Mmmmbublemmmble!

Rackin' frackin' local anaesthetic. By the standards of other activities which involve somebody drilling holes in your mouth for 45 minutes, it was reasonably good: he didn't pull my jaw open, or bruise my lips, or start drilling before the anaesthetic took effect, all of which have happened at other dentists. And the nurse was atypically good at suction -- usually they can't be fucked, so you end up swallowing a pint of gross dentist-water and bits of tooth, but she got it all out of the way. He got 2 of the 4 fillings done, including one which he was expecting to be small but I was expecting to be enormous, and it was -- another more-filling-than-tooth jobbie. Next time he'll do the other two fillings and then the bionic super-crown thingy, which is not going to be gold, thank you very much. Until then, my face remains paralysed. I got a lot of funny looks on the tube this morning; according to my coworkers I look like a stroke victim.
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On Castro and Cuba

It's a blog, right? So I can talk about politics and anything else that I'm not qualified to talk about with impunity, as long as everybody keeps in mind that obviously my employer accepts no responsibility for, and indeed does not give two hoots about, the opinions expressed. From the Ed via email: ...I take it we've all heard that Castro is mad sick, and that his brother Raul (who, btw, is rumoured to be gay -- scandalous!) is currently in charge of the shop. Said brother is 75, so it's not like this is much of a solution. Anyway, my question is -- what do people think will happen if Castro dies in the next couple of months? Bay of Pigs II: Totally Competent This Time, We Swear? A big triumph for the opposition? I expect a slow crawl toward reform, myself. Give Cuba like 10 years, and it'll be like the DR but with better hospitals. And here's my response: There will definitely not be an invasion funded by the US. We* don't have the political will, and frankly we haven't got the resources...
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Israel vs. Hezbollah

Okay, so I've had a few discussions about this nightmarish situation recently, and essentially my take on it is this: Technically speaking, Israel is a democracy being threatened by a terrorist organization being hosted within a weak/failed state. We in the west have already decided (twice) that these are appropriate conditions under which to invade, producing massive civilian casualties in the name of providing greater security (or "fighting them over there" if it's not going so well, or "humanitarian reasons" if you're the kind of government that admits when it can't find WMDs). Hezbollah are firing indiscriminately into Israel's civilian population with a large number of (inaccurate, not terribly destructive, but obviously very scary) missiles supplied by Iran. Israel is firing back with overwhelming force and -- and this is very debateable -- not noticeably greater accuracy. So morally, Israel should have some kind of advantage on the basis that they are responding to terror, and...
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Face paralysis Wednesday

"Emergency root canal" are not good words to hear at 9am on a Wednesday morning.
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8/10 is 9/11 minus 1/1

...so I guess on July 9th, 2011 I should be very, very careful about where I go? So, as everybody and his dog has already related, a plot to blow up multiple transatlantic flights has been foiled by UK police. The presumed terrorists were evidently planning to use liquid explosives, composed of ordinary materials and mixed on board and detonated with small electronic devices disguised as everyday items. Britain's airports have gone into massive security alerts, and hand baggage and all liquids have been banned from flying. Of course, when an attack is foiled, it's all very well for everybody who's been not-bombed, but what of the poor news networks? Deprived of scenes of carnage and heartbreak, they're stuck with only hastily-arranged interviews with "experts" of dubious provenance and endless retelling of the only actual victims of the attack, those of the massive delays to flights -- "Oh god, there's nearly been a terror attack! It's made me 90 minutes late for work!" doesn't really have the same...
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Fa-la-la-la-la-aaargh

Incidentally, I'd just like to point out that I heard my first Christmas carol of the year on the 10th of August. Words can barely express my levels of horror and disgust at the continuing encroachment of this fucking day on our lives. Now that the barrier of Halloween has been breached, and with no US-style Thanksgiving to act as a secondary brake, there's nothing stopping Christmas in this country from extending all the way back to the end of Easter.
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Home before 7pm!

Well, not tonight, actually, as I went out to an impromptu dinner to celebrate the wonderful Mikey getting a wonderful job! Yes, folks, everybody's favourite unemployed Ukrainian is now a mere signature away from being a trainee lawyer, with a salary to bitch about and colleagues to complain about and everything. Just like a grown up! The transition will be hard for all of us, I'm sure. I personally am celebrating finishing work at 6pm two days in a row, after what in retrospect has been more than a month of working at breakneck speed. Say hello to the new Yahoo! Tones, also in the UK and Germany. If -- for some god forsaken reason -- you do want a new ringtone, we've got every tune under the sun, it's £3, and we don't lock you into an evil subscription or anything*. Okay, I'll stop plugging now. Tomorrow is yet another trip to the dentist, this time hopefully for stage one of creating The Bionic Molar™. * Unless you're in the US and you really want to be in one. But it's clearly marked in text...
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Google.fm

Google's latest labs project is Google Music Trends, a service which tracks the listening habits of users of Google talk and produces aggregate statistics about their listening habits. This is taking pretty firm aim at last.fm and LaunchCast Radio which already provide this feature. It's interesting, but like a lot of Google's more recent efforts, I don't think this is going to change the market much. GMT has the same failing of launchcast, which is that it provides lots of aggregate and whole-universe stats, which are useful and interesting to owners of the site, but provides end-users with little or nothing in the way of personal statistics. The users of last.fm use the service because it suggests music for them and it generates detailed weekly and monthly listenings charts for them (and easily lets them post these to their websites). This gives people a very clear personal reason to sign up, and then later they catch on to the social aspects and global aspects. What's the incentive to sign up to...
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Snakes on a Plane day

It's here! It opens today! Sadly, I have commitments that mean I won't be able to see it until tomorrow at the earliest, but oh well. Snakes on a Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane!
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Oh ye of little faith

For 5 long months I have been hyping this movie, and now the movie is out and the reviews are in, and it's official: Snakes on a Plane is a huge pile of awesome. There are snakes, there's a plane, there's Samuel L. Motherfuckin' Jackson, there's an endless, hilarious rollercoaster of camped-up B-movie clichés, and there's a bodycount to rival Rambo 3. Go see. You will not be disappointed.
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I don't post lyrics much these days, do I?

From Already Over by Orson: So go ahead and hate me now For breaking up on the phone But I know that I'd crack if I saw your face I deserve to be alone And I hate that I still love you, girl And I only wish you well But I'll never be man enough for you And you're a psycho bitch from hell These lyrics are not, repeat NOT directed at anybody, nor do they have any meaning. I just think they're hilarious, though a lot is in the tone of his voice. I recommend this album, obviously.
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Question of the day

If the dentist mis-judges how long his work is going to take, and the anaesthetic wears off while he's still drilling around, causing you intense pain, and you yell about this, but he says he'll just finish up quickly, causing you further intense pain, can you sue him for malpractice? This is not a hypothetical. Answers from actual lawyers or people who've done research will be given extra credit. P.S. They weren't terrorists, they were just Asian. Is anyone surprised? I feel like the other passengers on the plane should all have to pay these two compensation or something, hysterical racist fucks that they are.
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Grrrr :-(

Sorry to be boring, but I'm gonna talk about my teeth again, if only because for that much money, I should at least be getting some blog-fodder. Okay, so it's official, my dentist is incompetent. For the second time in 3 weeks he has performed a filling and I've had it go wrong and require a root canal -- last time during his normal working hours, but this time the pain woke me up at 4 in the morning and had me scurrying across London on early Sunday morning buses to get emergency, private, horribly expensive treatment from a different dentist. So the NHS is going to get a letter from me, along roughly these lines: Initial consulatation: 4 fillings required, 2 being replacements for older fillings that seemed to be undermined by decay, plus rebuilding and capping of a tooth that had had a root canal several years previously and had broken. First filling: okay Second filling, left upper premolar: white filling, very deep. Took much longer than estimated. Became sensitive as soon as anaesthetic...
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Things to do while waiting for your jaw to stop hurting

If you're not just sitting around waiting for your face to stop hurting, you should probably only do one or two of these. Firstly, the 2-Variable Intuition Test claims that not only am I not exceptionally smart, I'm a fuzzy-feeling hippie. Stupid test! What does it know? Just 'cause I can pick out the dumb suicide girl. More Emotional You have: 55% SCIENTIFIC INTUITION and 70% EMOTIONAL INTUITION The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored above average on emotional intuition and about average on scientific intuition.Keep in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of intuition you're best at. Your emotional intuition is stronger than your scientific intuition. Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A...
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Ah, competition

So, just to be clear: in an exclusive deal made earlier this year, Yahoo! will be handling all the branded advertising on eBay in the United States. Outside the United States, in a deal announced today, exactly that same function will be handled by Google. In other news, I managed to chew something on the right-hand side of my mouth today. This is progress.
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Gattawho?

New favourite story intro, ever: Ah, yes, we've never heard of that sort of thing before...
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Explictly Sorry

So, back in October 2002, I blogged about Jeremiah Cohick, a rather tasty geek who was featured in Apple's series of "Switch" ad campaigns. I was pretty sure he was gay. But when I emailed him to hit on him mention I'd blogged him (really, what possesses me to do these things?) he cheerfully denied it. Turns out, 4 years later, I was right, and Jeremiah came out -- actually, nearly a year ago, I just missed it because I'm not actually stalking him, it just seems that way. And not only has he switched teams, but he's found a teammate. It's so sweet! And nice to know my gaydar isn't totally broken. I'm just really sorry that I was one of the "creepy gay guys" who "flocked" to his blog after his Switch commercial, right in the middle of the period when he was struggling with his sexuality. Oops. Really sorry about that.
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