Archive for March, 2013

What does begging pay?

Sunday, March 31st, 2013 | Foundation, Humanism

Tonight wasn’t the best night we’ve ever had at the Humanist Action Group. We judge that by the amount of people we find – on a good night, everyone will have found shelter and there will be nobody on the streets. Tonight, we got about 100m from our door before we had run out of coffee and had to go back to make more.

One of the people we chatted to gave us an insight into how much money you can make begging. It’s significantly less than you can earn in a minimum wage job. If anyone ever tells you they make loads of money – tell them to stop voting Tory and pull their head out of their ass.

Here is what you might expect to make in a week…

  • Monday – Wednesday: £10-15 per night
  • Thursday: £20 per night
  • Friday: £25-30 per night
  • Saturday: If the weather is good, maybe £35
  • Sunday: Nothing, there is nobody in town on a Sunday

Not a great way to scratch a living.

Myth of Islam

Saturday, March 30th, 2013 | Religion & Politics

One of my friends recently started a new blog on the origins of Islam. It challenges the claim that is sometimes made by Islam itself that its origins are factual – as the blog goes on to explain, this simply isn’t the case. Read all about it.

Northern Lights

Saturday, March 30th, 2013 | Books

I’ve been reading Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, starting with book one for obvious reasons – Northern Lights.

I enjoyed it, but it felt very much like a children’s book. Obviously that is because it is, but if you take the example of a series like Harry Potter, that has caught the imagination of many adults too, and I don’t feel Northern Lights has the same power.


Cheltenham Festival 2013

Friday, March 29th, 2013 | Events

The Cheltenham Festival is the biggest event in the racing calendar. Only the Grand National can top it for prize money, and none can top the Gold Cup for prestige. Having spent the past four years in the gaming industry, it’s always a big week.

Most of the betting companies had a smooth week technical wise. Corals had some real problems with their website, and Bet Victor and Paddy Power had some big outages too – but everyone else came through it rather smoothly.

I made the mistake of following the tips from the racing team – and ended the week rather down. But it’s all in good fun, and I did manage three winners, just not particularly well priced ones.

Booking for Nickelback

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 | Life

We live in an age where scumbags often try to rip you off. Paying with basically any method costs you extra money with RyanAir, even though they’ve been told they have to change it by the authorities. So it takes something special to cause outrage these days.

But Leeds Arena and their ticket partner Eventim have somehow managed it. I’ve just booked to go see Nickelback and tickets are at a fairly average £37.00 each.

But then there is a booking fee of £6.30 – per ticket! Presumably, this is to cover the cost of processing the payment, though I notice they don’t even take my American Express.

Then comes delivery – this is £7.50! Of course, I can opt to collect the tickets from the venue itself, in this case, I would have to shell out £2.50! Just to collect the tickets myself! And there is no print them at home option.

That means for £74.00 worth of tickets, I’m paying £20.10 in service charges – making up 21% of the entire cost.

Of course, you can argue that Eventim is just a company and therefore driven to make money, and having a natural monopoly they can just rip people off (we’re just doing our jobs – like the Nazi soldiers who worked in the death camps). But surely at a certain point, the authorities have to step in and say “look, you’re just lying about your ticket prices”, just like they did with the airlines.

Sarann & Moz’s Wedding

Thursday, March 28th, 2013 | Friends, Photos

Congratulations to Sarann and Moz, who tied the knot earlier this month. The ceremony was in a beautiful setting and the entire day was enjoyable, which is most unusual for a wedding.

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Atheist Society social

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | Humanism

I for one will be very disappointed if Monique doesn’t change her profile picture to this.

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Screen resolution drop on Ubuntu

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | Life, Tech

If you find your screen resolution suddenly drops too 800×600 on Ubuntu 12.04, the following set of commands may help you resolve it. First, stop the graphical environment.

sudo service lightdm stop

Now remove all the Nvidia packages and reboot the system.

sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
sudo reboot

This will reset you to the default video driver. You now need to reinstall the Nvidia driver, which you can do by going to System settings > Additional Drivers and selecting the top option with the following name.

NVIDIA binary Xorg driver, kernal module and VPDAU library

Select this and click activate. Now reboot your system again and the Nvidia drivers will be re-installed and hopefully working again.

Disproving God With Philosophy

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 | Humanism

Last week at Atheist Society, Heini presented a talk entitled “Disproving God With Philosophy”.

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Good and Evil in the Gospel Myth

Monday, March 25th, 2013 | Humanism

For the March meeting of the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire, Jim Hatfield presented a talk entitled “Good and Evil in the Gospel Myth”.

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