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November 20, 2002

Rabid Dundee


Dundee webcam
Dundee looks like it could be becoming the rabid city with the first suspected case of rabies in Britain for the last 100 years. You can take a look at the city centre on this very good live webcam and watch for people foaming at the mouth. We had bats living around our house in Dundee, and they never bit me. He was obviously bothering them. Hopefully the council won't use this as an excuse to exterminate them all.

Also in the news today is this story about a school some of my friends went to, which yesterday elecrocuted some children while they were in the swimming pool.

After fighting with it for 3 years, I finally gave up on Windows 98 last night, removed it, and installed Windows 2000. Now I just have to get it working properly and, allegedly, my life will be wonderful...

December 12, 2002

EU Meeting

demo poster
Copenhagen is getting ready for the expected protests and riots that come with an EU meeting, and when I was in town today they had begun boarding up shops in anticipation. Must remember not to wear my balaclava to town tomorrow.

December 13, 2002

Protests

demo1-t.jpg
The centre of Copenhagen was eerily silent tonight as the first demonstrations made their way towards the ranks of riot police who appeared to be carrying gas masks. The demonstrations look as though they may be further provoked by what has been felt by some to be racist comments from the EU. Turkey has just been told that their possible entry into the European Union will be delayed further and the former French EU president has said that Turkey has no place in the EU due to it being a mainly muslim country. Maybe not the most diplomatic thing to say when Copenhagen has a large Turkish population and many people have obviously been upset by this.

December 16, 2002

Respect

Can we have a minute's silence please for the 30m worth of BMWs and other luxury cars currently lying at the bottom of the English Channel due to this shipping accident. Condolencies too if you've been waiting 6 months for one of those cars to arrive.

January 13, 2003

Wrecked Again

Mark just emailed me to say he found this on the beach in Guernsey last week.
More pictures.

January 26, 2003

Google News

Google News is quickly becoming one of my favourite news sites. Due to the way that it pulls stories from thousands of news publications around the world within minutes of them being published and posts them without editorial censorship makes it completely different to most of the other news sites out there and means that I end up reading stories that I would normally never see.

It's the middle of Saturday night right now and I just checked it to find this story from a Saudi Arabian newspaper which gives a different view of the Iraqi war that Bush and Blair are trying to start.

January 30, 2003

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

is it Bin Laden?
Channel 4 have decided to stream the full show of 'Between Iraq and a Hard Place', a satirical take on the Iraqi crisis, from their website due to hundreds of viewer requests.
The Americans see the chance to bring traditional Western values to the Middle East... : democracy (from the people who brought you George W Bush); freedom (from the people who brought you Guantanamo Bay) and economic prosperity (from the people who bought you Enron).

Starring George W Bush, Tony Blair, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and a cast of well, Rory Bremner, flanked by John Bird and John Fortune as Foreign Office mandarins, convinced that this time they have got it right, and that above all the one thing this is not about is oil

For those who may be bandwidth impaired, you can also download the transcript (Word).

February 1, 2003

Space Shuttle Breaks Up

News is just coming in now that the space shuttle has broken up over Texas, while coming in to land in Florida. Seven Astronauts on board. Terrorism not suspected at the moment, though if they can think of a way to blame it on Saddam Hussein, they will.
02.02.03
Embarressingly, the Washington Post reported the shuttle's successful landing. Space shuttle debris is up for auction on eBay.

February 2, 2003

Bush Philosophy

In true irony, Bush has just appointed Microsoft's former security chief, Howard Schmidt as his new cybersecurity "czar." The fact that Microsoft have proven they don't have a clue about fundamental security concepts doesn't seem to matter.

Colin just sent me these classic quotes from George Bush...

"Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts."
...Governor George W. Bush

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."
...Governor George W. Bush, 9/15/95

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy -- but that could change."
...Governor George W. Bush, 5/22/98

Continue reading "Bush Philosophy" »

February 14, 2003

Make Love, Not War

George & Tony get it on
Well, as it's Valentines Day, I thought I had to put this picture in.

Whilst not kissing, the Bush administration has apparently been putting some pressure on Taiwan today to finalise purchases of billions of dollars worth of warships, aircraft, and anti-missile systems from the US.

February 16, 2003

Are You Ready?

Duck tape and tinned foods (always two of my favourite items!) are flying off shelves in the USA at the moment as people prepare their homes to withstand terrorist attacks. ABC ran a home improvement segment on preparing your home for terror attacks and provided these handy tips on what to do. Apart from sealing up one of your rooms with plastic sheeting they also recommend having a disaster supply kit at work and one in your car.

February 21, 2003

The Bushopranos

The Village Voice is running the Bushopranos, a cartoon based on the theme of the Bush Crime Family. Also, Duct tape factory sees 5000% rise in orders in light of federal advice that people use it to prepare for chemical or biological attack.

The latest source of all this panic advice is the Dept of Homeland Security's new website, ready.gov. Unfortunately, there are already people out there who are not taking it seriously enough and have made parodies of the site like this and this.

March 5, 2003

Swallow, Don't Spit

USA Today has a list of guidelines for Americans visiting Europe to help them avoid being spat on while they're here.

Avoid American fast-food restaurants and chains.

Keep discussions of politics to private places, not rowdy bars.

Take a rain check on wearing clothes featuring American flags or sports team logos.

Keep your passport out of sight.

Keep cameras, video equipment and maps tucked away.

Soften your speech; Americans typically overshadow their hosts in the volume department.

March 19, 2003

Gulf Wars II

use the farce
Well, now that it looks like the time for war has come, Colin sent me this Gulf Wars II poster. Just don't expect any independent reviews of the production as the US has said they'll bomb any independent journalists in the area. Apparently Scottish troops are being sent to the front line. In yet another example of true life following fiction, it really is South Park The Movie coming true!

Amazon Screws Up

Amazon.co.uk temporarily closed for a while today after accidently selling $299 Pocket PC's for 7. They also had 500 computers priced at 23. Unfortunately, for the people who ordered them, they're now refusing to ship unless customers pay the full price.

March 20, 2003

New Iraq Government

Chris and his colleagues just arrived back from Turkey after having breakfast in the same dining room as Iraq's new interim government. It's the opposition party which fled during Saddam's reign and they're staying in the hotel, which was full of gun carrying Americans talking into their wrists, waiting to fly into Baghdad once Saddam Hussein has gone.

Rumsfeld - Saddam Handshake

This picture was taken back in the 1980's, after Saddam had used chemical weapons, commited human rights abuses, but when he was still a friend of the USA.

Currently we're getting lots of hits as Google is ranking us 11th under searches for Saddam Husseins website. Next the black vans will be turning up outside.

May 31, 2003

Mobile Phone Recovery

I was in the pub last night talking with a press officer for Avon and Somerset police. One of my favourite stories that most of the newspapers missed out on was this;
A few weeks ago in a town in Somerset, a man's body was found half sticking out of a drain early in the morning in one of the main streets. It turned out that he'd been on his way home quite pissed the night before when he dropped his mobile down a drain. So he pulled off the drain cover and went down to get it. As you do. Only he got a bit stuck and they found his legs sticking up in the air hours later, quite dead.

January 26, 2004

Bill Gates to be Knighted

According to this article in the Telegraph, Bill Gates is to be knighted for his services to "global enterprise". First of all we have to put up with Prince Charles giving knighthoods out to all his favourite popstars, and now a man whose company the EU is still prosecuting for anti-competitive behaviour. This, they've used to force British, European, and other companies out of the marketplace, and out of business, resulting in holding back innovation and the progress of technology by years, as well as harming our economies. Who's next on the list? George Bush?

What happened to knighthoods being given to people who had spent their lives in poverty striving towards helping others; not people who are already super-rich through being self-obsessed?

January 27, 2004

Men on Mars

In a vague attempt to continue my education, I'm currently reading 'A Short History of Everything' by Bill Bryson, in which he covers life, the universe, and everything, in his own humorous, factual way. I've just read the following paragraph, which is particularly poignant given that last month George Bush announced plans to send a manned mission to Mars within the next ten years...

"A manned mission to Mars, called for by the first President Bush in a moment of passing giddiness, was quietly dropped when someone worked out that it would cost $450 billion and probably result in the deaths of all the crew (their DNA torn to tatters by high-energy solar particles from which they could not be shielded)."

History repeats itself, but at least it might stop him from losing voters who were disgruntled to hear about all the cuts he's made to other space programs to fund the war in Iraq.

February 25, 2004

Cheap Chicken

With my usual impeccable timing, Avian flu appeared just as I booked the flight here. Last year it was Sars and the Iraq war, but at least this time I was hoping for some cheap chicken. Unfortunately though, it's proving quite hard to find. Last night we ordered chicken but it tasted suspiciously like rabbit and some of the meat was hairy. There seemed to be quite a lot of screeching coming from the kitchen while we were waiting for it too.

You still see live chickens around (or else there would be no banana pancakes and that would be a real disaster!), but they tend to be in cages these days rather than running around free. The real problem is that so many Thai families depend on their chickens for income that due to the enforced slaughter happening in many places, there's likely to be widespread poverty and malnutrition as a result. Cock fighting is also a big sport here with some of the birds worth up to �1000 so many people are hiding them, making it even more difficult to eradicate the disease. Now some cats are getting it as well so I really wonder what the restaurants are going to be serving next week.

April 10, 2004

Drink Urine for Health

I came across this article in the Bangkok Post today and wonder if it's just what I need to cure my recent problems?

Family wakes up to 'benefits' of drinking urine on daily basis

The Chearanasathit family has their own way in keeping the doctor away - a glass of urine every morning.

"It wasn't easy at first. I watched the glass for hours before I grabbed it and swallowed the contents in one gulp,'' said 67-year-old Wannee.

Mrs Wannee said her urine tasted bitter and she suspected it was because of the medicine she took to cure a common cold.

After seven days of drinking her urine, she felt better - the cold was gone and so were muscle pains and allergies. It has been almost three years since her first sip.

May as well give it a go I suppose.
full article below

Continue reading "Drink Urine for Health" »

May 14, 2004

Mexican UFO Video

In the first government backed recording of its kind, Mexico's Defence Department has released a video of 11 unidentified flying objects filmed by one of their air force jets. The jets were on anti-drug trafficking reconnaissance at the time, proving yet again that where there's drugs, there's ufo's.

full story on Wired

June 16, 2004

Most Expensive Cities

Proving that Britain is now one of the most expensive places to live in the world, London has just been ranked at number 2 in a survey of the world's most expensive cities - only Tokyo is more expensive. Even lowly Glasgow now ranks at number 41, though that's probably due to my upwardly mobile chums in the West End pushing up property prices and the cost of a latte. Interestingly, Finland, which used to be the most expensive country in Europe, now comes in with Helsinki at number 23, far cheaper than Copenhagen (number 8), and probably why the Finns are so much happier.

June 25, 2004

Fingerprint Scanners Defeated

As biometric IDs are being forced increasingly onto us (Finland, Denmark and Belgium have already agreed to incorporate biometrics into their passports from next year), giving big brother more and more information about us under the mistaken belief that it's going to help prevent illegal immigrants and terrorism, this article proves just how easy it is for anyone with serious intentions to beat the systems. All tested systems were easily deceived with gelatin fingerprints made by a student.

August 16, 2004

Ibiza Assassination

Things were livened up in quiet Sant Josep on Ibiza last week when two men wearing ski masks machine gunned a man sitting in front of a restaurant dead. Most of the shots missed him, but he wasn't lucky enough to dodge them all.

I don't believe I'm linking to this as it's the worst English newspaper I've ever seen and reading it makes me cringe, but I can only find the story in The Ibiza Sun, a free local paper run by an old British couple. As they report, there was "general consternation & confusion after the event" and the victim was "supposedly involved in certain supposedly criminal activities involving cars & drugs". Allegedly.

September 17, 2004

Fanwing

Fanwing, which looks like a cross between a plane and a combine harvester, is being hailed as the latest breakthrough in aeronautical history. This story from The Independent, gives the lowdown.

September 20, 2004

Mirabella V

It looks like we haven't been alone with our experience of bad weather here in the Mediterranean. Mirabella V, the world's largest single masted sailing yacht old dragged it's anchor and is aground in the south of France. This BBC News story covers it and Yachting World has masses of details on the boat herself. 75m (246ft) long and just launched in May, they're working to tow her off and get her into dry dock.

November 4, 2004

Support Regime Change

As yesterday's polls proved, George Bush has managed to brainwash the majority of American people into enthusiastically supporting him and his plan to take over the world. Guilty of war crimes, killing hundreds of thousands, torturing and imprisoning innocent people, and being incredibly stupid, surely this is more than justifiable reason for the United Nations to organise an invasion of the US in order to bring about a long overdue regime change.

February 7, 2005

Fake Polo Ad

polobutton.gif
Though this has been out for a while I still thought it was worth a link. Volkswagen are apparently very upset about this fake ad done by LeeandDan.com showing a suicide bomber blowing himself up inside a Polo.

Similarly, Nokia were quite bothered when this video of a cat spinning around on a ceiling fan appeared last year.

...yet more evidence that viral marketing is in.

February 13, 2005

Death By Ikea

ikea in arabic
Such is the desire to own even more bland, functional furniture that proudly declares a lack of individuality, that this week one man was stabbed and nine people hospitalised in the stampede to get into a late night opening of the Ikea in Edmonton, London. This mirrors what happened at another Ikea opening in Saudi Arabia just last year in which three people were killed in the excitement. Ok, so given the choice I too would sometimes go to Ikea if I had to, but their globalisation is doing more harm than McDonalds ever have. Now, I get lost and forget which country I'm in when I go into a flat in Singapore or a house in Glasgow, as everyone has the same Ikea chairs, beds, vases, and toilet brushes. Cafes all start to have the same Ikea candle holders and ashtrays. Interiors everywhere starts to look generic. Last year in Britain 33 million people flocked to their Ikea cathedrals in the hope of sacrificing yet more of their hard earned cash to the Swedish god of flat-pack furniture and doing their own small part to make the worlds' interior design that bit more dull.

Ironically, Ikea set up their own fake hate site and were running adverts allegedly by an organisation called the 'Elite Designers who Hate Ikea' to publicise the opening of the Edmonton store. The main webpage for that has since been pulled but some of the site still exists.

February 15, 2005

Glasgow Protest

police horses
Walking through the centre of Glasgow this afternoon I began to pass dozens of vans full of police parked in all the streets. It turned out there was a protest against the occupation of Iraq by twenty or thirty students and the police had decided to send in hundreds of officers, mounted police, and mobile camera units, to deal with it. In one place, protesters being filmed by the police (which, let's face it, is just to make people feel that their identity as troublemakers is being recorded) were responding by photographing them with their cameraphones! In the end, the twenty or so people sat down in the road for about five minutes before a 'well timed' fire engine came around the corner, the police moved in, cleared the protesters off the road, and it was over. Nice to know the police are in control of this state.

February 18, 2005

Electro Wear

voatPicUp.jpg
The electro-shock coat by London designer Phil Worthington is finished in strips of fur which become electro-statically charged and stand on end when the wearer feels threatened, mimicking the behaviour of many animals. If someone continues to invade their personal space, the fur will begin to crackle with the electricity given off by the wearer, until finally, if the person touches the fur, they'll receive a nice 100,000 volt shock.

via Gizmodo

related... the no-contact jacket

February 19, 2005

Call of the Wild

16_wolf_l.jpg
A plan to re-introduce wolves, lynx, bears, and wild boar to Scotland has been unveiled by environmentalist landowner Paul Lister. Although there have been repeated calls for this to happen for a long time in the country, they always seem to have been overshadowed by farmers worried for their livestock. In most of northern Europe, however, these predators survive and enhance the environment, as they once did in Scotland, rather than causing any serious problems, and their re-introduction would be a wonderful boost to the country's biodiversity.

March 8, 2005

Tweel - The Wheel Re-invented

3603_01_002.jfif
Michelin have announced a totally new design of wheel. Dubbed the tweel (tyre/wheel), it comprises an airless integrated tyre and wheel comprised of metal spokes that bend to absorb shock and rebound back, rather than a traditional pneumatic tyre. Apparently, handling and performance were better than conventional wheels when tested on an Audi A4, but most of all, just think, never having to replace another tyre.

December 17, 2007

Quote of the Day from AFP

"International rights groups have said Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places for aid workers and journalists."

Link

May 2, 2008

Guardian Sri Lanka Article

There's an article in today's Guardian that sums up the situation in Sri Lanka pretty well. Even the comments have a war going on in them...

War-torn Sri Lanka is the last sick man of the region

February 19, 2009

Temple of One Million Bottles

Ok, I have to blog this as it's online everywhere, is today's most viewed story on The Telegraph website... and I shot it.

The Sun - and their slideshow of 17 images
The Telegraph
Daily Mail
Mirror
Metro
Google news