The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

30th April
The most embarrassing moment of my life! Amusing collection of cringeworthy anecdotes.

29th April
New York for beginners. Via Robot Wisdom.

The Observer interviews Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman, two of the less well-known Rolling Stones. Wyman on Watts : 'Sometimes he'll phone me from Argentina when the Stones are touring and say, 'I was on stage again tonight and I turned round to say something to you, and you weren't there again,' and I'll be cracking up on the phone - it's 3 o'clock in the morning - and I'll say, 'Where are you?' and he'll say, 'I don't know, some place called Boners Arees or something.' That's his charm. He doesn't even know he's in Argentina.'

Census chaos over form delivery. It's census day in the UK. True fact : Charlie Watts was fined 350 pounds in 1991 for declaring, 'Those who fill in the forms are sheep.' He's not short of a bob or two, though, even if his Argentinian geography's not up to much.

The Thrilling Detective Web Site.

The Observer's press freedom campaign.

Guardian - 'Daring escape of the Karmapa.' 'Sixteen months after he arrived in Nepal, the Buddhist leader, 15, breaks his silence on the night he fled China in a jeep.'

The Bush Watch. Via Booknotes.

Observer - 'Cabal of lawyers drives Bush further to the right.' 'The Federalist Society's philosophy underpins, and is ready to steer, all the administration's cornerstone policies on deregulation of environmental and labour law, education, civil rights and abortion. The author of the IDS study, Julie Gerchik, says that 'the agenda is to dismantle everything built since the New Deal'. There was even a Federalist panel in Chicago on 28 March entitled 'Rolling Back the New Deal'. ' Several Supreme Court judges and the Attorney-General have close links with the Federalists.
Bush's 100 day report : right, right and right again?

Observer - 'Mommy wars.' 'A study that terrified working parents on both sides of the Atlantic is now seen as seriously flawed. '

Britain Uncovered, warts and all.

28th April
The West Virginia Surf Report. Online humour zine from the land of the Waltons.

27th April
An ancient city in Peru was built around the same time as the pyramids in Egypt.
Whales and dolphins can't see blue.
How do humans distinguish between noise and music?
The rumour put about online that Miss France is a man was a joke.
Michelangelo's David too obscene for Florida. I think I've seen a Simpsons episode with a similar plot to this.
Customer gives sick waitress $1000 tip.
Vets produce rare camel twins.
Lions face new threat from a most unexpected quarter.
Journalists protest gag order.

26th April
Ancient graffiti on the walls of Pompeii. Via Reutellog.

Animal causes celebres : where are they now?
Could you be a captain of industry?

The Snake Temple, Penang. Your humble scribe has been there, along with many others.

Zippylog has a new URL, as does Wherever You Are.

Women's pen and paper maintains friendship for six decades. This is great. Via Zippylog.

What's a Memory Palace? Via Bleu Blog.

Farmer's delight as Phoenix the calf is allowed to live.
Independent - 'Phoenix the calf is spared after a national outcry.'

Buzz at Bangkok's first oxygen bar.
American Atheists fight for founder's remains.
Football announcer sacked for plugging porn site.
Family complains about dead passenger.
Hollywood makes mountains of English molehills.
US man may have six wives.
Chinese Cultural Revolution memorabilia sold online.

Why US power cuts are Thatcher's fault.
Dinosaur was covered in feathers.
Geisha sues over best-selling book.
Top ANC men deny 'plot'.
Senator tells of role in 1969 Vietnam deaths.

Latest UK general election poll - Labour 50 percent, Tories 30 percent, Lib Dems 13 percent, other 7 percent. By my reckoning, this would give Labour a majority of 250 plus, which is huge, even bigger than now. It probably won't be quite this big on the day, but still... The Lib Dems would stand to lose a lot of the seats they gained last time.
I'll probably support the Liberal Democrats this time, after voting Labour in the last two elections. They score better than both Labour and the Tories on liberty, and slightly better than New Labour (though not Old Labour) on equality. The Greens probably won't run a candidate (despite one of the local MEP's being a Green Party member), and besides, it's a Tory / Lib Dem marginal.

25th April
Phoenix rises from the ashes. Calf survives cull, found alive after five days.
Farmer will not let Phoenix die.
Farmer says he is winning Phoenix fight.

New bra has built-in gun holster.

The Silver Screen that Divides Us. 'What if you woke up one day and every movie portrayed Americans as dumb, dirty and ignorant? What if every TV show you tuned into showed Americans as fat, lazy and inbred? What if every actor was cast as The Ugly American--greedy, materialistic and arrogant? Welcome to how the rest of the world feels when it watches Hollywood portray its countries and cultures. '
This piece is particularly about negative stereotyping on Mexicans in Hollywood. Before I went to Mexico for the first time, I was warned by many of my online norteamericano friends, liberal-minded people, that it was a bad idea, to be very careful, even, on one occasion, about 'friends of friends of friends' who'd fallen victim to black magic rituals there! (Many others, on the other hand, thought it was a fine idea and were actually quite envious. People's reactions ran the whole spectrum).
Despite its many, obvious social problems, it's not a particularly dangerous place. Certainly nothing to warrant the almost phobic warnings of the terrible fate which would befall me. It's obviously a good idea to be careful... but it's certainly interesting. Stereotypes are like a prison, a way of making people afraid, even a way to keep people from finding things out for themselves. As with most things, the best idea is to find out for yourself, and not to take anyone's word for it.
(On my way back home I stopped over in New York, which I was also warned about, but which proved to be both safer and cleaner than London. Maybe the Big Apple suffers from a bit of negative stereotyping too).
Negative stereotyping takes different forms in different parts of the world - the Arabs seem to get a fairly raw deal from the British media, for instance. A fairly high proportion of bad guys in Hollywood films also seem to be British ('The Patriot', Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman). Well, I suppose that's fair enough, especially now the Americans have Anne Robinson to contend with ;).
Human cultures vary, but human nature is the same everywhere in the world.

I like Diego Rivera.

Grauniad comment - 'Presidency of dunces.' Guess who they're slating?
To be fair, the Bush administration is not the only culprit. Criticism of Bush and the redneck sultans behind him is entirely deserved, but read this, also from Guardian Unlimited :-
'Germans gripe over green pact'. 'A furore over an eco-tax on petrol reveals much about Germany's ambivalent attitude to the environmental cause, writes John Hooper.'
To a certain extent everyone should look at their own practices, too.

For comprehensive and excellent criticism of the White House, read Booknotes every day.

24th April
Norway mourns passing of blind celebrity cod.
White witch bids to protect Nessie from hunter.
Bush bans sex films from Air Force One.
Mandela and Chirac 'are funniest leaders' according to Kofi Annan.
Fetishists face EC PVC ban.

Spent a pleasant couple of hours after work browsing the shelves of Murder One. Check out their links page.

Yesterday was Shakespeare's birthday, as well as being the anniversary of his death. It was also St. George's Day.
Sweet tooth gene found, allegedly.

23rd April
Big dam in China may warm Japan. Via Reutellog.
BBC - 'Human 'may have foot-and-mouth'.' 'If confirmed, the case would be only the second ever recorded in this country, although experts say the illness is only mild in humans, and that no cases of human to human transmission have ever been recorded. '
Guardian Unlimited - 'Government 'ignored disease risk' ' according to Friends of the Earth.

Sherlock Holmes on the Web. Includes the original stories and parodies.

Feminist Mystery Corner.

The Equiano Foundation. Olaudah Equiano was kidnapped from his African village as a boy, sold and resold as a slave in the Caribbean and North America, and eventually was able to buy his freedom in 1766. After a period as a supervisor of slaves in Central America, he returned to England, married an Englishwoman and became a leading figure in the anti-slavery movement. At the age of forty-four he wrote his autobiography, 'The Interesting Narrative'.

The British Library's Equiano pages include extracts from 'The Interesting Narrative' and a biography of Equiano, and more.

22nd April
Ask your site, 'Who do you think you are?' Fun. The Nutlog thinks it's Hannibal Lecter... Robot Wisdom is Forrest Gump, and Freakles and Google are Lolita. Enjoy.
Lost and Looking. A meditation on the life and death of Sam Cooke.
The Tibetan Game of Liberation. Achieve enlightenment in a few easy steps, just in case you missed it the first time round.
Temples of Bali and Java.
Guardian Unlimited on the marathon monks of Japan.
Taking it easy today. Go and enjoy the fully-clothed asciibabes, and visit the Hunger Site.

21st April
Telegraph - 'Plenty of tea but not so many trains after the Bomb.' 'Planners in the early Fifties believed the London rush hour would continue as normal on the day of an atomic attack, although a nuclear holocaust might result in some delay to evening services.' Buses might have been needed to cover disrupted train services, gas mains within a mile of Ground Zero would be disconnected to lessen the effect of the explosion, and the homeless would be supplied with tea and biscuits on Wimbledon Common.
Via Wherever You Are.

'L'Air du Tube' wafts away commuter odours.
An April shower of meteorites will be visible this weekend.

20th April
Strange New World - an interactive philosophical simulation. Via Reutellog.

Scientists study mountain with 'magical healing powers' in Romania.
Did Jack the Ripper come from Cheltenham?
No more exploding cows in the Alps.
The Washington Post celebrates Wonder Woman as she turns 60.

Guardian Unlimited on the 'Star Wars' bases in Britain. 'There have been American radar stations at Fylingdales and Menwith Hill for years - scanning the skies for hostile missiles. They have never attracted much criticism. But recently they have changed in appearance. Surely this can only mean one thing - they will play a central role in the US president's controversial 'Star Wars' strategy...'

BBC - 'Why elephants don't forget.' 'A study of wild African elephants has revealed that dominant females build-up a social memory as they get older, enabling them to recognise "friendly" faces. '

Villagers kill woman seen as witch.

Study says prolonged day care creates bullies.
One in six US children lives in poverty.
Compare and contrast.
More power to Zippylog for pointing this out.

19th April
Anne Robinson, what a role model.
Propaganda for the American version of the excellent quiz show 'The Weakest Link'. Via Brainsluice.
The US critics don't like it much.
In fact, one critic had the impudence to argue, "Coming from a British host, somebody who has a British accent and is quite obviously British, and is putting down these American contestants -- I don't know -- it will be very interesting to see how Americans respond to that." , which seems pretty a feeble excuse to me. You are the weakest link, goodbye....
The American viewing public seems to like it though, and it's votes that count. I'd like to know why the prize money in the US version seems to be several times higher than in the British version (NBC has more money to burn from advertising than the BBC does from the licence fee, I suppose).

How to dance properly. Thanks, Shelda.

Astronomers find distant 'double planet'.
BSE origins 'linked to antelope'.
Laziness is good for you, scientist finds.
Legal row over 'Gone with the Wind', or rather what sounds like a rather entertaining parody of the book told from a mixed-race viewpoint. Representatives of the estate of Margaret Mitchell are trying to sue to stop 'The Wind Done Gone', which I suppose would be a bit like the Tolkien Society trying to stop 'Bored of the Rings'. 'Bored' takes nothing away from Tolkien, and I suspect 'The Wind Done Gone' will take nothing away from Mitchell. Chill out.
Toni Morrison supports 'Gone' sequel. As does Harper Lee. ``What Miss Randall's book does is imagine and occupy narrative spaces and silences never once touched upon nor conceived of in Mrs. Mitchell's novel,'' Morrison said in a recent statement.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, a row over Nobel literature laureate Nadine Gordimer. Gordimer, who had a number of books banned by the apartheid regime, and 'identified closely with the struggle' , has fallen foul of education authorities in Gauteng, who want her work taken off the curriculum. There are many threats to democracy in the world, but Nadine Gordimer is not one of them.

A British tactical voting website. Not sure if I necessarily agree with the idea of 'vote-swapping', but their database is pretty good.
(Disclaimer - I do not condone tactical voting or 'vote-swapping' in any way, am not responsible for the content of that site, and the link above is provided for educational purposes only.)

Which kind of Brit are you? asks Guardian Unlimited.

US urged not to block Kyoto.
Drugs firms drop Aids case in South Africa.
Guardian Unlimited - 'Shamed and humiliated - the drugs firms back down.'
Vietnam 'troublemakers' face prosecution.

18th April
Footsteps of Man, a trek across the world by foot.
'Footsteps of Man will retrace the original routes of man from South Africa 120,000 years ago, to South America 12,000 years ago. As Footsteps of Man explores the archaeological, ecological and anthropological milestones along the route it will be joined by specialists in the field to rediscover the world of ancient man. The 40,000 mile walk will take 7 years.' Via Bitter Pills.
(Be interested to see how they manage to cross the Bering Strait).

BBC - 'I can see sounds.' Nice piece about synaesthesia, a condition which mixes up the senses, often by associating colours with sounds. Also via Bitter Pills, who relates how they used to make a similar association in early childhood...
I remember making similar associations between colours, shades and sounds when I was about 4 or 5. I read somewhere that this sort of thing is much quite common in young children, who gradually stop as they grow older; maybe people stop doing this as the senses become better developed and more defined, or due to some neurological change. I understand, though, that people who become adept in the Solresol musical language can experience a kind of synaesthesia.

The World's Largest Ball of Twine. Via iamcal.

Byron the Romantic rebel 'was a psychopath' says psychiatrist. Hmmm... Certainly he was anti-social, but is a troubled childhood, being expelled from Harrow and having lots of nasty habits sufficient to diagnose a long-dead cultural figure? I hope this isn't a very mild case of 'Uzbek psychiatrist syndrome'? Of course, I've no way of knowing from afar. Interesting read anyhow, for whatever reason. Via Lukelog.

Robot with living brain created in US.
Doubt cast on Thai treasure claim.
Human rights activists declared ill in Uzbekistan.
Comic mocks Chinese leaders over 1989 crackdown.
Bard barred for being too boring.
How to speed solve the Rubik's cube. Via Robert Solis via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

17th April
Rude Mountain e-cards. Some of these are pretty twisted. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.
Giant Robot. Fab Asian pop culture site. Also via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

Interesting discussion going on over at Booknotes - block blogging for the common good.
One weblogger's response - Joining the Conspiracy. (I like the term 'samizlog', too).

Scientists report ghostly goings on at Edinburgh Castle.

BBC World Service - 'The Story of Africa'.

Easter egg surprise turns sour.
Frenzy to find treasure that could pay Thai debt.
Sinatra voted 'voice of the century'.

Liberal Russian daily shut down.
'Slave ship' docks leaving many questions unanswered.

BBC - 'Mali's children in chocolate slavery.' '...In all, at least 15,000 children are thought to be over in the neighbouring Ivory Coast, producing cocoa which then goes towards making almost half of the world's chocolate. '
The Anti-Slavery Organisation.

16th April
The Galactic Sugar Glider Confederation. (Sugar gliders are a bit like marsupial bats, I think). Via Bifurcated Rivets.
Forward Garden 'provides the Internet's largest database of jokes, stories, opinions, and other user-supplied content that you can email to your friends....'
MetaSpy. See what the world is searching for.
Dancing is outlawed in Virginia town.
Greens contemplate US oil boycott.
A sad farewell to Joey Ramone
Buddha arises in Tajikistan. This 1,600 year old sleeping giant is 14 metres long and was discovered in 1966, only to be hidden by the Soviets. Thanks for the link Reutellog.
Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo. Also via Reutellog.

15th April
Teletubby Selector.
Philotype Selector.

Suspected slave ship languishes off Africa.
Bush virtual pet game soars in China.

A comprehensive search for ghosts in Edinburgh. Via Swallowing Tacks.
Library of Congress : African American Odyssey. Via Reutellog.

14th April
Bog Snorkelling.

Take the Philosophical Health Check. Via Wherever You Are. I have a Tension Quotient of 7 %, which means that my beliefs are boringly consistent.

Human rights defender institutionalised in Uzbekistan.

The Nation - 'How the GOP gamed the system in Florida.' Allegations of electoral wickedness, that minority voters were systematically shut out in Florida.
The Nation's press release.
Via Booknotes, who I'm glad is following this issue up so thoroughly.

Good Friday, 13th April
The Bubblesphere and instructions on making a bubble bomb. Fun elicited from le bleu bubblog.

AfricaBib. For everything African.

New Scientist - 'The 'strongest evidence to date' for global warming undermines a discrepancy often cited by sceptics.'
South Africa is the first country to license a human blood substitute for use in surgery.
New Scientist on fears for the next big earthquake to hit Tokyo.

Aung San Suu Kyi's homepages.

Stone Age dentists used hand drill with rock bit.
Astronomers have witnessed the first auroral flame ever seen on Jupiter.
Asteroids 'affected human evolution'.
Scientists crack 'munchies' mystery.
Smugglers say Virgin Mary gave them cash.

12th April
Mikhail Gorbachev's homepage.

Horrifying Asia. Asian ghost stories. Via Bitter Pills.
Swingin' Chicks of the '60s. Via Booknotes.
The Black Sash Journals. The history of the anti-apartheid Black Sash organisation. Also via Booknotes.

Compromise bid to save climate treaty.
Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 at football.
Korean leader joins textbook row about the controversial Japanese school textbook which allegedly glosses over the Japanese role in World War 2.
Pig cloning advance.
45 die in stampede at football match in Johannesburg.

Wisconsin Roadside Creatures. Via GMT+9.
The Virtual Museum of Dead Places. Also via GMT+9.

The Mars Odyssey Launch and Status pages. Cheers, Blivet.

Usefulness harvested from Blivet's links page :-
Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit.
The Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun.

Missing Novell server discovered after four years.
Star Wars fans plan to declare their religion as 'Jedi' in census.
Kazakh grandfather on cycling pilgrimage.

The Blue Moon Review. Cool literary e-mag.
Rest in peace, Sir Harry Secombe.

The arguments of a fossil fool.

In order to navigate one's way around the world, it is first of all necessary to understand that it is not flat.

11th April
Guardian Unlimited begins a series of articles on Britain's minor political parties.
Warrior queen and chariot her Iron Age unearthed on a building site in Yorkshire.
Were fractals discovered by 13th century monk? (Probably not - Ed.)
6500-year-old 'clock' discovered.
Ancient Alexandria mapped.
Times - ' 'Lost tribe' enslaved by neighbours.'
Cosmologists float new theory for the origins of the Universe.
Plan to save Lakeland sheep.
Fed up resident prompts police to blow up car.
Alastair Campbell used to disapprove of the royals when he was a tabloid journalist, before he became Tony Blair's official spokesman. Via Linkmachinego.
Geologists record undersea volcano. Via Reutellog.

10th April
Americans defeat Russians in first Space Quidditch match. (A little late, I know). Via Andrea's Weblog.

The Emma Goldman Papers. Via Booknotes.

Not really doing much surfing today... just enjoying the first sign of summer. It's past 8 and still light.

Be seeing you.

9th April
The Shakers - Another America. Interesting piece about the religious movement.
The Shaker Legacy.
Shaker Design.
Shaker Quotation of the Week.
All the above are part of the Shaker Workshops site.

Hi there, Bitter Pills. Thanks for the link.

Brazilian lost tribe discovered.

Clowns told to get custard pie insurance.
Floating clinic will offer the sick offshore euthanasia.
Cinema bans sleeping baby from film for over-12s.

Bill Clinton to speak at Hay-on-Wye book festival. It's very commendable for politicians to be well-read. I wonder if his successor will ever attend.
(Hay-on-Wye is a 'book village' on the border of England and Wales).
Related link :- Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts.

Hubble telescope takes new pictures of Whirlpool Galaxy.
The M51 Galaxy.

New proposal to revive Kyoto treaty.
EU ready to renegotiate Kyoto. Very magnanimous.

Could you avoid a tabloid sting?
The Torygraph condemns the News of the World's knavish tricks.

Viva Hamster Republic.

8th April
RetroWeb.
RetroWeb Classic TV : The Prisoner.

Postcards from Prison.

Oo er missus!

7th April
Chill out, Dalai Lama tells US and China.
Grand National win for Red Marauder but only four finishers!
Oily fossils provide clues to the evolution of flowers.
Yukon meteorite dates back to origins of the solar system.

New Scientist - 'Combined effort.' 'The UN's top climatologists have robustly rejected US President George Bush's claim that scientists are divided over whether global warming is real.' Includes interesting best-guesses on how climate change will affect the US itself.
Friends of the Earth campaign : Call or email the White House to protest President Bush's attack on the environment.
EU will implement Kyoto anyway, says Romano Prodi.
US plans 'Kyoto alternative'.

5th April
Grauniad Unlimited interviews Michael Heseltine. Via Linkmachinego.

Man stops own funeral.
Italians hope to defend world pizza title.
Expert says Goya works painted by others.

4th April
Sydney Morning Herald - 'The philosopher from Monash excites fury at Princeton.' Peter Singer stirs it up, again. This time the fuss is about his views on bestiality; he's already caused a fuss with his views on world hunger, animal rights and euthanasia. Personally, I find his views unorthodox but consistent and ethical within their own framework, intriguing and challenging. Disagreements and challenges, rather than conformity, are what the study of big ideas is all about.

SMH - 'Miss the Soviet error? Come to Stalin World.' Not for me, I'm afraid.

Pantheon.org - the Encyclopedia Mythica.

Neanderthals, modern humans interbred, new study says.
Astronomers identify 20 planets 'free floating' in the constellation of Orion.
Ancient monument needs hi-tech rescue. Archaeologists turn to engineers to save the prehistoric British site of Silbury Hill, which is in danger of collapse.
Priest refuses to bury 'witch' after cats prediction comes true.
China unearths well-preserved body of Ming scholar.

Telegraph - 'Secrets of world's oldest boat are discovered in Kuwait sands.' 'A British team of archaeologists believes that small slabs of bitumen dug up in Kuwait could hold evidence that man first successfully built ocean-going boats up to 7,000 years ago.'
(Possible connection with the ancient Bahraini kingdom of Dilmun?)
On similar lines, take a look at this page on possible linkages between ancient Sumer (in modern Iraq), Dilmun and Mohenjo-daro (in modern Pakistan).

Masai have a cure for foot-and-mouth, and they're happy to share it. A cocktail of cow urine and rock salt will do the trick; Masai elder John Ntimeri is happy to travel to the UK to show us how to do it. From the Telegraph. No nonsense about patents, either.
' "We know we can cure them so the sooner they all get the disease the better." No Masai has ever been harmed by eating meat from a cow with foot and mouth.Mr Ntimeri, who has eaten infected meat, said: "We are feeling that this killing is very bad because there is no effect for humans." ' Quite.

Universe of Bagpipes.

3rd April
Gorgeous newswire picture of Sun after solar flare.
Severe space weather storm.

'Pompeii' salamanders fill fossil gap.
Mozart 'can cut epilepsy'.
Doubts over water on Mars.
Genes link Celts to Basques.

2nd April
Guardian Unlimited on the British Press's April Fool stories.

Your Computer is Made Out of Magic!

United Kingdom Election Results. Comprehensive and useful.

1st April
This fellow is trying to travel overland from South Africa to Egypt. He's also uploading photos as he goes, subject to availability of Internet cafes.

World of Vikings. Via Reutellog.

Milosevic arrested.

I was kidnapped by space aliens, says weblogger.

Slaughter hits ancient forest's sheep.