You do it to yourself

You do, and that's what really hurts Do I bring it on myself? Tonight, Moz and I were coming home from Popstarz. We left a bit early, and the bus stop for the first of two night buses home was unusually crowded. Also unusually, there was a contingent of non-gay guys at the bus stop: four of them, wearing hoodies in 30 degree heat and shades in the night time and huge fake glass earrings. While waiting for the bus they were making loud boasts about somebody they were going to beat up for some unmentioned wrong. I thought: this is not going to be good. I was right. Because the bus was late, the stop got even more crowded until there were more than a bus-load of people waiting to get on. As per my usual habit, I headed straight for the top deck of the bus -- I like to see where I'm going at night -- and looked for 2 empty seats, but the deck was almost entirely full already, so there were only singles. Our four friends -- call them the Hoodie Monsters -- had all taken a double-seat each and were...
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Life is busy

Parents are visiting, job is hectic, life is generally good. I'm going to Noise. See you there!
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The Dancing Baby

Right, I've had a busy weekend. Lots to blog about, so let's try and get this over with quickly (while simultaneously chatting to four people on MSN and two via SMS. I am so totally overcommunicated.) Tackling things in chronological order, and adopting M's discreet habit of using initials for those without blogs: Friday: So, I didn't go to Noise. I liked Noise last time I went, but I wanted to dance, and Popstarz is better -- MUCH better -- for that. Noise has great music, but very Indie, so two-thirds of it I've never heard. In any case, C & I found it too difficult to get back from Vauxhall, so I met them at Retro and we got tickets for Popstarz. R turned up with J, who I met at Element, and C (or possibly K?) who I'd never met before. They decided to go to Noise anyway, so I didn't feel bad about ditching R with them. Popstarz was in fine form and C is a fabulous dance partner, totally unafraid of claiming a patch at the front of the stage and strutting her stuff. I is somewhat more retiring but...
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This is why it's .com, not .org

Anybody want a really nice Wacom graphics tablet? I'm selling mine on eBay (I'm getting a better one as a present for my birthday...).
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Grade inflation and falling standards

Inspired by a conversation on OUT, I got carried away as usual... First off: as all the teachers seem to be saying, there's a decline in standards, and I can't disagree. Having two older brothers, I did my A-levels with 8 years' worth of past papers and the decline was clear and visible (we all did physics, maths and chemistry). Chatting recently to someone who got his results today, he mentioned that his physics paper was "dumbed down" significantly from last year's, and in fact he was annoyed at how much material he'd learnt that hadn't been covered by the exam at all. I think the evidence that standards are declining is unassailable. The real question is, what's causing the decline? The problem is grade inflation. Teachers and exam boards are *both* under constant pressure to produce better results. Students meanwhile only have a certain level of natural ability. Due to improved diet and medicical technology, their natural intelligence may be increasing slowly -- IQs are rising -- but slowly,...
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Brainwashing for fun & profit

30 percent of a group of young people with a favorable view of the military said they had developed that view from playing America's Army. Dear god.
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Nailed

Since everybody and their dog is doing this test, I took it as well. And, well, I guess there's no escaping this diagnosis... eXpressive: 4/10 Practical: 7/10 Physical: 4/10 Giver: 2/10 You are a RPIT--Reserved Practical Intellectual Taker. This makes you a Love Geek. [A geek in all things, it seems] Heh heh -- you love geek! You are weirdly sexy. [Yay!] It doesn't take people a long time to get to know you, but people *think* it takes a long time, because you are as cool and regulated after a year as you are on a first meeting. [Possibly.] You don't tend to date casually -- you just suddenly find yourself in long term relationships. [Certainly.] Your approach to conflict is your greatest asset -- it complements almost every other type. You don't express yourself or your feelings in dramatic terms, but you will speak up to those who do. You are generally calm, but capable of ramping up, and you don't give up until the issue is resolved -- this means even the hottest temper or...
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RSS stands for Really Sexy Site

I have finally implemented my linklog! It's down at the bottom-right, apologies to Tom for nicking his style of linklogging, but since he nicked it from Kottke I don't suppose he'll be too miffed. I'm working on an RSS feed from this site, dammit. It's not done yet. I did fix the end-of-the-month bug though (I think) and you can now bookmark this page directly to get the current month. Update: RSS feed now available! You never have to see my crappy layout ever again. You can also get the scratchpad feed separately, for a near-continuous stream of useless linkage. Enjoy! Update 2: Yes, I know this has broken comments even more than before. Update 3: Comments fixed.
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Welcome to Seldo.Com 2.5

A raft of little improvements, some mentioned in the previous post. In addition to the RSS feeds, I have finally created per-entry comments, as of this entry, and there are now permalinks. I've also got rid of that bloody popup! Yay!
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I, Take It Back

(Cross-posted to the gay geek site) I was expecting the new Will Smith vehicle I, Robot to be a travesty of Asimov's vision. Having finally seen the movie, with the lowest of expectations, I take it back. Actually, this was an excellent movie, staying remarkably close to Asimov's concepts. If you haven't seen the movie and don't want it spoiled for you, stop reading now. I'm a long-standing fan of Asimov. His books were the first real sci-fi of any calibre that I read, and this site is named after a character in the Foundation saga, one of his series of books. Asimov was from the golden age of sci-fi: he wasn't trying to impress us with Gibsonesque cynicism, he wasn't making the philosophical allegories of Phillip K. Dick or the heavy-handed political analogies of Ursula Le Guin. He certainly wasn't trying to impress us with ultra-violence, gritty action, and indeed his books are pretty short on believable characters or realistic dialogue. Instead, like Arthur C. Clarke and a few of the other...
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Reasons to oppose Bush that have nothing to do with Iraq

See, I support the war in Iraq. But I'm no fan of George W. Bush. So I need some other good reasons to oppose him, and so do you. Here are a selection: Drilling for oil in wildlife preserves despite the fact that this would not reduce dependence on foreign oil and in fact would only slightly slow down the rate of increasing dependence. Oh, and of course it would ruin those preserves, but it doesn't even make straight economic sense to do it. Tax breaks mainly to the wealthy while plunging the nation into debt to spur economic growth of dubious worth. The terrifying police-state powers granted by the PATRIOT act to provide a false sense of security for middle America. A noted reluctance to separate church and state, including a constitutional amendment to deny gay citizens equal rights and laws to deny women the right to choose, despite neither issue being anything the government should be worried about unless that government were trying to uphold Christian values. Last but not least, he's a big,...
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