Blog Archive

Labels

Search This Blog

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Well, I'm in France and its not too bad. Lots of decent food and drink and quite a few friends. Oh and the conference is okay as well.

One drawback is our hotel room. It is what you might call basic. It gets very hot (no AC or fans) but cools a little when we open the windows. Unfortunately we are on what appears to be a busy street where people love to shout, listen to loud music and honk their horns through the night. This is not helped by the 24 hour bakery that is across the street. Who would have thought that a bakery could be so popular at 4 am?

Oh well. I'll post something of substance when I have time, ability or inclination.

Au revoir

Friday, July 15, 2005

Nous allons aller en France

The good lady wife and I are off to France come Sunday. Two weeks in Toulouse at a pleasant conference surrounded by friends we have not seen since we left the States. Tres bien!

Contrary to (apparent) popular opinion in the US, the French folk are generally very nice when you get talking to them, at least as nice as anyone else in the world. And although I can appreciate a joke at the French's expense with the best of them, the thinly veiled hostility I sensed before I left America and what I have seen on some weblogs is quite worrying, sometimes bordering on racist.

Well, in an effort to foster better relations between the US/UK/France I shall drink lots of wine. Eats lots of food and try not to piss in the street in front of the Gendarmes or CRS.

A bientot, mes amies. :-)

It has been graduation all this week. Lots of students in robes looking pleased with themsleves being watched by beaming, proud parents and family. My main thought has been that thankfully I won't have to see these morons again!

No, not really. It is kind of nice seeing them getting their awards and looking happy and campus certainly seems brighter at the moment. That is mostly because estates puts out lots of flowers for this week that are strategically withdrawn as soon as all the pomp is finished with.

It will be quiet again soon and campus will be a bit of a ghost town. It is a shame that on these days of beautiful weather there are so few to enjoy those parts of campus that aren't an ugly concrete jungle. But it won't be for long. Soon we will have a herd of more students that will cause us undue sweat and stress. The summer break is far too short really for those who rely on this time to get their researc done. Hey-ho.

More Space stuff

via spaceweather.com

I work on studying the processes that surround aurora: sun-earth interactions, magnetic fields, plasmas, high energy particle precipitation; that sort of stuff. Sometimes it is good to move a little further afield and to take a look at the Sun and see what is going on there.

This picture (from Andreas Murner of Bavaria, germany) is of a fantastic solar prominance emerging from sunspot 786, which is making its way around the western limb of the Sun. This is a raised loop of magnetic field (you can see why we think in terms of field-lines) that is filled with hot plasma; below it you can see the surface of the sun looking like a swirling liquid around the darker vortex of the sunspot where the plasma is cooler. There are plenty more images via spaceweather of this particular prominence. This composite shot is particularly nice, taken by Didier Favre (from LA in the States) and shows the comparative size of the prominance with the Earth. That's a sense of scale for you!

On a side note, sunspot 786 has been very active recently hurling two coronal mass ejections our way. They are not dead-on but they might spark auroras as they pass our way. If you live in to the north then keep an eye out for aurorae. In addition two solar flares have already started a radiation storm around the Earth. These are commonly known as solar proton events and constitute high energy (near relativistic at least) protons which are blasted from the sun and enter our magnetic field and then precipitate over the polar cap causing radio blackouts. This one isn't very large but could still be inconvenient for trans-polar flights and HF transmission.

So what is the moral of this story? Well, when you are tied up in knots over politics and economics, or if your day to day life seems to be filled with insurmountable difficulties just stop and think for a minute. Consider what is really going on in this universe and ignore the constructs and artificial ideas we surround ourselves with. For just a second try living in the real world and it might put things into a manageable perspective.

Have a good day. :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Low posting for me today. I am off to a conference for the next two weeks and so am busy sorting last minute things out.

For those who have been following we got a mortgage today (in principle). We await the offer a letter (though we have paid the application fee). Very scary yet exciting at the same time ;-)

Now I'm going home for the night.

Hmmm,

Seems the campaign to destroy 'Blogosphere' is dead on it's arse.

Those who are with me in being anti the word are not moved to have a replacement and those who don't care, well, they don't care.

Pooh!

Oh well, I was going to generate banners and amusing animations for this thing but bugger that for a game of soldiers. I suppose I'll just have to get all serious again...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Campaign to destroy 'Blogosphere'!!!

Do you know what I hate?

Blogosphere

Not the thing but the name. It really sucks. I know that David agrees since he first mentioned it to me. It is an awful name and must be changed. We know how powerful bloggers are, we can do anything! It is time to use our combined might for good by destroying this terrible word and replacing it with...

Well, here's the problem. What do we call it instead? We need a new name to describe this collective. Please add your ideas in comments and most importantly pass word to others such that we may muster our forces and force this change before it is too late and we are all labeled by such a crappy word.

So pass on you ideas for a new name and keep watch for potential future developments in the campaign to rename the blogosphere.

Keep the faith!

Buying a House

Well, I have mentioned before that the good lady wife and I are trying to sell her house and buy another, up north closer to where we both work. As I said, we have managed to sell her house (or rather it is under offer) and had to decide on a house up here rather quickly.

We had two properties in mind; one was larger and 3 bedrooms (£13000 more expensive), the other was smaller and had 4 bedrooms. We decided on the larger. It was also older but had a certain charm and was going to take more work that I wasn't to opposed to doing (painting and decorating only at first). The decision involved an awful lot of to-ing and fro-ing and was only reached at something close to midnight last night.

This morning on her commute to work my wife started to put together a list of last questions to ask the estate agent when she got a call. It was the estate agent asking whether we were interested in putting in an offer on the house since it was already under offer and the owners were desperate to sell. It seems that the house was being sold via probate - inheritance tax issues, and the children of the deceased want it sorted and the tax people want their money. The other potential buyer had paid for a survey but there was a certain amount of feet dragging for whatever reasons. My wife called me and we decided to put in the offer at £5000 less than the asking price.

Less than an hour later my wife calls again. She was uncomfortable with gazumping the other interested party. I agreed, I felt like a bit of a shit and so we withdrew our offer (which the estate agent helpfully told us would probably been accepted. Thanks, bitch). So we put in an offer on the other house and it was accepted within a couple of hours.

So thanks to our moral judgement we are buying a lovely 4 bedroom house in a lovely village just a few minutes walk from where I work. I think that we are both very happy with the decision. No regrets. We shall just have to see how the survey goes now...

Meeting with the bank tomorrow to get a mortgage. It's all go...

Bad policy at the BBC

I have often defended the BBC against those who rant and rave at its supposedly liberal bias and those who think that the BBC is part of some bizarre conspiracy to destroy the west and to subvert our minds. I hear arguments from some so-called conservatives who accuse liberals of being elitist for thinking that the 'common-man' will be baffled and misled by politicians and that only they can see the politican's words for what they are; yet those same conservatives argue that the people will be unduly influenced by the wording of news articles that only they can see through. Funny or what?

However, it seems that political correctness is overtaking common sense to stupid proportions at Auntie. A few bloggers have noted that the BBC has been scrubbing the word 'terrorist' from its reporting. Strangely I was unaware of this phenomenon, mostly because I heard 'terrorist' and 'terrorism' being used on the BBC news, both TV and radio. That said, there appears to be a policy to not use these words on the web and in world broadcasts and they have been scrubbed from older news stories. Why? Here is what the Telegraph says:

The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments".

Consequently, "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided", the guidelines say.

Now I can see where they are coming from, but they are wrong. By all means mix words up, substitute bomber for terrorist, use criminal, but don't do it to avoid using the word terrorist.

And now my question becomes: why the difference in approach between foreign news and domestic? Are they afraid of alienating a foreign market? They shouldn't be, because first and foremost they are a domestic news provider.

Hat tip to Hubris

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Related to BBC bashing


Just read this over at Hrun's site. It is somewhat related to the post I put up yesterday about BBC bashing. Basically the champion of truth and justuce that is Bill O'Reilly took umbrage with some of the language used by the New York Times to describe al-Zarqawi.

The letter from the editor of the Times to O'Reilly is excellent and I think offers a reasonable defence for the media in not using the word, 'terrorist' every time it mentions one. There is no conspiracy, it is simply that they don't think that using the word is necessary. Perhaps it is because we have the wonderfully rich language that we do (apologies to non-English speakers) and so we can use other words. Journalists are there to inform, but they are also writers and so I am sure that many wish to craft a piece such that it isn't overly repetative for the sake of engaging the reader's brain.

As a sidebar, how many of you think that 'militant' is a neutral way to describe someone? For me the word already has negative connotations and so calling someone a militant is not a way of excusing them in some bizarre fashion. Is this just an interpretation issue?

Monday, July 11, 2005

BBC bashing

Via Instapundit

I was going to write a post on this entry on LGF. Originally it read:

"Turns out Tony Blair never said this. The Associated Press and the BBC fabricated it"
It turns out that the BBC did not do what they were accused of; they simply carried the interview with Tony Blair. I was very pleased to see that LGF has updated the post to show this, though there is no printed apology to the BBC or mention of the correction. No doubt they would justify this with the argument that the BBC is an evil liberal, lying organisation anyway, so even if they did no wrong in this case they are guilty of so much more.
I'm not going to get into arguments in interpreting what 'Middle-East conflicts' means.

Anyway, kudos to LGF for making the correction.

I have seen quite a bit of BBC bashing since the London bomb blasts. It seems to be that they have been dropping the word terrorist from their reports. Today I listened to BBC radio and made an effort to listen out for the T word and I actually heard it a lot. But this is just anecdotal and I don't expect it to carry weight with those who believe that not using the word 'terrorist' is a deliberate ploy to underplay the significance or to show some sort of deference to the terrorists. I don't understand the logic there, I'm sorry.

Perhaps there is a deliberate move on the part of the BBC to cut the word 'terrorist' from its reporting, I don't know. Maybe they are doing it so as not to satisfy the murdering scum: they attacked the people of London but they did not terrorize them, Londoners won't give them that satisfaction. Do I believe this? No, not really, but it makes as much sense as any other arguments I have heard. I don't know, perhaps I am just having one of those days when my brain fails to engage properly in the heat. That might explain the fixation on toilets today.

Toilet Seats.

So what is the deal with women and toilet seats? Some seem really obsessed with having the seat down. Why? Are they incapable of noting that the seat is up and placing it down? Do they enter the toilet backwards with eyes averted? I don't get it. Why is it impolite for us to leave the seat up when it is just as inconvenient for us to put the seat up when we need to go? How rude is that? They always leave the seat down! They clearly have no consideration.

Rant!

Do you know what I hate?

I hate scummy, dirty bastards who have no personal hygiene and who foist their problem onto other folk. More specific? Have you ever stopped at a service stations or garage and needed to go? I'm talking the full works here, not just a quick pee.

You enter a cubicle and you see the first act. The initial scene is set by the pools of urine all around the toilet bowl. Clearly we are dealing with individuals with bad aim. So you are going to get piss on your shoes; you can live with that though.

The story continues to unfold, however, with the introduction of more of the support cast. The seat is up. No problem, doesn't worry me, we are talking about a gents' toilet here. So you drop the seat and what do you see? Streaks of piss all over it. Some git has been letting rip all over the shop in here! Seriously foul and so you dive into the next cubicle.

Unfortunately, you quickly discover that they are all in the same situation. It appears to be a complete, matching ensemble: steel sheen or porcelain with piss to taste. The ultimate irony is the little sign that says that the toilets were checked for cleanliness some two minutes before. Was this scene orchestrated by the champion synchronised pissing team, on their way to the national championships with a desire to keep their dicks in? Was it a single pisser seing how many cubicles he could hit in a single spray from the back of the toilet? It would explain the pools on the floor.

So you bite the bullet and decide to wipe down the seat. This maneuver leads to the introduction of the star of the show. Your eyes clap onto the biggest turd known to man. It is gently floating in the pan, clearly deposited by someone with way too much fat in their diet. If you fished it out you would soon be surrounded by latte lovers trying to establish New Seattle. What disturbs you most though is the fact that it floats in urine coloured water yet there is no evidence of toilet paper -eugh! So you flush the little shit, and mercifully it disappears, after the sixth or seventh attempt.

So finally you sit down ready to go and with great satisfaction add your own unique contribution to the undersea ecosystem. But of course then you discover the twist in the final act: to much horror you find that your meticulous cleaning of the urine spattered toilet seat has left you with a piece of toilet paper some 3 inches square! Oh and now you realise that your sandals are very good at absorbing piss.

Dirty, filthy bastards.

Moving out!


I'm in a little bit of shock at the moment. My wife owns a house down south and we both work up north. Consequently we have been looking for a place of our own up here and to sell her house down there. It went on the market a little over a week ago and has had two seperate viewings since then. The day of the second viewing (3 hours afterwards) an offer was placed on the house! My wife accepted it and fingers crossed everything will now progress smoothly.

When she put it on the market, my wife was expecting to wait several months and so we are reeling quite a bit. The process will take a few months now but it is still shocking. We are both very attached to that house, we spent many hours hilst we were dating there and it really feels like home. Neither of us wanted to sell it but don't have a lot of choice.

Now though we have a week to try and organise necessary paperwork, sort out a mortgage and put an offer in on a house up here. Why a week? Well as these things happen we are set to go to a conference for two weeks abroad starting this coming weekend. So now we need to hustle so that we have a home when we sell the current one.

But basically, we are moving out!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Lashing out

A colleague of mine popped into my office today to share something that he saw this morning. One of the houses across the street from him is occupied by a family of eastern descent, I don't know exactly where. The husband works here at the uni in the computing department in our building, I don't know him though. I estimate that they are possibly one of very few non-white families that live in the housing estate in the village where my colleague lives (I used to live there too).

Some prick had scrawled OUT across their front door. Some cowardly, ignorant moron with no sense and less intelligence had blamed this blameless family for the crimes of the murdering scum yesterday. Oh how proud this made me. So to all those people who are tempted to blame all peoples different to us for the troubles we have I have a message:

Grow the fuck up and sort out your own messed up lives.

The police had been informed and I imagine that the family's (non-prick) neighbours will be calling in to see if they are alright. Whoever committed the crime either knows or knows of the family there. I assume that the socially aware scrawler was probably a kid or drunk, or both. If so I hope the police catch him and scare the living shit out of him! What a sad little git.

Some thoughts

I was writing a long post on terrorism. But do you know what? It's just not the time.
I will say a couple of things though.

The war in Iraq was a mistake. It was a mistake because it made us take our eyes of the ball and led us into an arena of partisan fighting that has reached epic levels. People who should know better make disparaging comments just to score political points and morons scream jingoistically about wiping them all out and destroying Mecca - because that would really solve the problem.

But do you know what else? It's not something we can walk away from. The problems there need fixing and there needs to be evaluation and re-evaluation of our methods for dealing with them. We need to get past the bile and venom. Brains need to be engaged, not just the reflex action of attack or defend based on ideological lines. We need to be honest about the past and to see the intent of poorly chosen words instead of latching onto phrases that can be used to inflame our supporters. Basically we need to get past the rhetoric and reach a place where we can be useful to each other again.

As for terrorism. Those bastards will always be with us and if we let them change the way we live and the freedoms we enjoy then they have succeeded in more than the murders they have committed so far. We will get the current crop and if we think things through than maybe we can start to persuade the future generations that we are not as bad as they think. Promoting democracy in Iraq might well be a step in that direction, time will tell. But we also have to hold everyone accountable for their actions be they our 'allies' or causes we sympathise with. Deliberately attack a civilian target and you are a terrorist, be you an Iraqi insurgent or a Palestinian. Fund or support terrorist groups and be prepared for the consequences. There can be no quarter, the age of support for friendly governments must come to an end if that government has two faces. Remember though, it's a battle to destroy those who would destroy us, but it can be accomplished through many different methods.

Anyway, enough of my rambling for now. Read JD's take over at Cabal.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A little lightness...

A recent hit on my weblog came from some unfortunate googling the following:

sex with uncircumcized men
unfortunately they got my post from June on Ryan's sex essays.

One has to admire their perseverance, though, it was on the fourth page of the search results (#33). I wonder how many other article they read before and after.

London blasts

To those who have queried after my well being I thank you but I can reassure you that I live almost as far from London as it is possible to be and still be in England.

I think it is becoming clearer now that the explosions today were part of a terrorist attack. The tube company originally (and I believe honestly) thought that it was a power-surge that caused some of the explosions; however the exploding bus and subsequent investigation from the national grid have put paid to that theory. Allegedly, some explosive material has been discovered and a group purporting to be either Al-Quaeda or acting on their behalf (conflicting reports) have claimed responsibility.

Unfortunately, 33 people have so far been reported dead with many injured as well. I hope that figure will not rise.

A lot of bickering will probably ensue following this, perhaps not right away, but we all have the desire to find out what happened, why it happened and who might have been at fault for not preventing it. That is human nature in this day and age. I want to put my two-penneth worth in now.

Terrorists caused it (subject to verification). It is their fault, no one else. Not liberals being soft, not conservatives being hard. There was a choice: plant the bombs or don't plant the bombs; someone chose to plant the bombs.
At the same time we should recognise why they chose to plant the bombs. If we can understand that then we might be on the way to stopping future generations from using similar tactics. This generation? I sadly say they are already a lost cause. Fanatiscism has a hold and we need to find these people and prosecute them, get them off the streets where they can be prevented from doing it again and worse, teaching new people to do the same. I say prosecute because we should do it within the rule of law, if we don't then we can start to become as bad as them.

We can and should debate the best methods for doing this but let us not use this time as a political opportunity to lambast our political opponents. Find common ground and work up a plan. I fear that this will be used as a platform for ramming through wavering legislation, such as ID cards instead of looking at other more effective methods of policing and combating terrorism.

Any following investigation will discover how the attack happened but I'd just like to say this: Barring major failures in procedure and gross misconduct an attack such as this was bound to happen at some time. It is the price we pay for living in a free society and knee-jerk reactions to situations such as this mean that the terrorists have won, and so I hope that this is viewed from that perspective.

Don't blame Blair. Yes, you heard me, an avid Blair hater, I said don't blame him. Unless we find out that his measures contributed to the bombing it is not his fault. As I said, it was going to happen anyway and unlike the previous Spanish government he has not attempted to suggest that it was something other than what it appears to be in order to deflect critiscism of his policies. Would it have happened if we hadn't invaded Iraq; who knows? Not me, or anyone else and we can never know since we happen to live in the universe where we did invade. Besides, we were right to ramp up the war on terror and that included Afghanistan and so we would always have been a target and probably always will as part of the decadent west.

Tony is heading south from the G8 summit to be in London. He is acting as a responsible leader and moving to a position where he can get a better grasp of the information and developments. I think he should then go back north, relatively quickly. He has an important job to do up there and one I and many in the UK support, we should not let the terrorists disrupt that.

Some might suggest that he should stay up there, and my first reaction was the same. But that would have been politically bad and more importantly he should get the chance to see his family and to get a proper feel for the situation; something he couldn't do effectively in Scotland, I imagine. Plus no one knows what might follow on from this and he should be in a position to make important decisions quickly and with the information to hand. So lets give him a break for a while.

In the mean time let us hope that the death toll doesn't rise any further and that we catch the bastards who did this.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Consequences...



... of the Parisian loss of the 2012 Olympic Games. This was delivered, via a chain of people, to my mail box and so I can not credit the artist here.

get back to work!

It's been a while since I last mentioned the visitor statistics for my weblog but the recent spike in activity has prompted me.
I am currently averaging about 20 hits per day but on the 5th July my numbers skyrocketed to close to 100 in a single day.



What caused this??? Did the lovely Professor Reynolds give me an Instalanche? No. Most of my hits came via the blogger home page.
Why was I on the blogger homepage? Well I reason that my blog was one of the very few that was marked as recently updated since virtually no one in the USA was blogging on the preceding day. Therefore on the morning of the 5th everyone saw my blog as being the only thing that had been recently updated and so the hits began.

I know that David finds it amusing that I occasionally talk about my stats. He thinks that I am slowly joining the dark side of blogging. However, to forestall any potential comments: I shall not be posting pictures of cats. It just isn't me. Though my wife thinks that I need more pictures on here and so Sheep Blogging may soon return...

And to all those people who vistied the Real World I have a message: thanks for the traffic, now get on with some work, slackers! ;-)

We Win!!!

Following on from yesterday's post about Mr. Chirac's attitude to British food I am happy to report that London has kicked Paris' arse in winning the bid for the Olympics. We also beat new York but by all accounts it was never a contender; though on a side note the references to 9/11 seemed a little out of place in the film that Steven Spielberg made for the NY bid.

Now I would point out that I don't particularly care for London; its a big smelly, dirty city full of often rude and patronising southerners who are the English face that most of the world sees, though they are hardly representative. Having said that it has some great museums, art galleries and shows, some wonderful historic buildings and parks, and some great views. This successful Olympic bid might help clean up parts of the city and rejuvenate others; it will also boost the economy and might lead to improvements in the public transport which are all to the good (though a voice in my head keeps shouting: what about the rest of the country?).

After considering all this I would add that I am proud to have the Olympics come to the UK in 2012 and would only add a consoling word to Paris which I am sure would have been an excellent host.

And to Mr. Chirac, a final word. You may think that our food is awful but we have won the games: Nyah, nyah, nyah-nyah, nyah

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

United!

At last the French and the Americans are reunited. They have been able to put aside their differences and reach consensus.

'How?', I hear you cry; why through their mutual loathing of British cuisine.

President Chirac had this to say, amongst other things:
"One cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad,"
Isn't he sweet?

The number of times that I have heard Americans having a pop at British food is uncountable; most of them having never even eaten food in the UK. Those that had, had no complaints, especially those folks who got out of their Holiday Inn hotels and steered away from seedy London pubs. Also those who tried something a little different instead of attempting to stick to what they think they know. Those that I have talked to seem to think that we all still live in a time of rationing such that the food is plain and grey. And all this from a country that savours a type of 'cheese' that has never been within spitting distance of a cow.
Our home-grown traditional dishes can be fabulous, especially the game. A well seasoned and prepared roast beef is majestic. The British palette is also not unadventurous hence our embracing of Chinese, Indian and Thai cuisines, our love of Italian and the traditional Friday night-after-12-pints-of-lager kebab.


I'll let you in on a little secret as well, French food isn't all its cracked up to being. Don't get me wrong I love a nice bit of cheese and bread and I enjoy all sorts of sea-food delicacies from the south of France but it isn't the gastronomic experience people wet themselves over.

However, we in the UK are happy to become the focus of the combined mockery of the United States and France if it means that harmony is returned to the relationship between these two countries. Especially at this time of year when I should remind our American cousins that the cause for their recent holiday is unlikely to have happened without the aid of the French. ;-)

Also, Mr. Chirac, Finnish food ain't all bad either. Any country that eats reindeer is fine with me.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Regrets, Tony?

The war in iraq had its fair share of detractors and promoters here in the UK. Arguments in support of Blair's position were regularly trotted out in opposition to the issues wheeled into battle by the protesters; some were more plausible than others.

One that I heard quite a lot is that by supporting Mr. Bush, our Tony has placed himself in the position of being able to have influence over the President on matters of international import (for example Climate change and world poverty). It has been said that Tony has safeguarded and strengthened the special relationship between the UK and the USA and through his support has earned himself what amounts to a favour from Mr. Bush.

Hmmm. Well if the US President's latest words carry any water then this argument has been blown out of the wet stuff. Here is What GWB had to say in an interview with Trevor McDonald for ITV:

"I really don't view our relationship as one of quid pro quo.

"Tony Blair made decisions on what he thought was best for keeping the peace and winning the war on terror, as I did. So I go to the G8 not really trying to make him look bad or good, but I go to the G8 with an agenda that I think is best for our country."


I can't fault Bush for thinking this way but if he means it then it makes fools of those who thought that Blair had gained any real political capital with his support of Mr. Bush.

On the flip side the US president appears to have accepted that man is guilty of contributing to climate change and is making some efforts towards battling the process. He still doesn't believe in Kyoto though.

"I think you can grow your economy and at the same time do a better job of harnessing greenhouse gases,"

I happen to agree with Mr. Bush though our ideas of how and our methodologies might be quite different in both the short and long term.

War of the Worlds


War of the Worlds is a cracking read, a book that I haven't read for a few years but am now starting to get an itch to pick up again. I have not seen the new movie and Mr C has been irritating me so much that I probably won't. Actually, I just haven't had the urge, to be honest; trips to the cinema have been remarkably limited recently. I have only been twice sonce I got back to the UK in September last year.

Anyway, this post is about a different version of War of the Worlds. The muscial version written by Jeff Wayne and narrated by the late, great Richard Burton. Its a pretty cool album and they have just remastered it in time for the hype over the movie. It is based much more faithfully on the book, being set in Victorian England, and is completely available on-line for streaming (amzaingly)!

More exciting, however, is that there is a proposed cgi animation being made for release in 2008 that would have the album as its soundtrack. In effect the animation would accompany the music.

Have a look at the sample cgi effects in the features section of the main website. My favourite is the martian fighting machine.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

More on Cruise

For those who care, Brooke Shields has replied to Mr. Cruise's comments regarding antidepressant drugs. She says it nicely but basically it is along the lines of 'Get a clue, Tom, you arse'.

I predict...


Although I am British and my blog is turning to more UK themes, the two years in the States means that I try to keep abreast of political developments over the other side of the pond. Also, most of the weblogs that I read are American and interestingly those I read most tend to be biased towards the right. I say interestingly as I feel that most people that I have conversed with on the web would think of me as left of centre, which I probably am on a lot of issues. I certainly am no fan of GWB.

Anyway the point of this post is to make a prediction.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day has retired. Hubris is all over this already with an exclusive.
Now for my prediction:

  • Certain left leaning weblogs will start a hullabaloo over potential candidates that GWB will nominate. GWB will nominate someone that the left doesn't like.
  • The left will scream a lot and the certain right wing weblogs will start acting smug and superior and will come across as really arrogant.
  • Meanwhile some lefty weblogs will sound hysterical and whiney.
  • Instapundit will say 'indeed' a lot and project virtual scowls at the left in that apparently (I say that because that is how it comes across to me) supercilious manner he has.
  • The media will be accused of being left wing and Joe Scarborough will continue to refer, in a scathing manner, to the 'media elite' without ever once appreciating the irony that he himself is one of them.
  • Democrats will try to block the nomination and Bush will end up winning somehow whilst rightwing pundits will make veiled references to the patriotism (or lack thereof) of the democrats for not supporting the president while deep down they know that if the roles had been reversed the same drama would have unfolded with switched sides.

That is my prediction. I hope that I am wrong and that they just sort it out like grown ups. In the meantime drop by here to the real world where it doesn't make a fig of difference. :-)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Seeing Clearly!

Well, I got my new glasses today as I mentioned earlier this week.

I immediately had that weird 'shit! everything is so bright!' thing but that disappeared after a couple of minutes. Currently they are pinching my nose a little as I get used to the new frames.

Most importantly I am able to see clearly again. I mean seriously and noticeably clearly. It is bloody amazing. Hurrah!

Bloody yankee opticians screwing me over with their substandard eye analysis. Bloody British attitude to causing a fuss that stopped me from getting it sorted!

Thanks to David for letting me use his computer to post from for the weekend.

Nothing to see here!

Nothing to say today. Still hammering my way through that colleague's paper whilst my own languishes in limbo.

Off looking at a couple of houses in a few minutes followed by a journey south for the weekend.

I hope that everyone has a good weekend.