Snowy Oakwood

The long-predicted cold snap (?Matt Swan) has finally arrived. I woke up this morning to see snow flakes the size of 50ps shimmying down onto the garden.

So, being mental, I popped on my boots and went a-walking into Oakwood Wood(wood) to get some snow snaps. I made sure to over-expose by a stop or two as the meter would be fooled by all the snow otherwise. All the pics were taken on my 10D with a 28-135 IS lens. Plus some snowflakes 🙂

Click here for the pics!

Right/cntrl-click to save this panorama of the wood (you’ll need Quicktime to see it)

And another…

Bless Playlist 26/1/2004

Managed to fit in loads of new stuff again tonight (like Apparat, which was a tip from my mate Daz) as well as some popular requests like Fischerspooner and Pantera. Tonight I went a teeny bit soundtrack/TV theme mad and I must say I enjoyed the diversion. I got some very positive reactions and it made me smile to hear people singing along to the Banana Splits and Hair Bear Bunch. See – I’m not just doing poe-faced, deliberately dour DJing! 🙂

Tonight’s top old tune was definitely ‘Love Is Good For Anything That Ails You.’ I wish I could remember the artist but it just got labelled ‘Various’ cos it’s off my ‘Pennies From Heaven’ soundtrack. Top new tune was Ascii Disko’s ‘Einfach.’ Classic German electronics!

Tonight, youse hoird:

Myracle Brah – This Is Where We Belong
Apparat Organ Quartet – Romantica
Gang Starr – Step In The Arena
Wauvenfold – Clip (Clopt)
Poster Children – Western Springs
The Format – Tune Out
Le Tigre – Let’s Run
Ellen Allien – Alles Sehen
Thursday – I Am The Killer
Coup – Cars & Shoes
Gang Of Four – I Found That Essence Rare
Ascii Disko – Einfach
Banana Splits – Tra La La Song
The Bronx – False Alarm
Weezer – El Scorcho
Pizzicato Five – Twiggy Twiggy
Armsbendback – Watermark
Portishead – Strangers
Black Moon – Stay Real
Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
Teenage Fanclub – Mellow Doubt
Fischerspooner – Emerge
Minus The Bear – Spritz!!! Spritz!!!
Pleasure – Bouncy Lady
Hair Bear Bunch (Main Title)
Pavement – Cut Your Hair
Unknown Artist – Listen With Mother
Pantera – Fucking Hostile
Hrvatski – Vatstep Dsp
The Angels – My Boyfriend’s Back
All Girl Summer Fun Band – Tour Heart Throb
Sage Francis – Hey Bobby
Madness – The Prince
Low – Snowstorm
Ride – I Don’t Know Where It Comes From
The Fucking Champs – What’s A Little Reign
A Tribe Called Quest – Excursions
Deerhoof – Our Angel’s Ululu
Squarepusher – My Red Hot Car
Group Orch – Las Vegas/Animal Magic
Roy Budd – Main Theme – Carter Takes A Train
The Lemonheads – The Outdoor Type
Pennies From Heaven Soundtrack – Love Is Good For Anything The Ails You
Sparks – Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth
At The Drive In – Rolodex Propoganda
Randy Newman – Political Science

Who Are The Nazis Now?

“24 January 2004
David Kay, who stood down yesterday as head of the Bush administration’s hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, said that he did not believe that any stockpiles of such weapons ever existed.”
(Source:The Independent

Yet another report from the highest levels confirming what every non-racist, non-warhawk person thought before the USK strafed Iraq into a free, liberated rubble of dead bodies.

But we were the blind fools, weren’t we? Us, the peaceniks, hippies, commies, anarchists – misguided idiots. We were called appeasers, Hussein was compared to Hitler by the yellow media of the West. All of our craven, cokehead politicians pointed to made-up dossiers, falsified intelligence reports and the other bumpf that was swallowed hook, line and sinker by the pro-war idiots who backed the invasion of Iraq. Hussein’s WMDs would be piling into London “within 45 minutes” according to Butcher Blair and all his drunken echoes in pubs across Britain, bellowing their patriotic bullshit.

The amount of shit I had to listen to would fill several hundred weblogs. All of it was unquestioning government propaganda regurgitated verbatim from the pages of The Sun / Daily Mail / Torygraph.

People who had no previous knowledge of or interest in international politics suddenly became experts in the history of Iraq. Funnily enough, their grasp was exactly the perspective peddled by the Blair/Bush doublespeak corporation and not one iota more. If I asked them one question out of that tiny box (for example, what links the CIA had to Al Quaeda, how many Iraqis were involved in the WTC attacks) they knew nothing. Why? Because they were too lazy to actually investigate anything for themselves. The depth of their concern didn’t extend beyond the shouting headlines.

So, who’s the real Hitler now? Who invaded a non-aggressor country and slaughtered totally innocent civilians? Who has now installed an army of occupation as beloved by the local population as the Nazis were by the French?

The tragedy is that the discourse has been so biased, so twisted that even these revelations are being framed in a way that favours the USK’s actions. A lot of people are now saying, “oooh, perhaps the Iraq invasion was wrong since there were no WMDs.”

The real truth is that even if the WMDs had existed that does not justify a pre-emptive attack. Only war criminals stage pre-emptive attacks.

Who else claimed they were staging pre-emptive attacks in self defence? The Nazis who were put on trial at Nuremberg. And what did the Tribunal say about this defense? :

“In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal judged that “to initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime?; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”(Source: Alternatives)

So when I use epithets like ‘war criminal’ or ‘butcher’ for Blair and Bush, this isn’t merely lefty hyperbole on my part. These men are war criminals, as much as Hitler, Milosevic, Hussein and Sharon.

The only reason Bush and Blair aren’t on trial at this moment is that the US is the current superpower and thus flouts and ignores the UN, unless the UN bows down to it. Want some more proof of the arrogance of the US government? :

“The International Criminal Court will be the first-ever permanent international criminal court authorized to try those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national courts conduct sham trials or fail to investigate at all. Beginning July 1, people accused of those crimes could be brought to trial before the court, which will be located in The Hague.

President Clinton signed the Treaty on December 31, 2000. On May 6, 2002, the Bush Administration announced its intention to withdraw U.S. signature.”(Source: Human Rights Watch)

So the US wants exemption from trial for war crimes and genocides? What possible reason could an administration have for wanting that unless they were trying to cover their own arses against future prosecution?

Coming soon to an oil-rich country near you: The New American Reich.

Why Videophones Won’t Catch On

How many times have you rung someone specifically to lie to them? A boss, a lover, someone in your family?

It’s difficult enough faking a convincing hacking cough and the air of having TB over a voice-only phone, imagine the increase in difficulty over a videophone.

Humans are programmed to recognise and search other’s faces for a myriad of visual cues. Most of this processing happens entirely unconsciously. But we just know when someone’s lying to us when we can see their face.

True, it’s possible to hear duplicity in someone’s voice alone but you’ve removed a whole layer of possible pointers. Imagine a world of videophones where every facial tic is open to scrutiny.

You may think this sounds great. And it is, if you’re not doing the lying. But we all lie. A lot of the lying we do is to protect the other person’s feelings. As my mrs. pointed out, that may be one of the reasons texting has caught on: it’s even easier to lie via text than a voice call.

Of course, videophones will have niche usage. Lovers will inevitably use them, for phone sex and calling each other fluffy bunny and crying a lot when separated. Hey – that’s love! But I wonder if there’ll be a cutoff-point in future relationships where you phone your snugglebums only to have her answer in voice mode rather than full video… the ‘Dear John’ text can’t be too long coming when that happens. If I was a videophone company, I might think of offering a special ‘Lovers’ Tariff’ where you get reduced costs for 2am videocalls but the contract is only for six months. Or is that just me being cynical?

Evil bosses will love videophones. Since you’re the boss, you can force your employees to answer you in video mode and then you can inspect their trembling, sweating faces for any mendacity. As a mere lackey, you should consider your videophone a one-to-one CCTV rather than a device to ease your communication.

That’s where I see us using videophones in the future: with the people we love desperately and the people we’re terribly scared of. The rest of our communication, mates, acquaintances, all the average bullshit chit-chat, we’ll do via text or plain voice calls.

So think about the implications when you apply for a new job and one of the “perks” is a full-video mobile phone…

More US Government Murders

“An American helicopter bombed a village home in southern Afghanistan killing 11 people, four of them children, Afghan officials said yesterday.”(Source: The Independent)

The US “anti-terrorist” initiative continues to make impressive headway. What were their targets in this attack? Surely an evil headquarters, a nexus of anti-US aggression?

“They were simple villagers,” he said, “They were not Taliban.” – Abdul Rahman, chief of Char Chino district in Uruzgan province.(Source: The Independent)

“Four men, four children and three women were killed.”

Well done, US Armed Forces. Another great step forward in your war against war, in your campaign of murders to stop murders.

I’m sure every American citizen is a little safer thanks to your efficient termination of those children.

Strange Weather

Earlier this evening (well, yesterday now), the weather was, by British standards, quite peculiar.

There seemed to be two distinct layers of clouds. The higher one was lit by the setting sun and shining dazzling shades of gold, pink, orange and red. The lower layer seemed to be scudding by at a breakneck pace and was much darker, grey-blue, mostly.

The whole spectacle only lasted a couple of minutes till the sun set but I managed to grab a few photos of the strange light conditions. The colours aren’t quite as vivid as the real thing but that’s the photographer’s fault, not the camera’s.

Click here for the piccies (but prepare to be bored if you find pics of skies dull)