Saturday, 14 April 2007

Lese Majeste

On thursday, Oliver Jufer (Swiss) was pardoned after receiving a 10 year sentence for spraying graffiti on posters of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Jufer is now being deported, after 10 years living in the country.

Thai authorities have also outlawed You Tube from the country because of a few videos commenting on the King.

But it’s not only Thailand that enjoys this robust approach:

Brunei, 2006, three men were jailed for a year for sending mobile clips insulting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Malidives, 2002, three journalists sentenced to life for insulting the president.

Poland, 2005, 28 people arrested for protesting against the visiting Vladimir Putin. Polish law mandates up to 3 years of porridge for offending their dignitaries or any visiting ones.

Similar shenanigans abound in Egypt, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, Belarus and Syria

On a related subject : Access to You Tube is banned in Turkey after the authorities found videos insulting their hero Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - who has been dead for nearly 70 years.

This information came from an article in the BBC News by Patrick Jackson entitled “sensitive heads of state”, there's much more detail in the full article.

It's easy to dismiss these as strange goings on in distant lands but Poland is now a fully paid up member of The Mighty Onion (European Onion, brings tears to your eyes etc) and Turkey is bent on joining the club.

How will the Poles and Turks react when "dissidents" successfully appeal to the EU in future? Nevertheless, isn't this a more promising approach to spreading democracy and freedom of speech than the US bashing of Iraq? Something for Dubya to think about there, if that isn't too much of a contradiction.

Yes, Iraq, the 51st state!


Friday, 13 April 2007

Inflammation Technology

As it's Friday here's a completely short story I've just made up:

It's been a long week, trudging up and the information superhighway, I work in IT you see, even though it's called IS now. We were lining up to collect our weekly food voucher ration when the fella in front of me turned round and said "has tha' heard abaht strike at' airport?", I said "are you sure your from Ghent?", "did tha call me a liar?" next thing there's mouse mats flying everywhere, women are crying, security, it turned into a mass brawl in the Distributed Component Development section. I had no Idea people could be so sensitive about their accents.

Eventually, after it all calmed down I was sat with the medic to sort out my shiner, he said "hmmm... you have a nasty inflammation there", I said "well, that's technology for you".


well, what do you want for nothing? a rubber biscuit?

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Nutbush City Blog Rules

Finally, "mr real estate" (whoever he is) has produced his Bloggers Code of Conduct. I'm a bit surprised, reads more like something a politician or journalist would write, as opposed to being something actually useful. For me, he's got it all backwards.

he says : "(1) Misinformation and/or false information shall not be published or permitted in the blogosphere."
I say : 1. If you need important facts for something important, don't read it off a blog, do your own reasearch you lazy sod

he says : "(2) Posts or comments should remain civil, however, if someone does flame you in any way, shape or form, they should expect to be flamed in return in the form of a post or comment and they should not complain that they are treated in the same way that they have treated you. Libeling anyone should be refrained from entirely. "
I say : 2. Be as rude as you like and expect the same in return

he says : "(3) Information in a post shall not be stolen from a source or plagiarized. If information from a source other than your own is used, that source shall be cited. "
I say : 3. If you can't think of anything original or worthwhile then just don't bother

he says : "(4) You have the complete and total freedom to express your views and opinions in any way, shape or form you choose, as long as no one is flamed directly or libled in the process. You should not expect everyone to agree with your views and you should expect discussion and debate of your views openly when they are posted. "
I say : 4. People will disagree with you, live with it, pretend it's like normal life

He says :"(5) Posts that purposefully state something that cannot be proven about another blogger in order to increase traffic to your blog shall not be permitted. "
I say: 5. Blog Whores are painfully transparent, your peers will deal with you

He says : "(6) Bloggers shall do their best to adhere to good use of the English language, as to ensure a readable post by their readers. "
I say : 6. Whatever language you use, make sure it's cricket. (he seems to assume all blogs are in English! *makes slanderous gesture*)

He says: "(7) Violation of any of these guideliness shall constitute the violating blogger's permittance of his/her fellow bloggers posting juicy posts detailing his/her violation(s) in full."
I say: firstly read your own rule 6 about readable posts.
7. If you don't do as you're told, you will suffer violation(s) of your juicy bits

These rules are a bit dry and don't really address my own concerns so here's some additions of my own:

8. When commenting in the nude, try to keep both hands on the keyboard
9. If posting/commenting while at work make sure your screen is proplerly angled so that your colleagues/employer can't see what you're doing
10. The drink limit for blogging is one complete bottle of Jack Denials, or equivalent.

I think you know what's coming next...

If you have any fantastic super ideas for great blogging rules that'll help make the world a smaller place and spread one particular type of democracy to countries that don't want it, comments please.


Tuesday, 10 April 2007

GPS my arse

I've had this thing in my pocket for a month so I finally decided to activate it with all the product codes and license shite. It's not straightforward and I'm a lazy chicken so it took me a while.

So, this handgazer has a map of western europe on it and apparently it can take me anywhere I want to go, within driving distance. Therefore, I royally concluded to take the tram home and see how it copes with that for a change. The tram tundles down the middle of Avenue Tervuren with each side of the avenue on either side of the tram track. Not long before I was listening to, "after eighty metres, do a u-turn" untill she said "after a hundred meters, keep going straight ahead". I was on the brink of a whole exchange about how "your map reading skills are the reason I got divorced" when I realised the infernal gadget only gives instructions, it doesn't take them. After I left the tram I had a ten minute walk home so I put the gadget in my pocket but left the earphones in. Nothing for ages and suddenly "now turn left and bear right", it was very big brother freakish but with a sexy female voice, bizarre.

The last thing she said was "after fifty metres, turn left", I went for the "off" button instead and promptly turned right, right into the pub. If I'd had that option six years ago I might still be married.

I had a strange blogging experience today, I went to look for some comments on yesterdays post and actually found two women fighting in my comments bit. I really didn't know what to say, all I could think of was mud-wrestling but curses! I traded my mud-wrestling rule book for a pancake recipe two days ago, damn!

Talking of conversation, did you see that article on the beeb about blogging rules? the fools, DQ had the answers all along...

Blessed are the meerkats,


Stay still for a second!

I was in a stationary store on saturday, they sell stationery there, so I took the opportunity to buy a huge mouse-mat styled world map for my desk/dining table. The problem is the table's white and my optical mouse won't work on it, the pointer jumps around like a flea on speed.

Sadly, my cunning plan failed miserably, the mouse doesn't work too well on that either. It's ok around China/India and Pacific rim plus Australia but useless in Russia or any stretch of water. Europe and Africa are a bit dodgy but America works well (north and south). That's somehow a vague allegory to my disposition towards those regions too. Oh bugger off with your America bashing, there are few countries in Europe that haven't invaded/exploited and generally trashed cultures everywhere. That doesn't make it ok but at least there's one thing in the world that makes the tin-pot (oil rich) dictators think twice.

And as for all those evil tyrants who don't have any oil or mineral reserves, you'd better hope there's nothing under your patio or the yanks'll find it, and then you're screwed. (I mean "yanks" in the Duke's of Hazard sense of course, nice friendly good looking hill-billy moonshine runners).

Talking of which, when I was in a band our drummer used brew to his own hooch and grow weed in his attic. Seeing the tenderness of man tending flora I thought I should try my hand at horticulture. So, my then girfriend bought me a lovely little flowery plant to put in a pot. The post mortem revealed "you're supposed to take the plastic off the roots before you put it in the pot you bloody idiot!!" I assumed the plastic was bio-degradeable, why the hell would anyone put polyeurothane around a plants roots? You might as well shoot the bugger with a twelve gauge, actually that would be more fun.

Needless to say, when mum asked me to help around the garden my sole contribution was to hire a gardner. In the meantime I'm re-habilitating myself by looking after girlfriend's plethora of useless idle sneering greenery whenever she's away, I even talk to the sods, and the plants. They're all miraculously still alive, though I'd glady strangle that thorny ungrateful bush that lives in the loft (f**k know's what it's called but I've got a few names for it). You can make your own references to thorny ungrateful bushes there, ex-wives\husbands included.

The next day I went to the market in my jeans and nothing but a denim jacket on top, I bought a t-shirt and calmly put it on before I went to the pub. I hadn't done any washing for two weeks. That was eleven 0'clock, thirteen years ago, obviously "I was a completely different person back then" (quote: Natural Born Killers)

"haaahaar, ha ha ah ah, raahaaah" - that's my palindromic laugh, I've been working on that for almost a week, it works in hindi and punjabi too.

Thank you for listening, goodnight!


Monday, 9 April 2007

I woke up this morning...

...there was only one thing on my mind, apart from the obvious - that's assumed, I mean pancakes. Being a non-christian I only know what I learned in school about Easter and such things (other than a short sermon from minky), so in my mind the pancake caper and the whole Easter business is more less one thing. My problem with Easter is I'm not very good at eating chocolate (I like it but I quickly get queasy if I eat "too much", too much for me is a fairly measly amount by most people's standards).

The thought of the Easter chocolate mountain makes my mouth water, in that way it does shortly before a good chunder. All in all, I prefer savoury to sweet. Fortunately, the pancake presents the perfect solution, I can manage a savoury pancake followed by a sweet one. This morning I had one pancake with fried onions, fried ham, cheddar and tzatziki followed by a second with kiwi fruit, strawberries and spray cream.

Other favourites include ice-cream, chocolate sauce and of course, maple syrup. Scrambled eggs and bacon. I've heard some people like Lemon juice and sugar but I've never tried it. So, that lead me think "I wonder what else would make a good pancake recipe?"

I imagine fish fingers and beans could be good, chips (fries), chicken curry or tandoori chicken, any curry, sweet and sour pork, chilli con carne, lemon sorbet, mango's and cream with chocolate sauce.

Any other suggestions will be gratefully received. If you want to try any of the above suggestions let me know how it goes.