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2005-08-05 18:35

We are on holiday!

It is the Netherlands! Imorgon bitti! (Which is Swedish, Googlebots; Swedish!)

Be good, and we'll travelblog as facilities and inclination dictate.

2005-08-05 14:40

Calcio caos!

It's been a long time since we've had any nice snkaos to write about, for sure, so we're getting our kaos where we can. Italy, to general unsurprise, is well-stocked:

The Italians have two words for what is going on in Serie A presently. Calcio caos ("football chaos") is how they neatly sum up the state of play in the league that was, not so long ago, admired throughout Europe for its exacting nature and success in Continental competition.

[Tales of lesser woe elided]

However, Genoa were the worst culprits, found guilty of match-fixing in their last Serie B fixture in early June. Just days after victory against Venezia meant they finished as champions, the Venezia general manager was stopped by police, driving away from the Genoa headquarters, and was found with EUR 250,000 (174,0000) in cash, a reward for ensuring his team lost that last game. It later emerged that Genoa, nine times league champions, had tried to fix their penultimate match but had failed to do so and so their 10 years in the wilderness will continue as they have been demoted to the Third Division.

(Known to us and its other spiritual inmates as Serie C1.) Oh woe is so very us!


2005-08-05 12:46


1. Morphologie I

Nouns that end in -isme are also het-words:
het communisme (communism) het capitalisme (bungy-jumpning capitalism)

Essential Dutch Grammar, Henry R Stern, p.17

Good old -isme! Well done those Dutchy-D-Dutches!

2. Morphologie II

Darwinistisk Google-bombning. Bombning, d'you see? -ning, -ning, -ning! Our second langwidge is mostly Swedish, silly Googlebots; bring us some nice Swedish adverts, if you please!

3. Ich bin Snuppy, das kleine kloonhundje!

Annoyingly I've lost the Swedish link, so it's Dutchy-Dutch, which - unlike Swedish, Googlebots - isn't our second or even third langwidge:

Zuid-Koreaanse wetenschappers hebben een hond gekloond, een dier dat erom bekend stond heel lastig te dupliceren te zijn. Het kloonhondje, een Afghaanse windhond die Snuppy is genoemd, kwam op 24 april met een keizersnede ter wereld.

South-Korean researchers have cloned a dog, an animal that was known stond to be difficult to reproduce. The clonepuppy, an Afghan hound called Snuppy, was born on 24 April by caesarian section.

The picture of Big Snuppy and Little Snuppy is indecently cute, for sure.


2005-08-05 10:02

Bavaria Holland beer: good bad or bad bad?

Bavaria Holland beer bills itself (in America) as "Today's European Beer".

Its logo is emblazoned on the shirts of the Italian foopball club Torino, which is where we first came across it.

Not only is Bavaria conspicuously not in the Netherlands, the beer itself is brewed in Noord-Brabant, which is neither North Holland nor South Holland and therefore not "Holland" in any sense which we acknowledge.

Either this such l or bier is an abomination against nature or the obvious and natural choice of the Yoopean cosmopolitan of today. (Or, of course, both.)


2005-08-04 16:11

Our other i-pod is a dual-processor 4Gb Dell Precision 530

And 4 Gb of RAM was a lot three (3) years ago, I can tell you.

Anyway, we are currently using it not just to type on but also to provide us with alternate CD-images of wave noise and storm noise, for a pleasant isolation-chamber effect. And vair vair nice it is too.


2005-08-04 14:13

Good grief! (We still want Gordo.)

What a complete shower it is that we have inflicted on ourselves by way of a government:

The government has admitted "overselling" the advantages of national identity cards.

Tony "Maddog" McNulty, the Home Office minister responsible for the project, told a left-wing think tank ID cards would not be a panacea for terrorism or fraud.

But the government remained committed to the scheme - despite the high cost.

Mr McNulty vigorously defended, however, the government's claim that the Bogeyman will get you if you don't eat up your nice ID cards. And your greens:

In its "enthusiasm", the government had over-emphasised the benefits to the state rather than for "the individual in providing a gold standard in proving your identity", he said.

"There are now so many almost daily occasions when we have to stand up and verify our identity."

Like when and what, exactly? I'd actually almost prefer it if they came right out and said, "We don't have a reason; we don't need a reason. We've got a majority and we want ID cards, and you're going to get them whether you like it or not, now just shut up!"


2005-08-04 11:12

Local tact: a historical perspective

It is Gerald Howarth, shadow defence minister!

MUSLIMS who resent the British way of life should leave the UK, regardless of whether they are citizens or not, a senior Conservative said last night in comments that have heightened already tense community relations.

We feel much the same way about senior Conservatives, of course.

"If they don't like our way of life, there is a simple remedy: go to another country, get out," Mr Howarth said. Asked what if these people were born in Britain, he replied: "Tough. If you don't give allegiance to this country, then leave."

(Has he got form, this "Gerald Howarth", you ask or enquire? You bet your sweet arse he has:

[Howarth] is known for his right wing views on immigration and the economy, being a member of the Thatcherite No Turning Back group and a vocal opponent of the arrest of the former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

What a charmer, eh?)

Anyway, all this Allegiance to Icky Foreign Powers stuff reminds us of the 17th century Engleesh attitude to Catholicisme, back when modernity in general and modern political filosofi were being invented. (NB: political filosofi arguably mattered back then - this isn't neo-scholasticisme - so pay attention.)

Here's a random page on Locke's Letter on Toleration:

Locke excluded three groups from toleration: Catholics, atheists, and antinomians. Catholics were inadmissible not because their creeds and practices were absurd and superstitious (though he thought they were so), but because they held doctrines which were incompatible with citizenship, namely that popes can depose heretic princes and that "faith is not to be kept with heretics". In other words, Catholics owe their allegiance to a foreign prince, and may be licensed to lie and cheat in their dealings with non-Catholics.

You can find out for yourself what an antinomian is; we wish instead to remark on a miscountning:

It is ridiculous for any one to profess himself to be a Mahometan only in his religion, but in everything else a faithful subject to a Christian magistrate, whilst at the same time he acknowledges himself bound to yield blind obedience to the Mufti of Constantinople, who himself is entirely obedient to the Ottoman Emperor and frames the feigned oracles of that religion according to his pleasure. But this Mahometan living amongst Christians would yet more apparently renounce their government if he acknowledged the same person to be head of his Church who is the supreme magistrate in the state.

But fair is still fair: if we're playing a jolly game of "loyalty oaths" then we, for one, demand that the Tories demand them also from the Catholics. (There's no point with atheistes, of course, since they have no incentive to keep their oaths.)


2005-08-04 09:43

No biscuits for Bodstrm

If, in these difficult times, you find yourself still desiring a spirited defence of the values of social democracy, your choices are more than somewhat limited. Hoorah, thus, for sa Linderborg och Erik Wijk - for it is they! - and especially, of course, for Aftonbladet:

Thomas Bodstrm r bland EU:s justitieministrar en ledande terroristjgare. I frslaget till ytterligare terroristlagar freslr han bland annat att telefonavlyssning, kameravervakning, postkontroll och husrannsakan ska f ske i hemlighet. Alla medborgares mobiltelefoni och e-post skall lagras, inte bara misstnkta personers. ven ideella organisationer skall kunna kontrolleras.

Snart finns inga "vsterlndska vrden" kvar att frsvara.

Thomas Bodstrm is a leading terrorist-chaser among the EU's justice ministers. In yet more proposed terrorist legislation he proposes, amongst other things, that telephone tapping, camera surveillance, interception of post and house searches can be done in secret. All citizens' mobile telephone communications and e-mail should be kept, not just suspects'. Even non-profit organisations should be monitored.

Soon there won't be any "western values" left to defend.

(This might strike you as in fact classic (pre-neo-)Liberalisme, but I have spared you the slightly odd bit about Israel that is the trademark of the Yoorpean leftiste.)


2005-08-04 23:41

Click on you crazy customers!

The seven (7) clickthroughs on my nice Google ads have earned me a princely dollar and seven (7) centidollars!

Notionally, at least; advertising dollars and centidollars are not collectible in practice until there are fifty (50) to be collected.

But even so! It maybe and probably is blind optimism, naked greed and better-than-usual claret that makes me say so, but if there's any advertisers out there looking to sew up our core niches of prinsessgossip, socialdemocracy, pope-bashing, prinsessgossip and intra-Yoorpean tact, then Google and us could be at the beginning of a relationship not lacking in beauty.

2005-08-03 15:26

Come on, Pope; for a yummy biscuit?

It is a sad story, for sure:

German police are holding a woman suspected of manslaughter after the bodies of nine new-born babies were found buried in a garden.

But we demand and insist on a formal statement from the Pontiff that this such behaviour is after all no worse than for this woman to have used contraception instead. Say it, Pope, we double-dare you!


2005-08-03 14:03

Of Europa and other kunskaps

This week's guest Interweb university comes all the way from Finland!

Hello, bo Akademi's Europakunskap course in Swedish, which we speak! And a big and hearty thank you to the Avoin Yliopisto for providing information only in Finnish, which we don't! (Our Will to European Studiousness is, however, strong!)


2005-08-03 12:15

We're back!

The computers are all out of bed and much much better, hoorah! But that does mean we have to do some work. (Not least since we're running away to the Pays-Bas for next week.)

We note, further, that not all of our Google adds relate to autisme: one is for help with alcohol or drug abuse.


2005-08-03 09:11

Anna Karenininina, now with added Dutchy-Double-Dutch!

Stipan Arkadiewitsch was geabonneerd op een liberaal blad, niet zoozeer een radicaal, maar een van de richting der meerderheid. Ofschoon noch wetenschap, noch kunst, noch politiek hem bizonder belang inboezemde, hield hij zich toch aan de richting, die zijn courant en de meerderheid voorstonden en hij wijzigde zijn inzichten slechts dan, wanneer de meerderheid die wijzigde, of liever, hij wijzigde ze niet, maar zij wijzigden zich onmerkbaar in hem.

Stepan Arkadyevitch took in and read a liberal paper, not an extreme one, but one advocating the views held by the majority. And in spite of the fact that science, art, and plitics had no special interest for him, he firmly held those views on all these subjects which were held by the majority and by his paper, and he only changed them when the majority changed them--or, more strictly speaking, he did not change them, but they imperceptibly changed of themselves within him.

That's the Constance Garnett translation, which we looked for and sought as treeware but sadly could not find; we have the Maude and Maude one instead.

In fact, we have it here with us, since we are a programmer by trade and all our files are on a swerver which is down and set to stary that way.

We just need to fog our spicy brain a little with een liberaal blad we are opgeabonneerd with first.

2005-08-02 15:29

Sources for Courses (No horses were harmed, honest)

Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Karl "The Spectre" Marx, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte", p.329 Selected Writings, (David McLellan, Ed.)

Of course, Hegel famously didn't say that, but even what he famously said isn't what Marx famously said he said.

Which just goes to show, although I don't know what.

2005-08-02 12:34


They were digging a whole by the physics building, you see. And there was, not for the first time, this cable were they were digging, you see. And then all the lights went out.

Some things are back up (even the network!) but the main file-swerver is still in a huff and won't talk to us, so we're reading a nice book instead.

2005-08-02 09:29

Cosmopolitan Epistemology

It's dynamically synthetic!

A strong interpretation claims that all knowledge and beliefs are the products of socio-political forces, but this version is self-defeating, because if it is true, then it too is merely a product of socio-political forces and has no claim to truth and no persuasive force. Mannheim sought to escape this paradox by exempting free-floating intellectuals, whom he claimed were only loosely anchored in social traditions, relatively detached from the class system, and capable of avoiding the pitfalls of total ideologies and of forging a "dynamic synthesis" of the ideologies of other groups.

We are, of course, a Reform Nihiliste - we don't believe anything, but we're not dogmatic about it. And we do like a bit of sociology of knowledge, for sure.


2005-08-01 15:25

Nancy! Banks!-Smith!

The woman whose TV criticism is compulsory reading for persons even without a TV is online at last:

There was, you fear, a tinge of mischief in picking Michael Portillo to present The Great British Loser (Channel 4). His defeat by Stephen Twigg was voted - heaven knows by whom - Britain's third-favourite TV moment of all time. Was it, Portillo mused, because we dearly love a loser? Well, no. It was because we dearly love a laugh. His air of haughty incredulity, like a llama surprised in a bath, was well worth waiting up for. Portillo's physiognomy seems to belong to some branch of the camel family. For all I know the camel may well be a shy, self-deprecating beast and modest to a fault. It just doesn't give that impression. When Twigg was defeated in his turn and close to tears, it was no one's favourite TV moment.

Oh, and you need Byliner for your favourite journalistes. (Not available in Foreign, we suspect.)


2005-08-01 12:14


1. Slow down the Earth, we want a leap-second!

"The length of a second was defined according to measurements of the earth's rotation taken in the 18th and 19th centuries - but the earth is slowing down, mainly because of friction caused by the tides," explains Peter Whibberley, senior time scientist at the National Physics Laboratory. He will be responsible for programming the extra second into the UK's clock, based in a laboratory in Teddington, south-west London, which has careful controls on its temperature, humidity and levels of vibration. Because atomic clocks are so accurate, they are now a full second ahead of the rotation of the earth.

Hoorah for leap-seconds!

2. Why I am so very Western Yoorpean

It is Peter L Berger!

I think what I and most other sociologists of religion wrote in the 1960s about secularization was a mistake. Our underlying argument was that secularization and modernity go hand in hand. With more modernization comes more secularization. It wasn't a crazy theory. There was some evidence for it. But I think it's basically wrong. Most of the world today is certainly not secular. It's very religious. So is the U.S. The one exception to this is Western Europe. One of the most interesting questions in the sociology of religion today is not, How do you explain fundamentalism in Iran? but, Why is Western Europe different?

3. Prinsessboyfriendstasisshock!

It is the lovely and only slightly beige prinsess Madeleine! And she hasn't split up with her boyfriend. Which is news in Sweden, apparently:

- Jeg fortsatt sammen med Jonas. Denne psttte kjrlighetskrisen vet jeg ikke hva jeg skal si om. Men det har sttt s mye i avisene at jeg skjnner jo at folk begynner undre, sier Madeleine.

"I am still together with Jonas. I don't now what to say about the so-called love-crisis. But there's been so much about it in the 'bladets that I understand that persons begin to wonder", said Madeleine.

This 'bladet, for one, never mentioned it!


2005-08-01 12:11

Euromillions: Millions of Euros!

Hence, presumably, the name. When we play a lottery, which is not never, it is this one we play, for sure. But it wasn't us what won:

Dolores McNamara, 50, from Garryowen, County Limerick, scooped Europe's largest lottery jackpot on Friday.

The Euromillions jackpot had accumulated through nine [(9)] rollovers.

Fair enough, we probably knew they had it in Ireland too. And France and Espain. But:

Euromillions tickets are also sold in the UK, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, France, Luxembourg, and Spain.

At its own (Belgian) page, though, we discover:

France, England, Spain, Belgium Luxembourg, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland and Austria. With 9 countries participating the suspense will know no boundaries.

So what's the score with the Switzyland? Did the Beeboid just forget about them? And among the "very good reasons" offered for playing is:

Euro Millions is the first European lottery. This cosmopolitan aspect will attract those who are more European-minded than their elders.

It is rare that anyone takes quite so much trouble to target us as a demographic group, for sure.


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