stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (Default)
ZOMG I am not even kidding. I was just listening to BBC's Hardtalk with Sudan's Ambassador to the UN, Abdalmahmood Mohamed, discussing the upcoming Copenhagen summit. The ambassador is also chairman of the G77 Bloc, which represents several hundred poor and developing countries. Pre-negotiations the G77 threatened to walk out of talks if rich countries (ie US and EU) do not make further cuts in their emissions.

But interviewer Stephen Sackur wasn't satisfied with the 'diplo talk' the ambassador was spewing, and upbraided him several times regarding the facts. In fact after one of those moments Mahmood seemingly lost his temper, but Sackur bulldozered on, pulling quotes from various reports and flinging them at the ambassador. It was a little troubling at first, listening to someone who was at once patronising and scarily knowledgeable verbally attacking the interviewee. What is this, the radio version of The O'Reilly Factor? Then Sackur confirmed my suspicions when he brought up the indictment against Sudan's president. And the human rights abuses. And Darfur.

GO GO GO! Holy crap, I mean, it sounded like he wasn't a fan of Sudan's government from the beginning of the interview but I wasn't expecting Sackur to blindside the ambassador and confront him on Darfur! He even said he had been reading up on the reports and had more quotes for Mahmood. It was at this point that I thought Sackur sounded like Alan Partridge, except you know, less conceited and more politically minded. Something in the way he kept interrupting the ambassador with disdain dripping from his voice. And what's more, the ambassador was made silent many times during the discussion. Seriously, classic stuff. Go and have a listen here.
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (Default)
I stayed up last night so I could watch the BBC's Question Time with panelists Jack Straw (Labour), playwright Bonnie Greer, Nick Griffin (BNP), Baroness Sayeed Warsi (Conservative), Chris Huhne (LibDem). Around the same time it was morning in the UK, and many had begun the day tweeting about Nick Griffin's controversial appearance. In fact, "Nick Griffin" was second in Trending Topics. For those who are unaware of the insidious group called the British National Party - they are a fascist lot who seek a return to a 'true' Britain free of nonwhites.

This was me as I watched the entire thing.

Cut to save the flist from my angry livetweets )

One thing Griffin said that I hadn't tweeted: that David Duke came from a KKK that's non-violent. He had the nerve to say that whilst sitting beside an African-American (Bonnie Greer). The man is clearly delusional, but has his appearance on Question Time lent him an air of legitimacy? The press articles seem to suggest so, picking up on the many across the country who voiced their support.

The BBC's own Have Your Say QT forum became filled with pro-Nick Griffin comments. And most of the 400 callers who called the BBC on QT complained Griffin was being 'ambushed'. Griffin himself is to lodge a formal complaint against the corporation for how his appearance was handled and requests to be filmed outside of London -- a city he claims is 'ethnically cleansed'. If Nick Griffin does appear on QT a second time, I fear it will tip a large segment of the population who are frustrated with the three major parties into considering voting BNP. Not because of they agree with crazy things Griffin says, but because they will now view him as a legitimate option to voice their anger.
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (giornalista)
Came across this fantastic reference book, 'The Rough Guide to Shopping With a Conscience'. Ever wondered the difference between organic, Fairtrade, and eco-friendly? This is the guide for you. It also does a good job of explaining why it's a good idea to shop ethically, and includes plenty of links for further research. Best of all it's written factually, without sounding condescending; there is no push from the authors to pick a side, or follow every suggestion.

Where this guide stands out from other ethical lifestyle references I've browsed through is its section on money. Money matters are one of those difficult subjects to cover because it's filled with legalese, technical terms, and abundant mathematical figures that scare off the average punter. The guide covers a lot of ground, but does so in simple terms. Shareholder activism, mutual funds, credit unions, insurance, credit cards, all deciphered for the rest of us. The Rough Guide is definitely a valuable piece of information to keep at hand.

And now the Radio 4 links for the past week:

Costing The Earth - is raising free-range animals for food costing the environment?  And more surprising facts on dairy and meat.

In Business - How Michael Moritz became one of the premier venture capitalists in the world.

Unreliable Evidence - Litigants In Person, or the pros and cons of representing oneself in court

That's All Folks! The Mel Blanc story - the voice of numerous cartoon characters

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?  - the story of 1960s girl groups

Musical Migrants - series discovering people who have moved from their home countries to follow their musical aspirations

Sounding Post - where does the wood used to make our instruments come from?

British Jews & the Dream of Zion - Religious and secular Jews explain what Israel means to them today on its 60th anniversary

Grife, but I love Radio 4 :D
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (Default)
Terry Pratchett's turning 60 next Monday (28 April) and BBC 7 is celebrating with several programmes (here). Pratchett's Discworld novels are always a good read and I will admit to having a thing for Captain Carrot (until I met the real thing, and that's another story). This time listeners are treated to adaptations of Mort, Small Gods, and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (with David Tennant). Also available at the BBC 7 page are snippets of Pratchett's interview on topics such as fan fiction and puns. Definitely something to look forward to this weekend :D

Oh and those in LA, don't forget the book festival at UCLA this Saturday and Sunday!
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (lurker)
I think anyone who's read my LJ will know I have a thing for radio programmes. Here's a great start to the week:

Word of Mouth - Bad language. Listen to the presenters struggle with censuring the cuss words in question without bursting into laughter. A snapshot of the funny: the 's' word, which could mean 'stuff' or 'bad stuff' or 'I got "S" to do', and sticking 'blimey' in the middle of another's last name.

Afternoon Play (Tuesday) - An anonymous caller questioning a political candidate's commitment to abortion brings up the awful truth.

Ed Reardon - Oh dear, the prickly writer's gone and done it again. Only this time, he's offered to teach a class to impressionable teens.

Crossing Continents - Korean Missionaries. Why Protestant Evangelicalism is strong in South Korea and asking why many are willing  to venture into dangerous territory.

Now, back to writing starting the script.
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (batman laughs)
Ed Reardon's back on Radio 4! Granted, it's a repeat of the last series but I'll take 'em however they're dealt.

I'm sure my English prof would be horrified to learn I've switched my idolation to a grumpy fictionalised freeloading writer who rails against the 12-year olds of the world and never seems to catch a break. He was similarly distressed when I told him I wanted to be just like Hemingway, asking why I couldn't be the normal sort of writer who actually writes instead of boozing away money. The answer: because I am a lazy procrastinator who spends more time talking about writing than actually doing it.

Speaking of which, planning for script frenzy is going well. Sometime last week I sent an anguished e-mail to Sal, trying to figure out why I couldn't write female characters and blurting out other neuroses the poor girl wasn't equipped to assist. After a long session of mind slapping, I got over it and now have pages and pages of actually sentences. *punches air* Awesome!

Every time I try to enter the notes into the script program, I can't be trusted to finish the work. Bloody internets distracting me. Therefore I'm on the lookout for a better writing apparatus than the pen and book I have right now. There's something satisfying about scritching on paper, but I'm running out of pages. Here's what I have right now:

Paperchase is excellent. They're available at Borders stores and otherwise are available through their Amazon UK page. What I like is the texture of the brown, unlined notebook paper as well as the size and the heft of the book. But if I'm going to use paper to create the scenes instead of the computer program, I'm thinking of going bigger. More disposable. Like a regular lined 3-hole notebook. Unsexy, but probably more practical.

Back in the good old days, Sal cut an A4 notebook into thirds for our scribbles. Then we moved to spiral bound notebooks. The paper quality of those suck, though. No matter how careful you were, the ink bled into the page and the lines were plain ugly. Ah, maybe I'm overthinking it too much. But you got to admit... the page of nonsense up there looks important on the good paper. I actually feel like a genuine writer whipping that baby out to jot down something.
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (yummy)
Ah, have been ill the past week and hadn't the will to post. It's extremely frustrating to feel so poorly right when everyone is celebrating, and even more so when you don't know why you're sick. Luckily tomorrow I'm able to work from home and avoid the freeway drive of death. It nearly didn't happen, as the boss forgot to forward me his e-mail with the news that everyone would be able to work from 9am to 1pm from their homes. Thanks jerk... /end rant

The good thing about being bedridden is listening to the radio. Gawd, I know, I'm such a freak listening to the BBC World Service on a Saturday night. But Radio 4's played a radio adaptation of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' and on Christmas morning, there's the Queen's speech. The latter unnerves me somewhat because I'm certainly no royalist, but ya know, it's quite comforting. Don't worry, I won't be such an anorak on the big day. We'll have sparkling cider and the Jools Holland Big Band Rhythm & Blues Orchestra playing in the background instead.

Anyway, it's also been time for Hanukkah and Eid, so I have been visited with latkes and meat dishes. Yay! Once I get the neighbour's recipe for the latkes, I can finally get rid of the 2lb bag of potatoes in the pantry. Gahhh latkes. A few family friends also came around with meat they're sharing with us -- for Eid, an animal (goat, cow etc) is sacrificed and the meat is redistributed to family, friends, and the poor. With our gift, my mum made a spicy beef curry and I will be trying a hand at Beef Wellington for tomorrow's Christmas Eve dinner. Dessert was supposed to be a sticky toffee pudding, but I'm going to hold on to that for later. Instead, I'll be making tiramisu with the box of dried fruit panetone I received as a Christmas present. I wonder what I can do with the mangoes we've also received...

It's also weird that by the end of the year there seems to be less people I call friends than at the beginning at the year. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde extremely, to lose one friend is a misfortune, but to lose more is carelessness. If it is because I haven't kept in touch, I'm truly sorry. Drop by a e-mail or a comment and let's start again.

PS If anyone's interested in a GIMP-made Christmas card, do let me know. Otherwise, Happy Christmas!


Sep. 15th, 2007 09:42 pm
stinglikeabee: classic denny colt  (lurker)
Aww... wasn't able to watch the Clive Owen film tonight, as too busy cleaning out the kitchen. Nevermind that. I'll try tomorrow.

The BBC are currently having their 'Comics Britannia' season in which various British comic strips are spotlighted. There are 3 specially created documentary episodes scheduled to be shown on UK television; unfortunately none of the material is available online. However, there are 2 video clips of extras available featuring Alan Moore and Stan Lee. *crosses fingers* I hope someone uploads the docs to Youtube soon.



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