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I have booked my convention and hotel tickets for this July where I will again fly off to Las Vegas for the The Amazing Meeting, TAM10. I am very happy with this situation of affairs and come this months payday, I will book my flight to and from that entertaining and implausible city.

Nick Clegg the Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister visited my stepmother's school recently and one of his staff decided to include portraits drawn by her class of 6 year old on the wall behind him while he gave his speech. It turns out that he enjoyed them so much that he's asked to take them to the Cabinet Office. My stepmother is very pleased, and the school will be hiring professional printers to make copies for the school to keep.
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I've just come home from watching the Avengers, and it was in the words of Simon Pegg, amazeballs! Brilliant witty dialogue as one expects from Joss Whedon, characters fighting each other and the bad guys, all the second tier characters got very nice character beats, and for long time Marvel comic readers you have to stay until the end of the visual credits for a brilliant cameo of an epic villiain.

An amazing, brilliant film that I recommend everyone should see, even if they're not specifically comic book fans. A terrific action movie with a terrific ensemble cast. Bravo Joss Whedon!!


Mar. 10th, 2012 04:00 pm
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My Dad just made a ciabatta style loaf of bread and it is so very, very delicious. And it goes very well with olive oil.

Mmm, tasty.


Mar. 10th, 2012 01:16 pm
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ACTA is like like SOPA and PIPA in that it's trade agreement that has been made and arranged in secret by by governments and lobbyists while refusing access to rights bodies such as the EFF and will have wide ranging effects on how we use the internet, encouraging surveilance by ISPs, even more threats against websites that provide user generated content and many other egregious attacks on the liberties that we take for granted.

"Intellectual property must be protected, but it should not be placed above individuals' rights to privacy and data protection."
Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), issued a report on ACTA, claiming that it could prove unworkable under current European Union data protection laws.
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Originally posted by [ profile] monanotlisa at Anti-ACTA for the UK
Originally posted by [personal profile] agirlnamedtruth at Vidding

If you're from the UK and you believe in freedom of speech and an uncensored interenet, you really need to sign this petition. There are others floating about, but that particular one is the best way to ensure that your voice gets heard. It's hosted on the directgov website and addresses parliament directly. If it gets more than 100,000 signatures, it becomes eligible for discussion in the House of Commons.

UK folks, please click if you haven't already? )

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.
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Clay Shirky gives a brilliant talk on why SOPA/PIPA is a bad idea. If you're in the US please contact your senator or representative. I'm really pissed off that US media companies think they can destroy the internet simply so they don't have to come up with new business ideas and I don't even want to think about how badly they'll be abused when I think about the problems people have with abuses of the DMCA system when it comes to free speech.

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After working hard at work all day for my local council I had to live up to the stereotype and used any excuse to go over the road to the pub with my workmates, after a couple of pints of London Pride which I've really got into lately, I came home mucked about on the internet and saw on twitter that Robin Ince will be doing a programme about Bertrand Russell tomorrow night on BBC Radio 4.

After thanking him, for the info, I then proceeded to spend about 2 hours watching old archive videos of him on youtube. He's a fascinating guy and while already in his 80's during the 1950's he talks about many things that are still relevant to us all today. I did all this while enjoying a few bottles of beer bought from the local off-licence, and while going downstairs to re-supply myself I saw my sister had arrived home from work and was getting some lasagne from the oven to feed herself after being on her feet all day, after exchanging pleasantries and mutual anticipation to Sherlock this weekend, I turned off the lights when leaving the room.  It's an incredibly childish sense of humour with which I burst into giggles after turning the lights back on and seeing her face but I can't help myself.

I also shut the door behind her when she's putting out the rubbish. I let her back in almost instantly but it never stops being hilarious. For me at least.
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It's 10:20pm GMT as of writing so I still have nearly two more hours, I've had a good day. Bought and wrapped all my presents, watched an old Morcambe & Wise Christmas special, watched the Princess Bride, started watching Casablanca and am on my 3rd beer of the evening. Leffe as it happens, small bottles but at 6.6% you can't complain especially with the yummy taste.

I'm not sure if any of you are interested, but as a huge fan of Tim Minchin's and a huge opponent of censorship when it comes to freedom of expression, I was incredibly pissed off when after appearing on Jonathan Ross' show and getting checked by all the “compliance people and producers and lawyers all checked my lyrics long before the cameras rolled" they sent the video to ITV's director of Television  Peter Fincham who then demanded that he be cut from the show. What an arsehole.
Anyway, here's the video from his performance that Tim got before it was scrapped and I really do recommend you go through to youtube and read the statement Tim's written, it's very well said.

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I am now on my christmas/winter/newtonmas (his birthday's the same as JC's) holidays.

So what have I been doing lately? Well, going to the various christmas parties at work, eating far more biscuits and sweets than I should because people bring them into work, and getting my friends at work addicted to Big Bang Theory and Leverage.

At home, I've got into Sons of Anarchy which is really quite interesting, watching and reading material by the late Christopher Hitchens who I came *this* close to meeting and trying to read more books instead of getting distracted by the near infinite shiny depths of the internet.

I have, however noticed that what I've been denying myself in chocolate, cakes, and other sugary goodness has been taken up by beer, specifically ale and that I now am far less likely to drink lager when going out to the pub or buying something at the off-licence.

Finally, if anyone who's even slightly interested in science on the TV hasn't already seen Brian Cox's A Night with the Stars lecture on Quantum Physics at the Royal Society, please do watch it on the BBCiPlayer or *ahem* elsewhere. It was highly enjoyable and I even understood most of it.
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So you all know that I work for my local council and have done for years, barring any unpleasant surprises I hope to work for them for many more years as I enjoy providing a service to my local community and enjoy the friendly and collegial atmosphere I work in.

Unfortunately I've had a pay freeze while facing rising prices for everything for the last couple years, had fellow workers made redundant and when people leave to go to other jobs I'm told to do their work as well as mine. If I hadn't moved back in to my parent's house a few years ago I couldn't afford live in London and considering the ever increasing cost of travel, it's questionable as whether I could afford to commute either. And now they're going after my pension, the one thing left that's somewhat reliable in the public sector now I'm a young man and won't be eligible for a pension for a few decades yet, but this was the last straw and sadly we have to withhold our labour as a final protest against an unreasonable and irrational government. You should hear what Michael Gove called us.

But whenever I get miserable and depressed about the terrible laws and conditions in the UK, I can always look over the Atlantic Ocean and see what that ghastly collection of people called the US Senate are trying to do.

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

And a video from Democracy Now talking about it.
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I've recently got back into reading the alternate history 1632 or RIng of Fire series by Eric Flint. The basic plot of the series is that a small town in West Virginia in the 2000 gets sent back to 17th century central germany during the 30 years war and the books are about the repercussions of the technology, history and political ideas that are far ahead of the monarchies of the current time. Brilliant series and you can find the first two books in the series here: 1632 and 1633.

You may remember me talking about the amazing panel on space flight at TAM9 this summer, well happily the JREF have uploaded the video of the debate which you can watch below.

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Just watched the episode, really fun with both silly and character points. Also, interesting question 
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Have just finished the original BBC series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and it's a very different type of show than modern shows, a very old fashioned English type of story.

Brilliantly done, with terrific writing and acting which I'd recommend to everybody with the warning that there is very little action and can be quite slow but it rewards attention brilliantly. Now I have the following series, Smiley's People to watch as well, that should be fun.

Also, just watched the new series of Fringe and Nikita and the première of Person Of Interest which looks very cool and many thanks to [ profile] lizardbeth_j for recommending it.

Now I'm off out for Sunday Lunch.
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Wow, 3 months. That's a long time with no posts, I had a really great time in at TAM 9 From Outer Space where 2 of my favourite parts were Neil DeGrasse Tyson's keynote speech about irrational in everyday life that really annoy him, hotel floors without a 13th floor for example. He's a brilliant speaker and very funny man.

The other was a panel about space exploration called Our Future In Space with Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss and astronomer Pamela Gay which was moderated very lightly by Phil Plait. The discussion about the best way to explore the solar system, manned flight or robotic probes got very heated between Tyson and Krauss, also fun was seeing Pamela Gay shush Tyson to get her point across. Great fun. Also, Chuck Norris trapped Richard Dawkins and over a thousand sceptics in a hall for nearly 40 mins.

Very excited about the amazing news from the LHC, possible speed of light broken discovery and discussion by Professor Brian Cox.

Planning on seeing the new Gary Oldman version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy at the cinema next week so have bought the original BBC series to watch this weekend.

How have you all been?
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 Did you see what there? With the title?

The British tabloid newspaper News of the World is up to its eyeballs in corruption and scandal. They've been involved in phone and email hacking politicians, celebrities, the families of dead soldiers, royalty, and Millie Dowling, a murdered child when her disappearance was still being investigated. They've also admitted and then denied paying tens of thousands of pounds to the London Metropolitan Police.  
All this has been widespread throughout the newspaper without Andy Coulson, then editor and soon after that Media Advisor the David Cameron and former Sun tabloid newspaper editor, before becoming Chief Executive of News International.

There are now several places to find reportage about this disgraceful behaviour, the best i feel is of course is the Guardian newspaper who has tirelessly investigated this issue when no other paper would touch it.

I also just found out that the News of the World is going to shut down, while coincidentally the Sun is going to now run for 7 days. Although I'm sure that's just a coincidence .

Below are a list of links discussing the phone hacking saga, but I personally recommend reading The Guardian's coverage as they've worked hard at raising this as an issue even when no other news organisation would.

Guardian, BBC NewsVanity Fair,  Adweek,  and David Allen Green at the New Statesman and the wikipage for the whole incident.
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 I have now booked everything for my forthcoming holiday to Las Vegas and TAM 9 From Outer Space, I have also really enjoyed this weekend as I have been watching my new DVD of Leverage Season 3, and after watching it I've been listening to the Director's Commentary which is always really fun, especially when show creator Jonh Rogers is drinking (which is always).

On Monday I found out that there was a Westminster Skeptics in the Pub where one of my favourite bloggers, Crispian Jago was giving a talk about his blog called How to Point and Laugh at Irrational Nonsense. Crispian is the creator of the popular Skeptic Trump Cards and the Science Tube Map and Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. He's also been long listed for the Orwell Prize 2011 and I highly recommend you check out his website Science, Reason and Critical Thinking.

The talk was funny and informative and I had a great time and got back later then I would have preferred due to all the interesting and fun talking I got up to while being mostly sober.
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'Tis my birthday tomorrow and I will be seeing Jonathan Coulton perform his musical stylings in concert and then proceed to a drinking establishment where upon I shall ingest large quantities of fine beer alongside my friends of many years, but tonight I have been out drinking with my friends from work and when I returned home having drunk not insignificent amounts of alcohol I proceeded to watch two very good tv shows.

They were as follows, Community and Leverage which are amazing shows in two very different ways. I am a bigger fan of Leverage, partly because of the commentary tracks where main writer John Rogers alongside various directors, producers and co-writers talk about the episode while drinking.

I can't possibly imagine why this might appeal to me, on a completely unrelated note though is it me or do I not only write more on LJ while drinking or having drunk beer/alcohol but also write more... gramatically well spoken, if that's the correct term. I have been drinking and can't think of the word for the way I'm writing.

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I am physically sickened by what I am seeing in this video, I know many of the readers of my blog are Americans and I would ask you to please spread this far and wide and complain to your representatives about this disgusting act of authoritarianism. Police officers assaulting and arresting people for dancing without being able to state what crime they are commiting or what they are breaking is is illegal. I thought america was the land of the free.

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Found via Warren Ellis 

Reminds me a bit of an old crochety version of the Dude from The Big Lebowski.

And have you seen the latest episode of Dr Who? Wow!!!
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Have you got your towel?

I have, and I'm exhausted, good night. 
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