Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I signed up with Freeserve for their Broadband service and didn't have any problems. Then after a while they were bought out by Wanadoo. I still didn't have any problems. Then a year or two back they were bought out by Orange. Suddenly my modem wouldn't connect for hour long periods most days (to be fair that has subsided in the last six months), e-mails wouldn't be received from this account until days later in some cases, and e-mail lists that I'd been happily subscribed to for years were suddenly giving me bounce reports. And whenever I phoned Orange technical support I was flat out told that any problems I had were caused by the rest of the Internet, not them.
And when I visited my parents my Dad showed me the latest review of Broadband ISPs where Orange had slipped from a previous position of three quarters of the way down the list to the bottom in terms of quality of service, user satisfaction and quality of support. So that clinched it, Orange are a crap ISP and it's time to jump ship from this barely-floating rubbish heap.
So really I should have done this this time last year, although I was a little preoccupied with other stuff and didn't want the hassle. So I phoned Orange tonight and quit, tomorrow morning I will phone the ISP I have chosen and hopefully sign up with them and all will be well in the eternal land of milk and pixies.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
"Why do earthquakes happen? One of the reasons is the things to which the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy," [Shlomo] Benizri said during a parliamentary debate on earthquake preparedness.
Stopping "passing legislation on how to encourage homosexual activity in the state of Israel, which anyway brings about earthquakes," would represent a cost-effective method of preventing future earthquakes, he continued.
..."God says you shake your genitals where you are not supposed to and I will shake my world in order to wake you up," he added.
Which, as a description of homosexual sex surely has to rate, for accuracy, below the various girl-on-girl depictions you normally get on late evening telly dramas. And there's no word yet from Benizri on how to stop tornadoes by outlawing lesbianism.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Rachel from north London responds.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Comics Are Shit... It's Official (Part One!)
So, two things lead me to the conclusion that comics are shit. Neither are new. The first is One More Day, a clusterfuck of an 'event', what we old-timers used to call 'a bad story', that, in this case, ran through Marvel's Spiderman comics with all the care of Ian Brady in a children's ward with all the axes he can carry and a promise that the police won't be turning up until after they've had their breakfast. As with all things there's a bit of a back story to this. The universe began, the earth formed and then, a while later, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made comics about superheroes that had issues and problems, except for the Fantastic Four who have always been teeth-grittingly anodyne and perfect it makes me want to vomit up the contents of both my, and several other people's stomachs. As time passed they started the speculator market by sticking an 'x' on any turd that came out of the office (The Astonishing X-Turd #1: 'If This be a Plumber!') until the turds left Marvel to set up Image comics and the company collapsed.
These day the company exists as a machine for letting Fox make really bad movies with the creating of comics as a license-fulfilling mad lady in the attic. Chief Mrs Bates these days is Joe Quesada who really should never have sought to become famous with hair like that (note to self: Destroy all photos of myself with long hair when I was under the misapprehension it made me look like Antonio Banderas in Interview With The Vampire and not a heavy metal fan who drank too much Diamond White). Joe spent his time as Chief Turd-Polisher by announcing that the turds had a much better consistency back when Peter Parker was single, he having got married so long ago that Mohammed supplied the booze for the bachelor party. After several years of going on about having Peter married to Mary-Jane Watson-Parker was a fucking sacrilege in a manner akin to your drunken uncle at family get-togethers never getting over the fact that his wife left him a decade previously and is now doing swimmingly with another man who knows how to give her orgasms, Joe finally issued a dictat that last year would be the year where the marriage was undone.
But it was complicated by reasons that Joe came up with in his brain. Despite the fact that the only people reading comics are overweight men in their mid-forties who still live in their parents basements (or in the UK loft-conversions) Joe harboured this strange delusion that the reason Spiderman comics are shit these days was not due to the writers but due to them having to write a married 'web-slinger' (ugh, I feel dirty). It seems that if there wasn't the frisson of the posibility of Spidey getting off with The Incredible Hulk then it really wasn't worth Joe coming to work in the morning. Joe thought kids of thirteen who read Spiderman wouldn't relate to a character who was married, although if the kids I know are anything to go by, his lack of a Wii, the fact that he never says 'fuck!' and doesn't shoot people he thinks are 'disrespectin' him blud' are probably bigger concerns. But he didn't want to have Peter and MJ divorce, because what child could possibly relate to two adults deciding that they lived different lives and no longer having anything in common?
So, due to the dictates of a company-wide storyline Spiderman revealed his identity to the 'imaginary world' that Marvel comics operate in. His Aunt gets shot a few issues later. While Peter Parker is a perpetual man-child aged in his mid-twenties his Aunt is about three hundred years old, showing that freaky genetics in the Parker family didn't start with his being bitten by a radioactive spider. So she's not doing well, and Peter isn't getting any help from the various superheroes he tries calling, sure they can travel through time and space but they can't help with his Aunt. And then Mephisto, the Marvel comics Satan-that-they-can't-call-Satan turns up and offers Spidey a deal. He'll save Aunt May's life, and he'll toss in making everyone forget that Peter is Spidey, but in return he gets to magically undo Peter and Mary-Jane's marriage, because that sort of thing gives him a massive hard-on for evil. The catch is that, deep in their souls, at a subconscious level, Peter and MJ will remember they were married, even if consciously they, and the rest of the Marvel Universe don't, and they'll feel a little bummed out and that will make Mephisto happy. Oh and to pad the story out Peter meets alternate versions of himself if he'd grown up without either super-powers or a wife (basically he turns out like the sort of man who reads Marvel comics) and 'the daughter that he and Mary-Jane will never have' who, due to some dodgy artwork looks like the sister of the butler from The Prisoner.
Anyway, I've momentarily run out of bile, so I shall return to this subject when I've refilled. Don't go away!
Rubbing the Cloudy Bottle of the Audio Genie
If you check out Episode 75 on L Sprague De Camp, even though it doesn't mention it anywhere, the last thirty minutes is an episode of one of those sci-fi radio dramas from the middle of the last century about big game hunters time travelling to bag some dinosaurs. It's pulp fun.
I'm a bit behind with the stuff over at Escape Pod.
The Color of a Brontosaurus by Paul E. Martens is also a story involving time-travel and dinosaurs, a somewhat clichéd story about a man looking desperately for time travellers so they can take him to the past to see dinosaurs. Some of the more interesting diversions are sadly ignored and the ending is fairly predictable but it's still a fun take on the old idea. Artifice and Intelligence by Tim Pratt is about whether the danger of self-aware machines is less Skynet and more just boredom and whether there's much of a difference. I enjoyed the way that what initially seemed like a number of unconnected vignettes came together, and there are some interesting characters, like the Indian A.I. and the techno-pagan who's more than happy to let power corrupt her. Friction by Will McIntosh is an odd story of an unnamed race on an unnamed planet at an unspecified time who live in fear of their bodies falling apart due to the friction of joint movement. A philosopher who has made it his purpose in life to read the works of his forebears, carved on to an impossibly long wall around the planet, must decide whether the risks he incurs in friction burns by engaging in an act of charity are outweighed by the benefits if he succeeds.
All well worth your time to have a listen.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The REAL Drake Equation. (Frank Drake on Wikipedia)
Weebl and Bob do Alien.
Friday, February 15, 2008
"I know now why you cry, but it is something I can never do."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
A Song For Lovers
I CAN HAS PROTEZT?
Sunday, February 10, 2008
What's Your Political Philosophy?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Green|
The Green Party believes in an America where decisions are made by the people and not by a few giant corporations. Their environmental goal is a sustainable world where nature and human society co-exist in harmony.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Arch enemy: Bash the Bishop.
Nearly 15,000 Sun readers rang our You the Jury hotline urging him to go.
That phone number being 1111 1111111.
Meanwhile our phone lines and email queues were flooded by furious responses.
Brian Fuller, 46, of Luton, said: "This is the guy who leads our country’s religion and it sounds like he’s given up. He’ll soon be asking us all to face Mecca when we say our prayers."
That sounds like someone who has his finger on the pulse of current debate. Williams wants a discussion on letting Muslim courts decide things = Turning this country into an Islamic state.
Fiona Jones, 38, from Lincoln, said: "I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I thought we were a Christian country."
Wherever did you get that idea from? And if you'd like to believe it is, why are you reading The Sun, which surely breaks any number of the Christian God's laws?
The Sun bus visited the Archbishop’s Lambeth Palace residence in South London with Page 3 girls Mel and Peta — and blasted out Rule Britannia.
Again with the whole turning Britain into an Islamic state thing. And when will The Sun do a media stunt of which the main part of it doesn't involve their page three girls?
We got honks of support from drivers, but Dr Williams stayed firmly indoors.
I don't know, maybe he only wanted to talk to people who understood what he'd said the other day?
As it is, I think Williams is wrong, but I'm not standing with the mentally challenged halfwits whose idea of political debate begins with The Sun speak your brains phoneline and ends with the words of an ancient Australian put into the mouth of some girl who has taken her top off.
This is much the same as when Williams threw the Church of England behind the Catholic Church's attempts to get an opt-out for their homophobia from equality laws. Williams is playing the long game, he doesn't mind a religious plurality, he just wants more religion in the country. If we have Sharia courts dictating what Muslims do (and there are also Beth Din courts that work in a similar fashion in Jewish communities) then we can have the courts for the rest of us getting back to good old fashioned Christian values, abolishing gay marriage and gay rights, rolling back womens rights, abolishing divorce.
I'm not claiming that Rowan Williams wants society to go back five hundred years but I am rather dubious of the claims I've heard from some quarters that just because he looks like Great Uncle Bulgaria he's cuddly and friendly and would just love to let gays live openly in Anglicanism if only those horrid African bishops wouldn't cause a fuss.
I tend to think we could do with less religious jurisprudence rather than more, but then I'm the godless atheist so I would think that wouldn't I?
Friday, February 08, 2008
Christians wrong about heaven, says Bishop. Yet again it's the people who are supposed to know The Good Book best who know the least about what it says inside.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Alan Moore! Alan Moore! Standing in The Corner of the Store!
[via Lying in the Gutters]
Saturday, February 02, 2008
I called lead author, Rep[resentative W.T. Mayhall Junior], and asked if this was serious legislation or tongue-in-cheek to make a point. He kindly took a moment to answer my question while the legislature was in session. He said that while, regrettably, he doesn’t believe his bill will pass, this is serious.
[via Shapely Prose]
Friday, February 01, 2008
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to amend the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to enable people whose gender identity is neither male or female to have the opportunity to assign their legal gender as 'other' or 'intersex' if they so wish.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to to investigate Scientology organisations operating in the UK to ensure the National Minimum Wage is being paid to their employees.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop the right of MP's to vote on their own pay awards. MP's pay award to be made in line with the lowest awarded to public servants.
I especially like how the name for this petition in the No. 10 database is 'leaches'.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to instruct the Foreign Secretary to urge the United Nations to include gender as an issue on which people can claim asylum due to fears of persecution.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Force Southfield School For Girls to allow us to retake our GCSE AQA Additonal Biology 2 paper, taken 15th January 2008.
After months of hard revision and rememebering (sic) complex teories (sic) on proteins, amino acids, osmosis and genetic diseases, we were presented with an irrelevant paper for our GCSE AQA Additional Biology. The questions were ridiculous, and all of our careful revision was wasted. Our school is refusing to let us resit, whereas other local school are. We feel this is unfair and that the paper we took does not genuinely reflect our knowledge of the topic.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Stamp Out Anti Social Behaviour Using the Following 20 point plan:
There is a plan. It's worrying how much thought he's put into this.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to immediately acknowledge the plight of the palestinian's in Gaza and to do as much as is humanly possible to get food, clothing, medication and diesel to those who desperately need it.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Sever the links between the Church of Scientology and the Police, also to prevent further links similar to these.