February 12, 2005

Slack Harry

Aren't I crap? Two posts in a month. Hardly a thorough diary if you ask me. But you know, life goes on. A new job, new year, new light shed on proceedings, that old chestnut, again again. Things plod along quite pleasantly and that suits me, plus for once I'm actually getting some effing sleep (apparently the average person needs 4 hours for to sleep (!) and another 4 to recharge the batteries - fascinating, I know). It seems that I have replaced website action with sleeping. Discuss.

Cushions for foxes is a great name for a song. Shame it's not been used yet.

I've just spent the best part of an hour trying to get a midi keyboard to communicate with a computer, and it would appear that they don't speak the same language. Either that or I'm rubbish. But headway is definitely being made. I even managed to make some waves-lapping-on -beaches type sounds and record them in the old pooter. Pleasing! But the real question is who would you rather be: the White Stripes or the Proclaimers?

The rabbit has developed a mighty quiff. Saw The Dears last night. Bloody good and bloody loud. Apparently they were even better with a finger in your right ear, but I can't attest to the validity of that argument. All the same it was a jolly good racket. And the support bands had the shittest names. Ambulance and Pure Reason Revolution anyone? No, I thought not. They were good too surprisingly. I would have imagined that anyone stupid enough to call themselves Pure Reason Revolution (I like repeating it) would also have no musical ability whatsoever. But I'd be wrong. They must have access to some really good drugs.

Back in a minute.

This is loud month. Went to see House of Flying Daggers film thingummy a while ago, and that was ridiculously loud too. Is everyone going deaf? Are Mrs L and myself the only people around here with good hearing? If things continue at this rate we'll be just as deaf as everyone else in no time. It was good though, very good in fact. Screaming in agony and bleeding ears aside. Blow me down with a Trevor I'm tired. I have seen fit to award Creepy with her first prize, mind. Advertising space isn't cheap, so I think this is an extremely generous gesture. I may be slack but I'm still thoughtful. And bollocks, I've done some excellent cooking so this hasn't been a waste of time. Note to self: fresh Cod with sundried tomato risotto is blimmin' delicious. We're definitely having that again. Cracking guitar. Love and war. Get it. Rilo Kiley are my recommendation of the week/month depending on when next I pull my finger out of my bum. New Chemicals is good an' all. And I must promote the work of an old friend and neighbour who is becoming confusingly successful with selling records wot he made innit. Flevans is to be added to the sidebar. Check it out. Some of it's a bit jazzy (some people like that kind of thing - I don't) but I'll forgive him as the rest of its top notch. And his new stuff's even better with added NO JAZZ. Good!

So I have no interesting web related stuff to talk about as I never use the internet. Once I get out of training at work, and get internet access then this will undoubtedly change, but for now it's music music music all the fucking way dude.

And that's about it really. Going to see The Fall next month, which isn't really relevant but I thought I'd say it anyway. And I know shitloads about credit cards, of which I have none, but that doesn't matter. I don't want any. Spend someone else's money? Asking for trouble. Don't do it. You've been told.

Lastly for now, THE SCAFFOLDING HAS COME DOWN!!!! This is epic news, and worthy of it's own post. So it can wait.

Ps. I walk through the pavilion gardens on the way to work and see all sorts of lovely things that remind me that winter can be nice, and spring is beautiful when it arrives. I see robins, blackbirds, snowdrops, budding daffodils, and a little wild rabbit. They come out just to see me, I'm sure. Even if that is wishful thinking, these things are just a small portion of what makes life wonderful.
I'm soppy.

From the world:

Sunday December 19, 2004

The Observer
Anyone who sends an email or bids on eBay with a niggling fear about privacy may soon be able to relax. Programmers have made a major breakthrough in their quest for a totally secure computer network by turning to Star Trek-style physics that would bamboozle the sharpest hacker.

Quantum cryptography is the ultimate example of small-is-beautiful technology: information is encoded at the subatomic level on individual photons, the smallest known units of light. They can then be sent on optical fibre networks from one computer to another. To snoop on such messages undetected, a hacker would have to defy the laws of quantum mechanics. 'Any attempt by the hacker to read the message causes errors that show up. This results from a proven law of nature,' said Dr Andrew Shields, leader of Toshiba Research Europe's quantum information group. Previous experiments with quantum cryptography foundered because photons are so sensitive to fluctuations in the hardware that the tiniest change in temperature or movement of the fibre wrecked the process. But Toshiba Research Europe in Cambridge has devised a system that prevents fluctuations and keeps light particles flowing precisely. A recent trial sent information automatically and uninterruptedly for nearly a week. Toshiba predicts the technology will become commercial within three years, and is looking to begin further trials with financial organisations. Shields said: 'It means quantum cryptography can be used by anyone.

The first users are likely to be in the financial and public service sectors. It might take a while before it is used by your home PC.' Quantum cryptography encodes each photon to represent a standard bit, 0 or 1, and these in combination form a secret key. In today's typical optical communication system, each bit is carried by a million photons, and an eavesdropper could split off some photons and determine the information they were carrying without being detected. But with the quantum technique the theft of a single photon is immediately apparent to the sender and receiver of the message.

BBC News
Monday, 10 January, 2005, 12:03 GMT

Man auctions ad space on forehead

A 20-year-old US man is selling advertising space on his forehead to the highest bidder on website eBay.

Andrew Fischer, from
Omaha, Nebraska, said he would have a non-permanent logo or brand name tattooed on his head for 30 days. "The way I see it I'm selling something I already own; after 30 days I get it back," he told the BBC Today programme. Mr Fischer has received 39 bids so far, with the largest bid currently at more than $322 (£171). "The winner will be able to send me a tattoo or have me go to a tattoo parlour and get a temporary ink tattoo on my forehead and this will be something they choose, a company name or domain name, perhaps their logo," he told the Radio 4 programme.

On the online auction, Mr Fischer describes himself as an "average American Joe, give or take". His sales pitch adds: "Take advantage of this radical advertising campaign and become a part of history." Mr Fischer said that while he would accept any brand name or logo, "I wouldn't go around with a swastika or anything racial".

He added: "I wouldn't go around with 666, the mark of the beast.

"Other than that I wouldn't promote anything socially unacceptable such as adult websites or stores." He said he would use the money to pay college fees - he is planning to study graphic design. The entrepreneur said his mother was initially surprised by his decision but following all the media attention she felt he was "thinking outside the box".
From "The Register":
Lizard Army develops copulating robot

We're obliged this week to vigilant members of the neoLuddite Resistance Army (NRA) who have monitored with alarm the news that a South Korean professor claims to have developed artificial chromosomes which will eventually lead to emotional, self-reproducing cybersexpots. Kim Jong-Hwan of the ITRC-Intelligent Robot Research Centre says that once his chromosome software is installed in a robot within the next three months, the previously cold and distant machine will acquire reasoning and emotions - among the latter the overwhelming urge to indulge in torrid robo-rumpy-pumpy.

Kim says: "Christians may not like it, but we must consider this the origin of an artificial species. Until now, most researchers in this field have focused only on the functionality of the machines, but we think in terms of the essence of the creatures." Christians may not like it? Good Lord: surely any right-minded individual - from Buddhist to practising member of the Snake Cult of California - can see where this one is leading. Kim himself warns: "Robots will have their own personalities and emotion and - as films like I Robot warn - that could be very dangerous for humanity. If we can provide a robot with good - soft - chromosomes, they may not be such a threat." By "soft" chromosomes we assume that Kim means the kind of DNA which compels a lust-and-cold-fusion-driven sex machine to thoughtfully provide chocolate and flowers after forcing his vile attentions on our wives and daughters. We have no doubt at all that the Lizard Army sees the impregnation of human females with cybersperm as essential to the production of a servile hybrid race condemned forever to mop out murderous cyberloos and run the occasional duster over self-aware domestic appliances.

In fact, Kim himself hints at the solution to this burgeoning threat, ie, don't download the software, completely destroy the research centre using explosives and then lower yourself into molten steel to prevent this Mephistophelean knowledge ever again menacing humanity. One final thing: those readers who think that Kim Jong-Hwan is nothing more than a harmless crank after a bit of free press should note that it is he who established the Robot World Cup (aka "RoboCup"), the aim of which is "by 2050, [to] develop a team of fully autonomous humanoid robots that can win against the human world champion team in soccer". Yup, within fifty years, we have the prospect of massed ranks of RoboRonaldos with ball skills so advanced that not even a brigade of cloned Thierry Henris will be able to resist their inexorable march towards footballing glory. Consider yourselves duly alerted

And speaking of Thierry Henri - he of the hilarious "Va Va Voom" Renault Clio ads - we wonder if the talented Gunners' frontman is aware that his paymasters are themselves in the service of the Lizard Army, as recently proved beyond reasonable doubt by the Vel Satis terror kidnap ordeal shocker. Mercifully, the same cannot be said of Ford, which has been fighting a heroic front-line battle against homicidal motor vehicles. The company has recalled 800,000 units due to what is reported as "a problem with the cruise control deactivation switch on several vehicle models". The end result of this "problem" is cars spontaneously combusting, even while the ignition is turned off

Chillingly, however, Ford's contribution to the war against the Rise of the Machines™ came too late for one Houston family which saw its home reduced to smouldering rubble by a kamikaze Ford Expedition. The attack occurred at 8.30pm on Monday night when the parked Expedition decided to torch the carport adjoining owner Maria Gauna's house. A shaken neighbour recounted: "It looked like a tree was on fire. I came out and the closer I got, I saw the truck was on fire. By the time we got to the house, the flames were at the back door of the home." Gauna, who affirmed that she last used the car at 5.30pm, said: "We were all asleep. People started knocking on the door and screaming that the truck had caught on fire. We had to evacuate and get out of the house." She added that she had not received notification of the recall, arousing suspicion that the satanic Expedition may have intercepted her mail in anticipation of its planned contribution to the destruction of mankind. We await with spines a-tingle the expected confirmation from the US Mail that "one of our Houston postmen is missing".
And finally:
Dog survives 100ft cliff plunge

pet dog that survived for five days following a 100ft fall down a cliff has been reunited with its owners.
Beau's owner Paul Uttley from Dewsbury feared he would never see the chocolate labrador again after he fell down the cliffs at Flamborough Head. But family friend Chris Fletcher returned on Thursday and spotted the uninjured Beau on the beach. Rescuers winched the dog, which survived in a cove, up the cliff to be reunited with his owners. Eight-month-old Beau had been out for a walk to the lighthouse when his owners realised he had gone missing on Saturday afternoon. "They thought he must have gone over the cliff and called the coastguard," Mr Fletcher said. Despite rescuers abseiling down the cliffs Beau could not be found. "They phoned me and I came straight over and spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday searching for him. I was so worried," Mr Fletcher added. Finally, on Thursday Mr Fletcher went back to the scene to put up posters of the missing dog. "We had pretty much given up hope of finding him," he said.

"But, I walked back towards the lighthouse and had a look over the cliff tops. I could see what I thought at first was a bin-liner but then it stood up and I realised it was a dog." Beau had gone over the cliff into an enclosed area , two coves away from where he disappeared. The coves cannot be reached easily because of the cliffs and tides. Alex Harrison of Flamborough Rescue Service said: "We tried to get him by lifeboat but the weather conditions were too difficult. "So, we got him in a dog net and pulled him up the cliff. He was very lively and very hungry."
How do you mistake a dog for a bin liner?


Anonymous Chris Fletcher (Dog Hero!) said...

I'll tell you how you mistake a dog for a bin liner, when you're 100ft up a cliff, and he's stationary at the bottom!!!

You'er not the first person to ask that question though! I've been a laughing stock at work ever since, and in all my social fields too! Its nice to know that good deeds don't go unrewarded!

There's even been consipracy theories, implying I hid the dog, and put him there myself in order to recieve the glory! Fact is I went back for one reason and one erason alone. My best friend had lost her pet, and I hated seeing her so upset. I stayed positive, and kept looking for her, because she needed someone to be positive and help her through it. I couldn't give up!

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