Wednesday, June 30, 2004

ThisisLondon: "Britain accepts that Saddam Hussein is likely to be executed by the Iraqi government for war crimes, senior Government sources have revealed. "
Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel Company specialising in Small Group Tours Tailor-made Tours Luxury and Adventure Holidays Travel Vacations Treks Tours
BBC NEWS | England | Tyne | Hi-tech answer to student cheats
BBC NEWS | Technology | Webcam lets users eyeball others: "Instant messaging could get a lot more interesting if webcam technology by Microsoft gets the go-ahead.
i2i, in development at Microsoft Research labs, Cambridge UK, is a two-camera system which follows a person's movement.
It uses specially-developed algorithms to fuse what each camera sees to create an accurate stereo 'cyclopean' image. "

Making the grandest tour

The Tour de France is the most arduous of the world's sporting events. Riders cover more than 2,000 miles in three weeks at an average speed of around twenty-eight miles per hour. The race can seem more like a test of simple endurance than a display of athletic prowess. The sheer physical effort involved makes it easy to write about its champions in terms of epic poetry.

The race defies ordinary explanation. It is a team sport in which an individual wins. It is an athletic event that actually harms the athletes? bodies. (Racers cannot consume enough food to replace the 6,000 or so calories burned off by each day's stage. Most finish the race with less muscle mass than they began with.) The race's founder, Henri Desgrange, wanted it to be so tough that there would be only a single finisher. He never got his wish, but the sport he set in motion takes such a savage toll on its riders that studies show that the life expectancy of a professional cyclist is barely more than fifty years


Robert Messenger

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Little Tyrant Victor Davis Hanson on Paul Johnson on Napoleon.
Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online
No Laughing Matter - The Graham Norton Effect is a raunchy, unfunny mess. By Dana?Stevens: " The overall effect (the, um, Graham Norton effect?) is that of being trapped at a raucous, superficial get-together with a bunch of coked-up strangers who are talking over each other in that drugged-out, manic way. You can almost feel the postnasal drip. I'm sure I have been, in some small way, forever sullied by the experience of watching The Graham Norton Effect. But if even one person out there avoids turning it on next week, my sacrifice will not have been in vain. "
Dana Stevens of Slate sticks it to Graham Norton. My sentiments exactly.
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Fry and Laurie set for Sherlock
Los Angeles Times: Rich Taste in a Poor Country: "Rich Taste in a Poor Country
North Korea's enigmatic leader Kim Jong Il demands the finest food and drink. But while he indulges, his countrymen starve."
Commentary - Is the Musical Comedy Dead?: "Nearly every successful musical written between 1943 and 1964 was influenced by the example of Oklahoma! From this perspective, it is no accident that On the Town (1944), Carousel (1945), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Kiss Me, Kate (1948), Guys and Dolls (1950), The King and I (1951), My Fair Lady (1956), The Music Man (1957), West Side Story (1957), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961), and Hello, Dolly! (1964), all of which have been revived one or more times on Broadway, now constitute the bulk of the musical-comedy repertory."
Telegraph | Arts | The bombs that walk and talk: "This book starts with a tantalising promise: the study of the human body as a weapon of war. Man's ingenuity enables him to turn almost anything into a weapon. Famine and disease have been used as weapons of war as have the sermons of holy men and the charms of beautiful women."
Foreign Policy: Imperial Amnesia I have only read the first page of this. Must get back to it as a corrective to Niall Ferguson.
"Right Man's Burden" by Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Thursday, June 24, 2004

BBC NEWS | Business | Indian rail 'to offer net access'
Technology Review: MIT's Magazine of Innovation: "CNET reports that ?Microsoft has been awarded a patent for using human skin as a power conduit and data bus.? This means that your PDA (in one hand) can send a phone number tothe cell phone (in your other hand) without any effort on your part. (Here?s the patent.) With a ?personal area network,? or PAN, Microsoft aims to reduce the redundancy of carrying multiple mobile devices, many of which have overlapping hardware, software, and data. Eventually, all your data could be stored in a chip (embedded discreetly in an earring) and retrieved at will by any mobile device in your posession. This concept reminds me of a process most people used to use?which involved storing a phone number in our mind, transmitting it via the nervous system to our hand (either one!), and dialing the phone ourselves."
Visual Basic Developer Center: A Sneak Preview of Visual Basic 2005 (Visual Studio 2005 Technical Articles)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

BBC NEWS | Business | eBay buys Indian auction site
BBC NEWS | Technology | Net pioneer predicts web future
BBC - London - Your London - United Colours Index A useful site dor eat your way around the world in London.
Foreign Affairs - A Global Power Shift in the Making - James F. Hoge, Jr.
BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Computer 'sick' days revealed: "Personal computers in Northern Ireland take more sick days than their owners, according to research.
The average computer has nine sick days a year, six of which are wasted while their owners battle junk e-mail and three days are lost due to viruses"
Telegraph | Opinion | Iran has always dreamt of dominating the Middle East says John Keegan.
BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Rumsfeld agreed prisoner threats: "US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved the use of aggressive tactics to frighten Guantanamo Bay detainees, according to newly-released documents.
These included stripping prisoners, forcing them into stress positions and harassing them with dogs.
But the methods, approved in December 2002, were rescinded weeks later. "

This could be the current administration's Watergate.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Unfairenheit 9/11 - The lies of Michael Moore. By Christopher Hitchens
BBC NEWS | Technology | Finance firms risking wi-fi woe
Telegraph | Opinion | Vote 'No' for a federal Europe
Wired News: Alternative Fuels Cropping Up: "LONDON -- Farmers of the world must shift quickly to growing plants for industrial uses such as oils and plastics to replace petrochemicals as the climate warms and crude supplies run out, British scientists said on Monday."
Replacing fossil fuels and products with plants is obvious really. It had never ever ocurred to me before.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Telegraph | Opinion | The Young British Male is a loser: "The Young Bristish Male has never learnt how to carry out a proper conversation with a fellow YBM, let alone with a girl, let alone a foreign girl. Since the Industrial Revolution, the YBM has taken his pleasure only in the company of other YBMs, and that pleasure is rooted in taciturn, heavy drinking.
The Industrial Revolution was responsible for Albufeira. The great migration to the cities of massed ranks of young men doing factory work, bad weather, early dusks, and puritanism driving alcohol out of the house and into the bar, led to the phenomenon of exclusively male drinking behind closed pub doors. "

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

ThisisLondon
�1million cover for a hairy chest
MSNBC - A Moral Chernobyl: "Prepare for the worst of Abu Ghraib" Christopher Htichens.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Victor Davis Hanson on al Qaeda and terrorism on National Review Online: "Like Hitler, bin Ladenism has an agenda: the end of the liberal West. Its supposedly crackpot vision is actually a petrol-rich Middle East free of Jews, Christians, and Westerners, free to rekindle spiritual purity under Sharia. Bin Laden's al Reich is a vast pan-Arabic, Taliban-like caliphate run out of Mecca by new prophets like him, metering out oil to a greedy West in order to purchase the weapons of its destruction; there is, after all, an Israel to be nuked, a Europe to be out-peopled and cowered, and an America to be bombed and terrorized into isolation. This time we are to lose not through blood and iron, but through terror and intimidation: televised beheadings, mass murders, occasional bombings, the disruption of commerce, travel, and the oil supply."
Telegraph | Opinion | The lunatic mainstream had better start worrying fast
The New York Times > Magazine > Food: Chinese Characters: "Of all the books I published in my years at Random House, one of the oddest yet most delightful was the revised third edition of a Chinese cookbook originally brought out by another publisher in 1945. ''How to Cook and Eat in Chinese,'' by Buwei Yang Chao, was, as far as I can discover, the first successful attempt to provide an authentic rather than Westernized Chinese cookbook. It includes more than 200 recipes, with a sophisticated introduction to Chinese culinary culture that covers ingredients, techniques, politesse, terms and tools. Chao's recipes are still accurate and easily mastered, and her commentary remains fresh and informative. And with her help, I created my own polyglot improvisations long before fusion became the fashion." jacob Epstein
Telegraph | News | Police chiefs face jail over racism
News: "TUC attempts to tidy up after 'battle of the barbecue'"

Monday, June 14, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | The Saudis get their reward for promoting extremism: "The Saudis have provoked a clash of civilisations, not so much between east and west as within Islam itself. " William Dalrymple.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

The New York Times > Magazine > Food: a defense of fine dining.
The New Yorker: The Critics: Books: "The two minds of Bernard Lewis."
OpinionJournal - Extra: "America, Recuse Thyself!
So the world's mad at us? Maybe we should just say goodbye.

BY P.J. O'ROURKE "

Monday, June 07, 2004

The Spectator.co.uk: "Traveller in time
Peter Phillips goes to Turkish Kurdistan and finds a land full of early Christian history"
LRB | Andrew O'Hagan : Disgrace under Pressure