Hetero scum

From a graph theory perspective, this study is pretty interesting. Sociologically, maybe less significant (can you really trust these kids to tell the truth?) but one thing that jumps out at me is that amongst this group, having same-sex relations (or at least admitting to them) is almost non-existent: only one male-male and one female-female pairing. Oh well. That's the midwest for you.

Announcing GoogleGoogle

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA. Google, Inc (ticker symbol GOOG) announces a new service, GoogleGoogle. CEO Sergey Brin (or was it Larry Page? I can never tell those two apart) explained: "With the recent launch of stupidly many new services of limited value to most users, such as GoogleVideo, GoogleScholar, GooglePrint, plus new projects such as GoogleVoIP, GoogleBrowser, GoogleSmartBomb, GoogleWorldDomination and GoogleFlavoredPeanutButter, we have found that our users are increasingly unable to find the search service that they are looking for. But we at Google are used to helping people navigate through vast amounts of amateurishly put together information so they can extract useful information from it, and with this in mind, we are please to announce GoogleGoogle: this allows users to enter search terms and within seconds find the Google service that is most suited to answering their question. Or, if no service can be found, it immediately hires two software engineers and deploys them to start coding up a new solution that is ready to use in less than five days."

Um, yeah, fill in the rest yourself.

Worlds apart

This has probably been mentioned many times before, but it bears repeating.

The final four British detainees at Guantanamo Bay were released this week after negotiations between the British and American governments. They had been held at the legally ambiguous camp for three years.

On their return to Britain they were questioned, determined to pose no threat, and released within 24 hours.

The UK police are now having to defend arresting these men at all. For less than a day.


Fine, thanks for asking

I made it, you'll be glad to know.

Enjoy the following largely non-story about the beano, and notice that the editor is still called Euan Kerr. What a silly name: say it to yourself a few times over and you'll figure out why. Honestly, why do people allow themselves to along with such childish japes for so long? All the best, Hugh Anchor.


Groundhog day...

Well, here we go again. As I prepare to leave my comfortable, warm apartment for a second assault on EWR-->YVR I can't help asking myself why, and lacking a convincing argument, the best I can come up with is sheer bloody mindedness. Plus some non-refundable deposits, I suppose.

I'll leave you with this thought from an idiot columnist writing in The (London) Times that I've been carrying around since January 4th. He is complaining about having to administer his own check-out operations at a Home De(s)pot store in New York. He ends with the following coda:

"I have since read that it costs $15 per transaction run a 'staffed' checkout lane. That includes the employee's pay and benefits. My trip to Home Depot cost $300. Does that mean I could have had 20 people ring me up without the shop losing any money?"


Travelling without moving

09.30 Leave house, catch train to Newark Broad Street
10.20 Get cab to Newark Airport
10.40 Discover flight has been cancelled. Get rebooked onto flight leaving at 15.30
12.30 Have some lunch in the airport
13.00 Told to wait by the check-in counter, since snow might cause cancellation of flight.
14.30 Told to advance to departure lounge in expectation of flight taking off.
16.00 Flight is cancelled. Go back to check-in counter. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200
16.30 Try to get monorail to station. Monorail is switched off.
17.00 Get bus to P4 parking section. See large group of other people also waiting for connecting bus to station.
17.30 Manage to beat rush and squeeze onto bus which eventually gets to the station.
18.15 Grab a much delayed Amtrak train to NYC.
18.50 Arrive NYC, to find no trains going to my home town at all tonight, because of weather.
19.10 Take Path from 32nd St to Hoboken.
20.00 Get train from Hoboken to home town.
21.15 Arrive at station, trudge through snow.
21.30 Arrive home. Home is warm. Switch on computer.

This is not really to complain, although I am rather tired, but just so I have a note of how I spent my day. It's funny to see a day basically wasted like this (since, fool that I am, I'm going to get up again tomorrow, and basically start it all over again from the beginning to see if it goes any differently). In some ways it is frustrating, as we see our precious time being dragged away from us. And in other ways, it is humbling, because as busy and important as we think we are, having a day taken away from us seems to make no difference at all in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, enough of this. I'm going to bed so I'm refreshed enough to try it again tomorrow...

...but New York in the snow is really quite pretty... Posted by Hello

Denied! Posted by Hello


And this is where I live. Cute, isn't it?  Posted by Hello

Testing out the picture sharing capabilities of Picasa/Hello, I thought I would finally reveal myself to the world. This is me. Hello.  Posted by Hello


Following up on the awful retitling of "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle" as "Harold and Kumar get the Munchies", now comes news that the delightful "Slap her, she's French" (not to be confused with slap her, she's freedom) has been renamed "She gets what she wants."

WTF? This is being promoted as an "ABC original movie", but it's clearly the same film, starring the implausibly alliterative Piper Perabo (trying saying that ten times quickly in a row). Money for old rope, that's what it is.

I'm starting to think that I should add "rel=nofollow" to all my links. Not for search engines to take heed of, but more for the benefit of human readers.


Where did he come from? Where did he go?

I don't normally go in for these things of "take a lame internet test and then post the results for the world to see", but this one rather appealed to me. So, here goes:

Describe yourself using one band and song titles from that band

Created by naw5689 and taken 7098 times on bzoink!

Choose a band/artist and answer only in song TITLES by that band:Rednex
Are you male or female:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe yourself:Cotton Eye Joe
How do some people feel about you:Cotton Eye Joe
How do you feel about yourself:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe where you want to be:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe what you want to be:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe how you live:Cotton Eye Joe
Describe how you love:Cotton Eye Joe
Share a few words of wisdomOld Pop In An Oak

Create a Survey | Search Surveys | Go to bzoink!


The calling of the Lord

I got a bit bored with having no television whatsoever, and so bought a TV aerial. I should have remembered from previous experience that (indoors) TV aerials are no use whatsoever: if you can't pick up anything with a coathanger stuck on the aerial socket, then putting a multi-way FM/VHF/UHF/EMF amplified adjustable directional aerial won't improve things to any noticeable extent. So, while I can now get ABCBSBNBCPNBSOX just about (mostly black and white and very fuzzy), it's not good enough to watch for long.

Which is good, I suppose, since I quite liked the concept of not having "live" TV, and instead relying on time-shifted de-advertised IP-TV. Now I've got it there in case I want it, but not good enough to get trapped into that cycle of flicking through a hundred channels in search of something half decent to watch. (In a similar mode, I've come up with a new trick for using the internet: do it with a laptop without the power plugged in. This gives a cut off after about an hour or so, instead of the interminable surfing in search of something, anything interesting, which can occupy hours without you realising).

Strangely, I can get one channel with perfect clarity: channel 63, WMBC-TV. When I started watching this for a few minutes, they were in christian mode, although checking the schedule, it looks like they mostly specialize in programming from India, Italy and Korea. Not quite sure why, but I rather like that mix. I might watch it occasionally. It sounds rather better than the American dross on the broadcast channels.


Dreaming about Dick

Another weird dream last night which I thought I would foist upon you. I was on my way back to England in a plane. Suddenly, the next thing I know I am walking around London in the middle of the day. It's about a day and a half since I was on the plane, but I have absolutely no recollection of anything that has happened in between -- it's as if there was no gap at all. Checking my wallet, I find that there is a ticket for a left-luggage locker in Victoria.

Now, clearly this isn't a proper dream; rather, it's quite patently the start of a Philip K Dick novel. I just wonder if his estate can sue me for dreaming something so derivative?



For some reason, the BBC's copy of rocking the casbah has a mobile phone rining on it about half way through. This happens whether it's being played on Radio 2 in Manchester, or on Radio 1 in London, and is probably to do with the fact that a while ago the BBC switched to a digital music system, replacing CDs with digital copies of the music where possible. Of course, this doesn't really explain why there appears to be a mobile phone ringing during the track; nor even why it doesn't sound all that bad in context. Just one of life's little mysteries. A bit like Crazy Frog, I suppose. Except that there's a whole web page here devoted to explaining that annoying sound and its evolution into a crazy frog.. There's even a guardian article about it. Although I did still find it a little disquieting when I was on the subway in New York last weekend, and someone began playing with their phone, and suddenly the familiar strident tones of that sample began playing out...


I don't believe it

At least one of these pictures has to be photoshopped, surely? Stolen from popbitch.


Back in the USSA (again)

Lengthy ruminations on the relative merits of the US vs the UK to follow (never). Meantime, enjoy this spot on critique of Alias in the NYT. The one thing it doesn't explain is why I keep watching it, although since I got fed up with 24 about 14 hours into the last season, maybe I'll get bored with Alias sometime soon too.