Friday, 30 January 2009

LIBOR spread JAN-2008 to JAN-2009

Not sure what it all means, other than up until September everything was quite flat and normal and predictable, tomorrow would be much like yesterday, but then September brought the end of the world or something.

One thing that can be noted from pre-September LIBOR behaviour is the way currencies tracked other currencies. The dollar and the Euro used to track each other, then in January-2008, the dollar started tracking the CHF instead (thats the Chinese Swiss currency, right?).

Anyhoo, in the light of recent financial disasters, it looks like your Japanese Yen is the most stable, its interbank lending rates have been rock bottom and haven't shifted as much as the other nations. If you want stability over risk, that's where to get your loans from, innit?

Thursday, 29 January 2009

London Lava

Chris Qwaghalm twitted about some photies of London earlier in the day, then it was covered on Boing Boing, and I punted it on my secret London blog, then Chris Qwaghalm retweeted it, and all the time I'm thinking if only Aref-Adib used it for a look-alikes thing.

Ah well, I'll do it myself.

Londonlavablogged

Yeah?

More Facebook Scramble graphs

Hi, after the other day's thrilling coverage of my successes with Facebook's Scramble game, I thought I'd play a bit more, get some more data and churn out a few more graphs.

Facebook Scramble stats 01

This graph neatly shows the spread of the highest possible scores when you're playing on 5x5 grids. So usually you can get a maximum of 1400 points and very occasionally you can get 2000 or so. I'm not going to rule out a 3000 point grid, but its very unlikely.

So with all these potential points up for grabs, how do I do?

Facebook Scramble stats 02

Looks like I most often get around 80 and 90 points, or less. But occasionally I'm on fire and beat 150. This is rare, but not impossible.

So how come I'm occasionally on fire? Do my neurons just click sometimes, or is it cos the board is a high scoring board, and I just do as well as usual? Lets have a look...

Facebook Scramble stats 03

Its kind of a normal distribution, I get around 8% of the highest score possible. Sometimes more, sometimes up to 12% of the total available, but never like 20% or 30%, that's crazy talk. Its more of a balanced spread with the percentages than it is with the actual scores.

My high score as it stands is 167, but going by these graphs, maybe if I got a good board worth 2000 points and I was on fire and got 12%, then the highest theoretical score I got get without cheating is 240.

Hmm, warm fuzzy feelings of success. I just have to keep playing and one day, my luck will turn.

Or will it?

Take a look at this graph of acheived score against highest possible score

Facebook Scramble stats 04

Look, Excel has put a trend line in for me, so I can see that for higher scoring boards I score generally higher. Thank you Excel. But really its more of just a random swarm of scores with no correlation to the highest possible. I don't generally get less than 60 points, but when I get a low score, that has little to do with the highest possible score, and likewise, my highest scores don't usually come on the highest scoring grids.

Here, this graph terrifies me:-

Facebook Scramble stats 05

As the highest possible score for a grid rises, the percentage of available points I get gets lower. Sure this graph is a bit of a random swarm of killer bees, but you can see it goes downwards. The highest percentages come with the low score grids and the lowest percentages come with the high score grids.

Maybe its not just chance that's causing me to be so crap compared to wimmin with large vocabularies. There was a wee nagging thing at the back of my head, maybe I'm not typing fast enough, I'm running out of time. That would kind of explain the last graph. If I'm just finding and typing words at a constant rate then the better percentages would come on lower scoring boards.

Am I actually just typing all of this with a rod taped to my forehead? It would explain so much.

Rightio, how does any of this help?

Well, it doesn't really apart from proving that the quality of the grid has little to do with my success, and that I'm like a ninja when it comes to Excel graphs, at the expense of being a bit autistic when it comes to scribbling down numbers.

Now where?

Well, you get more points for longer words.
3 letters - 1 point
4 letters - 2 points
5 letters - 4 points
6 letters - 6 points
7 letters - 9 points
8 letters - 12 points
11 letters - 24 points

'Retirements' for gods sake, 'retirements'. Its an efficiency thing. This we already knew, its just its hard to resist. You've got some easy three letterers, so you go for them, completely ignoring the fact that 'retirements' saves you two hundred an odd keypresses.

So my new strategy to slay the competition is to never do three or four letter words. Its an efficiency thing, and those little bastards are wasting your time and my time.

Its like trying to drum up immense traffic to this website by writing popular articles in the hope that google adverts will pay out a couple of pence, when what I could really do with is more modest traffic buying my Shag Times book that's for sale at the bottom of the page for a few quid.

Its a recession, its an efficiency thing.

Damn Wallace

I have never hated Danny Wallace more than I do now on seeing this picture.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Charity

I'm a big fan of charity me, I think its great when man voluntarily gives to fellow man, be it time money or expertise. That's the image I have in my head of charity.

So, I'm a big fan of that fake charities website whichs 'outs' those UK registered charities that as a result of their funding, are government agencies, wholly or mostly funded by the UK or EU governments. They're not charities in the sense of charity, cos the money they receive isn't given voluntarily. The government ought either not be spending money, or to actually be fixing the things that the charities are for, not paying them off.

There are certain things which fellow man pays the government to do through taxes, that's defend the nation, take away the rubbish and provide clean drinking water. Anything else the government does is a bonus, but not essential.

Here let's look at wikipedia's list of fastest growing nations in terms of GDP. Some of them are growing really fast, but the UK according to the list is growing at 3%, the Office of National Statistics has it at minus 1.5% Think about it.

Here's a charity called 'Charity:Water', proceeds from the London Twestival are going to them. I've heard about Charity:Water before, their Jennifer Connelly video is neat and I think BoingBoing covered them once. Something never set right with me about them.

It was India, they were building water towers in India. India's a big big, rich and fast growing nations, the 22nd fastest growing nation by GDP, the world's largest democracy. I'm not denying their need for water towers, but surely they can build their own? Surely its up to the Indian government to provide drinking water, and surely they can afford to do it themselves, without the need for a charity to provide it.

Ethiopia, now everyone knows that country is in a bad way. Well, not quite, its got a faster growing economy that India, in fact, the world's 12th fastest growing economy. Its not even an oil-rich state, that economic growth is genuine. So maybe the three hundred and two Charity:Water projects there give them a helping hand, but that economic growth has been going for the past ten years. And that big famine was more than twenty years ago, they can get over it.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great projects that Charity:Water do to provide drinking water to badly suffering nations, but at the same time, they're doing it to nations who are really in a position to do it themselves.

If the leaders of these countries know that someone else is providing essential services for their populations, then it lets them off the hook, that they can spend the tax revenue on less vital things, palaces and cars.

Its a stretch, but Twitheads and Charity:Water, with the best intentions, are enabling corruption and abuses of power.

No?

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

So much for driftwood dreams

Days have passed since I posted about my dreams and aspirations, the one about wanting to build my own floating island, somewhere bobbing about in the lost continent of discarded plastic in the North Pacific Gyre.

I'm not alone.

It seems this meme has spread far and wide, well, The Spectator warmly embracing the article in Wired
Friedman and his followers are not the first band of wide-eyed dreamers to want to build floating utopias. For decades, an assortment of romantics and whack jobs have fantasized about fleeing the oppressive strictures of modern government and creating a laissez-faire society on the high seas. Over the decades, they've tried everything from fortified sandbars to mammoth cruise ships. Nearly all have been disasters. But the would-be nation builders assembled here are not intimidated by that record of failure. After all, their plans are inspired by the ethos of the modern tech industry, where grand quixotic visions are as common as BlackBerrys, and they see their task not as a holy mission but as something like a startup. A couple of software engineers came up with an innovative concept, then outsourced it to a community and let the wisdom of the crowd improve on it. They scored financing from a top-tier venture capitalist and assembled a board of directors. They will be transparent, blogging their progress. If they fail—which, let's face it, is the most likely outcome—they will do so quickly, in time-honored Valley fashion. But if they succeed, they have one hell of an exit strategy.

From the looks of things, their plans are a bit more developed than my own, with heli-pads and floating support columns.

I think I'll stick with my plan of building my stead from marine debris and sargassum, I can use ghost nets to bind it all together. Might have to relocate to the North Atlantic Gyre rather than the Pacific, its closer to home.

Hmph, on reading the article and the youtube videos attached. I reckon for the pro's who don't want to make their island out of garbage, they'd be best off buying a handful of really big ships, like the ones clogging up Hong Kong, and lashing them together. Maybe welding them together, but aye, something that's alread built and seaworthy. It'll be good for a few years, but then when one of the middle ships springs a leak and sinks, you'll lose half of your island.
Once again, I feel kinship with the mighty Dilbert.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Facebook Scramble Statistics

I don't think I know anyone who isn't addicted to Scramble on Facebook, or judging by my Facebook thing, I know a lot of girls with large vocabularies.

Anyhoo, this is a cumulative frequency graph of my scores on Scramble. My average score is about 80, but I get around 85 and 95 most often now.

Pondering how people get huge scores without cheating, I thought about maybe its to do with how 'easy' the board is, and maybe wimmin with large vocabularies just hoover up a greater proportion of the possible words.

I mean, on average your highest possible score for a 5 x 5 grid is just over 1,200, and with my average, I get 7.8% of the highest possible, my spreadsheet says its got a standard deviation of 1.89%, that pretty constant, top whack I get 12%. So if a grid has a low highest possible value, I'll get a low score, and if the grid has a huge highest possible, then I'd get a higher score, but then so would anyone else.

Here, this graph shows a little bit of a correlation between the highest possible score and my achieved score.

So, based on the research carried out so far, if I wanted to beat the highest score in my wee Scramble circle, get to the top of my leaderboard, I'd need a grid with a highest possible score of around 4,500, or more than double the highest scoring grid I've seen.

So maybe that standard deviation is the same for everyone. If someone gets and average of 20% of the possible score. The average game for them will garner a score of 240, and if they're playing for a while, they'll get a grid worth 1,900 and if their stars are aligned, they peak at around 25% they can get their high score of 475.

See what I did there.

Product development

I rather like this wee graph that I found on Blue Matter here, not for the way it shows the adoption of new services and technology has speeded up.

But because it lists the trappings of 21st century civilisation, and show's how the western world has spent a century developing these things, making them affordable to the massed, ubiquitous and available.

So in third world countries, for the poor populations, for all the abuse and exploitation that goes on by the west and by their own corrupt leaders, we can take them from the top left corner to the bottom right.

No need to re-invent the wheel.

Is the touchscreen smartphone the pinnacle of human civilsation? The iPhone, is that it? The moment when every member of the human race can have a touchscreen smartphone and the infrastructure is in place to support it, that's the peak of the machine-age.

**UPDATE**
Eep, I forgot about the multi-touch touchscreen smart phone, when that's ubiquitous, then we've won.

Continuous play on iTunes

Lazyweb, lazyweb,
Idlenet, idlenet,
Your help, I desire.

When I'm listening to music on iTunes, it no longer plays continuously. When I click on a track it plays that track and then just stops. When I click the shuffle button, and then play a tune, it just plays that one tune and doesn't go on to the next.

It's changed. It used to play continuous, shuffling from the end of one track to the start of the next. But I don't know what I've done, but it stops.

I want to seamlessly listen to Talulah Gosh and then The Supernaturals and then Frank Black, but no, it stops dead after "But please, please don't lie to me"

I thought I could fix this problem by installing iTunes 8, but this is doing the same thing.

I've clicked on the wee repeat all button at the bottom, but it just ignores my wishes, my desires to hear continuous music.

What have I done to deserve this. Is it because it knows I'm one of the Unemployable?

or cos I accidentally got honey on my keyboard?

Monday, 26 January 2009

My new hobby...

... cropping morph transitions so you just have a halfway image.

Hey, I think its cool, see.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Addressing the haggis


Addressing the haggis
Originally uploaded by manc_ill_kid
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit!" 'hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

Musical Interlude #35

Hi, this is my cover of The Buggles's Video Killed the Radio Star.
Enjoy...


And if you like it, there's loads more of my covers, over here

Forced Whimsy

New Plimptons video, very season 1 Mighty Booshish.



Go on, tell all your friends about it.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Thoughts spinning round in my head, of things that she said

Ma heid's mince, mostly calling bullshit and 'fuck that shit'. This isn't the place to go into any detail, so instead I'm going to use my blog to list my plans and dreams.

You know sometimes on your CV you have a mission statement or career objective thing, when I first left uni mine said something along the lines of 'In ten years time I want to be the manufacturing manager of a small but internationally reknown manufacturing company in the electronics or consumer product sector', I thought it was quite sensible and wholesome. In the end it took me eight years to get there, and when I looked around, I was a bit crap, not as satisfying as I'd hoped.

So now, my dream is to be floating on an island I built myself out of plastic and garbage, floating around the north Pacific Gyre, with a couple of apple trees and a nice vegetable patch, maybe looking after a server farm for some internet company and trying out different solar panels in my energy farm. That's my dream.

Plans, they're more difficult, so much is beyond my control, but right now my plans are to record an album in February, go to the popfest at the end of February and in the summer go to indietracks. All quite acheivable.

A final thing about aspirations, not so much dreams but enough control to be a plan, T type problems I guess. I want to have a positive amount of money rather than live in debt, I want to get an average traffic to this site of more than 100 a day, and I want a relationship that lasts more then seven months.

Is that okay?

**UPDATE**

After discussing things and stuff with my brother, I think another aspiration would be to be in accomodation, whether its a house or a flat, or whatever, where I got to choose the type of central heating / hot water provision, immersion boiler, combi boiler, condensing boiler. I don't know what these things are, but it would be nice to have to find out and choose.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Charities and government agencies

Over on Labourlist there's a tirade against some article in the guardian that calls the Tory party progressive. I'm pretty sure I haven't voted Tory in the past ten years, so thats my colours nailed to the mast. However, there's a wee bit in the tirade that caught my eye cos it chimes with this fake charities trip.
Which party refuses to explain how it will be cutting planned funding for apprenticeships, charities and much else? And finally, which party’s soundbite admonishes Labour for not “mending the roof while the sun shines”?

Why is the government funding charities? Doesn't them receiving government funding make them a government agency, rather than a charity? If they're a government agency they're covered by the Freedom of Information act, and you can find out anything about them, if they're a charity, they're not.

So if your charity is almost entirely funded by the government, its a government agency, working through a loophole to avoid hassle.

Anyhoo, my government funded charity of the day is The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.

97% of its income comes from the Department of Communities and Local Government, thats £500,000 of tax payers money. They have zero income from donations. The public don't give a shit in any tangible way about Holocaust Memorial Day. Can I have my 10p back please?

Aye, the Holocaust was a big bad thing, but it's covered in history class, take your history GCSE and you'll know about it. On the other hand at the height of Britpop and the nineties, we had another genocide going on Bosnia that claimed a couple of hundred thousand lives and the civil war in the Congo which claimed eight million lives.

Playing both sides

A few years back, during the crazy university days I went along to the National Union of Students conference in Blackpool, representing Strathclyde university where I was studying manufacturing engineering. I believe in the British manufacturing industry.

So at the conference when there was a debate about whether the NUS should campaign against British arms manufacturing, I remember standing speaking to a few thousand leftie students, defending those manufacturers, their jobs and what may have been my career.

Almost ten years later, there was a comment on this blog the other day from some organisation who are holding a demo outside a factory in Brighton which makes parts used in Israeli missile arrays. The organisation would be using the list of Gazan dead that I compiled on this blog.

I feel sorry for the guys in the factory who have to be subjected to it in just doing their job.

Back in Glasgow, one of the suppliers for the company I worked at also made armour plating for tanks. They made vital parts of the hi-fi products we made and it would be a real pain in the ass if a bunch of hippy peaceniks put them out of business.

Aw man, did I do that?

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

We won then

Looks like the internet beat the government as Gordon Brown backs down on the concealing their expenses thing.

Tom from MySociety sums it up:-

This is a huge victory not just for transparency, it’s a bellweather for a change in the way politics works. There’s no such thing as a good day to bury bad news any more, the Internet has seen to that.

Over 7000 people joined a Facebook group, they sent thousands of emails to over 90% of all MPs. Hundreds of thousands of people found out about the story by visiting TheyWorkForYou to find something they wanted to know, reading an email alert, or simply discovered what was going on whilst checking their Facebook or Twitter pages. Almost all of this happened, from nowhere, within 48 hours, putting enough pressure on Parliament to force change.

Make no mistake. This is new, and it reflects the fact that the Internet generation expects information to be made available, and they expect to be able to make up their own minds, not be spoon fed the views of others. This campaign was always about more than receipts, it was about changing the direction of travel, away from secrecy and towards openness.

I'm sceptical about his last line there, for me it was only about receipts, nothing more. It reminds me of the way Socialists try to hijack any demonstration or anti-war march, most people are only signing up for the thing they're signing up for, nothing more.

Anyhoo, this is the most up to date graph of membership accumulation for the Facebook group that's getting credit for it all.

When you're speculating on this sort of thing in future, its not going to be about breaching the 10,000 member barrier to get media coverage, its going to be about getting members and getting them motivated quickly. Its the gradient of the graph thats important, not the height.

Shit shit shit

According to the interective crime maps recently released by the police, in my sub-borough there's about one car stolen a month, or less. If I leave my car unlocked there is sod all chance of being stolen.

I got a parking ticket this morning. I so can't afford to pay it.

Five months ago I paid for a parking permit from Camden Council. But they put a parking suspension thing in place and everyone on the street got a parking ticket.

Apparently they'd put up notification notices, but I didn't see it, and now I have to pay £60 or £120.

I counted five cars with tickets when I left the house this morning and the ticket guy still going strong. Let's say he'd zapped eight cars. So in my street, you're eight times more likely to get a parking ticket than you are to have your car stolen.

They have my address, I gave them it when I applied for the parking permit. Could they no have sent me a letter about the parking suspension?

So, not only am I unable to pay my rent, but I have to pay the council £60 cos I left my car in the same place I usually leave my car every day outside my house.

Hmm, if my Job Seekers Allowance comes through, that's about £55 a week, slightly less that the parking fine. Does the money all circulate from the same council pot?

**UPDATE**
Hmph, there's a removal van parked where my car was.
Rape me for parking
Shouldn't Abels be paying me for the inconvenence, and will they pay my parking fine for me?

Fake Charities aye

I'm reading a book called Fat by Rob Grant, the chap who half wrote the TV show Red Dwarf. Its about the obesity epidemic, the book's a work of fiction but has some interesting reasoning in it. For example:-
'...Bald men don't live as long as hirsute men, in general.'
...
'As I say, in general. Its probably because they have higher levels of testosterone, which appears to lower life expectancy. Now, nobody in their right mind would suggest that giving bald men hair implants would somehow bestow on them the same life expectancy as a naturally hairy man, now would they?'

I dunno if the initial thingi is correct, that bald men don't live as long, but the reasoning is clever.

Anyhoo, it goes onto cover Austin Bradford Hill, who discovered that seven non-smokers died each year from lung cancer per hundred thousand, compared to a hundred and sixty-six smokers, that's 24 times more risk for the smokers. And points out that now everyone thinks that smoking causes lung cancer. It probably does, but that initial research doesn't prove it. If anything, it suggests that people who are likely to die of lung cancer smoke. Maybe the propensity of lung cancer causes people to crave cigarettes.

Alas, to save lives we have the creation of the nanny state, saving us from ourselves, and the burden of risk was lowered. Whereas Austin Bradford Hill proved smokers were 2400% more likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, now proving a risk of less than twice will get you published.

Well, that's what the book says. I was sceptical so I checked a couple of examples on google, this one has a 14% greater risk (or 1.14 times more likely to get prostate cancer if you use pesticides), this one has twice the risk of getting brain cancer, even parliament has the increased risk of cancer from pesticides at 9%. So that's me convinced.

So then the rant goes on about how 'new' links between a disease and a product are 'discovered', lawyers move in, governments draft new legislation to protect us.
'It also gave birth to the single-interest fanatic groups, such as the Soil Association, Consensus on Salt and Health, and Action on Smoking and Health: groups who weren't interested in balanced arguements or genuine research or serious discovery. All they wanted was to prove their case, and so they funded their own 'research', the entire aim of which was to give them the results they wanted.'

Aye, so over on the other channel, Devil's Kitchen has started a site, http://fakecharities.org/ which outs charities which are funded by the government who in return lobby the government on specific issues, help draft laws, and provide soundbites for news stories warning us of risks.

The good Devil is a bit of a bitter soul and assumes any charity which receives any money from the government (or governments) is clearly a fraud. This policy seems to tie up some otherwise innocentish charities along with the bad'uns.

Brake for example, a road safety charity has an income of around £1,000,000 of which only about £60,000 comes from the government
compared to
Alcohol Concern which gets around £500,000 from the government out of a total income of around £1,600,000
or
the aforementioned Action on Smoking and Health which receives about £200,000 from the Department of health and £16,000 from voluntary donations.

Hmph, The Soil Association get sod all from the government (heh, 'sod' see, its like a pun) and Consensus Action on Salt and Health, have such a small budget, they barely figure on the charities commission.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Names of the dead in Gaza

From trawling news reports, here are 572 names out of 1300 Palestinian victims of the recent Gaza conflict, with ages and dates where known.

Saturday 27-Dec-2008
Aaed Imad Kheera , 14
Abdullah Al-Rayess, 17
Ahmed Al-Homs, 18
Ahmed Rasmi Abu Jazar, 16
Ahmed Riad Mohammed Al-Sinwar, 3
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Halabi, 18
alaat Mokhless Bassal, 18
Ali Marwan Abu Rabih, 18
Allam Nehrou Idriss, 18
Anan Saber Atiyah, 13
Camelia Al-Bardini, 10
Haneen Wael Mohammed Daban, 15
Hassan Ali Al-Akhrass, 3
Ibtihal Kechko, 10
Khaled Sami Al-Astal, 15
Lama Talal Hamdan, 10
Mohammed Jaber Howeij, 17
Nimr Mustafa Amoom, 10
Odai Hakeem Al-Mansi, 4
Tamer Hassan Al-Akhrass, 5

Sunday 28-Dec-2008
Muqbil Eid Aj-Jarabi, 92

Monday 29-Dec-2008
Ahmed Youssef Khello, 18
Ahmed Ziad Al-Absi, 14
Dina Anwar Baaloosha, 7
Ikram Anwar Baaloosha, 14
Imad Nabeel Abou Khater, 16
Ismail Talal Hamdan, 10
Jawaher Anwar Baaloosha, 8
Jihad Saleh Ghobn, 10
Lina Anwar Baaloosha, 7
Mahmoud Nabeel Ghabayen, 15
Moaz Yasser Abou Tair, 6
Mohammed Basseel Madi, 17
Mohammed Jalal Abou Tair, 18
Mohammed Ziad Al-Absi, 14
Samar Anwar Baaloosha, 6
Shady Youssef Ghobn, 12
Sudqi Ziad Al-Absi, 3
Tahrier Anwar Baaloosha, 17
Wissam Akram Eid, 14

Tuesday 30-Dec-2008
Haya Talal Hamdan, 8

Wednesday 31-Dec-2008
‘Aasim Abu Kamil
‘Aasim Ash-Shaer
‘Alaa ‘Uqeilan
‘Alaa Al-Kahlout
‘Alaa Al-Qatrawi
‘Alaa Nasr Ar-Ra’i
Abd ar-Raziq Shahtu
Abd as-Sami’ An-Nashar
Abdul Qader Nizar Rayyan, 12
Abdul Rahman Nizar Rayyan, 6
Abdul-Fattah Abu ‘Uteiwi
Abdul-Fattah Fadil
Abdullah Al-Ghafari
Abdullah Juneid
Abdullah Rantisi
Abdullah Wahbi
Abid Ad-Dahshan
Abu Ali Ar-Rahhal
Adham Al-Areini
Ahmad ‘Udah
Ahmad Abu Jazar
Ahmad Abu Mousa
Ahmad Al-Halabi
Ahmad Al-Hums
Ahmad Al-Kurd
Ahmad Al-Lahham
Ahmad At-Talouli
Ahmad Radwan
Ahmad Tbeil
Ahmad Zu’rub
Ahmed Kanouh, 10
Aicha Nizar Rayyan, 3
Ali Awad
Ameen Az-Zarbatli, 10
Amjad Abu Jazar
Anan Ghaliya
Anas Hamad
Anwar Al-Bardini
Anwar Al-Kurd
Arafat Farajallah
Ashraf Abu Suhweil
Ashraf Ash-Sharabasi
Assaad Nizar Rayyan, 2
Aya Nizar Rayyan, 12
Ayman Abu Ammouna
Ayman An-Nahhal
Azmi Abu Dalal
Bahaa Abu Zuhri
Basil Dababish
Bassam Makkawi
Bilal Omar
Camellia Al-Bardini
Eyhab Ash-Shaer
Eyman Natour
Fayiz Abu Al-Qumsan
Fayiz Ayada Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Riyad Al-Madhoun
Gharib Al-Assar
Hakam Abu Mansi
Halima Nizar Rayyan, 5
Hamada Abu Duqqa
Hamada Safi
Hamdan Abu Nu’eira
Hamid Yasin
Hanaa Al-Mabhouh
Hasan Abid Rabbo
Hasan Al-Majayda
Hasan Baraka
Hatim Abu Sha’ira
Haydar Hassuna
Haytham Ash-Sher
Haytham Hamdan
Hisham ‘Uweida
Hisham Abu ‘Uda
Hisham Al-Masdar
Hisham Rantisi
Humam An-Najjar
Husam Ayyash
Hussein ‘Uroq
Hussein Al-A’raj
Hussein Dawood
Ibrahim Abu Ar-Rus
Ibrahim Al-Jamaj
Ibrahim Mahfoudh
Imab Abu Al-Hajj
Isam Al-Ghirbawi
Isma’il Al-Husari
Isma’il Ghneim
Isma’il Salem
Jabir Jarbu’
Khalid Abu Hasna
Khalid An-Nashasi
Khalid Shaheen
Khalid Zu’rub
Ma’moun Sleim
Mahmoud Abu Harbeid
Mahmoud Abu Matar
Mahmoud Abu Nahla
Mahmoud Abu Tabour
Mahmoud Al-Khalidi
Mahmoud Mustafa Ashour, 13
Mansour Al-Gharra
Maryam Nizar Rayyan, 5
Mazin ‘Ulayyan
Moaz-Uldeen Allah Al-Nasla, 5
Mohammed Nafez Mohaissen, 10
Mu’ein Al-Hasan
Mu’ein Hamada
Muhammad Abd An-Nabi
Muhammad Abdullah Aziz
Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab Aziz
Muhammad Abu ‘Abdo
Muhammad Abu ‘Amir
Muhammad Abu Libda
Muhammad Abu Sabra
Muhammad Al-Ghimri
Muhammad Al-Habeil
Muhammad Al-Halabi
Muhammad Al-Mabhouh
Muhammad An-Najari
Muhammad An-Nuri
Muhammad Asaliyya
Muhammad Awad
Muhammad Az-ahra
Muhammad Az-Zatma
Muhammad Barakat
Muhammad Gaza
Muhammad Hamad
Muhammad Hboush
Muhammad Muhanna
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad Sha’ban
Muhammad Tabasha
Mumtaz An- Najjar
Mustafa Abou Ghanimah, 16
Mustafa Al-Khateib
Mustafa As-Sabbak
Na’im Al-Anzi
Na’im Al-Kafarna
Na’im Kheit
Nabil Al-Breim
Nahidh Abu Namous
Nasser Al-Gharra
Nathir Al-Louqa
Ni’ma Al-Maghari
Nimir Amoum
Omar Darawsha
Omran Ar-ran
Osama Abu Ar-Reish
Osama Abu Ar-Rus
Osama Darweish
Ossman Bin Zaid Nizar Rayyan, 3
Oyoon Jihad Al-Nasla, 16
Raafat Shamiyya
Raed Dughmush
Rafiq Na’im
Rami Ash-Sheikh
Ramzi Al-Haddad
Reem Nizar Rayyan, 4
Rif’at Sa’da
Riziq Salman
Sa’id Hamada
Sabir Al-Mabhouh
Salim Abu Shamla
Salim Al-Gharir
Salim Qreinawi
Sarah Al-Hawajiri
Shadi Sbakhi
Shahada Abd ar-Rahman
Shahada Quffa
Suhayb Abd al-‘aal
Suhayb Abu ‘Iffat
Suheil Tambura
Tal’at Basal
Tal’at Salman
Tamir Abu Afsha
Tamir Qreinawi
Tawfiq Al-Fallit
Tawfiq Jabir
Thaer Madi
Wadei’ Al-Muzayyin
Walid Abu Hein
Walid Jabir Abu Hein
Wasim Azaza
Yahya Al-Hayik
Yahya Mahmoud Sheikha
Yahya Sheikha
Yasser Al-Lahham
Yasser Ash-Shaer
Yehya Awnee Mohaissen, 10
Younis Ad-Deiri
Yousif Al-Anani
Yousif Al-Jallad
Yousif An-Najjar
Yousif Diab
Yousif Sha’ban
Yousif Thabit
Ziyad Abu ‘Ubada

Thursday 01-Jan-2009
Abdul Sattar Waleed Al-Astal, 12
Abed Rabbo Iyyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal, 10
Abed Ziad Al-Nemr, 12
Ahmed Al-Meshharawi, 16
Ahmed Khodair Sobaih, 17
Ahmed Mohammed Al-Adham, 1
Ahmed Sameeh Al-Kafarneh, 17
Ahmed Tobail, 16
Akram Ziad Al-Nemr, 18
Asmaa Ibrahim Afana, 12
Asraa Kossai Al-Habash, 10
Assad Khaled Al-Meshharawi, 17
Attia Rushdi Al-Khawli, 16
Aya Ziad Al-Nemr, 8
Christine Wadih El-Turk, 6
Ghassan Nizar Rayyan, 15
Hamada Ibrahim Mousabbah, 10
Hamza Zuhair Tantish, 12
Hani Mohammed Al-Silawi, 10
Hassan Hejjo, 14
Ismail Abdullah Abou Sneima, 4
Khalil Mohammed Mokdad, 18
Luay Yahya Abou Haleema, 17
Mahmoud Khalil Al-Mashharawi, 12
Mahmoud Majed Mahmoud Abou Nahel, 16
Mahmoud Sami Assliya, 3
Mahmoud Samsoom, 16
Mahmoud Zahir Tantish, 17
Mohammed Abed Berbekh, 18
Mohammed Akram Abou Harbeed, 18
Mohammed Faraj Hassouna, 16
Mohammed Iyad Abed Rabbo Al-Astal, 13
Mohammed Mousabbah, 14
Mohammed Moussa Al-Silawi, 10
Mohannad Al-Tatnaneeh, 18
Moussa Youssef Berbekh, 16
Rajeh Ziadeh, 18
Ruba Mohammed Fadl Abou-Rass, 13
Shareef Abdul Mota Armeelat, 15
Shaza Al-Abed Al-Habash, 16
Sujud Mahmoud Al-Derdesawi, 10
Wadih Ayman Omar, 4
Wi'am Jamal Al-Kafarneh, 2
Youssef Abed Berbekh, 10
Zeinab Nizar Rayyan, 12
Ziad Mohammed Salma Abou Sneima, 9

Friday 02-Jan-2009
Fadi Shebat, 10 or 20
Foad Al-Matuq

Sunday 04-Jan-2009
Ahmed Abu Sultan
Ahmed Tantish
Ali Al Sous
Hamaoda Sultan
Mueen Abu Aljdya
Muhammad Al Atar
Osama Sliman

Monday 05-Jan-2009
Ahmed Amer Abou Eisha, 5
Ahmed Attiyah Al-Semouni, 4
Ameen Attiyah Al-Semouni, 4
Arafat Mohammed Abdul Dayem, 10
Aya Al-Sersawi, 5
Aya Youssef Al-Defdah, 13
Diana Mosbah Saad, 17
Faraj Ammar Al-Helou, 2
Fathiyya Ayman Al-Dabari, 4
Ghaydaa Amer Abou Eisha, 6
Hanadi Bassem Khaleefa, 13
Hazem Alewa, 8
Ibrahim Abdullah Merjan, 13
Ibrahim Rouhee Akl, 17
Khalil Mohammed Helless, 12
Mahmoud Mohammed Abu Kamar, 15
Marwan Hein Kodeih, 6
Mohammed Amer Abu Eisha, 8
Montasser Alewah, 12
Moumen Alewah, 9
Moumen Mahmoud Talal Alaw, 10
Nada Redwan Mardi, 5
Naji Nidal Al-Hamlawi, 16
Omar Mahmoud Al-Baradei, 12
Rahaf Ahmed Saeed Al-Azaar, 4
Rahma Mohammed Al-Semouni, 18
Ramadan Ali Felfel, 14
Raya Al-Sersawi, 5
Shahad Mohammed Hijjih, 3

Tuesday 06-Jan-2009
Abdullah Mohammed Abdullah, 10
Adam Mamoun Al-Kurdee, 3
Ahed Iyad Kodas, 15
Ahmed Shaher Khodeir, 14
Ala', 8
Alaa Ismail Ismail, 18
Alaa Iyad Al-Daya, 8
Ali Iyad Al-Daya, 10
Amani Mohammed Al-Daya, 4
Areej Mohammed Al-Daya, 3 months
Aseel Moeen Deeb, 17
Baraa Ramez Al-Daya, 2
Bilal Hamza Obaid, 15
Doha, 3
Doha Mohammed Al-Daya, 5
Fayez Al Daya
Filasteen Al-Daya, 5
Hozaifa Jihad Al-Kahloot, 17
Ibrahim Ahmed Maarouf, 14
Imad Abu Askar, 18
Ismail Adnan Hweilah, 15
Issam Sameer Deeb, 12
Kamar Mohammed Al-Daya, 3
Khitam Iyad Al-Daya, 9
Lina Abdul Menem Hassan, 10
Merwan Ubaid
Mohammed Bassem Eid, 18
Mohammed Bassem Shakoura, 10
Mohammed Deeb, 17
Mohammed Eid, 18
Mohammed Iyad Al-Daya, 6
Muhammad Al Daya, 1
Mustafa Moeen Deeb, 12
Noor Moeen Deeb, 2
Rafik Abdul Basset Al-Khodari, 15
Raneen Abdullah saleh, 12
Rania, 12
Rawans Al Daya
Sahar Hatem Dawood, 10
Salsabeel Ramez Al-Daya, 6 months
Sharafuldeen Iyad Al-Daya, 7
Sharf Al Din, 5
Thaer Shaker Karmout, 17
Youssef Mohammed Al-Daya, 1
Youssef Saad Al-Kahloot, 17
Zakariya Yahya Al-Taweel, 5

Wednesday 07-Jan-2009
Abdul Rahman Mohammmed Ashoor, 12
Ahmed Fawzi Labad, 18
Ahmed Jaber Howeij, 7
Amal Khaled Abed Rabbo, 3
Ayman Al-Bayed, 16
Fareed Ata Hassan Azzam, 13
Habeeb Khaled Al-Khahloot, 12
Hamam Issa, 1
Hasan El Atal
Hassan Ata Hassan Azzam, 2
Hassan Rateb Semaan, 18
Houssam Raed Sobeh, 12
Ibrahim Kamal Awaja, 9
Mahmoud Hameed, 17
Mohammed Fareed Al-Maasawabi, 16
Mohammed Khaled Al-Kahloot, 15
Mohammed Moeen Deeb, 17
Mohammed Nasseem Salama Saba, 16
Mohammed Samir Hijji, 16
Redwan Mohammed Ashoor, 10
Samar Khaled Abed Rabbo, 2
Suad Khaled Abed Rabbo, 6
Toufic Khaled Al-Khahloot, 10

Thursday 08-Jan-2009
Anas Arif Abou Baraka, 7
Azmi Diab, 16
Baraa Iyad Shalha, 6
Basma Yasser Al-Jeblawi, 5
Ibrahim Akram Abou Dakkka, 12
Ibrahim Moeen Jiha, 15
Jehad Kawereh
Matar Saad Abou Haleema, 17
Mohammed Akram Abou Dakka, 14
Mohammed Hikmat Abou Haleema, 17
Shahd Saad Abou Haleema, 15

Friday 09-Jan-2009
Ahmed Ibrahim Abou Kleik, 17
Alaa Ahmed Jaber, 11
Baha-Uldeen Fayez Salha, 5
Diyaa-Uldeen Fayez Salah, 14
Fatema Saed, 20
Fatima Raed Jadullah, 10
Ghanima Sultan Halawa, 11
Ismail Ayman Yasseen, 18
Mikbel Abed Aljarbeeh
Mohammed Atef Abou Al-Hussna, 15
Rana Fayez Salha, 12
Rola Fayez Salha, 13
Thoraya Saed, 20

Saturday 10-Jan-2009
Ahmed Al Amodi
Ala' Mortaja
Amir Mansi
Deena Baalousha
Habeeb B.A., 10
Haya Hamdan
Lama Hamdan
Osama Nahas
Sameh A, 10
Shams Omar
Yahya Hayek

Sunday 11-Jan-2009
A’tah Ad-Dahduh, 19
Abd Al Rahman
Abdallah Arafat Shamlakh, 37
Abed Ar-Rahman Tawfeeq Al-Kashef, 21
Ala' Fathi Basheer, 40
Ali Ishaq Shamlakh, 23
Amal A'lush, 15
Baha Khaled A'bed, 25
Belal Yahya, 19
Bilal Khalaf, 19
Ebrahim Khalad, 35
Ebrahim Salma, 25
Fares Hamouda, 1
Fatima Ma'rof, 16
Haitham Yaser Ma'rof, 12
Hanan An-Najjar, 41
Husein Abu Sulkltan
Ibrahim A'yesh Suleiman, 25
Ibrahim Khalaf, 35
Ibrahim Yousef Hamdan, 18
Isam Ishaq Shamlakh, 22
Jameelah Hassan, 75
Jehan Ma'rof, 16
Khawla Ghaban, 16
Lamia Basheer, 40
Mahmoud Ahmad Shamlakh, 21
Mamoud Taher Al-Jalab, 70
Mohammad Hamouda, 22
Mohammad Kahlil At-Teter, 28
Mohammad Mansur Se’da, 21
Muhand Mazen An-Naji, 21
Mus'ab Khader
Nour Abu Amish, 24
Ramzy Rafe’Abu Ghaneema, 23
Sahar Ghaban, 14
Suheib Basheer, 18
Usama Abu Rajileh, 17

Monday 12-Jan-2009
Ala' Mansour
Amal Muhammad Al-Madhoun
Ayat Al-Banna
Jabar Habeeb
Jehad Daloul
Muhammad Al Hadad, 19
Muhammad Jamal Muhamdain
Shaiboub Shambali

Tuesday 13-Jan-2009
Ahmad Abu Gazar
Ahmad Kamal Ad-Dalo, 27
Ala Munther Abdel Shafe’y, 37
Ali At-Tanany, 26
As’ad Sa’dy Ahmad, 24
Ashraf Hamdi Ayyad, 23
Bilal Muhammad Deibeh, 19
Fathi Yousef Al-Mazny, 18
Hamad Hassan Al-Barawi, 25
Hanan Al-Najjar, 41
Hassan Al-Saqa
Hassan Muhammad Abu Zamar, 22
Hatem Dib Abu Daf, 23
Ibrahim Ismael Dababesh, 22
Kamel Jamil As-Sarhi, 22
Khaled Sa’dy Al-Abed, 22
Khalil Hamdan Ahmad An Najjar, 75
Mahmoud Ahmad Juha, 19
Muhammad Hazem Abu Labad, 20
Muhammad Khalil Ibrahim Abu Leila, 20
Muhammad Maher Muhammad, 23
Muhammad Nader Abu Sha’ban, 17
Nael Mahmoud Ali, 25
Rohiyeh Ahmad Suleiman, 45
Saed Muhammad Hassan, 21
Usama Ahmad Al-Absy, 24
Yehyah Jamil Ayyad, 30
Yousef Muhammad Ash-Sharbasy, 27
Yousef Ummar Labad, 23

Wednesday 14-Jan-2009
Hamdi Farid Abu Hamada, 27
Hanan Al Najar
Hanan Al-Masry
Hanan Sha’ban An-Najjar, 40
Hassan Shtaiwi, 68
Haytham Abu Al-Qumsan, 19
Hussein Ash-Sha’er
Iyad Al-Maqqousy, 27
Izz Ad-Din Al-Farra, 15
Jaji Ramzi
Kafa Muhammad Al-Matuq, 35
Kiffah Lum Towwak, 35
Mahmoud Baker Az-Za’mout, 20
Mamdouh Shaiber, 18
Mansour Madi
Mohammad Abu Sneimeh
Mohammed Abu Kamil
Muhammad Aqila, 7
Muneer Abu Sneimeh
Osama Abu Jayyab
Ramzy Rawhy Awad
Saed Abu Halima
Shafa Al-Mutawak
Tawfiq Saleh Ad-Diry, 27

Thursday 15-Jan-2009
Abd Al latif
Ahed Abu Asi
Ahmad Al-Bitar
Issa Ermelat, 14
Mahmoud Abu Watfah
Mahmoud Al Noq
Muhammad Saleh
Said Siyam, 50
Saleh Abu Sharkh
Sameeh Al Naoq

Friday 16-Jan-2009
Abed Ar-Rahman As-Suri
Amir Abu Riyala
Aya Abuelaish, 13
Bisan Abuelaish, 20
Hamuda Thabet
Mamdouh Abdel Latif Abu Ruk, 22
Mayar Abuelaish, 15
Mohmmad Issa Ash-Sharafi
Nur Abuelaish, 17

Saturday 17-Jan-2009
Ammar Farawneh, 18
Ibrahim Muhammad Sharab
Kassab Muhammad Shurrab

Sunday 18-Jan-2009
Abd As-Samad Abu Rejlieh, 24

Date not known
Ala Alkaram, 11
Ala Esmat, 12
Aya Haddad, 15
Esmat Alkaram, 12
Fadel Al-Batran
Farid Al-Helo, 23
Fathi Dawoud Alkaram, 42
Hamdi Ibrahim Al-Banna, 23
Hanin Al-Batran, 19
Hatem Haddad, 21
Husna Haddad, 45
Hussam Al-Jam’asy, 35
Mahmoud Abu Salim, 19
Medhat Abed, 24
Mu’taz Abdel Muttaleb Dahman, 21
Muhamad AJ-Jojo, 15
Muhammad Majed Husein, 18
Na’im Hamadeh, 20
Oday Salameh Haddad
Rebhi Shuhebar, 25
Tafileh Esmat, 12
Tamer Faza, 20
Tha’er Suhel Ali Hassan, 19

Concealment

I've joined the I object to MPs concealing their expenses over on Facebook. There was a load of fuss about MP's concealing their expenses against Freedom of Information requests a few months back, it went to the high court or something and the law told MPs to stop being assholes. Briefly 'the public' thought they were goingto find out how much of our month each MP spends and on what, but the other day when the government announced the third Heathrow runway, they sneaked out changes to the Freedom of Information law.

£1600 for window cleaning and £1920 for plants indeed.

So here's a wee graph of the membership of the Facebook group over time. Tom Steinburg from MySociety, who's running the show, reckons that if they get more than ten thousand members, the story will get more news coverage and maybe MPs will figure out how much public opinion goes against them. Its funny how these things work.

Since he sent out a Facebook message urging people to sign up to the group, the membership has rocketed by about 300 an hour, so getting 10,000 before Thursday's vote should be achieveable. But to really get in the news on Thursday morning, its going to have to happen sometime tomorrow morning.

So if you're reading this, and you're in the UK and on Facebook, then join up to the group there, and then send out invitey things to anyone you think might be slightly interested.

**UPDATE**
List of MPs who've pledged to vote against the government's order or have signed Jo Swinson's EDM:
Alexander, Danny
Barrett, John
Bottomley, Peter
Burrowes, David (Enfield Southgate)
Burstow, Paul
Carswell, Douglas
Corbyn, Jeremy (Islington North)
Davies, Dai
Davies, Philip
Davey, Edward
Drew, David
Farron, Timothy
Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Fisher, Mark
George, Andrew
Harris, Evan
Harvey, Nick (North Devon)
Hoey, Kate
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horwood, Martin (Cheltenham)
Hunter, Mark
Jones, Lynne
Key, Robert
Lancaster, Mark
Leech, John
Loughton, Tim
Moore, Michael
Redwood, John
Rennie, Willie
Russell, Bob
Sanders, Adrian
Schapps, Grant
Shepherd, Richard
Stunell, Andrew
Swinson, Jo
Watkinson, Angela (Havering)
Webb, Steve
Wiggin, Bill
Willis, Phil
Winnick, David
Thats 40 MPs, 6% of the total

Still on the job hunt trail

Getting a phonecall this morning about an interview wasn't enough, I gotta pound the streets.

Right now, I'm in my favourite bar in Camden, The Oh Bar. It is Camden's answer to The 13th Note and The Night and Day, even the barstaff look the same.

I was the only punter in until a chap popped in to drop off his CV, looking for a job.

I remember when I did that, '96 Manchester, schoolie in need of a job, I set off walking down the main road, stopping at every pub, asking if they had any vacancies until I got a job. The fifth place I came to was The Bridgewater in Worsley, a few days later I was a barman.

I fear I can't work as a barman now, too many years spent drinking and getting snobbish and pissed off with crap service.

Anyhoo, I want to pound the streets looking for a temp job. This ain't Glasgow where you can pop into Data and Secretarial People and walk out seconds later with a temp job for the summer.

There's a handful of agencies in this town, I'm signed up with them online, but its not the same as popping in every few days 'Hey Lauren, I was just passing, has anything come up?'

I've got a wee post it note with half a dozen agency office addresses, but they're all miles apart. As soon as I find a coffee shop with wifi that works, I'm going to lay out a google map with all of this town's agencies, so I can plan my route better.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Monday, 19 January 2009

LNFGIES TV week 03

The THIRD week of Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy TV, an eleven video long playlist this time.



Courtesy of Fortuna Pop at The Luminaire on Tuesday
Still Flyin
The Grave Architects
Brontosaurus Chorus

Courtesy of How Does It Feel at Jamm on Thursday
The Mountain Parade
The Moustache of Insanity
Monster Bobby

Courtesy of Fortuna Pop at The buffalo Bar on Friday
Jeans Goes POP
The Hillfields
Town Bike
The Gresham Flyers

And on Saturday at The 13th Note
The Plimptons

Trouble in Europe

This ain't covered so much by the BBC, looks like there's been a few outbursts of riots over in the east end of Europe:

Lithuania Saturday 17/01/09
Latvia and Bulgaria Tuesday 13/01/09

This is on top of the rioting we had in Greece before Christmas.

Now Charles Crawford is talking about the economic strains within the Eurozone are threatening to tear it apart. Well, Ireland are threatening to quit the Euro if they can't sort out the economy, which might cause some trouble if they get round to holding a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Why can't politics be more like The West Wing

My favourite episode of The West Wing was season 5's Shutdown. I can't quite remember all the details, and wikipedia will no doubt prove me wrong, but what I thought happened was that the federal budgets weren't approved, and so the government ran out of money.

All non-essential staff were sent home and I like to imagine, the public sector ground to a halt. It neatly demonstrated that there were limits to government spending, and convincingly portrayed what it looked like. In The West Wing, the financial crisis with public services suspended and all that, only lasted a few days of posturing between the President and congress.

Here in the UK, probly 30% into a recession, where great swathes of the public are losing their jobs and tightening their belts and cutting spending whereever they can, our government just keeps spending. They don't see any limit as to the amount they can dish out.

Admittedly, just printing money is slightly different to borrowing that what you can't pay back.

But please, can't the government just stop spending money, and let the population spend the money themselves, unfettered.

I'm thinking, if they want to get the economy going again, they could do it in little tiny ways, stopping sticking their noses in. Look, this thing about banning fast food joints within 400m of schools, will be putting all fast food joints within 400m of school out of business. Its not good for business, it costs jobs and takes money out of transactions. And that business of banning tobacco displays, which is going to put thousands of small shops out of business, even though the government / Department of Health bought the consultation themselves. Putting businesses out of business is bad for business.

Why can't the government just run out of money, everyone else has.

Meh, I'm going to struggle to pay my rent in two week's time.

The day after my last exam in 2001 I started working, and for the next seven or so years, I was full-time employed or between jobs for a few days, until the start of December 2008. Somehow I have no savings, no money. Aye, I paid off my student loan, but other than that, I've accumulated zero wealth, I have nothing to show for my labours.

My car, computer and snail trail across the internet doesn't count.

I have failed.

Population pyramids in The Gaza Strip

So I've been following the conflict in Gaza quite closely. War and randomly killing innocent people is bad. And whilst I've naturally been tracking the body count over the 22 days of conflict (about 60 a day), I've also been building up a list of the names of dead from the news reports and various blogs, and where available, keeping a note of the ages of the dead.

So what we have below is a column graph of the ages of the fatalities. Its only about 10% of the total killed, but I guess its an accurate approximation of the complete picture.
The overwealming majority of the fatalities are between the ages of 17 and 25, men in the prime of their youth. What a waste.

On of the things we mustn't forget about the Gaza Strip is that the median age is just 17 (compared to around 38 for the US and UK) and the vast majority of the population are 'children' as can be seen from this population pyramid.

Its quite surprising that more children weren't killed if the slaughter was as indiscriminate as the media has tended to suggest.

Musical Interlude #34

This is my version of The Charlatans's Just When You're Thinking Things Over on my unplugged out of tune electric guitar.

Ooh, just realised, I also supply my own backing vocals apart from at the end when I got my old flatmate Lynne to join in.

I wish I knew how to play the solo. That would have been cool.

For more entertaining cover versions and original songs, check out my indexish page here.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Sleazys update


Latest from Sleazys
Originally uploaded by manc_ill_kid
The latest pic from the messageboard in the ladies toilets in Nice n Sleazys in Glasgow.

Dem girls, dem girls, dey all love me.

More fake charities

Another excellent post on Devil's Kitchen outing DrugScope for being a fake charity
Department of Health S64 Grant: £300,000

Other Government departments and EU: £710,629

Donations: £2,838

Just think of how much government spending could be cut by getting rid of charities that only exist to lobby government and only exist cos the government pay for them. That could be like 10p less on my tax bill. Can I have my money back?

And also the rather heart-warming news that recreational drug use has been falling over the last ten years for 16-24 year olds.

Some quality reporting from the BBC there.

Actually there was a thing on BoingBoing this morning that caught my eye:-
...dangerously high levels of salt, fat, sugar...

These are all substances that are vital to keep us fit and healthy, and a burger will never contain a 'dangerously' high level. Its almost like some people think that food is a conspiracy to kill us, rather than something that keeps us alive.

Plane crash causes

That plane crash thing yesterday where it landed in the Hudson River and there were no fatalities. Whilst all the articles I've seen are quite clear and certain
Government officials do not believe the crash is related to terrorism.

The FBI said there was no suggestion of terrorist involvement

Which can only mean one thing...

The crash was caused by aliens.

If it wasn't, they would have said so, wouldn't they?

Actually, more intrigue, The Mirror has removed the reference to the FBI statement, so it only remains in the google search.

Maybe it wasn't aliens, but it was terrorists after all.

Or maybe it was the bogeyman, wooooh.

Did we vote for this?


Exciting times in parliament yesterday as John McDonnell, MP for Hayes and Harlington in the Heathrow flightpath, picked up the mace. This is a neat thing MPs can do to show their contempt for parliament. It may have been scripted, but I think its neat that John was doing what his constituents voted him in for.

Its just a kind of shame that it doesn't matter.

The Labour Party are trying to make gains in the blogosphere with their LabourList blog, its a bit slow going compared to sites like order-order or Iain Dale. You get great swathes of 24 hour periods with no posts, and all comments are moderated. I think I'm addicted, I keep commenting, hoping for some kind of recognition and acceptance, please love me, but so far I have a 17% success rate.

I left a comment on the Heathrow story:-
Did the people of Hayes and Harlington vote for the wrong MP

But it didn't get through moderation. Bah.

Part of my on-going battle against things that go against democracy, like the way my flatmate tried to explain to me that everyone else in the flat had decided we were getting in new plates and cutlery and I owed them £8. Or how the police are getting taser guns and the people never voted for anything like that, and form 696 to regulate bands playing gigs in pubs, no one ever voted for that either.

We never got a choice in the matter.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Zoids

Aw man, I found this cool site that got scans of every issue of the old Zoids comic from Marvel UK in the 80s. It used to be in the back few pages of Secret Wars and then Spiderman.

Back when I got into comics the first time round, we'd get Transformers, and then Secret Wars, Spiderman and Zoids and then GI Joe. A friend called Frog would bring round The Eagle every week too.

We sold most of them back in the 90s, some car boot sale when everyone was skint.

I think Zoids were my favourites, the most cultish and nichest of all of them cos it was just a UK think until the Japanese manga version came out. According to Wikipedia, Zoids was one of the first ventures of legendary comic writer Grant Morrison.

Check out the first story in this series here, talk about bleak.

Wealth creation re-visited

Aw man, there was some discussion on anorak years ago about wealth creation, and adding value, I think and at some point, having established that as a manufacturing engineer who takes cheap components, connects them together and sells them on for a price higher than the original parts, I am definitely in the business of wealth creation, I asked if anyone else on the messageboard worked in wealth creation. The the closest thing to it was someone who worked for a charity, getting donations from companies to pay for the retraining of the unemployed or homeless.

I don't see how moving money from one pile to another really counts as wealth creation. But there's a great spectrum and degrees of what is or isn't.

Since then I've changed my thinking a wee bit. Musicians are the ultimate wealth creators. Say you've got a pub with an acoustic guitar in the corner and people just chat amongst themselves, no one pays to go it. If you have a band playing, you can charge a fiver on the door, the musicians have made the pub experience more valuable by making music out of silence. And furthermore, if you have Leonard Cohen playing in this pub, you can charge £80 on the door and the place would be packed, Leonard Cohen is adding that much more value, and creating so much more wealth, with the same raw materials.

Anyhoo, the wealth creation debate has popped up on the blogsphere, starting on Coffeehouse covering Pete Osbourne pointing out that “not a single member of the Cabinet has ever occupied a wealth-creating job.”, Iain Dale wading in, and Tim Worstall correcting him and all manner of other blogs chipping in.

So, my take is that there's a whole spectrum, from lawyers and politicians who consume wealth, teachers and charities who kind of create wealth, manufacturers and rice farmers who add value and time to raw materials and at the pinnacle, musicians who conjure it out of thin air.

You need a mixed bag of talents in government and it would be nice if someone there had actually done it.

Balance

Ths morning the beer in my pint glass was saying that one of the problems with the world is poverty and how its all unbalanced. Maybe she's right, but I reckon in the great scheme of things, the world is more balanced and the gap between rich and poor in the world is smaller than its ever been in recorded history. In measures of both relative and absoluteness.

And here goes my reasoning...

This wikipedia article lists the richest / most wealthy historical figures, its worked out using economics witchcraft and a the percentage of their nation's wealth that they possess.

The top ten list goes from Tsar Nicholas II with 2.704 Trillion $USD (adjusted with inflation) to Caesar Basil II of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire with 172.5 Billion $USD (as adjusted). No one currently living has been richer than anyone in the top ten. The closest you get is Bill Gates, who at his peak had 110 Billion $USD and now has around half that. And out of the top ten the most recent to pass away was Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII with 252 Billion $USD.

The richest living person right now has about 60 Billion $USD, so the gap between richest and poorest now is orders of magnitude lower than it's peak in recorded history. The poor and oppressed are still poor and oppressed, but the very richest are getting poorer.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Job Centre Plus #2

I am at the Job Centre Plus for my signing on new claim interview thing.

I understand that I have to state what line of work I'm looking for, whilst my original career was 'manufacturing engineer', I need to come up with two others. Will 'data entry clerk' and 'music journalist' be okay and justifyable? Can I say full time blogger?

Is blogging a recognised profession? There's no money in it yet, and its kind of aself-employed sort of thing, like actor, consultant or whore.

Well not even like that cos you're not payed per job.

Still haven't made any money from this site, the only revenue stream is trying to sell that book at the bottom of the page.

Have now been waiting ten minutes here, there's about ten other people waiting. Only two have been called since I got here. There' about eight interviewers so does that mean the cycle time is 40 minutes?

Ooh, its a two stage system. One five-minute consultation to check details, then another wait until you get a consultation. Still the same mob in the waiting area.

There's an empty table in the middle, well, its got a motorcycle helmet on it. Maybe its a 'found art' piece representing the transience of unemployment, inspiring us to live our lives for ourselves, chosing the fast lane, overtaking the juggarnauts.

Maybe I should stick another book adverty thing in the side column of this site, for the post-it note art book.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

Names of the dead in Gaza

The body count in the Gaza conflict keeps rising by about 50 a day, its easy enough to graph these things. But they are real people, not just numbers. They have families, they had dreams and aspirations any one of them could have been the next Tim Berners-Lee.

These are their names that I've scratched from news reports and blogs, roughly in date order, its about an eighth fifth of the total killed so far. (updated 15-JAN-2008)

Muqbil Eid Aj-Jarabi, 92
Christine At-Turk, 6
died in Al Shijaya, 15
died in Juhr El dik, 23
Fadi Shebat, 10
Foad Al-Matuq
Ahmed Abu Sultan
Ahmed Tantish
Ali Al Sous
Hamaoda Sultan
Mueen Abu Aljdya
Muhammad Al Atar
Osama Sliman
Ala', 8
Doha, 3
Fayez Al Daya
Merwan Ubaid
Muhammad Al Daya, 1
Rania, 12
Rawans Al Daya
Sharf Al Din, 5
Hasan El Atal
Jehad Kawereh
Fatema Saed, 20
Mikbel Abed Aljarbeeh
Thoraya Saed, 20
Ahmed Al Amodi
Ala' Mortaja
Amir Mansi
Deena Baalousha
Habeeb B.A., 10
Haya Hamdan
Lama Hamdan
Osama Nahas
Sameh A, 10
Shams Omar
Yahya Hayek
A’tah Ad-Dahduh, 19
Abd Al Rahman
Abdallah Arafat Shamlakh, 37
Abed Ar-Rahman Tawfeeq Al-Kashef, 21
Ala' Fathi Basheer, 40
Ali Ishaq Shamlakh, 23
Amal A'lush, 15
Baha Khaled A'bed, 25
Belal Yahya, 19
Bilal Khalaf, 19
Ebrahim Khalad, 35
Ebrahim Salma, 25
Fares Hamouda, 1
Fatima Ma'rof, 16
Haitham Yaser Ma'rof, 12
Hanan An-Najjar, 41
Husein Abu Sulkltan
Ibrahim A'yesh Suleiman, 25
Ibrahim Khalaf, 35
Ibrahim Yousef Hamdan, 18
Isam Ishaq Shamlakh, 22
Jameelah Hassan, 75
Jehan Ma'rof, 16
Khawla Ghaban, 16
Lamia Basheer, 40
Mahmoud Ahmad Shamlakh, 21
Mamoud Taher Al-Jalab, 70
Mohammad Hamouda, 22
Mohammad Kahlil At-Teter, 28
Mohammad Mansur Se’da, 21
Muhand Mazen An-Naji, 21
Mus'ab Khader
Nour Abu Amish, 24
Ramzy Rafe’Abu Ghaneema, 23
Sahar Ghaban, 14
Suheib Basheer, 18
Usama Abu Rajileh, 17
Ala' Mansour
Amal Muhammad Al-Madhoun
Ayat Al-Banna
Jabar Habeeb
Jehad Daloul
Muhammad Al Hadad, 19
Muhammad Jamal Muhamdain
Shaiboub Shambali
Ahmad Abu Gazar
Ahmad Ad-Dalu
Ahmad Kamal Ad-Dalo, 27
Ala Munther Abdel Shafe’y, 37
Ali At-Tanany, 26
As’ad Sa’dy Ahmad, 24
Ashraf Hamdi Ayyad, 23
Bilal Muhammad Deibeh, 19
Fathi Yousef Al-Mazny, 18
Hamad Hassan Al-Barawi, 25
Hanan Al-Najjar, 41
Hassan Al-Saqa
Hassan Muhammad Abu Zamar, 22
Hatem Dib Abu Daf, 23
Ibrahim Ismael Dababesh, 22
Kamel Jamil As-Sarhi, 22
Khaled Sa’dy Al-Abed, 22
Khalil Hamdan Ahmad An Najjar, 75
Mahmoud Ahmad Juha, 19
Muhammad Hazem Abu Labad, 20
Muhammad Khalil Ibrahim Abu Leila, 20
Muhammad Maher Muhammad, 23
Muhammad Nader Abu Sha’ban, 17
Nael Mahmoud Ali, 25
Rohiyeh Ahmad Suleiman, 45
Saed Muhammad Hassan, 21
Usama Ahmad Al-Absy, 24
Yehyah Jamil Ayyad, 30
Yousef Muhammad Ash-Sharbasy, 27
Yousef Ummar Labad, 23
Hamdi Farid Abu Hamada, 27
Hanan Al-Masry
Hanan Sha’ban An-Najjar, 40
Hassan Shtaiwi, 68
Haytham Abu Al-Qumsan, 19
Jaji Ramzi
Kafa Muhammad Al-Matuq, 35
Mahmoud Baker Az-Za’mout, 20
Mamdouh Shaiber, 18
Mohammad Abu Sneimeh
Muneer Abu Sneimeh
Osama Abu Jayyab
Ramzy Rawhy Awad
Shafa Al-Mutawak
Tawfiq Saleh Ad-Diry, 27
Iyad Al-Maqqousy, 27
Kiffah Lum Towwak, 35
Hanan Al Najar
Saed Abu Halima
Hussein Ash-Sha’er
Mansour Madi
Muhammad Aqila, 7
Mohammed Abu Kamil
Izz Ad-Din Al-Farra, 15
Ahmad Al-Bitar
Ahed Abu Asi
Said Siyam, 50
Saleh Abu Sharkh
Mahmoud Abu Watfah

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Adrian Roye and The Exiles at Camden Calling

Sunday night, my ladyfriend took me along to the Camden Calling show at The Cavendish Arms. She borrowed me camera and shot this video of Adrian Roye and The Exiles.

Advert as news stories #29


I know its the pinnacle of PR to get some gimmick featured on the news as a story. But is ESTATE AGENT TRIES GIMMICK really a good use of anyone's bandwidth?

(Insert generic rant about liscence fee payer's money)

They actually interviewed some real life teenagers! Who confessed to knocking over an ashtray last week! Its almost like that Brass Eye sketch where teenagers would sell ideas to roving film crews, "Yeah, someone pissed in the lift last week, it still smells."

I'm never going to make it in the world of PR and marketing, this sort of thing just makes me click, rant and switch off.

Ye gods, I watched Nathan Barley for the first time the other day. There's that episode where Dan Ashcroft has to write the article about the photographer who takes photies of celebrities pissing, but all I could think of was this round of articles I've seen lately in real life about an exhibition of photies of discarded bananas on the streets on London.

(Insert rant about the fall of civilisation when polished shit is raised to high art)

This is how the Roman Empire fell.

Oh, hang on, there's a goth at the front door. More later.

Monday, 12 January 2009

ill theatre regulating

So I've got a wee bit ahead of myself on ill theatre drawings. Over on the site its up to this one featuring some wind / solar charger I saw on Treehugger, and over in real life and on flickr, I've drawn these two
theatre172
and
theatre173
which depict me demonstrating my old boy scouts strategy of being prepared and also building my own floating island out of rubbish and sellotape.

Now I reckon I could be all forward thinking, and post new pictures to the ill theatre site every weekday and have weekends off, and sustain it in definitely. and only those people fly enough to click through and regularly check my flickr will know what happens next.

Musical Interlude #33

This is my cover of The Charlatan's The Only One I Know

Ita more of a re-imagining that and straight cover, but I think the guitar solo is pretty faithful to the original. And if you like that, check out all my recordings of crap cover versions and original songs here.

LNFGIES TV week 02

The Second week of Last Night From Glasgow Indie Eyespy TV, and only ten videos in the playlist this time. I know you're wondering why, and well, I'm just feeling lethargic today. Like its almost 3pm and I've applied for zero jobs today.



Gigs include:-

Friday, 9 January 2009

Ballooning

I was going to head off to the Pocketbooks show over the road, but in a sudden moment of reparation I checked to see if there were actually any tickets. Well, I looked on Facebook and uncle Ian had left a message the other say saying there were a few tickets left and they were selling fast, so I kind of assumed it would be sold out and there'd be no way to pay on the door.

Instead, well, I used the ethernet cable from father dearest to hook up my old 2004 desktop computer to the internet so I could suddenly use all my peripherals like scanners and graphics tablets and big old monitor and stuff in Windows XP and I set to work drawing this idea of a story I had for ill theatre.

As you'll already know, ill theatre is this kind of webcomic, stream of consciousness personal blog what I started this time last year. The original idea was to used a limited pallet and colour cycle it a wee bit each day, adding an extra colour after each cycle. Got bored and gave up regular posts months ago.

Oh there were some neat storylines, mostly related to my quest to get back on the now defunct messageboard bowlie, sometimes involving time-travel and sometimes involving invading castle bowlie with an army of giant spiders, as suggested by uncle Tasty. And then once safely reinstalled in castle bowlie, which bore a bit of a resemblace to the Buffalo Bar, ill theatre covered my rather idiocycratic attempts at getting back in touch with girls what I used to know. And then finally the fall of bowlie in fiery flames with uncle King of Patrick patrolling the battlements with mighty broadsword whilst the kids escaped by whatever means was possible.

Anyhoo, whilst ensconsed in this illustrated internet world, there would always be a hotair balloon floating in the distance, this was supposed to represent the idlesphere. There was an aborted attempt to float up and have a looksee what was going on, but I kind of lost interest before I got round to it.

All that is pretty much ancient history now. Bowlie sank and whilst it lived on in the irc chatroom for many months, since I lost my irc-powers in early December, that was the final kind of nail, but my own blogodrome lives on and carries me to ever more exciting adventures.

theatre168

This is me in my blog balloon watching the chatroom sink beneath the waves.

theatre169
And here's my balloon floating over a maelstrom that may or may not be the North Pacific Gyre

theatre170

This is my blog balloon getting dragged into what may or may not be the North Pacific Gyre, whilst in the distance North Harrow watches in silence.