Monthly Archives: July 2004

The Hussein Bridge Disaster

Norm is too polite. Scotland’s “Poet Laureate” combines a tin ear, bathos, and fashionable stupidity to give us a poem about Saddam that William McGonagall would have been proud of. Please, someone, tell me it was a spoof, written to draw in people like us.

Single-Stranded DNA

In the business some people call one strand “Watson” and the other “Crick”. A moment's silence, please, for the loss of a helix.


I’m in a bit of a hurry, so no time for commentary, but this is one most Western feminists should read, courtesy of Claire Berlinski.

You Can Type This Stuff…

Straights don't have a monopoly on terrible “romantic” genre fiction. Start at the bottom of this page and read the blurbs as far as you can take it. No, this wasn't the result of a search for “lesbian” “rap”.

Please Don't Ask Why…

…I'm up at this hour. Just read the posts and ignore any spelling mistakes. God, moths are stupid.


The Internet Movie Database's Fresh Faces is a showcase for less well-known actors and a monument to American dentistry. You can play casting director and flip through the talent ruthlessly, ticking or crossing the potential of the hopefuls on the basis of their (no-doubt Photoshopped) publicity photos alone. Whether you are male or female; straight, […]


Vote for America's Favourite Icon at Yahoo! It's got to be Charlie the Tuna.

Little Big League

Talking of my dad, he'll be interested in this. It's a shame Harry's Place's comments are currently disabled because I wouldn't be surprised if he'd got one or two things to say about it as well.

So Simple It's Brilliant

“So you are saying we just ask the Americans to let us install our spies in Iraq?” “Why not? They've fallen for everything else.”


Over at Who Knew?, Jeremy Brown commented as-it-happened on (Hillary's introduction and) Bill Clinton's speech to the Democratic convention. He did it with the kind of wicked mockery that friends and sympathisers specialise in: “[Clinton is striking the right tone, somewhere between that stadium enthusiasm and the sound of an actual human speaking as if […]

Feel The Fear

There's only one thing scarier for a 'Blogger than being linked to by Slashdot or Instapundit, that's getting hits from the Carter-Ruck libel practice in your server logs, as I did yesterday. Mummy.


Yesterday I stumbled upon a 'Blog that was news to me, but I think I'll be watching from now on. According to its URL, “Language Log” is broadcasting from the University of Pennsylvania and seems to be staffed by linguistics profs from other top US universities. Stories that caught my eye include one on the […]

Never Say Never Again

So I agreed in the end. They renewed my licence to kill; I loaded my PPK; I strapped on the chronograph with its plutonium-powered homing device; I got back into the Aston Martin; and I went into action. I asked for Clooney, Connery, and Berry as co-stars. What did they send me? A bunch of […]


Oliver Kamm's latest post about Paul Foot is stonking. One sign of Kamm's return to (literally) forensic form is the proprietor's reponse to the “suicide commenting” from Chris Lightfoot that immediately follows the 'Blog entry I link to. I'm sure that, having regained my approval, Oliver can now rebuild his self-esteem and learn to love […]


I think they mean that chimpanzees also find yawning infectious, but it's interesting all the same.

PooterGeek User Survey

Lately, the number of unique visitors to PooterGeek has settled into the low hundreds. Unfortunately this increase in traffic necessitates small changes in the previous free-and-easy regime here. As part of this process (of improvement) I would like readers to take a moment to fill out the simple registration form below. All data will be […]

Protect And Survive

PooterGeek brings you extracts from the government's new terrorist advice pamphlet. [Requirements: tin buckets, plastic bags containing sufficient sand to half-fill each receptacle] Distribute the buckets around your home at points located near news sources. At the first indication that you might be exposed to threats to your way of life from self-proclaimed genocidal extremists […]


[Thanks to Leasey] My street is full of Guardian-readers. I have leafletted it many times for the Labour Party and rolled my eyes at the windows full of anti-war posters and photocopied invitations to “subversive” gatherings of poets and “thinkers”. I've tried hard not to get into arguments about pre-emptive military action and top-up fees, […]

Cutting Down

I'm back, but I won't be doing much 'Blogging because I'll be spending lots of time at a conference over the next two weeks.

The Pitch For “Flashgun Cop School Dance City Jedi Nights '87″

It's simple. If high school nerd and all-round misfit Anthony Michael Hall doesn't hack the Pentagon mainframe in 24 hours, maverick pilot Tom Cruise won't be able to launch his fighter-bombing raid with musclebound, homo-erotic foil Val Kilmer in time to stop half-Russian, half-South African drug dealer Joss Ackland from beating the truth out of […]

Once An English Teacher…

Apparently, when I got back from a curry in London and wrote that “One Last Mission” spoof at one a.m., I misspelled “enrolment”. Thanks, Dad.

Mother's Land

One thing I didn't mention when I joined the rest of the 'Blogging world in discussing the UN's development index was that Sierra Leone is still the least developed country on the planet.

Singapore Descends Into Anarchy

I like watching Right-wingers flip between saluting Singapore as an “Asian tiger” and squirming at its cramping nannyism. Lately, as this week's Economist reported, the city-state has been doing its best to persuade the rest of the World that the country that banned oral sex between consenting adults and the sale of the magazine Cosmopolitan […]

By Popular Demand

I'm taking the weekend off from 'Blogging. Go out, people, and hug a stranger.

One Last Mission

PooterGeek? No one's called me that in a long time. Yeah. We know. How does it make you feel to hear it? It's another man's name. Listen, friend, if you want to ask me about enrolment do it now. My office hours are for students. You know that's not why I'm here. There's an election […]

More Science And Technology

I'm on a roll this week. I've been banging my head against a piece of code the past couple of days—until four o'clock Thurs, when my officemate and I went down for tea. One coffee and a Cornetto™ later, back at my desk, I nailed the bug. And I've just got back from a curry […]

How Science Gets Done

I had an idea at work yesterday. This is worthy of comment because few of my ideas survive beyond five minutes of my examining them in daylight; next to none survive my explaining them to colleagues. Philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science often, but not always, subscribe to one of a limited range of theories […]

Why We Don't Negotiate With Terrorists

I'd just like to begin today by saying thank you on behalf of the people of India, Egypt and Kenya to the government of the Philippines.


Today, 21Jul04, is the national day of Belgium.

No Grunts No More

Courtesy of the Anonymous Economist, here's a short, sharp, myth-cracking article from the New York Times opposing a return to the draft in the USA: a professional soldier writes in praise of the professional soldier. Read it before it goes subscription-only.