Muscles

Muscles

This is the first time I’ve tried shooting a male body and it’s bloody difficult. I used two flashes and some tungsten fill but I didn’t achieve the kind of sculptural look I wanted. Still, not completely terrible for a first attempt. I need to work loads more on lighting and exposure.

I’d like to do some female nude/semi-nude shots next but it’s a question of finding the right model. It has to be someone who’s done modelling before (so her Dad/boyfriend won’t do their nut and beat me up) but not someone who’s done so much that she’s bored with the whole process.

Click here for the pics!

Derby Stop The War Coach

Demo

You can now catch a coach direct from Derby, here are the details:

Derby

Leaves from:

Derby Council House
Leaves at: 8:15am
Arrives London: 12:15pm
Leaves London:
5:30pm
Back home at: 9:30pm
Cost: £12/£6
Organised by: Derby Stop the War Coalition
Contact for the organisers: psuearg@dswp.freeserve.co.uk
Sue on 01332 382321
(Source: Stop The War)

Not from Derby? You can find details of coaches from your area by clicking here.

There are still British and American troops occupying Iraq. Blair is covering up the illegal rush to war. And now Bush is gesturing menacingly at Iran.

We have to protest. If we don’t…

…who’s next?

The Blair War Crime Cover-Up

Philippe Sands, a QC in Cherie Blair’s Matrix chambers and a professor of international law at University College London, claims in his book Lawless World that Lord Goldsmith warned Mr Blair in a document on 7 March 2003 that the use of force against Iraq could be illegal. Mr Sands wrote: “So concerned was the Government about the possibility of such a case that it took steps to put together a legal team to prepare for possible international litigation.”

The Government has refused to publish the 7 March document.
(Source: The Independent)

Blair parades around, waffling on about peace, democracy and terrorism when all the time he’s a war criminal. He pushed Britain into an illegal attack on a country which had never and has never attacked Britain.

And You Think I Post A Lot…

Darren RowseHow frequently do you post?
I currently have a goal of posting 25 posts per day 7 days per week. Of course this is across 17 blogs, some of which I post multiple posts per day, others I would only post on a couple of times per week. I don’t always meet this goal (although some days when I’m on a roll I can do much more than that) but its what I aim for. I figure if I want to make a full time living from blogging then I need to put significant levels of effort into it. If I post for a full year at this rate I’ll have added 9125 pages which gives every opportunity for someone to find it using search engines.
(Source: Buzz Marketing)

Bloody hell! Twenty-five posts a day! I’m a gobshite and I can’t imagine doing ten posts in one day, let alone that number.

I know this bloke makes his living from blogging but I can’t help but think he’d be better paid in print journalism. And perhaps have more spare time away from the computer?

Germans Say, “Bush Go Home!”

Demonstrators pulled a float portraying a prisoner being beaten at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison through the German city of Mainz on Wednesday, part of a protest by several thousand people against visiting United States President George Bush.

Germans Against Bush
A demonstrator waves a peace-flag during a protest rally against the visit of U.S. President George W. Bush in Mainz, western Germany, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2005. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)

The float featured a woman in military fatigues whipping a “prisoner” in an orange jumpsuit — a replication of abuse by US troops at the Baghdad prison. Also among the marchers were four people in brown cow costumes bearing a sign: “We don’t need you, cowboy.”
(Source: Common Dreams)

(UPDATE 25/2
There were actually 12,000 protestors, not 5,000. Have a look at this more detailed article.)

Bush’s stupid, dunce’s grimace has been all over the telly the last few days. The TV news coverage has been uniformly sycophantic and glowing, trying to paint the fundamentalist nutter as a world statesman rather than the confused puppet of PNAC.

But anyone who’s seen the footage of him being told about the WTC attacks in Fahrenheit 911 knows that Bush is about as decisive and commanding as a hamster. He’s not even as good an actor as Reagan was. And never did I think I’d be comparing Rockin’ Ron favourably to another US President.

The mass media is trying to make Iraq go away. But now, more than ever, it throws the world political situation into sharp relief. The Iraqis voted for a timetable for the withdrawal of all occupation forces. Has that been drawn up? Is there a true handover of power under way in Iraq or will the US retain a huge military presence there?

In world terms, what is the US up to? Its military bases girdle the globe, threatening “rogue nations” while carrying out its own rogue policies:

At a news conference Thursday, Bush demanded that Syria end its occupation of Lebanon but he stopped short of accusing Syria of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. An investigation to assign blame is under way.

It would also help if Bush were to practice what he preaches. His orders to Syria might carry more weight if the United States were not occupying Iraq, digging in for the long haul with reported plans for more than a dozen permanent military bases there.

He also is denouncing Iran and North Korea for nuclear arms while the United States is studying a new generation of nuclear battlefield weapons and bunker busters.
(Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer)

That’s why seeing the news about the German protest is so heartening. Why isn’t it all over the telly? It isn’t even on the BBC News website. Yep, I found it. But I had to search.

Look at the coverage of Bush and Blair currently on TV. It’s clear that the mass media is only interested in showing us one side of the story. Doesn’t anyone find it ironic that the government complaining about Korea’s nuclear weapons is simultaneously trying to increase its own stockpile? And that country is also the only country in history to have used nuclear weapons in combat.

And who’s got his finger on the button? George W. Bush. A man who believes he’s personally guided and protected by god.

Just like Osama bin Laden.

Too Many Friendsters, Not Enough Friends

Desktop

In the above piccy, you can see all the social neworking sites I’m currently on. Two MySpace profiles (one for me, one for my band), Everyone’s Connected, Friendster and, lately, Hi 5.

I’m beginning to wonder what the point of these sites is. Every few months a new one will come along, there’ll be flurry of people joining, inviting their mates on and then, inevitably, the site will slowdown to the point of uselessness. Then people will stop using it and… wait for the next one to start.

So far, the only people I’ve added to my personal profiles are people I know in “real life” anyway. I haven’t got to “meet” one person I didn’t already know. I’m guessing it’s because people basically keep to themselves. So, unless your profile shot features some gratuitous nudity or you’re a teenage girl, people won’t just add you out of the blue.

Each site has its good points. Friendster was fun for a while, before it started running like a sloth through molasses. Everyone’s Connected has some fancy pseudo-newspaper features (instead of bulletins) plus you can see who’s been looking at your profile. MySpace is fun because it’s possible to spend hours browsing through photos of naked women and pretend they actually represent the person who posted them. And yes, I mean you, hairy old bloke pretending to be Lindsay Lohan.

Maybe it’s my grumpy pic putting people off but it was either that one or my Boss Nass image. Perhaps I’d get some adds if I got my hair emoed up, pushed my boobs together and gazed into my webcam alluringly?

Right, I’m off to check if anyone’s added me… 🙂

Christian Morons

David Soul as Jerry SpringerA cancer charity has refused a donation from Jerry Springer – The Opera after a religious group threatened to protest.

Maggie’s Centres said Christian Voice’s contact prompted it to reject £3,000.

Christian Voice said it had warned the charity that accepting cash from a show full of “filth and blasphemy” would be a public relations disaster.
(Source: BBC News)

Can you believe it? A group who allegedly follow the god of love and forgiveness stop a cancer charity receiving money? And how exactly did they win over the charity to their point of view? Was it by patient discussion and the application of the lessons of scripture? No.

Stephen Green, from Christian Voice, said the charity had made a decision to “honour the Christian faith”, describing it as a “beacon of excellence”.

“They were in grave risk of alienating Christian donors, their staff and cancer patients,” he told Radio 4’s Today programme.

He admitted his group threatened to protest outside the cancer charities’ offices had they accepted the donation.
(Source: BBC News)

In other words, if the charity had accepted the money, these “Christians” would have bullied any other followers of their faith away from donating. Never mind the people dying of cancer. What do they matter?

Because of this religious group’s insane belief in ghosties and goblins, victims of cancer are now being denied £3,000 of aid.

Well done Christian Voice, you’re certainly doing a great job of promoting your god.

And people wonder why organised religion in Britain is losing followers every day. It’s not surprising with bullyboy idiots like this in the fold…

6502 Geek Memories

6502 book front

When I was tidying up earlier, I came across this book. I remember unpacking it when we moved in but I’ve not looked at it properly in years. Maybe decades?

Looking inside the front cover, I bought it on the 28th of April, 1983. I actually remember buying it, I was excited because I wanted to delve into assembly language on both my Dad’s Apple ][e (and maybe any BBC micros I came across).

I think you can pretty much tell how much of a teenage geek I was at 16 by my choice of leisure reading matter. I was fascinated by computers and although I already had a fairly good grasp of Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, I wanted to get down to the nitty-gritty and, apart from twiddling with ferrite cores, 6502 assembler was the nittiest-grittiest path on offer.

I got quite handy with assembler. I wrote a little drum machine program for the Apple and even a very rudimentary word processor. Bear in mind when I say ‘rudimentary,’ you should probably hear ‘magnificently spaghettified kludge of uselessness.’ I don’t think WordStar had anything to worry about.

Looking through the book, I missed my programming days. I gave up eventually because my crapness at maths became too crippling. I remember the exact time: I’d just finished writing a little program to map a BBC Micro keyboard into the equivalent of a musical keyboard. I was quite pleased, the main subroutine was quite short. Then the lad next to me, a proper maths whizz, showed me his equivalent code and it was about half as long. He’d solved the pitch values mathematically whereas I’d just gone at it with arrays. His program was a fine pair of gold tweezers whereas mine was a rusty sledgehammer.

Nowadays, my geekiness is limited to tweaking. I can follow reasonably simple PHP but anything truly hardcore loses me. Even my hexadecimal has gone quite rusty. And I can only remember powers of 2 accurately up to 65,536. Useless!

The book’s pages are yellowed with age now and I had to be careful I didn’t break the spine when I was scanning the inside. As I flicked through, I noticed there were tests all through the book, like this one:

6502 test

One thing hasn’t changed in the last 22 years – my handwriting is still shite.

Bless Playlist 21/2/2005

Seven Ark

This week’s top new tune was the idyllic ‘Sixteen’ by Seven Ark. Sorry I couldn’t find a better piccy for you but if you have a google yourself, you’ll see that finding info about Mr. Ark is very, very difficult. Aaaanyway.. ‘Sixteen’ is prime glitch-pop, juddering along with bass clunks and a rhythm section comprised of teensy-tiny crickets. Check out the album, ‘Noise Of The New’ (on Neo Ouija) it’s full of great melodies and surprising twists and turns.

The best old track was Johnny Smith’s ‘Jaguar.’ Even though it’s 53 years old, this track is still startling and quite lovely.

Tonight, you heard:

RJD2 – Through The Walls
Sebadoh – Skull
DJ Rupture – Bonechip
Hidden In Plain View – A Minor Detail
Andrew Bird – A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left
Less Than Jake – 9th At Pine
Fettes Brot – Emanuela (Radio Edit)
A Life Once Lost – Maudlin
Apparat – Komponent
Eagles Of Death Metal – Miss Alissa
Outerspace – We Lyve
Bright Eyes – Another Travelin’ Song
Stereolab – Ping Pong
Bleeding Through – Rise
Stereo Total – I Am Naked
Danger Mouse & Murs – To A Black Boy
Wintersleep – Jaws Of Life
Supercilious – Senior Alec Thompson
Agnostic Front – Hardcore! (The Definition)
Minor Threat – Straight Edge
DJ Format – Vicious Battle Raps
Limblifter – Fiercely Co-Dependent
Frank Elting – Spoken Word
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Panasonic Youth
Augusto Alguero (With Orchestra And Chorus) – Discotheque
Dead Meadow – Such Hawks Such Hounds
Don Drummond – Man In The Street
Capdown – If We Don’t Last Very Long….
Le Tigre – Viz
Dor – I’ve Been Thinkin’
20 Miles – Rhythm Bound
Plat – Aftur (Recurrence) Fakemix
Mastodon – Crusher Destroyer
Johnny Smith – Jaguar
Belle & Sebastian – Wrapped Up In Books
Nextmen – High Score
Adam Green – Crackhouse Blues
Send More Paramedics – The Pain Of Being Dead
Redd Kross – Jimmy’s Fantasy
Venetian Snares – Einstein-Rosen Bridge
Frank Black Francis – Nimrod’s Son
Lismore – Tremolo
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
Modest Mouse – Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
Pedro The Lion – Foregone Conclusions
Seven Ark – Sixteen
Paddy Kingsland – The Panel Beaters
Portishead – Mysterons
The Decemberists – The Engine Driver