Monday, August 28, 2006

This is cool

I don't really like dogs, but this is cool.

Of course a cat would never do anything quite so undignified! (honest)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Same story, different media!

Here's the BBC about waste disposal and calls to charge by weight!

It includes the claim that bugs are being installed in bins to measure how much you throw away!

Here's the Gruniads take on the same subject!

And finally, the winner for most xenophobic headline designed to work up people to a frothing fit!

The Mail on Sunday, who make it out to be a big German plot!

I mean really, just how stupid does the Mail on Sunday think people are? I love the comments in the Mail, typical kneejerk reactions!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We've got cats

Finally our little family has been extended, we just got two little kittens (6 months old so not that little)

We did only intend to take on, but they looked so sweet together, and we couldn't bring ourselves to split them up!

So may I introduce to you Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Thunder and Lightning!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I have to admit to blatantly stealing this from Joe at Woolamaloo but it's so good I have to post it for you

I also was interested to learn about the chemical properties of the explosives that everyone has been saying the "terrorists" were planning to use in the recent "plot"

As you can see in this article it would be farcical to imagine this particular plot working!

And to lend credence to my point about it being overhyped, apparently the contents of all confiscated liquids are being dumped in big buckets, now if the "terrorists" really were planning to mix two liquids together to get a big bang doesn't this practice strike you as somewhat short sighted?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Well I missed it

In all the excitement yesterday, poeple flapping about a plot which, by all accounts wasn't ready (I saw one report which said the suspects were alledegly going to do a "dry run" in two days) buried deep in the news and drowned out by the hue and cry. Israel escalated its offensive into the Lebanon.

I wonder what other bad news was buried conveniently under a barrage of interviews with people stranded at airports, "experts" telling us how nasty men want to hurt us etc.

Excuse me for being overly cynical but there have been too many false alarms recently for me to take this very seriously.

According to this article on El. Reg the Americans don't seem to think it's worth much of a fuss!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What an amazing co-incedence

So the day after John Reid tells us we have underestimated the terrorist threat, and that we must be prepared to relinquish more of our freedoms in the "war against terror" there is suddenly a massive terrorist threat which effectively closes down all our airports and causes havoc.

Excuse me for being cynical, but this is very convenient. I would not like to suggest that there is no threat, but if the situation is so bad, why are airports operating at all? if I were a terrorist determined to cause havoc I would have a plan B, if I can't get my bomb on a plane I would set it off in the crowds in the airport. (this is not a new idea, I've seen it bandied about in several places before)

So either our security forces have

A. Nobbled the whole attack
B. Over-stated the threat to cause panic

I really think it might just be B as we know the best way to get unpopular security policies through is to pass them on the back of such events, think of the PATRIOT act in the USA for example.

As Herman Goering, Hitlers right hand man once said.

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

So I suppose we have to ask the question now, what are our glorious leaders planning next? war? more restrictions? ID cards at any cost, even if they don't work! Watch out Iran, I think our leaders might be planning something.

I'm scared, not of being blown up by terrorists, but of this country of mine sinking further towards an oppressive Police State! And the biggest problem, neither the Tories all the Lib Dems can bring themselves to question matters, because they know they will be accused of undermining our countries security, they will be accused of being "un-patriotic"!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Freedoms must be curbed!

John Reid (home secretary) has said in a speech today to think tank Demos This worries me, what freedoms does he plan to curb, our right to a fair trial, our right to freedom of movement, our right to protest, our right to speak out like I am doing right now?

Let me see, right to a fair trial. Our .gov is already trying to pass laws to restrict this, by various approaches. Stopping juries being used in fraud cases, ASBO's (which are decided by magistrates I believe) and trying to bring in 90 days secret imprisonment for suspected terrorist. (on the basis that someone senior, the local police chief for instance, has suspicion)

Right to freedom of movement, well the miners strikes of the 80's proved we have not had that for a long time, plenty of innocent people where surprised to find that the police had the power to turn them round on public highways and send them home simply on suspicion that they might be going to support a strike.

Right to protest, this is restricted to "approved protests" around the area of the houses of parliament already, and they are trying to bring in laws similar to the good 'ole US of A where protesters are restricted to "freedom zones" well away from the people who are supposed to see the firkin protest.

Right to free speech, depends who is talking really, think of the 80 year old man bundled out of the labor Party conference for heckling the leaders! Held on "terrorism" charges for a while, terrorism charges for simply heckling!

Stop, Think, Speak out, write to your MP, you can find out who that is here on if you are not sure.

Let's summarise

You cannot protest outside the leaders of this countries meeting place unless it's an approved protest

You cannot move freely about the country

You can be imprisoned for 28 days with no legal recourse (they wanted 90 days, the Police wanted even more)

You can be arrested as a terrorist if you speak out.

Sounds like we've already lost a lot of freedoms, what's next? Oh yes ID cards, then the STATE can POLICE us completely. Doesn't sound like the Great Britain I was brought up to believe in.

I'm already worried, and I don't even have a tinfoil hat yet.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Star Trek does Monty Python

May I offer, for your delectation and delight, the original Star Trek cast doing the Camelot scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

Star Trek does Monty Python


Saturday, August 05, 2006

ID Cards - How easy are they to copy?

According to this article on El. Reg the new US Biometric Passports are so insecure that anyone could easily copy one, with commercially available bits n pieces.

Now our wonderful new ID card is based on exactly the same RFID * technology, except that a passport closes, a card doesn't (the US passport will have a "tin foil" ** cover) so our cards will be remotely readable, and easily copied.

So now we have a very expensive (billions) system, which most people think will work just as well as any other .gov sponsored IT project like the passport office or the CSA, which will be very easy to get round, and will lead to an explosion of identity theft as soon as criminals realise that having your ID card means they can open bank accounts, claim bebefits etc. all in your name.

So do any of my dear readers (both of you) still want an expensive piece of plastic attached to a failing IT system which can easily be copied and will be compulsary by 2010!

* oh and don't call it RFID, the home office doesn't like that name, they call it something else.

** I'm not joking, when the US .gov found out these RFID chips could be read up to 10 metres away they designed a foil mesh into the cover of the passport so it could only be read when the passport was open.

Game of the week

One for all you Top Gear fans out there

Caravan Tossing, My best so far 279.12

Post your best scores in comments!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

David Gemmell, one of my all time favourite fantasy authors has sadly passed away at the age of 57, he wrote 30 novels set in a wonderfully detailed world.

His stories were great tales of heroism but with a great eye for how war affects people, and although he dealt in heroism, he never shirked from showing the bloody side of war and how it affects people either.

If you don't know his works start with

Legend : the tale of an old warrior, Druss the Legend drawn back into war reluctantly.

And I think you will be drawn in to his world.

He will be sadly missed.

The Donkey

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried
piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be
covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all
grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the
donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to
everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He
was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his
back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and
take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the
animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone
was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and
happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to
getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of
our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells
just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less

NOW --------
Enough of that crap . . .
The donkey later came back, and bit the shit out of the farmer who had
tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected, and the farmer
eventually died in agony from septic shock.

When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes
back to bite you.