Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sex with a bike earns a place on the Sex Offenders Register

The Daily Telegraph carried a story so weird that I reported it to BoingBoing yesterday. A man who was staying in a hostel in Scotland, was engaging in rather odd sexual behaviour in a private room. When he didn't respond to knocks at the door, the staff from the hostel used a master key to enter the room, found him allegedly having sex with a bicycle, and the matter was reported to the police.

He hasn't yet been sentenced, but he has been placed on the sex offenders' register. He has been found guilty of a sexual breach of the peace - whatever that is.

It seems funny at first, to be prosecuted for sex with a bicycle... but once you stop laughing you realise what a serious infringement of civil liberties this is - and how nonsensical. This man was using an inanimate object for sexual pleasure - something which high sales of vibrators and dildos indicates is not a minority activity. He wasn't hurting anyone, and he was doing it in the privacy of his own room, if the reports in the Telegraph are to be believed.

It is a matter of some amusement in Accident Emergency departments around the world, that people are endlessly creative in their ways to get into trouble while using inanimate objects for sexual plasure. People with their penises stuck inside things, or things stuck inside them. Objects "lost".... Why was this poor guy singled out for punishment?

I regard it as my right to find sexual fulfillment in any way I chose, as long as I hurt no one else, and don't do it in the middle of the highway. Or to the middle of the highway... if you reach the end of the article and see that the last person prosecuted for something similar was abusing the pavement!

Write a letter to Adel Hamad

Anyone who has read my postings on blogs the web over, knows that I have been supporting Project Hamad from the moment I learned about it. I received an email yesterday asking me to exhort everyone to write to Adel Hamad, who has been kept at Guantanamo Bay since 2004, as long as I have been in Second Life.

The most recent letter makes grim reading: people kept locked down for 22 hours a day, kept incarcerated even when the orders for their release have been agreed. Adel hamad was apparently approved for transfer to his home country TWO YEARS AGO... but no one has told his defence team, or done anything to get that achieved. This man is in prison, but did nothing, nothing to deserve it. I'm ashamed to be British frankly, because we have had nationals incarcerated at Guantanamo, and yet we are still talking to and supporting America in her war on terror.

I don't believe in war - any war. I certainly don't believe that you can defend democracy by arresting people on spurious charges and throwing away the key. I can't understand why everyone is so quiet about it.

READ the webpage! Join the cause if your heart tells you it is right! And compose a letter to lighten the darkness for at least one prisoner.

Comet watching

I am unfortunate enough - from a sky-watching point of view - to live in the outskirts of London, where light pollution reduces the number of visible objects in the sky by a considerable amount. I will never forget the day I ventured out in the dark in the countryside alone, and found the sheer number of stars in the sky, and their brightness, overwhelming.

My children and I have watched the skies for Geminids and Perseids and either the weather has been dull and cloudy or the light pollution has killed the experience. But I think that even we have a hope of being able to see the Comet Holmes, by the look of things. You'll find instructions here for finding the comet in the night sky, and it should be visible for at least a couple of weeks, weather and light pollution permitting.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Funny Food

I've been online since 1998 and never cease boring family with the tale of how there were less than 10 UK bloggers when I did my first blog, which was Nuda Veritas, on FortuneCity... I found a few pages with the WayBackMachine.

I have forgotten some of the wonderful tghings I stumbled over, delighted in, shared with friends and then forgot. One I rediscovered this morning was Candyboot's Weightwatcher Cards from 1974. Read it and weep... with laughter. Follow her links to the Gallery of Regrettable food if you haven't seen it before.

My favourites have changed over the years... if I was forced at pain of eating some of this stuff, I would choose the chicken liver bake - "enjoy it with the ashes of a loved one". A few months after seeing this I found a pile of recipe cards of my own, not weightwatchers, but still very odd. I can confirm that writing funny captions isn't as easy as it sounds.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Josie's Lalaland

Eelco drew my attention to this short film, which appears to have been made as a memorial to a young girl who died of Leukaemia.

People talk of others with illnesses being courageous. It doesn't take courage to live through illness: you just have to keep breathing and life does that for you. What takes courage is taking control of your destiny, and having the strength to realise that more treatment isn't going to help.

I am surprised that the film maker didn't give more details about the young girl who is the subject of the film. She had a courage which many adults do not find... the courage to take the months of life she had left, and to make the best of them.

Last Supper in 16 billion pixels

Found something marvellous on the BBC website: a link to a 16 billion pixel version of the Last Supper, which you can find here.

It takes a while to resolve, but you can look at details, and get closer to Da Vinci than would be possible in RL.