Monthly Archives: August 2005


A nice little example of the prestidigitator’s art of misdirection: the Mystical Ball site. Try it – and try and work out how it works.

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CrimeThinc Poster

Oooh, I do like this poster:     (hat tip to Lauren at Feministe)

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What’s Your Earliest Memory?

Mine is lying in my pram on a hot summer’s day in the garden of a house in the country. I was given a piece of bread and butter to eat – but the butter had turned rancid in the … Continue reading

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Getting Closer…

…Bird flu, that is. Apparently it’s reached the Russian Urals, and is likely headed this way. And while it’s by no means certain that the avian flu virus H5N1 will mutate into something that causes a flu pandemic in humans, … Continue reading

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Mo Mowlam

Sad to hear that Dr. Mowlam has died. When she was a politician, she was one of the few of that breed whom I respected. 

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Beautiful Boxer

Fascinating article in the Guardian today about Parinya Charoenphol. Her life story has been made into a film: Beautiful Boxer. While I personally find boxing and kickboxing loathsome sports, I do want to see the film. It documents Charoenphol’s journey from … Continue reading

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The Big Gay Read – Part 2

OK, as promised, I went and checked the library. Further suggestions include:   Pagan’s Father – Michael Arditti Easter – Michael Arditti Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall – Neil Bartlett Six of One – Rita Mae Brown Rubyfruit … Continue reading

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Artifacts That Last

My irony meter went into the red zone when I read this. However, I don’t think it applies to all examples of the genre. My collector editions of Physique Pictorial* are unlikely to last to the next (non-humanoid?) civilisation.   … Continue reading

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Skin Graft Farms?

An interesting story in the Guardian today about a new experimental technique for treating burns. It uses skin that has been grown from an aborted foetus. If that strikes you as a gruesome idea, then go and read the full … Continue reading

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EU Newspeak

Pick up a carton of eggs at your local shop or supermarket, and if you see the words "free-range", you might think that the hens who laid them were merrily scratching around in pasture.   Wrong.   A spokesperson for … Continue reading

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Ophelia, over at ButterfliesAndWheels, puts her finger on why it’s really rather a good idea to keep the state separate from religion.

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The Big Gay Read

In 2003, the BBC launched a competition called The Big Read to find Britain’s favourite book. The result (no doubt influenced by Peter Jackson’s film, which was current at the time) was that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy won.   … Continue reading

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Strank And Fisher

It sounds somewhat like the name of a legal firm, but Ron Strank and Roger Fisher are two rather ordinary blokes who have been together for 45 years. Read their story here.

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Naked Mole Rats

Articles on naked mole rats remind me of London buses – you wait for ages without anything happening, and then a whole convoy turns up at once.   First it was Afarensis, who referred to a story in Science Daily … Continue reading

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The Sky at Night

When I was growing up and started getting interested in Astronomy, I always tried to watch The Sky At Night – the BBC’s TV programme devoted to Astronomy. The monthly programme began in 1957 and has been going ever since, … Continue reading

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Ambiguous Icons

Duck and Cover lives – the US Department of Homeland Security has created another set of pointless icons. Luckily, we have a professor of semiotics on hand to decode their true meaning.   (hat tip to Echidne)

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Crossing The Line

The BBC has got into the realms of online interactive fiction with Jamie Kane. The eponymous popstar – supposedly killed in a helicopter crash – is a fictional creation aimed at the same demographic as empty-headed pop fanzines: 14 to … Continue reading

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Perseid Watching

Well, I had some luck in attempting to watch the Perseid meteor shower last night. There was some cloud (see pictures) but fortunately it was interspersed with clear spells. There trouble is that, as you can see from the pictures, … Continue reading

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The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

It’s Friday, it’s movie night at home, so I decided I would put TCTTHWAHL on the DVD player. When I saw the disc in our local DVD shop, I thought, yes, it’s like drowning in rose-coloured acid, but at some … Continue reading

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A Eulogy for Robin Cook

Robin Cook’s funeral service was held today. Gordon Brown gave a eulogy that is well worth reading and reflecting on.

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