but it did little good in the end.)

You and I, we have serious issues mostly buried in the past, but I hold your company directly responsible not only for undue stress, but well over 700 man-hours that were lost due to SWT’s inability to provide the service promised to this one small commuter.

Others may not dare to complain (and I’m pretty sure by now that we all know why) but – though I may not be reliant on this service at present – I find it very difficult to understand why I shouldn’t be addressing this as a significant ‘in my backyard’ priority.

You don’t want this; I don’t need it – but the problem obviously needs to be addressed.

I got 21st-century on your ass last time, and is didn’t make a lick of difference. What is it going to take to make you realise that this one commuter out of a thousand can – and will – make a difference if necessary?

[ENDS]

What do you think? Was I too aggressive in the face of simple diversionary tactics, or do I have a justifiable problem with South West Trains and the way they treat people? Send me an email or get in touch with Andrew Haines via customerrelations@swtrains.co.uk and do what a lot of people didn’t this morning because they did not dare – speak your mind.

UPDATES & FEEDBACK
1st December 2003

Wibbler was on the scene, and had this to say:

“Good lord, Tim, you were on the train after me!

“My girlfriend and I arrived at the platform at 10.40pm. The Train Entering Platform 8 was an obligatory 15 minutes late, and this strangely worked in our favour. We rushed to the platform, to be met by a very substandard train, due to stop at Clapham Junction, Surbiton and Guildford, which was plainly a replacement. To make matters worse, if you wanted to get further than Guildford (which we instantly abandoned), the remaining journey had to be competed by a rickety old bus. God help the poor 90 year old couple hoping to get to Liphook before sunrise.

“We were then informed that the driver was still to be found. He was still nowhere to be found 15 minutes later, but eventually he was located. It was then that 4 Drunken Fools decided to board (drunken fools who were plainly less of a problem than you supposedly were). They proceeded to discuss, exceedingly loudly and between gulps of recently-bought champagne, the nights events, and life in general. This included the “fucking temperature”, the “fucking bottle”, the “shit weather” and references to a neighbouring travellers’ grandmother that I dare not repeat. Other topics included differing tastes of semen, their musical favourites (with long, loud demonstrations of each song) and where the “fucking toilets” were. The journey seemed long. We supposed this was because of the Drunken Fools, but it was, as we were later told, because of the engineering “works”. I use the term “works” lightly – indeed as we passed one such engineering location, I noted all 5 of the workers sitting down on barrels, sipping their tea and looking at magazines (the content of these can only be imagined).

“So, we arrived one hour late, in the freezing cold of the winter night. The police, although informed of the Drunken Fools, did diddly about them. Oh, and the driver forgot to stop at Surbiton. You can imagine the words coming out of the Surbitonians on the train as the alighted in Guildford at midnight, many miles from home, with no visible means of getting there.”

James was at the same party as I was that night. He’s provided some quite reasonable points about giving feedback to staff members. He’s right on many points, but – well, I’ll let you read his email first…

“Sorry but I think you were too aggressive in your actions described in your letter. I am a frequent complainer and I have worked in customer services so I have a fair idea of what does and doesn’t work.

“Raising your voice, swearing or using aggressive body language is not going to succeed. For a complaint to be handled quickly and effectively you have to make the person you are dealing with want to help you. By attacking them, their colleagues or whatever you are just going to put them on the defensive and make them want to get a victory over you by not being helpful.

“I know it shouldn’t be this way but it is, and it is extremely rare for someone to change their mind by aggressively pointing out that they are wrong.

“People who work in customer services, especially those who work with the public late at night, are frequently exposed to abuse, assault and all manner of downright evil behaviour from the public. Although I’m sure you were not being abusive (at least not at first) this is the behaviour they expect and when approaching the CS rep, you have to immediately show that this is not what you are about. Complaining calmly and reasonably – in a non-personal manner will be much more successful than insults and swearing.

“Unfortunately the same goes for the letter. The swearing, personal tone and general ‘Ranting’ nature of the text will make it much likely that whoever deals with the letter (and you can be pretty sure it will not be Andrew Haines – at least not at first) will mentally file it in the ‘Nutter’ category and be as obstructive as possible when dealing with your complaint.

“I appreciate that keeping your cool can be difficult when faced with the monstrous lack of helpfulness you experienced but calm, reasoned complaint will get you so much further than having a good shout. Although having a rant can be immediately very satisfying I personally find that it is worth swallowing a little pride and anger to get the result I want.

“Sorry if this comes across as a bit preachy but you did ask for feedback. This is all of course just the way I would approach things and YMMV!”

Not at all preachy, and all points that needs to be raised for a reader of this article that doesn’t know:
1. SWT and I have a long history. I’ve been down the ‘reasonable’ path and have seen little improvement to the service as a result.
2. Me being loud isn’t necessarily directed at staff. Often (and, admittedly, this does annoy the staff) it’s me addressing people on the concourse and explaining to them that (a) they’re being robbed and (b) they don’t have to sit there and take it.
3. The email I sent went directly to Andrew Haines, as we’ve had correspondence in the past. I published the general feedback address on my website and not his personal one as a courtesy. I can be downright nice when I want to be.

And now, a word or two from Seamus:

“go for it.. they say we’re a nation of whingers, may as well prove em right.. i followed your bush hunt and saw what complaining can do.. usually best to get a few people on your side first.. that’s something RWCs do understand..

“being a scruffy bastard i know what it’s like to have a genuine grievance dismissed cos you’re alone.. your opponent can easily point you out as if ‘he’s not one
of us..’ But a few seemingly normal folks together presents them a real challenge..

“so keep complaining.. i’d do it myself but there’s too much to go on about.. and i’ll keep reading”

Seamus is spot on. The system SWT has in place to deal with complaints doesn’t make it clear to the public how badly the situation has deteriorated. I’m sure that if this was clear, people would feel less alone and would therefore be more likely to voice their dissatisfaction with the service. A page that clearly explains how you can (and why you should) complain to South West Trains seems to be in order – as does a public forum for those that wish to express frustration over complaints that have not been addressed to their complete satisfaction. (Oooh, look what I just found over at Annies’ blog, along with this post of support… the Evening Standard gets busy with a serious transport protest portal! It’d be nice to have a special one for SWT, though… something that turns up every time people search for ‘south west trains’ in Google would be especially useful.)

Why is this important? Well, if you fail to complain, sooner or later you lose the right to complain. I’m not saying that we’ll see rubber bullets being used at Waterloo Station anytime soon, but ExpatEgghead notes:

“I admire your restraint. I wish more people were like you. Here in Israel, when people got pissed of at the unemployment office being closed for weeks, the security guard used tear gas.”

FINAL UPDATE

So what did I do after being pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed? I did this:

South West Trains – How To Complain

Come and join us, do.

:o)








Posted in South West Trains | Comments Off

17-28 November, 2003

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Date
20031117
Feedback
Time
09:36
Most of the negativity is being cast towards the petition. The chaps responsible for the majority of this can be found here. They’ve also got some not-so-secret squirrel plans to DoS the system and foul up the intelligence. Opening volley: the core intelligence address has been signed up to many a free mailing list.

I also got this from an AOL user::

Oh, for goodness sake. How about tracking the Queen or Prince Charles instead? Oh, what’s that? She wasn’t even elected there even under “extremely questionable circumstances”? And the Prince is too busy denying something he isn’t at liberty to explain? You mean chasing Bush is more interesting? Gotcha!

Erm, no. Sorry about that.

And this:

Have you stopped to consider what use the charming folks at the Finsbury Park Mosque may put your information to? This isn’t about dodging protests, it’s about dodging snipers and/or car-bombs. I hope you’ve got a good lawyer on retainer. Most countries dislike having visiting heads of state put at risk by morons with some technical skills. Hope you enjoy your chat with MI5 and the US Secret Service!

If there is a terrorist threat (no doubt organised – as you say – by the chaps down at Finsbury Park Mosque) did Bush stop to consider the terrorist target he was creating by putting him, our PM and the Queen all in one place to help with his upcoming election campaign? No.

This is about dodging protests, and one thing this visit has done (before Bush has even touched down) is greatly increase our awareness of the extent to which civil liberties in the U.S. have been eroded, removed or undermined by the Bush administration.

Some nicer email that may help folks understand that this is not anti-merkinism at work, and that these people need our help. In fact, most emails of support and links for this and Bare Your Bum at Bush have come from America.

Joan:

We Americans living under the rule of religiously insane fascists, appreciate the help.

Rosemary:

Thank you for your work. As a very patriotic American all I can say is I love my country but this moron sitting in our White House brings us shame. Will be watching your news reports to see what’s happening because we sure won’t see much here. We need every bit of help we can get from the world community.

Marjie:

I just wanted to say thank you for what you are doing. We in America are being kept down by a media that is in the pocket of this illegal administration. Also, we are totally disorganized in my opinion and too many are in fear. Of course, don’t forget there is about 50% of our population that support this thug.

Inbound linkage is getting us some serious Blogdex and Popdex action. It was poking around the cosmos that led me to this excellent post by Dave Weeden:

Bush Baby’s visit has everything to do with getting a head start in the next election…. If protesting gets us a different president in 2005, it will be worth it. We will be richer and safer for it. Protest against Bush. Your freedom depends on it.

I also found Simon Brunning in my travels. His dad was a founding member of Fleetwood Mac. I’m not saying that’s his only redeeming feature, I just personally regard that to be rather cool.

I got a nice form letter from The London Met, saying:

We do not plan any traffic exclusion zones, and there are no long-term road closures. We will endeavor (sic) to keep disruption to a minimum. There will be short-term road closures, and some areas where the public will not be able to access, but these will only be in place for the shortest possible time, and to ensure safety, security and to allow others to go about their business.

What a pity, then, that Dubya’s business threatens my safety, security and liberty.

Oh, finally, it looks like we may just have some support from a company willing to help out with limited text alerts. Stay tuned.

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Date
20031117

Time
10:44
When image is everything and timing is important, it’s time to bring out the bold assertions. When you can’t risk saying it overtly, it’s time to leak a memo:

Case closed – The U.S. government’s secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

(UPDATE – Here is the best follow-up on this that I’ve seen so far.)

Rupert Murdoch’s Australian also carries this Weekly Standard piece, but at least they have the decency to put ‘proof’ in inverted commas in the headline.

Because, as we all know, this is primarily an anti-war protest (when it’s not an anti-merkin protest) and ‘proving’ a link between Saddam Hussein and those gosh-durned terrorists makes us all look like naive peaceniks.

Bush used the time-honoured technique of using ‘Saddam’ and ‘terror’ in the same sentence as often as possible during his man-of-the-people interview on Breakfast with Frost. What you cannot say, you must infer.

As for outright lies… I did catch what may be one very interesting whopper:

George W. Bush: “Gosh, I remember going to some nice pubs — when I was drinking man in London.”

Bush has said many times that he quit drinking on his 40th birthday in 1986 and has not had a drink since. He had only been abroad three times before becoming President. Which visit is he referring to and when did it occur?

Finally, a statement he has made a number of times during the run-up to this visit:

“Well, freedom is a beautiful thing, I would first say, and it’s, aren’t you lucky to be in a country that encourages people to speak their mind? And I value going to a country where people are free to say anything they want to say.”

What a pity that he never gets to finish this statement with a brutally honest “Because we sure don’t allow that kind of freedom back in the States, nossir!”

On the newspaper front, Bush’s decision to grant an exclusive interview to tit-tastic tabloid The Sun (also owned by Rupert Murdoch) surprises no-one. That Tony Blair recommended it, even less so.

The content? Well, I hope you have a strong stomach.

The editorial is even worse:

Bush is an intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate man for whom war is the last resort. His enduring love is peace and the freedom it can bring.

Oh, dear God.

(UPDATE – More on this and related Murdoch matters over at the London News Review.)

The truth of the matter? Officials are dreading this trip and damage-control teams are out in force. Looks like Tony picked a bad time to quit spinning.

Most people think the speech to the Houses of Parliament has been called off, but senior MPs have been warned to be ready to ‘clear the decks’ and rally the troops at a moment’s notice. How interesting…

One thing that is set in stone is Bush’s meeting with Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy, the leaders of what pass for opposition parties in this country.

One knee to the groin will drop him, Charles. Just a thought.

UPDATE – Nick wrote in with an intriguing idea. Perhaps all Charles has to do is wave a little fine whiskey in Dubya’s direction. Let him catch the fumes until his pupils dilate and his voice explodes with a dramatic call of: “It begins!!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031117

Time
10:46
Today, I have to:

- Help where I can to sort a solid back-end for interwebnet.org

- Organise the moderators

- Source/brief our trusted intelligence officers

Please excuse me if bloggage suffers and/or I don’t answer your email.

But before I go…

I’ll be attending the Stop The War Coalition’s alternative state procession (South Bank, London SE1 on the 19th day of November at the hour of 11 o’clock).

I thought it might be fun if a few of us helped to form a decent security force.

Here’s what you’ll need to join in:

Dark overcoat

Dark suit

White shirt

Black necktie

Dark sunglasses

One ‘in ear’ headphone

No need to get in touch or organise – just turn up on time, and dressed for the occasion.

UPDATE – Oh, and I want to set an early precedent with images from mobile phone cameras. If anyone lives in or near Heathrow and wants to capture the arrival, please do get in touch.

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Date
20031117

Time
11:49
It’s not too late to call this whole mess off, you know:

- Sign the petition

- Email the poodle

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Date
20031117

Time
11:54
Tonight: Non Violent Direct Action training Workshop, 7pm London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St, London E1 1ES. 020 7377 9088. (includes Legal Observer training for the Resist Bush Tea Party on the 19th).

(Via this exhaustive list of publically-known events scheduled for the George Bush visit.)

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Date
20031117

Time
12:06
Margie Schoedinger filed a lawsuit against George W. Bush in December 2002, claiming that she had been raped. All signs point to her being as mad as a shaved otter, and the media largely ignored the story, but that didn’t stop her turning up dead.

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Date
20031117
Bush Trekking
Time
13:50
He’s a man of peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill, shoot to kill

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Date
20031118
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
08:36
Let’s put this in very clear terms.

Now is a very important time. This march will be portrayed as simple-minded anti-war sentiment, but in reality it is The Front.

Americans have effectively Lost. The. Right. To. Freedom. Of. Assembly.

Protests have been inhibited by highly questionable methods here, as well. People have been illegally searched and illegally detained. In fact, if it weren’t for the projected doubts of us misguided peaceniks, the ‘security’ needs of the White House on this visit probably wouldn’t have made the news – and therefore would not be an issue, but a reality.

However, that doesn’t mean that Blair’s camp has given up. There is both a charm offensive and a fear offensive.

Charm: Dubya ain’t that bad. He’s a man who loves peace. The police are being jolly decent chaps about the whole thing. Oh, and these people are only marching because they think war is not so nifty.

Fear: But there just happens to be a terror alert. Oh, and terrorists may use the protests as cover (you could get gassed or blowed up). George W. Bush’s security force will have lots and lots of guns. And – leaving the best until last – anarchists are set to run wild in the streets.

The Chasing Bush portal exists only because the government is still in ‘save face’ mode, so will be forced to take the next logical step and restrict the photo-ops George W. Bush wants so badly to safe zones. To achieve safe zones for some of Bush’s wishes (addressing MPs, being seen with Real People who are Happy to see him) some misdirection is going to be called for. It is this misdirection that we seek to subvert.

Already, we’ve been accused of leading terrorists to Bush – when in reality it is Bush himself who has brought the (alleged) terrorist threat here to forward his own ends.

Meanwhile, the administration of both countries continue to use terrorists as an excuse to restrict our right to effective protest.

The Times: Security chiefs are even considering shutting down all mobile phone signals near the President every time he leaves Buckingham Palace in case terrorists try to use a mobile to detonate a bomb

No reference was made to mobile phone blackouts until Chasing Bush was set up. It’s glaringly obvious what’s going on here, but we have to stand strong. Now is not the time to put our fingers in our ears and chant ‘calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean’.

We trusted in numbers alone on the million-strong march and it got us nowhere. America is watching, and the battle is for effective visibility.

The Independent: Tony Blair – “This is the right moment for us to stand firm with the United States in defeating terrorism wherever it is and delivering us safely from what I genuinely believe to be the security threat of the 21st century.”

Given the large number of Americans who have supported our cause and rejoiced because we can voice what they cannot, I’d actually dare to adopt that quote myself. All that’s required is a slight change to the punctuation and a link or two:

This is the right moment for us to stand firm with the United States in defeating terrorism – wherever it is – and delivering us safely from what I genuinely believe to be the security threat of the 21st century.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031118
Dead Blog Holiday
Time
16:18
Things is going to pretty quiet around Bloggerheads for a few days. When I’m not out and about, I’ll be posting or moderating over at interwebnet.org

Cheers all.

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Date
20031120
Just Do It
Time
11:01
I ask very little of you people, but today I’m going to implore those of you who live in and around London to attend the big march today.

If you want to continue to enjoy the right to assembly and freedom of speech, and inspire Americans who have recently lost this right under the Bush administration, then you need to stand up and be counted.

It’s not anti-war. It’s not anti-American. It’s bare-bones self-preservation.

Be there.

14.00: NATIONAL DEMO AGAINST BUSH. Starts outside University of London, Malet Street, London (map). Finishes at Trafalgar Square where a statue of George Bush will be pulled down. This event will continue until 7pm to allow for people coming from work. For more info see Stop the War Coalition.

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Date
20031121
The End Of Democracy
Time
14:16
Ladies and Gentlemen, despite all promises and assurances to the contrary, the one thing we all feared – a ‘Free Speech’ Zone – has been established on British soil.

When it came to the crunch, our government caved to the wrong side. This isn’t over.

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Date
20031124
The End of Democracy
Time
09:13
Jesus H. Christ, they don’t muck about, do they?

The Free Speech Zone in Sedgefield passed without so much as a media blip. Result:

The Independent – Sweeping new emergency laws to counter UK terror:

Fresh measures to deal with terrorist attacks and other emergencies are to be announced by the Government this week, allowing them to over-ride civil liberties in times of crisis.

Sunday Herald – Blair plans new laws to curb civil liberties:

The measures could potentially outlaw participation in a protest march, such as last week’s demonstrations during President Bush’s state visit, making it, in effect, a criminal offence to criticise government policy.

Like, say, if you wish to question the actual source of the attacks. Or the convenience of their timing. Or the effectiveness of government policy on the terrorist threat in general. Or the readiness of our government for such attacks. Or the policy of the government to roll out ‘unspecified’ terrorist alerts every time a major protest is on the horizon, thereby eroding public readiness should an actual threat come our way.

Over the pond, General Tommy Franks has said that if the United States is hit with ‘a weapon of mass destruction’, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favour of a military form of government. Meanwhile the New York Times reports that the F.B.I. has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at anti-war protests to its counterterrorism squads. As an example of possible illegal activities they cite ‘using fake documentation to get into a secured site’ – i.e. trying to bypass the unconstitutional ‘Free Speech Zones’.

Are we still in any doubt about what these draconian measures are meant to control? Sure, the F.B.I. claims such measures are meant to help identify anarchists and ‘extremist elements’ plotting violence, but it’s these new measures that will give birth to such violence. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bush is already getting away with inferring that the terror/Iraq link must be there, because terrorists are now in Iraq.

Those of us in the UK will want to fight this. Now.

Here’s why:

The terrorist threat is real; but it’s mostly an idea, a tactic. It cannot be fought like a nation.

Taking the wrong nation to task over terrorism – illegally – has only attracted terror attacks to that country and others, and given moral and logistical support to the terrorist cells around the world (that, in may cases, would not have been as widely available had our countries acted with the support of the international community).

Whether the threat is real or not (see: WMDs) it’s wrong for any government to use the fear of that threat to manipulate the public and use it as an excuse to systematically rob us of our freedom.

To all those who would say that such-and-such or so-and-so fought to protect that freedom, and I should be happy to have it; I say ‘right on’. I’d also point out that the time has come for us to fight for those freedoms again. Right fucking now, before it comes to a very unhealthy crisis point.

Last week’s Bush visit – consciously or unconsciously – put the idea into many heads that marching peacefully does little or no good and the only way to get the attention of the international press is to blow shit up. Every sector of society has its extremists, and that worries me some.

The DoS attacks on interwebnet.org and Bloggerheads during the Bush visit were not entirely dissimilar to the practice of book-burning… the forcible removal of material that the far right considers to be ‘dangerous’. Censorship not via direct government intervention, but via the culture of hate and fear that the government has helped to establish.

This is but one indication that matters are way out of control in the U.S. – and our government is guilty of outright appeasement. They think we can influence the Bush administration. We cannot. They fear that the U.S. will become isolated. It already is.

The actions of our government in response to the terrorist threat and the wishes of the White House are both subservient and misguided.

Let’s take the official government line just once, to try and reach its rabid supporters and make them see sense:

OK, so the terror attacks are coming from a shadowy cabal that wish to spread disorder and chaos; what better way to do so than to manipulate us in a way that leads to civil unrest and eventually, violent confrontation? The claim of convenient timing does not necessarily point the finger of blame at our government, but it does pose serious questions regarding overall responsibility.

A terror attack on British soil that just happens to precede the release of the results of the Hutton Inquiry? On American soil (or near enough to freak people out) just before the presidential elections in the U.S.?

How many of you would ask yourselves whether it was convenient at this stage for the government to let one slip through the net? Given the timing, how many of us would take seriously assertions that our freedoms were being taken from us for our own protection? How many, in such circumstances, would see their only option to be an outright fight for those freedoms?

Even if the government succeeded in a complete clampdown, there would be many who would continue to fight from the shadows.

If such a scenario did come about, it wouldn’t matter who was behind the attack and who did the bulk of the manipulating; the result would still be exactly what Bush claims to be trying to prevent – ‘a chaotic world ruled by force’.

Due to the absence of permalinks and a comments feature on Bloggerheads, a mirror of this post is also available at: http://www.interwebnet.org/post.cfm/post=111

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Date
20031124

Time
09:46
Browsing through The Guardian, I see that it’s going to be an interesting week in print media, but what really excites me is that I may finally get my windmill. While I’m in a spending mood, I may just splurge on some cow magnets, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031124
Photoshopping
Time
10:49
Wednesday is the first anniversary of The Star Wars Photoshopping Project (the first image of its type was posted here at B3ta). I’ll try to remember to celebrate. In the meantime, here’s a knockout submission from Michael Weidenbach.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031124
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
11:08
The Sunday MirrorThe Queen is furious with President George W. Bush after his state visit caused thousands of pounds of damage to her gardens at Buckingham Palace.

Multiple helicopter take-offs and landings churned up the lawns, trees and shrubs ‘that had survived since Queen Victoria’s reign’ were trashed by the rotors, and ‘clod-hopping’ security personnel tromped all over what was left.

Sorry your plants got trampled on, Madge. Perhaps you can spare a thought for our rights…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031124

Time
14:01
Michael Jackson launches dedicated news site.

It’s here. Pretend to care.

UPDATE – The timing of the raid and subsequent arrest warrant is still bugging me. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Bush’s next perpetual war is against pornographers and pee-doh-philes, but they’ve been forming the basis of this case for months. Why issue the warrant when Jackson is off in Vegas? He’s got significant resources, and is therefore a flight risk.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031124
Photoshopping
Time
14:19
See the official White House photo essay covering Dubya’s visit to the UK.

You’ll love this one of Bush and Blair waving to an imaginary crowd of well-wishers.

This photo from the pub is my favourite. Tony is such a rascal….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031124

Time
16:37
Comment spotted at Salon.com:

“The American flag lapel pin is the new swastika armband.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031124

Time
17:27
A fabulous exclusive from The Memory Hole: see a copy of the pamphlet you receive when you apply for a position at your local draft board.

Start warmin’ up the poor, we is a-goin’ to war!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:20
Michael Howard had better start learning how to use this channel more efficiently – and fast!

Take a look at which site – and what post – is top search result for ‘michael howard mp’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
The End of Democracy
Time
09:22
Fingers in ears, people…. lalalalalalalalalalalala!

WiredCongress approved a bill on Friday that expands the reach of the Patriot Act, reduces oversight of the FBI and intelligence agencies and, according to critics, shifts the balance of power away from the legislature and the courts.

Of course, we can read about this because we don’t rely entirely on mainstream media – which is what Bush’s upcoming war on pornography is all about controlling.

He wants to double funding for ‘undercover chat room investigations’ (from $6.5m per year to $12.5m per year). Of course, this budget will be spent entirely on chasing pee-doh-files in chat rooms.

On the subject of pornography… methinks he doth protest too much:

Vice chairman of Louisville anti-pornography group arrested Saturday night on prostitution charge.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
Photoshopping
Time
09:31
Bush pardons Thanksgiving turkey.

And here’s a picture, boys and girls…

UPDATE – Mad Guerilla Brigade: After assembling a Congressional Investigative Committee and spending over $25 million in “exploratory” funds to be certain that the turkey contained absolutely no oil or petrolium by-products Bush could see no reason for killing the innocent turkey.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125

Time
09:34
Sure to spawn countless ‘By The Time I Get To..’ headlines:

Glen Campbell arrested in Phoenix

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Date
20031125

Time
09:36
There’s this old poem that goes;

‘I shot a bullet in the air… it didn’t come down at quite the same velocity as when it was fired due to inhibiting factor of air resistance, but it was still going fast enough to punch a hold in my skull…’

It’s not a very catchy poem, but it is worth remembering:

Participant at KKK initiation wounded after shots fired into sky

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Date
20031125

Time
09:41
Serial horse rapist makes narrow escape. He left his boots and a bottle of hand lotion behind.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125

Time
09:42
Time magazine – Americans adore Bush or loathe him – how we became a nation divided.

Also in Time this month; 25 years of the graphic novel.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
Flash Games
Time
09:50
Boing! Boing! Boing! Boing! Boing! Boing! Boing!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125

Time
09:55
Here’s today’s special lunchtime treat.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
10:09
Huzzah! Which member of the Bush Administration are you? Colin Powell, right here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
It’s War! On a ‘Need To Know’ Basis!
Time
11:14
Memory Hole: Defense Department Deletes Notice About Draft Boards.

Nothing to see here. Go about your business…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125

Time
11:40
Here’s a fantastic rundown of hate mail sent to Expats Against Bush.

3. “Why didn’t you march against terrorism/Osama/Saddam?”

As soon as Queen Elizabeth II extends the offer of a State Visit to Osama or Saddam, I will definitely participate in the protests against them.

Also, GreenFairy has posted some thoughts on what she has learned about the ‘varying concept of free speech’.

And this picture I quickly captioned for interwebnet.org yesterday to explain how Free Speech Zones work appears to be bouncing all over the place.

Share it with someone you love today.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
12:26
Here’s some meat and potatoes for conspiracy theorists. Do try to stay calm. Nobody likes a shouter.

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Date
20031125

Time
14:08
The first ‘re-elect Bush’ TV ad is ready to roll, reports the New York Times. (This article is a few days old, so the ad may have already made it to air. Please do let me know if it’s as bad as it sounds.)

The 30-second spot makes a connection between protestors and terror attacks (‘some are now attacking the president for attacking the terrorists!’) and urges viewers to support Bush’s policy of ‘pre-emptive self defense’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
15:04
Smittens: mittens for people who like to walk and hold hands. In cold weather. While others point and laugh at them. The site claims the fabric is ‘machine washable and will last for years of enjoyment’, but I’m willing to bet that vomit stains will prove to be remarkably persistant.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031125

Time
15:36
BBC – An American woman has been left with a British accent after having a stroke. Oh, I say

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Appeasing Bush
Time
09:08
Want to be true leader of a western democracy? Then prepare to bend over and take it like a man!

Joy of joys, the families of two Australians being held illegally at Guantanamo Bay will be allowed to watch as they get railroaded by a U.S. military tribunal. Someday.

When Bush visited the UK, we were assured that important matters such as this would be discussed. Actually, I’d be happier if I lived in a democracy that took Bush to task over the illegal detention and ongoing softly-softly torture of all detainees, but the least we should have expected was some kind of agreement on the nine British citizens being held. We didn’t get it.

We also didn’t get any kind of deal on the steel tariffs.

What did we get? A Bush-driven Free Speech Zone and the announcement of our very own version of the Patriot Act.

Guantanamo Bay is the next issue that will be dealt with over at interwebnet.org – the aim will be to allow you and everyone else to protest this deplorable state of affairs without being cordoned off and/or intimidated by the authorities.

Watch this space.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
The War on Porn
Time
09:24
Want to destroy a man with little or no proof? Then you need an indelible stain, buddy!

Welcome to the future, boys and girls, where porn is the new communism! (Are you now or have you ever been a downloader….?)

As part of the smooth transition from the war on terror to the war on porn, the Muslim chaplain accused of taking classified material from Guantanamo Bay is now being charged with adultery and storing pornography on a government computer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126

Time
09:33
Vietnamese drug addicts have kidnapped a mute teenager, bundled him in a sack and sold him to a dog-meat eatery as a stray canine, according to the Gia Dinh Xa Hoi (Family and Society) newspaper. China Daily and the BBC have picked up the story.

On a semi-related note, a veterinary surgeon has operated on a five-legged dog. Now it has three legs. I know the numbers look a little off, but it’s all for the best. Trust me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126

Time
09:50
Good news, people! Now PBS is ‘fair and balanced’.

For those that think that the media in the U.S. is biased towards the right, Jonah Goldberg offers a trade. That’s might generous of him. Do we get our own team of lunatic extremists as part of the deal?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Flash Thingies
Time
09:50
Surf the web blind. (Speakers on, people. Spider-senses at the ready…)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126

Time
09:51
Naked man claiming to be Jesus Christ bites a policeman’s finger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126

Time
09:52
Hooray for Pink Steel – ‘gay heavy metal at it’s hardest’.

While you’ve got your hair up and your gear on, you may wish to find out what your Glam Rock superstar name is so the boys will know what name to scream out when they’re hanging around backstage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Escape from the Free Speech Zone
Time
09:57
Oh, I love this. Why leave all the action to the Herbalife street spammers when you can take control of this channel yourself?

Behold the Freeway Blogger:

‘When you put a sign on the freeway people will read it until someone takes it down. Depending on its size, content and placement it can be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.’

We definitely have to get something like this going here in the UK.

Subversive Cross-Stitching? Pah! Useful only if you invite 100,000 people around to your house every day.

We need signage on the streets, people.

I’m starting this evening.

UPDATE – I’ve seen street spam here that’s stayed in place for weeks-stroke-months. What’s the bet that anything subversive gets removed much, much faster?

Perhaps I can be a clever chap and mix messages a bit…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Spam
Time
10:08
Cyberwar wages between Dutch bloggers and spammers. I’m not a big fan of DoS attacks. I like to take my grudges offline.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Telemarketers
Time
10:12
Texas sues telemarketers for violating do-not-call laws.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
14:05
Meet Mohammad Ali Abtah. He’s the vice president of Iran – and a blogger. Take a look at the link cosmos to get an idea not only of how many people are interested in this, but also how many weblogs are based in (and/or interested in) this part of the world.

Pretty cool, huh?

Wait, it gets better…

The site is written almost entirely in Persian, but if you click on the ‘English’ button, you’ll see the following plea (as a graphic, bottom left):

‘Let me be myself – Mohammad Ali Abtahi – in this website; without my political and legal responsibilities.’

Whether or not that will be allowed when he insists on taking secret-squirrel images of meetings and publishing them on his blog remains to be seen.

Iranfilter has more.

If it’s a hoax, it’s a bloody good one.

Keep telling yourselves, folks: it’sjustafadit’sjustafadit’sjustafadit’sjustafadit’sjustafad….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Photoshopping
Time
16:25
No, I didn’t forget. How could I possibly forget?

Here’s a special picture to celebrate the 1st birthday of The Star Wars Photoshopping Project.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031126
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
16:41
After tripping over this fabbo search engine relationship decoder at searchengineblog.com this also caught my eye:

Barry Lloyd and his theories on the latest changes to Google’s algorithm.

Upshot in a nutshell; it’s better to earn those links than buy them.

No big disasters on the client front so far, but at least one of them is going to have to take a natural link generation proposal I made a few months ago much more seriously.

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Date
20031127
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:06
Nomarriage.com warns American men off making lifelong partnerships. Unless they want kids, or are smart enough to invest in imported goods. And I quote:

‘A huge percentage of American women are selfish, flighty, insecure, needy and psychotic, and quite capable of concealing those traits during the dating phase.’

Someone has issues…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
McDonald’s
Time
09:11
Hahahahahaha! McDonald’s has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for claiming their fries are made purely of potatoes. The ad campaign in question shows a simple potato in a McDonald’s fries box but, just like ‘The Potato Story’ on their website, there’s no mention of the sugar solution added during preparation (why, this is just a ‘naturally occurring low-concentrate dextrose solution’) or the salt that’s added before serving (but customers ‘can request to have their chips served without salt if they want’).

The beef tallow issue was brought up again, but McDonald’s pointed out that ‘beef tallow had not been used in the UK since 1993′.

*ahem*

After switching to ‘100% vegetable oil’ in the early 90’s, Mcdonald’s failed to disclose that a beef extract was still being added as part of the preparation process and paid the price… but we can trust them now, right?

Incidentally, if an employee chose to spit phlegm in your burger, this could still – technically – be described as a ‘naturally occurring substance’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127

Time
09:29
Bush mispronounces ‘Nevada’ in first presidential visit to that state.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127

Time
09:33
Family throws out winning lottery ticket worth $10.5 million. A happy ending resulted from a long-running garbage-collector’s strike.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127

Time
09:35
Photoshopper who has unhealthy obsession with one image of Pelé discovers photoshopper who has unhealthy obsession with one image from Star Wars. Erm, me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
The End of Democracy
Time
09:41
Suspicious Republican connections or not, surely we can trust Diebold with the technical side of e-voting?

The Register – Nachi worm infected Diebold ATMs

There’s a nice comment on the issue and a link to a related New Scientist article over at this post at the LNR Journal.

And now the big news:

Diebold looks to be withdrawing its legal threats against those who dared to publish the internal memos showing flaws and irregularities in their e-voting system.

I found this nice rundown of the memos in my travels today. The EFF also have an archive of relevant documents. Have fun.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
Michael Jackson
Time
10:01
They sure seem to be going out of their way to keep us informed…

They made a point of announcing where everyone could download a copy of the booking photo on live television and now they’re holding off on official charges until a special information website can be created.

I’m sure he’ll get a fair trial once the sideshow is over – if they pick a jury made up entirely of religious hermits and Japanese holdouts.

I’m sure you’ve all seen Michael Jackson’s official press website. Here’s the unofficial one.

UPDATE: Reporter arrested for sneaking on board the Jackson’s private jet and Snedden apologises for unprofessional comments during press conference. It’s nothing personal.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:09
Snopes.com – The County of Los Angeles has requested that equipment vendors avoid using the industry term “Master/Slave” in product descriptions and labelling.

Male/female plugs will be out next, I’m sure.

UPDATE – More on this from CNN. Cheers, Adam.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127

Time
10:18
Cheers, Dubya: Muggings soar while police put on Bush duty. Oh well. At least he got his pictures, and that’s what counts.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
Spam
Time
10:20
‘Herbal’ Viagra only works becase it has traces of Viagra in it. But it’s still completely natural, and completely legal. I mean, if you can’t trust a spammer, who can you trust?

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Date
20031127

Time
10:22
Happy Thanksgiving Day! You do have a lot to be thankful for. Look, these statistics prove it! Also, you have turkey and gravy flavoured soda and we don’t.

OK, so maybe life isn’t all beer and skittles, but there are financial opportunities if you know where to look.

UPDATE – More turkey giblets

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Date
20031127

Time
10:25
The UN’s special envoy for human rights warns us that anti-terrorism legislation is typically so broad that ‘when abused, these instruments can themselves be used as tools of state terror.’

Worried? Here’s your handy guide to new anti-terrorism laws around the world. I’m sure you’ll find that everything’s in order.

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Date
20031127

Time
10:30
This is such a cynical move it makes me want to puke. Less than a week after the ‘lalalalalalalalala I’m not listening’ president leaves town, Tony assures us that he wants to engage voters in a “conversation with the nation”.

Speaking as someone who used to get his bloody email and spent over 11 months just trying to get his attention, I’m appalled and insulted by this empty gesture.

(calmblueoceancalmblueoceancalmblueoceancalmblueoceancalmblueocean)

OK, let’s give Tony the benefit of the doubt.

Let’s assume just for a moment that he’s sincere about wanting a conversation.

If you think he might benefit from a short chat with little old me, then drop him a line and tell him so.

I’m sure that, as a result, I’ll be invited for lunch at Downing St within a week.

UPDATE – The Queen’s Speech: The Guardian gives equal time to two bloggers. Oh, and here are some pictures.

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Date
20031127

Time
12:38
Reality TV given heady dose of reality: Woman is offered drink, blacks out and wakes in the guest bedroom on the set of MTV’s Real World. When she awoke, she was disoriented, had trouble talking, and realised that ‘someone had had sex with her while she was unconscious’.

I’m sure her face was a picture, which is why we’re all glad that an MTV camera crew was there to capture the moment. This one’s going to be messy, folks…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
Photoshopping
Time
12:58
Star Wars activity is peaking again over at B3ta. Check out this and this. Both deliver quality chuckles.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127

Time
13:34
Don’t forget! Tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day!

But don’t think that just doing nothing will help the cause. You should also get off your arse and distribute a poster or two.

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Date
20031127
Video
Time
15:53
Let’s go ice fishing! (926Kb MPEG)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
16:22
Heh. Someone just sent this ‘get well’ greeting card to the PM.

1. Wrong address, sorry.

2. A bit late, isn’t it?

Also, this short but sweet message arrived in Tony’s Inbox the day after Bush left town. It’s from an angry young chap by the name of David Blastok :

IM GONNA KILL YOU YOU WANKA SO WATCH YOUR BACK BASTARD.

What do you think; should I forward that one?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031127
Tony Blair’s Big Conversation
Time
17:31
Oh. Dear. God!

Found via Tom, who appears to have put the right idea in the wrong head.

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Date
20031128
It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!
Time
10:06
Bush flies in to Baghdad to take part in top-secret whirlwind photo-op.

I’ll leave the comments about upcoming elections and the questionable priority of this high-risk teary-eyed ‘Thanksgiving soup-kitchen for the troops’ photo-opportunity for others (here’s a long thread at Fark.com to get you started).

What I want to focus on is the quote that mysteriously came and went at the USA Today version of this article, but is still live elsewhere.

George W. Bush to the troops: “You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq so we don’t have to face them in our own country.”

Ex-squeeze me?

The terrorist threat in Iraq did not exist until after the illegal invasion (in the name of a threat that did not exist, while inferring a terror/Iraq link that has still yet to be proved). Now the justification has switched to the liberation of the Iraqi people and establishing stability in the region.

But Bush, by his own admission, has deliberately brought the terrorist threat to Iraq in order to protect the folks at home – and innocent Iraqi civilians bear the brunt of that risk.

Am I the only one who thinks that such an action is impossibly evil?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:08
Movable Type – spam vulnerability in ‘send to a friend’ feature.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
Lunchtime Links
Time
10:11
Tropical maggots want to eat your spicy brains.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
21st Century Christmas
Time
10:12
Children banned from sitting on Santa’s knee at weekend market. Instead, ‘elf chairs’ will be provided so children may still talk to Santa, but from a safe distance.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
In The News
Time
10:15
Teacher suspended for being drunk on duty drives drunk to collect his paycheck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
The End of Democracy
Time
10:16
The Guardian – America’s enemy within.

It began with the claim that those who dared question the state supported the terrorists. Now, they *are* terrorists. They must be, otherwise, how could the Bush administration justify spending $8.5m of Bush’s $87bn bung on policing the FTAA Summit in such a way?

Media are deliberately kept at a distance, so they see no cause, only effect. Media representatives who dare to get the real story are hauled away and charged.

This is madness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
The Big Conversation
Time
11:19
Tony Blair’s Big Abortion is a pointless gimmick. FFS, I wouldn’t even be generous enough to say that it’s a wrong-footed step in the right direction.

1. Tony Blair Does Not Listen

Having spent 11 long months just getting Tony Blair to make good on a years-old promise of a publicly accessible email facility (and then having my specifications for the proposed service ripped off without so much as a ‘thank you’), I’m sure you’ll pardon me for being less than charitable on this point.

2. The Timing Is Cynical and Insulting

Do note that this ‘we’re listening’ exercise has been launched less than a week after Blair played the obedient host to George ‘What Protestors?’ Bush, deliberately inhibited protests despite all promises to the contrary, and even established a Bush-esque Free Speech Zonein his own constituency – in order to provide this would-be president with a vital photo-opportunity.

3. Labour is E-blind

The Labour government by and large hasn’t the first clue about IT. In fact, they seem overly reliant on a small group of largely inept companies like Crapita.

4. Outdated Tools Produce Ineffective Websites

The Web In a Box system could just have easily included (or been based on) a weblog format, thereby enabling MPs and Labour Party members with a truly conversational tool. It doesn’t.

5. Hard Questions Will Not Pass The Filters

The feature that ‘allows’ to to put the questions to the politicians (gawrsh, thankyouverymuch) promises to filter out ‘irrelevant’ questions and put those that are ‘most popular’ at the head of the list. I’m sure you can guess what kind of behind-the-scenes bod makes these tough decisions. Cue: ‘Mr Twigg, why does Mr Blair’s campaign have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why is he so popular?’

6. This Is Not a Conversation

This a selection of carefully moderated vox-pops. A propaganda exercise to show that they’re dealing with the ‘tough issues’ and actually ‘listening’ for a change. They’re not. Try it for yourself. Ask a tough question or ‘publish your priorities’. If they don’t put it live, I suggest you publish it on your own site and begin to ask why (or, if you don’t have a website, share it with me).

7. This Public Forum Lacks… A Forum!

This is not the way to run an interactive manifesto. For a conversation to take place, initial submission needs to be followed by discussion. Otherwise you’re just speaking into a box that samples your opinion at its convenience. I may have been taking the mickey a bit when I started the first interactive manifesto back in 2001 but, as with the publicity stunt involving Tony Blair’s email, a serious point lay behind the exercise.

I challenge Labour’s e-team to set up a moderated forum as part of this site. In fact, you can do the same. Get in touch with David Triesman, the General Secretary of the Labour Party, via info@new.labour.org.uk and ask why this basic conversational format has been ignored.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
Conspiracy Watch
Time
11:30
Ahahahahahahaha! George Bush visited Baghdad yesterday… or did he?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
Activism
Time
13:31
Are you enjoying Buy Nothing Day? I am.

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that my own signage along these lines has survived for two whole nights and days. I’ll get some pictures up as soon as I fix my camera.

Samantha wrote in with some very interesting throughts regarding passive resistance and perishable goods. I’m having a quiet think about that.

Finally, thanks to Martyn, I can also share the following with you:

Prepare to change the world… next Wednesday is Wear a Hat Day!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031128
Everybody Loves George
Time
15:04
I say, it’s a jolly good thing George W. Bush is cracking down on the international sex trade.

Just imagine for a moment how the ‘liberal’ media would have reacted were this chap a Clinton…








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

03-14 November, 2003

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Date
20031103
Emailing Tony
Time
09:51

Dear Tony,

Is it true that you’ve prayed with George W. Bush? And, if you have denied this, did you go to the trouble of denying it at least three times?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1075950,00.html

I’m not sure if I buy the ‘White House source’ bit in this article, but I know from bitter experience that any subject Alastair Campbell wants the press to avoid must have some serious meat on its bones:

“They have prayed together,” noted a White House source. He adds: “They have a strong Christian connection.” Blair’s aides are far less ready to stress that side of the friendship – the British public tends to squirm when politicians start talking about God and religion and faith. During a taped TV interview being conducted with Blair in the winter, the prime minister’s then-communications director Alastair Campbell warned a journalist off the subject of Christianity and that part of the friendship between Blair and Bush.

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35242

George W. Bush has declared his leadership of the US to be the will of God – if not that of the voters. General William Boykin came right out and said it with:

“Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there.”

*ahem*… though Diebold may have had something to do with it, too:

http://www.why-war.com/features/2003/10/diebold.html

Anyway, this soldier of The Unchosen One went on to say that God was bigger than the ‘false idol’ Allah, and that the war on terrorism was a war against Satan. Makes perfect sense to me (though I think he may have got his placecards a little muddled there).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/17/wboyk17.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/10/17/ixnewstop.html

And what the heck is this about, if you don’t mind me asking?

Mr Blair had to be persuaded to drop the phrase “God Bless You” from his broadcast to the nation at the start of the war. One adviser told him that invoking God’s name would be a mistake because “you are talking to lots of people who don’t want chaplains pushing stuff down their throats”. Mr Blair responded by telling his aides that they were a “most ungodly lot” — but he was finally persuaded and closed his address with the words “thank you”.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-667521,00.html

I’ll be the first to admit that your support team are an ungodly lot. In fact, their knowledge of the scriptures is so muddled, they seem to think that God helps those who help themselves – to other people’s work…

http://www.bloggerheads.com/x-archive.asp?viewblog=20030822&date=22/08/03

…but what good does it do to deny your faith in such a way? I personally would find your defiance of the U.N. and the will of your own people a lot easier to understand if you felt that this illegal war on Iraq was the will of God. It would chill me to my bones and make me want to call for your immediate removal from office, but I’d still find it a lot easier to understand.

Yours in Christ,

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

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Date
20031103

Time
10:03
A very cool (and very long) 80’s Lyrics Quiz. Save it for lunchtime.. and no cheating with Google!

UPDATE – I got 86.

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Date
20031103

Time
10:05
Engineering experts perfect the art of beer mat flipping. More efficient solar panels can wait…

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Date
20031103

Time
10:07
Read about the Catholic high school girls who chased down and beat up a serial flasher here and here. (I’m reminded of Graham Chapman for some strange reason…)

Read about the sweet old ladies who disarmed and detained a shotgun-wielding home invader with a ham & pickle sandwich and a shot or two of rum here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031103

Time
10:14
Google is the Daddy, but will its stock bear fruit?

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Date
20031103

Time
10:15
They’ll be making the trains run on time next: Iraqis get 15% flat tax.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031103
The End of Democracy
Time
13:00
Well, some citizens in Anchorage are aware. It’s a start…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031103
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
13:11
I read this on the train into London on Friday:

The Independent: “An unprecedented security operation is being put in place to protect George Bush and his entourage from mass protests and potential terrorist attacks when they arrive in London in 19 days’ time.”

The majority of the budget is sure to go on the protection of his image rather than his person.

Also, thanks to Tom and Jackie, I now know that Nigella is in charge of nibbles for the state dinner.

It struck me on Saturday that the only semi-public appearance left to George W. Bush on his UK trip is a planned visit to the Cenotaph to ‘pay respect to the war dead’.

Turning what should be his greatest liability into an asset? Sorry, I’m not having it.

I have a plan ticking over in my head, but I have to do some secret squirrel stuff to make it all happen. With you soon… (And, no, we won’t be baring bums for this one.)

UPDATE – Here’s something to get your blood up:

Mark Morford at SFGate.com: “George W. Bush and his entire senior administration lied, and continue to lie, flagrantly, openly, knowingly, with full intent, about the need to drive this nation into a brutal and unwinnable and fiscally debilitating war, one that protects no one and inhibits no terrorism and defends nothing but BushCo’s own petrochemical cronies and political stratagems.”

UPDATE 2 – Oh, dear God!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031103

Time
17:07
I’m going to be without electrickery for most of tomorrow morning, then catching up on stuff I should have been doing in the morning for most of the afternoon. I wouldn’t count on any bloggage if I were you…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
11:44
Holy cow! Look what they’re trying to slip past you this week – the return of the draft!

American readers; prepare to die for your country like the meatbags that you are.

My suggestion to those of you who wish to avoid the draft is simple… sign up for the draft board! You’ll be sending your friends and neighbours off to foreign lands to die in the name of corporate assimilation, but at least you’ll get to see a lot of fit young men in their underwear. Maybe.

(Thanks to Pete for the heads-up. Actually, you can thank him for the rest of the bloggage, too… I’ve started, so I’ll finish. Etc.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:51
Remember the Homes & Gardens feature on Hitler that was blogged a while back?

A neat behind-the-scenes story has been growing and growing and growing.

Lawyers are like Rottweilers, folks. Often, all they have to do is bark.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Flash Thingies
Time
12:05
Thanks to Martyn, I enjoyed a jolly good belly laugh at the end of the world. Yes, we’re all going to die, but so long as we can do it with a smile on our face and a song in our heart…

Oh, and there’s this extraordinary effort to gaze in wonder at, too: Techno! Techno! Techno!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
12:10
Meet some New York bloggers. Oh, it’s all so very mainstream…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
12:14
LNR on Yahoo’s flawless business plan. Heh.

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Date
20031104

Time
12:15
‘Sweets’ handed out to classmates by five-year-old girl turn out to be ecstasy pills and balls of heroin and cocaine.

I say again: Techno! Techno! Techno!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:17
The very long but very cool 80’s lyrics quiz from yesterday’s blog is charting well, as is this collection of very bad album covers.

The rest of the top 5 is taken up by comment spam, but I’ve already said all I’m going to say about that.

You can trace the victims of this comment spam attack here, here and here if you feel you must.

(Oh, and one of the sites has already been removed for spam abuse, so there is some justice on the loose today.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Follow Up
Time
12:20
More on the anti-porn protesters that have been filming customers outside adult bookstores and posting their images on this website.

BTW, the founder of this anti-porn group – John Reneer – is on the Kentucky State Police’s sex-offender registry. For life. According to this article, the listing is a result of convictions for murder and sodomy… though hopefully not in that order.

UPDATE – See John Reneer’s listing at the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry.

Oh, and in semi-related news:

Listed pee-do-files ordered to turn off their porch lights during Halloween. No eye candy for you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
12:31
Speculate on the upcoming change of guard in the Vatican at popecountdown.com (link via Ultimate Insult).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
Bush’s UK Visit – Send in the Clones
Time
13:01
Here’s a picture of me at the B3ta bash dressed as George W. Bush. (Picture by Fnord.)

There’s a much better picture now lurking on my hard drive, but I’m saving that for something special.

I deliberately toured London in this outfit before and after the party (especially after, with lots of lurking in the Underground).

I found the experience to be quite illuminating, with reactions nearly always following this pattern:

- Fear. Sudden, pronounced, and unmistakeable.

- Relief.

- Laughter.

As I walked away from people, nine times out of ten I would hear those in groups start a conversation about George W. Bush. I figured this was a good and positive thing.

Given that George is unlikely to actually appear on the streets anywhere when he arrives for his visit, I’m thinking of sending in the clones, before and during his visit.

To dress as GWB, all you need is:

- dark suit

- white shirt

- red tie

- mask (cost varies from £11 to £20)

A sign saying something like BUSH IS NIGH probably wouldn’t go astray, either. A lot of people I stopped and talked to didn’t even know that he was coming to town. They do now.

There’s another sneakier plan in the works… but I’ll probably need an army of clones for that, too.

If you live in or around London, own a dark suit and red tie, and are willing to fork out £11-20 on a George W. Bush mask, then get in touch via this address to become a founding member of the clone army.

If not, well… I guess you’ll just have to settle for burning him in effigy like everyone else.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104

Time
13:25
Are your children foul-mouthed little bastards? Then try Oops Paste, the ‘soap-in-the-mouth alternative’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031104
The End of Democracy
Time
14:03
Good news: CNN finally picks up the Diebold story.

Bad news: It doesn’t mention the leaked internal memos at the centre of this issue, completely ignores Diebold’s clear conflict of interest, and heads the second half of the article with a none-too-subtle ‘Critics mistaken’ headline.

Fox also carried the story. Again, no mention of the memos.

You might want to read the related thread at Slashdot for more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031105
The End of Democracy
Time
09:07
A busy day today… so bloggage is going to suffer, I’m sorry.

Still, you’ll probably be busy enough following updates on the Diebold story. Once a decision is made on this case, you’re sure to hear about it first at the EFF website or the Online Policy Group website.

Just in case this is the first you’ve heard of it; leaked memos from an e-voting technology provider (Diebold, who just happen to be a major supporter of the Republican party) reveal that their technology simply isn’t up to scratch – and that they may not be the best company to trust when it comes to your vote.

Diebold has reacted to this criticism by issuing cease-and-desist orders to ISPs hosting the memos (or even linking to them) under recent copyright laws designed to halt the spread of illegal file sharing. Er, because they own the copyright on the internal memos.

Make no mistake; the memos (you can find them here) are damning in the extreme and this copyright gambit is only meant to stifle discussion of something that is very much in the public interest.

A win in this case will only be the beginning of the real story. Once it becomes clear to mainstream news providers that quoting from – or even mentioning – these memos is legally okely-dokely, all hell should break loose.

I say ‘should’, because even if mainstream channels are clear to report on this issue, there’s still no guarantee that they will (and if you don’t believe me on that point, then you haven’t being monitoring the kinds of things that aren’t being widely reported these days by the so-called ‘liberal’ media).

News links are below; keep a sharp eye out for updates:

The Register: E-voting vendor sued for DMCA takedown

CNET News.com: Students buck DMCA threat

Silicon Valley: EFF Looks To Block Diebold Threats

PCWorld.com: Company invokes copyright law to quash discussion fueled by stolen documents.

Slashdot discussion: Students, ISP Sue Diebold

Other stuff?

The ultimate mobile phone accessory is here, news of a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay who is suing the Pakistani and US governments for damages is here, and a vomit-inducing endorsement of George W. Bush is here.

That’s about it.

Oh, but do get in touch if you want to join the growing clone army (see below).

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
10:10
All hail the democratic vision of George W. Bush, which will in no doubt be executed in accordance with his human rights record, his environmental policies and his real good smarts.

What a guy. I’m sure you’ll forgive me for having repeated dreams about strangling him with my bare hands.

New York Times: President Bush, who has been shielded from protests in recent travels, arrives in Britain on a state visit in two weeks, and the police here are weighing how to control promised street demonstrations without resorting to crowd control measures that could be seen as curbing free expression.

Translation: They’ll still be doing their best to hide dissent, but they don’t want to make arses of themselves in the process.

The primary purpose of Bush’s visit is to create propaganda assets that he can use to win the next election. In the end, their aims are in direct opposition to ours. A crunch is bound to occur.

The only way to avoid a complete PR disaster is to Call. Off. The. Visit.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
We’re Not At Home To Mr Cockup
Time
10:13
Secret Israeli artillery test accidentally broadcast across the Middle East on open satellite channel.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
Normal People
Time
10:16
Meet Magical Balloon-dude Dale. He’s not your normal ‘dog-making, heart-giving, sword-handing, balloon animal-making entertainer’. He’s a Master Balloonist.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
Flash Thingies
Time
10:18
Unfortunately, nobody can be told what the Meatrix is. You have to digest it for yourself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
The End of Democracy
Time
10:21
Wired: An investigation by California’s secretary of state has revealed that Diebold Election Systems placed uncertified software on electronic voting machines in a California county.

But, they assure us, we shouldn’t worry about the integrity of votes. They were compromised, sure, we just shouldn’t worry about it is all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107

Time
10:27
Genital Warts: The Musical! Songs include The Diagnosis, Here Come The Genital Warts and a ‘romantic ballad’, I Should’ve Told You. Sure it sounds like a weird idea, but I’m sure it will grow on you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107

Time
10:30
You’ll want to pop over and see Luke today. His post on the media statement by Maher Arar puts my planned ‘witty’ one-liner to shame. He’s also organising a strong American presence for the anti-Bush protests in London.

See, Jack? We can tell Bush to sod off and maintain a stong relationship with the U.S.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107

Time
10:36
Babes and coffins. Insert ‘stiff’ joke here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107

Time
10:37
I’m world-famous in The Netherlands again:

http://waylander.blogspot.com/

http://www.xs4all.nl/~remment/blogger.htm

http://www.nonzenz.nl/

Perhaps I should move there. I could be a renowned artist and sillyvision star. And I could own my own damned windmill!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:39
George W. Bush’s ‘weblog’ is so bad, people have trouble believing that it’s real.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:41
Damn. I did an email purge this morning, and I’ve forgotten who sent me this:

One man’s fabulous fight against comment spam. If you’re a blogger, it’ll cheer you up no end.

UPDATE – It was Rogi, the champ. Cheers, mate. I’ve been in an evil giggling fit since late last night over this one.

And, on a strikingingly similar note, via Elayne Riggs we discover the magical world of Harry Potter and the Nigerian Spammer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:46
New York Times: As American soldiers massed on the Iraqi border in March and diplomats argued about war, an influential adviser to the Pentagon received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman: Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal. Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
A Blog Is Born
Time
11:02
*sigh*

‘Santa’ has a blog. Shoot me now. Please.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031107
Photoshopping
Time
14:57
Prince Charles denies rumour that we’re not allowed to talk about.

I posted a bunch of useful links regarding this subject yesterday, if you want to poke around a bit. Anyways, here’s a new image for you to enjoy. Apologies for my crap Latin.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:29
Paul Carr – what a sell-out! I just bet there’s a secret Google deal behind it.

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Date
20031110
The End of Democracy
Time
09:31
Tharrrr she blows!

New York Times: Some people find Mr. O’Dell’s pairing of interests – as voting-machine magnate and devoted Republican fund-raiser – troubling. To skeptics, including more than a few Democrats, it raises at least the appearance of an ethical problem. Some of the chatter on the Internet goes so far as to suggest that he could use his own machines to sway the election.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
09:35
Tom’s teen page has now matured to the point where it’s used as reference material.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
09:37
Via the wonderfully named WTF Is It Now?! we discover the infinitely useful Church Sign Generator.

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Date
20031110

Time
09:41
Michael Carroll uses 40-foot mobile home as centrepiece for bonfire. The news made Fark, but only because of the obvious trailer-trash joke.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:44
You can dig through this or you can depress yourself with this. Your call.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
09:45
This made Andrew Hewitt smile. It made me laugh my ass off:

BBC: McDonald’s has expressed its outrage over how the latest Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary describes job prospects at the US fast-food giant. In its latest edition, the dictionary defines the term McJob as “low-paying and dead-end work”.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
09:49
Quite a bit of traffic over the weekend from folks trying to hunt down details of what Popbitch said about Prince Charles. For those still not in the know, the guts of the story is here at throneout.com (their site has been so overwhelmed by traffic that they’ve had to drop everything except for the one page that everyone’s looking for). Details aside, this editorial piece in The Independent nails what really matters and where the threat to the monarchy lies – erm, in lies. (Requires subscription, but it’s worth the read.)

Oh, and some damn fool put me in charge of the microphone at the local fireworks display. Somehow, I managed to resist the temptation…

UPDATE – Rogi may have a point, there… do you think they carved Sophie’s baby out early to take the heat off Charles?

Those shape-shifting lizards are devilishly clever…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
09:59
Moscow considers kissing ban.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
10:01
For your own safety, please do keep this in mind when you next consider parking illegally in a disabled space.

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Date
20031110
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
10:33
Hmm. That’s strange. I read this article on the Bush visit in The Observer on Sunday and I don’t remember seeing my name. Perhaps I dropped a piece of scrambled egg on it. Oh well.

Just in case you need a reason to join us for the protests next week; here’s a modest selection.

If you don’t want to dig through all of that, here’s one very good reason:

The Independent: An unprecedented array of US intelligence professionals, diplomats and former Pentagon officials have gone on record to lambast the Bush administration for its distortion of the case for war against Iraq. In their view, the very foundations of intelligence-gathering have been damaged in ways that could take years, even decades, to repair.

I’ve been telling you that I have a secret-squirrel plan, and I hope to draw the assets together for it over the next couple of days. To do that, I need to recruit a few willing bods. To do that, I need to tell you about the plan.

So here we go:

In reaction to our misgivings about censorship via crowd control the UK government has taken the position that we will not be forcibly kept at bay.

However… the itinerary is deliberately vague. Planned movements that we do know about are sure to be changed at the last minute to keep us away from the action. There is talk of shutting down whole streets (no doubt for ‘security reasons’) to shuttle Bush from place to place without confrontation.

These shadow-play and shut-down techniques are the last publicly-acceptable weapons left in their arsenal. And we’re going to stuff that up.

We’re going to stalk Bush with a purpose-built moblog.

No matter where he goes and no matter how many decoys they use to keep protestors from him, there will be one central database of information to keep people up to date with his current location at all times. Anybody with a mobile phone will be able to text information, and those with cameras in their mobile phones will be able to provide visual confirmation and images of protestors for the world at large to enjoy.

Recruiting and informing people on the ground isn’t going to be a big problem, but we’ll need moderators for reliable 24-hour coverage.

Theoretically, we could run it on textamerica.com, but a third-party solution such as this may be vulnerable to a ‘legal’ DoS attack, so I’ll be talking to a few clever builders and providers today to see if we can’t run it ourselves on a simple blog interface with multiple logins for moderators.

You know the address… get in touch.

Let’s show the world what the UK thinks of George W. Bush.

UPDATE – Inspiring art and inspiring music? I really do spoil you people…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031110

Time
13:21
Via Greenfairy comes news of an artist suggesting parallels between 11/9 and 5/11 – by making images of Big Ben exploding. The Turner Prize awaits…

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Date
20031110
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
17:32
A little something from tonight’s Evening Standard (thanks, Justin):

1 – American officials want a virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protestors. They are demanding that police ban all marches and seal off the city centre. But senior Yard officers say the powers requested by US security chiefs would be unprecedented on British soil. While the Met wants to prevent violence, it is sensitive to accusations of trying to curtail legitimate protest.

As one of the people making those accusations, I say huzzah!

2 – But… the Met and the US Secret Service have reportedly agreed “rules of engagement” allowing Bush bodyguards to shoot anyone they believe is clearly threatening the life of the President.

Well, that’s us told. Forget Jack Straw and his ‘it might rain’ warning; it’s the bloody hail of bullets you’ll want to look out for.

Finally:

3 – They say terrorists could use the crowds as cover to attack the President.

Then tell him to Stay. At. Home.

FFS….

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031111
Emailing Tony
Time
09:14

Dear Tony,

I read your highly strategic statements with interest:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,1082435,00.html

“I say to those who will protest when President Bush comes: protest if you will. That is your democratic right. Attack the decision to go to war, though have the integrity to realise that without it, those Iraqis now tasting freedom would still be under the lash of Saddam, his sons and their henchmen.”

I recall you playing this same card just prior to the million-strong march in February. Suddenly the war was all about regime change. Way to appeal to our humanity, guy…

But, if that’s the way you want to play it….

I’d like you to have the integrity to acknowledge that Iraq is highly unstable and that the US presence there is unsustainable, largely due to the fact that the decision to go to war against international law was The. Wrong. Bloody. Decision.

Anyway, let’s head back to the dissecting table:

Confronting critics who say political embarrassment lies ahead and that he must regret having issued the invitation, Mr Blair insisted he was not nervous: “I believe this is exactly the right time for him to come.”

Oh really? You don’t think it’s going to look like a sham when the man-who-isn’t-really-the-President is treated as an honoured guest by the Queen just as serious questions are being asked about her integrity? I can see the banners now:

CHARLES LOVES COCK (AND THE QUEEN LOVES BUSH)

On with the show:

(Blair) adopted an apocalyptic tone to justify Mr Bush’s visit, saying the battle for Iraq was more important than most people realised. “It is a battle of seminal importance for the early 21st century. It will define relations between the Muslim world and the west. It will influence profoundly the development of Arab states and the Middle East,” he said.

Oh, come now. Be serious. You’re not resting your hat on this peg, are you?

George W. Bush: “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3248119.stm

(ahem)

Robert Fisk: “Well said, Sir. George Bush Jr sounds almost as convincing as, well, Tony Blair. It’s all a lie. ‘We’ – the West, Europe, America – never ‘excused and accommodated’ lack of freedom. We endorsed lack of freedom. We created it in the Middle East and supported it.”

http://www.infoshop.org/inews/stories.php?story=03/11/10/7610135

My actions in the coming week or so have very little to do with the war, if you must know. I’ve got my eye on the larger picture, and so do a lot of other people. If you think you’re going to fob us off with yet another round of ‘Oh, those poor misguided peaceniks’, then you’re very much mistaken.

Bush’s visit is nothing but a propaganda exercise. He plans to use it as an asset to help him diddle his way into the presidency for another term, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him take such a bold step forward on my turf. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that the power of the Antichrist compels me.

Let’s have a little look at the cost of the exercise, shall we?

Evening Standard: The Yard has cancelled all leave for the three-day visit and mobilised 3,800 officers for the £4million security operation.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/7602147?source=Evening%20Standard

Four. Million. Squid. To make Bush look good. Hell, you may as well just make a public donation to his campaign fund and be done with it. However, this modest amount is just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t be long before some clever bod projects the cost of all those people taking the day off work, and the cost to London businesses resulting from their actions – and those who will try to keep them from Bush by shutting down large areas of the city.

And, yes, I still think you’re going to do your best to keep us from him; if not by force, then by misdirection.

As a result, we will be forced to use the technology that’s available to us, track him every step of the way and publish that information in real time. I’d like to apologise in advance for the security nightmare this presents you with, but it’s well within our rights and your actions – past and present – have made it necessary.

My advice to you now is as follows; if you want George W. Bush’s visit to be secure, then hold it on another island.

He’s not welcome on this one.

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031111
Bush’s UK Visit – Moblogging Bush
Time
10:00
OK, folks – here’s the nuts and bolts of the Bush-stalking moblog.

We’ll be running on a Moveable Type platform and publishing on a post-and-update basis. Input will be categorised as follows:

- Bush: Current Location Reports

- Bush: Decoy Watch

- Visions of Protestors

- Images of Chaos (caused by security measures)

- Protests in the News

- Lies in the Media

In short, through one central portal, anyone in the city or across the planet will know where Bush is at any given moment – and be able to see what a misguided venture the entire visit is.

We’ll need a bullet-proof host and mail/text server that can stand up to the demand (I’m still trying to source some of that) so, like the mirrors of the Diebold memos, the site can’t be shut down by lame DoS attacks against the host.

There will be a core information team of people we know we can trust. Their intelligence will be treated as a priority; but independently sourced information will be also published (and clearly identified as part of the ‘maybe’ pile) if it appears reliable and is confirmed by enough independent sources and/or a member of the core information team. (I’m anticipating at least some level of deliberate misinformation being fed into the system and the continued use of decoys by Bush’s hundreds-strong security team.)

Filtering will be done by a team of moderators operating from home or work; here and abroad (so folks in parts foreign can play a key role in the protests, too). Coverage will be around-the-clock. Anyone who has a well-established site with verifiable link-cred is welcome to apply as a moderator.

The information about Bush’s location will be available via text alert for those who are out and about and just need the raw data.

In the next few days, A4 posters will be made available for distribution throughout the city. They will clearly display the email and text addresses on-the-ground volunteers will need to submit their information, links and images (this information will also feature on nifty tearaway sections on the bottom, so folks can carry this information with them if they wish). There will also be a central information page about the campaign on the web and a possibly even an email designed for associate circulation.

All of the above will also make clear to people where they can sign up for text updates if they wish to protest effectively by being in the right place at the right time.

That’s it in a nutshell. All help is appreciated, especially from volunteer moderators.

You know the address… use it.

(Apologies to all those who have signed up to moderate who I haven’t got back to yet. I’ll be with you as soon as we have a facility up and running.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031111

Time
10:07
George Bush’s official visit to Britain condemned as insensitive and ill-timed by families of British troops killed in Iraq.

“I can’t stand the man,” said Mr Keys, whose son, Lance Corporal Thomas Keys, was one of the six Royal Military Police killed by a mob near Basra in June. “He has a nerve coming over to this country after all the misery he’s caused.

Oh yes, I can see that planned ceremony at the Cenotaph coming off a treat.

Here’s another:

Poll reveals that voters dislike Tony Blair’s close relationship with US President George W Bush.

And finally, in order to remain fair and balanced, here’s the view of your Super Soaraway Sun:

‘Tony Blair last night lashed anti-war critics who would have left the Iraqi people under Saddam Hussein’s jackboot.’

Unbelievably, their ‘what to think’ editorial on Charlie’s tricky predickament today begins with the classic line:

‘If you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will believe it’s the truth.’

Dare I say that you couldn’t make it up?

UPDATE – This is how Mr ‘I Love Free Speech’ likes to deal with protestors:

As president, Bush has widened his restrictions on demonstrations against his policies. Anti-Bush protesters are now relegated to what are euphemistically called Free Speech Zones. These areas are cordoned off as far as a mile away from the president and the main thoroughfares, so that Bush cannot see the demonstrators, or their signs of protest, nor hear their chants. The free speech enclosures are only for those who disagree with the administration’s current policies. Those citizens who carry pro-Bush signs are allowed to line the street where the president’s motorcade passes.

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Date
20031111

Time
14:26
BBC public opinion thingie: Should Bush have a state visit to the UK?

This is my favourite comment so far:

No, I won’t be protesting. The people who have joined the deluded, left wing, anti-American bandwagon will, of course protest, as is their right. We didn’t see any of them protesting at Saddam’s human right abuses though, did we?

Patrick Milne, UK

What a dipstick.

Oh, does anyone mind if I quickly yell ‘Support the troops!’, then stumble down the road, mumbling incoherently to myself?

UPDATE – Actually, that was kind of fun. Do you mind if I do it again?

‘Support the troops!’

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Date
20031112
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
09:50
Keep telling yourselves, folks – the cordons will be there to keep terrorists at bay, they are not designed to curtail our legal right to protest.

Here’s a clue for you; you always know which way the bull is blowing because The Sun always carries Blair’s lies in their purest form.

Apparently everyone’s worried because the combined target of Bush, Blair and the Queen will be too hard to resist.

Well cancel the bloody visit, then!

Oh, that procession down the mall that (allegedly) isn’t going to happen? I’ve talked to several journalists, and none of them can get a yay or nay out of Tony’s office about it.

Me, I’m beginning to suspect that they’re going to go for it. Why else would the mall be lined with so many flags? (Jeezum crow! I don’t know whether I need a sick bag or some accelerant…)

There are hints that Bush may be tripping off to Tony Blair’s constituency Sedgefield. But do remember that this visit is not about projected images and election campaigns. It’s about nurturing the special relationship between our two great nations…

Which is why there won’t be a single US citizen protesting the visit. No, not one at all – just us poor misguided peaceniks, malcontents and soap dodgers. The vocal minority, as they say.

Some dipshit on BBC2 yesterday said – we can only assume with a straight face – that it didn’t matter if a million people marched, that (theoretically) still left 56 million in favour of the visit.

FFS… talk about shaky ground.

If that is the case, then why cordon off large areas of London at the behest of the White House? Surely if we’re in the minority, then the stamping of our little feet will be drowned out by the cheers of flag-waving well-wishers.

The whole idea of Free Speech Zones that keep protestors miles away from the President and press is Doublethink at its finest. That’s government-enforced censorship, folks – and George W. Bush wants to bring it to London.

Blair has co-operated on this front before. During worldwide anti-war action back in March, London was the only city not to host a protest outside the US embassy.

Australia also co-operated with an exclusion zone well out of eyesight and earshot. The public were barred from Parliament house. A democratically-elected politician was not allowed to question Bush in what is officially a debating chamber.

Oh, and another highlight of the Australian visit – but you’ll have to be quick to see it – was that they ran out of police. Public servants were dressed up as police officers. Armed, presumably, with lethally sharp pencils and red tape.

Here, £4 million is being invested to fill the streets with police and keep the public at bay. This does not take into account the massive cost of shutting down whole sections of the city, just to provide this jumped-up tosser with a propaganda asset for the next election.

Crowd control and media control will come into play to project again The Big Lie.

Just what the fuck is going on here? How hard do these people have to grind their heels into our skulls before the majority wakes up to the fact that freedom is an illusion and that the Bush regime is the most dangerous political force on the planet?

I got an email this morning from a ‘grateful Yank’ who goes by the name of Susan. I’m going to sign off on this post with her comments instead of mine, because she really nails it.

Remember, this email comes from an American. Her beef – and mine – is not with America, but with the regime that has bastardised everything the US is supposed to stand for:

“I hope you shut the whole circus down when the clown gets there. Don’t let his storm troopers do to you what they’ve done to us. Bush is petulant, thin-skinned, and arrogant…he wants all of downtown London ‘sanitized’ so he can only see and hear those few suck ups and wannabees who are out to cheer his sorry ass. (He’s also a coward who gets scared that the crowds are going to rough him up.) No matter what you do, though, the moron will stand at some podium with his poodle on the left and the Queen on his right, and thank all the wonderful Brits who greeted him so warmly on his visit. It’s all about appearances.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112
Photoshopping
Time
09:51
Here’s a poster for you to download and enjoy. I thought it might be fun to taunt the 250 or so trigger-happy morons that follow Bush everywhere.

You can download a large version here. Photocopy it up to A3, and get ready to duck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112
Bush’s UK Visit – Moblogging Bush
Time
10:01
[Pardon me for repeating this post, folks. I need the info on the front page while I chase up a few things. I’m still tring to sort out an SMS facility that we can plug into the back-end. At no cost. Do get in touch if you’re from a company that would like to help out. The site is sure to get more than 100K visitors within the week. Hell, you can even put advertising in the outgoing text alerts if you want to…]

OK, folks – here’s the nuts and bolts of the Bush-stalking moblog.

We’ll be running on a Moveable Type platform and publishing on a post-and-update basis. Input will be categorised as follows:

- Bush: Current Location Reports

- Bush: Decoy Watch

- Visions of Protestors

- Images of Chaos (caused by security measures)

- Protests in the News

- Lies in the Media

In short, through one central portal, anyone in the city or across the planet will know where Bush is at any given moment – and be able to see what a misguided venture the entire visit is.

We’ll need a bullet-proof host and mail/text server that can stand up to the demand (I’m still trying to source some of that) so, like the mirrors of the Diebold memos, the site can’t be shut down by lame DoS attacks against the host.

There will be a core information team of people we know we can trust. Their intelligence will be treated as a priority; but independently sourced information will be also published (and clearly identified as part of the ‘maybe’ pile) if it appears reliable and is confirmed by enough independent sources and/or a member of the core information team. (I’m anticipating at least some level of deliberate misinformation being fed into the system and the continued use of decoys by Bush’s hundreds-strong security team.)

Filtering will be done by a team of moderators operating from home or work; here and abroad (so folks in parts foreign can play a key role in the protests, too). Coverage will be around-the-clock. Anyone who has a well-established site with verifiable link-cred is welcome to apply as a moderator.

The information about Bush’s location will be available via text alert for those who are out and about and just need the raw data.

In the next few days, A4 posters will be made available for distribution throughout the city. They will clearly display the email and text addresses on-the-ground volunteers will need to submit their information, links and images (this information will also feature on nifty tearaway sections on the bottom, so folks can carry this information with them if they wish). There will also be a central information page about the campaign on the web and a possibly even an email designed for associate circulation.

All of the above will also make clear to people where they can sign up for text updates if they wish to protest effectively by being in the right place at the right time.

That’s it in a nutshell. All help is appreciated, especially from volunteer moderators.

You know the address… use it.

(Apologies to all those who have signed up to moderate who I haven’t got back to yet. I’ll be with you as soon as we have a facility up and running.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
13:43
Clive Soley takes News International to task over their double standards.

You’ll want to watch what happens on this one. It’s about to get very interesting…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031112

Time
17:08
That’s me; a dedicated follower of fashion. I like the way he’s hidden a blatant lie in the insult. The bulk of us are anti-Bush, not anti-American – and he knows it.

I love Britain. I’m also a supporter of the Labour Party (from time to time). That doesn’t stop me from thinking that Tony Blair is a power-mad douche bag.

BTW, bloggage will be light tomorrow. I’m building bits like mad… SMS – incoming and outgoing – is turning out to be a right pain in the butt…. but that doesn’t mean that I hate technology.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031113

Time
12:32
Hi Gang. I’m busy. Very busy.

However, I do have time to share this frisky Dubya doll with you, and to point out that everybody’s blaming each other for inviting Bush over on a State visit. The Foreign Office blamed Buckingham Palace. The palace assured us that it was done on Advice (with a capital ‘A’). Jack Straw is telling anyone who will listen that it was a committee decision (always a good sign).

A committee decision? By who?

Why, the Royal Visits Committee, of course – which is made up of Foreign Office officials and Buckingham Palace advisers.

*sigh*

Homeless abortions. Is there anything more tragic?

UPDATE – Hrm. I wondered when The Mirror would speak up. Welcome to the party, Piers. This time, skip the branding on the placards. m’kay?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Bush’s UK Visit
Time
09:28
I’m busy building a holding page for Chasing Bush. Hang in there.

If you want something to do, sign this – and spread the link around if you have the hummus.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
10:53
Holding page is live. Please email me with any errors (I’m too damn busy to proof it myself).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:02
Go, Clive, go! Clive Soley, the latest MP to join the weblog community, has come out with guns blazing.

Here’s the full transcript of the point of order that started all of this:

BBC: Sun editor accused of ‘threats’

FT: MP in sex scandal spat with Sun newspaper

The Independent: A curious story of sexual harassment, £500,000 hush money and ‘The Sun’

Telegraph: MP accuses Sun of covering up office sex case

The Guardian: The case of the Sun editor, sexual harassment and a £500,000 payoff

I told you in was about to get interesting…

News International (owner and propieter, Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch) has accused Clive Soley of hiding behind parliamentary privilege, but Clive has stated that he never claimed that privilege in the first place and it looks like the issue is beyond the remit of the Speaker.

But the awareness is there, and we can build on that if we wish. We also need to stand by, ready to defend Clive when it’s claimed in The Sun or The Times that he’s a coke-sniffing devil-worshipper with links to Al Qaeda.

(Psst! Clive! Here’s the latest training manual. Keep it to yourself.)

It would probably also pay for bloggers who know some ex-Murdoch staffies to have a poke around and see what they can dig up.

Domination via media ownership is so 20th Century; let’s show Murdoch how it’s done on the Interwebnet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
12:05
And now, here is the news.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:06
Today and yesterday:

The Onion: Mom Finds Out About Blog

Heh. My Mum already knows about my blog. You know those moments when I get a little manic and do stuff that makes you go ‘Jebus H. Christ!’… ?

Well, I’m going to ask you right now to imagine what life is like for her and spare a thought for this poor woman and her 33+ years of suffering.

Hang in there, Mum. I’ll calm down sooner or later.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
12:17
The Guardian: A sacked GCHQ employee charged yesterday under the Official Secrets Act said last night that her alleged disclosures exposed serious wrongdoing by the US and could have helped to prevent the deaths of Iraqis and British forces in an “illegal war”.

(Watch out for a giant floating hamburger when you visit this link.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
12:25
Gosh, you’re right. Perhaps I’ve been wrong about this man-of-the-people all along.

Scotsman: US President George Bush revealed today he will meet with relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq to tell them their loved ones died for a “noble cause”.

The sick bags are under your seats, folks.

Keep your head steady. With any luck, he’ll run into Reg Keys.

UPDATE – Reg Keys would most definitely like to meet with Mr Bush. Do you think he’ll get the chance?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
13:40
Americans living in London – click here!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Mindless Troll of the Day
Time
14:19
“I guess you socialist Europeans have nothing better to do. Go have some tea. We’ll protect the world as usual.” – Jay Peterka

Well, that’s me told.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114
Flash Thingies
Time
14:29
Look at how Lego bricks are made.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
14:29
From an interview with Gore Vidal: “Once you have a business community that is so corrupt in a society whose business is business, then what you have is, indeed, despotism. It is the sort of authoritarian rule that the Bush people have given us. The USA PATRIOT Act is as despotic as anything Hitler came up with — even using much of the same language. In one of my earlier books, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, I show how the language used by the Clinton people to frighten Americans into going after terrorists like Timothy McVeigh — how their rights were going to be suspended only for a brief time — was precisely the language used by Hitler after the Reichstag fire.”

More on this and his comments on Diebold et al over at LNR.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
14:35
George Soros pledges £9million to help oust Bush.

With that kind of money, we could organise a strike team (or perhaps hire a moody loner with a robot car) and place George W. Bush under citizen’s arrest the moment he hits the tarmac.

Just an idea…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
16:41
Heh. There’s a buch of right-wing trolls (or possibly just one locked in his bedroom and typing in a one-handed frenzy) on the loose at the Cancel George W. Bush’s State Visit to the UK petition.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
17:18
“Mr Bush seems to very much enjoy bombing people and making with the wrath and the vengeance. This offends our sense of fair play.”



More of this wondrous stuff can be found at British Spin. (Link via Tom.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031114

Time
22:00
Headline London: Mind-Virus Makes Television

It’s not much, but it’s a start.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Shop a Yob? Shop a Nob!

I personally consider The Sun’s ‘Shop a Yob’ campaign to be obscene.

I also found it interesting that they’ve found the perfect poster child in Michael Carroll.

I bet I can name someone richer than Michael who does more damage to society. On a daily basis.

You should read up on Sun editor Rebekah Wade a bit, too. A dangerous woman in a very influential position.

‘Shop a Yob’ angered me so much that I simply had to make the following posters as therapy.

You can get yourself a large copy for your home or workplace by clicking on any sample below.

Download, display and enjoy.

UPDATE (30th Oct 2003) – The Sun’s Shop a Yob campaign is not only disgraceful, it’s a shameless rip-off.

Hmm. Hard to know who to root for on this one.

Andrew Parkes is the editor of News Shopper, which has been running its own Shop a Yob campaign for almost two years, and he had this to say: “If The Sun is serious about joining with us in our fight to identify and shame the scum of our society then I welcome them.”

Poster 1 – Rebekah Wade

Click here to see large version in new window

Poster 2 – Rupert Murdoch

Click here to see large version in new window








Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | Comments Off

16-31 October, 2003

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
09:31
Some guy in America caught a ball or something…

ABC News: We don’t know his name. We don’t want to know his name. We hope no one in Chicago ever learns his name.

Smoking Gun: Meet Steve Bartman.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
09:33
Sorry, my connection is painfully slow this morning. With you in a jiffy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:22
CBS News: Colin Powell told us lies.

Washington Post: Fox News sold us lies.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
10:25
Fijian Tribe : Sorry we ate your vicar while he was visiting.

Family puppy: Sorry, I knawed off Junior’s fingers while he was sleeping.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
10:31
George W Bush: I am deliberately targeting regional media.

US Army: We did not deliberately target regional media.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
10:38
If you haven’t visited The Memory Hole recently, then do so today.

All sorts of interested stuff is cropping up lately, including the following, listed in their ongoing series of soft-pedalled stories:

Australian PM John Howard has been censured by the Senate for misleading the public in his justification for sending Australia to war with Iraq.

The London New Review Journal also has its teeth sunk into something soft and juicy: an old article from 1998 by George Bush Snr. and Brent Scowcroft explains why the US didn’t attempt to oust Saddam and occupy Iraq following the Gulf War (and this follow-up pretty much nails the scan as genuine):

“Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.’s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
10:54
Don’t follow this link. It will lead you to the new archive of still images at britishpathe.com that is currently being crushed by overwhelming demand. Bookmark it for later. If you need something to tide you over, this small preview at the BBC website should tide you over.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
11:00
Personal publishing, community sites, and online newspaper archives make it extremely easy to catch up on old friends and acquaintances with no more than a quick Googling – but what happens if you find out they died years ago without bothering to tell you?

This makes me wonder if anyone will bother to store and display Bloggerheads in its entirety long after I’m gone.

Unlikely.

Equally unlikely is any kind of showing in The Guardian’s weblog competition.

FunJunkie have their category list. Here’s mine:

Best Design: You’ve seen the archives, yes?

Best Specialist (which applies to any blog about a single topic): A single topic? Here? Hmmm, let me see… marketing, politics, religion… um.. weblogs?

Best Under 18: Maybe in dog years

Best Use of Photography: For one brief, shining moment I thought this was Best Use of Pornography. Oh well.

Best Written: Modesty forbids me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
11:20
Wordlab takes a look at Abbey National’s very expensive rebranding effort.

A lesson I learned a long, long, time ago: the bank that plays on your emotions the most is the one that you should trust the least.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016
The End of Democracy
Time
11:27
The Independent’s excellent expose on Republican-controlled e-voting still hasn’t broken as a story in the US.

Watch what bloggers are saying about it here and here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016
Video
Time
13:17
I got very, very excited when I first found Retromedia (via The Ultimate Insult). Then I saw this:

“All Retromedia.tv video clips are Real Media”

I removed RealPlayer (or RealOnePLayer whatever the heck they’re calling it these days) from my system a long time ago, and it will never – ever – go anywhere near one of my hard drives again.

Still, if you have it on your system, it may just hold together long enough for you to enjoy one or two clips from what looks like an excellent collection.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
13:26
Meet William “Jerry” Boykin, one of Bush’s key generals in the war on terror.

Here are his views on George Jnr.:

“Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.”

!

They’re equally dumbstruck over at Eschaton.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016

Time
15:33
A child’s view of the Iraq war.

UPDATE – You’ll have to excuse me. I thought this image required a minor adjustment.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031016
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
18:05
My second SEO seminar is tomorrow. Bloggage will be light as a result.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031017
Weapons of Mass Distraction
Time
18:37
I find The Sun’s ‘Shop a Yob’ campaign to be obscene.

This is yet another case of Rupert Murdoch doing his best to keep the populace busy while Blair gets away with lie after lie after lie.

Interesting also that they’ve found the perfect poster child in Michael Carroll.

I bet I can name someone richer than Michael who does more damage to society on a daily basis.

You should read up on Sun editor Rebekah Wade a bit, too. A dangerous woman in a very influential position.

In fact, ‘Shop a Yob’ angered me so much that I simply had to make the following poster as therapy.

You can get yourself a nice, large copy for your home or workplace by clicking here.

Download, print, display and enjoy.

I know it made me feel a heck of a lot better (and if you like, I can do a new one for Murdoch on Monday).

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:54
Telegraph: Plans for the Queen and George W Bush to make a triumphant procession along the Mall during the president’s state visit next month have been abandoned because of fears of anti-war protests.

Bush has had to drop plans to address Parliament. He was going to bring his bulletproof Cadillac along, but now it looks like he’ll have to travel by helicopter everywhere. If indeed, there is anywhere left to go once we’re through with him.

One step at a time, folks. One step at a time. He may even cancel (no doubt blaming an unspecified terrorist threat) if this kind of thing keeps up:

In Thailand, the spirit of George W Bush has been trapped in a clay pot and tossed into a river after being cursed by hundreds of farmers.

He’s due in Australia in a couple of days. Give him hell.

UPDATE – Hmmm. Travel by helicopter. Sounds like we should be painting a few rooftops…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Anyone but George
Time
10:00
Finally, a leader we can believe in.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020

Time
10:01
What? More Bush? Sorry, folks – but I simply can’t let this one pass:

Bush Sr.’s ‘message’ to Bush Jr.

The 2003 George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service is to be awarded to anti-Iraq war Democrat Ted Kennedy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Flash Games
Time
10:06
Indiana Jones and the Lawsuit Waiting To Happen! Play it while you can…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
10:12
Friday’s ‘Shop a Nob’ turned out to be pretty popular, so here – as promised – is a Murdoch follow-up.

There’s a large version for printing and displaying here.

Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
10:17
Blair’s heart problem dominates papers.

You know where to send your get-well messages, right? I know it’s been a bad year, but please try to be nice. When the irregular heartbeat thingie was mentioned in the pub last night, I almost got lynched for muttering; “Well, maybe if he used the bloody thing more often…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020

Time
10:32
This is probably all you’ll see out of me today. I’m busy as all hell.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020

Time
12:01
Bloody hell. They’ll get us all microchipped one way or another…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
The End of Democracy
Time
12:54
Still no mainstream coverage in the US about Republican/corporate-controlled e-voting. Oh well. At least they know about it in New Zealand.

Perhaps Diebold’s reputation for ‘zero tolerance’ has something to do with it:

Slashdot: Diebold issues Cease and desist notice to upstream provider of San Francisco Indymedia for having links to mirrors of leaked internal memo.

Sydney Morning Herald: EFF to defend Indymedia and its providers against claims of indirect copyright infringement made by Diebold.

Oh, and while I’ve got your attention, Arnie has found the time to appear in one small movie before taking office:

The Rise of The Digital Voting Machines

UPDATE – This is the link you’ll be wanting to share today.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020

Time
13:32
Wahey! Thanks to offmessage for this marvellous discovery:

MIT researchers plan online database to help citizens track the activities of government organisations.

An early version of the system is here. Bookmark it.

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Date
20031020

Time
15:13
I’m sure the folks at Jali won’t mind if I have a public smirk at their helpful guide to using the Interwebnet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020

Time
15:18
A Polaroid photography project that deserves to go on and on and on and on and on and… (link via Rogi)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Shop a Nob
Time
17:10
Shop a Nob now has its own special page. I’m going to be very busy this week, but I may have time to knock out a few more based on your nominations. You know the address…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020
Photoshopping
Time
17:31
Get your work on the cover of The Face.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031020

Time
17:32
Remember Franks Burns ranting into his walkie-talkie in the classic M*A*S*H episode The Bus?

“I’ve got the enemy, sir! I can hear their secrets!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031021
Emailing Tony
Time
09:17

Dear Tony,

Two things occurred to me this morning:

1 – There are still a few nutters who are convinced that tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk is your real email address, and they continue to hammer this address with all sorts of garbage on a semi-daily basis (as they have done over the past 18 months). I haven’t forwarded any of these emails in the past, and I certainly have no plans to direct them to the new email facility, as they’ll only eat up valuable bandwidth and manpower.

Oops – speak of the devil. I just now received an email from one of your regulars. Here’s a sample of what you’re missing out on:

“To have peace, Israel must defeat the Arab Muslims in war, because the Arabs Muslims don’t want peace.”

2 – Rather than simply demand the introduction of an email facility, I did my best to actually specify a system that would be useful not only to web users, but also your good self. Your IT team has shamelessly ripped of these specifications and claimed the credit. To tell the truth, I expected no less of them, but all the same a little bloody gratitude wouldn’t go astray.

I figure both of the above factors give me the right to – for a while at least – drop you an email on a regular basis to let you know what’s going on in the world and bug you with a few things that keep me awake at night.

First of all, I’d like to express my concern for your health and well-being. I arrived in the UK in 1998 and since then you appear to have aged in dog years before my very eyes. Your recent heart scare may be part of this, or it may not. On Sunday night, I watched a bit of them cutting Blaine loose from his little Perspex box. Watching the footage of those who attended this stunt on a regular basis and reading the signs they erected in support (“David Your A Star!”) was amusing in itself, but when Blaine stood up and said that he learned to appreciate all the simple things in life like “a smile from a strange one” I damn near had a fit. Is this what happened to you?

Oh, I read that Blaine was playing chess with some homeless guy throughout. Here’s a link that tells the story of how this started – and why it stopped:

http://headlessness.com/belowtheabove.htm

While we’re mentioning links, here’s another one that might interest you… Microsoft has announced ‘leak-proof’ e-mail. As the article notes, this may help to avoid another Jo Moore incident – or it may not. We *are* talking about Microsoft Screendoor Technology here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3205080.stm

Also on the technology front, you may wish to keep your distance from George W Bush. I’ll talk about his upcoming visit in another email, but in the meantime you do need to be aware that he and his corporate mates are about to get done for major electoral fraud. The many Republican connections of the main company involved – Diebold – are interesting, as are the many shortcomings of the system itself. When we get e-voting in the UK, will the technology be provided by Diebold, or by a more reliable and impartial company such as Capita?

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=452972

http://silicon.com/news/500022/1/6368.html

I watched the announcement of the top 21 books from The Big Read with interest. Someone suggested that I run a campaign to ensure high placement for George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, but to be honest it was more important to me that the book be judged fairly on its own merit. It may not be the best book, but in the times we live in, it certainly is the most important. I was disappointed that they chose Jo bloody Brand as the book’s champion and played the Big Brother theme over most of the presentation. It all seemed so cheap, tawdry and misguided. As anybody who has read the book will know, the hijacking of Big Brother’s image as entertainment that actually trains us to watch other people is pretty damn ironic.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/vote/

It also encourages the cult of celebrity that’s doing society so much damage at the moment. A lot of kids are growing up with the impression that fame for its own sake is a worthy aspiration. God forbid they should want to actually achieve anything first. I read some interesting thoughts that dallied on this subject in Pravda this morning, and though you might enjoy it:

http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/387/11109_politics.html

(BTW, your fake email address gets an awful amount of spam from Russia. I’m not quite sure why, but if you ever need drugs that will make your penis larger or a degree from the Krasnogorsk Language School, just let me know and I’ll send a few on.)

After the Pravda thing, I tripped over this neat-o story about a policeman who recognised the prostitute he was arresting as a girl that he used to baby-sit:

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/10/19/Floridian/Girl_next_door.shtml

Then I visited the Museum of Coathangers:

http://homepage.mac.com/marchesbaugh/moch/intro.html

After that I kind of lost the plot, so this first letter is going to trail off with very little point.

Sorry about that.

Until tomorrow…

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031021
Video
Time
10:34
“Saaayve the gorillas, your money for their life…” Oh dear.

(Requires Quicktime.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031021

Time
11:58
New Statesman: “If the first threat to childhood is poor protection from the real dangers posed by commercialisation, the second is overprotection from the mostly imaginary dangers beyond the front door.”

Spot. On. Read more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031021
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
12:12
The email below hasn’t been sent to Tony yet, because his email facility fell on its arse this morning. No matter; it’ll keep. However…

What really rubs me the wrong way is the way his IT team deliberately ignore me. I sent them an email this morning (to an address provided on one of those rare occasions when they saw fit to acknowledge my existence) to let them know that the service wasn’t running properly. Soon after, the following message appeared on the website:

“This service is currently unavailable, please try again later. Please accept our apologies for any inconveneience. No10 Webteam”

But did they email me back and say ‘thank you’? No, they sodding well didn’t. Just like they didn’t email me to let me know about the launch of the bloody service – as they promised they would.

OK, I’m willing to accept that perhaps a bunch of people emailed in to let them know about this, but I just emailed them again with the following:

You mis-spelled ‘inconvenience’

and…

Perhaps you could also add:

“One day we will do Tim Ireland the courtesy of returning his bloody emails and thanking him for his input.”

The offending typo was corrected within minutes, but did I get a reply?

No, I sodding well didn’t.

Thanks, ‘No10 Webteam’. You just keep pretending that I don’t exist and watch what happens.

UPDATE – The attached Photoshop does not imply a specific threat; it just makes me feel better.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031021
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
13:02
Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse are You?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031021

Time
13:13
Richard Allan presents a word or two – and a link or two – on electronic voting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031022
Emailing Tony
Time
09:28

Dear Tony,

Did you go to bed early last night, or did you stay up to watch that BBC documentary about racism in the police force? I did the latter myself, and found it quite interesting. I didn’t focus on the racism much. What struck me most was the sheer *cowardice*. The abuse of authority by people who are unhappy with their dismal little lives.

To many police, the distinctive helmet they get to wear in this country not only looks like, but acts like, a form of penis extension. Quite fitting when you consider where it’s placed, because being a policeman can really bring out the dickhead in some people:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/3208310.stm

But to be fair, the same can be said of ticket inspectors, parking officers and anyone else in a job where the only real reward is the ability to dish out a little personal – and often selective – justice.

Rooting out racism in the police force is a fine aim but, as Deputy Chief Constable Alan Green quite rightly points out, they can’t do a heck of a lot when they recruit from the community (where the problems come from in the first place). Socialism is meant to address this by ensuring a more just and equitable system, thereby reducing the fear and desperation that drives such behaviour, but as we all know socialism is a dirty word that has no place in New Labour (soon to be re-branded ‘Conservatism Lite’).

Perhaps the solution is cloning police officers from reliable stock, or genetically modifying them in some way. Is there a gene responsible for making people act like tossers the moment they get a uniform on? A little research goes a long way, and I think it’s worth looking into – especially as ‘GM Police’ has such a nice ring to it:

http://www.gmp.police.uk/

That Diebold thing is still kicking around, even though it hasn’t quite broken as a mainstream story in the US. Yet.

Diebold has hit out by issuing ‘cease and desist’ orders to sites that dare to cast light on their dirty doings. Good luck to them, I say. A campaign of civil disobedience has kicked up, the aim of which is to ensure ongoing public access to the leaked memos that clearly show that Diebold has created a system that allows anyone with access to add and delete votes without detection:

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0310/S00237.htm

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=12261

Onto other matters, I want to talk to you about this whole anti-social behaviour thing you’ve got running. Do you, like the police, genuinely support The Sun’s disgraceful ‘Shop a Yob’ campaign? You know what happened last time Rebekah Wade got her teeth into something like this. How long do you think it’s going to be before someone takes the law into their own hands or – even worse – eases their fear by targeting the wrong youth on the basis of a low resolution image they saw in the local shop window?

I found a nice article from The Guardian on this subject when I was checking search results for ‘shop a yob’ in Google this morning and thought you should read it:

http://media.guardian.co.uk/presspublishing/story/0,7495,1065602,00.html

My little page on this subject has just gone live in the database and is in 2nd place for this search query, which is nice. I like using my powers for good, rather than evil. In fact, you’ll want to keep an eye on me during the next election. The moment the bullshit starts flying, I plan on being right there returning fire with a Google-powered tennis racquet. Prepare to duck.

http://www.bloggerheads.com/yob.asp

Finally, I do want to express my ongoing concern for your health. I hope the wobbly you threw *was* caused by a caffeine overdose, but would suggest that you do your best to avoid stress in future, as this may well have been a major contributing factor.

In fact, I found a nifty gadget yesterday that will help you to reduce the strain of confrontational situations in the Commons. It’s this nifty little electronic voicebox called ‘Mr T In Your Pocket’, that will let you return fire with all-purpose phrases such as ‘Shut up, fool’ and ‘Don’t gimme no back talk, sucka’ without stressing out and without wasting valuable oxygen:

http://www.iwantitcheaper.com/2728/144/buy-gadgets.htm

Anyway, that’s about it for this morning. I do want to talk to you very soon about George’s upcoming visit, but it’ll keep for now.

Cheers

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031022

Time
09:36
Good old Nick (who’s a subject editor for Xcalibre, portal of the gifted and talented) found this guide to using the Internet from a manufacturer of radiator cabinets most useful, and wanted to share the following with you:

Arriva presents: How To Use a Bus

Sample:

“When the bus approaches your bus stop the number and destination of the service will be displayed on the front of the vehicle. To stop the bus simply signal to the driver by raising your arm and step aboard.”

They forgot to add ‘when the bus stops‘ and ‘when the door opens‘.

They also forgot to mention that their buses don’t always stop – especially when they’re driven by tossers who decide that you’re not worth stopping for because you’ve made an official complaint about one of their co-workers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031022
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
10:52
“George W. Bush is a liar. He has lied large and small. He has lied directly and by omission. He has misstated facts, knowingly or not. He has misled. He has broken promises, been unfaithful to political vows. Through his campaign for the presidency and his first years in the White House, he has mugged the truth—not merely in honest error, but deliberately, consistently, and repeatedly to advance his career and his agenda. Lying greased his path toward the White House; it has been one of the essential tools of his presidency.”

From the introduction of The Lies of George W. Bush by David Corn – the next book on my shopping list. When payday comes around. (Being a wage slave is so tiresome.)

You can check out the offical website here.

Buying this book by either of the links below supports the Bloggerheads beer fund:

Buy The Lies of George W. Bush in the US

Buy The Lies of George W. Bush in the UK

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031022

Time
13:54
Stand back everyone! The fuse is lit! (Link via Tom Watson.)

Heh. Tim Yeo as party chairman, anyone? Party leader?

PM one day, maybe?

Oooh, this is going to be fun.

UPDATE – Ahahahahahahaha! Look at the ad that’s started turning up recently on the Tim Yeo Weblog.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031022
Photoshopping
Time
14:12
Today’s ‘most emailed’ image at Yahoo was in need of improvement.

UPDATE – Here, have another on me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031022

Time
16:22
Hooray for fake doctors armed with WH Smith scissors!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023
Emailing Tony
Time
10:53

Dear Tony,

This is only my third email to you, but I get the feeling that we have already begun to bond. Of course, I could be wrong. You may think I’m an outright nutcase, but at least I’m not this far gone. Yet.

http://www.sarcasmoscorner.com/2003_10_01_archive.html#106684442166057684

I must admit to losing it from time to time. In fact, as serious as the implications of growing and Labour-weighted quangos are, I just can’t get Engelbert Humperdink’s voice out of my head every time I hear that bloody word (that second link is a special one for you, our leading axemaster):

http://www.epolitix.com/

http://www.theguitarguy.com/quandoqu.htm

So, let’s move on, shall we?

Can you please spare a moment of your time addressing the matter of Iraq’s debt? I watched a cracking programme about it on Channel 4 last night, and must admit to not releasing how serious the issue is before now:

http://www.mtcp.co.uk/debtcollector/

You’ve stated quite clearly that freedom and democracy is the aim in Iraq. A country this deep in debt can never be free. Any privatisation established without the backing of its people only serves to destabilise democracy. Besides, it seems a little unfair to ask for Saddam’s victims to cough up for debt he accrued when buying weapons, palaces, and shiny new torture chambers. Anybody who backed his regime financially should, in my opinion, kiss that money goodbye as a bad investment. Pretty much everything the money was spent on is gone. We bombed the hell out of it, remember?

Speaking of bad investments, are you seriously thinking of continuing your close relationship with George W. Bush? His visit to the UK in November looks like it’s going to be an unmitigated disaster – for both of you. You’ve already had to cancel addresses in the Houses of Parliament and a parade because of protest threats. I mean, if I were planning a barbeque and found out that I had to do without a flame grill, beer *and* potato salad, I’d really be thinking seriously about calling the whole thing off. Really, what’s the point of this happy-faced masquerade?

In Australia, they had to lock members of the public out of Parliament House:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3299166,00.html

This didn’t stop a couple of pesky Greens from having their say, but in the end you have to consider that they went to all this bum-licking effort just so Bush could thank *Austria* for their support. Seriously, the guy’s an effing moron.

Oh, and his comments regarding vocal dissent in the chamber…?

“I love free speech,” Bush said to laughter.

I would dare to suggest that MPs laughed because They. Knew. He. Was. Joking.

Are we really going to greet this man as an honoured guest? How many millions of pounds will it cost us as taxpayers for a ‘security’ operation primarily designed to keep protestors at a distance? And, if you don’t mind me asking, how many British mice are going to have to put their lives at risk during this visit?

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/MAN84422.htm

The US is currently under the control of private corporations – and religious fanatics:

http://journal.lnreview.co.uk/archives/000066.shtml

Their troops are coming home from Iraq in coffins, but nobody is allowed to see it:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55816-2003Oct20.html

Democracy has effectively ceased to exist in their country, but nobody is allowed to hear about it:

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1013-01.htm

Here at home, most folks are desperately holding their bladders until Hutton makes good with his findings, but you and I both know what the result is going to be.

Fine, let the visit go ahead if you must – but do me favour and consider this:

Your only chance to survive is to repent. Now.

Let Bush come. Arrest the fucker the moment his plane hits the tarmac, and demand the immediate introduction of free and democratic elections in the US.

You’ll come out of it looking like a bloody hero, trust me.

Kind Regards,

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
12:03
Encouraging independent Iraqi trade unions? Now there’s a mighty fine idea, and a significant signpost on the road to democracy (link via Tom).

“Facing an estimated seven million unemployed, a collapsed economy, and the need to build up a new society from scratch, the Iraqi unions face enormous challenges.”

Hmmm. I bet I can name one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
12:24
See Walt Disney’s original plans for for EPCOT (link via Steve).

Did you know ‘EPCOT’ stood for ‘Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow’? I didn’t.

And you know what? I’ve looked and looked and looked through the maps and plans, but I can’t find the Super Happy Fun Detention Centre anywhere.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
12:28
Tony Blair says: “We have different practices in this country to the United States and, as you know, I don’t follow them slavishly in all respects.”

So, just most respects then, is it?

(Thanks to Mark for the link.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
13:00
I know it’s all been terribly political today, but really feel I should share an excerpt of this entry from Baghdad Burning with you:

“Ever since the occupation, employees of the Ministry of Oil are being searched by troops – and lately, dogs… Today, one of the women who work at the ministry, Amal, objected when the troops brought forward a dog to sniff her bag. She was carrying a Quran inside of it and to even handle a Quran, a Muslim has to be ‘clean’ or under ‘widhu’. ‘Widhu’ is the process of cleansing oneself for prayer or to read from the Quran. We simply wash the face, neck, arms up to the elbows and feet with clean water and say a few brief ‘prayers’. Muslims carry around small Qurans for protection and we’ve been doing it more often since the war- it gives many people a sense of security. It doesn’t not mean the person is a ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘extremist’.”

It’s at this stage I feel I need to remind some people of the fuss kicked up when certain Australians (*gasp*) actually dared to touch the Queen.

It also needs to be pointed out that dogs have been known to stick their noses in other dog’s bottoms and even lick their own testicles from time to time. And, if the readership of Popbitch is to be believed, this one probably started its morning with a relaxing handjob. Still, for some funny reason, Islam considers dogs to be unclean.

So, with that in mind…

“As soon as Amal protested about letting the dog sniff her bag because of the Quran inside, the soldier grabbed the Quran, threw it out of the bag and proceeded to check it. The lady was horrified and the dozens of employees who were waiting to be checked moved forward in a rage at having the Quran thrown to the ground. Amal was put in hand-cuffs and taken away and the raging mob was greeted with the butts of rifles.”

Result? Bingo. Yup, there you go.

I’m sure they’ll all settle down when the first McDonald’s goes up, though. It’s hard to stay uptight about such things when you get a free toy with your Happy Meal.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
13:20
A cracker of a story from science class over at Scaryduck today. It’s almost like being there, which is a damn fine thing considering that Mrs Shagwell’s arse plays such a pivotal role.

One day I’ll tell you all about Mr Matthews and the greased nipples. One day. When you’re older. Maybe.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
13:55
“A staggering US$4 billion in oil revenues and other Iraqi funds earmarked for the reconstruction of the country has disappeared into opaque bank accounts administered by the US-controlled body that rules Iraq. By the end of the year, if nothing changes in the way this cash is accounted for, that figure will double.”

Christian Aid is calling on Tony Blair to deliver on his promises of financial transparency in dealings with Iraqi oil. I’ll try and make time to mention it to him tomorrow…. right now I’ve got a mind full of greased nipples.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
14:22
Would one of my German readers care to track down the thread at this forum where Bloggerheads is mentioned? I’m detecting a fair bit of traffic from there, but there’s no search function and trying to dig through the all-deutsch topics is likely to do my head in.

UPDATE. Heh. JPEG Baby. I should have known. Thanks, ScaryDuck.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023
Bush visits Australia
Time
18:05
Read about it, and see images of protestors.

Read more at Yahoo, and see a photo of John Howard kissing arse.

See a video of Bush being heckled by Senator Bob Brown.

See a photo of Senator Bob Brown rejecting ejection.

Hey, good news! Australia has been upgraded from deputy sheriff, to sheriff.

Oh, and ‘a man of steel’ is Texan for ‘fair dinkum’.

Christ, he really is a moron, isn’t he?

Congratulations to every Australian who had the gumption to stand up and speak out. You’ve earned yourselves a beer, you fair dinkum men and women of steel.

UPDATE – The follow-up interview with US ambassador Tom Schieffer (with the boring bits taken out):

“Good speech… good speech… positive speech… moving speech… speech about what is good… I think people were moved by the speech.”

The transcript of that speech is here. Terrorism is carefully woven into the justification for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Again.

Here, the Australian police explain why a bit of argy-bargy was ‘necessary’ and give some details of related arrests. Bicycles and plastic webbing? Yeah, sounds like serious measures to keep terrorists at bay to me.

Bush protected by Armed fighter jets with a ‘licence to kill’! Ah, now that’s more like it!

To wrap it up, here’s a shedload of related media, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald, and a range of audio files courtesy of news.com.au – listen to Bush’s speech to hear him say ‘Austria’ instead of ‘Australia’ at least twice.

Oh, and check out this map of the exclusion zone to see open democracy in action. Oh yes, Bush loves free speech. When it’s out of bloody earshot, that is.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031023

Time
18:10
George Galloway has been expelled from the Labour Party.

Of course, as we all know, it was George Galloway’s words that brought the Labour Party into disrepute. Tony Blair’s actions had nothing to do with it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Emailing Tony
Time
09:31

Dear Tony,

Congratulations. This is a bloody good start. Can we have more of this, please?

“Network Rail will today announce that it is taking all maintenance on Britain’s railways in-house, axing more than £1.3bn of private contracts in a move likely to be viewed as a step towards ‘renationalisation’ of the system”:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/publicservices/story/0,11032,1070044,00.html

Privatisation of utilities the public relies on is a bad idea. Service, reliability and safety usually go out the window as a result. You can set up as many watchdogs as you like, but the fact remains that the first priority of any private company is profit – and now a lot of these companies know that they can not only strip these facilities clean, but also rely on taxpayers bailing them out from time to time. It’s ridiculous. It also sets us on an inevitable march towards corporate slavery.

Think I’m overreacting? This is the kind of crap they’d *like* to get away with:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/media/story.jsp?story=455650

This is the kind of thing they *are* getting away with:

http://www.fcw.com/geb/articles/2003/1020/web-diebold-10-23-03.asp

You know how different politics is in the US. There, the system is so far gone that candidates need to amass a serious amount of moolah before they can run for office. What kind of people do they get in charge as a result? Bingo.

Here, any man can step forward and run for office. For now. But they can still be cut down by powerful media magnates like Rupert Murdoch and the soon-to-be-reformed-the-moment-he-can-unload-at-a-profit porn merchant Richard Desmond.

You do know Richard Desmond, right? He’s the chap that donates all that money to the Labour Party:

http://media.guardian.co.uk/express/story/0,7521,1040560,00.html

http://media.guardian.co.uk/express/story/0,7521,714743,00.html

You really do need to be more careful when choosing your friends.

And with that, my dearest Tony, we get back onto the subject of the upcoming visit of George W. Bush. You can cut back public appearances and cordon us off as much as you like, but we *will* have our day, and we *will* have our say:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-865532,00.html

http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/10/279398.html

Do you want to be a leader? Do you want to stand tall? Then stop bending over for media magnates, corporations and those who support their rise to power.

Cheers

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

PS – George Galloway? Oh boy, you really fucked up there. Did London’s Mayoral Elections teach you nothing?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/3208577.stm

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
09:35
Has anybody else noticed that The Sun is happy to show tits on page 3 – and even in the bloody comics section – but they still can’t bring themselves to print the word fuck?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:51
Indymedia is on the case, and Joe Momma is preparing some soft, gooey pretzels.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:51
Donald Rumsfeld has no idea how the War on Terror is going.

Glenn Reynolds thinks that – important as it is – this memo shouldn’t have been leaked.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Christianity Watch
Time
09:59
Reverend Stephen White, infamous for preaching against homosexuality and sexual promiscuity at Yale and other college campuses, was arrested in June after he allegedly offered $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
10:02
Ten geekiest hobbies named. Blogging doesn’t get a mention; neither does Lego.

Still, I score two points for Star Wars and comic books. That’s got to count for something.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
10:06
Victorian-era robots. Riveting stuff. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:11
Have a flutter on the Tory Party leadership.

Heh. I amuses me greatly that every time Tim Yeo makes the news, there’s a traffic spike at the Tim Yeo weblog from people wondering who the hell he is. Is the new website he promised built yet? I can’t see it.

Oh, and I suggested to William Hague back in March that he stand again for leadership. Laugh if you like, but I think the man has masses of untapped potential and some effective opposition is badly needed in this country.

If you think this is a good idea, you can get in touch with him and tell him so.

Tell him I sent you. I’ve been trying to get him to start a weblog so you can all see what you’re missing.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
10:35
Police have told people wanting to see Concorde’s last flight to stay away from Heathrow airport. And surrounding areas. And the M25, just to be sure.

This is beacuse it will be too crowded, not because the event is a top-notch target for terrorists that may or may not exist.

The last three Concordes will arrive together at Heathrow Airport at around 3.55pm GMT. The approach is planned from the east, but they should be passing close enough to Wisley for me to get an eyefull.

Rogi has a bunch more on this today. I get the feeling he’s going to miss Concorde…

UPDATE – Man converts £800 of biscuits into flight on Concorde.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
11:32
Breaking News: Pope still not dead. He is, however, looking awfully relaxed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
11:36
I’m with Nick. George Galloway should go for it and force a by-election.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
12:03
What’s the most evil prank you ever played?

This one isn’t necessarily evil, it just happens to be my favourite.

As a DJ, I used to have a real problem with people ‘borrowing’ my cigarettes when I wasn’t looking.

Solution was as follows…

Equipment required:

- 1 cigarette

- 1 match or toothpick

- Scissors (optional)

- 1 standard party popper

Instructions:

- Squeeze front of party popper to displace cardboard shield, extract confetti/paper

- Use match/toothpick to push string and small cardboard tube through stem and extract through large opening

- Carefully cut/bite string from small cardboard tube (this is the charge)

- Take cigarette and push/twist match/toothpick into open end to make neat hole for charge

- Push charge into cigarette (if you do it carefully and correctly, the tobacco at the top will close over it, hiding it from sight)

- Place cigarette back in pack and wait for victim

(If it’s your pack, the fag with the charge is easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for.)

Normally the charge will go off by the 4th or 5th drag. The bang is so loud that it can clearly be heard at distances of up to 30ft in a busy nightclub. The cigarette itself will remain intact at the base, but splay comically at the tip/middle with shreds of paper that provide the perfect dressing to one very stunned faced.

But don’t try it at home home, OK kids?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Viral Marketing
Time
13:28
This is simple. This is quality. It uses existing client assets to create something familar, yet unique.

But…

1 – ‘Send to a friend’ is there, but where’s the link referral mechanism?

2 – I think the ad for the movie could be a little bit bigger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
13:33
“America produces a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, the population has risen by 100 million since 1970 and when an area three times the size of Britain was recently opened up for mining, drilling, logging and road building, no one took much notice.” (Probably because it was announced late one Friday afternoon, a little too late for the Fear at 11.)

“And what does the Bush administration do? It ignores all attempts to curb environmental damage.”

Matthew Engel reports on how America is ravaging the planet in The Guardian.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
13:39
Google ‘nearly ready’ to float.

And here’s a fun reaction from a borderline Orlowskian.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Christianity Watch
Time
15:36
Senior Catholic theologian claims that masturbation is like owning a Ferrari and driving only in first gear.

Check out the post at Greenfairy (where I found this) and the related comments. It’ll make your afternoon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024
Goodbye, Concorde
Time
15:49
This is so cool. Concordes are circling in the sky above Wisley as we speak.

UPDATE – That was great. All three came over Wisley in a wide arc on their final approach. Blue skies (rare at this time of year) and a great view. One for permanent storage.

As of now, memories and facsimiles are all we have left.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
16:05
Behold the origin of NoHands!

Oh, and this is a great conker simulator, too. Too bad they don’t know how to spell ‘unlucky’…

Thank you, B3ta.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031024

Time
16:18
Thanks, NTK, for bringing this neglected corner of the web to my attention.

Don’t count on it being fixed anytime soon. Lycos promised to include an opt-in/out function on Fight Club registration almost two years ago. I’m still waiting.

Oh, and plugs in the newsletter? Works for me. I. Want. One.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031027
Emailing Tony
Time
09:24

Dear Tony,

Can you and your mate George please do me a favour and stop talking about the war in Iraq in the past tense? This ongoing denial is really starting to get on my nerves:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/10/26/sprj.irq.hotel/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3216539.stm

You really can’t blame IDS for being in his own little ‘lalalalalalalait’snothappeninglalalalala’ world lately. He’s seen you keep your job after an illegal war where thousands of innocent people died, but he’s about to lose his over a measly 12K. Personally, I’d find that a little hard to accept, too:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=457349

It sure will be interesting if Tim Yeo beats the odds and scores the top spot. Then I’ll have a personal vendetta with the PM *and* the leader of the opposition. All that remains, I suppose, is for me to start calling Charles Kennedy names.

Back onto denial, it seems that your mate-in-cash Richard Desmond has trouble accepting that he’s a pornographer. When asked about his low-grade one-handed magazines and range of adult TV stations, he said: “It’s not porn. Porn is illegal!”

http://media.guardian.co.uk/mediaguardian/story/0,7558,1071525,00.html

Oh, and folks in authority are so concerned about racism in the police force that they didn’t want us to know about it in the first place:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/media/story/0,12123,1071469,00.html

lalalalalalala…

Oh, you’re probably aware that Halloween is coming up. I don’t know about you, but it’s already starting to get to me.

I had this great dream last night where you answered the door at No. 10 and outside there were a bunch of Iraqi children standing on what was left of their legs and holding out shabby sacks on what was left of their arms, chiming; “Trick or Treat!”

You gave them candy, but they wanted to eat your spicy brains. Things went downhill from there.

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

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Date
20031027
Shop a Yob
Time
09:25
The Sun’s Shop a Yob campaign is not only disgraceful, it’s a shameless rip-off.

Hmm. Hard to know who to root for on this one.

Andrew Parkes is the editor of News Shopper, which has been running its own Shop a Yob campaign for almost two years, and he had this to say:

“If The Sun is serious about joining with us in our fight to identify and shame the scum of our society then I welcome them.”

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Date
20031027

Time
09:36
Personal submarine for the super-rich! All I need now is an underwater lair to park it in.

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Date
20031027
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:37
The Guardian – Bush is not welcome in Britain

Roy Hattersley quite rightly points out that, previously, such an invitation was only granted after ‘long deliberation’ revealed that it was in the nation’s interest. And in this case, it’s most certainly not.

The closing paragraph and the use of the word ‘hooligan’ is a cause for concern, though – especially as his solution to the problem appears to be a deluge of postcards.

Roy, the reason plans for the visit have been ‘truncated and emasculated’ so is the visible willingness of so-called ‘hooligans’ to stand in the way of the charade.

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Date
20031027

Time
11:58
New York: 450 nude women appear in Grand Central Station

Are they still cleaning up Times Square, then?

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Date
20031027
Christianity Watch
Time
11:59
Jesus…

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Date
20031027
The End of Democracy
Time
12:03
Beatnik Salad says: “So, if I’ve got this right, the police can declare ‘orders akin to the announcement of martial law’ for an entire month, in our capital city, without telling anyone and without attracting any press attention.”

Yup, that’s about it in a nutshell. Welcome to the War on Freedom.

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Date
20031027
Photoshopping
Time
13:12
Ideas for Halloweeen Costumes #1 – Lord Hutton

Requires:

- Long black cloak with hood

- One pair of spectacles

- Tony Blair’s head on a stick

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Date
20031027
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
13:24
A new weblog aggregator to play with: BlogPulse

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Date
20031027

Time
16:36
Illegal foreign workers in West Sussex – what have they been selling to survive?

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Date
20031028
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
08:57
Y’see, this is why I think we need an alternative to ‘traditional’ forms of protest (slightly biased bloggage, but you’ll enjoy it all the same). It seems every time I stand up to be counted, some idiot waves a copy of The Socialist Worker in my face.

The Washington Post has a report on the DC antiwar protest, too – but it’s nowhere near as fun.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031028
Goodbye, Concorde
Time
09:02
Mirjam dropped in with the following images from the last flight, brought to the web courtesy of Adam Curry.

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Date
20031028

Time
09:08
Get to know more about David Rees, creator of the excellent Get Your War On. (Direct link provided because the article has managed to provide the wrong domain name and screw up the hyperlink. Sheer genius.)

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Date
20031028

Time
09:15
Countless Chicago residents expected to dress as Steven Bartman this Halloween. Perspective, people…

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Date
20031028

Time
09:17
‘See the latest images from the Southern California wildfires, taken by people on the ground with camera phones and digital cameras.’

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Date
20031028
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:18
Fox News threatened to sue The Simpsons. Groening figured (correctly) that Murdoch wouldn’t allow the Fox News cable network to sue the Fox Broadcast Network, and refused to cut the segment with this hilarious news crawl – but they won’t be getting away with it again. Or will they…?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031028

Time
09:26
Yesterday, it was a personal submarine. Today, I’m shopping for a Pulsed Plasma Mobile Hydrogen Generator. I’d insert an evil laugh here, but I just don’t have the lung capacity for it this morning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031028

Time
09:30
Search in Iraq fails to find nuclear threat. Turns out the sanctions were working after all. Oh well.

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Date
20031028
The End of Democracy
Time
10:00
“DELAND, Fla., Nov. 11 – Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county’s Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore’s count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000–all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters.”

Washington Post Sunday , November 12, 2000 ; Page A22

The explanation given for this at the time was a faulty memory card, but the leaked Diebold memos (which have finally reached the mainstream press – kinda sorta – as interest grows in the ‘cease and desist’ letters Diebold fired off to people who dared share them) reveal something far more sinister may have been in the works.

The guts of it is spelled out in the following extract from Black Box Voting In the 21st Century by Bev Harris:

“If you strip away the partisan rancor over the 2000 election, you are left with the undeniable fact that a presidential candidate conceded the election to his opponent based on [results from] a second card that mysteriously appears, subtracts 16,022 votes, then just as mysteriously disappears.”

Chapters 1 to 11 of this book were available in PDF format at blackboxvoting.com but this version of the site has been taken down by their ISP – again – after repeated hacks and false spam reports.

Happily, blackboxvoting.org is still live and Scoop has a mirror of the PDF downloads.

Read the article and memo extracts in full. Download the PDFs. Then write to your local paper and ask them why they’re not reporting this.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031028
Emailing Tony
Time
10:01
Tony Blair won’t be getting an email today. I figured that your infinite patience should be rewarded with at least one stray day of ‘normal’ bloggage.

You’re welcome.

Oh, here’s a young lady with rhythm (requires Quicktime).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031028
Photoshopping
Time
10:39
Ideas for Halloweeen Costumes #2 – Iain Duncan Smith

Requires:

- Dark suit with blue tie

- 2 rolls crepe bandage

- 1 pair dark sunglasses

- 3 kitchen knives (optional)

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Date
20031028

Time
11:20
Pentagon wants to develop and test ‘mini-nukes’ to fight terrorists.

OK, now can we get a little bit nervous? Surely using a ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapon is like getting a little bit pregnant – and what happens we drop a few that fail to detonate? We may as well gift-wrap make-your-own-nuke kits and be done with it.

Also, what happens when the Bush crowd sets another unhealthy precedent that initiates a return to the glory days of nuclear proliferation?

In other news, the federal commission investigating the September 11 attacks says that the Bush administration is continuing to withhold several ‘highly classified’ intelligence documents. What, we all wonder, could be so very, very secret?

Odds on it’s either a complete lack of intelligence – or something even scarier for us little folks. When you think about it, there’s one thing that would all but guarantee George W Bush victory in the next election. All he has to do is let one slip through the net (without appearing to do so) and the War on Terror will return as a ratings winner….

(Links via Sunfist. Paranoia exclusive to Bloggerheads.)

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Date
20031028
World-Famous in Wolverhampton
Time
12:13
Come lunchtime (1pm-2pm GMT), I’ll be having a little chat on Wolverhampton Community Radio about Tony Blair’s email, BYBAB and stuff like that.

You can listen in if you like. I’ll try to be as eloquent as possible, but having a belly full of a rushed chicken fajita, I make no guarantees.

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Date
20031028
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:34
“There was a rather cruel comment by one Tory MP who said he didn’t know about 25 signatures to start an election… but it only took three signatures to Section IDS under the Mental Health Act!”

Ahahahahahahaha!

And it was on that note that I discovered the brand new weblog of Clive Soley, Labour MP for Ealing Acton & Shepherds Bush.

He and Austin Mitchell will be added under ‘blog mps’ on the navbar as soon as I get around to it.

When, I wonder, will we finally see a genuine weblog by a Tory MP?

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Date
20031028

Time
13:18
Some dickless wonder is running a fake version of Baghdad Burning.

It looks just like the original, but is decidely – and laughably – pro-US.

Thanks to Atrios for the heads-up and John for the run-down.

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Date
20031028
Virus Alerts
Time
15:58
Here we go again… Anti-virus firms are warning about a Windows worm called Sober that is starting to spread widely online.

Update now, and please don’t open anything suspect. When SoBig was on the loose, my server had to deal with about 100 incoming versions a day.

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Date
20031028

Time
16:26
Take a look at the robots.txt file for the White House website.

Put simply, the robots.txt file allows you to tell visiting robots what shouldn’t be indexed or archived on any given site. Search engines use robots, as does the Wayback Machine at archive.org

So, technically, it’s still freely available information, but very hard to nail down in a comprehensive and comparative fashion (like, say, when you wish to find conflicting statements on Iraq).

BTW, modern versions of the robots.txt file allow you to disallow the lot and then specify exceptions. Benefit? You don’t end up giving people a handy shopping list of places you don’t want them poking around.

So, what we learn from this is:

1 – There is information on the White House website that they wish to hide from search engines, that they don’t want stored in Google’s cache, and that they certainly don’t want stored long-term at archive.org – just in case their story changes.

2 – Whoever wrote this robots.txt file is a doofus.

There’s a massive thread over at Slashdot with arguments for and against the importance of this little discovery. There’s a lot to dig through, but you definitely have to check out this cracker of a post that hits the nail right on the head.

Revision? What revision?

“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.” (Horton the Republican Elephant, via our good friend Dr. Suess)

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Date
20031029
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:29
Those up-to-date on-the-ground images of the Southern California wildfires have the top spot, but this satellite image is also charting well.

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Date
20031029

Time
09:36
Alan is being mean to Tom.

Tom is being mean to Tim.

Me, I’m investing £10 (at 16-1 odds) on Tim Yeo and his total loyalty (you know it’s true if it’s in The Sun).

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Date
20031029

Time
09:39
George Lakoff: conservatives use language to dominate politics.

Wired: Spammers mutate language to dominate Inboxes.

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Date
20031029
Christianity Watch
Time
09:41
Hey there, party people! Meet William who is called Chris. He’s a Christian and a pyro. No burning crosses on the site, sadly – but there is poetry.

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Date
20031029
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
09:44
George W Bush: Suicide bombings are a sign of success. Oh. ‘Kay….

UPDATE – Also, we have this:

George W Bush: I did not have relations with that ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign.

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Date
20031029

Time
09:46
Granny cleared of drag-racing charges. Oh, and that bright spark who conked his pal with a skateboard – at his pal’s request I hasten to add – is now doing time in juvie.

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Date
20031029
Flash Games
Time
09:48
Halloween Whack-a-Ghoul – Huzzah! (Link via Funjunkie, who are off to the races today.)

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Date
20031029

Time
09:51
Mr Dyball may have smoked like a chimney, but he was a knockout maths teacher. He taught us that the Pythagoras rule was the greatest scientific discovery of all time, and damn it, he was right.

He also used his great knowledge of percentages to teach us that Hire Purchase was ‘the greatest rip-off of the 20th Century’.

Of course, here in the 21st Century, we have many new wonders to enjoy, including Extended Warranty.

Here’s a bunch more from some chap who sells trampolines. Enjoy.

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Date
20031029

Time
09:58
In-car device lets drivers change stoplights; officials fear gridlock. Can you imagine the chaos if just two people had these at the same intersection? This deserves to get stamped on. Hard. (Link via Tom.)

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Date
20031029
Photoshopping
Time
10:01
Ideas for Halloween Costumes #3 – Rebekah Wade

Requires:

- Standard witch costume

- Ginger wig (the cheaper the better)

- Handful of Shop a Nob posters

Catchphrase:

Burn them! Burn them all!

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Date
20031029

Time
10:05
UK call centres use postcodes to single out customers on the basis of their wealth. Nice one. Oh, I just got a cracker of an email from a technology company that thinks their message went to Tony Blair. I may well share it with you tomorrow.

(Checks email for privacy policy…) Nope, nothing there. Oh well. See you tomorrow, then.

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Date
20031029

Time
10:10
Kinky letters. *ahem*

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Date
20031029

Time
10:11
BBC: How spammers are targeting blogs.

Bill Thompson is a week or so behind the rest of us (as usual), but at least he bothered to come up with a makey-uppey name – ‘flyblogging’.

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Date
20031029
Emailing Tony
Time
10:21
Tony Blair’s new email system is supposed to send me a confirmation message when I submit an email. I’ve sent dozens over the last few weeks/months, but have yet to receive one single confirmation email.

Of course, I’ve emailed Tony’s IT team about this, but they’re still busy pretending that I don’t exist.

You know what I think has happened?

The specifications I drew up (that they ripped off wholesale) outline plans for a deep, dark hole for problem children.

I think emails from me have been destined for this deep, dark hole from Day One.

In short… I made it all happen, I all but designed the facility – but I’m the first one to be banned from using it.

Should I keep hammering away and sending emails in blind faith?

Should I try to get an answer about possible blockage from Tony’s IT team?

Should I drop the lantern, pick up the magic sword and head east into the forest?

What do you think?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031029

Time
10:40
Blogman has just discovered that one of his close friends is a closet blogger – and so he’s done this friend the courtesy of a glorious one-off broadcast of his views. Go check it out, if you like – but do take your singing voice with you.

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Date
20031029

Time
10:55
Richard Allan – MP for Sheffield Hallam: “An informant in the lift tells me that Iain Duncan Smith will get 40 odd votes to 70 or 80 against with a lot of abstentions. I’ve no idea if this is right or not but we’ll find out soon enough.”

Oh, and: http://saveiainduncansmith.blogspot.com/

Good luck to everybody with money on this.

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Date
20031029
A Blog Is Born
Time
12:39
Destined for the Blogroll, this one – and it’s only been live for about a week or so….

Folks, I’d like you all to meet Luke Robinson over at Expats Against Bush.

His post on antiwar hijackers and hangers on deserves special attention. Go visit.

UPDATE – Thanks to Luke, I didn’t miss this dynamite lunchtime read from Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation:

“I can’t remember another time when having an American accent provoked as much immediate hostility from Brits of every race, creed, class, and sexual orientation. If you’re an American, overseas, in the fall of 2003, you’ve got a lot to answer for.”

and…

“Putting nationalism aside, the real problem at the moment is the arrogant exercise of power by elites, not just in my country, but in many, many others. It’s worth keeping in mind that the American people have been lied to and misled about the behaviour of their government, have far more compassion than it does, and despite all the imperial grandeur, have a lower standard of living than most people in western Europe. Was the British working class to blame for the British empire?”

He then goes on to plug his play, but I liked this article so much, I’m going to give it a plug myself:

Americans – now showing at the Arcola Theatre in London!

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Date
20031029
Anyone but George
Time
13:13
bushin30seconds.org – create a TV ad that tells the truth about George W Bush. Inspired!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031029

Time
16:55
1 – Half-hourly updates on IDS’s vote of confidence

2 – “I am leader; hear me roar!

Ahahahahahaha! Thanks, Tom. Thanks, James.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031030
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
12:26
Simon Waldman says in The Guardian : “The first politician – of whatever political hue – who uses a blog to reveal humanity, warmth, humour and intelligence (and it is not being overly optimistic to assume that there are politicians with all of the above) will truly be seen as a leader for our times.”

He’s got a point about political blogs in the US. Both Wesley Clark and Howard Dean let staff do most of the bloggage – and George W Bush’s ‘blog’ is a complete abortion and not at all worthy of the title – but to discount the importance of the genuine engagement and action trends set by local politicians (Tom Watson, Richard Allan, etc.) is pretty insulting in my opinion.

Is he saying that they’re not engaging – or is he suggesting that they’re somehow not real politicians?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031030
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
12:34
Hmmm. I’m not entirely sure how happy I am to have Aljazeera onside.

Oh, if you’re in any doubt about what the upcoming UK visit means to George W Bush, check out this big-noting press release US Embassy website:

“This State Visit is the first time an American President has visited the United Kingdom as a guest of the Queen since President Reagan’s visit in 1982.”

And we’re all mightily impressed down here, I can tell you…

Remember, folks – Bush has nothing to offer that’s of substance, therefore image is his greatest weapon. We have to do everything we can to reduce the effectiveness and range of that weapon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031030
Christianity Watch
Time
12:42
As far as I understand it, the Catholic Church still has a strict hierarchy in place.

If you wish to confess your sins, you need to do it through a priest. If you die without professional assistance in the form of last rites, then you’re in for a rough ride.

Most importantly, as a member of this church, you are not allowed to talk to God directly. That’s why they have a this extraordinary range of saints in place to act as middlemen.

Me, I dare to speak one-to-one with the Big Guy. It’s his fault I’m here in the first place.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031030
Emailing Tony
Time
13:00
The following is an email addressed to what the sender thinks is the email address for Tony Blair:

tony-blair@prime-minister.co.uk

I have gone to great, great lengths to point out that this is not the email address of our beloved PM. Also, you will note that this email has no privacy or confidentiality statement attached.

So…

I’m repeated this email in full for you to read and share with others, as I believe it is the public interest to show clearly how wrong things can get when corporate thinking influences politics.

Some passages have been highlighted by me, but apart from this minor change, this is the entire email presented in full and without editing:

The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London SW1A 2AA

United Kingdom

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

In the course of history, Americans and Britons have been blessed by innovation and invention. Our political leaders have been quick to embrace this innovation for our common defence. Meanwhile, our enemies have failed to appreciate the need to develop and improvise, thus allowing our two countries to gain the advantage during conflicts. Albert Einstein was driven from Germany by persecution and settled in the United States. When America was drawn into World War II, members of the scientific community introduced him to President Roosevelt who then launched the Manhattan Project and the rest is history.

The technology developed by Connotate Technologies represents a quantum leap in the ability to glean information from the web. Think of an army of tireless information agents scouring the web night and day in any language looking for specific information related to security in the United States, and that of interest in MI-5, MI-6 and Echelon. Once identified this information can be seamlessly delivered via any of a number of data transportation methods to the user, in any language.

Using this technology, human research staff can be reassigned to analysis rather than retrieval functions, and duplication can be eliminated. Think of the possibilities. The entire World Wide Web becomes a data warehouse that is continuously monitored for security related information that is collected, collated and delivered through a software program without the need for tedious human intervention.

Information sharing between organizations, and rapid integration of existing data can be easily achieved using Connotate’s Information Agent solution. Connotate’s technology will enable all departments within the United Kingdom’s overall security network to be connected.

Mr. Prime Minister, our firm is in business to earn a living for our investors and employees, but we also desire to provide our nation and allies with the finest tools available in the war against terrorism. We would be pleased to demonstrate our capabilities at your convenience and we firmly believe that our product can make a difference for the safety and protection of the United Kingdom. We are available to speak to those whom you deem appropriate from the IT perspective. As supplemental information, I have attached two documents that may be useful in better understanding our solution.

“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!” — Winston Churchill

Very respectfully,

Dennis A. Tedder

Senior Sales Executive

Connotate Technologies, Inc.

New York City, New York, 10128

http://www.connotate.com

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Date
20031030
Steady On…
Time
13:06
“I think I’ve found pornographic pictures of someone I know on the Interwebnet – what should I do?”

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Date
20031030
Video
Time
13:07
Bloody hell! Where does one sign up for the Trojan Games? Check out the Video Highlights for full freakage (it’s pretty much NSFW) but do remember that this is not something that you should try at home. Here’s why.

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Date
20031030
Spam
Time
13:38
Y’see, this is another reason why you won’t see me going into politics – I can’t stand being surrounded by morons.

Yes, morons. Complete and utter morons! (Link/news via abnu and MarketingWonk.)

These are the people helping us to fix the Spam problem? Oh, FFS. And the US isn’t helping by insisting that free speech entitles spammers to invade my privacy.

(Ever notice when you view some spam, a new one arrives very soon after? A new tracking system, that is my children. Spammers are offering premium services that allow clients to spam people that they know are online. You open/preview the email, they know you’re there – bang comes another Spam. C**ts.)

Tell you what, instead of all this ‘track everyone’ nonsense, can we instead have a special opt-out database made up only of women – oh, and men who are quite happy with the length and girth of their appendages? It’d reduce the total volume of spam by at least 50%… that, or we could launch a pre-emptive strike against Nigeria.

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Date
20031030
Viral Marketing
Time
13:53
The Jamie Oliver calendar picture – genuine stuff-up or clevery-clogs viral marketing ploy?

You know, I find myself caring very little. Farmers (and whole villages, for that matter) are going under all over the country, but Sainsburys have millions for twatboy Jamie.

Meet Lord Sainsbury. He donates millions in cash to the Labour Party; they invite him into government. Now, amongst other things, he’s responsible for ‘the Office of Science and Technology… Bioscience and Chemicals (except GM Foods)’.

I love the ‘except GM foods’ bit. That and the blind trusts make me feel all warm and comfortable inside.

But of course, I’ve got some blind trust of my own.

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Date
20031030
Spam
Time
14:23
I wonder how many people fall for this one:

Dear Mr Admin,

Your listing is yellovvpages.com is about to expire…

Take a close look at that URL, folks….

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Date
20031030
The same thing we do every day, Pinky…
Time
14:31
As announced by Tom Steinberg in The Guardian: “We are trying to bring together great project ideas, enthusiastic developers and visionary funders to produce cheap, effective services with a demonstrable real world impact.”

Sound like a righteous idea to me. First submission is headed their way in 5, 4, 3, 2…

UPDATE – Tharrr she blows! See? I told you I was working on a universal micropayment solution.

Go forth, people! Give an idea or two the chance to breathe at MySociety.org

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Date
20031030
Flash Thingies
Time
15:12
One for the clock watchers.

Nice, but this classic is yet to be topped.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031030
Anyone but George
Time
15:43
Wesley Clark: “(The Bush administration) cannot walk away from its responsibilities for 9/11… strong rhetoric in the aftermath is no substitute for wise leadership.”

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Date
20031030
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
15:48
Michael Hanson has been busy contracting for Xerox Business Services at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. The other day he posted this picture of a shipment of Mac G5s being delivered to Microsoft’s loading dock on his weblog.

Today, his employer (not Microsoft) had this to say:

“…as it’s your site on your own server, you have the right to say anything you want. Unfortunately, Microsoft has the right to decide that because of what you said, you’re no longer welcome on the Microsoft campus.”

Bye-bye job. Cheers, Microsoft.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031030
Updates
Time
16:56
Austin Mitchell and Clive Soley have been added to ‘Blog MPs’ in the navbar.

Expats Against Bush, James Mills, Stuart Bruce, whodoyouworkfor.org and Martin (aka Web Frog) have been added to the experimental Blogroll.

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Date
20031031
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:47
Donald Luskin is at it again, this time threatening to sue Atrios for calling this self-described stalker… a stalker. More on this at The Register.

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Date
20031031
Told You So
Time
09:52
George W. Bush has fired the first shot of the next perpetual war – The War on Pee-doh-files. You want freedom on the Interwebnet? Oh, you must be a supporter of pee-doh-files! And so on…

Oh, this is somewhat related:

Adult bookstore employees hose down protester taping customers entering and leaving the business.

UPDATE – Hoorah! SomethingAwful.com is celebrating National Protection From Pornography Week.

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Date
20031031

Time
09:57
The hundred scariest screen moments according to Channel 4 is a bit rubbish, really.

The hundred scariest movie moments according to Retrocrush is far better.

Mind you, both of them forgot the gravy.

UPDATE – The forum link above refers to this cool collection of censored Warner Brothers cartoons. I looked and looked and looked for a dedicated page for Chow Hound, but no joy. Still, here are some more banned and censored cartoons that I found on my travels. (Oh, and do be careful where you travel on the latter site if you’re not familiar with it already…)

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Date
20031031

Time
10:13
The Onion : ‘Well, You Try To Reconstruct Iraq,’ Says U.S. Defensive Dept.

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Date
20031031
Flash Games
Time
10:19
Run down children and old ladies in your police car. (Car sickness via FunJunkie.)

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Date
20031031
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
10:20
Washington Post: “Private contractors that received billions in reconstruction contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan contributed significantly to President Bush’s election campaign and stocked their staffs and governing boards with well-connected former federal officials, according to a report released today by a watchdog group.”

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Date
20031031
Christianity Watch
Time
10:22
Halloween according to Kenneth Copeland Ministries. I used to watch cuddly Kenneth at 5am on Sunday after a hard night’s slog on the decks. He seemed to make a lot of sense. Mind you, I was usually drunk out of my mind at the time.

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Date
20031031

Time
10:25
Open your eyes: your children are ugly and obnoxious. Not mine, though. Mine are genetically advanced and a tremendous gift to the world. In fact, one day they will be your leaders.

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Date
20031031
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
10:27
Pop over to Google and search for ‘christmas shopping’… the top (unpaid) search result should be e-Christmas.

This site has been live for… Two. Days.

Yes, I armed it – but I didn’t have a lot to work with, as most of the content is hidden under frames. So why did it perform so well – and so fast?

I’ll tell you why; there have been several incarnations of this site since 1997. All of the past inbound linkage (here’s an example) may not be immediately visible in Google, but this information is in the database and credit is being afforded this site for past interest in it.

In short, there is a history aspect to Google’s ranking algorithm.

Told you so. Nyer, etc.

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Date
20031031

Time
11:45
I’m a snail!

UPDATE – OK, OK, so I’m a turtle. Same difference.

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Date
20031031
There Goes The Neighbourhood
Time
12:58
New York Times: “Google, the highflying Silicon Valley Web search company, recently began holding meetings with bankers in preparation for its highly anticipated initial public offering as it was still engaged in meetings of another kind: exploring a partnership or even a merger with Microsoft.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031031
Photoshopping
Time
13:03
This is the most wonderful thing I have seen all day.

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Date
20031031

Time
13:28
*sigh*

They don’t make scary ghost stories in the news like they used to.

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Date
20031031
The End of Democracy
Time
13:29
Diebold are having a little trouble stuffing the genie back in the bottle.

This quote hits the nail on the head:

“The copyright stuff is a sideshow. If what the memos suggest is true, this makes hanging chads look like state-of-the-art (election technology).”

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Date
20031031

Time
13:37
The funny thing about this article is that, about halfway down, they appear to start typing one-handed.

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Date
20031031

Time
16:33
I’ll be at the B3ta party tonight.

My costume lacks imagination, I’m afraid. I was all set to go dressed as a Photoshop of a man drinking beer, but instead worked overtime on a surprise prize for the server fund raffle.

You’ll be able to see constantly updated images of the drunken rampage at Mr Alfie’s moblog. Isn’t technology wonderful?








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

01-15 October, 2003

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Date
20031001
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
09:17

OK… I want to think this last bit out loud, so please bear with me.

Protesting simply isn’t doing us any good. Too many media networks deliberately ignore the action, downplay the numbers or skew the intended purpose.

I want to set up a new location, a nice, tidy and effective .org, where we run maybe one major campaign a month and a few fun activities on the side.

The central principle behind each campaign will be as follows: simple actions, undertaken in a devastatingly coordinated fashion.

Each activity will be clearly linked with a problem we think should be acted on, and a sense of humour will be employed wherever possible. That makes the activity more fun. It also makes us harder to demonise.

Here are a few draft ideas I’ve been knocking around over the last couple of days…

Banks take the piss. 7 days or more to clear cheques when they have the technology to do it immediately? (They don’t check most signatures anyway, they just like playing with our money for a few days.) So… what do you think would happen we all withdrew a significant amount of money at the same time?

Not everybody has cash to withdraw, but that’s fine too. Perhaps this will make them wonder why that’s the case and how it’s restricting their freedom.

Given that they don’t properly check the details that protect our assets, perhaps we can instead have a special day where everybody signs their cheque/cards with ‘Mickey Mouse’ instead of their name.

Guantanamo Bay. Sorry, but terrorists or not what is being done to these suspects is against the rules. I think an International Lock-Up Day would be nice for this one. Everybody takes one padlock or similar security mechanism and locks something up nice and tight. This may restrict a few people unfairly on the day, but at least we’ll all feel a heck of a lot more secure.

UPDATE – A fine thought occurs: many of us will get a good result merely by hiding keys.

I hope you can see what I’m driving at. Identifying clear problems that concern us all and mobilising en masse to give a swift, sharp warning that we’re less than happy about it.

Some activities will involve action; some will involve the spread of information.

Media control is a big issue. I’d like to warm up on the soft underbelly of Richard Desmond (local pornographer and Labour Party donor) before moving on to a cracker of a campaign against the Murdoch juggernaut.

There’s more, but I don’t want to ruin any surprises.

Right, down to business…

We need a central web presence with a range of interactive capabilities.

This takes money. I’m sure there’s a few ways we can bring it together, but we need someone who can handle the cash properly.

It will require technical knowledge – for design and back-end. I’m sure Movable Type will be able to handle the bulk of it, but we’ll be needing a few added bits and bobs here and there.

The put it simply; I cannot do this alone, and I will be asking for your money, support or involvement.

Still think it’s a good idea?

Think we can pull it together?

You know what to do; get in touch.

“They got the guns, but we got the numbers.” – Jim Morrison

“If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.” – Nicholas Jones

Boomshanka.

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Date
20031001

Time
09:55
What the **** does she think she’s doing? Madonna busted stealing images (via TTR2).

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Date
20031001

Time
09:56
“I’ve not got a reverse gear.” – Tony Blair

If you’re like me, you had this exact same thought.

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Date
20031001
Christianity Watch
Time
10:00
Hooray for Fish Wars (link via The Ultimate Insult).

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Date
20031001

Time
10:02
Tony Blair says we should be listening to what the Iraqi people are saying. I already am, and wonder if he is.

This post from several weeks ago still haunts me, but this alternative voice also provides pause for thought.

Another blogger you should be watching today is Atrios. He’s all over the Plame plume. In fact, even Matt Drudge considers the content to be worth ripping off.

Finally, you’ll definitely want to drop by Hanging Day today. This post on the recent writings of Douglas Rushkoff is a gem:

“It isn’t just that it lacks any expertise, or real engagement with ideas: it also has no sense of urgency or practice. Right now, we don’t need someone telling us about the the way the internet is making ideologies obsolete. We need people to say that if there is no open consultation on the creation of standards for, say, voting machines, and if we cannot scrutinise these standards to be sure of their security, then electronic democracy might be fucked, on a very basic level.”

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Date
20031001
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
15:14
Watch the trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and read Moby’s post suggesting he may decide to get himself sued by the RIAA. For having illegal MP3s of his own songs.

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Date
20031001

Time
15:57
Who would you trust to provide you with premium image supplies?

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Date
20031001

Time
16:04
Oh dear.

Oh dear.

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Date
20031001

Time
17:03
The conference speech Tony should have made.

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Date
20031002

Time
09:35
To: The London News Review

From: Tim Ireland

Dear Sirs,

I have just received my copy of Issue Zero of The London News Review.

For a first-time publication, I found it to be extremely disappointing.

There was a disturbing lack of font variety and the use of clip-art & decorative borders was close to non-existent. Additionally, I found a typo on Page 20 and the cartoon by Matt Groening appears to be ten years out of date.

Were I a teacher, I would mark your efforts with a terse ‘must try harder’.

Yours Sincerely,

Tim Ireland

UPDATE – Ooh, look… FunJunkie have a few complaints as well.

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Date
20031002
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:36
Dave Winer: The Rule of Links

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Date
20031002
She Who Shall Not Be Plamed
Time
09:37
Amusingly many journalists have started avoiding the use of the named agent – about two months after the horse has bolted and galloped for the scrub. Oh, and Karl Rove looks to be nailed. Atrios has the poop.

Here, it’s not being treated as much of a story. Everybody’s too busy trying to shame-without-naming over an alleged rape. A crime of violence trotted out as titillation. And it’s got football! Seriously, how can anybody pass that up?

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Date
20031002
Spam
Time
09:48
Meet Andy Markley, who nailed notorious spammer Eddy Marin for illegally using his domain name for fake addresses in the ‘From’ field:

Markley believes that Marin didn’t single him out, but suspects that his domain was chosen because it appeared at the top of some alphabetical list that Marin works from. He’s heard from others who have domain names starting with the letter “A” who have also been victimized.

I got a bunch of ‘failed message’ alerts in my Inbox yesterday. Someone has been using randomised letter/number combinations in front of the bloggerheads.com domain as the ‘From’ address in a campaign to shift shifty shit.

Looks like Eddy is deep into the B’s already.

UPDATE – Did anyone else notice how few spams were flying about when SoBig was on the loose? Given that SoBig had the capacity to harvest addresses and most spam comes from maybe half a dozen operators, well… I don’t really need to finish that sentence, now do I?

Oh, and this is supposed to help, but I’m not holding my breath. BTW, if we know who the spammers are, why can’t we have them arrested or file a civil suit?

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Date
20031002

Time
09:59
Thank you, David J. Bradley!

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Date
20031002

Time
10:03
Dog owner forced to pay for abortion after helping to lead neighbour’s dog astray.

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Date
20031002

Time
10:07
Homeless man finds little joy in $10,000 duck-money.

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Date
20031002

Time
10:09
Feel like climbing the walls today?

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Date
20031002

Time
10:11
Doctor accused of sewing woman’s anus shut. I’d be more impressed if he put a watch in there first.

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Date
20031002

Time
10:16
Remember having Sex-Ed in school? The guy in charge of (ahem) ‘Personal Devlopment’ at our school was afraid to spell the word s-e-x, and had a nasty habit of taking another question to avoid having to answer a tricky one in full.

We had this nailed pretty quickly, and when he wasn’t as helpful as he could be, we peppered him with countless bizarre/stupid/inane questions just to watch him sweat.

One day, the girls got to leave class and watch a film. Probably this one.

The boys were left behind with little more than a moral-dilemma colouring challenge, so the teacher really shouldn’t have been surprised by the peppering he got when he refused to answer a simple question regarding the subject matter of this top secret film.

From the ensuing exchange was born the quick-fire classic:

Student 1: Mr B, do you have a bone in your dick?

Mr B: Why, er, no. Yes, you at the back with a question?

Student 2: Then why is mine hard right now?

(Cue hasty exit by Mr B)

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Date
20031002
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
10:27
We need a name!

The central site (probably about two or three weeks away) needs a snappy, descriptive and phonetic name. Well, that’s just my opinion, but I do want to make us easy to find when people see a stunt and/or the result of it (and there simply may not be the time to write ‘passive-resistance-movement.org’ on the wall before fleeing into the night).

There are other ways to get the name out, but it needs to sell the idea of what the movement is about, even when seen all by its lonesome.

I have a boring/sample version of a name for you, complete with the planned tagline for the site, just to give you a feel for it:

organised.org :: globalised. mobilised.

Can you do better? Can you sex it up so it sells? When you’re done, can we do lunch, darling?

You can check availability of .org domains here. Suggestions should be sent to the usual address.

Cheers all.

UPDATE – Kevin is suspicious. He wonders if I’m any relation to Inspector Tim Ireland, of t’South Yorkshire Police.

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Date
20031002
Flash Thingies
Time
14:01
An awesome Japanese website for you to enjoy. It’s pretty top-heavy and incomplete in places, but… wow!

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Date
20031002
Anyone but George
Time
14:57
I (heart) NY!

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Date
20031003
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
08:52
This is a very long and technically very good essay on the subject of power, why America currently has so much of it, and why they should – for all their faults – be trusted with it.

It’s worth reading in full, but the guy who wrote it has his head on backwards.

America can be trusted with power because they have no imperial ambitions? Pardon me if I choke on that ‘comforting’ thought.

“I am not one of those rare experts. I am certainly not Mark Twain. But I do grasp what he is saying here, and it bears repeating: Those foreigners who see in American power imperial ambitions do not know the soul of this country. They see mechanisms and potentials, they see through the eyes of their own histories and cultures.”

Our own histories and cultures? Well, I don’t know about you, but most of my history has been steered (or revised) by America in one way or another. And culture? It’s awash with American dross. I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at here…. why invade when you can simply incorporate?

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Date
20031003

Time
09:04
The Onion: 48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity

Heh. BBSpot also has a cracker this morning:

United States Postal Service sues email users for damage to the letter-writing industry

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Date
20031003

Time
09:07
Are you large and loving it? Then Big Boxers of Brooklyn want you to send in a photo of you modelling their underwear. They offer a mighty 10% discount (on your next order) for each photo published.

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Date
20031003
OK, So I’m a Lego Geek
Time
09:09
American brick-shifters! Stand ready to give it your all for a chance to join the LEGO Master Model Builder team.

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Date
20031003
The Californian Recall
Time
09:13
Arnie apologises for groping women. He thought it was all good, clean fun – but now he realises that it was wrong to grab their boobs/bums and deliberately humiliate them in public. Well, I’m happy. This pretty much settles the issue for me. Gosh, don’t you think he would make a good president? Etc.

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Date
20031003

Time
09:18
Penis? Looks more like a squid to me…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031003
She Who Shall Not Be Plamed
Time
09:20
Washington Post: Nearly seven in 10 Americans believe a special prosecutor should be named to investigate allegations that Bush administration officials illegally leaked the name of an undercover CIA agent.

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Date
20031003
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:39
Blair asked us to wait. We waited. The report’s in: No WMDs found in Iraq. None. Zip. Zilch.

Both sides are now coming forward claiming the report backs their case, but in the press and at the Labour party conference there’s been a lot of focus on the need for regime change for humanitarian reasons. Blair first started to trot this dross out in earnest following the million-strong march (he needed something to win over us poor, misguided peaceniks).

People were suffering under a cruel dictatorship, of that I have no doubt. But it’s not the only cruel dictatorship in the world, so why Iraq? Why the urgency?

No matter what Bush or Blair may suggest, the wording of the UN resolution did not call for armed conflict following non-compliance.

OK, so there’s this guy down the street from me who I think may be dealing drugs. Heck, I know he deals drugs. To kids! And I think he may have guns. The police have placed him under house arrest, but I think me and a few mates ought to go charging in and shoot the place up, just to be sure. The police can come in and help clean up later, but it’ll be on our terms dammit! Oh, and we may not find any guns in the house, but anything else we find, we get to keep. Heck, we’ve earned it for making the neighbourhood safer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031003

Time
09:42
It’s World Smiling Day. Cheer the fuck up. That’s an order.

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Date
20031003
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
09:43
Some good suggestions are coming in for a name for our passive resistance movement. I can’t trot out any of the good ones just yet, but later today I’ll post a few rejects for you to chew on.

Want to make a suggestion? Keep in mind that the brief is as follows:

This needs to be easy to write, easy to read, and easy to remember. Ideally, it should be phonetic.

We don’t want anything that will cause someone who is exposed to the name to make any dismissive assumptions about the group (activist-like names like wageslave.org could prove to be counter-productive).

Make it short, make it clever, make it suitable – and make sure it’s available as a .org domain name.

When you’re done, send your suggestions here.

Rejects to follow.

UPDATE – As promised, here are some of the rejects:

I delved into a bit of Latin yesterday. Being the root of many modern languages, I was hoping it would deliver something descriptive, emotive and more or less universal.

Only problem was, most of the relevant words that cropped up where either taken as a .org or sounded like some wanky Potteresque spell (Reluctor! Resisto!)…

If we decided on the Latin word for our status as a collective, then our address would be cunctus.org

(ahem)

So much for Latin…

There were dozens of ‘does what it says on the tin’ names. Descriptive, certainly, but names like standupandfight.org and fightback.org are too militant. Goodfight.org is taken (and quite amusing if you’d care to peek).

I was warming to peskykids.org (think ‘they would have got away with it if it weren’t for…’) but I’m not sure if ‘childish, but effective’ is a solid enough mission statement.

Andy was playing with a few promising acronyms:

Movement

United

For

Freedom

I reworked one of his, but was less than happy with the result. Acronyms and overuse of the word ‘freedom’? That’s George W. Bush’s department, surely?

Electronic

Networking

Um

Forget it.

Some suggestions were amusing, but less than helpful. I’m no sure how far we’d get with freedumb.org or penismightier.org

Still, no need to be downhearted. There were quite a few excellent suggestions as well – most of which are available as a .org (but we have to stay quiet about these for a bit so they stay available).

I have a few in particular that I really, really like and will be emailing everybody who’s made a suggestion to see what they think of what we have so far.

Cheers all.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031003

Time
12:01
Another version of the eBay scam is on the loose. I’m sure you don’t need to be told that companies like eBay and PayPal do not email you to ask for your password… just as your bank doesn’t call you up to ask for your PIN number.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031003
Viral Marketing
Time
12:18
I won’t be participating unless they let me run a ‘Lycos is Shit’ page.

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Date
20031003
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
12:29
Bush will not be permitted to speak to the House of Commons, after fears of a massive boycott by MPs. Big fancy dinners are going to be short of a few politicians and celebrities who don’t want to be seen with George W. Bush. Here’s that article in full, folks. Looks like we’re winning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031003
Flash Games
Time
14:49
Alien Abduction (found via FunJunkie) is the mutt’s. At first, the puny humans don’t do much to prevent a potential anal probing (maybe it’s just one of those neighbourhoods) – but they are tricky to find sometimes and some challenges will come your way. Eventually.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031003

Time
17:27
We’ve got a great show for you today, including Christian Punk Rock (woo)… the Amazing Rolf Harris Jukebox (yeah!)… and the music of Senator Orrin Hatch (wtf?)

But first, here come the Solid Gold Dancers!!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006

Time
08:51
Derren Brown’s cunning stunt last night began with the following dual warning:

Viewers should be advised that this stunt is being done by experts in controlled conditions and should in no circumstances be attempted by viewers at home. (pause) There will be strong language.

UPDATE – Oh, and good timing on Channel 4’s part. Putting a Russian Roulette stunt on immediately after a documentary on the suicide of Dr David Kelly. Tasteful.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006

Time
08:54
McDonald’s are opening their doors so you can see into the kitchens and ease your mind about silly notions such as human phlegm in the burgers and chicken fat in the shakes: Australia | UK

They’re doing this because their profits are finally under threat. Before now, they really couldn’t give a damn. Think about that.

Oh, and you may wish to leave a review for The Fast Food Song by the Fast Food Rockers. I know the song has been around for ages (I first heard it being used to teach potential teachers how to play the guitar) but in its new form it’s positively obscene (especially when they play it again and again on children’s television). Oh, and Burger King may not get a mention, but the producers of the music video have been very careful to include a BK-esque logo on the flying drink cup that floats in front of your eyes every ten seconds.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:09
Bloggercon has been and gone. See what people are saying about it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006
The Californian Recall
Time
09:11
Forget Nazis and nipple-gripples… here’s something serious Arnie wants to hide.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006

Time
09:13
Laura Bush: “President Bush is a great leader and a husband, but I bet you didn’t know he is also quite the poet.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006

Time
09:16
Sick of reading news about the Siegfried & Roy tiger-mauling? Read an online discussion instead.

UPDATE – The related Fark thread is even longer, but is sure to tickle you in places.

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Date
20031006
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:21
Michael Moore: I have seven questions for you, Mr Bush…

There will be a significant update/addition to the BYBAB campaign page in the next few days. A full plan has been formed.

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Date
20031006
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
09:31
More details on the upcoming movement for you:

I was brought up in an educational environment, and learned pretty quickly how important sparks and nuggets are. Many that hit me 20+ years ago are still with me.

The central purpose of this movement isn’t to replace ‘traditional’ forms of protest and activism; it’s meant to be an introduction to them.

Unlike some online campaigns, the trail will not end with you simply clicking a button or signing and online petition, it will culminate in an action that involves you getting out and actually doing something.

This action will be simple, fun, and relatively risk-free. Some campaigns will involve the spread of information, some will involve symbolism, some will involve action; but all will involve you getting off the couch at least once.

The effectiveness of your individual action will be enhanced by co-ordination (i.e. there will be many people doing the same thing at the same time), so you will be making a difference; but the main aim is to make you wonder what you could achieve by doing something more.

Keeping that in mind, we now enter the last round of suggestions for a name for our movement.

Make it short, make it clever, make it suitable – and make sure it’s available as a .org domain name.

When you’re done, send your suggestions here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031006
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
09:42
Heh. Someone’s been busy optimising the page where you can now email Tony Blair. Oh, and his communications office still owes me £2000 or some sodding credit for the format of the solution. Can this not be arranged as part of the new touchy-feely “we’re ready to listen” regime?

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Date
20031006

Time
09:56
My thoughts exactly.

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Date
20031007
Weblog Marketing
Time
09:18
Following on from last month’s Barney Gumble is this cheap little stunt:

The Rise of Comment Spam

You may have noticed a few weblogs with a ‘most recent comments’ list presented as a sidebar. Well, a few so-called marketers have, too. Here are a couple of guilty parties:

http://www.1viagra.com/

http://www.discount-life-insurance.us/

As you can see from this range of screengrabs, the discount-life-insurance.us site has actually charted at No. 4 on Blogdex this morning because of comment spam posted at these weblogs – but what these dickheads are really chasing is a range of keyword-rich inbound links to boost their search results in Google.

Badly Dubbed Boy has noticed this at his own blog and commented on it. To answer his question; looking across the spectrum of comments you can clearly see that they’re simple cut-and-paste one-word comments, and their purpose is not to enrich your weblog, but exploit it.

Delete the comments, block the IP address.

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Date
20031007

Time
09:25
Presenting the world’s first ‘scratch and sniff’ site. You know what’s coming, don’t you? (Link via TTR2.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031007
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:27
Andrew Orlowski continues to troll the weblog community. If The Register made any reports on weblogs that weren’t by this idiot, I’d be more inclined to believe that it’s all a bit of a laugh.

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Date
20031007
Telemarketers
Time
09:30
Ahahahahahahahahahaha *(breeeeeeeeeeeeeeath)* ahahahahahahahaha!

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Date
20031007

Time
09:33
Damn and blast it, I missed the blessing of the pets.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031007
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:34
The reporter who was busted for faking a cruise missile launch as part the super soaraway Sky News coverage of the Iraqi war has committed suicide.

You’ll have to excuse me for thinking this out loud, but I can’t help but wonder which politician will complete the trifecta.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031007
Christianity Watch
Time
09:41
Armageddon Books claims to be ‘the world’s largest Bible prophecy bookstore featuring books, videos, and charts on Armageddon, Antichrist, 666, Rapture and Revelation’. Do take the time to review the 21 signs of Christ’s return; you’ll want to know when to look busy.

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Date
20031007

Time
09:44
FunJunkie is running a weblog for the Italian Job Rally. They also dropped by to visit David Blaine the other day. Both are worth checking out. One stunt has little cars; the other has little merit.

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Date
20031007
Photoshopping
Time
09:48
Theme: Cheap ways to keep a moron occupied. Quite a few in-jokes, but some crackers are hidden in there. Somewhere. No, honest…

UPDATE – This new thread is much funnier. Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031007

Time
09:50
Brownie troop leader arrested for stealing cookie money.

Teacher throws rowdy students out of first-story window.

Leadership. Discipline. That’s what it’s all about.

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Date
20031007
The Californian Recall
Time
09:55
The professional smearing of Arnold Schwarzenegger is part of a vast and well-coordinated liberal conspiracy.

You know it to be true.

You also know in your heart of hearts that – while Arnie may have restricted his campaign to a string of film cliches – that he has a foolproof top-secret plan to revive California’s economy. He just can’t tell us about it yet in case robots from the future get wind of it. Or something.

Californians: Please do try to vote sensibly today; and if you can’t, please vote for Gary Coleman. He needs your love.

UPDATE – Isn’t interesting that Jill Stewart’s article, masked as a valid point, has the timing of last-minute mud-slinging?

Consider this: her ‘proof’ is an assertion, nothing more. It may very well be revealed to be true. Or false. Or somewhat misleading. Tomorrow. When it’s too late.

All sexual allegations aside, Arnold Schwarzenegger is an unashamed, ruthless manipulator. His priority always has been, and always will be, what is best for Arnie.

I don’t see that changing in a hurry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031007
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
13:35
Oh dear. Go to Google and search for ‘bum’…

Traffic spike! Traffic spike!

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Date
20031007

Time
16:38
Bård Torgersen beaten up over article about how to get sex from Muslim women, written by an entirely different Bård Torgersen. Well, it did happen in Norway. Perhaps ‘Bård Torgersen’ is their version of ‘John Smith’…

Oh, and here’s an article about the offending article. In Norwegian, of course.

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Date
20031007
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
17:52
I think we’ve got the name nailed, boys and girls. I’ll tell you all about it once we have it secured.

Oh, and I have a full campaign plan for Bare Your Bum at Bush in my head – but I need a few cartoony cliparty type images to make it work. It needs to be neat and instructional style. Any volunteers?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031008

Time
08:52
Jesus H. Christ on crutches. I think I’m going to fucking cry.

I don’t think there’ll be much bloggage today… blame 50% of the population of California.

UPDATE – Graham Pond over at Hanging Day is equally shell-shocked. More thoughts are being expressed here at the BBC website.

Also, this not-at-all-suprising petition is doing the rounds.

Oh, and collating your press releases and presenting them in weblog format does not make your site a weblog.

George W. Bush’s election campaign ‘weblog’, therefore, is not really a weblog.

Nice touch with the ‘posted by GeorgeWBush.com’, though. It feels almost real.

More from Blogdex:

Another feelgood proclamation that means sweet bugger all.

FFS, it makes me want to vomit. Repeatedly. Copiously.

I can’t stand it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031008
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:28
George W Bush will not be visiting Scotland. Kilts must make him nervous for some reason.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031008
Photoshopping
Time
17:32
This did cheer me up. A bit.

Then Jon brought this to my attention.

I’m back at square one. Time to go home and crawl under my rock.

See you tomorrow.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
09:33
The London Underground: sometimes it’s faster to walk. Good advice for newbies. FunJunkie also has links to loads of useful information on the Tube this morning.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
The California Recall
Time
09:37
Now I know there’s something fundamentally wrong with the universe: Larry Flynt got more votes than Gary Coleman! Oh, and Paul spotted the same comment over at the BBC website that made me chuckle yesterday.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
09:40
Raelian clone a hoax? No! I refuse to believe your liiiiiiiies!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
09:43
TV star Linda Robson (who?) mugged for plastic bag of dog poo.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
09:44
The Straight Dope reveals the purpose of the Scroll Lock key.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:47
Blogger who blogs for Dean blogs that Bush’s blog isn’t really a blog. With me so far?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
OK, So I’m a Lego Geek
Time
09:49
Mathematical LEGO Sculptures! Mobius strips! Minimal surfaces! I ask you; could life get any more exciting?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
Christianity Watch
Time
09:53
The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which the HIV virus can pass.

UPDATE – ‘Elect Pope George Ringo’ jokes are due any time now. Stand by.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
09:55
Do you spend a lot of time wishing that George W. Bush would hurry up and die? Reading his medical history may provide a glimmer of hope.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
09:59
Heh. Did you ever wonder what Shaggy got up to in the back of the Mystery Machine? The time displayed on this clock may provide a small clue. (If you don’t get it, this should clear matters up for you .)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
10:03
Vice-narcotics web pages uses logo of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws as a background image. Why blame theft and ignorance when you can scream ‘hacker’?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
10:14
Andra Ferguson and Brandon Kivi (both 15) use the same type of asthma medicine, Albuterol Inhalation Aerosol. They’re boyfriend and girlfriend, so we can probably assume that they also share spit from time to time, too. So, if one of them has difficulty breathing but doesn’t have their medication with them, surely it’s no big deal for the other to simply pass the inhaler, right? Wrong.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
Anyone but George
Time
10:16
George W. Bush attempts self-fulfilling prophecy; says he doubts CIA leaker will ever be caught. Well, that’s good enough for me. Time to move on.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
10:17
The name we wanted appeared to be free in one database, but turned out to be taken. Damn and blast it. A modest offer has been made. I’ll get back to you shortly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
Media Fun
Time
12:06
Networks play ‘peek-a-boo’ with exit-poll data.

Also, ‘we can name this footballer as a rape suspect, but we can’t show you his face’. FFS!

I was a naughty monkey and used a search engine – but when I arrived at this page as a result, I was confronted by a rather interesting interstitial pop-up thingie for Reebok’s latest and possibly ill-fated clever-clogs campaign.

A good thing I’ve been practising my quickfire screengrab technique…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
Stuff I Didn’t Do Today
Time
14:13
I need to do an update to the Bush campaign pages. It’s coming. Soon. Trust me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009

Time
14:21
Doll Offers Modest Image for Muslim Girls

“The main message we try to put forward through the doll is that what matters is what’s inside you, not how you look,” said doll creator Ammar Saadeh.

What a load of old rubbish. Everybody knows that what really counts is eagle-eye vision and kung-fu grip.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031009
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
18:57
OK, ladies and gents, I have what I think is a pretty good plan for the Bush visit with something for everyone.

(Myself, I’ve booked the entire week off work and yes, I do still plan to bare my bum if the opportunity arises.)

Keep a sharp eye out for typos. I built it in a bit of a hurry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031010

Time
09:13
Noodles the Clown pleads guilty to child porn charges. I’d be willing to bet that at a few Ronalds have been led astray, too. I wonder who’s in charge of hushing this up?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031010

Time
09:37
Not the best domain name for a ‘quit smoking’ site. Perhaps they’re trying to be clever by catching people who navigate by domain names. Which almost nobody does.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031010
Media Fun
Time
09:38
From the New York Post of all places comes this ‘well duh!‘ admission:

“One of the whopping lies of our time is that journalists are simply innocent bystanders with no responsibility for the outcome of events… The truth is that today’s media shape reality – often for the worse.”

Make up your own lies here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031010

Time
09:40
Ooh-ahh or ewww-ah? Your call. (Link via Ultimate Insult.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031010
The California Recall
Time
09:42
Hmmm. Is it just me, or are intelligent Californians being driven into the sea?

Somewhat related: Alec Baldwin offers box of dog biscuits to redistricting Republican Rick Perry. Quote: “I wanted to give this to Tom DeLay’s lap dog…”

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Date
20031010
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
09:43
MSN dumps Looksmart. Another signpost on the road to two new search databases that – unless Yahoo and MSN are complete fools – will follow the basic principles of Google.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031010

Time
09:45
What does $87 billion look like? Ripped off from the Megapenny Project, but still interesting.

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Date
20031010

Time
09:47
Siegfried: Tiger was confused and trying to ‘help’ Roy. By tearing him a new cakehole?

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Date
20031010
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:54
Again, it just makes me want to cry. Chris from TTR2 brought this to my attention last night, but I could swear that I’ve blogged it before. No matter. Metafilter are onto it, too and the related thread mentions the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign, which now has an exciting new page for you to enjoy. With me so far? Good. Meanwhile, the blood-red carpet is being rolled out for Bush in Australia. Hmmm, a blood-red carpet. Not a bad idea…

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Date
20031010

Time
09:57
I wish I were a big-time Hollywood producer. And writer. And director. And editor. And bottle-washer.

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Date
20031010
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:59
Fellatio reduces risk of breat cancer. Oh dear, it’s a parody. And it’s been removed. No problem, you’ve still got a few hours to catch it in Google’s cache.

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Date
20031010

Time
10:01
Holly Valance admits she needs to get naked to keep her music career alive. Also, Cheryl Tweedy of Girls Aloud is in court over the little adventure she had in my local nightclub. I still don’t get this story. Why would anybody want a lollipop – free or otherwise – that had been sitting in a toilet?

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Date
20031010

Time
10:05
FunJunkie is planning a Christmas party for bloggers! I not only plan on attending, I’d like to make a fool of myself on the decks if they’ll let me.

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Date
20031010
Updates
Time
11:44
Follow Me Navbar:

1. The link to Blogdex has been given a long-overdue update to the new core URL at blogdex.net

2. Hanging Day has moved to http://journal.lnreview.co.uk/, link updated

3. LinkMachine Go added.

4. TTR2 moved to brand-new Blogroll

The Blogroll will only appear on the front page for now. It’s my first one, so there may be some changes and additions as I get used to using it.

The Blogroll is a mix of political blogs, industry blogs, and people blogs. Have a poke around and let me know what you think. Too long? Too short? Am I missing anyone?

Cheers all.

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Date
20031010
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
12:31
The full text of IDS’s Tory party conference speech.

Michael Billington in The Guardian – “…what depressed me was the assumption that all politics is now a branch of showbiz.”

‘Following his speech to Party Conference in Blackpool, Ladbrokes have lengthened the odds on Iain Duncan Smith leading the Conservative Party into the next election from 1/4 to 2/5.’

A few things struck me:

1. Some of those hand movements and gestures were distinctly Blairesque.

2. That Charles Kennedy comment? Cheap shot.

3. The ‘that was a lie’ sounded like a strong challenge, but is quite misleading. IDS is using the Kelly affair to attack Tony Blair without really acknowledging the central issue – the illegal war that made such actions and lies a strategic necessity. The illegal war that the Conservative Party rubber-stamped right along with the Blair regime. The illegal war that everybody with a brain knew was bogus.

The speech contained the following quote:

“…I believe the world is better off today because Saddam Hussein is no longer running Iraq. I’m not going to twist or turn with the prevailing wind. I won’t play games with the defence of Britain. We’ll leave that for the Liberal Democrats.”

Another cheap shot – and pretty wide of the mark, at that. The prevailing wind was and is against the war (it’s not over yet, folks) or at least it would have been had democracy and the media not failed us.

Where were the responsible actions expected of an opposition party in the lead-up to this conflict?

The Conservative Party failed to acknowledge the alarm bells. The Conservative Party did not ask the hard questions when the chips were down.

The Lib-Dems did.

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Date
20031010
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
13:27
The Guardian are indeed running another blog competition and, as predicted, ScaryDuck will be one of the judges. FunJunkie has the poop.

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Date
20031010
Photoshopping
Time
18:14
I’ve just now finished a nifty new image to help with the protest effort during Bush’s visit to the UK.

I know it’s a bit obscene, but then again, so is napalming Iraqis.

You can access a mighty big A4-sized version suitable for printing at the second page of the ‘chase Bush out of Britain’ campaign.

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Date
20031013

Time
09:51
Morning all. Apologies for the single post, but I woke up with this idea and thought you’d find it entertaining. If you require further distraction, you may wish to cast your mind back to the day I received an email objecting to the Bush/Britain campaign. Over the weekend, I tripped over the thread this email originated from. Mental giants one and all – and it’s worth noting that their outrage resulted in one single email of complaint. It’s also worth noting that, as a group, they seem to have trouble grasping the basic principles of copyright. And apostrophe placement.

Oh, and if you missed it on Friday or over the weekend, you may wish to catch the new poster featured in Part II of the Bush/Britain campaign.

UPDATE – OK, OK, OK! Increasing outbound linkage in 5, 4, 3, 2… This is fun. This is interesting. Happy now? Good.

Anyway, on with today’s main feature – an email that has just been sent to two competing TV bods. One can only wonder what they’ll come back with (if, indeed, they choose to get back to me at all). Actually, let’s assume they won’t. How about you send me some feedback instead?

Cheers all.

UPDATE 2 – Some related bloggage from Steve shows that I’m not the only person eating too much cheese before bedtime.

To: Nav Raman, Commissioning Editor (Channel 4); Glenwyn Benson, Controller of Factual TV (BBC)

From: Tim Ireland

Dear Nav and Glenwyn,

I’m writing to you today to propose the next logical step in reality television.

My elevator pitch is as follows: ‘Pop Idol’ meets politics.

Over a 12 week period, we run an online forum that allows members of the public to propose and vote on articles that will form a draft manifesto for the Working Title Party. We also call for participants in a first stage of auditions to find this country’s next great political leader.

As with Pop Idol, this first stage of auditions will make for the best TV; as it is sure to bring out the nutters and present you with something akin to the best and worst of Speaker’s Corner.

The obligatory panel of judges should include:

- a politician or ex-politician

- a political commentator (television)

- a political commentator (newspaper)

- an image consultant

The two political commentators will need to have well-established and opposing right and left wing views to provide balance (and an entertaining level of conflict).

Initial auditions will be based on the participant’s own views and proposals (we want maximum nuttage to keep those ratings ticking over); if they make it to the next round, their material from this point on will be based largely on articles drawn from the draft manifesto.

At this next stage, we have a round of heartless eliminations driven partially by the decisions of the judges, but also by the manoeuvrings that result from group interaction (basically, we’ll want to prompt some serious backstabbing).

The semi-final round will be based on short speeches or presentations that the public can vote on by text, interactive TV, or premium rate phone line. The final round itself can be run much like an election, with short films based on public appearances by candidates, and perhaps even a live debate.

Viewers will be allowed one vote and one vote only for their favourite candidate based on their charisma, leadership potential and/or the policies they support.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s not a problem, believe me.

The winning participants can be awarded prize money on a sliding scale. With this funding, the outright winner will have the freedom to begin his own party based on their views and/or the views of their competitors. Recruiting less-successful participants to form a cabinet after the series will be the true test of this individual’s leadership. In fact, the outright winner may not be the person who brings this together – there could very well be a political Darius waiting in the wings (‘I will be the leader of a political party and win an election by the age of 35!’).

So they may as a group choose to form an actual party, or they may not. That party may be led by the outright winner of the series, or it may now. Some participants may actually choose to use their funding and fame to begin a political career in existing parties.

In short, no political party will be promoted during the series, as it will not – or even may not – exist until well after the series has concluded.

The educational value of such a series should be obvious. If the views of candidates and their popular support leads to perversity, we will have made a salient point about the state of populism in politics. If it leads to diversity, we will have made a valuable contribution to the political spectrum.

Either way, to me it sounds like a ratings winner (and a nice little earner) and I’d love to hear your thoughts on its potential development.

Regards,

Tim Ireland

www.bloggerheads.com

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Date
20031013

Time
16:58
Ha! How Rush Limbaugh would have reacted to Bill Clinton admitting drug use.

The latest effort from The Ministry of Truth, Justice and the American Way: “Letters from hometown soldiers describing their successes rebuilding Iraq have been appearing in newspapers across the country as U.S. public opinion on the mission sours. And all the letters are the same.

Oh, and I made this picture. Cheered me up no end.

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Date
20031014
Flash Music Video
Time
09:00
This is just brilliant. One day soon the music industry will take their damn blinkers off and realise that presenting singles on the web inside a Flash show will allow people to discuss new songs in the open – instead of exchanging them in private.

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Date
20031014
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:02
John Scarlett, the intelligence chief in charge of putting together everybody’s favourite dossier has admitted to removing a key piece of information that would have diluted the case for war. He did so because of pressure from Downing St. Oh, and according to Sir Kevin Tebbit, Tony Blair chaired a crucial meeting which agreed how Dr David Kelly’s name would become public.

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Date
20031014
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:12
An MT-Blacklist is on the way to help bloggers fight the increasing threat of comment spam.

SixApart is also throwing some ideas around.

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Date
20031014

Time
09:16
Lenin to get fashion makeover. Sadly, it won’t be done live on TV with Susannah and Trinny.

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Date
20031014

Time
09:18
Waste-of-space ‘rebel’ Angle Grinder Man makes the New York Times. BTW, NTK revealed his secret identity a few weeks ago, but nowt has happened as a result. Just goes to show that he can’t even get himself arrested in this town.

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Date
20031014

Time
09:24
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do…

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Date
20031014
Spam
Time
09:25
Some tips for fighting spam. As usual, it mostly involves filters and controls at your end, which means there will still be a bunch of lost or bounced messages clogging the network. It doesn’t matter if you hide your email address, as spammers have no compunmction about simple using automated guesswork and sending crap to everythingunderthesun@yourprovider.com

FFS, we know who the worst offenders are, when will someone in authority actually take to these guys with a big stick?

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Date
20031014
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:34
The Finger: a comprehensive guide to flipping the bird. Giving the finger is one of the Lightweight options presented in Part II of Can Weblogs Chgase Bush Out Of Britain?. These pages are now responding very well to a variety of searches queries relating to Bush’s visit to the UK in November. Amusingly, Part I is also the No. 2 search result for ‘bum’ in Google.

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Date
20031014

Time
09:40
Watch some free videos or cool sparkly patterns inside your eyelids.

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Date
20031014

Time
09:43
Parents struggle to explain to children why Mr Gosnell isn’t their teacher anymore. Dennis William Gosnell, a fourth-grade teacher, was advertising sex for sale on websites. He was arrested last week after he allegedly agreed to perform a sex act for money with an undercover officer.

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Date
20031014

Time
09:48
No response yet to yesterday’s email about the Working Title Party, but I have heard from somebody interesting today regarding an unrelated (but equally misguided) proposal. I’m keeping it under my hat for now. Deal with it.

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Date
20031014
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
09:52
Heh. The Plame Affair finally has a cool name – ‘Intimigate’.

Serious probing has begun, but the widespread media blackout will probably continue until it’s all but over.

lalalalalalalala-thisisn’thappening-lalalalalalalala

BTW, Bush claims that the situation in Iraq ‘is probably better than you think’. Of course it is. That’s why there are so many positive letters to newspapers back home. It’s not like stress is a major issue and soldiers in Iraq are committing suicide or anything. Damn it, we have a country to rebuild!

*ahem*

The Independent: “US soldiers driving bulldozers, with jazz blaring from loudspeakers, have uprooted ancient groves of date palms as well as orange and lemon trees in central Iraq as part of a new policy of collective punishment of farmers who do not give information about guerrillas attacking US troops.”

lalalalalalalala-thisisn’thappening-lalalalalalalala

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031014

Time
10:16
An Appraisal of the Utility of a Chocolate Teapot. (Link nabbed from Al.)

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Date
20031014
The Passive Resistance Movement
Time
10:29
A .org domain name has been secured for the movement. After a week or so of trying to blend a call-to-action with an identity, I stumbled across something quite nifty and more universal. In the next week or so, I’ll be lining up a secret-squirrel meeting of founding members in and around my neck of the woods so we can lay out plans for approach and content (focus will be as important as functionality).

Put simply, the movement will be a starting point for budding activists, prompting them to take one (collective) action a month.

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Date
20031014
Photoshopping
Time
10:35
Ahahahahahaha! They’ve been enjoying a bit of a Kill Bill bandwagon over at the B3ta messageboard. So far, this is the silliest, this is the sickest and this is the slickest.

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Date
20031014
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
11:46
Andrew Orlowski really should try switching medication. For once, he has a valid point (some automated aspects of weblog linkage should and probably will be discounted by Google) but that point is lost because he still sounds like some poor sod whose mother ran away with a weblog. That, and his ‘reference’ links mostly point to his own bloody articles (but, thankfully, not his own websites, which are the very definition of empty and useless space).

Own up, El Reg… this has been a wind-up from start to finish, hasn’t it? There comes a time when a troll goes beyond a joke, and that’s pretty much now. We’re bored. It’s over.

Related:

Andrew Orlowski is a weblogger – and not a very good one.

Andrew Orlowski not only misses the point, he quotes conveniently anonymous readers and fails to give valid examples.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031014

Time
13:29
Isn’t it interesting that, just as we’re learning how to plug monkey brains into robots, a new kind of robot is developed that’s able to do complex martial arts moves? They’re developing giant monkey-driven warbots, people! With a nuclear arsenal and a hankering for bananas! Life as we know it is over…

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Date
20031014
Anyone but George
Time
14:28
A number of recent mid-term elections in the US saw sudden and unexpected swings in favour of Republican candidates when voters actually went to the polls. On electronic voting machines developed and provided by companies that are all prominent Republican Party donors. With vote counts that were not conducted by state elections officials, but by these same private companies. On machines that, under the contract of provision, cannot legally be checked for accuracy and – conveniently – were set up in such a way as to totally rule out any kind of recount.

Read this article at The Independent or check out the mirror at commondreams.org

Show it to an American who thinks that their vote is worth a damn.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015
The End of Democracy
Time
09:03
I’ve been following reactions to this article in The Independent on the subversion of the democratic process in the US (via dodgy electronic voting systems provided and administered largely in secret by pro-Republican companies) and thought I’d share a couple of interesting posts with you.

Frank over at exit.com (that’s a cool domain you’ve got there, fella) noted in in his post on the subject that:

“These companies have an obvious conflict of interest, given that they have political interests in the outcome of elections and they provide the mechanisms by which the government conducts those elections. Further, they have managed to hide the evidence of their malice and dishonesty behind draconian ‘trade secret’ agreements that forbid anyone from auditing their devices.”

Billmon noted in this post, as many did, the wider implications of this story being reported in the UK, but not in the US. Thank Dog we have blogs:

“The fact that such an important and thoroughly researched story appeared in The Independent, and not the New York Times or the Washington Post, is a pointed comment, I suppose, on the long decline of American journalism.

“It seems voting machines aren’t the only democratic devices in danger of failing.”

Tom Watson’s post drew a few comments, most notably this one from Neil Walshaw:

“Thats one of the scariest political stories I’ve ever heard. It broke on Salon.com a couple of weeks ago with a run through of the software problems and I have been waiting for it to become a scandal and so far very little.

“America (has) been America though and the mainstream media hasn’t picked up on it. There’s a surprise.

“It raises the question – what ever happened to paper and pen? Americans should keep their voting like they keep their President – Simple.”

A quick search revealed the Salon.com article he mentions. It requires subscription if you wish to read it in full, but if you’re interested in seeing the opening shot you can find it here:

Salon.com “Not only is the country’s leading touch-screen voting system so badly designed that votes can be easily changed, but its manufacturer is run by a die-hard GOP donor who vowed to deliver his state for Bush next year.”

If you’d like to track comments and reactions right along with me, you can see the Blogdex link cosmos here and here or the Technorati link cosmos here and here.

UPDATE – The London News Review is onto it, too. Check it out.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015

Time
09:19
This is cool stuff: see the Third Reich in ruins (link via Ultimate Insult).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015
Tony Blair’s Email
Time
09:21
Heh. Voidstar thinks that Tony Blair should have a blog. A real one, not a bullshit collection of press releases like Dubya has.

I’d be happy to design and produce such a thing, but I’d want to be paid this time, damn it!

Oh, and regarding the issue of Downing St ripping off my specifications for a viable email facility for Tony Blair?

A thought occurred this morning (mornings are a dangerous time for me). It wasn’t until the exchange of emails with Cherie Blair that my existence was finally acknowledged (at least in part) by Tony’s IT team. Before I talked to Cherie, I couldn’t get past the switchboard or the press office. After talking to Cherie, it was; ‘Hello, IT department!’

I also made Cherie aware of the relevant specifications during this exchange of emails (all the way back in February), so it should be clear to her that I have a case.

I’ll let you know what she comes back with.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015

Time
09:30
FunJunkie have picked up on the cybernetic killer monkey threat:

“The monkeys will come, and then we will die. Its as simple as that.”

You have been warned.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015
Christianity Watch
Time
09:36
The Vatican may claim that condoms have tiny, invisible little holes that let the HIV virus through, but if condoms can’t stop AIDS, then Christian Panties sure as heck will. The Best Caption on a G-String Award goes to:

“Remember: you pray with that mouth!”

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Date
20031015

Time
09:41
Oi! Canadians! Stop being so damn smug. You too are under threat of psychic attack.

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Date
20031015
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:43
Bush bypasses ‘biased’ national media; courts regional media. Because it’s easier to corrupt.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015
The Working Title Party
Time
09:45
The BBC are first out of the gate with a response to The Working Title Party. The proposal has been officially logged and added to a document queue somewhere in the system. That’s one in the pot…

UPDATE – The following clipping was spotted and scanned by Wibbler….

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Date
20031015
Pluggage
Time
09:59
Steve’s mate Paul Wagner is performing a one-man play entitled God, Inc!

It’s on in London on Oct 14th and again from the 23rd-25th at the Hen & Chickens Theatre at 8pm

Margaret Ishola and Zoe Philpott didn’t think much of it, but Toby Fox did. As with any corporate religious experience, I think it’s important that you attend and make up your own mind.

UPDATE – Sara Daniels writes:

“I’ve seen some bad shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in my time, but this one really took the biscuit. The two jokes just went oooooon so long, used over and over again. I don’t know who put up the good review at Chortle but they must have been a plant. There were only 15 people in the show I went to and 5 walked out before the end (a couple of them were quite near the start, actually). Fucking dire, in all honesty. It was at times like watching the death of a comedian.

“Does it tell you something that 2 months later I’m still angry about the hour and a half of my life (he overran, forgivable in a good comedian but unforgivable in a shite one) that this puerile crap took away?”

Hmmm. Your call, gang. See it or don’t. Me, I’m not in any position to judge as I haven’t seen this show, and a proposed one-man show based on The Star Wars Photoshopping Project has been rejected outright by a number of venues. Presumably because they think it would be equally crap.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015

Time
10:07
What do Eighty-Seven Billion, Eight Hundred Seventy-Eight Million, Seven Hundred Eighty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred Seventy-Eight Big Macs look like? (Link via everlasting blort.)

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Date
20031015
It’s War! And There’s Money To Be Made!
Time
12:43
The Guardian: About 100 private companies, mainly from Britain and the US, gathered in London yesterday to discuss investment opportunities in post-Saddam Iraq. Even McDonald’s was in attendance, because they don’t have an outlet in Baghdad. Yet.

More from what is obviously a misleading pinko broadsheet:

Lord Alexander, a leading legal peer, accused the attorney general last night of “scraping the bottom of the legal barrel” to give legitimacy to the war on Iraq.

One can only wonder why Blair forced/cajoled us into giving crucial legitimacy to the ‘coalition of the cowed’. Perhaps he needed Bush’s support in the war on Spam.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20031015

Time
13:31
Chris Eubank has been arrested after a one-man protest against the military presence in Iraq. He turned up outside Downing Street (that’s the place with the big bloody gates) inside his vehicle of choice (which happens to be a big bloody truck).

Sadly, all that was damaged was a delivery van.

Fun activities follow:

Read this same news article in authentic Eubanksian.

Email Chris Eubank and thank him for being one of the (very) few celebrities with the guts to speak out and take action.

(I’m planning on doing the latter in 5, 4, 3, 2…)








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

16-30 September, 2003

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Date
20030916
The Californian Recall
Time
08:54
Aww, poor widdle Arnie won’t get to go redistwicting… and it’s all down to the unreliability of the punch-card system that allowed The Unworthy One into office. There’s a mighty fine online interview with Washington Post Los Angeles Bureau Chief William Booth here. Enjoy.

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Date
20030916
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
09:00
John & Mirjam sent in this wonderful Sept. 11th memorial. There was also a cool Arnold Schwarzenegger clip but, happily, this has now become rather dated and unnecessary.

Also, read about the truck driver who closed down eight miles of interstate highway with a ‘flip remark’ about explosives in his load.

UPDATE – Yet another juicy conspiracy theory for you and news that – surprise, surprise – recent anti-terrorism laws in the U.S. are increasingly being use to fight common criminals.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030916
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
09:13
Hanging Day presents a few words from the troops. Also, The Guardian reveals that quite a few more troops have been injured in Iraq than the administration/military has let on.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s top war correspondent, has said that the press muzzled itself during the Iraq war as a result of intimidation by the Bush administration ‘a climate of fear and self-censorship’ kept alive by Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch’s Fox News flunkies.

Meanwhile, China is sending armed forces to ‘monitor’ the North Korean border. It’s a ‘routine adjustment,’ so relax.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030916

Time
09:22
Family left homeless after demolition crew takes right/wrong turn.

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Date
20030916

Time
09:24
You don’t have to agree with all of it, but you should read it: Ian Buruma on the Bush regime. It’s a long article. Save it for lunch and have a good chew.

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Date
20030916

Time
09:26
Sorry, it’s turning out to be a terribly political morning. Exit quietly and go hang gliding if you feel you need a break. (Link nabbed from FunJunkie.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030916
Anyone but George
Time
09:29
Bruce Springsteen tells concertgoers: “It’s time to impeach the president and get a man in there to get us out of this mess!”

Also, here’s some material to help you spread dissent. The Orwellian triptych in particular is inspired.

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Date
20030916
Christianity Watch
Time
09:37
Parents whose infant daughter died of meningitis after they treated her with prayer instead of medicine are charged with child abuse and involuntary manslaughter.

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Date
20030916

Time
09:39
Industrial rock band Hell On Earth are to feature a live suicide at their Oct 4th performance. It’s to raise awareness for ‘dying with dignity’…

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Date
20030916

Time
09:42
OK, let’s break for some serious news: Gloria Estefan doesn’t think much of David Blaine’s nappies.

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Date
20030916

Time
09:43
No matter where I turn this morning… the Bush administration has decided that all Canadians travelling to the United States should carry a passport. Papers! Papers, please!

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Date
20030916

Time
09:45
Font Browser lets you see what fonts are installed and active on your system. Useful for anybody unable to find the Control Panel, I suppose.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030916
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:47
Meet Douglas Alexander. He’ll be playing an important role in Labour’s election campaign, dontcha know?

In this article, he references Howard Dean and certain new technologies, before going on to say:

Above all Labour’s next campaign will have a back to the future edge: there will be an emphasis on local campaigning – “a move from a mass campaign to a personal campaign”. Mr Alexander believes that “local sources of information are far more trusted, so that mums at the school gate, or a workmate at the workplace has far more credibility than some of the traditional forms of media”.

Now, I wonder what he could be talking about there?

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to get in touch with Mr Alexander and warn him how easy it is to stuff these things up.

You may also want to warn him that the time for action is now, and not a few months before the election.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030916
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
12:45
German pole vaulter Tim Lobinger faces a US$5,000 fine after dropping his shorts in protest at a decision by the judges during the World Athletics final in Monaco at the weekend. Not as serious as it sounds; it’s being docked from his winnings – and Monaco’s Royal Family got a proper eyeful, which is nice.

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Date
20030916
Photoshopping
Time
13:45
No prizes for guessing who’s on my mind today.

“This will take time and require sacrifice…anybody got a problem with that…?”

UPDATE – Marcus has kindly emailed in to let us know that the Sunday Herald article is enjoying extended coverage courtesy of Indymedia.

I’m still looking for a flash developer to do a show for the campaign song, BTW. Pop your hand up if you have some free time this week.

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Date
20030916
Anyone but George
Time
16:34
Off On a Tangent has led me to some excellent information that you may wish to share with less enlightened friends.

This is a welcome return to form from the recently rant-prone Michael Moore (whose site-based forum mysteriously disappeared just before the war, and has yet to re-appear). Looks like he’s switched to de-caf.

That Ladies Home Journal interview looks to be a classic, but the content Michael Moore references does not appear in the excerpt presented on the LHJ website. I’d be willing to pay someone to send me a hard copy, just for my own reference (and peace of mind) so do get in touch if you’re in a position to help out.

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Date
20030916

Time
17:27
Man arrested after cutting cables leading from David Blaine’s box. That’s cable’s coming from the box, not cables holding it up. Still no need to get excited, folks.

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Date
20030917
Weblog Marketing
Time
09:53
Oh dear God, this is pathetic. Some loser has decided to effectively spam Blogdex and other blog aggregators by opening up multiple blogs that all link to a central ‘sell’ blog.

The central spamblog is located here, and is chock-full of affiliate toss.

Inbound linkage, apart from one link at Everything I Read who, along with Evil Pundit of Doom, was one of the first to rumble this guy, comes from the following Blogger weblogs, and has resulted in a 7th-place listing at Blogdex:

henryimbriaconashville.blogspot.com

ironhanksview.blogspot.com

henry-imbriaco.blogspot.com

henryimbriacohealth.blogspot.com

totechsol.blogspot.com

henryimbriacorealestate.blogspot.com

totechsol.blogspot.com

henryimbriacocomedy.blogspot.com

henryimbriacohealth.blogspot.com

henryimbriacomovies.blogspot.com

henryimbriaconashville.blogspot.com

A quick search for Henry Imbriaco revealed a number of other weblogs started by this same individual, and a Technorati lookup on the spamblog shows not only a bunch of other blogs not picked up by Blogdex, but also a trail that leads right back to what appears to be his central weblog (no, he doesn’t work for Budweiser, that address stems from this free email service).

The man is quite obviously a genius of the highest order, so you may wish to also read his thoughts on marketing at his ecademy.com profile.

Apart from a few automated instances (say, when Tripod closed down ‘dead’ sites registered with Blogdex and placed the same commercial partnership link at each of them) this appears to be the first marketing wankage of its kind, and as such it needs a name.

I’ve decided to christen this lame stunt a Barney Gumble, after this great man’s highly convincing multi-personality turn in The Simpsons (Episode 2F21 – The Springfield Connection), where our hero, Homer, Moe, Carl and Lenny are sitting around playing poker. Barney, concerned about the beer supply, uses a cunning ploy to send Homer to his carhole to fetch more Duff:

Barney: Hey Homer, I’m worried about the beer supply. After this case, and the other case, there’s only one case left!

(Barney hides his mouth behind his beer can and begins to throw his voice)

Yeah, yeah! Uh, Barney’s right.

Yeah, let’s drink some more beer.

Yeah!

Hey, what about some beer?

Yeah, Barney’s right.

Genius. Sheer (if somewhat adulterated) genius.

And, speaking of which, there is an old adage about great discoveries being made at the same time by scientists who are working independently, and – lo and behold – there is yet another genius is at work on the Movable Type front, running a series of ‘personal’ weblogs that are merely fronts for porn sites.

This trail starts at the decidedly NSFW trickytarts.com and leads to a number of other ‘tricky’ blogs on different themes ranging from attractive soccer moms to ladies with (ahem) extra equipment.

I wouldn’t go following that trail, BTW. It’s not at all safe for viewing at work and will only depress you in the end. Suffice it to say that it exists, and the effort is a load of crotchless pants.

(Note – as I still dwell in the dark ages of blogging and have no permalinks, chums and chumettes of Bloggerheads with more advanced blogs may feel free to repeat this post in its entirety for reference purposes.)

UPDATE – Rich from FunJunkie informs me that trickytarts.com have hit their site with referral spam in the recent past. Doesn’t surprise me at all.

UPDATE II – The discussion about this post at ecademy is bound to be interesting. As with the Raging Cow debate, I’m sure someone, somewhere is right now carefully examining my pot for telltale signs of blackness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030917

Time
10:03
Yesterday was a great day in politics and today appears to be an equally impressive day in the history of online marketing.

Verisign have, in their infinite wisdom, decided that when you type an incorrect URL you should, instead of receiving an error message, receive a message from their chosen advertiser.

The implications of this crass move are explained clearly at Slashdot and The Register.

UPDATE – No, wait! There does appear to be some hope after all! Martin Lloyd has completed his MBA and he’s sure to come out kicking. After he’s finished bumming around Amsterdam for two weeks, that is.

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Date
20030917
Anyone but George
Time
10:39
I spent a bit of time last night pondering the growing unrest in the U.S. and wondered what specific move – if any – would be enough to start a significant groundswell against the Bush regime.

Then I woke up this morning and found a surge in popularity for new sites like amiserablefailure.com, nobodydied.com and misleader.org

It appears that the moment involved, as you would expect, a sudden and unexpected shock to the wallet. It’s just taken folks a few days to get their hosting sorted.

Adding to the increasingly loud whispers are John Burns’ account of media control in Iraq before, during and after the war and the rather unfortunately named Col. David H. Hackworth’s thoughts on persistent lies about the Saddam/WTC connection. Even Donald Rumsfled has let slip that the connection is a load of old cobblers.

(UPDATE – Alternet has more on this. It’s a good read, and references the welcome awakening.)

You know what I want? I want this realisation to grow. I want Bush forcibly removed from office by any fair and legal means possible.

And, you’ll pardon me for saying so, but I think Tony Blair deserves a public arse-kicking as well.

Be warned that this will be no easy affair. Opponents of Bush and Blair will be ruthlessly attacked by the Murdoch media empire and the use of misdirection and misinformation will ascend to dizzier and dizzier levels.

The resulting power vacuum on both sides of the Atlantic will be messy, but it’s too late to simply put the ‘French’ back into fries. Just look at the mess this team has led us into and have a quiet think about how much worse it can get if left uncorrected.

Regime change begins at home. Let’s show them how to do it without needless bloodshed.

And bottoms. Lots and lots of bottoms.

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Date
20030917

Time
10:48
I first saw mention of AngleGrinder Man a few days ago, and must admit to yawning more than once. I seriously didn’t think it was blogworthy, but the media are eating it up. Well, it does provide readers with a heady dose of rebellion. In an entirely non-political way, of course.

Hm. Maybe it’s time that I switched to de-caf.

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Date
20030917

Time
10:56
This is a fine gallery of old magician’s posters. In fact, it gives me a fine idea for a B3ta challenge, which I’ll suggest later today. (Link via The Ultimate Insult.)

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Date
20030917
Follow Up
Time
10:59
Petition makes print: will Star Wars Kid get a Star Wars role?

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Date
20030917

Time
11:00
What are the worst jobs in science? Smelling other people’s farts is at No. 1

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Date
20030917

Time
11:02
Smokers of Canada’s government-approved marijuana say it’s ‘disgusting’ and want their money back.

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Date
20030917
Flash Thingies
Time
11:04
Spot the difference. (Slighty NSFW.)

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Date
20030917

Time
11:05
Ahahahahahaha! Crank caller phones RIAA amnesty line to ‘surrender’.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030917
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
11:06
Whispers reach me that the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign has rated a mention in The Independent (it’s in Pandora, so no link is available, I’m sorry). It tries to tie the campaign to Richard Allan and Tom Watson, which is a bit cheeky.

For the record… these are the actions of a slightly imbalanced man working independently.

Well, not entirely independently. Here’s a handy list of nice people who have supported the campaign with linkage.

Incidentally, it was Pandora that first went to print with news of the hoax address for Tony Blair way back in 2001, and it was on this day last year that I first got the idea for the Tony Blair Email campaign.

Oh, and remember that Sun article that got my daily stats ass-backwards? Turns out it was quite prophetic. The number of individual daily visitors to Bloggerheads has, in the last two weeks, leaped from 1500 a day to over 15,000. On average, the server is now feeding a hungry populace 430Mb of data per day. Per day.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030917
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:57
CalPundit has done a damn fine interview with Paul Krugman. This is today’s must-read.

Outright lies from the Bush regime about the economy and the war, and not your usual lies, either – but downright scary 2+2=5 stuff. Toward the end, Krugman predicts a drastic change.

Scan down below the article and check out the comments (if you dare), and have a look at what other people are saying about this on their own weblogs.

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Date
20030917
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
13:53
How did I miss this? Britain and America have decided to delay indefinitely the publication of a full report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction after inspectors found no evidence that any such weapons exist.

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Date
20030917
Bunch of Stuff
Time
17:01
Sing this to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain, but do be careful… you could be infringing copyright.

After you’ve finished ogling women in spacesuits, you’ll want to take a peek at SomethingAwful’s collection of alternative iPod ads and if you’re into coding and love Google, then Google is interested in loving you back (but do make sure that you fill out the right forms first).

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Date
20030918

Time
09:20
Man buys cookie jar from long-lost-brother on eBay.

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Date
20030918

Time
09:21
“If you are young man or a first time buyer of expensive jewelry, this website may seem long-winded.” No! Really?

Spend some time getting to know Capetown Diamond’s founder and chairman, Carl Kenneth Marcus and buy a watch, dammit!

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Date
20030918

Time
09:23
Huzzah! The winners have been announced for the Anti-Terrorism License Plate Contest! (Link via TTR2.)

That’s some mighty effective proper-gander the kids have come up with there. Should keep the terrorists at bay for years (but if you’re still feeling nervous, feel free to back your number-plate up with a Baby on Board sign – and maybe a stick-on Garfield with an AK-47).

Here’s a slightly chummier contest for kids in the UK:

Win the chance to be the speaking clock!

I heard about this on Radio 2 yesterday when they interviewed the chap who has been the voice of the speaking clock for the last 18 years – and was quite tickled to learn that he’s the same guy who did the ‘Stand by for action! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…’ intro that began every Thunderbirds episode.

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Date
20030918
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:35
The Gospel of Supply Side Jesus

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Date
20030918

Time
09:37
Fellas, check your trousers. Is anything missing?

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Date
20030918

Time
09:39
Kansas senator Sam Brownback introduced legislation on Tuesday that could prove a real headache for the RIAA. Let’s hear it for due process!

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Date
20030918

Time
09:42
Meet the monster-sized marsupial that’s a distant relation of koalas and wombats. And people still don’t believe in Dropbears…?

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Date
20030918

Time
09:47
Competition and spectator tickets are now on sale for the 2003 Rock Paper Scissors International World Championships! (Cheers, Funjunkie.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030918

Time
09:50
Well, how about that? Monkeys covet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030918

Time
09:52
If you’re setting out on a journey to fight evil today, you may need this map. Alternatively, why not take your dog for a walk so he can leave a little present outside the White House?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030918
Anyone but George
Time
10:13
A lot of positive noise around yesterday about Wesley Clark’s announcement that he was joining the presidential race. His official site is here and charting quite well on Blogdex this morning.

Me, I don’t know the man from Adam, but I did poke around a bit and found this report on the man damn near starting WWIII. Perhaps he was having a bad day. And perhaps you may wish to Vote Hamster instead.

OK, maybe I’m being a little unfair. Bush is leading the polls, after all. Despite being a liar and despot. Media control is everything, baby!

America needs a leader to take this next election by the balls. If there isn’t one strong point of focus, Bush could get Nadered right back in again.

Still, why wait? Steve sent me the following link that you may wish to act on:

Sign the petition to move for impeachment.

Not just Bush, but also his willing partner in crime, Dick Cheney.

Best news this morning? The awakening over the last few days has actually has an effect:

President Bush admits that there was no evidence that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Erm, but in the same breath, he’s denying that this false connection was used to justify war.

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Date
20030918

Time
10:15
Burp!

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Date
20030918

Time
11:01
Hooray for Ruben Pla, one of the finest actors of our generation. You doubt me? Pshaw! Just look at his range!

I don’t suppose anybody know where I can find the remarkable Internet serial Cosmic Fury? I’d love to see it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030918

Time
12:08
Tomorrow be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Prepare your office for action with this PDF poster and brush up on your pirate-speak with this handy guide.

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Date
20030918
Photoshopping
Time
16:44

Woof!

Oh, and you’ll love this pirated image from over at B3ta. You’ll laugh like a loon, says I.

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Date
20030918

Time
16:52
I’ve just put my application in for the 2004 Onians Fellowship. If you think you have something new to offer the business world, you have just over a week to flesh out your brilliant idea (in less than 500 words) and get your form in.

Do it now. Tomorrow you’ll be too busy talking like a pirate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030918

Time
17:02
Bloody hell. Just look at the size of Hurricane Isabel!

Some more pictures from Yahoo of fun and games at ground level can be found here.

Good luck everyone in range of the storm whose power hasn’t been cut yet. It’s probably a bit late to break out the duct tape, but at least try to be careful.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030918
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
17:28
Heh. Check out Richard Allan’s reaction to being unfairly linked to the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign by The Independent. (Found via Tom, who is more restrained but just as understanding about the whole thing…)

Oh, and I’ve cracked the language barrier again. Hungarian this time. That’s a first, as far as I can recall. I don’t suppose anyone would care to translate?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030919

Time
10:03
Arrr, Pri’ate Eye be clutchin’ at straws as part o’ a petty campaign against t’Guardian.

This keelhaulin’ began after Paul Carr’s art’cl about their missin’ the point o’ Tom Watson’s Teens page.

Ya-harr, t’Guardian reports on t’Interwebnet more than any other UK newspaper, and that be the truth.

Anybody who knows anythin’ about t’Interwebnet knows what a major force Google be. If ye report on t’Interwebnet, ye’ll end up spendin’ a lot o’ time talkin’ about Google – as t’Guardian has (and not always in a positi’e manner, me hearties).

And if we’re goin’ t’ talk about ad’ertisin’ placement, let’s be lookin’ at this same issue o’ Pri’ate Eye which be carryin’ a full-page ad for a new ser’ice from BT/Yahoo. As any daft son o’a sea biscuit knows, Yahoo be the nearest thin’ Google has t’ a serious competitor, and they’re settin’ themsel’es up t’ be in a much stronger position t’ compete.

How nice o’ Lord Gnome t’ take their filthy lucre and hang the enemy from the yardarm t’ aid their cause.

Not that Yahoo be the only benefactor.

Pri’ate Eye also takes time t’ print paid ad’ertisements for sites such as the eye-rection-boostin’ www.generic-viagras.com, Herbalife privateer www.iwantmorethanthis.com and toss-title pro’ider www.elitetitles.co.uk

Perhaps t’Guardian carries many ads for Google a’cos they don’t be ha’in’ as much choice as the come-one-come-all Eye.

This one be takin’ the sea-biscuit, and no mistake!

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Date
20030919

Time
10:09
Yarrr, two men have been found guilty by her Majesty’s court o’ casting fake doubloons (and doubloon be spel’t with only one ‘l’).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030919

Time
10:11
Thar be nothin’ I fear on land, be it man or beast, but the ungodly creatures o’ the deep still make me shiver with feare.

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Date
20030919
Ridin’ High on Blogdex
Time
10:13
Avast! I be wantin’ me own paragraph in t’future o’ blogging.

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Date
20030919

Time
10:19
Unworthy cur subjects sea-dog to semen. It be a crime against nature.

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Date
20030919

Time
10:21
Ah-har, ah-har, ah-har-har-har! ‘Lord’ Archer be a lord no more!

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Date
20030919

Time
10:22
Thar be unhealthy stirrin’ in the East, as Saudi Arabia arms with the ultimate cannon.

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Date
20030919

Time
10:41
They be stealin’ our words! This calls for mutiny, m’lads!

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Date
20030919
Photoshoppin’
Time
10:42
Ah-harr, Bush be playin’ dress-up again!

Ye can be seein’ a larger version over the dateline at B3ta.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030919

Time
10:57
Yarrr! Ah-harr! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day today!

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Date
20030919

Time
12:13
New virus ahoy!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030919

Time
12:49
Avast, ye swabs! Ye be nowhere today without the Random Pirate Insult Generator. Ye’ll be needin’ it to fend off the lily-livered landlubbers questioning yer rightful pirate status.

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Date
20030919
Spam’n
Time
13:13
Arrrrrr, it now be a criminal offence to spam in the UK, but this new law of the land only covers yer personal address, mates. (Yarrr, it blows….)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030919
Photoshoppin’
Time
13:17
Ah-harrr! I be front-paged over at B3ta with this treasured masterpiece.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030919

Time
13:23
Versign be softenin’ their partnership page to include other domains ye be seekin’. Here be an example.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922
Anyone but George
Time
09:25
Justin (whose site appears to be down this morning) was kind enough to email me on Friday with an image alert.

This familiar image appears in a double page spread of the current issue of New Statesman.

If you’d care to pick up a copy (or subscribe online) there’s also a grand article by Mark Thomas on the recent arms fair protests and use of anti-terrorist laws to curtail the legal right to peaceful protest.

I found this article in Saturday’s Independent to be extremely heartening. It seems the military community is joining the awakening. The Guardian also reports a 14-point fall in overall approval ratings for The Unworthy One.

The Nation also predicts a gloomy future for Bush in light of the quite savage by-election backlash here in Brent-East.

Goodbye, George. I can’t say it’s been a pleasure knowing you, but it sure has been interesting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
09:38
Owning a cat may increase your chances of becoming schizophrenic or manic depressive. If you’re in any doubt about the ownership of a cat leading to significant mental problems, I’d like to present the following additional proof.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
09:42
Men holding Bible class capture murder suspect who interrupted a discussion on biblical prophecies. Bet nobody saw that coming.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
09:46
Finally someone gets the point. It’s not that Londoners are hostile, it’s just that we fail to see the point of David Blaine’s little box stunt.

OK, so maybe we’re a little bit hostile

(Latter link via Rogi, who’s made a welcome return to regular bloggage.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922
A Blog Is Born
Time
09:53
The Soulrage Project is a quest to take over the world, inspired by the blog you see before you. Perhaps the early stages of world conquest can include getting my name right….?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:56
They’re cold and impersonal, but unlikely to press charges. Find out more at statuemolesters.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
09:58
U.S. soldier shoots a rare Bengal tiger at Baghdad zoo. They turned up in ‘casual dress’, drinking beer. After closing time. They broke into a protective cage to get closer so they could try and feed the tiger. The tiger bit and clawed the idiot trying to feed it. So one of the soldiers shot the animal dead. Nice.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
10:03
Huzzah! Tobias Ph. E. Romer is on the case in Switzerland.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
10:05
I tried to track down the full online version of this Saddam in secret negotiations with the US story at The Mirror, but all I found out was that Mariah Carey is single and desperate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
10:32
U.N. compound hit in second car bomb attack. This follows an attempt on Akila Al-Hashimi’s life on Saturday.

Stability appears to present a problem to someone’s agenda.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
10:43
For those who missed the alert on Friday (there’s at least one of you): The Swen virus masquerades as a new Microsoft patch – find out how to avoid it, and what to do in the case of infection.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030922

Time
10:50
David Blunkett doesn’t have a bloody clue how many illegal immigrants are in the country and seems to think that curtailing the civil liberties of law-abiding citizens is the solution (via Ionica).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030923
Doing The Rounds
Time
10:05
Beware the dreaded lurgy,

It will take you from behind;

It will drip-drip-drip your sinuses,

And swiftly fog your mind.

The screen! The screen!

It hurts my eyes,

This rotten little bug;

Bed rest! Bed rest!

And chicken soup,

And lots and lots of drugs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030924

Time
09:24
William Blair is hot. David Blaine is not.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030924

Time
09:25
Parents seek to ban Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. The claim is that they may lead to ‘inappropriate sexual arousal of young teens’.

Incidentally, this week is Banned Books Week. The list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000 makes for interesting reading.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030924
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:32
Search Google by location. If that location is in the U.S.

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Date
20030924
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:33
Bring life back into the old soldier with zombiepinups.com (link via TTR2).

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Date
20030924
The Californian Recall
Time
09:35
Court rules that recall can go ahead in October. Oh well. At least we shut Arnie up for a couple of weeks.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030924

Time
09:36
Mother throws baby out window (minus bathwater). She claims it jumped.

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Date
20030924
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
09:37
You know the Lib-Dems have made it when The Sun gets this desperate.

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Date
20030924

Time
09:40
Tasteless website probed by police for humiliating the homeless. They claim they can’t do much, as the site has now closed down. Have they checked the archive?

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Date
20030924

Time
09:43
Hungarians have more sex than anyone and Australia is the gayest country in the world. The same survey claims that Australians were twice as likely to fake their orgasms. How does that work, then?

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Date
20030924

Time
09:46
Army admits using personal passenger data provided by Jet Blue. A group of passengers have already sued the airline.

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Date
20030924

Time
09:50
U.S. Army plays nice: Send toys to Iraqi children. No guns, please.

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Date
20030924
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
10:30
This looks like the news we’ve been waiting for folks: Buckingham Palace is due to announce details of George W Bush’s visit to the UK within a week.

The article claims that Bush will receive ‘a full ceremonial welcome’… too bloody right!

If you want to keep an eye out for this impending press release, then this is the page to watch.

Thanks to the Martyn Traynor, we also have a link to this Ananova article, which ties the impending announcement to plans being made by the Stop the War Coalition.

UPDATE – The mass mooning may very well take place outside the palace. Does anyone know what kind of view the Belgian Suite provides? Also, if Bush is addressing both Houses of Parliament, then our chances of getting a bum inside are greatly increased. Somewhere out there is a Lord or MP willing to make the ultimate political statement. Nominations gratefully accepted.

I watched George W Bush’s address to the U.N. live yesterday afternoon. More of the same old lies, dressed up with a few new weapons of mass distraction, including the ever-trusty back-up plea for us to pleeeease think about the children.

I actually choked on my Lemsip when he claimed that he and his cronies had acted ‘to defend the peace, and the credibility of the United Nations’.

If he really believes that, then we are in trouble.

Daily Kos has some thoughts on this speech, and on the subsequent interview on Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch’s FOX News network.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that Bush protects his feeble little brain from the turmoil of the outside world, rarely reading actual news and instead scanning the headlines and trusting entirely in his advisors (the clever chaps who’ve decided that Friday is the best day to release bad news).

Hmm, perhaps then the secret to reaching The Unworthy One is putting the story in the headline. Here’s a good one to start with:

Poll: Bush down, Clark up

Don’t plan on the election saving you, BTW. Bush already has a plan to sort out those pesky percentages.

I know it’s getting chilly, folks – but you should be preparing yourself to bare those buttocks and send Dubya a message that’s crystal-clear (and doesn’t contain any long or difficult words).

Note – Today’s image comes to you courtesy of One-Term President. Download and display a copy for yourself today.

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Date
20030924
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
13:22
Tuesday: The Sun calls Frank Bruno ‘bonkers’ and is forced to make humiliating climbdown.

Wednesday: The Sun makes a donation to charidee by way of apology… and makes a Happy Meal of it that – sadly – many of their readers will swallow.

1. Asking readers to chip in to boost their donation. And the whole country’s behind them, folks!

2. Columnist Jane Moore (longtime servant of The Evil One) asks you to pray for Frank. It’s a ‘cautionary tale of modern times’…

3. “No one loves Frank Bruno more than The Sun. We’ve been by his side throughout his career, sharing his triumphs and helping shoulder his tragedies…” Which, presumably, is why they were kind enough to print the retraction that appears in the archive results today under to the original story and the longer, fluffier one.

What a bunch of shameless hypocrites!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925
Anyone but George
Time
09:20
“(Saddam) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.”

Secretary Colin L. Powell in Cairo, Egypt on February 24, 2001

Well, waddya know? He was right!

A CIA-led team of 1,400 weapons experts and support staff, and all they found was a few suspiciously clean bunsen burners.

But George W Bush is still using this old chestnut while telling the UN to drop dead.

Well, he didn’t actually say ‘drop dead,’ but according to reports, Wesley Clark did take the time to say ”Limbaugh’s full of shit.”

A few opening barbs have been sent Wesley Clark’s way, BTW. He appears to have dealt with them like an actual human being.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925

Time
09:22
Behold the winner of The Most Phallic Building of the World competition. London’s lovable Gherkin took the ‘Best Uncircumcised Building’ award.

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Date
20030925

Time
09:26
I didn’t comment on MSN closing down their chat rooms yesterday, as I don’t use chat rooms much and didn’t feel qualified to comment – but I do know an overreaction when I see one. Check out this screengrab from The Mirror’s most recent online poll.

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Date
20030925

Time
09:29
Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey (via TTR2, who are spot on about it being addictive).

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Date
20030925
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:31
Shed a sympathetic tear at oldmencrying.com

Also, you may wish to spare a thought for the lost soul at single-male.com

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Date
20030925

Time
09:32
Bomb squad called in to dispose of box of candy. A local church youth group left it in place as a ‘random act of kindness’…

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Date
20030925
My Son Calls Them ‘Evil Corporations’
Time
09:34
What money wants, money gets: a federal court has blocked the U.S. national ‘do not call’ list days before it was due to come into effect. You’ll want to come out fighting this one…

In other news, the RIAA has dropped its lawsuit against a 66-year-old grandmother who was supposed to have downloaded and shared over 2000 songs online. Including the rap song I’m a Thug. On her Macintosh computer, which is unable to run Kazaa.

The RIAA has called this a ‘gesture of good faith’ but in truth it’s a clear case of mistaken identity and they simply don’t have a case. You and I know that if they had the goods on this granny, they would sue her without hesitation.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925

Time
09:42
Your trusty guide to mathematics in The Simpsons.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925

Time
09:44
Wind Power Is Now Cheaper than Coal in the U.S.

Damn it, I want my windmill!

In other news, the statement from the biotech mouthpiece claiming that the results of the GM debate were flawed because 99.9% of the population did not take part made me chuckle.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925

Time
09:55
eBay thief reveals tricks of the trade. He claims that many ‘customers’ are too scared to question his credenditials.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925
Anyone but George
Time
09:57
Following up on yesterday’s Salon article:

Claims that electronic voting is unreliable, unverifiable and funded by the radical Christian right.

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Date
20030925

Time
10:03
Bomb pranksters arrested. It sure was nice of them to videotape their antics for future reference.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925

Time
12:05
!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925
Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch
Time
12:31
The Sun Says: Our Armed Forces put their lives on the line to drive out Saddam Hussein. They still risk their necks each day to keep the peace and make Iraq a safer place. But what do that small-minded bunch of windbags known as the Lib Dems do? They carp that the war may not have been legal and that Britain may have been wrong to join the Americans in deposing Saddam. What an insult to the courage of Our Boys and Girls, many of whom died for the cause of freedom.

Sorry to interrupt your Lib-Dem bashing, Rebekah… but if the war was illegal, then they didn’t die for the cause of freedom, now did they? They died needlessly. You jumped-up, dried-up old ginger tosser.

UPDATE – Hm. That last comment was a tad harsh. An apology is in order. To ginger folks everywhere… I’m sorry to connect you in any way to Rebekah Wade. The jumped-up, dried-up old xxxxxx tosser.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030925
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
13:03
Tharrr she blows!

George W. Bush has called our bluff. We have our dates:

The President of the United States has accepted an invitation from The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom from Wednesday 19th November to Friday 21st November 2003.

A few people have been asking and yes, there are possible legal implications to taking any buttock-waving action. By baring your arse in such a way, it is likely that you could be arrested for a breach of the peace.

By encouraging you to do so, I may very well be done for incitement. Hell, for linking to the campaign page, you could get done for incitement.

Nevertheless, I consider George W. Bush to be a criminal and his presence on these shores to be an insult.

I do this out of love for my country.

Still, there’s no point playing into the hands of The Met and t’media.

The Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign page has been updated with a some further thoughts on strategy. I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE – In the meantime, you may wish to send a letter to Liz and warn her to count the towels:

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Buckingham Palace

London SW1A 1AA

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:08
worldbeardchampionships.com! No? OK, how about awfulplasticsurgery.com?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:09
Gen. Shelton shocks Celebrity Forum, says he won’t support Clark for president.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Fair and Balanced
Time
09:10
And now, a few words from the right. They’re claiming media bias, the poor dears.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926

Time
09:13
Advertising authorities in Moscow have banned a poster campaign showing the euro having sex with the US dollar. Take a look at that pic. It’s the wrong way round, surely. Everybody knows that the dollar is the daddy. Most of us bend over for a good shafting on a daily basis.

And, good news from China, believe it or not – they’ve banned TV commercials for feminine hygiene products and haemorrhoid ointments during meal times. We should have the same thing here.

Oh, and why may I ask do they have ads for loans sharks and ‘sue-em-all’ shysters on children’s channels? What’s the point of that exactly? OK, so parents may unwittingly give way on a few sugary treats, but I’m pretty sure that any conversation started with ‘Dad, do we need an unsecured personal loan?’ is going to be a bloody short one.

My eldest (8 years old) has these ads well-sussed, himself. He keeps asking if he can call the free phone number and give them an earful about wasting his time and their advertising dollars.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Flash Music Video
Time
09:14
Gollum Rap is mildly diverting, but do watch out for some NSFW ads on this page.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926

Time
09:25
Ahahahahahahaha! David Blaine may have to pay for the rather costly police protection he’s been receiving. Dollars to donuts that we pay for Bush’s protection, though.

I can confidently predict that a lot of money will be wasted on police manpower intended less to protect Bush, and more to make him look good by keeping protesters a few blocks away from the action. Your tax dollars at work, folks…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Christianity Watch
Time
09:30
Vatican plans to discourage the use of altar girls and ban applause and dancing at Masses. They’ll still be serving snacks and drinks though, right?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
10:07
sofa_king_angry writes:

I always thought you Brits were a bit cheeky, but this protest idea is sublime. I hope you can bare thousands of bare bums to show the murdering, war-mongering horse’s arse Bush that he’s not welcome.

On second thought, speaking for the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for him, why don’t you keep him? I’m sure he’d get on quite well with your royals, as he’s never worked a day in his life and has had everything handed to him on a silver platter. I’m sure they could find room for him.

I invite all of you peace lovers to join an international thong in an orgy of anti-Bush, anti-war rants at: www.smirkingchimp.com

You’re not the first to make that request, mate – and you won’t be the last. The answer, as always, is ‘no’

You may not have voted for him, but until you impeach the man, you’re stuck with him. Sorry.

Actually, everybody is Iraq is stuck with him, too – and he’s not leaving until he has bled that country dry:

Bush sells Iraq to his corporate buddies #1

Bush sells Iraq to his corporate buddies #2

That latter link is from the Iraqi blog Baghdad Burning, and it’s a cracker of a post. Read it and weep.

UPDATE – *chortle* Iraq now for sale on eBay. See it before it’s withdrawn by the anti-fun squad. (Cheers to Rogi for the link.)

This list of Bushims also provides serious food for thought. Remember; this man has WMDs of his own.

There was a serious traffic spike last night, thanks to plugagge over at Eschaton. The resulting comments thread is particularly entertaining.

OK, down to the business of the actual bum barrage…

The Five Live interview went OK. Ish. I got the distinct impression that they thought the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign was a bit silly and beneath them – but anybody who’s marched in this country in the last few years will know that legitimate protest does sweet bugger all.

Trust me when I tell you that the Met will be well-funded and well-prepared to herd and harass anybody who looks a little bit like a protestor. This being the case, I’m not entirely sure that a mass-mooning is a good idea. It may also reflect badly on the rather more staid approach being taken by the Stop the War Coalition, who are busy making their own plans.

UPDATE – Bush visit prompts protests threat

Right now, I’m leaning more towards the original idea of spontaneous hit and run action, which will be much harder to police.

The more people we have on the ground with this simple and quite suitable idea in their heads, the more chance we have of success. In fact, I dare to dream that if there is enough public support, we’ll be able to convince at least one MP to risk ejection from the chamber for daring to bare during Bush’s address to the House of Commons.

Your mission today: Send a fax to your MP and advise them that your vote is assured should they choose to make the ultimate show of defiance on your behalf.

I’m currently working on new assets to help spread the word. Hang in there. (Oh, and a tangential idea occurred last night. How do you think Bush’s security team would react to laser-pointers…? It sure freaked David Blaine out.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926

Time
10:55
A cheeseburger and fries, all wrapped up in one nuggety package. Dip them in your shake (now with less than 3% sodium hexametaphosphate) for the ultimate taste explosion.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926
Flash Games
Time
12:00
A very cool game found via wibbler.com: arrange your guests with RSVP. Very neat, and quite distracting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030926

Time
12:20
The biggest security operation seen in Britain will be mounted when President Bush makes a state visit to stay with the Queen in November. And remember, folks – our tax dollars will be paying for it….

Oh, I do love this:

“The senior Special Branch officer will always be close to the President, travelling in his armoured Cadillac.”

An armoured Cadillac? I’m assuming that this is being flown/shipped over here. For a two-day visit.

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Date
20030926
Flash Thingies
Time
13:46
Counting Sheep (via the latest B3ta newsletter). That’s a damn fine result for Joel Veitch, too. I’m jealous as all hell.

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Date
20030926
Blogdeath
Time
16:07
It is with great sadness that we mark the sudden and unexpected passing of bar room philosophy.

Gentlemen, raise your glasses…

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Date
20030926

Time
16:29
Robert Palmer dead at 54 after heart attack in Paris. Considering how he died, they really could have picked a more appropriate picture, don’t you think? Ah, there you go – much nicer.

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Date
20030926

Time
16:38
How did a dope like George W Bush get rich? Here’s the answer in nice, easy-to-understand chart form.

A little further down is a nice pie-chart breaking down the content of his UN speech.

You’ll want to poke around uggabugga a bit – there’s lots, lots more.

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Date
20030926
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
17:00
Isn’t it wonderful the difference a simple pair of underpants can make?

Oh, and true geeks everywhere are buzzing about the return of Dr Who. Just thought I’d mention that.

What? A link? Hmmm, how about Daleks that used to rehearse in their underpants?

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Date
20030926

Time
17:19
Some quality stuff leaping in front of my eyeballs this afternoon. FunJunkie invited me along to a virtual frog dissection. I was away the day we did this is school, so there were pins and guts everywhere on my cyber-froggie.

I also found this great collection of political and corporate propaganda over at The Ultimate Insult. A great collection of Vietnam propaganda was featured this week, too. Matter of fact, there’s a bunch of great stuff that Scott has managed to sneak past me this week – you should go have a browse for yourself.

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Date
20030929
One Of Those Days
Time
10:08
I’m having a quiet think today, so bloggage may be light as a result. Sorry about that.

Still, there are some bits and bobs…

Ooooh, someone’s looking to get sued…

The new tabloid version of The Independent is a bloody good idea. Were I still a train-slave, this would immediately become my format of choice (you’d be surprised how many people choose the Mail or Express purely for reasons of practicality).

My copy of Issue Zero of The London News Review is due sometime early this week. I’m champing at the bit.

The central issue that could bring down the Labour Party won’t be discussed at their conference. Said top-down captain Tony Blair: “I don’t think we’ve got anything to apologise for as a country”…!

I beg to differ.

Check out Tom Watson over the next couple of days for conference-related posts. It’ll be interesting to see what he gets away with and how the ‘on the ground’ info differs from the media take.

Oh, and the invoice I sent to Downing St clearly stipulated 30-day terms. Payment is now over a week overdue. They’ve made clear to at least one journalist that they don’t recognise the claim. I may have to get nasty about this to see a result.

I want my windmill!

There’s a new, comprehensive and highly detailed topographic map of the UK available. Insurance companies are reported to be very happy about this, as it can let people enter a postcode and immediately be ruled out for flood cover based on the actual level (or perhaps we’d better make that ‘potential depth’) of their property. Me, I’m more interested in height. Cross-reference this with regional wind speed and direction data (that goes back decades) and you have at a glance what the potential is for wind harvesting for any given property. Based on this, the homeowner could know immediately whether it’s worth getting a surveyor out for the installation of anything from a small battery charger to a big whooshing mother that could provide all of their power needs and contribute to the grid.

Nice pipe-dream, huh? Unfortunately, that’s all it is right now – because the economy of this country simply isn’t geared for this kind of thing. Better and easier to buy a car you can’t afford or sue someone (free!) for an accident that was your own damn fault.

Here’s a quick experiment for you… do a quick search for a place in the UK where you can buy a windmill of any shape or size. Good luck.

Hmm, these few bits and bobs are growing… maybe if I just spill my guts and let you know what’s on my mind we’ll be able to pull full bloggage out of the hat.

Thinking last night:

I’m sick to death of staggering from one crisis to another with a feeling of complete powerlessness. I’ve also had it with our actions being hindered by the government or deliberately misrepresented by the media when we feel the need to protest.

Things are going too far across the board. As fun as it would be to line a few folks up against the wall, I’m inclined to think that a little friendly persuasion is in order to bring about an essential correction or two.

I think there’s scope for – and a real need for – a passive resistance movement.

Worldwide, web-coordinated, and operating on multiple fronts with one simple, central idea:

It’s. Just. Not. Good. Enough… and me and my mates plan to do something about it.

Just think… if there were one small thing you could do (without endangering your life or liberty) and simply doing it at the same time as a few thousand others would force any targeted government, corporation or organisation to make a significant change in position, would you do it?

Drop me an email today if you think you may wish to play along. I’d like to start with a few small wins and then take things up a notch as we move from success to success.

Oh, it has to be fun and interesting wherever possible, too. Hope that’s OK.

A few practical assets that I’ll need to bring it together are beyond my immediate technical/financial capacity. And I’d like to hear about what you think of the idea in general.

Been reading Bloggerheads for a while? Haven’t sent an email yet? Today’s one of those days when I could really do with your input. Get in touch.

Cheers all.

(sings)

Satyagraha ’till we meet again…

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Date
20030929

Time
10:25
Read Baghdad Burning’s latest entry and then check out The Guardian article this post references. Iraq is being systematically looted before your very eyes.

Also, check out the post on the same subject from Not in My America (permalink is broken, sorry):

“This trend is leading me to believe that we will lose Iraq, not because the resistance will defeat us, but because corporations will try to milk Iraq for every dollar they can. Worse yet, the Bush administration is actively promoting the milking.”

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Date
20030929
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
16:04
The father of U.S. soldier killed in Iraq: “My son died because Bush lied.”

Shades of David Kelly: Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry: CIA Agent’s Identity Was Leaked to Media. A simple revenge attack, by the looks of things. Oh, and in violation of federal law.

For a tidy overview of what this is about and what the possible implications are, check out this handy post by Chris Nelson.

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Date
20030930

Time
09:34
Build your own Segway or a codpiece just like Darth Vader’s.

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Date
20030930

Time
09:35
More workers get shut out of e-mail. We must protect our wage-slaves from the outside world.

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Date
20030930

Time
09:38
‘Restless’ gorilla escapes from zoo, injuring toddler and teenager.

In other zoo news, Hanging Day has a nice piece on the shooting of a bengal tiger by US troops in Baghdad Zoo.

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Date
20030930

Time
09:42
Dubya’s uncle likes to give remote-controlled fart machines as gifts.

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Date
20030930
The Californian Recall
Time
09:45
College student uses Wheel of Fortune winnings to run for governor.

Arnie is the clear front-runner, which makes me want to eat my own neck. Hanging Day have a few thoughts on this, too.

UPDATE – Sunday’s Doonesbury drops the funny to make a direct plea to readers in California.

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Date
20030930

Time
09:48
A telling cover story from TIME: Mission not accomplished. In this same issue: WMDs – Chasing a Mirage.

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Date
20030930
The Impeachment of George W Bush
Time
10:35
What do you think of my new Subject Title? I quite like it, and hope to use it more often. It makes me feel good just to look at these words and dream of the day that America emerges from its recent nightmare.

If you spent any time online last week, you’re sure to have sensed a widespread and quite heartening awakening. The Bush administration acted with predictable neverwrongability, but now – just look at this and think about the implications – America seems to have actually woken up screaming:

White House officials ‘out’ secret agent in revenge attack against her husband. Who dared to accuse the Bush administration of exaggerating the case for war against Saddam Hussein, don’tcha know?

This is an explosive issue, so information is coming out thick and fast (in fact, too thick and fast for Instapundit) but here are some posts that may help you understand what this means.

Josh Marshall is all over this, but you may wish to avoid the partial transcript of the regular news briefing with White House press secretary Scott McClellan. Trying to follow this could very well make your head explode, but if you’re a glutton for punishment you may wish to take a look at the complete transcript.

Basically, we’re being told that this leak by the Justice Department is going to be investigated – by the Justice Department. (Oh, and scroll down to the very bottom for a predictable treat).

What really caught my eye at Josh Marshall’s site was this post:

“What’s clear from McClellan’s statement is that a lot is already known in the White House – probably everything – and they’re trying to keep a lid on it.”

Equally telling for me today was this post by Daniel Drezner:

“If Rove or other high-ranking White House officials did what’s alleged, then they’ve earned the wrath of God…

“Let me make this as plain as possible – I was an unpaid advisor for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, and I know and respect some high-ranking people in the administration. And none of that changes the following: if George W. Bush knew about or condoned this kind of White House activity, I wouldn’t just vote against him in 2004 – I’d want to see him impeached. Straight away.”

Bye-bye, George.

UPDATE – Huzzah! We already have a Plame blame game! Who do you think will take the fall?

(I’ll try to make post later today about further thoughts I’ve had regarding the proposed passive resistance movement. Hang in there.)

MORE INPUT:

Here’s a jolly nice breakdown of this messy affair.

Ooh, look: Open Source Politics were onto this a month ago.

Slate.com also acknowledges that this issue has been around for a while, but they have their doubts about it actually shaking Bush.

A variety of posts have been made at http://atrios.blogspot.com/ – this blog bears watching if you want to keep up and/or watch a lot of people arguing about it. Beware of trolls.

Finally, if you live in Washington, do take a umbrella when you go out today. There’s going to be blood, mud and bulldust coming from all directions.

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Date
20030930

Time
13:07
This expose will make you spit with rage. Hooray for a world where life means nothing to some people.

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Date
20030930

Time
14:35
Vasectomy delays Tube commuters. A trainee driver fainted as his two colleagues described the procedure in grisly detail. The trainee driver actually threw up at one stage, but his colleagues persisted until he actually fainted and fell out of the (moving) vehicle. Nice, huh?

I can’t deliver the choo-choo train, but I can offer you the heady experience of fainting at your desk by linking to my-vasectomy.com

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Date
20030930
Anyone but George
Time
17:37
A comment spied over at smirkingchimp.com that tickled my fancy:

Don’t ever forget what Jim Morrison said long ago: “They’ve got the guns, but we’ve got the numbers.” How right he was. I am past the point of caring anymore how I sound to ANYONE. I am an AMERICAN, this is MY country as well as everyone else’s, and I intend to run my mouth and be active in any way I can to get these fucking criminals OUT of office.

Oh, and I’m still thinking about that other thing. People are hammered by online protests and petitions on a daily basis these days. New ’cause’ sites are springing up everywhere. Weariness and apathy abound, so I want to make the proposal as attractive, easy and crystal-clear as possible.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

01-15 September, 2003

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Date
20030901

Time
09:13
Fight the battle against head lice with Lice Rid Man!

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Date
20030901
The Californian Recall
Time
09:13
Arnie refuses to take part in candidate debate. Of course he does. He’s leading in the polls and doesn’t want to screw it up by opening his big fat mouth.

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Date
20030901
Tony Blair’s Email: News and Linkage
Time
09:15
Finally! Recognition in Britain and Iran.

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Date
20030901
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:20
Have you spilled precious blood lately? Upload your injury to woundgallery.com and share your shameful disfigurement (careful @ lunch).

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Date
20030901

Time
09:27
Read reactions to Alastair Campbell’s resignation. He will be sadly missed.

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Date
20030901

Time
09:30
‘Time Travel’ spam tracked to source. The Massachusetts attorney general got on his case and the spammer – one Robby Todino – agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and halt ‘misleading and deceptive’ spamming practices.

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Date
20030901

Time
09:33
A rapping juggernaut born on ‘the harsh and unforgiving streets of New York City’s Chinatown.’ Behold The Notorious MSG (link via TTR2).

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Date
20030901
Summertime News
Time
09:38
An excellent rundown of what’s been a very busy silly season.

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Date
20030901

Time
09:41
You may scoff when I write stuff like this, but I hope the following provides pause for thought:

Laurel Wellman writes: ‘the whole Internet thing has been a grand experiment, but an experiment that’s failed.’ Oh, really? Well, I’d best just lock up my webshed and go home, then.

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Date
20030901

Time
09:47
Over 900 copies of the SoBig virus in my Inbox from this latest mutation. I’m genuinely hoping for a public stoning on this one.

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Date
20030901

Time
09:49
Cow without tail fitted with flyswatter. Yes, there’s a picture.

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Date
20030901
Conspiracy Theories
Time
09:50
Military helicopters study crop formations and the top ten conspiracy theories of 2002.

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Date
20030901
Anyone but George
Time
09:53
Howard Dean flip-flopping and nobody seems to care about the Democratic presidential race. You better start caring real soon, people. Allowing Dubya a second term borders on criminal negligence.

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Date
20030901
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:58
Is your boss an idiot?

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Date
20030901
Flash Games
Time
09:59
Bring peace to your little patch of desert. With bombs and heat seeking missiles, of course. (Link via FunJunkie.)

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Date
20030901

Time
10:03
Did FDR end the depression or prolong it? A scholar is claiming that he kept it ticking along nicely until the Japanese kicked the war machine into life.

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Date
20030901

Time
10:05
Child cyclist to stand trial for ‘falling off bike.’ He’s lucky the Greek authorities recently did away with the death penalty for wearing stupid shorts.

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Date
20030901

Time
11:17
Could anything be more cringeworthy than The Star Wars Holiday Special? Yes: C3PO busts R2D2 in this classic anti-smoking ad. Now to find a video of this sucker…

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Date
20030901

Time
16:54
I must admit to watching the car crash that is Poop Idol over the weekend. These jokers wasted money on an ad during the programme, telling viewers that they could help make them famous:

http://www.worldbeautysearch.com/

(You’ll have to copy and paste the URL, because I’ll be damned if I’ve going to give them any Google-juice.)

They’re touting themselves as ‘Licensed Talent Scouts’ or ‘Personal Marketing Consultants’ and offer an exclusive and unique way to helping you to make your dreams come true.

Yes, folks at home, success can be yours with the Diamond Kit from World Beauty Search!

Why is this ‘groundbreaking promotional tool’ known as the ‘Diamond’ Kit?

Well… it’s a Direct Integrated Automated Marketing Online Networking Device.

A web page, in other words. For only £200 a year.

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Date
20030901
OMG!
Time
17:18
I tripped over Dit net wel in my referral logs and found the most incredible website as a result.

Remember Peter Pan of Pixyland? Well, I think I may very well have just found his soul mate.

(WARNING: Watch out for NSFW pop-ups on this site!)

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Date
20030902
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
08:41
Trigger your inner epileptic with seizurerobots.com (link via ultimateinsult.net).

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Date
20030902

Time
08:43
A giant lizard terrorised Beirut and I wasn’t informed?

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Date
20030902

Time
08:44
Boozeking.com offers the following hangover prevention technique but the reader-submitted preventions and cures at HairyTongue.com are far more comprenhesive and useful. Pity the same can’t be said for this collection of masturbation prevention techniques.

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Date
20030902
Flash Music Video
Time
08:51
Visually, it’s very professional – but the song would be lost without puerile humour. Still… not a bad punchline. Check out The Prison Bitch Song (link via TTR2).

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Date
20030902
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
08:55
This article about Saudi ties to terrorists and alleged involvement in 11/9 (please note correct date formatting) is ruffling a few feathers, but quite a few people are taking time out to enjoy the simple pleasures of watching George Bush drop his dog Barney. Myself, I’m opting for the simple pleasures. The Ministry of Truth is sure to let us know if there’s going to be a war – illegal, misguided or otherwise.

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Date
20030902

Time
09:06
Flotilla of rubber duckies threatens east coast of U.S. Ernie denies involvement.

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Date
20030902

Time
09:08
Atlanta Journal-Constitution apologises to readers for using picture of Britney Spears kissing Madonna on front page. Surprise, surprise, the editor realised – after a deluge of complaints – that it wasn’t newsworthy.

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Date
20030902
The Californian Recall
Time
09:11
Arniew bows to public pressure and agrees to one debate. But he gets to be on top.

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Date
20030902

Time
09:12
David Blaine is doing his best to freak out journalists again. THis time he pretended to cut off an ear during a press conference. “A quick warning to the folks in the front row…”

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Date
20030902

Time
09:14
A quick overview of Buddhism from Kuro5hin. Do take time to review the comments.

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Date
20030902

Time
09:17
Forget crabs. It’s lobster herpes that you’ll want to worry about.

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Date
20030902

Time
09:19
Boy hitchhikes 1,250 miles to Swedish girl he fell in love with on holiday. He arrived to find out that he was yesterday’s news.

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Date
20030902

Time
09:22
So this is it – we’re all going to die. (#12,623 in a series.)

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Date
20030902

Time
09:33
ScaryDuck on the value of the BBC.

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Date
20030902
Tony Blair’s Email: News and Linkage
Time
09:37
Internet Magazine:

Now you can email Tony Blair
.

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Date
20030902
Pauline Hanson
Time
09:39
After getting over the initial (and considerable) feelings of jubilation, I’m starting to have some serious doubts about the way this whole Pauline Hanson thing was handled.

Please Explain…?

I’m not entirely sure that the end justified the means. In fact, I’m of the opinion that the means will lead to a rather sticky end.

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Date
20030902
Can Weblogs…?
Time
21:41

I know what we need to do.

It’s a quick win; it’s a decisive win – and it involves bloggers from both sides of the Atlantic.

Bush The Pretender has timed his visit to this country very carefully.

We’re about to teach him that timing is not everything.

The next project will be: Can Weblogs Chase Bush Out Of Britain?

This has been a media war from start to finish. We, the proponents of the New Meedja, should stand ready to teach him a Very Old Lesson.

We need:

- Resources

- Link support

- Bodies on the ground

Media coverage can either reflect what the media wants us to know, or What Cannot Be Ignored.

Personally, I want to rob this throwback redneck of every photo opportunity he would otherwise take for granted – in the finest British tradition, of course.

What do you think?

Emails to the usual address.

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Date
20030903

Time
09:06
Still getting over Madonna and Missy Elliot’s corporate whoring? Try this:Justin Timberlake is going to rap for McDonald’s.

I went to the Gap website yesterday and searched for ‘jaynz.’ They didn’t have any.

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Date
20030903

Time
09:12
A fantastic find from Joe Smith: these are quite possibly the bestest products in the whole wide world.

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Date
20030903
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:16
Psychologist Oliver James analyses the behaviour of the American president. The man has issues.

Also: Which president told the biggest whoppers? You get to decide.

On the subject of Can Weblogs Chase Bush Out Of Britain? I’m still have a quiet think about the best tools and methods to use to make the man feel decidely unwelcome before he even arrives. I’d love for this to happen again.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
09:21
Plumber goes down for wrecking house of client who criticised his work. He’s been sentenced to do 100 hours of community service work – and the judge told him that he had better do a bloody good job of it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
09:26
Study ties IQ closely with social class. Basically, if you’re poor, you suffer because of a lack of quality input.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
09:28
Spammers band together for emotional support. Group hug! Group hug!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
09:29
Issue Zero of The London News Review has just sold out before even going to print. FunJunkie acknowledge their place on the ‘too slow’ list with this post.

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Date
20030903

Time
09:36
Lonnie Boyd got hit by lightning and now he wants a lightning bolt tattoo. Tyler Weikel wanted a tattoo, but felt that he lacked a suitable traumatic incident in his life. So he decided to stage one by jumping out of moving car. He’s dead.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
09:41
There’s still one day of school holidays left for a lot of youngsters, so today is your last chance to treat them to a visit to the British Lawnmower Museum. Adults get in for a quid, and kids are only 50p. Bargain!

On show are lawnmowers of the rich and famous (including the lawnmower of Lady Di) and the fastest lawnmowers in the world ‘as seen on TV.’

If you do go and visit, please do take some pictures and send them in. I’d love to see what the place looks like, and their photo gallery is mostly full of pictures of lawnmower manuals.

Oh, and get me something from the gift shop too, OK? Nothing fancy, just a lawnmower key ring or a postcard will do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
11:43
Money a problem? Debt got you down? Cheer up! This site lets you see how well-off you really are.

Erm, and then asks for money.

Hang on, how does debt figure into this equation? If I owe money, don’t I actually have less than someone who has nothing?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903

Time
15:35
Hey, everybody! Al’s back!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030903
Can Weblogs…?
Time
15:35
OK, the next experiment is live and ready to roll.

Heads up and trousers down, people. It’s time to bare your bum at George W Bush!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
09:05
The Sun discovers blogs. They interviewed me, but I failed to get a mention. Is it because I is a Guardianista?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:06
Dave Winer’s tips for successful political weblogging. Some good advice in there, be he’s still recommending that politicians have others blog on their behalf. How can you have a decent conversation by proxy?

Also, check out the new superblog: Open Source Politics.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
09:11
Britney discusses that kiss. She also has some interesting thoughts on politics:

“Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.”

You may well prefer Johnny Depp’s thoughts:

“America is dumb, it’s like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
09:13
Terrorists recruiting zombie army to invade U.S. They want to feast on your decadent western brains.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
The Californian Recall
Time
09:14
Arnie gets egged after he opts out of debate.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
Christianity Watch
Time
09:16
This excellent piece on Paul Hill over at Hanging Day inspired me.

Their posthumorous follow-up is also quite fabulous.

While we’re up in the clouds gabbing with God, take a few moments to check out The Christian Skydivers Association. Their motto: AirBornAgain.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
09:24
Spammers turn to chain letters to harvest email addresses.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:42
Well, Mum’s already been in touch, begging me not to stir up the lunatic fringe. Actually, I see us as more of a discontented mullet. Rather silly and oft-mocked, but we do help to keep the sun off your neck, if you get my drift.

Link support and campaign commitment is coming in from Bar Room Philosophy, BingoBowden, Greenfairy , the Kurry Kings and TTR2.

There’s also this email from Thomas (who has just been offered two Atari games of his choice in exchange for his domain name):

“I like this idea. I like it a lot. Even if I have to cycle my sodding bike all the way to Heathrow, Bush *SHALL* get a good look at my fat hairy arse.”

Do be careful, Tom. After an hour or so on that bicycle seat, your arse could very well be classified as a biological weapon.

For those who are wondering, yes, I will be making a concerted effort to bare my arse at Bush. ScaryDuck pointed out by email that the one venue we could be sure of was an address by Bush to the House of Lords.

What say you to a group buttock-baring for the benefit of attending press? Just like a Flashmob, but this time with a point to the entire exercise.

With regards to the risk of a charge of indecent exposure, a fine suggestion of flesh-colured body-stockings (with cracks painted on, or course) has been posted over at the B3ta boards. A good solution for some, but I quite like the feel of a fresh breeze on my buttocks.

A further suggestion of ‘complete flesh coloured body suits with unrealistically large appendages attached’ was dismissed out of hand.

UPDATE – A fine entry, rich in persuasive juices, over at ScaryDuck and an equally compelling call-to-action over at FunJunkie. It looks like there’ll be bare arses across Britain come autumn.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
09:54
This JPEG Baby linkage led me to an classic post in this same forum:

15 Things to do at WalMart.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
11:17
Longtime lurker Andrew Hewitt has finally spoken up and sent in a link to hangman for the inept and addled of mind. I must admit to running through the vowels before twigging.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
11:57
A fine post by the Soliloquist. The following blogs also join the Bogroll of Honour:

ChaChaCha | Cloud23 | Dearie Me | Jezblog | Reblog | Ramblings and Revelations

I thank you one and all. Right now I’m busy drafting my letter to local and foreign press. Oh, and doing some work, of course.

UPDATE – 22nd on Blogdex. This could well turn into an international sport. Good thing, too. George Bush has a new and disturbing secret weapon.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904

Time
14:55
Ahahahahahahaha! ScaryDuck points out that in the new movie about the president’s whereabouts in the days following 11/9 (please note, as ever, the correct date formatting) the role of George W Bush will be played by… Timothy Bottoms.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
Greetings, New Readers!
Time
18:19
Ooh, look at that: this looks due to appear in The Sun tomorrow, but it’s live on the site now.

Many new visitors already as a result (BTW, the official stats for this site are 1200-1500 readers a day, not 12,000-15,000), so I thought some short introductions would be in order.

Welcome to you, reader of The Sun. May I interest you in the following subversive image?

No?

Then perhaps you’d care to bare your bum at George W Bush.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030904
Bumming Bush
Time
21:57
Heh. A sincere display of cynicism has resulted from this post at Metafilter. Apparently I’m not the first person to think of showing their arse to George W. Bush.

Doesn’t surprise me.

Also, something about me bugs Andrew.

Andrew, you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last. When in doubt about a new blogger, do what I do. Use the bloody archives. If you’re still in some doubt, use Technorati.

/sothere

I have to go now. The weather’s turned cold all of a sudden, and our hedgehog regular has returned. We must build a shelter! Please send cheques or money orders to the following address….

UPDATE – I always, always get a kick out of cracking the language barrier. You’ll probably have to View- –>Source to find the link, but it’s there.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905

Time
08:38
Play keepy-uppy with your cursor (link via Ickle, whose URL I appear to have mislaid).

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Date
20030905

Time
08:40
Downing St website target of virus-borne DoS attack.

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Date
20030905

Time
08:41
How can you possibly say no to a one-stop shop for limp-wristed sperm? I’ll have a large protein-slurpee to go, thanks.

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Date
20030905

Time
08:47
Laxative-laced brownie prank leads to the expulsion of three students. One of them was lucky enough to have her expulsion cancelled by a judge because she opted out at the last minute. There’s one for the permanent record. (Hmmm. I wonder what happened to mine. It must be eating up valuable storage space somewhere…)

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Date
20030905

Time
08:53
Enrich your inner geek with Star Trek on Ice (link via TTR2).

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Date
20030905

Time
08:55
The print version of this Sun article appears to have been bumped. Ah well. Outrage at sex monsters must come first, I suppose.

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Date
20030905
Photoshopping
Time
08:57
WARNING: photoshopping kittens may very well lead to psychotic decline.

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Date
20030905
Flash Games
Time
09:01
Catch flies with chopsticks! (link via FunJunkie).

The increasingly cold weather is driving more and more flies into the office. My flyswatter is looking decidely ragged around the edges, but it’s still doing a bloody good job. Blogging has been slow this morning because I’ve been busy swatting between posts. Close to a dozen of the buggers have met their maker so far. It’s satisfying work, but very, very distracting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905

Time
09:08
We’ve discussed water intake as a hangover prevention method before, now New Scientist is on the case.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905

Time
09:11
See video footage of Arnie being egged.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905
Tony Blair’s Email: News and Linkage
Time
09:15
The invoicing of Tony Blair has just been covered by my local paper The Surrey Advertiser. I am now officially world-famous in Cranleigh.

The important thing about this article (sorry there’s no linkage, there’s a fabbo picture in there of me pretending to use a laptop) is that the journalist has managed to get a statement from Downing St. They have said that they do not recognise the claim.

I’m lacing up my arse-kicking boots…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905

Time
09:21
This database of Japanese Holdouts is attempting to list (and verify) sightings of soliders who refused to believe that WWII was over. Do pop out and check the garden shed when you have a few minutes. Just in case.

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Date
20030905
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:49
Well, the blog world knows about it. The campaign appears to have peaked at No. 2 at Blogdex, and also gets a plug today over at MSNBC’s Weblog Central.

Now we find out if people are actually willing to act on it, and if this action has any effect.

Added to the bogroll of honour today:

100% Proof | Feck | Follow Me Here | Hot Buttered Death | Ionica | The Last Word | Mad Musings of Me | The Partially Clothed Civil Servant | Pigs In Lipstick | Somewhat, Mulchy | TheOneEyedMan | timeformetofly | Wingardium Leviosa

Thank you, one and all. If I’ve missed anyone, drop me a line.

We also managed to crack the language barrier at smoel.nl, Ponto Media and now dardesar.

Heh. You know I never fail get a kick out of that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905

Time
09:55
A compendium of crazy fads from the 20’s to the 90’s. Nothing from the noughties. Yet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905
Anyone but George
Time
10:23
Countdown to Election Day: 525 Reasons to Dump Bush

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030905

Time
13:49
Johnny Depp realises that some of the people who pay to see his movies are American.

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Date
20030905
Photoshopping
Time
15:14
The Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign has rated mention in the B3ta newsletter. (A good thing, then, that I’ve taken a step forward with a planned mass mooning and a song to back it.)

This week’s Photoshopping Challenge theme is vikings. Again, it’s a busy friday, so I only have time for one entry. You can click here to see a large version.

UPDATE – Oh, and The Lycos ‘Viral’ Chart has finally featured a link to the Tony Blair email campaign.

Tch! Where were they when I needed them?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030906

Time
13:11
We have a hedgehog that hibernates in our garden each winter. He’s returned during the sudden cold snap (we spotted him ambling about the night before last), so this afternoon I’m going to finally get off my arse and build the little fella a shelter.

This page by Epping Forest Hedgehog Rescue has some good tips. We’re going to use an old chest of drawers that would otherwise be destined for the tip and cannibalise it for parts.

If I’m not too embarrassed about the result of my often-bodgy D.I.Y. skills, I may even post a picture of the finished product.

There. Now you really have something to look forward to.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
08:49
Shock! Horror! Happier animals result in tastier food! I know of a certain sheep that must have been decidedly unhappy (latter link contains some dang-doodle cusswords).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
08:53
Happy birthday (+1) to you,

Happy birthday (+1) to you,

Happy birthday dear Gooooogle,

Happy birthday (+1) tooooo yooooooooou!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
08:55
Snopes not entirely infallible. This be that fact-checking aspect we blogfolk talk about sometimes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
08:57
Man has gun permit suspended after trying to kill his brother’s car.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
08:59
Spammers in Italy now risk fines of up to 90,000 euros and between six months and three years in prison. Good.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
09:01
Doonesbury ‘self-dating prevents cancer’ strip censored. It’s based on research results suggesting that masturbation can lower the likelihood of prostate cancer.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
Christianity Watch
Time
09:04
Museum removes ‘killer’ Christ icon. An ‘energy field’ (or, to be more specific, a ‘negative bio-field’) at the centre of the painting has reportedly killed several staff members.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
09:08
Clay Shirky on the future of micropayment. He doesn’t see one.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
Video
Time
09:09
I like this. I like this very, very muchly:

Stealthdisco.com will make you laugh like a drain – and may very well inspire you to engage in equally foolish behaviour at your place of work.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
Does What It Says On The Tin
Time
09:11
A useful link from TTR2:

Oldversion.com is an archived collection of old versions of software (for when the software no longer exists or when the new versions are bloated beyond all recognition, bundled with spyware, etc. etc. etc.)

Bookmark it (you’ll probably need it one day, as I have). Also, have a poke around your downloads folder and see if you have anything useful they might need. I’m planning on donating an old version of Animagic I have laying around at home.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:29
With 7 out of 10 Americans believing that Saddam Hussein had a role in the Sept. 11 attacks you can’t really blame Bush for including as the central thrust of his address to the nation the assertion that ‘Iraq is now the central front’ in the perpetual war on terror.

If it is, it’s only because he made it that way (UPDATE: ooh, look – Howard Dean agrees). Such bare-faced cheek is the central inspiration behind the Bare You Bum at Bush campaign, and it’s growing and growing and growing.

The prospect of a mass-mooning has quite a few people excited. Not least the many Australians who emailed to inform me that Bush is visiting their neck of the woods, too (thanks especially to Peter V and Whitey, who were first in with the news and linkage respectively).

If you run a solid blog in Australia and/or live in Sydney or Canberra and want to organise a mass-mooning there, do get in touch. A sister campaign would be welcomed.

One thing that gives me hope is the massive number of Americans not only linking to this campaign, but also sending emails of support. The best one came from housebound, who said:

I just gotta thank you. Being an American and reading this sentence: “George Bush is unlikely to walk around the streets kissing babies because of the large number of people that wish to blow him up.” Well, it was fun. Everyone is so damn touchy in this country. I wish they would wake up and smell the blood on their hands.

Good to know that not everybody is buying this long line of bullshit. It means that I can put off plans to leave the planet (at least in the short term).

Bless my soul (currently valued at £8582), it warms the heart to see that so many sensible people are willing to get silly for the cause (even though some may have their doubts).

The following sites and weblogs have joined our growing bogroll of honour:

Off On A Tangent | Idle Type | Ben’s Blog | Diversionz | You Know You Love It | Weird Ass Shit | Storm Warning | The Meandering Mind of Mad Mitch | Gene Eric’s Weblog | Nick’s Rants | Quaequam Blog | Pete Ashton’s Weblog | What You Can Get Away With | Ariped | Uncle Scoopy’s Other Crap | Baron’s Bollocks | Everything I Read I Blog | Chuck’s Blogumentary | Caleb Walker | Today I blog, tomorrow I sleep | The Last Minute | Chapel Perilous | Jetcloud | Brain Off | Cherry Hinton Blues | Casino Avenue | sTaRe | A day in the life of a Middle Manager | we are the bean robi | Rands in Repose | BigDaddyBlog | Perfect Duluth Day | Lemonpillows | i am a donut | Meeting Space | The Daily Dave | Internet Weekly | Voxpolitics

And, last but by no means least (as is said) Anyhoo, who wonders if the moonfest will go international.

Well, there’s at least one Canadian in amongst that lot proposing some local action and, as I mentioned, many, many Americans.

A mass mooning in Washington? I have the feeling that authorities will do their best to crack down on that (sorry) but do have a think about it while you check out this excellent Quicktime movie (if this doesn’t get you in the mood to bare your bum, nothing will).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
11:25
Quack! Quackquackquackquack…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
11:29
Emerging Alternatives: Blogworld

See? We’re not only becoming increasingly useful, we’re having fun doing it. We are having fun, right? Uh, guys…? (Link via Chuck’s Blogumentary.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
11:35
I just went looking in Google Images for a picture of George W Bush playing dress-up in his favourite flight suit. No joy.

What? You’re kidding, right? I suspect that Warbaby may just be onto something here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
How Weblogs Work
Time
14:34
Did you arrive here via the article in The Sun? Good-oh, then you may wish to read the reactions to this article from meish.org and Wherever You Are. Do take the time to read the comments. Oh, and so things remain fair and balanced, here’s a list of every blog who commented on this article.

This entry from Gert deserves special mention in the category of Most Effective Use of a Stereotype.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
16:38
Michael Meacher: This war on terrorism is bogus!

You’ll want to be reading the resulting letters and the link cosmos, just to know that you’re not alone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030908

Time
16:45
I’ll be giving my first search engine seminar tomorrow, so there probably won’t be any bloggage until late afternoon. Sorry about that.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030909
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
09:30
Well, the seminar is all set up and ready to roll. Everybody is upstairs registering and networking. I’m hiding down here in the basement. Blogging. I think it’s time to admit that I may just have a problem.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910

Time
09:04
Goodbye Warren Zevon. You’ll be missed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910

Time
09:05
Inmate falls through ceiling tiles in front of judge.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
09:05
Which breed of dog are you? Vague result, no link mechanism. *sigh*

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910
Video
Time
09:07
Now you can download all the amazing ads for Family Auto Mart and enjoy them in the privacy of you own home (or take them to the office along with your wicked, wicked ways).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910

Time
09:10
Church of Scientology loses copyright case. They’ve got some nerve those people, especially after shamelessly ripping off other people’s sites.

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Date
20030910
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:14
12-year-old girl sued for downloading music. RIAA are weighing in with a suit that could mean penalties as high as $150,000 per song, but they’ve kindly offered evil illegal downloaders amnesty if they turn themselves in and promise to never, ever do it again. Of course, if you’ve already been sued, it’s tough titties.

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Date
20030910
Flash Games
Time
09:18
Lego Treasure Hunt! Rough around the edges, but loaded with detail. Leave it for lunchtime.

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Date
20030910

Time
09:23
My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!

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Date
20030910

Time
09:24
Mystery tiles spread mystery message around the world.

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Date
20030910

Time
09:28
Judge Allows Sept. 11 Suits Against Airlines. Here’s where it starts. Also, keep an eye out for the first asbestos-related cases from deceived New Yorkers.

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Date
20030910

Time
09:34
Librarians make stern faces over ‘shushing’ action figure.

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Date
20030910
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
09:56
Donald Rumsfeld: Opposition to George W. Bush is encouraging Washington’s enemies and hindering his ‘war against terrorism’ Well, you’d best avoid this point-by-point of his recent speech, then. You don’t want to hinder George’s noble cause, now do you?

You certainly don’t want to attend this rally in Trafalgar Square on the 22nd of October and you almost definitely should never, ever, dare to Bare Your Bum at Bush.

Plans for the mass mooning in the UK are ticking along, and the campaign song will (I hope) be ready to roll soon.

Added to the bogroll of honour today:

iCandy | Will Burnham | The Daily Post | Bumptious | NomadChick | CheeseDog | ambivalent imbroglio | Carlton Hibbert’s Illustration Blog | Nick Denny | melancholic in mid Glamorgan

Language barrier cracked today courtesy of Sargasso and Vouich.com

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Date
20030910
OK, So I’m a Star Wars Geek
Time
09:57
I can be a mite obsessive at times, but at least I’m not this far gone. (Cheers to Steve for the heads-up.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
10:33
Thanks to everybody who emailed and wished me well for the search engine seminar yesterday. I had no idea you guys cared so much (but please do stop, it’s making me blush).

I was worried that nerves would hit me at the last minute, but this didn’t happen and the whole presentation went very, very smoothly.

I started out by outlining basic principles of keywords, search engines and directories (a lot of people were surprised at just how important a simple listing in the Open Directory Project is).

I also outlined the importance of human response, not just now with Google, but almost certainly in the future with databases being developed by MSN and Yahoo!

Along the way, there were case studies of a few things you may already be familiar with (peeking as you do into my daily dealings in the petri dish) including Lugjam, The Star Wars Photoshopping Project, The Universal Church of the Interactive Network and Tom’s Teens! page.

I only got to glance at the comment forms this morning (someone, somewhere, is typing like mad right now) but the words that kept popping up again and again were ‘very useful,’ ‘informative,’ and ‘great’ – which pleased me no end.

Russ Hirst happened by the blog as a result, and made his way past the spamblock to say:

“Cracking seminar this morning, excellent content and good delivery style!”

The boss even dropped by my desk with a bottle of bubbly this morning (I’m not sure if this was meant to be a gesture of thanks or contra payment in lieu of a raise, but perhaps if I cash it in at the local off-license it can be both).

The one thing I didn’t do was factor in the need for handouts (some parts were pretty technical), so for the rest of the day I’ll be busy creating a summary document.

Roll on, October 17th.

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Date
20030910
Flash Games
Time
11:15
Defend yourself against the evil Mutant Dictator Clones! (You’ll need a fast machine and a zippy connection for this one – and do watch out for ghosts of past evil dictators.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910

Time
11:25
I had a little difficulty with a certain anniversary last year and I’m sure that this year will be no different.

Well, a bit different. The Bush administration is becoming increasingly shameless in their use of September 11th as an offensive weapon.

Over 3,000 innocent Americans have died. That’s a tragedy.

But over 6,000 innocent Iraqis have died as a result of this tragedy being used as a successful propaganda device. That is an outrage.

If I do have a moment of quiet reflection tomorrow, it’s going to start here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030910

Time
15:56
Isn’t in wonderful that the London Metropolitan police are working so hard to keep the world safe for arms dealers?

Absolute gents, they are, each and every last one of them.

I doff my cap to David Blunkett. It was an inspired move to give police permission to use anti-terrorism powers against protesters.

Such irony is delicious – and such responsibility couldn’t be in better hands.

UPDATE – BTW, it occurred to me last night how talented the London Met are (after years of experience) at monitoring websites and discussion groups, planting undercover officers and disrupting legitimate protests. During the last peace march, ours was the only country in the world not to stage a protest outside the U.S. embassy. Well done, the Met! I’ll be thinking very carefully about their way of doing things as the mass-mooning comes together.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030911

Time
09:06
Windoze is about as useful as a concrete submarine with screen doors. Just as SoBig is timing out, there’s a new vulnerability alert and a new patch to download. Please do download and restart before doing anything else today. My wings were like a shield of steel throughout SoBig, but I really could have done without the 35,000+ versions of it on my mailserver at 100K a time.

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Date
20030911

Time
09:10
Wordblog sets a different scrabble conundrum each day. There aren’t any prizes, but today if you can make a word out of PEGCMAW and score higher than 24, at least you can walk away with an air of superiority.

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Date
20030911

Time
09:14
Hanging Day on police use of anti-terrorism legislation against protestors at the DSEi arms fair. I can’t wait for these guys to get into print.

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Date
20030911
Christianity Watch
Time
09:17
Take the kids out for a fun and educational day at the Creation Museum and Family Discovery Centre! When they’ve finished building it, that is. They’ve only just got the roof on and the Lakeside Adventure Trail isn’t entirely complete (I can only assume that what’s missing is life-size models of humans walking side-by-side with dinosaurs). Still, with your help they just may complete the project before the rapture.

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Date
20030911

Time
09:22
15-year-old dies after coaxing his friend to hit him in the head with a skateboard.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030911
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:25
Everybody’s buzzing about the 12-year-old girl being sued by the RIAA. The case has been hurriedly settle to the tune of $2,000. The Register, Wired and Yahoo are all carrying stories.

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Date
20030911
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
09:30
How Old is Your Inner Child? Mine is 6, as you can probably tell from the way I stamp my little feet. (Link now fixed. Cheers, Andy.)

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Date
20030911
Spam
Time
09:33
Spammers facing lawsuit from anti-spam groups wave white flag. Sorry, it’s not as simple as unsubscribing, as you should well know.

Also, a bold prediction: Why RSS Will Kill E-mail Publishing.

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Date
20030911

Time
09:37
Larry Hovis (who did much more than just appear as Sgt. Carter in Hogan’s Heroes) has died aged 67.

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Date
20030911

Time
09:51
The FBI wants to know how a man manged to ship himself from New York to Dallas in a crate. You just want to know what the hell he was thinking. As it turns out, he could have flown first class for the same price.

Speaking of idiots locking themselves in boxes, here’s a sample of what Brits think of David Blaine’s latest stunt and here’s a new report about police question Blaine-botherers armed with laser pens.

OK, let me see if I’ve got this straight….

You can hurl insults, throw eggs, aim your bare breasts and hit golf balls at him, but you can’t point a beam of light at him. Erm, because sometimes lasers are attached to guns. In the movies.

A few days ago, I considered getting people to practice their bum-baring techniques on Mr Blaine, but he’s just not worth the effort.

UPDATE – Laser-weilding flashmob due to descend on Blaine tomorrow evening. I prefer the mirror idea, myself.

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Date
20030911
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:01
Well, here we are. Two years on. I don’t know about you, but it feels like a heck of a lot longer to me. The world has changed a lot, not for the better, and not entirely because of the acts of terrorists.

Chemical weapons ready to fire in 45 minutes? Impressive, if not at all true. I’m willing to bet that a certain blood-hungry halfwit could deploy nuclear weapons in 10.

George W. Bush is an idiot.

His administration is incompetent.

Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch is doing what he can to help…

…but they can’t hide everything.

BTW, considering how quickly such draconian laws were exploited here in the UK (and who they were used to control) you folks in the U.S. should be very worried about this.

UPDATE – You can now see an animated version of today’s picture over at B3ta.

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Date
20030911

Time
10:21
Two tots crash family car on unauthorised McDonald’s run.

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Date
20030911
Can Weblogs…?
Time
10:22
Well, Lidl have yet to be completely Watsoned, but it’s nice to know that someone is paying attention.

BTW, I know what the next ‘Can Weblogs…?’ project is going to be. It doesn’t involve politicians (well, not entirely) and it doesn’t involve nudity. You’ll love it. Trust me.

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Date
20030911
Viral Marketing
Time
15:20
Xiao Xiao goes commercial! This one is so tasty, it may even take that bad taste out of your mouth. Cheers to Tim Howell for the heads-up.

UPDATE – Check out the international coverage on this. Heineken must be chuffed.

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Date
20030912
How Weblogs Work
Time
09:23
It had to happen: Weblog raises money for 12-year-old girl sued by the RIAA. Like the Star Wars Kids fund, this isn’t endorsed by the victim, so pride could get in the way of things. Still, they’ve taken this into account. The link will probably top Blogdex before the day is out.

UPDATE – Andrew Hewitt has written in to point out that Wayne Rosso, president of P2P software development company Grokster, has also offered to pay the fine in full on her behalf.

OK, that’s the 12-year-old girl sorted. Can we maybe send something useful to Iraq now? Besides troops, I mean.

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Date
20030912
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:25
I heard about this late yesterday via UKB and it’s already in the news. Blogger Pro features are now being integrated into the free version. Now all Typepad has going for it is sheer superiority – but that didn’t help the Beta format, now did it?

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Date
20030912

Time
09:33
New UK law could see teenagers imprisoned for heavy petting. Parents who ‘endorse’ such activity by, say, letting teenagers out of their sight for more than a few minutes, also face a 14-year jail term.

Perhaps AOL can help out with a bit of part-time child-minding.

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Date
20030912
Christianity Watch
Time
09:44
At last! Undeniable proof that God exists! Sadly, without faith, he is nothing. Aaaand cue puff of smoke.

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Date
20030912
Spam
Time
09:47
Former Microsoft programmer wins $250,000 judgment against spammers.

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Date
20030912

Time
09:49
Sadly, I am unable to nip into a phone box and transform into Paperbaghead. Alls we got around here are plastic bags. Unless you buy a Happy Meal, I suppose.

Incidentally, McDonald’s caved into pressure from environmental lobbyists in Australia over a decade ago and now have more environmentally friendly packaging. In Australia. On a recent trip to the U.S. I noticed they’d finally made some positive changes there, too. So why no significant change here in the UK? Simple. They just don’t feel that they have to.

Perhaps someone with less on their plate would like to keep that in mind.

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Date
20030912

Time
09:54
I think I’ve just found a viable alternative to my trusty Converse All-Stars (Converse were recently bought by Nike, so I won’t be buying them anymore).

Introducing the blackspot Sneaker.

I’ll be sending my support and a few design requests later today.

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Date
20030912
11/9 (please note correct formatting of date)
Time
10:20
I did a little more WTC-inspired work late yesterday, but an FTP snafu stopped me from uploading a blog-friendly version – so here it is today.

You can see the big version (released last night) over at this thread at B3ta.

Blogdex is lousy with Sept. 11 linkage this morning, so please excuse me while I do a quick rundown for the record:

The The September 11 Digital Archive was extremely well-linked, as was the tale of the falling man, but this collection of personal stories has more meat on its bones, as does this year-old collection of untoward feelings, which enjoyed a revival of sorts.

Many folks sent in a link to a photo-mosaic of George W Bush which they thought tied in neatly with the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign. I wasn’t going to blog it, but as we’re all grown-ups here and it’s charting well at Blogdex anyway:

See a picture of George Bush made up of a variety of sphincters. In varying states of health (careful @ work, avoid @ lunch).

Incidentally, George couldn’t resist feeding off the terrorists yesterday, but finally the backlash has started. In fact, people are starting to ask all sorts of awkward questions.

Anyway, that’s it for the rundown. The anniversary has come and gone and we (mostly) survived unscathed. Perhaps now we can look forward to happier times, such as International Talk Like a Pirate Day, scheduled to take place next Friday.

UPDATE – The UK headquarters be here. Arrrrrr.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030912

Time
10:22
Tommy Chong has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison and fined $20,000 for selling drug paraphernalia over the Interwebnet. Replying “Dave’s not here, man!” failed to prevent a raid by the DEA.

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Date
20030912
Flash Games
Time
10:30
You’re a rabbit. Some damn fool has given you a gun. Your choice is clear. (Link via FunJunkie, who boast the usual collection of Friday games today.)

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Date
20030912

Time
10:32
Monty Python: The Musical! The end days are upon us, etc. etc.

Oh, while we’re on the subject, Joe Smith has emailed the following:

Yes! We’re all individuals! Is someone illegally cloning corporate-speak?

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Date
20030912

Time
10:37
Planned Blaine-lasering reaches mainstream media. Police are sure to be aware by now, so do watch your step and be prepared for a damp squib.

Incidentally, the mass-mooning of Bush will most probably have no timetable, no staging area, and no organisers. Just a lot of people up and down the country with their necessary equipment on stand-by.

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Date
20030912

Time
10:41
Mmmm, some tasty links today. What flavour would you like – news censorship or social hygiene?

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Date
20030912
Doing The Rounds
Time
17:17
You’re bound to get a copy of this by email (assuming you haven’t already):

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

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Date
20030913

Time
14:36
Christian advertising with hilarious results – or a silly own goal? This story had me smiling all the way through breakfast, even thought I did have other things on my mind.

Dead police, dangerous rumours, U.S. denials and missing bodies? This massacre is going to be very hard to explain away, but Paul Krugman thinks that this administration’s infallibility complex is going to lead to much, much worse in the future.

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Date
20030914
Can Weblogs…? – Bare Your Bum at Bush!
Time
09:20
Scotland’s Sunday Herald reports on the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign. Cheers to Stephen Naysmith for a cracking article and some serious coverage. I’m quite tickled that the Foreign Office declined to comment.

UPDATE – Public Support Wanes for Bush Foreign Policy. Oh dear, how can that be?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915
Lettters
Time
09:27
Just thought I’d share a glimpse or two of some recent email on this fine and sunny Monday morning…

Russell attended my recent search engine seminar. I’ve already found his new blog (I’m ever so sneaky) but I won’t be linking to it until he has a chance to play around and flesh it out a bit. I found this letter to be quite heartening, as it shows the pronounced effect weblogs can have when they bypass mainstream media and/or give access to a wider variety of same:

The link to the chap in Iraq is illuminating, to say the least and has helped to change

my perspective on the world generally, since I started to read all the blogs – cracking stuff!! I am desperate to start my own weblog and start getting actively involved in blogging, but am treading carefully, so as not to end up in a corner on my own!! You know, I never had a particularly strong view of Bush until this week, now I think he is a complete c… and a w….r !!!

As you know, I had some misgivings about what to say (and what not to say) about Sept. 11th. It looks like I found the right balance, at least at far as Y. Bee Normal is concerned:

Thanks for not being an asshole about 9/11. You just say the government is full of crap. You never said the people in there deserved it or minimized what they went through… I just get so angry when people say we deserved it. I know the people in Iraq didn’t deserve it and neither did we.

It seems like you are more interested in actually getting some stuff to change rather than laughing at other people’s suffering. I always read with interest what you have to say and will treat it seriously because I know this.

Sadly, I failed to reach everybody. Patrick McGuinness emailed in with a word or two from Texas. It was a long email, but here’s the guts of it:

Bush is the Churchill of the War of Terror. He will do what is right no matter what ignorant nay-sayers say, because this fight is too important not to win.

I for one am grateful that your PM Tony Blair “get’s it”, even if many of his fellow UK citizens do not. If you dont “get it”, keep your pants on, sit down and *watch* and *listen*, you might actually learn something from your betters.

The last word, however, must go to Jon Peace:

As an American citizen, I have just one thing to say about this…if he comes over to England, would you keep him…please!?

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Date
20030915

Time
09:29
The flashmob/lasering of David Blaine didn’t amount to much and there’s some rather unkind discussion about it over at Fark. I’ll keep my eye out for other reports today (if, indeed, there are any to be found – it sounds like no-one turned up). Me, I’m happy to go it alone, mono e mirror.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915

Time
09:37
Behold the Pieces of Eight All Amputee Skydiving Team as they embrace gravity! The site is sadly short on copy, but it does take a moment to say: ‘These guys are not handicapped, they just come with some assembly required!’

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Date
20030915

Time
09:41
Next month is National Novel Writing Month. Apparently. I won’t be playing, but the FAQ may tickle you, advising as it does that this is a good idea because ‘if you don’t do it now, you probably never will’ and ‘aiming low is the best way to succeed’. Words to live by.

And no, I haven’t typed a bloody thing since my Dead Blog Holiday, but the opening chapter is an unrivalled work of art that I’m still happy to admire privately.

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Date
20030915

Time
09:48
The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions (PartI) Sorry, it has no bananas. (Link via TTR2.)

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Date
20030915

Time
09:50
My Reference links folder just grew by one with the inclusion of the Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century. Cheers, Scott.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
09:52
The Onion’s still on the money: Saddam Proud He Still Killed More Iraqi Civilians Than U.S.

So far….

On that note, Hanging Day has a nice piece on recent happenings. Oh well. Omelettes, eggs and all that. At least they’ve returned the bodies and said ‘sorry’. That makes everything OK, right?

(Well, I can think of at least one blogger that may disagree…)

BTW, Bush is trying to keep an eye on the budget. Wounded U.S. soldiers have to pay for their own food.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915
Micropayment
Time
10:04
Scott McCloud responds to Clay Shirky’s negative spin on micropayment. Sorry if this stuff bores you, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915

Time
10:12
Dodgy George W. Bush $200 bill successfully passed in North Carolina.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
10:13
Technology has us in its thrall this morning: Mobile telephones could cause an entire generation to go prematurely senile, but at least we can all ride escalators into orbit. Now we just have to remember not to spit over the side.

Also getting a fair amount of attention is the RIAA petition which claims, quite rightly, that this strong-arm action is actually doing very little to benefit artists. The final word on this goes to Deadbrain.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030915

Time
10:20
Australia: home of the Big (insert object here).

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Date
20030915
Can Weblogs…? – Baring Your Bum at Bush
Time
10:22
For those who missed it, here’s yesterday’s article on bum-baring from Scotland’s Sunday Herald. Also, the Washington Post has some serious points for you to ponder on the subject of dwindling liberty.

And *ahem* this is a little bit embarrassing, but Koit has gone all-out to finish a music track in good time for the Bare Your Bum at Bush campaign, but I’ve just arrived at work to find a mountain of must-dos waiting for me. I don’t suppose there’s a stray flash developer out there who wants to make a nifty show to go with this? I won’t have time to do much more than scratch my left buttock before Thursday at the earliest.

UPDATE – George really must be more careful with his hand gestures. This one damn near gives the game away.








Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

16-29 August, 2003

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Date
20030816

Time
13:27
Independent poll shows 25% of voters in favour of Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante. Arnie follows close behind at 22%. Poor old Gary Coleman doesn’t even appear to rate a single digit.

BTW, all the short-cuts made to bring this ridiculous recall in under budget have finally elicited a response from the folks who are supposed to authorise such changes to the voting system. Apparently they may act.

Altogether now: Ooooooooh!

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Date
20030816

Time
15:50
Bye-bye Idi Amin. I’m sure that history will forgive you.

You were, after all, merely a harmless buffoon who liked to play soldiers… right?

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Date
20030818
It’s War! And Things Is Getting Ridiculous!
Time
09:21
US unveils new secret weapon – photoshopping!

1. Using photoshopping for political ends? Damn, wish I’d thought of that. Devilishly clever, the U.S. Army.

2. I do hope that said army plans to seek the permission of the creators of these images before using them on the streets of Iraq.

3. I do hope that The Guardian sought of the permission creators of these images before using them on their front page.

4. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if an Iraqi citizen chose to put up posters of George Bush with breasts.

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Date
20030818

Time
09:26
US troops shoot Reuters cameraman in Iraq. They mistook his camera for a rocket propelled grenade launcher. Easy mistake to make.

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Date
20030818

Time
09:28
Hanging Day on the possibility of U.N. reform. Read, learn and laugh out loud.

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Date
20030818

Time
09:31
Dale and his readers ponder the significance of the Universal Church of the Interactive Network.

Note to self: find out who this Lain fella is.

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Date
20030818

Time
09:33
The beginner’s guide to Sumo wrestling (link via TTR2).

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Date
20030818

Time
09:35
Homeless woman incarcerated for stealing a shopping cart. She spent a week in the cells before a journalist pointed out the obvious.

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Date
20030818
The Big Blackout
Time
09:38
Power outage traced to dim bulb in the White House. Deregulation strikes again.

Also, see John Wehr’s photos of New Yorker’s aimlessly wandering the streets and read some tips from Iraqis for dealing with a blackout in hot conditions.

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Date
20030818

Time
09:46
Build a goddess in your own back yard. Remember, you’re not breaking the second commandment if you refer to it as an icon.

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Date
20030818

Time
09:49
Hospital elevator doors sever doctor’s head in freak accident.

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Date
20030818
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:51
Tom Watson and Richard Allan have been interviewed by BBC Radio regarding the political effectiveness of weblogs. Yours truly also rated a mention. Cheers, Tom.

The content has been syndicated, thus the report from Elena that I scored airtime on Australian radio. An archived sound file should appear here later today.

I may be getting my wires crossed, but I’m pretty sure that this eventuated because of interest in Tom’s Teens page. This post from Tom seems to confirm that.

While we’re on the subject, Wibbler reports that FHM forgot to scroll down and included a link to the Teens page in their newsletter, citing it as genuine.

It amazes me that, with at least a dozen giveways in the text and now the new message at the bottom of the page, that this continues to fool people.

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Date
20030818
Flash Games
Time
10:05
Throw things at your boss and go ‘Tony Martin’ on some intruders. Then do try to get some work done. The economy won’t fix itself.

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Date
20030818
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
10:08
The Guardian on biased reporting of the Hutton Inquiry.

Rupert Murdoch’s major rag The Sun is running a week-long feature on asylum seekers to keep the masses distracted, starting with this wonderful piece based on a survey of Sun readers. I’m sure you can guess what the results are.

UPDATE – Topping the Blogdex chart this morning is a right old Beeb-basher of an article. Find out what other bloggers are saying about it by clicking here or here.

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Date
20030818
Photoshopping
Time
10:54
Hehehe. Here’s a right-old blast from the past that I tripped over today when looking for images of anti-war protestors.

This week’s B3ta comp is the double-take challenge. I woke up with this in my head this morning (that’s why I had to go anti-war image surfing). It’s just been front-paged (read the related B3ta thread here).

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Date
20030818
Christianity Watch
Time
13:39
Almost forgot to blog this: Vatican ‘ordered abuse cover-up’

The initial spin is that this was for the good of the victims.

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Date
20030818

Time
17:32
Warren Ellis writes a book via a weblog! Bloody great, and only up to part 6 if you want to jump on board.

(Ellis is the author of Transmetropolitan, a downright tasty series of graphic novels. His main/personal weblog is here.)

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Date
20030818

Time
17:39
Be the geekiest kid on your block with a Star Wars credit card!

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Date
20030819
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:20
That radio interview with Tom Watson and Richard Allan is finally live at this page (NetNews 17/08/03 ).

Direct links to media files: Realplayer | WMV

Hehe. ‘Honestnessness’….?

Do excuse me, it was my first radio interview.

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Date
20030819
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:24
Harsh words, ill-advised posts, and a visit from Child Protective Services. It all looks very messy. I’m staying out of it.

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Date
20030819
Games
Time
09:31
Lemmings and zombies, death and disease. What a lovely way to start the day.

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Date
20030819

Time
09:46
Mark Wards gets in on the dangers of Word documents and, as Hanging Day points out, pads this summer story with superfluous technical cleveryness.

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Date
20030819

Time
09:52
A satellite image of NYC looking pretty dark.

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Date
20030819

Time
09:53
Single males ‘between the ages of 21 and 30 with a steady job, a love of children, strong morals, and no criminal baggage’ can feel free to audition for a chance to date this woman’s daughter. Think carefully before you do. Can you imagine what this woman would be like as a mother-in-law?

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Date
20030819
The Political Weblog Movement
Time
09:56
*sigh*

I’ve commented before on my doubts about Howard Dean being presented as Political Blogger Prime. That he rarely posts on his own damn site might suggest to some that he doesn’t quite get it.

Now, Howard Dean’s team has admitted to spamming.

To their credit, they’ve admitted the mistake (resulting from trusting a dodgy contractor) and seem pretty serious about not letting it happen again.

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Date
20030819

Time
10:02
If you’ve recently been overheard making disparaging remarks about George W. Bush that may or may not be feasibly construed as a threat, then take heart. With this handy guide to SWAT team hand signals, you’ll know exactly what the squad of black-clad government-approved gun-nuts on your front lawn are up to right up to the moment when they slap the cuffs on (or accidentally pop a cap in your ass).

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Date
20030819

Time
10:06
A criminal recently broke into a the home of an artist and found what he thought was a head in jar. He immediately informed the authorities. For the exciting conclusion to this story, tune into the BBC or Canada.com News.

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Date
20030819
Christianity Watch
Time
10:14
Ahahahahahahaha!

This quick study of Christian sex-education LPs is a fantastic find from The Ultimate Insult. The relevant MP3 files are pretty hefty, but Scott’s 100% on the money when he says that they’re worth the download.

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Date
20030819
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
10:16
RSS feeds, aggregators… * oh, sorry… I dropped off for a moment there.

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Date
20030819

Time
10:19
Hooray for the triumphant return of the Tasmanian tiger!

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Date
20030819
Yet Another Lame Quiz
Time
11:43
How Tolerant Are You? is a quiz meant to promote this campaign. They want to ‘get people of all faiths and none to give time to each other.’

Prince Naseem thinks it’s ‘wicked.’ In a good way.

1. The quiz is spread over two pages for some reason.

2. It hits you with an email capture function before you can get to your results.

3. Then, when it presents your results, it doesn’t allow you to show these on your website via a simple copy and paste mechanism. It does allow you to forward a link to another person by email via a pretty bog-standard referral tool, but that doesn’t let you automatically reveal your results, either.

This is not how the quiz format is supposed to work, people…

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Date
20030819
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
13:05
No 10 knew: Iraq no threat.

Downing Street chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, sent the following private warning a week before the dodgy dossier was released:

“We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that (Saddam Hussein) is an imminent threat.”

Now, let’s look at what the world leaders had to say for themselves in the eve of war:

Tony Blair: “Iraq continues to deny that it has any weapons of mass destruction, although no serious intelligence service anywhere in the world believes it.”

Oh, really? What about our own intelligence service, then?

George W Bush: “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

Other governments? Oh, that’ll be us then. Sorry, we were wrong. Actually, we were lying our asses off to help out our special-friends-in-need, but it certainly got the job done, didn’t it?

Stress levels rising. Red mist descending. Please pass the kittens.

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Date
20030819

Time
16:01
Blast hits UN building in Baghdad. It was a car-bomb, not a confused marine.

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Date
20030819

Time
17:22
It seems like every man and his dog wants to tell B3tans about the giant gerbil infestation in China. Trust me, they know.

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Date
20030820

Time
10:25
Some mornings it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

I have a hat-full of headaches today, so there’s going to be very little bloggage.

I would, however, like to draw your attention to the following shameless attempt by The Sun to downplay the importance of the Hutton Inquiry.

Oh, and do update and scan today. Judging by the number of virus attachments that arrived at my main email address this morning, at least a few of you seem to be infected with the Nachi worm (which bizarrely, seems to have been created to destroy the MSBlast virus). The Symantec profile on this is here.

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Date
20030820
Tony Blair’s Email: The Delivery!
Time
20:03

Well, how about that? I did it!

You can now email Tony Blair via this web page – and it only took 304 days, 17 hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds to make it happen.

I’ve just sent the following email via the service:

Dear Tony,

Congratulations and welcome to the Interwebnet. You may get some stick about the web-based format and the front-end filtering on this email service, but I think it’s a damn fine idea.

I hope you enjoy the benefits of immediate feedback, and maybe even get a kick out of successfully answering the odd email or two.

All the best,

Tim Ireland

http://www.bloggerheads.com/

PS – OK, that’s game. I win. Now *you* get to make naked pictures of *me*.

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Date
20030820
Tim Ireland’s RSS: The Promise
Time
21:51
Fair comment.

OK, it will take a lot of effort to migrate to a new system to sort permalinks and what not, but I’m sure I can handle an interim RSS feed. Good enough?

Somebody showed me a sample via Sitescooper or something like that, but I’ll take any suggestions if you’ve got ‘em.

Fast, easy and effective. That’s all I ask.

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Date
20030820
Tony Blair’s Email: The Delivery!
Time
22:35
Aaaand, KableNET are first with the story!

No mention of the campaign (funny, I sent them an angry email days ago) but this article does point out that the facility was ‘tested and developed (over) the past nine months.’

If Tim Yeo dares to poke his head above the parapet and take credit, I am going to be very upset and uncontrollably vocal about that.

Oh, has anyone else noticed how closely they followed my specifications? I’m having a quiet little think about that, let me tell you.

I can’t help but wonder how much of that £11,000 I’m entitled to…

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Date
20030821
Tony Blair’s Email: The Delivery!
Time
09:00

We did it!

You, me, and everybody else who linked, mailed, faxed and acted to support the 11-month-long campaign.

For those who missed the announcement late yesterday, you can now send an email to Tony Blair via the following URL:

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page821.asp

I was up until 2am sending ‘thank you’ emails to everybody who supported the campaign (if I’ve missed anyone, I do apologise).

Special thanks go out to the following people:

My local MP Sue Doughty, who tabled the first written question in Parliament.

Tom Watson, who backed the campaign in many ways (we deleted 9.1Mb of Tony Blair’s email in his office), tabled a follow-up question in parliament and was so inspired by the way we took action on this that he decided to join us in the blogosphere.

My two Downing St spies (who should probably remain anonymous), who provided vital inside information.

Kevin Marks, who provided us with the fantastic interim measure of an email-to-fax address.

And – last, but by no means least – Cherie Blair, who took the time to answer my email, was very sporting about the whole nude image thing, and whose timely influence helped me to (finally) get through to Tony’s interwebnet team.

Now, we move onto the small matter of the design of the service. It gets a chilly reception at The Guardian, along with the inevitable comparison to the recent changes at Dubya’s website, but if you take a close look at the specifications laid out back in January you’ll see that the new service pretty much follows these specs to the letter.

The specifications called for ‘a form format with a hidden destination,’ and this is precisely what they’ve delivered. I’m not sure what form the automated and direct replies take yet, but I’ll be watching very closely and will let you know as and when.

The specifications also contained the following recommendation:

“I accept that you don’t have time to read everything (or even close to 1% of it), this is why those who do deal with your email should classify each and every valid message according to the issue it addresses and the position it takes on this issue – then make a record of it (e.g. hunting-for, immigrants-against). A table can then be drawn up to give you a weekly overview of direct feedback. A simple program should suffice, but it will have to be reasonably intelligent, otherwise you might get the idea that a policy of hunting immigrants will win you the next election.”

The Downing St site, which actually has a modest filtering device on the front-end to start this process, also announces that:

“All e-mail messages are read and each month the Prime Minister receives a report on the issues raised, together with a representative sample of individual e-mails.”

That’s not only a damn fine result, it pretty much warrants an invoice.

Updates will follow throughout the day. Given that the release from Downing St makes it clear that work on this facility began in earnest 9 months ago, I can’t wait to see if Tim Yeo will dare to take the credit.

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Date
20030821
Tony Blair’s Email: News and Linkage
Time
09:37
Heh. The BBC hasn’t mentioned it on their news site, but at least they’ve told the kids about it.

TTR2 is encouraging people to email Tony Blair today, as is Wibbler.

Hip-hips and huzzahs:

Bar Room Philosophy

Martin Lloyd’s MBA Experience

Ramblings and Revelations

Voxpolitics

Off On a Tangent

Slugger O’Toole

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Date
20030821

Time
09:55
Bride-rage ends in arrest! The story is great, and the accompanying mugshot is to die for.

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Date
20030821

Time
10:20
Pauline Hanson jailed for electoral fraud! My day just keeps getting betterer and betterer. (Link via this excellent entry at Bar Room Philosophy.)

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Date
20030821

Time
11:13
Sobig-F fastest growing virus ever. Ten scrubbed copies of this have arrived in my Inbox over the last hour alone. There were well over 100 that arrived yesterday.

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Date
20030821
Search Engine Optimisation
Time
11:19
Yahoo prepares to dump Google. Testing is taking place via their Australian portal, which will surprise a few bods who expected this to take place in the UK first.

Don’t expect change anytime soon. If the Inktomi database isn’t up to scratch, this could take a while.

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Date
20030821

Time
12:14
The Guardian has launched a new weblog with a great central porpoise.

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Date
20030821
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
12:33
I’ve checked today’s blog with the Gender Genie and I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that I don’t write like a complete girl. (Unless of course you test any of my articles or campaign pages. For some strange reason, these ooze oestrogen.)

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Date
20030821
Tony Blair’s Email: News and Linkage
Time
13:12
ZDNet – Prime minister gets email: “The news is seen as a personal triumph for Tim Ireland, an Internet enthusiast who has spent the last three years campaigning for the prime minister to become an email user.”

Inches and linkage. Result!

Of course, the core campaign has only been running for 11 months, but I’m sure we can forgive minor inaccuracies on such a happy, happy day.

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Date
20030821
Tom Watson: Campaign Hijacker
Time
14:22
ITV reports on the launch of the service and gives credit to Tom Watson.

*What*?!

Right, nude images of Tom start in 5, 4, 3, 2…

(Yes, I’m kidding. This isn’t the first time Tom’s comments have been edited to remove vital big-ups and name-checks. That’s one of the reasons why the man runs a weblog.)

UPDATE – Oh, I do love the arrogance of established media. From the same release by Tom comes this piece from the BBC. Please note that, as a mere mortal, I am deemed unworthy of a name-check on the BBC website. And rightly so.

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Date
20030821
It’s War! And Somebody’s Telling Porkies!
Time
14:42
Bogus Blair, Bogus Bush: “For the most part, American media is doing a lousy job of following the British investigation of how Blair and his aides spun the case for war with Iraq. From a journalistic standard, that’s bizarre because the story of official deceit in Britain is also the story of official deceit in the United States.”

Well said, that man.

UPDATE – Today, the Hutton Inquiry revealed David Kelly predicted back in February that he would be ‘found dead in the woods’ if Iraq was invaded.

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Date
20030821
Photoshopping
Time
15:35
I’m in a jolly good mood today. Does it show?

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Date
20030822

Time
09:46
Bloody hell! 130 copies of SoBig waiting for me this morning – at 100Kb a time. One can only imagine how this is crippling the network. It must be hell for modem users, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030822

Time
09:49
Popmates – pick your favourite album, movie and book and find a partner. A neat idea, but where’s the function that lets me seek out people who hate the stuff I like? I think that’s where the secret of true love lies.

My wife and I have a great partnership, but she hates it when I play Sgt. Pepper over and over, she can take or leave Star Wars and I’ve never been able to get her to read 1984.

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Date
20030822

Time
09:58
Your Marketing Sucks! Heh. A snappy title, and the manifesto looks pretty good. I may just buy a copy. (Link via Off On a Tangent.)

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Date
20030822
A Blog Is Born
Time
10:14
This new blog from Iraq comes highly recommended from Hanging Day. It even got a heads-up from Salam Pax.

From a comment on the bombing of the UN building:

“You know what? Something like this could never happen to the Ministry of Oil. The Ministry of Oil is being guarded 24/7 by tanks and troops. It has been guarded ever since the fall of Baghdad and will continue under Bremer’s watchful eye until every last drop of oil is gone.”

This entry will chill you to the bone.

Ignore me for the rest of the day. Go and read her instead.

If you need it, Hanging Day have even taken the the initiative and sorted out an RSS feed. Enjoy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Date
20030822

Time
12:36
PRESS RELEASE

After an 11-month campaign to bring about a serviceable public email facility for Tony Blair, marketing consultant Tim Ireland has decided to invoice Downing Street for his contribution to the development of the service.

“The campaign went well beyond a simple demand for the service,” said Ireland, “the aim was to bring about a truly viable and beneficial solution and to that end I provided a lot of information about how that could be best achieved.”

Ireland was in an excellent position to do so. Via a quirk in search engine results, a hoax address he created in 2000 started getting regular email intended for the PM, which provided an excellent overview of how a simple published address would be used – and abused – by the public.

In January, he submitted to Downing Street (and published on his weblog at bloggerheads.com) full specifications for a workable service, including recommendations for a web-based interface, subject filtering and weekly reports to be reviewed by the PM.

The new service uses a web-based interface with subject filtering and monthly reports to be reviewed by the PM.

“I’m very happy that an efficient facility has finally been put into place,” said Ireland via his weblog, “This new system is beneficial to the public and to Tony Blair, at minimal cost to the taxpayer. It’s a very well-conceived system, and I should know. I conceived it.”

The £2000 invoice submitted to Downing St is for ‘provision of specifications for Tony Blair’s email facility,’ but adds that there is ‘no charge’ for ‘provision of impetus.’

Tom Watson, a Labour MP, active blogger and valued supporter of the campaign, said: “There is a remarkable similarity between Mr Ireland’s proposal and the format of the new Downing Street email facility. At the very least he deserves credit for coming up with a very good solution to a difficult IT problem.”

The small matter of simple recognition appears to be on Tim Ireland’s mind as well. The invoice he faxed to Downing Street closes by saying that ‘an official statement from Downing St acknowledging my contribution to the project will be accepted in lieu of payment.’

Links and Contacts

New email service for Tony Blair:

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page821.asp

Original specifications:

http://www.bloggerheads.com/x-archive.asp?viewblog=20030120&date=20/01/03

Campaign:

http://www.bloggerheads.com/can_weblogs/tony_blair.asp

Please refer any questions about this press release to manic@bloggerheads.com

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Date
20030822

Time
14:31
SoBig update: Organised criminals marry spam and viruses.

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Date
20030822
Flash Music Video
Time
15:56
Stickman: Weapon of Choice is… sorry, I just don’t have the words for it. Turn your speakers on and click for yourself. (Link via the B3ta newsletter.)

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Date
20030823
Updates
Time
18:50
My Photoshopping gallery has now (finally) been updated from a sequential selection to a categorised one. I wasted an entire Saturday afternoon on it, but it may be rough in places. Watch your step.

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Date
20030825

Time
09:10
Australian readers: If you have a copy of yesterday’s Sun Herald, please hang onto it. I may be requesting a scan of the Sports section tomorrow.

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Date
20030825

Time
09:18
Cackhanded ‘viral’ marketing from the music industry? Heaven forfend.

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Date
20030826

Time
09:09
Connection… slow… downloading.. *ungh* purging… 702… copies… of.. SoBigvirus… from… mailserver!

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Date
20030826
How Weblogs Work
Time
09:12
An associate of mine brought an online diarist to my attention when that diarist made a mention of Tony Blair’s email late last week. His email address was published on his site, so I sent him a copy of my press release.

He got in touch with Tom and myself yesterday an not only published a short write-up, but also got in touch – via Tony Blair’s new email facility – to ask how likely it would be that I would actually get any form of recognition for my input.

I’ve got a crazy feeling that this diarist is more likely that you or I to get a reply. And when you see the diary entry you’ll know why.

Inches and action? Heh. I love it.

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Date
20030826
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:15
See blog entries pop up across the globe in real time. (Fabbo link via TTR2.)

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Date
20030826
Photoshopping
Time
09:17
The launch of the revamped and – finally – categorised photoshopping collection has caused yet another revival of the Star Wars Photoshopping Project. I even got a couple of (v.good) suggestions over the weekend for the first time in a long time. Funny what a little context will do.

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Date
20030826
Riding High on Blogdex
Time
09:20
Greg Dyke, director general of the BBC, has announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporation’s programme archives.

There’s an excellent piece on this over at Hanging Day, which is also charting well.

Oh, but it bears mentioning that your personal share of the archive – if stored on a recordable CD – may not last as long as you think.

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Date
20030826

Time
09:24
Texas man has wallet returned. It was found in Okinawa – where he lost it in 1957.

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Date
20030826
Christianity Watch
Time
09:28
Autistic 8-year-old boy dies when smothered by sheets during prayer service. They were trying to exorcise the ‘evil spirits’ responsible for his condition.

Not that all American are religious nutbags, but I’ve wondered aloud in the past how a country built on the idea of the separation church and state should be so ruled by religion.

Well, not just religion. Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch provides several state-approved channels for the heathens, too.

Can I just take this opportunity to apologise for Rupert again on behalf of all Australians? We really are ever so sorry that he got out. Someone left the gate open during the daily feeding. Of virgin’s blood.

UPDATE – Oops. I forgot to be fair and balanced:

Muslim girls in Norway are not allowed to ride bicycles. Blame ignorance, not Islam.

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Date
20030826

Time
09:39
Coke and Pepsi deny ‘removing’ logos painted on Himilayas by simply slapping a new coat of paint over them.

While we’re guzzling branded soft-drinks, pop over and have a peek at Richard’s Can Universe. Richard can look at a can of Coke from fifty paces and tell you which country it comes from. That’d be a great party trick… if he ever left the house.

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Date
20030826

Time
09:48
Do you have loud conversations on the tube? Look out – this man eavesdrops.

Pick of the day before the day before yesterday:

“That Dominic Mohan was on my tube. He reads all the papers at once. And he has an i-pod. He smells a bit.”

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Date
20030826

Time
09:52
A Queer Girl’s Top 10 Gay Myths

You go, girl! BTW, I’m on your side and all, but we do have to talk about this whole ‘we own the rainbow’ thing. The Bible did kind of get there first by branding it as God’s promise never to destroy the world by flood again (so, famine fire or pestilence next time, is it?) and it really was quite cheeky to hijack it as your own personal logo.

Why not use kittens instead? Everybody loves them, and they’re ever so fluffy. Oh, and they eat fish (so if you’re a gay Christian, you can have an exciting chase scene on your car window or bumper).

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Date
20030826
Tony Blair’s Email: The Delivery!
Time
10:19
Watch Shout99 give the service a test-run.

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Date
20030826

Time
10:20
This is an interesting development: creative whoring for fun and profit, aimed squarely at the Farker market. ‘People like to laugh… apparently.’

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Date
20030826

Time
10:49
This story is mainly about the flak the new Acropolis museum is getting, but what makes me smile is the British Museum being kind enough to consider the remote possibility of loaning the Elgin marbles – named not after their creator but the guy who stole them – back to the people we stole them from. On a temporary basis. Perhaps. (Link via ionica.)

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Date
20030826

Time
14:55
Is Yahoo! entering the blogfight with a competing service? And, if so, will it really blow as much as they promise it will?

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Date
20030826
The Ship/Fan Interface
Time
16:05
Origin of 45-min claim revealed – and it wasn’t made up by Gilligan.

Corporations played a large role in developing President Bush’s energy policy – and, at a guess, we’re probably not supposed to know about that.

Hands up everybody who’s sick to death of being lied to and cheated with an increasing amount of cheek….

Thought so.

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Date
20030826

Time
17:07
One of the world’s biggest ever trade fairs for guns, bombs, military planes, small arms, mines and tanks is taking place in London from 9th – 12th September 2003.

From the boycott site we get this wonderful titbit of information:

“The last DSEi exhibition took place over 11th September 2001, the day of the attacks on New York and Washington in America. While many businesses around the world closed, the arms fair stayed open. For three more days, countries including America, Israel and 14 different Arab nations continued to shop, side-by-side, for weapons to attack each other with!”

Warms the heart, doesn’t it?

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Date
20030827

Time
09:30
Running out of disk space. Have to clear the decks. With you in a mo…

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Date
20030827
Tim Yeo Speaks!
Time
09:31
Reportage over at the FT continues, and they’ve not only taken Tim Yeo to task over the shameless hijacking of the original campaign, they’ve also managed to squeeze a quote out of the man:

“I thought of the idea independently. From what I have heard of what he has been doing, I don’t think there would be any benefit in contacting him.”

1. I thought of the idea independently…

Then he’s either a liar or a fool. The most cursory search for information about Tony Blair’s email address and what action had been taken to date would have been necessary before pulling a stunt like this, surely. Such a search would have brought up numerous references to this website.

2. From what I’ve heard he has been doing…

Heard? Heard? You’re just peripherally aware of it then are you, Tim? Your arse is too far off the ground to be worried about such petty concerns? Wrong. You and I both know that you’ve been watching this action closely all along, and denying its importance and your awareness makes you look like an arrogant tosser.

3. I don’t think there would be any benefit in contacting him…

I got in touch with Tim Yeo a full week before I took any action. (You can check my archives from 11 June 2003 onwards to confirm this.) All I wanted was an answer to my email. Then it became clear that – just like Downing St – he thought that the most prudent course of action would be to pretend that I didn’t exist. From that point on, I was after an apology. A promise was made that all activity would cease the moment he apologised. Kind offers were made time and again. If you take note of this kind offer of amnesty you’ll note that it asks a number of things of Tim Yeo. The one thing he did do was take on board my suggestion that he actually table a question in parliament on the matter. He submitted a question the day after this entry – and milked the resulting answer for yet more publicity. While still pretending that I didn’t exist. He’s made a right tit of himself all along and it’s there for all to see. No benefit? There were benefits from Day One – and benefits remain. If he doesn’t want me stalking him right up until the next election, all he has to do is talk to me like a human being.

Finally, we have this:

“Yeo too, is launching his own website in the autumn.”

It won’t save you, Tim. People don’t navigate by URL, they navigate via search engines – and I’m going to be there every step of the way with alternative reports. You’ve got my details. Get in touch.

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Date
20030827

Time
09:49
Hooray for Slim Goodbody, Super Hero of Health!

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Date
20030827
Wedding Bells
Time
09:51
Wrong stripper turns up late to bachelorette party and gets beaten up by bride-to-be’s mother. He was covering for a mate, did a lousy job (a short performance with not enough love for the hen) and got bruises, scratches and head injuries for his troubles.

Wedding guest bites off man’s finger. He also smeared cake on a 9-year-old boy and knocked a 49-year-old woman out cold.

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Date
20030827
Only Interesting to Bloggers
Time
09:58
Yahoo introduces RSS feeds.

On the subject of (ahem) my overdue RSS feed (here’s an RSS primer for the uninitiated), we have a minor technical hitch. The format I’m using does not have code denoting the start and finish of any given post. IT also names post as 1, 2, 3, etc. instead of 01, 02, 03. This is why things turn out so higgledy-piggledy in the archive.

The original developer is long-gone, and I just don’t have the ASP hummus required to fix this kind of thing myself.

Right now I’m quietly considering my options.

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Date
20030827
Photoshopping
Time
10:06
A veritable cornucopia of wonderfully naff retro images for you to use and abuse (link nabbed from