There are still some things about the settings on this laptop that confuse me. To save a PSD from ImageReady as a Gif, if the source file was a jpg, I have to edit it with photoshop. But then when saving it from photoshop it says "saved using ImageReady" in the dialogue. But I can't find that dialogue in ImageReady. Not an issue at all, just weird. Anyway, made a new icon (some might recognise it from one of my old forum sigs, back when silly kids used to complain I wasn't nice enough when answering their idiot rules questions), and also updated a few already existing but not very good icons.

Citizen, Gentleman Keywords: Citizen, Gentleman
Words from Dr Who, idea by [livejournal.com profile] calapine, with a background by [livejournal.com profile] anabel_icons—I liked this when I first saw it, but she'd messed up the spelling, I animated it but messed up. I was said by Hartnell in The Daleks' Master Plan (reviewed here by [livejournal.com profile] nhw, a fairly high google result for the phrase), and is thus cool.

Goth, Goth Rome Keywords: Goth, Goth Rome
Animated by me, original art by SJGames—I've just always liked it, but the old version was a bit too fast and fairly static, now I've figured out how to do more frames, why not? NB, when I use it from now on I'll use the 'Goth' keyword, the 'Goth Rome' is merely there for backwards compatibility...

Think, Don't Think Keywords: Think
Russian intellectual catechism, from a t-shirt by New Statesman magazine—This comes back to my hatred of the UK libel laws, John Major, then Prime Minister, sued the New Statesman for printing an article asserting he wasn't having an affair with his caterer. The suit was spurious, and it was eventually dropped, but not until after the distributors and printers (because they can get sued to, as can a paperboy) settled out of court, and the Staggers indemnity insurance wasn't good enough.

A few more still to do, but I think I like animating quote icons like this, need to sort the timing out a little on these but overall I'm happy. Opinions?
ETA: Above images are updated versions after feedback, they'll probably get messed around with again.
This is a little to weird. "Internet expert" and Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps has been caught in an attempt at astroturfing. He claims in an email to Tim at [livejournal.com profile] bloggerheads that his YouTube password was 1234, which even Guido isn't buying. Hmm, guessing there's no time to watch Space Balls in Cameron's Conservatives.

Given that he's the guy running the Ealing Southall campaign, we have it in fairly convincing evidence that he's either an idiot or a duplicitous liar. Either way, not going to do Tony Lit's campaign any good.

I promise to leave off the politics for a bit. Maybe. Possibly. But dude! Tory MP with YouTube account messes things up royally, how could I resist?
Right then, while I digest me lunch, brief bit on yesterday. I actually managed to drag myself out of the house before noon on a Sunday, went into Wimbledon to meet the local Lib Dem chair and others, and went of to Ealing Southall for a bit of by-election campaigning.

Canvassing and leafletting )

Envelope stuffing and meeting people ) In fact, specifically, there's a picture of me on a top rated Lib Dem politics blog; here on Pink Dog! Look, I'm clearly there, I'm the bloke in black behind the dog and Millennium Dome, Elephant, definitely the starring role for sure. Got to meet others too )

Overall, a good day, came back utterly exhausted but I'd finally put some names to faces and got back involved in partisan campaigning on the ground; still not really my thing but I ought to do more than I do. Very difficult to read the likely results, the local Labour party appears to be split with internecine strife, the Tories selected a non-member as a candidate and had a few defections both ways, and there seem to be a lot of undecided swing voters. A by-election in which all three main parties are in with a chance, but the Lib Dems are the only ones not (yet) hit by some sort of scandal. Interesting times...


Pink Dog is [livejournal.com profile] pink_dog_fd, Millenium Elephant is [livejournal.com profile] elephantfeed and Alex is [livejournal.com profile] alexwilcock. I especially recommend Millenium's recent series of articles on Doctor Who, in which he gets a bit of help from his daddy Richard...
OK then, I've taken a screenshot of the final state of play in our predictions poll and compared it to El Gordo's new team
What we got right )
What we got wrong )
What we couldn't decide )

So, overall, 11 correct predictions, 5 wrong, 2 undecideds.  Given that this has been described as "Night of the long knives II" by some, and is definitely the biggest reshuffle in my memory, that's not at all bad.

So, tell me LJ brain trust, what do we want to decide next?
Which reminds me, [livejournal.com profile] mapp? Don't suppose by any chane you could update the icon for me?
I said:
I hope for Johnson, but think Harman has a strong chance, and she made a blatent play for Cruddas's second prefs near the end,
And after the results are called, we see that:
Electoral college results
Candidate 1st round    2nd round   3rd round  4th round  5th round  
Hilary Benn 16.40% 18.22% 22.33%      
Hazel Blears 11.77%          
Jon Cruddas 19.39% 20.39% 23.89% 30.06%    
Peter Hain 15.32% 16.42%        
Harriet Harman 18.93% 21.23% 25.88% 33.58% 50.43% ELECTED
Alan Johnson 18.16% 23.74% 27.90% 36.35% 49.56%  


Her blatant grab for his support worked like a charm. Cruddas won the first round, but barely picked up any second preferences, Johnson was picking up more until close to the end, when Harman then jumped ahead with Jon's votes. Interesting times it seems. Lots of people on the Labour blogs bitching about the voting system, one even said it was "stalinist". To me it remains the best way of determining a result acceptable to all, allows for multiple candidates rather than requiring a stitch up before the actual vote and is invaluable in a close contest, as this undoubtedly was. It also shows that Harman knew to play for second and third preferences a lot more than others, apparently internal canvassing wasn't asking for preferences at wll--and the media constantly referring to it as a "complicated" system was really annoying me throughout.

But most important aspect: Blears last place on barely 11% of the vote. Labour members renew my faith in humanity a little with that one, word has it there was a massive cheer when her elimination was announced.

Loads of politics posts in a row. Time for some frivolity methinks...
Tim at [livejournal.com profile] bloggerheads was working on this one for a bit, thought I'd already posted it but must've forgotten. His breakdown of the dramatis personae is rather good as well. The basic theme we could've been anything that we wanted to be pretty much does sum up this Govt; so many lost opportunities, broken promises, half hearted efforts and poorly thought through responses. Ah well. Enjoy:

The ever excellent [livejournal.com profile] paul_linford_fd sums it ups nicely:
But with all his talent - and public goodwill - Tony Blair really could have been anything that he wanted to be, really could have been up there with Clem, Sir Winnie and the Iron Lady.
ETA: [livejournal.com profile] andrewrilstone I thought I had better say it before someone else does:
There's is an awkward clash on the TV schedules tonight. On one channel at 7PM there's a programme about an evil meglomaniac who gets himself elected prime minister for his own nefarious purposes, while at the same time on the other side it's "Doctor Who".
Very droll.
Righty ho--I said I was going to do this, but, y'know, life got in the way. So, of the current Cabinet, Blair and Prescott are retiring, and Reid says he doesn't want another cabinet job. Leaving a huge list of other people, of varying degrees of talent. Some of them I have a grudging respsct for, some I think are crap, some inspire intense loathing on site and a few, well, I'd not even heard of them--if I've not heard of a Cabinet level minister, let's hear it for Nonentities R Us, right? Following on from Paul Linford's list of a real "government of all the talents?", I give you a poll[1].

Remember you can not tick a box for someone if you've never actually heard of them or have no real opinion, and this is a question of who's likely to be there, not who we want in/out. For example, I suspect Blears has secured herself a plum job, despite the visceral hatred many of us have for her, and I'm guessing Ruth Kelly will survive despite obvious unsuitability for her various recent roles--I really hope Brown moves her to a job without a clear conflict of interest though:
Gordon Brown's Cabinet- who'll be in it? )

I'll pimp this poll about a bit, let's see how good LJ is at predicting El Gordo's actions...

[1] If you don't have a livejournal account but blog elsewhere, you can log in to LJ using any OpenID, including your technorati or typekey profile or your wordpress.com account and still vote in polls &c--not a bad little trick
Watched Question Time last night with SB for the Labour Deputy Leadership contest. Took many notes, might try to write some coherent thoughts up on the whole debate, was very interesting. Following Sue's statement of preferences:
1. Jon, 2. Peter, 3. Alan, 4. Harriet, 5. Hilary, 6. Hazel
I did it based on the following, and in this order: (1) my opinion of how little they were likely to toe Gordon's line, (2) excessive toadying under Tony (3) voting record (4) school and (5) amount of union support.
I thought I'd summarise my thoughts. I don't have a vote, but some of you might (I know at least two do).

Biggest issue is how the Dep Leader will affect Labour's prospect at the next General Election. Unless things change drastically, I currently predict a Tory landslide; that has to be stopped. My personal ideal vote would, fairly obviously as already stated, be a hung Parliament resulting in a Labour/Lib Dem coalition prepared to actually carry out the necessary fundamental constitutional reforms we were promised in '97 and that Brown is hinting might actually now happen. On top of there's a personal factor, who comes across well and would be someone I (and other left-leaning liberals) could possibly work with. So, given I don't have a huge amount of time: My reactions to the candidates and some thoughts )
Will possibly transfer more thoughts as to the positioning elements, but really, if you are in position of a Labour vote; think carefully, as this one will make a huge difference to electoral chances, and I really really can't stand the idea of a Cameron landslide, which I think is what someone like Blears will help lead to.

Off now, Bradford and Soylent Green beckon...
Those of you that read either Not Little England or [livejournal.com profile] voting_taktix will recall that I mentioned Maurice Duverger a few times, and I also referred to him in my I should write about politics more post in, um, February. He is, undoubtedly
one of the more famous political scientists of the twentieth century, and pretty much the founding father of modern electoral systems study
And to commemorate his birthday, [livejournal.com profile] baseballchica03 explains why. Go read and discuss a bit, definitely something worth understanding more about, especially if you're involved in electoral politics on either side of the pond.
Everyone remember back when I said I really fancy Sue Perkins?. Well, it's been a great week on that front; she was on Heresy on Tuesday (from which this post gets its headline - anyone else get the reference?), and then she was on The News Quiz tonight as well (both on Listen Again at the moment, can't find the MP3 downloads on a quick search). Memorable quote on Ruth Kelly:
She's not fit for any century ... she's walked towards a load of jobs she's no good at.
We repeat, Ruth Kelly: she's rubbish and should resign.

If I get time over the weekend, I might put up a poll of the current cabinet and ask for people to vote for those likely to make it through to Brown's cabinet. Reid's already gone, Hodge has to go, as does Hewitt, others I'm not so sure of; Gordo'll need to do a clean sweep in many respects. Ah well.

In other news, had the crappiest megabus driver ever today, but apart from traffic and his inability to stop effectively, was OK. Then I managed to not get off the train at Brighouse. D'oh! So instead of getting to Elland just about now for a nice drink in Jennie's pub, I missed the last bus and am waiting for her here; I'm actually about to take the dog fora walk. Ouch...
Take twenty minutes out. Put aside the time. Watch this:
TED | Talks | Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen (video):
With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world" using extraordinary animation software developed by his Gapminder Foundation.
So very cool. And I think he's right; we have all the data we need, we just can't access it and don't know how to use it.

Look out for the bit where China jumps up on the US.
The odds of [livejournal.com profile] draxar and [livejournal.com profile] dainul not having noticed this already are small, but just in case, warrenellis.com » Blog Archive » TRANSMETROPOLITAN: Monoculture.

Yup, my mates design project just got picked up by [livejournal.com profile] warrenellis, who seems happy to see is. Külness. Well done Mr Pink.

Actually, might as well post these rather than mailing you. [livejournal.com profile] d_notice_fd moved to London just before I did, I'd been reading his blog for ages before that, and he's ended up living around the corner. He writes a lot about SOCPA, and attended the All-day Lone Protest, his Flickr photostream has stuff, and I especially like this placard...

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe links to this petition and has more links and info.
Hmm, good news for a change, Masterfoods no longer evil:
Mars said it became "very clear, very quickly" that it had made a mistake.
Merely very very stupid. Was going to post about the sheer idiocy when [livejournal.com profile] mooism first posted on the 8th (note, that was 6 days before the BBC caught up), but things got lost in the shuffle. They were using the excuse that "only strict vegetarians" would be affected, and in a way, they'd be right. When I eat out, I don't tend to worry whether the cheese is made using rennet, I'm not that strict. But if a company does something blitheringly stupid, and says that it shouldn't bother me at all?

Worse, for them, it would've meant that many of my non-vegetarian friends and family would have stopped buying their products; why buy Masterfoods when Cadbury do something just as good? Stupid stupid company decision. Still, while I'll try to stick to Green and Blacks when I can afford it, and Cadbury when I can't, I can still buy Masterfoods now, they're idiots, but they're not
evil like Nestlé. Ah, informed consumers making choices within an active market, and forcing companies to change. You can see why so many capitalists are anti-market at heart, right?

The only problem of course is that some of the statistics used to claim how many vegetarians there are in the country are likely very very wrong. Why? Because even smart people are stupid:
Twenty years after the IQ tests were carried out in 1970, 366 of the participants said they were vegetarian - although more than 100 reported eating either fish or chicken.
Guys? Vegetarians don't eat fish, let alone chicken. So as virtually every survey of the nature relies on self reporting, and approx 1/3rd of self-described vegetarians are pescetarians at best, the market impact might be smaller than it should be. People assuming I can eat fish despite being vegetarian is probably one of my biggest pet-hates, and it isn't helped by the ignorance of some who self-describe wrongly. It's a bit like self-described Christians who don't go to church; they may quack like a duck, but they sure as hell don't walk like a duck.

Oh, it's National Vegetarian Week as of tomorrow, so expect dodgy media coverage, false assumptions and some of my more idiotic ethical eaters to be a bit too assertive in various places, sorry about that.
OK, more answers to the interests meme. [livejournal.com profile] two_brains asked me:
Old Harry's game
the checkbox tyranny resistance
thursday next
And then [livejournal.com profile] the_vin proposed:
Devon, Germany, Single transferable vote
So here we go:
Old Harry's Game - (and how I met Jennie) )
The Checkbox Tyranny Resistance - and more on how Six Apart sucks )
Thursday Next - books by Jasper Fforde )
Devon - I was born there )
Germany - I wouldn't mind living there )
Single Transferable Vote - the Best Electoral System in the World )

Well, Doctor Who is now at 70% complete on the download, in the meantime, anyone else want to ask me about my interests, or want me to ask about theirs?
matgb: (British)

McDemos!

May. 18th, 2007 11:53 pm
Oh my...

[livejournal.com profile] fracindy? This might be a valid extra source of income...

McDemos:
Do you get the urge to jab John Prescott with a stick till he cries like a fat girl but can't find a stick?

Then McDemo's is for you, we'll find the stick and do the jabbing! Let us demonstrate for you!

In this busy 24/7 world you often don't get the time to make your voice heard, so isn't it about time you contracted your protesting needs out?
It is of course a Mark Thomas & friends idea, antoher part of the Mass Lone Protest anti-SOCPA activities. So now you can contribute to a Mass Lone Protest from anywhere in the world! How daft is that? (Via Gareth)
OK, the thing is, now I'm working in a job that doesn't allow me much time online, and the journey home is fairly long, by the time I'm in and caught up, I've less time (currently) to post. So here's a backlog of links for you, because I know you've all missed them...

Firstly, [livejournal.com profile] linkfrenzy is back, despite [livejournal.com profile] drjon's insane interpretation of Aussie copyright laws, and is also catching up with a massive backlog of Links From The Dawn Of Time, including three methods of making tinyy Daleks. How cool is that?

[livejournal.com profile] jonnynexus has a bit of gaming history with a scan of the contents page of White Dwarf #77. The last one before Ansell moved it to Nottingham. Pay close attention to the words spelt out by the first letter of each line. Of course, this humble non-RPGing gamer thinks better to have a miniatures based White Dwarf than no White Dwarf at all, and better to have a Games Workshop making products still than a dead company and some 'good old days', but I'm very aware that most gamers will remain of the GW = EEEVIL mindset no matter how many times actual real facts are presented to them. Yes, I'm biased, but I do not in any way regret the years I spent working for them. Although Ansell was an arse, they're right on that point.

Next up, LJ polls! Everyone likes a good poll, right? Ongoing discussion of 'best SF film ever' is added to by [livejournal.com profile] bagrec who first asked his readers for nominations and then put upa poll of the finalists. [livejournal.com profile] talvalin, who I met [properly] for the first time Friday, had a similar poll a few weeks back. And yes, I had meant to link to Richard's first nominations post while they were still open, I acquired one of those 'life' things and forgot, sorry...

[livejournal.com profile] pickwick has a poll about knowledge of scientific theories and experiments, and asks What other experiments and theories should everyone know about? So go tell her, mm'kay? Also, can anyone else out there confirm that Occam's "simplest possible solution" for pretty much everything was in fact "God did it", or am I talking out of my backside with miss remembered facts again?

Met [livejournal.com profile] the_vin Saturday at the Imperial War Museum, and a look through his archives gives this Zombie!Christ video that is, well, disturbing in its hilarity.

Now, how about a bit of filth? Political point making, Belgian style, in which a rather nice looking young lady offers the world 40,000 blow jobs in order to get publicity for her campaign. Umm, yeah. Well, she certainly got my attention. Then we have, well, not to put too fine a point on it, Muppet Porn. Yeah, um, even I found that one a bit disturbing. Amusing, but a bit weird.

Finally, for those complaining about the Eurovision block voting, a proper academic study of the voting patterns, revealing something we sort of know anyway. Besides, Anglophone nations tend to vote for songs in English, why is it a surprise that slavonic countries like to vote for slavonic songs?

Yeah, that's folder one cleared out. More to follow at some point.
Not got time to do a proper write up from Yorkshire, but this is disgraceful:
The Scotsman also explains the kind of "errors" on ballot sheets that caused them to be rejected. One of these was to only cast a vote for the regional list. Both the constituency and the regional votes were on the same ballot paper. Many of the small parties only put candidates up for the regional vote. If you wanted to support, say, the Green Party - or more or less any of the smaller parties - and couldn't bring yourself to vote for one of the larger parties in the constituency, then your vote would be declared void.
The whole point of an MMS system is to allow smaller parties to run a list to get top up MPs/AMs when they know they're not going to win a constituency. To penalise their voters completely because they only wanted to vote for 'their' party? Utterly, completely, wrong. Legal challenges are in the pipeline, if this is true, and I've no reason to doubt it's not, then the parties that lost out (Solidarity, the Greens and the SSP for the most part) should be screaming blue murder. Go read [livejournal.com profile] rhythmaning's post, then spread the link. This is Great fucking Britain, we don't do hanging chads, we don't disenfranchise people, every damn vote should be counted damnit!
Well, it's Scottish Palriament elections, and non-London local elections. As the Scots are using my favourite voting system for the locals (first time used in mainland Briatin that I know of), I may be staying up late. I may also post reactions and stuff as they come. Or I may just comment elsewhere. [livejournal.com profile] doctorvee will be liveblogging at his site and on his Twitter, and there are already a few reaction posts on my friends page. However, [livejournal.com profile] rythmaning has almost certainly the best election poster ever:

In response to the stupid CCTV with recorded kids voices stunt that our Glorious Leaders are planning, [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll asks:
Is there any hope that the Tories will be any better than Labour or that the LibDems can win enough seats to form a government?
I tried to reply that the Tories would be better in that they'd be a bit less authoritarian, but less does not mean good, just less bad in this case, and I trust them not one jot.

The Lib Dems haven't a snowballs chance in hell of winning the next General Election, what they have got is the chance to get 100+ seats and dictate a few basic terms to the coalition partner. More Liberalism, less Laws would be a good one to start with. 100+ seats in a hung parliament is what we have to work for anyway.

And yes, this would've been a comment, but LJ wouldn't let me post it, all I get is:
[Error: DBI connect('theschwartz_livejournal;host=10.16.129.220','lj',...) failed: Can't connect to MySQL server on '10.16.129.220' (113) at /home/lj/cgi-bin/Data/ObjectDriver/Driver/DBI.pm line 54 at /home/lj/cgi-bin/TheSchwartz.pm line 349 @ sf-lj-web002]
Anyone else had a similar issue or is it just me?
It's not just me, and my comment there wouldn't go through but a comment I made at [livejournal.com profile] davidnm's did. Go figure. From the number of open support requests, it's a site issue and they'll be on it. Whether they fix it is another thing...
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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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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