Monthly Archives: February 2006

BBC and Iraq

Harry’s Place has turned up this article on the BBC website. In most countries, more people think removing Saddam Hussein was a mistake thanthink it was the right decision. However, let’s not forget: Iraqis are the most convinced that the removal of Saddam Hussein was right, with74% agreeing with the move. Hmm. There’s also a […]

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The achievement of a team is a function of the efforts and abilities of its members. I’m not going to clarify this; I use the term “function” quite loosely. Clearly it is possible to define activities which can be pulled along by the ability of one very good member, and also to define activities where […]

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This week, I shall be mostly playing “Bach” (apologies to those unfortunate enough to have never seen “The Fast Show.” It’s a bit confusing, really, one minute I thought I’d have a look through some old Preludes and Fugues, and the next I found myself sight-reading through the whole book trying to find some different […]

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This post reminded me of two famous psychology experiments. The Milgram experiment concerns how humans respond to authority, and the Stanford Prison Experiment simulates the psychology of prison life. Both of these experiments are horrifying in their logical conclusion. The prison experiment website goes some way towards trying to explain the treatment of prisoners at […]

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Everybody should read this: The interesting thing about the Tamiflu vaccine for bird flu that everybody keeps going on about, is this: it’s not a vaccine. The manufacturers even spell that out in their factsheet. It’s a drug, an antibiotic for viruses.But you wouldn’t know that if you read Paul Routledge in the Mirror, Alan […]

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While trying to install the new version of Macromedia’s Flash Player (now known as the Shockwave Player for some reason), I was asked if I might like to install the Yahoo! toolbar. The option was “yes” by default. While I use Yahoo! a lot, this does not make me happy. Foistware, spyware, or any software […]

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Infinitives Unsplit: More Censorship. Hmmmm…..

Infinitives Unsplit has given a link to a song called “It’s In The Koran.” Recommended listening / reading (read the comments as well). Intriguingly, Infinitives Unsplit is written by a chap styling himself “The Pedant-General,” although I don’t think he means this in the way Oliver does.

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What is Authority?

Another good read here. The article discusses the latest idea by Technorati to list blogs by “authority,” measured by the number of incoming links to a blog. “So, I am going to argue that links – be they Google or Technorati – have turned the entire concept of authority into something rather trivial – popularity. […]

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Unreported History in Baghdad

This is quite a good read: “The silence was deafening and the seats were empty. The western press was nowhere to be found. The location was Baghdad and the event was a February 10th, 2006 press conference announcing the final verification of December’s election results. Although the final allocation of parliamentary seats did not change […]

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Google shifts Greenwich Meridian

I don’t usually quote The Register, but this seemed interesting.

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Student Journalism…

… is not what it was. In Today’s copy of Varsity, the Cambridge Student Newspaper is a large front-page article about room rents in college. You start with a screaming headline: Are rents fair? £337 – £913 A room at Peterhouse, the college with the lowest average rent A room at St John’s, the college […]

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Apologies if these posts seem a little confused. I’m using Firefox on a Linux machine at the Engineering Dept., and it’s proving a little unwieldy.

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Double Standards

This is really a continuation of the previous post, but I thought it was worth separating out. How do we stop things like the drinks mentioned before, with labelling which is clearly contradictory and fundamentally, morally wrong? (Stop me if you think I’m making too big a deal over this). Well the answer is clear: […]

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Today I bought a sandwich. It was a bit plain, and filled with rather too much salad for my liking. On the way out of the shop, I noticed an advert for some new fruit drinks. “No additives,” the label proclaimed, just under the bit which said “vitamin enriched.” Is it just me, or are […]

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Here’s a thought for a lazy afternoon. Pornstars have lots of sexual intercourse Pornstars are often well-endowed in a genital-related manner (so they tell me) Thus I can conclude from these two facts that more sex will enhance the size of your manhood. And I think I put it far better than most of the […]

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BBC "journalism" Part 2 (of many)

I’ve finally worked out why all BBC writing looks childish, even when dealing with serious subject matter. It’s all in the way they split every single sentence into a separate paragraph. Thus, they split up the text and make it difficult to read. Not only this, but they destroy any logical paragraph structure from the […]

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Manchester in quotes

“If you see someone in Manchester with a tan. Don’t believe it. They’ve just gone rusty.” From here.

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Stop the War!

I believe, fundamentally, that once the war in Iraq began, that the Stop the War Coalition should have disbanded itself. After all, the war had started. The Iraq war has been the most polarising of recent times. All of a sudden, people who call themselves liberal have shifted to the right wing. Surely a war […]

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Opinion Forming

Opinions are hard to shake. People reach conclusions based on a variety of evidence, but most often they are influenced strongly by others in their lives. Parents, friends, co-workers, leaders all spread their views to others, who lovingly lap up every word (either that or swear at them). How aware are teachers and parents that […]

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