2010 — 16 September: Thursday

I see the BBC has tinkered with its home page1 — but it yields to a little simple customisation. And Microspit is about to try to impose IE9 on the world. They'd do better if it ran under XP, of course. Meanwhile, as I'm about to fall asleep, I shall settle for bringing back the next batch of storage cartons a few hours from now. I'm approaching the ones that have "my" stuff in once again, rather than the stuff I piled in when I was quickly emptying Christa's study.


Right on the nose

My ex-ICL chum Ian is as big a fan of Douglas Adams as me. We both enjoy the idea of Slartibartfast's pleasure in designing the "wiggly bits" of Norway's fjords. Ian's suggested I plug these co-ordinates (50.0105,-110.116) into Google Maps, select satellite view, and zoom in until the scale reaches 500 feet. At least the result...


... looks more convincing than the average "face of Jesus in a pizza". The headdress is at least as impressive as the Pontiff's "titfer". Wonder if he has any comment? Though, since we're apparently seen by one of his camp followers as more like a Third World country — rampant secularism (or was it "aggressive atheism"?) running riot — perhaps he'll truncate his visit to our green and peasant gland and let his troops get back to doing what it is they do best: fiddling with little boys (allegedly). What a wonderful world.

They don't say...

From an interview with David Harvey:

Assembled together under of [sic] aegis of the British Academy, [economists from the LSE] could only confess in a collective letter to Her Majesty, after six months of study, rumination and deep consultation with key policy makers, that they had somehow lost sight of what they called 'systemic risks'.
Harvey thoroughly relishes the almost Swiftian irony of this episode: the spectacle of learned economists desperately trying to excuse their own failure while terribly aware that not one of them is wearing any clothes.

New Humanist

Fun to read while listening to the arguments for and against obscenely high rates of pay. (BBC.)

[Pause — to catch my breath.] A mere 77 cartons still in the warehouse. Just back, in time to catch this programme trailer. Feynman is a hero of mine. It's 11:08, the sun is (mostly) shining, and I'm in urgent need of a fresh cuppa.

"Re-optimising your curb-side logistics" is, apparently, a phrase that can be translated back into 3d back on an empty glass pop bottle. Who remembers the Corona delivery van?

There's a chap with a pneumatic drill operating perilously close to a BT box just up the road, so I may well find myself taken off the net this afternoon. It's 13:21 and time for my lunch.

Big Bangs theories

I am against nuclear weapons. I am against the renewal or replacement of Trident. I am against nuclear proliferation. I recognise the unhealthy (some might well say "insane") reliance on these big bangers. If our species is indeed stupid enough, or vile enough, to manage to blow itself up and/or further despoil the only planet we currently know for sure we can live on, we will have very capably demonstrated that it's time to hand the torch on, as it were, to someone or something else. The Universe is unlikely to mind, one way or the other.

There's a set of views here. But, personally, I think (as is often the case) underground cartoonist Ron Cobb was way ahead of the game:


He drew this 42 years ago. It irresistibly reminds me of the closing lines from Walter M Miller's 1959 classic novel "A canticle for Leibowitz", too, describing the aftermath of a second nuclear holocaust:


Suddenly, it's darker...

... and later. Unpacking cartons in between episodes of "West Wing" season #6. I think I may have too many books. Possibly. What really puzzles me is if they all came out of this house then how come they won't all fit back in? I'll need a cuppa to sort that one out.



1  Yet again.