Monday, 31 July 2006

From Fingerpaints to Fingerprints

Under new laws being drawn up in secret by the EU and subject to neither votes by the people nor the approval of parliament, British children as young as six will be subject compulsory fingerprinting and their prints stored on a central (European) database.

No word yet as to when they will have the bar codes tattooed on the back of their necks.

War of the Words

When I reviewed this.. this cinematic thing that was Tim Hine's adaptation of The War of the Worlds, I thought that it would all pass away like a fever dream, but apparently you can't keep a vile atrocity down and now Pendragon Pictures are filing suit against Darkhorse Comics over its graphic novel version of the H. G. Wells book for infringement of copyright-- despite the fact that both are faithful adaptations of a work that has been in public domain for years.

You would think that Mr. Hines would be content with having his ouvere lapse into blessed obscurity, but when one is deep in Ed Wood territory the normal rules do not apply.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to try to get some of the feeling back into the right side of my face.

Do It Yourself Scanning Tunnelling Microscope

Amaze your friends! With these handy directions, you too can construct a scanning tunnelling microscope for under $100.

DIY projects have come a long way since I was a lad. I remember a time when if you could bang a few valves and bit of wire together and pick up Berlin, you were cock of the walk. Now you've got to split bloody atoms before you even get a look in.

Mark Steyn on the Home Front

Mark Steyn looks at how we've handed over the entirety of fighting the war to the military and why this is a losing strategy.

Our enemies understand "why we fight" and where the fight is. They know that in the greater scheme of things the mosques of Jakarta and Amsterdam and Toronto and Dearborn are more important territory than the Sunni Triangle. The U.S. military is the best-equipped and best-trained in the world. But it's not enough, it never has been and it never will be.
Read the whole thing, as the kids say.

Political Climate or Soft Target?

Christopher Chantrill over at the American Thinker looks at the recent terror shooting and concludes that the reason why Seattle was the scene had to do with its liberal political climate encouraging a mindset of violent victimhood.

Perhaps, but I'm more of the soft-target school myself. I have a hard time imagining a similar attack being tried in Denver or Houston where at least one of the women in the office would have been packing heat.

Quote of the Day

In the region there is of course a country such as Iran - a great country, a great people and a great civilization which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region.
French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, just before they jumped on his head and started bawling for a strait jacket.

The Plague of Wombat Fights

I have sincere doubts that this tale of a man arrested for running a failed womabat-fighting ring is true, but it's worth relating just for the quote:

The bastard who sold them to me said they were vicious killers," said Kensington. "I paid $300 bucks for a pair of eucalyptus-leaf eating retards who just stare at each other with a dull glare."
Tip o' the hat to

Babyfree Bubble

Parenting is past; procreation a pestilence. The Childfree Militant Movement is on the rise as those who declare that they are childless and proud of it find their voice. Their organisations are growing, their ranks are swelling and soon they will triumph and their children will inherit the...

Hang on.

Captain Nemo, Call Your Service

Underwater Daleks? No, personal submarines.

In sporty colours, no less!

Bunker Mentality

Communist China has built a huge bunker under Shanghai big enough to house 200,000 of the city's 17.5 million people-- basically, the ratio of the city's Party elite, their families and servitors-- in the event of nuclear war.

Is Beijing expecting something that we aren't? And should we?

"To Be Honest, We're Crap at This"

From The Telegraph:

Schools will no longer have to teach teenagers the difference between right and wrong under government plans.

The move, greeted yesterday with a mixture of disbelief and fury, is outlined in proposed changes to the national curriculum, requested by ministers in an attempt to simplify the system.

Instead of a requirement to teach right from wrong, schools will only have to ensure that children between 11 and 14 have "secure values and beliefs" and are "committed to human rights".
When I read this my first reaction was "Good God, this load of PC claptrap is another nail in the coffin." However, on reflection, I have concluded that since the schools have made such an absolute and unqualified pig's breakfast in teaching right from wrong until now, this might actually be a step in the right direction.

The Egg and I

Revolution has come to the kitchen, courtesy of B&H Colour Change, in the form of an egg with a label printed on it to tell you when it's properly boiled.

But that isn't the most frightening thing, for other signs of "progress" loom on the horizon:
The egg logos are the latest application of heat-sensitive technology, which is likely to transform future kitchen landscapes. Other inventions include oven gloves that not only have temperature sensors built in, but also "talk", with phrases such as "The food should be checked in 40 minutes".
Progress or not, when my oven mitts start having a chat with me, it's time to throw in the towel and ring for a takeaway.

Terror and Timing

It's unbelievable. A terrorist attack occured last Friday at the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. This is not only in my vicinity, but is also where my wife used to work. Great. I'm well-poised to cover the events as they unfold and even steal a march on the rest of the blogosphere with my insider's angle. What happens? I'm stuck in a cabin on the San Juan Islands without an internet connection in sight when the story breaks and only find out about it from a newspaper in the marina shop the next day.

Now that I'm back, the story is, of course, as dead as mutton and the only thread left is how the media and "community leaders" are handling this. Despite the fact that the perpetrator walked into a Jewish office declared "I am a Muslim" and started blazing away with a couple of hand guns, the local authorities and the press immediately jumped into action and dismissed any idea that this might be terrorism. Following the pattern of the El Al shootings, the DC snipers, the North Carolina SUV attack and others, this has been stamped "isolated incident" where the motives remain as much a mystery as the recent case where a man walked into a post-rave party and shot up the room before committing suicide. Disaffected infidel and self-proven anti-Semitic Muslim-- the line between is so blurred. Three days after a coldly calculated attack on an office guarded by a security system by a man with a clearly expressed identity and motive that left one person was left dead and five others, including a pregnant woman, in hospital, the "gunman's" own words have been disregarded and he has now been safely pegged as a confused loner who had nothing to do with Islam and even flirted with Christianity recently.

I would have thought that a well-adjusted terrorist is not exactly a common thing, and that by his own words and deeds it's pretty damn obvious that he'd made up his mind and chose the Religion of Peace, but according the the likes of the Seattle PI, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Jihad.

Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

On the plus side, the local Muslim community has condemned the shooting and stood with their Jewish counterparts, though the Looney Left has shown all the sensitivity of a doorknob, as illustrated by one Cindy Sherbert of the Palestine Solidarity Committee:

This clash of Seattle cultures was bitterly in evidence Friday as Sherbert and dozens of others gathered in Westlake Park to protest Israel -- even as a man was firing a semiautomatic pistol at women in the Jewish Federation building a few blocks away.

"It was just a bizarre coincidence that everything happened all at once that day," said Sherbert, who learned of Haq's attack as she was preparing to attend the rally. "I wasn't sure if we were even going to go ahead with it. I was terribly sad, and didn't want to be seen as insensitive -- I was quite devastated."

But she went, anyway, finding it impossible not to protest Israel's military.
She might have been marching through her fellow citizen's blood, but that's okay, because she was "devastated."

How will this play out in Seattle? That's easily predicted-- if you wear big enough blinkers.

"We debate, we argue and discuss, and we go on and on and on, frankly never reaching consensus," said Robert Jacobs, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in the Northwest. Everlasting peaceful debate is just as he likes it.

"This is Seattle. The issues don't get resolved."
Yes, just talk and talk and talk. Unfortunately, the barbarians we face tend to do their talking with Kalashnikovs, bombs, rockets and airliners filled with innocent people.

We might just end up talking ourselves to death.

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Global Warming Alert

This just in from the University of Tasmania: global warming has struck not only Earth and Mars, but Pluto as well.

We didn't listen!

Headline of the Day

Fatal tour boat unsafe

Another Culinary Delight

Britain has bloodsicles, but Switzerland has meat ice cream.

Carnivores rejoice.

Virtual Coolness

ThinkGeek's Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard uses a red diode laser to project a virtual keyboard onto your desktop that is not only compatible with your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or PDA, but also makes a satisfying clicking sound as you type your magnum opus.

Now all you need is a virtual desk to project your virtual keyboard onto.

Gapingvoid Makes a Request

Well, since you insist...

Self-Healing Spacesuits

What the well-dressed spaceman is wearing this year-- or sometime in the future, anyway.

Way Too Much Time On Their Hands

Absolutely Bloody Mad.

But Fun!

Sorting Out the script

Is Israel a Goliath trampling Lebanese Davids? Or is it an overmatched bully stumbling into a quagmire?

I do wish the MSM would make up its mind.

Flying Cars? Sorry, Not Today

Flying cars are a major feature on Tales of Future Past and I've always had a certain fondness for them (aside from the prospect of having one crashing through the roof of my house, of course), but according to Mike Elgin, it looks as though we won't be seeing such vehicles in the showrooms soon.

The only way "flying cars" (operated by non-pilots and flying outside the existing air traffic control system) could come to fruition is if they were completely computer controlled by some massive, centralized system that knew the location -- and controlled every movement -- of every "flying car" aloft. But turning over control to a computer system that would line everyone up into traffic jams in the sky doesn't really live up to the "flying car" vision of total freedom, either. And, in any event, this kind of system is pure science fiction. It's decades away, at best. We're not even close to having that kind of central control for cars -- controlling "flying cars" like that would be far, far more difficult and expensive, and the demand for it is much lower.
Just as well. I still haven't paid off the Honda yet.

Leading From Behind

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has abandoned the Lebanese front for the safety of Damascus. Is he there out of cowardice, for a dressing down from his masters, to plea for more powerful weapons, or all three?

Now We're Really, Really Angry!

In the empty threat department we have Al Qaeda no. 2 man Ayman al-Zawahri saying that the Israeli offensive in Lebanon has cheesed him off royally and that the group now saw "all the world as a battlefield open in front of us."

I do wish Al Qaeda would hire someone to review their old press releases. When you've declared total war against all of civilisation it doesn't do much for your credibility to come back every couple of weeks and say that now you've declared double-plus tip-top total war.

Levels, old boy. Levels.

Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Bedmaking II

It looks as if Omar Bakri is not an isolated case. Denmark has rescued out of Lebanon one of the imams responsible for inciting the burning of Danish embassies.

A pity that the Danes are more soft-headed forgiving than their Royal Navy counterparts.

On the Carpet

I wish I had a few yards of this outside my door. I'd probably never have to answer it again.

Irony Alert

When a spellchecking firm needs to correct a typo in its press release, then there is a serious disconnect going on somewhere.

Spying On the Spycams

For the peeping tom and the paranoid we have the WCH DD9000; a wireless webcam hunter that lets you tap into the video feeds of any wireless cameras that happen to be in the vicinity.

If you switch this on hoping to get the security camera feed from the strip joint next door and see your own living room instead, take our advice: RUN!

DIY Department

Need a really cheap fax machine? Got a couple of salmon tins lying around the house? You're halfway there.

Closet With No Door

AP headline: Lance Bass of 'N Sync reveals he's gay

Next up: Water is wet, the Sun rises in the East and Ben Afleck needs acting lessons.

When You're Number Two, You Try Harder

A portrait of ambition: Monaco is the second-smallest, yet the fastest-growing nation on Earth-- if you look at as a percentage, anyway.

Separated at Birth?

Who is your "celebrity twin?" Upload your image on and pattern-recognition software will automatically provide a list of candidates based on probable matches.

The interface for the site is very user friendly and the premise is pretty neat, but I have my doubts about how well it works at the moment, as my uploading my clock produced matches that included the actress who played Ally McBeal and an obscure black female rap singer, but not Dylan Moran, who my wife claims I'm a dead ringer for.

Of course, she also claims that my behaviour is an exact match for Bernard Black's, who Moran plays on the telly, so maybe she's biased.

Headline of the Day

Saddam prefers shooting to hanging
I'm easy.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Nanny State on a Bun

Tony Blair has told the food industry that it faces the Hobson's choice of "censor or be censored" when it comes to food advertisements. According to the BBC,
"I think I used to be very much in the bracket of those who say 'the nanny state' - it is not for the state to tell us what to do," he told the BBC's Mark Easton.

But, he added, successful anti-smoking campaigns and the campaign to make school dinners more healthy had helped to change his mind.
Translation: Mr. Blair was against curtailing personal freedoms until he discovered how satisfying it was to control people's lives.

For their own good, of course. Ever and always for their own good.

A Lack of Perspective

Headline: European Nations Fight Over What Vodka Is

Maybe, but after you've killed off a couple of bottles, who gives a toss.

Powers of 10

The wonders of the Internet. This short film about scales and distances was incredibly impressive when it was made back in 1977 and I used it often when I taught university. Over the years, I've seen it adapted to a book and a web site, but now it's available in its original form on demand with just a click of the mouse.

Progress, I suppose.

Tip o' the hat to Ektopia.

Peace, Promise or Pose?

The IRA terrorist: a thing of the past?

The British and Irish governments claim that the Irish Republican Army is "no longer planning violence or illegal activity of any kind" and therefore there is no obstacle to reviving the power-sharing assembly in Northern Ireland.

This is quite a remarkable statement-- and not merely because of the IRA's recent and notorious history of refusal to disarm publicly, bank robbery, extortion, kneecapping, drug dealing, supporting foreign terrorists, spying and evisceration. The elephant in the room is that if the IRA really has disarmed, renounced all violence and ceased all illegal activity, then it has no reason to exist at all and so why doesn't it prove that its thuggish campaign is over and disband?

Perhaps this claim on the part of Dublin and London is true, perhaps it is wishful thinking or perhaps it is a cynical papering-over in hopes of getting the Stormont assembly jump-started again.

That remains to be seen.

The Writing on the Water

Scientists at the Akishima Laboratories in Japan have developed a machine that uses 50 wave generators to form letters on the surface of water.

The scientists are now seeking a major grant to figure out what the point of the bloody thing is.

Future Pistol

In the Just Plain Cool Department, we present a DIY electromagnetic coil handgun-- with laser sight, of course.

Tip o' the hat to TechEBlog.

Piscine Police

And now from Japan, it's anti-terrorist fish.

They don't look like much, but they're formidable little buggers.

Good Night, Melanie

Melanie Martinez, the presenter of the PBS Sprouts network's Goodnight Show has been sacked for appearing in ribald videos.

Having a four-year old, I watch a lot of children's television and seen from the perspective as an adult, many of the programmes seem to have a subtext that would do Kafka proud. I am convinced that the Teletubbies are the products of some government genetics project, that Jay Jay the Jetplane is part of a race of living aircraft that have somehow managed to enslave mankind and I can't watch Angelina Ballerina without wondering what bizarre, tragic prerevolutionary past the Slavic ballet teacher Miss Lilly must be covering up. As for the departing Miss Melanie, I can never decide whether she's sitting on gigantic furniture or if she's only three feet tall. Regardless, her fixed smile and way too cheerful disposition makes me suspect that she should really get out more before she snaps.

Now maybe she'll get the chance.

Biker Nuns

Two Dutch nuns in habit and on bicycles chased a suspected thief through Amsterdam.

I smell the pilot for a really great cop show here.

Headline of the Day

Alcohol may prolong life
The preservative qualities of booze. They don't call it "getting pickled" for nothing.

Monday, 24 July 2006

Hybrids: Bad Economy, Good Politics.

General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says that hybrid cars are good publicity, but little else.
Hybrids are technologically of doubtful benefit, and expensive, but necessary from a political and public relations point of view.
Maybe, but you still risk the horrible danger of Smug.

Poll Results

Flag Day

In a phenomenal and uncharacteristic burst of common sense, the British government have come down on the side of liberty and lifted the ban on flying national flags.

That unfamiliar smell you're experiencing is called a breath of fresh air. Let's hope its the harbinger of a change in the wind.

The Kraken Wakes?

First hordes of jellyfish are in Japanese waters attacking nuclear power plants, and now they're massing off the coast of Norway just waiting for the signal to strike.

This can't be coincidence, people. We've got to do something before it's too late!

Quote of the Day

We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you.

Hezbollah leader Hussein Massawi on his idea of "compromise" with the West.

Thoughtpolice Guilty of Thoughtcrime

The grim spectre of Diversity marches through the police ranks with its characteristic goosestep as the government imposes its procrustean ideal of "equality" on us all and woe betide those who object or deviate. According to this opinion piece in The Telegraph (emphasis added),
Its race and diversity programme has included annual "diversity weeks", "diversity awareness" courses, a "positive action" programme to develop staff from "under-represented" groups, and "diversity training" for 15,000 staff in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. We now know that they might have spent the time more profitably learning how to maintain a filing system to keep track of illegal immigrants.

Mr Reid has blamed Home Office staff for their failures, but the racial quotas were imposed by his Government. Many officials, police officers and others have watched in stunned disbelief while recruitment on merit has been discarded to meet ethnic targets. They quickly learnt that it was best to keep quiet, and staff who spoke up in favour of fair procedures found themselves in hot water for "inappropriate behaviour".

To make it clear that opponents of ethnic targets stood no chance of promotion, a range of "diversity-related assessments" were included in all staff selection processes from March 2005. What does this mean in practice? A 19-year-old female candidate for the police service recently learnt a hard lesson in diversity awareness. She had passed her written tests, and in her interview was asked what she would do if she needed advice. She replied: "I would go to my sergeant and ask him for help." She failed the interview for referring to the sergeant as "him", thus revealing her lack of gender awareness.
She may have been guilty of a lack of "gender awareness," but she at least gets top marks for grammar awareness.

Samizdata has also noted this episode, and regards it as a good thing-- though not for the reasons the government would approve of.

Lebanese Countdown

News from Lebanon over at the Captain's Quarters. The bad news: The IDF may have only ten days to take out Hezbollah. The good news: That may be all they need.

Update: Apparently, this has domestic implications as well.

Update: ABC News takes a less sanguine view.

Dead Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Why are the civilian casualties in Lebanon so high? One reason is that Hezbollah terrorists find them very convenient shields that they don't have to give much thought to.

Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon.

If the civilians in and around these operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.

If the civilians happen to be of some other persuasion, Islamic or otherwise, their deaths are not even worth a shrug. However, these mangled bodies and wailing women with arms outstretched do provide an immense propaganda payoff, especially in the Western "crusader" media -- which still places a quaint value on human life.
And this is greatly helped by the likes of the BBC, who don't much care about whether a corpse is a "civilian" or a terrorist.

The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) has admitted that many of the victims of Israeli retaliation in Lebanon are terrorists and not innocent civilians. A BBC reporter said he saw Hizbullah terrorists using a private home and added, "It is difficult to quantify who is a terrorist and who is a civilian."

Dotty Bishop Sighting II

The Bishop of London addressing his flock.

The Bishop of London Rev Richard Chartres has declared that the common people are committing sins with their vulgar flying off on holidays to tacky places like Spain and Majorca, when it should be reserved for more exalted beings such as himself, who makes frequent jaunts to Russia.

Why is holidaymaking a sin? Because,

There is now an overriding imperative to walk more lightly upon the earth and we need to make our lifestyle decisions in that light.

Making selfish choices such as flying on holiday or buying a large car are a symptom of sin.
Ephemeral Isle is currently putting together a deputation to visit Rev Chartres and explain to him that he is supposed to be, in fact, a prelate of the Christian church, and not a high priest of the pagan Cult of Gaia.

This seems to have slipped his memory.

Plastic Monopoly

Call it a sign of the times.

Monopoly, that board-game favourite of budding capitalists with a rainy afternoon to waste putting little red hotels on Mayfair, has been pulled kicking and screaming out of the 1930s world of little, round tycoons in spats and silk hats and into the grey efficiency of the 21st century.

No, I don't mean that Monopoly will now be subject to Euro diktats, government oversight committees and WTO regulations. It's far worse. The piles of multi-coloured bank notes that, as they accumulated in little piles beside the playing board, allowed me to imagine that for once in my life I was solvent have been replaced with plastic debit cards and a little ATM machine.

I'm sure that it's much more efficient, but no matter how much money you have in the bank, fondling the debit card just isn't the same.

The Campaign is a Success... But We're Not Sure

In a beautiful example of a Politically Correctness disappearing up its own fundament, Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service has been distributing posters in gay bars in Edinburgh in a drive to recruit more homosexuals into the fire brigade, which, we are told in a very smug piece in the Scotsman, will improve the performance of the fire brigade in a way that is not readily apparent, as one would have thought that one's sexual proclivities would have little bearing on how one handles a hook and ladder.

This would be just another day in the life of the "diversity" industry if it weren't for this interesting little quote:

The brigade is unable to give figures for the number of firefighters who are gay because as a policy it does not ask employees their sexuality.
So, the Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service are spending taxpayers' money on a recruitment campaign that they have no way of gauging the success of.

It's a bureaucrat's dream come true.

Happy Birthday, Speaking Clock

At the third stroke, the Speaking Clock will be... seventy-years old.

More on this remarkable device.

Sunday, 23 July 2006

Strathclyde Police Do Their Job

But after protests from the Muslim Council of Great Britain, promise to be less effective in future.

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Saturday Simmer

Great Britain isn't the only place experiencing a heat wave. The temperature in Seattle has spiked in the 90s (no metric system here, thank you), and posting entries has given way to soaking feet in the paddle pool and family water balloon fights.

Priorities, you know

Friday, 21 July 2006

Inventor of Philly Steak Sandwich Goes to the Big Stand in the Sky

Harry M. Olivieri, inventor of the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, has passed on at the age of 90.

I have only two iron-clad opinions of American dishes; I either despise them or am a fanatical devotee. Since I discovered the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, it has become in American diners what a curry is in Indian restaurants and eggs, bacon and chips is in cafes-- a great saver of effort, as I'll pass up everything else on the menu without a second thought.

Unlike the late Alistair Cook, I've never been to Philadelphia, but I really must make the time for a pilgrimage. Meantime, I just happen to have one of Mr. Olivieri's inventions in my briefcase for lunch.

My complements to the chef.

Puzzling Persian

Iranian mullah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on why Tehran will not heed the UN resolution before the Security Council demanding that Iran stop uranium enrichment:

If Iran accepts, that would mean putting our hands up and surrendering.
And his point is...?

He Made His Bed

A satisfying little episode as reported in the Sun:

Exiled preacher of hate Omar Bakri has begged the Royal Navy to rescue him from war-torn Beirut.

The Muslim cleric who fled Britain last year, tried to board a ship full of women and children yesterday but was turned away.
There are some things that cannot help but give me a warm, peaceful glow. There is my daughter's innocent smile, the morning mist over the green valley near my home, and, of course, seeing a hatemongering Jihadist get caught in the middle of a hell of his own making and pleading like a whinging coward with his sworn enemies for rescue only to get the boot.

Life is good.

Update: Thanks to jayessell for catching the copy error. You can tell it's a Friday.

Justice Delayed

Ta Mok, Khmer Rouge military chief and genocidal maniac, died of natural causes in a hospital in Phnom Penh at the age of eighty two-- leaving the international tribunal charged with trying his crimes and which dithered away for years with nothing to show for itself.

This is another prime example why the current fascination with the fiction known as "international law" is morally bankrupt. Within a year, two mass murderers have made a travesty of justice by running out the clock and dying in bed rather than on the gallows. At least we have the consolation of knowing that Ta Mok has finally gone to face a judge that he cannot hope to evade.

Cartoon Wars Continue

The echoes of the war over the Danish cartoons continue to reverberate as an Indonesian editor faces trial for publishing them.

This matter is not going away.

Bombay Arrests

Three men belonging to the Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) have been arrested in connection with the recent Bombay atrocities.


Thursday, 20 July 2006

Mirror, Mirror

Can't afford your own personal gentleman's gentleman to look after your affairs? Then you probably can't afford this "magic mirror" from Themeaddicts Inc either. It's basically a mirror-screen plasma television set on end and hooked up to an array of cameras and sensors so that when the jacquzzi is hot enough or if someone breaks into the pantry, a rather alarming cartoon face pops up to let you know what's going on.

This is one of those ideas where my first reaction is "Cool," followed by "Dear God, this is unspeakably vulgar," and ending with "It's actually a fairly good basic idea, if they'd jettison all the disneyesque animatronics rubbish." Leaving the novelty value well aside, the idea of a digital home with an unobtrusive central readout with a user-friendly interface that blends into the decor while inactive makes a lot of sense. If they dumped the roccoco frame, added some touch-screen and voice-recognition software, replaced the hideous Basil the Butler character with a simplified face or an abstract image that flashed in time with the voice ala Zen from Blakes 7 and added a rotating set of information displays when active ala Hal from 2001: a Space Odyssey, then you'd have something.

But then, I've always been something of a classicist.

Tip o' the hat to Endgadget.

Axis of Evil? What Axis?

Iran sent representatives to North Korea's recent missile tests.

How this relates to Tehran's peaceful nuclear weapons power programme is still unclear.

Update: Real Clear Politics points out that this is no surprise, as Iran's Shahab missile is based on North Korea's No Dong.

In other words, Ahmadinejad, like Kim Jong Il, also has No Dong.

Cutlery Cut-Up

I sat up when I heard that Britain's Arthur Price company has developed "anti-terror airline cutlery." I sat down again when I learned that this meant cutlery designed so that terrorists can't use it against passengers and not cutlery designed so that passengers can use it against terrorists.

Personally, I've always thought that the current policy of keeping the passenger cabin free of sharp implements as an anti-terrorist measure was counter-productive. If it was up to me, I'd go in the opposite direction and strap a hunting knife under every seat. Half a dozen hijackers versus three hundred angry, well-armed passengers; let's see who wins.

Garden Variety Flamethrower

At $35, the Weed Burner is one of the more versatile gardening implements I've seen in a while. Not only can you use it to light barbeques and burn dandelions off the pavement, but on a slow day you can take paint ball matches to a whole new level.


Wonder why there are so many civilian casualties in Lebanon? news has one answer.

The IDF has found that Hizbullah is preventing civilians from leaving villages in southern Lebanon. Roadblocks have been set up outside some of the villages to prevent residents from leaving, while in other villages Hizbullah is preventing UN representatives from entering, who are trying to help residents leave. In two villages, exchanges of fire between residents and Hizbullah have broken out.
I can just imagine the sort of conversations that go on in southern Lebanon. "You have volunteered for human shield duty for the glory of the Jihad-- whether you like it or not."

Crack in the World


Oxford University scientists say they have witnessed a new rift suddenly forming in east Africa that will eventually split the continent and form a new sea.

The scientists seem a bit sanguine about this development, but we've seen this before and the results were not pretty.

Atomic Jellyfish

A swarm (if that's the word) of jellyfish have laid siege to a Japanese nuclear power plant.

Is this coincidence or the another sign of major kaiju battle involving giant atomic-powered jellyfish in the offing? Will Godzilla make an appearance? You decide.

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

You Will Become Like Us

Something no home should be without: An official cyberman helmet within built-in voice changer.

The article I read says that they've just been put on the market, which is strange, as my boss has been wearing one for years.

Poll Results

The Dream

As mentioned the other day, I have a real weakness for wrist-mounted gadgetry and over the years I've past up many a wristwatch with depth gauge, altimeter, and digital compass, and wrist radio because I have about as much sense of direction as "wrongway" Corrigan in a London fog with a paper bag over his head and I knew that one day someone would produce the Ultimate; a wristwatch with a built-in GPS locator.

There's no price set for the GPS-50 yet, and we're not that impressed with its lack of waypoints or map function, but the technology is definitely on the right path and we live in hope.

God, I've got to get a life. Or a map.

Mmm... Bloodsicles

The marketing possibilites are endless. Britain is in the grip of a major heat wave and to help cope with sweltering temperatures the lions at Colchester Zoo are being given blood-flavoured ice lollies.

The monkeys have to make do with banana ones.

Fisherman Catches Same Fish Twice In Same Week

Definitive proof that fish are dim.

Butty Call

Which magazine has looked at 275 breakfast cereals and says that some are as "fatty as a bacon sandwich."

Conclusion: We at last have a solid reason to ditch the foul museli and tuck into a few rashers instead.

Was Sarcasm Taken Into Account?

A recent poll in the Grauniad claims that most Britons are happy in their work.

The poll of around 1,000 people showed that almost 78% of people are either very or quite satisfied with their current employment, and more than two-thirds said their jobs were a source of personal satisfaction.
Since the same poll is rumoured to claim that British workers also take great enjoyment in being savagely beaten about the head and shoulders with a barge pole, we are taking these results with a grain of salt.


From Jonah Goldberg's column in NRO:

Meanwhile, all a cease-fire will do is put off the inevitable, muddy the waters and give Hezbollah an escape hatch while it’s on the ropes.
Too... many.. mixed.. metaphors... sentence... failing!

Tuesday, 18 July 2006


Now this is what I call practical. It's a USB hub with a built-in self-destruct switch. It may not do anything when you hit the red button but play an audio file saying "kill, kill, kill," but fingering this baby during meetings will make the day go that much faster.

The Circle Closes

Israel has openly stated that it believes that Iran, hoping to divert attention from its nuclear weapons power programme, co-ordinated the cross-border raid that started this new war-- or what must now certainly be called this new campaign in the Jihadist War.

Where this goes now is anybody's guess.

Update: Looks like Tony Blair is pulling off the gloves, too.

Lebanese Loophole

Austin Bay discusses why Lebanon is a failed state and how Hezbollah exploits this to rain murder down on Israel.

Wrist Camera

For those who have really, really wide cuffs, we present the Go Pro Digital Hero waterproof sports wrist camera. Or, as we like to call it, "the really big heavy thing that doesn't tell time."

Some reviewers have made fun of Digital Hero's geeky appearance, but I've been in a lot of situations where I've wanted a camera, but didn't have two hands free, and after a couple of decades scuba diving I'm used to travelling in circles where having a huge watch, dive computer, compass or other thingee strapped to your wrist commands respect, awe, fear and sexual jealousy.

And what more do you want out of a gadget?

Tip o' the hat to Gizmodo.

Progressive Seating

As if going to the office wasn't unpleasant enough already, the makers of the Plasma 2System have come up with a whole new reason to loathe Mondays. It isn't just that they expect human beings to actually sit in this contraption, but their philosophy behind it, as outlined by co-developer Jack Hockenberry.
Right now it's a quantum leap in how the human body interacts with the computer, but soon The Plasma 2System will be as common as the fax machine, employees will come to expect it. If you've been using a traditional static desk and chair -- based on technology predating electricity -- to interact with the latest computer hardware, you are missing a valuable competitive edge.

I think I'll pass on the competitive edge, thank you.

Hockenberry strikes me as the sort of man whose team would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity. I happen to like traditional chairs and desks and the fact that we still use them despite the damning fact that they predate electricity is probably due to the very good reason that they are comfortable and you don't look like a complete burke using them. As for employees expecting the Plasma 2System (wretched name), I think that Hockenberry is confusing "expect" with "dread."

It Burns! It Burns!

A residential district in Sydney, Australia has found an answer to gangs of hooligans roaming the neighbourhood: playing Barry Manilow records over loudspeakers.

Those caught full-face in the blast of Copacabana were reported to shrivel up like Julian Glover at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Headline of the Day

British Court must watch Jerry Springer
Cruel and unusual punishment.

One-Sided Coin

The BBC's coverage of the current Israeli-Hezbollah war has settled on the script that this is a story with only one side. There are several stories, such as this one, which breathlessly cover the plight of Lebanese and foreign nationals fleeing the fighting in the south, but what about Israel and the impact of Hezbollah rocket attacks?

Sorry, not newsworthy. Settle for two pics in the back of the photo essay. You have to go to National Review Online to find this:
What is strange about viewing the current war from Jerusalem is that this city is not at the center of it. The hotels, which were already bursting with tourists, have been flooded with more visitors fleeing the bombardments in the north. Like the Gulf War, when Iraqi Scud missiles were hitting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem has suddenly become the safest place to be.
It's a sad day when the slack of MSM coverage is taken up by a commentary piece.

Sunny Optimism

This is definitely a fair-weather affair. The Solarshuttle, a completely solar powered boat, will be ferrying passengers across the lake silently, pollution-free and when not on duty will be feeding power back to the national grid.

Where is this marvel of photovoltaic technology operating? Madrid? Miami? Los Angeles? No, in the Serpentine in Hyde Park in not-so sunny London.

I hope it has oars onboard.

Monday, 17 July 2006

Walking the Robot

This little runabout-- or perhaps walkabout would be more appropriate-- is the r3 walking machine from R3 of South Korea.

What do we think of it? Been there, done that.

Ministry of Food

How cozy it is in the Blair New World. Children are being "encouraged" to eat healthier meals at school and if they don't, they can take comfort in the knowledge that an officially approved snitch will rat on them, as this report in The Times assures us (emphasis added).
Parents who do persist with the Tupperware shouldn’t be surprised if they are quizzed on its contents. In Greenwich, where Oliver’s eating revolution has finally taken hold, children tell tales to teacher about suspect snacks.

David Ashley, headmaster of Greenslade primary, says that pupils who bring in packed lunches “are allowed chocolate on a biscuit but not a Mars bar”. If such sweeties are spotted, parents are called in for a quiet word.

At Charlton Manor primary, the head, Tim Baker, says: “Children get stickers for healthy boxes . . . If a child brings in a chocolate bar, we take it out of the lunchbox and give it back to the parent at the end of the day.” Pupils give each other away, he confides: “They say, ‘Miss, he’s got sweets in his box’."
Hopefully, the informant's fellow pupils show him their deep-felt gratitude for his spying on their counter-revolutionary confections-- at the end of the day in a large group behind the bike sheds.

There are Ceasefires and Ceasefires.

The Captain's Quarters looks at Israel's minimum conditions for a ceasefire and concludes that they translate as "We're not leaving until Hezbollah is crushed."

From Bombay to Londonistan

Indian intelligence has uncovered financial links between the perpetrators of the Bombay bombings and British-based groups.

Repeat after me: All terrorism is local.

Kenneth Grahame, Call Your Service

Gregory Brown of the University of Sydney has discovered that giant cane toads are using the roads in Australia to get from one place to another. Not only is this aiding the toads in their destruction of the local sugar cane crop, but the little blighters are forever stealing motor cars, tearing about the countryside, crashing the machines, dressing up as washerwomen and going "poop poop" at a moment's notice.

Mr. Badger was unavailable for comment.

Machine Washable or Dry-Clean Only?

Bridging the gap between laptops and frustrating little stylus pads, Elksen has developed a wireless fabric keyboard for use with your handheld or smartphone.

The status of the all-leather omnibus remains uncertain at this time.

GPS in the Aisles

In the shopping news, Tescos is looking at introducing GPS navigation systems to help their customers get around their supermarkets.

Apparently, the old compass and ordnance survey maps just weren't up to snuff.


Sub-headline from ABC News:
Blair, Annan Call for Deployment of International Peacekeepers to Deal With Situation in Lebanon

Hezbollah leaders respond by saying, "Ooooo we're so scared."

Update: Israel's response is that the proposal is that it is "premature," which is diplomatic-speak for "bollocks."

Two Irishmen Miss the Last Ferry to Dublin and...

A pair of Irishmen in north Wales missed the last ferry from Holyhead to Dublin and decided that the best course of action was to steal a trawler, Unfortunately, neither of them had the slightest clue about things nautical and ended up radioing a mayday before being picked up by the coastguard after motoring around in circles for several hours.

This is clearly rich, fertile loam for future metaphors, similies or Irish jokes.

Quote of the Day

See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s*** and it's over.

President Bush, talking to Prime Minister Blair unknowingly near an open microphone at the G8 conference, neatly sums up the Lebanese crisis.

Editorial Amnesia

A quote from an editorial in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (intelligent as a post) declaring that Israel hasn't a hope of defeating Hezbollah and should leave Lebanon now. Why? Simple:

Can Hezbollah (or any terrorist organization) be defeated on a military field by a foreign power? We doubt that proposition; the best hope is a strong, effective local government.
It's a reasonable point, but what is interesting is what the PI argues is, in fact, the Coalition strategy in Iraq, which the paper has opposed for over three years!

Discovery Returns

The space shuttle Discovery has touched down safely at Kennedy Space Centre.

A classic example of no news being very good news.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

Discovery Homeward Bound

The space shuttle Discovery is scehduled to return to Earth on Monday and land at Kennedy Space Centre at 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT).

Fingers crossed and our prayers go with them.

Context and the BBC

Stephen Pollard comments on the BBC's coverage of Israel's campaign against Hezbollah.
Across a picture of a blown up bridge, (Peter Marshall) remarked: "All this destruction. And still more threatened". As if the IDF was on some kind of wilful destruction spree, just for the hell of it. How about the reason why the bridge had been destroyed? Because Israel has been continually attacked by Hezbollah, and the IDF has to take action to prevent further such attacks.
This falsehood that civilised countries indulge in destruction for its own sake tells us nothing about how our side fights, but it speaks volumes about the MSM's mindset.

Meanwhile, Biased BBC has rather harsher words addressed directly at the BBC about their double standards of their coverage.
When Hamas and then Hizbollah attacked Israel you never troubled to tell us the legal status of the acts. When suicide bombers killed Israelis at pizza parlours and bar mitzvahs you never gave us any of this war crime schtick, although attacks targeted at non-combatants are the epitome of a war crime. "Terrorist" is a term with meaning in international law, yet when bombers murdered you own countrymen in London a year ago you were so anxious to avoid being judgemental that you had someone go through what your reporters had written in the heat and pity of the moment, carefully replacing the word "terrorist" with the word "bomber."

It's For Your Own Good... Really

Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield is starting a pilot programme to insert microchips into 280 patients with chronic conditions. The company says that the chips will be used to give casualty ward staff access to the patient's medical information if he is unable to communicate.

Really. That's all. Won't be used for anything else. Not for spying on people or anything like that. Not ever. Nothing to do with the boys on the telescreen monitors needing a break. Trust us. Would we lie?

Exhibit A

A New York Times photographer stood quietly by and snapped pictures while a Jihadist sniper was taking aim at American troops. Worse, the Times printed the evidence with captions.

A sniper loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al Sadr fires towards U.S. positions in the cemetery in Najaf, Iraq.

Michele McNally: "Right there with the Mahdi army. Incredible courage."

Apparently, the NYT staff is unfamiliar with a particular word.

Tip o' the hat to Redstate.

Quote of the Day

We are in our full strength and power. Hezbollah is not fighting a battle for Hezbollah or even for Lebanon. We are now fighting a battle for the (Islamic) nation.
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader handing a big cup of disillusionment to those who still think that the campaign against Israel is purely a local matter that has nothing to do with the Jihadists

Saturday, 15 July 2006

Royal Navy Heads East

HMS Illustrious and HMS Bulwark have been ordered to take position off the coast of Lebanon.

Looks like this is not going to be over soon.

Light Duties

Light entries today. The move of Chez Szondy is finally complete, but there's many a box to unpack.

Friday, 14 July 2006

Standby Plan

Her Majesty's government is demonstrating that obtuseness is a race for the bottom by announcing that it plans to outlaw the "standby" button on electronics on the grounds that hibernating gadgets use up 8 percent of all domestic electricity.

We humbly suggest that someone take the solons in question aside and explain to them very slowly in words of one syllable that the standby option is an energy saving feature and that eliminating it will mean that people will simply leave their computers and DVD players flat-out on all the time.

Next: Water conservation by ripping the tap out of the wall.

Tip o' the hat to EndGadget.

Poll Results: Muslims & the War

I Spy

Mubin Shaikh, a prominent Toronto Muslim, says that he acted as a spy for the Canadian government by infiltrating the Jihadist cell that was rounded up by the police a few weeks ago.

If his claim is true, then Mr. Shaikh is a man that we need more examples of if we're going to win this war.

Batman, Call Your Service

Captured: Two-Face's pet lobster.

Baghdad Bob, Call Your Service

In a bid to replace Saddam's Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf as winner of the Golden Foot in the Mouth, Hezbollah's leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah phoned the following into Hezbollah's television station, which is still broadcasting despite being a bit bombed on by the IDF.

Now, off the coast of the sea, the warship which attacked... the southern suburbs... watch it burning and drowning.
The Israelis said that a vessel was lightly hit, but Nasrallah was on a roll. He added,

You wanted open war. We are going to open war. You have chosen an all-out war with a nation which ... has the capability, the experience and the courage.

Tough talk from a man whose HQ just got turned into a carpark.

Update: I modify my scorn. The IDF have confirmed that an Israeli warship was struck by a UAV and suffered heavy damage. If Hezbollah is fielding this sort of weaponry, then this war goes to a whole new level.

The questions now are:
  • How many of these do the Jihadists have?
  • Where did they get them from?
  • If it turns out to be Iran or Syria, what will Israel do?
Update: Hezbollah has tried another sea attack, but missed and struck an Egyptian vessel.

Update: Somewhat good news; it was a missile, not a UAV.

Katyusha and Other Menaces

For the first time, Hezbollah missiles have struck Haifa, Israel. Defense Tech has a summary of what is known about the terrorists' arsenal.

Meerkat School

Scientists have discovered that, unlike most animals, meerkats go to great lengths to teach their young necessary survival skills.

Conclusion: Meerkat pups are thick.

Official Madness

In an act of mind-boggling fatuousness, the European Union has designated Irish Gaelic as the EU's 21st official language and is spending £460,000 on translations, despite the fact that all the Irish MEPs speak fluent English.

Twenty one "official" languages in a union that has only 25 members? That's as much as saying the EU has no official language.

Well, maybe this will do for the EU what it did for Babel.

Melts In Your... Doesn't Melt Much of Anywhere, Actually

The Holy Grail of a chocolate bar that doesn't melt in hot weather may be at hand.

Alas, too late to prevent the result of that sweltering August day when my daughter left half a Mars bar in the glove box of the car.

Chernobyl: Sabre-Toothed Rabbit?

Despite the tremendous hooha, the number of deaths attributable to the Chernobyl disaster stands at only 56-- a figure so low that it is forcing scientists to reassess their ideas about low-level radiation hazards.

56 versus the 100,000 that Greenpeace hoped for predicted. Quite a difference.

Guns for Bikes

The Democratic Republic of Congo has declared its guns for bicycles exchange programme a success as over 6,500 weapons were turned in over the past year.

In related news, the number of deaths in the DRC from people being run down by marauding gangs of cyclists has skyrocketed.

Thursday, 13 July 2006

Recycled Rubbish is Still Rubbish

A single mother of three was recently dragged into court by Exeter County Council for the unmutal crime of not sorting her recycling properly. She won her case, but unfortunately not on the grounds that the council are a load of green-mad busybodies who should be spending more time picking up litter and scrubbing graffiti if they want to help the environment.

Rob Lyons at Spiked looked at the case and sums up the bizarre modern obsession with recycling nicely:
Household recycling only makes sense as the practical form of a morality tale: that humans are essentially greedy and rapacious. The physical expression of that greed is the amount of rubbish we create. The lesson is that we should all rein in our expectations and demand less - be less "thoughtless" and more "selfless", to use the councillor's words.
I've never had any truck with household recyling, as it's pretty much the medieval hair shirt reintroduced by those who have no intention of wearing it themselves. Industrial and agricultural recycling makes perfect sense and has been in practice for about, oh, 45,000 years, but the modern fetish that local authorities foists upon us, outside of some very special cases, doesn't make a lick of economic or environmental sense. If it did, private companies would be paying us for our unsorted rubbish and hauling it away free of charge.

Make Up Your Minds

From Tim Blair: Trees in Antarctica and why environmentalists are never, ever satisfied.

The Tehran Connection

At NRO Online, Michael Ledeen looks at the current developments in the Middle East and sees one common factor: Iran. His argument sums up nicely:

You cannot escape the mullahs. You must either defeat them or submit to their terrible vision. There is no other way.
I've been following Ledeen's drum beat on Iran for some time and while I don't think the threads of Jihad tie quite so neatly around the mullahs' necks, I do agree that Tehran is one very thick cable of the threat that very badly needs to be severed.

Bombay Dragnet

Indian authorities have named two suspects, Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz, in connection with the Bombay bombings on 7/7. This comes on the heels of the detention and questioning of 350 people in Malwani, a northeastern suburb of Bombay.

Meanwhile, an alleged Al Qaeda spokesman sent a grisly version of an opening night telegram:

(W)hosoever has carried out the attacks in Bombay we express our gratitude and happiness.
Charming. Not only do the Jihadists have blood on their hands, but they wash in it.

Pot, Meet Kettle

In an amazing display of brass, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin condemned Israel's Lebanon offensive, saying,

The continued destruction of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and the disproportionate use of force by Israel, which causes suffering to the civilian population, can be neither understood nor justified. (Emphasis added.)
Disproportionate use of force? From a man whose country's strategy in Chechnya is "level the town first and ask questions later"? His staff probably didn't know where to look when he said that.


As Hezbollah continues rocket attacks on Israeli towns, Israel has imposed a complete air and sea blockade on Lebanon, bombed Beirut airport and the Hezbollah television station and has hit the Foreign Ministry building in Gaza. Apparently, Prime Minister Olmert wasn't kidding when he talked about responding to "acts of war."

I'll say one thing for the Israelis, they may have their faults, but once they start to move, they don't do things by halves.

Update: Hezbollah is apparently trying to widen the war by moving the captured IDF soldiers to Iran.

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Hope They Remembered the Puncture Kit

Bigelow Aerospace has successfully launched a prototype module for an inflatable space station.

Somewhere in here there is a blow-up doll joke struggling to get out.


This isn't so much a robot tree as a mechanical triffid.

Peter Simple, Call Your Service

In the Brave New World Department, Princeton University psychology researchers Lasana Harris and Susan Fiske claim to have found a way to observe prejudice directly on the brain

It isn't often that one sees reality lurching in the direction of The Way of the World, but when does, all one can do is acknowledge that Peter Simple was there first.

American scientists have developed a brain scan which they claim can detect racial prejudice.

It works by examining a region of the brain where surges of activity occur in racially biased white people when they are shown photographs of black people and try to suppress their feelings of prejudice.

"ETHNOLEFT" comments: "Some of us keen anti-racist fans think everybody should be scanned for racial prejudice by these methods, and that regular attendance at special scanning centres should be compulsory for all.

"Certainly very few of us would be prepared to carry about the bulky, elaborate and expensive machinery needed for those scans. Just how accurate are they anyhow? Most of us, I fancy, will prefer to stick to tried and tested methods and go on using the racial prejudometer, the handy, portable device originally developed by Ethnicaids for the race relations industry, but now obtainable from any good anti-racist stockist.

"Incidentally, Ethnicaids have now moved their factory from Willenhall, Staffs, to more commodious premises on the North Circular Road in London, where their boffins are now working on a new universal prejudometer which can detect and measure not only racism but also sexism and homophobia."

"It's early days yet," a spokesman told me when I called there yesterday. "We've still got a lot of snags and headaches to iron out." A deafening explosion inside the research unit lent force to his words.

A scientist with his laboratory overalls blackened and in shreds and his ballpoint pens all anyhow, appeared at the entrance, gesticulating and shouting "It's hell in there!" until he was pulled back inside by colleagues.

A pall of appropriately multi-coloured smoke hung over the neighbourhood, where housewives complained of stress and a temporary TV black-out. Very soon heavily armed police, paramedics, counsellors and Kurdish language interpreters appeared, followed by a group of enterprising briefcase-wielding lawyers.
Tip o' the hat to Samizdata.

UN Waltz

Due to it's non-compliance over its nuclear weapons power programme, Iran has been referred to the Security Council to force the rogue state to abandon its nuclear ambitions or face the consequences.

If Iran continues to defy the UN, expect a warning to be issued shortly of the Council's intent to draught a stiff letter of disapproval.

It's harsh measures, but these are perilous times.

Bombay Update

Death toll is now at 200 and India is making noises at Pakistan to do something about the Jihadist networks within its borders.

Meanwhile, Amit Varma points out that the prospect of violent retribution against India's Muslims by the Hindu population would make the reported suspicious looks that make up most of the Western anti-Muslim "backlash" look like... Well... a load of suspicious looks.

Update: On a more positive note, Tim Blair has a round-up on the defiance of the people of Bombay in the face the Jihadists.

Global Hawk Grows Up

Manned military aircraft took another step closer to obsolescence with the unveiling of the new variant of the Global Hawk-- the unmanned aerial vehicle credited with taking out more than one Jihadist big wig. It's 50 percent larger, carries 50 percent more payload and an improved radar system.

But what would Biggles say?

Tip o' the hat to Defense Tech.

Sickening News

Dr. Gillian Pepper and Dr. Craig Roberts of the University of Liverpool have produced a study that tells pregnant women that morning sickness is not a prolonged bout of landlocked sea sickness, but a promoter of good health to be welcomed.

In related News, Doctors Pepper and Roberts flee the country after a mob of expectant mothers try to bounce something large and heavy off their skulls.

Bow Street Runners Run Out

Bow Street Magistrates Court, which for the last 271 years has seen in its dock everyone from Casanova to Crippen to Oscar Wilde to Lord Haw Haw along with an army of pickpockets and beggars is closing after being sold to an Irish developer.

So much history, so many £5 fines.

Quote of the Day

Muslims may live in one area, they may go to Halal shops, they may go to the mosque. They are quite happy and do not need to necessarily step outside of that community and it is not causing any harm.
Dr. Tasleem Shakur, one of the organisers of the recent Birmingham conference on segregation in Britain and winner of today's Complacent Idiot Award.