As another week draws inexorably to a close I thought it might be a good time to pass comment on the changes you may have noticed going on around here. I’ve basically upgraded from the Kubrick design (now a classic) to the amazing new K2 by Michael Heilemann. While it’s still officially in an alpha state of development it’s still more than good enough. In terms of my own customisations everything still in a state of flux but things should settle down soon. Of particular note is the new archives page and live searching – check them out!
I’ve been wanting to do some photography this week but the weather has been so dreadful it hasn’t yet happened – fingers crossed for this weekend. So there may be a lack of pretty pictures today but here are some cool/interesting links to make up for it:
The past weekend was hectic to say the least – I covered well over 500 miles in the car and am now crashed out at home with my brain on autopilot – no thinking required!
The good news is that Red Ted has returned triumphant from his diplomatic trip to Shanghai, China intact. Below are some photos which were wired to me earlier today showing him out and about:
Yong Jiang Bridge
Pudong International Airport
His adventures abroad always make me rather jealous as he is far better traveled than I am. Recently he has been to France, Italy, Japan & China to name but a few countries as well as all over the UK. Many believe Red Ted to be a myth or the figment of a collective over-active imagination but those who know him always speak of the awe and wonder experienced in his presence – no wonder he is on the most wanted list of over a dozen governments and has a list of deadly enemies to rival Kim Jong-IL, the dictatorial leader of North Korea. Where his travels will take him next no-one knows but inside sources have reported plans for a summer European tour which may take place in August…
Someone pointed out this news article to me earlier today and I just had to pass comment on it. Now that the fuss has almost died down around school “inclusion” and the idiotic idea that children should no longer be allowed to participate in competitions where there were winners and losers some idiot has now pronounced than no-one should ‘fail’. Instead they should be given the grade of “deferred success”!! If it wasn’t for that fact that someone actually believes this then it would be hilarious but unfortunately this is not the case. Luckily the UK education secretary has rejected the idea outright.
Today I’ve been working on a new photo-blog website as an extension to this one. Basically I want somewhere better to present my best photographs and I can’t really do that here. It’s still a work in progress but take a http://photos.randomwire.com for a preliminary version with a few of my most recent photos in it.
I was testing out a new camera today and had a play around with the fast ‘sport’ mode to capture my brother having a kick about with a football! I was quite pleased with how the camera performed (more on this another day) even though lighting wasn’t ideal. So here for your edification is Russell (a pseudonym!):
Check out the mid-air action!
Things have been quiet on the posting side for a few days as I’ve been away from fast Internet access visiting family in London. I’m back for the next few weeks at least now until my next excursion so will be updating regular as clockwork! The photos today are ones I took yesterday and are fairly coincidental – there’s no underlying theme here, just really filler as I’m quite tired tonight!
N.B. Just after I took the above photo some receptionist came out of the building (Canary Wharf) and told me I shouldn’t be taking photos. When I asked why ever not apparently the whole ground around the building is privately owned so basically they can enforce whatever stupid rules they like!
“China’s Internet is the most efficiently censored in the world” – and it’s about to get a whole lot worse. As Beijing gears up to deploy one of the most technologically advanced communications networks in the world, know as CN2, fears are growing that by making it effectively incompatible with the rest of the Internet that censorship will be taken to new levels of depravity.
Already companies like Microsoft have bowed to pressure and censor words such as ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ from its online journal services and this is only the tip of the iceberg. By creating a massive internal Internet China is basically cutting itself off from the rest of the world without the majority of its people realising it. Connectivity maps (see below) already highlight this. In comparison to neighbors such as South Korea or Japan (with far smaller populations) it’s connections to the US backbone are minute and already demand far outweighs supply. If this isn’t metaphorically throttling freedom of information and knowledge then nothing else is.
Where this brave new world will go is anyones guess right now. The biggest question on everyones mind is can China have capitalism without democracy? I doubt it can continue indefinitely but then again ignorance is bliss – as long as people have food on their plate, a house and all its accrutrements then will they care?
To find out exactly how it works read ‘The Net Effect‘.
Take a look at the blog of a supporter of democratic reform in Hong Kong (banned in mainland China).
Read an article on China’s bid to divide the Internet here.
Watch this space…
I’ve been back up in Durham for the past few days. The weather here has been very hot this weekend and yesterday saw the annual Miners Festival come to the cricket ground right next to where I’m staying. To call it loud would be an understatement – this was serious noise pollution! Seeing as there wasn’t much else to do with this level of disruption we thought we’d go and take a look. There was the usual blend of fun-fair tack, socialist renegades and anti-everything groups all basically making a mess of the pitch. Obviously though my views were in the minority on this occasion as there were literally thousands of people in Durham clogging the place up.
There was one particularly fearsome (and dangerous!) looking ride there appropriately named “Oblivion” which you could describe as being a human food blender! I took a few pics:
In the evening I cooked lasagna for a few friends which turned out pretty well after which we went for a walk along the river only to be met by a sea of litter stretching up to the bank with only one poor man in attendance to clear it up.
How people think it’s acceptable to make this sort of mess is beyond me.
“The Chinese Revolution Army is the School of Chairman Mao’s Thought”
After his highly successful and critically acclaimed fact-finding mission to Japan last November Red Ted is off on his travels again, this time to Shanghai in China. Few know that amongst his many abilities he speaks fluent Mandarin and was present during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 (depicted above in the propaganda poster), although his role in this is still unclear. Even less know that the title of Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book” is in fact a direct reference to the great RT himself.
It is hoped that his visit will act as a bridge for Chinese-Japanese relations and we wish him every sucess for his mission and safe return!!
As you probably already know there has been a major terrorist attack in London on the transport infrastructure which has led to many fatalities. At the time I was on a train North bound from London Kings Cross station (where one of the explosions occurred) when it was announced that a “major incident” had happened and that no trains would not be running back to London. Mobile phones were instantly buzzing with people calling friends and family and obviously there were some worried faces.
Binary Bonsai has a good run-down of the relevant links for up-to-date information. Wikipedia also has a page being constantly updated.
After the jubilation of yesterday it’s a dark day for London.
Congratulations to London for winning the bit to host the 2012 Olympics after Beijing in 2008. Like so many I was expecting Paris to win so it came as a bit of a surprise! Hopefully if I’m still living in the capitol in seven years time I’ll be able to go to see some of the events!