Three cheers for the council

•August 3, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I don’t know who wrote it but someone told me today about someone writing a thank you to Sheffield City Council, for if not for their road maintainance policy the floods would have been 2ft deeper.

The Fox from the Flames

•July 31, 2007 • 2 Comments

Firefox is back working and all is good with the world.

Opera was starting to drive me mad. In particular it seems to hate yahoo, and doesn’t quite get on with wordpress.

There’s so much I could write in this post, but I figure when writing about web-browsers it’s probably best to keep it as short as possible!

What not to read

•July 29, 2007 • 4 Comments

I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I’d intended just recently. Last night I thought I’d read before going to sleep, as reading makes me sleepy at the best of times and I’m not very good as going to sleep.

Unfortunately, (I feel as though that word gets used a lot on this blog!) in this case reading proved to be counter-productive. Without going into the details, may I recommend that should anyone decide to read Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk it might be an idea to skip pages 18-21. I’m sure this will make some people curious as to what could be so disturbing as to get to one such as myself who watches all sorts of violent horror movies etc. Take my advice: DO NOT READ IT. Once you’ve read it, that’s it, you cannot unread it afterwards.

I decided that it was pathetic skipping a section of the book. I decided that I should press on, that I wasn’t going to back down from the challange. I really wish I hadn’t read those words, in that particular order. I wish I could somehow forget it, to wipe that particular section of my memory. I just know that’s gonna keep coming back to me for the rest of my life. To try and take my mind off it I started to read Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks. It didn’t help. Not even a little. I ended up laid in bed watching BBC News 24.

*** Update ***

I found out last night I  actually put up the wrong page numbers – it’s 16-21 that are the problem. By page 18 it’s already too late.  At the end of the book there’s an afterword (where else would an afterword be?) by the author, who tells of his experience on the book tour. He read the short story in question and people fainted; men and women, usually two or three and at the same point in the story.

Blogger Notice

•July 29, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Just a quick note to any readers who blog on the Blogger platform: I recently had to switch to the ‘Opera’ web browser since Firefox inexplicably stopped working and I refuse to use IE. For some reason Opera refuses to let me comment on Blogger blogs.

We hope to resume normal commenting at the earliest opportunity. Thank you.

Die Weiße Rose

•July 24, 2007 • 1 Comment

I’ve just finished a book about the White Rose anti-Nazi group who distributed leaflets during the war and were executed by the Nazis as traitors. I have to say it’s moving stuff, young conscientious people willing to put it all on the line because it was the right thing to do while most buried their head in the sand. I feel like I should pop down to Munich one February 22nd to pay tribute. Next year will be the 65th anniversery of the first 3 executions – of Hans and Sophie Scholl and father of three, Christoph Probst.

One of the things I especially like about the group is that they didn’t just oppose the Nazi war crimes, but they also opposed their world view. They opposed the overly strong state. They opposed the view of man as a tool, a means to an end, and the state as an end instead of a means.

The strange thing about this particular text is the fact that it claims to be written by a couple of academics, and on the face of it seems well researched, (its the only book on the subject I’ve read so I’m not in a good position to judge) yet it isn’t footnoted.

I’ll finish with the final paragraph of the book:

“The impact of the White Rose cannot be measured in tyrants destroyed, regimes overthrown, justice restored. A scale with another dimension is needed, and then their significance is deeper; it goes even beyond the Third Reich, beyond Germany: if people like those who founded the White Rose can exist, believe as they believed, act as they acted, maybe it means that this weary corrupted, and extremely endangered species we belong to has the right to survive, and to keep on trying.”

from Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose, (Oxford: Oneworld, 2007)

Why the long Q?

•July 20, 2007 • 3 Comments

Tonight’s the big release of the last of that series of books I usually prefer not to mention. I really don’t see the attraction of them. I mention this because my brother has it pre-ordered at a shop which is opening at midnight for the release. I think in such situations they only want people who are there to buy that particular item, not to browse, which is a terrible shame.

I think the Next sale starts at 5 am, so if the shop was to be open later one could go shopping for some clothes afterwards. I think that would be much better. I suppose you could buy the book at midnight, read it until 5 and then head to Next.

What really gets me though is the fact that people have been waiting outside shops all day ready for the release of a book which is going to be in plentiful supply. There are no expectations of a shortage. Small independent retailers have got copies of the previous books they can’t get rid of because the supermarkets flog the books dead cheap.

They’re just plain daft if you ask me.

Hands off my heart, etc

•July 18, 2007 • 1 Comment

I don’t appreciate Sir Liam Donaldson’s desperate grab for my organs. My organs are my own, they belong to me and nobody else. They most certainly are not a state resource to be distributed by some government bureaucrat who probably wouldn’t even spell my name correctly. If they did try to implement an opt-out organ donor system their computer network would undoubtedly crash as everybody tried to save their skins, and kidneys, and livers…