Or maybe it's just a collection of links. Wait, it's links about... Ah, you get the idea...

GE in a blatant corporate search optimisation bid, have a brilliant visualisation of age demographics over time, huge chunks of the projected population expansion in the next few decades is because we've stopped dying as quickly. Which is, broadly, a good thing, right?

Now, university funding and numbers. Remember that 50% should go to university target that the Govt set? The one that was initially "some form of FE, including apprenticeships" but got changed because they forgot the point of their own policy? You'd have thought that, given that target, the proportion of young people graduating with a degree would've gone up a lot over the last 13 years, right? Wrong. The number of graduations as a proportion of the number of 21 year olds has stayed pretty much constant. [livejournal.com profile] nmg does have some caveats, but the basic principle is sound. More students due to a rise in the number of people at university age. That visaulisation above? My age range (born 1974-1980) is one of the smallest, so as the numbers peaked, the total number of students went up, but that was all. More kids = more students. Another failed Labour policy, or just an example of maths inability?

Now, given we've just taken power locally and have to set the budget for the council for next year, news that greater participation and consultation improves information and makes cuts easier is useful to know. The caveat that the society that commissioned the survey was set up to promote participatory democracy is useful but doesn't discredit it.

This, on the other hand, is weird. Giving poor kids computers can decrease their academic attainment. Not conclusive, but far more important to increase the thirst for learning, worries about a "digital divide" may be misplaced, much better to provide a big pile of books. Makes sense to me.

Keeping in touch with people from college is useful. David, now studying astrophysics, likes to think, a lot. The type of disaster that kills the most people is actually the humble heatwave. We're good at dealing with floods and famines, not-so-good at dealing with slower, less obvious problems, but they tend to kill more people. If the world continues to heat, we'll need to adapt to that, fast.

Last up, for now, a bit about mental health. There're lots of pejoratives surrounding mental health problems. The stigma attached is lessening, for some conditions, quickly, and people are much more able to talk about them. But stigma still exists. Especially for those "doing it for the attention". Maybe if those attantion seekers actually got some real attention every so often, they wouldn't need to do it?

Anyway. That's folder one of my link collection emptied out. Some of it was time dependent and deadlines are missed, so not posting, but, y'know. More to follow. Probably. But not tonight, insomnia has kicked in badly last few weeks, but it's partially self inflicted, time to try to sleep, again...
Right, some links from today to amuse/enlighten/annoy/entertain.

First up, Lisa from up the road's been doing some digging on some extremist Christian lobbying groups, How to spot a fundamentalist Christian Lobby Group in your news. A guide. As a general rule, if there's a story in the press about oppressed Christians, these guys are likely to a) be involved and b) distorting or leaving out key facts. Always good to bear that in mind, I especially liked her finishing point:
THis is not about religious belief. This is concerted political lobbying, from groups interested in making it appear that christianity and bigotry are the same thing. They are not.
Next up, Andrew has a nice summary of the rationale of the main political parties, A Beginners’ Guide To The Election Part 2 – What The Parties Stand For. Now, he's as biased as I am, but it looks fairly accurate from my perspective, with a very nice summary of what the Lib Dems are about:
We believe in freedom – that the government should not interfere in you doing what you want with your life. We realise, though, that you can’t be free without enough food to eat or somewhere to live or medicine if you’re sick, so we think the government should do what it can to make sure everybody has those things
Now, if that interests you, you might be interested in getting more involved, and many of you (being the sort of smart, liberal minded person that reads my witterings) may even look at a bunch of MPs and say I could do better than that. I know I do, sometimes, especially when I see a toothless Labour apparatchik backing up the Govt line despite palpably not understanding it. If so, then The Honourable Lady Mark has a guide about How to become a Liberal Democrat MP, which is pretty accurate. He ought to know, he helped write the rules on it. And of course, if the opinion polls stay roughtly where they are or the LDs gain more, at the next GE the number of LD seats considered "winnable" looking for a decent candidate will be a lot bigger.

Now, a little legal seriousness. This is the first really online election, with broaband access as the norm. Some people, indeed many people, have voted by post already, and next week most of you will go off and vote. Publishing, including tweeting, knowledge of how other people have voted is very illegal. It's an attempt to influence the results, see; exit polls can't be published until polls close, what you saw at the opening of the postal ballots can't be published, etc. If a friend says I filled in my postal vote and voted for X, you can't mention this online. You most certainly can't tweet the number of ballots you saw for your party while at the opening of postal votes, and this is especially true if you're a former Labour MP seeking re-election who happens to be a lawyer. That would be really stupid and could get you into serious bother. And yes, many of us have got screenshots.

Now, two funnier, but still election related, points to finish off of. First of all, LOLCleggz: I Can Has Lib-Dems | Popbitch Speaks for itself really. Not all positive or supportive, not all funny, but, y'know, some are.

Last up? No idea who did this, but it is very weird to see them all scrolling past, YouTube - Some of the people the Tory Party think should be running our country...:

My local Tory candidate is about a minute in, and looks positively sane and normal compared to some of them. Which, y'know, is an acheivement in and of itself. They were all taken at Tory party conference in 2008, and I agree with Ian Whitehead, this really does look like a bad day for William Hague. Wonder how many pints of mild he needed to calm down after smiling at that lot?

Ooh, sorry, low blow...
K, looks like I kinda forgot to update for awhile. Oops. You know what that means right? A backlog of silly, informative, thinkworthy or merely funny links. In no particular order:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.

Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids: ( more explanation with longer quote ) What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.

Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:

To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."

And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
( 'A famous person has died, we go live to somewhere tangentially related' )

One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as [info - personal]autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.

This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.

Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
( Spiral image pattern with clever optical illusion )
Yup, that's right, there are ( look at the image first damnit! ) colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.

Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with [livejournal.com profile] rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...

Slightly more seriously, [info - staff]denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...

On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—( defined )this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. ( I mostly agree )

Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.

Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. [livejournal.com profile] susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by [livejournal.com profile] sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).

WANT

More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.

BASTARDS

One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.

Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin MEP, leader of the BNP: Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it. First rule of politics: don't piss off the veterans association.

OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?
Original post on Dreamwidth, I prefer to keep all the comments there, if you have trouble using OpenID let me know, it's still in beta and subject to improvement.
K, looks like I kinda forgot to update for awhile. Oops. You know what that means right? A backlog of silly, informative, thinkworthy or merely funny links. In no particular order:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.

Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids: more explanation with longer quote ) What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.

Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:

To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."

And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
'A famous person has died, we go live to somewhere tangentially related' )

One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as [personal profile] autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.

This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.

Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
Spiral image pattern with clever optical illusion )
Yup, that's right, there are look at the image first damnit! ) colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.

Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with [livejournal.com profile] rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...

Slightly more seriously, [staff profile] denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...

On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—defined )this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. I mostly agree )

Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.

Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. [livejournal.com profile] susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by [livejournal.com profile] sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).

WANT

More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.

BASTARDS

One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.

Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin MEP, leader of the BNP: Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it. First rule of politics: don't piss off the veterans association.

OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?

ETA: I'm getting a massive pile of spam comments on this specific entry, all in Japanese script from what I can see, so I've set anonymous comments to be screened and turned off notification emails, if you want my attention for this post email me directly?
Those of you enjoying this supposedly "glorious" weather? Spare a thought for those of us that just cannot function in this heat. At all.

Notwithstanding the photic sneeze reflex making going outside (and even driving) a little annoying, the massively high risk of skin cancer groups I'm in from both sides of my family, my brain just seizes up when it's this hot.

I moved to the North to get away from this sort of weather damnit!

European elections linkdump and ramble )

Coherence might happen tomorrow, if I a) get some sleep and b) have a good brain day.

Appeal, if you live in London, consider voting for Jonathan Fryer, he bought me beer and is thus a top bloke )

Sorry, I said my brain was fried, right?

In the meantime, [personal profile] miss_s_b dragged me to B&Q today so she could buy more plant pots and stuff to put in them. We got more basil, rocket, oregano and other useful stuff. She also bought a chilli plant. It's a chilli that'll burn your mouth off at 50 paces. It's sat next to her at her computer desk as it needs to be brought in at night.

She's called it George.

I'm doomed.
[1]Honest, it would be.
A nice little mix of stuff in this lot, though the politics averse amongst you should be warned that with elections next week there's a fair bit on that, though not much of it is serious. Posted to both LJ and DW with comments open for technical reasons that I can't be arsed to fix, LJ version: Europe, books, maps and snails—MOAR linkspam
A nice little mix of stuff in this lot, though the politics averse amongst you should be warned that with elections next week there's a fair bit on that, though not much of it is serious. Also posted to DW with comments open, linkspams don't crosspost easily due to limitations at Delicious.
Finally got around to fixing the settings and started using Delicious again. Which means you get context with the links. I'm clearing out the saved folders full, this is a random assortment of stuff I had in a folder called "Cool". Make of tht what you will.And yes, LoudTwitter is now posting to a private filter, at least for a bit.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.

  • 22:18 is in Glee Club. Why am I in Glee Club? I blame SB. #ldconf #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.


Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.

  • 22:24 New LibCon post: Jack Straw’s right, Cabinet Government matters: Jack Straw has decided no.. tinyurl.com/dyyfzc #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.


Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.

  • 16:52 likes a nice long hot bath. Dislikes intensely getting out of it into the cold house, let alone another meeting to prepare for tonight. #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.


Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.

  • 10:46 New LJ post: Linkspam and Tweets tinyurl.com/aqpb3p #
  • 20:32 agreeing approvingly with Sara Bedford: Who are you calling a stupid slut? is.gd/i18L Stephen Green really is an arse, go ASA #
  • 21:46 New LJ post: Life with SB tinyurl.com/dmvjhu #
  • 23:46 New LJ post: Removing or enhancing LoudTwitter posts on your friends page tinyurl.com/dcumf8 #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.


Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.

  • 14:26 needs more coffee. Perhaps stopping at the pub after dropping SB off might've been a better plan if I'd eaten... #
  • 16:26 is impressed, the Crooked Timber seminar on Charlie Stross has stuff from Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong. How cool is that? is.gd/hslh #
  • 16:54 is wondering which bright spark called it the "Nick Clegg Out of Westminster" tour. I want Labour out and Clegg IN please. is.gd/hxr1 #
  • 19:08 Hah! Excellent idea; the Stephen Green/Christian Voice drinking game, with added Twitter powered goodness: is.gd/hyUO #
  • 19:45 By Nuffle this looks good: www.bloodbowl-game.com/ first GW game I ever played, still the best #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
Daily collection of links and thoughts that weren't worth a whole post.

  • 11:52 Chuckling—the site got overloaded last week, but it's back now: US Democracy Server: Patch Day - is.gd/gLYa #

Microblogging using LoudTwitter and Twitter. [livejournal.com profile] matgb_twitter is there if you're mad enough.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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