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The revelations from Campbell's diaries continue. The Guardian's diary column notes:

In April 2000, we find Robin Cook reporting to cabinet from an EU-Africa summit in Cairo. Colonel Gadafy wore painted nails, and Robert Mugabe had announced that Peter Hain was the gay lover of Peter Tatchell. "Hain is taking it calmly," the ginger-haired rebel noted cheerily. "Tatchell is furious."

A more disturbing (but fairly unsurprising) article covers the case of an Australian woman whose Scientologist parents pressured her not to take her psychiatric medication. The apparent result is that she's stabbed them both and her sister - her mum's in hospital and the other two are dead. More details here. Someone punch Tom Cruise for me, please?
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The weekend was stellar. I´ll probably drone on about it later. First, though, a couple of interesting news items - at the end of this year Britain will finally finish paying off our war loans from the US, and the High Court has said that the Chagos islanders can go home. Result! (Or, at least, Result! pending the inevitable appeal). Oh, and HMG´s finally calling for the Guantanamo camp to be closed. Not going to happen, but nice to hear it said.

While I´m here, does anyone know how to turn off dead keys (the method of mapping extra characters to a standard keyboard rather than any other use of the phrase) under debian (etch, gnome)? I be grateful. It´s annoying me.
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Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] technotom for pointing out that this man could perhaps be the brother of yesterday's sleepwalking airline smoker.

And, passed on from a different source ([livejournal.com profile] kixie - thanks), a little article about, including a short chat with, Bill Drummond. Aren't we good to you?

Clive Stafford Smith's a top bloke. Michael Winner's an arse. See their contrasting views on the death penalty here. I mean, having directed Death Wish does actually make you an expert on criminology . . . doesn't it?

The Beeb reckons we'll have heavy snow showers on Friday. The sleet forecast for Saturday will probably get rid of it all, though.

I've spent most of this morning staring at Epson's screen colour-matching software. Now, I'm told that there are fairly severe limits on how much you can do with LCD panels . . . still, nobody can blame me for the purchasing policy, as I wasn't here at the time.

The BBC reports that there's a rumour Bowie's being considered for a part (Nikolai Tesla) in the film version of Chris Priest's "The Prestige".

Finally, I must share with you - well, those of you I haven't already droned on about this to - the Sleeve Pic I Must Have. I saw this in the window of a secondhand shop one evening lots of years ago and thought "I need that on my wall." I've not seen it since at a reasonable price (ie, fuck-all - it's a pitiable record, I'm sure). I speak, of course, of no other album than everyone's least favourite God-bothering poodlerockers STRYPER's album To hell with the devil.

The original, withdrawn sleeve (for being controversial, apparently - I can only imagine that people couldn't decide on a word emphatic enough to describe its breathtaking awfulness) shows the members of the band, depicted as implausibly-muscled angels with eighties-metal big hair, their modesty "tastefully" preserved by wisps of cloud, casting the chained devil into hell. And if you look closely . . . you can see . . . as he falls . . . they have broken his guitar!

Priceless. And yet, simultaneously, worthless.

Piccy )

Today.

Nov. 17th, 2005 02:33 pm
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I was looking at the front page of the Sun in the newsagent. The top half of the page is devoted to the crucially important hard-news item that someone from Friends has had at least one midly-titillating (but still font-page-safe) photo taken. I am, of course, overwhelmed by this vital news. The bottom half has an article claiming that a woman with MS has walked again after a stem-cell treatment. Dramatic enough, and terrific news if true. HOwever, it claims that she walked for the first time in years within minutes of an injection. Well, if so, then it wasn't the stem cells that were responsible. The article also complains that the treatment is banned in Britain (I didn't see why), so as far as I can tell the whole thing is just an attempt to a) lie to people on general principles and b) complain about the evil government and what it's doing to our health services.

The Sun. Registered with the Post Office as "a piece of shit."

That's right, the mascara snake

I don't want to give you all the impression that I am, at the moment, a walking pot of bile and acid. Indeed, I made it all the way through yesterday's post without even once using the words "plough their fields with salt", which I think shows that my equanimity is perfectly intact.

There's an interesting article linked from \. that includes this snippet:

Take ICANN, for instance, where a new .com Registry Agreement allows Verisign to raise the rates for .com names by 7% annually, and to operate .com in perpetuity, and to "mak[e] commercial use of, or collect, traffic data regarding domain names or non-existent domain names", and to reap other rewards for what few other than Verisign would agree is a good job. Bret Faucett summarizes the darkest shadow across the noir scenario we've already described:

The theme running through all of these is that ICANN and Verisign are treating the .COM registry as a private resource. It's not. The root servers and TLD servers are public resources. We should treat them like that.


It goes on to talk about various things that make me want to read up on the Enclosures Acts to see if the parallel's a good one.

In other news, I've been having some quiet nights in and playing Freeciv. And watching one of Neubauten's old broadcasts, which was exactly like watching anyone else's band practice, really. Interesting, though.

A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag would be fast and bulbous - got me?

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