2012 — 5 January: Thursday

Not quite so early this morning1 only to be greeted by wind, and a dramatic set of scudding clouds. I have a lunch date, but there's still plenty of time for mischief before that. Indoors, though. Mind you, I suppose I should get dear Mama a birthday card for Saturday.

Although 95 is pretty 'good', my ex-ICL chum John Smythson (the LEO programming instructor) has a mother of 106. Shoot me now!

Big Bro

Not just the term for my (nearly even more) elderly male sibling. I'm naive enough to hope that guvmint ineptitude still slightly exceeds deliberate malevolence. And I quite like the idea of making civilian "council officials with the power to issue fines for minor infractions" wear bowler hats. I'm sure Rene Magritte would have laughed his hat off at that surreal suggestion from Old Etonian, Catholic, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.2 That said, Big Brother Watch is a depressing web site.

Pandora's box

I'm no fan of Mr Murdoch's media empire, print or video, but that doesn't stop me browsing (for example) the odd book review in the TLS. As it happens I've read several harsh ones elsewhere of Christopher Turner's "Adventures in the orgasmatron". This one strikes me as better-balanced. Source and snippet:

The question Turner raises here is the one we all would ask: "Why did a generation of people try to shed their sexual repressions by climbing into a box?". The answer, as he indicates, is that Reich's science fiction carried a redemptive message of considerable power and persuasiveness, one grounded in Rousseau as well as Freud and resonating in a world where repression and oppression had become interchangeable words.

James M Murphy in TLS

Forty years after the publication of Reich's autobiography (which I recall struggling with several decades ago) I found this 1997 collection of previously unpublished letters and journals much easier going:


Crash, bang, wallop

As I said, it's very easy to crash one of the major components of the 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate "operating system".


I'm guessing Microsoft realise this, as their code promptly reloads the component each time. I'm now wondering if the reason is that BlackBeast Mark II is just too fast for the filing system to keep up. The popup above appears after I dismiss an error message saying that the folder to be deleted (which has, of course, in the meantime just been deleted) is not to be found (not surprising, because I've just deleted it). I presume if the system were a single-threaded single core, this would be less likely.

My post-lunch...

... challenge from Brian, should I choose to accept it, is to identify the font used here (from the cover art to the 2005 board game of this name):


The nearest I could get with the 800+ I have "to hand" was to Dicot Medium, but it's not a close match. Meanwhile, by lending me a catalogue from First Run Features, Len has set me the equally difficult challenge of resisting some of the titles they have in their range. (My salvation may be that it's an old catalogue.)



1  Though still with time to spare to wheel out the appropriate rubbish bin after spotting all the neighbours' bins as soon as I had set the curtains and blinds to their daytime positions.
2  A thoroughly decent chap quoted as having said: "I gradually realised that whatever I happened to be speaking about, the number of voters in my favour dropped as soon as I opened my mouth." (Source.)