Monthly Archives: April 2003

Too Pooped to Précis

The gang had some fun yesterday and today trying to make some sense out of this development in U.S. foreign policy. (It’s an example of the short attention spans of the Western media that this news seems to have been all but buried, by the way.) We had a little online debate and the three […]

Brenda, Please Give Your Son a Job

The Today Programme this morning broadcast a classic debate of its kind: ignorant rich-boy activist “Zac” Goldsmith argued for immediate restrictions on nanotechnology while northern working-class Nobel Laureate Prof Harry Kroto, patiently explained that it’s just chemistry. “Zac” buttressed his case with the support of speculation by experts in the field like Michael Crichton. If […]

Another Austrian Superman

The Eurovision Song Contest is beyond comment, parody, understanding. This year ‘s Austrian entry extends the scope of the event still further, by offering an extraordinary perspective on man’s place in the natural world. I can only urge you to read about it. In particular I draw your attention to the lyrics. Like this:Like Loading…

Mann Alive

Whatever happened to that Benicio Del Toro movie they trailed last year? You know, the one about the guy under investigation because of his impossibly good luck on the markets and at the gaming tables. A year later than everyone else I have found the answer. Nothing happened. There was no film. But there was […]

No Pictures, Please

After this announcement by Sinead O’Connor, I myself have also made a personal decision to step out of the spotlight. Fame has been good to me, but from now on I’d just like to ask that people everywhere please respect my wish for privacy and stop reading my Weblog. Additionally, I request that they stop […]

Happy Birthday, Maryam

If you like baby pics and/or the Grassly-Khalifehs, have a look at the photos from Maryam’s 1st birthday party. Like this:Like Loading…

Own Material Girl

Madonna's new album is released today. I have always believed that she has at least four talents. There are two obvious ones [shut up at the back!]: she can dance in time and she can sing in tune—albeit in a voice that induces stomach cramps in Tibetan voles. There are two important ones: she wants […]

We’re Getting There

Oh, the humanity! Britain brings its World-famous expertise in running railways to the newly liberated Iraq… Like this:Like Loading…

Bad Hire

One of Hollywood's great traditions is to make the same sub-sub-genre of film three times in the space of five years. For example: The Sixth Sense, The Others, and What Lies Beneath. The Recruit is the first of what will inevitably be a bunch of post 9/11 CIA movies. It won't be the best—especially if […]

Baby Pic

Here's a picture of my friends Hind and Nicholas's baby daughter Maryam, munching the cake at her first birthday party—for no better reason than that I am particularly proud of the photograph. Like this:Like Loading…

Historical Perspective

Also earlier this week, when I asked them, Claire and Judith Wrubel Levy kindly recommended books on the American Civil War to me. Claire suggested Eric Foner's Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men and Judith suggested James McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. An article from the mostly-subscription FT site, summarized in the Business Standard, argues […]

Disappointed Customers

Holy Moly. Two amazing searches brought punters to yesterday evening. Perverts first. Someone was looking for "pictures of English women shitting" via Fortunately this site is only referenced by the second page of results. Idiots second. Someone was looking for "why Chirac opposes war" via The number one hit on the entire […]

Too Interesting

You can Enhance Your Browsing Experience by installing something called the Google toolbar into your copy of Netscape, Mozilla or [spit!] Internet Explorer. As well has providing a built-in search facility, the bar has an indicator which tells you, on a scale of one to ten, how "important" the Google database thinks the currrent page […]

Help For The Hard Of Thinking

Before the popularity of moral relativism and other post-modern fashions in thinking, reasoning about right and wrong was less complicated. For example, tens of thousands of people dying unnecessarily every year for decades was considered worse than tens of people dying over the same time span. Scholars have since identified the fundamental flaws in this […]

Journos: Doncha Love 'Em?

In the days when they could take shorthand, construct a grammatical sentence, type 40 words a minute, and were bothered with little things like checking facts, journalists were viewed with contempt. Now journalist characters are frequently the heroes of Hollywood movies and university graduates fall over themselves to do unpaid work for grotty trade mags […]

Scary Monsters

Today the doorway to the Co-op supermarket was guarded by a six-foot pig and a six-foot bumblebee. They were collecting for a children's charity. To their credit (and in typically ethical Co-op style) they made no attempt to press me for money; as if their looming blank stares weren't intimidating enough. I wonder how many […]

Satire Lives

On the same page ("Special Report: France") of The Guardian online these two headlines are neighbours: "Chirac Put on Nobel Prize List" "Paris Shrine of Surrealism Dismantled" Reminiscent of the famous Tom Lehrer quote, wouldn't you say? Like this:Like Loading…

Where Do You Start?

I know I've been quiet lately. Mainly, when I've been online, I've been reading other Weblogs. There's been a lot of good news from Iraq about liberation and bloodless battles. Even the anti-war lobby is behaving as though the war is over, bar the vicious, ignorant, trivial griping of so-called peace-lovers. There's been bad news […]

Old Pots / Tin Pots

Next, a quote from a talking head on BBC Radio 4 this morning: "You see the painstaking care the archaeologists use when they dig up these relics and now there is all this bombing. It's the history being destroyed, not just the people. The history is being shot at—and for what?" How about the removal […]

An Extraordinary Photograph

This is a work of art. Like this:Like Loading…

Kids' Stuff

I'll say one thing for visits to the Grassly-Khalifehs: they always give me something to put in my 'Blog. It was a baby-packed party to celebrate Maryam's first birthday—and excellent fun it was too, hanging out in a sunny Hampstead garden with a crowd of well-behaved children of ages up ten (I think). Maryam is […]

First Against The Wall

Hostilities have broken out on a noticeboard at work. Just before the outbreak of the real war, there was a pre-emptive strike: someone posted an emotional article by Ann Clywd, a Left-wing Labour MP and long-time campaigner on behalf of Iraqi exiles, justifying military intervention by describing atrocities committed in Iraq under Saddam. This was […]

Useful Idiots

Tuned into Radio Bloke expecting the England football team to get "lost in a thicket of mediocrity" against Turkey—because the front page of today's Telegraph today told me so. In fact England won 2–0. Wow, surely it couldn't have been another example of British journo hyperbole at its hysterical best?—and with our newspapers being so […]

Happy Nerd-day

This 'Blog is a year old today. Yes, I know I was late to that particular party, but don't sneer: I was on the Web when it was competing with Gopher; my dotcom had dotgone before most people had heard of one; and my Slashdot user number has only four digits. So I suppose it's […]

Duck and Cover!—The 21st Century Remix

Richard sent me a link to this today. Like this:Like Loading…

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