Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

May all your surprises be pleasant ones. Be safe. Be happy.

If your curiosity made you click this, be prepared to groan....

Why did the golfer wear an extra pair of trousers?
In case he got a hole in one

Where does Tarzan buy his clothes?
At a jungle sale

What can you make that cannot be seen?
A noise.

What do you call just married spiders?

What happened when the Ice Monster ate a curry?
He blew his cool

Why did the tightrope walker visit his bank?
To check his balance.

What did the fireman's wife get her for Christmas?
A ladder in her stocking

What was the tortoise doing on the motorway?
About 1 mph.

Tuner: I've come to tune your piano.
Mr Smith: But I didn't send for you.
Tuner: No, your neighbours did.

Which bird always succeeds?
A budgie with no teeth.

What do monsters have for breakfast?
Dreaded wheat.

How do you make an apple puff?
Chase it round the garden a few times.

Where did Sir Lancelot study?
Knight school.

What do you get if you cross a sheep with a grasshopper?
A woolly jumper.
(Also see: What do you get if you cross a sheep with a kangaroo?)

What do you call a man with a spade?

What do you call a man who's lost his spade?

What's purple and shouts "Help"?
A damson in distress.

Doctor, doctor! Please can you help me out?
Of course - which way did you come in?

When do astronauts eat?
At launch time.

How do you stop a skunk smelling?
Hold its nose.

How do you spell hungry horse with four letters?

Knock Knock! Who's there?
Yah who?
Ride 'em cowboy!

What's the best birthday present for a little boy?
Well a drum takes a lot of beating!

Why did the baby foal take throat lozenges?
Because he was a little horse.

Who was the biggest robber in history?
Atlas - he held up the world.

How's the little lad who swallowed the £1 coin, doctor?
No change yet, I'm afraid.

How do Vikings send secret messages?
They use Norse code.

What did the great explorer eat in the jungle?
Steak and pygmy pie.

What will they do if the Forth Bridge collapses?
Build a fifth bridge.

Why is Europe like a frying pan?
Because it has Greece at the bottom.

Why did Mickey Mouse take a trip to outer space?
He wanted to find Pluto.

Why was the Egyptian boy confused?
Because his daddy was a mummy.

Why do animals have fur coats?
Because they'd look silly in anoraks.

What question can you never answer YES to?
Are you asleep?

Teacher: Make up a sentence using the word centimetre?
Boy: My little sister was walking home, and I was centimetre.

What do you call a man wearing ear-muffs?
Anything you like - he can't hear you!

What kind of paper likes music?
(W)rapping paper.

What do you get if you cross a sheep with a kangaroo?
A woolly jumper.
(Also see: What do you get if you cross a sheep with a grasshopper?)

What lives in the bottom of the sea and shakes?
A nervous wreck.

What lies in a pram and wobbles?
A jelly baby.

What's the most popular gardening magazine in the world?
Weeder's Digest.

What do you call a fairy who hasn't had a wash for a week?

Why did the cat join the Red Cross?
It wanted to be a first aid kit.

What does Santa Claus use to wee his garden?
His hoe hoe hoe hoe.

Customer: Excuse me, waiter, do you know what kind of bird this is?
Waiter: It's a wood pigeon, Sir.
Customer: I thought so - bring me a saw.

Did you hear about the fool who goeas round saying No?
Oh, so it's you.

What would you get if all the cars in the U.S. were red?
A red carnation

What's worse than a giraffe with a sore throat?
A centipede with sore feet.

What do ghosts play at parties?
Haunt and seek.

Where do frogs leave their coats?
In the croakroom.

Who wrote the book Christmas Decorations?
Miss L Toe

What do you call a blind dinosaur?

Who wrote the book about insomniacs?
Eliza Wake.

What is green and moody? The incredible sulk.

Customer: Waiter! Waiter! This egg's bad.
Waiter: Don't blame me. I only lay the tables.

Why do bees hum?
Because they can't remember the words.

Newsflash: Forty pedigree dogs have been stolen.
Police say they have no leads.

Do you know the quickest way to the station?
Yes - run!

Waht do you call a crate of ducks?
A box of quackers

My girlfriend's a twin.
How can you tell them apart?
Her bother's got a beard.

What do you call a man with jelly in one ear and custard in the other?
A triffle deaf.

Teacher: Where are the Andes?
Pupil: At the end of your armies

How does a monkey make toast in the zoo?
He sticks it under the gorilla.

Why did the landlord refuse to serve the ghost?
He didn't have a licence to serve spirits.

Jump up or down the page

I wouldn't say that my room was small but the mice are hunchbacked.

Why did the custard cry?
Because it saw the apple crumble

Who babysits for the kids?
A nanny-goat.

What do you get after it has been taken?
Your photograph

Which dog is the most expensive of all?
A deer hound!

Wife: Did you take a bath this morning?
Husband: Why is there one missing?

How do hens dance?
Chick to chick

What has a bottom at the top?
A Leg!

Why did the nurse creep into the cupboard?
So as not to wake the sleeping pills

What has a neck but no head?
A bottle

How do you start a pudding race?

Three men fell into the river, but only two got their hair wet. Why?
One of them was bald.

What goes whistling up the aisle at a wedding?
The bride's train.

What is grey, has four legs, a tail and a trunk?
A mouse going on holiday.

Why didn't the skeleton go to the party?
Because he had no body to go with.

What is out of tune, rotten and goes to sea?
Sing bad the sailor.

What is the quickest way to double your money?
Fold it.

What do you get if you cross a river with a bike?
Wet feet.

Doctor, I've a bucket on my head.
I thought you looked a little pail!

What do you call two newly married spiders?
Newly webs!

What goes tick-tock-woof?
A watch dog!

Where does Friday come before Thursday?
In the dictionary

How does Jack Frost get to work?
By icicle!

What do you do with a sick budgie?
Give him tweetment

Which members of an orchestra can't you trust?
The Fiddlers!

Where do tadpoles go to change into frogs?
In the croakroom!

What does the ocean say when it meets the coast?
Nothing it just waves!

What do you get from nervous cows?
Milk shakes!

Who can shave three times a day and still have a beard?
A barber!

If you can stand more, try here, or here....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cool Blue Button

One of the things I love about FireFox is the immense range of extensions that can be added to the basic browser (I have 72 and counting) Some are purely for fun, some hum quietly to themselves until you need them,but others are invaluable, to the point I'd lost without them. The latest in my must-haves is CoolIris. Once installed, it places a little blue box by any links you hover over. Placing the cursor on the box brings up a pop-up preview of the page linked to, usually quicker than actually clicking on the link. Move the cursor off the preview and it disappears. If you want, you can navigate through the preview like a normal page, or lock the page open if you want to move the cursor away. This previewing is a real time saver if you have an number of links to go through, such as a search engine page (though for Google there is another extension that puts thumbnails on the search page) or a listings page or any page you're just curious about, without having to open and close an number of tabs.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Say it with sparklies

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It's a Cracker....

From a cracker pulled at our department's Christmas party:

What do you call an underground train full of professors?

A tube of smarties.

There may be more. You have been warned.

A word from our sponsors....

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Is it me?

Torchwood. It's supposed to be a secret organisation, but everyone seems to know about it. They even have the name on their cars! It reminds of 70s TV show The Professionals, where CI5 was the worst kept secret around...

A school in Dudley had to cancel its Christmas carol concert because one person complained about the noise it would make. So much for democratic rule. I just hope the voters remember which councillors ruled on this come the next local elections.

A growing number of companies are apparently banning their staff putting up decorations for fear of offending people of other faiths. It seems offending Christians doesn't count. As the Sun eloquently put it, "Kick 'em in the baubles!" And what's with this growing trend of people not sending cards, but instead sending the money to "chairideee" instead? Soon they'll be able to send it to the charity for redundant Christmas card makers. Why can't they come clean and just say they can't be a*sed to write 'em out, 'cos they must have been sending out loads, or buying really expensive cards, as you can get 40 for a quid nowadays.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tenant Time

Jeee, has it been a week already? Time flies when you're having fun! Sliding into the vacant slot this week is Rae from Ontario, somewhere I've always wanted to visit. Her blog headline says : "I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other." Check out her site to see what she means.....

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tenant Time

My latest tenant has come from the other side of the world to stay (well, the other side of the world from me, he may be just down the road from you). Onemanbandwidth is an American Professor working in China. His blog is about his thoughts on both China and the USA, and jolly interesting it is, too, so give him a click and read for yourself.....

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Random Irritations and Joys No 117

Random irritations of life: The same articles popping up in different magazines, and magazines that are in bags so you don't know if it's got the same articles in it..... coming home in the dark....The Beeb's ad for DAB radio. Many women would be grateful for any gift for their anniversary, let alone on costing "only" fifty quid.....the state of mainstream sport at the national level.....

Random Joys of Life: The Beeb reshowing the whole run of This Life, (the downside being that they're showing them two at a time and so late at night I can only see the first one....) seeing the likes of Miles, Egg and Anna again has been like seeing old friends (the series was billed as the British Friends - something that another series - Coupling - also suffered from. Besides being about a group of people who knew each other, neither were anything like the US sitcom)..... For once having knuckled down and saved for Christmas, so it won't be a shock to the wallet next month - I might even have some left over - woohoo! The recent repeat of the Seeger Sessions live show, superb stuff....

Friday, November 24, 2006


This is the poster npower have put up on billboards all around the country. Sadly, after the results of the first two days of the first Ashes test (Aussies 602-9 declared, England 53-3), it seems someone forgot to flick the switch to turn on the England team, while the Aussies are signing up the Duracell bunny as their new mascot.... For those unfamiliar with how to play the game (like the English players at the moment it seems) go here for an explanation of the basics. For an alternative view of the game, and why the rest of the galaxy finds our playing it is in bad taste, see here....


I've recently had my site reviewed by Soapbox Jury. Thankfully it was more reasoned - and more favourable - than the one I had on To read what the juror said, go here. If you agree or disagree with what's said, drop me or them a line, I'd like to know. All constructive criticism is taken on board. Abuse will be ignored, unless it's really witty. Then I may steal it to use myself....

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Casino Royale

James Blonde Brand Bond is back. Back to basics, that is. When I hear arguments about the best Bond, I always recall a quote about Sean Connery in the role, "He looked good in a tux, but also looked like he could beat the **** out of you." Daniel Craig is the first Bond since to truly live up to that standard. (He also doesn't do too badly in a pair of trunks, if the gasps from the three young women sitting next to us in the cinema are anything to go by....) Though I would've liked to have seen Clive Owen given a chance, unlike others I had no doubt that Daniel would do a great job in the role. Forget his woefully underused role in the first Tomb Raider movie, check out stuff like Layer Cake, and, if you can find it, the BBC series Our Friends In The North. If you haven't seen the movie yet, be aware there are spoilers below the fold. I will say this here though: this isn't a film for young children. It has a 12A rating in the UK, which means under twelves can see it with an adult. I read somewhere they trimmed it to get the 12A. I wish they hadn't, and even gone a bit further to get it a fifteen. The eight year-old in the row in front of us was in turn covering her eyes or complaining she was tired. I didn't have to cover my eyes, but they did start watering as...

...a nude Bond is strapped to a chair and his privates are whacked with a knotted rope. This Bond gets battered, beaten and almost killed on more than one occasion. The difference with this movie to previous Bond outings is that this Bond doesn't just shrug off the villains, dust himself down and leave with a quip. His scars show. This is just one example of the film's makers breaking with the old formula, as they strive to match the new benchmarks set by movies like the The Bourne series. Going even further than they did with Goldeneye to reinvent the character, they've gone back to the source material and started afresh. This Bond is closer to the character Ian Fleming envisaged. Cold, cruel, detached, in many ways not very likeable. The childish humour has gone, as has old standards such as Moneypenney and Q, though gadgets still abound. The action is spectacular, especially the chase through the construction site and Embassy near the beginning, which is truly breathtaking. Out too are the outlandish take over the world plots, and the main action is centred in the Casino Royale itself, as Bond plays a game of high-stakes poker with the main villian La Chiffre (a fourtutious bit of timing with the game's popularity exploding recently). The tension increases as Bond's fortunes rollercoaster thoughout the game, so much so that after he finally wins, what comes after does seem like an anti-climax, though necessary for the plot. That and the blatant product plugs (it seems the government has an exclusive contract with Sony, who just happens to be the owner of Columbia, the film's distributor) are the only gripes. Make no mistake, Bond is back. Roll on 2008.....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Life Begins (to suck) at 40

So Funny. So True. So Depressing..... StiK says, "I have recently turned 40. It's a milestone. People will tell you."Life Begins at 40". Unfortunately, I do not share this view, you see, I'd prefer to be 30. It all started for me when I was about 22. I was out socializing with friends when I started feeling my left leg going numb. Fearing the worst, I made my excuses any hobbled off home. Walking seemed to make it deteriorate even more, so when I finally made it to the couch I was in a right state.
It wasn't until I undid my 28 inch baggy trousers that it all became horribly clear to me as the wet sensation of blood ran into my buttocks, I realized my trousers were too tight. My blood had been cut off from my leg by the forces of my expanding trunk.The heady days of the 28 inch waist had passed me by. My waistline was putting its foot down and accelerating. From there on in, it was downhill all the way. This blog will be a testiment to why"Life Begins to Suck at 40"
I managed to keep my waistline in check until my mid-thirties, when it rebelled and expaned by two sizes as I put on two stone, jumping from the ten I'd maintained from my teenage years to two twelve. Stints at the gym and a change of job have kept things at bay, but I feel I'm only a couple of bags of crisps away from staring at a 36 inch label..... This is only one of many of StiK's cartoons that strike a chord, as well as a twinge in my back.....

We all need a bit of motivation every now and again. For a shot of inspiration on your desktop, try clicking here. If you think you can do better, try here. You can even have it as a poster to adorn your wall. It's just one of the things you can do at fd's flickr toys site. Other things you can do is create your own magazine cover, movie poster or mosaic.

Tenant Time

A picture paints a thousand words the says goes, and this weeks renter takes that to heart. Bozette uses pictures to document his life, using words sparingly in the main. Give him a click to see what I mean.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This is a test

To see if this works......

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Load of Pollacks....

Not the most original title I know, but a sentiment that probably crossed a lot of minds recently when they read or heard about one of Jackson Pollock's pieces selling for £73 million (around $140 million). If you fancy following in his paint covered footsteps, there's an easier way than Tony Hancock does in The Rebel. Instead of riding round on a bicycle in a frozen garret, you can go to this site and chuck colours around to your heart's content without having to worry about sticking the brushes in turps afterwards. If Picasso is more your artist, click here and create some Picassoesque faces. Any offers for my masterpiece above will be considered, then laughed at while I ask for four times as much.....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is it me?

In Cardiff an art exhibition consisted of no art at all. Visitors of the Chapter Art Centre were met with an empty space. The artist, Simon Pope, called his "work" Gallery Space Recall. The idea behind the installation was for patrons to remember previous exhibitions they had been to. "You are asked to summon up these remote spaces - through memory, body, speech and movement - so that they exist at two locations simultaneously, both here and there," reads the introduction to the show. More here.

It seems laughter is not the best medicine for the managers of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. A proposed review of dress code suggests banning novelty socks. Staff could be disciplined for sporting socks with characters such as Homer Simpson on them (like the pair I'm sporting right now...). See-though clothing, and clothing that is too tight or too loose (?) will also be scrutinised. More here.

Has a batch of ladies trousers been made with the wrong washing instructions sewn in? Only there's a lot of women wearing pairs that seem to have shrunk, so that they only reach just past the knee. One women at work had such a pair, teamed with knee length boots and red a jumper. How I restrained myself from asking if she was auditioning for the new Star Trek movie I don't know. Ok, I do, I like my kneecaps facing forwards.....

Poppy sellers have been told they could not set up stall in Derby's Eagle Star centre. I appears the centre is being redeveloped and the stall would constitute a fire risk. Elsewhere, sellers are being advised not to give out pins with their poppies, in case someone injures themselves and tries to claim compensation.....

Tenant Time

Lodging this week is Lucy's Dilemma. Not sure what her dilemma is, but here's what she says about herself: "I'm 36, married with 2 kids. I'm stupid, silly, irreverent and completely evanescent. Former band geek, current book nerd and music lover. Oh, and I'll eat you alive with a side of refried beans and spanish rice if you f**k with me. Have a nice day! :)" So if you want to know more, click on the box......

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Off to the Crusades....

One of the reasons I haven't posted much recently is I've been honing my skills on the Dawn of War Dark Crusade demo in preparation for the full game, which I got yesterday. For the uninitiated, the game is derived from the table top role playing game Warhammer 40000, one of the Gamesworkshop franchises. This game is the third in the series, after Dawn of War and Winter Assault. This instalment expands the game, as this time instead of a single episode in the unending war, the game's remit is to conquer an entire planet, taking on the other various races in the 40K universe. Winter nights seem less bleak now.....

Bah, humbug!

It seems the weather here in the UK has decided to go straight from Summer to Winter and skipped Autumn completely. In the last week or so we've gone from balmy days to morning frosts. The trees have turned from lush green to autumnal gold in a matter of days, and the wintry feel has been compounded by the clocks changing last week, which means leaving work in the dark. So we begin the decent into Christmas. Mention the word and the overwhelming response is a groan. Is it an age thing that turns the Christmas/New Year from a magical experience into a grind? Or the pressure advertising and the media put on us, making the whole thing seem like an expensive waste of time? When did it stop being a celebration of Christ's birth and simply become the Season to be Gorgeous? We are encouraged to over-eat, over-drink and over-spend, as Ad-land pushes a world of tables groaning with food and drink and Christmas trees with expensive presents piled at their bases. Even though it comes round the same time every year, most people don't plan for it, trying to pay for it with only one month's money, or simply sticking on the credit card, making January a bleak month as the bills roll in and the money rolls out, and we are left thinking, what was all that about? And if the commercialisation of Christmas wasn't bad enough, we have the PC brigade trying to take religion out of the event all together. A couple of years ago Birmingham council announced it wasn't calling Christmas Christmas but the Winter Festival. It got shot down in flames. Imagine if they had tried renaming Diwali or Hanukkah or Ramadam? It would never happen, as offending minorities is the big no-no. Mainly 'cos if the Christian majority get offended the most that happens is someone writes a stern letter the the local paper, they don't go burning flags in the street and calling for your head on a pike.

Ok, rant over, I feel better now....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We shall remember them

The lovely lady opposite is Katherine Jenkins, dubbed "The Forces Sweetheart" after singing with Dame Vera Lynne at the VE commemorations in 2005. The picture is from the launch of this year's Poppy Appeal. Most people associate the appeal with helping veterans of the two World Wars, but as this extract from the British Legion press pack explains, the money raised from the appeal is needed as much now as before:

‘Is the Poppy Appeal still relevant?’ some ask. Sadly, events in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown us that, 85 years after the first Poppy Day was held to help soldiers returning from WWI, the cost of war remains the same. Every year many thousands of serving and ex-Service people and their families who have fallen on hard times continue to approach The Royal British Legion for help.

That’s why the Poppy Appeal is as needed now as it ever has been. Last year the Appeal raised a record total of £24.7 million and yet this only accounts for a third of the £75 million required to fund the Legion’s vital work. Much of this money goes to fund Poppy Support, the Legion’s range of welfare services set up to support those who have served and continue to serve in the British Armed Forces.

So even if you may not agree with what's happening with our Armed Forces at the moment, the men and women who have served and are serving on our behalf need all the support we can give them. So dip your hand in your pocket, and wear your poppy with pride....

Monday, October 23, 2006

It's no Goody

From today's soaraway Sun's editorial....

It's no Goody
ONE in five children can't point to the UK on a map, says a shocking new survey.
But is it any wonder kids fail . . .
In a country which made celebrated dimwit Jade Goody a millionaire?

And just which bloody dimwits had her plastered all over their pages to help her become a "celebrity" (what a devalued word that is nowadays...) in the first place? And continue to do so, along with others like her, perpetuating the idea success can be achieved without hard work and merit, but by debasing yourself on a TV show. Is it any wonder that some kids don't see any value in learning when they are presented with role models such as this? Ask a group of kids nowadays what they want to be when they grow up and many will say "rich and famous." Ask them how they will get there and they will shrug their shoulders. They think - expect- it to drop in their lap, without any effort on their part. Anyone who does try to better themselves, especially in some sections of the community, are ridiculed and bullied. Intelligence is seen as uncool and something to be derided.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ass Kicked

Those knights in shining armour for the music industry, the RIAA, have slain another evil dragon. Or rather, a donkey. Metamachine, the people behind Edonkey and Overnet, have agreed to stop distributing the Edonkey software and pay $30 million (around £16 million). Anyone firing up the software will get a message informing the user that the network has shut down, then the prog tries to uninstall itself. On the Edonkey/Overnet website itself there is just the following message:

The eDonkey2000 Network is no longer available.

If you steal music or movies, you are breaking the law. Courts around the world -- including the United States Supreme Court -- have ruled that businesses and individuals can be prosecuted for illegal downloading. You are not anonymous when you illegally download copyrighted material.

Your IP address is XX.XXX.XX.XXX and has been logged. (ooooh, scary. Good job I use anonymous surfing software.)

Respect the music, download legally. Goodbye Everyone.

So like BearShare, i2Hub, WinMX, and Grokster, another P2P source bites the dust. But fear not, the crusading lawyers of the RIAA will still be able to put their kids through college, as there are plenty more file sharing networks out there to sue. Networks that now have a couple of million new users with files to share (some of them even legal). Oh goody....

Tags: , , ,

Sunday, September 10, 2006

See Ya Schumi, it;s been great

So after much speculation we have it from the horse's mouth: Michael Schumacher is retiring at the end of the season. And he couldn't have picked a better time to make the announcement; winning for Ferrari at the Italian Grand Prix, only two points and three races between him and an eighth F1 championship. It makes for an exciting and interesting future for Ferrari and F1 in general. Besides being an exceptional racer, one of the things that sets Schumi apart is how he has built a team around himself, right the way back to his time at Benetton. He brought some of those people with him to Ferrari, who at the time were one of the grids whipping boys, having just re-entered the F1 circus. With the all the successes, many forget how dreadful those first few years were for the team and for Michael, and how easy it would have been for him to jump ship to a better car. But he stuck with them, accepting the challenge (ok, and the money) and driving them finally to victory. Many dislike him, and he has done some dubious things on the track, but he has always shown his feelings, whether it's his victory jump on the podium, or storming down the pit lane to try and plant a fist on a fellow racer. Whatever you thought of him, it will feel strange not seeing the name M.Schumacher gracing the grid.

Amazonian Invaders

Sorry, but this isn't about strapping women from the Moon, Mars, Xena, Futurama (left) or even Up the Jungle, but about Amazon.Com sticking programmes on your computer without your knowledge part of their new Unbox service. Click on the link for more.....

read more | digg story

And it gets worse, they want to be able to remotely delete stuff you've legitimately paid for!

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 09, 2006

You may scream. There is no shame.....

Awhile ago, I posted the ten steps to better photography. Steps one to four were as follows:

1. Buy the biggest and best latest digital camera with as many buttons as you can find. That surely will help you take better photos won't it?

2. Replace the aforementioned camera with the latest biggest and best digital camera with even more buttons the following month because by then it will surely be out of date. More buttons = better photos?

3. Try to sell your camera from step 1 at half it's original price to go towards the new camera which is already cheaper than the one you intend to replace it with. The more you spend, the better photographer you are. Right?

4. Realise you'll never sell the camera from step 1 unless you half its price again.

If I've had followed that advice I'd been about £400 worse off - before depreciation. Eighteen months ago I bought a Canon 300D. Shortly after, they brought out the 350D. I was miffed, but I'd got a good deal so that cushioned the blow. Now, all those who bought the 350D thinking they'd got the bees knees (where did that saying come from?) will be weeping into their camera bags as they read about the new 400D; which is a 10 megapixel beasty, as opposed to the 350D's 8. It also has a larger display screen and can take more shots before having to write to flash. Bugger.

Tenant Time

Another week, another tenant. This time it's A Yoga Coffee Outlook by a lady called Kelly who's come to stay, so hit that thumbnail and she what she has to say. One of the links she has on her site is a thing called 25peeps, which is an online popularity contest. I hadn't heard of it before, so figured it was something new, until I clicked on the of the peeps and they were bemoaning how the site was soooo last year.... how things move fast on the interweb.....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

To Boldy Go where no man has gone before - in HD

It seems George Lucas is not the only one who wants to indulge in an Orwellian-like revision of history. A news report on states:

"The original 1960s Star Trek series will receive a high-tech makeover and return to broadcast syndication for the first time in 16 years, with digitally remastered episodes, Paramount announced. In honor of the show's 40th anniversary, CBS Domestic Television is releasing all 79 episodes with new special effects and music on 200 stations, beginning Sept. 16. The first batch of episodes will be chosen from a list of fan favorites.
The original special effects will be replaced with computer-generated images, including the exterior of the Starship Enterprise, based on the exact measurements of the original model, now resting in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The main title sequence will also be redone with new effects and a new digital stereo soundtrack re-recorded by an orchestra and a female singer. William Shatner's classic original recording of the 38-word "Space, the final frontier ..." monologue has been remastered and continues to open each episode.
All of the space scenes, alien landscapes and ships—including the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers—will be updated as well. The remastered episodes have been converted from the original film into a high-definition format, which gives viewers a clearer, crisper, more vibrant picture, even when viewed in standard definition."

There's a little more info here...
This is gonna give purists a heart attack....

And in related news:

"Leonard Nimoy, who played Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek series, told Jam Movies that he has been contacted by Paramount about his possible involvement in the upcoming 11th Star Trek film, being directed by J.J. Abrams.
Nimoy told the site: "The head of production at Paramount called my agency to tell them about this project, and they are aware of [William Shanter]'s and my contribution to the franchise, and they'd like us to know they might want some involvement. It was all very, very general. They might possibly want Bill and I to set up the story as a flashback. But that's just conjecture on my part."
It has been rumored that the film would deal with the first meeting of a young Spock and James T. Kirk at Starfleet Academy, but neither Abrams nor screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orc have confirmed speculation about the premise or storyline of the sequel film."

It seems that after the lack-lustre performance of the last two movies and the Enterprise TV series the powers that be are going back to the original to give the franchise a boost. And the premise of a young Kirk and Spock would certainly generate interest. On the morbid side, the actors aren't getting any younger. We've already lost one the the classic trio with the death in 1999 of DeForrest Kelly, who played "Bones" McCoy", so if there is to be bringing together of Shatner and Nimoy, maybe it had better be sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Steve Irwin

It was a real shame to hear about the death of Steve Irwin. I'm not going to go into all the details of his death as there's plenty of sites that have done that already. Infact, it has surprised many just how big the reaction of people all over the world has been. The blogosphere has exploded with items about him, and email inboxes have been filled with mock-ups and jokes, which I hope he would have appreciated. I was always struck by his passion and enthusiasm for what he did. Some have said he exploited the animals he worked with for popularity and money. He certainly was a showman, and his antics certainly made him a celebrity, but I don't think he ever set out to deliberately harm any of the animals he encountered on our behalf. He will be missed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hanging Chad

Just a quick reminder to check out my tenant, The World of Chad. He's only here for a few hours more, so give him a click....

What is your animal personality?

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Random Irritations and Joys No 116

Random Irritations of Life: 5 putting The Shield back an hour for some 80s codswallop the week my DVD recorder packs up ( along with it seems half my other entertainment systems) so I have stay up to watch..... trying to sort out the flat, but being a magpie so my week went something like this:

Random Joys of Life: Murphy's Law (BBC1) - barking but brilliant performances.... discovering new music (well new to me anyway, it's infact a couple of decades old...).... the clips for the new Warhammer 40k game..... can't wait to get my Space Marines wiping out those Necrons and going up against the Tau....

Monday, August 28, 2006

Comic Capers

In my wanderings through the interweb I stumbled across this pair, called Ebenezer and Snooch. They remind me so much of our own two moggies, Bradley and Tabitha. Bradley is big, ginger and white laid back type, while Tabs is a small, skinny, psycotic tabby. There's quite a few strips on the site, many of which gave me a chuckle, so have a look yourselves, especially if you're a cat lover..... (click on pic for larger version) And for the person who complained to Boomerang, I haven't seen any with them smoking.... yet.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tenant Time

In the spare room this week is Chad, with his blog, World of Chad. Unfortunately he's not in the best of moods at the mo due to migraines, (something which I can sympathise with as a fellow sufferer) so his language isn't the cleanest. But his posts are entertaining and interesting, so give him a click. While you're sliding down the sidebar, grab some free web storage courtsey of, and free backup from Or simply click on the handy links here.....

My new obsession....

I have a new obession, and it's name is MetaCafe. Like YouTube and Google Video and the seemingly dozens of similar sites, MetaCafe has oodles of video clips for you to watch. The difference is that unlike the others, you can install their downloader and, well, download any that take your fancy. Also, the prog will download a random selection for you to either keep or reject in a constant stream, so you never run out of things to look at. And as well as video, it delivers slideshows, flash games (an obsession in themselves) game trailers, documents and audio. Now, like the other sites, most of what you get is, let's be honest, trash. Sub You've Been Framed accidents, fuzzy sex scenes and screen grabs of ads. And a lot of Chris Angel clips. But sifting through, I've found some real gems. So give it a try. Just don't say I didn't warn you.....

The Home of the Internet ®

If you think you have trouble knowing what all the spagetti is at the back of your computer, or think your system fan is a bit noisy, take a look at this little video about Equinix. They look after the data for sites like MySpace, Yahoo and PayPal. You wouldn't want their lekky bills.....

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Is it me?

How do you Solve a problem like Maria? It's called the off switch.
Why is it that films, dvds, games and cds are graded or starred in magazines or newspapers, but not books?
Have all the Polish immigrants that have supposedly flooded the country gone to work for Haven ? Or become NHS dentists?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tenant Time

This weeks paying guest is The House of Tea and Biscuits. I feel a little guilty about taking the rent as his last post announces that he's quit his job. If you want the ins and outs of one of the largest computer retailers, hop over and he may be able to answer you now he's ungagged..... Before you do though, head a little further down and grab a couple of freebies - a gig of storage from, and an automatic web-based backup service from You know it makes sense....

Lefties Unite

During my middle years at school I was known as lefty. Just lefty. Hardly anyone used my real name. I didn't mind too much, as others were called worse, as could I when I started wearing glasses. So lefty it was. Now, this wasn't due to my politics, I wasn't a subscriber to the Socialist Worker, but because I used the Devil's Claw. Yes, that terrible sin of writing left-handed. Fortunately, I'd had enlightened primary school teachers who let me do what came naturally. Unlike some others I've read about, who had their left arm tied behind their backs to force them to use their right hand, or who received a slap from the ruler if caught. The only major problem was in the first years of senior school, when our English teacher Miss Smith (whose bun-like wig and rosy make up made her look like a Geisha) insisted we all used cartridge pens. This meant I ended up writing at a 90° angle to prevent smudging. Anyway, the point of this reminising is that today is International Left Hander's Day, when we southpaws celebrate our left-handedness and challenge right-handed people to do things our way and experience the frustration of living in a right-handed world. If you want more info on the day or left-handedness in general, click here. For a more scientific approach, click here.
Remember: Left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds.....

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Drokk! Time flies....

1977. In the Queen's Silver Jubilee year the Sex Pistols were calling for Anarchy in the UK, while white suits were all the rage as people wore out their needles playing the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack LP. Star Wars hit the cinema and the toy shops as the Enterprise piggybacked on the back of a 747 and Concorde began regular flights from London to New York. All these memories came back as I was standing in WHSmiths holding a comic. But it was no ordinary comic. This was the 1500th prog of 200AD. I can remember as if it was yesterday holding that very first copy in February 1977, complete with free Space Spinner (shown in all its glory below). As soon as I opened it I knew it was for me.... Dan Dare, Invasion, Harlem Heroes, Flesh (a concept just begging to be made into a movie or a series), the strips were superb. And that was without the legend that is Judge Dredd, who didn't appear until prog two. While many other comics have come and gone, the mighty Tharg and his creation has gone from strength to strength, bringing many more heroes and villians to we Earthlings. Here's to prog 3000.....

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Text the word stupid to this number....

From today's soaraway Sun newspaper:

BIG Brother was in crisis last night as bosses tried desperately to stave off national outrage at the phoneline rip-off scandal.
More than 1,800 fuming fans had called to complain over plans to vote evicted housemates back into the TV house via “greedy” premium rate lines.
Sun reader Johnny Halliday, who called himself an EX-Big Brother fan, said: “Surely this must be the biggest rip-off of all time.
“First the public are asked to spend a fortune phoning in to evict people from the BB house.
“Then Big Brother wants us to spend more money voting them back into the house next door.
“No doubt we will then have to phone in again to possibly evict the person from the main house we’ve already paid to evict. How stupid do they think we are?”

Errrr...... Very. Very. Very.

(I do think it's a bit rich of the Sun and others to lambast Channel 4 and BB's makers when it's progs like BB that help them sell papers....)

Monday, August 07, 2006


Ok, so it was stupid and as grown men they should've known better, but all this fuss about the fireman in the tumbledryer really is all hot air (pun intended). With typical sensationalism, the news programmes denounce the prank, making sure they show plently of footage of it at the same time. If they hadn't given it blanket coverage, it would've stayed as a clip on the net with the other millions of clips. Now everyone's talking about it, and I expect the news channels will be trying to hunt down a copycat act.....
Talking of the news, how's this for a non-story. A supermarket wall fell down in the night. Police say if it had fallen down in the daytime it may have killed someone. Yeah, and if I had been in that part of the country, and if I'd had a dog, it could have been us....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

On the Button

It's been a long dry spell, both for Jenson Button and British F1 fans. Three years for us, 113 races for him without a win. Critics will say it was more luck than skill, but in this sport luck is part of the package, and until now Jenson's has all been bad. This weekend seemed no different as an engine blowout put him back to 14th on the grid. In an unusually exciting Hungarian GP, he stuck at it through the bad patch and seized the opportunity when it came. Let's hope it's the first of many.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Greed Rebate

So, after they've driven up the price so most people can't afford them, destroyed village life, bragged at dinnerparties and are now going abroad and doing the same there, some homeowners are bleating that they want the threshold in Inheritance tax to rise to keep up with their greed rather than inflation. Sorry, you want the profit, you pay for it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

That looks sore....

From NASA's fasinating Earth Obersvatory site: "This image shows the difference in land surface temperatures from July 12-19, 2006, compared to the average temperatures during that period for the past six years (2000-2005). The measurements were made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Dark red shows areas where 2006 land surface temperatures were up to 10 degrees Celsius (around 18 degrees Fahrenheit if my maths is right) warmer than recent years." Official figures show that the UK had it's hottest July since records began. So imagine my incredulity at hearing someone yesterday saying they were "Fed up with with all this rain" after the showers we've had....

Monday, July 31, 2006


In The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy, Ford Prefect extols the virtues of always having your towel. Not sure he had this in mind though.....

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pharmacology ...

In Pharmacology, all drugs have two names, a trade name and generic name.
For example, the trade name of Tylenol also has a generic name of Acetaminophen. Aleve is also called Naproxen. Amoxil is also call Amoxicillin and Advil is also called Ibuprofen.
The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin. Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin.
Pfizer Corp.announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names "cocktails", "highballs" and just a good old-fashioned "stiff drink". Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT & DO.

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

As I Mature....

As I mature I've learned that you cannot make
someone love you. All you can do is
stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I've learned that no matter how much I care,
some people are just assholes.

I've learned that it takes years
to build up trust, and it only takes
suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.

I've learned that you can get by
on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you'd better have a big willy
or huge boobs.

I've learned that you shouldn't
compare yourself to others - they are
more screwed up than you think.

I've learned that you can keep vomiting
long after you think you're finished.

I've learned that we are responsible
for what we do, unless we are celebrities.

I've learned that regardless of
how hot and steamy a relationship is at
first, the passion fades, and there had better
be a lot of money to take its place!

I've learned that the people you care most
about in life are taken from you too soon
and all the less important ones just never go away.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Thanks, Boss

So, we shed a tear here in the UK as the sun sets on the Bartlet administration, as the best President the USA has never had hands over to his successor Matt Santos. After many highs and lows (and that's just Channel Four's scheduling) we say goodbye to Jed, Josh, Donna, CJ, Charlie, Toby, Sam and an especially poignant goodbye to Leo, and to the actor John Spencer, who died during filming of the last series. I shall miss the snappy banter, superb acting and intelligent scripts that gave us characters that we acutally believed in and cared about. But, thanks to the wonders of DVD, they can live on in our TVs (and without the ******* annoying buffer ads). Another good sign is that Four has taken Aaron Sorkin's next project, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But for now, let's raise a glass and say "Thank you, Mr President."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tenant Time

This week's renter is Jen with her blog Casual Slack. The tagline is "Quality Nonsense, Served Up Fresh Daily". The blog is an eclectic mix of comment, pics and video with a scattergun approach, so if you don't like one thing, I'm sure something you do won't be far away. For instance, her latest post celebrates the 25th annervsary of MTV. Jeez, it only seems five minutes since we were gorping open mouthed at the astounding computer graphics on Dire Straits' Money For Nothing video as it launched MTV in the UK...... After you've checked that out, come back and take a look at the blogroll further down the sidebar for more surfing adventure....

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Flying Floyd

Congrats to Floyd Landis on winning the Tour de France. After the departure of Lance Armstrong and the absence of other favourites the Tour has been one of the most open for years. At the start of the week it appeared that the American had things sewn up, but losing 8 minutes in a single stage seemed to have demolished his chances. But remarkably he regained most of that the next day, and the final time trial on Saturday put him back in the Yellow Jersey for the final day along the Champs-Elysees. Full marks also to all the riders that finished after four weeks of hell in the saddle, riding six hours a day in punishing heat. And our footballers moan about being too hot jogging round a pitch for an hour and a half. They should hang their heads in shame....

You want ice with that?

In the pantheon of obvious statements, the recent "keep drinking water in the hot weather" proclamation is up there with "keep putting one foot infront of the other for walking". But how much should you drink? With what? Hot or cold? The answers to these questions and more can be found at the WaterAid site. They have an interactive section that can tell you how much you should be drinking, what you should be drinking, and what happens when you don't. You can also download a popup reminder or a screensaver if you want. WaterAid is a charity dedicated to bringing water and sanitation to the poorest parts of the word, so you may want to give a small donation while you're there. If you prefer your water with hops and barley, you could follow the lead of a chap called Nikola Opacic. The 70 year old Croat has not had a drop of water in the past 37 years, drinking beer instead, "It's not that our water isn't good, but it can't quench my thirst," Opacic said. He went off water while working as a construction worker in Munich, Germany, in 1969, saying that, as the water in Germany was of very poor quality, he began drinking beer instead, and never lost the habit. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of people have already taken up this regime....

Cyanide and Happiness

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @

Came across these guys recently. The humour's a bit hit and miss, but I think you'll find something to tickle your funny bone....


Saturday, July 22, 2006

The 100 science fiction books you just have to read!

"Take my word for it; all science fiction books are not created equal. Many of these novels are award winners, and most have inspired profound trends in science fiction."

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Top five things Linux can learn from Microsoft

Linux does a lot of things right -- open-source, security, reliability -- but it's far from perfect. Here's SJVN's list of the top five things that Linux could learn from Microsoft.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Random Irritations and Joys No 115

Random Irritations of Life: Banks charging you penalties when it's not your fault (fight back here) Stupid people wittering inanely on the radio.... And people who continue to argue when they're plainly wrong (and keeping me waiting a quarter of an hour) People saying "It's tooo hooot...." make the most of it - we'll be back in jumpers and coats before you know it... My soundcard drivers screwing up my system - everytime I try to play music or video the whole thing locks up...
Random Joys of Life: Watching Superman Returns in a gloriously air-conditioned cinema.....Or sitting at home by the fan in my shorts with a cool drink in hand.... Superman Returns not being a turkey..... Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow..... All the Union flags still flying.... Mark Radcliffe on in the afternoons instead of Steve Wright....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Future's Bright

As the Prof says, good news for Futurama fans. Comedy Central have ordered new 13 episodes of the Matt Groening's animated series. All the main voices are returning, including Katey Sagal (Peggy from Married with Children - recently on ITV2, and hopefully back soon). The series is due in 2008, so with any luck Sky One will have it not too long after.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


In the People newspaper's Sport section: Football's Back! Err, did it ever go away?
Blimey! An Ant and Dec show I half like!
The owners of Alton Towers are used to red faces, but this time it's them and not their patrons who're looking rosy cheeked. The theme park has booked a couple's wedding reception on the same day a Muslim company has booked a fun day for their employees. The couple have been told they cannot drink or have music, only halal food will be served, the rides will be segregated by gender, and the women will have to cover up, though are spared headscarves. The day has been organised with the aim of 'integrating Muslims into the wider community.' Is it me? For full story and serious replies click here. For piss-takes click here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Digital Steam

There's chap I meet occasionally at work who's fanatical about steam engines, especially on trains, and not at all interested in the digital age. When I asked him if he'd used the laptop he'd been given recently, his terse reply was, "No, I don't know where to put the coal in!" Well, now I can tell him! This is actually an art installation. It's creators wanted to bridge the old and new age of technology. The Steam Powered Internet Machine is the latest deeply eccentric project from Turner-prizewinning artist Jeremy Deller and his collaborator Alan Kane. "We were thinking about something that connects the industrial revolution and the digital revolution," said Deller. Kane added: "They are worlds apart but there's also a proximity. The steam age and the digital age are not so far apart." The artists say that the current era - when it is possible to have travelled by steam train as a child and be surfing the internet now - calls to mind JMW Turner's masterpiece, The Fighting Temeraire, which marks the moment when the great sailing ships gave way to steam. "We're at a certain point in British history, at the end of something," said Deller. For more info click here. I'm off to get the nutty slack....

Tenant Time

Renting the real estate this week is JBCarey. His blog has a mixture of posts, games and pics, and is a fun read. So give him a click so his hard earned credits aren't in warned though, his pong game can get addictive..... While you're down there (ooh err) give the tag cloud a try. If anyone can tell me a different or better way of highlighting previous blogs, I be glad to hear it. A site called Opinmind has a quote generator that picks random lines from old posts. At the moment it's only available for Typepad accounts, and they have no intention of extending it to blogger at the mo, which is a shame.

Monday, July 10, 2006

It'll never catch on....

A new aid to rapid--almost magical--learning has made its appearance. Indications are that if it catches on all the electronic gadgets will be so much junk.
The new device is known as Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge. The makers generally call it by its initials, BOOK(tm).
Many advantages are claimed over the old-style learning and teaching aids on which most people are brought up nowadays. It has no wires, no electric circuit to break down. No connection is needed to an electricity power point. It is made entirely without mechanical parts to go wrong or need replacement.
Anyone can use BOOK(tm), even children, and it fits comfortably into the hands. It can be conveniently used sitting in an armchair by the fire.
How does this revolutionary, unbelievably easy invention work?
Basically BOOK(tm) consists only of a large number of paper sheets. These may run to hundreds where BOOK(tm) covers a lengthy program of information. Each sheet bears a number in sequence, so that the sheets cannot be used in the wrong order.
To make it even easier for the user to keep the sheets in the proper order they are held firmly in place by a special locking device called a "binding".
Each sheet of paper presents the user with an information sequence in the form of symbols, which he absorbs optically for automatic registration on the brain. When one sheet has been assimilated a flick of the finger turns it over and further information is found on the other side. By using both sides of each sheet in this way a great economy is effected, thus reducing both the size and cost of BOOK(tm). No buttons need to be pressed to move from one sheet to another, to open or close BOOK(tm), or to start it working.
BOOK(tm) may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. Instantly it is ready for use. Nothing has to be connected up or switched on. The user may turn at will to any sheet, going backwards or forwards as he pleases. A sheet is provided near the beginning as a location finder for any required information sequence.
A small accessory, available at trifling extra cost, is the BOOK(tm)mark. This enables the user to pick up his program where he left off on the previous learning session. BOOK(tm)mark is versatile and may be used in any BOOK(tm).
The initial cost varies with the size and subject matter. Already a vast range of BOOK(tm)s is available, covering every conceivable subject and adjusted to different levels of aptitude. One BOOK(tm), small enough to be held in the hands, may contain an entire learning schedule.
Once purchased, BOOK(tm) requires no further upkeep cost; no batteries or wires are needed, since the motive power, thanks to an ingenious device patented by the makers, is supplied by the brain of the user.
BOOK(tm)s may be stored on handy shelves and for ease of reference the program schedule is normally indicated on the back of the binding.
Altogether the Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge seems to have great advantages with no drawbacks. We predict a big future for it.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I want it FAST.....

A new data transfer protocol for the Internet fast enough to download a full-length DVD movie in less than five seconds, the California Institute of Technology said today.
The protocol is called FAST, standing for Fast Active queue management Scalable Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).

read more | digg story

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Put the camera down, sonny....

I was at the theatre recently watching a show with a well known singer as the lead (ok, it was Boogie Nights 2 and it was David Essex - I like cheesy 80s songs!). Up in the Dress Circle, we had a good view of the stage and the audience below. When David made his entrance, I looked down at the stalls to see them lit up with the glowing of mobile phones as the front rows snapped away. Instead of looking at their hero (they were mainly women of certain age...) in the flesh a few metres away, they were more concerned with getting a fuzzy photo and watching through a teeny screen. Until that is the ushers came and told them off. This the point this site is trying to make. How many times have you been to place and events, and seen people with a camera or camcorder clamped to their faces? Or done it yourself? I've been guilty of it on occasions. The purpose of this site and it's Nonphotography Day on July 17th is to get people to stop experiencing things vicariously, and engage with the reality of their surroundings. I had been looking for a pic to got with this post, but then thought that was rather defeating the object.....

Question Time

We all have questions. Some trivial, like, "What's for lunch?" Others more profound, like, "How can we ensure everyone has access to fresh water?" The site dropping knowledge is interested in the latter. At first glance the website looks like a typical charity site, but instead of money, it's appealing for questions. Your questions. It's aim is to try and turn apathy in activity, to encourage people to ask questions and hopefully, get answers. Or spark something off in others, and change things despite government, rather than through it. Check it out, it'll make you think. And maybe question.