July 31st, 2003


This week's amusing "PopBitch" factoid

Poor Bob Hope. Everyone's been waiting for him to die for years. His obituary in London's Evening Standard newspaper was written by Alexander Walker who died two weeks before him.
And the one in the New York Times was written by a journalist, Vincent Canby, who died in 2000.

Awake again

Erin didn't go out last night, having decided at 8:00 that she'd "have a quick nap" and then go out at 10pm, I woke her up at 10:00 and demanded that she phone Jen to tell her she wasn't coming out at all. I crashed out shortly thereafter (ok, 11:30) and was therefore surprised to find myself awake at 6:50. Damn, damn, damn.

Still, I feel awake, and I'm not going to be up late this weekend, what with Mum visiting. Weather permitting, Friday will be spent showing her Dean Village (the old part of Edinburgh where the water mills used to be. Not many people even know it's there) and then Edinburgh Zoo (which I've had highly recommended to me). I'm not entirely sure about zoos in general, but I'm going to give it a go and see what the conditions are like. I can always leave if I feel the animals are being particularly mistreated.

Zoos are:

a disgusting idea
bearable, so long as the animals are well looked after
a good idea - you can get kids interested in animals
great fun

fic-writers ahoy

Oh writers (and readers) of fan-fic, another friend has a few questions over here about the subject.

Thinking about it, I seem to have collected several fanfic writers/readers, despite not being at all interested myself.

In the eye of the Beholder

Stolen from cassielsander
A god walks down a road, leaving the eastern horizon at dawn and arriving at the western one at dusk. He wears a mask which is blue on the right side and red on the left. The people who live nearby decide that the road is sacred. They come together to consecrate it. But those who live to the north want to consecrate it to the Blue Faced God, while those to the south want to consecrate it to the Red Faced God. They place competing shrines on their respective sides of the road, but that night can no longer stand the idea that a shrine to a false god could exist on their holy road. They therefore take up torches and gather at the road to burn down the false shrines. But, just as they face each other across the road, in the torchlight they see the god making his return journey, from West to East.

Now, you might think that his return would bring peace, because those to the North would now behold the Red Faced God and those on the South the Blue; except that before setting out he turned his mask upside down, so that the people all saw what they expected to see. Their fate is not recorded.

Ulterior motive

This is leading up to something...


am unemployed
am a student
have a part time job
have a full time job
am self-employed

(If you have a job) If I was independently wealthy

I would continue at my current job
I would not continue at my current job

(no subject)

The Guardian has a reprint of a press release to do with children and crime. Backs up some of what I was saying recently and calls for changes in the way that crime is approached.

Five children's charities, including the Children's Society, together with the crime reduction charity Nacro have launched a project called Shape to reshape the public debate about young offenders. In particular, we want to encourage alternatives to custody.

Out intention is not to be soft on crime. But a rational debate about young offenders must take account of the hard reality of children and young people's lives.

Children and young people are increasingly victims of crime yet as a society we focus on the small minority who are perpetrators. The fear of youth crime has never been greater yet only 2 % of young people are cautioned or convicted each year.

The UK has one of the lowest ages of criminal responsibility in Europe. At 10 a child is held to be as accountable in court as an adult. As a result, the number of young people in custody has risen dramatically in the past decade.

About 7,000 under-18s were in custody last year, according to the Home Office. Yet more than 88% of children who receive a custodial sentence re-offend within two years, indicating that locking children up does not work.

The members of Shape believe that children should never be locked up. If it is necessary to detain them, they should always be in small units close to their homes, where they can maintain links with their families.

However, we welcome initiatives by the youth justice board, which advises the government on tackling young offending, to provide community-based alternatives to custody.

But we need to go beyond that and question whether the criminal justice system is the best way of handling children and young people who are deeply troubled, at risk of abuse and neglect, and living in poverty.


Those people who answered "I would continue at my current job"

What is your job? (and if it's not obvious, why would you stick with it?)