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Sunday, January 30, 2005

French, Francophile, and Funny.

Oh wow. Not only is Jodie Foster incredibly beautiful, with a
voice that makes your legs give way, but she is also totally fluent in French. Not pretend fluent, or a bit fluent, or pretty good. She is properly fluent. I adore her!

Continuing on the francophile theme, this is the kind of stuff I love learning about. I had a book along these lines, which would give the French / English equivalents to each other's proverbs and sayings. And it is funny and fascinating. Cheers, Petite anglaise.

This (thanks Dooey) is one of the funniest things I have seen for ages. Really. Truly. Go there now. I mean it. Ma-ee-ya hee...

Word Beads: Double; Axon; Sacred; Bike; Doldrum.

From WordBeads.


"It was that fourth double whisky", she thought to herself. No use saying it out loud as there was nobody to hear, and it would only hurt her head even more.

Trying to revise for her 3rd year medical exams, learning about nerve fibres, axons, nerve cells... She knew she should understand it, but her brain was barely working this morning.

Flashes from the previous night kept invading her mind. Did she really dance on the table at Sacred? Did she get off with K? And whose was that bike she'd been doing wheelies on by the canal? The canal?? What had she been doing there? Oh shit... She hated mornings like this. Mornings after.

She crawled back into bed. Maybe a few extra hours sleep would lift her out of the doldrums.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Selling Yourself, Selling Products in the 80s, Selling Ferry Tickets, Selling Out.

In the absence of a proper update, here are some things you absolutely have to see.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Inescapable Poverty? Oh, and odd referrers.

People find hippie blog in allsorts of strange ways. And I get to see the search terms people put into search engines and come here that way. Some of them are bizarre, some are disturbing, but I have to say, I like being the 6th result in an MSN Search for just for the laydees. Yey!

I am also ridiculously excited to currently be the top result in a google search for lebstromonous. Yey again!

However I also get a huge number of hits from people searching for welchia_icmp_scan and phonebuyer451 or phonebuyer451@yahoo.com.

In the very early days of hippie, I seemed to be one of the first people in the world to be being attacked by welchia_icmp_scan and I wrote about it here. Now, every bugger and his dog is being attacked by it (and indeed, I am again each time I connect) and they are all searching for it and finding me who actually provides no information about it at all.

I hope I am more helpful to those searching for phonebuyer451 and that if people read what I wrote, they don't fall for yet another phishing scam.

On a totally different subject, I was directed to this page full of information about nutrition and poverty. There is some really interesting information on there...
  • The cheapest foods are often the unhealthiest. In terms of calories per penny, chocolate is a better deal than carrots. This results in low income families eating half the fruit and vegetables consumed by higher income families
  • Buying healthy foods can cost up 51% more than low-cost, nutritionally poor alternatives
  • The lack of shops selling healthier food in poor areas, and the loss of cooking skills, also makes the problem worse
  • The cheapest shops to shop in are usually discount stores but the range of food available was narrow and often excluded the healthier options
  • A healthy diet appropriate for pregnancy is unaffordable for pregnant women depending on state benefits
  • In 1992 all secondary school children lost their entitlement to receive education in cooking and nutrition - this left up to 38% unable to even bake a jacket potato
  • The cheapest and freshest foods are generally found in large, out-of-town supermarkets
  • Supermarkets are good for those who have the money to buy in bulk, the transport to carry bulk purchases, and the storage space. If a person has limited storage space and no transport, they do not have access to the savings offered by bulk purchase. Therefore those with the less money frequently end up paying most for their food
  • The most expensive shops are often the small shops in small communities
  • 4 million people in the UK cannot afford to eat a healthy diet

Poverty.org.uk say that
The most commonly used threshold of low income is 60% of median income. In 2002/03, before deducting housing costs, this equated to £194 per week for a couple with no children, £118 for a single person, £283 for a couple with two children and £207 for a lone parent with two children.
I don't know about the couple or parent levels, but the maximum JobSeekers Allowance for single people is £55.65 a week. This is less than half of £118! And it's only over-25s who get that amount. 16 and 17 year olds get £33.50 and 18 to 24 year olds get £44.05. Income Support levels are similar, between £32.50 and £53.95.

All of this also links in with what I said here about the Disability Discrimination Act and proposed changes to Disability Benefits.

Raar.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Only Alternative to Coexistence is Codestruction - Jawaharlal Nehru.

If you ever used to watch Vic and Bob on Shooting Stars, you may remember ERANU and OOVAVO. Now, ladies and gents, I bring you... UMAMI.

Umami is a fifth taste (along with salty, sweet, sour, bitter), according to the Japanese. It is defined as deliciousness.

On a much more sour-tasting note, it seems that Nick Griffin may be contesting David Blunkett's seat, the Sheffield Brightside constituency, in the next General Election (thought to be happening soon).

I don't want him in my city. Neither do I especially want David Blunkett in my city actually - his own immigration policies have been harsh and racist and cruel. But the leader of the BNP?
In October 1990, The British National Party was described by the European Parliament's committee on racism and xenophobia as an "openly Nazi party... whose leadership have serious criminal convictions". When asked if the BNP was racist, Richard Edmonds, deputy leader of the BNP, said, "We are 100 per cent racist, yes".

The Starbucks Product Recall site has been forced to move.

Kent's very own Section 28 has finally been beaten. And there's a fantastic stencil image in the comments too :)


The hippie and peace images below were created with the help of the marvellous typoGenerator.



Peace Posted by Hello

incurable hippie Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Today I Have Learned

that it is true that cash machines do count up how many times you forget your PIN, even if there is a week between attempt number 2 and attempt number 3.

However, I have also learned that if you do enter your PIN incorrectly three times in a row (regardless, it seems, of how much time passes between these attempts), it doesn't eat your card as threatened in many a legend. Instead it rather politely informs you that you have entered an incorrect PIN three times, and so they will send you out a new number.

So that was a nice surprise.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Google, God, Grim.

Did you know that Jesus is with you always? To be honest, I wasn't too sure, but once I saw the evidence in pencil drawings, I was converted.

Forget the Official God FAQ, the Church of Critical Thinking, and what I have said many times myself (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), when I saw the pictures of Jesus with a bank teller, or Jesus with a carpet layer, or Jesus with a guitarist, or with a draftsman, or a clown, or any of the other professions He accompanies, well...

Well, ok I wasn't converted. I just thought they were funny, and wanted to share them. It was all just a bit long-winded, for which I now apologise, but it took me so long to do all the code that I'm not going to delete it now.

At the end of every year, the Google Zeitgeist is worth a look. Listing the most popular searches through the year in a variety of categories is both fascinating and scary.

I again have duct tape on my foot in a vain attempt to get rid of the most evil verruca monster the world has ever seen. [Sigh]

Very, very tired.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

.

Happy New Year!

After tomorrow's Bank Holiday, the buses, trams and shops worlds should be back to normal. Which is good.

The daily information about the horrific Tsunami events is immensely disturbing. The number of dead has now gone up to volumes which I can get nowhere near to visualising or imagining. I am thankfully not seeing many visual images of the disasters, but I have enough images in my head to make up for that.

The charities need money. There are many charities involved with the effort. You can make a donation here. Or click here for how to help.

Apparently, British peeps have donated £60 million, that is £10 million more than than our government, and more than the public donations of any other nation. That's good, but I just wish it hadn't taken something so utterly awful to get us off our arses.

How To Help.