Saturday, September 29, 2007

Britney Pictures

I was looking around for a good source of Britney Spears pictures and I'm glad to be able to say that I've found one.

Not just pictures in fact, but news articles, video feeds, in fact, everything you might want to know about Britney Spears.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Housing Insurance

Well, we all know that we need to have house insurance, yes? Don't forget that it covers a great deal more than just the house itself: although if that does fall over then you'd want to make sure that someone was paying for it. You can also add your contents to it and so on, even, with certain policies, things that would normally be in the house but that you take out of it. All protected against theft and fire and so on.

So far so good, but who should you buy it from? Well, why not the Co-Op? In fact, there's two very good reasons why you should buy your house insurance from them. The first is that they are ethically based, so they deal with their suppliers and customers in an entirely forthright and honest manner. The second is that they are a mutual, meaning that they share the profits with the members and customers.

Over and above all that they've also got some of the best rates on the market. Click through above to see what they can do for you.

Disclosure Policy.


Oh dear, Reuters really are behind the times on this one:

If you are in Sudan it is a 'missed call'. In Ethiopia it is a 'miskin' or a 'pitiful' call. In other parts of Africa it is a case of 'flashing', 'beeping' or in French-speaking areas 'bipage'.

Wherever you are, it is one of the fastest-growing phenomena in the continent's booming mobile telephone markets -- and it's a headache for mobile operators who are trying to figure out how to make some money out of it.

You beep someone when you call them up on their mobile phone -- setting its display screen briefly flashing -- then hang up half a second later, before they have had a chance to answer. Your friend -- you hope -- sees your name and number on their list of 'Missed Calls' and calls you back at his or her expense.

It is a tactic born out of ingenuity and necessity, say analysts who have tracked an explosion in miskin calls by cash-strapped cellphone users from Cape Town to Cairo.

"Its roots are as a strategy to save money," said Jonathan Donner, an India-based researcher for Microsoft who is due to publish a paper on "The Rules of Beeping" in the high-brow online Journal of Computer Mediated Communication in October.

Really, really behind the times. The whole pehnomenon was discussed in great detail in Michaela Wrong's "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz", an excellent book on the fall of Mobutu in Zaire. From, err, May 2001.

How excellent, don't you think? The world's premier newswire only 6.5 years behind the publishing industry. Even better, I think Wrong was a stringer for Reuters when she actually wrote the book.

How Many Maids?

What were these maids doing wrong? Or was it rather what were the employers doing wrong?

Hong Kong Canto-pop star Jacky Cheung has been banned from hiring any more maids from the Philippines after firing 21 in three years, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Cheung and his wife, former actress May Lo, were placed on a "blacklist of sub-standard employers" maintained by the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong after hiring and firing 21 maids in three years, the South China Morning Post reported.

His track record has earned him the nickname of the "the terminator" within the local Filipino community.

Joel Blas, an assistant national officer at the Philippines consulate, was quoted as saying his consul-general had met Lo last week to explain she'd "not be allowed to hire any helpers from the Philippines for one year."

The thing is here that in order to hire one of the Fillippina maids you also have to organise her work permit. So if you're on this register of people who are not alowed to offer a work permit, then you're not going to be able to hire a maid, either.

Unless, of course, youhire on illegally, without a work permit, or you hire a Chinese one....which means they'll have even less protection, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Furnishing the Outside of the House

As regular readers will know we're doing up this new (to us) house and as we'v got paast the first stage of the horrors of having the builders in it's about time we started thinking about decorating the outside of the house.

The first and most obvious thing we need is a new set of address plaques . The current ones proclaim the wrong family name (of course) and also the religion and football team preference of the previous owner. We also need a new mailbox (which the same company can provide) as the old one is a) falling off the wall and b) has had rats nesting in it.

Excuse me while I go back there and see what else they've got that we need :-)

Disclosure Policy.

Killing With a Kiss

Wow, this is one jealous woman:

A Chinese woman who killed her lover with a rat poison-laced kiss when she suspected him of being unfaithful has been sentenced to death, a newspaper said Thursday.

Xia Xinfeng, from Maolou in the central province of Henan, passed a capsule with rat poison from her mouth to her long-time lover, Mao Ansheng, during a kiss, the Shanghai Daily said.

Mao swallowed the capsule and died soon afterwards.

"The couple had said that if either one of them cheated on the other, he or she would have to die," the paper said in explaining the mouth-to-mouth assault.

Xia found Mao had been "talking" with another woman and deemed that he had broken their promise.

Talking with another woman is enough for her to murder you?

It's not as if sho wouldn't have known what was likely to happen either. China executes more than any other country: and does it in public too. A bullet to hte back of the head. Fortunately, they no longer bill the family of those execusted for the bullets.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Booking Hotels

Here's another entrant in the growing field of hotel booking sites. As I'm sure you know there's a number around and the competition is meaning that each participant is having to raise his game: to the great benefit of us consumers, of course.

This site, EasyToBook, is certainly easy to navigate fact the whole process is really very easy to use indeed. They're also not reginally bound: they offer the opportunity to book all around the world. Here's their London hotels page, their Prague hotels page and their hotels in Barcelona page.

They also go into quite some detail about the individual hotels. Here's the write up on a New York hotel and here's another one on a hotel in Dublin.

All in all it looks like a very useful site and it certainly is very easy to use, as they promise.

He'll Never Hear the End of This One

Nope, this one will stay with this agent for the rest of his natural:

Three Mexican minors detained in California on suspicion of smuggling drugs stole a U.S. Border Patrol car while still wearing handcuffs and drove it back across the border to Mexico.

Police in the Mexican border city of Mexicali said on Tuesday the three boys had been driving a pick-up truck on a remote Californian highway when a Border Patrol agent stopped them.

Suspicious they were carrying marijuana, he handcuffed them and put them in his patrol car while he searched their truck.

"As the agent was doing his search, he left the vehicle running and the keys in the ignition, so one of the lads, still wearing handcuffs, grabbed the steering wheel and they headed back to Mexico," a police spokesman said.

No, they haven't found the kids either. That agent, I'd love to be able to ask him: "Just what were you smoking?". Seriously, leaving a car going, with the keys in it, while you've got three suspects in it?

Going Today

This is an interesting variation on selling overthe web. Instead of having a warehouse full of different things offers just one item each and every day (well, many different copies of the same item actually). They're usually biased towards the music geek and can be paid for with a PayPal account.
So instead of thinking about what you want and then going searching fo it, they've turned the whole concept on its head. You go there every day and see whether the apotheosis of musical geekness they have today is something they want.
It's a very interesting way of turniong a shopping site into a buzz destination.
Very much worth checking out.

Disclosure Policy.

Early Morning Barmaids

Now I will admit that I've felt like I have drunk this stuff before, but that's usually the morning after that I feel so.

An Australian "prankster" barmaid who served a patron a shot of disinfectant has appeared in court over what her lawyers said was a "misguided" joke.

Melbourne barmaid Emily Craig, 23, served a client a single 30ml shot glass of Pine-O-Cleen disinfectant in March during a 6 a.m. drinking bout at Evolution Nightclub, causing him to become violently ill, the Melbourne Magistrates court was told.

In fact, I've been in some parts of the world where the local rotgut tastes like that and has a very similar effect while drinking it.

Still, I think it gives the manufacturers of Pine-O-Clean an opportunity for an advertising campain. What do you think..."Pine-O-Clean, worse than Gin"?

Tattoo Lovers' Dating

It looks like the ever greater specialisation of the dating market carries on. Here's a site devoted solely to tattoo dating, yes, that's right, called Tattoo Lovers it caters to those who love tattoos and the people who have them. If you prefer, it's a site for tattoo personals. (Which, I have to admit, rather reminds me of the old pick up line....I'll show you my tattoo if you'll show me yours).

The site is clean and easy to navigate, has all the usual abilities and options, like geographic search and so on. The only difference to a more regular dating site is that everyone there either has tattoos or likes people who do have them.

If that's what you're into then it looks like an excellent place to go visit.

Disclosure Policy.

What Not To Say To Your Wife

Well, there are any number of things that you really shouldn't say to your wife but thi one was remarkably stupid:

Malaysian doctors have reattached a man's nearly severed penis after his first wife, enraged by his comparison of her sex skills with those of his younger second wife, decided to chop it off with a kitchen knife.

The man, a 43-year-old Indonesian worker in southern Johor state, was lying in bed with his 48-year-old wife talking about his newly wed second wife, who is in her 30s, when the incident happened, the New Straits Times newspaper reported.

You don't talk about anyone's sex skills when you're in bed with a third person for goodness sake! More than that, hubby should ponder for a moment: where did this new wife get those excellent sex skills then?

Visiting the Perth International Arts Festival

If youshould find yourself looking for a reaon to visit Oz might I recommend the Perth International Arts Festical? As their site states:

The Perth International Arts Festival is the oldest annual international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere and annually offers some of the world’s best theatre, music, film, visual arts, street arts, literature and free community events. No single art genre, concert, performance or exhibition series can cover the breadth of intellectual and imaginative territory of the Perth Festival, nor reach as broadly into the community. For two generations of locals, summer in Perth without the Festival is simply unimaginable.

That's pretty good going, lasting that long. It's only a few years younger than the Edinburgh Festical, which is the Northern Hemisphere's equivalent.

Now if you are indeed going to make such a trip you'll need information on hotels in Perth so click through there to see what you can get.

Of course, if you're going to travel all that way to Oz you might as well have a look around the rest of the country too. To aid there here's hotels in Adelaide and Melbourne accomodation. Something you should note about all of those accomodation sites. They don't just handle last minute or cheap hotel bookings,they can also offer shared apartments and so on, which can be a much cheaper way of dealing with things if you're travelling in a group.

Airport Advertising

As if we didn't get enough advertising at airports already:

Advertisers aiming to reach high-flyers with no alternative distraction will soon have a new method: adverts the size of three football pitches seen by plane passengers coming in to land.

UK-based Ad-Air launched its new service in London on Tuesday, offering brands the chance to place huge adverts near the runways of some of the world's busiest runways.

Ad-Air, backed by 5 million pounds ($10 million) of private equity finance, said it had spent five years securing sites around the world's busiest airports including London Heathrow, Paris, Geneva, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi.

This isn't the same as those people who cut a pattern into a field near a runway, no, these will be powered and lit.

Sheesh: going through an airport these days is nothing but advertising, isn't it? We really need more?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Biker Dating

One of the things I love about this grand new world of the web and the intarwebs is the way in which things that previously didn't make economic sense now do.

Take the dating market for example. At one time you would date those you met through family or friends or perhaps (very perhaps) look at the personals section of the newspaper. Now specialist dating sites are springing up all of the web and they're all targetted. That's the bit that didn't make economic sense before. For example, one city wouldn't be large enough to support a magazine carrying biker personals.

Now however there's a site dedicated to nothing but biker dating. It's a very good site too, got all the regular functionality, it's easy to use: it's just that everyone on it is either a biker or interested in bikers. If that's what you're into, highly recommended.

Disclosure Policy.

Shane Warne and Simone Callahan

Looks like Shane Warne's been caught cheating on Simone Callahan again:

The wife of former Australian cricket champion Shane Warne says their marriage reconciliation is over after he mistakenly sent her an incriminating text message.

Simone Callahan, who reunited last December with the spin bowler known also for his womanizing, told a woman's magazine she caught Warne cheating on her while he was in London.

As Callahan got the couple's three children ready for school in Melbourne, a text dropped into the inbox of her mobile phone, she told New Idea magazine.

"Hey beautiful, I'm just talking to my kids, the back door's open," the message from Warne said.

"You loser, you sent the message to the wrong person," Callahan sent back.

She told the magazine the message confirmed her suspicions that Warne was again cheating on her and that his lover had been to their London home before.

But the thing I don't get is this: what on earth was Callahan doing? You don't go ou and marry some alpha male thinking tht he's going to be faithful. More to the point, someone with a reputation for putting it about for a bit: what are you doing leaving him on the other side of the world?

I just don't get it.

Intelligent Community Initiative

This is something you might want to have a look at, The Intelligent Community Initiative Website .

It's a way of dealing with the problems of launching businesses (whether for profit or for more social ends) in communities that are rather smaller than the usual size which might be though to be able to support them. Those under 150,000 people (usually thought of as not being a large enough critical mass for most business ventures). In fact, it's well wortha look if you're looking for bootstrapping aid and advice on how to get things moving.

Disclosure Policy.

Lindsay Lohan in Divorce!

Of course, it's not actually Lindsay Lohan that's getting divorced: she's not married so that would be a little difficult as a feat for her to achieve. However, she's being cited in the divorce of the guy she (allegedly) was shagging in the toilet at her rehab centre.

LINDSAY LOHAN has been cited in the bitter divorce proceedings of the man she is alleged to have slept with while in rehab.

The troubled starlet is reported to have romped with rocker TONY ALLEN in the toilets of the Cirque Lodge clinic in Utah last month.

And now his estranged millionaire wife STEPHANIE ALLEN has filed an affidavit claiming the "defendant’s conduct with another woman" has lead to the union being "irretrievably broken".

"Habitual drug addiction" and "cruel treatment" have also been lodged as reasons to dissolve the four-year-old marriage.

Though Lohan is not directly named in the complex legal papers filed, exhibit 'A', which is attached to the papers includes articles about the alleged tryst.

Lessee: drunk driving, rehab, wasn't there a drugs charge in htere somewhere as well, and now being the corespondent in a divorce case. Pretty good going for someone who is only 21 isn't it?

Print on Demand

One of the glorious things that this web and internet combination has given us is the opportunity to do print on demand (POD) books. Instead of scribbling away for a year or two to see your manuscript failing to find a publisher, it's possible for you to get it printed and bound and then sell it over the net yourself.

The thing is, there are also a lot of different options about how you do this. There are many suppliers, each with different business models. Yes,there are those that are free but then their products and their marketing support reflect that very fact that they are free.

An alternative in self publishing is the company Outskirts Press. For example, their $999 self publishing package might seem expensive, but one of their authors just reeiced a $39,000 check for three months book sales. They're also the only company that will let you set your own retail price, royalty rate and trade discount (have a look at their pricing calculator to check it out).

You can also check out their book math and their marketing support package.

Self-publishing has never been easier or cheaper so if you think you've got a book in you (and almost all of us do) then why not check it out?

Disclosure Policy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Normally it's the Criminals

Who swear in court that is:

A senior Canadian judge has been formally reprimanded for swearing during a courtroom clash with

a prosecutor earlier this year, officials said on Friday.

British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Peter Leask's behavior

was "improper and tarnished the reputation of the court and the judiciary," concluded an investigation by the Canadian Judicial Council.

Leask resorted to expletives in March at the trial of a man

charged with trafficking cocaine. The judge disagreed strongly

with the prosecutor's premise that the accused had hidden the

drug in his own storage locker.

"He'd have had to have been out of his f------- mind to store it in his own locker, all right?" the judge told the prosecutor. He also referred to "the whole f------ thing" and used the words "god------" and "s----."

What is the world coming to when things like this can happen? Are we about to see the End Times, cats with dogs and rains of blood and plagues of frogs? I mean, really.

Swearing in court is the job of the accused, lying is what the lawyers are supposed to do and the judges are supposed to be drunk.

French Dell

Ah, les ordinateurs! Comme logiciel!

Hmm, sorry, that's my not very good French language skills coming out there. Dell has been selling desktops in France for quite some time now. So you'll be familiar with their policies and offerings then, I assume? Their practice of holding no stock, of building the computer as you order it, means that they don't have to have huge stocks of components and finished machines. That you buy it direct from them also reduces the price, as there are no retailers to take a cut.

But if you're in the market for a desktop at the moment there's one overpowering reason why you want to take a very good look at a Dell. Because you don't have to get Windows Vista with it. They'll still sell you a machine with XP on it, a vastly better operating system.

So, a better computer, at a better price, with the software you want rather than what you're forced to have. Couldn't get better, could it?

Disclosure Policy.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Women and Sumo

Panic strikes as a woman invades the sumo wring. Not, as might sometimes be thought (at least in these days of the global obesity epidemic) because she was going to beat up on of the fighters:

A woman invaded a sumo ring -- a sacred arena from which females are banned -- in Tokyo during a major tournament, domestic media said on Thursday, then was pulled down by a referee and one of the sport's huge wrestlers.

The middle-aged woman dashed from the side of the Kokugikan sumo stadium on Wednesday and shoved away a female security guard before rolling onto the ring just as a bout was set to begin, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

The Japan Sumo Association insisted that though the woman did enter the raised platform around the batting ring, she did not set foot on the ring, or dohyo, itself.

No, it's rather that as a woman she's not supposed to have anything to do with getting anywhere near the ring at all.

And people call western society patriarchal!

Bike Racks

So, as we continue to sort out this new (to us) house I'm beginning to remember why people compare moving house to divorce as a cause of stress. There's simply so many things that are just there, that you don't normally think about, that you then have to sort out again.

For example, what sort of bike rack should I get for the garage? There's no point in a floor based one as it has a stand already. Wall mounted would be a problem, as it's a small garage. Guess it'll have to be a roof mounted one....although that's a pain in itself, lifting and lowering the bike all the time.

Sigh. Decisions, decisions.

Disclosure Policy.

Sacked for Marrying

Looks like taking a second wife if you're a policeman in Malaya is a bit of a no no:

One policeman in mainly Muslim Malaysia has been sacked and another demoted -- both for taking a second wife.

A newspaper said on Saturday the pair, who were married abroad, had not sought prior approval from their respective commanders.

"In the force, we have to vet whom they (policemen) want to marry as a policy," the New Straits Times quoted the country's police chief, Musa Hassan, as saying.

"You can't just simply marry anyone for security reasons. They got married overseas and they didn't even inform they went overseas," he said. "Let this be a lesson to other police officers."

But as the report makes clear, there's no ban on having a second wife: it's a ban on marrying someone you haven't had cleared.

That seems a litle extreme actually: I can see the point and the logic but perhaps only spies should be held to such standards?

Dell in France

Terribly insular of me I know, but I hadn't realised that Dell was actually selling in France at all. Not just insular in fact, but silly even. I wonder how long it's going to be before they start selling down here as well?

Anyway, for those readers based there a small guide. Their page of laptops is here and their portables are here.

Looking around there it remimnded me of quite how cussed the French can be about language. Everyone else i hte world is happy with a localisation of "computer" but they have to call it an ordinateur. And it's not software, it's logiciel: although as anyone who's ever used Microscurf knows, logic isn't high on its list of qualities.

Disclosure Policy.

Strange Death of the Hyphen

It appears that English is bein expunged of the hyphen:

About 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the Internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Bumble-bee is now bumblebee, ice-cream is ice cream and pot-belly is pot belly.

And if you've got a problem, don't be such a crybaby (formerly cry-baby).

The hyphen has been squeezed as informal ways of communicating, honed in text messages and emails, spread on Web sites and seep into newspapers and books.

"People are not confident about using hyphens anymore, they're not really sure what they are for," said Angus Stevenson, editor of the Shorter OED, the sixth edition of which was published this week.

All of which strikes me as a bit odd actually. When I write for a newspaper the editors (pbut) always seem to put more hyphens in than I did. And noticeably fewer commas. All of which is rather disconcerting, after I've plowed through such a piece innumerable times to make sure that I've got my clauses all hte right way around.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Furniture Shopping

As you know, we're in the market for furniture at present and I'vebeen hunting around the web for places where I can get it without having to follow th wife around hundreds of stores. And I think I have found a great site where I can get it all. Check out this his her desk, or this bedroom furniture.

I like this whole idea of shopping online. more convenient, better prices and a better selection. Have a look again here, at living room furniture, or over here for furniture home office.

Excuse me, I think I need to go and spend more time on that site.

Disclosure Policy.

Headless Corpses

So, err, if you started to find headless corpses around the place, each body drained of all it's blood, what would you think had started to happen? Might you think there was a little chicanery going on? A touch of naughtiness perhaps? Well done, full marks:

Six grisly murders in Togo in which the victims were decapitated and drained of their blood have raised fears of a resurgence of ritual killings ahead of parliamentary elections in the West African state next month.

The serial killings occurred last weekend in the southern Vo and Lacs prefectures, east of the capital Lome. The victims included a 12-year-old boy and a 63-year-old woman and their severed heads were carried off by the killers.

The discovery of the headless corpses has shocked Togolese and triggered a wave of speculation that the killings were ritual murders. This is a practice still found in parts of Africa in which people kill to obtain body parts and blood in the belief they will bring social success and political power.

Yup, it's far worse than that, it's not voodoo zombie killers, it's not an outbreak of madness or of stark staring terror. Nope, it's worse than that, it's politics.


As regular readers will know we've been renovating this new to us house for the past few months and, Yay! we've finally got the bathroom finished. That means we've got half the house finished (it's actually two independent houses on one plot). So, we can actually have one house to live in, free of builders and dust. This, of course, now means that we have to go furniture shopping. Boo!

Really, who want to schlepp around endless numbers of stores three paces behind the wife? More importantly, bricks and mortar stores really don't have much in stock. They simply can't.

Which is what makes me like the look of this one of the online furniture stores .

They've got just about everything you could possible want, all laid out in an extremely easy to navigate manner on a very slick and quick website. I mean, have a look at this storage bed...we'll be needing at least one if not two of those. To see what I mean about their broad selection, have a look at this category, Dining Room Furniture.

They've got everything we need, at pices we like and best of all, I can just point he wife's browser at it while I get on with watching the game. Life's tough somtimes, hunh, then someone goes and makes it even better.

Disclosure Policy.

The Swastika Handbag

This really wasn't all that bright an idea in the first pace now was it:

Spanish fashion chain Zara has withdrawn a handbag from its stores after a customer in Britain complained swastikas were embroidered on it.

Zara, owned by the world's second largest fashion retailer Inditex, said it did not know the 39 pound ($78) handbag had green swastikas on its corners.

The bags were made by a supplier in India and inspired by commonly used Hindu symbols, which include the swastika. The original design approved by Zara did not have swastikas on it, Inditex said.

Yes, yes, we know, the Swastika has some very old meanings, none of which are to do with hte Nazis. In fact, some of them mean long life, good luck, those sorts of things. But really, selling a handbag with a swastika on it in Europe these days. Just not really thought through, was it?

Dell Laptops

I'm obviously way out of date on the pricing of computers these days. I've been looking around for a new one and Ican't believe how cheap they have become. Sure, I knew that desktops were pretty cheap these days but the pricing for laptops and notebooks seems to have come right down as well. Foir example, having a look at the German Notebook Shop for Dell, they've come down to hte point that they're almost a consumable item now. OK, OK, not quite, but in English pricing, £350 for a fully operating machine, loaded and ready to go, is incredibly cheap. Or, if you prefer (as many manufacturers do, for they don't like the word "cheap") great value.

No, I don't mean it's something you buy on a whim, but it's no longer something that you've really got to worry all that much about, is it?

What also gets me is that they have even lower prices and even better deals on machines for the student laptop market. Anyone want to lend me a student card?

Discolsure Policy

Friday, September 21, 2007

Who Earns the Money?

Prostitution is often used as an example of a way in which women can make money. It's also often used as an example of how women are exploited.

About a third of Amsterdam's red-lit windows for prostitutes will disappear from the city center as one of the main brothel owners is set to sell his empire to a real estate company.

A housing company is to buy 18 premises, currently featuring 51 windows, for about 25 million euros ($35 million), Amsterdam city council said.

I think we know that none of the women who've been working all these years have made $35 million....

Dell in Germany

There's an economic point that all too few people seem to understand. Invention, innovation, don't just mean designing new things. They can also mean, and this is much more important than new products, changes in the way we do things we do already. Changes in methods of organisation, for example.
This is what has driven Dell's success over the years. Michael Dell spotted that the major problem with Desktops and other computers was the depreciation of their value, as components sat on shelves, or personal computers were transported to stores and then sold. 1% a week was his finding. So if you can find a way to do away with all of that stocking you should be able to reduce your prices (or upgrade the equipment itself) by 6-8%.
Which is exactly what Dell then went on to build and it's still the powerhouse of the company. No stock and thus no depreciation, meaning either better prices or more computer for the same one.

Dsiclosure Policy.

Seven Year Itch

I dunno, what is it about politicians?

Bavaria's most glamorous politician -- a flame-haired motorcyclist who helped bring down state premier Edmund Stoiber -- has shocked the Catholic state in Germany by suggesting marriage should last just 7 years.

Gabriele Pauli, who poses on her web site in motorcycle leathers, is standing for the leadership of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) -- sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) -- in a vote next week.

She told reporters at the launch of her campaign manifesto Wednesday she wanted marriage to expire after seven years and accused the CSU, which promotes traditional family values, of nurturing ideals of marriage which are wide of the mark.

Just because her most recent marriage only lasted 7 years, why should the law be changed for everyone?

More importantly though, why should the State be involved in defining what a marriage is at all? It's a private contract and people should be free to organise it as they wish, not as som vote stealer tells them they may.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hotels in Australia

Fair Dinkum Mate, Cobber to you and let's have a brew.

That's the language down there in Australia isn't it? Being slightly more serious it's a great place to visit and there's any number of fabulous things to do. The food can be fantastic (as long as you're staying near the coast, at least) and of course there's the wildlife, kangaroos and all that.

But, of course, if you're travelling that far you'll need to know where to find Sydney hotels (and no, "in Sydney isn't all that helpful ananswer, follow the link), Melbourne hotels and Brisbane hotels.

When you've got a continent with more poisonous spiders and bugs than the rest of the world put together, somehow camping just doesn't cut it, does it?

Bad Credit Offers

If you've got bad credit the most important thing you need to do is get rid of it. To turn a bad credit record into a god one. Otherwise, you'll find that you're barred from all sorts of things: it's not just credit card offers, or mortgages. You can also find landlords refusing to rent to you, even some employers refusing to hire you. So why not check out this website: Bad Credit Offers.

They're set up to give you all the information you need to turn bad into good credit. Auto loans, credit reports, home loans, it's all there. Check it out.

Because if you've got bad credit you can't take part in the great American Dream.

Disclosure Policy.

Home Made Sex Toys

Well, actually, sex toys made in someone else's home.

It was a stick up of a different kind for one Australian burglar, who broke into a neighbor's house and played sex games in the bathroom with a bottle of toilet detergent and a vacuum cleaner.

A court in the northern city of Brisbane heard how 27 year old Jamie Lacey, high on drugs, broke into the house in September 2004, scattering pornographic magazines around the bathroom and making a sex toy from a bottle of detergent, a piece of wood and a rubber glove, the Brisbane Times reported.

Lacey was arrested in December 2006 after police matched DNA his DNA to that on the rubber glove, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Right, OK; the high on drugs bit makes it all a bit more understandable. It's not like in vino veritas, drugs can indeed make you do very strange things, ver much out of character. However, this is the best bit:

Lacey was sentenced to 12 months community service, with judge declining to send him to jail since he had held a steady job for two years and was now a father.

Who would agree to have a child with a bloke who's under charge for having sex wth a glove in someone else's bathroom?

Free Dating Site

Now this is what we all need. We know that online datin works, that it's a ver effective way of finding that special someone. But the problem is that it actually costs money. Free is good, right? So here's a link to a HOT Dating site, one that is free. This way you can get to meet the date of your dreams and also have enough money to enjoy your time with them.

Pretty neat idea, hunh?

Disclosure Policy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good Grief! Banning Rice Now?

Used to be that we all threw paper made confetti at weddings. Then that was ruled out as it's both wasteful and difficult to clean up. So then we all started throwing rice instead (actually, returning to an old tradition) because the bits missed in the clean up will be eaten by birds. Now we can't do that any more:

Throwing rice at newly-weds will soon be banned in Venice as the city steps up its fight against pigeons soiling its squares and chipping away at monuments.

The mayor of the canal city is preparing a measure to stop pigeons banqueting outside the central Palazzo Cavalli, where civil weddings are celebrated, municipal police chief Marco Agostini said on Monday.

"Throwing rice at the bride and groom brings hordes of pigeons who then wait around until the next ceremony. The situation has become unbearable," Agostini told Reuters.

Look, if the pigeons don't get fed, where's KFC going to get stock from? Where will it all end?

Heelys and Rollerblades

Blessed as I am with two fine dogs who like their walks morning and evening, I should of course be getting all the exercise I need. However, as is noted by all of my friends (and, to general laughter, by the neighbours as well) it's not so much me that takes them for a walk as they who take me for one.

The solution should be obvious, I need to invest in a pair of Heelys or Rollerblades. That way, they can indeed scurry off down the road at whatever speed they wish, I can keep up with them and we'll all have a great deal more fun.

Excuse me, I need to do some searching at to see which I should be getting.

Discosure Policy.

Wake Up! You're Being Autopsied!

Ouch, this really does sound horrible. It's one of those recurrent nightmares, that you'll be alive but everyone thinks you're dead:

A Venezuelan man who had been declared dead woke up in the morgue in excruciating pain after medical examiners began their autopsy.

Carlos Camejo, 33, was declared dead after a highway accident and taken to the morgue, where examiners began an autopsy only to realize something was amiss when he started bleeding. They quickly sought to stitch up the incision on his face.

"I woke up because the pain was unbearable," Camejo said, according to a report on Friday in leading local newspaper El Universal.

At least he did start bleediing and they stopped: Imagine if they'd fired up the saw to take off the top of his skull first? Or done the great big Y incision?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Travel Blogs

One of the things which Web 2.0 seems to be suited to: in fact, actually made for, not just suited to, is the art of the travel blog. Rather than simply swallowing the paid advertisements that are the travel pages in the newspapers it would seem that by aggregating the experiences of people who have actually been to the paces under discussion we could get a better information resource.

Which, interestingly, is what is done at this travel blog. Take a lokk at these two pieces to get an idea of what I mean. All about Sofia and a look at sports around the world. These aren't advertisements for the services of one or another company at all. They're first hand reports from people who have actually been there and done that.

Expect to see a great deal more of these sorts of things as we get further into this Web 2.0 thing: user generated content is becoming king.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Online Betting

Given the absurdity of the US ban on online gambling we're fortunate to be able to get around it: mainly, by not being there and thus not subject to that idiot law.

OK, so we can indeed gamble as and if we wish: but that then leads to the question of where we should do so, which site offers the best deal?

Well, my suggestion would be to find somewhere that has a selection of games: a Sportsbook, for example (although I would bet on England in the rugby at the moment!) an interactive games area, obviously an online casino and online poker. You'd also want to have a single wallet system, so that you could switch easily between the different options.

Well, that would make it Bet365 you want then. Just click through to see the site.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I Wouldn't Worry

Hothousing of prodigies is always a problem but some take it in their stride easier than others. Like this 9 year old who says that his university math class is too easy for him.

A nine-year-old mathematics prodigy has become Hong Kong's youngest undergraduate, waltzing through his first day at university saying classes were too easy.

March Boedihardjo, an Indonesian-Chinese boy resident in Hong Kong, was accepted by Hong Kong's Baptist University to study for a master's degree after gaining straight As in entrance A-level exams usually taken at 17 or 18.

"It was too easy," Boedihardjo told reporters after attending a convocation ceremony in a pint-sized black-gown and his first day of classes Tuesday, adding that he'd already learnt the subject matter a year or two ago.

The university has designed a five-year program for the child, but it has stirred controversy among some education experts who say he might experience stunted personal and social development as a result.

Yes, I can see the concern over the social development and so on, but the thing is that such a talent for math is ectremely rare: and mathematicians tend to do their best work before they are 30. So there's a huge amount that he needs to learn and learn now in order to have a few productive years at the frontier of the discipline.

It's also, somewhat unkindly, true that those with this level of math ability always have problems with social development anyway.

Obesity Surgery

Here's something to think about:obesity surgery .

As we all know, because we're being told about it every day in the newspapers, there's an epidemic of obesity going on at present. It's even mooted that this generation of children will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.

So, what should you do if dieting hasn't worked? If you simply can't get that weight off? Yuo, I'd say it's a pretty sensible idea to start looking into obesity surgery . The risks of being heavily overwieght and the years it takes off your life are reason enough.

Disclosure Policy.

Clever Criminals

You know, just sometimes, you do find criminals who are a little bit clever. This bunch in Uruguay seem pretty smart:

Three thieves robbing a sporting goods store in Uruguay spent half an hour waiting on customers before making their getaway with merchandise and the money from the till, police said on Wednesday.

The armed gang held up the store in an upper-middle-class neighborhood of the capital, Montevideo, on Tuesday. They locked up one store employee in a back room and forced another clerk to hand over money and sporting goods.

Then some customers came in, and the robbers sold them goods for about 30 minutes before jumping into a truck where a driver was waiting for them.

If there's not enough in the store to make it worth robbing, do a little bit of work to make sure there's more. Why not?

Hotels in Spain

I've got to go over to Spain soon, to Madrid and Barcelona, so I've been looking around to see what it will be like. The first thing of course is to find one of the hotels in Madrid. OK, so that website does that. Then of course there's what to do while I'm there. Actually, so I've heard, eatin and drinking is really thte best thing to do. Go anywhere, have a drink, and they give you something to eat.

Then I'm off to Barcelona, and I've been there before. Again, I need one of the hotels in Barcelona, maybe I should actually look in Catalan (Hoteles en Barcelona) but at least I know what to do while there. Eat and drink again, of couse. But then also go to see the Gaudi buildings and take a wander down Las Ramblas...although if you do that be careful as it gets roughter the closer you are to hte dockside.

But both are great cities and I'm looking forward to going to them.

Fines for Adultery

Why is that politicians always try to reinvent the wheel? More importantly, why do they try to reinvent the square wheels that we've managed to forget about?

Married Colombians engaged in passionate extra-curricular activities may soon have to think twice about their philandering ways if a senator's proposed legislation punishing adultery gets the green light.

Sen. Edgar Espindola said he has proposed a law that would impose fines and enforced community service as punishment for adulterers in an effort to protect family values and shield children from broken homes.

Grr. Who is shagging who is no business of the State's. Anyway, it'll never pass, not in a Latin country. All the legislators will knowthat they can thus be blackmailed by their mistresses.

Hawaii Real Estate

Bored of the weather where you are? Well, actually, given how most of us live, bored of the climate where you are? Thought of moving to somewhere a great deal more reasonable? I guess we've all done that at one time or another, thought about upping sticks and taking off...but where to?

The answer might well be to have a look here, at Hawaii real estate. Out in the middle of the Pacific, bathed by the trade winds (that means weather, yes, but not swings in the climate). Sounds idyllic really, doesn't it?

You might also have a look at some of the other islands, Oahu real estate, or Maui real estate, just to see the differences in them. Worth having a look around those sites actually, as the islands are, each of them, quite different and their prices reflect this.

Even if you're not thinking of moving just yet, having a look might well persuade you to start planning to do so.