Lunchtime links

Just some stufff that’s caught my eye over lunchtime.

These via Simon Willison’s blogmarks:

Other links:

Maybe more later…

Posted in Uncategorized

Keep off the grass

From the BBC:

Political activists opposed to US President George W Bush have been told they will not be allowed to stage a huge rally in New York this weekend.

A judge at New York’s state Supreme Court has ruled that the rally, which was expected to attract a quarter of a million demonstrators, cannot be held in Central Park because of the damage which may be caused to the grass.

It appears that a protest march will be allowed past the convention centre on Sunday, so the cries of foul play from the organisers have been somewhat blunted. Still, I thought the reason provided for the ban was in itself a good enough reason for a post – quite surreal.

Update 2004-08-31

It appears that the park ban had little effect on the anti-Bush protests, as evidenced by (among other reports) the BBC’s photographic record of the events.

Elsewhere on the net, the evidence of nerdy influence at the demo is noted, and more evidence of geekish, techie and arty contributions to antiBushistas are logged at Boing Boing.

Kidnapped cows and stolen screams

It’s been a bad week for art lovers in Scandinavia. Last week, a gang of “Militant Graffiti Artists” in Sweden stole a fibreglass cow from the international CowParade exhibition and threatened to sacrifice it unless the cows were declared “non-art”. According to Reuters, the organisers of the Stockholm exhibition have until noon today to meet their demands… (also seen at Lycos news).

And over the weekend news broke across the world that one of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch‘s famous Scream paintings was stolen in a daring raid from the Munch Museum in Norway. Experts wonder at the idiocy of the thieves, who will have real problems getting rid of such a recognisable piece of art, as well as expressing concern over the fragile state of the painting and the likely damage caused during the rather amauteurish (albeit highly successful) theft.

Blosxom API

I’ve not been following the blosxom list much of late, but I noticed a post today from a chap called Allen Hutchison saying that he’d started a Yahoo group to work on the development of a blosxom implementation of the metaweblog API, with possible future support for the Atom API. He’s also posted to his blog on the topic and set up a feed from there, too. Very organised.

I’ll going to keep an eye on this, although I’m not sure if I can take a particularly active part in the development right now. A few weeks back I started tinkering with an Atom client-server for blosxom and got a little code working before I put it to one side for a variety of reasons, but it’s something I’m meaning to get back to eventually, and it’s about time I started being a bit more active again.

Postscript: This post marks the creation of a new category for blosxom-related posts. In the past they’ve ended up in a varitey of places (there’s a couple of minor plugins here, for example), but I keep changing my mind. Perhaps I ‘ll be a bit more consistent form now on 😉

Preparing for Emergencies

For those of you in hiding (or from overseas), this is the title of a UK Government leaflet on, well, preparing for emergencies. I know this ain’t exactly fresh news, but since this received such a derisive response initially I mostly ignored it. Today a hardcopy was waiting on the doormat when I got in from work, so I felt duty-bound as a responsible citizen to give it a read. (Not to mention being slightly concerned as a tax-payer over what my hard-earned cash is spent on.)

Well, those who responded with incredulous howls of derision were for the most part right. It’s a load of patronising toss and an utter waste of time and money. Seeing as so many others have expertly deconstructed and ridiculed it already, I won’t go on at length but will point at a couple of the better online commentaries – Chris Lightfoot’s comments and, of course, the excellent parody website over at the Department of Vague Paranoia. Oh, and of course the official site, too.

August Silence

Well, I’ve been silent for a bit more than just August, really. This is due to a combination of reasons, not least of which is laziness.

But I’m still around, and planning to take up blogging a bit more soon. Settling in to a new city, job and home provides plenty of material I could be writing about, but also takes up quite a lot of time and mental energy.

So, here’s a brief note to ensure that there’s at least one post this August 😉