Stephen Hammond MP

by David on May 31, 2007

Stephen Hammond, Conservative Member of Parliament for Wimbledon, denies that he supported the recent Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill. That doesn’t seem to be born out by his voting record on the 18th of May.

Channel Haw Haw

by David on May 29, 2007

A British computer consultant and his four bodyguards have been kidnapped in Iraq today. The response of UK’s Channel 4 has included an interview with someone described an insurgent who said that the bodyguards were only in Iraq for large salaries and to aid the ‘American and Jewish Pigs’ (sic).

The insurgent – or, as I prefer, bigoted terrorist – wasn’t challenged by the Channel 4 reporter. His remarks were presented as just another opinion.

During World War II the Germans used William Joyce to broadcast Nazi propaganda, in English, into the UK. After the war he was hanged.

The BBC, of course, didn’t bother to interview Joyce, or his fascist employers, for their views on the progress of the war.

Carbon Offsetting

by David on May 29, 2007

I don’t have CO2-producing children. Would anyone care to purchase my saved CO2 production from me as legitimate carbon offsets?

Mondegreens

by David on May 29, 2007

A Mondegreen is an accidental mishearing of a phrase. There’s a word for it. Helen’s childhood version of ‘Tis a gift to be simple was good – and the Candice Bergen / Jack Nicholson / Art Garfunkel film Carnal Knowledge might have had the best ever.

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

by David on May 28, 2007

In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a
Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End of
Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case
against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the
major religious texts, he documents the ways in which
religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual
repression, and a distortion of our origins in the
cosmos.

Mais ou est l’Academie Anglaise?

by David on May 24, 2007

The Académie Française is a French language King Canute. It is an official authority on the French language, publishes an official dictionary, the Dictionnaire de l’Académie française; Wikipedia says its rulings are not binding on the public but it has attempted to stem the tide of English or Americanisms befouling la belle langue.

OpenID

by David on May 22, 2007

So I’ve created an OpenID server for myself – don’t want to delegate to other people for my authentication, do I, and the point of it, partly, is its distributed nature.

I’m all tested with it and thanks very, very much to Simon Willison‘s brain for the really good idea it’s had, which I hope will benefit handsomly its owner and primary user, Simon Willison.

So now can everyone start using it, please? I’m fed up of logging into my hosting provider and Digg and Wikipedia and my bank and Flickr with different usernames and passwords. The future is already here and for one would very much like to start living in it.

Hitchens has the last word

by David on May 22, 2007

Hitch, looking as though he’s sucking on a wasp throughout, defends the right to be pissed-off by the (thankfully) dead Jerry Falwell and his brand of Christian-Right bigotry.

The clip’s been embedded all over the web but did you catch the last words of Hitchens as the video ends?

“If you gave Falwell an enema he’d be buried in a matchbox”

Monkey Business

by David on May 21, 2007

Another pic from Helen

Carbon Offsetting

by David on May 20, 2007

My Carbon Offsets

  • 11 tonnes of greenhouse gases generated annually by the average UK one car family
  • 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases generated by one person’s share of a transatlantic round-trip flight

These 50,000 tonnes of Carbon Offsets from Free Carbon Offsets should see me ok for a while.

Here’s Wikipedia on Indulgences:

Indulgence, in Roman Catholic theology, is the paid full or partial remission of temporal punishment… The indulgence is granted by the church after the sinner has confessed and received absolution