Author Archives: PooterGeek

Moving and shaking

Just checking in with PooterGeek to update you on my real life. In the day job, have moved offices in Tamworth from Tame Valley Industrial Estate in Wilnecote to space above designer wool and crafting outlet Tolsons Mill Yarns in Fazeley. In the evening job, I am now the lead singer of Midlands Stevie Wonder […]

Burning Down The House

This summary/graphic by Tim Montgomerie of The Times is fun. It imagines the four parties Britain would have if we started from scratch. If we did do such an experiment with voters—if we asked them about real policy choices—I don’t believe that these are the clusters would emerge; most people, especially English people, believe hotchpotches of […]

Avoiding identity theft

Here’s an excellent, concicse blogpost that outlines both how identity thieves can scrape sensitive information from your discarded computer and simple steps you can take to make it harder for them to do so. Stealing someone’s identity doesn’t take a lot of intelligence or even a lot of effort. The bad guys only need you […]

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Israel But Were Afraid To Ask

After a summer break, another episode of International Edition with Levy and Counsell is up at Ricochet.com. [iTunes link to follow.] Here’s the Ricochet blurb: TV news shows often only turn up in distant countries when the shooting starts. This approach can scare off, or simply puzzle, intelligent and curious viewers who would prefer more backstory […]

A Femi-narcissist reader

Do read my previous post first! And I should credit “Ban This Filth!” for the caption to the Laurie Penny tweet. In addition to the Dan Hodges blogpost that I linked to at the end of that one, here are some other relevants articles worth reading that I couldn’t shoehorn in. Here’s Mrs Trellis, writing a Dear Joan letter to feminism to explain why she’s […]

The Femi-narcissists

At the height of the BBC’s “Jimmy Savile crisis”, when police were estimating that the old, dead child rapist and his associates had assaulted at least 40 boys, a female media twitterer tweeted that she had no sympathy for the BBC’s predicament at all, after the way they had blocked her promotion, because she was […]

Another Zimmerman/Martin link

Thanks to Gaby Charing for this opinion piece from William Saletan in Slate: Trayvon Martin is dead, George Zimmerman has been acquitted, and millions of people are outraged. Some politicians are demanding a second prosecution of Zimmerman, this time for hate crimes. Others are blaming the tragedy on “Stand Your Ground” laws, which they insist […]

Testing Storify

[View the story "Weather girls" on Storify]

Zimmerman and Martin

As much for my own reference as anyone else’s enlightenment, here are four articles about the Zimmerman case that you might be better off reading than some of the hysterical, race-fixated nonsense in the media. That first link was to the Shooting of Trayvon Martin Wikipedia article. These next two are from commentators who happen […]

International Edition with Levy and Counsell Episode 12: Michael J Totten

This week, Judith Levy and I interviewed independent international correspondent Michael J. Totten. Michael Totten, who has reported extensively from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Sohrab Ahmari of Commentary wrote of Michael that he "practices journalism in the tradition of Orwell: morally imaginative, partisan in the best sense of the word, and delivered in […]

Sexing down

Here’s an extraordinary thing: a documented cover-up by a US administration—not one imagined by conspiracy theorists: There's new evidence, obtained by ABC, that the Obama administration did deliberately purge references to "terrorism" from accounts of the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission, which killed four people including the US ambassador to Libya. Conservatives have long […]

The opposite of scholarship

John Rentoul quotes India Knight: Gove’s proposals are, to me, socialist in their intention, which is to equip every child with the sort of education that has traditionally been available to only a very few. How is that wrong? And what do left-leaning academics think they’re doing when they say, “Ooh, no, the children won’t […]

Levy & Counsell podcast 4: National Manners, International Diplomacy, and Statehood at the United Nations

Over at Ricochet.com, our producer Scott named this podcast The Politics of Petulance after an article of the same name by David Horovitz in the Times Of Israel that Judith and I mention towards the end of our discussion. There are a few other sources I’d like to give credit to: Yau-Man Chan at Skepticblog writing about the curious cult of […]

The Levy & Counsell Podcast, episode 3: special guest Claire Berlinski

This is the first edition of the podcast that’s freely available gratis to people who don’t subscribe to Ricochet so fill yer boots. Judith and I just wound Claire up and let her run, though I did press her to come up with some hard, pragmatic reasons for the West (the US) to intervene in […]

How to get work done at work

Just as TED talks are becoming the subject of well-deserved parody1, via Business Insider, I find an old one  (2010) with useful things to say. Here, Jason Fried suggests ways the office can become a more productive place. I’m not entirely convinced by all of his solutions, but he doesn’t claim they are solutions. By the way, my answer […]

Levy & Counsell podcast 2: Special Edition

Judith and I discuss current events in Israel for Ricochet.com. The sound is better all round this time, though it’s clear I’m going to have to work on being a bit slicker. It’s possibly a good thing that I talk slowly out of a fear of saying something stupid. To quote one of our listners […]

Rulers and Riders

To try out my exciting multiple-choice plugin, test your knowledge of 18th-century British Prime Ministers and contemporary British competitive horseriders by guessing which of the two categories each of the following named individuals falls into.

The first Levy & Counsell podcast at Ricochet.com

Oh the irony. My contribution to the first (test) Levy & Counsell podcast as token friendly Lefty at online US conservative community Ricochet.com was marred by technical problems. Even I find it hard to follow the thread as I listen to this because my audio breaks up and I speak even more slowly and haltingly than I […]

“He’s quite a gay dog with the ladies.”

Via Kellie Strøm, this is a delight:

Dancing about architecture

There is a small, ugly overlap between the kind of people who complain about reduced state funding for the arts and education in the UK and the kind of people who excuse the burning of books, advocate the closure of places of learning, attack performances of classical music, and disrupt debates in bookshops. Outside this […]

Nothing is timeless

I often grumble here that there’s no such thing as “timeless greatness” in art. Everything from subject matter to structure to execution to meaning depends on the circumstances that prevailed when a work was made. Indeed, if a work is published into another set of circumstances, it can escape its creator’s intentions completely, even without […]

How to make drum solos interesting

Portrait of the ghost drummer from odaibe on Vimeo. ‘Portrait of a Ghost Drummer’ expands the understanding of drummers activity from purely auditory experience to spontaneous visual performance. From technical point of view motion trajectory was captured on Vicon MX system and raw CSV files were translated into visual language in 3d environment Cinema4D.

Phonies

While I’m on the subject of ideologues ignoring facts, this thread over at the Website of the obnoxious Local Schools Network is both informative and entertaining, unlike the article that started it. One of Andrew Old‘s contributions late in the debate says much of what I think about most quack educationalists in two paragraphs: And […]

Mistaken Identity

Tom Doran on why capitalism—I think he means free enterprise—has liberated working-class women: When the average voter looks at Tesco, they do not see a sinister corporate megalith, raping and pillaging their way of life. Rather they see that keeping their family fed and clothed is now that much cheaper and easier. Moreover, they don’t […]

“Comment Is Free”: 1952 edition

Via Daniel Knowles on Twitter, where he is @dlknowles, I read this marvellous old letter to the (then) Manchester Guardian from one of its totalitarian about-to-be-ex- readers: Original here.

Emeritus Professor Of Political Thought explains Muslim Rage

There’s a letter in today’s Economist about the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya by fundamentalist extremists that encapsulates the rich blend of bigotry, ignorance, non sequitur, crude generalization, snobbery, and sheer, gobsmacking stupidity in which the thought processes of fashionable over-educated opinion stew. It also gives me an opportunity to try out my new […]

Astronomy Photographer Of The Year 2012

Here’s a superb narrated BBC slideshow of winning images from the Astronomy Photographer Of The Year competition. The slideshow is by Paul Kerley, with narration by Chris Lintott and Olivia Johnson.

Those Nick Clegg apology YouTube remixes in full

In a fit of shameless Google-baiting, I collect here some of the YouTube remixes of Nick Clegg’s Party Political Broadcast apology for his and his party’s breaking of their tuition fees “pledge”. The Original   The Poke's AutoTune version   The Simon Bates “Our Tune” dub   The “honest subtitles” overlay   If you know […]

Parliamentary Microphone Geekery

Yesterday evening, I went a-googling for details about the microphones they use at the despatch boxes in the House of Commons because they fascinate me. They’re AKG D222s, which I used to covet in the 90s. They’re odd dynamic mics: Unlike most others, they don’t make your voice sound bassier as you move your mouth […]

A Quick Plug

If you’re in the area this weekend, “Partly Covered”, the cut-down version of Sussex soul and pop band Covered will be playing at The Red Lion in the pretty West Sussex town of Arundel. And I’ll be the lead singer.