Some of our criminals are missing

by David on April 30, 2006

The Home Office has been losing criminals and the problem might be bigger than others have noticed. How many murderers need tracking down?

Stephin Merritt, again

by David on April 23, 2006

I’ve written about Stephin Merritt’s songs before; the lyrics that bear comparison to Cole Porter, the tunes that probably don’t. Now Norm has discovered 69 Love Songs and calls one of the songs beautiful and extraordinary. So many of them are.

NUT Madness

by David on April 23, 2006

Ex-NUT President John Illingworth says he tried to resist government initiatives.
I’m not sure I can think of any other job where a senior employee could deliberately work against the clear and legal policies of his employer without being sacked.

Robert Elms, wordsmith

by David on April 22, 2006

Robert Elms introducing popsters Spandau Ballet at the Scala, Kings Cross:

From half-spoken shadows emerges a canvas. A kiss of light breaks to reveal a moment when all mirrors are redundant. Listen to the portrait of the dance of perfection: the Spandau Ballet

This man has made a living from writing…good news for us all.

Queen’s Birthday Presents

by David on April 22, 2006

I’d like a republic and a written constitution, please.

It’s just infantile, this obsequious fawning. I heard today the ex-King Constantine (Greece) describe the Queen as ‘serene’. That’s a rare outing for the word. The BBC (them again) reporters can hardly pick themselves off the ground they’re grovelling on.

And a written constitution when we’re about it. It worked in the States, again, to disallow teaching creationism. In the UK we have faith schools stuffing absolute nonsense into kids. Let’s end it.

BBC Climate Model

by David on April 22, 2006

That’s right, the BBC Climate Model. According to the BBC an error has struck their model. Yesterday they explained the problem was caused by an error in their downloadable install (the model processes data using Berkeley’s BOINC distributed computing infrastructure); today the story’s changed and problem’s now said to be caused by the model ignoring sulphate emissions.

Private Pilot Checkride

by David on April 17, 2006

In FS2004 I make a lovely takeoff, climb steadily to 2,000ft, level out, set revs, maintain speed but then however much I try I can’t manage the steep turn within the limits. I think it’ supposed to be at 45-50° maintaining height within 100ft and speed with 10mph either way and I think I’ve done it but I always fail.

Passing this course will be necessary for when I have to take over the piloting of our 747 to Washington after the pilot and all other crew fall victim to the shellfish. Anyone got any hints?

Spooky Amazon Recommendations

by David on April 14, 2006

It’s odd, seeing Amazon guess your reading and viewing tastes so well that it suggests you buy things you already have. Today Amazon’s suggesting I buy Talk To Her by Pedro Almodovar, which I have on DVD, The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: And Ninety Nine Other Thought Experiments by Julian Baggini which I bought a couple of months ago and When I Was Born for the 7th Time by Cornershop which Helen bought a few years ago.

Pitt Rivers, extraordinary museum

by David on April 14, 2006

We drove over to Oxford today to visit my favourite museum, the very peculiar Pitt Rivers.

Named after General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, it’s stuck at the back of Oxford’s Natural History Museum – well worth a visit in its own right and always popular with children because of its impressive collection of dinosaurs – and is an anthropological and ethnographic museum founded on the General’s original collections. And it has shrunken heads.

No2ID : trust and competency in Government IT

by David on April 11, 2006

Call for review of NHS IT upgrade [BBC],

The £6.2bn upgrade of the NHS IT system needs to be independently investigated, leading computer scientists say.

The group of academics have written to MPs questioning whether the plans are robust enough to meet the demands of the NHS