Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday list

Today: following on from a jolly pub conversation I had last night, I present The Best Films To Watch When You're Drunk.

Shaun of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead (original)
28 Days Later
Spinal Tap
Office Space
Mystery Men
South Park: Bigger, Louder, Uncut
Ed Wood
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Withnail and I
Spiderman 2
Never Say Never Again
Spinal Tap
The Italian Job
Twin Town
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Gremlins (I LOVE 80s horror films and this is triumph of evil childish genius)
True Romance

Sideways will join this list when it comes out to buy.

Oh, and, the Sharpe box set - explosions, guns, swords, dead Frenchmen, corsets etc.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

More on ID card implementation

No abortion essay today as I am up to my eyeballs in work, due to having come in an hour and half late. This delay was cause by failures on both the Jubilee and Met lines, thereby cutting off the entire of NW London from everywhere else.

It would appear that there are already technical problems with biometric ID cards: but since when have ministers a) ever passed implementation misgivings on to voters and b) understood technology? I am willing to bet the number of MPs with science/engineering degrees can be counted on two hands.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

On animals and men

I'm a vegetarian, but I also have a biology degree, and I work within a university on the commercialisation of research, so I have a rather mixed but relatively well informed (I like to think) view on animal use by humans. On one hand, I recognise that we no longer really *need* to eat meat, and that furthermore raising animals for meat causes terrible environmental damage.

On the other hand, I recognise that I have omnivorous dentition and all the right enzymes for digesting meat. And, when I was younger, I actually went rabbiting with a gun on a few occasions, because where I grew up it is traditional and no-one questions it. I would not force my vegetarianism on anyone. I have made my choice. So that is what I think about food.

However. My view on animal experimentation are somewhat different. I recognise that
*Animal use should be minimised. It is distressing and expensive. Despite what certain activists will tell you, NO scientist performs unnecessary experimentation because keeping and buying the animals is so damn expensive, and nearly all scientists work to tightly controlled research budgets.
*Animal use is necessary. Some medicines cannot - CANNOT - be developed without animal testing, such as vaccines. Vaccines interact with the mammal immune system ,which is incredibly complex and dynamic; such things cannot by modelled or simulated in vitro or in silico. Other examples of necessary animal use is in the development of novel neurosurgery.

The best counter-argument for banning animal use in experiments is the behaviour activists themselves. Some samples of the activities they are involved in:
Parkinson's victim accused of being a Nazi and told to 'roll over and die' - an example of the kind of revolutionary novel neurosurgery I refer to above. Note how they react to living evidence of the life-changing efficacy of animal derived surgery.
Researcher's children sent bomb wrapped in HIV infected needles
Grave desecrated
The moral high ground? In the meantime, the people they threaten and bomb will go on trying to cure diseases and ease both human and animal suffering.

I look forward to receiving hatemail on this topic. I WILL publish it verbatim so get your spelling and grammar right. And your facts. That'll be the hardest one.

And before you send me any anti-vivisection mail, check you're not wearing leather shoes.

I've quite got the hang of controversy now, I think I will talk about abortion tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

US Army kills star recruit

This is perhaps a new low in US military cynicism. A star all-American recruit, an ex-football player who gives up his millions to fight in the War on Terr-ur, is shot and killed by own side. So what do they do? They tell his parents, and the world, he was killed fighting the Taliban. And pray the story doesn't get out, thereby destroying your recruiting campaigan (which may as well be called Project Cannon Fodder.)

It has got out.

Sickening. His parents must be devastated.

I wonder if the US media are covering this? They are usually remarkably mute on such matters, for fear of being accused of the crimethink of 'anti-Americanism'.



Your Deadly Sins

Envy: 40%
Wrath: 40%
Greed: 20%
Sloth: 20%
Gluttony: 0%
Lust: 0%
Pride: 0%
Chance You'll Go to Hell: 17%
You will die in a duel.

Blog links

I added some links yesterday and so decided, in line with what I gather is blogging etiquette, to contact the parties concerned. Was OVERJOYED this morning to find a reply from the mighty ScaryDuck, writer of some of the funniest stories I have ever heard.

I'd like to tell all my friends about this but a) that would blow my anonymity on this blog and b) it's bit sad that I get excited by such things.

Anyway, thanks Scary!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Teenage mothers


It's almost enough to turn one Tory.


The Moai

p.s. is it a matter of time until someone names a child Asbo?

Alastair s*dding Campbell

As if he hasn't polluted my party enough, he's now interfering with my sport too:,10069,1489956,00.html

What disturbs me is the way the RFU under Clive Woodward *asked* him to join the tour.

That said, I am looking forward to seeing Alistair attempting to control rugby players. Bullying ingenue New Labour MPs is one thing. Telling 20 stone 6'5'' props that they can't go out, get plastered and say whatever they damn well please is quite another.

'Alistair Campbell Assaulted, Striped Naked, Dyed Blue and Clingfilmed to lamp-post by Lions Players'

I'd frame that headline.

I don't like Mondays

The above-referenced Boomtown Rats tune was about an American girl who took a shotgun into school with her and executed sveral teachers and a few fellow pupils back in the seventies. When asked why, she replied, 'I don't like Mondays.'

Weekend went very well. Spent lots of time with N, and went to see Star Wars episode 3 with K. I can see what Lucas is trying to do in bringing the story back round to the point where we all know New Hope starts, but it really is dragged down by Hayden Christiansen, who is just not convincing. He should be pure evil by the end, but instead just seems petulant. Still, it's got Yoda in it, it's not got Jar-Jar sodding Binks in it, and it's better than Phantom Menace.

Better do some work now.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Being Bridget

Haven't seen N in ages cos she's had a really busy week. And because K, my flatmate, if off on his travels again, I've been kind of lonely this week. Maybe I didn't help my own mental state by watching Donnie Darko (, which always puts me in a melancholy mood.

Missing someone this much over the space of just a few days is not a good sign. Really don't want to become needy. Plus, I can't escape the nagging feeling that I'm going to get chucked at some point. But if one always thinks like that, how can one ever enjoy anything? I do love her.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good morning around the world

If you deal with people in business who don't share your native language, you'll know what a good impression it makes to learn even the most basic phrases in their language. So:

Bonjour/bore da(Welsh)/guten tag/marnin' (West Country)/Indemin addersh (Amharic)/pari lusi (Western Armenian)/Mojn (Jutland Danish)/Yadra (Fijian)/Ohayo (Japanese)/Ooglonii mend (Mongolian)/Mu lemele (Zambian Silozi)/Kuzu zangpo (Bhutanese Dzongkha)

Couldn't find Easter Island Rapanui or Pascuense. If there are any Easter Islanders reading, I'd love to know.

Question: Would a mobile office supplies delivery service be 'Non-stationary stationery'?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The death penalty

I was once told that they sterilise the needle before giving you the lethal injection.


On the subject of happiness

... but, following on from yesterday, there are some things that can give you a good belly laugh. Like a website for a Japanese company that makes clothes for cats. Specifically, clothes that allow you to dress your cat up as a frog or a chick.

Take a look but be warned, you WILL laugh out loud, particularly at the look of sheer disgust on the face of the cat dressed as a chick.

Only the Japanese could do this. It'd be animal cruelty here.

How do you dress a cat anyway?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Happy people

These gents obviously love their job, although I must admit I never thought a man in a wolly jumper clutching a teddy could look so *unsettling.* (

But they're happy. And so is this guy (, despite what society may think of them, and that is admirable. I say this as someone who's struggled to let himself be happy for a while now. I envy them. If you can truly jettison negative thoughts then tell everyone else how to do it.

Rant number one - starting as I mean to go on....

Most people start blogs with a bit of background as to why they're doing it. I'm hoping that will become apparent over the next few weeks and months.

Anyway, onto my favoured topic of the moment: Blair. A-ha! What more can be said? The man has seemingly not taken on baord the public's distaste for him and so he is attempting to ram through some ill-thought out legislation:
This will be a total disaster. Spain has ID cards and the Madrid bombing still happened. I maintain that ID cards are an answer still lacking a convincing question, and will be at best a money-pit, and at worse a pointless intrusion. Am I not already sufficiently identified? Govt IT cock-ups are legion (£1b on a pension system that never worked) and this will be the biggest of all, mark my words. And as for the 'incitement to religious hatred' bill.... unworkable jurisprudence.

The link below is to a US judge - check out the name. And where his wife is from.
Childish, I know. But funny.

50 Things about me to come. It won't be as funny as or as interesting as (oh, to be able to write like that) but then who is?