Thursday, July 03, 2008

[thought for the day] thursday evening

This evening, I plan to kill three birds with one stone:

1. Last evening Jeremy Jacobs commented on the “thought for the day”:

A bit profound for a Wednesday evening;

2. Jams O’Donnell also indicated that he’d like to see a good Wordless Wednesday from me;

3. Welshcakes was telling me how much she loved football and couldn’t stand even one day without it. I thought I’d take up Beaman’s idea and convert it into a poem.

For all three august bloggers, the result is here to read. Hope you enjoy it:

Thank you.

[youtube] your data now with another company

"Google will have to turn over every record of every video watched by YouTube users' names and IP addresses, to Viacom, which is suing Google for allowing clips of its copyright videos to appear on YouTube, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Although Google argued that turning over the data would invade its users' privacy, the judge's ruling (.pdf) described that argument as "speculative" and ordered Google to turn over the logs on a set of four tera-byte hard drives."

What fun to be living in this day and age. James Barlow would certainly disagree with that statement, as he outlines the great parking dilemma:

If we define the problem to be "too many cars on the road", the general consensus amongst drivers seems to be that the solution is better public transportation systems for other drivers. But very few people have any desire to make the "modal shift" themselves.
Quite right and yet I'm currently on foot [well, actually I'm at the computer just now] but am thinking of a motorbike.

Just thinking, mind.

[awards] comment at the site

Not much blogging time this morning. Comment on the Awards is at the site [click pic in sidebar].

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

[thought for the day] wednesday evening

There are any number of these but this one introduces the topic fairly well:

The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.

[George Eliot]
Well, I can't completely agree. When one is failing, sometimes it is better to cut one's losses and smile; one scrutinizes the failure, works out the weakness in the idea and plans it better for the next time.

To cleave to a losing idea though seems to me the height of folly.

Of course, some say perseverance is also a fine attribute, the tenacity of the bulldog, the never-say-die attitude. So perhaps it comes down, in the end, to a question of judgement and experience.

[dillow logic] economic reasons women are crap

Flipchart Fair Tales takes the esteemed Chris Dillow to task for his Times affected article on his blog:

Since he got a regular column with the Times, Chris Dillow’s blog articles have become increasingly outlandish. His recent piece on why women are crap is a case in point.

However, although his arguments, if that’s what you can call them, are silly, they are no worse than some of the rubbish that apparently respectable columnists write about men.

Those all-men-are-hopeless articles have been around for at least the past twenty years. Some of the bullshit has been repeated so often that it has become ’stuff everyone knows’.

Chris answers, using that particular logic he's famous for:

My motivation for writing it was in my question: “am I a victim of selection effects?” and in the fact that a couple of earlier posts had discussed selection effects.

Let’s grant that my arguments are silly. Doesn’t this show that even huge samples - women I’ve met in the last 20 years - can be systematically biased, if they are drawn from non-random sources.

This being so, shouldn’t we be much less confident than we are about drawing inferences from personal experience - even a lot of it? The post was not about women, but about the nature of knowledge - a point everyone seems to have missed.

And yes, some of my posts might seem silly. But this is because I occasionally (often?) err on the side of silliness, to undermine notions of judgment, credibility and expertise.

My brain hurts.

[sarko's all right] three reasons why

There are three reasons why, despite some political decisions, Sarko is all right in my book.


Footage of French President Nicolas Sarkozy expressing irritation at a TV technician ahead of an interview has become an instant internet success. The video shows the employee clipping a microphone to Mr Sarkozy's tie, and not responding to a presidential "hello".

"It's a question of manners," Mr Sarkozy is heard muttering. "When you're invited, you're entitled to have people say 'hello' to you".

Mr Sarkozy has been caught several times in off-the-record videos posted on the web. One of them showed him at a farm show in February, swearing at a member of the public who refused to shake his hand.

Fair enough. And this too. Anyone Mandelson attacks has to be good in my book:

On BBC's Newsnight programme, Mr Mandelson attacked Mr Sarkozy in a row over a World Trade Organisation deal that would cut subsidies to French farmers.

"I am being undermined and Europe's negotiating position in the World Trade talks is being weakened and I regret that," said Mr Mandelson. "It's very disappointing because the mandate on which I'm negotiating…has been agreed by all the member states."

The third reason is to the left here. She's Italian, he was daring in taking on another tall woman and it seems to have annoyed so many people. I do wonder about their clinches sometimes and then manage to put it out of mind.

He's a larger than life figure [though perhaps not so large in life]and heaven knows the world needs more of those just now.

[2008 awards] progress report

Progress report on the Awards is now up at the site.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

[right royal chat] the very next fad

Love this from Charon QC [the Questionable Cove]:

Last month the news broke that Gordon Brown was making phonecalls to unsuspecting members of the British public. Yesterday, the News of The World reported that The Queen had been thinking about setting up premium rate phone lines to allow the British public to call and get a message from the Royals - to help pay for the double glazing at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
What then follows is a Charon podcast on the matter, replete with the meaning of "hice".

By the way, appropriate, wouldn't you say, that the Wikipic portrays the Duke together with that other great wordmaster, Dubya? I'd love to have been a fly on the wall [or guardsman's headgear] during that conversation.

I was once of the opinion that the Duke was just an alcohol swigging, foul-mouthed committee of 300 member, dedicated to population reduction and prone to gaffs but now I'm the first to admit I was wrong.

This has to be a mini-classic:

Personal remarks have annoyed singing stars. In 1969 The Duke said to Tom Jones after the Royal Variety Performance: "What do you gargle with, pebbles?"

In 1995 he asked a Scottish driving instructor: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?"
Now I think you'd agree it takes a special sort of mind to dream up some of those.

Site of King Athelstan's Palace: Kingdom of Elmet

Site of King Athelstan's Palace: Kingdom of Elmet

Location Sherburn in Elmet

From 1955-1966, on and off, I lived a couple of miles from here at South Milford.

Steeton Hall gateway, South Milford, 14th century.

Our farmhouse was situated about 200-300 yards from this Ancient Monument. The village dates back to at least Saxon times. There is a secret passage in Steeton Hall which goes underground for 2 miles to the church in the photo above.

It was whilst I was at Primary School age that I recall asking my so-called foster father, why the small town next door was called Sherburn in Elmet when it was in Yorkshire? He replied that he did not know and suggested I ask the Headmaster. He did not know either. Sometime later when I was in Leeds I popped into the Central Library and conducted some research.

King Athelstan ruled all England and the capital of England was on this site. The Kingdom of Elmet was larger than the present day Yorkshire.

When all the talk is about devolution and independence, I think back to these times and wonder if those living in the area would be better off if the Kingdom of Elmet was revived?

I am talking about a revolution of sorts. With this in mind, I packed Liana off for a holiday in Riga, Latvia. I told her to prepare for battle...

Gun toting Lily

The Masonic Order of Athelstan

[blogger's blogger] first questions on the awards

I've done the rounds and looked at what people have said so far. There has been some quite positive feedback and some not so positive:

Morningstar says he won't support these Awards, then makes the points:

Yes I put the badge on my blog, I thought it was good that someone had recognised me, but I always felt as though it required being a part of the inner circle to get on the list. By the second one, I didn’t want to be on the list, there was too much stat porn being bandied around and I don’t think blog awards should be about visitor numbers, whichever measure you subscribe to.

The other annoying thing for me was seeing the American trend of bloggers wanting to supplant the mainstream media hit the UK, and the mainstream media moving into blogging.

And that, dear Morningstar, is precisely why these Awards are needed - awards by bloggers who are real bloggers for fellow bloggers. We know who we are, whether we are MSM or not. This mechanism keeps it all shipshape and Bristol fashion.

As for inner circle - well there are many inner circles. There's Blogpower, the Dale world, the Daily Kos world and so on. These Awards are beyond any circle and at the same time recognize each circle in its own category.

These awards are exactly for bloggers such as you, Morningstar. Easy to be negative. Far harder to support something. I hope you'll support the idea.

Already we have some names being put forward and as someone must start the ball rolling, these will appear as a list tomorrow and then those people asked if they'll be Panellists.

Finally for now, Welshcakes advised yesterday ' the Awards will certainly go ahead. Just give people enough time to come to grips with them.

So I'm still hopeful.