All 10 entries tagged News

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August 31, 2007

Well, it was certainly pretty wet…

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6971370.stm

The UK's had massive flooding that some have called a humanitarian disaster (which I think is a bit excessive; surely that lumps it together with Darfur...) and, according to the Met Office, this only might be the wettest summer since 1914.

If this could turn out to only be the second wettest summer, I'd hate to have experienced the summer of '59...


July 01, 2007

Looks like the Government finally did something right…

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6258034.stm

I couldn't be happier that there's a ban on smoking; I don't know about you, but I'm guessing that if you're not in favour of it then you're probably a smoker and therefore a damned fool, and as an idiot you opinion is automatically worthless...

I've never been able to understand the attraction of smoking; it doesn't achieve anything - alcohol generally makes you merry and kills you, drugs make you see pretty colours and kill you, smoking just kills you...

For the record, smoking does not give you a high; smoking gives you a low because of withdrawal and then the actual smoking gives you a normal. And it kills you. It also kills everyone around you. Slowly. At least the other vices only kill other people by your actions while under the influence (drink-driving, for example); it's the smoking itself that kills the others. (And as we all know, killing Others - while always morally questionable - can only be excused if you're LOST...)

As for the question of reduced revenue from alcohol, I think the important questions are "are there more smokers or non-smokers in the country?", "by how much?", and "if non-smokers are the majority (as I do so hope), how many will now start/resume going to the pub?".

So, hooray for the smoking ban.


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 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 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...


January 02, 2007

Wikipedia 'doesn't ban Quatar net users'

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6224677.stm

It’s true, despite what you might have read, for example, in the BBC article I’ve linked to. As it says on the relevant talk page at Wikipedia:

If you came here from a news headline saying that Wikipedia has banned all of Qatar, please pop right back over there and post in the comments that the story is not true. This IP number was temporarily blocked for less than 12 hours, and a block of an entire nation would go absolutely against Wikipedia policy.

(Alright, so technically they did ban what appears to be the entire nation for a month, but only until a few hours later when another admin discovered the 1 month ban and removed it because it was blocking the whole country…)

Update: The BBC have noticed this (well, not this – they’ve noticed the comment I’m talking about…) and have updated the article.


December 06, 2006

This doesn't help my opinion of Americans…

Writing about web page http://uk.wii.ign.com/articles/749/749361p1.html

I seriously hope this isn’t true…

My God, what kind of parent would call the police to arrest their son for opening his damned Christmas present early!? His Christmas present! His Christmas present!

They charged him with petty larceny, which I gather carries a fine. I can’t find the kid’s age, but since they use “child” and “boy” rather than something like “teen” I’m going to guess he’s a minor. Surely, therefore, it’ll be the responsibility of the mother to pay for the fine? That would make it even more stupid!

“We charged you son with ‘petty larceny’, ma’am. Now that’ll be $100 for the fine, please.”

It’s too late at night to cope with this…


August 26, 2006

My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming…

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/5282440.stm

…well, nothing actually; Pluto's not a planet anymore.

Apparently, after discovering a random block of ice in the Kupier Belt (think Asteroid Belt, but ice and out past Pluto – which is still there, of course, it's just not a planet) that was bigger than Pluto, Scientists decided that the definition of a planet needed tighteing. So, for something to be classed as a planet:

  • it must be in orbit around the Sun
  • it must be large enough that it takes on a nearly round shape
  • it has cleared its orbit of other objects

Since Pluto's orbit crosses Neptune's, it therefore doesn't fulfil these criteria…

So, remember: There are only 8 planets in the Solar System.

It's not a very suprising decision, really; some moons are bigger than Pluto…


September 30, 2005

It took them long enough…

Writing about web page http://dailykos.com/story/2005/9/8/13924/40887

Breaking news from Sky…

http://dailykos.com/story/2005/9/8/13924/40887


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