Went into town today and up St Pauls, right to the top! What a view! Did you know...
The Ball and Lantern
The original ball and cross were erected by Andrew Niblett, Citizen and Armourer of London, in 1708. They were replaced by a new ball and cross in 1821 designed by the Surveyor to the Fabric, CR Cockerell and executed by R and E Kepp. The ball and cross stand at 23 feet high and weigh approximately 7 tonnes. For safety reasons visitors are no longer admitted to the interior of the ball.
My Girl The purpose of the midlet is to be informed about aspects of womens natural cycles. You enter the females name, the length of her cycle and the current day in her cycle. Then you can keep yourself updated on how fertile she is, when her mensturation is due and so on.
Simon Head wrote a piece about Wal-Mart for the New York Review of Books called Inside the Leviathan. Some interesting statistics he digs up from his sources:
[...]One of the most telling of all the criticisms of Wal-Mart is to be found in a February 2004 report by the Democratic Staff of the House Education and Workforce Committee. In analyzing Wal-Mart's success in holding employee compensation at low levels, the report assesses the costs to US taxpayers of employees who are so badly paid that they qualify for government assistance even under the less than generous rules of the federal welfare system. For a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store, the government is spending $108,000 a year for children's health care; $125,000 a year in tax credits and deductions for low-income families; and $42,000 a year in housing assistance. The report estimates that a two-hundred-employee Wal-Mart store costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year, or about $2,103 per Wal-Mart employee. That translates into a total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart's 1.2 million US employees.
Wal-Mart is also a burden on state governments. According to a study by the Institute for Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2003 California taxpayers subsidized $20.5 million worth of medical care for Wal-Mart employees. In Georgia ten thousand children of Wal-Mart employees were enrolled in the state's program for needy children in 2003, with one in four Wal-Mart employees having a child in the program.[...]
You may have missed it in all the Am I alone in regarding this as an irrelevance, of no value to anyone? news of yesterday, but the ID cards (etc.) Bill had itsthird (final) reading in the Commons yesterday. Spyblog has a commentary.
The Lesser Spotted Home Secretary (cluncus clunc) managed to repeat the main lies about NIR, Id cards etc, thus:
We dealt with that on Second Reading, but let me go back to the core points. There is no guarantee that any scheme—identity cards or anything else—will be able to deal with and eliminate the terrorist threat. [I can guarantee it won't (that's not a threat btw) -mm] [cliche elided]. However, identity theft and fraud represent a significant modus operandi for those involved in terrorism, serious and organised crime, people trafficking and drug dealing. The fact that we will have an identity card scheme will give us the capacity to attack the problem that would not otherwise exist.[ID cards/NIR will create a single point of attack for so-called identity theft this is the 'problem that would otherwise not exist] It is true that a compulsory card would give us more power to attack the problem than a voluntary card, but it is also true that a voluntary card gives us more capacity to attack the problem than we have at present. I think most people acknowledge that that is true.[It is also true that the card is not voluntary, it is that the compulsion is only implimented when you wish to get/renew a passport, we are told]
It is, moreover, the case that ID cards will help in tackling fraud and will save tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money [sound large but it will cost BILLIONS to implement]. The Government have proceeded in a measured way by consulting on the principles and, most recently, on the draft legislation [yet they have ignored all the advice they do not wish to hear]. The Bill sets out a clear legal framework for the scheme. It provides a means for everyone legally resident in the country to assert their right to be here and to help them gain access to the services to which they are entitled [we were told the ID card was NOT an entitlemnt card it cannot be one if it is voluntary - which it would not be]. It will help preserve national security and assist the work of law enforcement [One example PLEASE]. It will enable the public to have the ID card system that they say they want [That is a complete and utter lie fabricated from a supposed tolerance gained by leading questions by pollsters - the public have not ASKED for this legislation in any way they have not even had a chance to elect a government with this threat in place].
Those are the reasons why people in all parties have supported the legislation. In an article in The Daily Telegraph on 20 December 2004, the right hon. and learned Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Howard), the Leader of the Opposition, said:
[Outlines M. Howard's hypocrisy]
I find it utterly extraordinary that the Opposition have decided to abstain on this vital issue, affecting the future of the nation.YES - it is deplorable that the opposition do not have the guts or common sense to vote NO on legeislation they apparently disagree with and more importantly a large number of the public disagree with]
Ours is the only Amazon listing that everyone should use to buy The Conet Project online, and it is our listing alone that will have copies for immediate delivery. Eveyone that buys TCP from our listing gets the quadruple CD and a woven Irdial clothing tag.
We recommend that if you want to buy TCP you either buy it from us via our Amazon listing, or buy it in your local independent music store. You should not buy TCP online anywhere else but from the listing provided by Irdial~Discs on Amazon.co.uk.
READY, READY .---- ..--- ...-- ....- ..... -.... --... ---.. ----. ----- This re-press of The Conet Project is identical to the original, in every detail but one. This edition has 4 CDs, the 80 page booklet and *two* postcards instead of one.
The second postcard will enable you to take part in a world-wide experiment we are unleashing, called "The Conet Project: Six Degrees of Separation". We are using these cards to attempt to track down the staff that operated Numbers Stations in the past, wherever in the world they are now living.
Everyone on earth is connected to everyone else; it only takes six steps to get from any one person to any other person on the planet, hence the phrase 'Six Degrees of Separation'. If this really is the case, then we should be able to track down people who worked in Numbers Stations from the last three decades, simply by deploying the special cards that we have produced.
Hopefully the people that we are able to locate (and that are willing to divulge their secrets to us) will have kept a private, detailed record of what they did, the decisions that were made, who made them, why, and everything else we are keen to know. We may finally find out why a little girl's voice was thought to be appropriate for use in a Numbers Station!
We are very sensitive to matters of privacy. This system has the wonderful side effect of being completely anonymous, so that when you participate in it, there is no way for us to know who sent which card to whom, should we score a 'hit'.
I SAY AGAIN .---- ..--- ...-- ....- ..... -.... --... ---.. ----. ----- If you are prompted to insert the postage and shipping costs into your orders for TCP. here are the rates:
Anywhere in the UK: £1.50 EU £2.68 USA/Japan/AUstralia and elsewhere £4.48
Please let your friends and colleagues know about TCP:SDoS. If you are a blogger, please blog about this special release, and our ambitious experiment. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email us.
Scientists from 25 countries today took the first step towards the genetic fingerprinting of almost all life on Earth. A "barcode of life" project will record the sequence of just one vital gene shared by birds, mammals, fish, plants and other organisms, to provide a kind of biometric identity card for millions of species by 2010. ... DNA identification by traditional methods requires specialist laboratories, skilled geneticists and long delays. The scientists, meeting at the Natural History Museum in London, hope that a standardised goal, new technology and a "gene chip" will soon reduce the time needed to hours and, ultimately, to a pocket-sized gadget that could make an identification in seconds.
"The dream is that a six-year-old kid walking down the street hauls out of his back pocket something possibly the size of this comb, picks up that ant off of the ground, drops it in," said Daniel Janzen, a tropical ecologist at the University of Pennsylvania. "And it says, 'Oh, this is Pheidole such-and-such'. He drops that name into Google and everything we know about that ant is staring him in the face."
All well and good you say. but say you good and Orwell?
"The nightmare is that six policemen walking down the street haul out of their back pockets something possibly the size of this comb, picks up that man off of the street, drops a tissue swab in," said oink "And it says, 'Oh, this is Alex such-and-such'. He drops that name into NIR and everything we know about that man is staring him in the face."
Email to my Internet Service Provider (I signed on with a small regional isp at the end of 1999. Since then the company has grown and amalgamated with others. My service has become progressively worse as police and agents become more assertive at trying to remove me from Canada. I have had several conversations with staff at the isp and we have corresponded about my service problems, but the company can't stop toadying to police and agents. It would be senseless to change isp's because the problems would follow, and I would have to start over trying to make a new company aware of my rights.)
----- Original Message ----- From: To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Monday, February 07, 2005 2:59 PM Subject: Violation of my civil liberties
Dear Sir or Madam:
Yesterday at 3:20 pm, you put a false recorded message on your telephone help line at the request of police, CSIS, and/or the FBI. It was directed only at me, and it was intended to hoodwink me into believing that it was a technical error and not police or agents who were preventing me from sending and receiving email.
I have previously sent you a copy of my submission to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of xxx describing the harassment and abuse I have endured simply because xxxx Police were angry with me for creating a defense-oriented project at Provincial Court and denounced me to security agencies. I have asked you, my ISP, to respect my civil liberties.
Yesterday was the second time that I was aware that your help line answered with a mendacious message which was directed only at me. Police and agents regularly interfere with my internet use and remove both my outgoing and incoming email, but it is unethical for your company to aid them in their illegal efforts.
I am tired of repeated error messages of "your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection" when I am working with email or writing in my online journal. If these or similar disruptions continue, I shall lodge a written complaint with federal regulatory agencies.
Once again, I ask you to respect my civil liberties.
============================================================ 9. 3.300 ID fines in the Netherlands in 1 month ============================================================
In the first month of the new ID obligations in the Netherlands, the Dutch police have issued 3.300 fines to people who could not immediately show a valid ID when asked. According to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, the ID checks mainly take place in specific circumstances. "ID control mostly occurs in situations of disorder or possible violence, for example at night in entertainment districts. Also in situations with an elevated risk of disorder, such as soccer matches, the police may verify the identity." [Do we need to add sink estates, public demonstrations, etc? -mm]
In reality, the main result of the new ID obligations is a major increase in fines. People cycling on their bicycle without light for example, will get two fines.[ID cards the new speed cameras? - mm] The Public Prosecution Service has indicated clearly it wants to make an example."The main rule is there will be few escapes available for people who can't immediately present their ID. There is no right to an easy-going treatment, because it will in the end undermine the value of mandatory ID for law enforcement."
If the current wave of fines continues, at the end of this year the police will have issued around 40.000 fines, thus creating a large new group of criminal offenders. A debate in the Dutch Lower House about the obligation for mentally handicapped people to carry their ID was ended by Minister Donner with characteristical logic. "It cannot be imagined that a person is in such a condition that his caretakers won't trust him with ID, but will let that person walk on the street unaccompanied." Twisting this logic even further, he said that the ID-obligation would diminish the risk of them getting lost. In case they would have an ID on them, the police could bring them home, if they wouldn't have an ID they would be brought to a police station.
3300 keer geen identificatie op zak (in Dutch, 02.02.2005) http://www.om.nl/info/nieuws.php?p=pg&id=4358
Today, wireless searching for a place to live in York, listening to:
John Fahey, Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death Waterboys, A Pagan Place Julian Cope, Jehovakill Streets, A Grand Don't Come for Free Opal, Early Recordings Gabriel Faure, Piano Music Gabriel Faure, Requiem Savath and Savalas, Apropa't
...and more to come! I could get used to this kind of life.
Ellen McArthur Park'n'Ride Bilge Water On The Brain
My spine has been stretched.
On the alone thing, a man on the radio this morning did the round-the-world trip in the early 70's (after Chichester - and go see the Gypsy Moth in Greenwich and imagine 220 days ALONE in that tiny thing) and reminded listeners that even in those days there was only compass and sextant as his navigation tools. Imagine that!
I wasted the whole day troubleshooting network connectivity problems when the subject of this 'solo' journey came up.
The point the people where this dead installation is made, was that she was never really alone. She was in constant contact with the shore, via telephone, email and fax, with chaser aircraft overhead 'and all'. The words that were said were, "being alone means being away from people and help entirely; if you are not out of contact, out of helps reach, you are not really alone, so its all rubbish!".
Nothing is gained by doing this, unlike space exploration, or medicine, or the other things that are very hard or useful. This is an act of pure selfish self fulfillment; nothing wrong with that, but it has no meaning, no resonance, no suffering, no revelations, no uniqueness, offers no insights into the human condition, save to re-affirm the bottomless well of egocentric selfishness sludge from which idiots like this drink day and night.
There is someone that I know that has gone to SriLanka (trip planned before the Tsunami) 'to help children who live between the railway lines'. She read about this opportunity in The Guardian. She will be out there for three weeks, and the whole package costs £1000, half of which is spent on the airfare.
This is another example of me me me behaviour. That £500 pounds airfare could be spent on just about anything else other than making a Londoner feel good about herself - the same spirit that drove that person to sail without physical help for her own glory is the same one that makes people waste hundreds of pounds in airfairs to 'help' people in other countries when there are people right here in the UK who cant even read and write english. Better to send the £500 to SriLanka where there are people already in place engaged in doing good works, and then spend the other half on train fares to the places in the UK where someone educated can make a difference in her own back yard.
I think you're being a bit unfair - maybe the hype/damehood is over the top, but she's spent the last 71 days ignoring borders. And who wouldn't wish for that?It's also less mind numbing than football results.
Kind of sad weekend, at work today, general sense of fogginess until some work research put my face toward Loie Fuller.
Born in 1862, Fuller worked as a skirt dancer on the burlesque circuit in the United States, but by the 1890's Fuller had made it to Paris, where Mallarme dubbed her "La Loie" and described her dancing as "the dizzyness of soul made visible by an artifice." Fuller remained in Europe for the rest of her career, continuing to develop her theories of movement using material and lighting effects. She returned to the United States to perform, but was never fully appreciated by her own countrymen.
What made Fuller special was her experimenting with her costumes, and lighting effects including "the first chemical mixes for gels and slides and the first use of luminescent salts to create lighting effects." Fuller was well respected in the French scientific community, where she was a close personal friend of Marie Curie and a member of the French Astronomical Society!!
To those in search of a small bit of transcendental beatury, I recommend clicking...
In Darbhanga district of Bihar that borders Nepal, tourists returning from Nepal are talking about a possible UFO crash in Nepal. The rumor is also rampant in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal and other Nepali cities. The crash site is in deep Himalayan border of Nepal and China.
According to sources, the crash site may be close to Mount Everest and is totally inaccessible from either side. The rumor world is speculating that the Chinese military is actively looking at the crash site.
It is also rumored that the Extra-terrestrials are not allowing any one to go close to the site.
Unusual activities and some tremors were felt all over the Himalayan regions from India-Nepal side. This was not the effect of the possible UFO crash.
UFO activities have gone up very heavily in recent days in that area. And no one knows why that is happening.
It is possible that the crash was nothing but a Chinese spacecraft. China has some secret military projects in that area.
The time of the year is so bad that no one can really go to the site and investigate. Everything is just frozen out there.
Nepal military is busy fighting the Maoists who are creating a lot of insurgency problems in that part of the world.
According to UFO scientists, it is possible that the underground UFO bases in the regions was damaged by the tremor last week and some strange aftershock is being felt since the large 9.0 Richter earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia causing the huge Tsunami
Charles Clarke has promised to increase the number of removals of failed asylum seekers, a points system for economic migrants and electronic embarkation controls... reported Everywhere.
I was under the impression that unemployment was all but eradicated under Neu Labour, which would mean that 'economic migrants' are actually working - not scrounging - and they aren't taking anybody's rightful jobs, so to speak. In fact Herr Blunkett sagte, daß wir nicht zu viele ausländer haben.