Thursday, June 05, 2003
"Customers who bought this item also bought:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5); Hardcover ~ J.K. Rowling "
Now seeking the most improbable book linking to Harry Potter...
"Pixar needs Disney because that's how it outsources its Evil"
Summary - Disney owns the rights to early films, and can destroy Pixar's rep with cheap knock-offs if the relationship ends, whereas staying in lets Pixar continue making great films, but place the blame on Disney for marketing tat...
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
"It is worth noting here that Britain has been searching Northern Ireland, a country a fraction of the size of Iraq, for the IRA's weapon caches and has not yet found them. Did that mean they never had weapons and that the bombs that went off didn't really exist"
At the moment, I'd say that lying to the House (for British politicians) would be a resignation matter (as ever), and the modern equivalent of a clear lie (where they knew X to be untrue) is a similar issue. But then again, if the government had the wit to use it, Jack Straw's summation of their case in the Commons should be enough to cover them, and roundabout reflected a lot of hawks' position, including my own:
"I impugn the motives of no one in the House. The different positions that we have taken all come from the best, not the worst, of intentions. But as elected Members of Parliament, we all know that we will be judged not only on our intentions, but on the results, the consequences of our decisions. The consequences of the amendment would be neither the containment nor the disarmament of Saddam's regime, but an undermining of the authority of the United Nations, the rearmament of Iraq, a worsening of the regime's tyranny, an end to the hopes of millions in Iraq, and a message to tyrants elsewhere that defiance pays.
Yes, of course there will be consequences if the House approves the Government's motion. Our forces will almost certainly be involved in military action. Some may be killed; so, too, will innocent Iraqi civilians, but far fewer Iraqis in the future will be maimed, tortured or killed by the Saddam regime. The Iraqi people will begin to enjoy the freedom and prosperity that should be theirs. The world will become a safer place, and, above all, the essential authority of the United Nations will have been upheld. I urge the House to vote with the Government tonight."
Via Iain Murray
But personally I love this reviewer's dissection of Starship Troopers that he links to. The guy's a plot-hole reviewer, and that's the way forward with some films. Though he manages not to notice that The Art of War, with Sun-Tzu Snipes, is *really* just a greatest hits collection of scenes from other Wesley Snipes films. Watched in that vein, it's great hung-over TV...
"People keep applauding this, utterly oblivious to Japan's many centuries' history of virulent militarism, and continued engrained racism and sense of racial superiority.
Japanese pacifism was forced upon them by foreign occupation, and never even pushed militant radical nationalism anything approaching entirely underground. Japan continues to refuse to acknowledge its war crimes in Asia.
It might be safe to allow for increased expression of Japanese military power after another century of reformation; allowing it now is, in the long term, dangerous.
To call for it is irresponsible and ahistoric. Japanese nationalists are not on the side of the US, Europe, or the West. They are only on their own side. "
As a former student at SJC, and involved in a number of the meetings, I can set the story straight.
1) many years ago, SJC subscribed to basically everything.
2) We unsubscribed from the Mail on the grounds of disapproval of their coverage of certain women's issues (mainly) - i.e. that their coverage was misogynistic in effect, and so we didn't see why we should be buying it. The main argument to keep it (by me, among others), was that we had loads of cash and it was a good thing to get a range of papers, etc.
3) upshot was eventually binning the Mail, as very few wanted it, and getting the Morning Star (as a segment of the JCR did, and it's tricky to obtain)
4) I later tried to get rid of the Sun on various grounds, mainly because their coverage of a single story was very shoddy/irresponsible. - The Sun was retained by a decent margin
5) After I'd left, they got rid of the Sun because of their asylum coverage, which given a number of Eastern Europeans I know being able to denounce their choice of adjectives, wasn't that surprising. This was also at a point when the JCR was more "left" than usual.
6) There then seems to have been a binning of the other tabloids. I don't think the paper's "Banned" per se (it's often around, particularly as the barman has a copy he lends people), but the motion was almost certainly titled "Ban the Sun" or similar.
PS - if you want a reason to condemn us, making Abdullah Ocalan an honoury member of the JCR was the real reason. My God, that was a bad decision. I spoke for about 30 minutes against it, and some of them voted for it...
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
"This is no surprise. Nike has a rich tradition of employing minors."
I assume I redirect the letters from the taxman about my "deductions" to the Secretary of State for Health?
"Q: How do you confuse a blonde?
A: Tell her that the same people who predicted hundreds of thousands of casualties and a massive refugee crisis are now condemning US intelligence for supplying inaccurate information about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Yo mamma's so fat that when she sits around the house, she crushes dissent against the war on terrorism.
Q: How many New York Times writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Ten. Nine to change the bulb, and one to claim the byline.
You might be a redneck if ... that area of your neck below the hairline has been exposed to sunlight as you’ve attempted to collect copies of Stupid White Men lying discarded in the street. "
Sunday, June 01, 2003
"1) Do you have many hormones? I find girls get distracted by male
mathematicians (to maths applicant, Oxford)
2) What effect on the whole of society does someone crashing into a lamppost
have? (law applicant, Oxford)
3) Are people living on the streets mad if they can sing? (PPE, Oxford)
4) Give an example of two statements that can't both be true but can be both
false, and two statements that can't be both true and can't both be false
5) Would a good liar make a good lawyer? (law, Cambridge)
6) I have a horrible aunt who hates mathematics. Can you, without telling
her of your feelings, convince her that mathematics is exciting? For
example, a proof that once you've seen it makes mathematics seem completely
amazing (mathematics, Oxford)
7) Tell me about a banana (medicine, Cambridge)
8) When is it acceptable for writing to be boring? (French and Russian,
9) Calculate the average interatomic spacings particles in the room
10) If we define fear as "something that can hurt us", why are we afraid of
spiders? (Classics, Oxford)
11) In biblical times Joseph carried out the first buffer stock scheme. Why
would he not be in the same position to do that today? (economics,
12) How does your harp work? (engineering, Cambridge)
13) How do you define baldness? (experimental psychology, Oxford)
14) What is the soil type in Oxford? (geography, Oxford)
15) Why don't plants have brains? (veterinary science, Cambridge)
16) Is the Eurovision Song Contest an example of living nationalism?
(history and politics, Oxford)
17) Do you see me like a camera? (history of art, Cambridge)
18) Could there still be a second coming if mankind had disappeared from the
planet? (theology, Cambridge).
19) Is this can of corned beef safe? (medicine, Cambridge).
20) How do you define time? (PPE, Oxford).
21) Is it possible to split a human brain in two and create two identical
people? (PPE, Oxford)
22) How do you know if 2 + 2 = 4 in the past? (philosophy, Cambridge)
23) If it is 12pm, what is the exact time here in Oxford? (physics, Oxford)
24) If you take one grain of sand away from a mound of sand, when does it
cease to be a mound? (psychology with philosophy, Oxford)
25) Define bureaucracy (social and political sciences, Oxford)"