Saturday, February 28, 2009


A man convicted of killing an ME sufferer and campaigner during a queue-jumping row at a supermarket was a serial offender who was wearing an electronic bail tag at the time of the attack.

All at Sainsbury's in Colliers Wood. Yards from where I sit, yet unworthy of geo-tagging.

From the victim's webpage:
My muscles have wasted considerably, where I was always 10.5 stone, I now am 9 stone! incredible for my 6 foot height.

I don't believe for a second that his assailant mistook him for someone else. He was struck down by an inadequate taking his frustrations out on the nearest inoffensive looking victim.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Katja Wiech is a cheerful young German researcher who is fascinated by pain. She’s discovered many things—for example, when devout Catholics are given electric shocks while looking at a picture of the Virgin Mary they feel less pain than atheists do when administered the same unpleasant treatment.

She works in a set of rooms at the end of a maze of corridors in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. In one room sits a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The magnet of this machine is so powerful it can seize a mobile phone from your hand,sending it flying through the air.

Her subjects lie flat on the scanner’s bed, their head inside its white tube. A computer by their feet provides various stimuli—images, questions and so on—and is operated from an adjacent room divided off by a glass screen. The noise is very loud. There’s a panic button if her subjects freak out.

Wiech is a neurologist. But here’s the strange thing: she is working with philosophers........

My attention grabbed in three paragraphs and a sentence.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


We're off to the slopes the week after next and staying here.

Another geotagging opportunity. I note in passing that yesterday's location is wrong. A rare strike against google maps, but at least it means you can't geostalk me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


A geocoded post. Cool Huh? I'm sure there is more I can do with this over time.

Also, cast your eyes to the left.You'll see a Video Bar showing off the Royal Channel from YouTube.

We rolled our own (or rather the Burglar did) and it turns out there was an off the shelf Google solution as well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I've been banging on about RSS for years now. More accurately perhaps I used to bang on about it years ago.

I've learned from BoingBoing, however that the "Initial Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" requires RSS (in Apprendix 1 to be precise):

For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription. Note that the required information can be supplied in the feed or the feed can point to a file at the agency using the convention noted below. If an agency is immediately unable to publish feeds, the agency should post each near term information flow (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) to a URL directory convention suggested below:

It is expected that the information files will be posted at the following URLs:
• Major Communications:
• Formula Block Grant Allocation:
• Weekly Report:
I'm astounded. This is beyond anything I imagined.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Adam Curry

Here is Adam Curry being gracious about his trip to Buckingham Palace for the website launch.

I also noticed that YouTube channels are now embeddable. How long has that been possible?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Uber Galles

"To be Welsh in London has been to belong to a lost tribe," intoneth Simon Jenkins.

To think he gets paid for such piffle.

Wales Uber Alles
at the ICA Friday. I probably won't be there as I am off to Austria the next morning.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home from Home Video

I'm not in this one. What a liberty!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kissing banned at railway station

Hold the front page! Pub snogging has long been a misery guts bĂȘte noire of mine. Fingers crossed, the surveillance society will put paid to that as well. A small price to pay for the erosion of our civil liberties.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bluebirds over

Arsenal 4 - Cardiff 0.

A disappointing evening but at least I was there at the Emirates.

Monday, February 16, 2009


From The Sunday Times
February 15, 2009
A guide to the 100 best blogs - part I
The online world of the bloggers and how you can connect, communicate, publish your thoughts or diaries and 'spy' on the famous
Bryan Appleyard.

Something for my reading list.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bits of me are falling apart

One morning in August 2007, William Leith wakes up and realises that something is wrong. He is not in a bed, but on an old mattress on the floor. He is not in a house. He is in his office. He is alone. He no longer lives with his little boy and the mother of his little boy. Mentally, he is at the end of his tether. Physically, he is fraying at the edges. Bits of him are falling apart. But then again, so is everything else - the economy, the environment, the very fabric of society.With his trademark darkly humorous mix of personal story and social commentary, Leith attempts to answer the question: is everything really falling apart? Or is it just him? He examines the ageing process in humans, and in everything else as well, from the universe to the banking system. And he comes to realise that, even if he can't solve the problems of the world, at least he has a thorough understanding of failure.
I finished Bits of Me are Falling Apart- a book that spoke to me after working too long and hard since Christmas. I recommend it to my contemporaries in the moribund book club.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All night long

I worked all night.

I must be crazy.

I'm still in the office now.

Off to Birmingham tonight and wll try and get to Wales after my business there, so there may be a few days radio silence.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Going for a Burton

Save us from reviewers.
Cardiff used to be a fearsomely homophobic city and it was against this background that Richard Walter Jenkins -- later Burton -- grew up. Such were his feelings of guilt about being an actor that he turned to drink. "I drank because I was afraid of being a homosexual," he said. "I drank because I hated wearing make-up."

News to me.
Short and stocky, quick with his fists, he was nevertheless attracted to literature.

I know a few of them.
The Burton and Taylor alliance was vulgar and messy, replete with yachts, jewels and drunken fights. "I just adored fighting with Richard," said Taylor. "I need a strong man." Her sparring partner found life more wearisome. "She had all these bloody rings on. It was like being hit with a knuckle-duster."

Like Caroline Street in the old days.
"I grew up among heroes who went down the pit, who played rugby, told stories, sang songs of war" and so on

....... and so forth.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Scotland 13 Wales 26

Wales send out warning to Six Nations rivals after starting defence of their title with easy win over Scotland.

Quite so. England at home next weekend.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

MONUC Monarch

KIBATI, Congo, Feb 7 (Reuters) - A top U.N. aid official said on Saturday the situation in Congo's war-torn east was beginning to change but the thousands of displaced should not expect "miracles" from the United Nations.

The "latestCrisis" directory in the URL above speaks volumes don't you think?

I got a call from MacKenna in the week. He was back in Kinshasa after a period up country; cutthroats, Tutsi, Hutu, the FDLR, the CNDP, and even the Lord's Resistance Army. It's my fault he's up to his neck in them he has informed me, as I instructed him to "get up off his arse" when he was between jobs twenty odd years ago at the house of madness that was 85a when shared by me, him, John and Nick S.

Did I do right?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Greatest Hits

As Joe Calzaghe retires undefeated, it is great to think I've got a signed glove in the office, and I was at the Kessler fight that he considers his finest performance with both my brothers and my Dad.

See how he haunts my memory machine at

Signing off with his features and his faculties unimpaired (as of another Welsh standard bearer) we observe "one of the greatest beings of our time. Whatever our need, we shall never see his like again."

Friday, February 06, 2009


From the BBC and I quote
Goody's cancer spreads to liver
A rather elastic definition of "entertainment" don't you think?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


The .tel top level domain launched yesterday.

Advertised it is (says Yoda) as a single management and publishing point for "internet communication" services. Its purpose being the provision of a global contacts directory service by housing all types of contact information directly in the Domain Name System(DNS).

I'm intrigued by the text in italics but too busy to investigate further at the moment, so - for one day only - my weblog morphs into a to-do list.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fixture Congestion

I can't help but feel that - snow notwithstanding - tonight's Arsenal Cardiff City FA Cup replay has been postponed because I was going (a generous friend having gifted me one of his pair of season tickets for the evening).

Word on the street is that it will be rearranged for the same weekend that Wales play England in Cardiff in the six nations. Typical.

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Eskimos have snow, we have ....

Goat-drunk – (adj.) Made lascivious by alcohol.

According to the redoubtable Thomas Nashe, the author of The anatomie of absurditie, Christ’s teares over Jerusalem, and many other important works of English literature, there are eight types of drunkards, of which the one who is goat-drunk is seventh, although it is unclear what the order signifies. Since the OED has seen fit to include only a few from Nashe’s list I have decided to include it in its entirety, so that you may never be at a loss for words when confronted by a drunk of any sort.

1) Ape drunke – “he leapes, and sings, and hollowes, and daunceth for the heavens”.
2) Lion drunke – “he flings the pots abut the house, calls his Hostesse whore, breakes the glasse windows with his dagger, and is apt to quarrell with any man that speaks to him”.
3) Swine drunke – “heauy lumpish, and sleepie, and cries for a little more drinke”.
4) Sheepe drunke – “wise in his owne conceipt, when he cannot bring forth a right word”.
5) Mawdlen drunke – “when a fellowe will weepe for kindnes in the midst of his Ale, and kisse you, saying; By God Captaine I loue thee, goe thy waies thou dost not thinke so often of me as I do of thee, I would (if it pleased GOD) I could not loue thee so well as I doo, and then he puts his finger in his eie, and cries”.
6) Martin drunke – “when a man is drunke and drinkes himselfe sober ere he stirre”.
7) (See above)
8 ) Foxe drunke - “when he is craftie drunke, as many of the Dutch men bee, and neuer bargain but when they are drunke”.

Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages