Monthly Archives: January 2006

Public Sector Search Watch

Today I had a visitor (apparently) from a machine in Brent Town Council’s offices. He/she came looking for “fat young girls”. In connection with which of that London Borough’s administration’s published Objectives do you think the individual responsible was making such an enquiry?: Supporting children and young people Attain, retain and develop excellent staff Increasing […]

My Life!

As at least one of my Jewish friends will testify, it was during my years living in a North West London flat with a caricature of a Jewish grandmother for a resident landlady (rather than my time in the kosher house on Osney Island) that members of the Global Conspiracy stole my brain and replaced […]

Too Cheap To Check

Apparently it costs too much money for publishers to fact-check the non-fiction they produce: Last Thursday, publishing-industry veteran Nan Talese was excoriated on television by Oprah Winfrey for publishing James Frey’s 2003 “A Million Little Pieces,” a bestselling memoir about the author’s struggle to overcome drug dependency that he has since admitted is partly fictitious. […]

‘Blogger Chokes To Death On Self-Pity

“Rebound congestion”: it’s another of those bland bits of medical jargon, like “cerebral contusion”, that give no hint of the actual discomfort accompanying their referents. “Rebound congestion”—roll it around your mouth and then imagine waking up from a nightmare of smothering only to find that you really are suffocating and that your last sight on […]

Lost Link

A ‘Blog that links to PooterGeek recently published a post about the way commenting on other people’s ‘Blogs always goes horribly wrong and drew an amusing parallel with an everlasting ice-skating disaster. I was going to link to it today, but even my Jedi googling powers have failed me. Can anyone help? UPDATE: Rob’s found […]

Lazy Hackwork Continues To Attract Payment

I’ve written before here about how Armando Unfunnucci‘s consistent inability to raise a laugh with his “humorous” Guardian column used to bond me with complete strangers on the Tube. Now he’s returned, replacing decaying homophobic bore Richard Ingrams on the back of the main section of The Observer. Today his closing flourish of wit was […]

The American Disease

I would happily sign the Economist‘s editorial today on US healthcare myself (but for that paper’s irritating misuse of the word “America”). Many ‘Bloggers with an unthinking fetish for “market solutions” would do well to give it and the associated special report a scan: [N]owhere has a bigger health problem than America. Soaring medical bills […]

Anti-Social Behaviour: Theory And Fieldwork

Yesterday I had an excellent evening of argument. I spent it contending that, since our emergence, we human beings have been, for plausible biological reasons, fundamentally aggressive and suspicious of visibly different members of our own species. In reply it was argued that our behaviour towards others has been characterised by altruistic tendencies and trade. […]

Dancing About Architecture

To celebrate my (late) discovery earlier in the week of the Dr Who theme remix site I offer you a chance to participate in PooterGeek’s toughest end-of-the-week challenge yet: The Instrumental Transliteration Tournament. Inspired by the Whovian musicians’ model I give you three examples: Dr Who EEEEEeeeeeeaouuuuw WHOO-eee-OOO [bumbly-bum, bumbly-bum, bumbly-bum] WHOO-eee-OOO [bumbly-bum, bumbly-bum, bumbly-bum] […]

Scandalum Magnatum

GEORGE GORRAWAY MP: Yes, m’lud. That is indeed myself, naked before one of the sons of the Rightful Ruler of that noble yet tragically violated Arab nation, attempting to excite his flaccid member by gently stroking its tip with my moustache whiskers, whilst simultaneously drowning two screaming Kurdish orphan children below the surface of the […]

Out Of The Valley Of The Slackers

The number of visitors to PooterGeek is tightly coupled to the number of you sitting bored at your work computers. Christmas Day is the annual low-point for traffic here, when the score dips below 200 unique visits and 300 page views in a day. As the holiday unwinds the stats climb gradually back up to […]

We Must Be Told The Truth About Primitive Knob Jokes

All English comprehensive school desks must by law be engraved, somewhere on their surfaces, with stylized representations of human primary or secondary sexual organs. Why is it whenever some new prehistoric cave art is uncovered it’s always men with spears pursuing unfortunate savannah ungulates? Why do they never find badly-drawn pictures of genitals or breasts […]

Being There

Responding to the unusually early death of actor Chris Penn, Squander Two writes about acting—and explains much of my problem with (British) theatre: If only Sean Penn were anywhere near as talented as his brother, his films wouldn’t be so irritatingly tedious. Cintra Wilson’s right: truly great acting is something you don’t even notice. That’s […]

Know Thine Enemy

I was going to post the following when it first appeared on Jonathan Derbyshire’s ‘Blog. Norm’s post today reminded me that I hadn’t. Derbyshire makes a point that even militant atheists should concede: As Jeremy Waldron makes clear in his remarkable book God, Locke, and Equality, the principle of human equality articulated in the Second […]

70s Revival Continues

I overheard two of the staff in Maplin today complaining that they had had to change the price on some piece of consumer electronics twice in one day. We live in the noughties now so both changes were decreases. A Chinese factory employee probably figured out some way to make ten of of whatever gadget […]

Notable

Lorretine has a Moleskine fetish. Like this:Like Loading…

Beware!

Yesterday evening, two random girls from Lodz phoned me up up to teach me Polish. [Hello, Alice and Monika.] Yes, about three years after everyone else, I now have Skype. But the Linux client doesn’t work properly for me (surprise surprise) so you’ll have to catch me on one of those rare occasions when I’m […]

Ignoring A Stamping Child

I don’t agree with a lot of what she says, but I think Mary Madigan at Exit Zero has a very interesting angle on Iran: What should we do about Iran? We should do nothing. Seriously. When a belligerent little foaming-at-the-mouth nation shouts about nukes, they expect us to pay attention to them. This encourages […]

Listening For A Calling

I’ve cited one of Paul Graham’s long essays before. Even when I disagree with them they are brilliant and deceptively simple. This one isn’t about being a nerd; it should be of interest to everyone (who is lucky enough to be well educated and living in the comfortable West). It’s about finding a job you […]

Spastic Wog

Via Tim comes this fun piece by Jeremy Clarkson: Wog. Spastic. Queer. Nigger. Dwarf. Cripple. Fatty. Gimp. Paki. Mick. Mong. Poof. Coon. Gyppo. You can’t really use these words any more and yet, strangely, it is perfectly acceptable for those in the travel and hotel industries to pepper their conversation with the word “beverage”. There […]

Watch Out, Keef

I may have given the impression during the existence of this ‘Blog that I am something of a nerd, but I’m telling you, people: you haven’t lived until you’ve pulled up outside the best hotel in town in a written-off car with the front bumper howling as it scrapes on one of the tyres; handed […]

Philip Mountbatten: Comedy God

You must pay attention to the adverts on BBC Radio 4 over the next few days. They are running one that sets a new standard in bathos—and proves that at least one stratum of society is impervious to the “reality” media’s will-to-emote. It starts with a dramatic re-enactment of the last communications from the radio […]

What Kind Of A “Spam Filter” Have I Got Here?

Yesterday evening, the normally pretty rigorous Spam Karma allowed a comment to be posted to PooterGeek that purported to be written by someone going by the name of “penis enlargement”. Like this:Like Loading…

On Seeing And Not Being Seen

Film continues to go the way of vinyl [big image]. Just days after I told you lot that I had bought another Minolta film camera, Konica Minolta announces that it will leave the camera business all together. The camera I take with me everywhere is one of the smallest 35mm SLR cameras Minolta made. Male […]

The Good, The Bad… And, Er, That’s It

As part of a once-in-a-lifetime, two-part breaking of my PooterGeek “No ‘Bloggers’ Memes” rule I answer Eric‘s challenge: “I nominate Normblog and Pootergeek to list two films they like that most people don’t…” but I do so in my own way: Independence Day fails on almost every level as a work of serious cinema; but […]

Japanese Zoo Breeds Pathetic Snake

TOKYO — Gohan and Aochan make strange bedfellows: one’s a 3.5-inch dwarf hamster; the other is a four-foot rat snake. Zookeepers at Tokyo’s Mutsugoro Okoku zoo presented the hamster — whose name means “meal” in Japanese — to Aochan as a tasty morsel in October, after the snake refused to eat frozen mice. But instead […]

The Ubiquitous Sweaterman!

Have you ever had that experience when you’re quietly browsing a public library and you (foolishly) strike up a conversation about one of the books on display with one of the other regulars—a slightly intense-looking middle-aged man in a sweater—and you gradually realise you are engaging with someone from the other side of the reality/fantasy […]

Gratuitous Cuteness

She’s only three years old and he’s only three months, but you can tell from one look in his eyes that a terrible realisation is already dawning on Sam: like his uncle, he will become known as the “The One Whose Sister Is A Model”. [click to enlarge] Like this:Like Loading…

Birmingham School Of Art School

Excuse me, sir? Yes? I’m here for the life drawing class. Blimey. No one else is. Yes, I noticed that. Are we going to start anyway, sir? Why are you calling me “Sir”? You are the life drawing teacher, aren’t you? I prefer to think of myself as an creative facilitator, but, technically, I am, […]

And Next Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Goes To…

Some misquotes are more serious than others. [thanks to Claire] Like this:Like Loading…

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