Tuesday, 31 October 2006

When Worlds Collide


British Sausage Week and National Vegan Week occur at the same time this year.

Pity it isn't at the same place. It could be as much fun as the time I served up barbecued spare ribs to a couple of vegans as a thank you for the lentil salad and self-righteousness they'd thrust upon me previously.

Lifting the Veil

Remember that Muslim school teacher who was suspended because she insisted on teaching her class in a veil? It turns out that it wasn't her idea, but that she was following a fatwa from her local imam.

I haven't commented on it much because I was waiting for this little tidbit to surface, as I knew it would. As with the previous episode involving a girl who wanted to ditch her school uniform in favour of a burqa, this one revealed that the woman wanting to run around in a tent was really carrying out the demands of a third party-- usually her brothers or some cleric or both who were seeking a wedge to introduce sharia law into Britain.

You'd think they'd learn about Greeks bearing gifts by now.

Indiana Jones: Tenure Denied

I saw this one coming.

But Can You Fight Crime in It?


What is it with the Japanese and robot suits?

Monday, 30 October 2006

Muslims? What Muslims?

Good to see that the BBC is running true to form; an indepth article on the French intifada that never once uses the "M" word.

That's like covering the desrtuction of Pompeii and forgetting to mention the volcano.

Update: Yup. Just a bunch of unidentified "youths."

Not Surprising


Headline from the Daily Mail:
Britons 'could be microchipped like dogs in a decade'
Hands up, everyone who didn't see this one coming.

Sunday, 29 October 2006

The Last Straw

As if things weren't bad enough, now there's a garlic shortage.

I tell you, it's more than flesh can bear!

The Equaliser


The only drawback that I can see about wearing a t-shirt with a built-in equaliser is the difficulty in keeping people from noticing that you're wearing a t-shirt with a built-in equaliser.

"Our" Boys and the Veil

Mark Byford, the deputy chief of the BBC said that the corporation is "not crammed full of soft liberals" and then went on to shoot himself squarely in the foot. According to the Telegraph:

He also said he was "proud" of the BBC's decision to include an interview with the Taliban in an item about the conflict in Afghanistan.

"Our job in journalism is to communicate to the audience effectively the information we are delivering to them," he said. "As far as the issue of dress is concerned, it must not get in the way of the audience being able to receive the information in a clear and effective manner."

Asked specifically about the issue of a Muslim newsreader wearing a veil, he said: "The key is, if it does not hamper our primary obligation to deliver the news and information to our viewers and listeners then we would be respectful of that.
Translation: We're not a bunch of lefties, but we are happy to transmit Taleban propaganda and you can expect to see masked newsreaders as soon as we can get away with it.

The words "own goal" spring lightly to mind.

Travelling with "Our" Boys II


David Loyn, the BBC "journalist" who was embedded with the Taleban, did a Q&A on the BBC web site where he answered a load of cherry-picked questions that allowed him to further depict the Taleban as a load of clean-cut, simple-living nationalists who "admit some mistakes were made" under their rule and to claim that even though he has no "crystal ball" NATO has no hope of winning the war.

My favourite bit of puff is this one:
Since the Taleban forces are employed fighting and killing British troops, I am at a loss to understand why the BBC feels that it is using our licence fees well by giving their propaganda oxygen? If you were killed during an attack by Nato, who would accept responsibility for your death? Paul Jewell, Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire

I took an assessment of the risks, well aware of the possibility you talk about. The BBC would not have blamed Nato forces for my death in these circumstances. Like Churchill I rather think jaw-jaw is better than war-war, and feel that my job as a reporter is to explain best what is going on. Indeed in a democracy I have not just a right but a duty to do this as comprehensively as possible. 'Our licence fees' did indeed support what was actually rather a cheap trip by the standards of these things (I was both the cameraman and reporter). But on a separate point, 'our taxes' are paying for 'our soldiers' to fight a difficult conflict, and I rather wanted to know what they are up against and why. Don't you, Paul?
I think that's a nasty little bit of condescension at the end. Don't you, David? But on a separate point, "our taxes" are being used to kill Taleban while you are using "our licence fees" to help the Taleban. Aside from the sheer brass of comparing himself to Churchill or that there is an ocean of difference between "explaining what is going on" and carrying the enemy's water for them, Mr. Loyn sidesteps the burning question about all of this: Why is he actively engaged in helping spread propaganda for a load of evil men who are killing his own countrymen?

One of my greatest bits of distaste that I have in this war is that we very quickly lost the spirit of the early days when, at a press conference in Iraq, a reporter started to frame his question to a U S official by quoting a local terrorist he'd recently interviewed. The official interrupted the reporter and demanded to know if he'd turned the terrorist in. The reporter said no and the official dismissed the reporter by telling him that next time he should do so.

Saturday, 28 October 2006

Moving Up

It looks as though French "youths" are getting tired of torching cars night after night.

Now they're going after buses.

Travelling with "Our" Boys


Having completely forgotten whose side they're supposed to be on, the BBC not only is willing to act as a conduit for enemy propaganda, it embeds reporters with the Taleban while they are fight British forces in Afghanistan.

Auntie has reached rock bottom and is starting to dig.

THIS is a Bomb

Forget Iran and North Korea, the real nuclear threat is... Australia.

Harold Ford, a handsome 36-year-old from Tennessee, has become one of the sensations of the mid-term elections in the US and a reason why Democrats are a good chance of winning back control of the US Congress for the first time in 12 years.

But if Mr. Ford, already a US congressman, wins his bid to become a more powerful senator, Australia had better watch out.

Because according to Mr. Ford, Australia has an interest in nuclear weapons and is part of the broader nuclear threat to the US.
I suspect that Mr. Ford needs to clear a few toys out his attic.

Friday, 27 October 2006

The Miracle of Great Yeovil

Semolina is falling from the skies!

Slip of the Lip

Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio "Lula" da Silva says that he regrets that Fidel Castro did not democratise Cuba while "he was still alive."

Cubans say "Whaaa?!?"

Le Intifada


It's one year since the French Muslim youth intifada violence began.

Brace yourselves.

Thursday, 26 October 2006

When the Bottom Falls Out of the World


It's like something out of a late-night sketch comedy: Poledancing for four-year olds.

Civilisation was nice while it lasted.

Women are Meat

From a sermon by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilaly, cheif Muslim cleric in Australia:
Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast? Where will they end up? In hell and not part-time, for eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.

When it comes to adultery, it’s 90 percent the woman’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman owns the weapon of seduction. It’s she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then, it’s a look, a smile, a conversation, a greeting, a talk, a date, a meeting, a crime, then Long Bay jail. Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 years.

But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, writer al-Rafee says, if I came across a rape crime, I would discipline the man and order that the woman be jailed for life. Why would you do this, Rafee? He said because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have snatched it.

If you get a kilo of meat, and you don’t put it in the fridge or in the pot or in the kitchen but you leave it on a plate in the backyard, and then you have a fight with the neighbour because his cats eat the meat, you’re crazy. Isn’t this true?

If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park, or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, then whose fault will it be, the cats, or the uncovered meat’s? The uncovered meat is the disaster. If the meat was covered the cats wouldn’t roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won’t get it.

If the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she’s wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don’t happen.

Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger in necessity, Satan tells women you‘re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons.

…The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.
This doesn't need comment. Just a trip to the compost heap.

Poster Girl


Most people have heard of the Dixie Chicks and how they got their knickers in a twist when their albums and concert tickets stopped selling because of their anti-war outbursts, but not nearly as many people have heard of Australian country singer Beccy Cole, who has been having trouble with her fans because of her patriotism and support for Australia's troops in the Middle East.

This is a pity, as her response shows that her feather of dignity has more weight than the Dixie Chicks' boulder of martyrdom.

Victory Gin


Fancy going out for a pint?

Yes, please.

Fancy getting fingerprinted at the pub?

No, thank you.

Too bad.

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Taren Capel, Call Your Service


Not content with robonursemaids for the elderly and animae girls with huge eyes, the Japanese are now developing robonannies to ensure that they get those childhood traumas in early.

Pigeon-Eating Pelican

Ah, the joys of London wildlife!
All the world seems in tune
On a spring afternoon,
When we're eating pigeons in the park.
Ev'ry Sunday you'll see
My sweetheart and me,
As we're eating the pigeons in the park.
After Tom Leherer

Robespierre, Call Your Service

New Atheism: Priests in lab coats of the new Church Militant?

I rarely get involved in discussions about the existence of God. Since I'm a Christian, I've obviously had that question answered to my satisfaction or I wouldn't be pondering the Resurrection, and dealing with arguments about whether there really is a God is like being sent back to first year chemistry class after getting an advanced degree in the practical application of polymers. Besides, the hyper-rationalist posturing and arrogance crossed with remarkably poor reasoning and historical ignorance of some atheists (especially in those who wish to see their faith become the state religion) is rather off-putting at the best of times.

But I must admit that it's interesting to see the vehemence with which atheists espouse their religion. Frankly, I'd have more respect for them if they'd stop defining themselves by how much they don't believe in something (that something being invariably Christianity) and maybe start having a go at a faith less inclined to turn the other cheek, such as Islam.

Now that would be worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Dhmmitude at UPI

UPI headline:
Prayer leader in Belgium condemns western attacks on Prophet (PBUH)
PBUH stands for "peace be unto him" and is required of Muslims to be inserted after every reference to Mohammed. It is not, however required of anyone else, though UPI uses PBUH not only in the headline, but throughout the story.

UPI: Utterly Prone Invertebrates.

VDH's Top Ten

Victor Davis Hanson on the Arab mindset:
  1. We will pump oil at $3 and must sell it over $50— and still blame you for stealing our natural treasure
  2. We will damn your culture and politics, but expect our own to immigrate in the thousands to your shores; upon arrival any attempt to integrate Muslim immigrants into Western pluralistic society will be seen as Islamaphobic
  3. Send us your material goods, whether machine tools, I-pods, or antibiotics. We desperately want them, but will neither make the necessary changes in our own statist, authoritarian, religiously intolerant, tribal, and patriarchal culture to allow us to produce them ourselves, nor will show any appreciation for the genius of others who can do what we cannot
  4. We ostensibly wish you to stop the killing of Muslims by ourselves and others—Milosevic murdering Kosovars, Saddam destroying Kuwaitis, Kurds, and Shiites, Russians killing Afghans and Chechnyans—but should you concretely attempt to do so, we will immediately consider your intervention far worse than the mayhem caused by others or ourselves.
  5. Any indigenous failure in the Arab Middle East will eventually be blamed on the United States or Israel
  6. Your own sense of multiculturalism must serve as an apology for our own violent pathologies, that can only be seen as different from, never worse than, your own culture.
  7. We must at all times talk of anti-Americanism and why we want you out of the Middle East; you must never become anti-Arab or anti-Muslim, much less close your borders to our immigrants and students.
  8. We will tolerate and often defend those who burn churches, ethnically cleanse Jews from our cities, behead priests, kill nuns, and shoot infidels as the necessary, if sometimes regrettable, efforts of our more zealous to defend Islam. But if any free spirit in the West satirizes Islam, we will immediately demand that Western governments condemn such blasphemy—or else!
  9. Material aid—billions to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, or the Palestinians—is our entitlement. Any attempt to curtail it is seen as an assault on the Arab nation
  10. We are deathly afraid of nuclear Russia, China, and India who have little tolerance for either Islamism or terrorism, and so will ignore their felonies, while killing you for your misdemeanors.

The Fools Thought Me Mad!

The single most bizarre story you will read today... This month... This year.

Monday, 23 October 2006

Priceless

This speaks for itself.

Via Stephen Pollard.

Anoffa Naow

At the bloomin' ffird stroke, the nickle and dime will be ten twenty two and firty seconds.
The speaking clock will receive a new voice after twenty one years. However, unlike in the past, where the person was chosen after a careful search for someone with perfect diction and a clear RADA accent, the new voice of the speaking clock will be chosen by contest and will be open to anyone.

I really hope this is one of those one-week-only charity things like they did back in 2003, otherwise another bulb will have gone out in the illuminated sign of British civilisation. Imagine calling up to find out the time and being greeted by some weak, nasal, reedy voice bleating out the hours and minutes in some impenetrable London accent.

It's enough to put one's teeth on edge.

Spirit of Dark & Lonely Water


Having a good Monday? This will put a stop to that. It's a public safety short from 1973 called "Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water" that was so creepy that after I wouldn't go near a damp sponge, let alone swimming-- and I was fifteen when it came out.

Sunday, 22 October 2006

Test

From the BBC:
North Korea will not carry out a second nuclear test unless "harassed" by the US.
"Harassed" is defined as telling North Korea not to carry out a second test.

Saturday, 21 October 2006

BBC in the Light


Is the BBC a left-biased corporation dominated by young people, homosexuals and ethnic minorities and so worshiping at the alter of multiculturalism that they would literally bin the Bible, but spare the Koran for fear of offending Muslims?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Welcome to the Panopticon


Britain has more cameras per capita spying on the populace than any other nation on Earth, so what comes next?

More cameras!

Manchester Dhimmitude

In the name of "sensitivity," Manchester police have ordered detectives not to arrest Muslims during Ramadan.

At least now we know who's in charge in Manchester. Welcome to the umma.

French Intifada Update

Remember those French Muslim youth riots that ended last year? Sorry, I should have said started last year and since Ramadan started have got even worse.
The figures are stark. An average of 112 cars a day have been torched across France so far this year and there have been 15 attacks a day on police and emergency services. Nearly 3,000 police officers have been injured in clashes this year. Officers have been badly injured in four ambushes in the Paris outskirts since September. Some police talk of open war with youths who are bent on more than vandalism.

"The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us," said Bruno Beschizza, the leader of Synergie, a union to which 40 per cent of officers belong. Action Police, a hardline union, said: "We are in a civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists."
Civil war is an exaggeration-- for now.

Friday, 20 October 2006

In Vindaloo Veritas

From Metro.co.uk:
Almost a third of young men admit buying spicy dishes they don't like just to impress their mates, according to a a new poll.
Ah, but they eat it anyway. That's the spirit.

Most people, especially in American, think that English cooking is bland-- which is surprising, given the our penchant for powerful mustards and fresh-grated horseradish. In fact, firey curries are an innovation of the British Raj; the native Indian curries being found a bit on the bland side. More than once I've had to explain this to American friends, who pride themselves on wolfing down the strongest jalapeneo peppers, when we go out for an Indian meal in Seattle. American curries tend to be hopelessly mild and when I ask the waiter for a vindaloo so volcanic that the chef takes it as a challenge, my friends sit back waiting for the steam to come out of my ears only to end up watching me happily tucking in without a glance at the water jug.

True, I haven't more than two active taste buds left, but my sinuses are remarkably clear.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Jihad Cubed

According to Memri, some of the less hinged Muslims on the web are in a snit, claiming that the new Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is an insult to Islam because it resembles the Ka'ba in Mecca. How so? Well, the Ka'ba is a big cube and the Apple store is... a big cube. I see. Right.

Next: Duodecahedrons and other blasphemous Platonic solids.

Al Qaeda Ressurection

Al Qaeda: Not as dead as we thought and they've got their sights on Britain.

I hope someone in authority is paying attention.

Meat Pie Mums


I always said that the Ministry of Plenty's new "healthy" school menus was nothing but a way to fill bins with uneaten and unwanted food. It seems that some mothers agreed and tried to strike a blow against the nanny state by filling the gap by passing contraband lunches through the schoolgate bars.

Chip butty, mmmmm!

Dine with Your Dog

For some unknown reason, today is Dine with Your Dog Day.

Given that I have spent several weeks teaching Carl the Cattle Dog that the dining table is a no go area where his existence isn't even acknowledged until after pudding, I'm filing this under Not Bloody Likely.

When Justice Defers to Fear

Via Little Green Footballs comes a story of a man in Aberporth, Wales, who was convicted of speech "likely to cause distress" for putting out a banner that read,
Kill all Muslims who threaten us and our way of life. Enoch Powell was right.
I'm a great advocate of free speech, but when any banner has the word "kill" in it, that makes it grounds for some pretty intense scrutiny and I rather suspect that the prosecution was right in calling this disorderly conduct because the gentlemen in question didn't qualify "Muslims." However, the chilling part of the case is this quote from the Tivy-Side Advertiser (emphasis added):
One of his neighbours, a retired Army officer with 23 years service, told the court he reported the matter to the police because he feared a visit from Muslim extremists.
In other words, it was not respect for the law but fear of the Jihadists who made him turn his neighbour in.

Final score: Jihad 1, Justice nil.

Seeing is Believing

An Anglo-American team at Duke University have developed the world's first invisibility cloak.

Though, obviously, you'll have to take their word for it.

World's Most Expensive Gesture


Las Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn entered the history books when he pointed out a detail on his prized possession: Picasso's Le Reve and, in the art world's most costly blunder, stuck his elbow through the canvas and queered what would have been a record sale of the painting for $139 million.

Instead, he's holding on to the work and would like to know if anyone has some glue and a bit of sticky tape.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Daily Star Dhimmitude

At the insistence of the National Union of Journalists, the Daily Star has binned a satirical feature page showing what the paper would look like under sharia law. The reason?
(A) very serious risk of violent and dangerous reprisals from religious fanatics who may take offence at these articles.
What does the Daily Star and my dog have in common? They both lack a pair of standard masculine equipment.

Sleuthbot


From the Australian National University and Questacon comes this nosy robot that leaves you nowhere to hide. It can not only track you down, but it can pick you out in a crowd. And if you complain, it's ready with a smartass answer.

My wife has one on order.

Small Achievement

Yen-Wen Lu and Chang-Jin "CJ" Kim of UCLA's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department have created the world's smallest robot hand.

They needed it to play the famous world's smallest violin.

Hate Has a Long Memory

Remember Abdul Rahman? The Afghan convert to Christianity from Islam who faced the death penalty for apostasy and now lives in Italy? The Taliban haven't. They've kidnapped an Italian photojournalist and demand a swap for Rahman so they can kill him.

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. What utter rubbish.

Tagged Out

Willett Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts, has banned "tag" because it's too dangerous.

They're still working on how to ban stiff breezes from blowing across the playground.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

Future Man


Last week, the New Scientist looked a world without man. This week, Dr Oliver Curry, of the Darwin@LSE research centre at the London School of Economics looks at what man will be like if he manages to remain on Earth. According to Dr. Curry, by the year 3000 the average man will be a 6 ft 6 in giant with brown skin and features tuned perfectly to attract the opposite sex. Of course, by year 10,000 it all goes to Hell as man starts to resemble a large-domed Woody Allen and by 100,000 AD the Morlocks start showing up.

Mind you,this sort of thing changes with the fashions as much as hem lines and tie widths, as we can see here.

Personally, I'm still with G. K. Chesterton on this one.

Living in Their Own Little World

North Korea may or may not have a functioning nuclear weapon, but in their own minds they've already got H-bombs and will use them if President Bush moves to impose sanctions on the Communist state. According to unofficial NK spokesman Kim Myong-chol, director of the Center for Korean-American Peace, a Japan-based pro-North Korean research agency,
If the Bush administration makes more provocations, both New York City and Tokyo will be blazed.
During the Cold War, they often asked what would happen if a madman got his hands on the bomb. Now we know.

You Say Broo-shet-tar and I Say Broo-sket-tah

On the culinary front, a recent survey by the BBC's Good Food magazine claims that many Britain's cannot properly pronounce the names of foreign foods.

Keep up the good work, lads! And remember, it's "valet" with a hard "t".

More Equal Than Others

I knew this was on the way. The Environmental Change Institute, a green pressure group operating out of Oxford University, has said cheap flights for the hoi polloi means that Britain won't be able to meet the Kyoto limits that the Canadian government and even Tony Blair has admitted are impossible.

However, as Tim Blair has pointed out, some flying is environmentally friendly because the right people are doing it.

One Million Visitors


We did it! One million visitors to davidszondy.com!

Thank you to all our loyal visitors for making this happen.

Now only 9,000,000 to our next milestone!

Monday, 16 October 2006

Effluent Thinking

BBC headline:
Time to drink sewage, experts say
Time to find new experts, Ephemeral Isle says.

Really Slow News Day

BBC headline:

Rwandans start using litter bins

Come Back, Queen Victoria. All is Forgiven.


From Japan comes this marvellous, fully-functional, retro-style laptop complete with a trackball operated by a Morse key that poses the age old question, "Where did we go wrong?"

You Are Never Alone


Liberty has become an even rarer commodity in Britain as councils in London, West Yorkshire, Northumberland and Dundee have started handing out hidden cameras and microphones to people so they spy on their neighbours on behalf of "antisocial behaviour taskforces."

The rat cages are still on order.

007 Dossier Updated


In anticipation of the release of Casino Royale, James Bond's dossier has been updated to bring him in line with the 21st century. Commander Bond's official birthdate is now 13 April 1968, which makes him younger than me by a wide margin.

God, I'm depressed!

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Shakespeare Corner


And now, for your cultural edification, we present Mr. Peter Sellers as Lord Olivier as Richard III performing "A Hard Day's Night."

Who says we can't do highbrow?

Sunset for the Sunshine Policy

South Korea is learning that being nice to crazed Communist dictators doesn't work.

Saturday, 14 October 2006

Killer Moths Invade Britain

There's a Doctor Who script in here waiting to get out.

The Unfavoured Religion

How does British Airways show where it comes down on the whole question of the Muslim veil and other forms of religious dress? By allowing hijabs and Sikh turbans, but suspending Christians who wear crosses.

BA says that the former are allowed because they cannot be hidden, so the solution seems obvious: Christians should start wearing crosses the size of bread boards.

Global Warming Scepticism is Thoughtcrime


Think that global warming is a load of media hype and environmentalist politics disguised as science? Then don't say so near the telescreens or the Thought Police will be paying you a visit.

Friday, 13 October 2006

Ozymandias


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Over at the New Scientist, Bob Holmes imagines what the world be like without human beings-- though the tone of the piece makes me want to imagine a world without the New Scientist.

The idea of Sic transit gloria mundi is nothing new, as Mr. Shelley's poem demonstrates. Using the involuntary experiment of Chernobyl as his starting point, Mr. Holmes spins his own take on the subject, describing how if man was removed from this planet, nature would take over in short order and all his works would soon vanish down the plug hole of time. He overstates his case a bit. He doesn't really understand the concept of archaeological stasis, which means that so long as an environment remains stable decay only proceeds to a certain point and then halts indefinitely, or that there are some works from time capsules to quarries that will remain intact for geological epochs. Indeed, the only lasting impact of man that he allows (aside from graves and rubbish tips) is global warming, which, since it is the bugbear du jour cannot possibly be belittled anymore than atomic radiation could in the heyday of the CND. All told, though, it's really just a shorter version of The Earth Abides without the lamentations.

Indeed it is the lack of lamenting that is so disturbing about the article. In fact, Mr. Holmes's attitude is quite the opposite. Instead of expressing sorrow that man's works will one day crumble into dust, he positively revels in the idea as he depicts the human race as being some sort of oversized locust, plaguing the Earth and bluntly stating, in a remarkable bit of what is either telepathy or projection, that the other species with whom we share this sphere would vote us off of it if given half a chance. How the ballot would be held is left to the imagination. Never the less, he clearly wants us gone. Mr. Holmes does not want us all to die of the plague, but only because that would be unsanitary. He would much prefer us all to be "transported to a re-education camp in a far-off galaxy." No doubt with himself as a trustee.

What I find particularly annoying about the piece is not Mr. Holmes's misanthropic attitude, but his lack of understanding of the part that man plays in nature. Much of what we think of as "wild" and "natural" is actually the result of man's cultivation. Pace Mr. Holmes, we are not destroyers, but creators. If Britain were to be depopulated tomorrow, not every bird and beast would be popping champagne corks. Many of the more foresighted ones would suffer from growing alarm as they realised that the moorlands, fields, meadows, hedgerows-- indeed, most of the British landscape--- would soon be devoured until the islands became one gigantic oak forest again.

I would suggest that if the New Scientist wishes to produce a sequel, they'd best poll the corn crakes and wild flowers (not to mention the dogs!) beforehand about how they would really feel about our deportation.

Update: And here's a happy little graphic.

Update: Mind you, it must frost Mr. Holmes that some of man's works may even outlive this paltry planet. Damn that transcendant human spirit!

Dhimmitude on Wall Street

You don't need to take a cab in Minneapolis to experience creeping sharia law. Just try investing some money.

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Saturn Eclipse


Here's something you haven't seen before-- or anyone else, for that matter. It's a photo montage of the darkside of Saturn backlit by the Sun as seen by the Cassinni space probe.

"Stunning" jumps easily to mind.

Terror & Treason

This was the obvious step if we were going to take the war against the Jihadists seriously, but one I never expected to see. The United States have indicted Adam Yehiye Gadahn, an American convert to Islam who's been making propoganda broadcasts for Al Qaeda, with treason-- the first time this has happened since 1952. If he's captured and convicted, he faces the death penalty.

Cue the howls of rage from the hard-left pro-Jihadist anti-war crowd.

Automat Renaissance


The future is back. Or the Past. Or something. Anyway, the automat is being revived in New York in all it's furturistic retro glory. On the downside, for some unfathomable reason they've coloured it pink and called it "bamn."

Flying is a Crime


How to combat air terrorism: Profile suspects? Take the war to the enemy? Nope. According to jumped-up little would-be dictators scientists at University College, London, the way is to treat all passengers as convicted felons and fit them out with electronic tags.

Why fight the Jihadists when its so much easier to treat ordinary citizens as the enemy?

Doubleplus Ungood


The French government want to make it illegal to deny that the Turks committed genocide against the Armenians in 1915. To do so would result in a criminal trial and a possible €€45,000 fine and a one-year stretch in prison.

You'll notice that this does not involve any criminal act, but merely expressing a view that flies in the face of official orthodoxy. It is ironic and telling that in the land of libertie, equalitie, fraternitie, that most fundamental of liberties, the right to hold on to any opinion no matter how fatuous or wrong-headed, is denied.

Are You Obese?

According to official statistics, you almost certainly are-- those these pictures from the BBC show that the argument is wearing a bit thin.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Plane Strikes New York Building

A small plane has crashed into a fifty-storey apartment building in New York City. The FBI says there are no indications of terrorism, but it still has not been ruled out.

Following.

Update: It appears to be an accident involving a light plane owned by a professional baseball player.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

No Word On Space Caterpillars Yet


As part of man's never-ending conquest of space, scientists at Nasa are hard at work trying to figure out how to grow lettuce on the Moon and Mars.

Seems some people will do anything to avoid a salmonella scare.

Misanthropic Moment

If this place had a solidly dependable wind/tidal generator, satellite Internet and fifteen fewer people, I'd be off like a shot.

Monday, 9 October 2006

Maybe Jack Straw Has a Point

Headline in The Times:
Suspect in terror hunt used veil to evade arrest
Like a vicar's trousers, a burka can hide a multitide of sins.

North Korean Test Confirmed


USGS seismic location of NK nuclear test

The North Korean claims to have carried out a nuclear test have been comfirmed by geologists, though how successful the test was is open to question.
Geological analysis by American, Russian and South Korean scientists gave different readings of the strength of the blast. South Korea said it registered 3.6 on the Richter scale, and had a strength equivalent to 800 tons of TNT, considerably smaller than the first atom bomb, dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Russia said it was considerably stronger, equivalent to between 5,000 and 15,000 tons of TNT.
Even fifteen kilotons is a pretty small explosion and it's possible that the Communists couldn't manage anything better than a sub-critical detonation. Nevertheless, this is throwing down the nuclear gauntlet in no small measure. If the UN Security Council and the US don't react with something better than sanctions and stern memos, then they might as well allow nuclear weapons to be sold on e-bay.

Sunday, 8 October 2006

North Korean Nuclear Test?


North Korea claims to have carried out an underground nuclear test. That may be so, but given the damp squib that their latest missile tests turned out to be and the Communist penchant for lying through their teeth, I'm waiting for confirmation from the seismology boys before I start worrying.

Multi-Faith Madness

The Church of England has attacked the government on its policy of promoting Britain as a multi-faith society, charging that the government has sidelined the church, ignored the fact that the country is overwhelmingly Christian, favoured Muslims over other faiths in a manner that smack of a hidden agenda, and even calls the whole idea of "multi-faith" into question, saying that it has done nothing except promote greater separation.

From anyone this sort of plain speaking would be welcome. But from the usually supine C of E it is nothing less than breathtaking.

Taxi Service: No Infidels, Please.

Tim Blair has a round up of the taxi cab umma.

Conkers Forever

After a tense summer market by fears of a pure harvest, the 42nd World Conker Championships is going forward today in Ashton, Northamptonshire.

Still no words on the bid to make conkers an official event at the 2012 Olympics.

One Man's Sunday

The weekend from Hell continues unabated. Carl the Cattle Dog spent the morning at the vet's, and what I'd hoped would be a simple rash around the eye has turned out to be a Medical conundrum that has baffled the greatest veterinary experts that Woodinville has to offer. I suspect Carl's doctor hopes it will be named after him (the vet, not Carl) as Carl is brought before the Royal Society as some latter day canine Joseph Merrick. For my part, I am hoping that it will turn out to be a fungal infection and the ointment the vet gave us will clear it up before we have to take Carl to the doggy dermatologist. Yes, I was surprised to discover that there was such a thing, too.

I was not, however, surprised at the wrestling match that Carl put up when I tried to apply the ointment to his eye. Though I was somewhat consoled by the fact that when we got Carl I was sure that ointment would come into it somewhere along the way.

The rest of the day was the usual evaporation of time that marks any weekend-- until, that is, it was Emma's bedtime. There was usual ritual of bargaining over when bedtime exactly was, the possibility of one more cartoon, etc., but it ended with her in bed with her bottle while I took Carl for a walk in the Garden.

Five minutes later, the wife is calling from Emma's window wanting to know where the nebuliser is. I rush in to find Emma having trouble breathing and her lips expanding to the size of Angelica Jolie's. It wasn't hard to figure out what happened. I'd bought milk at a different market than our usual and instead of getting it in a plastic bottle it came in a carton-- a carton that looked almost exactly like the ones that Emma's soy milk comes in. A quick whiff of Emma's bottle confirmed that I'd got the cartons mixed up and Emma had just drank two ounces of dairy death.

So, it's off to the local hospital where Emma calmly declares in the triage room that she's going to throw up and proceeds to do so with a alacrity that would put Linda Blair to shame. She is also turning bright red and is covered in welts. It has not, thank God, triggered an asthma attack and so we're more or less in the clear. A quick jab of epinephrine, a dose of Benadryl and around half-past midnight we're in the drive through of Jack in the Box with a stoned four-year old who is looking much better and is sliding into sleep.

Needless to say, said four-year old was not happy on being reawakened a half hour later when we got home and she had to take a bath to get all the traces of milk off her and help get the skin irritation to go down. She was even more unhappy a half hour after that when we tried to get her out of the bath.

Carl was utterly confused by all this, and as we were far too paranoid to allow Emma to sleep in her room that night, we ended up four in our bed-- one of whom was a dog who could never seem to find quite the right spot.

Crisis over? Not quite. Fate left me a parting shot when I went up to my office early this morning to discover on the landing that the vaccination shots the vet had given Carl the day before had, as a side effect, given him a nasty little case of diarrhea (Carl, not the vet), which Carl later confirmed not once, but twice.

As a wise man once said, we're going to need a lot more carpet cleaner.

Saturday, 7 October 2006

Fidel Fades

According to US officials, Fidel Castro, who has not been seen in public since his "successful" surgery is suffering from terminal cancer and may never return to power.

This is an important development-- provided the Maximum Leader isn't already residing in a meat locker somewhere.

Dog Days

If you look at the time stamp, you'll see that I'm posing this at the ungodly hour of 9:30. That's AM, you'll notice. As a rule, I never get up this early on a Saturday unless the bed and fire are combined, but today was an exception, as Carl the Cattle Dog had to go to the vet this morning for some tests.

It's no big thing-- at least I hope it isn't, as I haven't paid off Emma's medical bills yet and have no desire to add a huge pile marked "Carl" next to hers. He has a small patch of irritated skin. The trouble is, it's in a ring around his right eye and when the vet tried to take a skin scrape yesterday Carl nearly had his eye out (Carl, not the vet). So now he has to be sedated before they can take the skin sample (Carl, not the vet).

Upshot: twenty five mile drive to drop off Carl, twenty five miles back home to wait for the vet to call when he's ready to come home (Carl, not the vet), twenty five miles to pick up Carl and, to round off the day, twenty five miles home with a stoned dog in the back seat.

I hope he doesn't have to wear one of those plastic cones. The other dogs will point and I doubt if the squirrels will ever take him seriously again.

New Tales of Future Past Shop

As part of the site improvement effort, the Tales of Future Past Shop has been updated and redesigned. Give it a look.

Friday, 6 October 2006

Perfect Friday

What a start to the day! Clad only in my pajamas, hat, leather jacket and Wellingtons, I saw the wife and daughter off, walked Carl the Cattle Dog through the pouring rain so he could do his business and returned home with both of us in a thoroughly damp condition only to discover that the door was locked, and as I rarely think to carry my house keys in my jammies, we were in what is technically known as a pickle. Fortunately, I was waiting for a business call, so I had my cell phone with me. Unfortunately, I discovered that my neighbourhood is the classic definition of intermittent phone service and whereas my phone works fine when I'm in the house, when I'm outside it's the proverbial crap shoot with roaming charges.

Not that I was worried. I had three choices. Carl and I could sit out in the rain or huddled in the woodshed without food or drink until the rest of the family came home-- which would be a mere seven hours. We could walk through the rain down to the nearest coffee house and think this one out, but since we live out in the country that would have involved a tiny bit of walking; say, about ten or fifteen miles. Or I could wander around in the rain holding my cell phone out like a Geiger counter until I found a signal while hoping that a) the neighbours wouldn't think I was completely mad and b) that my wife would not send a jet of flame through the phone when I asked her to drive back home and unlock the door.

I decided on option three. I am now back in my office, right ear only slightly singed, typing this while Carl is curled up asleep on the office sofa, which is taking on the distinct aroma of wet dog.

This is what is known as the joys of country living.

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Today's text is EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!


I think this is a first. A Dalek made a guest appearance at Eltham Baptist Church in south London. I don't know whether the homicidal pepperpot was asked to read the lesson, but unofficial accounts indicate that after the first couple of disintegrations no one fell asleep during the vicar's sermon and that the collection plate was fair groaning by the time it reached the last pew.

Veiled Hostility

In a predicatbly mild editorial, Jack Straw called the Muslim veil a "visible statement of separation and of difference," that it made "better, positive relations" between communities difficult and suggested that Muslim women "reconsider" wearing it.

The result of this remarkably tepid observation? Muslim "leaders" instantly howled, whined and carryed on as if they owned the place. A telling quote comes from Sheik Ibrahim Nogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain,
That is calling for assimilation. That is saying that one culture or one way of life is superior to another.
Translation: How dare you ask us to assimilate. That is saying that Western culture is not inferior to Islam.

Selective Service

The Metropolitan Police are denying that they were bowing to political correctness when they excused a Muslim police officer from guarding the Israeli embassy during the recent Lebanon war. This means that they've been caught in a flat-out kowtow and have no idea how to spin it otherwise.

This case is interesting, not only because it shows the dhimmitude at New Scotland Yard, but it also brings to mind the recent case of a group of firemen in Scotland who were disciplined for refusing to hand out pamphlets at a gay pride parade. In that case, the firemen were being asked to take part in a political rally and quite reasonably refused to do so. On the other hand, had they been asked to put out a fire at the parade and refused, then they should have been sacked in a heartbeat. The same thing goes for the Muslim police officer in this case. He was not asked to involve himself in anything the Israelis were doing, he was asked to protect the embassy. Whether he was a Muslim or not should have had no bearing on the case; just as it is certain there were Christian policemen assigned to protect the Muslim crowd that screamed hate at Catholics as they left services at Westminster Cathedral recently. If police are allowed to pick and choose assignments based on their personal beliefs, we soon won't have much a police force left.

Update: It appears that the officer in question has terror links.

French Intifada

Remember the French "youth" riots? Think it's all over and done with? Not according to Michel Thoomis, the secretary general of France's Action Police trade union.
We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their 'comrades' free when they are arrested.
The French are learning that a coat of whitewash makes for very poor armour.

Youtube Dhimmitude

YouTube is one of my favourite stops on the Internet. It's a freewheeling, open-ended mix of creativity and honest opinion that is open to all comers-- unless, that is, you criticise Islam, in which case your videos will get pulled and your account cancelled.

A reader recently asked me to post a link to Patrick Henry's It's in the Koran, which skewer's the Islamfacist mindset beautifully, but can be misinterpreted as having a go at the Koran itself. I've shied away from promoting it because I think it's much better to drive a wedge between truly moderate Muslims and the Jihadists rather than taking on Islam, which is a battle more properly fought from the pulpits and minerats and in the hearts of men free to follow their consciences. However, when Youtube decided to yank it after complaints from the likes of CAIR, that's when it's time to close ranks.

Arthur Dent Vindicated

Scientists have scientifically proven with science that a cuppa relieves stress. They did this by serving one group a cup of tea and another a cup of liquid that was almost, but not quite, totally unlike tea.

Expect sales of nutrimatic drink dispensers* to plummet.

*The Guide has this to say on the Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser:

When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain to see what is likely to be well received. However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Open During Remodelling

I've FINALLY managed to repair the source files after the Great Crash last may and I can now start doing some long overdue maintenance on the site, so if you see some inconsistencies in various sections and if the odd navigation graphic is a bit wonky, I apologise for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Worcester council has once again shown its bold, forthright, go-ahead spine. Without hesitation and certainly without a scrap of thought, the council sprang into action to protect the citizenry from that most perilous of perilous threats.

Falling pears.

The quote from council spokesman Alan Stuttard is priceless.

What we are interested in is to make sure young kids don't get frightened or hurt.
Frightened? By pears? Good to see someone is looking out for the interests of the achladiphobic.

Some may find this another example of daft nanny-statism, but not I. Worcester council gain nothing but praise for their valiant efforts, since it is clear that if they can spend precious taxpayer money on this sort of thing, then Worcester must be the cleanest, crime-free and prosperous town in all of Britain. Otherwise, the council are just a load of scatterbrained, lawyer-whipped bureaucrats who have their priorities shoved right up their fundaments.

And that isn't likely, is it?

Mystery Meat Solved

From the Scotsman:

Kenya's meat eaters have never been quite sure if their beef stew contains cow, buffalo, zebra or even a donkey.
This is quite a revelation. All these years and I never knew that my school cafeteria was supplied from Kenya.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Fantastic Four (1994)



In case you wonder why they remade it.

Our Father Who art in Heaven, Inconvenient Be Thy Gender

In an effort to combat domestic violence (what used to be more bluntly and honestly called "wife beating"), the Church of England has tossed theology out the window and released a report telling clergymen they should avoid referring to God as "He" because,

'Uncritical use of masculine imagery', such as calling God "He", could validate 'overbearing and ultimately violent patterns of behavior'.
And to Hell with annoying little things called facts. The C of E has once again demonstrated that if given a choice between political correctness and Christianity, it's just too bad for Christianity.

Rig Gig

In a spectacular display of pointlessness, singer Katie Melua performed a concert 994 feet under the North Sea at the bottom of a hollow concrete leg that helps support the Troll A offshore oil platform.

The promoters described the audience turnout as "disappointing."

Jet Dry

I hate modern public toilets. Actually, I hate public toilets full stop, but the modern incarnations give me what scientists refer to as the heebie jeebies. The superloo introduced in the 1980s was bad enough, what with its automatic sliding door that opened up if you couldn't finish your business within fifteen minutes. That wasn't so big a deal back then, but twenty five years later it sure as heck is now-- especially after a good vindaloo. Then came the automatic taps that switched on when you put your hands near them-- which made me jump a foot the first time I came across one. This was followed closely by the automatic toilet, urinal and paper towel dispenser. The latter I have particular loathing for, as it gives out such a niggardly ration of towel that forces me to do a strange dance to coax the thing to give me another sheet. And don't even mention the automatic hand-dryers that combine the worst of old and new technology.

I rather suspect that the lads at Dyson, who make those incredible vacuum cleaners, must have had similar experiences and responded by coming out with a new auto hand-dryer that doesn't muck about. Instead of a weedy little draught of hot air, the Dyson Airblade has a slot for inserting wet hands, which are then dried by a 400 mph blast of sterilised air in a fraction of the time of the older wall-mounted hair dryer variety.

Now I'm waiting to see if they come up with a version for the shower.

Now They're Just Making It Up

Trains on the Cambrian Line have been delayed because of, wait for it, pollen.

First leaves, then the "wrong snow" and now pollen. I can't wait for them to announce that the 6:15 from Cheltenham is late because of unusually thick air.

Monday, 2 October 2006

Antigravity


The vagaries of history. There once was a time when this had hopes of becoming this.

Boycott Bust

And now a bit of good news. The Muslim boycott of Danish goods launched as part of the Cartoon Wars has backfired royally.

While Danish milk products were dumped in the Middle East, fervent rightwing Americans started buying Bang & Olufsen stereos and Lego. In the first quarter of this year Denmark's exports to the US soared 17%. The British writer Christopher Hitchens organised a buy-Danish campaign. Among the thousands of emails sent to Rose was one from an American soldier serving in Iraq. 'He told me he was sitting in Iraq, watching a game of football and drinking a can of Carlsberg,' Rose said.'
Pass the Harvarti, please.

In Space, No One Can Hear Your Cell Phone Scream

Remote XT has come up with a cell phone that screams like a damned soul out of Hell if it's stolen.

As if my nerves aren't frayed enough as it is.

Redefining Reconquista

Dhimmitude comes to Spain, where the town of Bocairent is abandoning its centuries-old celebration of the liberation of Spain from the Moors by blowing up large heads of Mohammed stuffed with fireworks. In an amazing of disingenuousness, the mayor, Antonio Valdes, said,

It just wasn't necessary, and, as it could hurt some people's feelings, we decided not to do it.
And then there's the little matter of people getting murdered and the town set alight by those who are "offended" that had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision.

That grinding sound you hear is El Cid spinning in his grave.

Glad That's Cleared Up

It turns out that Neil Armstrong really did say "That's one small step for a man" as he always insisted. Computer analysis has revealed that a burst of static obliterated the "a" to produce the famous quote that back on that historic day in 1969 had the entire world exclaiming "What the hell is he talking about?"