Friday, May 27, 2005

Cricket Pictures

As promised here are a few pictures from the Cricket last weekend. I left my camera in someone's car and only picked it up today.

I'm off on a Stag-Do this weekend in Bournemouth so expect no new posts for a bit.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I got a sandstorm blowin' in my head.

Check out these sandstorm pictures from Iraq. I think I'd cack my pants....not only would I be in Iraq but there'd be a sandstorm to rub it in.

There goes the weekend.

It's monday, and I'm back at work. I had a fairly low-key weekend but did get to play a spot of cricket on Saturday. It was a 6-aside tournament comprising of 6 teams and our team came 2nd and I got a silver medal! It was a fun day and keeping in spirit with that theme we decided to start drinking at midday in order to bring some fluidity to our game....obviously it worked.
I did take some pictures but I left my Camera in a friends car, so I'll whack the photos up a bit later in the week.

Friday, May 20, 2005

You are the Sun-shine of my life...

I've always admired the Sun's moral stance and it's forthright attitude to put the worthy news before sensationalism. It's always 'news first', 'selling papers second'.

In todays paper we have another example of the hardhitting journalism that we've been accustomed to, with the paper's managing editor, Graham Dudman, saying
"We thought long and hard about publishing, and took the decision that they're such incredible pictures of the world's most brutal dictator... they were a compelling image that any newspaper or broadcaster would publish."

A US military source apparently handed over the pictures showing Saddam as "an ageing and humble old man" in the hope of dealing a blow to the resistance in Iraq, and destroying the myth of the all-powerful Saddam Hussein.

The Sun has never been afraid to tell it like it is and you've got to respect a paper that has shed light on the areas where other newspapers were to scared to go such as "Freddie Starr Ate My Hampster".

I hope you realise that I am being sarcastic in this post. The scary thing is that the Sun has a readership of 3 million, and often appeals to the lowest common denominator. With the reading age of the average British adult being seven, the Sun appeals to these folk with stories of 300 words max, and the omission of any words too sesquipedalian . My paper of choice is The Independant for those of you interested. Sadly there's no page3 girls in it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Galloway Versus the US of A

I've just been watching the Senate hearing on Sky News....great TV.
Basically this Senate Committee put together a dossier and accused George Galloway MP (Respect Party) of receiving allocations of Oil (millions of dollars) from the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. But they haven't actually questioned Galloway or got him to put his side across.
A lot of the 'evidence' was found wanting, and much like the war on Iraq was built on some flimsy assumptions and hear say. Could it be that all this is a smokescreen? Something to try and divert from the already damning view of the illegal War?
This is the view that Galloway has put across and he has come out quite well at the moment after his appearance.
"l have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one sold one and neither has anybody on my behalf."

I am happy that Galloway has stood up and has the chance to talk to the Senate. It's a great platform for him to put across the anti-war argument and it may actually work in favour to have been accused as he has been put on a platform and can make a stance against the true criminal, the USA.
He denied that he had met Saddam 'many times' and said that he had only met him on 2 occasions.....exactly the same amount of times as US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
"The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and maps - the better to target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war."

Company Crap

Don't you hate it when people you deal with make things really hard for you and in the end you just go along with stuff because it's easier? I get this sometimes and because I'm an easy going person I'll prefer to avoid the confrontation and find a work-around solution.
I manage a website for a friends band Ticklin the Pickle which I originally hosted a with the company BargainHost on a cheap hosting plan. 2 years past and I found a cheaper and better hosting agreement with the company 1&1 (very good). I tried to transfer to them but bargainhosts servers were making it hard for me and I was unable to register the and instead got a whilst I was sorting out the transfer of the
In the end I had to renew the with bargainhost for the sum of £16! And got them instead to forward the domain to my one.
All this was going well until suddenly the is not working anymore and now I've been told they won't forward anymore and I'll have to pay £12 to transfer the domain over to 1&1! I'll probably have to do this, which is very annoying.
So the rant of this email is companies that muck you around. If you are looking for a good company to host and register domain names with then look no further than 1&1

Monday, May 16, 2005

Single Transferable Vote

As promised after the elections (not part of my campaign) I would explain the Single Transferable Vote (STV) and it's benefits when compared to the First Past the Post system.
Here is the Outline from Wikipedia

The Single Transferable Vote, or STV, is a preference voting system designed to minimise wasted votes in multi-candidate elections while ensuring that votes are explicitly for candidates rather than party lists. In its most basic form, it works by allocating an elector's vote to their highest ranked candidate who has not already been removed from contention through either election or elimination.

Here's my Outline.
On the Ballot Slip instead of just putting a cross next to the candidate you want to win, you put a '1' next to your first choice candidate, and then you can put a '2' next to your second choice, etc. You do not have to vote for every candidate, although you can be tactical and put the most hated candidate right at thee bottom of your list.

A quota now has to be reached and the most common is the Droop Quota which is simplified as

Now the votes have to be counted
Process A: Top-preference votes are tallied. If one or more candidates receive at least as many votes as the quota, they are declared elected. After a candidate is elected, she may not receive any more votes.
The excess votes for the winning candidate are reallocated to the next-highest ranked candidates on the ballots for the elected candidate. There are different methods for determining how to reallocate excess votes.
Process A is repeated until there are no more candidates who have reached the quota.
Process B: The candidate with the least support is eliminated, and his votes are reallocated to the next-highest ranked candidates on the eliminated ballots. After a candidate is eliminated, he may not receive any more votes.
After each iteration of Process B is completed, Process A starts again, until all candidates have been elected or eliminated.

I hope this gives you a gist of how it works.

The Scottish Parliament passed a bill which means the first-past-the-post voting system for local elections will be replaced with the single transferable vote (STV) and this could be in place by 2007. Charles Kenndy (leader of the Lib Dems) has also pushed for this and would like to see it implemented here as the proportion of Lib-Dem voters is not proportional to the seats they gain in parliament.

I suppose at the end of the day there will never be a party with 100% backing but I suppose it's better than one with only 35% of the votes cast (not even 35% of the population. I suppose it would be fairer if everyone had to vote, but you can't force anyone to do anything.

Well that's the end of that very interesting post. I promise a more fun one later.

I'm back

Sorry for the delay but I've been busy doing nothing.
I spent the weekend boozing and staying out late.

I think I've almost got it out of my system again and will be contrained in my activities now by a lack of funds.

Friday, May 06, 2005


When I got up today I whacked on BBC News 24 to check out the election results. There was still a glimmer of hope but Labour have won again, although by a smaller majority. (I had to laugh because there was a woman standing behind Blair who was wearing a hat with 'BLIAR' on it...the truth will always come out.)
I voted Lib Dem yesterday for both the General election and also my local Council elections. It didn't do much but there's still hope for the future with the gaps between parties getting smaller.
The constituancy I'm in is Thanet South and here are the results.

Stephen Ladyman Labour 16,660
Mark MacGregor Conservative 15,996
Guy Voizey Liberal Democrat 5,431
Nigel Farage UK Independence Party 2,079
Howard Green Green 888
Maude Kinsella Independent 188

Labour won by a mere 664 votes beating the Conservatives by 1.6%! Only 40.4 percent of the voters wanted Labour in and there's where the fault in the 'First Past the Post' system lies. Utter rubbish.

When I've got time I'll talk about the 'Single Transferable Vote' system which is a much fairer way of deciding who'll rule.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cake or Death?

It's election day, the final reckoning, doomsday, etc, etc, after reading the main parties manifestos and checking out what they've got to say for themselves I think I going to vote for the Lib Dems. My ideal first choice would be Green because I'm a little worried about the fact that there won't be a world left if we keep going at this rate, and it'll be left for the monkeys to rule. The thing is that you can't expect big changes like that (Labour------>Green), the has to be some kind of middle ground, and this is where I think the Lib Dems come into it. Another point is that I don't usually favour one-policy parties (UKIP) but the Green party has started to take things a bit more seriously and has taken other factors into consideration.
One party that hasn't got much coverage is the 'Monstor Raving Loony Party' I think when Screaming Lord Sutch died they lost some momentum, but I've looked at their manifesto and here are a few of the gems.
We will issue a 99p coin to save on change.

We pledge to reduce class sizes by making the pupils sit closer to one another and issuing them with smaller desks. Any MP whose constituency sells off a school playing field for development will be required to relinquish their own back garden as a replacement sports facility for the school. All future Deputy Prime Ministers will be required to be fluent in at least one language to encourage the education system.

All foreign G.Ps in England and Wales will be taught the local dialect so they know when their patients feel Jiggered (Tired), Manky (Rough), Gipping (Vomiting) or have got somit rang with their Fizog (Face).

I think the 99p coin really swings it for me as so many things I buy end in this total e.g £9.99. It would mean I could pay with the exact money. Genius