Will Hutton

I've just been reading Will Hutton's 'The State to Come'

Which written back in 1997 (before NuLabour won the election later that year)- shows that the big mess the Global economy is currently in has roots stretching way, way back. (But since Blair and Brown have only ever been Thatcherites in disguise - it's only to be expected.)

So I've been reading the other things he's written in the Guardian.

I've also come across this:

Edward J. Dodson / Review of: Boom Bust, by Fred Harrison.

Just a thought since most economists have been proven to be completely wrong by real life events over the decades - isn't it time we stopped paying them any credence? Shouldn't we now be lumping them together with the tarot card readers and astrologers and rune-readers and only taking anything they say with massive handfuls of salt?

Proving Moleskine Is Just A Style: The Piccadilly Notebook

As far as I know - Not yet available in the UK.

It's about time someone either took away Moleskine's crown - and/or Modo and Modo brought their prices down - and brought them down a lot.

Proving Moleskine Is Just A Style: The Piccadilly Notebook

Doctor Who monster maestro wants Nesbitt as next Time Lord - Coventry Telegraph - The Geek Files

"Mmmmm Ruari Mears" tasty.

sony ericsson pc suite

Yup - I get the annoying Capi_Worker module crashing nonsense...
here's a supposed solution - that I haven't got working yet. *sigh* Is my next phone going to have to be Nokia - simply because Sony-Ericsson are so far up their own arse they refuse to acknowledge and actually fix their dodgy software?

oh no - plot recycling

The latest episode of Sanctuary - warriors was set around an illegal fight club...

like erm... Torchwood : Combat.
Angel : The Ring.
Star Trek Voyager : Tsunkatse
Star Trek OS : The Gamesters of Triskelion

...I'm sure there are many others (if you know of any others - let me know in the comments). It's my least favourite plot ever - because it's so wretchedly limited.

Random bookmarking

I agree with this blog post from Mr Eugenides: Levelling the playing field

Missed this one back in November:
Bill for ID cards rises by £50m as Home Office unveils pilot scheme. Now - a couple of years or so back didn't the London School of Economics predict that the Government's costing for the scheme was wildly out of whack. Of course the Govt. pooh-poohed their warnings...

Beau Bo D'Or tag: benefits.

The brilliance of creative chaos.

now macs need virus protection too

Mmmmmmm - does this mean that Apple are going to go back and re-edit all their 'I'm a pc - and I'm a mac' adverts where they're boasting how macs never ever get viruses and trojans and what-not?

Welcome to Cloud cuckoo land UK

Er... hello. Apparently - there's this global financial crisis going on - the whole world - thanks in main part to the mass idiocy of the people who work at the top levels of the financial sector - is in recession. In the UK there are already various companies shedding large numbers of their workforce - if not going out of business altogether... economic experts are predicting that unemployment figures are set to grow to at least 2 million - very possibly more very soon... (and that never takes into account the real numbers of people who are really unwaged, such as those people subsisting on low wages and/or tax credits or inadequate pensions etc.) - and we're being warned this recession could last for quite some time. So against this background - the Government thinks it's the best time ever to introduce stringent Welfare reforms. Most of which only amount to punishing the unemployed and the sick if they don't get a job. With the end goal of eventually treating them as criminals by forcing them to do community work if they don't toe the line... this Government needs to think about changing it's name to the Slave-Labour party if it carries on in this vein.

It's always interesting to consider the various things the Government hasn't even considered to help people back into work (-or even that the whole work-life concept needs to be radically rethought - because it plainly is very broken). Oh, things like providing proper training schemes (currently only those people already in full employment can afford to pay for the education to gain decent qualifications) - or bringing back the student grant system (rather than the current loan system which only forces people into high levels of debt at the beginning of their careers. We might have cottoned on by now that high levels of personal debt is NOT a good thing) - reducing working hours by law ('work to live - not live to work') and -oh yes and doing various things that mean there are the businesses and companies etc. that people can have jobs in... (Because our Govt. still fails to grasp the simple concept that before we can ever have full employment - that there needs to be more than enough actual real jobs to go around than there are people) But all those things are expensive* and difficult - and it's all so much easier and simplier to blame the unemployed for being unemployed... (and that always goes down well with the sort of angry, mean-spirited, small-minded person who reads the sort of popular newspapers in this country. The sort that live in their own little vindictive fantasy worlds. Just read any comments feed on the websites of such papers and prepare to be horrified at the vitriol and bile these people can spew out.)

Related stuff:

...TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This approach to welfare assumes a utopian world of unrestricted childcare and widely available jobs where only the lazy opt for life on the dole.

"The reality is very different. Thousands of people are joining the dole queue every day through no fault of their own."

"Urge lone parents into jobs. Just put away the big stick
Getting people employed is vital, but in a recession current welfare-to-work targets are impossible - and compulsion is crazy"**

[*Although it's always amazing what Governments CAN find the money for when they put their minds to it. The illegal invasion of a country on the whim of a US president? Well, that's open cheque-book time. Bailing out a load of banks and building societies - (and making sure the managers can keep their huge multi-million pound bonuses) the sky's the limit there... But Hospitals? Care homes? Nursing staff? Welfare payments for the poor... oh no - the cupboards bare then.]

[**For the life of me I can't see what's the idea behind forcing lone parent mothers into employment when most of their wages are only going to go paying for childcare! In fact - they might as well just pay them their benefits as normal and let them claim to be self-employed child carers.]

Pictured: The robot that can pull faces just like a human being

Working towards making ourselves redundant one step at a time...

Pictured: The robot that can pull faces just like a human being | Mail Online

(pity the video doesn't work any more.)

Coupland Blankie

Corporate Safety Blanket No. 1
Corporate Safety Blanket No. 2

The essential Firefox extentions I can't live without...

(and this is all a right pain - having to find and put them all back - especially as nearly all of them call for a re-start of flickr - everytime.)


Better flickr.

Better youtube.

Adblock plus

Video Download helper.

and the Googlebar

More to come...

firefox 3


Yay! I got a new 'puter for my birthday. Yay!

So there I was with my spanking new computer - and am slowly adding all the programs I need and what not - and here's the really annoying thing... After loading on my preferred browser Firefox 3 - got a few of my favourite extensions loaded on etc. All was happy and going along swimmingly - then I thought I'd load on google's chrome... chrome wanted to add all the bookmarks and stuff from firefox... despite there being hardly anything there I let it. Boom.

Firefox 3 refuses to load - at all.
Tried launching with it's profile manager. Tried running it as an administer...
I've un-installed it - I re-installed it. Rolled back to a previous restore point in Vista. I've un-installed chrome. I've ccleaned everything. Hoping to remove all traces of it all from the registry. Re-installed and always the same - nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Anybody out there any ideas?

It's really aggravating me not being able to use Firefox - I live for it's extension and plug-ins - there's nothing else like it for those things...

[update - now fixed - thanks Leff.]

Tomorrow Peeps

evil Gay-liens - Yagon and Cantor

I got a disc set of the last series as a birthday present. Oh my. Cheap and tacky doesn't begin to cover it.

Here's a big link dump:

Wiki entry.

international hero.

Tomorrow People dot com.

Clive Banks.

Meanwhile - let's admire Mike Holoway's packet shall we?


Alan Ball on Making True Blood

Alan Ball on Making True Blood

Cowon A3 gadget lust

Cowon A3

Book Designer Chip Kidd - new manga Batman book

Book Designer Chip Kidd - TIME:
"What's the story behind this crazy Batman/Japanese comic book you're putting out?
I've published several books on the lore and the toys and the this and the that of Batman. When the Batman TV show came out in 1966, it was a global hit. But Japan was the only country in the world that contacted DC Comics and said, "We want to license the right to write and draw our own Batman and Robin stories." These stories appeared for exactly a year, from April '66 to May '67. And they kind of came and went. They were never collected, never translated. They just appeared and then vanished.

How was it different than the American version? I noticed one comic where Batman was fighting a man who could change into a praying mantis, a drill bit, a pterodactyl...

They took it back to the '40s, where there wasn't any deep psychological exploration, just a slam-bang fun thing. There's this one villain called Lord Death Man, and his ability is basically to die. But much more importantly, he comes back to life and starts to haunt Batman's dreams. All kinds of wonderful weird things happen that don't get explained."

Tube Talk - Russell Tovey talks 'Doctor Who' - Digital Spy

Oooooh - can't wait for the new series of 'Being Human'. But I'm in the camp that thinks -as much as I like him - he's a bit too young to play the Doctor.

Doctor Who - Tube Talk - Russell Tovey talks 'Doctor Who' - Digital Spy: "Russell Tovey talks 'Doctorjavascript:void(0) Who'"

I might be looking forward to Win 7

There are quite a few things I've always wanted Windows XP to do..

1. Drastically cut down all the bloat....

Stop the constant race to use up all the resources of new faster chipsets and RAM it can... (IE games machines, Linux, Mac OS were perfectly capable of fancy-schamanzy effects without having to use masses of RAM and graphics cards.) The OS should be using as little as of a 'puters hardware as it can - and get out of the way of the programmes the user needs to use.

This should be true of all programmes - not just windows - but everyone seems intent on cramming in as many bells and whistles and bloat as they can with every new version - without ever addressing old bugs and stability and reliability. This has been bugging me for years... Adding endless patches and updates just add to the bloat... but add to the bloat is what they all love to do. *sigh*

3. Be able to move around the open programs tabs on the task bar - like you can the tabs on firefox.

4. I've always wanted to be able add my own bits and progs and rearrange stuff to the explorer window thingy. (I'm sure there are official names for these things but I have no idea what they are.)

5. Control exactly what gets added to my start up. God - I want to kill Quicktime - Adobe Reader - RealPlayer - even Open Office - for adding their shit there without ever asking if I want them there. The arrogant resource hogs.

I want my 'puter to boot up as fast as possible so I can do my things - not have other people pre-decide what they think I'll be doing for me.

6. I hope Windows 7 is as easy to network as they claim - I've never be able to get anything working with XP or Win 98 - it was all nightmareishly stupid and complicated to set up. I've failed to get a win 95 to connect to a win 98 box or a XP box using a parallel cable - I've failed trying to get a laptop to connect to a XP box using a cross ethernet cable... All the 'easy to set up' built-in Windows help screens were worse than useless. You want it to work like you plug in a USB thumb drive works. Bing-bing - you're connected. It should only be difficult if you're at work and security is a concern. But at home... jeez give me a break. You shouldn't need an advanced computer degree to link up a couple of computers and external hard drives and printers etc.

PDC 2008 - Webmonkey

Noooooooo! Don't gooooo!

Grumble grumble grumble.

They'd better bring back Doctor-Donna for a spell too just to make up for this bad news...

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | David Tennant quits as Doctor Who

Brainy Robots To Lead To Longer Unemployment Lines?

I read this short piece in Wired - and all I can think is - 'what the hell is wrong with Americans'. When I was growing up as a kid - this is the sort of thing we were promised would be happening in the future. That machines and automation would be doing a lot of the more tedious work - that we'd be only working a few days a week - yadda yadda yadda. So feel my horror that when I grow up I found myself in a world were - despite computers now being everywhere - people are actually working longer hours than before - for relatively a lot less pay. That's those who do work - because no one has managed to figure out yet that if those in jobs did have a shorter working week - then we would have less unemployed people.

Anyhow - the bit that really got me in the article was 'sounds a lot like socialism doesn't it?' God, the majority of Americans are so totally brainwashed by their masters (their media, their politicians, their bosses, their lecturers, their school teacher, their parents -etc.) that they can barely think of any other way of organising their lives. There's this knee-jerk reflex remark. It's really deeply pathetic.

(I heard the 'we've afraid of socialism' remark uttered quite a few more times by republicans in the run up to the US presidential election on the news.)

And anyway - we don't seem anywhere that close to robots and AI yet. Or are we?

Brainy Robots To Lead To Longer Unemployment Lines? | Gadget Lab from Wired.com


"How Big Oil's Lobbyists Contributed to Big Finance's Crash"

So I'm watching the news this morning... apparently - after going up and up and up- and Mr Bush asking the OPEC countries to increase production to bring prices down... Now because prices have been coming down because of the economic slow down, they're cutting production by 1.5 million barrels to - er... keep prices high. Well, they'd say at a level that's profitable for them. Those diamond-encrusted ipods oil sheiks buy for their daughters don't pay for themselves.

It's funny how monopolies work isn't it? No sign of any greed there then.

Meanwhile in this part of the country bus fares are set to go up - because of the high fuel costs... why? when fuel prices have gone down... oh because they buy stocks ahead of time and they bought it when it was more expensive... *sigh*. Isn't anyone looking into bringing horse-drawn carriages back yet?

teh suck

If it wasn't for all my bad luck - I'd have no luck at all...

A camera died.
uh-oh - total disaster!

Another of my cameras -an Olympus UZ550 is very ill.

A gadget I bought didn't work and I haven't got around to returning it yet...

the laptop died:

and if you were wondering why I hadn't been uploading as many photos as usual...

and an attempt to install the drivers for a printer/scanner ended up killing my main already ailing old 'puter for good...

teh suck - it just keeps on coming, and coming, and coming...

Special report: How our economy is killing the Earth

After the Berlin wall came down and Soviet Russia shortly afterward... I remember thinking at the time - "well, Capitalism is next." Of course everyone else in the world - went along thinking "Whoooo - capitalism has won - whooooo. Greed is good. Therefore the best form of capitalism is unfettered free market laissez faire Capitalism. Full steam ahead!". Ending with the utterly
bizarre belief that a country's best interests are served by allowing a very small handful of individuals to become super-rich (-and get away with paying less and less in any taxes) while the number of poor grow and grow...

It's taken a few years for the cracks to show - Capitalism is nothing but adaptable - but we're all now reaping the folly of the last 20 years.

I wouldn't care so much if the writing wasn't on the wall for all the world to see for decades. One of the glaring examples being the Energy Oil crisis of the 70s. There was a brief blip when America had to endure sudden sky high oil prices - and they endured a few power cuts. It should have been then when masses of research and development should have been poured into alternative cleaner energy production. But the OPEC countries brought the price of oil down again and the world breathed a sigh of relief and went on it's wasteful gas-guzzling ways... Ending with such things as the popularity of the 4x4 SUV as fashion accessory and now shortly after China and India wanting to copy everything it's seen happening in America and Europe for the past 40 years. (IE. Everyone there having their own motor car.) Just at the time when we in the West should maybe copying what China used to do and replacing a lot of it's cars with bicycles!

Anyway - my point is we're about 20 years behind were we should be with greener technologies. Too busy partying I guess.

Special report: How our economy is killing the Earth - opinion - 16 October 2008 - New Scientist

Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone

What the hell is wrong with Republicans - and why do people keep voting for them?

Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone

pointless outside broadcasts

It's 6.35 in the morning. I'm watching the GMTV news - having a change from the BBC news. They - the pair of newscasters sat on the sofa in the studio are, over a link, talking about the Global financial crisis with a female newscaster stood outside Number 10 Downing street. But why? It's early in the morning all the politicians will either be at home still in bed or just getting up. Other to provide a backdrop for her there is no reason for that woman to be out there whatsoever.

This little quirk that ALL news shows have fallen into the habit of has been annoying me for years now. It's just so pointless and stupid.

Jamie Jamie Jamie

TV scoop Review.

Felicity Lawrence in the Guardian review.

Just the premise of 'The ministry of Food' in the trailer adverts for the show had my mind firing off woeful connections:

Jamie the mockney chef being all swearingly patronising and condescending diving in and blaming the victims for their ignorance and unwillingness to do something about bettering themselves.

The whole notion of the chattering middle-classes who already have a niche career for themselves running around telling the classes under them how they should running their lives. Which has been a big drive behind all of the Blair years. Without ever doing anything concrete that helps makes a lasting difference for the better.

The idea that if only people would learn to cook from fresh ingredients that alone would change a local community... oh, how naive.

Anyone with half a brain knows that it's very expensive to eat properly - ask any university student - (but obviously not a catering University student).

There's an anecdote I remember from a TV chat show I saw years ago (Wogan I think)...

A woman asked a TV chef person (I can't remember who) why health food cost twice as much as supermarket fare - the chef said well, you live twice as long - so it's worth it. But the chat show host (Wogan?) said - 'but that means you're paying four times as much for your food as the rest of us.'

9/11 Was Big. This Is Bigger.

"The current economic debacle is far more likely to be seen by historians as a true global watershed: the end of one period and the beginning of another. The financial chaos has brought down the curtain on a wide range of basic and enduring tenets also closely linked with the Reagan era, those associated with neoliberal economics, the system that the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has called "that grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well." Already this crisis has seen not just our enemies but even some of our closest allies wondering whether we are at the beginning of the end of both American-style capitalism and of American supremacy."

9/11 Was Big. This Is Bigger. - washingtonpost.com

Wal*Mart shutting down DRM server,

"Hey suckers! Did you buy DRM music from Wal*Mart instead of downloading MP3s for free from the P2P networks? Well, they're repaying your honesty by taking away your music."

Wal*Mart shutting down DRM server, nuking your music collection -- only people who pay for music risk losing it to DRM shenanigans - Boing Boing

undoing Thatcherism - years later

Why'd I say this? Well, guess who was behind the idea of abolishing school meals in the first place? Forcing schools to bring in outside cheap catering firms...

A mean-spirited cost-cutting exercise that's led to a bad diet for kids and part of the reasons behind the rise in childhood obesity.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Free meal plan for Scots pupils

[While I'm at it should I mention that the current credit crunch/banking crisis/house price meltdown also have their roots way back in the 80s free market economy that Thatcherism kick-started? Looks like everyone's being forced into having a big re-think on all that too. Albeit all way, way too late...]

Bradford and Bingley

I just found this entry in one of my notebooks written a month or two ago...

God – I can't stand that new Bradford and Bingley TV ad. How to make something as utterly dull and boring as mortgages and banking and savings – interesting? Oh, let's have a very pretty girl dressed in green (the colour of money? Except most UK currency isn't green any more – it's brown, or purple, blue or whatever – not much green) and have her wearing a bowler hat (the logo of B&B was two bowled hatted men) and have her whittering inanely on - while lots of magical fairy lights swoosh around all over the place. Yup. We're deep in gah-gah fantasy land now. That's exactly what you want from a financial institution. Magic dancing lights – pretty girls and utter gibberish.


Then a few days later. The bubble bursts. Bradford and Bradley prove to be in such deep trouble that the Govt. has stepped in and nationalised it – sold off it's assets to a Spanish Bank – and blah blah blah.

“Dreams and hopes are so fragile..” yes, there are B&B – yes, they are – pity you didn't know that a few years ago.


Heart Disease, Diabetes Linked to Chemical in Plastics - US News and World Report

Thrift Shops Thriving, but Running Low on Stock.
and if the thrift shops in 'Merica are finding things are tough (more customers - but far less donations) then what else is it going to take before the economists start to use the 'R' word?

Conservatives Scare More Easily Than Liberals,

Mmmm - interesting. Wonder if that's anything to do with the fact they're got more primordial, smaller reptilian brains. Because that would explain a lot...

Conservatives Scare More Easily Than Liberals, Say Scientists | Wired Science from Wired.com

just a quick mutter...

I was watching Newsnight last -erm night, and as part of the show they had one of their focus groups pieces. There they were showing speeches from Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg - then gauging the punter's opinions. So guess who everyone liked best? Oh, the Lib-Dems. You might think that'd give me a bit of hope for the future (since I so vehemently hate both Labour and the Tories) - but I've seen this time and time again over ... well, decades. The average punters always like what the Lib-Dems have to say - yet they never vote for them - why not? Because people say - 'oh, they haven't had the experience of being in power'. Why's that then? Oh, probably people won't come out of their comfort zones and even try something different. I'm guessing it's out of some sort of warped brand loyalty or something. The Labour party hadn't been in power for something like 18 long years before they got back in... the Tories will have been out of power for 10 years and more - but people will still vote either of those two in, rather than the third alternative. All this despite the fact the both have proved themselves pretty useless at running the country, and do so time and time again.

Sorry rant over. I might as well resign myself to the fact the Tories will almost inevitably get back in next election and set about fouling everything up in a most spectacular manner.

Ponzi scheme

...and when was this essay written? Oh, way back in 1998. So the writing on the wall for this current economic crisis has been up there all this time. I guess too many people where having too a great time to bother themselves to read that writing...

Ponzi scheme

*sigh* lunatics have been running the asylum for so long now -obscenely GREEDY lunatics that is...

Working Harder for Less

Mmmmm. Once upon a time one working man's wages could support a whole family with the 'wifey' being able to stay at home... Now it takes both partners to be out working. Now even that isn't enough?

Somethings been going wrong here - and has been going wrong for a very long time...

What's even more distressing is the fact that a quite large chunk of the working class will still vote for the Republicans. The same happened and still happens here - in the 80s so many working class people voted for Thatcher even as she was closing down mines and declaring war on the Unions. The right wing are just so good at their propaganda - they can get turkeys to vote for Christmas - every time.

Working Harder for Less Mocks the American Dream

plastics, BPA and health...


Despite there being a report on the BBC News tonight - this was the only thing a search for BPA (bisphenol A) turned up: "Chemical linked to mouse genetic damage". Mmmmm, that article comes from 2003. It's odd how the reaction to health related things varies wildly. A wild bird sneezes somewhere and the papers are full of 'Avian Flu is going to wipe us all out' headlines. Any Blue-tongue, foot and mouth, BSE and there's mass slaughter and corpse burning.

But letting food manufacturers package all our food in plastics without having done any long term tests whatsoever... mmmmm...

In defence of plastic

Actually I'm a great fan of plastic but I think we over-use it and need to to treat it with a lot more respect. And in the above lined article it's disingenuous to equate plastics used by high end designers when the big problem is all the plastic used to wrap food, plastic bottles, disposable nappies etc. All the stuff that gets used once and sent off to landfill - or what ends up out as part of that scary garbage island...

Doctor Who's secrets revealed, by Russell T. Davies - Times Online

Extracts from Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, to be published by BBC Books on September 25, RRP £30. (Blimey. £30 that's a bit expensive. Oh wait - it's published by the BBC heh - they're notorious for over pricing everything they publish.)

Doctor Who's secrets revealed, by Russell T. Davies - Times Online

i want this shirt

nous sommes les mannequins (acht)

Paul McGann back as Dr Who

The thing with Sun rumours is that - they're often not fair off the mark. It'd be nice to see McGann more tightly woven into the TV canon.

Paul McGann back as Dr Who

SATS? what?

We never used to have SATS in the UK. Decades aggo we had the 11+ - which no doubt some old biddies ware quietly fighting to bring back along with grammar schools etc. But SATS? Oh god - is this yet another one of those stupid ideas that our Government has decided to blindly copy from America - regardless of whether it's appropriate for us or not. I don't know why they do tat because they almost always get it completely wrong and mess the whole thing up. Like they have. The whole notion getting rid of individual exams in favour of a high school diploma is another Americanism. (In that article I'm not happy about people taking too much attention to what businesses say what they want. Education should be regarded as a valuable thing in it's own right - not just as means to getting a job. I think that's where the whole system has been going wrong these past few decades.)

Why don't we just ask if we can become part of the US and have done with it? Oh wait. The fact that they don't really want us might have something to do with that?

mmm trying to see if i can blog from my Nokia web browsing gadget. It doesn''t look as if I can. the cut down pocket opera browser just can't handle the complated pages. *sighs*

we don't neid no edukashion

Oh dear. Can you see what's wrong with this picture. The whole of the country's economy has been badly messed up now because of a small number of people (bankers mainly) being let out-of-control - chasing short term profits (selling sub-prime loans) and not giving a hoot about real long term planning for the future.

Hard times hitting American students and schools in double blow - International Herald Tribune

And now the UK has adopted the same model for our Universities - student loans, expensive fees, top-up fees etc. I guess we'll soon be seeing the same thing here.

Geoffrey Perkins - Telegraph Obituary

Well this is sad. He was a big name behind a great many really good comedy shows that I've enjoyed over the years.

Geoffrey Perkins - Telegraph

Star maidens

star maidens 

I seem to remember this show - I might have caught one or two episodes. Feminism was all the rage back then - but this was the usual pretty weird version of feminism...

I vaguely remember on the planet they had 'Psychic premonition' news alerts.

This is the sort of thing I'd wish they'd show on one of the digital stations - rather than the tired old rota of things they show ad nausea.

Oh by the way - yes, that is Garth Thomas - Blake of 'Blake's 7' o the cover.
Posted by Picasa

Is it just me...

or are the current spate of T-Mobile TV commercials about as funny as toothache?

Dr. Horrible in 'My Little Pony' form

Dr. Horrible

Nu-labour's knee-jerk legisation

I mentioned before in another post about the tendency of our Govt. to rush through ill thought out knee-jerk legislation in response to ---whatever. (The last was plans to ban anyone owing any extreme pornography.) You can tell it's all simply to give the impression that they're doing something - anything. Here's another example. Did we say you can read that? | The Register

I mean, you would have thought that after the long years of IRA terrorist activity back in the 70s and early 80s (where mainland Britain was under threat under a regular basis - not like now where it's still very rare) that there would be more than enough anti-terrorist statues in the Law Books... but here - it looks like NuLabour is circling close to trying to bring in the whole notion of 'ThoughtCrime'.

[Incidentally back then Thatcher's Govt. touted the idea of ID cards and came to reject the idea.]

Did the U.S. Prep Georgia for War with Russia?

Oh for f'sake. Can't the US stop interfering in the affairs of other countries? They only ever make things worse.

Did the U.S. Prep Georgia for War with Russia? | Danger Room from Wired.com

Censorship online: who needs evidence?

Won't someone please think of the children. Errr yes, let's have the whole of all media policed by the notion that all children must be protected by 'inappropriate content' all of the time. And as soon as they reach a certain age whereby they might be considered 'adult'... oh wait - if they're sufficiently well protected - then that's just never going to happen... meanwhile the rest of the already adult population will be infantilised - only allowed to see product that's only suitable for very young children...

Can you see the failings in this argument yet?

Oh wait --- Tanya Byron herself can...

"...what you'd need to do to really answer this question, is take a load of kids at a really young age, stick them in front of loads of inappropriate games that are for adults and older kids, and let them play them over a sustained period of time, and controlling all other lifestyle factors, then seeing what happens. That's ludicrous, it's unethical, it should never happen. The methodology that is needed you just couldn't do."

Sooooo... then we'll just imagine the most worse-st case scenario that we can and act according to that then...

Mmmmm. So a big 'FAIL' in grown-up proper logic and scientific methodology there then. Never mind - there are Daily Nail and Daily Telegraph readers to appease here. *groans*

Censorship online: who needs evidence? | spiked

On gas/fuel prices/heating

During the long long housing boom that's gripped this country these past few years, one of the home improvements fads has been in those older properties with lots of smaller rooms to knock down walls to make into single larger open plan rooms. Of course what people have forgotten is that people built small rooms in the first place because - in the days before central heating - they were easier to heat. Now what with gas prices suddenly going through the roof, making home heating silly expensive - I'm wondering if that continues for any length of time - that people will be putting those walls back up again.

Another thought - tediously and predictably every year we get advice to turn the thermostat on heating down a few degrees. Um. Now once you've done that once... you've done it. Or are these 'experts' expecting everyone to turn down the thermostat another degree or two year upon year - until eventually we're all using no heating whatsoever?

Something a friend said to me years ago has always haunted me - it was about us that live in the Northern hemisphere and she said - there are places where humans just weren't meant to be. It's all very well that we humans have had the intelligence to invent clothing and can build houses and ultimately cities - but it's been at the cost of massive pollution and determent to our planet's biosphere. Of course the answer to that is to get even smarter - but it's a moot point if the human race will manage to do that in time to avert even worse problems for ourselves further down the line.

Things we should have been doing all this time but haven't because it's been in too many big businesses interests (profits) not to...

Quick examples: All electricity stations generate tons and tons of heat and hot water - instead of pumping that out into the atmosphere - it could have gone to nearby housing estates and towns.

(It's the same sick mentality big corporations share that means supermarkets will throw out perfectly good food at the end of every day rather give it to charities or whatever. If they can't make a profit on something... they'll destroy it rather than let anyone else for it.)

There's been a lot of house building these past few years - but so many are still being built on out-dated old fashioned principles. IE they're still poorly insulated (why bother to build houses that are cheaper to heat - when the electricity and gas companies need to keep their huge profits year in year out?) - there's no thought given to things such as solar-panels, wind turbines etc. Nah. That's all mad eccentric stuff - won't be doing anything like that. Oh no.

what is it about Nu Labour

that whenever some unforeseen tragedy occurs - it feels the need to rush through some poorly thought out, knee-jerk legislation that will only end up making things worse for a lot more people than it helps.

Oh yeah - wait - since day one this Govt. has been doing everything to appease it's self in the eyes of the Telegraph, Mail, Sun readers...

BBC NEWS | Magazine | When does kinky porn become illegal?

How American Youth Will Screw Viacom

Mmmmm see a pattern here?

Big entertainment company starts losing the profits it seems to think it's entitled to by god-given right - suddenly goes onto to attack the internet and it's own customers through the courts. Pretty much doing anything it can to make it's self more and more unpopular and hated rather than knuckling down to facing the new challenges and opportunities to create new business models and new ways of earning income...

And TV still totally fails to understand people really want to watch the TV shows - not adverts. All commercials are a tax on people's time and attention - and no one likes paying taxes.

How American Youth Will Screw Viacom | Epicenter from Wired.com

Rice adviser: ‘The biggest stupid idea was to invade Iraq in the first place.’

OMG really? Think Progress » Rice adviser: ‘The biggest stupid idea was to invade Iraq in the first place.’

I often wonder how things might have played out differently if our weak-brained PM wasn't such a poodle to Bush and hadn't joined in with the madness...

huh? wha?

People actually bought music from Yahoo! music and from Sony and from MSN?

Yahoo Music buyers are approaching the DRM pain barrier | Technology | guardian.co.uk

and talking about Big Brother...

[Officers are looking for "community-minded" people to watch 26 cameras in three Dorset police stations.]

hey! this would be a great job for all those people that the government wants to get off incapacity benefits. They can sit at home and spy on the rest of us for their benefit payments. Yay!

Big Brother at its lowest eBB as ratings slump

Well I haven't been watching it this year. I know there's two good looking male model types and another good looking ginge bloke. There's a Thai girl who wears glasses... a blind guy, an albino, and some girls - I never know who the girls are because they only choose a certain type who are pretty interchangeable in terms of looks and personality.

I've not watched it this year for just about all the reasons they go through in this article. That and the fact that these days, broadly speaking - there are exceptions, I'm just not interested in this generation of 20 year olds.

It's a prog. that's well past it's sell by date and they've exhausted all their ideas for the format now. Watching people humiliate themselves by wearing stupid costumes - or else sit around being bored - is boring in itself.

Come to think about it - the only times I've enjoyed the show is when Housemates have rebelled against Big Brother. But nothing like that has happened for years. That might say something about the times we live in... that any resistance to everything is now easily squashed... this should worry us.

Big Brother at its lowest eBB as ratings slump | The Sun

Surprise in the post for illegal music downloaders

The big six hey? BT, Virgin Media, Orange, Tiscali, BSkyB, and Carphone Warehouse. Ummmmm. I can predict that other, currently less well know ISPs are going to going to start pulling ahead in new subscribers once the big six start criminalising their customers. It's like the corporations have joined together to become their own worst enemy, and forgotten where their money comes from.

Other related musings:

How many years has it been and yet the music biz still hasn't cottoned on that a sound file isn't as compelling a thing to own as a physical object - a vinyl record - a CD - a cardboard sleeve. (But somehow CDs were only rarely nicely packaged - that's were the rot really took hold - long before mpgs and the internets.) So people aren't ever going to want to pay anywhere near as much for them.

The cat really got out of the bag when it became common knowledge how badly the music biz were/are still treating their non-A list artists. Once someone knows how little a share of the sale price goes to the original artist - it's always shocking. Now the internet is here - artists don't have to sell their souls to the giant labels anymore - they can be their own producers and distributers and keep a greater proportion of their profits etc.

Surprise in the post for illegal music downloaders

Cory Doctorow on how
Copyright enforcers should learn lessons from the war on spam

Dont Throw Away Your Capitalism Just Yet - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

Dont Throw Away Your Capitalism Just Yet - Freakonomics


Nouveau poor watch 4

Never too posh to pawn: From diamonds to antiques - how the upper crust are coping with the credit crunch.


Private companies paid 'bounty' for every jobless they get into work, but Tories claim it's another stolen idea

Eeeerrr... what's really stolen is that it's another stupid unworkable idea from America.

And taking a function that used to be done by the state - (on a shoe string) -privatising it - and it then suddenly costing a magnitude of times more for much worse results. But a least a small handful of people who are close pally-pal matey-mates with the top MPs - get even more obscenely wealthy. Up until the point further down the line when it will turn out they've been fiddling the books - or been up to some other 'hands-caught-in-the-till' fraud stuff. Which will have to bailed out and paid for by the taxpayer. Leaving the unemployed - their 'clients' in a far worse state than if they'd jus left well alone.

I can see this coming - why can't anyone else?

Private companies paid 'bounty' for every jobless they get into work, but Tories claim it's another stolen idea | Mail Online

Trying to do some joined up thinking...

...because our politicians certainly can't be relied upon to do such a thing...

So the Govt. is going to 'reform' the welfare system (yet again).
It effectively intends to punish the long term unemployed by making them do community service (much in the same way criminals are punished when they've done wrong) and intends to get a million or two off long term incapacity benefits and into work. (Like there aren't already more than enough socially dysfunctional mentally-ill, depressed people in all but name, already in work making life miserable for the rest of us. You know the sort I mean. Like Taxi-drivers, Traffic wardens...)

Except of course - no one is bothering to ask were these extra one or two million or even more jobs are going to magically appear from. For instance - local councils up and down the country are always pleading poverty (despite how they consistently raise council rate rates year in, year out) and when they're not currently laying off staff are suffering from strikes were many council workers are finding their wages just aren't enough for them to live on. So are they going to provide these extra jobs? Seems unlikely.

Not to mention we're at a point in time when the unemployment levels are already rising and look set to continue. There's a whole part of the equation being over looked - the bit where there is so much unemployment is because - there simply aren't enough jobs to go round. Duh.

As for the sorts of jobs available - that's changed so much over the past 30 or so years. There used to be mining - coal and steel - that's all but gone. Manufacturing - we used to make stuff and sell things to the world, but China and India does most of that now. For the past few years people have been selling each other their homes at ever increasing prices - but that's stalled now. I know many areas have been letting Land developers build more and more luxury houses and flats for millionaires to buy - but that's turned into a fiasco. I guess there's still a lot of people being on the phone selling 'consolidation loans', debt relief packages, insurance of one sort or another, to each other... but i don't know how long that can go on. I suppose there's always the NHS and care work looking after our increasingly elderly population... or even child care - that's looking after the children of the single mother who's been forced to get a job instead of staying home to look after the child herself she now has to go to work to earn the money she now needs to pay the child-minder... oh and working for the DSS, who'll soon be going mad trying to put these hare-brained reform schemes into operation.

(Job creation UK style.)

Of course another inconvenient, barely mentioned fact is that there are more people in working poverty than there are claiming benefits, and even this doesn't take in to account the millions of working families having to claim 'tax credits' to top up their meager wages - which effectively subsidizes employers and only encourages low pay. (I happen to believe if any company can't afford to pay it's employees a decent living wage then it simply has no business doing business and it deserves to close.) As for most casual 'benefit cheats' those who work and claim benefits - again this is more often due to dodgy businesses not paying their staff - for whatever reason a decent wage - so again the state ends up subsidizing poverty pay. However, when it's done legally - it's called 'tax credits' when illegally it's 'benefits cheating' - when it's a Department of Work and Pensions scheme - it's 'incentive payments' or something equally stupid sounding.

What's more no one is bothering to mention that maybe, just possibly maybe one of the reasons there are welfare cheats in the first place is that the benefits paid out are just way, way too low to actually live on. Gas and electricity prices have shot up the past couple of years - everyone knows food prices have gone up. Dole money hasn't though.

(There was a time when one working class man's wages could support a whole family - with the wife staying at home to do all the domestic stuff. A middle class man could do the same and keep servants. Nowadays it takes two people in full time employment to earn a living wage. Although a lot of domestic drudgery has been eased by things like washing machines, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens etc.)

Whatever - it's become the dogma that having a job - any job, no matter how low-paid, miserable or totally useless seems to be the magic answer to all life's problems. Rather than it being the start of a lot of problems.

So I ask again where are these new jobs going to come from? - because no Government since the 1970s has had much luck with job creation schemes.

Maybe they have plans to split the unemployed into two groups have one where they employ them on short term contracts to oversee the other half doing these lame-ass community work schemes - and when their contracts run out - they'll employ the other half of the unemployed to oversee the newly-made unemployed when they end up having to do their work-for-dole jobs. That could work. It'd be the equivalent of hiring one person to dig a hole and then someone else to fill it in again... but that doesn't seem to matter. So long as the official figures look good and the next batch of politicians can stand up and read them out in Parliament - "double plus good - the chocolate ration is to be increased..."

(Come to think of it - being a Politician seems to be an enormously cushy job. It's all just wearing suits and talking utter rubbish. Couldn't there be a bit more room made for a few thousand more drawn from the long term jobless?)

...and this brings us to the real reason behind all this - it all boils down to trying to win votes. The same way through the late 70s and 80s the Conservatives managed to poach votes from the working class ('here, vote for us and we'll sell your the council home you're already renting - for cheap' etc.) - Labour is poaching the votes from the nasty, small minded, mean-spirited, cruel hearted, vicious, Daily Mail/Telegraph reading little Englander who usually votes Tory. Which is why our two main political parties are becoming indistinguishable from one another. There's no vision any more - just a pandering to the general public and cynical poll chasing.

Other people wot do write better about stuff than I do...

Polly Toynbee:
"Labour's sin-eater has now neutralised welfare reform"

Steve Richards:
A big step forward on the path to welfare reform, but there is difficult terrain ahead.



Tonight I've been watching 'Batman Begins' on Sky One. At long last - for some reason I never bothered to see at the cinema. I've actually even had the dvd of it for about a year (or is it longer?) without ever getting around to watching it.

It must have been giving off negative vibes...

God, it was sooooooooooo boring, so dour, so dreary. It was a chore to watch. I guess it doesn't help that I'm not a Christian Bale fan either. I think he keeps being chosen for parts because they assume he conveys 'brooding intensity' or something - but he just comes across as a soulless plank of wood to me.

Think I'll be getting out my Tim Burton dvds. They're true classics. Now when his first Batman came out I went to the cinema to watch it something like 5 or 6 times.

The interview: Jamie Hewlett

(Got to love that part of this interview were they talk about 'Tankgirl - the movie' and what a disaster it was - and Hewlett says he'll never make that mistake again... because frankly, I don't think 'the Freebies' pilot made for BBC three is any better. Yet they've taken it up as a series. Grim.

The interview: Jamie Hewlett | Art & Architecture | guardian.co.uk Arts

Nouveau poor watch 3

Giving up the gym? Oh boo-hoo - most gyms have been making their money by those people who join - and then after a month or so never find the time to go back regularly, yet never get around to stopping the direct debits for their membership - all just incase they do find the time to go back. Time for the gyms to get less gougey, drop the direct-debits (no more 'free' money for them) and go for more 'Pay-as-you-go' schemes.

As for Sky subscriptions - another complete rippoff. So many channels full of programmes you've already seen from years ago.

Beauty salons - well I wouldn't mind seeing a lot less of those incredibly stupid nail salons that have been springing up in the high streets of Britain.

But there is something really weird going on here. I do think a lot of people are getting a puritanical/masochistic thrill out of all this.

How we are coping with hard times | Money | The Observer

Meanwhile I also noticed that in my ones of local supermarkets (Somerfield) - for the first time ever - they had moved their 'value' own brand up to eye-level on the middle shelves. The space they usually reserve for the big name (and more expensive) brands.

State sponsored slavery on the cards then

Just as the economy is on the brink of a nasty downturn, amid concerns about immigrant workers from the EU, various issues about the minimum wage and even proper wages not being able to keep up with the ever increasing costs of living - the Government pulls this one out (stolen from the Tories no less). Because their previous scheme 'the New Deal' was such a blazing success?

No chance of - oh, I don't know, say creating real businesses that have real jobs for real pay then? Nope - let's punish the poor for having the misfortune of being poor.

Arbeit mach frei.

BBC NEWS | Politics | 'Work for dole' proposals leaked

Fire brigade defends rescue of seagull

Poor seagulls are always getting caught up in anti-bird netting. Hasn't anyone twigged yet that they might be more trouble than they're worth?

BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Fire brigade defends bird rescue

Abortion and Crime: The Flip Side

China has 37 million more men than women because of it's one child policy of 1979. Blimey. China has a history of of doing pretty stupid things en mass. My leaky memory recalls something about the Chinese spending a year killing off millions of birds they considered a pest - only to be treated to a plague of insects the next year because there wasn't the birds to eat them. Something like that. And to think when genetic testing comes in and parents will be able to chose the sex, eye colour, hair colour etc. of their little darlings... I shudder to think what the long term consequences will be. Don't muss too much with mother nature folks - she's had a lot more experience of doing things than we monkeys have had.

And another thing - with so many men in China - I wonder if there's been a co-responding huge increase in male homosexuality? I'll bet - officially - they'll be none whatsoever. But who knows? maybe China will soon end up as the gayest nation on Earth?

Oh - here's an article about just that subject.

Abortion and Crime: The Flip Side - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog

of course....

of course....
Originally uploaded by groc
and the irony is - as soon as I see a Donna figure I am so bloody absolutely totally buying one. I love Donna.

(I would never have bought a Martha - except she came part of a set.)

The right to peer inside your iPod | Technology | The Guardian

Bolting the stable door after the horse has been long, long gone.

But if people don't start fighting back against this relentless and constant erosion of their right to privacy...

Imagine it - being stopped at customs: "passport, ID card, now hand over your laptop and ipod for examination please."

The right to peer inside your iPod | Technology | The Guardian

'Amy Winehouse would be a great Doctor'

Interview with RTD

'Amy Winehouse would be a great Doctor' | Media | The Guardian

Food waste on 'staggering' scale

You know – this shouldn't surprise anyone. When you think about it – during the past few years with the rise and rise of the big mega-supermarkets hand in hand with car ownership – people have been driving out to these places and stocking up like they were feeding little armies – and wanting a large range of stuff to choose from when they dip into the fridge. Add to that the stupid Government campaign for us all to 'eat 5 a day' – which means good intentioned folk are buying more fresh fruit and veg only to throw it out because they can't eat it – because it simply doesn't last that long (tinned and frozen is just as good if you must insist on stocking up like that.) Part of the real answer is – people should ditch the car, so they can't load up with masses of food they're only going to throw out untouched, buy locally and often – (the mega-superstores are a massive mistake of the Eighties – they (the big 4) shouldn't be allowed to build any more - and they distort local economies in ways that are quite frightening.)

As for supermarkets throwing food out (it keeps their profit margins up) - that's just criminal - at the very least they should give it to local homeless shelters or whatever. It would help their image no end too.

RecycleBank - making waste pay

Well this sounds like a much better idea than some current county council's methods of fining people if they don't recycle and charging extra to take waste away. That only generates a sense of resentment and negativity. There's been a lot of that 'punish everyone' attitude floating around for the past few years.

[By which I mean things like the TV adverts for BBC License adverts (Big Brother is watching you) - Car Licensing (We'll crush your car) - Benefit Cheats - (we'll arrest and interrogate you)]

BBC NEWS | UK | RecycleBank - making waste pay

mmmmm Tyron Leitso

Isn't he scrummy?

(They're repeating 'Wonderfalls' on Sky - and I've gotten all besotted again. Its a crime they canceled this show. Network execs are such jerks.)

Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control

You don't say. Why does this come as no surprise whatsoever?

Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control - Middle East, World - The Independent

Russell T Davies answers your questions

I'd like to know how Dalek Caan was able to quietly manipulate time lines and set in motion various coincidences - when he was just sat in his casing all the time...

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Russell T Davies answers your questions

groc, groc, groc...

mmmm huh wha...?

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis

Aaaargh! All so effin' stupid people can still go around driving their effin' SUVs - hell - any car.

I'll save a rant I've got building up about bloody motor cars for another time. But for now - what the hell are they thinking growing food to make into oil for cars? Recycling cooking oil from chip shops and restaurants and fast food joints is one thing (where it'd only go into landfill or down the drains otherwise) but ... oh, the stupidity of it leaves me breathless.

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis

Nouveau poor watch 2

Are Brits becoming 'shopping tarts'?

You mean - people are having to swallow their snobbery? What are things coming to? (Although the person in this article who buys their fresh fruit and veg at Waitrose is an idiot. They're usually the most expensive and heavily marked up things in any supermarket.)

robot fetishism

oooh my.

robot fetishism

Faceless 'aliens'

Faceless 'aliens' spotted in crowd at Wimbledon

Judge Orders YouTube to Give All User Histories to Viacom

Errr... why is Viacom so hell bent on making itself THE most hated entertainment company in America - if not the whole world? It's not going to do them much good if they win this case only to find themselves in a massive consumer boycott.

Judge Orders YouTube to Give All User Histories to Viacom

more gay-liens

Devil fetish girl from Maaaaars

Devil fetish girl from Maaaaars

the Kaybens love eyeshadow - so very, very much

kayben the alien

Doctor Who Series 4 figures

Errrr.... why have they put Donna in that really horrible coat? I don't remember her wearing anything quite so ghastly. They should have had her in that nice suit she had in 'Partners in Crime'.

Doctor Who Series 4

downthetubes interview: DC Thomson Editor Bill McLoughlin Part 1

Downthetubes: Given the continued popularity of science-fiction, particularly Doctor Who, do you think a re-launched Starblazer might be able to find an audience?

Bill: This is a difficult one. Probably not! It goes back to SF never having been enormous in Britain. I just don't think there is the audience for it.

(Why does this remind me of that joke about the bookseller:

Customer: Have you got '[insert any name of a book here]'

Bookseller: *sighs* You're the tenth person I've said this to this week. No we haven't. We don't stock it because there just isn't the demand for it.

downthetubes interview: DC Thomson Editor Bill McLoughlin

Stolen Earth

A great first part – but can the second part match it? The thing is - RTD is great at writing these fast paced epics that rattle along – but what he's really very bad at is maintaining the internal logic that that should be in there holding things together. (I've still got a handful of questions about 'the last of the time lords' I want answered. I'll provide a list later, but most people will know what will be on that list anyway.)

So glad the speculative spoilers about Harriet Jones being turned into the red supreme Dalek were proved wrong. She didn't deserve that fate. So in the end she obviously got the RTD seal of approval, because in his world self-sacrifice makes you one of the good guys.

[PS I liked the little detail that she had a series of 'Spitting Image' caricatures of previous politicians on her desk.]

So what's the deal with all the prophesying that's been going on throughout the series? such as:

The Ood: “I think your song must end soon.”

Second Shadow Architect: “I'm sorry for your loss.”

Now poor little insane Caan is in on the act:
"He is coming. The threefold man, he dances in the lonely places."
“The Dark Lord is here." "Unending death for his most faithful companion.”

Mmmmm, Is the prophecy that the Devil made in 'Impossible Planet/Satan Pit' finally going to come true? That whole 'Rose is dead' thing at the end of series 2 never worked for me.

Themery: What's with all these aliens trying to use Earth for their reproduction? We've had the Adipose using the Earth as a breeding planet. The Pyroviles were re-purposing human beings and wanted to re-make the Earth into a new home. The Sontarans wanted to terra-form the planet to make it into a clone-breeding factory. So I'm guessing the Daleks have similar plans?

Have you noticed nearly everybody has teleportation devices now – well, Jack, Martha, and Rose can call 'Control' -which is no doubt her alt-world branch of Torchwood. She's also from a little ways into the future isn't she. She knows more than she's letting on. She certainly knows it's going to take both Donna and the Doctor working together to stop whatever naughty-evil-badness that that Davros is up to. Although she doesn't know who Martha is... (can she be the one to sacrifice herself please? Rose and Donna have done their share now surely?) Anyway - no doubt they'll all come in very useful.

[Oh btw - I bet there is still the odd deluded soul out there that even now still thinks Davros is going to turn out to be Adam.]

So anyway - having to wait a whole week until the next episode - aaaargh. That's hard.

But there's these items to ponder upon:


What's this then?


Mmmm all re-generate-y - near the handy.

Councils warned over spying laws

There's something to be said here about how laws are thoughtlessly rushed through willy-nilly during a crisis and once they're there on the statute books - it's inevitable that they're just going to be abused.

they should change those numbers to 1984

BBC NEWS | UK | Councils warned over spying laws


...there was terrible mad dictator - who terrorised his own population and any opposition was dealt with brutally. Democracy was just a farce. Mmmm - and the last time that happened the US of A stepped in to sort things out. They made and continue to make a complete mess of things mind you - but you know, they said they were doing it to liberate the people and bring about peace and freedom. They got rid of the evil dictator at least. Yet while broadly comparable things are happening in Zimbabwe. We're not hearing a dicky-bird from Mr Bush. Funny that.

'Turn Left'

...spoiler alert...

Just a quick observation - in interviews - even on the official podcast commentary - people have been referring to this as Doctor Who does 'Sliding Doors' but no one's mentioned there's a few bits of 'Donnie Darko'-ness in this episode. Consider: both concern a new universe that's budded off because of some anomaly brought about by time travel. Both have their other worldly messengers in Darko the creepy Bunny calls out Donnie from his bedroom and saves him from the falling airplane engine, in 'Turn Left' Rose tells Donna to take the raffle so she wins the out of town holiday that saves her family from being amongst the nuked in London. In both stories the budded universe ends with the hero (who is otherwise a completely unremarkable and ordinary person) sacrificing themselves. Which by the way, is also how 'Father's day' ended too. I've mentioned before that this has been a recurring theme throughout the Nu Who. Sooooo.... does I wonder who does the deed in this upcoming finale? It's toss up between Donna and Rose isn't it.

Not enough Donna

Is it me or has this current series just sped by? I confess that I've been living weekend to weekend these past months. And for me the whole Doctor - Donna combo has been utterly magical. So many great little exchanges: "ooh too salty!" "oh, it doesn't *do* wood?" that have me Coxhilling. I've adored seeing the Doctor being taken down a peg or two -especially after three whole seasons of all that Doe-eyed admiration from his previous two companions. (Martha cast as 'John the Baptist' was a particular sore point for me last year. But then I just couldn't understand her character. Well, other than that RTD is really big on stories that revolve around unrequited love (that was the big story behind 'Queer as folk' after all) - and might go someway to explaining the theme of self-sacrifice that recurs so often throughout all the stories for Doctor Who he's ever written. [One day I'll get around to watching 'Bob and Rose' - maybe that's a story about requited love against the odds? I won't know until I watch it. That I haven't is mostly testimony to the fact I could never ever see Alan Davies as a gay man. Sorry -but imho the whole series suffered from that one single piece of mis-casting. Not to discredit Alan - who was nothing less than exceptional in 'Jonathan Creek' But Alan as a homo - no way.]

-and tomorrow is the big Donna story episode - even if she has to share the spotlight with that Rose.

(Who's guessing Donna will be simultaneously both 'deux ex machina' AND a reset button. This is an episode written by RTD after all. Mmmmm - just smell those recurring memes. Yum yum.)

But I want more Donna - she's been the best ever companion (so far) to draw out background details from the Doctor's history. I'm already annoyed that the plans have always been that she was only to ever have the one season. With the hints already laid out that at best she's going to end up back at home with a wiped memory - when I want to see her character constantly develops up to the point where she ends up bouncing around the universe with her very own psychic paper and sonic screwdriver having all her own adventures. Her going back to a life of temping just doesn't seem right somehow. Actually it seems very very wrong.

the interconnectiveness of everything... (via Doctor Who) 2

The last episode of Nebulous - Phlegm and Us - guest starred a certain David Tennant playing a Doctor... Doctor Beep - a clown Doctor. Professor Nebulous describes himself as having a brain of fire and ice - 'your brain is like tepid water?' and proclaiming that on this planet he's known as the 'oncoming drizzle'.

(listen again - only valid for the next 7 days)

Iris Robinson - thinks the gays are an abomination

You already know how set against the 42 days without trial thing I was - so imagine my additional dismay at reading this:

from the Pop bitch newsletter:

>> Straight up <<
Bible-basher aids Gordon Brown

Last week House of Commons passed the bill to
allow the Government to detain people without
charge for 42 days, with the help of the
Democratic Unionist Party. One of those MPs
voting with the government was Iris Robinson.
She thinks homosexuality “is an abomination”,
and employs someone to help gays turn straight.
Nice friend for Labour to have. Listen to
the lovely lady here:

Pink News articles: one, two.

I knew the Labour Party had swung to the right over the past few years - but this takes the biscuit.

oh hello,

The two main founders of flickr are now leaving.

Wonder how long it'll be before others of the original team start following?

Flickr Founders Flee Yahoo | Epicenter from Wired.com

Panorama: Daylight Robbery

Well, that was one of the most appalling and shocking things I've seen in a while.

We got to see just why Bush and his chums were so desperate to invade Iraq now.

BBC - Press Office - Panorama: Daylight Robbery

the interconnectiveness of everything... (via Doctor Who)

Fist 'n' C. H.

Tom Goodman-Hill plays a copper Phil Collins in 'Ideal' - Moz's next door neighbour Judith (played by Jo Neary) has a storyline where she ends up wearing a wasp mask permanently super-glued to her face. Curiously Tom Goodman-Hill played the Vicar Reverend Golightly in the Doctor Who episode 'The Wasp and the Unicorn' - where it turns out he is also a 'Vespiform' - an alien giant wasp. Meanwhile Moz's other rather sinister neighbour 'Fist' turns out to be a vicar...

I could also mention the writer of Ideal also wrote a Doctor Who audio play - - for Big Finish. 'The Faith Stealers'

Russell T Davies - OBE

Back when 'Queer As Folk' was on air - I bet no one - especially not the moral-majority people who were up in arms about it - would have ever foreseen Russell T. getting a gong like this!

And Paul O'Grady, Victoria Wood, Dot Cotton all getting awards too.

The world sure has changed.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Profile: Russell T Davies


The weakest episode of the Season – just when I thought we were going to escape having one this year. But at least it wasn't as bad as '42' or even (*shudders*) 'Fear Her'.

Not that it wasn't without it's interesting points: IE the main one being that RTD broke one of his own cardinal story rules. Ever since he brought the Doctor back there's been the consistent theme throughout that whosoever the Doctor meets – he acts as an example for them to better themselves. Well, nearly always – unless they're the baddies of course, or just plain dodgy. For example – the way Adam fell victim to his own selfishness and got left with a hole in his head. In Midnight - no one was improved or even saved by the Doctor. He effectively lost this one.

The second interesting point was that the Doctor couldn't talk himself out of trouble this time. His main weapon of choice - his gob - got turned against him.

___ ____ ____ ____

This season's list of self-sacrifices so far:

(I'm thinking – mmmmm – I hope the next batch of writers will be able to think up some new ideas – because this one has really been done to death - (hur-hur-hur) now.)

The Poison Sky.
Rattigan – half petulant revenge on those double-crossing Sontarans – half doing the right thing after meeting the Doctor.

The Doctor's Daughter
Hath Peck saving Martha by drowning.
Jenny taking the bullet for Daddy.

Forest of the Dead.
River Song – even if a digital copy of her consciousness lives on in the library's Matrix along with her mates.

[It's no wonder he's going to end up meeting up with her in the future – and getting all intimate (possibly even married) since she's already fulfilled the main thing he likes in anyone. The willingness to self-sacrifice to save other lives. It's like a fetish with him. Maybe this explains why we've never seen him in a proper relationship before...]

The Hostess.

... and from the very drama-filled trailer for 'Turn Left' the implication is that Donna is up to some big time self-sacrificing (I bloody hope not – because I'll be devastated if she does) but it looks like she's playing this season's 'deus ex machina'/reset button a couple of episodes early. (and that's something else I hope the new writers find new ideas to replace when the show comes back the year after next.)

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol - Times Online


(I've been meaning to do this for ages)

the Thals

Gay-liens 1 - the Thals

the Axons

gay-liens 3 - axons

the Movellans

gay-liens 2 - the Movellans

Leaked Pic

Leaked Pic
Originally uploaded by Cameron K McEwan
You know - there are STILL going to be a few fans out there who are going to say this is Adam from the first season's episodes 'Dalek' and 'the Long Game'.


One of the more annoying things about fandom is the forums (and comments on other people's blogs) ... because you soon get see how unbelievably thick a lot of people are.

So there's been this one theory that's been hanging around since series one from the Dalek and the Long Game episodes – back when one blogger (I wish I could remember which one now) had first picked up on the Bad Wolf references... and his comments boxes became the home for wild speculations as to what it could all mean. This was were I first came across the 'OMG! Adam is Davros' theory'. This was when it had leaked that the 'Big Bad' was going to be Daleks but no one could guess how they were going to return – having seen what was supposedly the last ever Dalek commit suicide. Even up until the last episode some people people were still expecting it to be Davros. Of course they were wrong since it turned out to be the Dalek Emperor who'd survived the 'Time War'. D'uh.

You would have thought that would nailed that stupid theory on the head then and there – but no, it keeps returning like a bad smell with someone new enthusing over it like they've discovered the real genuine Holy Grail. Especially now with the return imminent of the real proper Dave Ross.

The theory goes when Adam was taken to the future – and sneaked off to have the quick operation to have himself a computer chip implant to be able to access the full extent of year 200,000 human knowledge and history. Then using Rose's super-phone to ring his parents ansaphone in 2012 and leave himself a message containing some of that knowledge.

Now what's the link between him and becoming the creator (or even re-creator) of the Daleks?

Er... Merely having that hole in the centre of his head and the fact he once met a Dalek. Because Davros has a glowing eye-thingy in the centre of his head – which acts as a replacement for his busted eyes – this is supposed to be the same thing as Adam's brain hole. And... and... and... Er, no, that's it.

So he's supposed to have all that Earth knowledge (but he hasn't) – and such seething hatred of the Doctor for dumping him back home - he's somehow able to recreate the Dalek race to act as revenge...

The theory ignores the fact that Adam doesn't actually have any of that knowledge from the future – his hole-in-the-head just meant he could interpret it from the tape he downloaded onto and the Doctor destroyed that.

The theory also doesn't explain as to whether he was supposed to get over to Skaro somehow and become Davros and create the Daleks... or -what start building them in the garage?

It also wouldn't make any sense dramatically..

How would that play?

From out of the shadows rolls the Doctor's old nemesis...


“Aaah, Hello Doc-tor you've changed – but er... actually no. No, I'm not Davros, remember me? – I'm Adam...I've changed a bit too...”


But you know what ... from this picture - it looks an awful lot like the 'old' Doctor after the Master had aged him...

The Doctor as Davros - mmmm, well there have been a few rumours of 'botched regenerations'.

But then there might have been a bit of human-timelord- dalek hybrid spare after the 'Evolution of the Daleks' episode last year... mmmm cloning...

Update - But you know, after looking at this pic for a while - with it looking SO much like the aged 'Beating of Drums' Doctor - I'm starting to wonder if it isn't a photoshop mock up...