The end of an era?

The end of an era?
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Michael Jackson's career: RIP. I feel sorry for Michael Jackson. Really I do. I grew up watching...

Michael Jackson's career: RIP. I feel sorry for Michael Jackson. Really I do. I grew up watching him change shape and colour and steadily diverge from "talented guy" to "outmoded freak". MJ's life is a tragedy, a comic one sometimes, but still a tragedy. Screwed up by his childhood, he tries to recapture it and ruins his adulthood. And now he admits he still has 12-year-olds sleep in his bed. To be honest, I don't really think he's been molesting these kids. He's not a paedophile; he's just totally messed up about children and childhood. He wants to be them, not have sex with them. But the fact that after paying £18.5 million to settle the lawsuit the last time he did it, he went back and did it again is not only unbelievable, it's also simply sad. The man has a fragile grip on reality at best, and he's too rich for anyone to risk telling him the truth: he needs to grow up. But it's probably too late now. Update 2003.02.04: Somewhat surprisingly, it seems everyone agrees with me. Maybe this documentary...
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Time for a big 'ol link-dump, I feel; it's been far too long so these are going to go waaaay back,...

Time for a big 'ol link-dump, I feel; it's been far too long so these are going to go waaaay back, and have doubtless lost some relevance. Oh well, I'll try harder in future :-) Did you know the RAF once tried rain-making experiments that caused fatal flooding? That bastard monkey is getting its ass sued off, mainly on the grounds that it's annoying. The first time I've been grateful for America's passion for litigation. Everyone needs some Disinformation in their lives. Still biased, but at least in the opposite direction. I bet Ted Turner owns stock. You remember those guys who tried to stop the hijacking of the 9/11 flight that crashed in Pennsylvania instead of crashing into the White House? (The infamous "Let's roll" comment will never freakin' die) Did you know that one of them was gay? Did you know some people act like that's a REALLY big deal? 'Cause of course, no-one gay had ever done anything brave before, like coming out to a homophobic world. Have you read your Strong Bad email this...
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No mega-blog today; I'm busy. But one thing for you: A British think-tank thinks the best way to...

No mega-blog today; I'm busy. But one thing for you: A British think-tank thinks the best way to deal with an ageing population is to give children the vote. I think it's fairly clever. It's well-known that across Europe and increasingly in Britain, elderly voters are the ones who bother to get vote and hence seem to have disproportionate electoral power, leading to policies that negatively affect the young. Lowering the voting age to 14 certainly sounds like a good idea to correct this, although I'm really unsure about parents casting votes for their children from birth to age 13.
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Part 2 of the Bumper Blog Backlog is today. Once again, there's too much to do a song and dance...

Part 2 of the Bumper Blog Backlog is today. Once again, there's too much to do a song and dance about each entry, but you get the idea. The attack of the clones media circus faded out quick, didn't it? Mainly due to their refusal to allow independent verification. The sect behind the headlines, the Raelians, are definitely nut jobs, but at least they have a nice logo. Not only will it paralyse your face into being wrinkle-free, but the wonder that is botox will also work as a deodorant. Coming soon: botox cures cancer, removes unwanted presidents. Trying hard to keep up with the USA for absurdly dumb legislation surrounding their citizens' mutual tendency to get fat, the UK is considering banning extra-large food portions in fast-food restaurants. Apparently, your government has about as much faith in you as in the average goldfish. Ka-ping Yee (hey, we can't all choose our names) has come up with a fairly revolutionary method of fitting large amounts of data onto a tiny screen, making use of the...
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Those of you who've spoken to me about it will know that Africa's AIDS pandemic depresses the crap...

Those of you who've spoken to me about it will know that Africa's AIDS pandemic depresses the crap out of me, because the population of an entire continent is rapidly infecting itself, producing mind-boggling statistics like 38% of the population infected (Swaziland and Botswana) and life expectancy of 40 years (Zambia), and not nearly enough is being done about it. And the story is beginning to repeat itself in India and China. But today I found some surprisingly positive news. Until recently I was under the impression that infection rates in Africa were still rising, but apparently there are signs of stabilising infection rates for the continent as a whole, as decreases in some countries balance continuing increases in others (mainly in the south). This isn't massively cheerful, of course -- the stabilisation is partially because those currently infected are beginning to die at a rate equal to new people becoming infected. The other thing I didn't know, which in retrospect should have been obvious, is...
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That poor shuttle. If it was this bad on the ground, what must it have been like up there? I'm not...

That poor shuttle. If it was this bad on the ground, what must it have been like up there? I'm not going to go into a long self-indulgent rant on this. Colombia was tragic, but humanity must continue to explore space.
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Thanks to Beardy Ben for forwarding this to me. The original parody is by one John Robbins, but the...

Thanks to Beardy Ben for forwarding this to me. The original parody is by one John Robbins, but the version I received has been slightly modified (for the better, IMHO). If You're Happy And You Know It Bomb Iraq If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq. If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq. If the terrorists are frisky, Pakistan is looking shifty, North Korea is too risky, Bomb Iraq. If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq. If we think someone has dissed us, bomb Iraq. So to hell with the inspections, Let's look tough for the elections, Close your mind and take directions, Bomb Iraq. It's "pre-emptive non-aggression", bomb Iraq. Let's prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq. They've got weapons we can't see, And that's good enough for me 'Cos it's all the proof I need Bomb Iraq. If you never were elected, bomb Iraq. If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq. If you think Saddam's gone mad, With the weapons that he had, (And he tried to kill your dad), Bomb Iraq. If the...
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Oh. My. God. Listen to this US Congressman rag on France over their blocking the defence of Turkey;...

Oh. My. God. Listen to this US Congressman rag on France over their blocking the defence of Turkey; I've never heard anything so offensive in my life; I can't hear it enough. The best bit is at 5 minutes 40 seconds in: "I assumed the french would be capable of going with us into iraq so that they could be there to instruct the Iraqis in how to surrender." And in an unrelated story: be my anti-valentine
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404: WOMD not found. Meanwhile, Slate is still hawkish. So Blix can't find weapons, and the US has...

404: WOMD not found. Meanwhile, Slate is still hawkish. So Blix can't find weapons, and the US has evidence that Iraq is hiding them. Your options are: Bring in more inspectors, ad infinitum (the "UN" option) Bomb them back to the stone age (the "Bush" option) Give blix the freaking evidence you have (the "sensible" option). Honestly, is it so hard? If the US is convinced Saddam has weapons, then why can't they give that evidence to Blix and convince him? Once you convince Blix, then you've got your material breach and woo-hoo, on with the bombing. Otherwise, shut up.
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Random for today (I should be coding...): Go on: cook my sock. Oh yeah. In honor of Valentine's...

Random for today (I should be coding...): Go on: cook my sock. Oh yeah. In honor of Valentine's day: the love calculator Sheepish: It's frogger, but with sheep! Genius. Great sound effects too.
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Yuck! BBC News has a new look and it's awful: too busy, lots of headlines with no detail behind...

Yuck! BBC News has a new look and it's awful: too busy, lots of headlines with no detail behind them. The new look is suspiciously similar to CNN, but less readable. And CNN isn't exactly the model to be following at the moment anyway: it is losing ground heavily to FOX news, which has a website with more detail about more headlines on its front page. This is the nail in BBC News' coffin for me; I already thought their previous format was too heavy on images and sensational junk, and I switched to the Times a few months ago, which has a clear, simple layout with lots of detail.
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In-jokes: you know you love them really For no other purpose than the amusement of myself and...

In-jokes: you know you love them really For no other purpose than the amusement of myself and about 3 other people, I present my collection of out-of-context quotes garnered in the last few weeks. Feel free to suggest some more. Or complain. "There is no butt-plug." - Evil Dan "Don't nobody slap me" - Me "It's like a nodding dog" - Guy "...and I'm not having any cake for a week!" - Kim (Actually, it was me. But it should have been Kim. And Dan Park was at least partially resposible...) "I'm constantly surprised by the idiocy of other people." - Evil Dan again. "Fuck off with your one testicle." - Mikey "Are you coming to bondage tonight?" - Clare
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Oh, today is a Very Good Day™ so far. I did my french homework, didn't fall asleep and miss the...

Oh, today is a Very Good Day™ so far. I did my french homework, didn't fall asleep and miss the lecture, and then I read this article. Oh wow. Potentially every developer of software for Microsoft's SQL server software suddenly owes a company called Timeline a lot of money in patent royalties. This is because Microsoft negotiated a licensing deal that didn't cover third-party developers who used SQL server to develop further software, and in typical Microsoft fashion tried to use its weighty legal might to weasel out of this situation (it tried to sue the company instead of renegotiating the terms). Hilarious. If you use SQL server, now's the time to switch to a real database. Oh, and colour me clueless, but I only found out this today: when the UN goes into session next month, the Human Rights Commission will be chaired by Libya, and the Disarmament Commission will be chaired by Iraq with co-chair Iran. What??? That's almost as nuts as appointing Kissinger and Poindexter was. And that was totally...
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All that needs to be said about America's domestic security: me: I was wondering where the...

All that needs to be said about America's domestic security: me: I was wondering where the "duct tape and plastic sheeting" meme was sourcing from. ed: that's how we protect ourselves from chemical weapons, silly ed: we've been told that ever since we got bumped up to orange ed: i think it's really stupid that the entire country has the same terror level (let's ignore the stupidity of "terror levels" themselves for the moment... can't really think too much about domestic security policy or my head will explode) ed: if NYC is on orange, i don't think Auburn Hills, MI need be on the same level ed: i was reminded of this when some delivery guy noticed that the bank we're at out there had no guard at the desk, and was like "aren't you guys afraid of terrorism?" ed: i wanted to slap him. If I didn't know Ed, I would have no idea how absurd life in the US really is at the moment. Or rather, I wouldn't believe it.
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Margaret Thatcher would be spinning in her grave, if only the old bitch would actually die, at the...

Margaret Thatcher would be spinning in her grave, if only the old bitch would actually die, at the increasingly farcical sight of the ongoing collapse of the Conservative party. Good ol' IDS (never elect a leader whose name is reminiscent of a deadly disease) told the party to "unite or die", and it seems pretty clear that they've gone for option B. At this rate of defection, it looks like the lib dems are headed to be the opposition party next election, which would be cool. Incidentally, that biography I linked to at the beginning mentions another time when the US and the UK were as united on foreign policy as they are now: during the Reagan administration. Dubya looks more and more like Reagan every day, and it's already been repeatedly pointed out that Blair is more thatcherite than Thatcher ever was.
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The BBC has an article up about blogging from your mobile phone. The idea is not really news, but...

The BBC has an article up about blogging from your mobile phone. The idea is not really news, but the interesting part is the host of links to interesting new (free) software that lets you do it, including: Manywhere Moblogger (Java) WAPBlog (Perl) KABLOG (J2ME mobile Java, runs on devices like Palms, the Treo and Blackberries) All three of these interface to also-free server side tech which you need to set up yourself (KABLOG interfaces to the popular MovableType server and compatibles). The article also mentions the proprietary foneblog service which seems very easy to use, but it is software intended to be run by cellphone companies for their users.
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A look into my twisted mind, and my bizarre design method. To make up for lack of short-term...

A look into my twisted mind, and my bizarre design method. To make up for lack of short-term memory, I make design decisions by writing down my train of thought -- otherwise I just go in little circles, constantly coming up with the same problems and solutions. The effect is that of a schizophrenic having an argument with himself, which is probably not too far from the truth. An innovation I used in this one was to use indentation to signify a tangent from the main decision-making process; it turned out to be very useful. - two types of specificity! in the filesystem: this rule applies to all files underneath here, they are all in X = 1 rule: filesystem claims /x, OR = many rulesl: filesystem claims /x/y/z1, /x/y/z2 (silly! converting rules into lots is dumb) BUT then you have the possibility of file-not-founds on a valid claim ( assuming you just convert the claim and then add the path ) - sometimes the file isn't there BUT then you want to give an earlier doc, not root...
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The upcoming war continues to produce great art. Apart from the picture below, I invite you to read...

The upcoming war continues to produce great art. Apart from the picture below, I invite you to read my lips. Failing that, you might want to read my mind
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Update 6pm: Going to the glitter ball? [Partially cross-posted from Gay Geeks...] Encomium has...

Update 6pm: Going to the glitter ball? [Partially cross-posted from Gay Geeks...] Encomium has a good post about growing up gay, inspired by a longer and moving article at SignalShift, yet another gay blog. I think being geeky as well as gay has pros and cons. Con is that being geeky, you get teased for a whole other set of reasons. A pro is that having dealt with one set of teasing, you're a lot better equipped to deal with the other set when it comes along. I would post one of the many coming-out stories I've written here, but I am currently too busy to do it justice. So read their stories, and be content that mine was very similar, apart from the understanding mother* and that I went to an all-male school, so most of the time I didn't have any friends. * To be fair to her, she had no opportunity to be understanding, because I didn't tell her anything about what was going on. My bad. Happy birthday, mom.
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This blog is increasingly becoming a superset of my other two blogs (gay geeks and free Trinidad,...

This blog is increasingly becoming a superset of my other two blogs (gay geeks and free Trinidad, what is google going to make of that juxtaposition?); but I suppose that's no bad thing. So first up, cheers to Steve for the Hand Puppet Movie Theatre summary/parody of Lord of the Rings: the fellowship of the ring; nothing says "funny" like making most of the main characters gay. And on a topic related in no way apart from they both involve me, Radio 1 (in the guise of 1 Xtra) is going to Trinidad carnival. They have a bunch of events and shows in the next week, most of which can be streamed over the web, so I won't totally miss Carnival this year.
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Arty! Sarky! Intensely disturbing! Surely, pleix.net was designed expressly with Matt Elton in...

Arty! Sarky! Intensely disturbing! Surely, pleix.net was designed expressly with Matt Elton in mind. My favourite is the sarky one.
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