Saturday, December 25, 2004

Happy Miscellaneous Winter Holiday, Blogdial!

Lots of love, from Canada. It is snowing heavily right now, perfect!

Perhaps this holiday, you could consider doing it with valves instead.

posted by Barrie , 9:55 PM Þ 
Thursday, December 23, 2004

Peace and love to you all!
posted by mary13 , 3:52 PM Þ 
Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Try these fine, interesting links.

Mechanical Pong

Project C-90

C64 in a joystick

posted by captain davros , 9:27 PM Þ 

Please be gentle with me.

Hey, It's not pain - it's reality.

No, I snuck a peek a couple of weeks ago and liked it.

Wish you all what you can grab over the next week or so, twice for AT.
posted by meau meau , 8:11 PM Þ 

Best Christmas wishes from here too, from this unbelieving heathen.

I don't have a seasonal photo as such, but Alison might remember this...
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
...from a Danish Christmas 3 years ago.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
And this is lobster thermidor, Christmas day lunch a couple of years ago. About to be reprised on Christmas Eve this year. With a bottle of superb white Graves, it's unbelievably good.

As an offering (sacrifice?) I give you all welcome at

It's my smallest toe dipped in the coldest sea... the first furtive opening of my dirty old macintosh, giving a full-frontal exposure of the goods I have to offer...

Please be gentle with me.
posted by Alun , 4:19 PM Þ 

U.S. Slips in Attracting the World's Best Students


Published: December 21, 2004

American universities, which for half a century have attracted the world's best and brightest students with little effort, are suddenly facing intense competition as higher education undergoes rapid globalization.

The European Union, moving methodically to compete with American universities, is streamlining the continent's higher education system and offering American-style degree programs taught in English. Britain, Australia and New Zealand are aggressively recruiting foreign students, as are Asian centers like Taiwan and Hong Kong. And China, which has declared that transforming 100 universities into world-class research institutions is a national priority, is persuading top Chinese scholars to return home from American universities.


Muslim academic resigns from US university

Polly Curtis, education correspondent
Friday December 17, 2004

Tariq Ramadan, the leading Muslim academic, has resigned his professorship at an American university after authorities refused to give him a visa.

Swiss-born Prof Ramadan is one of the most respected philosophers of religion and conflict resolution; he has argued for a more moderate and modern Islam, and was named by Time magazine as one of the world's top 100 influential thinkers this year.

But in July his American visa was revoked under the Patriot Act, adopted after the terrorist attacks on September 11, prohibiting him from taking up the post at the University of Notre dame in Indiana. They have so far refused to issue a new visa.

Today he announced his resignation of two professorships at the university - professor of Islamic studies in the classics department and professor of religion, conflict, and peace building - and accused the American authorities of attacking academic freedom. [...],9959,1376111,00.html

Now, what self respecting student, or less, a student that wants access to a broad range of teachers, would go to an american university?


You want an education that is of the highest calibre? DONT go to an american institution. Not only will you have nothing but government approved professors, but you will have to put up with a student population, half of which will completely agree with the banning of ideologically undesireable professors. Then there is the no-fly business, racial profiling, visa humiliation - and all of that is before you even get there.

There is one disadvantage to not going to an american university; you wont be able to supersize your freedom fries!

Whats the word?

posted by Irdial , 1:11 PM Þ 

17.5% alc. by vol.

As pictured to the left, look for the pigeon feces and you'll find this old bird. As soon as you taste this swill, it will be obvious that its makers cut every corner possible in its production to make it cheap. Self-proclaimed as "The American Classic," Thuderbird is Vinted and bottled by E&J Gallo Winery, in in Modesto, CA. Disguised like Night Train, the label says that it is made by "Thunderbird, Ltd." Anyways, if your taste buds are shot, and you need to get trashed with a quickness, then "T-bird" is the drink for you. Or, if you like to smell your hand after pumping gas, look no further than Thunderbird. As you drink on, the bird soars higher while you sink lower. The undisputed leader of the five in foulness of flavor, we highly discourage driking this ghastly mixture of unknown chemicals unless you really are a bum. A convenience store clerk in Show Low, AZ once told me that only the oldest of stumbling indian drunks from the reservation buy Thunderbird. Avaliable in 750 mL and a devastating 50 oz jug.

The history of Thunderbird is as interesting as the drunken effects the one experiences from the wine. When Prohibition ended, Ernest Gallo and his brothers Julio and Joe wanted to corner the young wine market. Earnest wanted the company to become "the Campbell Soup company of the wine industry" so he started selling Thunderbird in the ghettos around the country. Their radio adds featured a song that sang, "What's the word? / Thunderbird / How's it sold? / Good and cold / What's the jive? / Bird's alive / What's the price? / Thirty twice." It is said that Ernest once drove through a tough, inner city neighborhood and pulled over when he saw a bum. When Gallo rolled down his window and called out, "What's the word?" the immediate answer from the bum was, "Thunderbird."

WARNING: This light yellow liquid turns your lips and mouth black! A mysterious chemical reaction similar to disappearing-reappearing ink makes you look like you've been chewing on hearty clumps of charcoal.


My emphasis. This is a re-post. I think.
posted by Irdial , 1:06 PM Þ 

FBI E-Mail Refers to Presidential Order Authorizing Inhumane Interrogation Techniques

The two-page e-mail that references an Executive Order states that the President directly authorized interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and "sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc." The ACLU is urging the White House to confirm or deny the existence of such an order and immediately to release the order if it exists. The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from "On Scene Commander--Baghdad" to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI has prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said to have authorized.

Another e-mail, dated December 2003, describes an incident in which Defense Department interrogators at Guantánamo Bay impersonated FBI agents while using "torture techniques" against a detainee. The e-mail concludes "If this detainee is ever released or his story made public in any way, DOD interrogators will not be held accountable because these torture techniques were done [sic] the ‘FBI’ interrogators. The FBI will [sic] left holding the bag before the public."


The email documents are here

posted by meau meau , 9:37 AM Þ 
Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg (Sleaford & North Hykeham, Con) | Hansard source

Will the Home Secretary help me on one point? Clause 1(6)(c) provides that the individual is apparently required, if he has died, to state the date of his death.

Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke (Norwich South, Lab) | Hansard source

Under the Government's proposals, people will be able to live on after the point of death and do just that in every respect.

posted by meau meau , 1:24 PM Þ 

The Cow biscuit. Fantastic. Best biscuit graphics ever.

Look at it, its a got a big standing up cow and a little sitting down one. The skilled cow biscuit eater will be able to nibble off the outer bits of the biscuit to leave just the cows, which surely are the most delicious bits.

If I was some kind of sultan bloke I would no doubt have a harem of girlys nibbling the cows out of malted milk biscuits for me

This is just totally the best website ever.
posted by Barrie , 8:09 AM Þ 

Season's Greetings all who blog here.

Love, Captain D.
posted by captain davros , 1:39 AM Þ 
Monday, December 20, 2004

Tolerance and decency are deeply rooted in England, but they are not indestructible, and they have to be kept alive partly by conscious effort. The result of preaching totalitarian doctrines is to weaken the instinct by means of which free peoples know what is or is not dangerous. The case of Mosley illustrates this. In 1940 it was perfectly right to intern Mosley, whether or not he had committed any technical crime. We were fighting for our lives and could not allow a possible quisling to go free. To keep him shut up, without trial, in 1943 was an outrage. The general failure to see this was a bad symptom, though it is true that the agitation against Mosley's release was partly factitious and partly a rationalization of other discontents. But how much of the present slide towards Fascist ways of thought is traceable to the 'anti-Fascism' of the past ten years and the unscrupulousness it has entailed? [...]

At the death of John Reed, the author of Ten Days that Shook the World - a first-hand account of the early days of the Russian Revolution - the copyright of the book passed into the hands of the British Communist Party, to whom I believe Reed had bequeathed it. Some years later the British Communists, having destroyed the original edition of the book as completely as they could, issued a garbled version from which they had eliminated mentions of Trotsky and also omitted the introduction written by Lenin. If a radical intelligentsia had still existed in Britain, this act of forgery would have been exposed and denounced in every literary paper in the country. As it was there was little or no protest. To many English intellectuals it seemed quite a natural thing to do. And this tolerance or [of?] plain dishonesty means much more than that admiration for Russia happens to be fashionable at this moment. Quite possibly that particular fashion will not last. For all I know, by the time this book is published my view of the Soviet régime may be the generally-accepted one. But what use would that be in itself? To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. The enemy is the gramophone mind, whether or not one agrees with the record that is being played at the moment. [...]

Exerpts from George Orwell's original preface to "Animal Farm". My emphasis.
posted by Irdial , 9:45 PM Þ 


A guitar processor ARTON ME-01 (produced by Formanta factory in 1981) is a floor-mounted synthesizer of effects, such as compression, reverberation, chorus etc. It has five rubber footswitches, knobs and sliders to control parameters of effects. ME-01 consists of four main serial effect sections: RHYTHM/SOLO, COMPRESSION, REVERBERATOR, CHORUS. Every section has its own dedicated parameters.

Control functions are the following:

* RHYTHM/SOLO: guitar, rocktone, spectrum, turbo;
* COMPRESSOR: level, attack, restoring, output;
* REVERB: level, echo;
* CHORUS: balance, brightness, amplitude, rate;
* OUTPUT - amplifier on, output (effect, scale - min\max), turbo on.

Indicators - control, overload, effect.
Connections: line input, output (line, phone, amplifier).
Dimensions - 420 x 360 x 115
Weight - about 5 kg

From Museum of Soviet Synths
posted by telle goode , 9:22 PM Þ 

76,000 mutated clovers

KENAI, Alaska — Some people believe the Kenai Peninsula is the luckiest place on Earth. Cooper Landing resident Ed Martin Sr. said he believes it is time somebody proved it. Martin has been finding four-leaf clovers since his childhood and started to save them only two years ago. Since then he has rounded up more than 76,000 clovers.

Some people likely would ask why a person would be so concentrated on how many mutated clovers they found, especially a collection well into five figures. The answer is it has to do with a little competition, and a little bit of pride.

Martin has surpassed the previously largest known four-leaf clover collection held by George J. Kaminski, who collected 72,927 clovers within prison grounds in Pennsylvania (Guinness World Records). Kaminski has held the record since April of 1995.

Although Martin's world record-breaking application still is being completed, he is confident it will stand officially. The city of Soldotna, where many of the clovers were found, is handling the paperwork. Kathy Dawson, assistant to Mayor David Carey, is making sure the project stays within the Guinness office record guidelines. This includes clear documentation in multiple forms.

"This is just amazing. I've got file cabinets full of clovers," Dawson said. "The mayor had kids from the schools counting all these clovers, and there are still more to be counted."

Actually finding 76,000 clovers, let alone a handful, is a difficult task, so Martin shared his secret: "I look for mutated clovers, ones with four clovers and above. Now, you're not going to believe this, but once I found 880 in one day. I found 90 percent in the Soldotna Kenai Borough area."

It's a knack, Martin said.
"People just don't see what I see," he said.
Martin expects to break a world record, but he says the accomplishment goes beyond that.

"I'm interested in the good that will come out of this," he said. "We have a wonderful country, a wonderful state and community. We are all lucky to be living here. It's just a fact of life. I really think this is the luckiest place in the world, and this will prove it. Maybe this is why the fishing is so good here."

Martin, a former member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly, said he hasn't been as involved as he used to be — although competing for a world record in the name of your homeland seems to be a good contribution.

"When you're meeting a challenge, when you do your best in anything, there is a feeling of pride that goes with it," Martin said. "I'm going to keep looking for clovers."

posted by telle goode , 7:49 PM Þ 


Dec 20 2004


By Bob Roberts And Don Mackay

COLUMNIST Simon Hoggart yesterday admitted he also had an affair with David Blunkett's married lover Kimberly Quinn.

The Guardian journalist, 57, performed an embarrassing U-turn after initially calling the claims "bulls**t".

The married father-of-two and host of Radio 4's News Quiz emerged from his London home 16 hours later and confessed he WAS the third man sleeping with Mrs Quinn after she married.

[... blah blah ...]

Mr and Mrs Quinn returned to their Mayfair home last night. He said: "We had a lovely weekend." He added that his wife was on "top form".

IF you've had an affair with Kimberly Quinn call us on the news desk 0207 293 3831. Don't all call at once.


From the Mirror. Posted not with a malicious spirit, but in a sense of fun.

ID cards will, of course, render infidelity a thing of the past, just after they solve the world energy crisis and bring peace to the middle East.
posted by Alun , 4:09 PM Þ 


TV is really just a tool to keep the overworked, underpaid and, in many cases, lesser educated masses (those who DIDN'T find education very entertaining) bloated and in check. And at the same time it encourages them to spend their dwindling dollars on consumer items they don't need at all (see below). Television is dangerous, yet affordable, entertainment. People believe what they see on their TVs is real when the reality is TV watchers are sitting motionless in front of a glowing box in a room of their house (as are computer users... ha! take that!). Try this: turn the glowing box OFF, but continue staring at it for an hour or two as you normally would when it is on (how about on Thursdays from 8 to 11). YOUR reality hasn't changed a bit from when it was turned on... you're still staring at a box. BUT... you've been spared an onslaught of million $ corporate media generated images and that voice you hear in your head... IT'S YOURS!!

posted by meau meau , 1:20 PM Þ 

One of the better points of Clunk's appointment is the lifting of the blankett ban on Home Office ministers talking to the media, either that or BBQ is starting to get itchy for a post dPNJ era. Anyway the MP overseeing this piece of legislation, Des Browne, has been doing a couple of solo interviews - (Westminster Hour & Today on radio 4 not too probing but at least asked the right questions).

He said amongst other things:

There has been no argument given why NIR & ID cards will change the status of citizens and the state;

That National Insurance numbers are already given out by the state to individuals; NI numbers have two specific uses, collecting taxes and dispersing benefits, they aren't used for profiling.

nb. It has also been said recently that the NIR will not be used for profiling which is a lie:

(5) In this Act “registrable fact”, in relation to an individual, means—

(h) information about occasions on which information recorded about him in the Register has been provided to any person;

That IS profiling.

The amount of information linked to an NI number is very limited in scope. His comments are like saying that using the internet is no different from making a phone call. I have never been asked for my NI number as proof of my identity, to open a bank account, etc. as the ID card would be.

You as an individual do not become liable for inaccuracies generated by your NI number (excepting actual fraudulent use) but you will become liable for prosecution if you do not keep the state informed of accurate information - past & present - relating to your NIR record.

The NI number is a number, not an object (yes it comes on a piece of plastic but that is just a reminder - in practical terms at least) an ID card is an actual stealable thing that can directly access actual stealable information.


Why so little time to get things done? I NEED the power to delegate!!!
posted by meau meau , 12:30 PM Þ 

Full speed ahead on ID cards that are 'good for you'

CHARLES CLARKE today accuses critics of identity cards of “liberal woolly thinking” and spreading false fears as he pledges not to waver from David Blunkett’s controversial plans.

As both the new Home Secretary and Michael Howard, the Tory leader, face backbench rebellions in tonight’s Commons vote, Mr Clarke says in The Times that ID cards will “help make everyone a bit safer” at no real cost to civil liberties.

A spokesman for the civil rights group Liberty said: “If opponents of identity cards are woolly liberals, what does that make George W Bush? He has ruled out ID cards in the US on the grounds that they will have not one iota of effect on terrorism and will seriously undermine civil liberties.”

In an attempt to placate opponents Mr Clarke says that the legislation will not make it compulsory to carry a card, and will not give powers to the police to stop individuals and demand to see their card. The database accompanying the system will not hold information on medical records, religion or political beliefs. [...],,2-1410171,00.html

These are some really bold lies.

The only thing that is wolly is the wolly mammoth lies that this fat pig of an elephant Dumbo is telling about ID cards. It doesnt take a genius to figure it out.

If the cards will "not hold information on medical records" then how can they be used to stop people abusing the NHS? somewhere, someone has to keep a list of people who are entitled to NHS care, and this list MUST be checked against the NIR, if the system is to only allow people who are entitled to care access. That means that either the NIR must mark your record as entitled, OR the NHS has to have its own NIR generated database against which all people will be checked.

Mere posession of the card is not enough, if it were, there would be no need for a database at all and the standard issue NHS cards would suffice. No need for a new database, biometrics and all of that guff.

To say that the police will not have the right to ask for this card, and then say that it will help stop crime is absurd. The only way that, for example, illegal immigrants are going to be weed-outable is if everyone without expception who is "legal" is put into the ID card system, and then, the population routinely swept for undocumented persons until they get every last one of the bloody wogs. To say that you must have a card that need never be produced kills the very (false) utility of the card. Its a total lie.

Now, I said 'wogs'. What I REALLY meant was 'mullahs'. A system that does not aid in the profiling of the population is next to useless in finding the people who you want to imprison without trial. Somewhere, there is going to have to be a database of everyone with the name 'Mohammad', 'Ahmed', and 'Mina'. That is the only way that you will be able to 'fight terrorism', which of course this will not, since the majority of people with those names are only guilty of having those names, and nothing more.

Baroness Thatcher was also reported yesterday to be strongly against ID cards. She told a private meeting that they were a “Germanic concept completely alien to this country”. The Lib Dems oppose the Bill. [...]
Maybe if your governments had been a little... nicer we would not be in this mess M'Lady!

Mr Clarke writes in The Times that ID cards have significant security and practical benefits as well as saving millions by tackling fraud. A secure system would help to prevent terrorist activity and tackle the “vile trafficking in vulnerable human beings” as shown by the Morecambe Bay cockle-picking tragedy. It would be profoundly civil libertarian because it promotes the most fundamental civil liberty, the right to live free from crime and fear. [...]
What EXACTLY are these vapourous security benefits? Practical benefits? To whom? Tackleing fraud? how can this be true without it invading everyones privacy? The answer is, it cant, especially if every time you present the card, a record is created.

How ON EARTH is a card going to stop people from being abused, trafficked and prostituted? Will the card automatically inflate to act as a lifesaver for cocle-pickers? Or will it be issued with a razor sharp edge so that people can slice muggers with it.

The last sentence is pure Jackass Straw double-talk, which meau meau eloquently cleaned up earlier, so no need to even go there.

“Those kinds of nightmares will be no more true of ID cards than they have been for the spread of cash and credit cards, driving licences, work security passes and other forms of ID which most of us carry.” [...]
Voluntary, voluntary, voluntary voluntary and limited, and voluntary. All of the above have a limited purpose, are voluntary, and for all intents and purposes, nearly anonymous in relation to each other. This proposed card will be the 'One Card to Bind Them All', it is literally that evil, all governments, when they touch this idea go insane for it just like the characters in Lord of the rings. The unlimited power it gives over populations is just too seductive to bear.

This card must be thrown into the fire, where it should finally burn, forever eliminated from evern threatening us again.

posted by Irdial , 1:05 AM Þ 
Sunday, December 19, 2004


Greetings everybody,

As you have probably noticed, we have often had downtimes. This was because it was so hard to keep this site up!
But now we are sorry to inform you all, that SuprNova is closing down for good in the way that we all know it.
We do not know if SuprNova is going to return, but it is certainly not going to be hosting any more torrent links.
We are very sorry for this, but there was no other way, we have tried everything.

Thank you all that helped us, by donating mirrors or something else, by uploading and seeding files, by helping people out on IRC and on forum, by spreading the word about
It is a sad day for all of us!

Please visit every once in a while to get the latest news on what is happening and if there is anything new to report on.

As we wish to maintain the nice community that we created, we are keeping the forums and irc servers open.

Thank you all and Goodbye!
sloncek & the rest of the SuprNova Team

posted by Irdial , 4:26 PM Þ 

Lawyer resigns over terror laws

Protest placard
Protests have been held against detentions
A senior barrister, given special security clearance to act for suspected terrorists, is to resign in protest at the government's anti-terror laws.

Ian MacDonald QC said he was stepping down after seven years "for reasons of conscience" because the "odious" laws were a "blot on the legal landscape".

It comes after the House of Lords ruled the indefinite detention of terrorist suspects was unlawful.

But the Law Lords have no power to strike out the anti-terrorism act.

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has attacked the decision by Britain's highest court.

He said the right to life was the "most important liberty" and the government had a duty to protect people from terrorism.


Yes a right to life is pretty fundamental but by life we should mean living not merely existing at the (in)convenience of the state. Protection from terrorism should at it's most fundamental both protect citizens from death but also uphold a spirit/notion of life that is more than merely consuming and paying taxes. Something worth fighting for, maybe ...

Liberté - Egalité - Fraternité
posted by meau meau , 1:12 PM Þ 

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