Friday, April 15, 2005


British Film Institute: Free Clips

This all seems pretty amazing. via NTK. Also Creative Commons licenses for England & Wales.
posted by alex_tea , 6:08 PM Þ 


Not quite free films in leeds! And Sun Ra too!


The Spolier.
posted by meau meau , 2:54 PM Þ 
posted by Irdial , 10:53 AM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 10:13 AM Þ 


Lib Dem?

Recycled garbage result!
They need far better questions if they're going to do this sort of thing, culling from manifesto pledges skews views towards thinking about garbage ideas.
posted by meau meau , 9:29 AM Þ 
Thursday, April 14, 2005

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -16
Conservative -24
Liberal Democrat 38
UK Independence Party 2
Green 23

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

posted by Alun , 10:24 PM Þ 

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Labour -52
Conservative 39
Liberal Democrat 3
UK Independence Party 56
Green 40

You should vote: UK Independence Party

UKIP's primary focus is on Europe, where the party is strongly against joining both the EU constitution and the Euro. UKIP is also firmly in favour of limiting immigration. The party does not take a clear line on some other policy issues, but supports scrapping university tuition fees; it is strongly against income tax rises and favour reducing fuel duty.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Garbage results!

posted by Irdial , 6:54 PM Þ 

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour -47     
Conservative -38     
     Liberal Democrat 66
     UK Independence Party 12
     Green 55

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

posted by alex_tea , 3:43 PM Þ 

The death chamber in Huntsville, Texas
Prisoners are alone in the death chamber when they die
Prisoners executed by lethal injection in the US may have been aware of what was happening to them, researchers claim.

A team from the University of Miami looked at information on anaesthesia and awareness in prisoners.

They suggest some suffer unnecessarily, and claim standards do not meet those for putting animals down.

Always erring on the side of life!

posted by Alun , 2:45 PM Þ 

Peace campaigner faces Asbo over protest at US base

Diane Taylor and Colin Blackstock
Thursday April 14, 2005
The Guardian

A veteran peace campaigner who regularly protests at one of the country's most sensitive eavesdropping bases faces the threat of being placed under an antisocial behaviour order in court today.

Lindis Percy, 63, a midwife from Hull, who climbed the gates of Buckingham Palace shortly before George Bush's state visit in November 2003 is expected to find out today whether she will be served an Asbo lodged at Harrogate magistrates court yesterday [...]

It's up to the police whether she is fingerprinted and DNA extracted - of course it's not compulsory for hem to do that, yet.
Next stop unfriendly journalism.
Or file sharing.
Or buying proscribed products, like castor beans, or fertiliser or a soldring iron.

And you at the back stop breathing what you haven't paid for.
posted by meau meau , 10:43 AM Þ 

the destruction of its historical stock

WTF? What is up with these people? Do they hate music?
posted by alex_tea , 10:37 AM Þ 

The conviction of the Algerian Kamel Bourgasshas been used as some sort of pretext for 'needing' ID cards to prevent terrorism:

1. The convicted person was a failed asylum seeker - he was already 'in the system', if he had been given an ID card he would still be a failed asylum seeker but with a piece of plastic, pointless if he is noteven being 'processed'.
2. No actual terrorist act took place, he was arrested on conspiracy to commit terrorists acts, i.e. current intelligence systems are working (to some degree).
3. The conspiracy to commit terrorism was centred around the creation of ricin from castor beans (discredited), are we to expect that every seller of castor beans will be required to swipe an ID card for every transaction?
4. YOU having an ID card would have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prevent this person carrying out any of their 'conspiracy' or alleged further actions. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
posted by meau meau , 9:30 AM Þ 
Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Whose music is it anyway?
By Norman Lebrecht / April 13, 2005

Pity the poor judges. Hardly a month passes without someone in a black gown having to lay down the law on matters so fluid they might be more fittingly served in a saloon bar. At stake is our access to musical heritage and unless some judge draws a line in the sand pretty soon we could all go blundering back to ignorance and deprivation.

Last week in Albany, the Court of Appeals of the state of New York ruled unanimously that old recordings could be issued on compact disc only by their original label. Sounds reasonable? Wait for the handcuffs.

Over the past decade we have enjoyed a renaissance in the appreciation of historic performances. Naxos, the impulse-buy classical label which sells discs at five pounds, dollars or euros the world over has been reissuing early recordings that had been long deleted by the music biz, which functions on a flow of hyped-up novelty. Ownership of these antiques was uncontested, their perceived value meagre.

Using mint exemplars from Yale University Library, Naxos restored to circulation the imposing sound of Rachmaninov in his own concertos and the more hesitant tones of Prokofiev at the piano. The proud voices of Elisabeth Schumann and Kirsten Flagstad found new admirers; the formative conductors Felix Weingartner and Willem Mengelberg returned to our shelves. These recordings had gathered dust for a generation. Some had never been transferred onto LP, let alone CD. Their restoration was revelatory.

So long as Naxos messed with esoterica, the major labels turned a deaf ear. But Klaus Heymann, the Hong Kong-based label’s German owner, was keen to prove a point. He encroached on such EMI memorabilia as Menuhin in the Elgar concerto, Artur Schnabel in the Beethoven sonatas and Casals in the Bach suites, which had never fallen out of print.

Suddenly, 50 years of mechanical copyright, which is the European norm, did not seem such a long time. Kathleen Ferrier, one of Decca’s all-time bestsellers, is out on Naxos. The debut operas of Maria Callas – I Puritani, Norma, La Sonnambula – are also there and Glenn Gould’s inimitable 1955 account of the Goldberg Variations will fall free come New Year. Callas still sells more CDs than any opera singer alive today and Gould’s icon has pervaded contemporary art and film. Naxos may have begun with educative intent but now it was peddling prime product.

EMI took the case to the US, where mechanical copyright is protected for 75 or 95 years at movie industry insistence. The victory won last week by its Capitol subsidiary has drastic implications. Even if copyright expires, the court ruled, common law can be applied to assert the rights of the original owner. That means, in effect that EMI regains perpetual control of all recordings all the way back to Edison.

Heymann is hoping to overturn the verdict at the US Supreme Court, but the process will be costly and long. EMI, triumphant, is returning to Albany to seek ‘substantial damages’ against Naxos and the destruction of its historical stock. It will also mount a massive lobbying campaign in Brussels to harmonise European copyright with US law, arguing that in an MP3 world rights protection must be universal. EMI bosses are absolutely gung-ho. Quite apart from securing the Callas jewelbox, the judgement protects the early Beatles releases from potential predators in eight years’ time.

The losers, apart from Heymann, are millions of listeners who regained access to treasures of the past only to have them locked away again. EMI promise to keep more oldies in circulation but, without competition from Naxos, prices will rise and the glories of past masters will be constricted to a moneyed minority.

That reversal could be compounded by a judgement expected imminently in London. In May last year, a small and rather beautiful record label, Hyperion, was sued by an academic, Dr Lionel Sawkins, who demanded royalties for recordings of music by Michel-Richard de Lalande. The once eminent French composer died at Versailles in June 1726 and cannot, even under New York appellate law, hold claim to any copyright.

Dr Sawkins, however, edited the modern edition of his score and claimed to have made enough of a contribution to be its beneficial owner. After a six-day hearing last year, Mr Justice Patten agreed that although Sawkins had not altered any of Lalande’s notes, his edition was ‘sufficiently original in terms of the skill and labour used to produce it.’

Hyperion is now awaiting a Court of Appeal decision, originally due this week but now postponed for a month. The case may ultimately hinge on the musical meaning of the word ‘realisation’. If Sawkins wins again, the case will cost Hyperion a million pounds, jeopardising its survival.

Musicians await the decision with trepidation. Without invading matters that are rightly sub judice, many Baroque practitioners have rallied to Hyperion’s side, praising the label for bringing the past to light by reviving the likes of Lalande who, the least of three fine composers at the Sun King’s court (Lully and Charpentier were the more prominent), might never had been rediscovered but for its advocacy.

They fear that if copyright in a long-dead composer were granted to a note picking editor, vast swathes of heritage might fall into private or corporate hands. The Austrian government could, for instance, by virtue of the manuscripts it owns, assert its legal writ over performances of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. [...]

posted by Irdial , 11:22 PM Þ 

Pub food to make you spew.
Because Jazz Cafe and Pizza Express are where real music lives.

"She could be the new Sade," they say.
posted by Alun , 3:09 PM Þ 

Passport applicants must give fingerprints

Preparation for ID cards goes ahead without parliament

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Tuesday April 12, 2005
The Guardian

Ministers are to press ahead with the mandatory fingerprinting of new passport applicants using royal prerogative powers to sidestep the loss of their identity card legislation last week.

The police are expected to be given the authority to carry out checks against this newly created national fingerprint database.

The home secretary Charles Clarke has authorised the passport service to acquire 70 new passport service offices across the country so that all adult applicants for new documents can be interviewed in person from next year. The service currently has seven offices....

Can you belive how contemptuous of the public these scumbags seeking reelection are. Not just passively nauseating but actively going out of their way to be rotten toads vomiting pustulant rivers of contempt in YOUR face.

Where exactly is the infrastructure to back up this decision? The secure databases? The legislation against misuse of data etc etc?

This feels slightly like a Blunkettian testing the waters/numbing of dissent, but it can't be ignored.
posted by meau meau , 11:50 AM Þ 
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
posted by meau meau , 9:51 AM Þ 
Monday, April 11, 2005

Talking of WFMU they've uploaded a mixtape from the a good while back comprising various forms of all-american propaganda, have we moved on at all? Of course not!
posted by meau meau , 5:39 PM Þ 

For the record, the only reason I wanted to withdraw the last sentence of that post was because the factual error it contained was pointed out immediately and I agreed with it wholeheartedly.

The later post with the Henry VIII reference, was meant to concur with said monarch in leaving criticism of the papacy there for all to see with my name attached, while removing the poorly worded slur on Christianity as a religion.

Perhaps rather than 'withdrawl', this move should have been regarded as a clarification or simple edit. I regard the Church of Rome with more disgust than respect, and fail to see why some of the Pope's actions would not see him flung headlong into the fiery pit.

The Pope/web/ASBO story.... well, as in many things nowadays, I'm shocked at how anyone can take offence at such things. Is their faith not strong enough for them to turn the other cheek?
Then there are all the reasons MM outlines below, and meny more besides... just another symptom of the plethora of sicknesses necrotizing our society and the lack of competent medical care available.

Why do all the lunatics that run this asylum have Napoleon complexes? Or worse...
posted by Alun , 11:28 AM Þ 

Hopefully it was obvious *I* didn't want you to withdraw your comment. Anyhow the use and perception of ASBOs is drifting from a way to deal with criminal behaviour to a way of dealing with 'undesirable' behaviour, the police should have looked at the website and told the complainants to stop being ridiculous, there is no way the CPS should be involved. Every time the bar is lowered like this once reasonable instruments become blunted, idiotic and ignorable.
Should a band like Selfish Cunt now have to worry about prosecution because of peoples opinions? Or will christian groups see calling for ASBOs as an easy way of supressing entertainment like 'Jerry Springer: The Opera'. The police investigating stupid complaints about that website just makes life more difficult for everyone. It's irritating in that it shouldn't be happening and it's a cobble in the road leading to exhibitions of 'degenerate art' etc. Or the attitude that got Kenny G suspended from his WFMU show for two months a while back.
posted by meau meau , 10:42 AM Þ 


GlaxoSmithKline is sponsoring Gardens of Glass: Chihuly at Kew as part of the company’s community investment programme. With global headquarters in Brentford, close to the Royal Botanic Gardens, we are pleased to be working with Kew on our fourth major collaboration, and supporting an installation of international interest which is so close to home.

Gardens of Glass: Chihuly at Kew presents the first opportunity in the UK to see in an outdoor setting the work of one of the world’s renowned artists working in glass. It will, we hope, attract new visitors to Kew, drawn by the opportunity to see such an unusual exhibition. We hope that it will encourage those familiar with Kew to explore and discover the wider reaches of the Gardens, and prompt all visitors to take a closer look at the plants, pieces, locations and settings. To those unfamiliar with Chihuly’s work, we hope that Gardens of Glass will be a comprehensive and stunning introduction; to those with prior knowledge, we hope it offers the opportunity to see Chihuly’s work in one of the artist’s favoured settings.

Themes of discovery and innovation are fundamental to a research-based company like GSK; in supporting Gardens of Glass, we hope that visitors will discover links between science, art and nature, and leave Kew with a greater understanding of the place of art in an environmental setting.

One of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK aims to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. The company has a continuing programme of charitable activities in the UK, supporting healthcare, scientific education and medical research, the arts and environment. Further information about GSK can be found at; information about the company's community programmes, is available at



posted by Irdial , 9:53 AM Þ 

From Kew Gardens:

1. Titum Arum flowers again

2. Dale Chihuly installation 'Gardens Of Glass'

We saw some of the Chihuly bits already installed a few weeks ago and it will be stunning.
Silicon has never felt so organic!
posted by Alun , 9:12 AM Þ 
Sunday, April 10, 2005

But sometimes one MUST revise/withdraw a statement when it was said in error or no longer represents what one believes.

Thats obvious, but what we are talking about here is not reversal of policy or admitting a mistake, we are talking about (theoretically, as the post is still there) removing words because of anecdotes, fear and bad laws.

The great men can admit when they are wrong, and they do it without hesitation. Withdrawing your words because of pressure or fear is a different thing entirely. Note that the words are still there, and have not actually been removed, so this is all a hypothetical debate.
posted by Irdial , 9:33 PM Þ 

By backing down and withdrawing what one says, one brings about the very things that we all hate.

But sometimes one MUST revise/withdraw a statement when it was said in error or no longer represents what one believes. I think this is an important distinction. One of the things that disgusts me most about politicians is their inability to revise themselves - for example, Bliar knows that his part in invading Iraq was wrong, yet he refuses to admit it. Politics would be a very different thing if people were not ashamed of changing their minds or admitting their mistakes (usually the admission of a mistake or even a well-informed change of mind is followed by a prompt resignation). Such a change would force more integration with a representative's constituents and encourage evolving politics as opposed to party-line dogma. But how overly optimistic is that!!

As to the post of the Godspeed text: while I still hold their music dear to my heart, I have always found their writing to be pretentious because they're trying too hard to be unpretentious. It should be just balls-out, like their music is... but for some reason they make it very limp-wristed.
posted by Barrie , 9:14 PM Þ 

Recreation and Amusement Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Recreation and Amusement Association (RAA, 特殊慰安施設協会), or more literally Special Comfort Facility Association, was the official euphemism for the prostitution centers arranged for the US Occupation Force in Japan after World War II.

The RAA was created on August 28, 1945 by the Japanese Home Ministry to contain the sexual urges of the occupation forces and protect the main Japanese populace from rape. The RAA's own slogan was "For the country, the breakwater of sex to protect Japanese women" (お国のために日本女性を守る性の防波堤). In September the system was extended to cover the entire country, reportedly with GHQ's approval.

Unlike wartime "comfort women", most employees of the RAA were Japanese women and no forcible kidnapping of women for recruitment by soldiers took place. According to most sources, the women were prostitutes recruited by advertisement as well through agents. However, there are testimonies from some women saying that they were coerced into service as bonded labor, and some Japanese sources even assert that the centers were in fact set up by the US and the Japanese women in them were sex slaves.

In January 1946, the RAA was terminated by an order to cease all "public" prostitution. The ban is traditionally attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but was almost certainly propelled by rapidly spreading venereal disease among the troops. [...]


Googling around after reading about the protests against the 'revisionist Japanese text books' to refresh my knowledge about the 'comfort women', I came across the Wikipedia article above.

posted by Irdial , 3:07 PM Þ 

If you withdraw any part of what you said, then you fail it.

There is nothing wrong with what you said, and you have an absolute right to say it.

You have an absolute right to say whatever you want, to publish whatever you want in whatever media you want, no matter what anyone or any law says.

Do not complain about police states encroaching, illogical and immoral government, apostate religion, religion, and all the other bad stuff if you will not even defend and excersise your own right to SPEAK.

This has nothing to do with wether or not what one says is right or wrong. It is everything to do with one's right to say and publish whatever one wants without fear of being arrested or investigated or harrassed. By backing down and withdrawing what one says, one brings about the very things that we all hate.

If one writes something whenone is drunk, stoned, speeding or tired one still has the right to write drivel (if indeed it is drivel), and one should never apologise, withdraw, relent, confess or shrink from what one has written. Your stance, as a free man should be, "Don't read what I write again if you don't like my words", and it should end there. Not a word, not a syllable nor sentiment should be withdrawn because of a law. Ever. (Libel and slander excepted of course :o !, but then, if you libel someone, they can seek redress in the courts if you refuse to withdraw. Saying you dont want anything to do with Christianty or mocking the death of the pope does NOT fall under libel or slander and is simple plain speech, available to all free men)


Bring about the world wide Soviet system, where no one can say what they really think for fear of being arrested or persecuted, where political correctness cuts off whole areas of discussion and writing with a giant pair of blue pinking shears, and every publication, online and off, becomes a grey, bloodless, colourless, spiceless stream of dullness.

People who wrote magazines like this would have had no space within which they could exist if people kept spontaneously backing down and obeying as a reflex action. Meau posted a story about a dude somewhere getting in trouble for a blog post; what does that have to do with us and what we do? If he backed down and removed the 'offending' post that is even more reason why you should not withdraw your words, and if he did not, you should still not, and then there would be three of us. I say three because I am admin and can pull any post I like. I am hosting this blog and the bad guys will certainly come to me (and our ISP) to say, "remove that post".

There are no two ways about this; NEVER withdraw what you write because of pressure from a law. EVER. And certainly one should never withdraw a piece or part of a piece because of an anecdote.
posted by Irdial , 12:28 PM Þ 

I only withdraw the "christianity" bit, the last sentence. It was written under the influence of a drug, caff-fiend, for which I was ill prepared. I agree it was factually and philosophically wrong, although I do indeed stand by the intended sentiment.

The rest of what I said is all true, to the best of my knowledge.
Well-documented fact that need not even be labelled 'opinion'.

posted by Alun , 12:00 PM Þ 

I withdraw my statement


Whatever you do, you must stand by your words if you really believe them. You must never 'withdraw' them or modify them because a law says you cannot say certain things.

This is precisely how the Soviets got away with what they did for decades; the educated, the scientists, teachers and everyone who should have known better, were all frightened into shutting up on even the most simple matters.

The correct stance is to behave as if these laws do not exist. Everyone should take this stance, and then the law instantly has no force.

Laws cease to have meaning when they are disobeyed; look at how almost everyone thinks the law criminalizing smoking pot is patently absurd. Even the police have to accept this reality, and are calling for the law to be changed, because they know that they have no chance of controlling the 'problem' and the law and their work and authority is being undermined by the hoards of home dope growers and casual smokers.

As soon as you censor yourself, you obey and bolster bad law. You bring this great country to its knees, and betray all the people who gave their lives so that the British could live free.

Do not do it!
posted by Irdial , 11:15 AM Þ 

"Please think on how to make it happen"
"When the call goes out, please march..."

Oh dear me.

Whoever wrote that text needs to think some more about how to solve this problem, instead of calling for more lemming actions. Honestly, and while they are at it, stop polluting the air with those dreadful sounds.
posted by Irdial , 11:02 AM Þ

Watch the video.


That Pope story is crazy!
Free speech no longer exists. Did it ever? Maybe for Henry VIII. (ruled 1509-1547: Free Speech Bubble)

Inspired by this monarch, I withdraw my statement "If this is Christianity, I'm glad I'm not a part of it.", blame the coffee for my error, and leave the rest as simple statements of fact.
posted by Alun , 10:40 AM Þ 

Alun I'd watch what you type about the pope!

A man who published jokes about the Pope's death on a spoof village website was yesterday threatened with an antisocial behaviour order.

And now that the SOC act is now in place all blasphemers and anti-papists will be discretionally fingerprinted DNA sampled hanged drawn and quartered and fed to the fishes on a pike!


Dog ramp. If it weren't true ...
posted by meau meau , 10:26 AM Þ 

Yes, herd.

The Accountancy Insider Says:

Labour will be able to deny plans to increase National Insurance and Income Tax.
Because they WILL increase VAT to 20%.
posted by Alun , 10:25 AM Þ 

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