Archive for February, 2008

Play Digital

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

So, Play have this amazing new service for not buying music. What you do, right, is you go to the “Play Digital” section, pick an album or some songs that you don’t want, add them to your shopping basket, enter your credit card details, and magically, they take the money off you and don’t give you the music that you picked.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and this didn’t seem entirely right to me either, but I’ve since phoned them twice and twice been assured that the content would be available for download “in an hour or so”, and both times, on returning to their download site, the music has still been unavailable for download, so I can only assume that taking your money for nothing in return is in fact the desired functionality of the service.

So, if you fancy pissing all your money away into a big pit in exchange for absolutely jack shit, feel free to go and try Play Digital. Or, alternatively, use a download service that actually works.

All valentines meals should end with a trip to A&E

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

So, apparently, right, if you get a tiny 1cm long seabass bone lodged in the back of your throat, this is a serious medical emergency and entails a trip to A&E, X-rays, cameras stuck up your nose, various metal things shoved in your mouth, threats of theatre and general anaesthetic, and lots and lots of retching whilst a weary looking ENT specialist pokes the back of your throat with what look like a pair of forceps (except smaller, but – I swear – not that much smaller).

Fortunately, we got the bone out – and then promptly lost it again, but I definitely saw it, and he stuck the endoscope up my nose again (without anaesthetic, I noted – someone wanted to go home) and checked, so we’re reasonably sure it’s gone.

Anyway, it’s annoying and frustrating that something so tiny can throw an evening out of kilter, and I didn’t even get beyond the first mouthful of my martini. I hope our second married valentine’s day goes somewhat better than the first did.

Naomi did get to read a good chunk of the book she got for Christmas, though, so it’s not all bad.


Thursday, February 7th, 2008

My friend and former flatmate Jeremy has finally made good on his threats to jack it all in and go touring on his bike – it’s taken a few years, but he’s finally done it! He and his colleague Keith have got themselves a couple of 2005 KTM 640 Adventures and are heading down the west coast of Africa to South Africa. They’re blogging the whole thing here and it looks like it’s already shaping up to be an incredible journey. I am dead, dead jealous.

Rowan part 3

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Two quick things:

  • The ever wonderful Dave Walker has collected a few very thoughtful and reasoned responses to the whole sorry deal here. Read those, they summarise the situation better than I or the media could.
  • Or, you could just read what he actually said, which unsurprisingly turns out to be a lot less dramatic and a lot more nuanced and complex than the media have made out.

More on Rowan and Sharia

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

I think Paul Vallely over at the Independent puts it well. I’m not so keen to lay the blame at the feet of the Archbishop for the press’s sensationalism over this, but he’s right that it sounds very different went coming from the head of a church as opposed to “just” an academic. It’s sad that has to be so, though.

This whole Rowan Williams/Sharia Law thing

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Look, people (and by “people”, I mean the media and everyone else who’s going “ZOMG SHARIA LAW IS TEH EVIL AND OPPRESSIVE”), if you’re going to take issue with something somebody has said, try actually taking issue with what they really said rather than what you’ve decided they’ve said. What Rowan said was nothing to do with him wanting everyone to live under Sharia law or to have it enshrined in Britain’s legal code, and everything to do with people’s right to self-determination and the way in which a broad, overarching legal code imposed by a central authority cannot – and should not – be relevant or desirable to a society composed of a disparate variety of social, religious and cultural groups. The hatefulness or otherwise of Sharia law doesn’t enter into it – what Rowan was arguing for was the right for muslims who wish to resolve their own disputes according to Sharia law to do just that; ditto for Jews who wish to resolve disputes according to Jewish law, and secularists to resolve disputes according to secular law.

Now, if you want to attack that then you can take the “if you want to live in Britain you have to live by our laws and customs and cultures” line, at which point I’ll point out that Britain is historically a nation of immigrants anyway, ask you whose laws and customs and cultures do we mean anyway, and you can go back to reading your Daily Mail and frothing at the mouth about the Polish coming over here and doing our plumbing.