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“My right forearm has a 8″ ruler on it that I use for everything from measuring PVC diameter to wire lengths. My background is in embedded hardware design, but I choose to spend my time doing experimental building, transportation, and energy these days. The tattoo gets used daily.”–Mikey
“If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a third party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a sledgehammer, I’d take the fingers…”
CHRISTMAS is Iraq: “No thanks to them, Christians are flocking back to Baghdad”
RICHARD Dawkins and the Archbishop of Canterbury:
Simon Heffer has written a very sensible (damn, I hate that word) article about why atheists rooted in our culture should have no problem at all enjoying Christmas. I agree whole heartedly with that view but…
We atheists are supposed to feel bad about Christmas. After all, what is it to do with us? All the present-swapping, drinking and over-eating is merely taking advantage of someone else’s festival, isn’t it? I have always had my doubts about that analysis, all the more so since the Archbishop of Canterbury this week refined the Christmas story as “legend“. I start to wonder whether I am any more of an atheist than he is.
Oh Simon, Simon, Simon…really. You are talking about the head of the Church of England…of course he is more of an atheist than you are! Folks like you and I simply decline to believe on the whole beardy-guy-in-the-sky thing and that is good enough for us, no need to bang on any drums about it and generally be a tiresome crypto-fascist prat like Dawkins. Dr. Rowan Williams on the other hand drives more people into our way of thinking every time he opens his yap. Clearly he and Dawkin are batting for the same side no matter how much they pretend to not like each other.
THE News of the World predicts that repossessions will leap by 50% next year.
The paper says data indicates the number of families thrown onto the street will rise from 30,000 this year to 45,000 in 2008.
And the People says first time buyers, who have dropped to their lowest level since the 1980s, will be abel to afford a home.
It promises to be a bumper year for property news…
Nine NHS trusts in England have admitted losing patient records in a fresh case of wholesale data loss by government services, it has emerged.
Hundreds of thousands of adults and children are thought to be affected by the breaches, which emerged as part of a government-wide data security review.
The Department of Health says patients have been told and there is no evidence data has fallen into the wrong hands.
I am from Barcelona, I know nothing…
HER Majesty the Queen has launched her own channel on the video-sharing website YouTube.
The Royal Channel will feature her Christmas Day message as well as recent and historical footage of the monarch and other members of the Royal Family.
The launch marks the 50th anniversary of the Queen’s first televised festive address in 1957.
Look out for home movies – shots of the man on the grassy knoll in Paris and more…
Firstly, says the reporter, “Anything in the prime minister’s life can cause huge attention, huge fuss and Tony Blair wanted to avoid that”
Tony Blair converts is the lead news item on the TV news; “Tony Blair joins Catholic Church” is the lead item on the BBC news website.
So why did he convert now..?
“That could only be said by Mr. Al Gore; a normal person would be hard-pressed. I see no destruction of our planet. Nowhere in life have I seen it, and I do not think that any serious and reasonable person could say it.” – Czech president Vaclav Klaus in response to the question: “You do not believe that we’re destroying our planet?”
“Climate change protesters began a weekend of direct action today by supergluing their hands to the headquarters of the Department for Transport.” – report in London’s Daily Mail.
“I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” – Al Gore. It’s because they’re all glued to the Department for Transport, Al (Australia’s Daily Telegraph)
“When you use too much electricity, it kills animals.” - a 7-year-old quoted in the New York Times.
Global warming stopped? Surely not. What heresy is this? Haven’t we been told that the science of global warming is settled beyond doubt and that all that’s left to the so-called sceptics is the odd errant glacier that refuses to melt?
Aren’t we told that if we don’t act now rising temperatures will render most of the surface of the Earth uninhabitable within our lifetimes? But as we digest these apocalyptic comments, read the recent IPCC’s Synthesis report that says climate change could become irreversible. Witness the drama at Bali as news emerges that something is not quite right in the global warming camp.
With only few days remaining in 2007, the indications are the global temperature for this year is the same as that for 2006 – there has been no warming over the 12 months.
But is this just a blip in the ever upward trend you may ask? No.
This story in the New Statesman is illustrated with the required pictrue of a polar bear.
Anorak’s picture is from a story headlined “Global warming advocates rally downtown”, published in a New Hampshire, USA, organ, owned by the mighty Dow Jones, Inc.
Sam Witherbee, a Carbon Coalition employee, says their efforts converged now because of the upcoming primary and the change of season. “Climate change will affect this area,” says Witherbee. “We’re here showing we love winter, love the cold weather. That’s who we are and we don’t want it to change.”
And this: “Bill Burtis, also of the Carbon Coalition, said the turnout was a good one. He said it was almost as cold as the day former presidential candidate Al Gore gave his global warming speech in New York City.”
So the Al Goreans hot air hasn’t made it worse…
Or to put it another way, Bethlehem residents paint over graffiti depicting them as dumb animals.
Writes the paper’s Rebecca Harrison “in Bethlehem”: “Bethlehem residents have painted over a satirical mural by the graffiti artist Banksy that was meant to highlight their plight.
The elusive British artist had painted six images around the town to help drum up tourism before Christmas and to illustrate the hardships faced by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.”
Good old, Banksy. Without him what hope Bethlehem of getting any tourists to rock up for Christmas. Many are the nun, shiny eyed evangelist and coachload of tourists who have arrived at the site and wondered that it could only benefit from a bit of graffiti.
The now erased picture was of an Israeli solder checking a donkey’s papers. Bethlehem is a site protected by the Israelis keen to stop Islamists from blowing it to smithereens. Banksy finds this worthy of his satire.
So too does Harrison: “But the irony behind the depiction of an Israeli soldier checking a donkey’s identity papers was lost on some residents, who found it offensive.”
“We’re humans here, not donkeys,” says local Nasri Canavati. “This is insulting. I’m glad it was painted over.”
Says Harrison: “To be called a donkey in Palestinian society is similar to being called an idiot.”
Or a hack…
Coronation Street Quote of the Century…
Audrey Roberts: “Ecstasy tablets… In my salon?!”
PEOPLE magazine to George Bush: Has the White House been good or bad for your marriage?
The President: “It has been great. Because strong marriages, under stress, get stronger. The White House has made a good marriage really good.”
Has Bill Clinton been involved in any sex scandal since he entered the White House?
WE lost: The names chosen by The Earl and Countess of Wessex for their son are James Alexander Philip Theo.
APPLE has settled a legal row with tip site Think Secret that will see the website closed.
The legal battle between Apple and the site blew up in January 2005 when Think Secret revealed details of the Mac Mini before its official unveiling.
Apple brought the lawsuit to make the fan site reveal who had leaked details about the cut-down computer.
By agreeing to shut down, the Think Secret site gets to preserve the anonymity of its sources.
Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, says: “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”
Apple declined to provide details of the settlement but a spokesman said it was “happy to have this behind us”…
A California court initially sided with Apple but the hi-tech firm lost the case on appeal. The outcome of that said bloggers should be considered as journalists and subject to the same protections.
Suing your fans is not exactly great PR, especially for a brand that protrays itself as non-corporate and challenging…
Gordon’s Vim – Stanislav
“Ken is Denying the Truth” – Andrew Gilligan
As if – Iain Dale
Matt Drudge’s Money – Portfolio
IT seems: “Men are naturally more comedic than women because of the male hormone testosterone, an expert claims.
“Men make more gags than women and their jokes tend to be more aggressive, Professor Sam Shuster, of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, says.
“The unicycling doctor observed how the genders reacted to his “amusing” hobby.
“Women tended to make encouraging, praising comments, while men jeered. The most aggressive were young men, he told the British Medical Journal”
Victoria Wood is a woman – Hale & Pace are men
When philosophers attack: “This book runs the full gamut from the mediocre to the ludicrous to the merely bad,” begins Colin McGinn’s review of On Consciousness by Ted Honderich. “It is painful to read, poorly thought out, and uninformed. It is also radically inconsistent.”
Says his lawyer: “He looks like Santa Claus because of what he has been through.”
Santa is a fat, jolly, ruddy-cheeked man. If this is what Guantanamo Bay does to you look out for it being reclassified as a health farm…
Christopher Hitchen’s Grinch:
THE Secret of Mike Huckabees’s success:
The miracle birth of the Republican candidate with the four-word name — Mike Huckabee Iowa Front-runner — has as much to do with social class as religion. There is nothing subtle about Huckabee’s celebration of his humble roots: He gleefully told 150 supporters (some more accurately described as acolytes) in Marshalltown Thursday morning that a “Republican muckety-muck” had recently declared that Huckabee was unelectable because he had a “hick last name.”
Then, a few minutes later, Huckabee returned to his obsession with the name game. “I didn’t grow up with a name that opened a lot of doors or had a Rolodex,” he boasted, harking back to his childhood in Hope, Ark. Then, the candidate suddenly switched to a twangy version of an upper-class lockjaw accent as he recalled, “Nobody said, ‘Oh, he’s a Huckabee, let him in.’” After the laughter died down, Huckabee added, “I often say that for my family, summer was never a verb. We summered in hay fields and chicken yards and all kinds of stuff.”
Of course, Huckabee is laying it on thick, but the candidate is peddling his common-man persona more than any specific set of policies. This time around, Romney (the governor’s son) and McCain (the son of an admiral) lack convincing hard-scrabble stories from their early years. And the Bush family is not exactly the embodiment of portraits in populism. Huckabee, in fact, stole a joke that Jim Hightower famously used to ridicule the elder George Bush at the 1988 Democratic Convention. “Many of you work hard,” Huckabee said, as he looked out at the breakfast crowd (not a tie or a dress-for-success outfit in view) at the Best Western in Marshalltown. “That’s what America’s always been about. It’s not about folks who were born on third base and think they hit a triple.”
Does Gordon Bown’s accent change when he’s in Scotland?
DECK the fools (bit late but good): “ANTI-CHRISTMAS CAROL SERVICE”
Ladies and gentlemen, (naughty) boys and girls… it’s time to call an end to a ridiculous charade:
You are cordially invited to a public anti-Christmas carol service in Parliament Square at 6:30pm on Thursday the 20th of December 2007.
With apologies to Amnesty International… yet again.As with previous years, candles and song sheets will be made available, with donations going to Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.
However, this year we will NOT be demonstrating in favour of Christmas without seeking police permission. We will instead be demonstrating against Christmas with police permission… just to be difficult.
Previously, the police have been a little bit confused about what does and does not constitute a demonstration, which is what makes their enforcement of Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act (2005) so charmingly inconsistent.
To help clarify matters, we are repeating a demonstration (that the police have claimed is not a demonstration) that is identical in every significant detail… bar one:
This year, we will be demonstrating against something instead of demonstrating in favour of it… and requesting permission so the classifcation of this event as a demonstration (or not) is on record.
UPDATE (18 Dec) – The verdict is in! The police have decided that we DO need permission. Apparently staging an event in support of Christmas is legal within a designated area without police permission, and staging an event against Christmas is not. The police are therefore guilty of religious discrimination.
KATE Moss is suing Pete Doherty to top him releasing a sex tape the pair made during their great romance.
The New York Post’s Page Six reports:
The Babyshambles frontman is negotiating with Britain’s ITV2 network to tell all about their romance and share his home videos of her in a documentary titled “Kate & Pete: A Love Story.” Doherty, who split with Moss last summer, could make $1 million, a source said, adding, “Producers hope he’ll let them use a lot of film he and Kate shot on camcorders.”
Hands up who wants to see Peter Doherty naked? We said hand up…
URI Geller went to the Savoy Hotel auction and bought 360 spoons. You can never have too many spoons…
SEAN Hoey has been cleared of causing the Omagh bombing which killed 29 people.
This means no-one has been charged with the massacre…