Just when you were worried about how stupid David Beckham is… Dubya can’t even stay on his pushbike.
“Mr Bush was shouting “Thanks, you guys, for coming” when he lost control and collided with an officer”. (BBC)

I really hope this is a joke:
“England football captain David Beckham confessed he is befuddled by his six-year-old son Brooklyn’s maths homework.

“I find that if I follow a routine … it gets to the stage where you are thinking, ‘Right, was it the left side … the left boot I put on first, or the right side?’
“There are so many things that can go through your mind.”” (Age)

I’ve been typing up some of my travel writing, and it’s inspired me to try and get in contact with hostelworld.com about the Paradise Hotel and Hostel/brothel I accidentally stayed in in Riga. I really should get around to scanning in the ‘massage menus’.
“At the time I couldn’t get the contact form on your website to work but
I’d like to make a complaint about the Paradise Hotel and Hostel.
I had a two night booking for a single room with private bathroom there,
but I only stayed one night as not only were there no single rooms with
private bathrooms available, but somewhat more importantly, the place is
basically a brothel. The only private bathrooms are in the “massage
rooms” and it looks like they prefer to rent them out by the hour.
There’s a 24 hour bar downstairs, with a “free drink with a beautiful
woman” if you bring in their brochure, and a 24 “erotic massage” saloon.”

This Bono-led Red campaign worries me.
He’s hooked up with brands like Converse (owned by Nike) and GAP (of sweatshop fame) to produce a few limited edition token items, some of the profits from which go to ‘fight poverty in Africa’.
So the companies get to spruce up their image without impacting the vast percentage of their profits, and Bono gets to look like a saint, again. Seems a small price to pay for priceless positive spin that counters their ‘evil, exploitative multinational’ image.
Is it me or is watching big business co-opt and subvert the ethical and fair trade movements incredibly depressing?

If you give the music map site the name of an act you like, it will show you acts also liked by people who like the first name.
While not as good/comprehensive as Pandora or last.fm, the interface is easy to use and it can throw up some nice connections and lead you down some interesting musical paths.

It’s been interesting reading the reactions to Kerry Packer’s memorial service:
“So how did we come to the conclusion that a life spent turning an inherited fortune into an astronomically bigger one is a life well lived? We didn’t. Rather, as Orwell showed in 1984, those who control the means of communication control the language itself, and can assert, and have a large enough number of people actually believe, that freedom is slavery, war is peace, or that a life spent gorging oneself, squandering amounts on blackjack tables that could help solve, say, the global malaria epidemic, avoiding one’s civic duties and speaking to everybody with barely concealed contempt, is a life of generosity and grace.

Beazley and Hawke are both Rhodes scholars. It’s more likely they know that their party now stands for nothing, and think it’s better to be present at the memorial service of a devout enemy of working people (despite Packer’s love of sport, pies and swear words), than risk offending the owners of a vast media conglomerate whose “opinions” hold more sway over elections than any well-formulated policy.
The memorial service was broadcast without advertisements. Thus viewers could experience, for once, what it is like to watch a program on Channel Nine for an hour without fools screaming at them for 15 minutes to buy things. The only people who protested against this disgraceful, taxpayer-funded event – four members of the noble Kerry Packer dis-memorial society – were arrested.” (Age)
I was amazed to read of the arrests. The BBC said: “Six people were arrested outside the Opera House, for protesting against the memorial service because it was funded by taxpayers’ money.” Arrested? Charged with what? Don’t they have the right to protest?
Sometimes it feels like the Australia I left five years ago was a completely different Australia.

I’ve been struggling a little with my intention of reducing the number of flights I make each year, but this unintentionally ironic sales email from EasyJet helped:
“Snow time like the present…
Catch the white stuff before it melts!”
I’m sure they didn’t mean to make an unintentional reference to global warming, but it does remind me of these Greenpeace Olympics videos about the impact of climate change on the Winter Olympics.

“A fairly nondescript piece of stone could have an impact on the future of the Parthenon Marbles dispute. Last month Heidelberg University decided to return its small fragment of the frieze to Greece.” (Art Newspaper). I wonder if the British Museum is watching.

“A Nigerian court has ordered oil giant Shell’s local operation to pay $1.5bn to the Ijaw people of the Delta region.
The Ijaw have been fighting since 2000 for compensation for environmental degradation in the oil-rich region.” (BBC)
I wonder if that’ll set a precedent.