Wednesday, October 03, 2007

[puberty blues] chinese medical science

China claims early puberty stunts growth. That's interesting - now I'm wondering about li'l old me all those years back.

How would you rate Chinese medical science? Advanced? Weird? Primitive? Inscrutable? They say this about why early puberty is becoming more prevalent:

# You are bombarded with sexual scenes on TV now. Such scenes stimulate children too and triggers hormone secretion;

# Such hormones are often found in fast food, which accelerate children's development;

# The problem is more serious in major cities than in the countryside because urban children are better fed.


[three lovely ladies] this is for you


Айнур Гусейнова, the darkly exotic, like golden honey;

Ильмира Файзуллина, the smiling beauty with glasses;

Юлия Сафронова, the frisky closer of doors;

To you

Я вам даю этот "пост", девченкы, с любовю.

[russian crisis] liquidity is the issue

The reason you haven't heard of it yet is most likely that it's in the pipeline still and thus early days. Seems it's going to be like yours over there but there are internal mechanisms here now which weren't here in '98. Have to wait and see. The election is the main news.

[horror movie] your own caption, please

From Timofeller

[bacn] the new scourge of the inbox

Update Liz Thursday

Apologies to The Age for lifting their article holus bolus but it does say it all. Also, regulars know I don't go cutting and pasting MSM articles but this time I must do so and not leave any of it out.

Today I received an invitation from Facebook to hug a vampire or something. I've had invitations for drinks, to play scrabble and so on and so on, all of them from people I know and feel close to. It was the only reason I followed it up - these were friends I knew who'd also been sucked into this sort of thing.

They'd say it was just a bit of fun and using the tools Facebook had lovingly provided. I'd say, like Second Life, it was a deliberate time waster. Not by my friends, you understand but by the purveyors of such schemes.

Facebook is just one example of schemes inserted into the net for what purpose I know not. MyBlogLog is clear enough - it signals that a reader has arrived and is useful this way. But what exactly does Facebook offer, beyond the spurious?

I haven't time to be doing this stuff - it's a problem finding the minutes in the day as it is. That's why this article caught my eye:

Just when you thought you were finally starting to get on top of the spam epidemic, a new email scourge is clogging inboxes around the country: bacn. Unlike spam, bacn (pronounced "bacon") is solicited email, but that which you do not want to read right now, or even at all.

Coined at a US blog conference earlier this year, bacn spread across the blogosphere like wildfire and is now part of the geek vernacular. It includes messages from social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace, subscribed newsletters, surveys and flight bargains.

"If you're active in the social networking scene on multiple sites, multiply several LinkedIns by multiple Facebooks plus mailing lists you signed up to a couple of years ago - it can be a real problem," said Paul Ducklin, head of technology at security firm Sophos.

Facebook's incessant notifications of friend requests, wall postings, private messages and, particularly, invitations to install plug-in applications like a graffiti wall are often cited as the most annoying bacn.

As a remedy, the social network recently announced it would soon allow users to opt to receive all Facebook notifications in a single daily digest email.

For other forms of bacn, Philip Routley, product marketing manager at security firm MessageLabs, advises people to filter emails based on the sender's address or keywords.

"My suggestion would be to setup a rule in your Outlook that filters bacn into a separate folder," he said.

"Therefore at the end of the day or at lunch time you can jump into that folder and read any emails that you want to."

For those who don't use Microsoft's Outlook email program, Google, on its official Gmail blog, has published instructions on how to filter bacn into special folders in its web-based email service.

Alternatively, Routley advises web users to create multiple accounts on free web-based email sites like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. They could then use a different address for every social network or mailing list they signed up to and all of the bacn generated by them would stay clear of their primary email account.

What really worries me is that if I don't do this stuff - hugging vampires and so on - my friends will see me as a bit of a wet blanket and will start to ignore me, especially deprioritizing coming to read my site. This, I suspect, is part of the psychology of bacn.

What it also does is highlight another - perhaps the greatest necessity of all - prioritizing one's time to best effect and to the benefit of the greatest number.

[eyechart] how's your eyesight currently

Have a quick skim through the text below [don't dwell] and immediately say how many "F"s there are in it:





Now click here and you might be surprised.

[predictable really] who for mayor poll results

Ken the Newt………………….27%

Boris the Beefy………………73%

15 votes total

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

[photo quiz] easyriders of the blogosphere

Who's this daredevil of the Harley, born to ride, born to live, living to ride, living to die [no that's not right]. Who is this devil may care blogger? Here are your clues, of which only one was actually written by the blogger in question:


When I ride pillion behind Rafaello, holding his muscular torso and feeling the wind course through my golden locks, I shout, "This is Sicily" and as we tear down winding narrow, stone edged tracks to Lakeland Plastics to purchase some klippets, as I just cannot be doing with the fiddly bag ties that come with Italian freezer bags, the throb of the engine is a metaphor for the homemade cannelloni filled with beef ragù, peas and ricotta, veal and pork cooked in tomato sauce, with contorni of peppers dressed in olive oil, peppers in agrodolce [oil and vinegar] and grilled, dressed aubergines plus a good Chianti or three and the thought lifts our spirits and our hearts beat as one.


When Brian and I used to jam in Edinburgh, we'd do wheelies down Princes Street on our Bonnevilles between gigs, taking in the Old Town to the south, feeling the good vibrations and quoting Rabbie at the Jimmies and Hens lined along the promenade, before tearing up The Mound for some wheelspinning, Brian belting out That Lucky Old Song and me shouting to the punters to turn up to the Festival Theatre or we'd set the 10 piece band on 'em. Then a quick visit to the Bow Bar on Victoria Street for a few swift ales, a bit of how's yer father and when the hunger nibbles - it's only a 10 pace stagger from a brilliant cheese shop and a historically significant brush shop for afterwards.


Gwelai res o fythynnod ac ysguboriau a beudai o bobtu i'r ffordd a'r eira yn cyrraedd bron hyd at y toeau. Gwelai oleuni'r canhwyllau yn y ffenestri a'r mwg yn codi yn y simneiau, a chlywai'r gwartheg a'r lloi bach yn brefu yn y beudai, ac o'r llyn hwyaid deuai chwerthin llon y plant a oedd yn sglefrian ar y rhew caled, llyfn.

And on a bike too.


There is something different about travelling anywhere by bike, in the city it’s the sense of freedom it gives you as you cruise past almost stationary traffic coupled with a feeling of superiority as you effortlessly weave your way around the almost stupefied drivers in their anodyne aluminium caskets and gracefully glide to the head of the queue at the traffic lights ready to leave them for dust when the lights flicker to green. As you reach the open road there is the sense of freedom coupled with belonging as you become part of the passing scenery. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.


I’ve been to a couple of parties recently where the subject of inheritance tax has cropped up but that's not nearly as much fun as leaping on my Goldwing and dualling the York northern ring road with Julian. Man, we move and make beautiful music but yesterday, as we were cracking the ton past the Jorvik centre on the way to Betty's, I was removing the last crusty flakes of mascara when I saw IT through the side mirror - and froze. It was one of those nasty eight legged beasties on the fuel tank. Equipped for such an emergency, I silently inched my hand in to the pannier bag towards the spider catcher, keeping my eyes firmly fixed on this unwanted leggy guest. Then a passing truck shot a puddle all over us and when I next looked - the wee sleekit, couring, timorous beastie was gone!

[common purpose] just the facts, ma'am

The sleeper issue of the moment is Common Purpose and good to see bloggers beginning to pick up a whiff of this one, via Parker Joseph, Battle for Britain and Postman Patel.

What we can't seem to get is hard data on who is driving it from Europe or if it is stemming from Britain itself.

Good material on Common Purpose

UK Column
CP Exposed
Stop CP
Ken Craggs

Some of my own, based on material supplied

Common Purpose - more evidence
Common Purpose dishonesty
An oppressor by any other name
CP - the cancer spreads
OFSTED - the fish rots at the head

Common Purpose at work and play
More than corrupt
Groupthink spreads like a cancer through the UK
Is this how to run a country?
One ring to rule them all
Paradiso and the future of the internet
Demos, Common Purpose, Labour, Tories, security companies
Common Purpose - the disease spreads to the Netherlands
Common Purpose - meanwhile, in America
Groupthink - gentle art of persuasion
Common Purpose - initially to have a coffee
Common Purpose - just the facts, ma'am
Common Purpose - rhetoric of the quisling
References to Common Purpose appear in many other posts.

[russian crisis] early news hard to get

В Москве горит здание Института государственного и корпоративного управления

Russian Corporate Affairs office in flames today but this seems to be a separate issue

12:40, London time: Nothing on BBC, Telegraph, FT or Reuters at this stage and yet it's certainly the only phone conversation over here with everyone. Updates throughout the day.

So, by now the news might be filtering through to you about the Russian bank crisis and the rampant inflation in the last few days of up to 80% on all items. I can only get the news in Russian as the west seems to be very slow to report it:

Потанин и Прохоров договорились
о механизме раздела бизнеса

Seems to be the Russian trial run of the credit squeeze which you guys enjoyed two weeks ago and as soon as anything comes through, I'll report it.

The major thing is not to panic and as I've been saying over the last few weeks - to get out of any credit debt and buy commodities, particularly silver. If you have real estate, hold onto it and ride this thing out.

My own feeling is that it's just a trial run for the real thing but there could be some major moves today, tomorrow and the blog might end. Stay tuned.