Friday, 30 December 2005

Should Referees Officiate in matches involving their own team?

I worked with Calum Murray at British Gas. A really nice bloke but a jambo through and through. Should he be allowed to take Hearts matches? But then I suppose if that rule was applied it would be hard to get someone for Rangers games.

Saturday, 24 December 2005

Friday, 23 December 2005

2005: the year at the movies

I scored 17/30.

Monday, 19 December 2005

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

Stupid Movie Physics

This site rates the physics used in movies. One of my favourites didn't do very well.

Monday, 12 December 2005

Fake news

Noam Chomsky's recent podcast discusses fake news [MP3].

Thursday, 8 December 2005

US Realpolitik

Read article in the Guardian yesterday about US attitude to terrorism.
No wonder I am cynical

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Friday, 2 December 2005

Monday, 28 November 2005

'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers

The Telegraph yesterday reported that private security firms in Iraq (the Coalition of the Billing as they're known) are taking pot-shots at Iraqi civilians.

Friday, 25 November 2005

Monday, 21 November 2005

Keane wants Celtic

Keane says he prefers Celtic. Would you take him?

Sunday, 20 November 2005

Celtic - 3 Rangers - 0

I lost £10 yesterday, having put a tenner on Rangers to win at 10/3. I didn't think that they would win (I predicted 1-1) but the odds were tempting. I was happy to lose the money.

I thought that we played pretty poorly - especially the first half. Against a better team, we would have been punished. But Rangers are dire. I actually felt sorry for Eck. The game confirmed two things: (1) Barry is a ned; and (2) Chick supports Rangers.

It was a vital game for both teams. We win, it's game over for Rangers; they win, it's game on. Fifteen points is a big gap - too big I think for Rangers to catch up. Hearts are still in there. The bookies appear to have made up their minds.

Here is a BitTorrent of the entire game in case you missed it.

Thursday, 17 November 2005


BitTorrent (BT) is a file-sharing program used to download software, movies and TV programs. BT is a peer-to-peer system because you download files from others users of the BitTorrent system rather than some central database. This makes downloading very fast since you can simultaneously download from several people at once. The BBC will use something similar for its own downloading service.

The problem with BitTorrent is that it's a little complicated compared to a centralised system. Using BT involves chosing a client program, downloading and installing the program, and then search for a "torrent" on the Internet. A torrent isn't the actual file that you're looking for - but it contains all the information that the client program needs to locate and download it.

I use the uTorrent client which is small and simple to use. There are lots of websites where you can search for torrents. I use FileSharingPlace.

I recently downloaded Noam Chomskey's Manufacturing Consent (thanks Billy)which was great.

Wednesday, 16 November 2005

Sunday, 13 November 2005

Thursday, 10 November 2005

Top 50 independent films

Some interesting choices - including Dark Star and Dead Man's Shoes. I saw Sideways recently and enjoyed it a great deal.

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

Celtic v Rangers

I thought that was a great performance tonight. I'd forgotten to buy my ticket so watched the game on the telly.

We were as far ahead of Rangers as any team we've played this season.

I've slagged Camara quite a bit this season but I thought he was great tonight. I also thought that Nakamura looked the good player I think he is. He strolled around, looked stronger, tackled, made nice passes and was cute. I think Maloney, McGeady, Beattie and Wallace are his type of player. I think we will see even better football in the coming months.

I also need to say that I'm really happy with Gordon Strachan. This is the best football we've played in a few years and I also think that his humility and humour during interviews makes him a good ambassador for the club.

Having watched John Hartson's interview at the weekend and Sean Maloney's tonight I think Strachan's outlook on life is spreading throughout the club. Too many palyers were getting too arrogant in the past couple of seasons.

Boruc - 8 (a couple of bad kickouts, but very confident)
Telfer - 7 (no real pressure)
Balde - 8 (Prso is a good player and didn't do anything tonight)
McManus - 8 (Prso is a good player and didn't do anything tonight)
Camara - 9 (Best game for us)
Nakamura - 9 (Cool - reminds me of Dalglish if only he could score more)
Petrov - 8 (good game)
Lennon - 7 (strolled throughout most of game but made a couple of boobs early on)
McGeady - 7 (looking confident again)
Maloney - 8 (also looking good - needs to thank Klaus for goal though at least he shot)
Hartson - 8 (good game)

Kyrgiakos should never have been sent off but even with eleven v eleven we were much better.

I thought we made Rangers look a poor team tonight. That is as bad as they've looked in a couple of months despite their results.

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Smearing Chomsky?

Billy had previously commented on Noam Chomsky who was recently voted the World's Top Public Intellectual. Because of this, Chomskey was interviewed in the Guardian but the resulting article has been criticised.

Saturday, 5 November 2005

More happy days

Another difficult day for Rangers. According to Celtic Quick News Klos wasn't playing as, similar to Ball, they couldn't afford to. I don't know if he was back today but it's their attack they should worry about. Hopefully we can extend the gap with a win over the eloquent John Hughes' team. A win then on Wednesday, which can never be a foregone conclusion (can Hartson play two games in quick succession?), should mean they only have the Scottish Cup left before the end of November. They could end fourth.

I suppose you have heard the recently reported conversation between Bestie and his consultant? George, there is good news and bad news. Tell me the bad. You only have one hour to live. Well what's the good news? It's happy hour!

That's nearly as bad as the overheard conversation between two Erskine women walking along the street. They see their husbands approaching and one is carrying a bunch of flowers. Oh well I suppose that means I'll be on my back with my legs open for the rest of the weekend says one. To which her friend replies oh come on don't tell me you don't have a vase.

Monday, 31 October 2005

Happy days

Yesterday's result against Dundee United put Celtic back at the top of the table. It's been quite a turnaround since the dark days of late August. And we're playing some good football. My highlight of yesterday's game [WMV] was Petrov kicking the goalpost when Beattie didn't pass to him. So things are looking good. Hearts are trying to help us by sacking their coach and Rangers are helping too by keeping theirs.

But I don't think that Rangers are out of it. Any team that can blow a five point lead in four games, can blow a 10 point lead in 24 games. But the bookies disagree.

Sunday, 30 October 2005

This week's TV

Winter must be near - the TV schedules are improving. This week sees a new documentary/drama about Rome (Wednesday), a new comedy about TV news (Monday), and a repeat of Jonathon Miller's wonderful series about Atheism (Monday). A few of the most shocking movies are also shown this week - including Audition (tonight), The Shining (Friday) and Misery (Thursday). And there's some fantastic comedy on Tuesday.

Friday, 28 October 2005

The Daily Show

Anyone seen "The Daily Show" on More4 at 8:30pm.
Its US show hosted by John Stewart which takes a look at the news that day in US.
As US shows go its liberal, poking fun at the Government.
It can be patchy as a lot of it refers to US politicians that a UK audience might not know, and some of the skits are lame, but the reason to watch it is the way it lampoons Bush and his cabal.
The chilling thing is that Bush comes across as a bigger idiot than before (which is saying something). There was one clip where it showed Bush interviewing US invasion soldiers in Baghdad, he could hardly string two words together. It was cringingly embarrasing. The icing on the cake was that they showed another clip of one of his aides before hand, rehearsing the dialogue whith the soldiers, even down to anticipating the "off the cuff" joke by the C in C.

I know that if the show made any difference the network would pull it, and I agree with everything Chomsky says on ways of manufacturing consent, but its good to see some opposition.

Did anyone see Morgan Spurlock's documentary last night about living on US minimum wage for 30 days?

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

The 25 Most Shocking Moments in Movie History

Premiere Magazine has an article on the 25 most shocking moments in movies. It includes some classics but omits some really scary moments. The scene I can't watch is the one in Misery when Kathy Bates breaks the James Caan's ankles.

Monday, 24 October 2005


Anyone seen any decent DVD's recently.

Best British film EVER is Dead Man's Shoes

It's a small film in terms of budget and setting but deals with large themes - justice, culpability, guilt...

Paddy Considine gives a chilling performance (he out Bickels Bickel).

Watching it in the cinema left me very emotional and when I spoke about it to Eve (I saw it alone in London) I would well up with emotion.

Sunday, 16 October 2005

Celtic v Hearts

It was an excellent game yesterday. I was impressed with Hearts who I thought played like a European team (so did Gordon Strachan). Their midfield in particular was excellent, causing our defence all sorts of problems with clever through balls.

But I thought that we played well too. Camara was excellent and Sutton and Beattie played well together for most of the game. But Telfer was poor and Denis may be right about this guy. It was good to see Thompson and Lennon substitued - something MON never did. Nakamura continues to disappoint. He seems like a luxury that we can't afford and playing him feels like playing with 10 men.

It was a bonus that TFOD dropped two points today. The combination of Celtic and Rangers being weaker than usual and Hearts being considerably better than normal should make it a close league. Any one of the three teams could win it.

Tuesday, 11 October 2005

Dark matter refuted

An earlier post complained about dark matter and I came across this paper which explains galactic rotation without resorting to dark matter. I won't pretend to understand the paper but any explanation seems to me to be better than dark matter. I'm reading a book just now that is incredibly irritating in the way it presumes that ideas like dark matter, the Big Bang and black holes to be true.

Friday, 7 October 2005


Using the Internet as a telephone (called VOIP) has been in the news recently. Skype is the best known VOIP service. I tried Skype about 18 months ago and was not impressed. But I downloaded the latest version a few weeks ago - what an improvement.

Skype is free between Skype users (anywhere in the world) but you can also call land-lines for a small fee. The international dialling charges are a fraction of the large telecomms companies. The rates are also good to UK land and mobile numbers. But the best thing about it is the call quality. Skype-to-Skype is outstanding. Skype to landline is the same as an ordinary telephone. And it supports conference call (including a mix of Skype and landlines) for up to four people.

Skype also supports a number of extensions to make calling from Outlook or Internet Explorer very simple (turning every telephone number into a Skype link).

Skype solved a problem for me. My telephone bills were astronomical a few months ago so I took drastic action and barred out-going calls. But Skype allowed me to give the girls telephone credit (I give them 10 Euros at a time) so they now use Skype to phone their friends - and I get to control my phone bill.

My Skype username is "bobbyelliott" or you can call me using the button below (leave voicemail if I'm not online).

Call me!

Monday, 3 October 2005

Weekend in Lochgoilhead

We had a great weekend in Lochgoilhead. Diggy, Stephen and Gerry arrived on Friday evening. Me, John and Denis arrived Saturday morning. And Griff arrived Saturday evening.

We spent the time swimming, golfing, walking and drinking.

The place is beautiful...

Diggy's hospitality was fantastic but he took it too far...

We didn't feel too good on Sunday morning...

Sunday, 25 September 2005

Mankind resolves the Universe

According to NASA, we have now resolved the universe. It's composed of 73% dark matter, 23% cold dark matter and 4% atoms. All created by a Big Bang that still expands the universe at 71km/sec. So there you have it. Problem solved. Unless you think that the big bang and dark matter are science-speak for "haven't a clue". We don't understand our nearest neighbour but claim to understand the entire universe.

Saturday, 24 September 2005

War Pornography

For almost a year, American soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been taking photographs of dead bodies, many of them horribly mutilated or blown to pieces, and sending them to Web site administrator Chris Wilson. In return for letting him post these images, Wilson gives the soldiers free access to his site. American soldiers have been using the pictures of disfigured Iraqi corpses as currency to buy pornography. Link.

Wednesday, 21 September 2005

Are we getting smarter or dumber?

Interesting article on the development of human intelligence.

Sunday, 18 September 2005

Most violent country

A recent UN survey has concluded that Scotland is the most violent country in the developed world. You are thirty time more likely to be the victim of violent assault in Scotland than in Japan. This comes on top of a 2003 report that branded Glasgow "the murder capital of Europe" - with a higher murder rate than Belfast and twice the rate of London. And some people are more likely to be attacked than others.

Thursday, 15 September 2005

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Google Blog Search

Google has just launched a blog search service. It's beta but seems to work pretty well. More...

Sunday, 11 September 2005


Shutterbook is an online photo service pretty much like the excellent Flickr. But it's offering free lifetime premier accounts to anyone who signs up for the current beta programme. I've got mine.

Impeach Bush

There'a a campaign to link to this blog. I guess Bush deserves it more than this guy.

Monday, 5 September 2005

I did it!

I managed to complete the half marathon yesterday. The weather was fantastic - too hot for running - but I got there. So that's something ticked-off my 43Things page. And we collected more money than I expected. It was a great experience.

Saturday, 3 September 2005

Strange blogs

Having recently linked to the blog of a dominatrix, here's another strange blog. At least Matisse can write.

Thursday, 1 September 2005

Monday, 29 August 2005

BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Celtic | Fulham fail in late bid for Balde

Balde had a reasonable game against Dunfermline and if he played at this level for the rest of the season it would be worthwhile keeping him. We have to remember that Dunfermline are one of the three worst teams in the league but the Celtic performance was better.

Zurawski looked like a player but Nakamura again wasn't in the game much. But there was a legion of 3 Japanese supporters in the stands so his money spinning attributes are starting to pay off. Good to see we are ahead of Rangers who I think have to make some more buys if they are to have a chance of winning the league. I think they won't be half the team they are without Prso. I am hoping for a Prso injury.

Monday, 22 August 2005

What's 88% Buddhist and visits the Edinburgh festival?


According to Belief-o-matic I'm 28% Catholic, 44% Quaker, 88% Buddhist and 100% Secular Humanist.

Maria and I went to the Edinburgh Festival yesterday and saw a couple of shows: Screw Machine and Apocolypso Now. I enjoyed Screw Machine but was a little disappointed with Apocolypso Now. It was not bad but not as funny as I'd hoped although there was a great sketch about Bob Dylan whoring around corporate America.

Sunday, 21 August 2005

I was watching the news during the week as saw this bloke talking about derived grades. I had never heard of this before. I recognised the bloke but couldn't believe that it was Spike Milligan from university days. He looked a bit different but his voice was the same. And he was quite articulate. It looks like he has got a point. The two schools in Fife with the most derived grades are Balwearie and Madras College - both serving affluent areas. I never thought I would find myself being impressed by Spike.

Saturday, 20 August 2005

Rangers - 3 Celtic - 1

I didn’t see today’s game but by all accounts it was a pretty straight-forward victory for Rangers.
It tells its own story that I was a little relieved to be told that Rangers were only winning 2-0 with 10 minutes to go. I feared worse before the game. This Celtic team are there for the taking against a decent team. Fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a decent team in the SPL.

The new signings aren’t working. Not one could be called a success. The two “big name” signings (I hadn’t heard of either of them) – Nakamura and Zurawski – look a bit light-weight. I really hope that Nakamura is more than a part-time showman.

I like listening to Strachan since he talks sense and it’s too early to judge him. But so far, so bad.

Friday, 19 August 2005

Lust of Bust

It made me laugh [NSFW]. But I got caught every time.    

Thursday, 18 August 2005

Happy Couple Awaits Pregnancy Test Results

A pretty funny video from WhitestKids (video OK but some links on page may be NSFW). More videos here (all SFW). It's a mixed bag but I liked Saturday.

Thursday, 11 August 2005

Evolution and education

Today's Herald has a piece on the growing popularity of intelligent design within education. A recent Gallup poll found that almost half of Americans believe that God created humans pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago (which is consistent with the Bible).

President Bush thinks that intelligent design should be given equal prominence in the curriculum as evolution. On Tuesday, Kansas Board of Education passed a vote to do exactly that. But a powerful lobby argue that the Spagetti Monster created the universe.

This podcast asks if evolution is compatible with religion. Darwin didn't think so. He buried his Origin of Species for 10 years believing that it would destroy faith in God.

Wednesday, 10 August 2005

Great Scottish Run 2005

I'm running in this year's Great Scottish Run on behalf of Cancer Research. All donations/sponsorships gratefully received.

Monday, 8 August 2005


Some interesting stuff between Philip Adams and the Australian Atheist Society.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

Not convinced

Last night was a big improvement over recent performances. But I'm not convinced we've turned any corners. The optimism (short memories?) of some Celtic fans amaze me. They're now talking about winning the treble. The fact is, we needed six goals and got four. I've got a niggling feeling that Artmedia were never that worried.

Strachan's problems are the same today as they were yesterday: the squad is a mix of jaded experienced players, hot-and-cold young players, and unproven new players.

I really hope that Strachan turns out to be a good coach. But, the fact remains, he's made a dreadful start.

Sunday, 31 July 2005


We're going from bad to worse. To lose nine goals to Artmedia and Murderwell is unbelievable.

When we met after the Scottish Cup Final, Dennis suggested that we should get rid of most of the first team. I disagreed, argueing that we need some continuity. I was wrong. The experienced players are simply not performing. I'm not sure if its because they're past it or maybe they don't like Strachan. But not one of them has kicked a ball.

And that leaves the new signings - none of whom has played well and one of whom should be shot - and the young Celtic players - who, as we know, flatter to deceive.

I have a terrible feeling of deja vu. It's like re-run of the Macari days. We stagger on for a while with Strachan, wasting money on useless players, only to eventually sack him and begin a process of rebuilding. I really hope I'm wrong.

Bye the way, Artmedia are a good bet on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 27 July 2005


Be positive at least performances cannot get any worse. I thought Telfer and Maloney got pass marks. I couldn't blame Marshall either. But what about this bloke Camara? Will he play on Saturday? I thought he was suspect at three of the goals and I am beginning to wonder if he will play again.

All aspects of the team were awful. Could we score 5 to get into extra time? I am not giving up hope - early goals could change the tie. But it is a dreadful thought to have no European football at all this season.

Monday, 11 July 2005

This Godless Communism

A Catholic comic published in the Sixties features a series on Communism.

Sunday, 10 July 2005

Unskilled and Unaware of It

This explains a lot about some of the people that I've worked with during the last 27 years.

Thursday, 7 July 2005

London bombings

Wikipedia has a developing article on today's bombs in London. This Metafilter post gives you an idea about how the event unfolded.

Monday, 4 July 2005

Make Poverty History

I went through to Edinburgh on Saturday to join the Make Poverty History march. The weather was fantastic and it was a great day.

I got home in time to see the last bit of Live8 from London. The Pink Floyd set [MOV] was great.

Friday, 1 July 2005

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection

All 1,082 books are available from Amazon for $8,000. A snip. And free delivery too.

Monday, 27 June 2005

Sunday, 26 June 2005

Monday, 20 June 2005

Sunday, 19 June 2005

Jools Holland

I often watch Later with Jools Holland on a Friday night. I don't like the guy, and the program's format is awful, but he has lots of interesting guests on the show. I've been introduced to a few new bands thanks to the programme.

Friday's show had The Magic Numbers and Antony and the Johnsons. I was already listening to The Magic Numbers album, but hadn't heard of Anthony & the Johnsons. They played Hope there's someone on the show which I liked so I got hold of their album (I am a bird now).

Wednesday, 15 June 2005

Monday, 13 June 2005

Can Blair survive this?

"When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change [my emphasis], provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted."

A couple of weeks ago, The Sunday Times published a Cabinet Office memo from July 2002, from which the above excerpt was taken. Initially ignored by the media, the story is slowly beginning to gain momentum. There is now a website dedicated to the memo. Yesterday's Sunday Times carried another story about it.

When Saddam didn't rise to the bait, we dropped more bombs on him.

This war will not go away. I think that Blair will go first, followed by Bush. Not tomorrow. But eventually.

Sunday, 12 June 2005

Changing the name - keeping the history


I think what needs to happen is that you tell me when to delete You then grab it.

Note that has already been taken. I have

This help file then explains about linking sites which means you should retain the history.

Do you think this will work? You must have gone through a similar exercise when moving from The News Today to May22.

Let me know when you want me to delete


Thursday, 9 June 2005

Secretary who stole millions

BBC showed a programme last night called The secretary who stole four milllion pounds about a woman who stole money from her employer. Joyti De-Laurey was a PA at Goldman Sachs. Over a couple of years she forged cheques amounting to $7½M. She was jailed for seven years, along with her husband, a taxi driver, who was jailed for 1½ years because "he probably knew that the money was stolen". At the time of her trial, the media were not sympathetic to her.

The interesting part of the programme was the insight into the lives of Goldman Sach's executives. They thought nothing of running up a $30,000 wine bill. Joyti was the person responsible for paying the bills so had a unique insight into the incredible life-style of these people.

She was also treated like a slave. She was on-call 24/7 (in spite of having a husband and child) and was responsible for organising the business and personal lives of her bosses - including covering for her boss when he sneaked away in the middle of the day for sexual liaisons.

De-Laurey started small, signing cheques for small amounts of money to pay for her debts. But she grew in confidence when she got away with signing hundreds of cheques - for increasing amounts of money. Eventually her audacity and greed got the better of her and she was caught cashing a cheque for $3½M to pay for a house in Cyprus.

It's hard to believe that you could fail to spot millions of dollars going missing but when you earn $100M a year, I guess a few million here or there are easy to miss. As a former director of Golden Sachs said: When you're making £60m a year, a few million missing is like a regular person not remembering the last penny on their account.

Saturday, 4 June 2005

Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Gordon Strachan arrives at Celtic Park

Gordon Strachan held his first press conference at Celtic Park today. I was impressed. He talked a lot of sense. He reminds me a little of MON - straight talking, enthusiastic -- and smart. I particularly like his emphasis on fitness. BBJ must be crapping himself. And contrary to some media reports, most Celtic fans are behind him.

My favourite Strachan quote:

He saw John Terry's goal and said he was impressed that Terry goes up expecting to score. He contrasted this to Claus Lundekvam the Saints central defender who goes up for every dead ball and never ever looks remotely like scoring. He said if there was a dead body lying in the penalty area the ball would hit it on the head several times a season which he said is more than Lundekvam can manage. He said referees should book Lundekvam for timewasting every time he goes up for a corner. [Sky Sports]

Sunday, 29 May 2005

New name for the blog

We discussed the possibility of changing the name of the blog (again) last night. The new name was to be "thelastpost" to match the name of the pub where we meet after Cup Finals. But is taken - as is Pity. It was a good name.

Cup Final 2005

It was good to see everyone last night. Yesterday's Cup Final was no classic but at least we won - although it was hard to get too excited after last weekend's disappointment.

I deliberately didn't drink much last night. I drank a lot last weekend (at a wedding) and felt crap the next day. So I was determined not to repeat that - and I feel fine this morning.

It was MON's last (competitive) game in charge. I'm sorry to see him go. I appreciate that we have been watching a truly dire Celtic team but I believe that he could have rebuilt the team and taken us to new successes.

Thursday, 26 May 2005

Martin O'Neill

It's been a bad week for Celtic supporters. Wednesday's news was worse than Sunday's result. I knew that he was leaving but hoped that he would take a sabbatical rather than actually leave the Club.

A few week's ago, MON declared that he was looking for new players and was looking forward to spending a £15M budget. Then, last week, he stated that there was a 50/50 chance of him being here next season. Then, two days ago, he's off. It doesn't make sense. I sincerely hope that the Board did not play a part in this odd sequence of events.

MON has brought us five happy years. The highlight was Seville (maybe the semi against Boavista - what a night I had!) but there were lots of great results along the way. He almost created a genuinely great team.

So Gordon Strachan has a hard act to follow. I have mixed feelings about GS. At the same time that MON had Leicester City sitting fourth in the Premiership, GS was relegating Coventry. But, on the other hand, he did a decent job at Southampton, appears to be as passionate about the game as MON - and The Forces of Darkness are worried by his appointment (just as they were by MON's). Time will tell. I don't feel as optimistic as I did when MON was appointed but I'll give Strachan a chance.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining.

Monday, 23 May 2005

Losing the league

I had hoped that we could stagger over the finish line. I could see that the team was way past its sell-by date. I knew that me and you could put a couple of goals past our creaking defence. But yesterday was still hard to take. And today at work was painful. I've never seen Celtic fans so down.

We were three minutes short of winning the league. But, in truth, we are six players short of a decent team. I don't buy the "if only we had scored a second goal" argument. We were watching a team implode - a team capable of losing any sort of lead.

Even the mediocre bunch that wear the Hoops these days should have taken care of Motherwell - but many of the players didn't even have the will to win this single game. The second half was surreal. 45 minutes from winning the league and seasoned pros like Sutton and Lennon do a disappearing act. Only Petrov looked like he gave a shit. The rest looked like their mantlepiece didn't have any spare room for another medal.

O'Neill isn't blameless. He's made mistakes this season. But the players must shoulder most of the blame. They're among the most highly paid footballers in Europe - and they're beaten by a mob whose entire first team is paid less than Neil Lennon.

It's a pity that the same players who gave us so much pleasure two years ago should finish by letting down the fans and their manager.

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

George Galloway

I've just watched George Galloway give it to the Senate Committee. I don't think they knew what had hit them. It's a shame he couldn't question them and was restricted to answering their questions.

He should have suggested Coleman repeats the accusations outside the senate so he could sue him.

Tuesday, 10 May 2005

BBC - BBC Four - Listings

BBC - BBC Four - Listings I know it is too late to advertise this but they may be repeated. Two really good programmes on the Time Shift series. Red Robbo and Grunwick strike. Posed the unacceptable face of union power and the real need for unionisation. Both cases ending in defeat one with Red Robbo losing his job. My view was that this guy took it way too far. The vast majority of the workers wanted to work and he felt he had the right to put their families into hardship for political ends. And the other with the workers being sold out by top level TUC leadership. Scargill still wasn't sure who decided to stop supporting Grunwick. Both programmes ended with scenes of Thatcher coming to power. Still it looks like we are getting a bit of the last laugh on the smiling tyrant with her gun running son up shit creek and her party up there with him.

Monday, 9 May 2005

Inside the World of the 'Dasen Girls'

Normally, the media loves stories about corruption and sex. But this story is getting little coverage in the major news channels. Strange, since it is about sex and drugs. So it's just as well that a local newspaper is covering it. Maybe it's because the guy was working for Christian Financial Counseling.

Sunday, 8 May 2005

Last Post 2005

Who's up for a few pints in the Last Post after this year's cup final (28th May)?

Saturday, 7 May 2005

2005 election

Thursday's election results went pretty much as expected. I watched it until 2.30am on Friday morning. The highlight was George Galloway's victory in London. His acceptance speech was worth staying up for - and he took Jeremy Paxman to task shortly afterwards.

He supports "Celtic and Dundee United" so who will he support at the Scottish Cup Final? But we know who the linesman will support.

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Another good reason to vote Lib Dem

Today's editorial in the Sun tells readers not to vote Lib Dem. It warns that drugs could kill your children if you do. The irony that the second half of the editorial is about the death of someone's son in Iraq (which the Sun supports) is obviously lost on them.

Sunday, 1 May 2005

Football and the election

What a performance yesterday. It was worse than the Hearts game. I pretty much agree with this analysis. The current team appears to be a mix of decent experienced players who have lost their hunger (Neil Lennon sauntered around yesterday like it was a pre-season friendly) and young players who are simply not good enough. Major surgery is needed this summer. Let's hope that we can limp over the finish line. We will still be two points ahead of Rangers this evening.

I'm hearing some serious calls for MON's head for the first time. I'm not one of them. Although he is very blinkered at times and makes some strange tactical decisions, he has brought us fantastic success during the last five years. Maybe we should manage the team?

I still don't know how to vote on Thursday. It's fairly academic in my seat so it will be little more than a protest vote. But it won't be Labour. So it's either no-vote or Lib Dem.

Saturday, 30 April 2005

Sticks and Stones

This Canadian TV programme shows some of the extreme right-wing pundits on US television. And check the McKeown/Coulter exchange (same page) for a good example of their lies.

Saturday, 23 April 2005

This site is one of a number of new social software sites which seek to use the Internet (or should that be "internet"?) for social interaction.

Tuesday, 19 April 2005

100 greatest albums

I am always suspicious about these kind of things. People were talking about this at work and so I looked at the channel 4 results. I prefer this one. Even with this list I was surprised at how high U2 were as I have never heard "The Joshua Tree" album. I don't mind U2 but I can't stand watching "The Edge" (could anyone really call themselves that?). Radiohead are around 140 on this but as I have never heard them (I know you like them Bobby) I will look them out in the library. My own favourite album is Forever Changes by Love. I would put the Pogues first album on my list of favourite albums and Nick Cave's "The boatman's call" but I don't think either of these are even in the 500.

I don't know if best albums make much sense. I sometimes buy albums or compilations just for one song. Now I suppose you can collect through downloads all the best songs from one artist or group without going to the albums. Albums though hold memories and I suppose that is a factor in making it difficult to judge between them. They bring back emotions rather than allowing aesthetic judgement. However in saying that I thought some people in my work liked shite.

New Pope

Given the level of hypocrisy about the death of the previous pope I think that this article may give some balance to thinking on the beneficial effects of religion in a secular society.

Monday, 18 April 2005


"But the effect is not making men into raving beasts. On the contrary: The onslaught of porn is responsible for deadening male libido in relation to real women, and leading men to see fewer and fewer women as porn-worthy. Far from having to fend off porn-crazed young men, young women are worrying that as mere flesh and blood, they can scarcely get, let alone hold, their attention."

Some people thought that pornography would turn men into sex-crazed animals but this article argues that it kills men's interest in ordinary women.

Sunday, 17 April 2005

This week's TV

This afternoon's FA Cup semi-final (BBC1) is the best football on TV this week and tonight's 100 Greatest Albums (Channel 4) sounds like it will be worth watching. It will be interesting to see which albums (selected by a "panel of music experts" from 125 nominations) make the top 10.

It clashes with Heysal - Requiem for a Cup Final which is also on at 9pm (BBC2). The new series of The Simpsons (Friday, Channel 4) is very good (last week's episode was brilliant) and Friday also has a good movie: Event Horizon at 12.15am (BBC1). Doctor Who continues on Saturday. Excellent special effects and (mostly) good acting don't entirely conceal so-so storylines and highly derivative characters -- Davies has plagiarised from TV (Buffy), movies (most of the special effects) and video games (such as Doom). Still, it beats most TV.

Friday, 15 April 2005

More election stuff

This survey is more detailed that The analysis of results is particularly impressive.

The Guardian is also hosting an election blog.

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

Who should you vote for?

This site seeks your views on a range of issues and then tells you which party best reflects your beliefs. Here are my results.

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour -18
Conservative -47
Liberal Democrat 64
UK Independence Party -20
Green 14

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Sunday, 10 April 2005

BBC - BBC TWO - Listings

To get some idea of Steve Earle the programme on Monday night on two and some live stuff from Cambridge after it should both be worth watching. The guy has got a great voice.

Death row blog

This is the first blog from someone on death row.

And I've completed my Kenya safari blog at last.

Saturday, 9 April 2005

Spotted in Starbucks

Starbucks permits people to use computers in their cafes. But I don't think they meant your entire home computer system. I like their coffee but not everyone agrees.

Sunday, 3 April 2005

Dire performance

I pretty much agree with Celtic Quick News analysis of yesterday's game. There was a lazy, arrogance about our performance. Anyway, the damage is done. Now we need seven straight wins. I don't think that the current bunch are capable of that. Let's hope that a new goalkeeper is on O'Neill's summer shopping list.

This week's TV highlights include two good movies. The Man with Two Brains is on tomorrow night (BBC1 at 11.45pm) and Vanilla Sky is on next Saturday (Channel 4 at 9.10pm). You get the chance to compare Hollywood's version of the movie with the original Spanish version (Friday, Channel 4 at 12.25am). Both movies are excellent although I preferred the US version.

Here [WMV] is the best description of golf that I've heard [NSFW].

Thursday, 24 March 2005

Gore Vidal interview

"The media belongs to the big money, and the big money, their candidates, their party, is the Republican Party as now constituted. I'd say if you really want to date the crash of the American system, the American republic, it was in the early '50s, when television suddenly emerged as the central fact of American life. That which was not televised did not exist. Then you have the enormous cost of campaigning, which means every politician who wants to buy TV time has got to sell his ass to somebody. And corporate America is ready to buy."

I enjoy reading Gore Vidal and he was recently interviewed for CityPages. He also appeared on TV last night in "Why we fight" on BBC4 which has been described as the "Thinking man's Fahrenheit 9/11". Here's a radio interview with the producer.

Sunday, 20 March 2005

Thomas Duignan

I'm just back from Romsey (near Southampton) where I attended a special service in memory of Thomas Duignan (Diggy's eldest brother) who died on 7 March. Tommy wasn't religious and didn't want a memorial service so the family created its own special service. He was a St Mirin's boy (a Dux) and a life-long Celtic fan - Bournemouth CFC put a message in this week's Celtic View in memory of him. He was a lovely guy and hugely popular. He will be badly missed by family (he leaves a wife and two daughters) and friends. I was priveleged to know him.

Thomas Duignan. Born 8 January 1944. Died 7 March 2005.

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

State of The Blogosphere

Some interesting stats on the growth of blogs. There are even awards. Pity they didn't have a Best Holiday Blog category.

Sunday, 13 March 2005

Most efficient keyboard.

Saturday, 12 March 2005

Comic Relief :

Making poverty history is a great thing. But is that comic relief show a great thing? Yes admittedly my children painted their hair we donated money and bought McFly. I will also buy the Peter Kaye/Tony Christie one. He makes me laugh. But I hated all those comperes. I used to like Jonathon Ross on the radio but I'm now going off that. But the rest were the supreme purveyors of tat, even crap. Graham Norton, Davina McCall if there is some rubbish tacky show you can pencil her in, some bloke from big brother and to top it off Chris Evans where did they dredge him up from? Was he owed a favour? I watched about an hour. I don't like Little Britain, in fact it makes me feel a bit sick. Jo likes it and asked me why I didn't. But I said fat blokes on the bog about to get their arse wiped is not funny.
Lets make poverty history but I don't think I can watch it again. Cele(brat)ies with over inflated egos moralising at us all. Just show us the injustice do we need to be entertained (?) before putting our hands in our pockets? Or can we not just raise taxes?

Journey to work

I usually walk to work after putting Eleanor on her school bus. I have had some long bus journeys to work when I worked in Cupar. It is about 25 minutes if you go the straight route. But the bus went round as may villages as it couls so it was about 65 minutes. One village actually had a cow byre in the main road. The first time I didn't believe it. I thought I was half asleep. I did a bit of reading on the bus but i never really enjoed it. I like looking out the window or at the people on the bus. I'm reading a science fiction book by Margaret Atwood . Its excellent. I picked it up by chance in the library.

I don't know how you can be writing the blog whilst travelling on the bus. Also how do you make the web links in the prargraph and with different titles to the web link. I've tried to make a link but it probably won't work.

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Journey to work

I'm currently on the bus on my way to work - sitting in a traffic jam on the motorway. The journey from Erskine to Glasgow is 15 miles but can take anything from 30 to 75 minutes depending on the traffic. It's going to be closer to 75 minutes this morning.

I use the time to read. I'm currently reading Who Runs this Place? which explores the people who control the UK. I also scan the Metro newspaper which is usually lying around the bus. It's trash but it keeps me in touch with the Great Unwashed. I see from today's edition that Natasha Kaplinski has won Newscaster of the Year. Now Natashi is many things but a great newscaster is not one of them.

Most of the people on the bus sleep, stare out of the window, read pulp fiction or chat. Given the usual topics of conversation (TV, horoscopes, diets etc.), it might be better if they read. The young man sitting opposite me is reading Zoo. The story that he's reading is headlined: "Being shot isn't a big deal". Maybe they should just sleep.

Sunday, 20 February 2005

Possible title losing defeat

Quick thoughts on this game. Rab Douglas has played his last game. Too many terrible mistakes in crucial games (Porto cup final the worst). I think Sutton should be upfront with Petrov through the middle. These are our best players and we should play them in their best positions. On the face of it perhaps Bellamy won't be prolific. The postponement last week was a blow. The goal difference looks like it is worth a point. We need to win every game. It might come down to which fixtures are at home. The Rangers goal difference at home is immense. On the plus I thought Balde was great. In fact the defence really didn't look troubled until the goal.

On another note I was surprised by those recent turnover figures where Celtic were earning more than Rangers. Is the business being run correctly? Was there not a case for some investment? Anyway you don't get games like that in Kenya. 25 years where did it go?

Blogs under the spotlight

Blogs not only report the news but sometimes create news. This excerpt from an American TV show explores this new phenomenon and questions the validity and professionalism of bloggers.

Saturday, 19 February 2005

Back from Kenya

I got back from Kenya last Friday - but it's taken me a week to find my feet. It was harder than I thought to go from winter to summer and back to winter again. That and my body clock being totally screwed-up after 2½ weeks of early rises (I'm talking 6am every day) and early to bed (sometimes as early as 9pm).

I'm still working through my photographs. Digital photos are great but it takes a long time to do your own processing (download, review, edit and finalise). I'm just about there.

I maintained a (paper) journal while I was there and I'm currently turning this into a photo-and-story blog. It will take a while to complete.

Internet access is dire in Kenya so I had some catching-up to do when I got home. The Net feeds your brain and I missed some of the more celebral sites that you come across while surfing.

Friday, 4 February 2005

Holiday blog

I'm posting this from Mombasa in Kenya. Margaret and I in Kenya for our 25th wedding anniversary. We arrived in Mombasa last night, from Nairobi where we spent a week on safari.

The safari was great. We visited four lodges and saw lots of animals. I've got loads of photos some of which I'll post when I get back.

We're currently staying in the Indian Ocean Hotel just outside of Mombasa and it's beautiful. Our house is 20m from the sand and 50m from the sea. It's absolutetely boiling. Around 35C today (and I'm already sunburnt from the safari).

Good news on the transfer front. I'm way behind with the news but I gather that Bellamy signed. I spoke with a Newscastle fan who was glad that he was away. She said he was very talented but disruptive in the dressing room.

Most Kenyans follow the Premiership (I saw last weekend's goals this morning on a TV in the hotel) and most follow Man Utd or Arsenal. The only thing they know about Celtic is that we want into the Premiership!

It's very expensive to go online here so I have to go.

Tuesday, 1 February 2005

Celtic complete Bellamy loan deal

BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Celtic | Celtic complete Bellamy loan deal
This looks like a brilliant move even if the bloke is a nutter. Racial assaults are a bit worrying. But now that Bobo is staying there may be no more of them. I think this move could win the league and at £45k a week it may be worth it. Especially with Ferguson back at Rangers and the other buys they have made. I think Celtic have looked a bit jaded in the past couple of games. I thought the Henchoz move was good given Balde's recklessness and lack of distribution which we talked about in the European games. But then I started to think about the presence he must have and what it is like physically to play against him. So I'm ok with him staying but with Henchoz also there I wonder what will happen, he may go at the end of the season. I don't fancy a return to three centre backs. Getting rid of Camara was also a good move but what about Juninho. Is he the new Stuart Slater? ( I think that was his name).

Saturday, 29 January 2005


May 22 Blog
These blogs are great things, you can blog from anywhere, even the hospital. I did a stupid thing to end up here. I was making myself a cheese sandwich and sliced up a daffodil bulb instead of the onion I meant to have with it. But there's no long term damage and the doctors have said I can expect to be out in the Spring.

Sunday, 23 January 2005

This week's movies

Two worthwhile movies on (terrestial) TV this week: American Psycho on Wednesday (C4 at 11.50pm) and Fahrenheit 9/11 on Thursday (C4 at 9pm).

While the movies are very different, they both pass comment on American domestic and foreign policy - although in the case of American Psycho, Hollywood probably didn't realise this.


Given the number of times I link to Wikipedia, you'll appreciate that I like it. But it has recently caused a bit of a controversy with criticism of its accuracy. Some people have suggested that articles should be vetted by experts before being published.

While it's true that some articles cause problems, occasionally resulting in pages being suspended, most of the time the quality of the information is very high - much better than official sources. And because anyone can add information, it's incredibly up-to-date.

The irony of the established media complaining about the rigour and accuracy of Wikipedia is lost on them.

Friday, 21 January 2005

50 Most Loathsome People in America

"Oh the first lady, what an inspiration she must be to android researchers everywhere. Smile, nod, smile, (look interested) nod, put on $50,000 dress, suck off the president and there you have a typical day for the first lady."

Laura Bush's entry in the 50 Most Loathsome People in America. I also liked Tom Cruise (no. 39), Ronald Reegan (24) and Michael Jackson (22). And I get a mention at number 3.

Friday, 14 January 2005

The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon

The long-lost work of two photographers was recently discovered, having laid unseen for nearly 70 years. Most of the footage comes from the very early 1900s and - unusually - it relates to ordinary working men. In total, 26 hours of film was discovered - including the very first video of Manchester United.

But it's the "secret history" of ordinary working men that is fascinating. Most old film relates to royalty or (at best) the middle classes - but this stuff shows ordinary people going about their business. It made me realise how we have politicised the teaching of History. Kids know more about Archduke Ferdinand than they know about their own grandfathers (my grandfather is named on the Loos Memorial).

The BBC has made a series about the material (Friday at 9pm) and it's soon to be available on DVD.

Wednesday, 12 January 2005

Apple fans

Apple Computer recently announced a bunch of new products at MacWorld 2005. The most interesting one was a $499 system (minus monitor, screen and keyboard). The other products were pretty routine - and included an over-priced pendrive and a poor imitation of Microsoft Office. The portable music player is particularly uninspiring and was described as "five generations older" than current solid-state players.

But Apple users acted like Steve Jobs announced the Second Coming. They're fanatical about Apple products.

Predictions about 2000

Weekend Magazine predicted what life would be like in 2000 in their July 1961 edition. They got some things wrong: "You will be whisked around in monorail vehicles at 200 miles an hour and you will think nothing of taking a fortnight's holiday in outer space.". But others were closer to the mark: "You'll have a home control room - an electronics centre, where messages will be recorded when you're away from home. This will play back when you return, and also give you up-to-the minute world news, and transcribe your latest mail." which sounds like the Internet.

Tuesday, 11 January 2005

Great Thing eBay

Sacked because of his blog

A guy who worked for Waterstone's in Edniburgh lost his job just before Christmas because of his blog. It maybe wasn't a good idea to call his employer "Bastardstones".

Tuesday, 4 January 2005

What do you believe that you can't yet prove?

"I believe, but cannot yet prove, that acquiring a human language is a necessary precondition for consciousness".

There are another 118 contributions here.

Saturday, 1 January 2005

Happy New Year

Margaret and I went to John Lafferty's New Year party last night. He has one every year and it usually includes a bonfire and fireworks. Last night's was excellent.

You might recognise this guy? Most of the Lafferty's were at the party - including Vincent. This is a picture of Vinny's family.

More photos from the party here.