Monday, 25 June 2007

Here comes the flood

For those of you who've still got electricity as the flood waters rise, have a look at this video on YouTube.

Another week...

...and nearly time for another Prime Minister. I nearly missed it, what with my homepages problem, and trying to make sense of the news (to me) that the closest living relative of the hippopotamus isn't, as I'd always thought, the pig, but the whale.

So, a new PM (almost). He hasn't quite captured the public imagination yet, but it's early days, and he follows in a long tradition of uninspiring British PMs. Think of Sir Alec Douglas-Home and the like. I don't quite see why how he got his reputation for prudence, though. In 2003, when asked how much, as Chancellor, he was prepared to spend on Iraq, he replied: "As much as it takes". Well, that'll be about £7 billion so far then; how prudent is that?

[Just had to break off for this week's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Very funny, as ever. Humph: "I've just noticed I came out with odd socks on... they're shaped like underpants."]

Is there something of the hippo about Gordon? How graceful is he under-water? I was in Ethiopia once, with my family, on a trip to see some hippos. The young boys who were (for want of a better word) guiding us, tried to provide us with more exciting views of the hippos, which were peacefully submerged, by throwing stones at them. I imagine that, in similar circumstances, Gordon Brown could get very angry. So I'll leave him alone... for now.

There's a new song in the sidebar. It's a live version of Blossom by Ryan Adams, recorded at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Technical note (again)

Oh what a tangled web... I just realised that my homepages problem also broke the links in the side panel Song For The Day. This is now fixed and, looking on the bright side, I've now got the space for a few more songs.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Technical note

In case anyone has noticed that my profile photo disappeared for a while, I've been having problems with my ISP (Demon), who decided to carry out a homepages enhancement program which resulted in my homepage being inaccessible for almost a week now. And this was where my profile photo was stored, along with all the other wondrous things that were available there. Oh well, worse things happen at sea.

Meanwhile, I've bought some server space and I'm setting up a proper site at Check back soon; fun for all the family!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Are we not mammals?

There's been a lot of interest in the Government's proposed legislation to give women the right to breast-feed in public. It's quite astonishing that such a law is necessary. I heard a mother, on the radio, talking about her experience of being harrassed while feeding her baby in a popular high-street coffee shop. It does make you wonder what relationship the complainants had with the milk in their skinny lattés. Do they not realise that they are only a few processing steps away from suckling from a cow?

And just a very small point: in the same discussion I heard an expert talking about a 'quantum leap' for mothers' rights. Well, a quantum is the smallest possible amount of something, so a 'quantum leap' would be a very tiny leap indeed. Hardly detectable; not really what nursing mothers need.

Friday, 8 June 2007

The N-word

Whoops, what happened there, then? Seem to have nodded off during the last PMQs, and woken up in the midst of another Big Brother racism row. And in the meantime, it looks like the Cold War is making a bit of a comeback. Oh well, I think we must have been missing the old international tensions, and that comforting threat of imminent nuclear apocalypse. (Sorry if I've offended with the N-word.)

Putin must be secretly quite pleased to see the USA wasting billions of dollars on a missile interception system that, thus far, has proved almost totally ineffective at intercepting any missiles. As Bob Park says in his weekly What's New newsletter: "AntiMissile Test: Last Week's Test Was Very Realistic... the target missile never got off the ground. After all, what rogue nation, even one as nutty as N. Korea, would launch a missile at the dominant nuclear power? The return address is on the package. The nuclear threat today is from weapons in cargo containers, or assembled in a target country."

More puzzling is why the Czechs and Poles are willing to deploy such a system. If it were ever used (and if it worked), the result would be nuclear-armed missiles exploding over their countries rather than being allowed unhindered on their way towards London or Washington.

Anyway, I've just put a new song in the side panel. It's the queen of Malian griotte singers, Ami Koita, singing Wale Yuman from her 1995 album Carthage.