Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Year End Bang: Whitehouse Conceeds Aliens May Be In Our Solar System

Scanning the 'news' at BBQ this morning, we come across this story; about a group of people visiting RAF Bentwaters, the location of a spectacular sighting of a structured UFO. On the 'See also' sidebar is a very old and odd piece of propaganda written by Dr David Whitehouse, 'Science' Editor at BBQ from December 3 2002. It is a classic skeptic piece of ridicule masquerading as Science. In this rather pathetic and illogical diatribe, we are treated to the following gem right at the outset:
UFOs in the sense of unexplained lights in the sky certainly exist. But flying saucers, that is, alien spacecraft, never have. It really is about time we put down the whole UFO-spaceship thing as part of the past; part of an old-fashioned view of the mysteries of space. At best, they were a delusion, wishful thinking by some who didn't want to know better.
I had actually read this piece before, thanks to a post from Alun. The above is an amazing proclamation, given what we read at this website, Invitation to ETI, to which he is a signatory. This website is an invitation to ETI (Aliens) to contact David Whitehouse and 99 other crackpots. And I quoth:
  • What if one or more extraterrestrial civilizations long ago began probing the cosmos, to study their galactic neighbors?
  • What if one of their autonomous space probes should happen to reach planet Earth?
  • What if its super-smart Artificial Intelligence could figure out how to tap into the Earthlings' worldwide computer network?
  • What if ET's advanced robotic emissary were reading this very page, right now?
Welcome to Invitation to ETI, a Web-based, scientifically credible SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) experiment built around those speculative questions. In these pages, you will find an invitation, issued by an informal group of approximately 100 scientists, artists and futurists from around Planet Earth, to any Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (ETI) having the capability to read it. This invitation is issued in hopes of establishing a constructive dialog between humanity and our cosmic companions.
I'm not making this up obviously. The most hilarious line above is 'scientifically credible'. Of course, this absurd and ridiculous project is only slightly more "scientifically credible" than SETI itself is...but that is not all. On their 'Security During the First thirty Days' page we see these idiots take apart their own project. First things first however. They say that,"The scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) seeks irrefutable evidence of alien intelligence." This is of course, a lie. SETI is not interested in irrefutable evidence of alien intelligence, and it never has been. They are interested in...no one really knows what exactly. They refuse to consider any evidence that does not fit in with thier broken model of the universe, so quite what they are after is anyone's guess. Now lets look at the rest of this fascinating page. It goes on to describe 'the six problems likely to arise in the first 30 days after one SETI project or another achieves genuine contact'. Number three is this extraordinary paragraph:

3. GOVERNMENT CONTROL

We cannot rule out the possibility that powerful authorities from one or more national governments will make covert and/or overt efforts to control, hijack, or terminate the SETI project and the dialogue with ETI. These authorities or agents could be based in security and intelligence agencies, the military, national police departments, or emergency measures organizations. Agents from several nations may enter the nation of discovery in order to conduct covert operations. We may also find ourselves dealing with people with less legal authority but with very high status or strong moral authority, such as leaders of certain UN agencies/departments, major religious leaders, and high-status leaders in the international scientific community.

Several sorts of motives could lead to this sort of behaviour by national governments.[8] First, some nations will hate losing their superiority. Second, national governments, spy and police agencies, and multi-national corporations will be desperately eager to get ETI's information first (and keep it secret) for economic and military advantage. Third, security agencies charged with preventing breaches of security are going to feel very nervous about ETI's capacity because all they will see is the potential threat. Government officials charged with maintaining public order may insist that they monitor all our communications with ETI and that they be our gatekeepers and spokespersons for public/media information. They would do this for public safety, to avoid public panic and a stock market crash, to feel in control, and for national prestige.

It is important for SETI scientists to face the chilling reality of government power. If a national government becomes strongly displeased with a small group of SETI scientists, then in actual practice there is almost no limit to what that government could do. Let's face it, if they choose to do so, the authorities could impound all of their computers and files and data, terminate their capacity to interact with their colleagues, arrest anyone who tries to help them, try to close down all relevant websites, even jail them or make them disappear. It is foolish and dangerous to underestimate the covert and overt capacities of major national governments when they are determined, frightened, or angry.

I find these possibilities deeply worrisome, and have little to suggest as a solution. Perhaps the SETI League, for the benefit of its members, could establish a task force to explore the matter deeply. Perhaps this be done in partnership with the IAA's SETI Permanent Study Group, or with a private benefactor, or with the SETI Institute or SETI Australia.

Anyone with any knowledge of UFO evidence will understand why this piece of writing is amazing; what this paragraph describes is exactly what the Governments that have knowledge of the UFO reality have already done. Why is this paragraph extraordinary? It is extraordinary because David Whitehouse and co. believe that governments will only do this if they are personally involved in the discovery. He does not believe that governments have already done this, because only he and his 99 SETI cultists are the gatekeepers of reality; anything that does not happen within their gaze simply cannot exist. Now, look at these lines from the same page:
[...] Called the Invitation to ETI, [4] this project assumes it is quite possible that at least one highly intelligent extraterrestrial probe has reached our solar system[...] [...] If ETI is within the solar system, it may be reluctant to interact with humanity before we are ready for contact. [...]
Astonishing. Why all of a sudden is this a valid assumption to make? What has changed between 2002 and now in David's small mind? Given the second of those two lines, what sort of behaviour would we expect from such explorers? Firstly they would almost certainly be carrying small probes, and they would launch them to observe and study us just as we dropped the Huygens probe on Titan from the Cassini spacecraft. Such probes would not be dropping down on a parachute however. They would most likely be stealthy, small, intelligently controlled, manouverable, evasive and recoverable. What would such a thing look like should we be fortunate enough to catch site of one? When you ask these questions, credible UFO sightings start to fit the model. Of course, you have to be open minded enough to ask these questions in the first place; David Whitehouse is not one of these open minded people. If he were, he would have already come to the conclusion that all reasonable people have come to and not become a signatory of that rather puzzling website. If you assume that aliens could be stationed in our solar system now, there is absolutely no reason not to believe that they have been in our solar system for thousands of years, studying us in a long term project. To think that they could only have arrived in our lifetimes is very small minded, egocentric and frankly, stupid. Any alien explorer that has the tools mentioned above would evenetually be discovered. Its clear to anyone with common sense and the ability to read that the above or something like it is the case right now; alien spacecraft are already visiting us in a furtive, 'hands off' manner, and it is only now that we have come to realize what they are and that they are here. Working backwards from paragraph 3, a reasonable person can imagine the sort of behaviour that a government would be diaplaying had they accepted that some UFOs are alien spacecraft. They would set up commitees, working groups, commissioned briefing documents from the best scientific minds - they would do everything that governments do when faced with a problem of any kind. If we were then to find such documents, through any means, this would be proof that governments took UFOs seriously; the complete opposite (for whatever reason) of their public stance. We would then be forced to concede (if we were reasonable) that there is indeed, something to the UFO problem; that this is not a fantasy or anything other than absolute reality. Once down this road, we can diminish or totally abandon listening for signals with radio antennae, since aliens are already here. We would then, being reasonable scientific people, take a close look at the best UFO evidence. This means visual radar cases made by credible professional people with no agenda. There are many such cases, the Wallonia Triangle case being one of the best:

The Belgian Air Force has gone on record with the details of its Black Triangle pursuit. It released its radar video footage and its conclusions, ruling out the following origins of the object in question:

  1. Balloons. Impossible due to the highly variable speeds (confirmed visually and by radar).
  2. ULM. Same as for balloons.
  3. RPV. Impossible due to the hovering characteristics.
  4. Aircraft (including Stealth). Same as for RPV. No noise.
  5. Laser projections or Mirages. Unlikely due to lack of projection surface (no clouds). Light spots have been observed from different locations. Light spots moved over distance of more than 15 NM. Form of unlighted part of spots has been observed with spectacles. Laser projections or mirages can not be detected by radar.

The report concludes that the Belgian Air Force was, "unable to identify neither the nature nor the origin of the phenomena".

This account is only one amongst many others of this type. Combining the assumption above, the paper trail that we would expect to find should governments be actively persuing UFOs and the plethora of credible radar visual cases like this, the reasonable person, the true scientist, can come to only one conclusion; searching with radio telescopes for evidence of alien civilization is pointless when these aliens already here. What real scientists need to do is think about how we are going to deal with them right here and now, and not in some absurd ostrich posturing 'what if' scenario. This 'Security' page is actually about how SETI can stop the project beign taken away from them, so that they, the faux scientists can remain as the sole gatekeepers to this earth shattering event. These people are obsessed with being the sole arbiters of reality. Their treatment of anything outside their dogma proves however, that they are singularly unqualified to be the gatekeepers of anything at all, never mind interacting with aliens on our first contact. If I had to choose between a group of scientists and the CIA being the first people to be in contact with aliens, I would have to choose the CIA. The CIA are honest; they admit that they are liars, wheras scientists (of the SETI/Skeptic type) are completely self deluded, believing that they know and tell the truth about the world as they find it, when the opposite is the case. David Whitehouse and his cohorts have created this website, presumably so that aliens can email them upon reading the page. Should an alien email them from a hidden base somewhere in the solar system, how would they verify its source as being from a actual alien, and why should anyone believe them any more than they believe the people who claim to have seen UFOs or worse, been abducted by aliens? Can you see how totally absurd this website is? And out of all the people who run websites on this subject, surely after having read both the BBQ piece and this page, no alien with any sense would contact David Whitehouse or anyone from that site, since they are clearly irrational - there are far more qualified, scientific and credible people on the web who would be better candidates for that first contact email. In his BBQ piece, David Whitehouse said alien spacecraft 'have never existed'. Clearly something has happened to him since he wrote that, or, he was lying when he wrote it. Either way, this is a person who should not be trusted when it comes to this subject, quite apart from the fact that he is a member of SETI, which in this case stands for Simpleminded English Terran Irrationalist. I did say 'bang' didn't I?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sunday, December 25, 2005

and more of the same

Happy Holidays to all, hoping it's a good break for everyone and brings some well needed peace and quiet for a short time, coming to the end of another year of thought provoking posts from the team, i've loved every one and hoping to be able to contribute a bit more in 2006...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Times

Happy Birthday Alex! Happy Solstice and/or Christmas Blogdial! I hope everyone is enjoying the xmas present of sheer insanity over the NSA domestic spying scandal. Mmmm, who needs dystopian fiction when you have a real one for a neighbour? Entertainment at its finest. Have a safe holiday, guys+gals.
Happy birthday Alex!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shoes

Often at Maison Berluti relationships are formed around the language of shoes. While examining shoes, they entertain one another with their plans, fantasies and dreams, and always with a constant glimmer of amusement in their eyes. “Why not extend such an enjoyable experience therefore?” This was the question behind inventing a club for evening gatherings. It was to be called “Swann” in honour of the Proust hero who epitomised elegance and romanticism. The first soiree was held at the Hotel Crillon in 1992. Olga was joined by twenty friends; the subject – the aesthetics of shoes – was discussed from the standpoint of pure reason. Then the guests went to work – removing tablecloths, taking polishes out of containers, and rolling small squares of fine Venetian linen around their fingers. Now in stocking feet, they placed their shoes on the table and began to massage the leather. A little water for the polish? Heavens, no! Nothing but Dom Perignon would do. Thus, a very untraditional tradition was established. Luxury is well known, and is nurtured every now and then with excesses. Their bespoke offerings are really what you want here... Berluti

Movements of all cars in Britain to be monitored by evil sytem

Movements of all cars in Britain to be monitored by evil sytem.

The movements of all vehicles on the roads in Britain are to be recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records of scanned number plates of all cars that use the roads. 100% Apalling. [...]

Now, what I want to know is this:

Who and what gives the right to the police to creat this system unsupervised and unnacounted for, without any oversignt, special legislation, consultation or debate?

The public roads are precisely that, the property of the public, not the police - after all, the public payed for their construction and continues to pay for their maintenance. If you cannot drive down the road (or walk for that matter, because face recognition is surely next) without being under surveillance, then the freedom to travel unencumbered dissapears.

The police say that they want to "deny use of the roads to criminals". If the justice system worked correctly, those involved in violent crime and burglary would be denied the use of the roads because they are in gaol, not because a totally bogus surveillance system is place, whose true purpose is streamlined / automated road violation fining, swingeing car taxation and punishment of ordinary drivers.

The only reason why the state can get away with this is because no one in the UK gives a fuck. They go around like nothing is changing, continuing to pay for the prison to built around them whilst the deafening noise of construcion rages all around them. They are all going to get what they deserve.

Once again, the Independent simply recounts the facts in a dry, emotionless manner, when in fact, they should be screaming. If the newspapers in Poland during their revolution took the same tone that the British papers are taking while the UK is being dismantled, the Berlin wall would still be up.

Digg is the new Slashdot by the way. My second ever submission to Digg and its on the front page. Digg is agendaless and that is the advantage that trumps Slashdot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Cobbler's Tale

5. Lastly a story that made me laugh: a friend of mine went into a jeweller in Burnley and asked the young girl behind the counter for a Crucifix. She asked what he menat and when he explained she said she thought she had some in the back. She went to look and after a few miutes shouted back to him, "do you want a plain one or one with a man on it". It's only funny because it's true. Taken from the letter sent out by Tim Little.

Suckers!

Can you count, suckers? I say the future is ours if you can count .... You're standing right now with 9 delegates from 100 gangs. And there's a hundred more. That's twenty thousand hard core members, 40,000 counting affiliates, and 20,000 more not organized, but ready to fight. 60,000 soldiers.... now there ain't but 20,000 police in the whole town. Can you dig it. Can you dig it? CAAAANNN YOUUUU DIG AAAATTT!!!!!! Now here's the sum total. One gang could run this city. One gang. Nothing would move, without us allowing it to happen. Tax the crime syndicates, the police, because we've got the street, suckers! CAAAANNN YOUUUU DIG AAAATTT! The problem in the past has been the man turning us against one another. We have been unable to see the truth, because we've been fighting for ten square feet of ground. Our turf, our little piece of turf. That's crap brothers. The turf is ours by right, because it's our turf. All we have to do is keep up the general truce. We take over one borough at a time. Secure our territory. Secure our turf. Because it's ALL our turf! CAAAANNN YOUUUU DIG AAAATTT!!!!!
NBC (General Electric) & CBS (Westinghouse) are evil and the LARGEST EXPORTERS OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ON THE PLANET. They PROFIT from MURDER, DEATH & DESTRUCTION using the oldest tool on the planet, "Divide and Conquer". Here is a brief description: 1) Keep the Majority (of the population) Stupid. Give them cute labels like 'Soccer Moms' and 'NASCAR Dads' when you need their support. 2) If the Majority show any signs of intelligence, create 'Have' and 'Have Not's', by giving Have something and Have Not Nothing. Then get them to fight one another for failure to share. 3) Sell both sides tools of destruction to fight/destroy and then sell them the tools to rebuild. Owning Major media makes it easier to implement divide and conquer, which produces massive profit, has nothing to do with humanity and would indicate talking heads are tools of the Legions of Darkness. It makes one wonder if purchases of their sponsor's products support EVIL & THIS ? 85% of the people in the United States are Christian. GOD said, "thou shall not kill" and Jesus extended this concept when he said, "Christians are to no longer execute sinners, so they should not wage carnal war, but spiritual warfare (John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 10:1-6; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 6:11-14; 2 Timothy 2:3-5; 4:6-8). Christians must be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9, Romans 14:19), forgiving those who do them harm (Ephesians 4:29-32; Colossians 3:12-14; Matthew 6:9-15; Mark 11:25-26), treating their enemies with love (Luke 6:27-36) and not seeking revenge (Romans 12:17-21; 1 Peter 3:8-12). Hatred which is the same as murder (1 John 3:15), is unforgiving, vengeful and hostile towards one's enemies"; which begs the question, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING ? So, I wish a great Saturnalia or Yule to all my NON-Christians friends, psychic youth, left-hand path, occultist, gnostic, psychonaut, thelemite, rajneeshan, zen Buddhist, wiccan, kaote, discordian, taoist, kali yogi, outcasts, Shivaïte, discerning real individuals, non-dogmatic and unrelated creative and whatever akin peoples. All ther rest and their commercial Christmas hypocrisy: bug off, keep your charities for action. Hail Eris! Celebrate Yule!, Io Saturnalia!

Whew!

I am starting my Christmas baking, and could not find my recipe for butter tarts! Then I remembered I posted the recipe here, can you believe, in 2002:
Mom's Butter Tarts (it just isn't the holidays without them ...) 12 unbaked tart shells (try to make these yourself, but the plug-and-play work too) Beat 1 egg, mix in 1 cup of brown sugar. Beat in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir in 1 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. You can use currants, pecans, coconut, whatever. Spoon into tart shells. Bake at 375 for 8-12 minutes, until filling is bubbling. MMMphphphphph!
Thank you Blogdial!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

a one way ticket to 'ell... and road

Apparently the government is going to reduce investment in speed cameras - by gathering the revenue from fines centrally they are allegedly going to spend the money on other road safety features, but you have to wonder what proportion is going to be laundered to fund the ANPR surveillance system, which doesn't seem to have been shelved.
FREEDOM WELCOMES CAREFUL DRIVERS Please drive slowly
- While I'm being critical it was woefully predictable that the UK government was only cajoled into some sort of action (i.e. a denial of the obvious) on the 'dubious' CIA flights once it was reported that the detainees were being shipped to EU countries and not just the sort of country whose politics can be swept under the carpet , or even better be used for the UK government's own planned extraditions of alleged 'terrorists'.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More unrepresentative madness

The European Parliament this morning voted in favour of a backroom deal that had been made between the two big parties in Brussels and the Council of Ministers, currently chaired by the UK. The deal completely ignored the amendmends proposed by the Parliament's Rapporteur and by the Justice and Civil Liberties Committee that was (well - officialy) in charge of the process. After a hot debate and a number of signs of cracks in the party blocks, a majority of 378 parliamentarians voted in favour of mandatory retention of telecommunications data, 197 against, 30 abstained. This is in short what we will get now: - retention of telephone and internet connection data (including email addresses) and location data for mobile phone calls - no harmonisation of the retention period (6 to 24 months but longer is allowed: Poland wants 15 years) - no harmonisation of cost reimbursement for the needed investments on the providers' side - no limitation to certain types of crimes for which access is allowed - retention of unsuccessful call attempts - no independent evaluation - no extra privacy safeguards - follow-up committee without representation from civil rights organisations Civil liberties organizations, consumers organizations and all the telco industry associations as well as journalists associations had been fighting like hell against this major and unprecedented surveillance plan until the last minute. We did not win (the outcome is in fact the worst possible, exactly what the UK home affairs minister Clarke wanted), but we at least raised a lot of awareness and disturbed the conservative and social-democrat party lines. But the UK council presidency had pushed so hard after the London bombings that this directive will enter the EU history as the one which took the shortest time ever from the first Commission draft to the final vote (less than three months - normally they need years). The next steps will be the adoption by the Council of Ministers (before christmas) and then the implementation process into national laws. There will be challenges to this plan before the constitutional courts. I am pretty sure that the German constitutional court will not like it, as it recently had ruled unconstitutional a major eavesdropping plan on phone calls - and that one was only directed at suspicious persons, whereas the EU directive applies to every single communication of all 450 Million inhabitants of the EU. More information, including recordings of the EP debate, is available at . Ralf (European Digital Rights, www.edri.org)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Blessed are those who struggle

AM ' would go to jail' over ID cards IC Wales | December 12 2005 A prominent Plaid Cymru AM has vowed to go prison rather than carry an ID card. Leanne Wood said she has signed up to a civil disobedience campaign against the Government’s ID cards plan. Ms Wood, the Welsh Assembly’s shadow social justice minister, said the cards were an “expensive Big Brother device”. “If for some reason you get picked up by the police and you don’t have your card or you’ve lost it, you could well end up behind bars,” she said. “We in Wales may have saved ourselves from some of the waste of money by saying that devolved services will not have to deal with ID cards. “But the UK Government is forcing this plan through and, sooner or later, they will require people who refuse to carry ID cards to go to prison. “I’m ready to go to prison, if the Government presses ahead with this dangerous plan.” Ms Wood, a former probation officer, added: “I still hope the Bill will be defeated, but if not I am ready to go behind bars. “I do not believe that I should have to identify myself as a matter of course. I am also pledging that if plans go ahead to link the ID card to people’s right to hold a passport, I will challenge it in court.” [...] IC Wales

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter's Nobel prize lecture

Journeyman

On leaving through Heathrow last week, at the x-ray/metal detector security check point, a woman in front of me was made to remove her high-heeled boots and put them through the machine! And although the notices close by say 'Bulky coats must be removed', EVERYBODY was "requested" to put their coats through the damn thing. I was wearing a NorthFace windbreaker that's nothing but a single sheet of plastic, yet still I was told to remove it and put it through. Photographic film is forced through also, with requests for a hand-search being refused by general staff, who say 'We can fetch The Supervisor, if you'd prefer'. One can imagine the enhanced treatment one would receive for daring to bother The Supervisor. ... Can anyone here translate this? It's Norwegian. I can get the basics, but not the details. In the sung version, two repeated extra lines accompany each verse. You can hear it here, and if you can translate the extra lines, all the better! Apparently, Heiemo is a beautiful woman with a wonderful voice, and the Nykkjen is a kind of water troll. He tries to steal her away but she doesn't want to go. He does things to try and 'persuade' her, forces her to come with him. So, very upset, she kills him to save herself.

Nøkken som belar

Oppskrift 1961 av Rolf Myklebust etter Ingebjörg Liestöl, uten lokalisering .

1. Heiemo kvo det song i li -med minne - De' höyrde nykkjen på havet skri -Tva rosor söve der inne -
2. Heiemo kvo det song i lund. Det höyrde nykkjen den heiingshund.
3. Nykkjen tala te styringsmann. Du styre mitt skip på kriste land.
4. Eg vil meg på kriste land gå. Den vene jomfrua vil eg få.
5. Nykkjen han kom seg på kriste land. Han skapte seg om til ein kristen mann.
6. Han skapte seg klæ bå' gule og blå. Han skapte seg hest med gullsal på.
7. So gjenge han seg i stova inn. Med håge hatte og blomekinn.
8. Nykkjen han dansa og Heiemo kvad. Dei gleddest alt folket i stovune var.
9. No må kvar gange heim til seg. Heiemo tek eg på skipet med meg.
10. Heiemo gret og hendane vrei. Ska' eg fygje nykkjen den lange lei.
11. Heiemo, Heiemo still din gråt Du Skal i mine gullborgjir rå.
12. So tok han Heiemo i sitt fang. Vil bera henne på skipet fram.
13. Heiemo tenkte med sjave seg. Tru mine små knivar vil hjelpa meg.
14. Herr ligg du nykkjen for ravn og hund Enno hev eg min kvear lund.

Heros with money. Gotta love it.

"I'm a millionaire," Gilmore said. "I can do whatever the fuck I want, right? Why should I run around without an ID? Because no one else was paying attention to that and letting our liberties slip down the drain. I figured it was worth some amount of money and some amount of personal sacrifice to keep a free society." [...] http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,69774,00.html?tw=rss.TOP

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

just a reminder

A £3bn property tax giveaway ... which would, from April next year, have allowed the well-off to put their properties into a Self-Invested Personal Pension (Sipp) effectively tax-free, was yesterday closed after the government said it was being abused by the tax-avoidance industry. - Visiting eastern Europe last week, Mr Blair indicated that Britain was prepared give up nearly a third of the £3bn annual rebate, won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, in order to meet the costs of EU enlargement. - Virgin Trains is launching its biggest ever ad campaign after completing the roll-out of new rolling stock as part of a near-£3bn investment in its network. - A WINDFALL tax on the massive profits from building new homes on green fields is set to be unveiled ... The Chancellor's moves, to be confirmed in his pre-Budget report on Monday, are set to net him up to £3bn in extra tax income, according to reports. - P&O, the UK ports and ferries group, will recommend a £3bn-plus (E4.4bn, $5bn) offer for the company from rival Dubai Ports World this week. An announcement of the agreed offer from Dubai Ports World, which ranks sixth in the global ports league, could come as early as Tuesday. The takeover will draw a curtain on nearly 170 years of British maritime history. - Gordon Brown attempted to lure Hollywood back to the UK yesterday with new tax break proposals for film productions ... British film contributes more than £3bn a year to the UK economy. The peak year in terms of production spending was 2003, when more than £1bn was spent on making British films. - A new price war between the big supermarkets could cut Britons' shopping bills by a whopping £3 billion by the end of next year, according to new research. - Meanwhile, Bradford-based Morrisons is struggling to integrate its £3bn acquisition of Safeway at a time when shoppers are spending less.

fruitful & seamless

Talking of the hafler trio, 'a thirsty fish' has been reissued and it is as wonderful as has been rumoured in the past (especially the 'fourth' side). Sweet Candy. Yet another excuse to dole out my hard-earned cash (that fourth side is great, I managed to get ahold of it last year through eleet downloadzoring powers). Speaking of the Trio, I have been listening to them/him a lot lately, and have rediscovered how absolutely astounding the "Trilogy in Three Parts" is. I think it's some kind of digitally-stretched acoustic recording... super slow and meaty and dense and layered. Absolutely gorgeous - a revelation of sound. Space within space in an empty room. If anyone here wants to hear the Hafler Trio's two lectures that took place before the performance of "How to Slice a Loaf of Bread," get ahold of me. I have the hizzle-ups, yo. Speaking of craft, the finest gifts one can receive are craftsman's tools. These past few weeks I have received two wonderful gifts of some masterful Japanese and German wood carving tools. I was very honoured to have received them, as craftsman's tools are traditionally given to those who are capable of using them and carry a heavy weight of responsibility. I have never received better gifts!

Monday, December 05, 2005

prophesy

I'm currently rereading Jaque Attali's book 'Noise'. His prognosis of the record industry in the 1970s still seems very relevant in the light of how DRM etc are being used. - CDs that are too big to fit in my CD case Talking of the hafler trio, 'a thirsty fish' has been reissued and it is as wonderful as has been rumoured in the past (especially the 'fourth' side).

Pointless yet effortless

Previous Politech messages: http://www.politechbot.com/2005/09/10/dutch-internet-providers/ http://www.politechbot.com/2005/09/23/european-commission-proposes/ http://www.politechbot.com/2005/06/16/feds-contemplate-forcing/ -------- Original Message -------- Subject: URGENT: letter to European Parliament against data retention Date: Mon, 05 Dec 2005 15:34:39 +0100 From: Ralf Bendrath Reply-To: bendrath@zedat.f-berlin.de To: Declan McCullagh Declan, could you send this to politech quickly? It is pretty urgent... Thanks, Ralf --- Please spread widely and quickly --- The European Parliament - after heavy pressure and blackmailing from the council of ministers - is about to vote for mandatory retention of all communications, phone and location data in the EU for up to 2 years. This is outreageous. --> Please sign the open letter drafted by Privacy International and European Digital Rights. Deadline is tomorrow morning, 6 December, 9:00 CET. We especially welcome signatures from Data protection authorities, Consumer unions/organisations and Internet and Telecom providers. Signatures should be sent to Sjoera Nas, EDRI, and/or Gus Hosein, Privacy International, . Thanks for your support. Ralf Bendrath (European Digital Rights) http://www.privacyinternational.org/retentionlaunderingcampaign Open Letter to the European Parliament on Data Retention 05/12/2005 To all Members of the European Parliament We the undersigned are calling on you to reject the Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on the Retention of Data Processed in Connection with the Provision of Public Electronic Communication Services and Amending Directive 2002/58/EC. Adopting this Directive would cause an irreversible shift in civil liberties within the European Union. It will adversely affect consumer rights throughout Europe. And it will generate an unprecedented obstacle to the global competitiveness of European industry. (...) _______________________________________________ Politech mailing list Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/ Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

Pull my finger

Pull my finger

Friday, December 02, 2005

fly with the wind

did you have a snowball fight? a very one-sided one with our neighbour's dopey idiot labrador ... he turned out to be a much better shot than me ... this is what to sing in the snow --- from here

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

1st Google video

Bhagvad Gita

I have read the Bhagvad Gita. Strangely enough, I was at a yoga workshop this weekend on the yamas and niyamas, and the book was referenced, as well as given as a focus of study: "Read a translation and write down five things you have learnt." Clearly, it's time to read it again. I found it on my bookcase, which arranged more by size and kind than subject: hardbound, oversized books on the bottom shelves, mostly art, some photography; medium-sized hardbound and thick paperbacks on the middle shelves, a mix of yoga, religious texts, homeopathy, novels, design; and small paperbacks on the tops shelves, predominantly novels but also some subjects already mentioned. I have a few other books in places around the house, but would like a larger shelf so they can all be together.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Video-game-librarian

Alison, show us the money. I dont have any picure right now, since I am sitting here at work. But I am a gaming-librarian, playing Nintendo and know the history of videogames. I belive in free information for everybody and I am planning on a revolution from books to all kinds of media for everybody. My books at home are on shelfs after subject and novels. I never dog-ear my books and uses what ever comes in hand as bookmarks. When reading a novel, I always write a review on last page, witch makes it fun to read, when I have re-read the book again... Sweet Barrie, hope you feel better :-) I envy your snow Hymn, it looks so beautiful - did you have a snowball fight?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Why do you think they call them 'Murder Inc'?

Abuse worse than under Saddam, says Iraqi leader · Allawi in damning indictment of new regime · Bush prepares way for US troop pull-out Peter Beaumont, foreign affairs editor Sunday November 27, 2005 The Observer Human rights abuses in Iraq are now as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein and are even in danger of eclipsing his record, according to the country's first Prime Minister after the fall of Saddam's regime.

'People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse,' Ayad Allawi told The Observer. 'It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things.'

In a damning and wide-ranging indictment of Iraq's escalating human rights catastrophe, Allawi accused fellow Shias in the government of being responsible for death squads and secret torture centres. The brutality of elements in the new security forces rivals that of Saddam's secret police, he said.

Allawi, who was a strong ally of the US-led coalition forces and was prime minister until this April, made his remarks as further hints emerged yesterday that President George Bush is planning to withdraw up to 40,000 US troops from the country next year, when Iraqi forces will be capable of taking over.

Allawi's bleak assessment is likely to undermine any attempt to suggest that conditions in Iraq are markedly improving.

'We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated,' he added. 'A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them.' [...]

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1651789,00.html

This surprises who exactly?

The CIA are running secret torture prisons WORLD WIDE...obviously their crimes are the greatest in the world, always have been, and will be very hard to eclipse.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

fat squeaking noise when you walk on it

fat squeaking noise when you walk on it that it did, mary ... it was real snow, not the lame, wet, half-hearted stuff we're used to being palmed off with in this country ... this morning the roads were solid ice, but it quickly thawed, the snow dropping from the trees all too quickly ... this evening it started raining and i expect there will be little left in the morning ... a very peculiar episode

Books...books.

Books in loo Books in kitchen

Squirrelcam

Squirrelcam

J. Robert Oppenheimer

J. Robert Oppenheimer, (1904–1967) the Supervising Scientist of the Manhattan Project was giving a lecture at Rochester University seven years after the first atomic weapon was successfully detonated. After his lecture he opened the floor to a period of questions and answers.

One student asked: “Was the bomb exploded at Alamogordo during the Manhattan Project the first one to be detonated?”

Dr. Oppenheimer’s answer was short but extremely telling. Dr. Oppenheimer said: “Well – yes. In modern times, of course.”

Dr. Oppenheimer years earlier had described what he was thinking when he witnessed the first modern atomic explosion. His thoughts had gone to the Hindu Bhagvad Gita which states:

"Of a thousand suns in the sky if suddenly should burst forth the light, it would be like unto the light of that Exalted One.” (Bhagvad Gita XI, 12)

“Death am I, cause of destruction of the worlds, matured and set out to gather in the worlds there." (Bhagvad Gita XI, 32)

However, in answering the question Dr. Oppenheimer was not referring to the Hindu Bhagvad Gita but rather an ancient Indian text known as the Mahabharata. That which had occurred in Japan in 1945 was reminiscent of a far more ancient episode, one as early as 2450 BC in the regions of the upper Ganges.

The text reads:

...a single projectile charged with all the power of the universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as ten thousand suns rose in all its splendor......it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas....the corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out; pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white. After a few hours all foodstuffs were infected......To escape from this fire. The soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment... [...] http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/case8.html

Have you read the Bhagvad Gita? It is very beautiful...

The bookworm has turned

The image “http://static.flickr.com/35/65940878_5bdcd88213.jpg?v=0” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The image “http://static.flickr.com/25/66817517_188f3c88b5.jpg?v=0” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/librariantradingcards/ Alison, show us the money.

A Free Mars

The image “http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA07997_modest.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. On May 19th, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. This Panoramic Camera (Pancam) mosaic was taken around 6:07 in the evening of the rover's 489th martian day, or sol. Spirit was commanded to stay awake briefly after sending that sol's data to the Mars Odyssey orbiter just before sunset. This small panorama of the western sky was obtained using Pancam's 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 430-nanometer color filters. This filter combination allows false color images to be generated that are similar to what a human would see, but with the colors slightly exaggerated. In this image, the bluish glow in the sky above the Sun would be visible to us if we were there, but an artifact of the Pancam's infrared imaging capabilities is that with this filter combination the redness of the sky farther from the sunset is exaggerated compared to the daytime colors of the martian sky. Because Mars is farther from the Sun than the Earth is, the Sun appears only about two-thirds the size that it appears in a sunset seen from the Earth. The terrain in the foreground is the rock outcrop "Jibsheet", a feature that Spirit has been investigating for several weeks (rover tracks are dimly visible leading up to "Jibsheet"). The floor of Gusev crater is visible in the distance, and the Sun is setting behind the wall of Gusev some 80 km (50 miles) in the distance. [...] http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07997

Friday, November 25, 2005

that snow

that snow looks like it would make a fat squeaking noise when you walk on it, as all the air is pressed out leaving large clumping foot prints. that snow looks perfect for constructing snowmen, amassing a large armament of snow balls, or perhaps packed into a frozen carapace for tiny tealights ...

Book Disorder

I always love the language used by some of the lords. It is very elegant, yet forceful. Something to be admired. Anthony, that snow is beautiful. Where I am, in freakin' Canada, there is NO snow, and it is unseasonably warm and dry, about 10 C. Something's wrong and I am disturbed by this. Enjoy the snow! I will answer the book question, for this my first post in quite some time! I have been in a bit of a rut (understatement). Grandma just died too so I'm a bit short on scintillating discussion. All of my books are shoved into one small shelf. Now that it is full the books are being piled on top of the rows, making for a bit of a mess. My books are rarely alphabetical but all the authors are always grouped. All the science fiction books make up one row, which is butted up against the much smaller classic literature grouping, which appears again I just realized two rows down. This does not make any sense and should be rectified. All of the cartoon/manga books are together next to some postmodern literature, and some special edition CDs that are too big to fit in my CD case. Smaller science fiction books appear in yet another row down, showing that when I "organized" this case, it was done as fast as possible more according to the size of the book than the type. Next to these, inexplicably, are the poetry and spiritual books. However, all of the non-fiction/politics/philosophy books are in neat order next to that, and the row below contains all oversized art editions and school books, as well as some binders with essays of mine and such in them. What a mess! Some 10" records also appear next to the art books, as I have recently run out of space for my rapidly-growing vinyl collection (which, by the way, is all alphabetical because it is still a bit too small to order by genre/type/country of origin, like my CD collection). I DESPISE dog-eared corners. Bookmarks used must be thin or made of silk, as if a thick bookmark is left in a book that is on the shelf, it can cause a dent in the page it marks. I never lend out books because they always return with a broken spine. Unforgivable!! As well a hardcover's dust jacket should ALWAYS be returned to the book every time it is to go back on the shelf. Speaking of books, does anyone here want a copy of my BFA class's catalog? (I convocated last week with Distinction). I get two pages in it, and some of the other student's work is mediocre, but I have 50 of these catalogs sitting around (unfortunately I was in charge of them) and would be happy to mail some out. Just drop me a line.

The Lords intone

Lord Stoddart said: "I believe that we are now getting very far beyond Nineteen Eighty-Four. I do not think George Orwell, the other Blair, could even have contemplated the uses to which an individual’s personal property—that is, DNA—was going to be used to put him under control and surveillance. I know that this is rapidly ceasing to be a free country where the individual matters, but those of us who believe in individual freedom must, I think, stand up for the principle that we belong to ourselves, not to this or any other state." [...] List of amendments at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldbills/028/amend/ml028-iii.htm Read transcripts of the debates at: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/home.htm Watch the debates at : http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Archive.aspx (Debates were in the House of Lords on the 15th, 16th and 23rd November) From the No2ID mailout. So, even The Lords understand that this busineess makes people into property (merchandise). How can it possibly suceed? 'How' he says!

Order for order

All of my books touch each other. All my Mobeus books are together, in tome order, next to the complete 2000AD set. All the maths books are together, which are next to the philosophy. All my shortwave books are together, to the right of politics and modern music. Then come all my graphic design books. Novels are all on one shelf. Half of all the programming books are all together on one shelf, the other half on a chair next to where I work permanently. Anyone who licks their fingers before turning a page in a book should be hung by the neck till they are dead. The same goes for peope who 'dog ear' a book, (except a cook book or other such 'working book' which are there to be used brutally). I use pink silk ribbons for bookmarks. In work books, I glue these into the book, usually under the binding. In other books, I drape them. My records are 'organized' differently. I know where they all are, and its a mixture of date / artist / type / origin. All the jazz I got from my mother are together. All the weather report I bought myself are separate, for example.

If....

Miracle berry lets UK politicians get approval from disdain ·West European fruit offers low-credibility policy option ·Voters tricked into accepting borderline despots It is a common complaint among long-suffering voters: if only low-credibility policies weren't enacted. A new quango in Croydon appears to have the answer in the form of a little red berry from Brussels, appropriately named the Mandelson Fruit. Most people would turn their noses up at the policies dreamt up on the Prime Minister's sofa in Downing Street. Not one Bill has more than 10 contributers - a fifth of the average white paper - not even the taxes and national security. They are all unbearably doctrinaire, palatable only with help from the miracle fruit. All that civil rights conscious sweet-talked voters have to do is chew the flesh of a berry, taken from the Principalum divorcium plant, for about two minutes, disregard the pish, and pay taxes. In an instant, the venom and lies look as good as an ordinary widely-consulted policy. [Source]

snow snow snow

and still it falls ...

where did all the colour go ?

at 10.00am we had some sleet ... at 11.30am i looked out of the window and narnia had descended ! ... it's still plummeting ... these are colour shots !

paper

a touch of the Nazi I have a Final Solution for the Untermenschen who take reading material into the toilet. My books are in no discernable order except they tend to be where I left them. Authors occasionally cluster. I should really have much more books but my wallet is otherwise engaged. - How can an entire nation be accused of 'having documents'? ????!?!?!?!??!?!???!!!! mullah moolah - obviously intended to buy nuclear technology - look at his eyes!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Banal retentiveness

How do you organize your bookshelves? Ours are alphabetical for fiction, then catagories (biography, history, poetry, travel...). Cookbooks are in the kitchen, where they belong! Similarly, I have no immunology books at home. I am also a spinebreaker. That is, I leave books open, face down, to remember where I am. She, being neat and tidy, berates me incessantly for this and I come home to find my book closed but with a neatly turned page corner. I DESPISE TURNED CORNERS! There's a touch of the Nazi about them, for me. Of course, I could always use a bookmark.

Its Double Talk Time Again

EU warns Iran over nuclear arms

AP

Published: 24 November 2005

The European Union will today accuse Iran of having documents that serve no other purpose than making nuclear arms and will warn it of possible future referral to the UN Security Council at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

A press statement, made available before planned delivery later in the day, was described by a diplomat as a summary of what Britain, France and Germany would tell a closed session of the IAEA board, which started meeting today. It criticises Tehran for possessing suspicious documents that "have no other application than the production of nuclear weapons". [...]

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/article329093.ece

Wow.

How can an entire nation be accused of 'having documents'?

You could accuse an individual of 'having documents' (though not in a free country) but to threaten a whole government and nation of such a made up and absurd 'crime' is beyond infinetly ridiculous.

It needs to be said also that documents don't make nuclear weapons, and neither can you make a nuclear weapon out of a document. They might tell you how to make one, but that is all that they can do, and this information is widely available, in the greatest detail.

Once again, a newspaper reprints a propaganda release unchallenged. Shame on The Independent, who will cry crocodile tears as soon as an illegal and insane invasion of Iran begins.

You FOOLS. The momentum that is gathering around this needs to have friction added to the equation early in the process, i.e., by not allowing these absurd statements to be printed in your wide format toilet paper without so much as a 'wtf'

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Phallic Stinkhorn Fungi

Fig 3. (Left). A stinkhorn that has lost all of its slime. Again, note the swollen, egg-like base and the gelatinous remains of the egg. Fig 4. (Right): Even after all the spore-containing slime has been removed, a stinkhorn can remain strongly attractive to flies and beetles for a several days. [© Jim Deacon]

http://helios.bto.ed.ac.uk/bto/FungalBiology/profiles.htm#top

Repulsive and delicious.
Someone somewhere wrote something remarkably similar to: I was once pulled over by the police under suspicion of driving a car and due to a technical glitch in their database they discovered an outstanding warrant for my arrest, but they didn't know why. I was taken to the police station, where they were informed that I 'failed to show in court' 10 years before, for having stolen AA batteries for my walkman. I flatly rejected that claim. Whereupon the police decided to have me strip nude in front of them, in their ritual practise of 'stripping bare the criminal'. Which got me thinking about the APNR scheme being devised for the UK. And NIR/ID cards. And the DVLA. And the Terrorist Act of 20**. And I was wondering if the police create a database relating NIR numbers to arrests & warrents and probably ASBOs they could (technically) cross refrence to a future DVLA database which will no doubt require you to have submitted your NIR number for 'identification'. In conjunction with ANPR you have an automagically updating profile of car users with 'criminal tendencies'. A 'technical glitch' here and there could see drivers with the same name as someone on a 'terrorist watchlist', or someone charged under the Terrorism Act (perhaps being on a protest where other people have been disruptive), or even with a 'drunk and disorderly' flag being pulled over by a nearby traffic cop and ultimately undergo similar treatment to the person behind my speculative thoughts.

limitations

Aoccdrnig: I seem to be not so good as you in the art of 'fool the eye'.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID

THE PAOMNNEHAL PWEOR OF THE HMUAN MNID Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

Postmodernism

Postmodernism is next week (ha ha). I'll keep you all posted on my post-postmodernism stuff.

very nice!

I like your font, Claus. I've had to look up typographic terminology, to know the bits and pieces.

There is a correlation

Go here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/4447082.stm And compare inflation with unemployment. Clegso, have you ever seen David Carson's work? Type to make your blood race... The image “http://www.davidcarsondesign.com/top1/img/004.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. or run, depending on if you are making it or consuming it... http://www.davidcarsondesign.com/

Typeface

A typeface I'm working on at the academie.

Tech Support Responds

Hello, Thank you for your message. Gmail has a number of sending limits in place to prevent abuse of our system, and to help fight spam. If you reach one of Gmail's limits, you'll be temporarily unable to send mail. Some common reasons users reach their sending limits include: - Sending a message to more than 500 recipients You can send a single message to a maximum of 500 recipients. Their email addresses can be distributed among the 'To:,' 'Cc:,' and 'Bcc:' fields. - Sending a large number of undeliverable messages * We suggest verifying your contacts' email addresses. Make sure the email addresses you're sending mail to are valid. It's also important that everyone you are sending mail to is willing to receive it. If you'd like to learn more about best practices for sending a large amount of mail through Gmail, please visit: http://www.google.com/gmail/help/bulk_mail.html. Sincerely, The Gmail Team [...] And there you have it, from the horses mouth.

Monday, November 21, 2005

beta banned

On the issue of gmail restrictions - Although gmail provides a decent service for 'personal' use it is still a 'beta' product and I wouldn't expect anyone to rely solely on such a service for their emailing requirements either in business or for personal use. On the other hand it would be a credit to google's professed desire for openness if they did maintain a list of issues and restrictions that affect usage of the end product. Someone I know has a dial up account that locks up if they try to connect to it three times in a row (i.e. straight after being disconnected), they are allowed to log on to the server (and pay the phone charge) but can't use any services (they get uninformative error messages), that's bad. - A blog I've been browsing through