Politics and the Crowd

For many years now there have been movements against the sort of forgeign policy that America employs and the type of rhetoric that is employed to create change. Interesting people with a history of speaking out against US foriegn policy seem to have far more prominance recently. Noam Chomsky seems to be sold in every major bookstore, films like The Corporation, Fahrenheit 9/11 are in mainstream cinema--- rather than reserved for the art house and Pinter wins the nobel prize.

Pinter, appart from being a playwrite, has been a consistent critic of american policies over the years. Indeed he used his Nobel Lecture to openly critise how America has shaped global politics since the second world war. He suggests that the movement against this power is growing. Pinter though reminds me of some way's of Chomsky though--- both are highly literate and well educated. You could say they are both linguistic geniouses; Chomsky single handedly revolutionised the study of language and Pinter... well... won a more than one prise for literature. The point that they make and also they miss to a certain degree is not everyone is as clever as them--- although it is true to say that america goes to extremes--- some of their policies are blunt and too the point so there is no mistaking. Sometimes rhetoric and deplomacy don't work because the other side, not america, is not engaging in diplomatic channels.


SVG and Firefox 1.5

Almost silently apple and mozilla have added a new tag to html. It's buried somewhere in the small print of the mozilla website, in a few lines suggesting that the support for web-standards has improved. This though should represent a significant challenge to Microsoft who are now playing catch-up. If the hype is to be believed then this represent a real alternative to flash with by using the SVG technology and JavaScript. This represent's the beginning of a richer web content, sure flash has been there but there is definitely a point where you have to make a choice of placing something in flash or on the page. Tighter integration of the dynamic content with the page should create a more seamless experience. All open standards as well.

Hole in the wall fallout

Hole in the wall fallout Originally uploaded by andygavin.

Everything really does happen at once. I'd decided to move on and do all the work that I was putting off on the flat. As soon as this starts, what happens, someone reverses into the wall near my garage. They could have left their name, but didn't. Looks like the garage will need some long needed attention.


Models of learning: teaching for the student

In educational psychology it has long been known that people learn in a very individual way. To be an effective teacher or mentor, especially for new subjects, it is better to understand how the pupil learns--- to have a model representing how the pupil learns. Ski teachers in Canada do this; they have a concept of Student Centred Teaching. The model is quite simple and is works with most people that learn to ski. Pupils will fall, when learning into one of the categories:

Learns by watching. A good listener, prefers to be last in a group.
Practical and functional. Explainations have little meaning, learns by doing.

Seven blunders of the world

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without character
  4. Commerce without morality
  5. Science without humanity
  6. Worship without sacrifice
  7. Politics without principle

—Mahatma Gandhi


Flight over booked?

I've just been reading some interesting facts about your entitlement if your flight is overbooked. You are entitled in European Law to:

  • A full refund (with a free flight back to your point of departure where relivant)


  • Alternative transport with free refreshments, meals, accomedation, travel to and from the accomedation and two free telephone calls.

This is on top of compensation, payable in either case:

  • 250 euro for flights of 1,500 km or less
  • 400 euro for longer flights within the EU and other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km

Gorillaz and MTV

Recently a saw Jonathan Ross interview Damon Alburn (famous as Blur's front man) and Jamie Hewlett (who comic enthusiasts will know as the creator of Tank Girl).
They told a story about how, a few years ago, they were sharing a flat in London. Watching the manufactured bands on MTV, they became disillusioned— so they decided to manufacture their own band. A cartoon band: the Gorillaz. Quite amazing to think, this month they won the MTV award for Best Band despite insisting there isn't a band.



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