Friday, February 28, 2003

Thanks to Amy Welborn for her refreshing think-aloud on the rights and wrongs of attacking Iraq (entry for 26 Feb - no permalink):

The longer this goes on, the weaker the case for a war with Iraq gets, it seems to me, at least based on what we’ve been told so far. It also seems to me that the antiwar protesters are mostly mindless robots, a quarter of whom are probably motivated by anti-Semitism, the rest of whom are just plain stupid, dumb as bricks. But the defenders, while not stupid, and considerably more reasoned that the antiwar protesters, are starting to sound a little robotic – and strained - as well.

I cannot stop asking myself: Why Hussein? Why now?
Gaudi's NYC Vision: Can Antonio Gaudi's Grand Hotel replace the Twin Towers?
Why is late-night radio hundreds of percent better than drive-time radio?

In drive-time you've got Wogan's grating morning silliness, Shaun Rafferty creeping up to random classical musicians, or Johnny Walker, who tries hard but is really hampered by all the traffic news, business news, celebrity guests and guessing games he has to accomodate. But late at night you've got glorious stuff like Late Junction, or Bob Harris on Saturday night. Even the annoying Janice Long was cranking out one belting song after another at 12:30 this morning. My guess is that the corporate reins are slackened for late-night radio - "Play what you like, no-one's listening anyway." So under cover of darkness the enthusiasts take over the airwaves, playing the music they actually love, rather than what's on the BBC playlist.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Rebecca Blood's reasons why she marched for peace actually make some sense to me - first time for a while the peaceniks have got under my guard.
A gene for language?: A study last year indicated that FOXP2 evolved “some time between last Tuesday and 200,000 years ago”, Professor Klein said...

Er, could you be a little more precise on that?
Dave Winer comments on the Google-Blogger deal, asking: What did Google buy?

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

An angry letter in the Guardian from an Iraqi emigre: I am so frustrated by the appalling views of most of the British people, media and politicians. I want to say to all these people who are against the possible war, that if you think by doing so you are serving the interests of Iraqi people or saving them, you are not. You are effectively saving Saddam. You are depriving the Iraqi people of probably their last real chance get rid of him and to get out of this dark era in their history.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I've got very sore feet today. I went to visit Gavin in London at the weekend. On Saturday evening he said that he was tired and wanted a quiet evening and an early night. That's great, I thought. I didn't realize that "a quiet evening and an early night" involves visiting 3 or 4 pubs, a jazz bar, and a restaurant, and walking about 300 miles around Southwark and Soho, before crawling into bed at 1am. I just can't keep up with the youngsters any more.....
Gavin is back on the weblog scene. But this time he has written his own blogging engine. That's right, no Blogger or Moveable Type. It's a bit clunky, but it works, and I expect he will polish it up over the next few days.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Bible Is Getting Even Friendlier to Programmers

Christian website designers are currently testing an online application of Scripture that they say can change the way church sites, pastors, and even novice programmers use the Bible online.

Next week, Crossway's English Standard Version (ESV) will become the first Bible to allow web programmers to use its text on their own websites.
Well I've played a couple of missions over Central America with my new copy of Hornet Leader (purchased on eBay). Excellent fun - this game lived up to all my expectations and more.

It did seem fairly easy to notch up a Success on both missions. The Migs weren't a serious threat, and although I had a couple of close things with SAM defences we all got home safely.

I had one confusion with the rules - I wasn't sure if POD effects just apply to the plane, or to the group. I gave myself the benefit of the doubt, but on reflection think I was mistaken about this. So this probably gave me an unfair advantage.

Anyway, I'm delighted with this game. It's right up there with other solitaire classics like "RAF" and "Blackbeard"!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Viewpoint: Help us get our country back: Some commentators warn that a US backed war in Iraq will cause the Arab street to rise up in anger. But this much vaunted 'Arab street' is a fiction - it doesn't exist. It is a creation of nationalist intellectuals of my generation, who lived through war in the Arab world and never learned from the mistakes of the past.
During the Gulf War and, more recently, the Afghan war nothing came of the fears of the Arab world.

All we saw in Afghanistan were people cheering in the streets. I expect Iraqis to do the same - to throw sweets and flowers at the American troops as they enter our towns and cities.

In the long run, however, how the US handles itself will determine the success of this liberation. Much depends on how willing Washington is to follow through with nation building.

We want to see America involved in Iraq for a very long time but I do not support the idea of an American military government, even for a short time. We Iraqis must take the responsibilities of our future into our own hands.
Old C3i articles as PDFs, including some Down in Flames scenarios.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I went over to the gaming session at Scott's home last night. We played Evo. What a great little game! Everyone was telling me how difficult my first game was going to be and how likely I was to lose - but I won! I went for an egg-laying strategy, in spite of contrary advice from wiser heads, and although I had a few setbacks it worked - just. I have to admit I had a crucial bit of advice from John on my last movement phase, which made all the difference.

To finish up we played Corruption - a short card game about bribing your way into various ganster rackets. Perhaps it suffered by comparison with Evo, but it seemed very dry and abstract to me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

How am I doing so far with my New Year resolutions?

1) Eat breakfast
Yes, haven't missed a day yet.

2) Play wargames
Not so good. This year I've only played Hammer of the Scots and Hornet Leader that I can remember. And the latter is a solitaire game.

3) Go skiing
Ticked off. A great week in Saas Fe with Phil in January.

4) Drink wine
Doing OK. About 3 bottles so far.

5) Don't smoke
No primary smoking. But a very heavy evening of secondary smoking in the Wyndham Arms last Friday.

6) Go Ceroc dancing
Most weeks at least one visit, except when I was skiing. Still struggling to build a decent repertoire of intermediate moves.

Six out of six. Not bad eh? Shows the benefits of setting low expectations.
Massive sale at GMT games, ends 15 April. 25% off everything, 50% if you were a P500 customer last year (I was!), plus a big postage discount. Tempting opportunity to acquire Wilderness War, von Manstein's Backhand Blow, Reds! etc etc. Yes, just what I need - more games!
Laser Squad Nemesis - Tactical Email Warfare The Gollop Brothers, creators of X-Com, are back with the critically acclaimed, next generation sequel to the classic Laser Squad. (via Greg C)
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