February 26, 2008
Your typical office, or public, building tends to have some kind of receptacle for spent cigarettes. They tend to have some kind of abrasive surface to stub it out, and somewhere to put the butt. We (smokers) expect such things.
Today I happened to be visiting a hospital in South Wales. Right outside the main entrance was this:
Actually an intercom for when the main doors close after 10pm.
Zac likes to play PS3 first person shooters. So do I. Interestingly he’s said more than once that if he was ever in a real war then he would just hide.
Via Rob (and boingboing) a new study:
The researchers also found that: 1) Players showed no signs of desensitization over the course of multiple play sessions; and 2) Subjects who tested higher for psychoticism (based on a pre-trial psychoticism questionnaire) experienced less anxiety from killing enemies. That higher psychoticism would correlate with lower negative feelings about violence is not surprising. It is interesting, however, that players showed no signs of physiological or emotional desensitization. While this doesn’t necessarily disprove that desensitization to videogame violence can occur over long periods of time, it does suggest that brief exposure has little or no desensitizing effect.
February 25, 2008
i blogged an anecdote a while ago from david owen, the former british foreign secretary, about his wanting to off idi amin. interestingly, as part of the diana inquest, the MI6 chief states in his testimony that no assassination has been carried out by MI6 since at least 1966. we now await a similar statement from the CIA.
February 23, 2008
- skype is pretty crap, really. talking to james in australia earlier today there was more down than up time.
- although i always said that i’d never get into drinking expensive wine £6 a bottle seems to be the base line nowadays
- i don’t watch any sport religiously but enjoyed watching the rugby today (eng Vs fra).
- i haven’t sent any work related email today. first time in months. i feel bad.
- i could have been a killer, ha ha ha ha. i’m obsessed by that song (tiger lillies), mainly because it makes zoe laugh.
- zoe laughing is one of my all time favourite things
- cheese is good
this may be the finest drink in the known world. a licorice whisky sour from schochu (roka), charlotte street, london.
February 21, 2008
I’ve worked from home for three days this week. I am astonished to discover how many phone calls are made to the house. 90% are spam, of course. If it weren’t for needing a phone line for broadband i’d toss it out entirely. What annoys me is that when i, rarely, answer the phone and tell the caller, curtly, that i’m not interested in it, whatever it is, they seem surprised. Occasionally i just hang up, only to be rung again by the same guy complaining that i’d done so. there are one or two nice examples of responses to cold calling, of course.
February 19, 2008
Today saw the 17th young person in the last year to commit suicide in the small town of Bridgend, Mid Wales. The media has been awash with stories of internet pacts and the like, for which there is little or no evidence. The number of suicides of people aged 15-24 in the UK is 6.7 per 100,000. Bridgend is a town of 40,000 souls. Digging in Nationmaster shows that the teenage population should be in the region of 6%, say 2,500. This gives a suicide rate of 680 per 100,000. Pretty high.
In New Zealand, amongst other countries, the reporting of suicides in newspaper headlines is banned, and restricted within the body of the story. There were moves recently to stop this. However, the reasons for the ban are apparent in Bridgend. Teenagers are the most likely suicides, girls more so, in winter even more so. Most do not act without some other stimulus, currently being provided in inch high headlines and on every TV channel.
it’s been pointed out that the population here should have been 160,000, Bridgend Country, not the town, making the current suicide rate 170 per 100,000.
February 18, 2008
i went to see pina bausch tonight at Saddlers Wells. This was outside the theatre in the interval. At the average London play there are maybe twenty or thirty people puffing away but, as i’ve noted several times previously, for dance the number is several times larger. Before the show started we saw a film, “coffee with pina” in the studio theatre next door. Pina even smoked whilst dancing.
inside all was well, and “the rite of spring” was incredible. stand out evenings in the theatre, for me at least, seem to come more from dance than from traditional drama.
February 14, 2008
The kids and I got a kick out of this sign at Waterloo station today.
On the way to a meeting near Tower Hill the other day, I walked past Pudding Lane (where the Great Fire started) and All Hallows Church (the oldest in London and from where Pepys watched the fire). I also came across a pub called The Hung Drawn & Quartered that boasted this sign. Nice.