Bread machines are evil

I've not blogged about anything much recently, so on the basis that any blogging is better than silence, I shall blog about bread machines, and why they are evil. Bread machines are loved by a certain type of people. They like the homey smell of it, and ignore the fact that it's massively inefficient of time, space, and electricity to bake your own bread in a dedicated bread machine. These are the same people who make their own soap and construct their own shoes because they’ve seen hundreds of years of industrial revolution and mass production lead to huge increases in the quality of life for everyone and decided to chuck it all down the toilet. They also buy organic food, because inefficient farms make them feel better, and haven't heard that the green revolution is the only reason we didn't all starve to death in 1985. That is all.
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I have seen the elephant

And so should you. It's here until Sunday! Or if that doesn't appeal, you can follow me on my walk to work.
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Ass Recognition

I was on my way home from work today, descending the last set of stairs to the south bound Northern Line platform at Leicester Square, when something ahead of me caught my attention. Watching my feet as I descended the stairs, something vaguely familiar entered my peripheral vision, and I looked up to focus on it, just in time to see a very shapely arse in a thin pair of tracksuit bottoms disappearing around the bend of the stairs. This was no average ass. This was the proto-ass, of which all other asses are saggy, mis-shapen, inferior imitations. It didn't jiggle, or swing, it just bounced like a solid rubber ball, shifting up and down only ever so slightly as it disappeared rapidly from view. My appreciation of its qualities was significantly aided by the tracksuit bottoms, which were, as they all are, paper thin, and made of a silky material which slides easily, revealing contours in motion. I guess it couldn't have been somebody I knew, I thought to myself, in the final seconds as I hit the...
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Popstarz this week?

This is a lot easier than texting you all: so, anybody coming? A bunch of my co-workers are going, so come and meet some Yahoos on the town! ;-)
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Crisis of Cool

The sudden discussion of cool going on across Afterlife is missing a vital point. We seem to be repeatedly touching on the fact that none of us seem to give much of a shit about MySpace. Well, I have a profile, of course, because if it's on the Internet I have a profile on it, and Karinski has a profile, and unlike me she actually uses hers properly, to find out about new music. But membership of MySpace doesn't make you cool. In fact, it's not even relevant. "Coolness" is shorthand for "the respect of your peers". If all your peers are on MySpace, therefore, it is vitally important that you join up as well. This is why I'm on it (I have too many webbed-up friends not to be) and why Karinski is on it (it's vital for discovering new music). But if your peers aren't on it, then you don't need to be. In fact, a sixty year old granny on myspace wouldn't be cool, she would be sad. MySpace is for the young and musically avant-garde. We're not either of those groups anymore, but that doesn't make us uncool....
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In other news...

Do you know PHP, and have a few years commercial experience under your belt? Do you want to work at one of the world's top Internet companies? Then let me know, because we are hiring like crazy at the moment.
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Of some relevance to the current discussion

Friendliness is the new cool, study finds. "qualities such as friendliness, egalitarianism, fairness, honesty, passion, even niceness, are considered cool according to the prevailing tastes of today." So there.* * NB. this does not actually prove any of my earlier points, I just thought it was interesting.
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The current season of Doctor Who

Just in case it's not been obvious, I've been watching this. It is so far two top-notch episodes, better than last season's average, and one so-far pretty crap two-parter. I'm sorry, but Cybermen are obviously one for the long-time fans because they are not scary. They're not even menacing. They just look dorky, and ripe for parody.
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"Al-Qaeda does not believe in transparency"

And, apparently, neither do we. Glad we could find some common ground. Now if we could just come to terms on wanting to blow each other up all the time, maybe we could make some real progress. No, seriously, did Bush's press secretary really just claim that the reason the US can get away with violating citizens' rights is because al-Qaeda would be strengthened if they found out it was happening? Because, y'know, that's a reason you should stop violating the rights of your citizens. Not a reason you should stop commenting on the fact that you're doing so. This administration continues to make me nauseous. Is it 2008 yet?
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Musication

This will surprise nobody, but I'm really digging the new Snow Patrol album, Eyes Open. Five reasons to like it: He continues his excellent tradition of singing upbeat-sounding songs about thoroughly depressing things: We need to feel breathless with love And not collapse under its weight I'm gasping for the air to fill My lungs with everything I've lost The lyrics name-check Sufjan Stevens (in fact, the album sounds a bit like a revved-up version of Illinoise) It features Martha Wainright It has large groups of people all singing at the same time It has integrated clapping into at least one song. That's always good for a dance-along. Also, I agree that Supermassive Black Hole, by Muse, is both very surprising and impressively good -- as the review mentions, they sound a bit like Goldfrapp, and frankly I'm of the opinion that there's a world shortage of Goldfrapp, so the more the better. Are we going to get another rush of good albums released? Because it's about fucking time.
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British Summer rain / Seems to last for ages

I'm looking at the letter from the water company saying how we should be careful, as a drought order may be imminent, and laughing. Drinking: Hot chocolate Listening to: The rain, but probably Supermassive black hole again in a second Reading: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (It's a novel! Not even science fiction!)
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Afterlife: an update

It's been quite a while since anything major has happened to Afterlife, our faithful RSS aggregator for our little circle. Will's original creation fell over while we were on vacation, and I hastily slapped together a copy over a dialup connection from Trinidad, and since then that's pretty much been it. Simultaneously, my own aggregator, Planet Seldo (so named because it is running the same Planet RSS aggregation software that powers Afterlife) has been growing a bit too big for its boots. So recently, when I discovered the really rather nifty CakePHP development framework, and I was casting around for a neat little starter project -- nothing too difficult -- an obvious possibility presented itself. Without further ado, allow me to humbly present seldo.net, an RSS aggregation service, now open for beta testing. It comes preloaded with four sets of feeds: Afterlife, which is pretty much exactly the one you know and love. Chatter, a fast-changing list of gossip and web meme sites -- perfect to...
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This Friday

X3 is released. If you think I'm not going to see it on opening day, you are totally nuts. So, comment on this or text me if you want to come along -- it'll be the afternoon evening showing at the Vue in Leicester Square, because if the screen isn't humoungous, what was the point of all that money they blew on the CGI? Update: See above. I don't know why I said afternoon. I work on Friday afternoons, too. Update: 8 tickets booked, see you all there! 7.30pm showing, Vue West End.
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On Tesco and Globalization

From a recent post on a messageboard I frequent (used with permission): I hate Tesco with a passion. They got control of the UK food market by building edge of town Superstores in the late 1980’s by bribing Tory councillors. Closed all their in town stores or ran them down to be really so naff that no one wanted to shop there. Pandered to the petrolheads with huge car parks, discounted petrol by adding a bit to grocery products to counterbalance the loss. They then ran Free buses from towns and villages to there new Mega-Extra stores so people were sucked in by the perception of lower prices and greater choice, and stopped using local bakeries and butchers. Then in the late 1990’s they bought the failed village/suburban bakers and butchers and opened Tesco Express/Metro stores which carried such a limited range, you were encouraged to shop for other stuff at the Mega-Extra. At the same time they squeezed money paid to farmers, food producers and imported more goods from overseas where labour is...
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Seldo.net version 0.2

I've just released a minor update to seldo.net. All URLs are now absolute and all inline CSS is now stripped, which translated means "Rik's blog now has pictures, and Trixie's images don't hang down into the entry below". I've also added a Music category, which I'm hoping you all will help me flesh out with some suggestions for good new music blogs. Per-user stuff is still under development...
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