Sunday 28 September 2008

Update to banned poems

(Read earlier post)
I found this via? Anyway
I wish I could recall my tracks across the innertent, I really do... A link somewhere sent me here,
to see pics of a rather colourful "Back to School Knifepack". I think schools should emphasise the need for a set of colour co-ordinated knives, as part of any child's school kit.

The items are sold by Vons, which I understand is Safeway... Hm.. Very safe thinking... Anyway, they're in that safe packaging that lacerates you as you try to open it, unless you have a nice sharp knife from inside the packaging.
The pic linked was in Von's, Yorba Linda.
I have only a vague idea of where Yorba Linda is, without deploying Google earth. California, I think...
White Stripes, Hotel Yorba coming up if I can find it on Too Yube.....

I just resisted the temptation to add Zorba the Greek....
Oh Dammit! alright then....

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Saturday 27 September 2008

Moby Dick.

Led Zeppelin vs The Great White Whale

Yves Rossy. First man to fly across the English Channel, by jet, without an airplane.

I need not say much here. This is a man who had a dream of flying, fast, without a plane. All the Buzz Lightyear jokes have already been made. Yves Rossy, a man with a history as a fast-jet pilot, "Yves has served as a fighter pilot in the Swiss Air Force, flying Dassault Mirage IIIs, Northrop F-5 Tiger IIs and Hawker Hunters. He also flew Boeing 747s for Swissair and now pilots an Airbus A320 for Swiss International Air Lines."

Louis Bleriot, 1909

Rossy flew the route that Louis Bleriot flew, in 1909, when he succeeded in becoming the first person in powered flight to cross the channel, thus winning the (then)huge prize of £1,000, put
up by the british paper, the Daily Mail.

Yves Rossy!

Bleriot took 46 minutes, Rossy took just thirteen minutes.
So far, he can not take off and land under power, he is lifted to altitude by a Pilatus Porter turboprop plane, from which he jumps with four jet engines idling, but then he accellerates away, under control, and truly flies, he can climb, manouevre, maintain level flight. He is working on greater duration, and his dream is to become fully aerobatic. To be fair, he's not the only person trying, like Bleriot, there are rivals, but Rossy's achievement is at the peak of the game.
Some people laugh, and say he's "only a parachutist with a powered interlude".
Yes. Like the Apollo crews were just parachutists with a big firework to take them higher?

This man's bravery, intelligence, and determination are second to none.

See here, another jet-powered man... no wings.

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Friday 26 September 2008

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Get Back In The Bath.......

The Real Tuesday Weld:- Cloud Cuckoo-Land.

Followed by "Bathtime in Clerkenwell"
(I have posted this one before, but it was a long time ago....)

Yes, I know it looks as though the titles make more sense transposed... Ask Tuesday, not me. She was once married to Dudley Moore.
Oh... No, that was the OTHER Tuesday Weld.

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Wednesday 24 September 2008

A few pictures from Whitby, North Yorkshire, England

"Why?", you may ask, well, "Why not?", I may reply...
The reason is that Max, at Britishspeak, a blog in which he, an American, seeks to make sense of Englishness. Obviously, impossible, but he recently posted a portion on fish and chips, noting that the Daily Mail? had said that Whitby had britain's best fish and chips. I know. Debateable, subjective etc... Ohhh. I see top fish-chef and renowned foodie, Rick Stein has said the Magpie Cafe in Whitby has the best fish and chips in britain.. I see. I wonder how Rick managed to try them all?
And how he kept track of the scores?
Max posted a pic of the swingbridge.
I thought I might offer a bit more of Whitby, for his readers, should they care to look.
The pics here were taken toward the end of a long day out across North Yorkshire, I'll post a few of other places soon, the sun was sinking, and the light was fading, but I like Whitby in all weathers. I've been there in a blizzard, and in rain, and grey morning sea-mist, as well as full-on summer sun.
On the day these pics were taken, we found a group of people sitting on the quay, man with megaphone etc... On asking what was going on, we discovered it was the fishermen's rowing club regatta. hence the pic of an upturned boat.
Oh.... one picture in the above set is NOT of Whitby... It's where the road into the village of Robin Hood's Bay ends. it just turns into the slipway into the North Sea. I can think of worse places to sit and ponder as day yields to darkness. Whitby, of course, was where Count Dracula came ashore in Bram Stoker's book, so, having no garlic or crucifixes, nor silver bullets, we decided to get out of town before sundown.

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Monday 22 September 2008

WARNING!- Banned Poem!

Education for Leisure

Today I am going to kill something. Anything.
I have had enough of being ignored and today
I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day,
a sort of grey with boredom stirring in the streets
I squash a fly against the window with my thumb.
We did that at school. Shakespeare. It was in
another language and now the fly is in another language.
I breathe out talent on the glass to write my name.
I am a genius. I could be anything at all, with half
the chance. But today I am going to change the world.
Something’s world. The cat avoids me. The cat
knows I am a genius, and has hidden itself.
I pour the goldfish down the bog. I pull the chain.
I see that it is good. The budgie is panicking.
Once a fortnight, I walk the two miles into town
For signing on. They don’t appreciate my autograph.
There is nothing left to kill. I dial the radio
and tell the man he’s talking to a superstar.
He cuts me off. I get our bread-knife and go out.
The pavements glitter suddenly. I touch your arm.

Carol Ann Duffy

This poem was banned by an examination board in England, after three complaints.

"A spokeswoman for AQA confirmed there had been three complaints, two referring to knife crime and a third about the description of a goldfish being flushed down the toilet. The first complaint about knives was made in 2004. The second, made in the summer by an exams officer, was then taken up by an MP.

The most recent complaint was made by Lutterworth grammar school’s exams invigilator, Pat Schofield, who welcomed the board’s decision and said: “I think it is absolutely horrendous - what sort of message is that to give to kids who are reading it as part of their GCSE syllabus?”

The AQA spokeswoman said: “The decision to withdraw the poem was not taken lightly and only after due consideration of the issues involved. We believe the decision underlines the often difficult balance that exists between encouraging and facilitating young people to think critically about difficult but important topics and the need to do this in a way which is sensitive to social issues and public concern.”

*(GCSE, "general certificate of secondary education, exams taken by 16 yr olds)

This sparked a fierce debate.... Okay, not much of a debate at all really. In Britain our kids are not very likely to decide to take a gun into school, although... in some inner city areas.. but, knives. Knives are in our minds following several fatal stabbings amongst school-age children-and not just the boys. So the subject is indeed delicate. I can, to some extent see the aforementioned Ms Schofield's point of view.
Should poems and other literature taught in school be devoid of violence for fear that pupils will copy?

The poet herself provides a balancing riposte.

Mrs Schofield's GCSE -by Carol Anne Duffy

You must prepare your bosom for his knife,

said Portia to Antonio in which

of Shakespeare's Comedies? Who killed his wife,

insane with jealousy? And which Scots witch

knew Something wicked this way comes? Who said

Is this a dagger which I see? Which Tragedy?

Whose blade was drawn which led to Tybalt's death?

To whom did dying Caesar say Et tu? And why?

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark - do you

know what this means? Explain how poetry

pursues the human like the smitten moon

above the weeping, laughing earth; how we

make prayers of it. Nothing will come of nothing:

speak again. Said by which King? You may begin.

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Which of these three is the donkey?

This appears on the Flickr stream of "Make Some Noise"

Beneath it are these words:

"Apparently you can´t take donkeys into the bus terminal! HAH! Karin and I just about peed ourselves laughing at this sign while we waited to head out to Incapirca. "

Help me out here. Which of the forbidden items imaged above is a donkey? My bet is on the middle one.... next to the cow.

Speaking as a donkey.............

kthnx bai!
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I'm trying to get posting again...but writing escapes me.

It's a strange thing. I can write in my head whilst I do other things, I can write whole blogpost length pieces as comments on other people's blogs (sorry), but then... I open up blogger in compose mode and somehow.................. derrrr......... um
blankness attacks me.

So that's why I'm posting other stuff I like. Like this.
Madrugada, "The Kids are on High Street".
This band is from Norway, the track is from their album "The Deep End".

I'd like comments, to see what you think.
The track is available on You-Tube. To my mind, the video detracts from the music, and spoils it. That is a common occurrence with music videos, they overlay some directors images. I'd say, close your eyes and listen, let your mind create its own images.
Then, to digress, as I always do, I'd like to say here "I Hate Disney".
I do.
Because Disney messes with the stories I grew up with, peoples them with disney characters, and soils them forever.
If Disney want to make movies, then let them write their own all new stories, leave the people out of books alone.
Winnie the Pooh, for example, the real Winnie, the book character, is NOTHING like the bumbling idiot portrayed by Disney. Um.. Okay.. Now I'm thinking of another post... Poetry next time.
Maybe some pictures?
We'll see. I might burn out first
Neil Young said "It's better to burn out than it is to fade away... "
Rust never sleeps.

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Friday 19 September 2008


Deltahead, by the way, hail not from some swampy bayou. They inhabit an altogether frostier gumbo, um
Sweden.. Well Sverige has quite a lot of swampy stuff. And moskeeters like alien death-swarms... and elk flies that take a really big bite out of thinskin human-hides. No gaters though. Not that I've ever seen anyway.

Via Ectoplasmosis , via somebody's (-Aaron's Myspace site.
I'm sorry, Aaron, whoever you might be, I did not look at your Myspace for more than about five seconds. It's not you, I just hate Myspace pages with a vengeance. I think I'm too old for them or something.
Everything about them, to me, is just plain nasty, the layout, the format, the tendency toward autoplay music... Don't get me started on Facebook, either. )
But I liked this track...

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Monday 8 September 2008

One of those Emails Several People Send You. (Bill Gates, versus General Motors)

It never happened, of course, it's a fabrication, thoroughly analysed and debunked by Snopes, here.

By the way, if ever you hear a story that sounds a bit bizarre, and you're not sure whether to believe it, Snopes is the place to check it out. Also, it's a place for wasting an idle hour or two reading bizarre stories, both true and imagined.

"At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon." In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash........twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light. I love the next one!!!

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off. "

Saturday 6 September 2008

Shock Horror! Gmail not supported by Google Browser!

Okay. Stop panicking. It is really.
But my gmail just stubbed its toe on some lump in the internet and crashed. This is what it said:

"We have detected a problem,
We're sorry. It seems there is a problem. Please try using Google Mail with a supported browser. If you are encountering this error while using a supported browser, we suggest alerting your Internet Service Provider (ISP) that a proxy is failing to accept cookies on HTTP redirects."

So I click on Google's link..

"Does Google Mail support my browser?
Google Mail is accessible at wherever you have access to the Internet via a PC, Linux, or Macintosh (Mac) computer with one of the following fully supported browsers:

* IE 5.5+ (download: Windows)
* Netscape 7.1+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
* Mozilla 1.4+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
* Firefox 0.8+ (download: Windows Mac Linux)
* Safari 1.3+ (download: Mac)

If you access Google Mail with a browser different from those listed above, you will be automatically directed to the basic HTML view of Google Mail. Basic HTML view works with the following browsers, as well as many others:

* IE 4.0+
* Netscape 4.07+
* Opera 6.03+

Regardless of your browser type, you must have cookies enabled to use Google Mail. If your browser supports it, please also enable JavaScript. "

So no Google Chrome Browser then?

Time to update the page, guys.
By the way... Have you noticed it's not possible to send an email to google to tell them if any of their system is misbehaving? That's because google already knows what you are thinking.
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Thursday 4 September 2008

Google's New Browser

Blogging today using, as I have been for some time, Blogger in Draft... 
This is, I think, a better, more wordprocessor-like, more able version of Blogger, and simplifies my posting.... It's also how I get a comments box to appear at the foot of the post.... neat features!
More from Google however, I'm composing this in Google's new Beta test web-browser, Google Chrome.
Do i like it? not sure yet.
It's clean and uncluttered, it imports bookmarks, passwords and settings from Firefox or Internet Explorer, I assume it does the same for Safari. Too early to decide whether I'll ditch firefox 3 for this, I suspect not..... but as I learn more features and how to use them , i get more confident.. It works, It's easy to use, free of excess buttonry, do i really need all those widgets in firefox?

So that's Blogger in draft covered, Google Chrome, and now Picasa.
I use Picasa to manage all the pics on my computer, It does all I need, creates web albums, emails pictures, hosts all my blog images, edits images...., Imports from scanner, phone, memory cards, cameras.
It's the best I've tried, and best of all it's FREE!
Now they've released Picasa 3 beta. I'm trying it, will report in a while.
I'd post something, but I'm so tired. Might go have a hot relaxing bath and return refreshed, or I might fall asleep and snore inzzzzzzzzzztead.

Tuesday 2 September 2008

A Subaltern's Love Song by John Betjeman

Joan Hunter Dunn, back row far right.

Miss J.Hunter Dunn, Miss J.Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament - you against me!

Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.

Her father's euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.

The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.

On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.

By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.

Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surry twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!

Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.

And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.

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