There’s more than one way to fold a frog-base

In this discussion, I’m going to assume a familiarity with the water bomb base. Continue reading

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Some thoughts on the various “Occupy” movements

This post was largely prompted by a tweet from @HollyS_:

“Hose them out of there!” – James Wale. lol in reference to the London ‘Occupy’ camping trip. Brill

My reply on @markfiend:

@HollyS_ yeah because brutal police suopression of lawful protest is a right laugh!

(Typo in the original lol) Continue reading

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My life in the premium-rate industry, part 1

Here I was, fresh from college (having done a degree in “New Media”). I had seen a job advertised on the college noticeboards, “Wanted: designer for mobile phone logos”. Now I don’t know if you remember but back in the late 90s the state of the art in mobile phones were handsets that allowed custom ringtones and “operator logos”. The ringtones were simple things, no chords or anything, just one note at a time, and the logos were 72-by-14 pixel black-and-white bitmaps, and the media were being sold via premium-rate phone line. Continue reading

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Kindle Screensaver images identified…

Post updated with more identifications. Thanks to all the commenters making suggestions. Continue reading

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Some thoughts on the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

As I’ve finally got around to starting the second book of the Final Chronicles, Fatal Revenant, it has brought a few thoughts concerning the series to mind. (If you’re not familiar with Covenant, the wikipedia entry provides a good starting place. Also, be warned, I will be posting a few spoilers, especially for the first two sets of Chronicles.) Continue reading

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In which I lose all respect for Richard Dawkins

So… Rebecca Watson was recently propositioned in a lift, at an atheist conference, by a strange man, at 4am. She quite rightly complained that this was (at best) a little creepy, and made her uncomfortable.

Richard Dawkins posted on the Pharyngula comment thread about the incident… well, read it yourself.

I’m horrified by this. Does Dawkins seriously mean to tell Watson, in effect, to stop complaining because other women have it worse? Hey, Richard, apostates can be executed in Saudi Arabia, so you can shut up about creeping creationism in the UK and USA. The argument doesn’t work that way around, does it? So why should it work the way round you did it?

Worse still are the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of comments on three comment threads on Pharyngula actually defending creepy elevator guy, the vast majority of which are privileged clueless males defending male privilege (go figure).

For the terminally clue-impaired, here’s a link about why women have to treat all interactions with men with suspicion. And while you’re there, check out this guide to ignoring your privilege in online discussions.

Sometimes I despair of my fellow men.

Update: Phil Plait has weighed in on the issue here, saying the same as what I think, but in a much more eloquent fashion. Go Phil!

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When The Tigers Broke Free

It was just before dawn
One miserable morning in black ‘forty four.
When the forward commander
Was told to sit tight
When he asked that his men be withdrawn.
And the Generals gave thanks
As the other ranks held back
The enemy tanks for a while.
And the Anzio bridgehead
Was held for the price
Of a few hundred ordinary lives.

And kind old King George
Sent Mother a note
When he heard that father was gone.
It was, I recall,
In the form of a scroll,
With gold leaf and all.
And I found it one day
In a drawer of old photographs, hidden away.
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed
With his own rubber stamp.

It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free.
And no one survived
From the Royal Fusiliers Company C.
They were all left behind,
Most of them dead,
The rest of them dying.
And that’s how the High Command
Took my daddy from me.

Roger Waters, 1979

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