Wednesday, November 29, 2006



Meet Dunkleosteus

"arguably the first king of the beasts. The monster fish cruised the oceans 400m years ago, preying on creatures much larger than itself, its blade-like fangs adept at tearing its quarry in two."

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Who knows what scrobbling is? I didn't well probably still don't but i been using this thing called if you love your digital music collection you'll like this. It's basically a plug-in that generates all kinds of cool music related (more specifically YOUR music related) charts, stats and networking opportunities. I've been using it for about a week and at first it really didn't seem all that neat or useful. But slowly but surely as it's learned my musical tastes its making my music a way for my life. Gosh im sounding like an ad here. Anyway for instance it's worked out which concerts within a 15mile radius of my house i would be interested in. And it was spot on. There are lots of other features too and if i ever feel to subscribe to the service, $3 dollars a month, it gives me my own personal digital radio station. Although since i havent done that i'm not actually sure what that means. Anyway i have a DRM expert out there some where, he looks like a cookiemonster (bit of a lazy blogger though), i'd be interested to hear what he's got to say about this. Scrobbling is my new favourite word. This page has got all the scrobbling answers.

my latest musical quilt generated from

ps its a networking thing so we can be friends. did i say that already? Friends are good. like sweets.

Totti magic

no not toeti sheldon, totti

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Library

I love the ease with which i can read all kinds of material on my computer by this or that search, through stumbling across stuff and from the direction and insight of others. I really find it addictive. But there is another place full of words i enjoy more and it has an effect on me far deeper than addiction. It creates a serenity, an ease of thought and sense of self i probably only ever associate with family and friends. At the library stacks and stacks of knowledge pulse out at you. its as though there is a low hum, a ticklish whisper as you pass by, a lost idea waiting to connect back to the world. I have learnt that we do not find books but they find us. And never should we be as foolhardy to miss this gift because those are the books which will open up your life and your thoughts in ways you hadn't even realised were there. Sometimes it is the title, sometimes a friend's recommendation, sometimes its just sitting there on a table staring back at you asking your eyes to look inside. And when you perch the book at the end of your hand, and let its pages open like the wings of a bird you honestly for the briefest moment use its power and insight to fly away from your concious mind. The words and your self become something else, able to see connections and meanings that alone your eyes could not reach. Maybe one day i'll write a book and it will sit on a library shelf waiting for some young mind to touch its stem, open its pages, consume and combine with its words. i hope the digital age does not take my stacks away because nowhere have i been happier alone than in the library. funny that. but true.

Kramer loses it

Uncomfortable viewing

some commentary


anil dash

savage minds

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thérèse Raquin

The only Zola i ever read. its about love and desire, murder and a losss of desire. They are trying it out as a play now. The book oddly enough always struck me as anthropological - about the human condition and the production of emotions, feelings and thoughts from the environment around us.

Julian Barnes does a good discussion of it:

"Those 37-year-old marginalia provoked the usual mixed feelings. On the one hand, you fear to discover that your younger self was an idiot; on the other, you need to believe that all your subsequent years as a reader and then writer have made your literary responses sharper and deeper. In terms of actual understanding of the plot, characters, key scenes and lines, I pretty much got Thérèse Raquin back in 1969, though this was doubtless helped by Zola's directness as a writer: he is explicatory rather than allusive, a teller rather than a shower. Subsequent experience brought mainly two things: a greater grasp of the psychological theories that drive the book, and a greater scepticism about - or a more nuanced response to - his picture of life...To the second edition of Thérèse Raquin, Zola added as epigraph Taine's dictum: "Vice and virtue are just as much products as are vitriol and sugar." Products, that is, of environment, inheritance, history and the momentum of the age. The human problem was one not of God and morality, but of psychological mechanics, which could be studied and solved just as a problem in physical mechanics could."

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"Also called "Radium F", polonium was discovered by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie in 1897 and was later named after Marie's home land of Poland (Latin: Polonia). Poland at the time was under Russian, Prussian and Austrian domination, and not recognized as an independent country. It was Marie's hope that naming the element after her home land would add notoriety to its plight. Polonium may be the first element named to highlight a political controversy."

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Still waiting for smelter answers

"I am the young woman who was told to shut up at the TV6 forum held at the Chatham Youth Centre on November 9. I would like to point out that MP Achong didn’t just tell me to shut up; he said it to every concerned citizen of T&T. It is my hope that we will all do the exact opposite.

We should not forget the reason behind the forum and the still unresolved issues. I think that we all need to refocus on the original issues here: the introduction of aluminium industries in Trinidad, the processes by which decisions are being made, and the feeling that the public’s opinions are being ignored.

I did not attend this public forum as an anti-smelter activist but as a citizen seeking more information and answers pertaining to the issues. The point I tried to make that night was that this issue is one of national importance and that all citizens are stakeholders and are entitled to information regardless of their place of residence.

Also, I want to point out that I have not yet received an answer to my question: “The people of Chatham have everything to lose…what do the people who are in favour of the smelters stand to lose?”

This is an important question as any development will have its gains and losses and the people of this country need to assess what they are willing to loose or risk losing for the benefits which aluminium smelting will bring to the country.

We must continue to let our concerns and questions be heard. Alcoa will be hosting two public consultation meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Chatham Youth Centre and at the St John’s Ambulance Hall (Port-of-Spain), respectively. Also, the Government will be having a symposium on the issue on December 6.

Our Members of Parliament are (or should be) willing to listen to your concerns through a letter or personal visit. We have every right to know the price at which our gas will be sold; we are entitled to demand that our land and our water be protected by the strictest possible environmental laws and the most rigorous monitoring and enforcement standards necessary.

We deserve to have our needs, dreams and expectations taken into account in the development of the south-western peninsula of our island.

One of the most poignant sentiments expressed at the meeting in question was that the land that people in Chatham live on has been handed down from generation to generation. They are trying to protect their inheritance and we should do the same. The social, environmental and economic implications of what happens in Chatham will affect all of us. We cannot afford to “shut up!”

I would like to expand on a question raised by one of Achong’s young constituents: what do we as a nation have to lose in the face of this proposed development?

We are still waiting for an answer."

Srishti Mohais

Yoda does hip hop

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pans Labyrinth

Fascinating article about director Guillermo del Toro and his new film pans labyrinth, the story of Ofélia, an 11-year-old girl whose mother marries a fascist army commander in Franco-era Spain and copes with the murderous reality that surrounds her by escaping into her own fantastical dream world.

"I would say cinema saved my life. Literally," he enthuses. "In 1997 my father was kidnapped and I think, maybe, the epiphany of film fantasy saved my life. When you are suffering that sort of despair and anger it affects you in a physical way. You are burning with rage. You have palpitations. You have heart pains. I was writing a script of The Count of Monte Cristo and the rage in there lifted a weight off my own shoulders. Then sometimes, when you are in despair, just seeing a movie can transport you somewhere else and save you."

It is worth saying here that, on the surface, del Toro could not seem any less tormented. A jolly, articulate man, who speaks terrifyingly fluent English, he comes across like a magnified teenage comic fan with more facial hair and a better vocabulary. Yet he admits to a classically conflicted Catholic childhood. His grandmother, left in charge of the boy while his parents gallivanted, was so appalled by his affection for all things horrible that she twice arranged for his exorcism."

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The Bush Dynasty

Star Wars overview

DNA & Acid

"FRANCIS CRICK, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD when he first deduced the double-helix structure of DNA nearly 50 years ago.

The abrasive and unorthodox Crick and his brilliant American co-researcher James Watson famously celebrated their eureka moment in March 1953 by running from the now legendary Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge to the nearby Eagle pub, where they announced over pints of bitter that they had discovered the secret of life.

Crick, who died in 2004, aged 88, later told a fellow scientist that he often used small doses of LSD then an experimental drug used in psychotherapy to boost his powers of thought. He said it was LSD, not the Eagle's warm beer, that helped him to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize...

I visited Crick at his home, Golden Helix, in Cambridge. He listened with rapt, amused attention to what I told him about the role of LSD in his Nobel Prize-winning discovery. He gave no intimation of surprise. When I had finished, he said: 'Print a word of it and I'll sue.'"

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Marvin live and direct

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

More on anthropology's role in US torture

"That report is consistent with a new book that shows how interrogation techniques by U.S. forces, which once focused on physical tactics, are increasingly focused on specific cultural aspects of people that may make them likely to break. “It’s clear that they are now focused on the idea of attacking cultural sensitivity” and are using anthropology and other social science research, said Alfred W. McCoy, a historian at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror."

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Simon Jennkins blasts Blair

"After 1990 many hoped that an age of stable peace might dawn. Rich nations might disarm and combine to help the poor, advancing the cause of global responsibility. Instead two of history's most internationalist states, America and Britain, have returned to the trough of conflict, chasing a chimera of "world terrorism", and at ludicrous expense. They have brought death and destruction to a part of the globe that posed no strategic threat. Now one of them, Tony Blair, stands in a patch of desert to claim that "world security in the 21st century" depends on which warlord controls it. Was anything so demented"

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Murdoch - a predatory capitalist

"We are talking information here, and Murdoch controls a vast amount of the information that flows around the world, from China to California. As the OJ Simpson affair shows, he's a cultural, as well as political, gatekeeper. That's why, though we should worry about Branson, we should worry more about Murdoch. Branson also has a gigantic network of interests, but he's essentially a brand label that can be slapped on anything from jeans to jumbo jets, and doesn't have the same influence on how we perceive the world...

Murdoch is so much a part of the landscape that we sometimes lose sight of how outrageous his power is; we think his behaviour is just that of a natural businessman, as in some senses it is. But British political leaders cross the globe to pay him court, like tribal chiefs from outlying provinces offering tribute to a Roman emperor. He pays only the tax he feels like paying, which isn't much. To a remarkable extent, his political agenda - light business regulation, tight shackles on trade unions, a semi-detached status within the European Union, support for the American neocons in Iraq - is also the British political agenda."

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"In Washington, the killing appeared likely to strengthen the hands of those in the administration, led by the vice-president, Dick Cheney, who oppose negotiations with Syria or Iran over Iraq. The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, went further than Mr Bush in linking Syria and Iran to the killing.

"The White House warned about two weeks ago that Syria and Iran, acting through Hizbullah, might be on the verge of an attempted coup d'etat in Lebanon. One has to wonder whether this despicable assassination is not the first shot," Mr Bolton said.

Syria's ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, rejected the allegations. "We are part of the solution, not part of the problem," he said."

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More evidence of global warming

Three in one

Anthropologists [5yrs late] Stand Up Against Torture and the Occupation of Iraq

"Such resolutions rarely solve problems, but they do clarify group values and serve notice to those forces that are pressing to use anthropology for intelligence needs-but the sudden move to restore what was once an important democratic mechanism of a past era may signify that the members want greater control over where anthropology seems to be heading in the post 9/11 world."

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Hugo Sanchez

remember him?

now thats a goal

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

tree hugging

Is change coming?

"There is a clue to how seminal this change of hands is in the power bases of the two relevant parties. The committee's outgoing Republican chairman, James Inhofe, comes from Oklahoma, bang in the heartland of America; in the plains, where farming, the gun and the pickup truck form a holy trinity.

The incoming Democrat, Barbara Boxer, comes from, yes, California, a state that has supplied several of the leaders of the Democrat revolution, including Nanci Pelosi of San Francisco, the new speaker of the House... Mr Inhofe has a track record for using his power in committee to block legislation designed to cut the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. He famously said on one occasion that global warming was "the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people".

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jaffa Cake Lore


"The Jaffa Cake has long been a disputed member of the biscuit Order (Pootle, 2004). In his report “Jaffa Cakes are Cakes - Proof from the Courtroom”, Archibald (2004) describes a courtroom battle and the various evidences, leading to the decision of the British Government to classify the Jaffa Cakes as a cake, immunising Jaffa Cakes from VAT. Nicey and Wifey (2004b) leave no doubt that the Jaffa is clearly a cake. The following response is given on their website (Nicey and Wifey 2004a), to the frequently asked question: “Are Jaffa Cakes biscuits?”

“No, no they're not. Apart from being called cakes they obviously have a sponge base. Granted they appear to be some kind of luxury biscuit being chocolate covered and shipping in a box.” [italics added].

The argument that the word ‘cake’ appears in the name is a simple issue of semantics. Using this logic one may argue that shortcake is a cake. Objects are classified based on their appearance. According to the current analysis using parsimony, if the Jaffa Cake IS indeed a cake, then so are Fig Rolls and Jammie Dodgers (an unarguable situation). This is because these two biscuits show closer affinities with the Jaffa Cake than with any other biscuits. So according to this classification, the Jaffa cake IS a biscuit after all. It therefore seems there is no simple dichotomy between cakes and biscuits. However, it is possible to make a compromise between a biscuit and cake affinity for Jaffa cakes, by allocating this group a new name. I propose the name Pseudobiscuits for this clade of three genera, on account of their close kinship with both cakes and biscuits. All other biscuits, can be referred to as ‘true biscuits’."

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Monday, November 06, 2006

Corruption Index

Yellow (had to ask someone the colour to be sure - but i was good) means less corrupt, red (maroon i'm told, looks kinda brown, but hey) more corrupt

The University of Passau (Germany) and Transparency International has just released their corruption index for 2005.

The index defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain and measures the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among a country's public officials and politicians.

Countries that have improved their rating since the 2004 index were Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Estonia, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Moldova, Nigeria, Qatar, Slovakia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen. Some of the countries that have a worse rating since 2004 include Brazil, Costa Rica, Gabon, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname and guess who TRINIDAD & TOBAGO.


"What difference is his execution going to make to chaos in Iraq?" asked Aziz Majeed, a Kurd from Irbil. "I hate Saddam, but I can't blame him for the current situation - my country has become the most dangerous place on earth. Where is the freedom the Americans promised?"

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Saturday, November 04, 2006


"If at times she showed me these marks of affection, she pained me also by seeming not pleased to see me, and this happened often on the very days on which i had most counted on the realisation of my hopes." Proust, Swann's Way (1981 [1913):438)

ICC Final tomorrow 9am GMT

Australia as always have the mark of big-headedness. Ricky Ponting their captain says "We have probably won more one-day finals, one-day tournaments, and World Cups than any other team... certainly a lot more than the West Indies have. We know what it takes to win big games and we will see how the West Indian players will cope under pressure."

Umm, even if they've won more, they've never won this tournament and it is the West Indies who coped with the pressure last time round to currently be the tournament holders.

wouldnt it be good if......

Friday, November 03, 2006

The net police

FC Copenhagen 1 – Manchester United 0 (Extended highlights here) "It's special - and not just because I'm a Liverpool fan" - Copenhagen coach, Stale Solbakken

from 101greatgoals

"The FA Premier League has ordered YouTube, the video-sharing website, to pull down clips of top-flight matches as it seeks to defend the value of television rights from erosion by online bootleggers."


We just link it - we don't host it

Kate Moss wins bong, i mean gong

Kate Moss was pictured snorting the old bolivian marching powder earlier in the year. it caused a big hullabaloo, people were outraged (not me personally) but that collective noun the newspapers use to get moral authority on their side. She was forced to leave for the states, check in to one of those boujis rehab clinics which sound kinda social and lay low for a month or two. Turns out on her return the police couldnt do anything because all they had was photos and no hard drugs so she might of been putting glucose up her nose for all they knew. Anyways, as the good comeback kid she is she wooed the fashion world and got picked up by more ad agencies than before enhancing her celebrity. Now she's got the model of the year award at the British Fashion Model awards (yes they have awards for everything) and some people - probably those that speak for collective nouns think it sets a bad example for young women. Anyways, the point i want to make, and its taken me a while to get there, is, if she's picked up more modelling gigs since the drug incident is it cus she's deemed more risque or a more realisitic reflection of modern living? As far as i'm aware lots of people do drugs and they've been doing them since we were hunter gatherers in the wilds of Amazonia and the savannahs of Africa , so its not some new fad stealing our babies, but rather a warped social policy to make them illegal and lack of government foresight into how they should be intergrated into 21st century society. Lets not forget either that its the rich and upwardly mobile classes who get in the least trouble for taking them yet they do it in the most quantities, which makes it a class issue - not to mention race one too, but thats another story. So kate, darling, keep on tooting, not everyone else wants too, but at least you never apologised to pander to popular opinion and stayed real. Something current drug laws and politicians could learn from.

Into the Final!

Lara smiles

Gayle destroys

"Chris Gayle lit up the Sawai Mansingh Stadium with a quite spectacular display of power-hitting as West Indies stormed into their second successive Champions Trophy final. Gayle's run-a-ball unbeaten 133 - and his 154-run opening wicket stand with Shivnarine Chanderpaul - turned what was supposed to be a close game into an absolute no-contest, as West Indies chased down 259 with six wickets in hand and 36 balls to spare to earn the right to challenge Australia for the title on Sunday."

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The new British £20 banknotes will carry a portrait of Adam Smith, the "Godfather of free-market economics", together with an engraving illustrating Smith's notion of "the division of labour", and the words: "and the great increase in the quantity of work that results".

It's a pity they don't use a different Adam Smith quote. For example: "All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." (Wealth of Nations, Book 3, Chapter 4)

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