Thursday, 30 December 2004

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

Wikipedia is the first online encyclopedia to provide a detailed account of the Indian Ocean earthquake. The after-shock of the earthquake produced a great wave which killed many people including many British people.

Thursday, 23 December 2004

Merry Christmas

I'm on holiday from today - for two weeks! I've bought (most of) my presents. Sent my cards. And about to start drinking. Merry Christmas [NSFW] to everyone.

Tuesday, 21 December 2004

Best of 2004

I watch Newsnight Review most Friday evenings and last week's programme was a Review of the Year. The panel chose some great selections. Here are my own favourites of 2004.

My top movie was probably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Wonderful - and not just because it featured the truly beautiful Kate Winslet. I also enjoyed Fahrenheit 9/11. I saw some rubbish too - none worse than Highwaymen.

TV was mostly rubbish but the BBC's Space Odyssey was good. My favourite TV programme was Jonathan Miller's series on atheism "A brief history of disbelief".

I re-read Brave New World this year and greatly enjoyed it. The Wisdom of Crowds was also interesting. But my favourite book was A Short History of Nearly Everything since it filled-in so much of my limited knowledge of how the world works.

I re-discovered Radiohead this year and listened to their entire back catelogue. My favourite Radiohead album is Hail to the Thief so that's probably my best album.

My most used websites include Google and Blogger and I subscribe to a number of blogs (mostly related to education and politics). My best discovery of 2004 is Furl which I use all of the time for saving interesting websites. It's brilliant and it's free.

Monday, 13 December 2004

This AI-based game impressed me.

Saturday, 11 December 2004

Neil Young's Greatest Hits

I'm not a Neil Young fan and haven't listened to much of his music but I picked up his Greatest Hits album today. There's some great stuff. I've transferred it to my Zen to anesthetise
me during my bus journeys to and from work (via sunny Govan).

Wednesday, 8 December 2004

Saturday, 4 December 2004

Books of the year

It's that time of the year when people produce their "Best of the year" lists. Today's Herald included the books of the year as chosen by various Scottish notables.

Their choice of books was illuminating. There was hardly a serious one on the list. Jack McConnell chose a children's book and Andy Walker chose a book about after-life. The exceptions were Menzies Campbell and James McNaughtie. I suppose the politicians' preference for fiction is understandable.

The Manchurian Candidate will not be on my "Top 10 Movies of the Year" list. I went to see this last night. I was disappointed. Slow, complex and silly in parts.

Neither will today's performance by Celtic. Dire.

Friday, 3 December 2004

Generation Kill

"The vanquished know war. They see through the empty jingoism of those who use the abstract words of glory, honor, and patriotism to mask the cries of the wounded, the senseless killing, war profiteering, and chest-pounding grief. They know the lies the victors often do not acknowledge, the lies covered up in stately war memorials and mythic war narratives, filled with stories of courage and comradeship. They know the lies that permeate the thick, self-important memoirs by amoral statesmen who make wars but do not know war. The vanquished know the essence of war—death. They grasp that war is necrophilia." [More...]

Monday, 29 November 2004

Rockin' in the free world

Michael Moore has added some video footage to Neil Young's song. The video looks a bit thrown together but it's a great song.

Sunday, 28 November 2004

Rocket Men

Having recently posted a link to William Shatner's interpretation of Rocket Man, I thought that you might be interested in my own version, taken yesterday when we went walking on the hills near Aberfoyle. The song seemed appropriate since it started to piss-down when we were half way up the hill and the place looked like Jupiter.

Do you recognise the guy in the blue jacket?

Saturday, 27 November 2004

Religious themes

Continuing the religious themes of the past few blogs the result in Barcelona was clearly a minor miracle. In fact it was something of a resurrection.

Thursday, 25 November 2004

37% of Americans want Creationism to replace evolution

A recent poll showed that more than a third of Americans want creationism to replace evolution in US schools. More than half of all Americans believe that man spontaneously appeared in her present form. And these people are allowed to vote.

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Virgin Mary sightings

She's appeared in Egypt, Australia and Bangladesh. And now on toast. Which sold for $28,000 today.

Monday, 22 November 2004

Saturday, 20 November 2004

Has O'Neill lost the plot?

I thought that Celtic were shocking today. A totally indisciplined performance. I hope Sutton is fined for his ridiculous second card which effectively ended the game for Celtic. It looked like he wanted to get sent off since he lunged into a tackle five minutes previously. We should have finished the match with seven players.

But apart from the indiscipline, we were rubbish. We looked like amateurs. Why bring on Pearson when we're 2-0 down when we had Juninho and McGeady on the bench? And WTF was that nonsense at the end with Lennon? O'Neill reminded me of Archie Knox or Graeme Souness.

I think MON expected to get beat. Last night he said that he would be happy to be "pretty close to Rangers in January". A pretty amazing thing to say going into the game four points ahead of Rangers and hardly a vote of confidence in the current team. Maybe the penny has just dropped that the current squad isn't good enough?

Novo proved innocent

I may not be the most unbiased observer. There was nothing in the attempted kick but he did throw a right before the kick. Violent play - sending off. Play him anyway. I think they are a poor team. We can't play worse than we did the last time. If Sutton plays we will beat them 2 -0. I look forward to the dodgy music and the nazi salutes or was I the only one that saw them as well.

European nights are a diferent matter. I heard MON talk along the lines that Diggy was saying - a dip this year to improve in the next. Still a miracle in the next two ties would be nice.

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Monday, 15 November 2004

Blog on Tommy

In 1999 there were perhaps 50 bloggers on the web; by next year according to Perseus Development Corporation consultancy, some ten million blogs will have been created. Not since the 17th century print explosion, which brought serial publication and pamphleteering to a genuinely mass market, has there been such an important shift in the way public opinion is created and shaped.
The US presidential election was the first in which blogs emerged as a force. On election night, more people logged on to the website of Matt Drudge, the godfather of bloggers, than turned to the New York Times website.
In Iran several anti government newspapershave been closed down but the Iranian blogosphere is booming with 6,000 separate blogs. Farsi is now the fourth most widely used language on web logs.
Extract from The Times 13 November.

William Shatner interprets Rocket Man

Sunday, 14 November 2004

John Pilger on Fallujah

'Doing terrible things in an organised and systematic way rests on 'normalisation. There is usually a division of labour in doing and rationalising the unthinkable, with the direct brutalising and killing done by one set of individuals . . . others working on improving technology (a better crematory gas, a longer burning and more adhesive napalm, bomb fragments that penetrate flesh in hard-to-trace patterns). It is the function of the experts, and the mainstream media, to normalise the unthinkable for the general public.' More.

Thursday, 11 November 2004

You won't see this in the media

"LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2004 - At 7:50 PM two armored tanks showed up at an anti-war protest in front of the federal building in Westwood. The tanks circled the block twice, the second time parking themselves in the street and directly in front of the area where most of the protesters were gathered. Enraged, some of the people attempted to block the tanks, but police quickly cleared the street. The people continued to protest the presence of the tanks, but about ten minutes the tanks drove off. It is unclear as to why the tanks were deployed to this location." Watch the video.

Monday, 8 November 2004


Some people don't like the South.

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

Bush re-elected

Last night's results were hardly a surprise -- but still a disappointment. Especially Bush's share of the vote (some from unexpected sources). He's not the first rogue President to get a second term. Time will tell the consequences of this result. Maybe he too will be found out before his Presidency runs its full term.

It looks like religion and fear played the most significant roles. Lucky for George W that Osama's latest video release was so well-timed.

Still, not everyone is despondent.

Tuesday, 2 November 2004

Kerry/Celtic double?

Here's hoping for a Celtic/Kerry double this evening. My prediction for the game is 2-1 Celtic. Not so sure about Kerry but things are looking better than they were. US voters are being encouraged to turn-out [NSFW]. I'm off to the game now.

Bohemian election

Monday, 1 November 2004

Sunday, 31 October 2004

Some ideas for Halloween

Or you could always dress up as an idiot.

Saturday, 30 October 2004

At least 100,000 dead in Iraq

The Lancet has carried out research which estimates that between 100,000 and 200,000 civilians have died in Iraq since the start of the war. The military does not maintain statistics on civilian casualties and this is the first solid research which has been carried out on this issue. It appears that previous estimates were seriously inaccurate. More here [audio].


May 22 Blog

Last week I went to a public meeting held by the Labour Party in Kirkcaldy. It was about third world debt, The speakers were Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn. It was an excellent night. Both speakers were brilliant. Brown especially. Quite unbelievably I was enthused by both speakers as they talked with apparent passion about the issue. Brown talked for about ten minutes without seemingly looking at a note while talking fluently and rolling off statistics. Benn talked for about 45 minutes. They then answered questions from the floor. It felt like 27 years ago. I'm just posting this to give some balance to my previous comments on the political process.

Friday, 29 October 2004


My first attempt tonight at going to the bbc news site resulted in this. What is going on?

Thursday, 28 October 2004

The George Bush website has been closed to all non-Americans. Not that we're missing much.

Monday, 25 October 2004

UK Music Hall of Fame

Did you see last night's programme? It was the 1970s edition. The nominees included The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and David Bowie.

Some great clips. The best bits were the Pistols and Bowie. My vote goes to Bowie. He couldn't sing and his lyrics were bollocks but his music was great. Totally original. Led Zep got close. But Bowie for me.

Sunday, 24 October 2004

Too close to call

The US Presidential election is exceptionally close. A poll this morning put Bush 2% ahead of Kerry. But that ignores the electoral college system. Florida (27 votes) will most likely decide it.

Nader has 2% of the vote in Florida and 1.6% overall. He will, therefore, decide the election (as he did in 2000). Well done to the Republican strategist who thought him up.

After three consecutive defeats on TV, Bush should be dead and buried. Instead he's on course to win. Never underestimate the power of the media.

Saturday, 23 October 2004


I've just finished reading Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker. It's about a guy who wants to assassinate George Bush. The title comes from this story. It's a short read (115 pages) in the form of a dialogue between two men. Although I read a lot, I not a big fan of fiction but I really enjoyed this book.

Friday, 22 October 2004

William Gibson blog

Science-fiction writer William Gibson stopped blogging last year but restarted this week.


Because the United States currently has, as Jack Womack so succintly puts it, a president who makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln.

And because, as the Spanish philospher Unamuno said, 'At times, to be silent is to lie.' "

Monday, 18 October 2004

Barbie Porn

Strangely amusing and erotic ;-) [NSFW - Not suitable for work]

Sunday, 17 October 2004

Americans against the war

I came across a nice photo collection of Americans who want to apologise to Iraqis for the war.

The Best of Pink Floyd

I picked up this album last week. Some truly wonderful songs. Shine on you crazy diamonds, Time, Us and them - even Wish you were here. But some of their stuff is truly awful. Especially their early material. How could the same people who wrote Great gig on the sky also write Bike?

Saturday, 16 October 2004

Halifax move for McStay

I don't know if this blog will work. But on the assumption that it has isn't it a bit disturbing that young Scottish players want to play for Ireland rather than Scotland? Or am I missing something? Did McStay have a terrible time playing for Scotland and advise his son against it. Or is it just a football thing?

Kerry v Bush

This program was shown on American TV last week. It compares the backgrounds of George Bush and John Kerry. The contrast between the men is stark.

Imagine if the candidates were swapped and Kerry was the Republican candidate and this guy was the Democratic candidate. The election would be over in an instant.

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

The Architecture of Fascism

"The conservative movement's transformation into pseudo-fascism isn't immediately discernible because there's nothing recognizably exceptional about any single aspect of it. Indeed, most of it seems all too familiar.

In a historical sense, fascism is maybe best understood as an extreme reaction against socialism and communism; in its early years it was essentially defined as "extremist anti-communism. It was explicitly anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist, and it endorsed violence as a chief means to its ends. It was also, obviously, authoritarian, but claiming that it was oriented toward "socialism" is just crudely ahistorical, if not outrageously revisionist. Socialists, let's not forget, were among the first people imprisoned and "liquidated" by the Nazi regime." [More...]

Saturday, 9 October 2004

New music player

I bought myself a new music player last week. It's a Creative Zen Touch purchased from Amazon.

I considered the iPod before choosing this one. The iPod looks nicer but the battery on this one lasts 24 hours (although I'm getting nothing like that out of it).

It stores 10,000 songs - which is more than my entire music collection. So I've copied just about every song I own and rediscovered several long forgotten bands in the process such as Led Zeppelin and Lou Reed. I even listed to Peter Frampton yesterday. The player has a random button which chooses a track at random from the music library - it's like having your personal radio station.

Meg (my daughter) keeps me up-to-date with contemporary artists (such as Jeff Buckley and Sigur Ros) so I have a pretty varied collection of music. What do you guys listen to?

Thursday, 7 October 2004

This story is now beginning to hit the media.

Wednesday, 6 October 2004

Tony Blair and Weapons of Mass Destruction

'The threat that Saddam Hussein poses is an issue in its own right, because the reason why the UN Security Council passed these resolutions was precisely because we know the threat that there is from the weapons of mass destruction that he has.' (24/09/02)

"We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last few years -- contrary to all history, contrary to all intelligence -- Saddam decided unilaterally to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd." (18/03/03)

"I have always said to people throughout that our aim has not been regime change, our aim has been the elimination of weapons of mass destruction." (25/03/04)

"I have no doubt that we will [find WMDs]. We have got absolutely no doubt that these weapons exist. But there has been a campaign of concealment by Saddam ever since he knew that UN inspectors were coming back into the country, and I have got absolutely no doubt that those weapons are there." (04/04/04)

Tuesday, 5 October 2004

Dr Strangelove

I watched Dr Strangelove this evening. Hadn't seen it for a long time. A real classic. I'm not a fan of Peter Sellers but might give The Life and Death of Peter Sellers a look at the weekend.

Monday, 4 October 2004

How do you run a convention on a record of failure?

Video [QT] on Republican tactics.

The Trogs meet Spinal Tap

A sound engineer secretly recorded [MP3] The Trogs recording a new single. The chaos is reminiscent of Spinal Tap.

Friday, 1 October 2004

AC Milan v Celtic

Woeful first half followed by good second half. But we seem to panic whenever there's a chance of getting an away point. From the second we equalised, we just tried to hold out. A better team would have held onto the ball.

I was disappointed with Thompson (apart from the goal against Rangers, what has this guy done in the last six months?) and Petrov (doing his invisible act again). But I thought Harton and Camara looked good and Lennon was Lennon (class). Marshall looked suspect at times and Bobo gives me panic attacks when he has the ball at his feet.

Basically, we still lack quality. But MON knows that.

But there might be a silver lining to the result.

Wednesday, 29 September 2004

Sunday, 26 September 2004

Oh dude...

Better than an Xbox.

Saturday, 25 September 2004

The Official God FAQ

Everything you wanted to know about God.

Wednesday, 22 September 2004


I like this new site. It is nice and green and has a clock.

Swiss Toni

Does anyone watch Swiss Toni on BBC3? The second series has been great. Monday's episode (when Toni installed computer in his car showroom) was brilliant.

Monday, 20 September 2004

Scottish Parliament 2

Bobby Hogan had asked at one meeting why they couldn't just wait for the Holyrood site to be ready before, in his words, "setting up shop". Peter Brent, the civil servant, had stared at him aghast.
"Because Scotland needs a Parliament now."
"Funny, we've done without for three hundred years...."

This is from the book I'm reading at the moment "Set in Darkness". It's Ian Rankin's 11th Rebus novel. I thought I would share the coincidence with you since Bobby put the Scottish Parliament on the blog. I've never read Ian Rankin before. I picked up the book for 20p at the school fete. But I think it is very good - much better than I expected. I would recommend him.

Just one thing I would like to add about the Scottish Parliament. Don't those sickening wet Liberals really disgust you? I can't stand looking at them or listening to them - even if I agree with them. Ross Finnie!

George W. Bush military service controversy

What is interesting about this story is not whether Bush used his family's influence to avoid duty in Vietnam (it's patently obvious that he did) but the media's reaction to it.

This man is a born-again Christian who, prior to being re-born,was arrested on at least three occasions (and possibly more). So why the surprise that he dodged duty in Vietnam?

The interesting point is the media's reaction. Instead of pursuing this story of sex, drugs and privelege (grist to their mill one would think) they are attacking the messenger. This in spite of the gist of the story being true: "Marian Carr Knox [the woman who typed the memo] told the Dallas Morning News after viewing copies of the disputed memos, "These are not real," and that "but the information in here was correct, it was picked up from the real ones." [More]

Sunday, 19 September 2004

How low will they go?

Two cars collide and this fecker just keeps talking [WMP video].

Saturday, 18 September 2004

Contacting Elected Officials

This is one way of engaging the electorate.

Saturday, 11 September 2004

The Scottish Parliament

Patronising or what? No wonder we're a laughing stock. And these guys have the cheek to advise people about project management.

Thursday, 9 September 2004

Bring back the clock

I think this blog is too blue. I liked the greenness of the old site. I also miss the clock.

Sunday, 5 September 2004

Protests at the Republican Convention

"They [the police] trained for months to get it right and carried out their jobs with skill and general patience. Yet an operation of this scale could not go off without problems. About 2,000 people were arrested over the course of the week. When protesters began to mass for an unauthorized demonstration, officers sometimes employed orange netting, normally used around construction sites, to scoop up dozens of people at once."

I blinked when I read this. Two thousand people arrested? People "scooped up"? And hardly a word in the media. Four more years for Bush. Guaranteed.

Saturday, 4 September 2004

World War IV

"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did." President George Bush 25 June 2003

"I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.'"Albert Einstein

Friday, 3 September 2004

We're moving

I got a reply at last from Blogger about changing the URL for this blog. We won't lose anything by changing the address. So I will change the URL from the current one to on Monday. So bookmark this address and use it from Tuesday.

Thursday, 2 September 2004

Selves and Others

Interesting website with a wide range of left-wing views. It includes pages dedicated to well known individuals such as Michael Moore and Tariq Ali.

Wednesday, 1 September 2004

Wrong ideas about sex

Some funny stories about children's mistaken views about sex. Gerry - talk to your daughters!

Sunday, 29 August 2004

Celtic 1 Rangers 0

Not a great game - but a great goal to settle it. I thought Juninho and Lennon were exceptional. Taxi for McLeish...

Saturday, 28 August 2004

War protests erupt in Athens

Colin Powell cancelled his planned trip to the Olympics due to protests against his visit in Athens. Well done the Greeks.

The BBC article reporting the protest is a case study in slanted reporting: Locking up his newspaper stall, a man who gave his name only as George, told BBC News Online: "This is not what all Greeks think - these people have got no respect for our country." I think the reporter is putting his career before the facts.

Thursday, 26 August 2004

Shakhtar Donetsk

Anyone fancy going to the Ukraine?

The Donetsk Palace is available at £165 per night for 2 sharing. It's one of the best hotels in the world (or at least one of the best in the Ukraine).


"...Shakhtar have been busy in the transfer market, recruiting Brazilians Matuzalem and Batista".

Sounds too much like CSKA for my liking.

Official Hun Gear

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Iraqi soccer players upset about Bush campaign ads

Ahmed Manajid who played as a midfielder on Wednesday had an even stronger response when asked about Bush TV advertisement. How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women Manajid told me. He has committed so many crimes. More...

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

New name, new look -- and soon a new URL

You will have noticed the new colour scheme (which better reflects our football allegiances) and you may have noticed the new title ("May 22"). The URL for this page will also change from to in the next few days so please bookmark this address.

Happy memories

Brilliant clip from Radio Clyde's coverage of the Boavista v Celtic game.

I watched in the Horse Shoe Bar and the guy beside me literally couldn't bear to watch the last five minutes. It was a great night.

Monday, 16 August 2004

Nils Lofgren (3)


But maybe we should still have a night out some Friday

Nils Lofgren (2)

So far Bobby, Denis, Gerry and Diggy definitely want to relive their youth. Just waiting on Big John and Stephen.

You have until next week to decide. I will get the tickets.

I was thinking something like
- A few drinks before the concert
- Go to concert
- Go for something to eat (curry)
- Finish with a couple of drinks

My place is available for anyone who can't travel home


How do you post things here?

Dear Diggy

Been to the Blog. Been to the Nils ticket page. Still don't know how to post something on the blog. Tell Gerry that to to review Scotsport without mentioning Sarah O (O'Flaherty) is like talking about Rangers without saying desperation. Please watch the language diggy. You don't know how much persuason I had to utter to Jack in order that he believes that Wanker Watson is a character in the Beano. Want to see Nils.

Love & Kisses

Saturday, 14 August 2004

Olympic Coverage

I love the olympic coverage on the BBC already. When I see Sharron Davies I realise that I'd never be short of a place to hang-up my duffle coat!


I think that it was good news that Juninho didn't appear for Middlesbrough today.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Reiziger, Ehiogu, Riggott, Parnaby (Downing 65), Mendieta, Boateng, Parlour, Zenden, Job (Nemeth 45), Hasselbaink.Subs Not Used: Nash, Doriva, Cooper.

Maybe he will sign for us. I think he would be good in Europe.

Charles Bronson on the Kilmarnock to Barrhead train.

This is terrible. I think I am going mental.

Have you ever travelled by train from Kilmarnock to Barrhead on a Saturday evening after a Celtic v Kilmarnock game?

I did tonight.

There was this really ugly guy in my carriage wearing an Eire strip (you know the eircom one that Celtic shops sell) and as soon as I saw him I thought "I hate you".

Irrational, I know, but then I'm irrational.

Within a minute I knew why I thought he was ugly and why I hated him.

"STANTS, STANTS, We hate protestants" he sang.

"I, I, I-R-A" he chanted.

He started mimicking a sniper and selecting his victims. The guard - for checking tickets. An old woman - for wearing an orange sun top.

This is terrible but it was at this time that I wanted to be Charles Bronson and blow this wanker away.

I rationalised that I'd be doing society a favour and fantasised about getting him on his own, putting my magnum to his head and pulling the trigger.

OK, Celtic would lose a season ticket holder, but I reckoned that with 11,500 on the waiting list it would be easy to find another cunt.

One Thousand Reasons: The List

Ok, apart from this, what's wrong with George Bush?

Justgiving - Great Scottish Run

Margaret and me are doing the Great Scottish Run next week and I've set-up a sponsor website for donations if you would like to sponsor us.

Thursday, 12 August 2004

Sabri Lamouchi for Celtic?

I've heard Sabri Lamouchi of Inter is in Glasgow for talks. Celtic or Rangers?

Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Back it up baby

Nils Lofgren is playing The Glasgow Academy on Friday 29th October. Anyone got the cheek to relive their youth?

Ibrox Season Books

Caller : I believe there are some season books left?
Ibrox : Yes that is correct sir.
Caller : How much are they?
Ibrox : £420 - £600
Caller : Are you open to offers?
Ibrox : No sir.
Caller : The last time I was at Ibrox I lost my beach ball. Has it been handed in?
Ibrox : ..............

Tuesday, 10 August 2004

STV SPL Highlights

Did anyone watch the Monday night highlights? I couldn't remember seeing a worse football show. I went into work today and wanted to talk about it but no-one in the room had seen it. Sinead had only watched two minutes and then put it off she thought it was so bad. And she watches big brother! There must have been about 10 minutes football in a one hour show. Then they had the play of the week and didn't even show you where the bloke collected the ball. And at the end Graham Spiers playing the piano. I was thinking this is absurd, is it meant to be Pythonesque? Are they trying to make a cult classic of rubbish? I then switched off before he finished I couldn't bear to watch it. But now I'm thinking something might have happened then - there may have been a joke at the end. Setanta might have tied up all the rights and we only have 10 minutes of highlights but is there any excuse for this rubbish?

Sunday, 8 August 2004

Cost of War

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
April 16, 1953

Saturday, 7 August 2004

John Kerry's statement on Vietnam - 1971

John Kerry's statement on war crimes in Vietnam show that America has learned nothing about foreign relations.

Wednesday, 4 August 2004

Celtic Quick News

A new Celtic blog. The guy posts some interesting stories.

Monday, 2 August 2004

Iraq's child prisoners

It was early last October that Kasim Mehaddi Hilas says he witnessed the rape of a boy prisoner aged about 15 in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. “The kid was hurting very bad and they covered all the doors with sheets,” he said in a statement given to investigators probing prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib. “Then, when I heard the screaming I climbed the door … and I saw [the soldier’s name is deleted] who was wearing a military uniform.” Hilas, who was himself threatened with being sexually assaulted in Abu Graib, then describes in horrific detail how the soldier raped “the little kid”. [More...]

Sunday, 1 August 2004

Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior

Another story that seemed to have slipped below the media radar. The article mentions that the Whitehouse had no comment - and no law-suit either which means it must have a basis in fact. And, unlike Nixon, this guy has his finger on the nuclear button.

Saturday, 24 July 2004

For the attention of Gerry, Denis, Stephen and John

This might help.


The website is a little bit pompous but it might be interesting - but, then again, it might not. The Manifesto is worth reading.


Friday, 16 July 2004

Allawi shot prisoners in cold blood: witnesses

After the horror stories of Abu Ghraib prison, the Coalition have clearly learned their lesson and have appointed a new Prime Minister who will end the violence.

When Herr Rumsfeld said that he had seen worse pictures than those the public got to see, I guess he meant this.
But you know all this. It's all over the papers. Even Elton John is upset.

Thursday, 15 July 2004


I submit to a number of blogs and it's a pain to check each of them in turn to find out if there are any new posts. But Bloglines can do this for you. You simply tell it which "feeds" to watch and it tells you whenever there's a new post. You can even download a "notifier" that sits in your system tray and pops-up whenever there's a new message (warning: this seriously interferes with your work).

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 Doesn't Go Far Enough

After the right wing criticism of Moore's movie, here is some left wing criticism - this time claiming that the movie doesn't go far enough. After reading it, I sort of see why Moore steered the road that he did.

Saturday, 10 July 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

I saw Michael Moore's new movie on Wednesday evening at a preview in Glasgow. I enjoyed it very much. Not much new - but he tells it so well.

I see that the Republican's latest maneuver is to play-down this film (after trying to destroy it's credibility). But MM appears to have done his homework and the sites that claim to repudiate Moore's assertions don't actually challenge what he is saying - they simple quibble about trivia.

How come this movie is on limited release? It's won awards, it's the highest earning documentary in history, and is second top of the American box office. But my local multiplex isn't showing it. Now that's strange - especially when you consider the garbage that is usually offered.

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

New blogs

Michael Moore has started one and Chomsky's had one for a long time.

Thursday, 1 July 2004

I don't know if they can fix your computer problems but they sure look good.

Wednesday, 30 June 2004

Official - Hasselbaink will sign for Celtic

I know for a fact that Hasselbaink will sign for us. I don't like it. It's maybe racist, but I wouldn't ever sign a Dutch player. I certainly wouldn't sign JFH.

Condoleezza Rice's reply to President Bush

Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Monday, 28 June 2004

The media and democracy

The Today programme on Radio 4 discussed the EU's proposed constitution last week. What was interesting was who discussed it. Not two politicians or even two members of the public - but two newspaper journalists. When Michael Howard became leader of the Conservatives, the first thing he did was go to Mexico to plead with Murdoch. Blair routinely briefs the media before Parliament. When I was in Spain recently I watched a lot of CNN which must be Spanish for American Military Broadcasting. "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was followed by "Operation Handover" which was part of "Iraqi Democracy". Politicians are terrified of the media and anyone who dares to speak-up about it is accused of trying to silence the "free press".

But we have to do something. No country can claim to be free and democratic if the media is in the hands of private individuals who have complete freedom to peddle their own political views. So how about this?

1. Restrict newspapers to reporting factual news except in designated sections.

2. Create special sections where personal comments are permitted (with appropriate warnings that these are personal comments - some background on the contributor would be a good idea).

3. If the proprieter insists on peddling his views, limit it to the Editorial section.

4. Corrections and retractions should be given the same prominence (and position) as the original (incorrect) story.

5. Newspaper owners should be personally liable for financial damages brought by anyone who successfully sues the paper (a similar law applies to Trade Union leaders).

6. Strengthened privacy laws for individuals.

7. Prohibit all political comments four weeks prior to an election.

8. Right to reply for everyone who features in a news story (except convicted criminals).

Saturday, 26 June 2004

Blogging against Fascism

We got home from Spain on Thursday evening and were meant to be going out tonight (to a 25th anniversary) but we didn't go because we're tired and I'm off to Newcastle tomorrow. Nerja was great. You can see some pictures here. How come you haven't went back Denis?

Unite Against Fascism

So I'm browsing instead. I came across Blogging Against Fascism. I'm listening to some music from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which Margaret and I saw at the movies a few weeks ago. It's a great film which I enjoyed very much.

Fahrenheit 9/11

I see that Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11 opens in the UK on 9 July. I was interested in the surprisingly low vote for this award winning movie on the Internet Movie Database - until I saw the demographics. Almost 30% of the voters gave it a "1" - the lowest possible vote. Presuming that these people haven't actually seen the film, it looks like a bunch of Republicans have been block voting. How ironic is that? It sort of proves Moore's point about modern America.

Thursday, 24 June 2004

Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics

The Scottish Executive have published a new website which is quite interesting.

Interesting, that is, if like me you need to get a life!

Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Heading the new ball in Euro 2004

Why do so many of the players in Euro 2004 keep hitting easy headers over the bar? Ronaldo (Portugal), Vieri(Italy), Schneider(Germany) have all been guilty. I think it is something about the ball they are using. Or else they should take lessons from Larsson (Sweden).

Germany or The Netherlands?

I'm watching the Germany v Czech Republic match and for the first time in my life I want Germany to go through to 1/4 finals rather than The Netherlands. It's amazing how Dick (Voetbal coach) gets to you.

The Nation of Aztlan Website has disappeared

Am I becoming paranoid? When I attempt to access the website which had suggested the Nick Berg decapitation had taken place inside Abu Ghraib I get a nice 404 error.

Who is it that decides which websites are allowed and which should be closed down? I have no doubt that The Nation of Aztlan is anti-semitic but I still want to know who pulls the plug.

Tuesday, 22 June 2004

Martin O'Neill

Denis says "Hear Martin has not been to Parkhead since the Final"

Is this tied in with his wife being unwell? Or his need for a break? Year out? The BBC didn't know if he would be appearing as a pundit at Euro 2004, though he was invited.

Sunday, 20 June 2004

Euro 2004

I put 10 pounds on Spain to win Euro 2004 with Paddypower - who were knocked out tonight. They blew it against Greece. So now all I have left to care about is beating England. Having seen all the teams, I reckon that either Italy or France will win it but the way the games have gone I guess any team could -- even England.

Saturday, 19 June 2004

Larsson's voice

Has anyone else noticed that Henrik Larsson's voice has changed since he left Celtic. Previously there was croak where every word was a prisoner, and he gave the impression he needed a skip full of Strepsils. Now he speaks with the voice of an opera singer.

I think he has been kidding us on for 7 years.

Wednesday, 16 June 2004

Berg decapitation video was filmed inside the Abu Ghraib prison

There is quite a debate on the web just now that the video of the beheading of American Nick Berg in Iraq was not all it seemed.

I'm not taking any sides here but this website claims to have analysed the video, together with the soundtrack and concluded that it happened in Abu Ghraib. Whilst this comes from a real anti-semitic site, their analysis of the video and soundtrack is interesting.

What does intrigue me is that I cannot ever find the "Militant Islamic Website" where these videos are posted. Why does the BBC site never give the URL of where the evidence comes from? We are big boys. We can judge for ourselves.

The real problem in posting this is that I'll probably get a visit from MI5.

Tuesday, 15 June 2004

Hello from Nerja

I´m posting this from Nerja. Me, Margaret and Maria arrived last Thursday. We love the place. Great weather, nice beaches, good cafes. The weather today is not so good - warm but a bit cloudy. But we´re all tanning nicely. As usual, I´m being bothered by beautiful women who ask me questions like: Is America like Germany of the 1930´s?

Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Robbie Earnshaw

A guy I know knows a guy who knows Tosh McKinlay who knows Robbie Earnshaw's agent who says the Earnshaw deal is just about done.

It must be true....

Monday, 7 June 2004

They work for you

An interesting website is available which provides information on your local MP. TheyWorkForYou provides all sorts of information on your MP - including their voting history. My MP (Jim Sheridan) hardly ever rebels - and has an identical voting record to Tony Blair.

Saturday, 5 June 2004

Thursday, 3 June 2004

Euro Elections

Am I the only person who doesn't know what the process for the Euro election is? Do I vote for an individual or a party?

I haven't yet seen any literature stating who is standing in my constituency, only parties.

Is it going to be a party list system?

It seems pretty strange that this election is so low key. What is going on?

Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Dull blog

I thought this blog was dull until I saw this.

Tuesday, 1 June 2004


The original vision for the World Wide Web was a place where people could easily edit web pages -- all web pages - not just a few. Instead, it's become a one-way publishing medium. But some online resources have kept with the vision. Wikipedia is one of them. It's an "open content" encyclopedia - which means that anyone can create new definitions or change existing ones. The results can be seen at the Wikipedia web site. There are some wonderful entries. I've contributed a couple of articles on assessment and e-assessment (sad but true). There are comprehensive articles on Celtic and some famous ex-players. The Henrik Larsson entry could do with more details.

Saturday, 29 May 2004

Get your Gmail account

Google recently announced the introduction of a new e-mail service called G-mail. It's like Hotmail but provides 1000Mb of storage instead of Hotmail's 10Mb (that's 100 times more). Google's plan to offer a free e-mail service caused a fuss and was considered an April Fool joke (check the date of the BBC report).

I see that Google has a link to G-mail from the Blogger sign-in page (once you've signed in look for the link on the right). I created a G-mail account today. My e-mail address is

The sign-up is limited to Blogger members for a limited time. Google will open up membership to everyone quite soon so get in now if you want to reserve a good name.

Thursday, 27 May 2004

Larsson - The last word?

Here is a good piece by Graham Spiers in the Herald. I like this guy. He's so pro-Celtic.

Wednesday, 26 May 2004

Strong anti-Bush speech from Al Gore

Here's the text of his speech and here's a video (RealPlayer required) of Gore delivering it today at New York University.

Celtic v Seville

I think those amongst us who decided to miss this match made the right decision. It was a poor match, the atmosphere was pretty dire and Henrik looked embarassed about the whole thing. His dismissive gesture when he got the man of the match summed it up. The match wasn't helped by a comical performance by Mike McCurry who probably got the match because he supports Celtic.

Right from the kick-off I was wishing it was all over. The only bits I enjoyed were "Bjorn Again" before kick-off and Henrik's walk around the pitch as an encore.

Henrik had said his real farewell to most season ticket fans at the Dundee United game, and to those lucky enough to get a cup final ticket, last Saturday. That should have been enough. This turned out a huge anti-climax. I wish it hadn't happened.

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

Setanta prices

Setanta and the SFA have announced the prices for watching SPL football on TV next season. More here. There will be lots of Sunday football. Sounds crap to me. And I don't get their business model. How many "season tickets" do they have to sell to recoup their £35M expenditure?

Oh well, when Setanta goes down the pan and the SPL follows it then we can join the Premiership.


A guy in the work was telling me a story about a wee boy in Greenock who wanted to take the name Bobo as his confirmation name. The teacher wasn't happy and said that it had to be a Saint's name not a Celtic player's name. So he asked the priest and he said it wouldn't do, it had to be a Saint's name.

The wee boy went away and searched the internet and found Saint Bobo, (see here) whose feast day is 22nd May (Cup final day of course).

He gets confirmed Bobo next week.

Monday, 24 May 2004

Heroes are villains and villains are heroes

The guy who blew the whistle on prisoner abuses in Iraq and one of the perpetrators live 15km apart. This story tells of their respective home-comings. Meanwhile Rumsfield has taken decisive action to end the abuse.

Pre-match picture

This picture was taken in Paisley town centre a couple of hours before the Scottish Cup Final. More pictures here.

Sunday, 23 May 2004

Welcome to The News Today

This web log was established after the Scottish Cup Final of 2004 after which (in keeping with long-standing tradition) we went to the pub and discussed football, politics and sex. Michael suggested that I set-up a website where we can post news about matters of common interest.

So I did. This is it. It's a web log. The URL for the blog is:

Celebrity Celts: #1 Britney Spears

Britney support Celtic