Days: it’s a blog thing

Since August, 2001. Surely it can’t last…

Friday, January 18, 2002 ↓


Dylan Foley has a fascinating series of test pages for the CSS background-attachment property, beginning with Test #1. It just so happens that this has been giving me grief on a site design I’m working on at the moment, and as a result of looking at these pages, I now know that I can’t reliably do what I originally wanted. On to Plan B, then.

I found Dylan’s site after he wrote to me pointing out a small but not insignificant error in one of the style sheets for, one of my designs. (How did it sneak in? I always validate, even after making small changes — don’t I? Apparently I can forget.) Thanks again, Dylan.

Posted at 5:59 PM


It’s always a bit of a laugh when bloggers post search phrases on their sites, showing what various miscreants and deviants have been looking for. Hippopotamus ass hankies has to be amongst the strangest of the recent crop.

So for your edification and delight, here are the last ten Google searches that led people here…

  • Life of Martin Bashir
  • teenage girl sexual experience
  • ann hathaway naked
  • jakob nielsen married
  • jonathan king convicted
  • caroline aherne naked
  • naked teenage girls holiday young
  • very young boys first sexual experience
  • I'm ready for sexual affairs
  • young teenage male
    (Actually this same search term was used by two different people only five hours apart — or maybe it was the same one from two different computers? Hey, you know who you are…)

Ann Hathaway naked? The wife of England’s greatest playright, who died about four hundred years ago? (Will people still want to see pictures of Pamela Anderson in the 25th Century?)

Doesn’t anyone search the internet for anything except nudie pics or deviant sexual practices, such as Jakob Nielsen getting married? (Hmmm… did he consider the future Mrs. Nielsen’s usability before marrying her?) OK, so there is the sad git who’s interested in the life of Martin Bashir, sometime BBC reporter, he of the fawning, toadying interviews with certain public persons whom the BBC doesn’t want to upset and is happy to let put over their own entirely biased position…

Posted at 4:37 PM


More things to do this week than I have time to do them in. Little time at all for posting to blog. Still coughing and sneezing like fury. Eyes got worse but are getting better again — less bloodshot, still sore. Head hurts.

Posted at 4:37 PM

Tuesday, January 15, 2002 ↓


Since the US forces started flying prisoners in from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, debate has been raging in the media and in the streets about the treatment they are receiving. Our own Foreign Office wants to make sure that any British citizens amongst them are given consular access.

I have to admit to ambivalent feelings on this matter. On the one hand, I don’t harbour much doubt that these people are indeed Taliban or al-Qaeda members. As such, they do need to be treated with proper caution, as the world has already witnessed the extremes of action they will take in pursuit of their aims. So maybe chaining them up and putting hoods over their heads (and, in some cases, sedating them) for a twenty-odd hour flight is justifiable. On the other hand, it’s always possible that one or more of these “battlefield detainees” is entirely innocent, was just in the wrong place at the wrong time — and consequently finds himself in a wire cage on a military base in Cuba.

Now if these people really are terrorists, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever and no punishment is too great in my mind. I have a very simple view: if you are prepared to go out and kill people, then you’d better be ready to face death either as punishment for, or in prevention of, your murderous activities. (Despite the questions raised in the award-winning documentary Death on the Rock and in much writing since, I shed no tears for three known members of the IRA on a known mission to kill in Gibraltar who were shot dead before they could commit their vicious deed by members of the SAS.)

But that’s the problem: there’s still the question of “if” in this case. It may be that such evidence as there is, and the balance of probabilities, point to all of the detainees being members of al-Qaeda — but that hasn’t been properly established yet, and ought to be a matter for a court (or as seems more likely, a military tribunal). Until then, and because America and its allies need to be clearly seen to be fair, perhaps the principle of presumption of innocence should apply, and the USA should think carefully about how it classifies and treats these men.

The real danger is that in anti-American (or anti-Western) corners, referring to those captured as battlefield detainees rather than as prisoners of war will be interpreted as a transparently crass tactic by the Americans to deny them any rights under the Geneva Convention. And what should we think will happen then, when next in one of those same anti-American corners an American (or another Westerner) is rightly or wrongly picked up by the authorities on some charge? Mightn’t those same authorities feel ever so slightly inclined and justified to mistreat their “detainee”, on the basis that America set a precedent by putting aside the Geneva Convention?

So having thought it through, and sick though it may make us, I think that the USA and its allies need to be more than fair in the treatment of prisoners. America calls this campaign the “war on terror”, so let’s call them prisoners of war and accord them full Geneva Convention rights, even if in our hearts we don’t feel they are entitled to them. If more men have to be assigned to guard them and more has to be spent on their care and accommodation, so be it.

Let the legal process determine what is to happen to them in the long term. In the meantime, let’s not give their accomplices who are still free any more reason to complain about Western oppression or incite them to further mindless acts of violence.

Posted at 6:57 PM


Since being pointed at recently by both Zeldman and Davezilla, Michael Barrish’s Oblivio has been receiving some attention from me. Here’s a man who writes with style and wit on an engaging range of topics, and who serves it all up in a clean design that doesn’t get in the way of the words.

His description of the contents of his bag (which he carries everywhere) speaks volumes about his personality, and made me think of the contrast with Ford Prefect’s admonition to Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that the one really essential item you must carry with you at all times is a towel.

In this same piece, he comes up with a memorable description of a particular piece of paraphernalia, which a female friend once asked me (shortly after these things first came on to the market) if I knew how they “worked”. I wish I could have put it so eloquently:

» Five condoms
Three regular, two female. The female ones, in case you haven’t tried or don’t know, fit into a woman the way a trash can liner fits into a trash can (no offense meant), particularly in how the open end, which has a kind of ring embedded in it, encircles the outside of the, um, rim.

I also enjoyed his commentary on the countdown described in both their respective blogs (and which I followed as avidly as Mr. Barrish at the time) of Dean Allen of Textism selling up and leaving his native Canada to move to the south of France (lucky man) to “spend languid days and nights with a beautiful, ludicrously smart woman” (lucky, lucky man) — said woman being Gail Armstrong of Open Brackets.

Speaking of the Textism fellow, I see he has revised a recent posting. It’s OK Dean; even when I read it in its original form, I knew what you meant

(There, that should start another war.)

Posted at 12:56 AM

Monday, January 14, 2002 ↓


So… part of last Wednesday spent driving down to Oxfordshire; Thursday in Abingdon, followed by a drive up to the fine City of York, home of some of the relatives; Friday in York; Saturday home again. And each day I had a different symptom. Wednesday was lost-voice day; Thursday was bad cough day; Friday was sneezy day; and Saturday I got mild conjunctivitis in my right eye. On Sunday night it spread to my left eye. Today, my right eye is much better (though still attractively bloodshot), while my left hurts less but is still oozing a sticky goo rather than clean, clear tears. I couldn’t write anything for the last couple of days, largely because I couldn’t see. Ho hum.

Posted at 7:56 PM

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