It appears I forgot to promote this link. I had meant to. Here we go:
http://www.cyanlion.com/fabulon/

Starring [livejournal.com profile] tyrell, [livejournal.com profile] halcyon_shift, one of my (and [livejournal.com profile] paulatpingu's) former housemates and a bunch of other people, Fabulon 75 is a Babylon 5 spoof that is really really really bad. It was made the year before I started at Exeter University, and was already legendary then.

Steve? Just so that you're aware. I've deliberately put that link in the clear within the cutoff length for all the aggregators this journal displays on. I doubt any of the MPs reading will bother following the link, but you never know...

It's my understanding that the server it's on has unlimited bandwidth. So, y'know, feel free to share the link ;-)
In lieu of propper content, and because I'm a) doing more childcare than normal and b) getting addicted to the damn wii, have some links to posts by others that you should be reading.

Firstly, on the Atheist Bus campaign[1], three scientist bloggers, Dave Godfrey, Debi Linton and Strangefrontier who says:
Dear Christians on my friendslist, when you feel that atheist campaigners are generalising about your whole faith and railing against you, the real target is folks like Stephen Green. The problem is that he and others like like are so damn loud and have such a constant media presence, they drown out the normal, decent and sane* Christians. No matter what positive PR you throw out there, the attention will be given to some cunt shouting, "God hates fags!"
I especially liked Dave's line If he didn't exist I think the atheists would have to invent him, he's launched a case on which the crux is he has evidence of the existence of God. Well, like Dawkins, if you can give me some proof I'll change my opinion...

Anyway, next topic. Woolworths has shut down. Since he finished his degree, [livejournal.com profile] doctorvee has been working for them, in a number of branches, and I heartily recommend his series of posts on the history of the company and the experiences of working there in its dying days. Like him, I loved Woollies as a kid but found them fairly pointless as an adult, they definitely had no clue what they were trying to be as a chain, and Wilkinson's have definitely displaced a lot of their business in Yorkshire. I had no idea that the company had started out as the early equivalent of a pound store, they only dumped their fixed price policy because of rationing during the war.

Sad news however. Number 6 is dead. In an era where his "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered, I am a free man" speech has increasing relevence, it remains an iconic series and I really hope they don't mess up the reimagined version with Sir Ian as Number Two. RIP Patrick, you were great.

Cool news: Molecular Analysis Confirms Tyrannosaurus Rex's Evolutionary Link To Birds. They didn't die out, they evolved. Next time you eat a chicken dinner, that's one of T-Rex's relatives you're chomping down on ;-)

Want: Trends Are Cyclical: the Asus Eee Keyboard. It a complete fully functioning computer, all inside thin keyboard. How cool is that?

Have to say, I pretty much agree with Tim here, economic protectionism makes us poorer and damages our economy more than it benefits us. Buy British if you want, but if it's not the best deal, buy whatever, the economy benefits from the transaction regardless. ETA: Friday's More or Less is a politics special starring Vince! Yay!

Last up, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat wants to declared this year as the International Year of True History to commemorate both Darwin and Galileo. She's wrong to call it "true" history of course, everyone knows that real history started at about 1600, everything before that is pre-history, but it's a nice idea.


[1] From which I've taken this icon, I yoinked the LJified version from [livejournal.com profile] strangefrontier but it was designed by [livejournal.com profile] jonworth_eu_fd who coordinated the intial fundraising campaign before it all got a bit bigger than anyone expected. I'd forgotten how good a blogger he is until I found him on Twitter, Labour party members that can actually write well about politics are worth paying attention to, methinks[2].

[2] On a similar line, [livejournal.com profile] blimpish_fd is back, one of the few Tory bloggers that doesn't make me want to shout at the screen at the idiocy and ignorance.
It is a time of year to reflect, to think upon what has come to pass, to learn from the past and thank those that brought us to where we are today. Today, especially, is an exceptional day for these endeavours, being as it is the birthday of one of the greatest and most influential men to walk those green and pleasant lands.

His works, agitation and beliefs revolutionised the world, and there isn't a day that goes by in which we are not all grateful for his work and influence. More on this divinely inspired man )
Merry Christmas
Sharing this day are of course several friends, and before I forget, also happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] draich_goch, [livejournal.com profile] blacktone, Simon and anyone else I've forgotten about. Have a good one.
Today, I are mostly been sleeping. Then I did a lot of digging and wrote a post at Liberal Conspiracy about a certain Brian Coleman, London Assembly member and sexist git.

I first heard about the tedious cock in that post of [livejournal.com profile] liadnan's, a long time before I moved up to London, and he's done nothing to impress me since. For quite awhile, my old post about him was top Google result for his name, it's fallen now to seventh. But I think he's more than a cock now, he's an expensive ignorant sexist git who deserves as much opprobrium as possible. So, given I no longer live in London, I don't have AMs or MPs to complain to. So I figure I'd hurt his rep on Google a bit instead.

If you fancy joining in, and have a publicly accessible website that's indexed by search engines, especially Google,
copying and pasting the below might assist in adding to the amusement—LC already has a good placing in search engines, but so do other sites that mention him. If lots of people link to that post with his name as the anchor, it should float to the top quite nicely...
Guess I ought to try to write something every so often here, right? Reports of my existence may or may not have been exaggerated...

So, yeah. Annual happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] foxfirefey, and indeed to my cousin Gary, ten years to the day older than me and in hospital with serious cancer (this isn't new news to me, but we share a birthday so I think about him a bit).

Meh mood,  ) but some cool stuff )I've been hacking my layout again, S2 is easier... )

Friends list reduction cut thingy )

Still, gotta finish writing this, ten minutes to midnight so the day is almost over, and cake beckons...
I think I'm beginning to recover from the exhaustion now. Had a simply marvellous (darling) weekend, involving meeting many people, consuming much alcohol and watching many many many films. On Friday alone I was sat in various cinemas for over 81/2 hours. So, for those interested, a summary review of the films I watched, in order of showing.

Day one: Friday 13th

12.00: Brain Dead—but not the one I expected )
14.15: Vampire Diary—including unexpected friends in the crowd )
16.00: Black Christmas—traditional college slasher pic )
18.15 An American Werewolf in London—so much better than I was expecting, and I knew it was good. )if like me you've never seen this film?
Go and watch it. Now.really, just do it )
20.15: The Mist )

Aftermath

After that, we went to a local Moroccan restaurant for a meal (hint to the waiter—if you want a decent tip, try to avoid serving the chicken dish to the vegetarian and telling him it's cheese), then onto the Gasworks. I was at this stage utterly exhausted (films tend to tire me anyway, enclosed atmospheres, etc), but it was fun. We eventually rolled home in the early hours.

I'm posting this via the flickr blog this tool from [livejournal.com profile] karohemd's picture of yself and [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe in front of [livejournal.com profile] pmoodie's poster art, I'll do day two and three later.
Hah, Guru [livejournal.com profile] rhodri's new book is available for pre-order at Amazon:
FWD This Link: A Rough Guide to Staying Amused Online When You Should Be Working

It's only £6 (and if you reserve it on pre-order then bookstores will stock more which helps him, right, no obligation to actually cough up later), although given most of my posts at the moment are already linkblogging...
  • El Reg shifted the feed BOFH was on (again) and I hadn't noticed. Been in this sort of meeting a few times, in such a discussion, backing up the MD or the tech, the tech wins. Every time. ([livejournal.com profile] reg_bofh is new syndication account BTW)
  • Sparkle has a job interview, and could do with the help of People of Faith, so, y'know go help her (it's a good job): I need to do a short presentation (as if it were to the local Church Council) entitled Teenagers: Faith in a Materialistic Age.
ETA: the last link doesn't need to be just for those who believe—lack of faith is as relevent I think.
Still not shaken my block on writing Actual Real Contenttm, so in an attempt to write something that isn't linkspam, I'll do this. [info]that bastard Duncan tagged me for it anyway, so might as well.
1. The rules of the game get posted on the beginning.
2. Each player answers the rules about himself [or indeed herself].
3. At the end of the post, the player tags five people and posts their names as a link then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read his [or her] blog. [because if you're not checking your incoming links you're crap and off topic comments are rude].
So, to business:
What I was doing ten years ago )
Five things on my To-Do list today )
Things I would do if I were a billionaire )
Three of my bad habits )
Five places I’ve lived )
Five jobs I’ve had )
Five books I’ve recently read )

Five people or communities I’m going to tag:

OK, I normally leave these things open but I'll make a change. [info]Jennie, [info]Alex, [info]Debi, [info]Justin and you. Yes, you.
In my post about Darwin Tuesday I said: if you need a bit more explanation, ask a skientist, I recommend Debi the evolutionary morphologist and for damn fine reason.

Debi Linton - On Intelligent Design:
This week, however, I have been asked to give a basic run down of the I.D. milarkey from the point of view of an evolutionary scientist, and who am I to refuse to write about evolution?

About Science and Religion )

Evolution is only a Theory )

Creationism/Intelligent design is also a theory )

Evolution and abiogenesis )

And a YouTube vid )
Making the serious point that Evolution fulfills the serious requirements to be defined as a Theory, namely that a) it is predictive and b) it can be disproved. Intelligent Design cannot be defined as a theory because a) it is not predictive and b) it cannot be disproved [1]. The post contains some very (very) good explanation about what science is (and is not), and makes the solid point that the scientific method can only work with the world as it is, not as we might like it to be. This post is another prime example of why I love the ease of publication that blogging gives us, anyone can be a pamphleteer, and when someone, anyone, writes good content, that post can be picked up, linked to, and the ideas can spread. And spread. Yes, that is a hint to everyone.

I'm, unusually for me, closing comments on this post; Debi welcomes comments and questions, she promises not to bite ([livejournal.com profile] ms_ntropy might object), and it'd be good to keep the discussion in one place. Go read, talk, question, discuss.
[1] I've read some speculation that some Quantum theorists may, or may not, be working on a method to prove the existence of a higher, guiding power, based around disproving the parallel universes theory. I have no clue or links about that one, but what I read (in comments elsewhere and I've done no research on it) was intriguing to say the least.
If you live anywhere in Europe, especially the UK, you've probably noted that there's a lot of fuss at the moment over The European Constitution, better referred to as the Lisbon Treaty. Certain elements of the press and some campaigners are a little bit hot and bothered about the whole thing. The reality? It's an amending treaty that builds upon the treaties of Maastricht, Nice and Amsterdam and while it does have a few measures I'm not sold on, overall it makes the EU more democratic, more open and is, on balance almost certainly a Good Thing. The thing is, unlike the treaties it amends, I haven't had time to read it yet. Maastricht happened while I was studying for my A levels and I did a project on it, and I studied the latter two as part of my degree. Fortunately, the wonders of modern technology mean that I can get to know someone whose opinion on such things I trust, and he can read it for me.

nhw: The Lisbon Treaty: My Take:
I promised a post on the Treaty of Lisbon a couple of days ago, so here it is.

What is the Lisbon Treaty? )
Is it a big deal if it doesn't get passed? )
How do we vote against it? )
So most of us don't get to vote on it. Isn't that a swiz? )
What's that wrinkle you mentioned? )
What about foreign affairs? )
Doesn't this mean the EU can over-ride our country's foreign policy? )
What about the European army?  )
What's this business about qualified majorities? )
Is it more or less democratic? )
What about electing the President of the European Commission? )
Does the Lisbon Treaty make the EU more powerful? )
What about this new Presidential position that Tony Blair is interested in? )
The noted historian Andrew Roberts forecasts Slovakian troops in Buckingham Palace, Gibraltar and the Falklands handed over, good men imprisoned for using Imperial measurements... )
Yawn. One of the most depressing things I've come to realise is how poisonous the EU debate has become in the UK, and how far removed from reality. In the run-up to the negotiations, Tony Blair made much of his determination to prevent the crossing of Britain's "red lines", none of which were ever in fact in danger of being crossed, not that you would have known that from the British press. The absurd level of vitriol directed at this Treaty, which as I hope I've made clear is a fairly modest bit of institional adaptation, makes me despair for British political culture.
An excellent post by Nicholas there, from a diplomat who works in Brussels and really actually does know what he's talking about. Of course, we're both biased here, and you have to make up your own mind, but it's better to do so from a position of information, right?

The media would have you believe it's an evil nasty thing that will destroy Britain. They said the same about Maastricht, Nice and Amsterdam. Um, hi guys, still here. I really do wish we could just move on, I want a referendum on membership just to clear the damned air and let the next debate be about how Europe should work and what it should do, rather than the perpetual whinging that it shouldn't exist or that it's "bad for us", the former of which is a position I can at least respect and disagree with, the latter? Nah...
Someone's redone [livejournal.com profile] scrapdog's comments stats programme into a web interface (as his was initially) and it's doing the rounds so, well, ages since I last did it.

Had to hack around with the code in order to get the table to display right within my narrow layout (especially with the longer OpenID profile links I've got nearer the bottom), but, well, it's cool. I've moved the cut text as well, worth noting that if you also do it be careful where to put the beginning and end cut[1]. As we can see, despite starting commenting here less than a year ago, a certain person has raced into second after me, and the rest of the top ten are all people I've met in real life, all but one someone I met before we started reading each others journals, and I've met all but three of the top twenty (I'd like to meet the others, and I've been in the same room as one without either of us realising it at least once).
Total comments: 9040 Who comments the most on this journal? )
1[livejournal.com profile] matgb2897
2[livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe962
3[livejournal.com profile] freddiefraggles354
4[livejournal.com profile] silentgreeneyes236
5[livejournal.com profile] innerbrat169
6[livejournal.com profile] nadriel166
7[livejournal.com profile] faeriecween144
8[livejournal.com profile] ginasketch135
9[livejournal.com profile] paulatpingu117
10[livejournal.com profile] mapp113

Generated by LJ Comment Stats.

Interesting, n'est ce pas?

[1] it needs to go between TRs to start and before the /table to finish
Last night, Jennie and I went to see Aliens Vs Predator-Requiem, for a full review including a few minor spoilers, her review is here, and while I agree with her, my review is slightly more succint: it's shit. Pretty, and vaguely entertaining shit, and a bunch of you will love it for the gore and the fight scenes, but the plot was arse, the idea poorly implemented and the dénoument was piss poor. Fun, but arse.

In completely other unrelated, [livejournal.com profile] harlotqueen took his camera for a walk around Exeter and has a nice little photo blog post with some cool pics of my old town. I've also never seen the weir that high, and I really like his cityscape by twilight.
Sir Isaac Newton, [livejournal.com profile] draich_goch, Humphrey Bogart, [livejournal.com profile] blacktone, Quentin Crisp, Ismail Merchant, Rick Berman, Shane Macgowan, Sol Invictus and Helios.

Those being people picked from the list of birthdays I either like or that have had some impact on the world. Remember, if anyone tries to "remind" you that "the true meaning of Christmas" has something to do with the birth of some kid just over 2000 years ago, remind them that, well, it's got nothing to do with that and true Christians wouldn't celebrate a pagan festival anyway. So eat, drink and be merry, because that's what it's all supposed to be about.

I'm about to turn in, having wrapped all our gifts and decorated the tree, busy day tomorrow—the joys of a 4-year-old. Still, there's more chocolate than she can possibly eat, and we're off to the pub for lunch. G'night all, and Happy Christmas.
Right then, last year, you lot voted that Best Xmas song lyric ever is:
You scumbag, you maggot You cheap lousy faggot
Well, this morning, BBC Radio 1 decided this was offensive to some listeners but then later on in the day saw sense and backed down. I agree with [livejournal.com profile] pickwick, it's a damn shame that the BBC manages to tie itself into hoops as often as it does. Naturally, someone disagrees, and [livejournal.com profile] bagrec doesn't like the song and suggests alternatives. But he's a freaky morris dancing types so you don't want to listen to him ;-)

Elsewhere, it's the Arsehole of the year grand final over at [livejournal.com profile] publicansdecoy's place, and [livejournal.com profile] hullfire already covered the other main stories of the day:
So, Nick Clegg is the new Lib Dem leader and in a monstrous piece of stupidity the Government has lost more of our stuff, but in really important news, RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE ACTUALLY EXIST!
I do have to say I do share some of Jennie's concerns about the potential of Clegg's leadership but I'm nowhere near as cynical about it. He has at least hit the ground running, complete with YouTube appearance filmed on cheapskate handheld already. Although the town meeting idea does sound like it might have some legs.

What, you expected analysis? Don't be silly, I've been reading stuff about it all day, besides, I didn't end up voting, I couldn't make a decision between the two of them, they're both nice blokes. We'll be fine. Right? Someone tell me we'll be fine. Damnit, they need to do better, else the damn country's doomed FFS, that's why I joined them...

Calm. Now I tag this entry. Um, is there a limit to how many you can use? Appears not. Oh, wait, I forgot a link. Be very glad she's going to be a Doctor of paleontology not medical stuff, medical doctors play with gadgets much more scary than microwaves.
YouTube - Money money money: David Abrahams and Labour:
YouTube video, warning, contains Abba music )
I cannot understand how a party can come into office, say they're going to clean up politics, pass a law demanding transparency in party funding, then perpetually break the damn law they themselves passed. Given all the hoops party administrators are supposed to go through dealing with donations (and yes, the lower end of that admin was something I had to do both while temping in Cowley St and before when on the Exeter exec), it's especially galling to see senior Labour types just ignoring them. Don't these damn fools have training? Or the ability to think? Still, at least one of them has done the decent thing, but again, too early to save flack spreading out—you have to resign after someone calls for it, otherwise they go after someone else. Bloody stupid Westminster games.

[livejournal.com profile] now_show recording was great, pub afterwards with [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat was also cool, even if the annoying drunk talking VERY LOUDLY was a little too loud for me to hear at times. If you're at all interested in taking the piss out of the whole recent debacle, 6.30pm Friday or noon Saturday, BBC Radio 4—you should know this already but some people seem to have an aversion to the channel that, for some obscure reason, also hosts The Archers; no, I don't like that either. Complete with Vince "power" Cable and any many jokes about missing details, lost CDs and the mysteriously appearing donations. Oh, and assuming it gets broadcast, Mitch does a great little ditty about Emma Clarke the voice of the Tube—because she used to be one of the Now Show cast as well. Gordon seems to have forgotten that the breakdown of any relationship, whether with the electorate or a partner, always ends up in an argument of CDs.

I suspect Robin Ince's monologue will get cut to ribbons. I suspect it'll need to be the amount of it that he fluffed up trying to present it.
Been meaning to link this since he started doing it but, y'know, busy. [livejournal.com profile] publicansdecoy is running his third annual Arsehole of the year poll series and votes for the first round close on Monday, so you have until then to vote. Robert Mugabe has won the previous two years convincingly, can he make it a triple? Or is there someone else bubbling under?
A comment at SB's public blog:
The attractiveness of a low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is generally due to it being an indicator of health and fertility, but this new research offers a possible additional factor, that low WHR also indicates high cognitive ability. So, yep, the study suggests that curvy girls are likely to be smart and produce smart children, and this increased smartness is possibly what makes the curves attractive to men. It's to do with the difference in upper bopdy fat and lower body fat supplying the particular kind of fatty acid that's essential for brain development.
I now have an excuse to letch after a nice arse--I'm checking out her likely mental capacity as well.

OK, I didn't have this excuse before, and it's never stopped me, but, y'know, skience on my side now. There are a lot of very smart women on my blog reading list, this is good. I'm marrying one of them. This is even better.

Oh, rest of the post and comments is worth a read over as well. I have another, different follow up post planned, but that one requires engaging my brain, which isn't working today, sorry...
I am, as I'm sure is well, a remarkably modest man. I would, for example, never dream of having a category tag for my journal called 'showing off', for that would be vulgar. And that the most popular item under discussion in the most recent [livejournal.com profile] news post, and being linked to and discussed all over the site is my idea is, of course, something that merely provokes a modest smile.

For I am a humble and modest man. Right?

So, I'd like a favour from you, my friends and readers. )

Oh, you can send PMs to each other on site now, and select who can send them to you. You might want to go turn on e-notifcation of them, it defaults to off. And for those of you that hate the message centre, the direct link to just your inbox is right here. *cough*A certain person has a message waiting*cough*
How great am I? You don't know? Things to cheer you up on the train home, a notification in your inbox from [livejournal.com profile] coffeechica entitled DRUM ROLL:
This suggestion has been planned for implementation. Please watch the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases community for updates.
I knew what post it was before I opened it, but it was nice to be sure. So that's two fixes from one suggestion.

I'm still of the opinion that the concerns about trolls editing comments are missplaced, but those that run LJ abuse disagreed--we've come up with a way to get around the problem. I reserve the right to bitch about them messing up MY idea with poor implementation, but, y'know. I rock!

ETA: Changelog entry detailing how it works:
Bullet point summary of implementation--paid users only apparently )

Oh, had a great night out, met [livejournal.com profile] nhw in the Melton Mowbray and talked SF geekery and politics with a bunch of people, was rather nice. Time to sleep now methinks.
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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October 2015

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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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