Saturday, July 12, 2003

My shopping list includes 'Derek Jarmans Garden'...

'Dancing Ledge' 'The Last of England' and 'Modern Nature' are all good too, mainly based
around diary entries during films being made etc. and other thought provoking musings. what else springs to mind of recent....Raymond Roussell's 'Locus Solus' and 'Impressions of Africa' for classic surrealistic text, Georges Bataille's fiction and essays are always also worth it for a spot of mind mangling with purpose. Hubert Selby Jr's 'The Room' for sheer hell on a page is hard to top...unless Klaus Kinski's autobiography can be counted here
(someone should make a film of that book, cough, splutter....)

posted by THESE , 4:06 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 1:03 PM Þ 

I just had my electric and gas meters read.

London Electricity has aparenty been bought by Electricité de France.

"Bright sparks

GOOD to hear that creativity is not dead. Electricité de France (EDF), the owner of London Electricity, launched its new brand this week, renaming itself the truly inspired EDF Energy. The no-nonsense name replaces the myriad brands that made up the old London Electricity group. What a pity that Interbrand’s consultancy fee of £2 million wasn’t quite as modest. "

The Times

hmmmm looks like they were using internet exploder when they came up with the new identitiy!
posted by Irdial , 11:12 AM Þ 

How Mr Willcock's brush with Pc Muckle struck a blow for freedom

By Philip Johnston
(Filed: 12/07/2003)

If opponents of identity cards want a champion, they need look no further than the late Clarence Henry Willcock.

He was the last person prosecuted in Britain for refusing to produce his wartime ID card and he spearheaded a public campaign that led to their abolition 50 years ago.

Next week, David Blunkett will seek to revive the idea. What neither he nor anyone else knows is whether the spiritual heirs of Mr Willcock propose to stand in his way. Are the British of the 21st century less protective of their liberties than their forefathers?

Mr Willcock, like Mr Blunkett a Yorkshireman, considered that the State needed a very good reason - such as a war - to require a free-born British subject to possess an identity card.

For Mr Willcock, being asked to produce an identity card five years after the emergency that made them necessary had ended was a straightforward infringement of his liberty.

ID cards were introduced in 1939 but remained in use after the war to help in the administration of food rationing.

The Labour government professed to find them distasteful yet did nothing to hasten their demise.

The police had powers to see ID cards in certain circumstances. If an individual did not have one when asked, it had to be produced at a police station within two days.

This was where the law stood when Mr Willcock, 54, was stopped by Pc Harold Muckle as he drove in Finchley, north London, on Dec 7, 1950. The constable asked him to produce his national registration card. Mr Willcock refused.

Pc Muckle then issued him with a form to produce the card at any police station within two days. When he had failed to produce his identity card at a police station, Mr Willcock was charged under the provisions of the National Registration Act 1939.

In the magistrates' court, he argued that the emergency legislation was now redundant because the emergency was clearly at an end. The magistrates convicted Mr Willcock, as they were obliged to, but gave him an absolute discharge.

He decided to test the law in the higher courts. Each found against him on the grounds that the statute remained in force and could only be reversed by an Order in Council.

In 1951, the Tories won the general election, and abolished ID cards the following year. Mr Willcock lived just long enough to see them go. He dropped dead in the National Liberal Club in December 1952 while debating the case against socialism.
posted by Irdial , 10:55 AM Þ 

Finally, can anyone recommend some good books?

as I said before, Empire, Antonio Negri

is what I will be reading this summer, as well as catching up with Baudrillard and re reading the Bhagavad Gita.

My shopping list includes 'Derek Jarmans Garden'

I read this, read it.

sooooooo many recommendations to give...

Now now, we know better than that!

posted by Irdial , 10:44 AM Þ 

Pity the rich, only they know the pain of affluenza.

Books...... I'll read anything good.
Recent and memorable... the R.H. Blyth Haiku books go straight to the heart, Mark Leyner 'My Cousin My gastroenterologist' and others, original World At War book from the TV series, Gibsons latest, PK Dick, Simon Schama's history of Britain series, 'Damned to Fame' the Beckett biography, 'Myself When I Am Real' the Mingus biography, Graham Greene... Feel free to recommend anything and I'll give it a go. My shopping list includes 'Derek Jarmans Garden', The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer, more Harry Crews ('he hit me, and it felt like a kiss')...

posted by Alun , 9:13 AM Þ 

Finally, can anyone recommend some good books?
posted by Alun Kirby , 6:09 PM

where do you want to start? fiction, sci-fi, philosophy, psychology, biography...
what was the last thing you read that you really got something from?
sooooooo many recommendations to give...
posted by THESE , 12:51 AM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 12:00 AM Þ 
Friday, July 11, 2003

Marriage may tame genius
Thursday, 10 July 2003
Creative genius and crime express themselves early in men but both are turned off almost like a tap if a man gets married and has children, a study says.

Satoshi Kanazawa, a psychologist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, compiled a database of the biographies of 280 great scientists, noting their age at the time when they made their greatest work.

The data remarkably concur with the brutal observation made by Albert Einstein, who wrote in 1942: "A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so."

"Scientific productivity indeed fades with age," Dr Kanazawa says.

"Two-thirds (of all scientists) will have made their most significant contributions before their mid-30s."

But, regardless of age, the great minds who married virtually kissed goodbye to making any further glorious additions to their CV.

Within five years of making their nuptial vows, nearly a quarter of married scientists had made their last significant contribution to history's hall of fame. [...]

uh oh
posted by Irdial , 10:58 PM Þ 

Not Wanted On the Voyage
Timothy Findley

posted by mary13 , 8:47 PM Þ 

What's in the fridgeIn 'da Fridge

In our fridge there is (this is no joke):

  • three pots of margerine, all different brands

  • old lettuce

  • eggs

  • french cheese

  • red bell pepper, probably quite old now

  • parmesan

  • couple of pots of salsa

  • marmalade

  • various condiments, mostly of the mayonnaise variety

  • orange juice

  • two cans of castlemain xxxx

  • milk, water and more condiments in the door

  • and finally... some gay porn

not quite sure how or where the gay porn came from, but there you are.
posted by alex_tea , 8:00 PM Þ 

re stomach flora... you're quite probably right. Finding the proof would be nigh on impossible though. All one can do is... unclench those cheeks.
Related: fluoridated toothpaste is useless, and all the manufacturers know so. There's so much fluoridation (in water) nowadays that rubbing more in is simply overkill. Like turning your amp to 11 or 'giving 110% effort'.

Anyway, it's summer!!!!!!!!!!
Time for SKA
Time for margheritas
So get drunk and start skankin'

Other music that's best in summer.... Stone Roses, Saint Etienne... blah blah I need a beer. Still at work....

Finally, can anyone recommend some good books?
posted by Alun , 7:09 PM Þ 

posted by Irdial , 6:19 PM Þ 

bit anal with regard to cleanliness

there must be some stomach flora that is being killed; probably by toothpaste or household bleach / disinfectant that is causing this spike in severe allergies.

someone needs to correlate the introduction of each surficant and optical whitener etc that has been introduced in the last 50 years, against the figures on the rise of severe food allergies.

or something like that....
posted by Irdial , 5:57 PM Þ 

Some allergies can be outgrown... apparently kids can get egg (albumin) allergy quite often, but this is outgrown by the age of 4 or 5 in most cases. There are now many demographic and epidemiological studies on food (and other atopic) allergies, partiularly in children. Most done over the last few years, since the advent of the 'hygiene hypothesis'.
So the HH has lots of circumstantial evidence, but no direct proof.
One interesting review I saw today looked at allergies in many coutries and found that Scandinavians were most afflicted with these symptoms... Swedes mostly... it implies some cultural aspects of the Swedish family are, well, a bit anal with regard to cleanliness. Northern Germans were not far behind.
posted by Alun , 5:34 PM Þ 

Toronto team says charcoal limits peanut allergy shock

Michael Higgins
National Post, with files from news services

Canadian doctors have discovered that a substance readily available at most pharmacies could prove to be a life-saver for people suffering from potentially fatal peanut allergy.

Activated charcoal has been used for years to treat the effects of poison, but Dr. Peter Vadas of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto said it can "put the brakes" on an allergic peanut reaction.

If taken early enough, the activated charcoal acts on the peanut protein in the stomach and prevents the allergen entering the bloodstream and causing the severe reaction.

"This provides us with another tool for treating the reaction. Even more than that, it is also a means of very effectively nipping in the bud the reactions when they are still at a very mild stage," said Dr. Vadas, director of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, where the discovery was made.[...]
posted by Irdial , 5:29 PM Þ 

mail it to me please....

and this was in today's telegraph:

Children 'can grow out of peanut risk'
By Roger Highfield
(Filed: 11/07/2003)

Children who have a severe reaction to peanuts can outgrow their allergy, a study says. It recommends routine re-testing of sufferers.

The allergy affects up to two per cent of young children. It can be triggered by as little as 1/1000th of a peanut and is the leading cause of anaphylaxis, which can constrict airways in the lungs, severely lower blood pressure, cause swelling of the tongue or throat and sometimes even death.

In a study of 80 children aged from four to 14 with well-documented peanut allergies, researchers found that some children lost their potentially life-threatening complaint. Among those who did, there was a low risk of recurrence.

The findings by a team at Johns Hopkins children's centre and Arkansas children's hospital were published yesterday in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Dr Robert Wood, the senior author of the report, said: "We once thought peanut allergy was a lifelong problem but now believe that those with low levels of allergy antibodies may outgrow it.

"Because of the tremendous burden peanut allergy can cause for children and their families, I recommend that children with it be re-tested regularly: every one or two years."
posted by Irdial , 2:54 PM Þ 

The Hygiene Hypothesis

If you can't get the link, tell me and I'll send a pdf.
posted by Alun , 1:07 PM Þ 


posted by Alun , 1:03 PM Þ
posted by Irdial , 11:54 AM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 11:46 AM Þ 

'Honor Bound To Defend Freedom'?????!!!!!!!!?!??!!!!!

Who said Americans don't do irony...!?

Apart from spelling honour wrongly.....
posted by Alun , 11:12 AM Þ 

I changed my album. Love is what we all crave, and it can be found crystallised forever in the work of Shirley and Dolly Collins.
posted by Mess Noone , 9:22 AM Þ 
Thursday, July 10, 2003
posted by Alun , 10:51 PM Þ 

posted by mary13 , 10:25 PM Þ 

Meau Meau...

you're a fuckin spoon. great.

What Utensil Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by captain davros , 5:52 PM Þ 

Mess Noone ya changed ya album!?
posted by captain davros , 5:35 PM Þ 
posted by Ken , 5:25 PM Þ 
posted by captain davros , 5:15 PM Þ 
posted by captain davros , 4:45 PM Þ 
posted by captain davros , 4:45 PM Þ 

posted by captain davros , 4:00 PM Þ 

Some Xbox Fans Microsoft Didn't Aim For

AFTER a 31-year-old Manhattan financial executive received Microsoft's Xbox video game system as a gift in January, he walked to a store and bought a half-dozen game titles. The video game industry would have been pleased to hear it.

After he played those games a few times against computer-controlled opponents, he got a bit bored and signed up for Microsoft's Xbox Live service, which enabled him to play against other people online. The video game industry, again, would have been pleased.

After a few months on the Xbox Live network, in May, he got a bit bored again. This time, however, he opened his Xbox and soldered in a chip that allowed him to change the console's basic computer code and bypass its internal security technology. After installing a new hard drive, he transferred about 3,000 MP3 music files to the system and downloaded illegal copies of 3,500 old-time arcade games. Then he installed the Linux operating system, which allowed him to use the box essentially as a personal computer. [...]

[...]By e-mail, Mr. Steil, the German leader of the Xbox Linux project, declared: "In very simple words: The Xbox is cheaper than a PC. The Xbox is a lot smaller than a PC. The Xbox looks better (next to a TV set). The Xbox is more silent. Therefore it's an ideal Linux computer in the living room."

That was probably not the vision Mr. Gates had in mind.[...]

XBox Linux Project

Hacking the Xbox: (An Introduction to Reverse Engineering) by Andrew "bunnie" Huang

posted by Josh Carr , 2:40 PM Þ 

The doctor said that's why he remembers things; we might have kept his mind going

what a thought ... inhabiting only your mind for twenty years ... i often wonder whether coma victims are aware, at any level, at any time, of what's going on ... if so, how they don't 'wake up' deranged
posted by a hymn in g to nann , 1:28 PM Þ 

Of the latest Harry Potter book, she [AS Byatt] wrote: "It is written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip."
Children were attracted by the powerful fantasy and the stories were "comfortable, funny, just frightening enough", she wrote.
"Ms Rowling, I think, speaks to an adult generation that hasn't known, and doesn't care about, mystery. But why would grown-up men and women become obsessed by jokey latency fantasies? Comfort, I think, is part of the reason."

And its Thursday!
As good a reason as any, any better than many.

Be Beautiful Today©
posted by Alun , 12:31 PM Þ 

4-H camp counselors accused of organizing youth fistfights
i first read this as fistings ...
posted by a hymn in g to nann , 12:30 PM Þ 

I propose, 'Beauty is in the soul of the beholder' (and implicit in the soul of the beholden)

And its Thursday!
posted by Irdial , 11:05 AM Þ 

Sheer fucking sonic brilliance.

posted by Mess Noone , 10:07 AM Þ 

The sun is shining and everyone and everything is beautiful. Why? Because of the sun?

'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder'

I propose, 'Beauty is in the soul of the beholder' (and implicit in the soul of the beholden)

Less ephemerally, 'Beauty is in the nature of the beholder', where 'nature' is that state (of being) to which Zen is directed.
The sunshine removes 'cares' from the mind (at least from those who reside in usually dreary cities) and brings them closer to their true nature, and therefore closer to their own beauty. Since all is one, then all is beautiful.

Of course, there is no need for the sunshine, but such is man, and therein lies the beauty.

From Blyth:

The change of clothes;
A world of grief and woe
Forgotten (Buson)

The poet is looking in the mirror and speaking of himself. Man is a strange creature. On the one hand, we must say with Hamlet,

What a piece of work is a man!
How noble in reason!
How infinite in faculty!
in form, in moving, how express and admirable!
in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world!
the paragon of animals!

On the other hand, there is nothing more petty, lacking in dignity, unreasonable and awkward than a human being. A trifle will raise him to the seventh heaven of bliss, and a trifle will make him commit suicide from despair. Life is suffering. We have no hours of unalloyed happiness, hardly an instants freedom from the cares of the morrow. Our friends are dying round us, our own death approaching, - but a new dress, a new hat, and we have for a moment utterly forgotten the tragedy of life.
This is all true enough, even trite and hackneyed. The poetical point is here: may there not be perhaps some deep meaning in these moments? From what region of the soul do they come, transcending as they do, reason and our deeper experience?
posted by Alun , 10:06 AM Þ 

Highest level of end-to-end voice security available today
at the lowest price!

* Lightweight and portable
* Independent of intermediary transmission (e.g. satellite, landline, and microwave)
* NO voice quality degradation
* NO delays
* Uses battery (2AA) or AC power
* Auto configuration
* 168 bit Triple DES encryption
* Diffie-Hellman (2048 modulus) key exchange
* Simple to use!

posted by Irdial , 8:09 AM Þ 
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
posted by alex_tea , 11:05 PM Þ 

4-H camp counselors accused of organizing youth fistfights

*NOTE: You can login as 'fuck_registration' with the password 'gocubs'.
posted by Ken , 10:12 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 5:04 PM Þ 

Uh oh, Guradian to charge for access!
posted by Irdial , 3:28 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 3:24 PM Þ 

President Bush's factual lapse


posted by meau meau , 3:09 PM Þ 

The Multitude!


What Hardt and Negri call an "Empire" is the successor of 19th-century imperialism. Best exemplified by British and French colonial domination, imperialism was characterized by territorial domination over certain societies, mostly in Africa and Asia. The European national state organized this form of exploitation, and Europe acted as a cultural, political, and economic metropolis orbited by distant colonies. The British Empire, for example, had to establish rigid boundaries between itself and the French Empire in order to ensure its competitive economic advantage over the latter, and white Londoners had to be differentiated from colonial subjects to justify the massive flow of profits from the periphery (Johannesburg, Hong Kong) to the center. Imperialism functioned by producing limits.

Traditional imperialism, however, did not survive World War II. What arose from its ruins was Empire, a new system of domination that no longer separated "inside" (ruling country) and "outside" (colony). Empire aspired to "globality"--a world with no boundaries, a world in which First and Third Worlds are inseparably intermingled: Fifth Avenue and Harlem, Mexico City and Chiapas, Beverly Hills and South Central, and so on.


But how is Empire to establish domination over global populations without the police powers of a nation-state? Hardt and Negri's answer lies in the idea of "biopower" (literally "power over life").

By means of mass communication technologies (television, radio, public relations, and advertising), Empire leaves the task of policing to the individual: "Go ahead. Buy that car and let the little fascist in your head take over!" This is the new society of control: There are no more prisons, only inmates. You don't finish school; remedial education is always in session. You're never healthy, but always in therapy. And the army is no longer a place where you learn how to kill, it's a career-resource center.

But, argue Hardt and Negri, this is not to say that people have now become happy robots. The field of politics has been displaced from the national liberation and socialist politics of old to a new kind of "biopolitics," formally set into motion by the social movements of the late '60s. There will be no new Soviet Union, no second Gandhi; what replaces all that is the politics of everyday life--biopolitics constituted by struggles for individual and collective autonomy in the present, such as women's right to choose, sexual liberation, the fight against police profiling, etc.

The Multitude

Biopolitics produces the multitude. In the past, nation-states had been so successful as forms of political domination because they made people believe, through various ideologies, that they had a stake in the state--that they were "the People," the central actors who, by sheer force of will, moved the machinery of "democratic" government. But in the brave new world of Empire, there is no more nation-state that "the People" can be hoodwinked into believing they still control. Political and cultural identities become pluralized. Nobody is satisfied with being an "American" any longer; you're now a Jewish feminist lesbian of Russian decent.

Though biopower reaches into the capillaries of society, inciting individuals to consume more and more commodities, this new system has no means of extending control over political allegiances. Hardt and Negri call this situation "the multitude"--an irreducible multiplicity of political-cultural subjectivities.

The flip side of this new system? There is no more proletariat in the traditional Marxist sense. Whereas Marx and Lenin had argued that the (white, male) industrial workers were the vanguards of the Communist society, in Empire, such a configuration is no longer possible. Whether the question is one of maintaining capitalism or of overthrowing it, there can no longer be a center of agency. Since political identities are radically pluralized on a global level, but also linked by a global situation (Empire), revolutionary agency must itself be decentralized. There will be no vanguards--only a multitude of potentially coalescing revolutionary movements. In short, according to Hardt and Negri, "The deterritorializing power of the multitude is the productive force that sustains Empire, and at the same time the force that calls for and makes necessary its destruction.

They draw the conclusion that Empire is, by its very nature, an unstable system poised for implosion. This, however, is not an occasion for sadness, but joy. The global reach of the multitude's rebellion--exemplified in the protests against global finance that have since rocked the world since Empire's publication--means that global communism is within reach. Hardt and Negri offer three potential demands for this movement to take up: the global right to immigration (global citizenship); the global right to a social wage; and finally, global collective ownership of the means of production, which is not only the factories of old, but also the means of producing and circulating information. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of Empire.

Those of you who have been paying attention know that they have missed something out; The Multitude can instantaneously stop the preparation and waging of war.

Aparently, the authors next book is on this very subject, how to permanently puyt a stop to war. This is a great concern for them (and us) because perpetual war is, according to the authors, the only way that the power of The Multitude can be controlled in the post capitalist world.

Thankfully the solution has already been designed.
posted by Irdial , 2:46 PM Þ 

President Bush's factual lapse


posted by meau meau , 1:42 PM Þ 
posted by Alun , 1:09 PM Þ 

File-swappers buy more music
So now the RIAA are sueing people for aiding their flagging, bloated whale of an industry, right?

"I have absolutely no doubt at all that we will find evidence of weapons of mass destruction programmes."
Hmmm. A lawyer's words, non? Even the Guardian spotted that one, Tony.

A CIA official, however, told the BBC that a former US diplomat had established in March 2002 that Iraq was not trying to obtain uranium from Niger. And, he added, that information had been passed on to the White House well before President Bush mentioned it in his State of the Union address."The whole world knew it was a fraud,"
Hmmmm. This from a Democrat senator. So why didn't he say something at the time? Cowardly, weakling, corrupt imbecile.

Patriotism, or subservience, Prime Minister?
I wrote to my MP, Brian Sedgemore, about alleged US atrocities in Afghanistan and about Guantanemo Bay. He wrote to Jack Straw, copying to me. I have now received a reply from Baroness Symons, two pages of bluff and wind, noise without substance about how Britain will stand up for it's citizens rights and object to the death penalty... I'll try and remember to post some excerpts later. Fantastic polispeak.
In reality, nothing has happened and nothing continues to happen. And nobody is surprised.

In other news... Guardian to begin online charges
posted by Alun , 12:46 PM Þ 

GB Patents applied for:

Letsbyavenue Limited Improved golf peg
Date Lodged: 23 Apr 2003

Moss, David A special camera
Date Lodged: 22 Apr 2003
posted by meau meau , 10:48 AM Þ 


Cpt Davros: What utensil are you? (scroll down)
posted by meau meau , 10:03 AM Þ 

Meau Meau; an Alex?
posted by captain davros , 9:28 AM Þ
posted by mary13 , 6:12 AM Þ 

Thank you, meau meau. You're a darling!
posted by mary13 , 6:01 AM Þ 
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

using a microwave oven as a RADAR decoy

Also, from the same page, something for you to try mr davros?

"Try this one. Get a polaroid camera. Take a picture of something. Then quickly put it into the microwave for only a couple of seconds. The sparks will fly.Then take the picture out and check out the amazing colors that are produced.Try putting a drop of water on the picture and you will get some control over the burn. You will amaze your friends and have fun for hours! Another wonderful experiment."
posted by alex_tea , 9:47 PM Þ 

what's in the fridge
3 bottles of beer
6 cans of beer
4 eggs
and a gun
posted by Claus Eggers , 8:36 PM Þ 

Mary, my recipe book says for 12 scones:

250g plain flour
pinch salt
1 tbsp baking powder
50g butter
50g caster sugar
50g raisins/sultanas (optional)
1egg in 150ml milk
beaten egg for glazing

sift flour, add salt and baking powder. rub in butter iuntil it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar and raisins. make a well and pour in milk. mix into dough with an alex. The dough should be soft but not wet.
heat oven to 220C 425F gas7.
put mixture on floured surface and knead into a flat round 1cm thick. cut into 5cm rounds and put on floured baking sheet, brush tops with beaten egg and bake for 10-12 minutes (until the sides are springy). Cool on a rack.

That sounds so easy I might even try it, you could probably get away with more butter as the book is fairly recent.

what's in the fridge

freezer - 2 'cool blocks', bottle of vodka. door - 3 lumps ginger. miso paste, instant bonito, duck fat, curry paste, 3 eggs, mango chutney, rowan jelly, milk, white wine, stewed plums (from april), mango chutney. shelves - pesto, sundried tomatoes, laksa paste, mint, lamb, pancetta, black pudding, butter, unsalted butter, yeast, spring onions, beans, cherry tomatoes, lemon, plums, pear puree (mouldy), yoghurt, parmesan, raclette, mozarella, mimolette, ardrahan, durrus, 3 pieces feta
posted by meau meau , 7:30 PM Þ 

"... but he buys his vinyl from HMV."
posted by meau meau , 3:18 PM Þ 

Listen out tonight in Europe for XPH (now designated XP) - 2000 UTC!
posted by captain davros , 2:53 PM Þ 

Shortwave Numbers Stations
Irdial Disks

Reviewed by: Michael Heumann

Static. Faint voices. Seven slow, monotonous tones. A pause. Suddenly, you hear music?one of those wind-up songs played by a child's toy. The melody repeats three times. A pause. Suddenly, you hear a female voice counting off the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 in German. A pause. She repeats the numbers. A pause. The children's toy melody returns.

So begins The Conet Project, perhaps the greatest collection of found art ever produced. This is not only a monumental work; it is also a monument, a testament to 50 years of Cold War espionage, a living document of the world's most secret agencies. That most of these agencies are still around today merely enhances the importance of this work. [...]
posted by Irdial , 2:31 PM Þ 


Gothic Funky Soap-Dodger Heffalump 

Soap-Dodger Heffalump

Soundtrack to your life:

Sisters of Mercy - Dominion

Favourite website:


Peace and love, man

Certified Personality Test

posted by alex_tea , 2:23 PM Þ 

switch off your mind and let the heart decide
who you are meant to be
flick to remote and let the body glide
t h e r e i s n o e n e m y
posted by captain davros , 2:17 PM Þ 

"These two deep-sea animals have come to a very agreeable arrangement. Hermit crabs have long soft bodies that must be protected. So they like to live safe inside other objects, typically shells. As shells can be rare in the deep sea, these hermit crabs have worked out a way to live inside a relative of anemones and corals known as “zonathid”. Most corals and anemones need a hard surface on which to settle and grow. Most of the deep sea is mud and sand, so hard surfaces are rare. By these two animals getting together, they both benefit. The crab has a safe home in the tough leathery body of the zonathid, it may even be protected by the coral’s stinging tentacles. In return the coral gets carried to new places that might have more food, including the sorts of foods that the hermit crab scavenges. It is not known how this union starts but it’s possible that the two get together from a small size and grow up helping each other out."
posted by Irdial , 12:22 PM Þ 

"The scientific name for this strange deep-sea eel says it all. Eurypharynx means “all throat” and pelicanoides means “pelican-like”. This all-black fish has a tiny head and eyes and has a huge mouth with small teeth and a big soft-bag throat. At the tip of its tail is a small light organ that glows pink but can also flash red. It seems that this eel hunts by waving the tip of its tail in its open mouth, drawing in schools of small shrimps and other crustaceans. Once inside the eel very slowly closes its mouth so that the shrimp don’t even know they’re trapped. Then the water is squeezed out through gill openings and the shrimp are trapped and swallowed."
posted by Irdial , 12:18 PM Þ 

OK, so the UA spoofing does work, but the box I am writing this text in is like 5px high, the buttons are all hidden, but at least I get the bottom panel now.


youre a fork. thats really nice.

What Utensil Are You?
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posted by alex_tea , 12:13 PM Þ 

This name doesn’t do this fish justice. One researcher onboard suggested a name like the Starburst Anglerfish would be more appropriate. This is the female of this strange anglerfish. She has very long fin rays, and hairy tubes all over her head. These tubes are known as “neuromasts” and are extensions of the sensory structures found in the lateral line system of most fishes. They must help her detect her prey, soon captured in her large toothy mouth. Less than 20 specimens have ever been collected of this species, only six in the entire Pacific and Indian oceans (in an area two thirds of the earth’s circumference!). To show how rare many of these deep-sea fishes are, this species is considered the “common” member of the family! Others are only known from a single specimen. Like other anglerfishes, males are very different. They are small and have simple fins. In this species, the male latches on to the female and doesn’t let go. Their skin fuses and he stays as a permanent pimple with eyes, drinking blood and making sperm.
posted by Irdial , 12:01 PM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 11:43 AM Þ 

Doing some tests to try to get Blogger to work with Safari in HiFi mode. Setting the UserAgent to Win MSIE 6 means I get the formatting buttons, but it's still in LoFi.

Going to google about a bit. Anyone got any tips?
posted by alex_tea , 11:23 AM Þ 

23 is the magic number
posted by alex_tea , 10:01 AM Þ 

captain, those kinetics bikes are the best ... i saw one flying through the traffic in plymouth a few weeks back ; can't imagine they'd be very practical on the hills round here though
posted by a hymn in g to nann , 9:47 AM Þ 

mary, what / where is that bike ?

I wish I could say it was in my garage, but alas, not today. My friend just bought one and she tells me it is fantastic, a bit heavier than a regular bike, but the hills are "smooth and easy". This one is particularly sleek, isn't it? I am due for a new bike, the old Peugeot gets me around, though I'd like a more stylish one for special occasions (like every day!). I do like the Schwinn city cruisers ...

Considering the alumni are mostly English, does anyone have a good recipe for scones? I bought some sour cherries at the farmers market on the weekend and I think they would be lovely in a scone with some chocolate.
posted by mary13 , 8:37 AM Þ 

posted by Claus Eggers , 12:43 AM Þ 
Monday, July 07, 2003

Straight from the Clack, developed that afternoon in my kitchen.
posted by captain davros , 5:11 PM Þ 

You are a Radical. Right on!

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
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uh oh....
posted by Irdial , 4:28 PM Þ 

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy or perhaps both."
- James Madison (Fourth President of the United States)

posted by Irdial , 4:25 PM Þ 

You are a Radical. Right on!

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
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Radical - sure thing!
posted by Alison , 4:11 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 4:11 PM Þ 

Blunkett's card trick

(Filed: 07/07/2003)

You can often tell a bad idea by the arguments deployed in its favour. So it is with David Blunkett's proposal to introduce identity cards for everyone over the age of 16, at a cost of £39 each.

Each of the claims made by the Home Secretary in support of his pet scheme is wrong. First, Mr Blunkett says that there is strong public support for the idea. In fact, the Home Office's recent consultation exercise focused on the concept of an entitlement card, a very different prospect.

The state is perfectly within its rights to demand that benefits claimants identify themselves. There is a world of difference between being asked to justify yourself in order to claim a subsidy and being asked to produce your papers when you are going about your lawful business.

The Home Secretary goes on to argue ID cards will help fight crime. This is one of those assertions that is forever being made, but hardly ever substantiated. Muggers and burglars are unlikely to leave their identity cards behind at the scene of the crime.

The public mood is said to have changed since September 11, 2001, but no one has explained - or even seriously tried to explain - how ID cards would have thwarted those bombers, many of whom died in possession of forged papers.

Nor, by the way, are ID cards a solution to illegal immigration. The root of the asylum problem is not that we cannot find clandestine entrants, but that we never enforce their deportation. It is typical of Mr Blunkett - and of New Labour - that, instead of seeking to repatriate the hundreds of thousands of false claimants who have already been ordered out, he should seek eye-catching, if unrelated, new powers.

More faulty still is Mr Blunkett's central proposition, as set out in a letter to his Cabinet colleagues: "The argument that identity cards will inhibit our freedom is wrong. We are strengthened in our liberty if our identity is protected from theft; if we are able to access the services we are entitled to; and if our community is better protected from terrorists."

It has become trite, especially in this, his centenary year, to describe things as "Orwellian". Here, though, is the real thing. In an appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell describes how a concept can be traduced if the words used to express it lose their meaning. The example he gives, uncannily, is the word "free". Now here is Mr Blunkett using "freedom" to mean more state control.

Any doubts as to the wisdom of the scheme must surely be removed by the Home Secretary's final argument in its favour: that we are "out of kilter with Europe". Indeed we are, thank heaven. Policemen in Britain are seen as citizens in uniform, not agents of the government.

The balance of power between state and individual is, in general, tilted toward the latter. That which is not banned is presumed to be allowed, and we do not expect to account for ourselves unless we have done something wrong.

Mr Blunkett might usefully heed Orwell's contemporary, Aldous Huxley: "Liberties are not given - they are taken."
posted by Irdial , 4:02 PM Þ 

Funky Airhead Heffalump Clone

alt="Airhead Heffalump">

Soundtrack to your life:

Spice Girls - Wannabe

Favourite website:


I'd like to work with animals... or maybe be in the movies

Certified Personality Test


Me? an airhead??!!? nooooooooooo
posted by Alison , 3:55 PM Þ 

Alun, this is exactly what I was thinking just a few days ago. I was thinking about how there are very few original stories for movies/shows anymore. With *very* few exceptions, everything is a remake of a remake or a sequel or a rehash... and they all suck and they're all pointless. No one wants to think anymore it seems. There seems to be an endless stream of this shit. It's driving me up the wall... my friends want to go see it but I flatly refuse because I will not pay for the same shit twice. What's the fucking point?! It's infuriating! No one wants to think anymore. They're too lazy, they're too strung up on their chain, they're too dependant to think on their own. Does anyone else here feel like screaming in frustration about this?

MoreTrue virgina power! And yes Barrie, but here is the answer!
Okay, I have seen the movie of this year! Dogville the latest movie by Lars von Trier. It is absolutly FANTASTIC!!!!!! Beats everything I have seen og movies for years. Please, Please dear blog-dialers see it!

posted by Alison , 3:54 PM Þ 

Blunkett's ID cards 'threat to freedom'
By Toby Helm, Chief Political Correspondent
(Filed: 07/07/2003)

David Blunkett was accused by civil liberties campaigners last night of planning "the biggest threat to freedom since the Second World War" after a leaked memo showed he is pushing the Cabinet to back national identity cards for everyone aged 16 and over.

The Home Secretary insists in a memo to Cabinet colleagues that rather than limiting freedom, his plan for ID cards would reinforce people's sense of liberty by making it easier for them to use services and protecting them from criminals and terrorists.

It is understood that he wants to introduce legislation in the autumn to allow cards to be brought in within the next few years. A full Cabinet discussion is expected within the next fortnight.

Plans for ID cards, abandoned in the mid-Nineties, were revived amid concern about security following the terrorist attacks on September 11. The Home Secretary believes that it should not be compulsory to carry the card but says that people could be forced to produce it within days if asked to do so by police.[...]

What is much more likely is that they will lock you up until one of your relatives or mates turns up with your card. Any fool will have the common sense to abscond if he is already wanted for some offence. All of these reassurances are just empty words, the same as the words spoken about how the public's reaction would be taken into account in the consultation. Lies lies LIES!

posted by Irdial , 3:46 PM Þ 

people who voted against it were "highly organized"

In my eyes the people proposing ID cards are a small but vocal minority who are "highly organised"
posted by meau meau , 3:19 PM Þ 

This will really stop terrorism, not that a terrorist would be able to give a false name address and then relocate or carry out their actions in the between days.

All of the 911 men had valid IDs. This is complete and utter hogwash from beginning to end.

And the line about "our european partners all have to carry ID cards" is total bullshit; just because they have something awful doesnt mean that anyone else, anywhere else, has to accept it.

This is Bliars Britain; they didnt count the true number of objections in the consultancy, then they counted it but said that it doesnt matter because the people who voted against it were "highly organized". So they are just going to do it anyway just like they illegally and imorally attacked and colonized Iraq in the face of well orgainzed and unprecedentedly large demonstrations.

Yet again, so much for "democracy".
posted by Irdial , 2:22 PM Þ 

Bikes, bikes, bikes. I get so excited by them!

Look at this one. The black one is great! Like ye olde Raleigh Chopper but all modern and funky.
posted by captain davros , 2:04 PM Þ 


Individuals would not have to carry the card at all times but would have produce it within a few days if asked to do so by police, the document says.

This will really stop terrorism, not that a terrorist would be able to give a false name address and then relocate or carry out their actions in the between days. More likely it is a measure designed to appeal to the less tyrannical members of parliament so that any bill gets approved and then this loophole would no doubt be closed forthwith.

We are strengthened in our liberty if our identity is protected from theft

By embodying one's identity in a form which can be fraudulently copied the above statement is ludicrous
posted by meau meau , 1:50 PM Þ 

Ha, you fell for it like the fascist you are. I tricked you, it wasn't me!

My eyes dont lie, all this means is that your brother doesnt look like that hero!
posted by Irdial , 1:20 PM Þ 

thanks capatain ... that's the first electric bike i've seen that actually looks enticing
posted by a hymn in g to nann , 12:19 PM Þ 

Maybe Windows Media player knows something I don't - it's just chosen a spooky combination for me - Faap de Oiad by Tool, a frightening song about aliens, followed by Science Friction by XTC, a happy song about aliens. As Mike Watt sang, Coincidence Is Either Hit or Miss.

Anyone here been to Brasilia?
posted by captain davros , 12:00 PM Þ 

New mute magazine is out. website appears to be on holiday. There's something about the magazine which I find interesting but paradoxically unengaging. I think the real world infrastructure (politics, networking) is interesting but the IT parts leave me bemused by their vagueness, maybe it just does not work in print, on the other hand the links are great.
posted by meau meau , 11:54 AM Þ 

Anthony, I am not Mary, but I reckon that bike is here
posted by captain davros , 10:49 AM Þ 

posted by Mess Noone , 9:54 AM Þ 

mary, what / where is that bike ?
posted by a hymn in g to nann , 9:10 AM Þ 

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