The weather report this morning was really cute: “Murky start then showers likely”. Murky?
Awww! And it’s just in time for Madrid Pride.
Spanish MPs approve gay marriages
“Spain’s lower house of parliament has voted in favour of allowing gay couples to marry and adopt children.
The new law puts same-sex and heterosexual marriages on the same legal footing, including the right to adopt children.” (BBC)
Today I’ve had lots of fun playing with Google Earth (Windows only, and you really really need broadband).
For some reason, I’ve randomly come across a site for dressing up your dog and your cat. Scary stuff.
I’ve come up with a new, better version of the iPod, for a friend at work who accidentally showered with his at the gym.
Take a matchbox, cover it in white paper, draw on a dial. Carefully cut a small round hole in the top, insert headphone jack. Take a bumblebee, place gently in matchbox.
Voila! Music all day long. For variety, give the bee a kazoo, or exchange it for a blow fly. If you’re in a retro mood, why not try some Ant Music?
“New Zealand sporting legends have thrown their weight behind a campaign to change their national flag because it is too much like Australia’s.” (Age)
I think Australia and New Zealand should change their flags, the Union Jack should have gone a long time ago.
I missed this at the time, but it’s really interesting still:
Cancer charity turns down
Oldest WWI digger dies
“Mr Casserly, like many of his generation, lied about his age when he enlisted in 1917 claiming to be 21, then used what he calls “ocean post” – a message in a bottle – to tell his mother all about it.
The bottle he dropped into the sea from his troop ship off Fremantle eventually washed ashore more than 700km away at Esperance, where a woman who found it posted it to his mum in Perth.
But like virtually all old Diggers he loathes fighting, and once his own war had ended he did not take part in an Anzac Day march until 2004.
“There’s 90,000 Australians underground,” he said at the time.
“Now you can’t tell me there is anything good about war – you think that’s fair enough?”” (Age)
It’s this kinda thing that makes me distrust the extent to which a private company like Google has control over so much of our access to a public entity like the internet.
“[D]espite the still-popular myth, the internet is far from being a haven for free speech, freedom of expression or even free trade
If we want freedom online then we need laws that guarantee it. We cannot trust the technology, because it is getting better and better at control and surveillance, as China makes clear.
We cannot trust the private sector, not because they are devious or anti-freedom, but simply because it is not and never has been their role to preserve our core liberties. ”
In other news, I have the worst hayfever known to all mankind. I’ve never had it this bad before. I was in Greenwich on Saturday, and felt a bit miserable but ok, but Sunday night was horrific. Maybe I spent too much time in the park and on the roof enjoying the breezes because I think I’ve sneezed so much I’ve given myself a cold.
Anyway, in other other news, I finally got to check out LMNT, with some lovely company. I’ve just read their website, and their toilets are described as ‘probably has the sauciest toilets in London’. The rest of the decor is pretty stunning too.
I think it’s time to revive the idea of modern superheroes. Call Spiderman when you’ve got a nasty moth infestation, or Batman when cute women in catsuits are pestering you, but who do you call on a summer’s night when your peace is disturbed by some idiot too proud of his car’s speakers?
The WaterPistol Avenger, that’s who. One call, and he’ll slip into his lycra, slap on his mask, and jump on his pushbike. Racing around the corner, he’ll spot the offending idiot, and slow to a casual pace, pulling out a giant water pistol as he draws level with the car window. The sonic assailant turns around just as the WaterPistol Avenger starts pumping, drenching the aural invader and his car stereo with waves of water.
As the music dies, all that can be heard are the sobs of the under-endowed car owner as he realises the folly of his ways, and vows never to bother peace-loving residents again.
The WaterPistol Avenger cruises on, job done.
Now all I need to some way of silencing the irritating yuppies who have yelled conversations across the street as they leave after the pub quiz. Perhaps they don’t recognise it as a residential street because all the houses are joined up and there aren’t any front lawns.
I’ve been reminded that I need to get off my arse and respond to this. I started, but got a bit stuck, which can only partly be excused by how crazily busy work has been lately.
Total number of books I’ve owned: I’ve always been too scared to count them. When I left Australia, I had five floor to ceiling bookshelves with books double-stacked on the shelves. I’d read most of them several times so I could still justifiably claim that I had nothing to read. I’ve been very, very good recently because I have the smallest room in the world, but I still have books stashed all over my room.
Last book I bought: a guide to the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. My excuse is that half the labels were in Russian only. It wasn’t for the pretty pictures, oh no. Actually, since I started writing this entry, I’ve ordered ‘Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice’ since I figure I really should know more about archaeology, as I work so closely with archaeologists.
Last books I read: ‘Small Island’, ‘Lonely Planet Russia and Belarus’, and the new translation of Proust’s ‘The Way by Swann’s’ (still. It’s so rich I can only read a paragraph at a time, like a block of very good chocolate after a meal).
Last book I finished: The Time Traveller’s Wife. I am sorta embarrassed by this, as it’s now marketed as the Richard and Judy Book Club pick, but as it was also my lezza book club pick, I had to read it.
Five books that mean a lot to me: this is where I got stuck. I could cite things like Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, which I found in my high school library, and which was proof that there was intelligent life out there.
I guess this question is easier if I think about books that have changed my life, rather than ones I can unequivocally say I love. Reading the Bible changed my life – I became an atheist as a result. Not so good if you’re seven or eight years old, and in a Catholic family, attending a Catholic primary school.
I’ll think of some others in due time, at this rate probably when I’m on site in a few weeks.