Archive for October, 2008

What’s the BBC’s address?

Friday, October 31st, 2008 | Religion & Politics

Because I need to write to them.

They are now on what, 30,000 complaints? The stats for that are everything. But how many people have written in and said “you know, what Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross said was really, really funny! Keep this kind of content up!”

Firstly, the idea that the BBC got 30,000 complaints about the incidient isn’t even close to true. Because day by day the number went up. So most people clearly didn’t actually here the show, they just decided to complain when The Daily Mail wrote a story about it. It’s Jerry Springer: The Opera all over again.

Secondly, if we want to talk about inappropriate, let’s talk about the fact The Sun then went and interviewed Andrew Sachs’ granddaughter. I mean, what is the need? It’s not just mean right? That is just stirring up trouble?

The important issue though is that what was said was not really beyond the line. It certainly wasn’t fire everyone in sight and suspend those you pay too much to fire. It was a bit on the edge, but nothing you really would think “wow, can they really say that” given it was on late night radio. I leave people those kind of voicemails all the time. Not exactly like that but if you don’t turn up to something you should be at, expect an abusive voicemail. We handed out plenty of abuse to Norm for bailing on the podcast in the most recently recorded shows.

Have you read the interviews with Andrew Sachs? He wasn’t even that offended. An apology from Russell and Jonathon was enough as far as he was concerned, he didn’t want to take it any further.

The real jem in this story though is the fact that nobody at the BBC thought it was past the line. It wasn’t like it was a live show that they suddenly blurted out the comments on before anyone could stop them. It was a pre-recorded show that has to go through editors and producers before it is broadcast. All of which seemingly gave the green light.

If you haven’t had a listen yet, head over to YouTube and check it out.

Vinyl

Friday, October 31st, 2008 | Life, Tech

Tonight’s Halloween party provided an excellent if flimsy excuse to get my decks out in preparation for the festivities. It’s been quite a while since I’ve really had them out as I don’t have space in my room anymore so it was cool to get everything tested last night.

Having said that, when I got my old laptop out to boot up, the hard drive was missing.

I mean, it was still physically there. But the computer couldn’t see it 🙁 . Might have to try hitting it until it works again.

Debating the theists

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | Events, Humanism

I delivered my first proper talk of the academic year last night, the ever popular debating the theists. It went down very well from the people I spoke to in the pub afterwards though I did end the question with “none of this constructive criticism BS, just positive adjectives please” so who can really say.

We got around 25-30 people to the meeting and most stayed for the social afterwards which continued on until about 11:30, just in time for us to get to The D afterwards which worked out well. London is now sold out too so that is going to be an amazing weekend. As ever, things are looking up.

Day off

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | Life, Thoughts

I didn’t do any work on Sunday. Well near enough anyway.

And I didn’t do that much work on Monday either.

It was really weird. I spent most of Money sitting around feeling guilty that I was only doing a bit of work. But I recon if I could get rid of that feeling I could really enjoy days off once again.

Myself, Norm and Michelle went for lunch at the Deer Park which was good. Not just because you can never, ever go wrong with a mixed grill but also because it was a re-discovery of the ability to just go for a pub lunch in the middle of the day, something we used to do like every day but never really do anymore. Or, if you will, back in the day.

Birthday

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | Events, Life

By last Sunday that time of year had rolled around again so we headed out to Nando’s for a meal Sunday evening. It being Sunday night and all with a lot of people having work Monday morning, turn out was limited to those really hardcore people, a select group of myself and 18 of my good friends.

We arrived at The Light at 7 as planned to find that Nando’s had in fact run out of food.

I’m not kidding.

Apparently they were closing for a week to refurbish so rather than maintain a sensible stock level and transfer any remaining food to a different restaurant they just let it run out. So we headed down to the one at the bottom of Briggate. I like to think of it as a suprise party as we didn’t tell them we were coming.

Having got down there they said it would take us an hour to get a table and to come back then. They also asked for an exact number of people, which I gave them based on how many people we had there at the time. After that we headed off to the Hog’s Head round the corner for a quick drink while we waited.

Problem was, people started turning up faster than they could seat people. By the time we had got back we had another two people and by the time they had found seats for those two we had another two people! Needless to say the staff at Nando’s were not amused. But I was 😀 .

The food was excellent as usual, although we did find a chicken brain in Kate’s meal.

Afterwards we headed up to Bourbon which was of course closed – it’s like an A-Soc event all over again. So we ended the night at the Cuthbert Broderick next door drinking until kick out time. Good times.

Chef’s special

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 | Life

So, apparently Nando’s do chicken brain now. It worked out quite well with me having my new camera as we could get good photos.

Our resident neuroscientist Rosie says she can’t say for sure if it was indeed a brain but it sure looks like one and having spent hours researching it she assures me it definitely isn’t a liver or kidney and Oli points out that the reason it doesn’t quite look like you would expect is that it would shrink during the cooking process.

Nando’s remained defiant it wasn’t a brain although the manager admitted it was in the end (after saying, well if you wish to believe it’s a brain to which I of course replied “yes, yes I do”) so who can say. The important thing is Kate got a voucher because that’s really what you want after finding a brain in your chicken 😀 .

Re: Capitalism is a scapegoat for crunch

Saturday, October 25th, 2008 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

Emily Barran has written an excellent feature on how capitalism is being blamed for the economic crunch in the October 24th edition of LS2.

While it’s easy to blame banking executives, she rightly points out people aren’t pointing the fingers at themselves after taking out 100% mortgages that realisticlly, they could never really afford. I was listening to a woman who is now a single parent complaining the bank was repossessing her house. Of course they are. Indeed, as a shakeholder in Nothern Rock now it has been nationalised I insist they do repossess your house to get their money back. You can’t afford your house, move to a cheaper one, they are desperate to sell them at the moment.

And what exactly is the result of the credit crunch anyway? Having discussed it on my podcast, neither myself nor Gijsbert said we had changed our lifestyle because of it. How has it really affected your life? Probably not that much. A capitalism economy fluctuates, that doesn’t given you an excuse to take out a massive loan then complain when you can’t make the payments. That just makes you an idiot.

Open

Saturday, October 25th, 2008 | Life

4:30 in the morning I started work today!

I mean seriously, who isn’t asleep at 5am? Apparently nobody because we didn’t get any customers until nearly 6am.

I remember back in the day when being on an open meant you had to get up early. Now you’re just getting up in the middle of the night. And it’s dark for the first four hours which is wierd. Still due to ridiculous over staffing I was done by not long after 12 so it all worked out I guess.

One Life strikes again

Saturday, October 25th, 2008 | Events, Humanism

Once again Friday saw a well attended One Life course where we were discussing ethics. It was an interesting session, we spent most of the night with me arguing in favour of objective morality to get the debate going which was fun 😀 .

Photos of the event can be found on Facebook.

Electrosmog

Saturday, October 25th, 2008 | Religion & Politics

I was listening to George Lamb on 6Music on Monday who commented that he had a special matress for shielding him from electrosmog. I don’t know if this was a joke but if it isn’t, that is certainly interesting.

For those who are not aware, electrosmog is the term for all the radiation flying about from electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by computers, mobile phones and other such electronic devices. People suffer from a range of symptoms because of it when they develop a condition known as electrosensitivity. Which is interesting because, it doesn’t exist.

As The Guardian discusses, there have been over 30 scientific studies into electrosensitivity, all of which concluded that there was no such thing. Whatever they are suffering from, it certainly isn’t electrosensitivity, at least as we know it.

Just ask the World Health Organisation. Back in December 2005 they concluded

There is no scientific basis to link ES symptoms to EMF exposure. Further, ES is not a medical diagnosis, nor is it clear that it represents a single medical problem.

It’s almost enough to start another campaign over.