All entries for June 2007

June 27, 2007

Please someone, anyone, tell me this is a joke!

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6244358.stm

Tony Blair as peace envoy to the Middle East!? Tony Blair!? Tony Blair!? Tony Blair!? Either this is a joke, or the sanity of the UN leaders needs to be assessed...

Was he, or was he not, one of the people who started the war in Iraq!? Isn't he a war criminal!? (I've checked the dictionary, and he is; there's a set of criteria that are consulted before engaging in war, in order to determine whether entering into war is justifiable, and as I understand it the evidence used for going to war was a steaming pile of bull plop.)

Apparently his plan requires "huge intensity", but what I want to know is: what the hell does that mean!? It doesn't mean anything, surely? Surely it has to be "intensity of [something]", not just "intensity"...

Also, Ian Paisley can't count: I just want to say to the prime minister this one word: He has entered into another colossal task.

I really really hope this is either a joke or me misinterpreting the article...

Also what's the deal with having a new Prime Minister without an election? Aren't elections how Democracy is supposed to work? (That's not to say I think he'll be a bad Prime Minister - it's not exactly a tough act to follow - it's just I'd have liked to have had my chance to not care enough about the result to vote on it...)


June 26, 2007

What on Earth isn't a "potentially offensive weapon"!?

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6241108.stm

I've just come across this article on BBC News saying that a teaching union is calling for mobile phones to be classed as potentially offensive weapons because of the way pupils misused them to bully their teachers. Personally I think that's just stupid...

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the pupils should be bullying teachers; it's what They're doing to stop it that I think is stupid.

Firstly the article isn't very forthcoming on how the phones are being used; are pupils literally beating the teachers with the handsets? are the pupils finding the teachers' home numbers and breathing heavily? are the pupils photographing/filming the teachers doing normal things and then uploading them to the Internet? are the pupils photographing/filming others attacking the teachers in some manner and then uploading them to the Internet? or is it something else, or a combination?

Without knowing how the phones are being used, it's very difficult to see this classification as rational and sensible.

For instance, if the mobile phones are being used as blunt instruments, then other "potentially offensive weapons" which should be banned from schools include:

  • Chairs
  • Sharp pencils
  • Calculators (particularly the larger graphical variety)
  • Sturdy rulers
  • Thick text books
  • Shoes
  • Ties (not so much beating, more strangling...)
  • Compasses
  • Set squares
  • Paper (paper cuts can be nasty...)

On the other hand, if it's the mobiles' ability to function as telephones that's being used, then the students should be forbidden to the their home landlines and the teachers/school should be more careful about data protection.

If the teachers are being photographed/filmed going about their school day and this is being used to mock them (or whatever) online, then classifying "mobile phones" as offensive weapons is completely irrational; it's "camera phones" that need to be banned; the normal mobile phone is an incredibly useful tool which it would be unfair to ban; there were a lot of times when I was still at school when it would have been much harder to conjure up a lift home at odd times of the day (such as if the school had to be closed for the day for some reason) without a mobile.

And if films of teachers being abused are being made, then stop the brats from beating their teachers! If this is happening at your school, then the problem's worse than mobile phones, I'm afraid...

Anyway, you can't just ban camera phones; you'd have to ban cameras too. Come to think of it, why not just ban cameras if this is the problem? You'd ban only the relevant phones and also normal cameras too, all with only one ban; much less paperwork.

To sum up: I am not saying it is right that teachers are being abused (it is wrong); the BBC needs to give more details in its news articles; and the people who are up in arms need to step back for a moment and think about the problem as rational non-technophobes and think if maybe there is a better solution or perhaps a bigger problem...


June 23, 2007

TROTT's Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet

Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet

It's not a new concept, but here's my stab at a completely useless "phonetic" alphabet:

  • A for aye.
  • B for bee.
  • C for cue.
  • D for Djinni.
  • E for ewe.
  • F for fun.
  • G for gnome.
  • H for hour.
  • I for Ian.
  • J for jalapeno.
  • K for knight.
  • L for Llangollen.
  • M for mnemonic.
  • N for new.
  • O for ouija.
  • P for pneumatic.
  • Q for quay.
  • R for rest.
  • S for sea.
  • T for Tchaikovsky.
  • U for ubuntu.
  • V for veil.
  • W for why.
  • X for xu.
  • Y for you.
  • Z for zee/zed*.

* Whichever isn't used in you country (e.g. use "zed" for US and "zee" for UK)


June 17, 2007

Doctor Who

(In the unlikely event that you both care and haven't seen the latest episode (maybe you're waiting to watch all three together) I shall avoid spoilers.)

After The Lazarus Experiment my mother came up with a theory about the identity of Mr Saxon. Turns out she was right. There's a first time for everything, I suppose :)

I was wondering when/if they were going to bring him back...

Vote Saxon!, and all that.


June 14, 2007

Don't click the link!

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6749303.stm

(If you haven't seen the Apprentice final yet and don't want to know the result, this entry's safe but the link is not...)

I haven't seen the final of The Apprentice yet; I'll be watching it tomorrow. I also didn't want to know the result beforehand; but I do...

All I did was go on to Google Reader to see if there was anything exciting. To try to keep vaguely abreast of current events I subscribe to several BBC News RSS feeds; I don't read everything, just the odd one or two.

When I checked this time, there were four unread items, and one of them was a BBC News headline. It said "X named as Apprentice winner".

Why couldn't it say "Apprentice winner named" in the headline, and then give the name in the entry itself, which I wouldn't have accidentally seen...

Bastards...


June 12, 2007

Safari

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6742439.stm

Well it's alright, I suppose, but I still prefer Firefox...

June 09, 2007

My Eyes! My Beautiful Eyes!

Writing about web page http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/olympics_2012/6722763.stm

The logo for the 2012 London Olympics really is hideous. If you haven't seen it, there's a picture of it and an opinion poll on the BBC News website.

Apparently it took a year to design, cost £400,000, and Lord Coe believes the logo, which will be used for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will convey the right message for the Games. Presumably that "right message" is that they're both a waste of taxpayers' money...

£400k is a bit much; readers of BBC News have been sending in much better logos (well, a couple aren't too good, and some are nice but not really logos...) for free! Perhaps it would have been quicker, cheaper, and easier to just hold a national competition...

I particularly like numbers 1 and 6 here and numbers 1, 2, 6, and 8 here. Of course my absolute favourite - one which really sums up the essence of "London 2012" - is number 11 here; it's just brilliant.


For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

*Puts on a silly hat, blows a party blower, and starts looking for cake*

June 08, 2007

I hate MySpace

Writing about web page http://mashable.com/2007/06/06/best-myspace-layouts-that-dont-look-like-myspace-at-all/

Well, I don't so much hate MySpace itself; I'm sure a lot of people value it as a service (I don't use it, nor do I want to, but still...). What I hate is the ugly monstrosities some people create for their profile page; flashing backgrounds, ridiculously large text, shocking SPAG, text and background colour combinations that are impossible to read, auto-play music that isn't even that good, cluttered pages that take forever to load, marquees, hundreds of animated GIFs, and anything else I've forgotten...

That's why this page is so great; it shows some examples of MySpace pages that actually look nice. If only more people would put some effort into their profile's design; of at least put less effort into making it "exciting"...


June 05, 2007

'C4 rebuffs Diana photographs plea'

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6721789.stm

The article basically seems to boils down to the following paraphrased conversation:

Prince William and Prince Harry: Please don't show these photographs; it will be disrespectful to our mother's memory and be very distressing for us.
Channel 4: I don't care what you want; the people want gory photos!

Which just seems wrong to me...


June 2007

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