Okay, so as of this week, thanks to the brilliant state of corporate finance, it would be a bad...

Okay, so as of this week, thanks to the brilliant state of corporate finance, it would be a bad idea to buy a copier, pay your electricity bill, or make a phonecall (using just about any company). Apparently, the recession started in 1997, and everyone's just been lying about profits since then. Whatever, I'm off to New York! Woohoo! I can celebrate July 4th with a load of people whose share this guy's attitude to the rest of the world.
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Hey, I'm in New York! And it's surprisingly like a bigger, slightly cleaner version of London. It's...

Hey, I'm in New York! And it's surprisingly like a bigger, slightly cleaner version of London. It's hotter, though, and everybody has really annoying accents. Lots more touristy stuff to do still, but I've seen Central Park, and taken many pictures of tall buildings. The whole city looks like a movie set, though, it's really quite odd.
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Well, day six in New York. I've seen Central Park, the statue of Liberty (from a significant, 9-11...

Well, day six in New York. I've seen Central Park, the statue of Liberty (from a significant, 9-11 safe distance), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which is amazing), seen lots more of NYC, and met many nice friends of Ed's, including people who say stuff like "I don't just love Jon Stewart, I'd marry him. In fact, I wouldn't just marry him, I'd perform sexual favours on demand." Hopefully, Jon Stewart reads this blog regularly. Even though I don't update it that often.
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Last night in New York, spending it like I have nearly every night here: hanging out in Ed's...

Last night in New York, spending it like I have nearly every night here: hanging out in Ed's apartment, watching TV and playing Tropico, which is an amazing game I intend to bring to the UK when I come back. Random browsing reveals the campaign to Save Karyn -- by getting her out of $20,000 of self-inflicted credit card debt. I don't know if it's more amazing that she's clearly spent yet more of the credit card money developing the website trying to get donations, or the sheer self-centeredness of trying to get other people out of the hole that is clearly entirely her own fault.
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Yeah, I know, two in one day. I'll stop soon, I promise. But I just had to point out the joy that...

Yeah, I know, two in one day. I'll stop soon, I promise. But I just had to point out the joy that is AllTooFlat.Com. Geeks with style, particularly worth checking out are The Bible According to Cheese (or, A Brie History of Time). And the amazing Google mirror, the kind of grievous misuse of technology that I truly admire. Completely unrelated but also interesting in light of the continuing slide in the stock markets (I'm always right, see?) is this history of the Dow Jones Industrial average since its inception. It's amazing how the similar the situation now looks to 1929. And we all know what happened then, and there's even more evidence that it will happen again. But I can't find the guy who was selling t-shirts predicting the crash in 2000, or what's happened to him. Anyone got a link?
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It's official: the US is sick of hearing about Afghanistan and the Middle East again. So it's back...

It's official: the US is sick of hearing about Afghanistan and the Middle East again. So it's back to front-page stories about kidnapped little girls, always a sure-fire ratings-earner, it seems. They certainly won't want to hear about their stock markets, which are still in free fall, except it's more of a bungee jump. The Dow is back in territory it hasn't seen since late 1998. God, I love being right, even when it does fuck the economy of most of the developed world. Crash, markets, crash! Crash and burn! In a completely unrelated note, I found the script of Rent. Yay! I've also decided I need to start putting more personal stuff in here, since lots of this is just linkage. So, on Monday I start working for IBM Hursley. Apparently. Except my boss hasn't called me to tell me what exactly I'm going to be doing for IBM, or even if he's actually my boss. So hopefully he'll call me back, or I'll be turning up on Monday morning fairly clueless. Also, I've just realised that I've packed all my shirts and sent...
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Oooh, pretty-looking crop circles.

Oooh, pretty-looking crop circles.
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Okay, day 3 at IBM. I'm at the office now -- my accommodation only has dialup, and I haven't set it...

Okay, day 3 at IBM. I'm at the office now -- my accommodation only has dialup, and I haven't set it up yet anyway -- so this is going to be quick. The ever-interesting memepool has pointed me to a really scary/interesting/beautiful first-hand account of an epileptic seizure: as in, written by the person who was having the seizure. Beautiful for the description, scary as hell for everyone who was watching it in real time.
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Okay, so it's amusing to think that the ex-dictator of Sierra Leone is broke and living with his...

Okay, so it's amusing to think that the ex-dictator of Sierra Leone is broke and living with his mother. But what's hysterical is that after he was ousted from power (he was the youngest head of state ever, at 25) the UN arranged a special scholarship for him to study law: at Warwick University. Apparently he dropped out (for lack of money) a few years before I started. But I just can't imagine an ex-military dictator hanging around the Union and going to Top Banana.
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Interesting links today include a story about invisible comets, coming soon to an extinction-level...

Interesting links today include a story about invisible comets, coming soon to an extinction-level event near you, as well as a demonstration of powers of 10, the best domain name I've ever seen and Television without Pity (via Ed and the other members of the straight ghetto), which includes their spoiler-laden but nevertheless amusing commentary on Sex and the City. I must start downloading episodes again; maybe when I get them back from Sup (who doesn't have a website; get with it girl!). Sup and Alex have kept me amused recently with many cheerful e-mails and hot gossip, even if it is a month out of date :-) Clearly, they don't have enough to do at their summer jobs. That's no longer true of me -- I've finally been given a project -- but I'm updating my blog at work as if I didn't.Also, I've discovered that I am not the only one who uses the phrase "kill you with a spoon" on a regular basis. So there. Finally: look out, it's the attack of the fat people! They're currently suing people for calling them...
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Saturday night's all right for fightin', and for not a great deal else, apparently. Yay for living...

Saturday night's all right for fightin', and for not a great deal else, apparently. Yay for living in Winchester, which would be a one-horse town, except it has a cathedral, so it is officially the world's only one-horse city. But I once again have blessed, non-monitored Internet access, even if it is via dialup. Erasmus Park, where I'm currently staying, is attached to the University of Southampton's art college. It's really quite nice, as evidenced by the pictures on the site, in particular the one of the table football machine, an activity which has become surprisingly central to my current social life, as I'm sure Toby will be pleased to hear. And there are phone lines in rooms. I even have a landline, but there's no point giving it out, since the modem will be plugged into it 100% of the time that I'm at home. I've been fairly slack about keeping in touch with people -- I'd send out a longer mass-mailing, which appears to be the fashion, but that would merely be forcing people who weren't interested to...
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Mass Transport Rant

Why can no single metropolitan authority get the formula for mass transport right? My 3 candidates from personal experience: London Underground Pro: Frequent trains; no waiting Bright and well-kept stations Extremely good customer information systems The tube map! (Even though it can be misleading since it doesn't pay attention to what's going on above ground) Con: Trains are tiny (because the tunnels are too small) All trains are local, hence slow (see NYC) The network is relatively small It's very expensive The travel-zone system is confusing The air quality is *terrible* Paris Metro Pro: Trains are huge, thanks to the elimination of inter-carriage walls (all the trains are just huge continuous tubes) and double-decker trains The network is huge, and stops are frequent Stations are also clean and well-kept Air quality is fine Fairly affordable Con: Is always having a strike :-) [Ed pointed this out] The map is awful, it looks like someone threw up on the...
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Ten Commandments 2.0

Once upon a time, some weird guy on a mountain got inspired while watching a brush fire, and wrote a list of ten commandments that, when followed, made life a lot easier and more reliable for everyone concerned. They were really popular back then, but it's been 2000 years since then, and it's high time for a sequel. Hence: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR LIVING IN THE 21ST CENTURY Thou shalt own a computer Lame excuses about not being able to understand how they work do not apply. Cost is likewise not an issue; second-hand systems are cheaper than a night out. You worked out how to drive a car, this is MUCH simpler and far less likely to be fatal. No restrictions on operating system, once you have at least one. Thou shalt obtain Internet access Nobody ever put off wiring up their houses for electricity. There's a new essential utility out there, go get it. Thou shalt regularly check thy e-mail You don't have to be a web junkie, you don't have to spend your whole life on ICQ and IRC or webchat. But...
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In the news today, it seems that British children are officially banned from having fun in any way,...

In the news today, it seems that British children are officially banned from having fun in any way, in case they injure themselves on the playground. Hey, in a world where roasting marshmellows can kill you, you can't be too careful. Also, Austin Powers 3 is somehow managing to break box-office records, despite being undoubtedly the crappest of the lot. I contributed to this problem by seeing it myself this weekend, to be fair. However, it has Beyonce in it, which covers a multitude of sins as far as I'm concerned. As of this posting, the stock market (the one that matters) continues to disappoint me, personally, by not plunging headlong into disaster. Hopefully Wall Street will have worked up some kind of panic over the weekend and the slide can continue, but it doesn't look like it. How disappointingly undramatic. Finally, according to the absolutely brilliant Weekly World News (faithful reporters of the continuing saga of Bat Boy) comes the important revelation: 80s TV shows boost your IQ. Quick, start...
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Second blog for the day, WOW I'm slack. But work today has actually been a lot better: I actually...

Second blog for the day, WOW I'm slack. But work today has actually been a lot better: I actually did some work, for one. And I know what I'm doing a bit more. Also, my day was considerably enhanced by finding this job ad. 6 month contract, in London, Java/Oracle developer with any experience of MQ series (that would be me). Hourly rate? £200. Yes, folks, this fairly lousy job has just increased my earnings potential by a factor of 10! I've found my motivation. Bring on the MQ Series manuals! More WebSphere Integrator, I want more!
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Ah, the Dow: my favourite spectator's sport. What will it do today? Will it plunge downwards again,...

Ah, the Dow: my favourite spectator's sport. What will it do today? Will it plunge downwards again, prompting panicked articles about the crash of 2002? Or will it rocket skywards, prompting traders to write articles that sound like they're on crack? We'll have to wait and see. But whatever happens, I hope the guy who wrote that last article gets to write more. What was he, drunk? The article makes no sense at all, I strongly recommend reading it. Of course, if that isn't entertaining enough for you, you could head over to Typorganism (these people are nuts, BTW) and try out the automatic ascii-art generator. Fun! Upload your picture, and see your face in print.
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I can't believe FARK reported this story as real. Yes, diving humour can be funny, folks: you heard...

I can't believe FARK reported this story as real. Yes, diving humour can be funny, folks: you heard it here first. Today I have also read about a Buddhist cult that worships a spaceship and found out how many people are online in the world (more than I thought). Some of those people are of course insane, which explains sites trying to prove that dragons really exist. Unrelatedly, in Salem, New Jersey, friends don't let friends drive drunk. Because they could get 15-20 years in prison if they do. Today I've finally managed to write some Java, even if it did take me an age to sort out my classpath and understand Java packages, but I finally do. All that work however hasn't stopped my unrepentant slacking: I've decided to play the stockmarket with $500,000 of virtual money. Of course, given the Dow's entertaining bounciness recently, I may just leave it in the virtual bank.
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