Archive for March, 2008

Comments back online

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Just a general notice:  my commenting system is back!

For a couple of months now I’ve been getting some weirdass bugs with it… for instance, the submit button would jump away if you moved your mouse near it.  Quite funny to watch, but not very practical.

I just re-wrote it pretty much from the ground up, and it seems to be working OK so far.  For now.  For the time being all that I’m aware of is a cosmetic issue with the submit button overlapping the text area in IE7 – if you notice any bugs on other browsers then drop me a line in the comments.

See those cool little avatars next to peoples’ comments down below?  Those are called Gravatars, and they’re basically little display pictures that follow you round the internet on Gravatar-enabled sites based on your email.   They’re free.  The latest release of WordPress, the platform behind, has Gravatar support built-in.  If you don’t have a Gravatar already then they’re about to take off so now could be a good time to make yourself one.

Next step is to re-write the footer and sidebar to actually be useful.  But more on that later.

Is procrastination intrinsically bad?

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
v. intr.
To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.
v. tr.
To postpone or delay needlessly.

I’ve found myself procrastinating a lot recently. This has generally been regarding my AS Applied IT coursework – I let myself slip so far behind that even thinking about makes the insides of my palms cold and wet.

I exaggerate, but in all seriousness, falling behind is not something that sits well with me. As soon as I see myself slipping I panic, and then something very strange happens: I decide to do nothing about it, and instead procrastinate.

It could be worse, I could just doss. As it happens, during my recent procrastination I have:

  • Updated my blogging platform and now have properly drawn-out plans on how to iron out some of the glaring imperfections and other bugs;
  • Drawn up a new, workable design for the website of my Young Enterprise group, Viper;
  • Started to assemble my portfolio;
  • Made preparations to re-immerse myself in the GTD system which in practical terms saved my GCSEs;
  • Written this blog post.

I’d probabaly be better off (read: less stressed and more likely to pass AGCE IT) if I had just finished my work; on the other hand, lots of other useful things also got done.

So is procrastination really that bad?

(Yes, it is, because the other 90% of the time I’ve been skulking on Flickr and Facebook)

Ad hominem

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

I’m going to take this blog in a slightly different direction. Alongside the usual stuff, I’ll be adding snippets of things that I have learnt about the world that many seem to have overlooked.

Sometimes I will attempt to challenge your perception of things. Sometimes I will ask you to forget about your morals and deeply ingrained opinions and to look at something objectively. And sometimes I will be linking to media that some people may find outlandish.

In preparation for this, here are two introductory snippets from someone who I consider to be fairly stimulating. Whilst I don’t agree with what he says in all of his videos, and whilst the way he voices his opinions can be a little questionable, he’s someone that I will be linking to on here in my quest to get you to think.

With that in mind:

OK, so hopefully you’re thinking now. I’ll be posting similar videos on a fairly regular basis.

5th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

George Bush5 years after the initial invasion of Iraq, the Guardian has an interesting video and article on ‘an uncompromising speech’ by George Bush regarding the event.

In the video, Bush says:

“Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it,” he said. “The answers are clear to me: removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision – and this is a fight Americans must win. Because we acted, the world is better and the United States of America is safer.”

He then goes on to say:

“The battle in Iraq is noble, it is necessary, and it is just. And with your courage, the battle in Iraq will end in victory.”

Which is great, but I can’t help but wonder: in which middle-eastern country the war will continue?

The war in Iraq was about large bombs. When it transpired that, actually, there weren’t any, it became the war against al-Qaida. Now its more generically ‘The War Against Terror”, which conveniently can never be won as you can’t fight battles against fear and emotion. The terrorists will be replaced by freedom fighter ‘terrorists’ at war with our ‘good guy’ permanent bases established in Iraq. Meanwhile the US government will continue to ‘fight the good fight’ against other ‘evil’ far-away lands whilst unifying and numbing its patriotic citizens and systematically removing their rights via such chestnuts as the ‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism’ (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001.

It would not be constructive of the USA to return to peace after Iraq, as it would bring into question the fairly recent legalization of the USA spying on its own citizens and unifying them over a common effort over which they ultimately have no control, and allow its citizens to concentrate on problems back home.

So, where next? Iran? Syria?

Edit:  Oh, and here’s a nice story following the Guardian article on how the USA has made the world a safer place 🙂

We’re back

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Looks like is back after some down-time due to security exploits.

I’m writing this from Urbis in Manchester on some old Macs – wow, getting some weird bugs on Safari. Looks like they’re mostly cosmetic, though.

[Fast forward four hours]


Back home now, in the comfort of my newly cleared-out room. So what was I doing at the Urbis center in Manchester a couple of hours ago?  I’m one of a team of young people from Derby collaborating with Derby QUAD to participate in the Portrait of a Nation project.

Based in Liverpool, Portrait of a Nation is a creative project that aims to discover people’s perceptions of the cultural world around them.  From the Portrait of a Nation website:

Portrait of a Nation“Portrait of a Nation offers the opportunity for communities – especially young people – to get involved in identifying what it is special about their city and their local culture and what they want to save, share and pass on for the future.

What does being British mean to them and what do they want it to mean in the future?”

It’s an exciting project which I feel privileged to be a part of, and I have similar feelings for the QUAD project.  Great things are going to come out of QUAD.  It’s going to be interactive and fun and relevant to the city and its citizens.  Expect to see more of it around here soon.