Monthly Archives: July 2012

Quick thought on Twitter trolling

The interesting thing about that prick who got arrested for throwing Twitter abuse at Tom Daley is that we’ve got a entire generation who are brought up unaware, shielded even, from the consequences of their actions. Then we put in their hands something that allows them to broadcast instantly, in real time, to millions of people.

So when they make a mistake, they either get away with it, or they get hit with the equivalent of a twenty ton truck. No middle ground. All or nothing.

That doesn’t sound too clever to me.

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Who is Walther Tröger?

Walther Tröger is an 83 year old German with arthritis. He was an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee. In 1972, he was part of the negotiating team that tried to free the Israeli athletes who had been kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during the Munich Games. He reportedly offered himself as a hostage in exchange for saving the life of those athletes. He has dedicated his life to sporting causes, and worked hard under difficult circumstances.

Still don’t know who he is?

This guy.

Recognise him now?

This guy, whose arthritic arm meant, if you were stuck in a certain 70 year distant mindset looks “a bit like a Nazi salute, hur hurrr”. This guy, who was – like so many dignitaries around him – was greeting his own countries competitors as they walked into the Olympic Stadium.

And we had to take the piss, because, he’s German, he waved, and therefore must be ripe for being called a Nazi.

I despair sometimes, I really do. Notice Camilla and Boris Johnson looking on and laughing. This has been explained away by them supposedly laughing at the Germans Olympic uniforms (which were, in fact, hideous) but even if they were, that is no excuse. They should be polite.

It surprises me how many people were out of touch. David Cameron watched a celebration of the NHS he is so desperate to wreck. Jeremy Hunt watching clips and music from a BBC that he would dearly love to sell off to please his puppet masters at News Corp. Ed Miliband had to watch a celebration of the Jarrow Marchers, the Suffragette movement, the things that gave birth to a Labour Party unrecognisable under his leadership. Mitt Romney, who said “England [sic] is just a small island that doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy” and then had to sit there and watch an entire segment celebrating Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented something that changed the world more than anyone else and then gave it away for free. NBC are under a hail of criticism for not knowing who TBL was, not allowing their country to watch the ceremony live and then being arrogant enough to cut out an entire segment honouring those who had died because “it wasn’t relevant to our audience”. The Daily Mail has run not one, but two hugely offensive articles. One complaining about the multi-cultural aspect of the ceremony which was so shamefully racist that even they decided to delete it, and another calling a competitor “some bitch from Holland”.

Never have the people in charge looked further away from the citizens they purport to speak for. And never have we looked so powerless to do anything about it.

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14 year old me just died and went to heaven.

Am I dreaming? Kevin Smith hosting a Q&A about Buckaroo Banzai? With Peter Weller and John Lithgow?

To try and describe The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension is to try and catch fog, or nail jelly to a wall. It is a genre-bending film, a sci-fi comedy comic book satire, the cultest of cult movies. If you have seen it and you love it, you have a friend in me for life. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll be like a hell of a lot of people. Buckaroo Banzai is proof that Earl Mac Rauch and W.D Richter were doing Joss Whedon before Joss Whedon was. And I mean that in a good way.

As one guy says at the Q&A. “It is said that only a thousand people saw The Velvet Underground live, but everyone of those thousand people started a band.  And I think that Buckaroo Banzai had the same effect on creative types.  Anyone who saw that movie and had it burrow into our heads, we went out and created stuff.”

Too true, my friend, too true.

Ah hell, look, have a (cheesy, but not bad) fan-made trailer.

And the catchiest end credit music ever.

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Nothing happened yesterday

Yesterday was a pretty momentous day.  Not that, if you read some of the newspapers, you would actually know it.

First off, the probable discovery of the Higgs boson was announced by CERN in Switzerland.  This is a major, major bit of news, as it not only furthers our knowledge of how the Universe works, but also vindicates the best part of 60 years of scientific theory.  To put the possibilities of this discovery into perspective, about 110 years ago, no-one had identified an electron, despite it being the major force behind electricity, thermal conductivity and magnetism.  The Higgs is possibly more important than that, as it is the glue that holds everything else together.

Also yesterday, Bob Diamond, disgraced ex-Chief Executive of Barclays appeared before a Parliamentary Select Committee to answer questions about the conduct of his bank.  Barclays has – with several other banks to follow – been fined for manipulating the LIBOR rate, which could potentially affect just about everybody in the UK.  This was a very rare case of one of the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe (and not in a Higgs boson sense) to be dragged and required to answer for their conduct.

So, two huge stories.  One concerning the actions of the past which leaves a good part of the world in a financial mess, the other a good news story about Awesome Science.  And just how do the front pages of our newspapers look this morning?

Courtesy of frontpagestoday.co.ukCourtesy of frontpagestoday.co.uk

Courtesy of frontpagestoday.co.uk

Courtesy of frontpagestoday.co.uk

For what its worth, The Mirror has the bank story but not the Higgs, the I and the Independent have the Higgs and the banks, the Guardian has just the Higgs, the Times has both.  The Telegraph has a small story about the banks and a caption about the Higgs.  Full lot

Five papers mention (not even have text, but mention) the Higgs, five have the Bob Diamond story.  Exactly the same number who have… a photo of Kate Middleton at the tennis.

Remember this the next time journalists and editors cry out that what they do is present what is happening in the world.

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