Wednesday, 28 February 2007

The Ouija Board Was Unavaliable

Hugo Chavez spoke on the phone with "Fidel Castro" the other day.

The long distance charges from Hell must have been staggering.

Putting a Damper on Things

NASA is preparing to send a team of astronauts to an underwater habitat this May. The mission is partially to test new equipment, but mainly to keep an eye on the astronauts in the light of recent events.

Can't be too careful these days. After all, duct tape can only do so much.

Voyage Dans la Lune

Georges Méliès's 1902 sci-fi classic-- Which is saying something, as the term sci-fi hadn't been invented yet.

And certainly not in French.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

And Your Point Is?

Australian aboriginal artists are being lured into producing works with the promise of drink and drugs.

Sounds like a lot of theatres I've worked for.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Glory Day

Nearly a year after a major triple-computer crash that wiped out all the source and back up drives for and sparked a mind-numbing reconstruction job that I never want to go through again, I am pleased to announce that all file and navigation repairs have FINALLY been completed.

The bugs may not have been apparent to the casual visitor, but they were bloody elephant tracks in the snow to me. Now that that nasty little task is done, I can relax-- assuming, of course, that "relax" includes putting up a couple of hundred new pages.


Where? Where did we go wrong?

Um... It helps if you speak German. Sorry, I forgot that.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Doing the Maths

Problem 1:

Pakistani suicide bombers on bicycle + bump = ?

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Greatest Thing Since...

The price of a loaf of bread in Britain has broken the £1 barrier.

This is one of those pieces of bad news that is actually good news in disguise. The notion that Tesco's think a loaf of Warburton's is worth a quid a loaf is ludicrous unless each slice is individually gold plated and comes with a coupon of a free loaf of decent bread at another shop, but it is heartening that this story ended up as a minor item on the business pages.

It wasn't that long ago when news of a rise in the price of a loaf would have made headlines and threatened to bring down the government as a sign of an unacceptable jump in the cost of living. Today, the price of bread is no longer the touchstone of the British living standard when there is so much wealth sloshing about that people worry more about ipods and 4x4s than bread. Indeed, the economy is so robust that it has even survived ten years of Labour rule without failing the bread test.

And that's like the Titanic ploughing through a phalanx of icebergs without a scratch.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Sauce for the Goose and Not the Gander

Sometimes the Muslim Council of Britain overreaches itself and the mask slips off, as in the case of its latest decree report that demands suggests that British school effectively ban all "un-Islamic" activities in deference to Muslim students no matter how few, if any, are in attendance. The report calls for a ban on such infidel activities as mixed-sex sports, dancing, drawing the human form, and giving immunisation shots during Ramadan, but the money quote from the Daily Express is this one (emphasis added):
And while the MCB insists that all British children should learn about Islam, it wants Muslims to have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons dealing with Christianity and other faiths.
Apparently religious accomodation is a one-way street at the MCB.

The report was roundly condemned by other Muslim groups and all but disowned by the Department of Education, which is already suffering intense embarrassment from having Professor Tim Brighouse, chief adviser to London schools, scheduled to attend its launching.

The report's title, "Towards Greater Understanding – Meeting The Needs of Muslim Pupils In State Schools", is a beautiful study in Newspeak. If the contents are to be taken at face value, "meeting the needs" of Muslim pupils requires their infidel colleagues to accept dhimmitude.

Welcome to the 7th century.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Doggie Bubbles

The Gazillion bubble company breaks into the canine market with it's Fetch-a-Bubble machine that shoots thousands of chicken-flavoured bubbles, which the manufacturer claims drives dogs "crazy."

Perhaps or perhaps not, but at the very least it will confuse the heck out of them.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

A Mating of Titans

For those who thought they'd seen everything, we present Guinness (So much more than a breakfast drink) & Marmite (mmm Marmite!).

What is not to love?

Not Getting It

Mohammed ElBaradei of the United Nations' (toothless) nuclear watchdog group has said that if Britain replaces Trident with a new nuclear weapons system it will have no right to tell the likes of Iran that they cannot have similar weapons.

I would humbly suggest that Mr. ElBaradei ponder the fact that it is entirely appropriate for a policeman to have a gun while insisting that the criminals be disarmed.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Gromit, Call Your Service

Former astronaut Harrison Schmidt has suggested that future moon explorers learn to ski on the Lunar surface.

Sorry, Dr. Schmidt. It's already been done.

The Scientific Method

Are polar bears attacking people because of global-warming induced starvation?

Tim Blair suggests a modest experiment.


Hunting for the ivory-billed woodpecker, Sarah Connor.

And Then They Made Me Their Chief

Apparently there is a group of South Sea islanders who worship HRH Prince Philip as a god.

I have the same problem in certain parts of Warwickshire and let me tell you, it never gets any easier.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

The Royal (Belgian) Navy

The First Sea Lord, Sir Jonathon Band has said that if the scheduled budget cuts go through, he will resign rather than see the Royal Navy reduced to the size of Belgium's.

If Britain's defence budget were even a modest fraction of her GDP and if the government ceased to use its procurement programmes to cook the treasury's books and curry favour with the EU, the Royal Navy would have a hundred first-class fighting ships, a state-of-the-art satellite network, and four strike carrier groups (that's groups, not carriers) at its disposal.

Instead, we're using Nelson's sarcophagus as a piss pot.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

The Jihad Will Not Be Televised

Hear about the riot in Ste. Geneviève des Bois, France where fifty Muslims attacked attacked three cars and left a man in a coma? The failed hijack of a Mauritanian airliner by a man who wanted the machine flown to Paris (for whatever purpose) because of "all the bad things they are doing to Muslims"? How about that the Utah gunman turning out to be a Bosnian Muslim, but the press completely failed to report that tiny fact even to prove it irrelevant?

Probably not, unless you did a lot of burrowing, because the MSM has shown a remarkable lack of curiosity of late about possible Jihadist incidents.

"Ultraconservative" paranoia about a non-existent threat or a press determined to manage the news because the brutish public can't be trusted with the complete facts for fear of a "backlash"? I doubt if there is any truly Jihadist motive in any of these cases, but the tendency of the press to downplay them to the point of obscurity and to not even consider the possibility of a terrorist element during a time of war is at best a matter of reckless irresponsibility.

Well, I Feel Safe

The Association of Space Explorers is working on a draught treaty that would empower the UN to decide how to defend the Earth against enounters with killer asteroids.

If any hitchhikers are heading for Barnard's Star, I'd like to tag along, please.

Friday, 16 February 2007

Food News

Seattle Post-Intelligencer headline:
Peanut butter sickens hundreds
I know just how they feel. Can't stand the stuff myself.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Smoking is Doubleplus Ungood

Having crushed all crime and raised the chocoration to 20 grammes, the Thoughtpolice are now going undercover to make sure no one is disobeying Party orders smoking.

"One step forward, three quarters of a step back."

This is refreshing, moderate British Muslims and some commentators are beginning to recognise that our enemies are not only those who strap on the bombs, but those who "deplore" the means, but endorse the ends.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Headline of the Day

From the Drudge report:

Vote of Confidence

According to ABC news, Moqtada al Sadr has fled to Tehran because "He is scared he will get a JDAM dropped on his house."

That's at least one person who thinks the Americans' "surge" is effective.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Nuclear Deal?

The Six-Nations Talks claims to have made a breakthrough with North Korea agreeing to shut down its main nuclear reactor in exchange for fuel aid.

This is being hailed in the press as a major development, but we've been down this path too many times for me to get too excited. For my part, I'm holding off on the champagne until the US Seventh Fleet is anchored offshore from Pyongyang with all weapons armed to take possession of all North Korean nuclear materials and enrichment machinery.

Let me put it this way, the bottle isn't even in the fridge yet.


Solid, Jackson.


When you thought it couldn't get any weirder, they up the ante.

In the Rhine Test Cards

Princeton is closing its ESP lab.

Bet they didn't see that coming.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Save the Arrows

Having eliminated nearly all of our ancient institutions and traditions, the Blairite government is looking at disbanding the Red Arrows aerobatics team to save a few pennies.

Sign the petition and let a bit of sanity in.

Cambridge Cowardice

A Cambridge student publishes a cropped version of one of the Mohammad cartoons in a college paper. The result is:
  1. The local media and University authorities stand four-square behind freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the Cambridge as a place of free enquiry and expression and tell the Jihadists to go hang.
  2. The student is forced to go into hiding for his life, the local paper refers to the cartoons as "racist", the college in question convenes a Court of Discipline to conduct a race-hate probe against the student, funding is cut for the college newspaper, and the college Chaplin scurries cap in hand to beg forgiveness of "discuss how best to quell fears over potential racial clashes" with the local imam like a good dhimmi responsible citizen.
If you picked 2, congratulations. You are now Chancellor of the University.

Stop the Presses

EI is proud to present the first radio message to the people of Earth from another civilisation beyond the stars!

Mind you, it isn't exactly the sort of thing the SETI people were hoping for.

Tip o' the hat to the crew of HMS Camden Lock for this exclusive.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

China Needs Women!

Communist China's one child policy has resulted in such an imbalance of the sexes that the government estimates that by 2020 China will have 30 million men unable to find wives.

The bad news is that this will leave China with a giant army of young men with a motive for going to war that Ghengis Khan would have understood. The good news is that China will soon become the world's prime A1 market for video games.

No Cards, Please

How low can the bar go? Football too dangerous for kiddies? Not enough. Playing tag too rough? Still not there. How about banning Mother's Day?



For those who want to keep the neighbourhood kids from making a couple of bob during the winter, we present robosnowplough, which not only clears your pavement of (not very deep) snow, but poops ice cubes. This is supposed to be a bonus.

I'll refrain from calling this a "cool" idea.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Freedom is Slavery, Tyranny is Tolerance...

Maximilian Pakaluk on the misguided "Equality Act" that is already forcing Christian adoption agencies to close up shop because they cannot in good conscience place children with homosexual couples:
If the aim of this British law were merely to ensure that the provider of some good or service cannot refuse to deal with a person because of moral objections to that person’s behavior that are irrelevant to the transaction, it would be a curious law, addressing no obvious problem. As this adoption issue makes clear, the motivation behind this law is the idea that it is wrong to object to homosexual relations, even if only in defense of the traditional understanding of marriage. Tolerance is set up in opposition to traditional Judeo-Christian morality. Homosexuality is welcomed into the public sphere, and traditional morality is restricted to the private sphere. This is a mistaken understanding of tolerance, and its main effect is to root out from society its traditional moral identity.
The question of how far homosexuality should be tolerated in our society is a legitimate one to be debated and decided in a democratic fashion, but an act of Parliament that tries to settle the matter by turning tolerance into totalitarianism and relegating Christian morality to the level of thoughtcrime does no one good in the long run. Indeed, it may do worse in the short run if it turns out that Muslim organisations are not equally forced to practice "tolerance" out of "tolerance".

Let's see whose pressure group trumps whose.

Tagging Lunacy

Thought the recent ban on football at school was the height of insanity? Well, stand by for this headline:
Kids told: You can't play tag
Acutally, it's even worse; the kids are banned from touching each other at all.

I suggest the headmistress try touching reality now and then.

Open Your Ears

Moderate Muslims are starting to speak out against the Jihadists.

But is the rest of Britain willing to listen?

Friday, 9 February 2007

Cold Comfort

In a remarkable example of confused priorities, the Norwegian government has unveiled the final design of a doomsday vault deep in the arctic to protect three million seed samples from any disaster up to and including a major asteroid strike.

At last we can take comfort in the fact that though our civilisation may become one with Nineveh and Tyre and the human race extinct as all our yesterdays, our begonias will go on forever.

Fruits of Macmillan's Folly

If you know anyone in Zimbabwe, tell them to get out now. The nation that was once the bread basket of Africa is now like something out of a John Christopher novel with the people living under tyranny in abject poverty. Cholera is breaking out in the capital city, inflation is at 1281 percent, and even the police and army are on the verge of collapse.

So much for the joys of decolonisation.

Winds of change, my eye.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

News Blackout

Who is Al Qaeda's No. 1 man in Iraq?

Don't bother checking the New York Times. They're not really interested.

School Dhimmitude

A teacher at a London school as been sacked for allegedly saying that most suicide bombers are Muslims.

Next up, teachers face dismissal for claiming that the world is round, water is wet, and the government is spineless.

Fox & Foie Gras

What is the link between pate de foie gras and fox hunting? Jan Moir explains,

This week, animal welfare minister Ben Bradshaw urged the public to boycott the sale of foie gras and foie gras preparations because he believes that the production of the delicacy gives rise to serious welfare concerns. Really?

I just don't believe that it does, and have always suspected that many people are hostile to foie gras in the same way that they are hostile to fox hunting; if they were honest, they might admit that their disapproval is rooted not in animal welfare but in class hatred, in this instance because they perceive eating foie gras to be the exclusive domain of rich, spoiled people haw-hawing while they stuff their gobs in expensive restaurants. But enough about me.

I hate to say this, but this is the first time I've been grateful for the EU. There may be food fascists in the Labour party who want to ban the beloved fois gras from our plates, but so long as the corp diplomatique and the European Commission remains wedded to a soft life at our expense we're as likely to see a ban on fois gras in the EU as one on vintage champagne and luxury limos.

At least, for them.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Great Brighton: The Nail in the Coffin

Is Brighton the city most representative of Britain? According to Andre Marr (emphasis added),
It is liberal to a fault, not only the gay capital of England but also thrumming with clubs and bars of all kinds. It seems increasingly designed for long hot nights, a global warming village. Its shops perfectly display our sugary, pagan, sexualised consumer culture – lanes that used to be all Baptist chapels and nick-nackery now feature places such as the amazing "Choccywoccydoodah" (motto: "Divina Luxuria") and slinky knicker emporia.

But though its streets seethe with the young and cool, Brighton's darker side, its hangover, is also hard to avoid. It seems to have more homeless people, drunks and junkies than you pass in the tougher parts of central London or Manchester, plus plenty of grime, graffiti, burglary and street violence.

Darker side? Compared to what? I thought calling a shop "Choccywoccydoodah" was still a prosecutable offence.

In Space, No One Can Hear You Enter a Plea

A female American astronaut has been charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and first-degree attempted murder in a bizarre plot to confront her rival in a romantic triangle that involved a high-speed cross-country car trip from Houston, Texas to Orlando, Florida by said Astronaut, who (I'm not kidding) wore adult nappies so she wouldn't have to stop for potty breaks.

Remember the good old days when a congressional hearing was held because Gus Grissom smuggled a corned beef sandwich aboard Gemini III? No wonder I have this headache.

Petri Dish Pork

On the food front, we can now report that stem-cell meat is on the way-- at $50,000 a pound.

If taste tests can be trusted, I suggest HP sauce; lots of HP sauce.

Kodak Goes Digital

It looks like film has had its chips.

A Slight Hint

From ITN footage of Abu Izzadeen preaching in a mosque regarding Muslims who join the British Army and what should be done to them:
Whoever allies himself with the Kaffirs (non-believers) against the believers - he is one of them.

He who joins the British Army, the American Army, he is a mortal kaffir and his only hukum (punishment) is for his head to be removed.

Indeed, whoever changes his deen (Muslim code of life); kill him.

Just fiery rhetoric, people. Nothing to see here. Move along.



Press, that is.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Polarising Bears

Australia's Daily Telegraph used this photo in a boilerplate article on the threat of global warming. The lead paragraph is interesting.
They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming.
Distressing... Or would be if it weren't for the fact that the bears were perfectly safe from the threat of man's sins against Gaia global warming. The photo is three years old and the original caption was,
Mother polar bear and cub on interesting ice sculpture carved by waves. photo © Amanda Byrd.
Meanwhile, Icelanders are having their own climate issues. Only in their case it isn't about polar bears having to tread water, but how the ice pack is so thick that the great furry monsters can practically stroll straight into Reykjavik.

That should liven thing up a bit.

Update: Perhaps I shouldn't be too flippant. After all, spouting heresy can be a dangerous occupation now that the priests have consulted the oracles IPCC has issued its report and made known the will of blessed Gaia declared the debate closed.

Update: The New York Times is Johnny-on-the-spot over global warming-- in 1932.

Don't Mention the War

Victory: The option that dares not speak its name.

At least, at the New York Times.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Doctor Who Update

If Daleks were French... Which I have always suspected.

A Ray of Hope

Joining the side of civilisation, the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford (Meco) is helping fund a school's fight to enforce its ban on wearing the niqab, calling the suit against the school part of a "largely Saudi-driven campaign to make the niqab a compulsory requirement for Muslim women".

More, please.

The McNulty Method

How to respond to a young hooligan beating the life out of a little old lady? If you ask Tony McNulty, Home Office minister for police and security, the answer is to retreat to a safe distance and "jump up and down".

It's a step up from putting a paper bag over your head, but only an infinitesimal one.

Saturday, 3 February 2007


AI's logical conclusion.

Marvin the Paranoid Android was unavailable for comment

Chuck Jones, Call Your Service

Headline from
Wily coyote swims to Portsmouth shipyard
Rumours that he was carrying a Acme roadrunner net, wearing a pair of Acme water wings and propelled by an Acme electric fan powered by an Acme extension cord running back to the opposite shore have yet to be confirmed

Friday, 2 February 2007

Emperor Palpatine, Call Your Service

I am shocked, shocked that Hugo Chavez has turned out to be a dictator!

Tip o' the hat to Sean Anastasia for the headline.

Sliderule Watches

And now, a marvelous collection of sliderule watches.

What they lack in practicality they more than make up for in coolness factor.

And if you ask me what a sliderule is, I shall hit you with my cane.

War and Blindness

The Times has a feature article on how Al Qaeda is training British Muslims in Pakistan and then sending them home to wage war against their own country.

I don't know which is worse, that so many British-born young men have joined the ranks of the Jihadists, or that not one of them will ever be in the dock for treason.

No, actually, I do.

Voice of the Cuckoo

Jacques Chirac gave an interview the other day where he dropped this brick about a nuclear-armed Iran,
I would say that what is dangerous about this situation is not the fact of having a nuclear bomb - having one, maybe a second one a little later, well, that's not very dangerous.

Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200 metres into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed.

Of course, he realised what a clanger he'd made and retracted his remarks within 24 hours-- but only the bit about Tehran being razed. Apparently the imams can sleep safely with Chirac at the helm of the Force de Frappe, though no one else will.

Some people suggest that the reporters present should have asked M. Chirac if he was smoking crack. I reject that as ridiculous. The proper question is how much he's been smoking.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Headline of the Day

From Al Reuters:
Palestinian truce holds despite sporadic attacks

Are we at War NOW?!?

Nine terrorist suspects have been arrested in Birmingham regarding a plot to kidnap a Muslim British soldier, behead him and then post the gory video on the Internet in classic Jihadist fashion.

And New Labour still insists that this is a police matter. That explains why you can never find any government surplus blinkers.

Update: In a classic example of arse-backwards thinking, the government is leaping into action and telling British soldiers to go to ground.
Muslim soldiers and their families are expected to be given new security guidance after a suspected Islamist plot to kidnap, torture and behead a British Muslim soldier was allegedly foiled with the arrest of nine men in Birmingham yesterday.
Might we suggest that killing the terrorists and going after the tyrants who sponsor them would be a more permanent solution?

Wolf at the Door

Scientists claim that reintroducing wolves into Scotland would help the ecology by controlling the population of red deer, sheep, red deer, chickens, red deer, cattle, red deer, children, red deer, Mrs. Purvis' cats, red deer, Mrs. Purvis...

On the other hand, we could just do what we've been doing since 1740 and shoot the bloody deer.

Return of the Master?

Rumour has it that John Simm is to join Doctor Who as the Doctor's archenemy the Master. Well, he has spent enough time on Mars to have earned the chance.

There was a time when I'd have been thrilled to see the renegade Time Lord make a reappearance, but that was before it became clear that the new incarnation of Doctor Who is a completely different show than what I grew up with. It's well made and undeniably successful, so I can't say that it doesn't deserve the praise that it elicits, but where the old series was adventure laced with horror and leavened with humour, the new one is romantic comedy bulked out with character drama. Where once it was made for 12-year old boys and their fathers, this one is for 14-year old girls and their mothers.

There just doesn't seem to be any room for a tissue compression eliminator in that milieu.

Predator Cuisine

Headline in the Seattle PI:
Trichinosis case linked to eating raw cougar
So much for my recipe for Cougar Tartare.