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November 28, 2005

Go and read Arthur Silber

Arthur Silber has some thoughts on the recent suicide of one of the Pentagon's top military ethics experts, who was serving in Iraq. You should read it. In fact you should read Arthur on a regulr basis as he's doing some of the most thoughtful and insightful political blogging on the web today. See if you can't sling him some spondulicks, too.

Posted by Jonah at 5:28 PM

Life imitates Stargate SG-1

The Beeb tells us that a parasitic worm protects its hosts against inflammation:

Researcher Dr Padraic Fallon said: "This study is particularly exciting as it harnesses how the worm modifies immunity in our bodies to stimulate protection from undesirable inflammation.
"There is a clear potential to build new treatments for major disease of man using this approach.
"In effect I see the worm as the 'drug cabinet' of the future."


He said many scientists across the world were testing the potential medical properties of parasitic worms.
For instance, a US team is infecting volunteers with an intestinal round worm, and a team in Nottingham is conducting similar experiments with hookworms.

This is a reckless and foolish idea: it's how the Goa'uld got us in the first place!

Posted by Jonah at 4:47 PM

Borat responds

I don't know if you noticed that the Kazakhstan government were taking Sacha Baron Cohen to court after his appearance as Borat hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards, but Borat has published a video response (much reminiscent of the videos posted by convicted kiddy fiddler Jonathan King when he was charged).

Borat giving the thumbs-up
"I like to state, I have no connection with Mr Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew."
"Since 2003 ... Kazakhstan is as civilised as any other country in the world.
Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hat and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."
Posted by Jonah at 3:24 PM | Comments (1)

November 18, 2005

Mad Props to Negroponte

And no, I don't mean John Negroponte of Honduras death-squad blind eye fame, I mean Nicholas Negroponte of hundred-dollar wind-up linux laptop for third world children fame.

This is a fantastic idea and it's bloody great to see IT nerds doing some real palpable good for the world outside the G8:

Image of the $100 laptop with crank extended
TUNIS, Tunisia -- If tech luminary Nicholas Negroponte has his way, the pale light from rugged, hand-cranked $100 laptops will illuminate homes in villages and townships throughout the developing world, and give every child on the planet a computer of their own by 2010.
The MIT Media Lab and Wired magazine founder stood shoulder to shoulder with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to unveil the first working prototype of the "$100 laptop" -- currently more like $110 -- at the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society here Wednesday. The Linux-based machine instantly became the hit of the show, and Thursday saw diplomats and dignitaries, reporters and TV cameras perpetually crowded around the booth of One Laptop Per Child -- Negroponte's nonprofit -- craning for a glimpse of the toy-like tote.
With its cheery green coloring and Tonka-tough shell, the laptop certainly looks cool. It boasts a 7-inch screen that swivels like a tablet PC, and an electricity-generating crank that provides 40 minutes of power from a minute of grinding. Built-in Wi-Fi with mesh networking support, combined with a microphone, speaker and headset jack, even means the box can serve as a node in an ersatz VOIP phone system.
Under the hood, it's powered by a modest 500-MHz AMD processor, and uses a gig of flash memory for storage. But the key to building it cheaply enough to educate the world's children is an innovative, low-power LCD screen technology invented by Negroponte's CTO, Mary Lou Jepsen. "The manufacturers are the toughest audience, and they stopped laughing in September," says Jepsen. The machine is expected to start mass production late next year, and the governments of Thailand and Brazil have already said they're serious about placing $1 million orders for their school kids. Others are close to lining up.
Posted by Jonah at 9:24 AM

November 11, 2005

Sweary Video Cut-up

I found the Anglo-American Swearing Competition via Green Fairy's linklog.

Look at that last frame of Bush there. Just look at that smirk. Now look at each half of his face one at a time. He somehow manages to look more of a stroke victim than Cheney.

Posted by Jonah at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

Mystery Man Jailed

Chinned Jimmy Carr

A man who stole the identity of a dead child 23 years ago has been jailed after a life living under an assumed identity.

Det Con Sprigg said: "This man has gone to jail today flatly refusing to reveal his identity to us and I believe he probably has a serious reason for not telling us who he really is.
"If anyone recognises him from the photographs, we would very much like to hear from them."

Well, to me he looks like Jimmy Carr after a good kicking. (A man can dream, can't he?)

Posted by Jonah at 9:31 AM

November 1, 2005

Compare and contrast

New, Labour, New Danger
UK conservatives, 1997
Click to thank Tony
US conservatives, 2005
Posted by Jonah at 11:30 AM