Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Glasto Mud, Starbucks recall...

My referrers table tells me that I am in the top 10 Google results for a search for pictures of st christopher.com, and also for illegal copy of stormbreaker. Most worryingly, it seems Incurable Hippie is, frighteningly, the number one result for Joan Kilroy (did they get married???!).

I mentioned Glastonbury last time I wrote. And I mentioned eBay too. Now the two have merged. See Glastonbury Mud for Sale on Ebay. To give the seller credit, once bids got to £74, they announced that half the money made would go to the charity WaterAid. Now that prices have hit £510, that's pretty impressive for all concerned!

Of course, many latecomers hoping for a similar fortune have now jumped on the bandwagon with highly optimistic buy it now prices of sometimes £450! Nice try, but you have to think of these things first, not be a poor disciple.

There's a Sheffield Indymedia Writing Workshop next Tuesday. Looks like a great idea!

Which leads me nicely onto the Product Recall of Faulty Starbucks Coffee Cups, which also leads me nicely onto wanting to win the texting speed record.

Of course, none of those things led to any of the others, but I thought I'd try and blag it.

Monday, June 28, 2004

BBC Fest, with eBay special mention

I know more about ragwort than I ever knew there even was to know. After an hour of learning about it, my theories are as follows:
  • It is the responsibility of animal owners to keep their animals safe. Thus, if horses are poisoned by ragwort, it is the responsibility of the horse owners to make sure their fields do not contain any ragwort.

  • There are 30 species of insect which eat only ragwort, including the (something) caterpillar. These would presumably become extinct if ragwort was eliminated. This would also cause a problem for the animals which eat those insects. So eliminating ragwort would have a rebound effect on many other species too.

  • Mass elimination of ragwort would involve use of many chemicals and herbicides which would affect many other plants as well, not to mention leaving toxins in the earth for many years affecting future plants, and all animals which may eat those future plants.

  • Nature generally has its own ways of keeping things in balance. I don't think you can eliminate a whole plant species and expect the balances within nature to maintain themselves.

  • If there is a risk of ragwort in the hay that your horse is eating, then it is again the horse owner's responsibility to be sure they are buying their hay from a source which doesn't have ragwort.

  • A man called Dr Knottenbelt tasted ragwort and said it tastes horrible but when it starts to rot the bitter taste goes which is when horses will eat it. (No point in telling you that, just that he ate the stuff, which is weird.)

Simple, surely. Why don't I rule the world? If I can formulate theories on a random wild plant after a one hour radio 4 programme, I can do anything!

Slightly disappointing pics from Glasto where a few of my friends were. The BBC usually does much more impressive and creative photography, but you can't win 'em all I guess.

This On the Beach selection, however, shows some fabulous photography and almost unreal colours.

This is a fantastic eBay "about me" page full of really bad advice for buyers and sellers on eBay.

Interesting programme about getting a healthy diet on a low income is here. You can listen to it from the site if interested.

I certainly need some tips!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Used Stamps Save Lives!!

You know when you collect piles of used stamps to send to charity but then never get round to it, cos finding info about which charities and organisations want them is just not straight forward enough?

Well now it is. I have created a webpage with information on charities and organisations worldwide which accept used stamps as a form of fundraising.

See also Indymedia article.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Presidential aPologies and Pavarotti's Prowess

This clothes label is worth a look. A small American clothes company trading in France apologises for their president... Even snopes.com says it's true!

and, they do say the old ones are always the best ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Subvertising, Graffiti, Creative Anger...

Kim Sun-il has been killed. I know I only wrote about this a few minutes ago but I'm furious. Why are we still occupying Iraq? It's no good for anyone. We're killing people then are surprised when they retaliate? We won't let them take charge of their own country which we have wrecked, and we are surprised when they assert power in destructive and horrible ways?

This third apparent beheading is horrendous. And some people won't see beyond that. But we have to. We have to look at why it is happening, we have to get out of Iraq, and stop giving people reasons to do this stuff. It's not like we're even doing anything positive in Iraq. It's much worse than before we went.

I'm trying to channel my anger and dismay at the whole thing by looking at creative resistance.

Billboard alterations

Operation Scrub It


Art Crimes - graffiti.org

Billboard Liberation Front

Kim Sun-il killed, airport accommodation for 16 years, gay tenancy rights, and hats

This snopes report is an incredible and true story of a man, Merhan Karimi Nasseri, now preferring to be known as Sir, (sic) Alfred Merhan, who has lived in a Paris airport for the last 16 years.

The incredible thing is that he has lived there because for the vast majority of that time, he could not legally leave the airport onto French soil, nor could he fly elsewhere. A long story of seeking asylum, having his papiers stolen, being refused refugee status on the basis of not having papers proving who he was, but not being able to be deported on the basis of not having papers saying where he came from.

After 11 years of this, he was finally given a residency permit, allowing him to leave the airport for the first time since 1988, but by this time he insisted he was not from Iran but in fact British, and he refused to sign the permit on the basis that it said he was of Iranian origin. His lawyer says, "Nobody could suffer all he did and stay normal" which seems true judging by some aspects of the article. What amazes me is just how together this guy still seems to be!

Having lived in France, I know the bureaucracy is a nightmare, but that a man can spend 11 years unable to legally leave an airport is a terrible indictment of European immigration policies. But reading of this man's survival and gentleness is also quite a heartwarming tale.

Noone is illegal!

Yey of the day goes to the Lords upholding gay people's tenancy rights. Yey!

Crazy and colourful hats at Royal Ascot is a BBC photo report for BBC's Children's Newsround. If you bear that audience in mind when you read the mundane comments, you'll be able to focus your attention on the bizarre and incredible things that women put on their heads at this event. It is a totally clear example of the kind of thing I don't understand at all.

It seems that Kim Sun-il has been killed :( It's breaking news just now but I don't think I want any more details. I hate all this.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Well, I do. Posted by Hello


Call For a Women's Day at the European Social Forum 2004, London

Appel pour une Journée des femmes au Forum Social Européen 2004, Londres
Appello per una Giornata della Donna all’ESF 2004, Londra
Llamamiento para un Día de la Mujer en el Foro Social Europeo 2004, Londres
Aufruf zu einem Frauentag beim Europäischen Sozialforum (ESF) 2004 in London (no working link as I type)

Dear Sisters and Brothers

As you may know the next European Social Forum (ESF) is being planned for London this October 14-17. Previous ESFs in Florence (2002) and Paris (2003) brought together 60,000 movement, community, trade union activists and other people from across Europe and the world, and were an opportunity for those of us in grassroots, independent networks to get together, in some cases meeting for the first time. At the Paris ESF, a Women’s Day took place the day before the main Forum started, and we are pressing for a similar event at this year’s ESF.

We have been attending planning meetings, and have also been pressing for free and low-cost entry for people with no- or low-incomes – particularly sans-papiers (people without papers) and asylum seekers; free transport and full access for people with disabilitities; no affiliation fees for groups which cannot afford it and in general visibility for people who are most discriminated against including people of colour, people with disabilities, single mothers and more.

As a part of this we have been circulating this proposal for a Women’s Day at the Forum since January, and we are now asking if you and/or your organization would endorse it, joining the growing pressure to ensure that there is a Women’s Day in London, with the widest possible participation. MIXED ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUAL MEN ARE WELCOME TO SIGN.

We also welcome any information/ideas/suggestions you have. We have been meeting with women and men at our Women’s Centre and would like to hear from you, whether or not you have been involved in the European Social Forum. Please feel free to circulate this proposal in your networks and/or at meetings and events you attend.

For more info on the efforts to make the ESF accessible and accountable: www.esf2004.net, and www.indymedia.org.uk.

Global Women’s Strike: www.globalwomenstrike.net

We look forward to hearing from you

Power to the sisters to stop the world and change it!

Sara Callaway and Anna T, Global Women’s Strike

Call For a Women's Day at the European Social Forum 2004, London

We were asked by the Programming group in London to prepare a written proposal for a Women’s Day, for the UK Assembly and European Assembly. Our proposal continues what was established at the ESF meeting in Paris Nov 03 where a Women’s Day was held the day before the full Forum started. Over 3,000 women and about 800 men attended (men were not speakers). Many more women came to the main forum as a result and grassroots women were seen and heard. Sans Papieres (women without documents), and other women of colour had an impact at the final plenary because they got together at the Women’s Day.

Why we need a Women's Day

  • Without a women’s day, sexism, and for those of us who are women of colour, racism, will prevent the visibility of women, our needs, demands and concerns. Women of almost every sector in society work harder for less -- doing 2/3 of the world’s work for 5% of the income and 1% of the assets. From breastfeeding, raising children, to caring for people who are sick, older, have disabilities -- our work, mostly without any wages, sustains life and communities. Our waged jobs are most likely to be the lowest paid with the worst conditions. We face rape and violence because our lives are not seen to count. We often spearhead movements for change (all polls show women are even more against war than men) but our daily struggle for the survival of our communities and for social justice are often invisible.

  • At many forums and major events, even when the spokespeople are women, women’s experience doesn’t come out. Far from reducing women’s participation, as some have claimed, a women’s forum would make it possible for grassroots non-party political women from different backgrounds and experiences to have a voice. Whether it is single mothers or low paid women refusing to be sidelined; women asylum seekers fighting for the right to work and against destitution; Black and immigrant women fighting racist attacks, older women fighting derisory pensions; women with disabilities defending home care; women and girls demanding justice against rape and other violence; sex workers fighting criminalisation; lesbian and straight, from rural and urban areas, and every part of the movement – all would have space at the Women’s Day, making our achievements more widely known and strengthening the vital connections among us, women and men. Some key issues include pay equity for women and men in the global market; women’s anti-war organising; defending Haiti, and the Venezuela revolution which includes recognition of women’s unwaged work as economic activity producing social welfare and wealth, and entitling women to social security. These are among some of the many isssus we expect would be highlighted at the event.

We are in touch daily with women and men organising in both mixed and women's organizations, in Scotland, North & South of England, Wales, across Europe and internationally who support this demand.

On widening participation, Droits Devants, a grassroots organization of asylum seekers and others in Paris, succeeded in getting safe passage for Sans Papiers stopped at borders on their way to the Paris ESF. It is urgent to find out from Droit Devants how they achieved this, so the same rights can be secured for Sans Papiers/es to attend the ESF in London. Also can we organize video links to enable activists who can’t travel to participate in the Forum.


Sara Callaway and Anna T (England)
Maggie Ronayne (Ireland)
Sara Williams (Spain) Global Women's Strike
Ruth Luschnat, Frauenforum Berlin (Germany).

Email us at womenstrike8m@server101.com to endorse the call for a Women's Day at the ESF in London

Friday, June 18, 2004

Floundering, Farce and Foals

Today I have been mostly in bed. Lately I have been mostly in bed. Odd bits of tidying, nipping to the shop for baccy and diet coke, and occasional nattering on the phone, but mostly I have been in bed.

Depression is tiring. Very. When I get The Depression Exhaustion, I find it hard to believe that there is no physical thang behind it but no, I know it well, this is Depression Exhaustion.

The Exhaustion doesn't always come with the depression, nor is exhaustion always to do with depression, but this is.

EVIL GIGGLE OF THE WEEK goes to New Labour Rebranding...

And AWWW OF THE WEEK has to go to New Foals at Little Friends Ranch... (thanks b3ta).

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Pictures, Prisons and Potential Protests against Prejudice

Chris.com's ascii art collection is impressive and fun.

There I learned that ascii is pronounced ask-ee, and some of the images are incredible. Some of them also hurt your eyes, but that doesn't take away from the ingenuity that went into them.

The Guardian reports that detainees are held in 'filthy' conditions in Lindholme, near Doncaster which is where part of a prison is given over as a detention centre for asylum seekers.

Notable parts of the article report that,

The Home Office admitted last night that troublesome detainees at a "filthy and dilapidated" immigration removal centre in Doncaster had been thrown into the punishment cells at a neighbouring prison without proper authorisation.

Anne Owers, in her report on a follow-up, unannounced inspection in February, concludes that Lindholme is not an appropriate place to hold immigration detainees. She says there has been little improvement since her first snap inspection two years ago concluded that Lindholme was not a healthy establishment for detainees.

"Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the inspection was the filthy and dilapidated state of many of the communal areas. Paint was peeling, floors had ingrained dirt, and all of the telephone rooms - very important for detainees' contact with the outside world - were in a disgraceful state," said Ms Owers.

There had clearly been problems in managing the cleaning contract: but it was noticeable that, by contrast, the parts of the centre used by staff were in excellent condition," says the chief inspector's report.

Tim Finch of the Refugee Council said: "It was always a mistake for Lindholme to be so closely located to a prison and it was highly likely the whole centre would operate like a prison."

So, so depressing, and outrageous too. I am furious.

Topically, you can find out about an event for Refugee Week in Sheffield.

And the Independent reports that the worst aspects of the proposed mental health bill which seemed to be sleeping for a while. A Mad Pride press release succinctly explains the problems with it as,

the Mental Health Bill From Hell - New Labour's proposed legislation designed to increase the profits of the drug companies at the expense of our misery. The Bill promises to introduce "Community Treatment Orders" - forced medication, often with horrific side-effects, outside the hospital setting for over 6,000 mental health cases - and to incarcerate an estimated 600 people with "personality disorders" as a precautionary measure, even if they are well and have committed no crime.

I really hope that the mental health service user community can come together and really, really fight this draconian, discriminating, terrifying proposition.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Books, Ballots, and Bums

Rude Cactus talks of the book meme...

You copy and paste the list, bold the ones you have read, and then add three of your own at the end.

Feel free to steal!

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling

6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. 1984, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corellis Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The DUrbervilles, Thomas Hardy

27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alices Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery

42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian

50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Susskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Joness Diary, Helen Fielding

76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnights Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 1/2, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. Georges Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby

144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere

148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick OBrian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kesey

158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlottes Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophies World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr. Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Gross-mith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri

190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews
201. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
202. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan
203. The Great Hunt, Robert Jordan
204. The Dragon Reborn, Robert Jordan
205. Fires of Heaven, Robert Jordan
206. Lord of Chaos, Robert Jordan
207. Winters Heart, Robert Jordan
208. A Crown of Swords, Robert Jordan
209. Crossroads of Twilight, Robert Jordan
210. A Path of Daggers, Robert Jordan
211. As Nature Made Him, John Colapinto
212. Microserfs, Douglas Coupland
213. The Married Man, Edmund White
214. Winters Tale, Mark Helprin
215. The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault
216. Cry to Heaven, Anne Rice
217. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, John Boswell
218. Equus, Peter Shaffer
219. The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
220. Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
221. Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
222. The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice
223. Anthem, Ayn Rand
224. The Bridge To Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
225. Tartuffe, Moliere
226. The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
227. The Crucible, Arthur Miller
228. The Trial, Franz Kafka
229. Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
230. Oedipus at Colonus, Sophocles
231. Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther
232. A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen
233. Hedda Gabler, Henrik Ibsen
234. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
235. A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
236. ALIVE!, Piers Paul Read
237. Grapefruit, Yoko Ono
238. Trickster Makes This World, Lewis Hyde
240. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
241. Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
242. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
242. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
243. Summerland, Michael Chabon
244. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
245. Candide, Voltaire
246. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl
247. Ringworld, Larry Niven
248. The King Must Die, Mary Renault
249. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
250. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline LEngle
251. The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
252. The House Of The Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
253. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
254. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
255. The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson
256. Chocolate Fever, Robert Kimmel Smith
257. Xanth: The Quest for Magic, Piers Anthony
258. The Lost Princess of Oz, L. Frank Baum
259. Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
260. Lost In A Good Book, Jasper Fforde
261. Well Of Lost Plots, Jasper Fforde
261. Life Of Pi, Yann Martel
263. The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver
264. A Yellow Rraft In Blue Water, Michael Dorris
265. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
267. Where The Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
268. Griffin & Sabine, Nick Bantock
269. Witch of Blackbird Pond, Joyce Friedland
270. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, Robert C. OBrien
271. Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt
272. The Cay, Theodore Taylor
273. From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg
274. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
275. The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
276. The Kitchen Gods Wife, Amy Tan
277. The Bone Setters Daughter, Amy Tan
278. Relic, Duglas Preston & Lincolon Child
279. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
280. American Gods, Neil Gaiman
281. Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry
282. The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
283. Haunted, Judith St. George
284. Singularity, William Sleator
285. A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
286. Different Seasons, Stephen King
287. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
288. About a Boy, Nick Hornby

289. The Bookmans Wake, John Dunning
290. The Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns
291. Illusions, Richard Bach
292. Magics Pawn, Mercedes Lackey
293. Magics Promise, Mercedes Lackey
294. Magics Price, Mercedes Lackey
295. The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukav
296. Spirits of Flux and Anchor, Jack L. Chalker
297. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
298. The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, Brenda Love
299. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace.
300. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison.
301. The Cider House Rules, John Irving.
302. Enders Game, Orson Scott Card
303. Girlfriend in a Coma, Douglas Coupland
304. The Lions Game, Nelson Demille
305. The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars, Stephen Brust
306. Cyteen, C. J. Cherryh
307. Foucaults Pendulum, Umberto Eco
308. Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
309. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahniuk
310. Camber of Culdi, Kathryn Kurtz
311. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
312. War and Rememberance, Herman Wouk
313. The Art of War, Sun Tzu
314. The Giver, Lois Lowry
315. The Telling, Ursula Le Guin
316. Xenogenesis (or Liliths Brood), Octavia Butler
317. A Civil Campaign, Lois McMaster Bujold
318. The Curse of Chalion, Lois McMaster Bujold
319. The Aeneid, Publius Vergilius Maro (Vergil)
320. Hanta Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill
321. The Princess Bride, S. Morganstern (or William Goldman)
322. Beowulf, Anonymous
323. The Sparrow, Maria Doria Russell
324. Deerskin, Robin McKinley
325. Dragonsong, Anne McCaffrey
326. Passage, Connie Willis
327. Otherland, Tad Williams
328. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
329. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
330. Beloved, Toni Morrison
331. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christs Childhood Pal, Christopher Moore
332. The mysterious disappearance of Leon, I mean Noel, Ellen Raskin
333. Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
334. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
335. The Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev
336. Midnight in the Dollhouse, Marjorie Filley Stover
337. The Miracle Worker, William Gibson
338. The Genesis Code, John Case
339. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevensen
340. Paradise Lost, John Milton
341. Phantom, Susan Kay
342. The Mummy or Ramses the Damned, Anne Rice
343. Anno Dracula, Kim Newman
344: The Dresden Files: Grave Peril, Jim Butcher
345: Tokyo Suckerpunch, Issac Adamson
346: The Winter of Magics Return, Pamela Service
347: The Oddkins, Dean R. Koontz
348. My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
349. The Last Goodbye, Raymond Chandler
350. At Swim, Two Boys, Jaime ONeill
351. Othello, by William Shakespeare
352. The Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas
353. The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats
354. Sati, Christopher Pike
355. The Inferno, Dante
356. The Apology, Plato
357. The Small Rain, Madeline LEngle
358. The Man Who Tasted Shapes, Richard E Cytowick
359. 5 Novels, Daniel Pinkwater
360. The Sevenwaters Trilogy, Juliet Marillier
361. Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
362. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
363. Our Town, Thorton Wilder
364. Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King
335. The Interpreter, Suzanne Glass
336. The Moors Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie
337. The Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson
338. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster loved
339. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
340. The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
341. Pages for You, Sylvia Brownrigg
342. The Changeover, Margaret Mahy
343. Howls Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
344. Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
345. Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo
346. Shosha, Isaac Bashevis Singer
347. Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck
348. The Diving-bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
349. The Lunatic at Large by J. Storer Clouston
350. Time for Bed by David Baddiel
351. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
352. Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre
353. The Bloody Sun by Marion Zimmer Bradley
354. Sewer, Gas, and Eletric by Matt Ruff
355. Jhereg by Steven Brust
356. So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
357. Perdido Street Station, China Mieville
358. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
359. Road-side Dog, Czeslaw Milosz
360. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
361. Neuromancer, William Gibson
362. The Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
363. A Canticle for Liebowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr
364. The Mask of Apollo, Mary Renault
365. The Gunslinger, Stephen King
366. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
367. Childhoods End, Arthur C. Clarke
368. A Season of Mists, Neil Gaiman
369. Ivanhoe, Walter Scott
370. The God Boy, Ian Cross
371. The Beekeepers Apprentice, Laurie R. King
372. Finn Family Moomintroll, Tove Jansson
373. Misery, Stephen King
374. Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters
375. Hood, Emma Donoghue
376. The Land of Spices, Kate OBrien
377. The Diary of Anne Frank
378. Regeneration, Pat Barker
379. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
380. Dreaming in Cuban, Cristina Garcia
381. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
382. The View from Saturday, E.L. Konigsburg
383. Dealing with Dragons, Patricia Wrede
384. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss
385. A Severed Wasp - Madeleine LEngle
386. Here Be Dragons - Sharon Kay Penman
387. The Mabinogion (Ancient Welsh Tales) - translated by Lady Charlotte E. Guest
388. The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown
389. Desire of the Everlasting Hills - Thomas Cahill
390. The Cloister Walk - Kathleen Norris
391. The Things We Carried, Tim OBrien
392. I Know This Much Is True, Wally Lamb
393. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
394. Enders Shadow, Orson Scott Card
395. The Memory of Earth, Orson Scott Card
396. The Iron Tower, Dennis L. McKiernen
397. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
398. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L'Engle
399. Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy
400. Hyperion, Dan Simmons
401. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, Jon McGregor
402. The Bridge, Iain Banks
403. The Baghdad Blog, Salam Pax
404. Life and Death, Andrea Dworkin
405. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon

Tokyo Skirts is mad / disturbing / odd / scary.

Overall Euro Election Results

Yorkshire and Humber Euro Election Results are terrifyingly showing that the scary fascists came 5th with a horrendous 126538 votes... that is, one hundred and twenty six thousand five hundred and thirty eight...

No seats though, thank goodness. Yet.

In Yorkshire and the Humber Labour have 2 seats (3 last time), Conservatives have 2 seats (3 last time), Liberal Democrats have 1 seat (same as last time) and UKIP have 1 seat (none last time).

While very, very glad the BNP have no seats in my region, the UK Independence Party don't give me much more hope. While almost certainly a loud protest vote in many cases, they are nationalist, and Anglo-centric in a way which, as you will already know if you read this, makes me shudder.

Keeping an eye on the other results coming in...

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Don't Interrupt

When someone interrupts me, I
  • feel unimportant
  • feel dismissed
  • feel devalued
  • feel silenced
  • feel useless
  • feel I'm a waste of space
  • feel stupid
  • feel stupid for thinking anything I had to say was important
  • feel stupid for thinking anything I had to say was interesting
  • feel embarrassed
  • feel ashamed
  • am belittled
  • am devalued
  • am silenced
  • am less important than you
  • am not worthy of your attention
  • am not valued
  • have no value
  • shrink
  • collapse
  • disappear

Friday, June 11, 2004

Economics, Elections, Ebay and Email

Of the world's 100 largest economic entities, 51 are now corporations and 49 are countries. Be afraid.

As I type, the Sheffield City Council local election results are dribbling through... All Labour and Lib Dem so far... No BNP thank goodness.

Pretty pink shoes. Probably a bargain at £15 if you're into that kind of thing. It seems the buyer was no other than Cherie Booth! I don't like that I have written about that - let the poor woman shop in peace - but I'm too much of an ebay addict to not bite on a story like that!

I am enjoying testing the gmail beta. It makes high-volume email lists much easier to manage.

NB Alliterative Title with neither effort nor planning at all on my part!!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Funky Cold Medina

Alright, dig it
Cold coolin at a bar, and I'm lookin for some action
But like Mike Jagger said, I can't get no satisfaction
The girls are all around, but none of them wanna get with me
My threads are fresh and I'm lookin def, yo, what's up with L-o-c?
The girls is all jockin at the other end of the bar
Havin drinks with some no-name chump, when they know that I'm the star
So I got up and strolled over to the other side of the cantina
I asked the guy, Why you so fly? he said, Funky Cold Medina
Funky Cold Medina

This brother told me a secret on how to get more chicks
Put a little Medina in your glass, and the girls'll come real quick
It's better than any alcohol or aphrodisiac
A couple of sips of this love potion, and she'll be on your lap
So I gave some to my dog when he began to beg
Then he licked his bowl and he looked at me and did the wild thing on my leg
He used to scratch and bite me, before he was much much meaner
But now all the poodles run to my house for the Funky Cold Medina
You know what I'm sayin?
I got every dog in my neighborhood breakin down my door
I got Spuds McKenzieAlex from Stroh's
They won't leave my dog alone with that Medina, pal

I went up to this girl, she said, Hi, my name is Sheena
I thought she'd be good to go with a little Funky Cold Medina
She said, I'd like a drink, I said, Ehm - ok, I'll go get it
Then a couple sips she cold licked her lips, and I knew that she was with it
So I took her to my crib, and everything went well as planned
But when she got undressed, it was a big old mess, Sheena was a man
So I threw him out, I don't fool around with no Oscar Meyer wiener
You must be sure that the girl is pure for the Funky Cold Medina
You know, ain't no plans with a man
This is the 80's, and I'm down with the ladies
Ya know?
Break it down

Back in the saddle, lookin for a little affection
I took a shot as a contestant on _The Love Connection_
The audience voted, and you know they picked a winner
I took my date to the Hilton for Medina and some dinner
She had a few drinks, I'm thinkin soon what I'll be gettin
Instead she started talkin 'bout plans for our weddin
I said, Wait, slow down, love, not so fast says, I'll be seein ya
That's why I found you don't play around with the Funky Cold Medina
Ya know what I'm sayin
That Medina's a monster, y'all
Funky Cold Medina

Monday, June 07, 2004

National Endometriosis Awareness Day

The National Endometriosis Society tell me that today is National Endometriosis Awareness Day which I had not known. Unfortunately I have been super-aware of this disease the last few days because of the agony and misery it has been bringing me.

Every Part of My Body Hurt is not only a very apt description of the disease, but also a challenging article about one woman's experiences of endometriosis, diagnosis, treatment, and not recovering, but taking control of her treatment options.

What are the aims of Endometriosis Awareness Day 2004?

  • To promote a greater awareness and understanding of endometriosis as a very real and, for many, a debilitating and disabling disease.

  • To highlight the consequences of living with endometriosis for the sufferer, carer and all those affected by the disease

  • To create a greater awareness and understanding of endometriosis amongst the medical profession, education sector, employers, politicians, unions and society in general.

I see that it is still taking women an average of 7 years to get a diagnosis of endometriosis. For me that was certainly true almost to the week.

I spent most of that 7 years being told I'd grow out of it, I'd be fine once I'd had a baby, or that everyone has period pains and I should stop making such a fuss.

I knew that what I was dealing with in terms of pain was a totally different matter from the usual period pain I saw amongst my schoolfriends, which was often eased with a paracetamol or two. I also knew that no amount of (alleged) low pain threshold could account for the writhing in agony on my bedroom floor, collapsing at school, screaming out in pain, which greeted me monthly.

But apart from my friends, to whom it was clear there was something very wrong with me, no-one would acknowledge that this wasn't normal, or do anything to help me.

I spent several years on and off the contraceptive pill. It didn't help with the pain especially, but using it slyly I could run two packs together to skip a period if it was due during exam time, say. Other than that and the average painkillers I wasn't offered any help.

Eventually, one day in despair and unable to stand upright, I turned up at the GP's surgery while I had my period. This woman, who wasn't even my usual doctor, actually saw what I was going through, and did an instant urgent referral to gynaecology.

A few months and a laparoscopy later, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, PCOS and something else whose name I always forget, since the gynaecologist mentioned it once while I was ocming round from the anaesthetic, and that was the first and last time I heard of it! Oh yes, pelvic congestion.

But yes diathermy, ovarian drilling, and many, many drugs later, it waned for a while - for which I am eternally grateful - but now the symptoms are well and truly back.

Watch this space...

GPs call for better treatment of asylum seekers is a very reassuring article, proving to me that there are still good souls in the world, who consider people before profits and such.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Dip Lemons in Aspic

I've been filling in my DLA forms. DLA, you ask? It stands for Dreadfully Long and Arduous. Or is it Deadly, Lethal and Annoying?

Actually, it stands for Disability Living Allowance. DLA is notoriously difficult to qualify for, notoriously random in who qualifies for what level, and certainly vital for many of us folk disabled in one way or another to live.

The forms are 42 pages of hellish, intrusive questions, requiring detailed and personal answers and disclosures. For those of us who are applying predominantly on the basis of mental health problems, finding a whole series of questions very much directed to explore physical disabilities, is also off-putting and makes filling out the form even more difficult than it already is.

Many, many people find out that they may be entitled to DLA and phone up for the forms. Once the forms arrive, they are so overwhelmed that they remain unfilled in when on first application they are supposed to be returned within a month.

My current forms are a re-application as my previous entitlement is due to run out soon.

Filling them in is not only painstakingly slow and humiliating, it is also terribly depressing when you are forced to write in detail about every area of your life that you struggle with - shooting down any weird ideas you may have previously had about being a functioning human being...

I guess there does have to be a way to ensure that disability benefits go to genuine applicants, but I'm really not sure that DLA hell is the best way forward.

The Guardian ran a weekend feature yesterday on gang rape. It is a devastating and immensely disturbing article detailing the young ages of many victims and perpetrators of gang rape, and the social acceptance which many gang rapists experience, while the girls and women who are raped are vilified.

It is interesting to read different people's theories as to why boys rape girls - influenced by pornography, no older male role models to tell them to respect women, acceptability of rape by peers, their own persecution leading them to not care... Many theories, all interesting, all possible. As far as I know there is little information around about younger (12-17, say) male perpetrators of sexual violence, but it is either happening more and more, or people are being open about it now where they didn't feel able to previously.

Either way, violence against women and girls must stop.

The title of this entry, by the way, is what DLA could stand for, and points to my addiction to old cookery books, which all seem to feature innumerable foods in aspic...

Web Address of the Week Award goes to...

JohnKerryIsADoucheBagButImVotingForHimAnyway.com (thanks Dooey)

Friday, June 04, 2004

Latin and Ludicrosity

Billy has linked to my last post in which he especially liked the Latin phrase Quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur.

I, however, especially liked that his blog entry began, the best thing I've read...
...in the last 24 hours was over at the incurable hippie's page...
. Yep, massage my ego, it'll always work!!

The bizarre tale of the boy who used internet to plot his own murder is indeed bizarre and poses many more questions than it answers...

He pretended to be the secret services to convince a slightly older boy to kill him as an initiation. He was stabbed and blamed muggers. It came out he had arranged it himself. Apparently he is the first person to ever be convicted of inciting their own murder.

But WHY?? That's what the article doesn't answer!

The BBC calls it outright a deliberate suicide attempt and claims that the boy who was stabbed (and incited the stabbing) was in love with the boy who stabbed him.

SZNews tells us more about the events which preceded the stabbing, which seem increasingly absurd the more I read:

Over a nine-month period before the attempted murder, John began presenting himself as a 16-year-old girl in search of a cyber relationship, then ¡°introduced¡± himself as the girl¡¯s step-brother. John and Mark then physically met, as did their parents, but in the chatroom John introduced increasingly far-fetched characters, including another boy who ¡°stalked¡± John and supposedly killed his girlfriend. Another of the characters was then fictitiously killed off, leaving only Mark, John and the stalker. Other characters emerged and were killed off, one even came back from the dead.

Other links also point out that the older boy was being offered sex as a reward, from the fictitious female recruiter for the secver service, as well as the gun, money, and meeting with the prime minister the Guardian reported.

Curiouser and curiouser... I suspect we will never know the full story, but involving someone else in your own suicide bid is too, too cruel.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

There are 2 rules to being a success in life: 1. Never give out all the information.

Quidquid latine dictum sit altum viditur
- "That which is said in Latin sounds profound."

In 1994,Los Angeles Police arrested a man for dressing up as the Grim Reaper - complete with scythe - and standing outside the windows of old peoples' homes and staring in.

In 1978, in between Manchester City winning one game and their next there had been 3 Popes.

A woman with a PhD can't change her name (such as when she gets married) without losing her PhD. Because it's awarded only to one name!

Where does your lap go when you stand up?

If all the cars in the UK were put end to end it would probably be a typical bank holiday.

Tmesis is the only word in English starting "tm" and means one word within another. Fanbloomintastic.

In a crash at Silverstone a driver called David Purley survived a deceleration from 108mph to 0 in 66cm (26 inches). He endured 179.8g (G-Force) and suffered from 29 fractures, 3 dislocations and six heart stoppages.

The best cure for seasickness, ever... Sit under a tree.

The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic church. When deciding if someone should be sainted, a devil's advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view.

The human small intestine if straightened out and measured with a ruler would no longer work properly.

The phrase "It's not over until the fat lady sings" is actually a mis-quote. The correct phrase is "It's not over until the fat lady sinks" and has its origins in the game of billiards. The black eight ball was commonly referred to as the "fat lady" so no matter how bad the game was for a competitor it wasn't over until the "fat lady" sank.

panta Hellenici estin emoy is greek for "It's all Greek to me"

A cubic mile of fog is made up of less than a gallon of water

In an average lifetime there will be over 50 000 images of you on photos you'll never see.

if u didn't have a thumb the bottom of your butty would fall off

Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity they can train Americans to stand at the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

The reason it's so windy in this country is cos of those big windfarms all over the countryside. Total waste of electricity if you ask me...

The Simpsons are just drawings.

Pushing a fifty pence piece into plasticine then filling the imprint with water and freezing it creates ice fifites. These can then be usen in electricity meters and when the temperature rises hey presto the 'evidence' disappears.

I used to think my brain was my favourite part of my body... then I realised what was making me think that!

silly, true, false, all from I Want One of Those. Hehehehe.

Incidentally, if you're feeling rich - this pin clock is very, very cool!

Fabulous UK free stuff message board btw :)

Forwardtrack seems a really interesting project, with a growing beta petition. The idea is

designed to promote on-line activism. The system tracks and maps the diffusion of email forwards, political calls-to-action, and petitions. Our goal is to help people understand decentralized networks and see the power of "6 degrees of separation." ForwardTrack technology helps prove that one person can make a difference.

Unfortunately you need a US zip code to sign the Assault Weapons Ban petition so I can't participate in this test, but I will follow the project with much interest.

Stop deforestation and intimidation of local communities for palm oil - Email Deutsche Bank.

Bye for now :)