Monthly Archives: May 2004

Almost Like A Whale

Imagine, for a moment, a new men’s fashion: “the ab-shirt”. It is the summer of 2006 and David Beckham is photographed with his second wife, holidaying on a private island. He is sauntering along the beach wearing flip-flops, shorts and… a T-shirt with a rectangular window cut away from the midriff to reveal his toned […]

Just A Suggestion

Some surprising sources have hinted at incompetence on the part of the Saudi security forces in allowing the escape of three out of four racist mass-murderers. This an egregious libel, of a sort not heard since the promotion of conspiracy theories alleging that Saudi Arabia was in some way involved in terrorist attacks on the […]

“That’s Not A Knife. This Is A Knife.”

An American correspondent wrote to me yesterday to say nice things about PooterGeek. In his email he confessed to being puzzled about certain aspects of British culture as presented on these pages. For example, he couldn’t get his head round the idea that people in this country would be embarrassed to go out and buy […]

Charred Teddy Bears

This is a perfect moment to deploy this photograph that I took in the Mill Road in Cambridge three weeks ago. Over at Belmont Club there’s an entry pointing at an amusing idea for a war simulation game: “I want a War Sim where I spend two hours pushing across a map to destroy a […]


Earlier on I stated that Iyad Allawi was the “US choice” for Iraqi Prime Minister because that’s the impression I had been given by BBC Radio 4 yesterday evening. This morning, the BBC News site had the headline “US backs caretaker PM”, suggesting that the Americans had merely approved of the Iraqi Governing Council’s decision […]

I Just Want To Be Your Friend

I don’t censor PooterGeek (except for libel), so the posts at the infamous Naked Harry Potter entry get more numerous and bizarre with time. [That page is now only fifth hit at Google for the search “Naked Harry Potter”.] One new comment arrived yesterday while I was logged on. Because of this I could check […]


Yesterday evening I listened to Warwick University‘s Iraq “expert”, Toby Dodge, tell BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight that the Iraqi Governing Council’s choice for Prime Minister was “the worst one possible”. His argument seemed plausible and well-informed. Then I had a google into Dr Dodge’s past. Here he is arguing that only offering to […]

Not The Done Thing

I only discovered the satire site Social Scrutiny earlier this week. Here’s a good one from a “report” on Tuesday about the doomed Beagle 2 space probe: “Beagle 2 – too ‘irredeemably British to succeed’, according to report. ESA Departmental Head, Dirk Porn pointed to what he called “The Henman Effect” to explain the Mission’s […]

What A Way To Go

Cows at sea, beware the Atkins diet. Like this:Like Loading…


If I tell you the real reason why I came upon the following page is that I was surfing Amazon for a birthday gift for my mother, you might think one of two things: “How could he be so rude about his mum?” “Does he really think we’ll believe that story?” If you’ve ever been […]

Hang ‘Em High!

Claire will like this. Yesterday, SlashDot linked to Slate, where Steven E. Landsburg presented an economic argument for executing writers of computer viruses, worms and trojans. Like this:Like Loading…

Trouble With My ‘R’s

My computer keyboard is driving me insane. The ‘R’ key is alternately firing twice or not producing a character at all. In the past couple of days PooterrGeek has had “resevoir” for “reservoir” and “amed” for “armed”. My apologies. Some time this weekend I hope I’ll get a chance to fix it. Like this:Like Loading…

Wait A Minute, Mr Postman

The following is perfectly timed to coincide with this story (which the Normalizer commented on) and an item I heard on Radio 2 news today, about a Staffordshire postie who had 17 000 items of stolen mail stashed in his house. This morning, I came downstairs to find in my post a thick envelope from a […]

Not Cricket

While I’m on the subject of The English Way of doing things, here’s a reflection upon former England cricket captain Nasser Hussain’s retirement. A photo of him playing is captioned “Nasser Hussain: changed England’s culture of defeatism” We wish. Like this:Like Loading…


As one of those interestingly pigmented colonials myself, I can’t help remembering that, one afternoon in the late 90s, when I was being taken for an interview lunch by a representative of a drug company, Princess Michael of Kent was at the same excellent restaurant in Kensington too, eating at a nearby table. She wasn’t […]

The Fucking Nerve

Excuse my lack of coherence in this post, but this is the kind of thing that converts my brain tissue to water vapour and drives it out of my ears under high pressure. Some months ago, Amnesty exceeded the clear tems of its own statute by printing thousands of posters opposing the Iraq war, posters […]

Admitting Uncertainty

As well as being an interesting story about the ambiguity of PSA tests for prostate cancer, this is a solid, unhysterical piece of science reporting in a US newspaper, of the sort that appears in British papers during months with a letter “K” in their names. This week, The Guardian contained a pull-out supplement on […]

“Hmm. A wooden horse, you say?”

If you’re interested and don’t already know the story, today’s Guardian prints a swift run-through of the behind-the-scenes events leading to and from the Hutton Enquiry, as extracted from an expanded edition of Blair’s Wars. The substance of the account seems plausible, though I suspect some Gilliganesque decoration of the dialogue. Do you believe this […]


No one will dispute my contention that IBM’s animated Linux penguins are cute and cool. Flap your wings to the fonky, fonky beats. Like this:Like Loading…

Joe Bloggs

The strangest things catch the imaginations of PooterGeekers. In this week’s ongoing debate about military theorists I have to admit Timbeaux and David Duff have me thoroughly out-read. Not since I ‘Blogged about The Passion of the Christ have the comment boxes been so busy. As if by appendix to the discussion, SlashDot pointed at […]

Have A Strepsil, Mate

Dave Diamond is an American voiceover artiste. He has a Website showcasing his talents. He is obviously very good at what he does. To sneery, snobby, ironic, English ears like mine, however, what he does is hilarious. There is no way I could keep a straight face long enough to deliver the script to the […]


When I argued with Timbeaux in the comments boxes that modern warfare was completely different from anything that had come before, I forgot that he had already drawn my attention to this incident. Like this:Like Loading…

Good Cop / Bad Cop

Mark Steyn cheekily suggests that there might be some lack of balance in reporting of the respective behaviour of US and UN peacekeepers: “The 2002 Save the Children report on the UN’s cover-up of the sex-for-food scandal in West Africa provides grim details of peacekeepers’ demanding sexual favors from children as young as four in […]


Leasey led me to this reservoir of weirdness. Leasey is a small, young woman and I am a larger, older man, so I’m not sure why she found the stalker’s “confession” Fancy Soup VI amusing and I thought it was creepy—further confirmation that I am a wuss? Like this:Like Loading…

Not A Day For Hanging Out Laundry

[WARNING: big download] This is another long overdue one that I didn’t see at the time of the original news story. Boggle at a photo of Mount Etna erupting taken from the European Space Station. There are more at NASA’s photo pages. Scroll down this page, click “Has a Caption”, type “Etna” into the “Caption […]

Splitting: The Difference

“During certain treaty negotiations with the United States, the British government went so far as to issue instructions to its representatives allowing them to make concessions on fishing rights and reparations, but forbidding them to accept a treaty in which an adverb separated ‘to’ from an infinitive.” —“Split infinitive“, Wikipedia Like this:Like Loading…


Did you know there was such a thing as a children’s formalwear specialist? Please don’t ask me how I found out this. Like this:Like Loading…

“…Which Was Nice.”

I wish my CV was as interesting as Captain Kirk’s. Sure, his starts with the usual stuff: 2264 — Promoted to captain, in command of U.S.S. Enterprise for five-year mission , but then it progresses to entries like this: 2286 — Charged, convicted and reduced permanently to captain’s rank by the Federation Council for theft […]

The Art Of Wally

Just finished the latest Lee Child, slowed down by all the other stuff I’ve had to do lately. It’s a rattling good read and, although it spends more time developing institutional character, than personal characters—the US military machine is one of the main protagonists—it is full of brisk insights into human nature. It appealed to […]

Airport Crashes

Practically my first conversation on arrival in Paris last week was a long rant about how crap Charles De Gaulle airport is. I had no idea. Like this:Like Loading…

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