Educating gays

January 28th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Johann Hari

Informing children about these facts can’t make them gay. Nothing can. You can no more teach a child homosexuality than you can teach them left-handedness. Oddly, the homophobes seem to understand this about their own sexuality, but not about other people’s. I once asked Michael Howard, the architect of Section 28, if he would be gay now if he had been taught to be as a child. He moved very anxiously in his seat and mumbled something incoherent.

If you can teach people to be homosexual, as these critics reckons is happening, then you can also teach people to be heterosexual. And if that is the case why is our heterosexually biased education system producing gay people? Hmm?


January 26th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Tommy Sheridan got banged up for three years today. His wife, Gail, must’ve been sat in a different courtroom to everyone else these past few weeks…

Tommy has dedicated his life to helping others. The real reason why he has imprisoned today is because he has fought injustice and inequality with very beat of his heart.

Er, no Gail. Tommy’s been banged up because he lied under oath.

thinks on links

January 26th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

This is how I should blog…

You all know how to use the internet. I will always attribute original content, but I will not spend my precious time googling every potential reader query. I’m the writer, you’re the reader. If you here on Rational Geekery, I assume a level of understanding of the subjects I write about (or at least, you have the competence to use a search engine).

Maybe then I would blog more rather than fucking about trying to foolproof my posts (I get usually get so far then get bored/distracted/confused/lose the will to live and give up).

We don’t do backorders

January 26th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

For those that don’t know, a ‘backorder’ is when you order something from a company and they don’t have it in stock, they get it in and send it when they have it.

To me that sounds an eminently sensible way to carry on. The customer gets what they want and the company keeps a sale.

Why then, am I encountering more and more companies that ‘don’t do backorders’? I thought in this climate of trying to get money out of people, keeping customer loyalty by not giving them a reason to go elsewhere, ‘doing’ backorders would be a must.

Strange, huh?

internal conversation

January 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Who’s about? Could I? When was the last time I asked? They’re gonna think I’m taking the piss, ain’t they?

Don’t think about it. No, that’s not going to work you idiot. Think about something else, then. Take your mind of it.

She’s always good for it. I’ll show my ‘I don’t really want to’ face. No, I can’t. Not with her there as well. That was well embarassing, last time.

Have something to eat instead. Fuck it. my lunchbox is empty. I’m not hungry anyway.

Who else is about? Where does he work? Is it the third or second floor. I’m not gonna go all they down there. What if he’s not there? I’m gonna look a right plum.

You don’t need them. They’re fucking with you mind. You’ve been this long. You wouldn’t like it now anyway. Once the brief initial lightheadedness has faded anyway.

No. You’re doing well. It’s not a problem.

Is it?

An appeal on behalf of…

January 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Tim Ireland writes…

If you have received an email or have been made aware of any kind of electronic message from/about a person who claims to have knowledge of material retrieved from my rubbish bin, I would greatly appreciate (a) hearing about it, and (b) receiving the full headers of the relevant notifying email so I might collate a package of evidence for presentation to the police as soon as it possible.

If you’ve received an email about Tims’ bins, go here where he explains how to get the emails to him with the header info intact.


January 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

You know when you want to post but nothing comes to mind? Well. This is one of those posts. I seem to be in a bit of a rut. Apathy, is a close friend at the moment. That and lack of time.

Nothing seems to get my goat, except for other drivers, who by their very nature are only allowed on the road to piss me off, and a very good job of it they’re doing too.

So, anyway. How have you been? Have you seen Anton’s being made redundant. Shitty business that is, usually. Full of fear and self-questioning. Not everyone can see being pushed out of a job as an opportunity. It can hurt. It’s different if you’ve made the decision yourself to move on. You’ve prepared yourself. You might still be going into the unknown, but it’s been your decision not somebody else making that decision for you. From his post, Anton seems to have taken it well. Which is good. As one of his commenter said…

If this blog is any guide, you’re a good bloke with a good brain and you’ll find your way.

Matt Frei has been presenting Newsnight this week, hasn’t he. It doesn’t suit him. He’s ok as a correspondent, but not as the anchor. Something about his delivery when talking to the camera, I think.

Here’s a weird ‘un for you. The Express has an article up about how white pupils are dumbers compared to kids from other ethnic groups. What’s weird about it is that it’s fairly balanced. The first part just lists the percentage of kids from different ethnic groups in that get five or more good GCSEs by town and city. No snarking or insinuations, just the figures. The second part refers to ‘experts’ and names one of them who actually, according to my lazy Googling, seems to actually be an expert. I’m fucked if I know why the Express has taken a quote from this chap, he’s only blaming poverty and not race or multiculturalism or political correctness. The prof says it’s to do with lack of aspiration, un-educated parents and unemployment. He has offered this opinion with out an anonymous counter arguement appearing in the article either. Yeah. Weird, huh?

I went for a bike ride on Saturday morning. Me and a couple of friends did an organised mountain bike event. It was bloody hard. We did the medium route, 26 miles, in just under 4 hours. I’m bloody pleased with that. It’s the first time I’ve done something like that. The hills were steep and it was really muddy, as you’d expect for January. Some of those other guys are amazing. Flying up these steep muddy hills on bikes that looked like they’d dragged out the bottom of a river. Awesome. If you’re interested here’s the results (.xls) and the medium route is in yellow (click to enlarge)

Well, I think that’s about it for this braindump.


More on cloaca

January 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A cloaca I’ve been given QI’s The Second Book of General Ignorance and in it there is a little about snakes which includes this little gem…

Another use of the cloaca in some snake species is ‘popping’. This is where air is expelled from it in short sharp bursts, indistinguishable in timbre and volume from high-pitched human farts. The foul smell (and surprise value) help keep predators at bay.


Spurious campaign for silence

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

While browsing The Sun website for something to blog about (I try not to leave it all to Septicisle, honestly) I spotted this (istyosty link)…

FRIENDS of Jo want a national two-minute silence in her memory on January 31 at 6pm.

… and thought ‘eh? Really?’ I tried Googling and there are a couple of results but no links directly to the campiagn and the relevant results seem to be articles published today that have a variation of the above quote and a bit of a filler explaining who Jo Yeates is. Or was.

One result mentioned it is a Facebook campaign and after having a search on Facebook came up with nothing aswell. OK, I didn’t try very hard but I’d have thought putting ‘jo yeates 2 minutes silence campaign’ would’ve brought *something* up.

But anyway, 2 minutes silence. A national 2 minutes silence. Why?

I don’t meant to disrespect Jo, but why should there be a national 2 minutes silence for her? National silences are usually reserved for remembering stuff and people that has involved or had an effect on the nation. Like wars. Not for a single murder victim that no body had heard of before becoming famous in a such a tragic fashion.

Think I’m being harsh? Well, no I’m not.

We used to have one minute silences when I was a lad, and then, probably after Diana, Princess of Wales (to give her her proper title), I think, I crept up to 2 minutes and in the last couple of years 3 and 5 minutes have been bandied about. I think two minutes silence for Diana was two minutes too long, and she was the mother of our future king. She has had a little bit of an influence on Actually, probably not.

So, friends of Jo Yeates, if it is a real campaign, two things, 1) you’re probably better off usuing your energy on helping the police find Jos’ killer and 2) if you want to be slightly less disappointed with how may people observe a national two minutes silence in memory of Jo, you want to make your campaign a little easier to find. If it’s a Facebook campaign and I can’t even find it on Facebook, it’s just gonna be you guys silent on in a couple of Mondays time.

On the Default Retirement Age

January 13th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Good news for the crumblies, then. The default retirement age (DRA) is to be scrapped.

This is A Good Thing, especially as the age at which the state pension can be claimed is going to be raised to 66, which could’ve left some people without an income for a year.

Some people aren’t happy about it though. Step forward the Institute of Directors.

The Directors reckon it will reduce flexibility for employers and want the plans clarified. As usual, ‘flexibility’ short hand for ‘ability to sack people’.

Why should this bother employers? The ability to sack people is there for employers already. There are procedures that have to be followed. Criteria filled. If someone ticks all the boxes then an employer has no comeback for sacking someone. Age, per se, should not come into it.

There is an arguement floating about that this change in the law is going to screw young people coming into the job market. Old, employed people equals young people with no jobs to get into.

First of all, why should someone move over, just give up or be forced to give up their job because someone else wants or needs it? A young person may need to get a job to get experience and skills and start moving up the corporate ladder (I seem to remember reading that the longer a ‘youth’ takes to get from education to employment the worse off they are with regards to their potential earnings, career progression and stuff like that). An older person has bills to pay, a pension to finish topping up, and other commitments. One persons need is no greater than anothers. No one has an automatic right to a job.

Secondly, the jobs that the older people would be leaving are not necessarily the same type that the young person would be taking. There would be something of a skills/knowledge gap.

There was also something in the news, and I can’t find it now about maybe increasing the period that an employer can dismiss a new employee for no reason from one year to two. Once again, all in the name of ‘flexibilty’.

Flexibility may be what the corporations want, and some would argue need, but what employees need is at least a bit of security. If an employer doesn’t know if someone is unsuitable for the position after a year then they probably shouldn’t be in a position offer employment in the first place.

It would be nice to have these directors think about the people they employ as people now and again, not just another resource they buy in like the stationary.

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