Global Warming.

It doesn't make for happy reading:

2005 May Be Warmest Year Ever.

and yet Bush still refuses to sign up to anything that will reduce greenhouse gases etc. because it might damage America's economy? Er... how much is it going to cost to sort out New Orleans again? How much has America spent and continues to spend on that invasion in Iraq to keep the oil flowing?

The human race is doomed.
This is a photo-hosting site - for photos - your sort aren't welcome here.

Boing-boing article: Drawings banned from Flickr's 700hoboes tag.

Monkstyle's blog post on the issue.

Flickr forums on the issue: One. Two. Three.

Because from time to time I post up one of my drawings /doodles /illustrations to my photostream and I know a few of my flickr mates do the same - I have concerns about this issue. Is there going to be a time where I post just the one illustration too many for the flickr police and I'll get everything I've done instantly pulled out of the public areas - the tag searches, the 'explore interestingness' areas -etc.

I'm afraid it's these sort of petty and arbitrary distinctions* that are beginning to sour flickr for me. I can see the first hairline cracks are beginning to show in the slow creeping yahoo-ization of Flickr.

Can no one there see just how insulting it is for an artist to be lumped in with the porn and other 'undesirable stuff'.

It’s as if flickr is saying in no uncertain terms: “Dirty, dirty drawings -ew! non photos - dirty, dirty illustrations. Ew - filthy - not fit to be seen by the public. Must be hidden away. Must be made hard to find.” It is essentially relegating a small number of users into second class flickrites. Surely that isn’t fair?

I have to ask: is flickr so desperately scared that people doing a tag search for a subject aren't going to be able to distinguish between a photo and a drawing from the thumbnail alone, and to make the choice for themselves whether they want to look at that picture? So scared that Flickr has taken it upon themselves to make that choice for the casual viewer?

Are they living in fear that overnight absolutely everyone is going to start posting huge slews of non-photographs that are going to swamp out the photos completely? Because let me put their minds at rest right now -that is never going to happen. The drawings/illustration work has always been a very small percentage of what is on flickr -it is ever likely to remain so.

If drawings are so hideously offensive -why is it one of the flickr founders set up a whole group devoted to doodles? Why did the flickr blog dedicate one of it’s posts to handwritten notebook blogs -(some which had -gasp! drawings in them)?

I’m bemused that they should decide to make this an issue when surely there are far more pressing things they should be concentrating on. Like for instance -getting that reset button back - so I know when NEW really means new, etc.

There wasn’t anything broken here that needed this sort of fixing. If they had any sense they’d go back to just letting the drawings/illustrations/whatever back in the public areas and stop making themselves look so woefully petulant. It would save them so much grief.

*I say arbitrary because as yet no one can say exactly what a photo is. If they going to get only what they’ve decided they want -they’re really going to have to start getting pedantic to the point of ridiculousness. Instead of just ‘photo’ they’ll have to say ‘pictures only ever taken with a camera - a scanned photo print (originally taken with a camera) is alright but only just - but absolutely and totally no scanned drawings - and no photos of drawings or paintings - except graffiti because we like graffiti - and no photos that have been so overly manipulated in a graphics program that they’re unrecognisable…. (and on and on…)
Fireworks at Worthing Pier.(Funny - it wasn't Bonfire night, and they didn't have any fireworks on November the 5th.)



fireworks or possibly an explodin' turkey
fireworks? pour quoi? it's  not bonfire night..
We'll be right back after these messages...

Every since I've been acquainted with satellite TV -I've always been irritated by the length of ad breaks on their channels. Doubly annoyed by the fact that I'm paying a subscription charge for it too. Where a good 15 minutes out of every hour is wasted on that inane repetitive drivel. In fact there have even been occasions where the commercial break has gone on for so long I've forgotten what it was I was supposedly watching. Yes - I know I have a short attention span and this isn't helping it any. You used to have to near break your neck to make a up of coffee/tea/whatever during the adverts, but now it's getting to the point where you can make a three course meal.

But anyway -people have been complaining about the length and duration of ads during Lost, and their complaints have been upheld by Ofcom. Whether or not this will make a difference remains to be seen.

And they wonder why people bittorrent TV programs?
The Flickrization of Yahoo.

Um. I don't know. Somehow the whole 'new' social-networking yahoo thing leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I mean, this crude plan of getting everyone using Yahoo to do lots of tedious menial work tagging and categorising everything they come across on the web - for... for... well, actually at the end of the day yahoo’s benefit -all to make Yahoo get seen as the right sort of place to put adverts in and that in turn the advertisers will plough a lot of money into. But er... um... are those two things even compatible? In some cases aren’t they inevitably going to turn into diametrically opposed things clashing altogether? It's not as if I haven't seen Yahoo destroy something that was really good -such as e-groups - then turn it into their own Yahoo-groups and over time systematically ruin pretty much everything that was really cool about the original -only to leave a crappy shadow of it. Does Yahoo even know how to learn from it's own mistakes (if it can then why not prove it by putting e-groups back to what it was?) Really -it’s a known trait that in America when corporate advertisers call the tune - hey, watch everyone leap up to dance, and anyone who didn't get up in time gets trampled into the dust. It's not healthy.

It's very apparent that Yahoo at the moment is very intent on buying up everything they can which encapsulates the social networking ethos but -will they prove capable of letting the geese which lay the golden eggs alone and happy and content enough to keep on laying those eggs? I guess only time will tell. But I wouldn’t ever advise anyone to put all their eggs into one basket - golden or not.
No surprise here then.

Bush Ratings Hit New Low

But really, I can't see him caring much. It's not as if he needs to get relected.
Tony the newsagent - a meme

tony stencil

Instructions for use:

Download this gif. Print it out. Have fun with it. Let me know about it at: groc [at] groc [dot] org [dot] uk.

Here's the first batch of examples:
by Rakka
by Crystl
and by Sockenbär
The huge cloud of radiation that spewed from the broken reactor at Chernobyl in 1986 will kill 4000 people.

And to think there's quite a lot of politicians around these days of both poltical parties wanting to bring back nuclear power. Gah.
Mmmmmmmm Mac

Let's see here. It runs on a particular flavour of Unix - just with lots and lots of extra eye candy - all those drop shadows, and brushed aluminium, coloured glass beads, over-elaborate pretty-pretty icons that grow larger as your mouse rolls over them etc. (None of it is to my personal taste -but there you go.) It's soon to be running on Intel chips (a Mac-tel instead of a Win-tel) oh, and shhhh - don't tell any body but you can also hack an ordinary PeeCee to run the OS faster and better on it - for a LOT cheaper* - just without it being encased in (ugh, shudder) 'designer' white plastic or expensive titanium. Too many Mac owners find it so hard to understand that at it's heart a computer is a computer is a computer - they *all* consist of silicon chips, motherboards, graphics cards, soundcards, network cards etc. etc. all working together to do the various things computer do. Mac OS just takes more pains to hide more of the difficult technical things from the users (even to the point of taking away a second mouse button and scroll wheel just in case that should ever confuse the end user), and Apple charge it's adherents a lot more money for it all. This is called marketing. Apple spend a lot of money on that and packaging - which is why they have to fob it's users off with painfully under specced hardware - after all they've got to find the money to pay their designers, advertising execs and marketers from somewhere. I almost admire how they manage to make mac-users feel such rebels. Of course most work places use 'evil horrible machines' that run Windows - so at the end of the day you can go home and use your pretty-looking mac to do your very own things (email and web browsing) and feel like you're sticking it to the man as you do it. It's all so 'Rebel without a cause' isn't it? Except instead of making Bill Gates (and -insert name of a computer manufacturer) richer - you're making Steve Jobs richer... 'webel webel!'

But of course the real genuine proper computer rebels are building their own machines out of parts -all running Linux or yellow tab - or keeping older machines like Acorn or Amiga running... Personally I think it's pretty shitty that there's only Windows, Mac and maybe Linux to choose from. Each has it's strengths and weaknesses but we're still years away from an ideal OS.

*In the ooooold days I was told of a box Amiga that ran an emulation of a Mac only a lot faster and a lot more stable than a 'proper' mac. So this isn't the first time I've heard of other machines easily outplaying mac at their own game. But y'know - the marketing... powerful stuff. People will still buy over priced bottled water rather than simply drinking it from the tap...
Badwolf - thinking.

Throughout it’s a been whole concept, a multi-layered motif and not the one single thing which excludes any others.

Who is the Bad Wolf ? Who is. Specifically speaking- the Doctor is the Bad Wolf.
From this it follows Rose is little Red Riding Hood, and at some point she'd better look out for his big sharp teeth.

What is the Bad Wolf? It is Beowulf - it is Anubis - it is Armageddon - applicable to the TARDIS when it was used as a doomsday weapon to end the Time Wars.

Who is afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? The Daleks are. But they’re not above taunting him with it, even to the point of naming a TV channel and a Corporation after the concept.

That the Dalek from the Van Statten museum, now a bit of a power-mad crazed insane Emperor on an upgrade with super-steroids with a ‘I am the Dalek God’ fixation - might well have something to do with that.

That the Controller managed to tap into that pool of knowledge and that collective fear and pull the Doctor, Rose, and Jack into the Game Station in order to battle the Daleks, and might have been responsible for planting a few clues and memes for them along the way. But because she was under supervision by the Daleks she could never be too explict for fear of finding out.

I still don't think Adam will be making a reappearance for the final episode.

But I'll know in just three hours and counting.
ID cards back again

Yes, it's back in the news. Now the Gov. is trying to sell it as being the best protection yet against the growing problem of Identity Theft (can't they just arrest that comedian doing that bank card advert McGowen). Remember when it was an 'entitlement card' to make sure Miss Single-parent couldn't claim for one more free bottle of milk for her child than she was entitled to, or that Johnny Foreigner wouldn't get any free medical treatment on the NHS or substandard council housing -etc. Then it was going to stop international terrorists in their tracks and put a stop to all those bombs and aeroplanes crashing into buildings that have been happening in the UK ever since er... er... (quickly changes the subject.) Now it's going to stop all this terrible, terrible Identity theft business that's costing the country 1.3 billion pounds a year.
Except it isn't. Well, because they've pretty much as good as made those figures up.

So remember that little fact, They have all that data to hand - then twist it and mangle it and then ignore it in order to push through whatever it is they wanted to do in the first place. So ask yourself how then can they be ever trusted with the personal data of all the inhabitants of this country in this proposed massive new database? Can they be trusted with your own individual personal information? If they can get it into the database correctly in the first place - discounting the typos, the inevitable human error, the inevitable computer crashes and lock-ups... etc.

Once again they keep skirting over how much the whole scheme is going to cost to set up, and once in place keep running - they're always very hazy on that particular piece of information have you noticed? I wouldn't be surprised if it's easily over 1.3 billion before they've finished, (not that it will ever be finished). This will be real proper taxpayers money, not imaginary figures they've pulled out of a hat one year. Money that could be better put into investigating and policing and so actually stopping the real non-imaginary money that is being lost.

Notice also how the proposed cost of actually owning a card keep on creeping up and up - first a basic card was going to cost around £35, then last year that had suddenly jumped to £85 to £88, now it transpires it's likely to be maybe closer to £98 or maybe a tad over £100. Seems a lot to spend on something that has already been proven not to work very well, which surely negates the whole point of having an ID card. What's the use of an ID card that only somewhat, nearly proves your ID? All this expense on something the whole Country has been managing quite well totally without since the 1950s.

(Oh, and I don't know about you, but I certainly haven't got a spare £100 floating around that I don't know what to do with. If you have maybe you'd like to send it to me. I'm sure to make far better use of it than this Gov. ever would.)

The 'No ID' petition.
Despite whoever wins this years election -a politician will get into power.

But who the hell are these people?

Has no one else noticed how thoroughly weird these people as a whole are? (and whatever party they belong to has little to so with it.)

No -seriously. The majority of them are clearly quite deeply psychologically damaged - the last thing we should ever be doing is putting people like that into positions of power, -rather they should be hauled off for intensive psychotherapy and medication. It should be obvious to all that more often than not they’re trying to resolve deeply personal issues by playing out some sort of psycho-drama -unfortunately it soon gets to be psycho-drama played out on a world stage... it involves us and all-to-often people in their thousands and sometimes in their millions getting killed, hurt and maimed etc. It isn't as if we've not had plenty of lessons to learn from history.

It's about time we all as the human race gave up this primitive in-built 'follow-the-alpha-ape-member' we‘ve got. What served us well when we were swinging about in the trees and stumbling about on forest floors - isn't doing us much good now.

UK election 2005. -part 3

The most bizarre part of this election is that in terms of policies and issues in polls everyone generally sees the Lib Dems as having the sanest, most sensible and decent policies that they feel they can support. Despite this pretty much no one is going to vote for them in the General Election. Simply and purely because the Lib Dems haven’t been in power before, and because of that no one trusts that’ll they’ll be up to the job. Yet the only reason they’ve never been in power before -is because no-one will vote them into power because they haven’t been in power before...

(It would seem the Lib Dems only pick up any votes when someone is making a protest against the party they would normally support, rather than voting postively for the party.)

See the inanity?
Yes, indeed, the people in this country really are on the whole THAT stupid. Both Labour and the Conservatives know this and pander to this fact to the hilt. The Lib Dems are perpetually surprised by this, and being inherently decent haven’t learnt how to exploit this to their advantage. (I do have a sneaking suspicion that your standard Lid Dem voter has a higher IQ than that of your average Tory or Labour voter.)

My gripe about this sitituation is that to break this absurd deadlock is that we need to change the political system, we desperately need proportional representation. But we won’t get that until… the Lib Dems get into power -see the flaw? Of coursse Labour and the Tories aren't going to ever change the electorial system - it's not in their interestes to ever do that.

So the country remains trapped in this complete rut - we never really get to actually progress anywhere.

The other problem with the Lib Dems is that their Leader is a red head. I’m sorry, but this ignores another principle of modern politics which frequently gets overlooked: the fact that in this highly visual - completely televised world - politics is now in large part a beauty pageant. The political world is increasingly ruled by image consultants, every prominent MP you see is put under intense training to fake sincerity as convincingly as possible. Anything close to genuine authenticity was bled out of politics a very long ago.

UK election 2005. -part 2

Despite my deep seated dislike and distrust of Tony Blair -not under any circumstances must Michael Howard ever be allowed to gain power. He was one of the worst Home Secretaries we’ve ever had, he was one of the main forces behind the disastrous Poll Tax fiasco, the list goes on.

The Conservative Party played their race card early, all to make a direct appeal to their bigoted supporters. No doubt hoping to steal some votes from the BNP.

Also once again they’re dragging out their tired, completely threadbare and discredited promise for lower taxes. By which they always, but always, mean lower taxes only for their wealthier supporters, which in the end always involves sneakily clawing back this new shortfall from the poorer individuals and families in both indirect (VAT) and direct taxes, whilst at the same time cutting all the public services these people have to rely on. (Rich people never care about public services - they don’t use public transport, they don’t use NHS hospitals, they go to BUPA for their Health Insurance and go private hospitals, they have private pension plans -etc. Mark it all down to selfishness. If the Middle classes are about anything they're about all out selfishness.)

The Conservative Party has a whole have always disgusted me. I can see through how utterly primitive their world view is -it’s all so medieval, so completely feudal under-pinned with the mentality of the robber Baron. It's just nasty and grubby. So I can see why this is so popular amongst the 'less sophisticated'. Hell, it’s not far off from the whole monkey-mentality -"My banana! Mine! My territory! Mine! I’m bigger than you -I hit you. -I rule. Now I want your banana too. Give -or I hit you."

The only vaguely clever part of all this is where the Party leaders recognise this primitive mindset in their minions and exploit it to their advantage. They’ve been remarkable by how very successful they’ve long been in getting the working class to vote for them - despite the fact that everything the Tories have ever done and will continue to do has been totally against their, the Working classes own best interests.

(Much in the same way the Neo-Conservatives in the USA cynically took /take advantage of the Christian Fundamentalist Right Wing over there to help bulk up numbers at the polling booths.)

I hope that most people won’t fall for their lies - and can remember what a disgusting repellent ball of decadent sleaze the Tory party eventually devolved into after their far-too-long years in power. When you’ve got a primitive grasping monkey-mentality you’ve bound to start playing with your own shit and start flinging it around sooner or later. That's just what monkeys do.
In which the Groc has a long, long rant about the current UK election:

part one.

I’ve been hearing on the news that the current election issue of today is the Iraq Invasion. Which brings me directly to the reason why I certainly don’t think Tony Blair deserves to re-elected. As far as I’m concerned no matter which way you look at it he in no way deserves another term as our Prime Minister.

To quickly recap: Saddam was pretty much on his last legs, there were sanctions against him in place, everyone now admits there were no ‘Weapons of Mass destruction‘, so in actuality Saddam was complying to whatever was being asked of him. He certainly had nothing to do with the bombing of the Twin Towers. Etc. Yadda, yadda, yadda, we all know the story by now.

But today as on previous occasions all we’re getting from Tony is, something like, to paraphrase wildly: ‘well, I thought I doing the right thing at the time (according to what the American President told me). We won. So I’m not sorry. (Yaa-boo-sucks.)’

But Tony, if you end up doing everything President Bush tells you to -are you being a Leader (of our Country) or are you just being a follower? (Not to metiona complete suck-up?)

If you believe the moon is made of green cheese are you suddenly going to start to send rockets up there to mine it? It doesn’t matter what you ‘believe’. Running the country isn’t about articles of faith. It’s a pretty lame excuse for killing people in an invasion.

So in short, at best -being overly charitable here, he made a vastly bad decision based on completely dubious intelligence or else is (I dread to think) part of something altogether much more sinister. In either case -the cold hard facts are that it has cost thousands of innocent lives, is still costing untold amounts of money and has left Iraq in a far worst state than it was before -a mess which is going to go on costing and be a big problem for everyone concerned for many years to come. It hasn’t even lead to lower oil prices for the ‘Merikcans. It hasn’t even lead to contracts for UK big business taking a share of the cake in ‘rebuilding’ the country.

It also sets a dangerous prescient doesn’t it? “We absolutely totally need to invade - (insert name of any country we fancy here -China/Russia/Poland say)- because we have it on good authority (IE. That is from some people we captured from that country and tortured into getting them to tell us exactly only what we wanted to hear) that they’ve got a lot of weapons aimed our way and they’re threatening to attack us with them.
… … …

After the invasion: “Oops-a-daisy, - there weren’t any weapons after all, our bad. Never mind, what few civilians there are that are left -are very happy to be liberated… So that’s alright then isn’t it? Yay for us.”)

Either way all of this marks Tony Blair as someone I really don’t want leading our country.
I'm having thoughts...

about my blogging.

Years ago now -orginally I wanted my own domain because I'd heard way too much about Blogger eating up people's posts - and I liked the idea of being in control of every little thing there on my own gaffe. But with with all the hassles with MT, and the nasties of comments spammers running thorugh and trashing everything...

Blogger is a different space now from what it used to be - look there's even a spell checker now, I'm sure with a bit of effort I could learn how to make it look like something I want it look like, and there's a built in comments system now (and that seems to be - for the time at least immune from comment-spammers...) for the time being -even the problem of hosting my pictures has been solved by being with flickr...

so there's the issues of what I want to do with a blog and why I want to blog (do I want to blog?) and what I want to do with a webspace...

So I'm thinking, I'm considering...

What to do... what to do...