Well, Matt's done the Friday Five again, and other than posting yet more stuff about gay marriage...

Well, Matt's done the Friday Five again, and other than posting yet more stuff about gay marriage (you guys need to get used to read Gay Geeks, as I'm spending a lot more time there than I used to) I don't have much to say. So even though this week's isn't very good, I may as well... What time do you wake up on weekday mornings? At the moment, about 9am. Once I start work again (in a mere 9 days! gasp!) it will probably be a bit earlier. But yay flexitime! Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late? Do I ever, and it depends how late I've been out the previous night. I often don't emerge until about 2pm. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning? Turn on my computer. Sad I know, but true. I just don't feel the day has started until I can hear that reassuring hum, or in the case of my computer at the moment with its broken fan, that reassuring deafening racket that sounds like a lawnmower running over a rock. Must get that fixed. How long does it take to get ready for your...
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I'm in Edinburgh, staying at Evil Dan's, and as with every home machine I've come across recently,...

I'm in Edinburgh, staying at Evil Dan's, and as with every home machine I've come across recently, it's loaded with frikkin' adware and spyware. Aaargh! For future reference, my recommended anti-spyware and adware removal program is Spybot Search and Destroy.
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The fringe continues to entertain. So far we've seen: Everyone loves me, a musical comedy. The...

The fringe continues to entertain. So far we've seen: Everyone loves me, a musical comedy. The songs were okay, the singing was strictly second rate, the jokes were good, the plot was very good, and the lead was extremely cute. Rating: *** out of 5 McCloud and Black - The hook was sketch comedy, which we saw for free at the last minute. There were some very funny characterizations, if a trifle bizarre at times. We laughed a lot, but the last 10 minutes were unnecessary and not very funny. Rating: ** Twelfth Premise caught us by surprise by being full of Americans. The show itself was rather pretentious, the plot was okay if a trifle pointless, the acting was surprisingly good in places and everyone was startlingly attractive, and spent a lot of the time half-naked and involved in same-sex snogging. Rating: ***, one of which comes from the phwoooar-factor of the Heath Ledger lookalike in the cast. Terry Pratchett's Guards, Guards! was an unexpected discovery in the listings, and I'm glad we went. I'd...
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To quote Rik: "Link to me, you git." Done. Yesterday saw more festival-type activities....

To quote Rik: "Link to me, you git." Done. Yesterday saw more festival-type activities. Diving once more into the style of the hundreds of reviews I've read in the last few days while deciding what to see: Finding Bin Laden is one of several shows milking eye-catching titles for everything they're worth (my favourite in this vein being I'm Sorry I Ran Over Your Quintuplets). Finding Bin Laden bills itself as "a mixture of photography and drama", but what it actually is is a comedy played with minimal props in front of a big white sheet onto which are being projected pictures taken in Afghanistan. In addition to being quite funny, it also has a point to make -- several, in fact -- which it mainly manages to do without making you feel like you're having morality forced down your throat. No cute people, but you can't have everything. Rating: *** Next up was Newsrevue 2003, a much-publicised and well-reviewed sequel to one of last year's most popular shows. It's essentially musical sketch comedy,...
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Edinburgh was fun, and After Dark was awful, but full bloggage will have to wait, as I'm off to bed...

Edinburgh was fun, and After Dark was awful, but full bloggage will have to wait, as I'm off to bed now and it's too hot to think in any case. I'm moving house tomorrow, where there will be no broadband, so expect sporadic updates until I coerce BT to install ADSL at the new place; yay for horrible set-up charges... ciao!
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Gay Marriage

(Originally posted to the gay geek forums) Militancy aside, I reckon civil unions are the way to go. Marriage is a religious ceremony, and I believe it should be treated as such. We can't demand equal rights to a ceremony that involves an oath to a god in which we may not believe, any more than we can demand the right to a bar mitzvah. The whole problem of gay marriage is a problem of the separation of church and state that's never come up before: marriage is also a legal ceremony that provides a whole range of rights that we should, legally, also be allowed. So the solution is to separate the ceremony of marriage from these rights: let each church provide marriages in whatever way it sees fit; let the Catholics and the Anglicans sort out in their own time whether or not gays can get "married" by their definition. In the meantime, every couple, straight and gay, should be allowed to engage in a civil union, as a matter of human rights. Undoubtedly, there are some Christians who believe that their...
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Dumb things I've seen today: a virtual server, minimized into a corner of my screen, running a...

Dumb things I've seen today: a virtual server, minimized into a corner of my screen, running a screen saver. First day of work continues...
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PHP 5: Now with OO goodness

The new version of PHP is packed with fun new features which make object-oriented PHP a whole lot easier, and basically turn PHP into a loosely-typed version of Java. Which is fine by me :-) Yay for private functions and sensible inheritance! Today I am learning how word processors work, because I am writing the equivalent of a very simple version of Microsoft Word in order to create some reports in DOC format. It's not exactly fascinating, but it's a fun thing to work on, and it has the somewhat exciting characteristic of never having been done before, although I suspect this is because it has been too boring to attempt. (Well, okay, somebody did it before, but he charges money for it, and I'm not going to... except for my salary... oh, never mind). Other random bits about my new job: Regent's Park is very nice, especially now that it's not quite so godawfully hot. I can work in shorts and sandals. There is a fridge full of free cola. Our network is wireless. My screen is huge. I'm liking all...
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Useful discovery for today: turning emacs from "totally insane key mappings that it will take you...

Useful discovery for today: turning emacs from "totally insane key mappings that it will take you weeks to learn" to "keys work exactly like every other editor in the world ever" involves a single setting in the config file. The home and end keys work! I can select by holding down shift! The joy of the simplicity of these actions isn't noticeable until they're taken away from you. I'm very fond of pointing out how terribly designed computers are; perhaps I've been overlooking that, really, there's quite a lot of good design in there too.
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Random links I've made today: Get your very own George W. Bush Aviator Action Figure! Complete...

Random links I've made today: Get your very own George W. Bush Aviator Action Figure! Complete with flight suit! Nuclear-isomer weapons are a new form of superweapon with the potential to be significantly more powerful than nuclear weapons, with less fallout and with a significantly more versatile range of uses (they can be made much smaller than nukes, as there's no critical mass). New Scientists speculates we may be looking at a new arms race. Pray not. Next time you do something bad, remember the Chewbacca defence (one of his many cameo roles). Test yourself: programming language inventor or serial killer? (I got 5/10, and I have a degree in this stuff...) The W32.Blaster worm currently making the rounds apparently has some amusing messages in its source code, such as: "Billy Gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!" (Corroboration from WinInformant). Having been hit by this myself yesterday (shame on me for not patching) I'm glad there was at least some humour...
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Blogstakes lets you and me win crappy prizes!! Woohoo! More interestingly, the Devil's Dictionary...

Blogstakes lets you and me win crappy prizes!! Woohoo! More interestingly, the Devil's Dictionary (via plasticbag) provides definition-based humour for the digital age, including such gems as web standards ("A large stick or cudgel, used by the slightly more anal-retentive to beat the slightly less anal-retentive" and blog ("To noisily and simultaneously void one’s spleen, stomach, bladder and bowels, e.g. 'Get outta my way! I think I’m gonna blog!'").
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Come! Do battle with Seldo the Man-Eating Kung-Fu Monkey! (via Kyle the Pasta-Eating Assassin...

Come! Do battle with Seldo the Man-Eating Kung-Fu Monkey! (via Kyle the Pasta-Eating Assassin Monkey) Have you ever thought you might have ESP? Test yourself! And then be humbled when you realise that a mere flash program can read your mind (or can it?)
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Try this: Sitting down, start making clockwise circles on the floor with your right foot Now,...

Try this: Sitting down, start making clockwise circles on the floor with your right foot Now, without looking at your foot, use the index finger on your right hand to draw the number "6" in the air. Did your foot change direction? Yes it did, you liar. (via Defective Yeti) Meanwhile, via BoingBoing, I have discovered and now urgently want a twister duvet cover. How cool is that? And it's only £30, and available from the 28th of August -- conveniently in time for my birthday! I'm serious, folks, get on the case with this. Finally, have you ever tried using Odeon's website in a browser other than Internet Exploder? Then you'll be glad to see Matthew Somerville's truly awe-inspiring Accessible Odeon, a site which scrapes the Odeon site for all its useful information, allowing you to use it in most any browser. Wow. Well done that man. He doesn't let you book, though, since that would involve giving him your credit card info, not Odeon. Obviously.
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Blame eDan. Seldo is a Giant Ant that breathes Poisonous Gas, Tunnels Underground, dislikes...

Blame eDan. Seldo is a Giant Ant that breathes Poisonous Gas, Tunnels Underground, dislikes Modern Architecture, and has a Single Giant Eye.Strength: 4 Agility: 5 Intelligence: 6To see if your Giant Battle Monster candefeat Seldo, enter your name and choose an attack: fights Seldo using Strength Agility Intelligence Meanwhile, hilariously, OJ Simpson says he sees parallels between his case and Scott Peterson. Hey OJ, you know why that is? Because you both killed your wives! I'm sure Scott will be pleased to know OJ is backing him, though, and maybe when he's acquitted they can both go in search of the real killer
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Homo High

(Cross-posted to my Gay Geek site) I have mixed feelings about the Harvey Milk School for LGBTQ youth (as recently discussed on the consistently interesting 50 Minute Hour). In case you haven't heard of it before, it's a school in New York specifically for all the various flavours of gay kids (and the Q stands for "Questioning", not Queer). On the one hand, I say great! A school where gay kids who have been beaten up or discriminated against at their own schools can go and be safe and still learn. Gay students consistently have a terrible time at school: 45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians experience verbal or physical assault in high school. 28% of these youths are forced to drop out of high school because of harassment resulting from their sexual orientation. A back-of-an-envelope calculation says that means roughly 1% of high-school dropouts are dropping out exclusively because people are attacking them because of their sexuality. I don't quite understand the classifications used, but it looks...
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Q: How many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None. Bloggers don't change light...

Q: How many bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: None. Bloggers don't change light bulbs, but they will link you to a discussion about how many bloggers it takes to change a light bulb. (And I stole this joke from that discussion! Reflexivity ahoy!) In other news (via Plasticbag), as if you needed another reason not to vote for them, the "culture spokesman" of the Convervative Party says that if the Tories were elected they would shut down the BBC websites. For those of us who know and love the huge volume of high-quality material the Beeb puts onto the web, this would be a disaster, especially in the wake of the news that the BBC intends to put online the entire archive of BBC television programming (every episode of Dr. Who!). Honestly though, what was Mr. Whittingdale thinking? What better indicator of how out of touch the party is do you need than threatening to shut down one of the best and most visible products of public spending to come along in years? His rationale is that it is...
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The street I work on has been custom-built to remind me of people I know. So far: Topman...

The street I work on has been custom-built to remind me of people I know. So far: Topman (Matt) Mikey (Mikey, duh) Artemide (Carly, aka Artemis) Phool (eDan) Further shops as I find them. And of course, both my brothers work on this street, a coincidence to bizarre to contemplate. Oh, and if you ever fancied going to MIT, you can now do loads of their courses online. How cool is that? The compsci stuff might come in useful should my PHP code ever need to become self-aware :-) And if that doesn't work, you can learn how to be a BBC journalist instead. I should really stop blogging now and do some bloody work.
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Madonna snogs Britney Spears and kisses Christina Aguilera! This is the kind of publicity stunt...

Madonna snogs Britney Spears and kisses Christina Aguilera! This is the kind of publicity stunt that adolescent dreams are made of; good thing I'm not an adolescent anymore. Also, that link should get me a few hits off Google in the next few days :-) Update: I agree with John of RainbowVilla that David said it best.
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The most interesting thing about Cem Kaner's software bill of rights is the fact that we don't have...

The most interesting thing about Cem Kaner's software bill of rights is the fact that we don't have any of them already, even though most of them sound fairly fundamental ("Let the customer see the contract before the sale") or obvious ("[S]oftware should be transferrable", i.e. you should be able to sell the copy of Windows you bought). Thanks to the joy that is "licensed" and not "purchased" software, however, most of these rights have in fact been explicitly taken away, often by that little click-to-accept agreement that pops up when you're installing the software for the first time. More people should be angry about this.
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