Archive for May, 2006
Here are some Web 2.0 Conferences that haven’t received Cease and Desist notices from O’Reilly’s partner:
- From the UK, dconstruct’s Web 2.0 Conference in Brighton (which included Cory Doctorow, amusingly)
- WebDosBetter, billed as Spain’s Web 2.0 Conference
- In Canada, Mesh, Canada’s Web 2.0 Conference
- China has one
- Another one in Ireland: Enterprise Ireland’s Web 2.0 Conference
While Tim O’Reilly’s on holiday I suppose his chums at CMP will be busy with the lawyers.
More than 1,000 members of the British military have deserted the armed forces since the start of the 2003 Iraq war, the BBC has discovered.
The BBC seems to be implying that a high number of soldiers are deserting because of the Iraq conflict. 1,000 soldiers in three years, 334 a year; worrying.
But wait a bit. What’s this on the BBC website from June 2000?
Official figures show that record numbers of soldiers are deserting from the British Army.
There were nearly 2,000 recorded cases of desertion last year, some of which were spurred on by mistreatment or bullying by army superiors.
So things are getting better then. Good. What was the BBC’s story about again?
[Blair] then proceeded to change our way of life by making us all numbered conscripts in society instead of free citizens – for that is what ID cards do. Instead of protecting our liberties he is busy giving them up in the vain, in fact ridiculous, hope that doing so will keep us safe. It will not: to put 60 million citizens under permanent police surveillance to catch 60 or even 600 disgusting criminal lunatics is both a crime against freedom and an utterly futile act
The Wagner CD from Amazon is delivered. Not whole operas because, frankly, I wouldn’t know what to look for and I don’t know yet if I could sit through an entire Wagner opera (although I was suprisingly glued to the tv last Christmas when Bryn Terfel was singing as Wotan).
First up, the Siegfried Funeral March from Götterdämmerung, which is what I’d been waiting to hear. Then hurriedly on to the long, impossibly romantic Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde. Playing now, Helen’s favourite so far, the Overture from Tannhäuser.
I suppose it’s vulgar to discover Wagner so late and then only play Wagner’s Top Tunes or whatever but, but, but – it must be better than never hearing, enjoying, being stopped in your tracks by such wonderful music.
I know next to nothing about composition. I do know a little of Wagner’s reputation, influence, the regard in which he’s held. I know I’m supposed to be impressed, something that’s made me less keen to explore his work than I might otherwise have been. And now at long last I’m really enjoying the music, which is what it’s all about.
You can sign the petition supporting medical research in the UK and make a (slight, probably ineffective) stand against the deluded inadequates who bomb, threaten and intimidate researchers – and anyone else who aknowledges that carefully controlled animal research is necessary.
Watching the BBC’s chef competition, split into regional finals, we come to two chefs, both working in London, who’ve been jemmied into representing Wales. They both agree that they have a problem in that Wales doesn’t really have a cuisine to speak of. One goes for laverbread, a gooey and horrible derivative of seaweed; the other plumps for cockles. My grandfather liked cockles – he’d take me down to the Pembrokeshire coast to dig in the rippled sand when I was young and we’d return with a heavy bucketful, which my grandmother would prepare and which I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. My grandfather smothered the cockles in vinegar and pepper before wolfing them down.
Dour Welsh Methodism was suspicious of all pleasures, including good food. I didn’t taste garlic, for example, until I was 17. There was even a tradition of onions being a foreign food imported by Frenchmen on bicycles, each called the Johnny Onion Man, or in Wales, the Shonny Onion Man, Shonny being either the Welsh version of John (Sion) or a Welsh attempt at the French Jean. Onions were exotic. This was Wales.
This from the Catholic Church:
Leading UK Catholics and members of Opus Dei have formed a group to respond to the negative impact the Da Vinci Code film is expected to bring.
The Da Vinci Code Response Group, which also includes a Benedictine abbot and two priests, has condemned Dan Brown’s book as “fiction trading as fact”.
Warning label on Bibles
Hardly believable from an organisation that deliberately promulgates what most of its priests and theologians know full well is a largely fictional account of the pre-literate religion of desert folk. But there’s more, according to the BBC’s story. The cult-like Catholic group, Opus Dei, has asked Sony Pictures to
include a caption explaining the film is fiction.
Helen crashed today. Driving at about 40mph along a duel carriageway another car pulled out from the left into her path. To avoid a collision she veered towards the central reservation and ploughed straight into a set of traffic lights. The car’s a write-off, she’s ok.
She could be dead tonight, or lying mangled in hospital, or have at least a broken limb or two but nothing except for one small bruise. I wonder if she’s lucky to be unharmed or unlucky to have been in such a nasty accident.
I heard about it as soon as I arrived at work – I’d forgotten my mobile – and I left straight away to pick her up from the Asda supermarket, where she’d been taken in by the helpful people, who’d phoned her school, called the police, contacted me, given her cups of tea and buttered toast and looked after her. We will be obliged to shop at Asda forever now.