Blair, religion and superstition

by David on December 28, 2006

When Blair was challenged about the faith school in the North-East of England, Emmanuel College, which happily supported fundamentalist evangelicals and young-earth creationists, he said that diversity was necessary in education. That’s such a dumbfounding response that it’s difficult to understand that Blair really did seem to be supporting the teaching of nonsense (that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old) as if stupidity and sense needed equal curriculum time.

Nick Robinson leaves the BBC: Helen’s thoughts

by David on December 28, 2006

I saw that Nick Robinson is leaving the BBC for ITV and told Helen, who said

He is a cheesy little shitster

She’s in a bad mood at the moment. I might ask her views on this news tomorrow to see if she sticks to the same line.

Audacity and a Logitech USB Mic on Ubuntu (Breezy)

by David on December 28, 2006

Ok, so I know I should update Ubuntu and I’ve read that Breezy isn’t the best for sound but I’ve finally – after an afternoon of messing about – managed to coax Audacity to use my Logitech USB microphone.

First of all, I downloaded the (beta) source for Audacity 1.3.2 and following the helpful advice on mics in Ubuntu here, compiled the source with:

./configure --with-portaudio=v19 --without-portmixer


by David on December 25, 2006

For the first time since taking up Ubuntu, I’ve been lost in the content of work and forgot completely the OS I was using. I was on autopilot, on Linux ,and thought for a moment that I was Helen’s laptop rather than my own. She uses XP at home.

I haven’t been able to use Ubuntu as much as I’d like – I’m not able to use it at work – and this is the first time that Ubuntu’s presence has been absent (© J.P.Satre). Until now, all those little differences and difficulties have been as if I were wearing someone else’s shoes.

Art, literature, theory

by David on December 22, 2006

A long time ago I struggled to understand what the clique controlling my University’s student newspaper were on about in an issue published after they’d all been taught about Barthes, Lacan, Derrida et al. I guess this was shortly before the world stopped taking notice of the absurd Continenal postmodernists and before Alan Socal’s great Social Text hoax (Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity) and the publication of Intellectual Imposters.

Caetano Veloso covers Jacko

by David on December 22, 2006

A while back I mentioned Brazilian songster Caetano Veloso. Today I saw on Andrew Sullivan’s blog an entry posted by Clive Davis about a peculiar YouTube video, a mashup of Michael Jackson dancing to Veloso’s bossa nova cover of Billy Jean. Very odd it is indeed:

Dr Boaz

by David on December 19, 2006

Annette and Leo

Annette’s finally persuaded the LSE to award her a PhD. This on top of producing Leo, seen here, and Sofia. Well done Doctor.

British Telecom is crap

by David on December 18, 2006

We’re moving into a new house and need to sort out phone and broadband as soon as we can. At the moment, our land line is provided by (rented from) British Telecom (BT) and ADSL broadband comes from Virgin. Both services have been fine so I tried to set up a similar arrangement at the new address.

Notes from Spain

by David on December 14, 2006

I started listening to the Notes From Spain podcast (RSS etc here). It’s so engaging I’ve been downloading all the past podcasts and consequently learning loads about Spain.

Ben Curtis and his Spanish wife Marina bring you travel secrets, sound seeing tours, news, interviews, culture and more, from all corners of Spain.


by David on December 11, 2006

I think, after some initial reserve about their first projects, it would be difficult for me to find fault in the work that MySociety have done recently.

Tom Coates on MySociety